Sometimes I wonder why I run. Oh, I love to run, but I hate being cold and wet (and yet I still live on the West Coast). Add hungry to the mix and I turn into a raving lunatic, I would so not make it on Survivor. Just as a quick left turn, why do they not wear rain jackets instead of blazers and flouncy sweaters when they are being dropped off on the island? (Not to mention properly fitted undergarments, the image of Phillip and his saggy raspberry y-fronts is burned in my brain forever, ew.) You know that you will be spending the next 39 days in monsoon season (and in your underwear), I’m just saying.
Anyway, when I was getting ready for my run this morning I couldn’t help but be a bit whiney. I received a text on my way to the trail that said “I am jealous of you hot tubbing”. I followed this up with an immediate phone call to set the situation straight, and when the handsome voice on the other end said “good morning” I in a snappy voice said “you know what I have to run through in order to get to the hot tub”. I know Tuesday mornings suck, poor me.
The hardest step was the first one out of the car. Conny was already in the parking lot, soaked, and there was no putting off the inevitable.
There is a big difference in 2-degree rain and 5-degree rain. Both are equally as wet but one not quite as cold and miserable as the other; the difference between Saturday morning and today. So when I dressed this morning for a mild 5 degree run I dressed using my add 10 degrees rule, and dressed as I would for 15 degrees, and that is almost t-shirt and shorts weather (I did not go with shorts this morning purely because of the rain/chafe factor, poor Soraiya).
Surprisingly after my Saturday morning long run on the dykes and my Sunday morning run for bacon (really I did, I ran to the store bought bacon and ran home with it in my pack, thank goodness we had plenty of eggs) my legs didn’t feel nearly as fatigued as I thought they would and I had a really great run. And yes, the end reward was fabulous, homemade bagels (thanks Sharon) and coffee in the hot tub. I know Tuesday mornings suck.
Article post: TypeF.com
If you’re a die-hard runner, nothing can ruin your trailblazing workout like not being prepared for the weather. Come rain, snow or shine, a waterproof jacket can keep you moving forward. Keep up your game and focus on your fitness and serenity by rocking the best running jacket that keeps you protected without trapping heat.
For a flattering fit that’s as fashionable as it is protective in any type of weather, look at Lululemon running jackets like the Inspire Jacket, says Keri Cawthorne, owner of Iron Mountain Movement in Maple Ridge, Vancouver, Canada. “The design is well thought-out, with little pockets for iPod, keys, etc., and they are reflective,” Cawthorne says. Water resistant, ventilated to keep you from overheating and made with a stow-away hood, this jacket has everything you need to kick your running game into gear.
For the last week I have transported a box of mini chocolate bars from Whonnock Lake Centre to the Leisure Centre, to my Studio, back to the Leisure Centre (when it became a second box), to the trail, to the track, back to my Studio and it has finally come to rest on my kitchen counter. What kind of fitness instructor gives out candy? Oh, there is a method to my madness; I do the same at Christmas and Valentine’s Day as well.
So as I unwrap my 4th candy bar of the day I look at the nutrition facts on the back of said box, I am thrilled to read that my candy bar of choice, Aero, only contains a mere 40 calories and not the 100 that all of “how to have a boring healthy Halloween” articles have been reporting.
With so much to celebrate in October, it seems like it has been one big party since Thanksgiving weekend. So let’s enjoy one last day of October celebration, because tomorrow is the first day of NO-vember…and I have a dress that I have to wear the first week of December and at this moment in my life the only way that I am going to get into it is to be shot into it!
Happy Halloween my lovelies, MWAH-HA-HA-HA.
This post is not fitness related, unless of course you iron your running socks.
There was a point in my life when I wanted to be Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart in the early years, pre conviction, back in the 90’s when Martha Stewart Living was a weekly half-hour syndicated show maybe even until it became a weekday hour long show, when she was just pretentious, not bitter yet). But I am not crafty, I can’t sew, don’t have a room dedicated to either. I do however have a kitchen and did receive the Home Economics Academic Award two years running and I love to cook, but the thought of de-boning a chicken or making gravy using the contents of the paper sack found inside the turkey or foie gras gives me the heebie-geebies.
So I moved on to somewhere between Morticia Addams and Carmela Soprano. I work, I cook when I can, I clean more often than I would like to and I don’t iron. If it won’t de-wrinkle in the dryer or requires any major pressing I either don’t buy it or it goes directly to the dry cleaner.
True story, I was attempting to iron a few years ago and my daughter actually asked me “what is that?” I am ok with my lack of domesticity as is my family and I know that I am not alone. But some are not, including the older generations and that can-do-it-all/know-it-all acquaintance we all have, you know the one “you don’t do what?” as she is looking down her nose at you. If you have never run a marathon, you should if only for this situation. I know that I have only done one, but my response to Bitter Betty is now “I run marathons”, which inevitably stops her dead in her tracks, she may be a domestic engineer but can she run 42.2km’s?
So lately I have spent a little quality time with my flat iron, life in the fast lane. Not only have I learned how to curl my hair with it, I also found out that you can iron your clothes with it! Where have I been? I give you Exhibit A:
Now I haven’t tested it on fine silks, anything too expensive or anything Lulu, and it would not pass the Grandmother/Monster-in-law test (there is my disclaimer), but it does do the job for those little touch ups on an item that I would normally re-hang in the closet.
Oh, I know you’re going to try this one!
I like to treat myself to a little somethin’-somethin new to wear on race day, even if it’s only a pair of socks. But when the race is billed as a “mud crawling, fire leaping, extreme run from hell” I am thinking that my little somethin’ should be fiscal, dark in colour and fire retardant. So today I visited the thrift store.
I have to tell you that I thought that this would be easier. I know that it is going to be filthy and possibly part melted by the time I will be done with it, but I didn’t want just any old thing, it still had to be somewhat cute. I flipped through several racks…too short, too long, absolutely not, too white, some Lulu (yes, Lulu)…I did find an awesome pair of leopard print spandex shorts, although they were a size too small held them up and I got the ‘really Mom’ eye roll, I huffed a little, and returned them to the rack (only because of the muffin top factor). And I went back to the drawing board.
When I got back home I decided to have a look in my own closet to see if there was something that I might be able to use. I did a major closet overhaul last year, but there are always those several items that you hang onto because you just never know when. Finding a shirt that I was willing to part with was not a problem, a green tank from my first year of trail racing. Now for shorts; I pulled everything out from my bottom drawer. I found a green pair of Lulu clam diggers that I think I may have only worn once, but too much green and they are just all wrong. I kept digging and I found them, also Lulu, but black, at one time I had loved these shorts, they were kind of running/swim shorts, a little on the long side to what I wear now and they do not pass the stink test…excellent!
So with my race outfit chosen, and at zero cost, for the first time in my race history I will be buying my reward after the challenge is complete!
Along with countless others, last year I dressed as Snooky for Halloween. The make-up and the hair were fairly easy to replicate, the boobage however required a little more creativity. My problems were initially solved with the Bouncy Bosom Costume Accessory.
It was kind of fun at first going from the adult poster child for the Itty Bitty Titty Committee to giving even Pammy a run for her money. But the fun wore off pretty quick because they really got in my way; in fact I had to tie them down so they would stop bouncing around so much and getting caught in my armpit.
I often hear my larger chested friends talking with other larger chested friends about the trials and tribulations of finding the perfect sports bra. The evening spent as one of Jersey Shores finest and the three glorious weeks after my daughter was born are the sum total of my experience of having any kind of cleavage. I guess we all want a little of what we don’t have and I would gladly give up my fabulous fingernails for a full B cup. So when they catch me in full eye roll mode I get the comment that usually goes something like “you are so lucky that you can wear all of the little sports bras with little straps” followed up with “I wish I had smaller boobs”. Ouch that one hurt, but they are right about the little sports bras. I don’t even need to try them on, I just grab my size in the latest colour.
For the past few weeks, my boobolicious friend Raeanne has been trying out a sports bra for the well endowed. Oh, she has done her research and since I have no street cred in this area, I asked her to share her insights. Here is what she had to say…
I started running 10 years ago and made typical “newbie” mistakes including running in cotton and without a proper sports bra.
Soon I noticed the positive impact running was making so I invested in technical clothing but had a difficult time finding a sports bra. My bra size was 40E and there were not a lot of options. I tried wearing two bras, one bra with a really tight tank top, duct tape crossed my mind but I never did call in Red Green rather, I found a bra designed for equestrian riders. It provided great support, however, it was too hot (not a good option on a hot summer day), and it was really bulky. This photo shows how these contraptions look now, but, they were even longer in the bodice a decade ago.
Running has helped me shed some weight and I currently look for a bra size 36 D. This, along with a lot more choice for women in all shapes and sizes, makes bra shopping easier.
Here are three options to consider:
Recently when the lovely ladies at Lululemon in Coquitlam Centre suggested I try the Ta Ta Tamer, I smiled and nodded thinking, “are you kidding me, a Lulu bra?!
Tried ‘em all, may as well go commando”. But, I am a cooperative consumer and I headed into the change room. I was STUNNED that it fit. Both breasts fit into one Lululemon bra! More impressively; it looked great. As excited as I was about all of that, I remained skeptical thinking this nice looking, trendy bra couldn’t possibly provide support. But it looked so darn good I decided to give it a go. I’ve been running in it for a few weeks. It is comfortable and I love how it fits under a tank with no bra showing. For a bra with no under-wire it offers good support, but, it is not as supportive as I’d like. If you are dead set against under-wire this is a great option but I prefer the support that only seems to come with wire. The bra has removable padding. I prefer the pads out for appearance, but it is comfy either way. The bra straps detach so they can be crossed to fit under tanks with that feature. This increases support but I found it pulled on my neck so prefer the conventional strap option. The Ta Ta Tamer comes in great colours, is well priced and fits me really well. I wear it as a fitness bra but it is not the best running bra for me. I will buy more and wear the Ta Ta Tamer as an everyday bra (it is less expensive than my usual bras) and looks great.
The folks at Runner’s Den in Port Moody suggested this bra about a year ago. I didn’t hesitate to try it because it looks very supportive complete with cups and under-wire. It fit well, very comfortable, and I could tell it would be supportive. I have run in this style bra for over a year. There is no chance of “uni-boob” because the under-wire keeps the girls on their own sides. It has two layers: an outer smooth piece of fabric and two inner “cups” that are soft with no seam. Straps are wide, soft, thick and comfy. This bra is more supportive than the Ta Ta Tamer, but is more bulky and shows under tanks.
For about 5 years before discovering the Mia, I ran in the Femi. (bought it at Diane’s Lingerie on S. Granville). It is the most supportive bra I’ve run in. The under-wire comes higher up around each breast than the Mia. The cups are soft, thick fabric which is comfortable; however, they have a seam. I was concerned about chaffing, but, that has not been an issue. The seam does create two aesthetic issues: 1 – the seam shows, and 2 – it creates a really pointy profile. The straps could use a bit of padding for a nicer feeling on the shoulders.
In a perfect world the Bra Goddess would create a bra with the under-wire of the Femi, the thinly padded separate cups of the Mia, with the styling design of the Ta Ta Tamer.
I talk a lot (which is two words, one of my pet peeves). And when I saw that someone found my website yesterday by searching pilates underwear to avoid farting, it left me scratching my head wondering did I really talk about that?
Turns out, in my Gym Etiquette 101 post I did in fact talk about embarrassing things that can happen while at the gym that included farting in a Pilates class, I also referenced underwear, but not all in the same point.
But if you ask, I will tell, as both of my Pilates By The Lake classes on Monday night will attest to (although they didn’t ask, I do make it part of my first class of the session speech), always avoid high fat, hard to digest (i.e. lasagna, Caesar salad, most recently I added tacos) and known gassy foods (i.e. – cabbage, lentils, cauliflower…you know your list) prior to any exercise, not just Pilates. There are just some food combinations that are better left for after a workout.
My Mum always says that she learns new things from my blog, so here’s today’s nugget, there are underwear on the market that have a carbon filter. I actually remember seeing a segment on Dragon’s Den marketing this very concept. I dug a little further, they come in many styles by the way (shorties, boxers, no thong), but it was unclear if they filter odor as well as noise, so the jury is still out.
For what it’s worth, it is a completely normal bodily function which happens, on average fourteen times a day (who’s counting?), how about that for a random fact. And really it all comes down to where it happens. So if it should happen to you during one of those quiet moments at the gym or while you are going for a run take comfort with the following words that were whispered by a very kind lady to a very mortified lady during one of my classes many years ago “don’t worry about it, it just means that you were working really hard”.
There it is, I really did talk about it.
This is has not been scientifically proven, but I can attest to it, and your friends and family want me to let you know…you have exactly one hour from the time that you stop sweating until the time you start to stink. And if you don’t care, you should.
Even for those who take every precaution not to stink before or even during (insert activity here), I guarantee that you stink after; this is where the stink factor comes in. Starting your workout with clean clothes and a clean body (wash your parts, there is no excuse for poor personal hygiene) only guarantees that you will get closer to that hour, you will never no matter what you do extend the non stink factor for over an hour.
Keeping that in mind, when you finish your workout, you absolutely have time to go grab a quick coffee but only those who have just been sweating with you, you can even pick up a couple of groceries, but mark my words if you are not back in your car heading to make a deposit in your laundry hamper and then into the shower, you stink. So for those of you that continue your day after the coffee shop, by stopping by to visit a friend, running an errand or three and then why not you are out anyway go for lunch. That funny aroma you can smell every once in a while when you turn a certain way or a little too quickly, it’s you. Those grimacing looks that you keep seeing, yup they are for you. The dogs that are stiffing your crotch are not doing so because they are crotch sniffers, they are doing it because you stink, really.
Which brings up another point, just because the clever marketing says that your workout attire can be worn from the gym to the streets, doesn’t mean that you should. Although they don’t make your ass look quite as fantastic, pajamas are also comfortable, but would you wear them to meet the ladies for brunch on the patio?
If you must venture out after your workout, might I suggest that you take a complete change of clothes. Change at the coffee shop (most have friendly bathrooms), and if you plan on wearing a hat, the change should also include a clean one. I think hats are the biggest mistake most make. Your hat requires washing every time you sweat in it, trust me. Your head stays warm with your hat on, and when the sweat dries, your head, although not sweaty warm, is the perfect breeding ground for stench, think about it, you know that I am right.
Don’t be frightened to wash your gear; delicate cycle, use cold water, hang to dry or tumble dry on cool. Be careful with anything Velcro, it will stick to anything and I have learnt too many times it will leave Velcro marks on technical fabrics. My advice is to hang these items to dry.
What about washing the stench out? Try an antibacterial detergent, oxyclean, fabreeze, soak your gear in white vinegar or baking soda, I have even heard of washing it in a coke (of the cola variety). And if you just can’t get rid of the funk, toss it, even if it is your favourite piece or you have spent a small fortune on it, just get rid of it.
Today was the perfect opportunity for me to try out the brisk run arm warmers that Conny gave me for my birthday last month. Not only was the temperature just right, I was still bummed about my crappy run on Tuesday, and what better way to get over it than with something new and something Lulu! So with just a smear of Body Glide, my psychosomatic plantar fasciitis and stress fracture and my new arm warmers, I headed out for my Thursday morning speed training session.
Why wear arm warmers? Wouldn’t wearing a long sleeve be much simpler? On a day like today, I say no. I always like to be a little chilly while I run, with the exception of my forearms, wrists and hands; we all have our own demons. If I wear a long sleeve, 5 minutes into a cool and dry run I am too hot and have to take off a layer, which can be a bit of a production, especially if you are wearing a camelback, hat and/or music. Wearing arm warmers, if I get too hot I can just roll them down. And did I mention they have cuffins (cuffs that fold over and turn into gloves) to keep your hands warm so I don’t have to wear gloves?
Let me tell you, arm warmers have come a long way. Back in my mountain biking days, the only arm warmers that were available were one size. They were so ill fitting that my Mum had to put extra elastic around the tops so that they would stay up, and even back then I had pretty decent sized pipes! They certainly weren’t reflective or had pockets or came in any colour other than black.
So although I was a bit of a mess heading out this morning (the arm warmers definitely elevated my status to hot mess), for the first time in weeks my speed training session actually resembled a speed session. No records broken, but it didn’t feel like a molasses run either. Did the arm warmers help? Probably not, but I sure felt good wearing them, thank you Conny.
Yesterday was a very proud day. Several months ago I responded to a query looking for “Health/Fitness Experts on Workout Clothing”. I had a couple of email conversations with the media outlet regarding fitness clothing do’s/don’ts and general beneficial characteristics to look for in workout gear, and left it at that. That was until I received a fact checking email from Woman’s Day magazine a month later.
I knew that the information that I had provided would appear in the September issue, so the waiting game had started. When I was grocery shopping last week, I noticed that the August issue was completely sold out (fyi: in the US Woman’s Day is one of the top five selling newsstand magazines), and it would only be a matter of days until the September issue was available.
So after photographing my not so anonymous Operation Beautiful note near the Slim Fast products I casually made my way to the check-out to pay for my groceries ,and OMG it was there!!!! As I leapt for the magazine, I excused myself quickly and possibly a little too late to the lady that I bumped ahead of me. I quickly flipped open the cover to find the table of contents and under “be well” I found the article on page 138 “Shape Up Your Workout Gear: from sports bras to sneakers, the items that will help you get the most out of your exercise” by Abigail L. Cuffey…YAY! Careful not to damage any of the pages, I calmly found the article and quickly started scanning, and on page 142 in a perfect blue circle under Sports Bra Smarts I see…
“Always make sure that seams are flat on a sports bra,” says Keri Cawthorne, a running coach in Vancouver. You can check by running your fingers along the edges. “Bulky seams cause chafing around the armpits and under arms, which can lead to bleeding.”
On my way home I called my Mum and I read to her what the perfect blue circle said. I’m not quite sure if she believed me at first (because I quote myself in magazines all the time) but from the giddiness in my voice she knew that this was the real deal this time!
I think that if all trips to the grocery store could end like yesterday’s I would actually like grocery shopping.