Category Archives: Just Run Gear

New Clothes = Happy Tummy

You know what isn’t fun, folks?  Food poisoning.  Food poisoning, like the kind I had yesterday, is really super duper not fun.  The only silver lining in food poisoning is the weight loss (certainly you have heard the “Devil Wears Prada” quote: “I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight!”).   But even that part isn’t terribly exciting when it comes with weakness and dehydration.  My tummy was very sad.

When life hits me with a “not fun” situation, I always try to turn it around.  Today, retail therapy made my unhappy tummy feel a bit happier.  And because I only seem to buy workout clothes these days, “retail therapy” meant taking advantage of Lorna Jane’s 30% off sale.  Whee!!  My fantastic girlfriend Jennifer introduced me to this brand and I’m a bit hooked.  The styles are comfortable and functional, but also super sexy and unique.

lornajane

Look at those bright summer colors!  I picked out a purple tank in honor of my running buddy, Sammie B, who loves all things purple.  And some obnoxious orange shorts (not pictured as they are being mailed to me) are sure to cause a scene at the treadmill.  Excellent.

Special thanks to my very patient sister for putting up with my trying on approximately one thousand items!

 

Hydration

If you are at all serious about working out, you know that hydration plays an enormous role in the body’s performance.

hydrationmeme

Hydration isn’t incredibly complicated.   Just remember a few key facts:

  1. The more you sweat and/or urinate during a run, the more often you should replenish your fluids (more sweat = lower blood volume = more work to deliver oxygen to muscles).
  2. Electrolytes, especially sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride, play important roles in maintaining bodily movement.  These minerals are typically depleted in workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes and must be replenished.
  3. Over hydrating can cause GI distress, and, in extreme cases, hyponatremia, or water intoxication.

So how much should you drink and when?  If you want to get super scientific, you can conduct USA Track and Field’s Self-testing Program for Optimum Hydration.  Generally, you should be drinking to satiate thirst prior to, during, and after a workout.  If your workout is longer than 60 minutes, replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat and urine.

Personally, I drink about 32 ounces of a hydrating drink in the hour prior to working out.   During my workout, I sip on a hydrating drink with electrolytes when I am thirsty.  If I am running on the road or trails, I carry a water bottle; I’m old school and don’t have a fancy belt, backpack, or carrier!  If I’m on the treadmill, I use a 32-ounce Nalgene to track how much I drink.  After my workout, I chug water and replenishing drinks all day.

Like many of you, I have tried a lot of hydrating drinks.  My go-to drink now is always Ultima Replenisher.  It has zero sugar and nothing artificial (unlike your typical sports drinks that have loads of sugar and often artificial flavors and colors).   I love the grape, raspberry, and orange flavors.  It dissolves well in water and has a pleasant taste.  It has never given me GI issues.

I also enjoy Nunn Hydration tablets; I like the fizzy carbonation after a workout and they are very portable.   But because I’m not a huge fan of the artificial sweetener in it (acesulfame potassium, which has been shown to cause tumors in various rodent tests), I use them sporadically.

Coconut water is a tasty and natural alternative.  But be warned: it is low in sodium (not ideal during a workout as it will not replenish sodium loss) and is definitely an acquired taste.  I really want it to taste like  sugary coconut treat, but it doesn’t.  I tend to drink it post-workout as its high potassium content helps with cramping.  And it must be ice cold!

I tried Osmo Nutrition Active Hydration and did not like it.  The taste was passable, but it does not dissolve well in water.  It has more calories per serving than I need and I didn’t find it gave me the same “hydrated” feeling as Ultima.

Ultimately, hydration depends on personal trial and error.  Find a beverage that works for you and drink, drink, drink!  How do you hydrate?  Share in the comments!

New Shoes

Running in brand new shoes is like floating on fluffy clouds of fairy dust.  (Until you realize that you are only two miles into a six mile run. And that you haven’t even started training for your next marathon.)

newshoes

This is my fourth pair of Saucony Kinvara 4s.  I like that they are neutral, flexible, and lightweight,  but also provide some mild support.  I can get about 200 miles out of them before I need to break in a new pair.  Before these, I wore the Mizuno Wave Elixer 8, which has since been discontinued.

Have you been properly fitted for running shoes?  What do you run in?  And how long do they last?

My Relationship with Shorts

Folks, my relationship with shorts has been rough.  I have tried wearing shorts all of my life.  I tried bermuda, cut-off, cargo, mid-length, knee-length, and short shorts.  But every time I pulled on a pair and looked in the mirror, I saw this:

shorts

And running in shorts?  Forget it.  No. Way. Ever.  I was a strictly capris girl for working out, despite how hot and sweaty I would get.  Don’t get me wrong: I had great self-esteem.  We just weren’t friends, shorts and me.

But then something magical happened when I began to seriously focus on running.  The more I ran, the better my legs looked.  I ran faster and longer.  I built long, lean hamstrings and quads.  I lost weight — nearly 20 pounds.

And one day, when I was in Sports Chalet looking for new sports bras, I thought, “should I try shorts?  I’ll try shorts.”  I picked out a pair of Reebok Crossfit shorts.  I snuck into the dressing room, fully expecting to hate how I looked.  And guess what.  GUESS WHAT?!  They looked good.  They looked great.  So I bought them.   I texted all of my girlfriends.  I showed my husband.  Me in shorts!  Alert the press.

I wore them to the gym and instantly felt awkward.  Those mirrors in front of the treadmill?  Yeah, they aren’t great for hiding.  But I did what I always do: I started to run.  And the legs I had worked so hard to achieve through hours and days and weeks of running?  They shone.  Released from their spandex capri prison, they moved gracefully, strong and powerful.

I ditched my capris.  Little by little, my shorts became shorter.  First came a pair of Adidas shorts.  Then some Lululemons.  Cute and flattering, but not perfect.  And then I found them: the holy grail of running shorts, the fabulously short short Oiselle Mac Roga.  I bought a pair on sale from Running Warehouse (wait, you don’t know about Running Warehouse?  Go visit the site.  I’ll wait…….).

Best.  Shorts.  Ever.  They are justslightlylonger in the back for a touch of extra coverage and they don’t bunch up between my legs.  If you want a good, solid, sexy pair of shorts, this is it.  fiesta2

Running gave me the confidence to wear shorts.  I still only own one pair of non-running shorts, but maybe this summer I’ll invest in more.

What has running given you the confidence to wear?

And no, Oiselle isn’t paying me for this post.  Although if they want me to be an Ambassador I would be happy to oblige.  🙂