adventures in running

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What I know about running gear

I’m not an authority on gear but I am a runner who made poor choices before I knew better.

(I wear a lot of Under Armour (UA) stuff because I like the way it fits me, but you find what fits you!)

Let’s start at the feet. For real. If you do nothing else for yourself as a runner, GET YOURSELF FIT PROPERLY FOR SHOES!!!! Fleet Feet has a well trained staff ready to help you out in this area. And they’ve got two locations to serve the Tulsa area.

In addition to shoes, you need tech socks.

I’m going to stop there and talk about tech gear. “Tech” stands for “technical” and it’s a man-made fabric that contains NO COTTON and has wicking capabilities (pulling moisture away from your body). Do you hear me? NO COTTON! Cotton is rotten. If you don’t believe me, do some comparison runs. Run in your beloved cotton. You think it should be good for you because it’s a natural product. But cotton is heavy and when it’s wet, it holds onto the moisture. Seriously. If you think nothing’s better than cotton, test that theory! But …. not all tech shirts are created equal. If it feels heavy on the hanger, it’s probably going to feel heavy on you.

So, tech socks. Important. If you run in cotton socks, you could end up with blisters. I remember a friend complaining at the 2010 Jingle Bell Run that she wore fun, festive Christmas socks that were cotton. And she ended up with blisters. Do other things to make your running outfit unique. Run with tech socks. They’ve got them in colors if you’re that serious about it. I personally only buy one kind and color of socks (I got them at Fleet Feet). Because I don’t want to have to spend much time matching them. So my tan line on my ankles is getting worse every time I run. (=

I wear UA under armor under my UA compression shorts. (Actually, I wear them most days because they’re that awesome, I own 9 pair!) I was hesitant about compression shorts. Seriously, TIGHT shorts? Can’t possibly look good. But they’re a really good idea. Cover them up if you want.

When I started, I ran in what I called sliders with tech shorts over them. The outer shorts rode up. So I started looking for skirts. That were WAY too short for my fat legs. This is where the KB skirts came in. KB makes leotards. And she’s very good at it. So I asked her if she’d look into making skirts. And she’s been my skirt maker since!

You don’t have to wear compression shorts, but make sure your shorts are a technical fabric. Compression shorts help keep unnecessary rubbing to a minimum, though.

Most of my shirts are UA lightweight shirts. I have them in sleeveless, short sleeve, and long sleeve. Because they’re that awesome. SUPER light weight. May even be a little see-through. But not bad enough for anyone to tell me not to wear them. And I’d hope my running friends are honest enough to tell me not to wear something.

Ladies, no matter how big or small chested you are, you need to support your girls. Fleet Feet can also fit you for a nice sports bra. They’re expensive. Mom bought one a few weeks ago that was $56. Personally, I wear a regular, supportive bra and then a sports bra over it. I feel well supported. If I didn’t, I’d be at Fleet Feet tomorrow. Strap ’em down! You might be less worn out after your run!

Hats and visors are awesome. They keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes. Again, make sure it’s tech.

Sunglasses are a very good option as well. Here’s something you may not know – don’t buy the ones that plaster to your face for running. They’ll fog up. In hot weather. And cold weather. Give your face a little breathing room. (=

And here’s something else that I run with that I consider necessary – a water bottle. I started with this one. It was awesome. The others seemed so small. I was so worried I’d run out of water! Turns out Mom’s the water hog! It’s insulated so the ice and water stayed cold through any of my runs. Then I got tired of carrying it in my hand. Seriously, I’d love a bottle like this that would fit in my hydration belt. I picked this gem up at the Walt Disney World Expo before my first half marathon. The belt doesn’t have any attached water bottle pouches and I liked that. I bought these “add-ons” for the belt. You can just wear one, which is what I use if I’m going 4 miles or less. I wear both if I’m going further. The belt is designed to sit on your hips and not move. Mine doesn’t sit on my hips, it sits a little higher. But it doesn’t move. It does make one of my skirts hike up, but not the others. It’s not a big deal. It’s got a pocket big enough for my iphone with several built in slots for an ID, cash, whatever. It’s got several places to store gu or small packets of things. And it’s got toggle things for your race bib. But I don’t use those because I don’t like the way the bib feels when it’s that low.

If you’re serious about running, you’ll want a Garmin. Because they’re that cool. I use an iphone app to tell me my intervals, that also plays my music. A Garmin can let you know when it’s time to switch from running to walking. But if you’ve got it set to do that, you can’t have it lap at each mile (at least with the version I have). I prefer to have my Garmin do the mile marks because I believe it’s more accurate than my phone app.

Headphones are also a good idea. Mom and I have gone through several kinds. I still prefer the ones that came with my ipod shuffle. I don’t want to run with the ones I got with my iphone because I don’t want to lose them. Silly but true.

The last thing I can think of is a Frogg Togg. I have a Chilly Pad. Actually, I have half of a Chilly Pad. Mom has the other half. And that’s plenty big. But now they’ve got a ‘dana that’s smaller and you can tie it together. I wrap the Chilly Pad around my neck and tuck the ends in my bra.

They make compression sleeves for your lower legs and your arms. I’ve never had a need for them so I can’t tell you a lot about them.

There are also several muscle releasing tools you can purchase at Fleet Feet. Again, I’ve never used them but I know people who swear by them. Check them out at Fleet Feet if you’d like more info.

Gear is important. Almost as important as being properly hydrated and fueled for your runs. If you don’t believe me, do some comparison tests. Let me know how they go!

Is there anything I didn’t cover? If so, leave a comment, I’ll tell you what I may or may not know.

Do you have an opinion on running gear?

I hate running late …

I hate running late. Reeeeaaaaalllllllllyyyy hate being late. Anywhere I go. Now usually, I’m a little more lenient on myself in the mornings because I like sleep more than I hate being late. But generally, once I’m up for the day, I’m early everywhere I go.

I was leaving work today to go home and take care of the inside dogs before meeting my running group and an alarm dings on my phone. I had a microdermabrasion appointment in 30 minutes. And it takes 45 minutes to get to her place in Claremore. AAAHHHH!!! I should have set my alarm for earlier. (And I did for my next appointment.) I usually look at my calendar during the day but it just didn’t happen today. So, I was 15 minutes late to my appointment. And then my lady worked on me until 5:25.

Mom went home to take care of the dogs.

And then I had to run to Owasso to meet my running group at 6. And I still had to change. The first hold up was a train. I know. Claremore means train in some ancient language. It’s not a surprise to anyone that’s reading this and knows the Claremore area. And then I got behind an older man who only went about 45 on highway 20. I’ll give him a little bit of credit, he couldn’t have gone a whole lot faster than that because there were people in front of him, but he wasn’t going as fast as he could have.

I hit every red light on 96th Street. And really wished I could have multi-tasked! I had plenty of time to change in my car.

I peeled into the parking lot to find everyone still inside. Whew! I changed as quickly as I could. And I was done just in time!

Ooohhhhh …. when I was sitting in the car at a red light, I did multi-task a bit. I put sunscreen on my face. Alcohol based Bull Frog (because it’s supposed to be better for my stupid acne prone skin.) And the microdermabrasion scrapes a few layers of skin off my face. So …. OUCH!!!!

So, I did pretty well on my run. The first 3 run intervals were awesome. It was hot. I can’t tell you the exact temp. Two signs in Claremore, in the same block, were different – one said 99* and the other said 102*. The one by the church we run for said 96*. The 4th run interval wasn’t bad either. We stopped at the water 2 and a half minutes into the run. And we picked up where we left off and I did fine. But my body just wasn’t up for the 5th run interval. After we stop for water, my body thinks I’m done running. KB says it’ll get better. I hope so, but this is why I carry my own water. During races, I don’t ever have to slow down at a water stop.

I did my best to avoid what soured my attitude on Tuesday. It wasn’t easy. But it was good for me.

I went 2.52 in 38:29 | Mile 1 – 14:34 | Mile 2 – 15:08 | Mile 2-2.52 – 8.48 (17:01 min/mile | average pace – 15:17

Less than 100* – not a bad run

Last week we upped our run intervals to run 4, walk 3. But it was sooo hot we slowed our pace down a bit. Because it wasn’t quite so hot this afternoon, we didn’t slow our pace. And that was okay for the most part.

I’m still doing a good job running at the front with the coach. The last 2 weeks it’s been Coach N. For those of you that really know me, I’m good with quiet. I actually prefer it most of the time. And coach N is good for that. He just runs along looking like he’s just out for an afternoon stroll. Until you notice that he’s dripping sweat. What is he doing to be that sweaty???

Coach LS was back today, but the other P2 coach wasn’t, so the P2 and P3 groups ran together again. That’s why Coach N’s been leading. He’s actually a p3 coach.

For real, running can sometimes make your sour attitude better. Running with people that irritate you can sometimes make your attitude sour. Would you believe that my attitude got worse today? I’m sure you don’t want to believe it. I typed a hateful paragraph but deleted it. This blog’s about my running, not how I let others affect me. (= I chose to run with a group and so I have to deal with the people God put in the group.

So, as we were getting ready to head out for our run today, I saw a couple of people wearing cotton. And I thought I’d take time to blog about proper gear. But it’s too late in the day to do that today. But maybe tomorrow. Be on the lookout for it. (=

the past two weeks – almost 20 miles

I’ve been lazy with my blog.

But I haven’t been lazy with my running!!

Mom and I signed up to do the Disneyland Half Marathon September 2, 2012. So, we’re training. For real. And we will rock this half marathon and receive Coast to Coast medals!!!

I’m again begging for voice recordings for my half marathon run! If you’re interested, leave a comment.

Coach LS has been gone for the last two weeks so P2 (my group) and P3 (the group KB is coaching) have been running together. The only difference is running pace. We do the same intervals. P2 is supposed to run about a minute/mile faster than P3. But with the ridiculous heat, we’ve been running slower than the schedule says anyway.

Last Saturday’s run wasn’t fantastic. I wore a shirt I’d never worn before. I’m usually pretty particular. I wear Under Armour loose fitting shirts that are more thin than paper. That makes them super light weight. The shirt I wore was too heavy. It’s amazing that there’s that much difference.

Also, I ate toast with pecan butter instead of peanut butter. I ran out of fuel.

The goal was to go 5 miles. And we did. But I walked the whole second half. I had pushed too hard during my run intervals. I was running them as fast as our weekday training runs when we’d go between 1.5 and 2.5 miles. Ridiculous to think I could do it for 5 miles without the training.

Today’s run was awesome. Everything lined up just perfectly.

We left home around 8:30. Not as early as we should have. But the sky was overcast. Throughout the whole run. It looked like ti might sprinkle on us, but it never did.

It was overcast and breezy!

I’d fueled properly with toast and peanut butter!

I took 2 packages of sport beans and only ate one along the run.

I slowed down on my run intervals. The intervals for this week were supposed to be run 4, walk 3, 5 times. But for this really long run, I didn’t want to war myself out. So, I did run 3, walk 3. There were a few times when I walked when I should have been running. My iphone app that I use to track my intervals stopped telling me when to switch so I walked while I figured that out.

So, this post is kind of lame, but feast your eyes on these pictures ….. this is why you should run in Skiatook …..

Yep …. it’s a splash pad. The water was chilly but it felt awesome after a long run!!!!

And “The Flavor Fountain” snow cone stand opens at 11. It’s not as good as my favorite – Paradise Ice in Owasso – but it was a nice after run treat!

That is a parachute! There were two of them, but once I decided to take a picture, I couldn’t find the other one!

So, here’s a record of my runs for the last two weeks –

6.26 – 1.58 miles in 24:28 | average pace 15:09

6.28 – 1.64 in 23:49 | average3 pace 14:30

6.30 – 5.15 in 1:19:58 | average pace 15:31

7.3 – 2.51 in 37:55 |average pace 15:06

7.5 – 2.53 miles in 39:09 average pace 15:30

7.7 – 7.27 miles in 1:57:23 | average pace 16:09 | Mile 1 – 16:46 | Mile 2 – 15:22 (best mile!) | Mile 3 – 16:11 | Mile 4 – 16:21 | Mile 5 – 16:35 | Mile 6 – 15:45 | Mile 7 – 15:51 | Mile 7-7.27 – 4:30 (16:45 pace)

The Color Run Tulsa!!!

I don’t know the people in this picture, but this sums up The Color Run!!! If it ever comes to your city or anywhere close, DO IT!!! It is by far the most fun I’ve had at a run. And I did the Walt Disney World Half Marathon at Disney World.

Mom and I before and after!!
      

 This thing makes my eco-friendly heart happy. Sort of. I mean, there weren’t plastic bottles to dispose of, but they were giving out styrofoam cups to put the water in …

Running groups are awesome. They allow you to make running friends. And running friends are very important when it comes to running!! They help motivate you. They give you just enough pressure to make you show up to run. But they make the run fun! The problem with running groups is, after that “session” is over, it’s hard to get everyone back together again. But most of us were able to reconnect for this run. JB is the only one from our group that we didn’t connect with. She was at the run, but we never saw her. Mom never saw her running peeps, either. She left us to go find her people and ended up running by herself.

I ran with KB, SG, SM (from my new running group), and a new running friend, D. SB took off like she’s known to do.

Check out all the people! These were the people in front of me. After at least 2 groups of people (around 1,000 in each group) had been sent on their way.

These were the people behind me.

They came right in front of us with the barricade. So we got to be at the front of a wave! Well, at least until they told us to run! 

When the group in front of us were sent on their way, the barricade and we followed!

The first color station. They had big ketchup like bottles full of the powder. They had a really good system going. This young lady was having fun!!

We spun around at each station. Got more than one volunteer to quirt us with color. We scooped up powder from the ground. As we were headed to the finish line after the last color station, the volunteers were cleaning up the first color station. The guy told us we could roll in it. KB and I did. I think SM might have, too. It was fun! But I didn’t end up with much of that color on me. But somehow it colored my underthings.

The second color station. This dude was dumping his bucket out on people! I don’t think any of my crew got it, though.

Just after I finished the 5k, they had a color festival explosion. (They did them about every 15 minutes.)

Also, it was right about here that Mom walked right in front of me. That was amazing timing!

Here’s Mom during the color festival.

And me and SG.

FUN!!

Mom’s backside.

My backside.

My water bottle.

Check out the similarities in my hand (on the left) and my mom’s.

Check out my car seat cover. I should have brought a towel like they said. HA When I got home, I just hit it with something until the color flew onto other things!

We were on 18th Street trying to get out of the run area and a lady in an older Jaguar in front of my hit the truck in front of her. We’d been sitting in traffic for a while. I have no idea what she was doing or how she hit him!

Then we went to Kum n Go for Krispy Kreme donuts and a Diet Dr. Pepper with vanilla. The people in there were shocked to see us. We must have been the first from the run to come in.

And since we were right there, we went to Whole Foods. We were not the first from the run to be there, nor were we the only ones from the run in there at the time! But we did get some strange looks. (=

Then we went to Ulta. The ladies working knew about The Color Run. They asked how it was. Seemed like they would have enjoyed being at the run.

Then to PetCo. No one knew about The Color Run. One customer said, “I don’t know what you did, but it must have been fun!”

Then to Claremore because Mom had a hair appointment. And she didn’t warn the stylist that she had color in her hair. She still had color on her scalp when we left. LOL

Then we went to the Boom-A-Rang Diner. We hadn’t been there before but Mom said she heard they ground their own beef and cut their fries fresh. When we got there, all the tables were full. That’s a really good sign, right? Someone got up just a minute after we got there, so we didn’t have to wait long. They wiped the table off and we sat down. It was still wet so Mom left her mark. It didn’t come off with some scrubbing. /= Sorry!!

One lady came up to us and said when we came in that she saw Mom’s arms and thought she had been in a terrible accident. She was relieved that we hadn’t been!

Another older gentleman walked by and said, “I don’t know what you guys did, but you deserve 100% for your dedication.”

So, the burger and fries were good! Check them out if you’re in Claremore or Owasso! Just make sure to ask if the sweet tea tastes good on that particular day before you order it. (=

Here are my shoes and socks.

And my shoes and feet. Notice the dirty look of my toes from the color and the ring around my ankles!

After scrubbing in the shower, I got most of it off. I had a few faint spots left on my face and a big patch of blue under an arm pit.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. The run was awesome. For real, if it comes anywhere near you, do it!!! You won’t regret it! But, make sure you get all colored up. I saw pics of JB and she just wasn’t colorful enough!!

Busy week – forgot to post!

Hello! Did you think I forgot about you? Did you think I stopped running? Well, I didn’t do either! I’ve just been busy. Actually, it seems like I run on days the Thunder was playing and I I couldn’t havestayed up late watching them. I’m disappointed in their performance for this finals series, but I couldn’t do what they do!

So, let’s get busy because I’ve got 4 runs to record!

Tuesday, June 12 –

Running with No Boundaries Owasso. There were just 6 of us in our P2 group today. And 2 were coaches! Our intervals were still run 2, walk 3. Whew! What a relief. I was thinking this was the day we upped our running time to 3 minutes.

I went 2.57 miles in 38:34 minutes | Average pace 15:02 | Mile 1 – 14:55 | Mile 2 – 15:09 | Mile 2-2.57 – 8:30 (15:00 pace)

Thursday, June 14 –

I was late. We got a new dog today. Mom brought her home just as I should have been leaving for the run. But I wanted to get to know Sadie and wanted her to get to know me. So, I was late. But good thing for me they were doing a hydration clinic before the run! So they didn’t have to wait for me and I didn’t have to run to catch up to them!

I went 2.51 miles in 38:46 minutes | Average pace 14:28 | Mile 1 – 15:38| Mile 2 – 15:13 | Mile 2-2.51 – 7:55 (15:30 pace)

Saturday, June 16 –

June Bug Jog in Claremore. Mom’s used to running at Claremore Lake. I’ve always found it to be a little difficult. I don’t know why. It’s not hilly. I just haven’t ever really enjoyed running at Claremore Lake.

I ran my intervals (2 run, walk 3) throughout the run. I believe I ran all my intervals! I really was hoping to be faster than usual. And it didn’t happen this race. But I’m certainly proud of my efforts.

There were only 2 people behind me at the end. And that’s okay!

I went 3.15 miles in 45:36 | Average pace 14:28 | Mile 1 – 14:46 | Mile 2 – 14:23 | Mile 3 – 14:54 | Mile 3-3.15 – 1:33 (10:16 pace)

Tuesday, June 19 –

My No Boundaries group ran downtown so they could be part of a clinic at the Fleet Feet Blue Dome store. And I just couldn’t make it on time. I should have run on my own, but it was just too stinkin’ windy!

Thursday, June 21 –

It stormed this morning. I was hoping it would storm all day. Our Thunder needed it. But it didn’t happen.

I picked up Mom and my Color Run packets! I’m really looking forward to the run on Saturday! I think it’ll be a lot of fun!! I’m excited about the 10,000 people doing the color run!! Hopefully there will be inexperienced people behind me.

Today’s run was really good I was worried about upping our running time to 3 minutes at a time. But in my opinion, I did really well. I kept up with Coach LS! We were supposed to do 5 rounds, but we ended up doing 6. The 4th one was difficult. The 5th wasn’t so bad. But the 6th was really hard. My pace was about a minute/mile slower during the 6th run. But still, I ran it all!!

Thinking about the 3 and 3 intervals reminds me of my first No Boundaries experience!!! SB and I met at the beginning of the class. We decided we’d run the Firecracker 5k on July 3, 2010. Our goal was to run our intervals (run 3, walk 3) all the way through and to finish and not die. That was the first of the goals we set and accomplished!! Well, we walked an interval or two, but we still did really well!! What a neat memory!

Tonight, P2 and P3 ran together. It was fun to hear KB yelling again. (= Miss my KB!

I went 2.53 in 37:52 | Average pace 14:58 | Mile 1 – 14:32 | Mile 2 – 14:39 | Mile 2-2.53 – 8:40 (16:24 pace)

Collinsville Moonlight 5k

Mom and I are registered in the Cherokee Nation Wings program, trying to make a healthy nation. You don’t have to be a Cherokee to be part of the program (it’s too late to register for this year.) They pay entry fees into sponsored races. Mom sent me an email about this race a while back and said we should do it. I said okay. It’s a free run, right? Why not? Um, here’s why – it was on a hot day in June. The run didn’t start until 8:45pm but it was  HUMID through the whole run, even in the dark. It got dark. And there were only a few volunteers. And lots of moving cars on the course. I’d already taken a nap for the day and didn’t want to get up!

Oh well. After all that, it really wasn’t so bad. I was moving. (=

I ran my intervals (run 2, walk 3) during the first 2 miles. I walked the last mile. I really felt pretty good.

But there were some pretty funny (at least to me) incidents …..

We took Mom’s car – a Mustang convertible with the top down! As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, I needed to use the restroom. Really bad. But we were only going to Collinsville.

But when we got to the football field I didn’t remember. We went and picked up our packets and went back to the car. I had put the timing chip on my shoe and then realized I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom. So, I took my bib & safety pins, left my mom in the car, and went in search of the restroom. (I graduated from Collinsville High School and I was in band, so the football field is my old stomping ground, but they’ve re-done a lot of it.) I found it and found an open stall and started doing my business. And then realized there was no tp. It had one of those nifty 5 roll dispensers with no tp. Ridiculous. Someone obviously dropped the ball here – having a run from the field and not making sure there’s tp. Runners use the restroom. Usually before they run. So, instead of asking the people next to me for tp and embarrassing myself by asking for some, I called my mom and had her help me out! She laughed but came to my rescue. Later she said why I didn’t just ask the people next to me. I said I didn’t want to embarrass myself by asking for more than they gave me. We both laughed.

After the run, back at her car, I’d unloaded all my stuff. I put my phone on top of the car and forgot I’d done that. I never do that. Ever. I don’t put things on top of any car because I don’t want to accidentally forget it’s there. I asked if we could put the top down, so Mom started the process and then we hear a thud. WOOPS!!! I asked her what that was, thinking maybe it’s a normal sound. She didn’t know what it was. Then it hit me! It was my phone!!! I told her to stop! I jumped out of the car and there it was on the ground. Fine. WHEW!! So thankful it didn’t destroy my phone. And that I wanted to put the top down so we didn’t just drive off with my phone on the car!!! We had to put the top up before we got on the highway, though, it was too cold to drive with the top down.

So, that was my evening.

I went 3.12 miles in 46:32 | Average pace – 14:53 | Mile 1 – 14:14 | Mile 2 – 15:19 | Mile 3 – 15:24 | Mile 3-3.12 – 1:34 (pace – 12:41)