Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...

WALT WEDNESDAY!


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

GUEST POST: Sports Bra Support by Christina

Did you know your sports bra has an expiration date similar to your running shoes? (Okay, so it's not exactly like your milk's expiration date that can lead to a rancid jug in your fridge if you ignore it, but a lifespan nonetheless.) Maybe it's because I'm not super busty so my chest is never on the forefront of my mind or maybe it's because I've never really been too focused on undergarments, but whatever the reason I'd say sports bras never really got a ton of my attention.

But ignorance is NOT bliss. Choosing the appropriate sports bra is of the utmost importance so you can lead an active lifestyle without unnecessary discomfort (because ill-fitting sports bras can cause breast pain and even soft tissue damage). While most women rock a sports bra for support and comfort, many are potentially wearing the wrong size.

Lucky for you, I am friends with Christina, the Title Nine "gear junkie" and one of the Title Nine "bravangelists", and she's here to give you a little support (both figuratively and literally) when it comes to fitting yourself for the proper sports bra.


HOW TO PROPERLY FIT YOUR BITS


While it may seem difficult on the surface, measuring yourself (or helping your best running friend) for an everyday or sports bra is actually fairly simple! While many big box lingerie companies use a two-step measurement, this three-step measurement helps get folks closer to the right size the first time around and is more accurate for athletic builds. 


Go grab a measuring tape. For accuracy, make sure the tape lays flat and don’t pull too tight, or your bra will end up too tight as well. Not sure if you’re pulling too tight? Have a seat and re-read the measurement. Chests expand when seated.

There are three basic measurements:

  1. Just under the arms, all the way around.
  2. Around the fullest point of the bust (wherever is fullest, it doesn’t need to correspond with anatomy).
  3. Under the bust where the bra band lays.
BAND SIZE: the chest measurement taken (1) is actually your band size. Don’t worry if it’s not a ‘common’ band size.

CUP SIZE: to calculate cup size, subtract the under-bust measurement (3) from the fullest point of bust measurement (2). The difference in inches will give you an idea of what your cup size is.


SIGNS OF A GOOD FIT:
  • The bra band lays flat and doesn’t hike up when arms are raised
  • The straps don’t dig in or slip off
  • The gore (center where the cups meet) sits cleanly against the body
  • There’s no “underboob,” “sideboob” or “armpit fat” creeping out
  • The cups are smooth, no wrinkling or “double boob”

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FAQS AND TROUBLESHOOTING


Okay, so I know my everyday bra size, but what’s my sports bra size?
Your everyday bra and your sports bra are the same. If you are sizing down “for support” in a sports bra, you likely need a different style or may prefer your sister size.

What’s a sister size?
Some folks measure at one size but are more comfortable in a size with equivalent volume. Sister sizing means going up a band size and down a cup size from your measurement, or down a band size and up a cup size. Someone who measures at 34D may be more comfortable in a 36C, or possibly a 32DD, depending on their build.

It says my band size is 35… so what should I buy?
The hook closures on a bra correspond with size. On a 34B, the hook that makes it smallest is “33,” the middle is “34” and the largest is “35.” For bra longevity, it’s ideal to purchase a bra that can be worn on the largest setting so it may remain adjustable as the elasticity begins to change.

My straps fall down!
Straps should only do about 10% of the lifting. Straps slipping is a sure sign that the band, cup or both are the wrong size.

My cups pucker.
Room to pucker means they’re too roomy.

My band rides up!
Are you also cranking the straps trying to achieve a proper fit? Your band is likely too big, and there’s a possibility the cups are too shallow.

I keep buying a size bigger in the band but it’s not helping chafing!

Counterintuitive, but this is likely (a) that your band is too big and thus has room to move and chafe you or (b) it’s the wrong style bra for the end use and excess moisture or poorly placed seams are to blame.

But I’ve had this for all my PRs!
Is your bra preparing to celebrate a birthday? If she’s your PR fave, wash her one last time and frame her because after about a year, bras have done a lot of hard work and will need to be replaced. If you’re rotating through your favorite 3-5 quality bras and workout frequently, chances are a year is a good time to call it. If you’re getting new running shoes, you may have over 100+ miles per bra too!


So, if you haven't done it yet, go grab your tape measure and figure out what the correct size is for you. Once you’ve found your size, try on different sports bras and test the fit. It should fit slightly tighter than a regular bra, but you should be able to breathe deeply and comfortably. Your breasts should feel secure and supported. If need be, break up with any ill-fitting or old bras and grab some new ones! I mean, who doesn't need a reason to shop for more running gear, right?! 
PS Thanks to my Run Happy Ambassadorship with Brooks, I was recently sent the FastForward Crossback Sports Bra to try out. I've been wearing it for a couple weeks now and am loving it! There's a front mesh panel and has crossback power mesh straps that provide extra ventilation. The mesh makes the bra look super cute while still providing coverage.


The adjustable straps and J hook back closure provide a personalized fit for lasting support. I've never had a sports bra with a hook back (I felt so fancy) so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I am loving the fit and feel of this bra. It is super stylist and soft. I also appreciate the removable cups that offer some shape and coverage (no more 'headlights').


Have you ever been professionally fitted for a sports bra?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 15

Sunday, April 8th – 10 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Monday, April 9th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Tuesday, April 10th – 12 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Wednesday, April 11th – 8 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Thursday, April 12th – Rest/ travel day


Friday, April 13th – 10 mile run with the hubby in Boston (around Castle Island)


Saturday, April 14th – 4 mile run with the hubby in Boston (around Andrew Square), Stretched & Foam Rolled


44 miles for the week (which seems like quite a cut back after a few 60 mile weeks) and I'm in BOSTON to run the marathon! WHOOOOO HOOOOO! I am technically using the Boston Marathon as training towards our Rim2Rim2Rim run in a couple weeks, so there are ZERO time goals on the docket (which is a good thing because they are calling for strong winds, freezing temps and torrential downpours...), but I can't wait to take to the streets of Beantown! WE GOT THIS!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Plans for the Boston Marathon

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Marathon Monday is in less than three days - EEKS! I feel like I have been waiting for this day FOR-EV-ER... And maybe that's because I have been... I mean, I qualified for the Boston Marathon on October 1st, 2016 and will finally head to the starting line of the world's oldest annual marathon on April 16, 2018 (not to mention all of the time I spent prior to my first BQ race attempting to qualify)! But, nonetheless, THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!

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For a lot of my big races I lay out a few goals for the day. Well, this one is a little different... I will have ZERO time goals!

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You see, I only plan on running the Boston Marathon once. It's a #OneAndDone for me. The race itself is a pretty penny (upwards of $200 once fees are tacked on), and that's before everything else that has to be added (accommodations, airfare, etc) which also cost an arm and a leg. Not only that, but I want to give other runners the opportunity to experience the magic that is Boston. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with someone who runs the marathon more than once, but for me, I don't want to take that spot away from another runner who worked their tail off if I've already been able to do it. (PS I totally reserve the right to change my mind in the future, but at least for now this is my current stance.)

I'M BOSTON BOUND, BABY!

Since I only plan to run the Boston Marathon this one time I want to enjoy every single second of it. Don't get me wrong, I normally try to do my best to soak in the moment, but I want to make sure it is my MAIN focus during the miles on Monday. I worked incredibly hard to be able to qualify and run this race and I don't want to rush and miss anything.

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You may remember that even though I qualified for this race (two ways to run the Boston Marathon are to run a qualifying time or run on behalf of a charity after raising a boatload of money) I am still running as part of a team to raise money and awareness for Rett Syndrome. Not only am I one of seven lovely ladies running #Boston4Rett, but each of us are running our miles specifically for 27 girls battling this debilitating neurological disorder. We're running #UntilSheCan!


If you would like to see the 27 girls I will be dedicating my 26.2 miles to (because, let's be real, if you've run a marathon you know the last 0.2 miles feels the same as a full mile), you can check out the Girl Power 2 Cure Facebook Photo Album HERE. I will also be wearing a bib on my back during the race with each of their pictures. 
If you are feeling a little tug on your heart strings and would like to give, you can donate to Girl Power 2 Cure HERE.


And if you want to follow me on Monday, there are a couple options. First, head to Boston (JOKING!). If you're interested, you can sign up for alerts by texting "RUNNER" to 234567 or registering online at ATTAthleteAlerts.com (and received updates via social media or email). The updates will be sent from the 10K, Half, 30K, 35K, 40K and Finish Line.

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You can also use the Boston Marathon App (available on iPhone or Android). Although, truth be told, it's pretty glitchy...

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Finally, if you want to watch for me (and all of the other amazing athletes) on the live stream, you can head to either CBS Boston for live local coverage or NBC Sports for live national coverage. I will be rocking lucky bib number 13694 ;)

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Although I may not have a goal time in mind, I have plenty of goals... In no particular order, my plan for the Boston Marathon is to: have fun, raise awareness for Rett Syndrome, enjoy every step, be grateful for the opportunity and ability to tackle another 26.2 miles, give out as many high fives and "thank you's" to the volunteers and spectators along the course as I can, encourage the runners around me, take ALL THE PICTURES so I can remember every moment and finish with a smile on my face (but, let's be real, there's a high possibility I'll be ugly crying when I cross that finish line!).

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And I couldn't conclude this post without giving a HUGE THANK YOU to YOU! So many of you have followed along on my journey from the jump and I can't even explain how appreciative I am. Know that this race is not only the culmination of all my hard work, but it's also a celebration of YOU and your support! YOU ROCK MY FREAKIN' SOCKS! Running may be an individual sport, but it's definitely the community that has been instrumental in turning this hobby into a passion!

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What is the biggest goal you have ever been brave enough to chase?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

GUEST POST: Building Running Confidence After a Setback by Alissa

Whether you are a 6 minute miler or a 16 minute miler, injuries can rear their ugly little heads and happen to anyone. It's an honor to have Alissa here to share a bit of her story and remind us all that setbacks can lead to comebacks, that speed doesn't mean invincible, that comparison (even to our prior selves) can be dangerous, and that every step is a gift.


I started running in 2015 and my body has literally rejected it... twice. 

The first time was during my first half marathon (my first ever race!), when my right femur neck fractured at mile 12.5. I was able to finish the race in 1:58, hobbling to the finish line in the worst pain I had ever been in in my life (and I’ve given birth – twice!), thinking I pulled something serious because who would guess that they broke their hip?

During the half marathon where I broke my hip

I had surgery to place a compression screw in my right hip during May 2015 and had to take two months off from running completely. Around July I was able to get back into it, but was afraid to do much until November/ December. I ran my first 10K in December of 2015, finishing in 48 minutes and was super proud not only of the time but that I didn’t break again.

After that I was hooked on racing and began trying out all the different local races. I worked my way up to some pretty impressive PRs – a half marathon time of 1:27:56, a 10K time of 38:26, and a 5K time of 18:48. I was fast and I felt unstoppable. All of my runner friends kept saying I should go for a marathon, that I would make a great 3 hour marathoner, and I finally bit the bullet and set out to run my first marathon in April of 2017.

My first 5K post-op

During that round of training, I started having similar hip pain to what I had before, only on the left side, and had to stop running. My orthopedic surgeon sent me for an MRI and they found a labral tear in the left hip, and discovered I had impingement in both hips (meaning my ball/socket of my hip joint didn’t fit together correctly).

I was devastated. Instead of running my first marathon on April 9, 2017, I had another hip surgery to reshape my joint and fix the labral tear on April 10, 2017. I was on crutches for 6 weeks and spent a total of 5 months in 2017 not running at all.

Prior to the second surgery, I had qualified for and applied to run the NYC Marathon, finding out I was accepted the day before I received the news about surgery from my doctor. That became my goal – to get better in time to run the NYC Marathon. And I didn’t just want to run it 7 months post-op, I wanted to run it and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

I completed a 5K on crutches while recovering (with approval from my doctors of course)

When I was finally able to run again, it was hard. I had to do run walk intervals. I was slower than I had been in the past. I started running at the beginning of July and had my first half marathon in the middle of August. During that time my IT Band flared up, and I ended up having to walk some of the race. I finished in 1:50 – a far cry from my 1:27 just 9 months earlier. It hurt my spirit and I started to doubt myself – how was I going to run a marathon in 3 months?

My first Half Marathon post-op

It took me looking at running from a different point of view in order to gain my confidence back. 1:50 is an incredibly respectable half marathon time – why was I trying to beat the non-broken Alissa from the year before? I had been through so much and I still was able to run my first race post-op and finish it. I needed to be proud; I needed to live in the moment.

I looked at my training from a new perspective after that – just trying to be better than yesterday. Don’t compare yourself to the past – set new PRs and beat those. Move forward. In September, I ran a 5K in 19:40 and in October, I ran a half in 1:34. New PRs for a new hip. 6 months post-op, I was getting back to where I started and I was loving running again.


When it came time to toe the line in NYC in November, I was so nervous. I had trained for a 3:25 – but to be completely honest, I wasn't sure if I could do it. Will something bad happen? New York New York started playing and we were off to run the five boroughs. My training paid off and I hit my splits perfectly, smiling the entire way, finishing in 3:23:13.

Around Mile 22 of the NYC Marathon

I walked through the finishing corral half crying, half laughing. I’m sure I looked crazy, but I did it! I qualified for Boston 7 months post-op. I remember every moment of the day with such fondness. It was one of the most incredible experiences. 

Injuries are hard and setbacks suck. What I discovered from my journey is that sometimes you need something that reignites your fire and passion for what you love. When my injury happened I had started to resent my training and was really struggling with my “why” for wanting to run a marathon. I hope that I will never do that again – marathoning is incredible. I can’t and won't take running for granted – every single step, no matter the pace, is a gift.

Finishing at the Princess Half earlier this year

I thank my lucky stars (and God) daily that I have not had to deal with any major injuries during the time I have been running {but I guess dealing with a chronic illness is difficult enough}. Running has been such a major part of my life for the past 5 years that I know I would probably be a wreck during the recovery process. I love the Alissa was able to shift her perspective and realize she was no longer the runner she was before, but that doesn't make her less of a runner. If you want to follow her journey, make sure to find her on the social media platforms you use: Instagram, FacebookTwitter.

Have you ever dealt with a running injury?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...

WALT WEDNESDAY!


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fueling & Refueling

My friends at PROBAR asked me to send over some of my "PRO" fueling and refueling tips so they could share them with their followers, and I figured I'd turn my thoughts into a blog post because I assumed you might be interested in them too.


{FYI: I am not paid by PROBAR [although they do keep our cupboard stocked with their deliciousness] and hopefully you know I always gotta #KeepItReal. Also, I am NOT a professional of any sort - this is just what has worked for ME. As with everything in running, you've gotta figure out what works for you, I'm just sharing some of the things that work for me!}

Pre-Run Fuel


I am a morning runner. I love getting out and getting my run or workout done before most folks wake up. (It probably doesn't hurt that my Fibromyalgia doesn't allow me to sleep much so getting out of bed by 4am is just a normal part of life for me.) With that said, I had to find a way to fuel before said runs that didn't need a ton of time to digest, that would sit easily in my tummy, but would still give me the energy I needed to get my workout done.

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I love BASE bars in the morning. I tend to roll out of bed, grab a BASE bar and my phone before plopping down on the couch to eat and check social media. Normally I try to eat one at least an hour before heading out to exercise. These bars are packed 20 grams of plant protein and plenty of real, recognizable ingredients. They are my go-to pre-race fuel, my every-day breakfast, a life-saver when the hangry rolls in, you name it! We always have a couple boxes on hand in the cupboard (just remember, if you are going to keep them in your bag or car, they do have a chocolate coating and will melt if left in a warm place for too long). Lately I have been LOVING the Frosted Peanut Butter and Frosted Coconut flavors.


Run Fuel


I feel like I am weird in this regard (don't worry, I totally claim the fact that I fly my freak flag high), but I have a major texture thing. Even if something tastes delicious, if it has a weird texture (too slimy, too soggy, too anything) I can't handle it. Well, let's just say running gels remind me of snot and I can NOT handle them. Once I started getting into longer distance running I had to find a fuel that worked for me. Thankfully that is where BOLT chews entered the scene!

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With electrolytes, B vitamins and complex carbs for sustained energy, they provide fast fuel-ups that last through the home stretch. I have a sensitive stomach and these sit very well during runs for me (I'd assume it's thanks to the REAL FOOD that PROBAR uses to make their products). I normally bite them in half and eat them on the run without any issue.

I make sure my fuel is in my #FlatCarlee photos so I don't forget it on race morning!

For me, I normally take 4-5 chews (one serving, which is half a package) every 5-7 miles. I know that is a broad range, but let me explain. If I am running on my own, I normally have a faster pace than say if I am running with the hubby. When I am running faster I tend to take fuel every 45 minutes or so. If I am running with the hubby (which I have been doing a lot lately because he has been training for longer distance races and my thought is if he is willing to run, I am willing to run his pace with him), we normally have a slower pace. When I am running slower I tend to take fuel every 60 minutes or so.


I have found that if I'm running less than a half marathon I usually don't fuel (that is, unless I am racing the half distance... if I'm running for time and going all out, then I'll take chews with me). It seems to be once the distance hits 12ish miles is when I start bringing fuel. Since a marathon is currently the longest I've run, I thought laying out my fueling for a full might be helpful. When running with the hubby, we normally take one serving around Mile 6, one serving around Mile 12, one serving around Mile 17 and one serving around Mile 22. The hubby loves the caffeinated chews (specifically the Berry Blast flavor), while my favorites are Pink Lemonade or Strawberry. (FYI: I normally bring hydration with me on runs over 4 miles, especially since we live in SoCal where it gets toasty and dehydration can play a HUGE role in your workouts.)


Post Run Fuel


I'll be honest, I'm normally not hungry after a run. I'm not sure if it's because my abs have been engaged during the workout so my stomach needs a break or what. (Although the hubby never seems to have this issue and can smash on just about anything after he's done.) I have found grabbing a banana and some Nut Butter is the perfect way for me to get some calories and protein back into my system. This has been my go-to after runs and hikes and even as quick, easy lunch when I'm out and about. My favorite flavor is Superfood Almond (it sort of tastes like peanut butter and jelly already combined) and I tend to just squeeze the nut butter on the banana before I take a bite. SO SCRUM-DIDILY-UMPTIOUS!


Again, I have no idea if any of this is the "proper" way to fuel, but it works for ME (and maybe, just maybe, some of these ideas might work for you). I know there are "rules" for fueling (something to do with the ratio of carbs to fats and proteins), but I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of gal (or maybe one that just has to learn from her own mistakes ;)).

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How do you fuel before, during and after your runs/ workouts?