Friday, August 10, 2012

10 Things I Can't Run Without

Sorry it's been so long since I posted last! I will start posting more again soon! Without further ado, here is my list of 10 things I can't run without!

10. Bubble Laces
I was introduced to these laces when I bought my shoes at Texas Running Company. I needed super long laces to fit my Nikes (longer than most stores stock, even!) because the ones that came with my Nikes were too short for me even to make a bow, let alone a double knot. (I will admit that I keep them laced pretty loosely). I ordered longer, bubble laces here that are supposed to stay tied and I've never had to worry about them coming untied and they're nice and long so I can double knot them, too. They're a great, cheap upgrade to your shoes!

9. Moisture- Wicking Clothing
Right now, I have been buying my running clothes (shirts, pants) at Target. Their C9 brand is affordable, especially when on sale, but is still cute and functional. I really want running clothes from Lululemon, but have held out due to the price. Why should I buy them now if they will be too big one day? I'll wait until I reach my goal weight!

8. Moisture- Wicking Athletic Socks
I can't stress enough the importance of good, moisture- wicking socks. I actually bought these at Target, too, and they have been great. I like the Gold Toe brand at Target. They work for me so far. Maybe when I start running longer distances I'll need an upgrade, but these are working great for me right now.

7. Body Glide for Her
I put it on my feet before races and longer runs and it seems to help prevent blisters. Also great for other areas of the body, too. They sell it in a cute little 3-pack of mini sticks at my local Academy. So great to throw in a gym bag and just go! Sold at most sporting goods and running stores and on

 6. iPhone Armband by TuneBelt 
I love this armband because it holds my phone without taking it out of the OtterBox. If you have an OtterBox, you know how hard it is to remove (and who would want to when it protects your phone so nicely? I am never worried about my phone dropping or breaking between the OtterBox and the armband. Plus, it is so much easier to have my hands free while I run! (Believe me! My first few weeks of running I held my phone in my hands and it was not fun. I was constantly worried about dropping it!)

5. Easy 5K with Jeff Galloway/ Easy 10k with Jeff Galloway/ Half Marathon With Jeff Galloway iPhone Apps
I think of Jeff Galloway as my own personal running coach. When he talks to me and gives me advice or encouragement, like when he says "great job!" I think "Thanks, Jeff!" When he says "Run, go for _ minutes (or miles)" I say "Okay, Jeff!" I know, I know, that's strange, but it really helps! His run/ walk method is amazing and is probably one of the key reasons for my success. You can buy the 5K and 10K apps for $3.99 and the half marathon app for $14.99 in the Apple App Store. 

 4. Sweaty Bands
Sweaty Bands are so awesome! I have one and want about 50 more because the colors and patterns are so cute. It's basically a fabric headband with an elastic bottom to help keep it on your head. It also has a velvet backing to keep it from slipping. With my shorter haircut, the Sweaty Band is a must. It keeps all of the little hairs out of my face and off of the back of my neck. I get so many compliments when I wear it. Mine is the Viva Diva 1" in black. Sweaty Bands are totally cute enough to wear as a regular headband if you're having a bad hair day, too! 

3. Handana
A former co-worker of mine has a friend who invented these. I found out about them on Facebook and ordered one right away! What a neat little invention. It's like a little glove for your hand that you use to wipe sweat away. I don't go on a run outside without it! Plus they come in so many cute colors! I, of course, bought a hot pink and black one! Find out more info here.

2. KT Tape
If you've been watching the Olympics and wondering what was all over the athletes' bodies, especially in beach volleyball and diving, it was KT tape or a similar product. I bought some KT tape at the recommendation of my Facebook group (which I will talk more about some other time!) and this stuff is awesome! It's miracle tape! It really helps give me some support but still lots more flexibility than a knee brace. Plus it comes in so many fun colors! (Can you guess what color I got?! I'll give you one hint: PINK!) The regular lasts about a day on my knees, and I have yet to try the Pro but that is next on my list. Hopefully it will stay on longer. The KT Tape website has tons of great videos on how to apply it and a store locator so you know where to buy it.

1. Ta Ta Tamer II from Lululemon
When I started running again in January, someone mentioned that getting a good, supportive sports bra was important even if it cost a lot. I took this as an excuse to go to Lululemon (I love that store but it can get very pricey!) and invested in one of these. I figured if I liked it, I could get more. I was able to get one in a sale color to save a little money. How much do I love this bra? Let me count the ways... It's supportive, cute, comfy, and I don't feel naked in public when I wear it (it's well- lined, with removable cups, so no show through or anything, if you know what I mean!) It feels like I am still wearing a "real" bra, just a more comfortable one. It has an adjustable, 3- hook closure (like a real bra) instead of slipping it on over your head. You can wear the straps crisscross or regular. The one thing to remember is to try it on because it runs very small. If you are ordering online, go up a cup and a band size (another reason to love this bra! No s-m-l sizing!)Order the Ta Ta Tamer II here.

Any recommendations for new products to try for me? Sunglasses that don't cost a lot, headphones that stay on and have volume control and can switch tracks on the cord? Hydration belts? Those are the next things I need!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Finally Getting It

I knew I just had to post tonight after a big first tonight. I ran outside in my neighborhood for the first time this evening! This is something that has scared me, but today I just felt this need to run. Outside. To the elementary school down the street. I kept thinking about it all day. I didn't actually do it until 8:15 p.m. after putting it off all day, but I did it!

I didn't quite make it all the way to the elementary school (I turned around when my app said 10 minutes left, which was the halfway mark) and now I wish I would have gone farther. I couldn't remember how much farther to the school (okay, I freaked out a bit!) Now I'm pretty sure I was only like a block away! Regardless, this is a big step for me. It may not seem like it to some of you, but running outside in my neighborhood (and not on a trail) scared me for many reasons. Until now, I had only ran on the treadmill or at Arbor Trails. I got over a lot of those fears tonight and just ran. Nothing bad happened to me, even though it was dark out (but my street is well lit). I could have gone during the day but I'm glad I waited since it wasn't 80, it was about 65 and much nicer out. It was a gentle slope up all the way to the school (or as far as I got!) and sloped back down on the way home which was nice. In all, I ran about 2 miles. I even had fun! And I even felt good afterwards! I'm starting to gain some speed. Which, I'm sure for some of you, is not speedy at all, but since I run like a tortoise, it feels fast to me. And it's fun! Also, It was so freeing to just leave my apartment and just start running. No driving to the gym or the trail first!

On the way back, as I was turning in to my apartment complex's driveway and I saw cars driving by, I thought, "I used to say, 'Why walk or run when you can drive?!' but now I get it. It's not getting there that matters, it's the journey." And I am well on my journey to becoming a fit and healthy person! (And I know the actual quote is "life is a journey, not a destination" and I don't take any credit for coming up with it, just applying it to my life.)

One funny thing that happened, though: When the workout on the 5K app ended, Jeff Galloway told me congratulations on finishing my journey! haha! (What?! I still have another 4 workouts on the app! Nice try, Jeff! Don't quit on me now!)

Next step: Town Lake! Bring it on! Who's with me?!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Ran My "Bunz" Off Today! (Bun Run Race Report)

I ran my "bunz" off today!

Okay, I'm sorry it has been far too long, but I have been sick on and off... darn spring allergies and then strep throat! I'm feeling better now and finished the Schlotzky's Bun Run 5K with my Weight Watchers group today.

Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a morning person. I hate to wake up early, especially on weekends. So after waking up late this morning, I missed the group photo op for the Weight Watchers team. But since we were all wearing the same blue hats, it was not hard to find them near the start line. I still got there in plenty of time before the start.

(Me at the start. Notice the awesome blue hat! It says WW 12-12-12 Challenge.)

I even downloaded some new songs to add to my running playlist. And I have a few I need to either take off, or find an easier way to skip them while running since I had the playlist on shuffle. A few are songs that I love but I think are too slow to get me motivated. I don't want to bother taking off my iPhone armband, then unlocking it using the 4 digit code, then pressing skip. Far too much work while running. I need a pair of headphones with volume control and the ability to skip. Does that exist?

New songs I downloaded and added to my running playlist before the race today:
Oh, I <3 you, Adam Levine and your amazing voice!
Payphone, Maroon 5 f. Wiz Khalifa
Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
Part Of Me, Katy Perry
*And here comes the guilty pleasure songs*
Boyfriend, Justin Bieber
What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction
 Man, when One Direction came on, I was pumped and I could see mile marker 3! I was almost done and that song sure helped me pick up the pace. Gah, I am such a 16 year old girl for liking those two songs. haha!

I had my car key tied onto and tucked into my shoelaces on my right shoe and it was bugging me a little bit. Somewhere near the end of the race, I finally stopped, untied my shoes, and figured "I'll just hold my key for the rest of the race." That lasted about 2 seconds and then I realized I could tuck it in my iPhone armband. Why has it taken me this long to think of that?! Haha! When I finished, I realized I actually have a blister on the top of my foot from where the key was. Now I know- if I feel pain, stop and fix the problem!

After the race. Notice how happy I am to be done! I felt great afterward!
Anyways, it seemed pretty hard but I pretty much stayed with my run/ walk ratio and ended up finishing in about 40 minutes. Somewhere in the middle of the race I was barely running, I'd call it more of a shuffle! But I kept it up and was still able to finish strong. I actually finished 5 minutes faster than the Paramount 5K in February! I am really proud of myself for that big of a time difference. I have been training on my Jeff Galloway 5K app to do 13 minute miles, and I was right about that pace. I haven't been running a ton lately, though, due to being sick, so I am extra happy with this result!

Oh, and there were no Cinnabons before, during, or after the race, so I didn't have to worry! Haha! I did have a bite of Carvel ice cream but it was pretty bad, honestly. Not worth it.

Now, I am looking for other 5Ks (and 10Ks!) to do. I definitely will be doing the Keep Austin Weird 5K on June 23. I am looking for other 5Ks before and after that, and a 10K sometime this summer. The problem is, it's far too hot in July and August here to have 10Ks so no one does. But I want to sign up for one soon so I'm motivated to train for it. Maybe there's one in Buffalo or somewhere else not nearly as hot that I can travel to.... That might be a fun little summer trip!

I can't believe I'm sharing this horribly unflattering picture of me but it's the only one I took with the sandwich. I really wanted to say to him "Oh, you're so brave inside of your sandwich!" (-Miranda, Sex and the City) So, this is your reward for reading the WHOLE post! Good job!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Run right past those cinnamon rolls!

I have only ran once in the last 2 weeks due to allergies and sinus problems keeping me down. That is frustrating because I want to run but my allergies have been saying otherwise!
Yesterday after taking some Claritin D, I felt good enough to go for a run, so I did. It was a beautiful day and I ran the trail all by myself around noon. (First time on the trail by myself!) I am beginning to establish a pace when I am not on a treadmill. It's slower than molasses in January right now, but I will get faster with practice, I'm sure! I have a few more weeks left in my 5K program before I will be officially done. Unfortunately, the weekend I am done there are no 5Ks in Austin (that I know of) because of the Capital 10,000 (or Cap 10K for short). I won't be ready for a 10K by that point, but that is my next goal after doing another 5k and hopefully cutting some minutes off of my 5K time.
So, I don't know if I'll do another 5K by the end of March, but I am definitely signing up for the Schlotzky's Bun Run with my Weight Watchers group. It's not until the end of April, which means I will be into my 10K app by then (Easy 10k with Jeff Galloway) and really in shape! The Bun Run is offering a 5K and a 10K this year. Again, I won't be ready for a 10K by then, but I know I will be before too long! Here is the information on the Bun Run: I hope to see some of you Austin runners out there with me!
Last year I didn't participate, but our Weight Watchers group got the title of "Austin's Fittest Buns" and a cool plaque to put in our meeting room! Pam, our leader, cracks me up because she always says that "no one is coming from Kenya to run the Bun Run." I guess after the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon where the winner was from Kenya, this needs to be said but it is still funny! I mean, there are cinnamon rolls on the course! (Note to self: don't stop! Just keep running!!)
With that being said, I am learning to live the lifestyle of a fit and healthy person, one day at a time. I have already lost over 6 lbs and would like to keep going in this direction! I know that between running, yoga (which I have been trying to do at least once a week), and eating right (under the guidance of Weight Watchers) that I will be there in no time! It doesn't help that it is starting to get warmer here and the thought of being in a bathing suit right now is scary to me! Eek!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Losing Motivation

I haven't ran since Tuesday. I do feel guilty about this. I had every intention of going for a run with my running buddy E yesterday, but then I went on a spur of the moment scavenger hunt with R and D. We did hike during it, so at least there's that. I also went to a really intense hatha flow yoga class yesterday. It was almost as tough as boot camp was, in my opinion. So at least I was active yesterday, even if it wasn't running.
I was supposed to run on Thursday also, but I had a horrible headache and just ended up going to bed early. On Friday evening I could have gone, too, but didn't. I need to stop making excuses, put on my Nikes, and JUST DO IT!!!
Tomorrow I am scheduled to go for a run after my Weight Watchers meeting. I can do this!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Disney Princess Motivation to Run

This past weekend was the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. I would love to run this race some day! Maybe in February 2014 since I am already planning to take a trip to Disney in January 2013 to do the Marathon weekend. I wish I could do both in 2013, but the cost is probably going to be prohibitive.
The Princess half seems to be a much more female- focused event than the regular marathon weekend. First of all, Disney has some fun "rewards" (okay, souvenirs) for finishing. How cute is that stuff? I would love to run the Princess half in that cool light up tiara! (Hey, at Disney, you're never too old to wear a tiara and pretend to be a princess!) And I have to admit I am a fan of the Disney Dooney & Bourkes. I love the limited edition Princess 1/2 marathon ones! I don't know if I'm ready to make such a big investment, though, since I won't carry a Disney themed purse outside of Disney. I'm not quite ready to fly that Disney geek flag quite so high, yet! haha! :-) Well, there's always the wristlet, which is not too expensive.
Disneyland also has a half marathon, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. Here is a race report from it (the first one just happened at the end of January). Again, it seems to be more female- focused, but men are welcome to run all of these races. Some people (both men and women) chose to dress up as princesses or other well known Disney characters for these races. To me, that sounds like fun! I am already envisioning myself running that 13.1 through the castle in a Minnie costume! :-)
Okay, so those are the fun things you can buy, but now lets move on to some even better motivation! Here is an inspirational story of an amazing woman who was nearly paralyzed after a car accident, went through rehab, and ran the Princess 5K (that accompanies the Princess Half) along with her doctors and rehab team! What a great story!
For more info on runDisney events, go to
I'm sure this won't be the last runDisney post on this blog, but, as Tigger would say, TTFN!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Failure after Success

So, after finishing my first 5K last weekend, I felt pretty darn good. So good, I decided to do another one this weekend.
My school district (I'm a music teacher) was hosting one on Sunday after the Marathon Kids final mile. I thought it would be fun to do, especially because it was free and a lot of my kiddos would be there running the mile to get their Marathon Kids finisher medal. (If you don't know what Marathon Kids is, here is some more info: ) It was in honor of a PE teacher at another school in my district who passed away, so I thought it would be a good thing to do.
When I got there, I saw another teacher from my school. She said she'd run it with me. That was my first mistake because I wasn't going to go my own pace anymore, but much faster! (Love you L but you are WAY too fast for me!)
So, I started too fast, and never recovered. Eventually after I told L to keep going without me a bunch of times, she left me in the dust. Good for her! I think I need to run alone at races. From now on, I'll have to politely say "I'm sorry but I don't want to hold you back! I need to go my own slow pace." Note to self: remember, slow and steady wins the race! haha.
I ended up walking a lot after L left me. I was completely off of my run/walk routine and ended up mainly walking. I was so tired and had a sidestich. I made it about 3/4 of the way through the race, I think. There were 2 laps around the high school grounds and I completed about 1 1/2 laps before just walking back to my car feeling defeated. I'm pretty sure I was in last place in this tiny 5K and I really didn't want everyone waiting for me to finish. I could just envision them picking up all the cones behind me as I pitifully tried to run, but I was barely picking up my feet at that point.
I don't feel good about quitting. Especially not because some of my students were there. I don't think that any of them saw me quit, but what a horrible lesson to teach them. :-(
At least I learned an important lesson: to go my own pace. From the start.
I called my Mom after the race, and she seemed sympathetic. She used to run 5Ks, so I think she has been through the same thing.
It just wasn't my day today for running. I could use lots of encouragement after today. I won't quit running, but it will take me a bit to pick up the pieces from today!