RSS

The Odd (Wo)man Out (a TMI and review post)

Two years ago I was gearing up for the Rock N Roll San Diego half marathon with Team in Training as part of the virtual team.  There were 14 of us that joined the ranks from Shrinking Jeans.  It was an amazing experience.  Because were a virtual team, we had monthly conference calls with our coach and other knowledgeable folks to help us on our journey to becoming half-marathoners (or repeat half-marathoners).  These conference calls were accompanied by literally *hundreds* of emails between the 14 of us.  There was lots of laughter and hilariousness in those emails that can never be replicated.  One of our many conversations, because we were all women, had to do with what happens when you have a heavy flow and you’re on the race course? Do you carry extra “supplies” with you? If so, where do you put them?  And eww! Changing pads or tampons in porta-potties?  One of our teammates is a nurse practitioner and mentioned using a menstrual cup.  The general consensus was to be disgusted by the fact that you’d have a cup of menstrual flow hanging out inside of you.  And how do you take it out without making a mess?

Six years ago I started using a reusable menstrual cup after my third (and last) baby was born.  I was over tampons.  I hated how sometimes they felt like they were sucking me dry.  Yes…not the best mental image, but if you’re a woman, you know what I’m talking about.  I found out about menstrual cups on a forum about cloth diapering.  I figured the cost for it was cheap in comparison to what I was spending on tampons and I wouldn’t be out that much money if I hated it?  I started using one and never looked back.  There have been a couple of times that I’ve been taken surprise by good old Aunt Flow showing up early, not being prepared and having to buy or borrow tampons and remembering how much I hate them.

Because I’m anti-tampons, when I saw that Tina over at For the Love of the Run was partnering with Instead SoftCup to give us women a chance to try SoftCup out, I jumped at the chance.

So what’s SoftCup? SoftCup is a disposable menstrual cup that you can wear up to 12 hours depending on your flow.  It is similar to the menstrual cup I regularly use.

What did I like about SoftCup? I liked the fact that it lightweight and easy to carry in a purse.  I like that you don’t have a string hanging out of you.  I like that there is no rubbage during everyday activities, not to mention running and working out.  I like that you can swim with it.  I like that you can find SoftCup in most stores.  I’ve seen them sold in Target and Wal-Mart.  I LOVE that there is a choice out there for women who don’t want to use tampons or pads.  I do know that Instead is going to be releasing a reusable SoftCup that can be used for a whole cycle.  This is a huge bonus in my mind.

Did I have any issues with Soft Cup? I did at first.  The insertion is a little different from what I currently use as   it has a wider “mouth” and I had trouble positioning it correctly the first couple of times and had some leakage.  I know, I know…eww…leakage.  But you can’t tell me that you haven’t had leakage with a tampon before.  But once I got the hang of insertion, I was fine.  Okay…now the part you’re probably wondering about.  Removal.  Sounds scary, right? If you’re squeamish? You may not like the removal part.  I am not squeamish.  Never have been.  And I *have* been doing this for a few years now, so the blood doesn’t bother me.  Removal was a little more awkward than I am used to, but the concept is the same.  Grab the lip and give a gentle pull until it slides out.  Then you dump the blood in the toilet and wrap up the SoftCup in toilet paper and dispose of it.  Yes, it’s more messy than a tampon, but nothing a little TP and washing your hands afterwards doesn’t take care of.  (You *do* wash your hands after you potty, right? This shouldn’t be an added step!🙂

The bottom line? I liked SoftCup.  I will continue to use my current reusable menstrual cup, but for convenience I will keep a SoftCup or two in my purse for those unexpected visits from my not so favorite aunt.  I’m so very thankful there are options other than tampons and pads.

And yes, I will continue to talk to my skeptical runner (and nonrunner) friends about the options to tampons.  Give me a menstrual cup any day of the week over those chemical-filled cotton tampons.  :)

I am being compensated by Evofem, makers of Instead SoftCup; however, the opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.  

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Reno Rock n River Half Marathon

Yes…this race recap is officially two weeks overdue.  Oops! 

This is an annual race for me.  Last year Beki and Ashley came up and we all PR’d the half on this course.  This year Beki came back up but she was going to run the 10K.  And Lynn drove over from Central Cali to run the half too.  She, like me, hasn’t really done a lot of distance since Tough Mudder last September.  It was so good to hang out with these ladies.  Beki came up on Friday evening and Lynn Saturday.  

After Lynn showed up on Saturday we headed to Sparks for the Expo.  I was really disappointed in the expo this year.  Last year it was at the UNR and there were a ton of booths and really well put together.  This year? At Scheels.  There were only a couple of booths and they were for future races.  Whole Foods was there handing out granola samples, but overall I was very disappointed.  And? Can I just say that I’m not a pink person and for the second year in a row the women’s tech shirt was a shade of pink.  Grrr.  Oh well.  

After getting home from Reno, I made some spaghetti sauce and we chowed down on our carbs and hung out, chatting and watching movies.  Then it was off to bed.  With the half starting at 7 a.m. we needed to be on the road no later than 6.  

And 6 a.m. brought us on the road and headed to Reno.  It was cooler than I was expecting, which for Lynn and Beki being central Cali girls, they were COLD.  :)  I was worried because I had seen it was supposed to be in the high 50s Sunday morning, and that was going to be HOT for me.  So I was excited it was cooler than that.  Granted it was chilly waiting for the gun, but I knew I’d warm up soon enough.  

Lynn and I ran the first 2.5 miles together.  I was trying to keep my pace slow but I was still running about 9:30 mm.  I think that’s where I lost Lynn.  I was trying to go slow, but those first few miles felt painfully slow.  I walked on and off throughout the race.  I was perfectly okay with this.  I knew I didn’t want to push too hard and wanted to take it easy on my leg.  There were points in the race where I would have walked if I had been on my own.  This is why I love races.  Because it’s easier to push when you are surrounded by people who are all running.  

I went into this race knowing I didn’t properly train for it.  I was going to be happy with anything less than 2:30.  I knew I didn’t have a PR in me.  No way.  

Since Beki had done the 10K, I knew she was done.  When I hit mile 12, I sent her a text.  I was hoping that she would get a couple of pictures of me at the finish line.  

Right before the last turn in the race where you can see the Reno sign, I was talking to myself and reminding myself not to push to early at the finish line…and wondering if I even had any push left in me.  And then I heard a kid (teenager) saying “You can do it. You’re so close.  You just have to make it around the next corner.  Then you’ll be done.” Etc. etc. etc.  I glance over and I think he was talking to his mom.  I glanced over and told her that she *was* doing it.  She smiled and said, “can you tell it’s my first half?”  I told her she was doing amazing for her first half and just enjoy the last little bit.  And then I hit the corner.  I held back on my final kick until I hit about 200 m out and then I took off.  I pushed and pushed hard.  By the time I hit the finish line I was sprinting at full speed.  And I noticed the clock.  It was just over 2:12!  I couldn’t believe it!  

I was so happy with my time.  It was 8 minutes slower than either of my two previous runs on this course, but it wasn’t my slowest half.  I felt so good! 

I met up with Beki and she told me thanks for the text and she got some pictures but she couldn’t believe how fast I had been going at the end.  

Image

Thanks, B, for this picture! I love how far off the ground my feet are.  

Image

Here are the three of us at the end of the race.  Lynn ended up finishing right at 2:30, which for the mental back and forth she did in her head during the race, is awesome.  Beki had a great 10K race – just over an hour.  

I will continue to run this race every year.  It’s local, it’s well supported, and it’s a pretty run.  I just hope that next year they get their shiz together and have a good expo again.  

Image

And next year? No pink please!!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Slacker

I haven’t really been a slacker.  Life has been crazy since the beginning of the year.  I am not running as often as I would like.  I’ve barely been squeaking in two runs a week.  But I have worked back up to 6 miles.  So there is that.  I’ve been debating signing up for the Reno half that I’ve done the past two years in May.  If I don’t? This will be my first year in 2009 that I haven’t earned a medal.  And that makes me extremely sad.  I like bling.  A lot.  So I will probably sign up for it.  I will not run it to PR.  But just to get back into the swing of things.  Give me something to focus on.  I’ve been meaning to look at what my long runs would look like between now and then.  I think if I put it down on paper, then I’ll be more apt to push a little bit harder.  I ran 6 miles yesterday and my heart wasn’t in it.  I contemplated doing 8, but because I don’t *need* to run 8, I wussed out and didn’t push myself.  My body could have handled it, but mentally I need the push of a training plan.  I also want to look at the calendar and see how far back I want to start training for Goofy.  Yes, I’m still planning on running Goofy in January 2013.  I want those medals.  :)  Told you.  Bling whore.  Love me some bling.

But…in the meantime, I got roped into, conned into, something…”The New Rules of Lifting for Women”.  Yeah. Me.  Lifting weights.  But I’m doing it with a group of awesomeness and we are all blogging it here.  www.ironsisters.blogspot.com

It’s going to be crazy, but I think it will work well with my 2-3 runs a week since I’m not pushing hard on my runs away.  I just want to keep my cardio and slowly work on my endurance.  Also wondering how the weights will help my runs or if I’ll feel it being a hindrance.  Only time will tell.  It’s a 6-month plan, so if I stick with it, we should be done by the end of August and I think that’s when Goofy training will be kicking in.

So that’s my update here.  I may or may not be posting here in addition to over there, but only time will tell.  :)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2012 in fitness, running

 

Tags:

I’m here

and running.  Consistently.  Carefully.  I’m up to 3 miles.  I’ve run outside twice and the last time left my ankle tired and a bit sore.  So I continue to be careful.  I’ve been meaning to write here, but my life is in transition and I haven’t felt like writing here.  So I haven’t.  But it’s now 2012….holy shit.  I’m hopeful that in a year I will be getting ready to journey to Orlando for my battle with Goofy (13.1 on Saturday and 26.2 on Sunday).  A lot will happen over the next 12 months.  Many miles.  Hopefully many races.  The only two I know for sure will be the half marathon in Reno in May and I’m planning on having a do-over with Tough Mudder NorCal in September…and then there will be Goofy training which will hopefully dominate my fall.  I’m planning on being part of FitBloggin’12 in September.  That was an amazing experience and I hope to repeat it and have it be better and more amazing than last year.

Tomorrow begins getting back to my Tough Mudder training.  I miss how my body functioned when it was in that shape.  I think I’ve got Bari, Ashley, and Erin on board.  There may be more, but I’m drawing a blank.  I’ve also restarted the 100 pushups app and am just finishing week 2.  I look forward to getting back the level of fitness I had when I stepped onto the Tough Mudder course back in September.

These are my 2012 goals.  To get back into my routines.  Enjoy pushing my boundaries in a safe and healthy way.  Accomplish new feats and enjoy the journey.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2012 in fitness, running

 

Tags: , ,

Two miles, baby!

Saturday I bought a new pair of running shoes.  Yesterday I strapped them on apprehensively after changing into running clothes that I haven’t worn since September.  Tossed on my BondiBand.  Plugged in my headphones and the treadmill.  Pushed that magic little button that made the belt start to turn.  And I ran.  I ran slowly.  At least for me.  And I walked 1/4-mile before I started running and between the two miles and then again at the end.  It felt natural to be making those large muscle movements.  But then again, my ankle was tight.  But it didn’t hurt.  I paid very close attention to my stride.  I sweated.  I smiled.  And then I was done.  

Today? Today my thighs inside and out are sore.  But it’s a good I-actually-used-my-muscles-again sore.  I’m back.  It will be a slow process to get back to running like I was.  But I’ve literally taken the first step and I’m committed to get back in the saddle again.  

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Wow. A month.

A whole month without a post here.  I’ve been meaning to, but I haven’t felt like there has been much to report. My life has taken a turn for the crazy and overwhelming.  But first an update on my ankle.  I had a followup appointment last Tuesday.  I got the free and clear to do whatever I wanted.  Granted I still have some soft tissue issues and I’m debating about doing physical therapy and maybe some massage therapy.  I really want to run again, but honestly? I’m scared.  I don’t have pain, just muscles and tendons that I pissed off by my stubbornness at finishing Tough Mudder.  They are sore from not being used and me stretching them and beginning to use them.  I left my appointment on cloud 9.  I was so thrilled to know that my break had healed “beautifully” and I looked great.  I also had a bit of an ego boost while I was there.  When the x-ray tech came to get me, we were talking and he brought up Tough Mudder.  I told him that’s how I broke my ankle.  He commented how he heard some chick broke their ankle and kept going.  I sheepishly said, “Yep, that was me.”  He looked up at me (he was adjusting the x-plate) in awe and said “really? That was *you*?”  Heh.  The part that really boosted my ego? This was a different clinic than I had been seen at previously (same system, different office).  So I have a tough mudder reputation at the ortho clinic.  Heh.

I have done very little in the last month.  Maybe a couple of NTC ab workouts.  I will grab the pullup bar periodically and crank out 4-5 chin-ups and pull-ups and call it a day.  I made it through the first week of 100 pushups app and then just didn’t do anything.

I will admit to being a bit scared at finding my mojo.  8-1/2 weeks of no running after running for 4 years at least 3 times a week has left me feeling like I’m starting over from scratch.

The next month will be rough.  I’m looking forward to starting fresh in 2012.  I need to find a race to sign up for that’s local and cheap.  But I promise to be back.  I have half marathons to sign up for and run.  And I’m not sure how I’m swinging it, but I’m still planning on running the Goofy in 2012.  That means LOTS of saving between now and then.  Maybe I’ll find a sponsor to help get me there.  *hint hint*🙂

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 25, 2011 in fitness

 

The Broken (but healing w/progress) Chronicles – The Boot

I didn’t post yesterday as is my norm to do a check-in on Wednesdays.  This week has been a bit crazy.  So last Thursday I hobbled into the orthopedist’s office praying that I had healed enough to get out of the cast and off the crutches.  After all I was headed to Vegas for the weekend and I did *not* want to hobble around Vegas.  Hobbling through Chicago was bad enough.  When they cut the cast off I was surprised to still see so much swelling and bruising.

 This is what happens when you break your ankle and then hike up hills and down hills for 8+ miles. So repeat my Tough Mudder experience at your own risk.

As of today most of the bruising is either gone or on it’s way to being gone along with the swelling.  The muscle on the outside of my leg is still pretty sore, but every day it seems to be getting better.  The advice I was given was wear the boot for two weeks.  If it is still hurting at two weeks, keep wearing the boot until it doesn’t hurt anymore and come back to see him in a month.  I know I didn’t tear anything, but my ankle is still pretty stiff and sore.  Last night as I crawled into bed, I caught my toes on the sheet and torqued my ankle.  OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I had memories of the pain of coming down the mountain on September 17th.  I’m trying to be realistic with my recovery.  I’m not going to be running in November, most likely.  When I walked into his office in September and he told me no surgery, my request was to be running by the first of the year.  He said, “no problem”.  Which made my mind think…well maybe come December….

I’m not holding my breath.  But, I am hoping to be taking some nice easy jogs in the next 4-6 weeks.  I miss running.  I need a good soul-cleansing run.  I was out in the garage last night to shut the window (because it was in the 20s this morning) and I actually petted my treadmill and stared at her longingly.  Oh, how I miss spending on hour on her. (That’s what she said.)  Sick and twisted? Maybe.  But this is the longest stretch of not running I’ve done since 2007.

My goal? To be back in shape by the end of February.  Build my muscles back up.  Get my cardio and lungs back into the groove.  For Tough Mudder I was in the best shape of my life.  I want to go back.  I felt strong and amazing to know what my body could accomplish.  And anyway, I want to get some races scheduled and that will include another Tough Mudder next year.

I’ve been surprised how little I had missed my workouts in the beginning.  I didn’t start craving them until last week.  But now that it feels so close, I just want to get out there and sweat.  To drip from exertion.  To sweat out all the daily stressors of life.  Until then I will be push-upping and pull-upping and working my core.  So until next week…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 27, 2011 in fitness

 

Tags: ,