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Monthly Archives: May 2012

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.  

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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.  

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

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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.  

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And next year? No pink please!!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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