Oh holey shirt….

“Are you going painting or running?”

Jill is a friend who basically cuts things right down to the essence.  And she was pretty direct about my choice of attire the other morning when walking the kids to school…

“You realize that shirt has holes in it and paint on it.”

I feebly tried to retort, “Well it’s comfy…from my college days. They don’t make t-shirts like they used to. And I like to run in it.”

“You mean so everyone can see your purple sports bra?” She gave me a look.

“Hey – that’s the best bra in the world.”  (It’s true – read this post.)

“Okay….go running in your holey shirt….”

Well stubborn me did.  Go running in that holey shirt that is.

And then I came home and thought about it a lot.  The sad state of my attire that is. I am the first to admit not being the most fashionable person out there…..while running or otherwise. My sister, Stacia, would be quick to agree and would point out this has been a lifelong problem. She used to make fun of what I wore back in high school.  But then the next day she’d ask to borrow my clothes.

I finally asked her once, “How can you make fun of what I wear and then turn around and borrow it for yourself?”

Her cool response:  “You don’t know HOW to wear the clothes you have.”

So that right there did not clear up the mystery of fashion for me.

And this dismay over my attire has continued to the next generation. My curly-headed daughter takes right after her Aunt Stacia. Several weeks ago we were going out to a concert as a family. I showed my 6 year old daughter the cute little dress I planned to wear. She cocked her head to the side and said, “Well…what are your other options?”

Clearly I have a problem.

Of course as a fan of reality tv, there really is only one solution for this – somehow get myself onto “What Not to Wear”.  In fact, Jill told me the next day (when I showed up at school pick up in a dress just to throw her off) that she was just angling for a way to get me on the show. But she and I suspect that if you’re TOO eager to get on the show, they’d rather not cast you. They’d prefer the clueless-about-their-impaired-fashion-choices kind of people. And you need to be a bit wacky. I don’t suppose my holey running shirts are enough to make me a compelling fashion-must-fix story.  Maybe I just have to find a good friend who will take me shopping and clue me into the the mysteries that I seem to keep missing. Any volunteers?

I just realized anyone reading this might think “But you’re supposed to blog about running? Where’s the running?”  Okay – so the running part of this is:  I suck at dressing myself when I run and when I don’t run.  Therefore I’m easy to spot as I run through the neighborhood.  And I need to run to a new sense of fashion but I seem to be way off course….  Happy?  🙂

What’s in YOUR bathtub?

“No one ever drowned in their own sweat.”  I think I got that right….it was a quote going around on Twitter yesterday – a motivational quote.  So I should be motivated to sweat more cause I won’t die?  I’ll just feel like dying!

But see the problem with sweat (and more and more of it) is not the drowning – it’s the stink!  This weekend, I walked into our bathroom and was overwhelmed by an incredible stench.  Ah – the smell of effort, sweat, and a week’s worth of running clothes.

Thankfully blogs do not include smell-o-vision

The bathtub has become our holding pen for our running clothes. Yet we need to be a bit quicker about shoveling these odoriferous items into the washing machine.

Yes I know – some of you are thinking, “What? How can you use the tub like that?”  Well – I am one of the very few women in the world who hates baths. Seriously – if you watch any of those home purchasing shows on HGTV – the women are always commenting along the lines of needing a bathtub in their bathrooms. Me? Blech. I have no desire to sit in a soup of my own flaked off dead skin cells. Gimme a shower any time. And that frees up the tub for all the stinky running clothes!

Not that kind of psychologist….

Got my new t-shirt from Cafe Press today.  Love it!  Two truths related to the shirt: a) I actually am a psychologist and 2) I’m not that kind of psychologist.  Not everyone who gets advanced degrees in psychology listens to your problems.  (For the record, my degrees are in developmental psychology – I study how kids think – and I teach college psychology classes part-time. So while I might seem nice – I’m not licensed in any way to dispense “official” advice.)

Nevertheless, I do love my shirt. At the end of my runs, I not only feel better physically but mentally as well. This week’s runs were particularly good. Hoping next week is as good.

For all the ladies out there…

Any male readers of this blog may want to avert their eyes for this post.  It’s not an advertisement for tampons or feminine itch – but it’s still a very female topic.

So ladies, does it hurt when you run? You know what I mean.  Do you bounce around on top like there is an out of control pair of oversized hacky sacks attached on your front? Welcome to what I think is the number one problem for women who run – being *ahem* blessed at the breast (batb for short).

As someone who is batb – I know it’s one of the many factors that made me a non-runner for all those years.  While I can fill out a strapless dress nicely, physical activity is not what those puppies are designed for. Who wants to run around and potentially whap yourself in the face with a free-flying body part? The drag of gravity in front can be just downright painful.

The worst is that traditional sports bras are just flat out not made for large chested women.  Occasionally, places like Active.com and Runner’s World will post reviews of the “3 best sports bras” out there.  Ha. Those are all designed for those lithe little things who run like woodland nymphs. Anyone who is batb and who has tried out those bras can attest to the horror and experience at the sporting goods store. I once got my arm so wedged in the straps that I was afraid I was going to have to scream for my husband to break down the dressing room door or die an embarrassing death. (Strangulation by awkward sports bra moment is probably not going to be a winner of an episode for CSI.)

But all has changed.  Clearly someone has got the right idea.  Lynx Sportswear has developed the most amazing sports bra ever. (And no I don’t get a cut of their sales….but I strongly recommend their product!) You can even “like” them on Facebook.

I first saw Lynx Sportswear at the running expo at Disney in January.  (See all good things come from Disney…) They were talking all about the no bounce bra – and the product seemed really good. There was a stall for you to try one on – but our time at the expo was limited by the emptiness of the kids’ stomachs. I took a flyer (with coupon!) and ordered one a few weeks later.

The difference is incredible. When I ordered it – it was merely for going to the gym. The material, the cut, and the look all work together for an amazing fit.  The fit and the support were helpful in my decision to start running. No other sports bra stops the jiggles as effectively, as comfortably, and in such a light weight fashion. If only they made underwear to stop the jiggles on the other end…..but I digress.

If you are a woman who is batb – definitely check them out.  And if you are a lithe woodland nymph like woman – I totally envy you.  But I can run alongside you, now with 100% less bounce.  Finally!

This warrants a shopping trip…

What a haul!

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.  ~Erma Bombeck

I’m thinking that Erma’s quote can be modified for the runner. “The odds of going to the running store for a pair of shoes and coming out with only a pair of shoes are three billion to one.”

Shopping!!  I love to shop (well, except for bathing suits of course…)

Steve and I headed out for a day of errands including a stop at a running store on the other side of town. Fit 2 Run is just a really cool store and if you live near one of their Florida locations – definitely check them out. (Side note: I obviously would not have made that statement just a year ago, but things change….)  Steve had logged almost 500 miles on his old pair of running shoes so a new pair was definitely in order.

Fit 2 Run has two stations to help identify what types of shoes would work best for you. So he first stepped up on the “footsie-tootsie” analyzer (okay not the official name but better than “black box you step on”).  This analyzes how evenly balanced you are, where all your pressure is, and what your arch is like. Can you spot the issue in Steve’s feet?

Analysis of Hubby's Feet

It seems that he has no middle to his feet – just a really high arch. There’s clearly pressure at the ball and heel and just black holes between those two zones! Hence the guy suggested an orthotic insert (of course they sell those).

The next step was analyzing his gait on the treadmill. My husband is not one for treadmills but he managed to pound out a minute or so – while wearing some new shoes they loaned him.

Treadmill time!

After a discussion of his pronation type (I don’t know – I wasn’t paying attention)….they found a few options for him to try on. Found a pair of New Balance that he liked a lot – and they felt even better with the orthotics inside.

Given my recent plantar pains, I asked the guy if I could get my foot analyzed for inserts too.  Turns out that I do not have black holes between the balls and heels of my feet – but I could definitely pick up some inserts to help with my arch support.

Of course one pair of running shoes and two sets of inserts seemed so little when there were so many other cool things to look at in the store. Also picked up all 6 flavors of Clif Shot Gel (razz, citrus, strawberry – Steve; vanilla, mocha, and chocolate – me), 2 dri-fit shirts for Steve and a water bottle for me.

Can’t wait to run on the treadmill when I need some new shoes….but will give the credit card a break for a bit…


It’s the latest in fashion

That’s what I keep saying when people ask me about the blue tape on my right foot and ankle. I’ve been taping my foot for the past week in an attempt to help heal the mild case of plantar fasciitis I seem to have developed. I’m pretty sure it’s mild as stretching and exercises are helping. And so far I can still walk – just some pain in the morning when I get out of bed.

The tape is KT tape – developed by sports medicine people as a new athletic tape better designed to support muscle groups. Comes in lots of lovely colors – although my local WalMart only had a few choices. I’ve been running in it and wearing it 24 hours. The tape is not going to “cure” the problem but does provide a lightweight way to support to the muscles. I’ve been happy with the results so far.

A friend whose husband has suffered from a bad case of plantar fasciitis commented on it the other day. When I told her what it was, she said bluntly, “Well that’s not going to help.” Her husband has spent a lot of money on a boot and shoe inserts and such. I said – well let’s start with $8 tape roll and see. I’m hopeful.

Of course my poor fashion sense is nothing compared to the guy I saw out running yesterday. He was in what must be the Speedo equivalent of running shorts for men. No shirt.  Fine – lots of fit guys like to run shirtless (for self-promotion or whatever). But his rather large belly made it challenging to *ahem* see the front of his shorts…..something I can never “unsee” unfortunately.  Hey, I’m all for running in what makes you comfortable – but please be considerate and don’t try to make others feel uncomfortable when they see more of you than they’d like.