Monday, July 14, 2014

Rubbed Wrong

Nike Tempo shorts used to be my go-to workout gear. I had ten pairs in a rainbow of colors, from black to hot pink. I loved them. They didn't ride up and they prevented the dreaded inner thigh chafing, a.k.a. chub rub. So when I started doing the running thing again a few weeks ago, I put on a pair and went for a run. Much to my dismay, however, they didn't perform the way I remembered. Instead, they rode up constantly (step, step, pull down shorts, repeat) and allow my poor (not so little, apparently) thighs to touch and chafe.

At this point, I suppose I could have purchased some Body Glide. That wouldn't have solved riding up issue though. I don't know about anyone else, but having to pull my shorts out of my crotch every other step doesn't make me enjoy my runs. Naturally, this meant I had to go shopping for more exercise clothes. I'll take any excuse that lets me buy more workout gear.

I had recently noticed that there was a crazy prints trend happening in sportswear, but apparently I jumped on the band wagon after everyone else got off. This was the only pair of printed capris I could find:
The cheetah print makes me go faster, right?
I think they're completely adorable, and they make feel a little silly in a fun way when I wear them. Eric thinks they're ridiculous but I think that's his job as my husband. While I was shopping, it seemed that the 80's was making a comeback because all the non-clearance clothes were a wide variety of fluorescent colors. I snagged a more modest pair of dark blue compression capris from the clearance rack though. I reserve the fluorescent colors for the winter time when I'm doing my best moving traffic cone impression.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's finally over.

The DietBet ended yesterday and my final weigh-in wasn't enough to win my money back. I'm a little aggravated about it, but I'm trying to be positive. Because despite the loss, the entire endeavor was pretty successful. I lost four of the pesky 10lbs that I gained over the last two years and I started regularly running again. I'm only doing two miles maximum; I need to feel like I can keep proper form for longer than that before I add on. No more getting hurt, dagnabbit!

I want to start racing 5Ks instead of, you know, just finishing them. To that end, I convinced Nate to sign up for the Northborough Applefest 5K with me on September 20th. I'm not sure if I'll actually make a training plan schedule for it though. I'm going to try a different approach, one where I have a set of different workouts that I can select from based on how I'm feeling that day (or week). The whole one-size-fits-all training plan doesn't work well for me since I have to pay extra attention to my form now. It's better not to convince myself that I have to run x number of miles that day, despite the fact that my hip or lower back are bothering me. Those are the days I should work on stabilization and strengthening the weaknesses.

The last four weeks were a dietary challenge (nightmare, really). I logged my food and set my calorie target at 1350 kcal. Most of the time, I was ravenously hungry and a complete cranky pain in the butt. I had zero tolerance for any level of irritation:
I spent a lot of energy reminding myself to at least attempt civility.
The entire month made me wonder how I even managed to make it to goal weight in 2009. It's difficult to remember how restrictive I was at that stage in my life. I remember feeling like a giant know-it-all brat who didn't want to listen to anyone who might be concerned about me. In retrospect, a lunch of 12 almonds, 6 Triscuits and a package of dry tuna does not sound healthy. Or delicious. Or edible. I have no idea how I did it. Over the last four and a half years, I've cultivated a more or less healthy relationship with food. It's not perfect, but that's okay. The most important thing is that I remain mindful of and honest about my eating habits.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Giving Up Heels

Back in early 2012, when I still subscribed to Runner's World, I read that they had awarded best debut to a company called Altra. At that time, I was on a hunt for running shoes that didn't make my toes go numb if I forgot to lace them correctly. I decided to investigate the shoes which had had such a stellar debut. The infographic on this page and the gender specific page won me over immediately. I purchased a pair of the original Intuition model directly from the Altra website and anxiously awaited their arrival.

I had spent some time researching the barefoot trend and I owned my a pair of Vibrams, which were mostly collecting dust in the closet. I'd tried them but I found the toes to be too stiff. They never felt comfortable during a run, even on a treadmill. I still use them occasionally, but only when I know I'm going to be walking on soft ground. Anyhow, back to the arrival of my highly anticipated Altra Intuitions. They arrived and as soon as I put them on, I knew I'd never go back to my New Balance 790s. As evidenced by this old picture of my feet, I took them for a treadmill test run immediately:

Why do runners always take pictures of their feet...?
These shoes were so comfortable that I quickly broke my "Running shoes are for running" rule and wore them to work. I wore them to Zumba, and then I wore (and peed on) them while hiking in Arizona. I loved them to death. It's all good though because I snagged two pairs at a steep discount from Left Lane Sports when the Intuition 1.5 released.  After such dedicated love and wear, I realized the shoes were changing my feet. One day as I was putting on my pretty red patent flats, I noticed how painfully squished my forefoot felt. I figured I could tough it out, but after just two hours at work, I gave up. I couldn't do it; they hurt my feet way too much.

I researched, and researched, and researched shoes that were designed not to squish the crap out of my forefoot. (P.S. I'm totally a Katy fangirl.) Eventually I found Vivobarefoot and have subsequently purchased not one but four pairs of their shoes:
Fourth pair not featured here because it's summer and they're a pair of snow boots.
I've worn a pair of Vivos nearly every day since I purchased my first pair. I've also started packing a pair of them in my handbag whenever I go to formal events that require dressy shoes (read: heels).

It's been almost two years since I gave up wearing any shoes with elevated heels. I don't miss the squished forefoot pain. I don't miss blisters on my heels from slippage that came from wearing traditional shoes. I don't miss it at all.