Friday, April 30, 2010

Testing the Waters

After the Seal Beach 10K I realized I wanted (and needed) to increase my lung capacity.  When I wrote the recap and mentioned that, you guys gave me some great feedback!  LOG THE MILES!  I plan on increasing my mileage, especially with San Francisco approaching.  In addition to your very helpful advice, I called my friend who is an avid runner to ask her what she thought too.  She told me she swims!  In addition to running, she swims on a team 2x a week.  Now, I’m not going to run out and join a swim team (although I was on one for a few years back in the day, and maybe in the future if I keep swimming on my own I will join a team), but I decided why not try it.  So I pulled out my old swim team suit, which still fit albeit a little tighter in the chest, bought a new swim cap and goggles, and headed to the pool.
I jumped in and after a couple laps I needed to take a short breather!  I forgot how tiring swimming is!  I knew it would be a great complement to running for me.  I ended up swimming 100m freestyle, 100m breast stroke, and another 100m freestyle.  Afterwards I felt great and I decided to incorporate swimming into my training plan once a week as cross training.

The great thing about swimming is that it works your whole body.  It engages all muscle groups from your arms to your legs, your back to your core.  It improves cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, endurance, posture, and flexibility all at the same time.  I’m super excited to incorporate this into my weekly running activities.  Oh, and later I did buy a new swim suit…a PINK one of course :)
And I will continue logging the miles!
Training for the San Francisco half begins next week!  Where has this year gone?  I can’t believe May is already here.  This weekend I’m going to Napa and my boyfriend and I have some short fun runs planned for the wine country!

Keep running happy!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

C9 by Champion from Target Review!

I have always worn Nike sports bras for working out, especially when I played soccer. They always seemed to lend the most support and were very comfortable. When I started running, naturally I wore what I knew to work...Nike. Then I read about a brand called Zensah in one of my issues of Runner’s World. I hopped online to check it out, and the reviews were amazing! Soft, light, seamless…oh I do like seamless for running. So I ordered a couple sports bras and fell in love with them!  They are so comfortable, soft, and supportive.

But I’m not writing about Zensah today. I am writing about a sports bra that I love equally as much as Zensah if not more…the seamless C9 bras by Champion from Target!!!
I originally bought my first one a couple months ago when I was cruising through target and a green item with white polka dots caught my eye! It was the most adorable sports bra and I just had to have it. C’mon, who doesn’t love polka dots?! I sure do :) And $16 for a sports bra why not?!
I wore it the next morning on a run and for the first mile I thought I had forgotten to put a bra on! It was so light! The material is incredibly soft and feels like silk on your skin, very similar to the Zensah bras. One thing I really like is that the front and back have a slight waffle-like pattern which offers breathability. Here is a picture of the front:
And here is a picture of the back:
I also really like that there are no tags and it's seamless. Here is a picture of the inside where the brand/size is printed small and directly onto the fabric in lieu of a tag:
This really helps with the prevention of chafing and makes for a much more pleasant run. There’s nothing worse than chafing when you’re out on a run. I also like that its tight offers a lot of support! Some bras I’ve worn don’t offer enough support and in addition to the chafing, bouncing is not fun either if you know what I mean. Just for reference, my bra size is a 32D and I wear a size small. I like my sports bras tight and supportive and this fits the bill.

One thing that was very important to me in a bra is how it fits in the shoulders. Some bras put a lot of pressure on the shoulders and in the neck area, especially on the trapezius muscle. This one did no such thing! As I said before, I felt like I wasn’t even wearing a bra! It was incredibly comfortable. After wearing it a couple times I went back to Target and bought 4 more. Oh and this is a bonus: they come in really fun colors! They have the standard white, black, and grey, but I love colors…bright colors! So I ended up buying the neon yellow, neon orange (construction worker/cone orange!), blue, and magenta, in addition to the cute green and white polka dot bra that I already had.
I still love and wear my Zensah bras, but $16 bucks for a seamless, comfortable and great quality bra (offered in an array of colors!) is a pretty great deal!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Seal Beach 10K recap!

This past Saturday I ran the Seal Beach 10K with Lisa.  I was a little reluctant to run it as of Friday because I hadn't logged more than 2-3 miles in the past few weeks due to things like me getting a cold followed by the flu.  Darn this wacky California weather...80 degrees then 50 and back to 80!
Saturday morning rolled around and Lisa met me at my house around 7am.  We rode our bikes down to Seal and we surprisingly couldn't find any bike racks!  We were about to lock them to a tree in a residential complex, when an older woman came out and offered to let us use her garage.  She was so kind and all I kept thinking was "Is this for real?  Wow there really are still nice people in the world!!"  So we parked them in her garage and walked over the to starting line.  There were so many people!
Me and Lisa at the start
Tons o' people
It was the perfect weather to run in...overcast and a little chilly, but comfortable.  The run started just after 8am and we kept at a slow and steady pace.
Me and Lisa approaching mile 3
To be completely honest, my lungs started to fatigue before my body did.  It was around mile 3 and my lungs wanted me to stop but my legs were ready to rock n roll!  This is wear I really had to slow down to focus on my breathing.  At mile 5, I felt like I was going to throw up.  I walked over to the side of the road to see if I had to and nothing.  But that feeling didn't go away for almost the entire mile.
After walking for a while trying to get my stomach under control, I went at an easy 12:00/mile pace and I felt fine.
Running along the channel
As I turned the corner heading to Main St., I passed mile 6 and Lisa was there waiting for me after she had just crossed the finish.  I picked up a little bit and when my Garmin read 6.08 miles I sprinted like there was no tomorrow towards the finish.  I am by no means a fast runner, but one thing I can do is finish strong!  I sprinted my heart out (and my little lungs too) to the finish line.  I finished in 1:15 even which I'm completely okay with!  I had fun and that's all that matters.
Lisa rocked her first 10K!
Happy to be done!
We ate a banana and drank some water, walked around the finish for a bit then decided to crusie home.  We picked up our bikes from the nice lady's garage and cruised home.  So on top of running a 10K, we also biked a 10K!  What a *perfect* way to start our Saturday morning!
One major thing I took away from this weekend's run is about my lung capacity.  I need to work on increasing my lung capacity because they tire before my body does.  I've read that sprints/fartleks will do the trick.  Does anyone have any other suggestions?  I'd really appreciate it!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

You Know You're a Runner When + Seal Beach 10K

Happy Friday!!

I was surfing the web and reading different running articles when I came across this funny post on It’s pretty cute and I wanted to share it!

You Know You’re a Runner When...

1. You can say “fartlek” and “yassos” without giggling. Wait. That’s almost impossible. If you’ve ever done one of those two workouts, that counts.
2. You can convert kilometers to miles or vice versa. Sometimes, you can even do that while running.
3. You know exactly how many miles there are in a marathon.
4. You have had at least one toe nail become purple or black, and it wasn’t because you were wearing the hottest toenail polish color.
5. Two words: bloody nipples.
6. Two more words: wiener bite.
7. You proudly don your reflective vest and headlamp in order to run in the dark. You refuse to believe that you look dorky. You look like a safe runner.
8. You can discuss bodily fluids and gastrointestinal issues without flinching. Thinking “ewwww” never crosses your mind. Usually, you are thinking “I hope that doesn’t happen to me” or “Ugh. I hate when that happens.”
9. You have a vague idea that one lap around a track is equal to a quarter mile, two laps equals a half mile, etc. (Note: This does not mean that you can do math and run simultaneously, or that you will remember these handy track facts when you start your track workout.)
10. Getting up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning to run for two to three hours doesn’t sound like an outlandish, cruel punishment. Instead, it sounds like the perfect way to start your weekend.

On another note, yesterday I ran 3 miles and felt really good. I could have gone further but it the mosquitoes and gnats started to pollute the air and I didn’t want to have any for dinner! So I ran home did some stretching, and caught up on LOST.

Tomorrow I am running the Seal Beach 10K. It should be interesting because the past two weeks I have been totally slacking in the running department due to a cold followed by the flu. Good times. NOT. Yesterdays run was pretty encouraging, but I have a feeling I will have to incorporate some Jeff Galloway run/walk/run strategies tomorrow, which I’m totally cool with. I also built my workout schedule for April and May to get my base back before I start training for the San Fran half. I’m excited for tomorrow though! I’m running the Seal Beach 10K with my best friend and I know she will keep me going!

Enjoy your weekend and good luck to everyone racing!