Sunday, April 18, 2010

Screw the Earthday 5k and give me 21 instead. Running skirt review!

  Races make me crazy. I get all nervous and anxious and I just don't like it. The stress outweighs the fun. Its far better than it used to be but frankly this morning, it wasn't worth the organic cotton t-shirt or the reusable bottle or even the heirloom tomato plant which was the clincher for me.
  I was planning to run an Earthday 5k in Valley Junction. It meant 30 or so minutes to get there and then find where I was supposed to go and get signed up and where the heck would I park....bbaaahhh!

I had a pretty crazy day yesterday. Crazy as in emotionally, mentally and it all just boiled over so today I didn't want to run 3 miles and go home I wanted to cleanse myself. Some think torture, I think cleanse!
I like to go to races however this year, there are only a handful I am going to do and they are ones I ran last year so I can PR and place in my age group in one of them that I came in 4th last year. (I might run more or maybe not, I am keeping my options open.)
 If it means a running skirt or maybe a Garmin down the line or a race with my race money and I don't know what to expect....the skirt and Garmin win out for sure!  I can run my own race and it is so much more stress free!

So today I said "screw the Earthday 5k"  I got dressed rocked some pig tails and my Road ID and grabbed a gallon of water, a tube of nuun, 2 GU gels and a bag of Chomps and a banana that I was eating while I did all this prep. I took my camera and cell phone and my Nathan handheld bottle.  I even stashed a few bucks and my drivers license in my handheld.  I remembered to bring along some coconut oil as well in case I needed it for chaffing. I don't have any BodyGlide right now.

My car would be my aid station at Gray's lake and I was planning to do 20 miles.  I really needed to find my happy place again and leave the guilt and craziness on the side of the trail.
This is where I started out. 
It was 9:10 and the sun was shining and there is green everywhere!  Not many people out yet  like on Saturday mornings.  Lots of geese and ducks and a few fish jumping out of the water greeting me.
This is the start of the bridge that crosses  the lake. The concrete on the bridge was such a reprieve for my soles from the older pavement of the trail.
One of the upsides to running here is that there are bathrooms on each end of the lake. Its a 1.91 mile loop so no mishaps here!
I had planned to do it in 4 hours which is pretty slow but breaking new ground.  I would be making quick, less than one minute stops if I needed something from my car. I tightened the strap on my handheld too tight a few times and my fingers went numb so I left it in the car for a couple loops and then I adjusted it for the last two loops.
My wonderful aid station!
There was a spot on the trail where the water came up onto the trail and I loved to splash through it and did so each and every loop and probably helped give myself a nice big blister. It was in a spot that had been an old blister but the skin came off so it was raw new skin that was not conditioned yet.
 I ate a Jet Blackberry Gu gel at mile 6 and then espresso flavor at mile 10 or so.  I ate half the chomps at somewhere  between mile 18-21.  Gu products are really great stuff. No tummy issues to speak of.

Some observations and notables

  • Some guy on a bike yelled "Hey Zola Budd". Cliche' but made me smile!!
  • So many women went by and I wanted to tell them to please buy themselves a better bra. It hurt to watch them almost knock themselves out.  I remember those days and can say I am so glad they are behind me now. Running is so much better when the girls are restrained and don't bounce.
  • "Put your arms down people!!!!"  Two runners looked like they had chicken wings and their hands were above their nipples!  One guy and one girl. They were both moving at a nice pace but looked all cramped and stiff.  They would be so much more efficient and safe energy for a few more  miles if they would just relax that upper body.
  • When I started to hurt at mile 16 I thought " I have made a commitment to run 20 miles and nothing short of injury which is not going to happen will make me stop. Quitting is not an option"  The discomfort passed and at mile 20 I thought " I've got more" and I ran another loop.
  • The skirt rocked and I had zero chaffing. I had a container of coconut oil to put on my thighs and underarms if I started to chafe but never did need it.
  • The strappy bra the Twins at Running sent me was very comfortable and kept the girls happy.
  • I have a Marathon planned in October here in lovely Des Moines Iowa. I have quite a lot of time to improve between now and then.  In the spirit of Boston......maybe I could qualify??   In the spririt of Run Like a Mother, Thank the running gods for facebook and running updates to keep one motivated!
  • There were 4 very pregnant walking moms and loads of adorable children on tiny bikes or riding in strollers and puppies oh there were so many puppies!  I was smiling almost constantly!
   I finished the run at 1:00 and ended up with 21.01 miles all barefoot. My feet feel great and I Broke some new ground. I look forward to next time when I run it faster and maybe a mile or more farther!

I am now a huge fan of both Whooha Gear and Running Skirts!  They both have sent me items to review and I am quite happy with all of it.  I have taken it all for a spin before but it has been shorter runs or treadmill runs and I wanted to wear this gear on a long run.

The Whooha shirt is a dry fit tech shirt and with a cute girl running through flowers on the front and it says "Gotta Run".  I thought that it would be uncomfortable since it seemed to be too big however I never did get overheated even though its black and when I pulled the sleeves over my shoulders they stayed! I have never had a shirt do that!   It rode up a little over my girls but it may have been the bra and shirt materials having an effect on each other.
Some time this week I will be hosting a Whooha Gear giveaway! They sent me a $20 credit to pass on to a reader!  I am not so good with sizing anymore after loosing weight and stopping breastfeeding, everything is different and then there is the dreaded vanity sizing. Vanity sizing is total BS if you ask me but alas it seems to be the norm these days.   Ok, rant over, love this shirt!!
Whooha stands for Women Having Optimistic Objectives & Healthy Attitudes

Ok, on to the running skirts!
Here is me looking pretty dang tired!!  This was after my 21 miles!  (I hate how I get bloated after a long run!) I love this skirt.  I am unfortunately and most often right in the middle of two sizes.  I think this skirt could be a size smaller in the waist but I am dubious that a smaller size would fit in the briefs underneath.  The briefs were  quite comfortable and stayed in place. They didn't creep at all. They have a reverse seam to reduce chaffing.
  This skirt is light and the fabric is soft and smooth and it didn't ride up at all so I felt covered the whole run. The waist band stayed in place for the most part but is just a smidge too big. No rolling though or sliding down my hips. The briefs kept the rest of the skirt in place.

I did not test the pockets. I meant to and then forgot. I think because its loose in the waist that a phone or even some GU would pull the waist down and be uncomfortable.  I plan to buy another and am going to brave a smaller size so will test it out later. The skirts have two velcro closure pockets. One on each side.  They are roomy enough to carry some gels or a cell phone.
This is the "strappy" bra they sent with the skirt and compression socks.  The bra is padded and you have the option to take the padding out if you want. It was too big if I take the padding out.  I found it comfortable to leave the padding in so it works out.  Not chaffing at my underarm area where I usually chafe! This is a huge bonus!   The socks are fabulous but since I am a barefoot runner I only wear the socks either at home or after I run with shoes.  (If anyone has questions about any of the clothing ask away! I am tired as hell and not thinking straight so may have missed something!)  I ran my whole time without  noticing my clothing so I would call them awesome! I wasn't fidgiting or pulling anything down. It all stayed in place and allowed me to zone out and just run!  I have to add something about the strappy. I am pretty small chested now and at my DD size while nursing I don't know that this bra would have provided enough support. If you are a C cup or larger I would contact the twins and ask questions about it!
Here is the photo from their website
It turned out to be a lovely day when I threw out the old plans and went with something new. I shook it up a bit and it was exactly the thing to do!   Its still National Poetry month by the way!!
 Run Happy my friends!
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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me with any questions you might have