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Running and fitness sure seems to involve a lot of stuff.
As a kid my two favorite things were pockets in my clothes and cubby holes for stuff. THIS is my fantasy apartment so as you can imagine I have been trying to figure out how best to organize my fitness gear for a long time. I finally came up with a two-step organizational system. I’ve actually been using if for awhile so it definitely works well for me but the topic keeps coming up so I figured I’d blog about it. It’s a two-part organizational system for running/workout necessities. I find when all my stuff is together I don’t make excuses and stick to my workout plan.
This sits on top of my dresser. It’s a Plano tackle box I bought at Walmart for around $9.
The top tray is gels: little pouches of sugar and carbs I take every 45 minutes or so during a race or training if I’m going for longer then an hour. These gels are all from Gu Energy but there are many other manufacturers out there.
The bottom of the container includes:
- Icy Hot stick
- A&D rash cream- for chafing
- Hand Sanitizer- just because
- Tylenol bottle
- Immodium bottle
- Ezy Dose Disposable Pill Pouches (because if you carry Tylenol and Immodium you’ll never need them. But if you don’t…LOL)
- Roll of Medipore Tape (or Micropore Tape) it’s really easy to remove
- Duct Tape- this is a huge roll, I usually grab a half-used roll and pull out the middle cardboard section
- Chapstick with SPF
- Body Glide- prevents chafing
- Black Sharpie
- Headlamp- for night running
- Extra batteries for the headlamp
The convenient thing about having everything in a portable container is that I can pull it out and throw it in my car trunk when I go for long runs. Since I tend to run alone if I have to go any farther then about 3 miles I park my car somewhere central and do three mile loops around it. If anything comes up like blisters, spots that seem “hot” and prone to chafing (particularly around my sportsbra) I can always pull over and adjust. My goal for races is to finish, my goal for individual runs is to work hard but still set myself up well so I can run another day. Blisters and chafe spots can really affect that.
You’re probably thinking this can’t possibly be everything. It’s not. For one thing I hoard sunblock like I’m preparing for the end of the world so this is just stuff I replenish from a Rubbermaid bin I keep inside my closet on the floor.
As for clothes, I have a pretty big drawer full of workout clothes. When the drawer starts overflowing I take that as a sign and start donating to charity.
So you want to lose weight what do you need?
I know what you’re thinking *insert chorus of angels* you need motivation! dedication! perspiration!
Um, yeah, I’m not designing a motivational poster I leave that to these people:
The poster says: What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
I say that dude is insane.
But then I’ve finished 36 half marathons in the last 4 years so maybe I shouldn’t be calling anyone else crazy…
So where does that leave us?
I’m spending some time typing up reviews of apps and gadgets and gear to give you an overview of what is out there and what you might want and need so check back daily.
If you have questions please feel free to ask.
The see me comin’…they be hatin’…
Good Monday Morning FatChick Readers! How was your weekend? Mine was wet, but that didn’t matter because look at my new kicks! Aw yeah. They are awesome.
I was hoping to break them in at the Big Dam(n) Bridge this weekend, but it was just too rainy. The water from the sky forced me to go to the gym. I like the elliptical trainer because of the calories I burn, but I hate it because about 20 minutes in, both of my feet fall asleep. WTF is up with that? You should see me when I’m through running and trying to dismount. It’s hard to walk when you can’t feel your feet.
Tonight is bootcamp #2. I swear I’m looking forward to it. I mean it. I can’t wait. It’s gonna be awesome. Right? Right? RIGHT?
Oh, I forgot to mention, I’ve been using My Fitness Pal to document my food, booze, water, and exercise. I’m loving it. It really helps keep me on track. You should check it out! Also, there’s an app for that.
See y’all tomorrow for the After Bootcamp Obituary, er, I mean, report.
Tonight, I start bootcamp. I’ll bitch about that tomorrow.
Today, I officially registered for the Little Rock Half Marathon. This will be my second half. And I’m excited. Here’s a couple of pics of me and my crew when we did the half a few years ago. (The very same half marathon that prompted the start of this blog…) I figure if I did it once, I can do it again…
I also (finally) ordered me a new pair of running shoes. LONG over due, that was.
It has begun. The apocalypse is nigh. MELF is on the loose with a goal…look out world. Hide your kids! Hide your wives…
Ever notice how when you don’t have time things just popping up and grab your attention?
There are a couple websites I check for races, one is MarathonGuide.com. Most (but not all) marathons also have half marathons as well so a couple times a year I check this site to see what is coming up. Well today I discovered something new. Marathon Guide has a free pacing calculator with free pace wristband.
What’s a pacing wristband? Basically this is what it sounds like, a cheapo wristband that you tape to your wrist to make sure you are where you need to be time-wise on a course. Some people use them to push themselves to personal bests. If you are a back-of-the-packer like me, you use it to make sure you stay ahead of the sweeper bus they send along for people who fall below course time minimums. If a race has a four hour or longer half marathon time limit then I don’t worry about it. At this point if it has a 3:30 or longer time limit I’m okay too. The 3 hour time limit sometimes makes me worry about elevation charts and course challenges. For example, I have a race with a three hour time limit coming up so I went to the Marathon Guide pace wristband page and entered my information.
I’m not worried about the marathon distance for the moment so I went to option B and plugged in my half marathon distance (13.1 miles). Then I put the time I’d like to finish in (3 hours), then I made sure to set it for miles. The United States unlike everyone else in the world loves miles. I could do this in kilometers but I would have to start counting on my fingers and toes.
See where it says Please Wait on that bottom button? That’s because I’ve been playing with it. Yours will say Create Pace Band. Click that and you will see:
This is a miniature screen shot I’ve included here so you can see what I’m talking about. The real one will be a full 11″ long (we print it on 8 1/2″ x 11″ computer paper at home) and you can cut to your desired length. I plan to cover mine with clear plastic packing tape so it will be waterproof/sweatproof. And I will likely tape it on me securely because it’s free I can just cut it off and throw it away after the race is over.
So if you have any pace goals for your upcoming races no matter what the distance give this site a try. I wish I’d found it awhile ago!
If you happen to have a Droid or an iPhone then you need to go to the app store/ market and download an app called RunKeeper Pro. ASAP! Please note there are two kinds. 1) Runkeeper. 2) Runkeeper Pro. You want the Pro which usually costs $9.99 but is free for the moment. Regular Runkeeper is always free and has ads that will suck phone battery like that vacuum. So get the pro while you can. For FREE.
So what the heck is RunKeeper Pro?
It’s an app that allows you to track your workout as long as you are moving around and have GPS access (It won’t work on a stationary bike or treadmill). Here is an example of the screens available.
Ever get lost while out for a walk? How about tracking yourself on a map?
It will also show you splits so you can see how fast you are going.
It’s free so download it. Play with it. And use it to help kick off your new year.
***Disclaimer: I believe the app is available for free until Jan. 31st but I’d play it safe and download it immediately because you never know.
I ran 10 miles yesterday on pavement and neglected my post run accessories. So I made sure to wear them today:
Yup, those are bags of cheap frozen peas saranwrapped around my knees. They make FABULOUS ice packs because they’re little and don’t have sharp edges like the ice from my icemaker. The good news is they’re cheap and easy to find. They’re also reusable you just want to try to keep them separate from the bags you actually eat because the peas tend to get mushy after many sessions of freezing, wrapping, thawing and re-freezing. Don’t ask me how I know that.
It could be worse right? I could be in traction!
So I have one of
to add to
And the race course? The one they originally described as
Changed considerably without notice. My previous blog map was the updated trail but reality looked like:
The race course was something like 13.3 according to my GPS watch. I forgot to mark my location at the finish line so 14.67 includes all post-race walking until I got to my car. That didn’t include the extra 2 miles I walked in the morning going from my car to the race, then back to my car and back to the race which would make it 16.67 miles overall.
All in all not a bad day. My feet are fine. My muscles are pleasantly sore but it’s not excruciating and I think I’m finally getting the hang of this race thing! Next step? Solve the shin splint problem!
I got them free.
And we all know how I feel about free right?
Too bad they taste like Pine Sol smells.
Incidentally this is a very important lesson. I picked two of these up for free at the race expo and thought I’d use them during my LA County Half Marathon. I decided to try them at 9pm the night before the race and thank goodness I did because I had to race for peanut butter to get rid of the after taste.
Race time is never a good time to try new things.
And yes, the race recaps are coming but they take forever to write!
I know, I know you’re all excited now. Would you be more excited or less excited if I told you “Lube Saved my Ass” was my backup title?
And no, for the guy googling “Easy Fat Chicks in Ohio” I don’t mean lube for:
I mean lube for:
I know, you’d never guess from my day-glo white legs that I live in SoCal would you?
Still, call it what you will, my blister problem appears solved (or at least greatly diminished) by lube.
First you cover your feet with Petroleum Jelly (if you don’t mind a mess) or Body Glide (if you don’t like messes).
Then you find some damn sexy socks. The sexiest damn socks ever. Something like
They also come in can’t-be-bleached-because-you’ll-ruin-them-white, and just plain ugly army green.
If you get bored while building your collection you could try sock art
Then you need shoes. Amazing shoes.
Perhaps you started with Saucony Hurricaine XIs
They’re pretty. But they’re not exactly loose and you’ve forgotten you come from the Ronald McDonald house of clown feet.
So you might switch to:
They’re pretty and blue right? but wait what’s that dayglo green?
Fabulous arch support for the high arched runner. There are dozens of insole brands on the market so do some research if you’re interested.
But at the end of the day the result (for me) is jogging blister free. I haven’t raced in these babies yet so I’m hoping the LA County race will keep me blister free and happy but we’ll see.
Here is what I’ve learned about fat chicks and blisters:
1) They’re preventable if you do your research. Some people love thick socks, some like thin, some use double socks. Figure out what works for you.
2) No matter what you choose make sure your socks are not cotton. Spandex, nylon is okay but cotton absorbs and holds moisture and that is bad news for hours of racing.
3) All joking aside, lube will save you.
4) Once you have them they’re treatable and they don’t have to derail your workouts entirely. That, however, is a post for another day.
In the meantime tomorrow is December 1st. Don’t ask me how that happened.