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14 Dec 2009
Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear

See these?

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.

*shudder*

And yes, the race recaps are coming but they take forever to write!

1 Dec 2009
Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear

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.

21 Oct 2009
Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear

For those of us who generally dislike spandex as standalone pants I have an easy (and obvious to everyone but me) solution.

1) Put on the spandex pants and put a running skirt over it. Check those out HERE

2) Buy a pair of these which is a skirt/pant combo* and is totally cute. More importantly if you buy one now you can get one free so you’ll basically get two for the price of one.

*note- the free offer is added automatically when you put items totally $75 or more into your shopping cart like the example. This deal is only available while supplies last and please read all fine print before purchasing!

I think it’s a great way to stay warm and cute but still be active in the winter!

14 Oct 2009
Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear, race details

This time, though, I felt MUCH more prepared. Not physically, of course, I’ve been doing nothing but stationary bike workouts for weeks. Gear-wise though, my race bag was packed with all relevant staples:

My Blister kit included:

  • underwrap (that’s actually for taping ankles so I’m not sure why I took it but you never know).
  • scissors (little sharp ones for popping blisters- yes it’s gross but FAR less painful)
  • Band-aids of assorted sizes and shapes including really big ones. (I’m prone to getting blisters on my heels)- please note these aren’t actually band-aid brand, the 99cents only store has a really decent kind that’s $1 a box. I’m cheap like that.
  • Alcohol wipes- to sterilize the scissors before any fun stuff.
  • Neosporin- the gift that keeps on giving
  • Gauze pads (also from the 99cents only store- a blessing for cushioning any blistered spots before walking to my car)
  • I should also probably mention that I’m one of those poor fools that just seems destined to keep using the wrong damn socks. 95% of people seem to cross the finish line with no ill effects to their little feetsies. Since I could feel blisters forming at the four mile mark I can say for certain this post-race ritual was an absolute blessing.

    Clif Shots and PowerBar Gel Packs. Mmmmm…
    I took these little gems with me in my fanny pack (yep, wore it a second time). Some people swear by one brand or the other, I think they’re both better then nothing and together they saved me. Big time. They taste like a weird oozing candy you haven’t had since you were seven but they do the trick. I had one every hour and I think it’s what got me through the race.

    There are those, of course, who prefer race snacks. I can’t really imagine actually eating solid foods on the course so I usually just throw these things in my bag in case they run out of food at the finish-line (never underestimate the eating powers of anorexic-looking runners).

    Then, of course, there is BodyGlide to reduce friction from movement. (Personally I haven’t had any problems there yet but I’m also walking and typically wear pants to prevent rubbing).

    My heart rate monitor so I could be suitably impressed by my caloric expenditure.

    Advil, the breakfast (lunch and dinner) of champions.

    Hand sanitizer. I am a BIG BIG fan. (see yesterday’s picture of the line for the porta potties).

    I also highly recommend:

  • A hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Cushioned FLIP FLOPS or slippers- if you get blisters these will save you!
  • Extra hair rubberband-it will break at the least opportune time. Always.
  • I have yet to start bringing alcohol to races with me but after Sunday’s blister’s I’m considering it. Doesn’t rum have medicinal uses?

    7 Sep 2009
    Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear, race details

    I scratched my race this weekend. At last I think that’s what you’re supposed to call a no-show. I started out, of course, with the best of intentions. I knew I couldn’t finish the race, my ankle is still sore, but I wanted to do the first 5 miles. The first 4 miles or so of the Disneyland half marathon takes you through the park. Let’s be honest, I’m shallow. I wanted the Mickey medal and I wanted to invade the Mouse’s home turf before before the park opened.

    Just because goal #1 (the medal) was highly unlikely didn’t mean I could go big on #2. Particularly since the race officials wouldn’t allow me to change my race entry to the 5K.

    Every plan, however, has its challenges and mine was no exception. To fully allow you to understand the situation let me give you some numbers:

    Half marathon entry fee- $120 (absurd)
    Parking to pick up race packet- $8 (I really wanted the damn tshirt)
    Race day parking for participants-$12

    So really the whole race basically costs $140 and that’s assuming you don’t buy anything to prepare for it (gatorade, clif bars, whatever).

    Now what do I get for my $140? Shuttle service. On race day from 3AM until 4:30am, shuttles are available to transport runners to the starting area. The race starts hours later but if you don’t make it by 4:30am you are out of luck according to all race literature. I woke up at 3am (after finally falling asleep around 1am). Closed my eyes and woke up again at 8am. So I missed it. And in doing so saved myself a $12 parking fee. On the other hand it means my shirt cost me $128.

    In a moment like this I should probably say next time I’m just buying Armani shirt or something like that. But mostly, I want revenge.

    Someone warn the mouse because come 2010 I will be avenged. Probably.

    15 Jul 2009
    Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear

    I went out and bought a brand-spanking-new pair of running shoes again. The old ones were several months old (as in Feb) and I’d said I’d buy another but I haven’t. Yesterday I realized my foot problem was unlikely to get better with shoes that were beaten within an inch of their tread.

    Enter $200 bill.

    It turns out there are three things that will motivate me to hand over my credit card with minimal complaint.

    1) Pants that will make my butt look awesome.

    2) Adult beverages (with or without paper umbrella).

    3) Shoes, socks and random sticky substances that promise to take care of my foot problem.

    I haven’t found the awesome butt pants in a long time so that hasn’t been an issue.

    My current diet commitment in prep for the two half marathons prevents me from item #2.

    Which apparently gives #3 room to grow and multiply. Remember back in October when I was whimpering about $119.95? Apparently I’ve moved into the $125 bracket thanks to these little gems.

    See those little red things at the bottom? They’re supposed to make me bionic. Since I’ve always secretly wanted to be bionic I figured $125 was a good deal.

    The sides aren’t too bad either.

    Yes, I’m still firmly committed to guys shoes, mostly because I have boat feet. They work for me.

    So where did the other $75 come from? I bought blister prevention bandages and a big pack of double socks, both of which I’ll have to blog later because I forgot to take pictures of them.

    In the meantime I’d like to announce that I went walking today with the snazzy new shoes and my left foot seemed okay. My right foot also seemed okay. I wish I could go jog to test this miracle further but I have late meetings tonight for work so that’s unlikely.

    But I’m pretty excited about the possibilies. And I’m delighted enough at the moment to give the designer of my Saucony runnings shoes (I have NO freaking clue how to pronounce that) a big high five.

    Stay tuned!

    13 Feb 2009
    Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear

    I joined an online group of running nuts. What makes a running nut? One woman’s goal is to run 50 marathons. Insane right? Now when you realize a number of other people on the board are nearly there. I figure now I have a built in Q&A group of people who are guaranteed to know more then me.

    This is a good thing.

    The downside is they know LOTS more then I do. They know where to get the best Disney merchandise. They know what stuff to get. And they’ve also tipped me off about gadgets (Oh Lord, how I love gadgets).

    Like this nifty little thing:

    The Champion Chip

    The Champion Chip

    This is the Champion Chip. It was created for runners at the Walt Disney World resort (particularly the marathoners). It has a special chip number and you lace it into your shoe. Then when you pass certain mile markers it texts your family and friends to let you know what your times are and how you’re doing on the course.

    Is it necessary for a half marathoner? No. And more importantly would my family or friends really give enough of a crap for me to spend $35 on notifying them? Hell no!

    But it seems so official.

    Professional even.

    *sigh*

    3 Feb 2009
    Categorized As: CarbKiller, gear, race details, running

    Okay I’m sure you’re all tired of this by now, I’ve been writing loooong posts and they’re mostly un-funny but one last post I swear! 

    Things I have learned: (not to be confused with old tips which still stand but need updating)

    1) Try on your tshirt before take it home with you. FatChicks tend to not understand marathon-size. And when all else fails try guy sizes. Women’s shirts tend to be tapered. Why in the hell an XL or XXL chick would want a tapered shirt to showcase body to nightmarish proprotions I’m not sure. I have to assume designers don’t relate to this.

    2) Take your sunglasses. I didn’t and thanked goodness for my hat but sunglasses AND a hat would have been perfect. Dammit.

    3) Wear sunscreen. If you’re anything like me you don’t go outside very often so when you do you need to MAKE SURE you’ve got at least SPF 35 on even if you start with an overcast day. I’ve gotten third degree burns on my face from skiing on overcast days so I know all about this.

    4) Pack snacks. If you are walking long distances a couple energy gels or a powerbar might save your butt. I bought $20 worth of ClifBar products and forgot to stick them in my belt pack. I had to drink badly watered down Vitalyte mix along the entire race route and regretted that. It turns out vitalyte tastes pretty good when it is mixed correctly but I didn’t find that out until the race was over.

    5) Buy a good stick of lube. I know we’ve talked about Body Glide before but WOW that stuff was amazing. Yes, I got blisters on my feet but all things considered it could have been a thousand times worse and I am grateful!

    And here is where I steal from HobbitGrrl again. The stuff in ( ) is my commentary.

    • Lube (yup)
    • Deodorant (TOTALLY)
    • Ponytail holders/hair band (Absolutely)
    • Chapstick (I used it before the race and left it in my gearbag. Make sure it has SPF or is medicated. I prefer SPF)
    • Race day clothing (I did it in a pair of cloth running pants–as opposed to the nylon ones that make farting sounds as you walk, and a tshirt)
    • Race bib already pinned to shirt (yep)
    • Socks (I wore level 3 running thorlos and still got blisters so imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t done that)
    • Shoes with timing chip already clipped on (yep, although I’m still waiting to hear back from the race about why they haven’t posted my time)
    • Hat (thank goodness)
    • Gel packs (I didn’t know what these were when HG posted this. I have since learned they are:
    Clif Bar Gel Packs
    Clif Bar Gel Packs

    I didn’t have them but my second walking buddy in the race gave me an apple cinnamon one for the end of the race. He told me it boosts his recovery time. I have no way of actually proving that but I thought I’d feel like death warmed over today and instead I feel fine. Yes my legs are sore and the blisters suck but other then that I’m jazzed to do it again. I expected to feel like I’d walked to hell and back or something. Thank you K!

    • Food (I had it in my bag but should have taken one with me as a walker)
    • Fully charged iPod with Playlist ready- I had music, I had audiobooks, I had my own nano and my sister’s for backup. I ended up not needing it at all because I had two walking buddies. My assumption is if I didn’t have them I wouldn’t have found a walking buddy. Such is life right?

    I’d also like to add kleenex and a towel for your gearbag, and a change of clothes along with a sweatshirt or something to keep you warm if you don’t head home immediately.

     

    My other big mistake? I should have packed flipflops. Just walking around on my blisters after the finishline was so gross I stopped at the store and blought flipflops (heck I needed another pair anyway). The sooner you take off your nasty socks and take care of your feet the sooner your feet will thank you.

     

    But my biggest mistake of all was I took my phone and not my camera. What few pictures I took were mostly crap and I don’t even have a picture of me before or after the race wearing my bib! When I think about that I could cry!

     

    Oh and for the record, I wasn’t the only one with the fanny pack and I was glad to have it.

     

    HAH!

     

    That’s all I can think of at the moment, hope it helps someone!

    31 Jan 2009

    Remember when HobbitGrrl mentioned there would be a packet pick up date? I was envisioning all kinds of riches. Money, precious jewels, a tshirt that fit. Really any of those things would have been frickin’ awesome. Instead I have a shirt that makes me look like a stuffed sausage.

    Surf City Half Marathon Tshirt logo

    Surf City Half Marathon Tshirt logo

    Cool logo right? And if I suddenly lose 30 pound it’s going to be perfect. I’ve already added it to the stack of shit I can’t wear…yet. *sigh*

    I also received this fantastic wooden surfboard. It’s about six inches long.

    The front of the board

    The front of the board

     

    The back of the board

    The back of the board

    I still haven’t figured out what the hell it is.

    Is it a Christmas ornament? In which case it’s huge and is missing a hangy thingy.

    It is the world’s thickest bookmark?

    I really couldn’t figure that one out.

    Then there was:

    Surf City Half Marathon Race Map

    Surf City Half Marathon Race Map

    Since their internet version was impossible to print on one page this was awesome. I geeked out and took an extra one for a scrapbook if I ever get off my butt and scrapbook something.

    Also:

    Surf City Half Marathon Shoe Tag

    Surf City Half Marathon Shoe Tag

    I know the shoes are crooked but it looked really dumb when I straigtened the image. The tag came attached to the front of the bib and you removed it and attached it yourself.

    Then there was the awesome race bib. I was sure I’d lose it before the end of the day due to my general misfortune with tags, etc. I was wrong the damn things are almost indestructible. But more importantly it came with a handy dandy thing on the back.

    Race Bib Emergency Contact Form

    Race Bib Emergency Contact Form

    It’s quite brilliant really. I walked with a belt pack but so many people run with absolutely nothing but the clothes they wear and an ipod. This way they have emergency info no matter what!

    And that is it. Nothing else.  

    Getting to the registration desk was like walking through the maze that is Ikea. I had to go past tons of stalls selling everything from socks to sports gel. But then hey, what do you expect.

    Oh and one really funny thing was they had all the mile marker signs outside the registration tent complex.

    People were lining up to take pictures

    All the Half Marathoners took pictures in front of the 13 mile marker

    All the Half Marathoners took pictures in front of the 13 mile marker

    There was something humbling about seeing all the mile markers lined up like soldiers though.

    All 13 mile markers for the half marathon. EEEK!

    All 13 mile markers for the half marathon. EEEK!

    So that was the intro stuff. I wish I’d taken more pictures!

    13 Nov 2008
    Categorized As: diet, gear, Hogzilla

    I’ve been a size 18 for several years. About 5 years ago, I was actually a 20 (pushing 22, but we won’t talk about that) and I joined WW and the gym and lost quite a bit of weight. I’m a fairly muscular hourglass figure and I actually have to gain/lose quite a bit of weight to change clothing sizes. I’ve read you lose a dress size every 13lbs of weightloss. It takes about double that to work for me. Which is one reason I tend to give up so quickly because there is no quick gratification. I have to maintain my diet for a minimum of 2.5 months in order to see any real clothing size results and that sucks big time.

    This past spring, I actually managed to get into a size 16 for a while. Then I fell off the diet wagon and into the beer and burger wagon and that went to hell. I can still wear them (thank the jeans gods for added stretch) but they are a little snug. And they’re also capri. Since we’re entering the cold, wet months, I need jeans that go to my feet. So I picked up a cheap pair of 18s the other day. Just to get me through the next few months.

    Sigh.

    Because I’m an hourglass, the 18s are a size too big in the waist. But because I have a big ass and thick, muscular thighs, the 18s fit–for about 4 hours. Then (because of the awesome added stretch) they start to sag. It’s not pretty. It’s not stylish. Tim Gunn would not approve.

    But the 16s are too tight. Sure they fit in the waist, but my thighs look like sausage casings stuffed to overflowing.

    This sucks. I hate it. I can’t comfortably fit into a 16 but 18 sure as hell doesn’t fit. And sadly, the 16s won’t fit for at least another month (thick thighs suck…)This is exactly why I wear yoga pants.

    Am I alone in my size dilemma? Or do you have other issues with the weight/size ratio?