Thursday, April 21, 2016

Random Things on a Thursday (#9) - Running Things

I still have a 5k recap to get up. I know I do. I've started it, it's coming, I promise. I run into this issue of not having all the stuff I need to write it (pictures) on one computer, and then not having time to write it when I'm at my house, but I promise it's progressing and I'll get it up soon, especially since it was such an important race to me personally.

That, and I do think you'll find it inspiring.

Until it goes up, I leave you with a week of random things related to running!

Shout Out to My Sports Bra
I'm sure this is exactly what you want to read about, but I actually had someone ask me about this last week so I thought I'd put it here.

With all the running and cycling and everything, my new favorite sports bra has been getting a workout of its own. When I decided to buy my Tri kit, part of that decision was to find a good sports bra that I could wear under it (for all three events, swim-bike-run). Although I haven't tested it with my kit yet, I'm more than happy with this one particular bra for running.

The first one I tried was the Fiona, but it didn't wow me (scroll down and read the sidenote). I didn't like that it wasn't racer back, so I decided to try the one racer back option offered for stability: The UpLift.

So my thoughts: It's a great bra. It's very supportive but doesn't crush stuff or suffocate you, the whole bra (straps and all) is super comfortable and doesn't chafe (even during extended activity), it's very breathable, it was decently priced*, and it's cute.

It also makes The Girls look nice (sorry parental figures, but ladies want to know these things).

Cons: Limited sizing and the J-hook can be difficult to undo, especially if your arms are tired :P

*This color was on sale for $28 on the Brooks website when I bought it. The new color combos are the regular price of $48. The mint green one is verrrrry tempting, and I'm willing to pay that much for a second one...

It's also worth noting that Brooks has a great 90 day return policy: Try it, sweat in it, and if you don't like it you can return it for a full refund. I'm probably going to test out some other styles in the near future.

(Sidenote: I've also tried Brooks' Fiona bra which got rave reviews from a bunch of people when I was still part of the Reddit xxfitness group on Facebook. As with many things that group recommends, I don't get the hype. The band was way less supportive, and the cups are a lot less comfortable - more smush than hold. I kept it since it's decent for lifting, but it does not provide the same high-impact support that the UpLift does.)

Chapped Lips
I've noticed with the last few races and runs is that my lips have been chronically chapped lately, and I feel like it has to do with running (I doubt the cold weather helped). I've been trying harder to put chap stick on them before and after running, but if anyone out there has any advice I'd appreciate it!

Side Stitches
To ride the Advice Train a little longer, I've been getting a side stitch on my right side every time I run. On my easy runs it will be a slight twinge and I can breathe through it and it goes away after about half a mile, but on my run today it hurt so badly that I stopped after 2 miles to walk for a bit. 1/10 of a mile helped (and I'll admit it was an intense run) but I'm sick of always getting these things, especially since I want to PR my 5k in June.

I feel like I've tried all the tricks: I make sure I'm hydrated and fueled (but not too soon before running), I breathe in and out on different steps, I exhale heavily when my left foot hits the ground. I supposed I could stretch more, but I don't think that's the issue.

So again...any advice is welcome.

I am (mostly) off the juice. Aside from one cup of black tea in the morning (I'm English and can't help it) and the occasional black chai or green tea, I have worked caffeine out of my system and routine completely.

I still drink coffee in the morning, but it's decaf. (Hush, you heathens who think decaf coffee is bad. It's just like all other coffee - if it tastes bad, it's because you're buying crappy coffee or you're brewing it wrong.) I drink coffee not out of habit, but because I love it, and I'm not giving it up because I don't want to drink caffeine.

If I'm going to a party and I want a little something, I splurge on a caffeine-free diet coke (even if it means I have to bring my own).

Need a boost in the afternoon? Fruit or nuts are my go to. I am saving caffeine entirely for my races this summer, and I want my body to react to it like a line of coke. Hopefully that's what happens!

Training Plan
Speaking of races...I love my training plan. I mean, I love looking at it. It's so pretty.
I'll share the actual plan closer to when I start, but look at how fun it looks! (She says before she has to do any of it.)

PRing my 5k
I've mentioned a few times that I want to PR my 5k on June 4th. I'm trying not to make too big of a deal about it in case it doesn't happen, but I did pay an extra $10 for a PR medal if I manage it (I know, I know, choruses of 'Hey, Big Spender' are going through your head).

Today I realized I'm an idiot and should look up an actual PR training plan. I'm going to check out the plans from 80/20 Running and see if I can fit one of them into the six weeks. I have about one minute to knock off my time (based on recent results) and I'm hopeful that I can do it. I hope.

I've put it here, so now I really have to try. *gulp*

I don't know about you, but I need a cute picture to help me recover from the nervousness that thought brings me:

Virtual Races
As of today, I have one virtual race left to complete! I don't know why I feel the need to mention it now, but I do! I used a run today (Thursday) for the Dementor's Kiss 5k, so all that's left is the Umbridge run!

I'm going to try to complete it this weekend (per the same plan as last weekend) since the next HRC race will be announced Saturday (at 5pm), so hopefully I'll have good news on that front soon :P If I don't manage it this weekend (because it does happen to be a fairly busy weekend), it will get done the following weekend. Yay for plans!

Corporate Challenge
So it turns out my company's Chicago office decided to fund the race this year. I totally get it...the Chicago office is market facing so it's a bigger deal to them to participate. I got half way through the sign-in before I decided to ask about busing to the event (in the past the company has bused participants from my office in the suburbs to the city) and was told that no bus would be provided. We'd have to carpool. Because of that I've decided not to participate.

Last year the ride took over two hours because there was a Blackhawks game the same night. Combined with the late start time (7:00 pm) and the drive back to the suburbs, I wouldn't get home until close to midnight, and my new job requires me to be at work at 7:00 am sharp. So I scratched the idea. I'm doing enough city races this year...I can totally pass and save myself the $50 this time around.

I think that's about it. I really don't have any more floating around in my head just now, so I will leave it there.

Oh wait, have another super cute dog picture from way back when I was watching the Olympic trials:

Peace out, and have a great rest of your week!


PS - I haven't updated my reading list because I'm still reading the same books. I will eventually finish them, and I will let you know when it happens ;)

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