Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What Not To Wear: Episode 3

Why not make it a series? I had yet another wardrobe malfunction. This came about during a very innocent 3-mile reintroduction to running. (I've done mostly swimming, spinning and race walking over the last several weeks.) On Friday evening after work I headed out for a quick 3 miler.

I will say that allergies are kicking my a$$ lately and I've been a coughing, sniffling, inhaler-sucking mess. Attractive, yes? So I had that working against me so I was already uncomfortable before my wardrobe issues began.

I almost always wear a FuelBelt. I don't care how short the distance, I like to have water with me. Also, especially during allergy season, I need to carry a rescue inhaler with me, just in case. I've been wearing this same FuelBelt for years and it really feels like an extension of my body. I hardly even notice its there...until it does something weird. Like ride up.

Every time I started to run, that darn thing would start to inch up from my hips to my waist to finally acting as a shelf for the girls. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Usually I mess with it for the first couple of yards of a workout to make sure I get it in the right place (I wear mine low on my hips) but even after stopping and readjusting, I couldn't get that thing to stay.

Here's my theory. I was wearing RaceReady capris. I've only worn them a handful of times because I got them at the end of "capri season." The few times I've worn them, I was most definitely not wearing my 2012 Disney 1/2 Marathon race shirt. Both the capris and the shirt are made out of technical fabric but are of the "slippery" variety. I think the combination of the shirt and the capris was slippery and made my FuelBelt not want to stay in place.

I wore the FuelBelt the very next day for 12 miles and didn't have any issues so I'm going to say that the conclusion of this episode of What Not to Wear is that I cannot wear that shirt with those capris. Now I know....and so do you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What Not to Wear: Episode 2

My clothing incident from last weekend got me thinking about some of my other wardrobe malfunctions.

I think by far the worst was during the Emerald City Quarter Marathon last year. I have a favorite sports bra that I absolutely love but haven't been able to find anything that I like equally so that bra is pretty gnarly looking. I finally did some online research and found the exact same bra and ordered it. Following my own advice of "nothing new on race day," I wore the bra for a couple of trainings outside and it worked fine.

Then the humidity hit. If you remember, it was crazy humid during that event. There was no air movement for the first couple miles. I didn't mention it in my race recap because it was kind of embarrassing at the time. ( Now I figure, why not embarrass myself and my loved ones by talking about my gross marathon side effects on the internet. ) The bra started to bug me in that first mile. I thought maybe the band was twisted and not laying flat on my body. I started to mess with it a little around mile 2, trying not to look like I was fondling myself. I gave up and forgot about it. It wasn't painful, I just knew something wasn't quite right.

Once I got home and climbed into the shower. I am not kidding when I say that I yelped and instantly had tears in my eyes when the water hit my skin. Further investigation of the "sports bra area" revealed that I was bleeding. That damn sports bra had rubbed all the skin off a very sensitive area. I had to wear band aids for several days while the skin healed! I was explaining my troubles to The Pilot (who doesn't race with the exception of two 5ks we did together) and he looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. That same look I get from people when they find out that marathons sometimes lose their toe nails. The "why on Earth would anyone want to inflict these injuries on themselves" look. This is most definitely not a glamorous sport.

Once healed, I tried the bra a couple more times thinking maybe it was destined to be a really short distance bra....like just wear it for a couple miles during the week at the gym. But I discovered I simply cannot sweat in that bra. I'm not sure what's different about that bra because the old one still doesn't give me any trouble. I can't wear the newer one for even a mile on the treadmill without getting really uncomfortable. I had to cut a workout short one day because I could feel it rubbing again and I certainly didn't want to end up wearing band aids on the girls again. So it was off to the donation pile for that one and I'm back to wearing the old standby.

If you have any recommendations for a good sports bra, please comment!! That old standby bra is on its last legs and I really need to find something else that works. And please don't suggest the cheap C9 Champion from Target. They just don't "hold up" if you know what I mean. I need the "high impact" variety. I tried a few on at the store the other day and had a slight hissy fit in the dressing room. Whomever designed a sports bra with seams running along the middle of the cups certainly isn't an endurance athlete. Seams are the devil for endurance athletes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Adventure

When people find out that the husband is a pilot, I usually get this in response: "Oh that's so cool. I bet you get to fly anywhere you want for free!" Um, not so much. While we technically can fly for free on his airline, it has to be done as standby. And guess what! The economy kinda sucks and airlines are struggling (and who isn't) so they aren't offering as many flights. That means the number of empty seats is limited. Since I met The Pilot, we were able to visit friends in DC and he has been able to jump seat on trips where I have purchased a ticket. We have also tried to visit DC before and weren't able to get on the plane. No seats. My point of this is that the life of a aviation family really isn't that glamorous or cool. The biggest perk of the job is that The Pilot loves to fly. I have a husband who enjoys his job (most days). End of story.

So our aviation adventures are pretty limited, but earlier this week The Pilot was home and he got a phone call from a former co-worker. This person had started a new job with a company that provides flight training for different airlines, including training for business jets (as opposed to the airline jet that The Pilot flies). They have flight simulators for the different kinds of aircraft. The Pilot's former co-worker was still learning to operate the flight simulator and the best way to learn how it all works is to have someone actually flying the simulator. Enter The Pilot. He played guinea pig while the other guy created bad weather and made the plane malfunction. Then The Pilot had to figure out what to do. They were probably both geeking out about the opportunity. I know The Pilot was especially because it was a chance to "fly" a Cessna Citation X, which I guess is the fastest civilian aircraft.

I was wrapping up my work day when The Pilot sent a text and asked if I wanted to fly it too. Sure, why not. Never mind the fact that I used to operate the Star Tours ride at Disney World (ahhh my college days!) and motion simulators make me nauseous. That just added to the adventure of it. The Pilot was probably silently praying that I wouldn't throw up in front of his buddy.

It sort of looks like some kind of lunar rover....or a fancy Lego.
But what do I know, I work at a desk all day.
There wasn't time to show me all the the bells and whistles but I did get to take the controls to take off, fly around and land. I will say I had a pretty smooth landing. I may or may not have flown into restricted airspace at the Nation's Capital and might have knocked off the top of the Washington Monument during my landing into DCA but my passengers would have enjoyed the smooth landing.

I've got this.

Something is wrong with this picture. I shouldn't be second in command.
I'm the captain of this ship yo! ;)
Thank you for flying Gym Class Dropouts airlines. We don't have peanuts or Biscoff but that was one smooooooth landing now wasn't it??
After I was successfully nauseous, we got to take a tour of the facility (mostly other simulators and classrooms). It was pretty cool to see how they teach the different aircraft. (Pilots come to this place already knowing how to fly in general. This is where they go to learn the ins and outs of a specific plane). So while I didn't get to "fly anywhere I wanted for free," this was definitely something I would have never had the chance to do if The Pilot wasn't a pilot. Fun times.

And don't worry, there were no protein spills. My WDW friends will get a kick out of that term!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Not To Wear: Episode 1

Over the years I have found there are certainly articles of clothing I cannot wear while training. Sometimes I know right away, while trying something on in a store. Other things will work for short workouts but not when I'm in for a long haul. For the most part I know what works and what doesn't but every once in awhile I will run into something that worked for awhile and simply stopped working or after a certain amount of miles will start driving me bonkers or will cause bodily harm.

That's what happened on Saturday. I was coaching my Team in Training walkers (May is race month!). It was pretty chilly when we got started (upper 30s-lower 40s I think) so I had on a long sleeved technical shirt and a light weight jacket. Both things I have worn before. I know I've worn the shirt for long distances but I'm not sure about the jacket. I honestly didn't think much of it when getting dressed. We had 10 miles scheduled and while it's been awhile since I've walked that far, I just didn't really think about it. The Goofy Challenge and really the full marathon distance has warped my definition of "far." Ten miles is far! So is 20 but I need to remember not to underestimate that 10 miles is still far! And I need to think through the clothing I'm wearing for the distance I plan to travel.

Anyways, I didn't notice any issues throughout the 10 miles other than allergy season has slapped me across the face and I spent 10 miles sniffling and coughing. When I got home, I took a shower and noticed that the back of my neck was burning when the water hit it. Weird. I thought maybe I just scratched my neck when messing with my pony tail (it happens). After getting dressed, I noticed the collar of my shirt felt like it was really rubbing the back of my neck. I got a mirror and looked at the back of my neck. There was a red mark, about 2 inches wide across the back of my neck. I couldn't really tell if it was a scratch or what so I just went about my business, thinking briefly that it may have been raw from the jacket I wore during the 10 miler.

My family was together for Easter so I asked my mom to take a look because The Pilot was working (she's a nurse so it's not at all weird that I'm in my 30s and asking my mom to check out my rash). She confirmed that it was in deed rubbed raw. The jacket. Ten miles in the jacket.

So I have found that I can't wear that jacket for long distances. Since I didn't notice it rubbing at all, I may not be able to wear it for short distances either. I don't usually wear it to train in because I have another light weight jacket that is also water proof that I tend to wear more often. So I think this jacket may be worn for casual purposes and Team functions only. Boo!

The jacket taking a tour of the San Diego bay before the San Diego Rock'n'Roll Marathon with Team in Training in 2011.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grown Up Water Wings

With just about 2 months until my triathlon I figure its time to start getting serious about this swim. I've done the distance multiple times so I'm not really worried about it (I know I'm not going to drown) but I'd also like to not have to use every swim stroke known to man just to get it done. You know, I'm tired so I think I'll do a side stroke. I just got kicked in the head so I think I'll do the back stroke now. I'm getting lapped by the old men who started after me so I think I'll doggy paddle for a few minutes. The goal is to swim freestyle for the entire 1/2 mile. We'll see how that goes on race day but in the mean time I think I will train.

I got in 1600 yards (roughly a mile, depending on who you ask on the interwebs) a couple days ago and another on tap tonight after work.

Also, this gem was shipped to my office last week.
This is the Xterra Vortex. Sounds fancy? Hopefully it makes me faster. Anyways...Team in Training is providing tri suits (more on that once it arrives) instead of wet suits this year so I decided to buy a new wet suit to hopefully race in. I have a wet suit from a couple years ago but it had long sleeves and it was so uncomfortable that I never actually raced in it. I think I did 3 open water swims in it and gave up. I thought I'd give wet suits another chance but opted for the sleeveless version so hopefully it doesn't impede in my awesome swim skillz. (Insert LOTS of sarcasm). Bonus, this sucker will keep me more buoyant in the water. This is the grown up version of water wings. It's also race legal (as long as the water temps aren't too high).

I thought about trying it on for my co-workers but that might be a little awkward. So instead, I tried it on in the privacy of my own home while The Pilot was away. I didn't want anyone laughing at me as I tried to shimmy myself into it. These things really should come with some Crisco and maybe one of those shoe horn things. Something else to note is you probably shouldn't try on a new wet suit after you have eaten a rather large Easter feast and have been munching on Reese's eggs all afternoon. But for the sake of the blog, I documented the new water wings.

To make it easier to get my feet through the leg holes, a Target bag and a World Market bag came in handy. This is a legit technique people.
Things got ugly for a little while and I was starting to wish that The Pilot was around to help pull up the wet suit. Several four letter words flew and some grunting was involved but I got it up and zipped. Then I instantly transformed into a super hero. I really need to find myself a cape.
If only one could wear a wet suit under a tight dress. This is the ultimate body control gear. I couldn't help but think of the scene from Steel Magnolias when Dolly Parton is saying she hasn't left the house without lycra since she was 16. "It's like two pigs fightin' under a blanket!" Darn You Tube for not having that clip.

Anyways, back to the wet suit. So far, I only have one issue with this wet suit. I must have a beefy neck or something because this thing is tight around my neck. I'll have to go on a crash diet/exercise program designed to lose an inch in just my neck. Or I'll just have to wait until I get a chance to do an open water swim and see if I get used to it. I hope I do because otherwise, the wet suit does fit and despite my tendency to dramatize, it was relatively easy to get on and it came off pretty quickly also. So here's to hoping this thing helps me cruise along during the swim portion of this tri....if not, I can always use it as full body Spanx. I am going to be a bridesmaid in the fall...I bet I could totally wear this under my dress to hold it all in. What do you think? I just need a bouquet and I'm good to go.
P.S. I have one theory about the neck of this wetsuit. Just like with shape wear, the junk has to go somewhere. And if it can't fit in the trunk, it must have gotten pushed up around my neck. Not a flattering visual but hey, I'm nothing if not dramatic.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spin for a Cure

The Pilot and I participated in one of my teammates' fundraisers yesterday, Spin for a Cure. It was a 90 minute spin class led by Tim, our local TNT chapter's cycle coach. You know the guy, he's the one who likes to torture me. It was all for a great cause though. And was a great way to kick my butt into gear. It was also The Pilot's first spinning class. He held up well once he got the hang of how to increase and decrease the resistance on the bike. He survived and still loves me.....can't you tell??
It was definitely a team affair with lots of alumni and current participants joining in on the fun.
There's Lisa and Marcia having fun in the back.
Tim....you are starting to look a little blurry. Is that normal? Maybe it's all the sweat in my eyes. Thanks for leading a great class for a great cause!