10 Fitness things I could not live without.

I thank goodness that I was born in such an amazing time, with such insane technology, that I can exercise pretty comfortably without injury ::knock on wood::.  HRG blogged on this a few days ago, and I just had to follow suit!  So I present to you, 10 fitness things that I Could not Live Without. 

1.  My iPhone. 

I don’t always listen to music, but I think the combo of the safety factor, music, apps, at the occasional Netflix when I’m stuck on the treadmill in the winter is really nice.  During the infamous Greensboro Marathon of ’13, I was able to call Austin (sobbing, mind you) that I was really sick, and that my finish would be later than predicted.  I thank God for that and that I didn’t have to worry him for hours.

2.  My Garmin.

photo 1Now of course, as soon as I started writing about this, my Garmin started acting really strangely, and at one point I thought it had completely died, but I used it yesterday, and I think it’s going to be okay for the next little bit here.  It needs to be okay because we just bought a house and that means you have to be really really smart with money for a second while you pay for this little thing that crops up, and that little thing that crops up.

3.  Not technically a fitness thing, but pedicures.  So, over the past few months, I’ve definitely dialed back on the pedis for money’s sake, but I went on Monday night to get a mani/pedi, and I forgot how good they are for the feet, and for the soul/sole.  Seriously, I forget that between teaching a LOT of classes a week, and trying to stay up with my running, your feet can use the help of a professional.  And that’s just what I did, especially since we were going to be taking our engagement photos.  It was awesome.

4.  Hydration things.  More specifically, the hydration backpack.  Yes, it looks really silly, and it kinda smells now that it’s been through some times with me, but I would never ever have survived a single North Carolina summer without it.  It’s convenient, it has a LOT of hiding places, and it frees up your hands to do things OTHER THAN grasping a water bottle.

5.  Good running shoes.  Thank God for the opportunity and the education I’ve been given on running shoes, because I think a good pair of running shoes can mean the difference between loving to run, and hating it because everything hurts and feels terrible while you run.  No, running shoes will not inherently make running amazing, but it makes the ride a little more enjoyable.

foam rolling

6.  The foam roller.  I think that there are some folks who still don’t really know what this thing is.  It is the most incredible little piece of equipment.  It’s cheap, and the best thing to do for sore muscles, pressure points, knots, or anything that comes up when you’re really feeling horrid.  And if you’re training for anything right now, you know that will happen.

7.  The treadmill.  Okay, okay, okay, hear me out okay?  Most of us runners refer to the treadmill as the “dreadmill” because of how boring it can be.  But it can be really really useful, especially when it’s really really hot, and really really cold.  (Anyone flashing back to the Polar Vortex of early ’14?)  There would have been no way, a few of those days, that I could have gotten a run in, and I would have gone crazy.  Especially the day when poor Austie was stuck on the road for like 6 hours trying to get home during the snow.  I needed an outlet for sure.

8.  Compression gear.  <-In general.  Compression socks.  Compression tights.  Will save your LIFE.  I started sleeping in compression gear during my first marathon and it heals.  I swear, it heals.

9.  Nuun, and other forms of electrolyte replacement that have  been invented that don’t contain corn syrup and Red 40.  This stuff is great to replace some of the stuff you sweat out, but also kind of great in real life.  You drank too much?  Nuun.  You have the flu and you can’t really eat anything?  Nuun.  You want to spice your water up and make it a little tastier and interesting?  NUUUN.

10.  Rundies.  Runderwear.  Banish them pantylines and they’re wicking.  You don’t have to go commando in your tights any longer folks.  Rundies are the way to go.  They’re expensive – but SO worth it.  I actually have started wearing them with regular things because of the lack of pantylines that is involved with them.  What a wonderful, wonderful invention.

What’s on your fitness must-have list?

Naked Running

So, one of the amazing perks of my new job is that during the day, when I’m working, I can typically take some time off and work out.  I’ve taken advantage of this in my first week, but surprisingly lately, the workouts haven’t included a ton of running.  Part of that is because of the temps here in North Carolina – the last two days have been beautiful, but on the whole, the summer has been oppressively humid, and it makes it really really discouraging when you look down at your watch, and you’re barely keeping it together for a 10:00 minute mile.  (The other part, is that with as much lifting as I’m doing, sometimes it’s hard to get the run in on big heavy lifting days.)

So over the past few days, it’s cooled down a considerable bit (it’s kind of hung around in the mid 80s for a while) and because of this, and the fact that I’m sort of sick of feeling like a slow poke according to my watch I’ve taken to doing a few “naked’ runs.  I keep my phone with me for safety’s sake, but no GPS, and only the time to kind of guide me to know how far I’ve gone.

Honestly, it’s been a little nice to just run, and get back to why I ran in the first place – because it felt good and felt natural.  Yesterday, I was running during work, and I just got to look around, enjoy some sunshine, and not get locked into the suck that your GPS can be.

So this week, I challenge you to  run naked like one time.  I know a lot of you guys are in your first weeks of marathon training, but take one of those days and just chill out!

Do you ever run naked? 

When do I?

P1020103This is Scott, over at One White Guy.  He’s a bestie of mine, and has been for like, 10 years now?  That makes me sounds really old, but I promise, I’m not.

Anyhoo, Scott suggested a really really good blog topic, so I credit this entire masterpiece that you’re about to get.  🙂

I’m a new runner.  When do I….

…Invest in “real” shoes?

photoThe first thing that you do, even if you don’t consider yourself a “real” runner (which I hate, if you run, you’re a “real” runner), is invest in a good pair of shoes.  When you go running in a crappy pair of shoes, and your feet throb after, you’re never really going to want to run again.  Reduce your chances of wanting to quit, and invest in a good pair as soon as you decide you’re going for a run.  Plus I think pretty new shoes are a great way to motivate yourself.

…Spend a good bit of money of a sports bra?

cb48f29e904411e392aa125441224967_7Well that really depends?  How big are are your breasts?  If you’re a smaller chested women, I’m thinking small C and below, you can get away with a perhaps, not as expensive bra, maybe like you’d find at a Target.  However, if you’re a mid C and above, or if you’ve ever had the experience of having to put two bras on, it’s time to drop some cash on a real bra.  Your nipples and your breast tissue will thank you when it’s not being chafed and stretched all over the place.

…Buy shorts/shirts (running apparel) other than the t-shirts/shorts I have in my drawers

IMG_1908This is one of those things that I think you can wait on, especially if you don’t have particularly sensitive skin.  Wear your t-shirts and shorts until you get sick of running around in sopping wet clothes, and invest in a few  pieces that you can reuse again and again.

…invest in a gps watch

Garmin 610This is one that can wait too.  I love love love my GPS watch, and I’m a big fan of Garmin and their products, however, with the advent of Smart Phones, generally there is some type of app you can download.  The app will not be as accurate (Garmin is accurate within 5 feet), and the life of the phone can be a lot shorter if you have a music app opened up along with a GPS app.  This is one of the products that is extremely useful, and luckily, Garmin has a few products that aren’t $400 that you can choose if you’re really in want of a GPS.

…Buy a pair of socks for $15/pair

unnamedThis is one of those that seems dumb (like who spends $12 on a pair of socks!) but once you make the jump from cotton socks to socks that are an acrylic blend, you won’t want to go back.

…Start taking Gu/nutritional supplements.

20 Mile NutritionAt the point at which you’re running for an hour or more, it’s time to explore the ideas of nutrition, especially if you’re a person who is sensitive to shifts in your blood sugar.  If you’re planning one of those longer runs, take one of these before (with a lot of water), and then one about every 45 minutes.  Experiment prior to a race situation because these things (some of them) have been known to cause stomach problems.  I avoid the ones with caffeine generally.

…Start carrying water. 

Same rules as nutrition.  If you’re running for over an hour, take water.  If it’s hot, take water.  If you’re just a thirsty lady or gent, take water.

Do you think I covered it all?  What other questions do you have?






Garmin 610 Surprise

Do you guys ever find out your technology can do something you didn’t know it could do?

With my Garmin, I learn something new like every day with that thing.

Garmin 610

So when I first got it two birthdays ago, I used to primarily to run, and nothing else.  Because I got it as a gift for my birthday, and I didn’t pay the $300 some-odd for it, it never occurred to me to use the crap out of it and get my money’s worth.  It wasn’t until I started training for my 789 half marathons I’m doing that I figured out I could use it for intervals, and a bunch of other cool stuff.

P1160237So over the weekend on Fripp, I got it in my head to get some beach cruisers so we could ride around, see the island some more, and get our exercise in for the day.

For some reason, it popped into my head that the Garmin 610 could be used for cycling as well.  I’m not sure where I’d heard that, because I never read instructions, but after literally like 30 seconds of playing with the watch, I figured out how to put it into cycling mode, and was able to use it while we cruised.  Now it was only a 5 mile ride, but it was awesome to be able to see what other amazing things the watch could do!

Ever found out that your technology can do something incredible?

Snow Day + Interval Training

The schools in our county are out again today, and I’m feeling for the teachers and parents, who I’m sure are going a little stir-crazy, but the side roads are still kind of sketchy.

So for those of you who are northerners that are reading, I am a transplant from Brooklyn, NY, and most of my family is either there or in New Jersey now. I know you guys might be dumbfounded on how 2-6″ of snow can cripple a state or a city like Atlanta, but very simply put, our secondary roads haven’t been plowed, and it makes it really dangerous for a lot of folks.

As far as Atlanta is concerned, Atlanta and the larger state of Georgia largely ignored the forecast, didn’t cancel schools prior to the weather event, and then everyone was released from work/government jobs/school at the same time, creating that horrific gridlock. One of my best friends had to sleep in a school. Thank you to all the teachers, the security guards, the bus drivers, and the cafeteria ladies that worked wayyy overtime to take care of folks, you are incredible. As for the higher-ups in that metro area, you get a HUGE side-eye from me for endangering literally millions of lives.

Moving right along. 

photo 1We actually got a decent amount of snow, and for someone like me, whose neighborhood is kinda woodsy and hilly, the ice is still pretty bad.  It’s also really annoying to try to get your dog to poop in the snow, fun fact.

photo 2So instead of going to work, I largely stayed in until I had to venture out for some soup and coffee.

photo 3So since the snow started on Tuesday night, I ended up taking a rest day on Tuesday because a lot of the gyms were closing early, and it just didn’t make sense to try and bang out intervals in the ice.  So yesterday night, I made myself a little cheat sheet, and ventured over to the gym to do some interval training.  But how was I going to do this distance interval without a track?

photo 4


Enter Garmin 610.  What good is a fancy watch if you don’t use all the features?  So I changed the distance interval to a timed one, and banged them out.  I honestly have never used the interval featured on the Garmin 610 because my training has been more about just getting mileage in and not necessarily focusing on strength or speed (not a great thing, because the end of a marathon gets ROUGH).   This time, I’m focusing on more than just the long run, and I’m sorta loving it.  The coolest thing about doing a timed interval is that you rack up some serious mileage without realizing – over the 6 intervals I managed to squeeze in 5 miles without like, staring at the distance ticker on the treadmill.  Very nice!

photo 5And after working out, the husband-to-be took me out for dinn, which consisted of a small salad and some sweet potato fries, one of my favorite indulgences!  Still fries, but not necessarily as bad for you as regular fries.

So folks, how are you making out with this weather?  Anyone still out of school today?  Anyone iced in?  Anyone perfectly dry?  




The best things ever.

photo (13)


Seriously, yesterday was an incredible day.  I’m finding that the more I choose to be happy, the happier I am, and yesterday, every little thing made me extraordinarily happy.

  1. The weather was gorgeous in North Carolina yesterday.  Seriously, it was like 60 degrees.  I was able to run 6 miles in shorts and a tank top.  Today, it’s supposed to snow.  Climate change at its absolutely finest.
  2. I forgot my Garmin charger in Florida.  Not the good part obviously.  But my sister sent it my way yesterday, which was perfect timing because I got the beeping sound of death that indicates your Garmin is fixin’ to die.  (Like the way I threw Southern lingo into there?)
  3. My sweet tooth was going nuts yesterday.  So I made an executive decision, stopped by the Harris Teeter on the way home, and bough this teeny tiny Ben and Jerry’s, pictured above.  It’s like a tiny taste of exactly what I needed, and it won’t ruin your life, as it comes in at 280 calories of cookie dough goodness.
  4. Apothic Red Wine.  Bought some of that too.  And drank some.  YUM!
  5. Gloves.  I was given some Columbia gloves as a gift.  Très necessary, as the temp plummeted from 60s to upper 20s as the evening went on.
  6. Glamour Magazine.  I love magazines.  If I could, I would have a subscription to Glamour, Rolling Stone, Elle, InStyle, Self, Shape, Women’s Health, Brides, Runner’s World, and Cosmo.  But there are only 24 hours in the day, and my bank account would be very upset if all I bought was nail polish and magazines like I want to.
  7. I made some time to clean!  So in between the baby ice cream consumption and a glass of vino, I was able to light candles, sweep, sprinkle some smelly stuff on the carpet, and vacuum.  There’s almost nothing that makes me happier than waking up in the morning to a clean space.

So, if you could have a subscription to any magazines, which ones would you have?

What things are making you happy today/this week?

Run Hack! #runhack #lifehack

Run Hack! #runhack #lifehack

I am so excited to share my latest run hack with you guys – something to make your life a little easier. So, especially in the winter, standing around and waiting for my Garmin to hook up to the satellites is one of THE most annoying things ever. So to save time, I’ve been punching the watch, and setting it on the window sill to hook up with that satellites while I get dressed. By the time I’m ready to run, I go, and sometimes I’m literally able to run out the door, especially on days when I’m on a time crunch and I’m running with only minutes to go before work.

Hope this little hack saves you some time.  What are some of your running time savers?  

Jingle Ball!

Before we get started, a moment of reflection for Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95.

When I was watching coverage about his passing on CNN, a few things really struck me.  One, all the video they showed of him, he was smiling and dancing, which is exactly how I’m sure he would have like to be remembered.  And the second thing came this morning, where a friend of Nelson Mandela’s stated that he didn’t view this loss as Mandela’s death, but as freeing his spirit from an ailing body.  I just love that.


The man also never ages.  I was watching video from his 90th Birthday party, where my favorite fellow Jew, Amy Winehouse, performed, which was right after she’d won a bunch of Grammy Awards.  I loved the video because you’ve got Mandiba, who at the time is 90, and is watching this little squirrel of a jazz singer scurry all over the stage.  At one point, you see an aid of Mr. Mandela’s sort of motion toward Amy and try to explain what she is.  It’s so cute.

But really, nothing I can say here will do Nelson Mandela any justice.  He was, and is a beautiful spirit.

Now, speaking of some beautiful spirits – The Jingle Ball last night in Raleigh.  So, I talked about it  before, but basically, the Jingle Ball is a beautiful ball, and the price for admission is a child’s toy, valued between like $20 and $30.  So me, Austin, and my friend Kim from undergrad orchestrated an evening where I was still able to run, teach my class, shower at the gym, and still get to the ball with plenty of time to party and dance.

This isn’t even all of the toys collected. The mountain was so huge, I had chills just looking at it.


Rocky Top Catering did the food, there were free drinks, and the DJ was so bomb, that I got his card for our wedding.  I saw everyone that was anyone in Raleigh, realtors, everyone from run club (cause runners are amazing nice people, duh), and a few folks from my job.  The best part of the night happened when the DJ proposed to his girlfriend on stage, stating “Baby, we’re not going ring shopping this weekend.” CAUSE HE ALREADY BOUGHT THE RING OMGOMGGOMG!



The second best part of the night, other than getting to dance it away with my future husband and good friends was when I realized that with my beautiful and expensive ModCloth dress, I had completed the look by forgetting and leaving my Garmin on my wrist.  So as the night was wrapping up, I made sure I took a pic in my beautiful dress (that had pockets and a stunning neckline and garnered a million compliments) and my Garmin 610.  Happy Holidays!

Running Naked

I’m engaged! Wooo!  (My mom already asked me if we’ve set a date and we’ve been engaged for literally 8 minutes).

Onto the stuff! Aside from your sports bra, I feel like your GPS watch can be one of the most important tools you have.  It tracks pace, distance, and all that good stuff that become paramount during marathon training.  I actually cried when I got mine as a gift last birthday because I was so overjoyed to, one, be in possession of such a tool, and 2, have gotten it for free (that ish’s spensive, y’all!)

So I think I told you guys, the wristband on my Garmin 610 had fouled up back before I ran the marathon in March, and Garmin sent me a little replacement kit, no problem, just in time for my marathon.  So imagine my surprise when I looked down at my wrist before Zumba last week, and the wristband was starting to pull away from the watch again?!  I called Garmin, sat on hold for 10 years, and explained to them what was going on.  I love the watch, but this just won’t work.

Garmin 610

“Maybe you have a thin wrist.”

Dude. I love my Garmin, but the techies over there should have figured out by now that runners, a lot of us, are thin-wristed little birdies.  But, all of that aside, they agreed to send me a refurbed watch sometime soon.  So over the next week or so, I’ll be “running naked,” training by mapping out my distances ahead of time, and running without any true indication of pace.  That’s okay, I think it’s dangerous to get totally locked in to staring at your watch, but I miss it dearly.  I’ll be on the lookout for the mailman every day til that watch shows up!