Archive | July, 2013

The Booby Trap

25 Jul

The sports bra is an interesting contraption. I can’t say I hate it, because of course it serves a great purpose, but I certainly can’t say that I love it. It’s fraught with issues. Two issues really: 1. Getting it on. 2. Getting it off.

It needs to be tight enough to do its job, I get that, but that means that a certain amount of wriggling needs to take place just to get the sucker into the right location. Add in a summer day where you’re already a touch damp and sticky and you feel like you’re trying to stuff yourself into some sausage casing. Sometimes just getting into my sports bra seems workout enough.

Then you go out for your run, and if you’re anything like me, you return looking like someone sprayed you down with a garden hose. So not only is the sports bra snugly in place, it’s also slightly adhered to you. Then add in the fact that you’re tired, you’ve just used your energy completing your run. You have to harness every last bit of strength you have to wrestle yourself out of the booby-trap. Some days I admit defeat, mostly out of fear that I will throw my back out, and Alex has to rescue me.

There are absolutely the getting yourself in and out issues involved with the sports bra, there are also the options. Every brand has one; you can buy Nike, Reebok, lululemon, Old Navy or Gap, C9 for Target. Then within each brand there are mega-support versions, ones that provide so little support that I wonder what the point is, fashion styles (I suppose for the folks who are willing to take off their shirts), and even padded options. That last one blows my mind. Padded sports bras, because, we aren’t just running, we’re getting noticed… or something.

Oddly enough, my favorite sports bra is a padded one, but the padding is removable and comes out the minute the bra enters my house. My favorite is the Women’s Active by Old Navy Padded Sports Bras I think I have four of them at this point. I like them because they are comfortable, don’t quite require a crane to get you out of it, they come in a ton of whacky color combinations and most importantly, you can usually get them on sale for 2 for $20.

I LOVE this pattern!

I LOVE this pattern!

Note: That is not me, so far the only reason I’ve found for me to be outside in just a sports bra is when my shirt is required to clean up my knee.

Which is your favorite booby holding contraption?

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I Get Knocked Down, but I Get Up Again

24 Jul

Ok, I guess I wasn’t “knocked down” exactly. I tripped. But the down part is spot on, I was down. On the ground. The ground and I became acquainted, and judging by my newly skinned knee and the bruises, I don’t think the ground was too happy to meet me.

Alex and I went out for a 4-miler last night. The run was going really well, we were doing 2-minute walk/8-minute run intervals and felt strong. We went our usual route through South Philly, and had just passed Pat’s and Geno’s. We were almost to the 2-mile-turnaround point when suddenly I was falling. The sidewalk was just the tiniest bit un-level and my shoe grabbed. I tried to steady myself but it was too late, so I focused on staying loose. They say that you are more likely to break something in a fall if you tense up. So my thoughts alternated between: “stay loose, don’t tense up” and “this wouldn’t have happened if my feet weren’t so freaking big.”

There I was, face down on the ground, Alex standing there looking down at me, asking “are you alright!?” with panic in his voice. I thought about it for a second, took mental inventory of my appendages and decided I was all right and I should probably get off the ground. After standing up to further assess things I saw that I had skinned my knee, and felt a stiff ache in my right arm. Not too terrible I thought, but still, I was bleeding, so we were going to have to do something about that. Alex asked if I wanted to go back to the drug store for supplies, and I decided that wasn’t necessary, but did wish I had some tissues or napkins. Then I remembered that I use my shirt when I’m out running for sweat wiping and nose blowing (I know, running is gross), so what’s a little blood! Alex offered his shirt, which in retrospect would have made more sense, he was wearing a red shirt and I was rocking a light green one. But whatever, we made do; I stood on the sidewalk in my sports bra, cleaning blood off my knee.

Once the bleeding was under control, and I moved my arm around a bit to make sure it wasn’t screaming with pain, I had a decision to make. I could walk the most direct route home, I could take the cab that Alex offered to hail for us, or I could keep running. I put my shirt back on, and told Alex that we were finishing this run. As we got back to the house I realized how far I’ve come in life, to not only be out there running, but to fall, skin my knee and bruise my elbow, and just keep going.

And since you already have the song stuck in your head, I invite you to get your groove on, Happy Wednesday!

And another thing…

21 Jul

The other day I wrote a post about all of the signs around the Main abode that say “We workout… no, really, a lot.” But I forgot to mention one particular thing that really sticks out:

Medusa: The Lamp

Medusa: The Lamp

The five-headed lamp in our living room, that I affectionately refer to as Medusa, has become a hanging post for my hydration belt and iPhone armband.

How Do You Know?

20 Jul

You’ve seen them. The men running shirtless and the ladies rocking nothing but running shorts and a sports bra who look as though they’ve been exercising since roughly about the time that they exited the womb. And I know you’ve also seen the other camp, the folks running without their shirts on who make you think, in your kindest, well meaning-est, non-judgemental-est way possible: please, dear lord, put your shirt back on.

Whenever I see the people who are bold enough to run outside sans shirt I always wonder, “how did they know that they could/should run without their shirt on?”

I’ve never gone shirtless, though the extreme temperatures outside are awfully persuasive to head in that direction. I keep wondering if I’m there yet, have I lost enough weight, is my stomach flat enough, you know, the general insecurities. I wear bikinis to the beach, sure, but does that mean that I should be hitting the streets of South Philly in my sports bra?

I think there are a lot of factors at play. Some of these folks are probably proud of how they look and want to show it off, or they’re comfortable in their skin, or they’re self-confident and don’t care what others think about them at all. Or like me, they’re just sweltering.

So I’m posing the question, do you run sans shirt? If so, what got you to make the topless decision?

Running for Office

19 Jul

booker 4

Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, NJ, is running for US Senate. He announced his candidacy for the special election that was called after the incumbent, Frank Lautenberg, passed away in June 2013. Since then he’s been hitting the campaign trail. While he has of course participated in the usual campaigning events, press conferences, fundraisers, speaking engagements and the like, he’s also trying out a new model: Run With Cory.

This is a pun-ny girl’s dream come true. “Running for office.” “Hitting the campaign trail.” “Senate Race.” I mean, could it get any better? Probably not. But that’s not the point (even though I do love it), the point is that in addition to thinking that Mayor Booker is a great candidate for Senate, I also LOVE this campaign move. I’ve never heard of another candidate encouraging people to get out and show their support AND get active.

It makes perfect sense. He has supported Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative since its inception in 2010. He launched Let’s Move! Newark to combat childhood obesity in his city, and expanded it in 2011 to include a 4-month get-moving challenge for kids in the Newark public school system.

The Run With Cory event in Camden started at 8:15 on Wednesday night, at the corner of Park Avenue and Euclid Street. It was kicked off with greetings from Camden’s Mayor, Dana Redd, and pop music set the mood before Mayor Booker arrived. The crowd moved in close when Mayor Booker arrived, and broke out into dance. It was apparent that he was excited to be there, and to personally engage with the crowd (seriously, he was grooving with the old ladies and little kids alike).

booker 1

Before starting out on our jog he addressed the crowd. His message was one of change, and hope. He highlighted the progress that he’s made in Newark, and promised to bring this change to Camden. He pledged that Camden would one day be a city that other cities look up to, but that in order to do that , “we need to keep moving.” He highlighted the challenges that Camden faces, especially those related to food and nutrition and education. He admitted that there were hills to climb, but said that there are great days ahead. He wrapped up his speech with the message “the people who sweat together, stick together.”

The crowd, including myself, my husband, and our good friends-in-fitness, Elise, Sophia and Laura (thanks for telling us about this event!), moved to the street to get our groove on. Mayor Booker and Mayor Redd led us in the Cupid Shuffle, and once everyone had gotten their fill we hit the road. The run was only a mile, which felt like the right distance to be inclusive of everyone, no matter their fitness level. At the start line, finish line, and mid-point there were bottles of water for participants to help combat the heat. The mid-point water station was absolutely adorable, they had kids with coolers cheering us on and handing out bottles of water.

booker 2

At the “finish line” Cory addressed the crowd again. He thanked everyone for coming, and reiterated his excitement for the opportunity to represent New Jersey as a whole. He wrapped it up with a promise to be seen pounding the pavement in Camden once he is elected.

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I’m not a New Jersey resident, so I cannot vote for Cory in this election. But if I could, I would. For more information on his campaign, his platform, the election, and the success he’s had in Newark please visit: http://www.corybooker.com/

Note: Yesterday I posted a Throwback Thursday photo of me four months ago. See any difference between now and then?

Throwback Thursday: Big Changes

18 Jul

This week’s throwback isn’t that old. It was taken this past St. Patrick’s Day. But what it lacks in age, it makes up for in impact. This is my “before” picture (I’m on the left, the fabulous lady on my right is my cousin).

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Come back tomorrow to see what I look like today, and to hear about my running adventure with Newark Mayor Cory Booker!

You Know You Live in an Active Household When…

17 Jul

This morning I was perched in my favorite blog writing spot, AKA: the middle of my couch, and I started to take note of the clues that Alex and I are active people lying around our living room. From the minute you walk through our front door it’s apparent that we’re not casually active, we mean sporty business.

In our living room we have:

• Alex’s soccer bag, it’s permanent home is in the living room by the front door

• A pile of cleats and shin guards

• More sneakers than regular shoes

• Two bikes

• Two bike helmets

• Extra sneakers, you know, just in case, in the front room closet

In our kitchen we have:

• More reusable water bottles than…actually there isn’t a good analogy for that…I don’t know, more than a store that sells reusable water bottles?

• Peanut butter, almond butter, soy milk, and other chock-full-of-protein treats

• Sports drinks in the fridge for long runs and 90 minute soccer games

• Whole wheat pasta, wraps and bread for carb fueling

• Fresh fruits and vegetables and a pill-box that would rival your grandma’s chock full of vitamins

In our hamper we have:

• More sports attire than street clothes

• More athletic socks than regular socks

Some days (if you broke in or something, not if we invited you over, I mean, we do clean for guests) you’d find running shirts and sports bras strewn across the banister because they’re too damp from the heat and humidity to go directly into the hamper.

Somehow, some way, we seem to have progressed from occasional worker-outters into pretty-darn-close-to full on athletes.

What clues have you noticed in your life let you know that your house has taken a backseat to your hobby?