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Runner Swag Swap!

22 Jul

There is almost not faster way to get me jumping up and down like a little kid again than to send me a surprise in the mail. I love getting “fun mail.” As an adult, getting bills in the mail is a regular thing, but every now and then, something fun arrives that makes me super excited!

Yesterday, FUN MAIL arrived! EEEEEEEK!

A while back, a fellow running blogger, Eat to run. Run to eat., hosted a runner swag swap. All you had to do was send Jerry an e-mail letting her know that you were interested and include your mailing address. She paired runners together to swap a gift box of runner goods! I thought it was such a fun idea, so I immediately signed up to participate.

Well, my swag from my partner arrived yesterday! SWEET!
Surprise Running Swag
I got:

I am so excited! I have never tried an official sport wash, but I have heard it really does the trick on getting the stank out of “long run clothes.” Also, the reflective bands come with PERFECT TIMING! With Hood to Coast coming up in only a few weeks, these will be ideal for wearing during night runs. I have a lot of running gear, but I was seriously lacking on reflective, safety gear, so these will definitely come in handy! And Gu products? You really can’t go wrong!

Also, my super awesome swag swap partner made me a great running mix! I can’t wait to check out these tunes and add them to my running playlist!
Runner Swag Swap

  1. “Intro” by the xx
  2. “Cracks” by Freestylers
  3. “Throwing Fire” by Ronald Jenkees
  4. “Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous
  5. “Life in Technicolor” by Coldplay
  6. “Move Away” by The Killers
  7. “Goodness Gracious” by Person L
  8. “19-2000 [Soulchild Remix]” by Gorillaz
  9. “We Owe This to Ourselves” by Anberlin
  10. “Watch the World” by Boxcar Racer

IF I can get my act together by Halloween, I mentioned to Jerry that I might be interested in hosting a swap on this blog. Things with the move and new house should be much calmer by then, so I don’t see why I couldn’t, but I’ll let you know as that time gets closer. 🙂

Speaking of new house…tomorrow is the BIG DAY! We were supposed to close this past Friday, but due to circumstances out of our control, the closing got pushed to tomorrow. I am so excited! I really don’t know what to do with myself! We are going to finally have a home! There are so may awesome things about our new house that I don’t even have the time to write it all out here, but suffice it to say…super amazing things lay ahead!

How is YOUR weekend going? Did you RACE this weekend? If so, how did you do?

Fastinistas, Stunners, Whatever You Want to Call Them – Just Call Them Athletes Too

25 Jul

I almost think it is ridiculous that I feel SO compelled to respond to this, but I just cannot let this one pass me by.

In the newest issue of Runner’s World, there is a very interesting article that explores the more fashionable side of women’s running. In short, the article is about how the look of women’s running attire is migrating from side split shorts and singlets to running skirts and brightly-colored arm warmers.

No big deal, right? Ha. Surprisingly, this issue is creating a lot of debate, and some of the comments are getting just down-right nasty.

For reference, I will give you my personal opinion. As long as you are appropriately covered, I do not care at all what you wear. All I ask is that you keep your lady-bits and man-stuff covered so that I don’t have to see them when running next to you. However, the color or pattern of the fabric you choose to do so is of no concern whatsoever to me. Whether you decide to color-coordinate or not is completely inconsequential to me and my personal performance. Will rocking a cute running skirt cause me to cringe and take you less seriously? Heck no. Odds are, you are still moving faster than me anyway. (And if you are dude in one, I might just give you a high five!)

Photo courtesy of Skirt Sports (Race Belt Skirt)

In general, my issue is not with the article. My concern was really over the comments left regarding this article. I was shocked at how negative some of these people (mostly women) were. And if you were one of those women and you have now somehow made your way to my little blog and are reading this, I have three words for you…SHAME ON YOU.

Here are some excerpts from just a few of the comments left on

“NO NO NO. As a woman I am sick and tired of being told to embrace my feminine side. Running is not about fashion, it’s about just running, or gutting out the 32k training run, or busting your butt at the track doing speed work, finding some inner peace on the trails, or just enjoying a run.” ~ himantura

“…and why would you feel bad about the way you look if your running? Let me guess, your casually jogging 3 times a week? and yes, I AM going there.” ~ CassC9

“Woo hoo look at MEEEE. I’m a middle child and didn’t get enough attention growing up.” ~ aponi

“i found this article to be extremely frustrating…it’s not enough to be out there logging the miles and setting new PR’s, now we have to be “stunners” too?” ~ themausischasingme

“This is what I get out of this article: women have a low self-image so they need to look “pretty” to get attention because they can’t do it on merit and are dumb enough to spend oodles of money to do so.” ~ sportbikeless

What is with these women?
What in the world has their runner panties in such a bunch that they have to be so unsupportive? Why be so negative? I just do not understand. Look, I get it if running skirts, arm warmers, and colored compression socks are not your thing…that’s totally fine. Just don’t buy them. But to rag on someone else because that is what makes them feel good? That is just immature and petty. We aren’t in high school anymore, ladies, and the elitist attitudes need to go…now.

Photo courtesy of Brooks Running (Infiniti Track Jacket)

I am a girl…a very girly-girl, in fact. I have a job that does not require me to dress up at all. However, I do so because I like it. I wear make-up, fix my hair, and wear cute tops…to a chemical plant…because I like it and that is what makes me feel good. The same is applied to my running clothes. I wear the “cute” clothes because I like them…not because I feel like I have some uber-girly sexpot image I have to live up to. When I get new running clothes that I like and make me feel good, I am more likely to wear them…usually meaning more/longer workouts, resulting in a higher weekly mileage. I don’t have a stank attitude when I see a woman running in cotton yoga pants and a t-shirt because that is her prerogative. Personally, I would die from heat in head-to-toe cotton, but whatever, as long as she is outside and exercising, more power to her. Oh, and the BEST part about these “cute” running clothes is that, not only are they attractive, but they are functional too! Best of both worlds! Why hate on that??

I think the comment that got to me the most was by CassC9. I mean, really, who the heck do you think you are? YOU are everything that is wrong here. You talk about the clothing being demeaning and demoralizing to women, but how about your attitude and the way you are look down on others? It is people like YOU that discourage others from taking up this sport or from even trying. If a cute outfit is the ticket to motivating a woman to get off the couch and start taking strides to improve her health and find her inner champion, than so be it. Shame on you for being so discouraging.

Photo courtesy of CEP Compression. I want every color!

I will have you know that while training for my marathon, I rocked cute outfits on every training run and race. And yes, now that I am pregnant and I am “only” a 3 to 4 time per week runner, I am STILL rocking my cute running clothes. And next year, after the baby arrives, when I start training for my first ultramarathon, I will be running proudly in my running skirts and arm warmers. Sorry, CassC9, it is time to step down from the high-horse and get over yourself.

And, last but not least, do I even need to mention Flo Jo? The woman ran with brightly painted talons and in one-legged track kits. And you know what else? She was also a world champion athlete. How about Venus Williams? While she is not a runner, she is a famous tennis player who is also known for her eclectic sense of style. Does the fact that she wears lacey or ruffled (sometimes both at the same time) outfits make her any less of a badass on the court? No, ma’am, it does not.

I think these female nay-sayers should be more concerned about their own training and performance and less concerned with the woman wearing a running skirt or tu-tu. Who knows, before too long, that tu-tu could be passing them by.

Call them fastinistas, stunners, or whatever else you want…but make sure you call those women “athletes” too.
What are YOUR thoughts on this?

Who wants to get mugged running? NOT ME!

7 Jul

Yesterday I heard some news that seriously bummed me out.

One of my favorite spots in the Red Stick to run is around the LSU Lakes. Its scenic, a great route, and occasionally you can catch a good breeze coming off the water. There is never a shortage of runners, cyclist, walkers, etc. catching some fresh air around the lakes. Well, that might be changing.

Apparently, some yahoos think it would be fun to start robbing people…at GUNPOINT around the lakes. And they must have some serious kahones too, because they are doing it at all times of day (from broad daylight to dusk). They are not targeting any one type of runner/walker, just people who are alone.

The other night, a lone male runner was robbed. The armed robbers must not have gotten their fill because they then went over to the Lutheran church near campus (who was kind enough to install a water fountain and misting system for all people enjoying the lakes to use) and robbed them too! C’mon! Who robs a CHURCH!? For crying out loud!

These are not the first two instances I have heard about trouble around the lakes. There have been rumblings of other robberies, and I, naively, continued running alone. You know, because I’m invincible. Surely this could never happen to me, right? Well, from now on, I am taking NO chances.

Here are some things I plan to do to try and minimize my chances of getting a gun in my face while running. These tips apply not only to areas that I frequent but really anywhere that you might decide to go and get your run on.

When I do decide to run alone (in my neighborhood), I plan on carrying pepper spray. That’s right. I might look like the crazy pregnant running lady wielding my pepper spray, but I don’t care. I am keeping me and Baby Key safe. I am warning you, if I have my headphones on, you better start yelling from a distance if you want my attention. Don’t go getting all crazy and come up behind me and tap me on the shoulder…unless, of course, you want to get sprayed.

Jogger Pepper Spray

Wear only one of my two earbuds. I should have been doing this all along, but it makes complete sense. Having only one earbud in allows me to still hear my music and keep my foot strike to the beat, but still allows me the safety of hearing cars, other runners/cyclists, dogs, or anyone trying to get my attention.

If running in places like the LSU lakes, trails, or anywhere else secluded, use the buddy system. Alright kids, I know it sounds juvenile and it sounds a little kindergarten-ish, but buddy up. I am not saying you have to hold hands and all that jazz, but there is safety in numbers. I have, so far, not heard of a group of runners/walkers, getting mugged…there is probably a reason for that. If you are in Louisiana, hop on Twitter and post with the #RunLA hashtag. There is bound to be someone who is free to go run with you! This is another reason I advocate group runs. No one is dumb enough to rob a MOB of runners.

Partners in crime! @adriennewraps

If you insist on running alone, freaking tell someone! It takes all of 2 seconds to call your mom, spouse, best friend or whoever to tell them where you’re going and about how long you will be gone. Heck, if you don’t feel like doing that, post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare to let someone (anyone) know where you are. That way, someone will know if you have been gone too long.

If you insist on running at night, make sure you are visible. Look, I know they are dorky, but go and get one of those reflective vests. Or, you could even be as cool as me and get yourself a fancy head lamp…and some neon. A little neon never hurt anyone.

Ain't no shame in my game! You like that crazy eye, don't you?

I know this gear does not register really high on the Scale of Cool, but getting hit by a car or kidnapped doesn’t sound really fun either.

Use your brain, people. If you are running/riding in an area and you are getting that bad juju feeling like something is just not right, listen to your gut and get out of there. It isn’t worth it. I know that as runners, we can be obsessive about making sure we get our training mileage in, but it is not worth getting a gun pointed in your face. Be smart!

What do you do to stay safe on your runs/rides? Do you encourage others to stay safe as well?

If it isn’t neon, it shouldn’t be on.

23 Jun

If you were following my Tweets today (and if you’re not following me, you should…just sayin’), you’ll know that I spent most of my day in training for work. At the end of the session, there was this “awesome” safety training rap video. Oh yes, you read that right. It had to have been STRAIGHT out of 1984.

While watching it my mind started to wander about all the cool things about the ‘80s. And then my mind jumped over to my FAVORITE thing about the ‘80s…NEON. When it comes to running clothes, if it isn’t neon, it shouldn’t be on. Yeah, I said it. That’s my motto and I’m sticking to it. No one is going to tell me neon isn’t cool. No one.

Here is just a sample of my neon running wardrobe. Its pretty spectacular!

Caution: Colors are brighter than they appear!

I firmly believe that dressing the part can aid in success…sort of how you can feel totally prepared for a work meeting in a new dress or a freshly pressed suit. For me, neon makes me feel fast (like lightning!) and when running a race, fast is always good.
Another reason I wear bright or neon running gear is because it makes me feel like I have to perform…like people might be watching. Think of it this way, if you show up to a race in head-to-toe neon yellow (which I have been known to do), you better not be coming in last. If you do, you will just look dumb. When you have the nerve to show up to an event rocking this look, you better be ready to crank out your best.

Last but not least, neon colors just make me happy. If I am going out to a sunny race, my neon makes me feel on my game and ready. If I am going out to a rainy race, my neon makes me feel like I am my own personal running sunshine.

Here are some new things that are on my wish list…

Brooks Nightlife Infiniti 1/2 Zip

Saucony Women's ProGrid Kinvara 2

CEP Running Compression Socks (Pink)

Call it tacky (lots of people do…you won’t hurt my feelings) or whatever you want, but my love of neon is here to stay. It works for me.

Is there something that you wear that makes you feel “on your game?” Do other people generally like it or do you get flack for it?