A few of my favorite things, part 1: my running skirt!

As my training group finished our long run this morning, the girls asked about my skirt.  It’s not surprising, I get comments all IMG_4829[1]the time about “how cute that skirt is” or that I always look so perfect when I run.”  My love of the skirt began when I began running.  It’s hot enough in Dallas for long enough that you can’t get away with wearing very much clothing, so capris or long pants were out.  However, being sixty pounds overweight leads to what I affectionately refer to as “chub rub.”  Thighs that rub together with enough friction that, without the addition of all that sweat, I’d probably start a forest fire!  Shorts were just out of the question.  They didn’t cover the necessary body parts and rode up.  Nothing says sexy more than digging shorts out of your crotch while running.

I must have tried every manufacturer of running skirts before it was over with.  Some had shorts that weren’t long enough, some didn’t give enough stretch around the midsection and just looked awful on a body that was changing with every run.  A couple had that annoying glue stuff on the inside of the legs to keep the shorts from riding up.  That would be great, but I spent the whole run messing with the because they felt like they were digging in to my thigh.  Most didn’t include pockets!  They all ended up on ebay before it was over with.

I discovered SkirtSports from an online forum of runners.  I checked it out, bought one and I became an instant convert!  I literally do not go on a run without a skirt now.  I love that the gym girl ultra version hits at the perfect length for my fairly short legs.  It’s not so long that it cuts me in half.  The shorts have just enough compression to stay put and not ride up.  I can wear my skirt for twenty miles and the legs are never a concern for me.  The material of the skirt is stretchy enough that it accommodates the movement of running and is forgiving if I have eaten a cupcake or two and put on a few pounds.  I run with my inhaler without fail because my asthma is no joke, but those inhalers are a pain to run with because they don’t always fit in a pocket of a hydration belt or the pockets in most shorts, but SkirtSport Gym Girl Ultra skirts have a pocket on each leg of the shorts.  The pocket holds my inhaler perfectly and it has never shimmied its way out.  The second pocket I use to hold my iPhone, which has a case that keeps my drivers license, insurance card and a debit/credit card for mid-run emergencies.  It slides right into the pocket and lays flat against my leg so that it doesn’t bounce or swing around and, even better, the skirts come with a small reinforced hole at the hip to thread your earbuds through.

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 The colors and prints for the skirts are bright and fun and include enough variety that you can match almost any top with your skirt.  I will confess to maybe going a little overboard, but I really just love them all and want to get the newest prints, so I may have a few… 😉  That being said, these skirts are also indestructible.  I have had a few skirts for years and they still look new, despite all of the trips through the washing machine.

If cost is a factor, the company is great about sending out discount codes on their facebook page and email list, and a few times a year they mark these beloved skirts down big time!!  You can occasionally find the skirts at local running stores, but I prefer to shop online at skirtsports.com because there is more variety.

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Asian Noodle Salad with Grilled Chicken

My husband made the best tasting grilled chicken salad the other night.  It was the perfect mix of tangy and sweet and savory and the calorie count was perfect, since I am still trying to lose those last pounds that have made best friends with my body over the years.  This is his recipe, thrown together…  As I am not a professional recipe writer, I hope this recipe is fairly easy to follow…

Asian Noodle Salad with Grilled Chicken

Asian Noodle Salad with Grilled Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp ponzu
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Cut chicken into 4 oz. portions.  Mix all of the ingredients (except the chicken) in a bowl and then place the chicken into the mixture to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Then mix the following ingredients together in a separate bowl:

  • 2 fl. oz rice vinegar
  • 1 fl. oz toasted sesame oil
  • 10 grams garlic
  • 10 grams fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

Set aside.

Grill the chicken, allow to cool and then cut into small strips suitable for a salad.

To build the salad, you will need the following:

  • 150 grams rice noodles, prepared according to the instructions and allowed to chill
  • 75 grams blanched snow peas
  • 15 grams green onion, chopped
  • 12 grams fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 10 grams pickled carrots, julienned

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl with the dressing made earlier.  Coat everything thoroughly.  Separate the noodle salad onto three plates and then place a third of the chicken on each plate on top of the noodles.

 

The nutritionals, per serving:432 calories, 14 g. fat, 3 g saturated fat, 122 mg cholesterol, 271 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 2 g dietary fiber, 35 g protein.

Not so patiently waiting for the FedEx guy…

erin condrenNow I sit (not so) patiently waiting for my new paper planner to be delivered. I’m a paper-girl at heart. I have tried to embrace the electronic calendar on my phone, but dang it’s just not working. I realize that’s it causing all kinds of silliness in my life with various scraps of paper floating through my purse, so while I will continue to capture stuff electronically so the important appointments are communicated to the rest of the family, I ordered a new Erin Condren Life Planner. I haven’t used this particular planner before, but everyone who has one is a fanatic. I can finally wrangle all of my post-it notes with daily to-do’s and bill payment reminders and party invitations into one spot and also capture all of my exercise classes, dance classes and planned runs. I placed my order a solid two weeks ago and it was heavenly to see the email notification that it had been shipped Friday night. I feel like a kid at Christmas time waiting for Santa to slide down the chimney… Stay tuned for my obsession to begin… 🙂

My first training run back after injury

145 days til race day!!

The aggressive physical therapy paid off!!!  I allowed my PT to do all sorts of unspeakable things to me like dry needling (who thought of that???) and exercises I hated, but sucking it up and doing what I had to do allowed me to successfully join my training group for the first run of the season!  I took the run pretty easy and enjoyed just being there with my running buddies and made some new ones and I was rewarded with that crazy tired, can’t-keep-my-eyes-open-another-minute afternoon nap.  I was most surprised that I felt like I had been beaten with a baseball ball all along my back and butt.  I guess that’s what happens when you change your running form and quit relying 100% on your quads to do all the work.  Luckily, the soreness was gone the next morning.

Fitivity’s Marathon Strength and Conditioning App

I’ve struggled with injuries for six months now with my running and it’s been traced back, thanks to a phenomenal physical therapist, to a musculature imbalance between my quads and my glutes/hamstrings. fitivityWhile researching exercises that I could complete, I found an app for my iPhone called Fitivity Maraton Strength and Conditioning.  It gives you a 30-45 minute workout two days per week and shows you how to do the exercises.  It didn’t cost anything up front, but there is an in-app purchase of maybe $10 when I get about 13 weeks in to unlock the higher levels.  I’m pretty fortunate in that my office building has a small gym available to me for free as a tenant.  It’s certainly serviceable with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stability balls and dumbbells.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and give the app a go.

This week I did the workouts for level 1, week 1 and I’ve been really happy with it.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I notice muscles poking out from the fat, but I feel like I am already stronger.  The workouts are as tough as you choose to make them by using a different weight.  Even better is that you can complete the entire workout in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for lunchtime.  I’m pretty sure I looked like an idiot doing exercises that most people would see as easy, but I can assure you that they weren’t easy and I need to get over it.  Besides, I have a rockin’ PR I am shooting for in December and if this is what it’s going to take to get me there, you’re dog gone right I’m doing it! 

That New Season Smell…

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No, it’s not the smell of a crazy humid July day in Texas, it’s the smell of a new training season.  I just received my training plan for the fall marathon season and I’m positively giddy.  Only twice a year do I get to experience this excitement.  Like the smell of a new car or the feel of the shiny new binder for a brand-new school year, the new training plan lets you start over.  A clean slate.  The promise of a PR is right there for the taking.  You aren’t trying to catch up from missing runs.  We are all on “Day 1.”

I’m literally chomping at the bit to write all of my runs into my calendar and get to work.  I was only cleared to run by my orthopedist a week ago, so this day is particularly sweet.  I can’t wait to get out there on Saturday for the first group training run with my running friends.  May we all have a stellar season… 🙂