I’m Not Delusional

I generally find myself pretty spoiled with good running weather. Even on the coldest of Winter days I’m able to throw on a jacket, two pairs of tights, sub-zero ski accessories and hit the track with Birdie.

Let's play a game of Guess How Many Layers Abby's Wearing!

Let’s play a game of Guess How Many Layers Abby’s Wearing!

The Summer is a completely different beast and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Gross.

Gross.

So what’s a girl to do when it’s 7am and I’m struggling to finish a run in my soaking wet shorts and tank top? Well, lately I’ve been stripping down.

Well, there we are. No shirt in Central Park.

Well, there we are. No shirt in Central Park.

Let’s be clear, I know what I am and what I’m not. I’m not delusional.

I look like neither of these women, this I know.

I look like neither of these women, this I know. Well, except for the tan lines. I definitely have those in spades.

I don’t have a six pack. Things jiggle in my middle when I run. My legs are short. I look nothing like a runner “should”.

But, dammit, it’s hot out there. And when there’s nothing else to do, I just whip off my tank top, wrap it around my waist and get on with my workout. I even do it next to my extremely sinewy runner friends. So there.

What else CAN you do? I mean, 90-something degrees, 90-something percent humidity and I’m trying to work out? Yeah. I’m gonna do it in as little clothing as possible.

Sorry I’m not sorry if it offends you.

You know what? Get over it.

Happy naked runner.

Happy naked runner.

I don’t run shirtless to impress you. I don’t run shirtless to get attention. I don’t run shirtless because I want someone to take my picture. I don’t run shirtless because I think I’m a model.

I run without my shirt because it’s hot and I really want to get my miles in and I don’t care if someone is offended by my non-six pack shirtlessness or a woman running without a shirt in general.

I. Don’t. Care.

And neither should you.

The added bonus: most people stand up taller and run with better posture when they run shirtless. It definitely brings out the best in my running form. Win, win.

Now go out and run.

And run nekkid if you need to. It’s hot out there!

What I’m Wearing Wednesday

Welcome to Summer.

It is often intolerably hot in New York City during the Summer months. No matter how early you get up, how much you hydrate, or what you’re wearing, it’s STILL intolerable.

Luckily, there are some seriously fabulous companies making some seriously Summer-ready clothing.

Just your average Saturday run. You know, with 30 of your closest running buddies, sweating it out.

Just your average Saturday run. You know, with 30 of my closest running buddies, sweating it out. There’s a whole lotta moisture-wicking attire going on here.
(Image shamelessly stolen from http://thethinksicanthink.com/ or http://enthusiasticrunner.com –I can’t remember which)

So, what am I wearing to sweat it out in these 90 degree temps? Next to nothing.

Doing my best to feel naked.

Doing my best to feel naked.

Naked outfit:

  • Run: Swiftly Tech Racerback is as close to being topless as any tank top I’ve ever owned. I size up because it’s super sheer but maybe I shouldn’t because it gets pretty weighed down with my sweat. What do you think?

(Obi-wan, skip the next bullet)

  • Free To Be Bra is not a running bra for the larger than a small B cup so it works for me just fine. I recommend the Energy Bra for my more blessed runner friends.
  • Last summer’s compression shorts aren’t around again but the Run: Fast Track Short is close. It’s about 1 inch shorter than the ones pictured below (along with my favorite hat!) and made of my favorite fabric: luxtreme.
Yes, I wave like a mad woman even when I'm secretly dying inside.

Yes, I wave like a mad woman even when I’m secretly dying inside.

  • Sun Chaser Run Hat keeps my head cool, the sweat out of my eyes, and helps me avoid sunburn. Totally clutch.

**Full disclosure: As a lululemon Ambassador, I do receive clothes from them. No lie. But they are simply the best ones I’ve found and I’ve been wearing them since long before I became an Ambassador and will be wearing them long after my tenure has expired.

My 2nd pair lulu pants from forever ago (2005?) were finally retired last year.

My 2nd pair lulu pants from forever ago (2005?) were finally retired last year.

Other items I’m excited to try (pretty much the entire Oiselle line including, but not limited to):

I struggle with finding shorts I love so I’m really looking forward to giving Oiselle a try, especially seeing as how so many of my friends are loving them. Birdie says they’re right up my alley so OF COURSE I’m buying one of each.

What are your go-to summer clothing items? Compression or loose shorts? Tank top or shirtless? When you lace ‘em up for a hot run, what do you avoid like the plague? Am I missing an amazing wardrobe piece? Tell me!

Now go out and run!

 

 

Running Schizo

Good morning, everyone! Wow. You’d think that with all the “time off” I’ve had in the past three weeks that I’d have posted more often.

Yeah, hence the quotations.

Yes, three weeks is a nice, long time. However, three weeks with two major holidays during two of the three weeks and a weekend trip to Florida kills the “three weeks” notion dead.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Wah. Wah. Wah. I know.

It HAS been nice to run in the middle of the {freezing cold} day.

Holy brrrrrrrrrr!!! Batman.

Holy brrrrrrrrrr!!! Batman.

Necessary items these past few weeks: What The Fluff (reversible) vest, Sugoi long brushed running tights, Run Swiftly Long Sleeve, In Stride jacket, Saucony cold weather running mittens, and Run Brisk headband.

Average temperature on my runs of late: 27 degrees (feels like 17). I. Am. Freezing. when I start and just fine by the end. Even had to strip my gloves a few times.

Then, off to FL where I almost died from the humidity.

Note to self: get smaller tank tops & never let my MIL take photos of me. She's, like, a foot shorter and we all know how bottom-up photos look. Eeeek.

Note to self: get smaller tank tops & never let my MIL take photos of me. She’s, like, a foot shorter and we all know how bottom-up photos look. Eeeek.

Necessary items: Run: Turnaround shorts, Scoop Me tank top (which I now see is a size too big…), iTunes for motivation, and Oakley Urgency shades. My hair didn’t like it so much either (see: all family pictures taken after we got off the plane).

Dead.

Dead.

Yet another reason why I will never move to Florida: You can’t run there without dying. I don’t know how you FL runners do it.

It’s tough for bodies to go from running in freezing cold to extreme heat & humidity. A couple of precautions:

  1. Warm up. Let your body adjust accordingly before you get into your workout.
  2. Hydrate. Both cold & heat dehydrate you in their own special way.
  3. Dress accordingly. Longer post on winter dressing to come but it’s important to layer up or strip down, depending on where you are. Example: no black crops in the sun.

You snow birds must be experts at this. Btw, back in NYC and it’s 50°. Yahooo!

Have you ever gone from one climate to the other and run successfully? What are your tricks? Did you travel this holiday season? Are you as bummed out about school starting as I am? Tell me all about it.

Now go out and run.

Friday Fitness News: The Dog Didn’t get $15M

Happy, happy Friday! I don’t know why, but this weekend couldn’t come fast enough for me. I’m ready to relax and spend time with JB–he is currently addicted to Flywheel Sports just like me. So awesome. He kills it on every ride. 400+ on the Torque Board last night. What?!

Do you cross train on the bike? It’s my personal favorite. That and doing a HIIT in the gym. Love it. Anyway, here’s what’s going on in the Fitness World this week:

Yes.

I’m off to enjoy my weekend. I hope you are doing the same right now. See you next week.

Oh, and mark your calendars for the Star-Studded Total Body Tune Up hosted by me and my team over at the E. 66th St. lululemon and featuring the magic of Dr. Shure from Madison Square Wellness and our favorite yogi, Lara Benusis. Get all fixed up for racing season with us!

Now go out and run!

Hydration

I sweat. A LOT. Like, more than the average bear. You come out of spin class looking like that? I come out of Biology class looking like that in the summertime. It’s true. Ask Tweedy. I can’t help it. I come from a long line of sweaters and am happy to say I am not the only one in my family whose internal A/C goes into overdrive at the mere sight of the sun or a humid day or a flight of stairs. I am my father’s daughter in this way. Mrs. Obi-wan hardly every breaks a sweat. She glooooows.

What does this have to do with hydration?

I’m getting there.

Because I sweat a lot, I lose a lot of sodium as well. Sweat is not just water, people. It is a combination of water and sodium and other trace minerals. You can feel the salt if you let the sweat evaporate on your skin and don’t wash it away. If you reeeeally get your sweat on and it dries a little bit, you can see it on your clothes, too! (Wait, is that just me? Someone tell me it’s happened to them, too!)

Exhibit A The salt all over my face post-marathon:

The salt is everywhere, as is the hair.

So what does this have to do with hydration?

I’m getting there.

Because when you sweat you lose sodium and other minerals as well, you must replace those minerals in order to rehydrate. You’ve heard me say that water just isn’t enough for endurance sports and it isn’t because of this reason. When you lose too much sodium and the sodium-potassium-calcium balance is off in your blood plasma, bad things happen. If there isn’t just the right amount of sodium and the right amount of potassium to work the sodium-potassium pump, bad things like dehydration and over hydration (hyponatremia) happen.

Dehydration gets a lot of media attention, but I want to focus on balance and how not to overdo it on race day.

One of the very helpful things that happens when you’re nervous on race day is dry mouth. You’re at the start line or just barely getting going and you swear your mouth is as dry as the Sahara. Please, please, please read this next line and tell yourself this: You are not thirsty. You have dry mouth. Swirl and spit. It will pass.

If you chug a cup of water or Gatorade every time your mouth goes dry during a race, you are putting yourself at risk of over hydration (hyponatremia) which is just as dangerous as dehydration. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. My first marathon (NYC) was 80-something degrees in November and I panicked throughout the entire run. I drank WAY more than I ever did during my training runs and ended up with a sloshy tummy full of fluid, which I promptly vomited at the finish line and again in the shower, and I experienced some serious disorientation and weakness immediately upon finishing. It wasn’t pretty. Ask Mrs. Obi-wan and Kooshie. I will never forget them taking care of me.

The way to avoid this is to test yourself during your training runs and make a mental note of when you usually drink, how much you drink and what you like to drink. I carry Gatorade with me and drink water at water stations when I want only water. That way, I always have something with a little sugar, carbs, sodium and potassium with me in case I need them. Be wary of the coconut water craze. Not every brand is all it’s cracked up to be. I also always have a Shot Bloks for sustenance, but Rice Krispie treats are yummy, too.

Trust your training and do not detour from it. Don’t like what they’re serving at the hydration stations? Carry your own. Not sure if you’re thirsty or just have dry mouth? Swirl with some water and spit and see how you feel in another quarter mile. Worried because it’s hotter than usual? Hydrate throughout the race by taking small sips, not big gulps. Wondering how your hydration plan is going? Check your forehead to see if you’re still sweating. Sweat? Good! No sweat? No good.

If you fear that you are suffering from dehydration or over hydration, seek medical attention immediately. Dizziness, loss of consciousness (even for a moment), disorientation, loss of coordination, vomiting, and lack of sweat are all bad things and you should get yourself to a medic as soon as possible.

Test your hydration strategies on a day other than race day and you’ll be a hydration rock star during your race! This goes for all sports: cycling, spinning, yoga, swimming, rowing, everything where you’re breaking a sweat for longer than 30 minutes (for me, it means all damn day). I don’t want to hear that any of you passed out because you didn’t hydrate properly, ok? Ok.

Now go out and run!