A Runner’s Body

On a Facebook group I frequent, someone asked the question “Why did you start running?” Someone had responded with something along the lines about how people commented that she didn’t have a runner’s body and they were surprised she could run.

I responded “You run. You have a body. Therefore, you have a runner’s body.”

Now, I’m not trying to say this quote is original or anything. I’m sure someone’s said it before. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s true.

Sure, some people are built for more efficient running. You’re not going to see someone with my body type running in the Olympics.  And no matter what I do, I’m never going to look like Shalane Flanigan or Kara Goucher.  And that’s okay.

But just because someone doesn’t look like a runner doesn’t mean they aren’t a runner.  I have seen people of all sizes at the starting lines of races.  I admit, I’m guilty of some of the same prejudices.  I look at someone and think “Okay, they’re probably paced somewhere around I am.” And I base that solely on their body type.  Then my assumptions get turned on their ear when that person finishes the half marathon 30+ minutes before I do.  So you can’t always tell much about a runner by how they look.

All of this makes me wonder how many people never show up to the starting line of a race because they look in the mirror and think they won’t fit in because they don’t look like a runner.  Runners come in all shapes and sizes.  My mom never thought she could complete a half marathon and then, after the Princess Half one year, she looked at all the women wearing medals and realized that she looked like a lot of them, and if they could so it, why couldn’t she?  And now she has powerwalked at least six halfs (I lose count) at some impressive speeds, even outpacing some runners.

So maybe your body doesn’t look like you want it to.  Maybe you don’t look like a runner.  Maybe you will never look like a runner.  But if you run, you are a runner, and you have a runner’s body.  Be nice to it.  Treat it well.  And be proud of what it can do.  Maybe you’re not the fastest one out there, but you’re out there just the same.  And that’s what matters.

 

Product Review – Brick Betty Pullover

If you are on Twitter, you may have heard of Brick Betty.  Brick Betty is a new company that ” creates high fashion high function active wear for women that embodies the two tenants of femininity; strength and sexiness.”

Now, I don’t really think about how sexy I am when I’m working out (or ever, to be honest), but I like to feel good and look good when I workout.  So this seemed like a great company to check out.

Thanks to the power of social media, I was given the chance to try out a Brick Betty Pullover.  Here’s a pic of it from their website.

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And here is a pic of it on me.  Nope, not built like the model at all.   But I still felt like it looked good on me.  Though black clothes are so hard to photograph!

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The first thing I noticed when I received the pullover was that the quality is incredible!  The material is very thick, with a soft, almost fleecy inside.  But it’s definitely not bulky.  Just really comfy – the sort of thing you don’t want to take off.  It’s got a hood and thumbholes, two things I love.

I tried an XL because I am a very hard person to fit.  To get things to fit “the girls,” I often need a bigger size.  This shirt fit me really well!  It wasn’t too stretched at the top, and it was fitted around the waist, meaning that it wasn’t too baggy.  The shirt was longer than I’m used to, and comfortably pulled down over my butt, but once I got used to that, I really liked it.  It also has ruching down the front, which hides a number of sins.  Also, I think this would fit a wide variety of body shapes, which is a huge plus.

I think for me, the only downside to the fit is that it’s not the sort of top that I can wear with jeans.  But it looks fabulous with stretchy pants and definitely dresses up a pair of yoga pants.  And who wants to wear anything but yoga pants anyway?

I wore the top on a very cold run.  It was around 40 degrees and very windy.  At first, I was worried that the top wouldn’t be warm enough, but it was perfect!  It was light, but the wicking material also helped block the wind, which was exactly what I needed.  I like to be cool while running, and this was great.  The top was stretchy enough that it didn’t ride up while I ran, and I didn’t have to worry about the hood pulling the top up in the front (which happens a lot with hooded running tops).

The longer I wore the Brick Betty top, the more I liked it.  At first, I wasn’t sure about the stretchy material clinging to my curves, but after my run, I realized how comfy and flattering it really is.  It’s currently in the laundry basket, but I’m looking forward to wearing it on another run once it’s clean.

Brick Betty is currently running an IndieGOGO campaign to help fund their first collection.  Some great rewards (product discounts) available for supporters, so check them out.  They make everything in the USA, so toss a few dollars their way!  And check them out on Twitter!  Thanks, Brick Betty, for giving me the chance to try out this top!

Race Recap – Love the Run You’re With 5K

On February 10, I ran the Love the Run You’re With 5K.  It was put on by Pacers Running Stores here in the DC area.  It’s been a while since I’ve run one of their races, and I’m glad I found this one.

Admittedly, I don’t run a lot of 5Ks, but I found myself looking for a February race for two reasons

  1. I was asked to continue on with Team New-Skin until mid-March and needed another race.
  2. I need to work on my short distance running for this year’s triathlons.

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It was cold!  Thankfully, Sunday was warmer than Saturday, but it was still chilly, as evidenced by my many layers.  I convinced Betsy to join me, and she brought her dog, Charlie, who probably had the most fun of all of us.

The bibs were “stoplight party” style, meaning that those in relationships wore red, those unattached wore green, and “it’s complicated” was yellow.  Betsy worried that people would wonder if her red bib indicated her relationship with her dog.  🙂

I admit, I didn’t look at the course before the race.  I looked at two things – the parking situation and the swag.  Parking was good and the swag was a BLANKET!  Both very good things.  I have way too many race shirts as it is.  So what if the cat will commandeer the blanket in the near future?

The course itself was simple – an out and back down Army-Navy drive.  Not the most exciting race, but I enjoyed it.  I liked the full out and back because it meant I could see a lot of people.  There were a number of fun costumes, including a woman dressed as a crazy cat lady (with stuffed cats attached to her top), Belle and the Beast, and even ALF.  Sadly, Betsy didn’t know who ALF was, and this made me feel old.  The other plus to the out and back was that while the race started with a giant hill, it also ended with a giant hill. I flew down to that finish!

I finished in 38:23, the fastest I have run a 5K since I got sick in 2010 and had to slow down my running.  It was great to finish strong and feeling good!  Unfortunately, I’m definitely a cold weather runner, so this summer’s triathlons are going to be rough (especially the one in August), but if I just keep training and working on my heat acclimatization, I will be okay.

How’s Your Heart?

February is American Heart Month.  Do you take care of your heart?

Well, 75% of you are probably reading because you’re a runner of some sort, which means you exercise, which is a great step in taking care of your heart.  But it’s not the only step.

As someone who has a slightly odd ticker, I try to do my best to stay heart healthy.  But it’s always good to do a double check.  There is a neat tool on the American Heart Association website called My Life Check.  It’s a quick assessment to determine how to improve your heart health and improve your quality of life.

Now, I love online quizzes.  So I had to take this one.

The check uses “Life’s Simple Seven”

  • Get Active
  • Control Cholesterol
  • Eat Better
  • Manage Blood Pressure
  • Lose Weight
  • Reduce Blood Sugar
  • Stop Smoking

So where did I succeed and where did I fail?

I’ve never been a smoker, so that one’s easy.  And I’m fairly active, though as I’ve said, I’m working on increasing my activity.  And as of my last doctor’s appointment, my blood pressure was good.

My diet was admittedly not as good as it could be.  I just don’t eat enough veggies every day.  Some days, I do great.  Others, I feel like I’m barely getting in two servings.  So I need to step that up. Veggies with lunch and dinner.  It will be done.

My cholesterol is something I’m working on.  I have hereditary high cholesterol.  It’s not bad, but it’s borderline bad.  Unfortunately, my issue is that while my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)  is okay, my HDL (the “good” cholesterol) isn’t high enough.  That makes my ratio bad.  What can I do to fix this?  Get more exercise and lose weight.  Two things I’m working on.

I’ve not had my fasting blood sugar tested in a long time.  I should look into that.  I have a glucose meter at home from a time when my doctor thought my panic disorder was triggered by hypoglycemic events (it’s not).  So I could check that out on my own.

My weight is something I’ve discussed before and something that I’m working on.

But all in all, my score was pretty good.  That said, I have some things to work on.

How did you do on Life’s Simple Seven?