Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Instead Softcup Challenge!

If your body doesn't have the ability to bleed for 7 days and not die, I suggest you sit this one out (Seriously, Fred).

The reason for the disclaimer is I decided to take the Softcup Challenge via Tina's blog and I'm super excited to tell the world about my extremely personal time trying out the product! Kidding! (Not really)

I will admit, when I first heard about this product, I was extremely hesitant mainly because the idea sounded way too messy and complicated for me. After X many years, I have finally (sort of) gotten down the whole Tampon thing, why mess with that? But as the movement started to get bigger in the blogosphere, I decided to do some research. I really wanted to try it, but wasn't fully ready to take the leap. So, when this opportunity came along, I thought why not?

I don't know how to express to you how awesome I think this product is on so many different levels. It makes that time of the month as pain-free as possible and the rest, I'm sure Midol can handle. It's very much something you need to experience before you truly get how much of a difference this makes each month. It totally changed my view of that dreaded week and now it doesn't seem that big of a deal.

Through the process of switching over, I learned it has a lot to do with how well you know your body. The best way I can think to describe this process is it was like switching to regular tampons only when you always use super; then trying to figure out how often you had to change them. How long did it take you to figure out how often you needed to change your tampon? You know your body and how long you can wear what sized tampon on which day of the week, but I'm sure you didn't know that your first period. Same thing with this process. Don't get frustrated and give up because it will all be worth it. And if you don't have a routine down by now, I don't know what to tell you (maybe this will help?).

Here are a few helpful tips I either found out through Instead Softcup or from my own experience for those of you thinking about taking the challenge:

- Starting out with the product, test it out on a lighter day to get used to it.

- Insertion isn't that bad and you do get the hang of it quickly. I used to use the NuevoRing (birth control) and it was pretty much just like inserting that. I'd leave that in for the entire month, so I knew the Softcup wasn't going anywhere.

- For removing push down with your cervix,
definitely helps make it easier.

-When changing it, do it sitting down. Spillage on your clothes at work? Opposite of awesome.

- Just because it can last up to 12 hours, doesn't mean it will. Think of it like a tampon, just because it can last up to X hours doesn't mean it won't fill up before that time.

- Sometimes there will be spillage (especially during earlier days) when you're peeing, it's completely normal. It isn't enough to justify wearing a pad. I wore one just in case and never needed it.

- For the lighter days, I was really grateful for the 12 hour protection. Not to get graphic, but I didn't really want to be replacing this thing at work/ public restroom. As the days went on and the flow got lighter, changing it at work wasn't a big deal. I've seen via twitter chats that some say they carry a latex glove for when in public, but I'm probably too lazy for that.

Things that are important to me that I think make this product awesome:

- Softcup eliminates menstrual odor, since the menstrual flow isn't exposed to air

- Softcup loves making love . . .you can wear Softcup during intercourse for less messy sex on your period (My other half certainly thanks you on this one ;)

- BPA (and a bunch of other bad stuff) free

- In more than 10 years and 100 million Softcups sold, the Softcup has never had a reported incidence of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

I waited a few cycles to write this, so I could give a good honest (and possibly TMI'd) opinion. And as I waited, never had I ever been so happy for that time of the month to roll around (yes, I'm weird. It's ok). After 3 months, the only issue I have is Day 1 of Shark Week, which is no fault of this product at all. This is a very unique issue and the only reason why I include it, is in case their are other women like me looking to try this product, I want to fully inform them. Giving sunshine and daisy reviews aren't helpful and I wanted mine to be one I wish I would've seen before trying it out.

So, here's so more TMI part (in case the previous paragraphs weren't enough ;). Since getting off of birth control, I usually change tampons once an hour (seriously) on Day 1. So, I knew right off the bat, the 12 hr protection amazing selling point was out. The 2nd month, day 1 happened to fall on the first long run of my full marathon training. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try it out! But alas, that turned out to be a royal disaster. The next month wasn't much better either. Boo. But I will keep trying because I really believe this product is the better option. So clearly, I'm either committed to making this work. . . or I need to be committed.

But the good news is, once you get the hang of it, it's smooth sailing! The subsequent days are super hassle free. The only time you need to think about it is 12 hours later and guess what? If you forget it for a little bit longer, there is no risk of TSS. It really does make that time of the month as painless as possible. I can't wait to get Day 1 figured out and use this as my primary source!

I received the product mentioned in this blog for free to review. Regardless these opinions are 110% mine. I am being compensated by Evofem, however the opinions expressed in this post are exclusively mine.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boomer's 10k

The most important thing to note about this race was I forgot my gymboss. I know. How the hell was I going to run this race?! I spent the entire 1.5 miles to the start contemplating. I thought about using one of the running apps, runkeeper being my favorite, but I didn't feel like setting it up and I didn't really want to use my Iphone. The next best option was to count lampposts. The only time I've ever done that was during speed workouts, which I seriously need to get back into. Anyway.

It. Was. Awesome. I decided I'd run 4 and walk 1. I know for a fact I ran more than I ever have before. Even if I was slower, I feel better about it because running more is turning into a goal for me. I want to incorporate more running into my training, I just don't know how! I can't afford to get slower but it would be nice to get faster running somehow. For the past year, I lived and died by the 2 (or 3) minute timer. Even if I was in a good groove, I'd still stop and take my walk break. . . sometimes extending it. Whatever. But with counting lampposts, I convinced myself to keep running all the way down the hill. I'd count only the posts on one side of the road to make it longer. I told myself I could walk all the way up Harlem Hill if I continued this and I did. It was great!

I'm sure the fact that it was a gorgeous 70 degrees helped a lot too! Yet, even with the amazing weather (or because of it) there was a ton of random (read: cray cray) events. A guy in the bathroom line told me I should be getting close to an 18 miler soon (ummm. . .no? I still have 3 months weirdo!) Once in the corrals, a biker told us to "watch our big asses" because he needed to get through, thus confirming why I believe cyclists are d-bags. Then some over eager volunteer tried to pull a woman out of the corral bc she had a faster color corral. What?! Chill out, people. It was a gorgeous day, no need for all that!

It was also the first run I felt happy and good about in a long time. I'm having a ton of doubts about the marathon and this really helped boost my confidence. I even decided to run/walk back to the apt, adding another 1.5 miles on for a complete 9.2 miles! The schedule only called for 7, opps. I also spent the majority of the rest of the day walk around a lot and I think that helped a ton in regards to recovery.

To make up for my lack of race photos, I took some on my run/walk back to the apt. via the Central Park West walk path:

 The path along Central Park. Those cute cement cutouts/ cobblestone? 
Not so cute when the sidewalk is all warped and old.

 Looking into the park. 
I remember when I first moved to NYC and was so scared I'd get lost in there.

 The Children's Museum.

 Humbolt. Have no idea who he is, but there is a street named after him in Brooklyn.
I should google.

 The Museum of Natural History.

What's cool on your route?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life (intsa'd) lately 7.15.12

Things that have made me happy lately Edition:

My, Meatpacking District. How much you've changed!

I love presents! Especially when my boss goes to Brazil!

Baby Showers at Dim Sum Restaurants where people know how to order: Amazing!

When Street Art can live up to it's name always makes me happy.

My new Threadless Tee!

What's been making you happy lately?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Run for CP 4M

Saturday morning I really didn't want to get up. I know I say that every time, but I really mean it this time. This whole working and training for a full is so hard (said in a very whiny voice) and I'm only at the beginning. Ugh!

So as much as I hated waking up, I think I finally got back into my running groove. It only happened for a mile or 2 of the race (it was only 4 miles all together) but it was enough to give me hope for the future of training! YaY! I need to stop projecting myself forward and just be in the moment. I don't know if it makes sense to you, but it does to me. I'm so discouraged about being so slow, I think I've been trying to push myself too much. But I will try my hardest not to. It's super discouraging.

I also decided to run to the start and back to get in my 6+ miles instead of taking the subway. I am now a super fan of this. It took roughly the same amount of time since the trains are super slow on the weekends anyway. I got to the start with just enough time to wait in the portapotty line, then get to the corrals. As soon as I finished, I turned around and walked home. It was fun, even if I cheated a little and walked on the outside sidewalk of the park instead of through it (I could not run up and down the 3 bitches again. Twice is enough, thankyou). This also got me to thinking it would be a good way to add mileage when I get to my really long runs. But that sidewalk is seriously messed up for walking.

On my way out of the park, Icebreaker reps were giving out coupons for a free shirt. Score! Can't wait to try mine out. A big plus of the Merino wool (besides it being naturally wicking) is it doesn't smell as fast as synthetic. We are definitely happy about this. The Bathroom will thank them, too. It won't smell as bad when I hang my clothes to dry. 

Once I got home, I decided the best plan of action was to shower and get back in bed. This turned out to not be a bright idea at all. The golden rule is to always get food in me ASAP, roll, shower then nap. I woke up extremely sore with an extra large headache and stomach pains. Not cool. But I was being selfish. I wanted more snuggle time! This also presented a huge problem b/c I couldn't go back to bed for the life of me when it was actual nap time. Note for next week: Don't do that.

How's summer running working for you?

Friday, July 13, 2012

5 minutes of your time, please?

I know it hasn't been that long since I've asked you for a favor, but it's not my fault! This contest came up right after the last one and I had to do it. It's VILLAINS!!

So, through the trials and errors of the last contest, I think I came up with an awesome way to do it.
Sign in (because you all have an account still, right?) If no, you can sign up for one here.

Then click on EACH of the below links to each design. (I couldn't chose one and Fred designed, too!)

Comment your thoughts on the design.

Then click "5" to rank it.

Hope that was clear!

I totally appreciate you taking the time to do this and again, if I win- giveaways!

Here are a few pictures from the process, I had a lot of fun doing them:

You always need a creative outlet.
What's yours?

(Thank you again!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bling bling!

Yesterday, Heather (Running with Sass) featured my (and a bunch of awesome blogger's) favoritest medal and why on her blog! Thanks, Heather! and hello if you're new around here! 
This opportunity made me think about all the bling I have acquired in the past year. Which ones are my favorites and why; there are so many reasons why I like (or dislike) each one. They all hold amazing memories, no matter what they look like, but there are a few that stand out the most. So, without further ado, here are my 3 favorite (besides the one on Heather's blog):

This is the medal I started running for and hot damn! What an amazingly designed medal, it is! There are slim pickins when it comes to cleverly designed medals (IMHO) and this one tops the charts. To be honest, I haven't really been that impressed with runDisney medals before this one. The Disneyland Half and The Wine and Dine were both awesome, but nothing like this. Even if it was a terrible run, this totally makes up for it. If I could get away with wearing it every day, I totally would. 
It was serious love at first sight (granted, the picture showed the glitter more of a yellow and less of a gold, which totally looks better but oh well). As soon as I saw this medal, I had to have it. So, I signed up for a random race in Nashville; even though I hadn't finished training or even run my first half. This is also the medal that started the insane year of race-cations, which lead to: 

I know this isn't a "race" medal, per se, but I had to get a lot of crappy medals to get this one! When I started running, 5 half marathons in a year was an insane thought. 12 later; not so much. Now I'm an official Rockstar and I can say it and mean it with proof! And it doesn't hurt, that I got to share my Rockstarness with my better half (who also happened to get both medals engraved for me :-)
What's your favorite medal? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Running clothes

I have decided, after finally completely switching out my closet from winter to summer, that I have a lot of running clothes I do not like running in.

Does this happen to you? What do you do about it? I feel bad throwing out clothes I've only worn once or so but I live in NYC! Space is hot commodity and I need it for the running clothes I actually do like to wear.

My running skirts are also being retired for the summer. To be honest, they're not as comfortable as I once thought. Why put on those extra layers in the summer? It's too hot for all that. Even the skirts with the shorts underneath, I still have to wear another pair because my legs are so long. So, no. I did, however, keep my sparkle skirts extremely accessible. You never know when you'll need to sparkle ;)

Just as I was about to click "publish" to this post, I got my order from Bskinz of the most awesomest of awesome pairs of running shorts. What?! I know. Don't be jelly of my pantelones.
I'm super stoked. I haven't tested them, but from putting them on, I can tell they're going to be long enough not to crawl up.

I smell a new trend for summer running! 

What do you like to run in? Shorts? Capris? Skirts? Awesome spandex?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chasing Shade

I should probably start consulting my weather app on running mornings. It's always fun to be out the door and see a tweet that says "Another scorcher. Be careful!" Yet somehow other things just seem more important- mainly the fight between my bed and my shoes. When B is there, I feel bad and get ready quickly (I use that term loosely) so at least one of us can get back to bed. I'm the runner. I shouldn't be torturing anyone else with this insanity but me. But when it's just me, the morning process stretches twice as long.

This morning was no exception. It took me close to an hour to put my clothes on. Once that happened, I had to keep convincing myself "might as well". Might as well go; You're out of bed at 6am, so what that you can just crawl back into bed. Might as well go; you made the coffee. Might as well go; you're in that contraption people call a sportsbra. Might as well go; you vaselined your feet and put your shoes on. Might as well go; you can't get back in bed with sunscreen on. Yea. This morning was rough and the run didn't get much better.

I decided since my last route was a disaster, running along the water would be fun. If Anyone knows if and where I can, please let me know. I cannot run over the WillyB on sunny hot days anymore. That's cruel and unusual punishment (even though it is my fav. part. Maybe in Sept.) The closest I could tell I could get was Kent Ave. After I got over the fact that it felt deserted (but wasn't; just quiet) and no one was going to kill me and throw me in the East River (which was oh so conveniently a block away), it was nice.   Breezy, even if it was almost 90 degrees.

So, around Williamsburg I went this morning. Chasing shade the entire time. Had no clue the area by the water was so built up. There was a CVS and another Duane Reade. What?! I went into the CVS to refuel with water and gatorade (Thank you for being open at 8am. I will admit I was concerned you were on Hipster time). Damn you, Brooklyn Hipster CVS and having sparkling water instead of regular and after 3 miles, me not being able to tell the difference. Is it even safe for runners to drink that on a run? Speaking of safe, my handheld nearly blew up. Literally. But that's my fault. I thought if I shook it, it would speed up the carbonation releasing and become flat. Right? No? Fuck it. I'm a designer. I poured it out and just went with Gatorade for the rest of the run. And Damn you, Gatorade for making it as hard as possible to open with sweaty hands. Are you owned by Mattel? Your packaging is worse than trying to get into a Barbie doll box. (You like that? I promise I just came up with it and did not spend the rest of my run trying to be clever. It totally comes natural.)

But after that, I felt better. It was still really hot and I walked a ton, but at least I got it done. I couldn't have put it off until tomorrow if I wanted to. Mentally, I couldn't have handled it.

After lapping a half a mile on the McCarren Park track, I decided I really need to add speed work into my training. How do I expect to get faster if I'm not doing anything about it? I've also decided I'm going to try out some classes. Strength training. I know. Crazy talk. But I have to do more than just run during this training time, or I'm going to burn out. So we shall see.

How was your run this morning?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Running in BK; is it really that rare to see?

Yesterday, I did my long run through my neighborhood.

I'm not sure if it's because it's been awhile since I ran in a place where there weren't a ton of people also running or if I was just being overly sensitive, but I really need to change my route. Being stared at and cat called  (this coming from someone who never notices things like that) at 7 am (seriously?! Isn't it too early to be thinking like that?) made me physically ill and even more disgusted with humanity (mainly the Y chromosome portion). No woman deserves to be treated like that and you are revolting. Once, ok. Thanks for the ego boost. Twice, really? Awesome. You're a pig. Over and Over again? Have you just gotten out of prison and never seen a woman before? Are there no women on this side of Brooklyn?! What the hell is wrong with you and who the hell raised you?! It was ridiculous and I was extremely uncomfortable.

And no, I am not the most physically fit person on the planet (just in case they were staring b/c of the spandex ;), but at least I'm doing something about it, instead of loitering in front of a store on the verge of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis (again, at 7AM!! Shouldn't you be sleeping off a hangover or something?!). That bloated pot belly will never be sexy and I really hope there is never a woman so desperate to ever lead you to believe otherwise.

End Rant.

It also didn't help that it was SUPER hot. I didn't realize how unshaded the Williamsburg Bridge is until I had to run over it twice. I got to about mile 5 and couldn't do it anymore. Too bad I was still a mile away from home. I stopped at a bodega, got some gatorade and took back streets home so I wouldn't have to listen to the disgusting men again. While I was in said bodega, I heard on the radio we were in a heatwave. Awesome to know.

But to end on a positive, I'm breaking in new shoes and they are really purty.

Did you run this weekend? How did it go?