Baby Steps

I can begin walking today. The rules: nothing more than a half mile or so. SLOWLY. Must be flat. Short strides.

Today after work I took li’l Miss Beep for a short walk around our apartment complex (there are like a bajillion buildings and it’s fairly flat).

I guess this is what baby steps are all about.

Related: my new swimsuit, goggles and swim cap arrived today. I’m like Missy Franklin’s 13-years-older, overweight twin.

For those of you wondering, this is what my swimming gear entails:

I’ll head to the pool after work tomorrow!

I never thought I’d be so excited to buy spandex

I just bought these running tights last night… in size LARGE!!! Not X-LARGE… but LARGE!!! I bought spandex and was happy about it.

I remember at the Blarney run thinking, “My goodness, there is no way in hell I will ever wear spandex running tights like Sarah…” The plan was to someday wear running tights like her. I thought someday was years away.

Seven months later, I ecstatically purchased them.

My, how things change.

My favorite running and workout gear

I am asked from time to time about the gear I frequently use/wear when running, walking, biking, etc. So I decided to pull it all together in a handy dandy list for you. I have not been compensated by any of the companies listed below. I paid for each of these items and am sharing my favorites with you, without expectation of compensation.

Techie

Garmin 305 Forerunner ($144.99 on Amazon).

One of my best investments. Easy to use. Great for biking, running, walking, etc. Keeps track of mileage, time, calories, heartrate and other factors I didn’t think I wanted to know about. There’s also a great Garmin plugin for Dailymile, so it makes uploading my workouts super easy. There’s so much more to this gear than I’ve even discovered, too! PS. I love setting up interval workouts on this thing. AMAZING.

iPod shuffle (w/lego case) ($69.99 for iPod, $13.99 for set of 4 cases)

I’ve tried using my Droid or older (larger) iPod while working out and it just gets bulky, especially in an arm band. But the itty bitty iPod shuffle is a perfect size. I clip it on my sports bra and don’t even realize its there. Fabulous.

Storage

Spibelt ($19.95 and free shipping with code ship09)

This little “small personal item” belt holds my cell phone, key, cash, ID, chews and is not bulky at all. It’s stretchy and comes in fun colors… AND there’s even SPIBelts with hooks for your race bib! It fits nicely in the small of my back and doesn’t bounce around. Usually, I forget it’s even there!

Nathan Quickdraw Plus Handheld 22-Ounce Bottle Carrier with Pocket ($16.99)

Not only does this waterbottle look cool, it’s also super handy. There is a huge pocket, perfect for my inhaler, chapstick and some chews… and I never feel like it is weighing me down when I’m being active. It fits comfortably in my hand. I haven’t tried a hydration belt yet because I don’t think I would like the bouncing water at my hips (they are big enough already, thank you very much).  The bottle is sturdy and very durable. I’ve taken a few falls with it and it only has a few scratches to show for it.

Safety

Nathan reflective SLAP bands ($9.99 for two at Sports Authority)

I finally got some reflective gear last night. First is this AWESOME SLAP BRACELET. Children of the 80’s, rejoice with me – OMG SLAP BRACELET!

Nathan Cyclist Ankle Bands ($6.99 for two at Sports Authority)

These are technically for cyclists, but I really wanted to have reflective gear on my ankles and wrists… so the cyclist velcro bands are PERFECT. Did a test run last night and both the ankle bands and the slap bracelet worked great!

BodyGlide ($5.99)

BodyGlide is a godsend. It keeps your business from chaffing and is easily applied with a deodorant-like applicator. Worth every penny. I use it even when I am not working out. As a woman, I’ve found it to be invaluable when wearing skirts/dresses! No more inner thigh chaffing!

New Gear: A Before and After

Based on the advice from a friend, I purchased the Nathan Quick Draw water bottle contraption this past week on Amazon. When it came I was instantly impressed. It comfortably fits in either hand and the pouch easily holds my inhaler, keys and money or an ID. When it’s full of water, the weight gets a little annoying, but I found you could easily rectify this problem by drinking some of your water.

I used it once and was quite pleased with my purchase.

Then, I biffed it. I biffed it hardcore. I was walking my friends’ dogs and I lost my footing on an uneven sidewalk. Incase you were wondering, this is what happens when you skid forward on a cement sidewalk while holding your Nathan Quick Draw:



I am actually quite impressed with how well the holder held up in the fall (and the bottle, just a few scratches). Unfortunately, when the pouch ripped open, my inhaler was damaged. It is still fully functional, the cover just won’t stay on. As for the quick draw, I think the damage is something I can easily sew back together.

First attempt at speed work

Following Coach Anne’s suggestion, I tried some speed work last night. I figured out how to do time intervals on my Garmin which was so helpful. All that shows up in the display is time left for that interval and which numbered interval you’re on. You don’t see pace or distance, so you’re more focused on running for that time than you are on constantly checking your pace (guilty!!!).

I decided I would do 10 reps of 3min run/1min walk. Considering that last week was the first time I’ve ever ran for 3 min straight, this was a little ambitious for me. I should have aimed for 7 or 8 reps, because by the time I got to that point, I was spent and a mile from home. This is obvious when you look at my interval splits:

0.22, 0.23, 0.23, 0.20, 0.22, 0.15, 0.19, 0.15, 0.16, 0.16

That’s the distance (miles) I did in each of the 3min intervals. I averaged .05 in the minute “rests” between each interval.

I am so proud of what I did tonight. I’ve never ran this much, period. I picked up my pace. Here’s my pace for those same interval splits:
13:25, 13:15, 13:04, 14:44, 13:34, 20:03, 16:09, 20:07, 18:46, 19:04

Do you SEEEEEE my pace for the first 5 intervals?! SQUEEEEE.

I can do this.

I should add that there were a couple of points during this workout where I thought I was going to puke. I ended up walking the last 3 intervals because I decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to push any further and risk doing something stupid.

Setting up intervals for speed work on Garmin 305 Forerunner

Hit the mode button.

Then, Training>Workouts>Interval

You can select to do your interval reps based on:
Distance, Distance Rest
Distance, Time Rest
Time, Time Rest
Time, Distance Rest

You can also include how many reps you want to do AND if you want to include a warmup/cooldown.

I set mine up for 3min then 1min rest for 10 reps with warmup/cooldown. Basically, when you have this set up and hit start to begin your workout, you’re in “warmup” mode until you hit the LAP button. Similarly, when you finish your last rep, you will go into “cooldown.”

Baby’s first GARMIN

I’m a huge nerd. I love techie gadgets and toys. So when my FitMilwaukee and DailyMile friends talked about their Garmins, I knew I had to get one. I finally had the money to purchase this baby yesterday and I had it overnighted from Amazon. HOLLERRRRRRRRRRRR.

Weigh-In Wednesday (a day late) plus yummy food porn

It’s Weigh-In Wednesday, Thursday edition because I didn’t get a new battery for my scale until today… drumroll please…..

272.0…for a total of 2.2 lbs lost in one week.

HOLLER! That’s even WITH my not-so-good weekend.

So before I do a li’l celebration dance, I have a few more things to share.

First, I bought Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred DVD today at Target (bonus $2 off coupon = $8 investment, not too shabby). I did level 1 today. It’s about a 20 minute or so workout… and boy am I feeling it. But I know I done good… so I’m happy about that. Hopefully I won’t have to stay at the level 1 “easy” stage for long.

Second, I found an awesome app for my Droid that will help me keep track of weight loss, calories, etc… AND it has this cool barcode scanner feature… which will look up your food item in its database. I’ll have to do a video blog about it someday, but until then, check out Calorie Counter from Fatsecret.com.

Third, we have food porn.

I sauteed a chicken cutlet from Whole Foods in some Wildtree Grapeseed Oil and Garlic & Herb Blend… along with a shredded zucchini. Then I added some cherry tomatoes and some fresh mozzarella. ZOMG. Soooo good.

Be Prepared

I am a nerd. I love to learn. I love to research. And, I’m pretty darn good at it.

So when I decided to make this life change, I started searching for the tools to help me succeed. Recipes, cookbooks, gyms, workout dvds, apps for my new phone (a droid), books, blogs, web sites, etc.

Do you have any favorites of the above? Please share! I want to fill my head with knowledge, support, inspiration and determination.