Bizarre side effects of working out

MSN just published a story about the 10 bizarre side effects of exercise.

“Researchers have been touting the healthy side effects of exercise for years. Regular workouts can help you lose weight, boost mood, and live longer. But your daily workout can also have some strange—and pretty wonderful—side effects. From exercise-induced ear popping to the, uh, pleasures of a core workout, experts explain what’s behind your body’s weirdest physical reactions.”

Here are the top 10:

  1. Yawning
  2. Farting
  3. Runny Nose
  4. Coregasm
  5. Ear popping
  6. hives
  7. heartburn
  8. cramps
  9. headache
  10. incontinence

How many of these bizarre side effects have you had? I’ve had five. Thank GOD #10 isn’t one of them.

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!

Do as I say, not as I do

I’ve been struggling with something for awhile now and I can’t keep it bottled up anymore. I’ve tried to be upbeat and positive about this whole sprained foot fiasco. Oh wait, you don’t know about this do you?

Yeah, that’s right. I never blogged about it. Why? Well, I kept putting it off… and off… and off… until I started getting bitter today about he whole thing. Sure, I tweeted about it and made posts on DailyMile, but I never really blogged about how it made me feel. Here goes.

I was scared.

My left foot pain is getting worse, not better. I’m so scared something is wrong that will knock me out of training for Napa. Please send some healing thoughts/prayers my way. Pretty sure I’ll be going to the doctor today. 🙁

I was relieved.

FOOT UPDATE: It’s a sprain of sorts. I have to take it easy and I should be able to still run/walk the Wine Country Half Marathon. Basically, taper is starting a week early. 🙁

I was sad.

feeling like I won’t get to RUN a 5k… ever. #jth says I can jog or walk SLOWLY on thurs. #fitmke #sadmke

I was bitter.

all of you running the storm the bastille tomorrow can suck it.#bitter #sadface #norunningtilnapa

Last month, I had to “take it easy” for the Great Milwaukee Race. I wasn’t supposed to run. But, I didn’t want to let my teammates down so I ran a bit (this was before I knew the foot was sprained). Then I had my long build-up run/walks for training for the half marathon. I did 8 miles… then almost 9… then just over 10 miles. All on a sprained foot. Yep. I am pretty badass. Or stubborn. One of the two.

Luckily, the diagnosis came a week before my taper was to begin, so instead of doing my last long run/walk of 12 miles… I started taking it easy and tapering back early. On the one hand, awesome. On the other, crap.

I had a “come to Jesus” conversation with my trainer via text message the day I went to the doctor. Here’s how it went:

Me: This sucks.

John: Why? It will be fine!

Me: Because I want to do it all 🙁

John: U will just not this week, u wanna be fit for life, not just a couple of months, right?

Me: Yeah. You’re right. I know I need to listen I just don’t want to. Haven’t had an “easy” week since I began training for the half

John: That could be part of the reason u are hurt at the moment.

Me: Prolly. Guess I’m just afraid of going back to my old routine of nothing. Know what I mean?

John: I will drag ur punk ass out of ur house and make u workout if u do!

Me: Deal.

I have tried to accept the fact that I had to stop running. I have tried to accept the fact that I had to drop out of a 5k two weeks ago. I have tried (and failed) to accept the fact that I can’t run the Storm the Bastille 5k tomorrow. This race is especially hard for me to miss because back when I decided to start this journey, my goal race was to run the Storm the Bastille on July 8. Sure, I am freaking doing a half marathon next week, but I can’t help but feel like a complete failure. My one, measly goal – Run the Storm the Bastille – #amyfail. Yes, my goals have changed. I can do 3.1 miles in my sleep. But I haven’t actually RAN a full 5k yet. This has been a psychological barrier for me and I have been eagerly anticipating the chance to show myself I can RUN a 5k.

Then there’s this whole all-these-people-donated-money-for-charity-because-I-said-I-would-do-a-half-marathon-and-I-went-and-overdid-things-and-may-have-put-the-whole-race-at-risk factor. Yup. I’m doing this whole get healthy journey for me. And I am worried about what my family and friends will think if I fail miserably next weekend. When I started training, my goal was to be at a solid 15 minute mile pace (4mph). I’m quite certain if I was able to run more, I would have no problem maintaining this pace. However, due to all of my training setbacks (including the knee problems a few months ago), I have been logging a solid 16:30-17:30 walking pace. So now, my new time goal is in the 3:30-4:00 range. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others… but I have friends who are in the sub-4:00 MARATHON time range. And I’m just praying I can do a sub-4:00 HALF MARATHON. It’s a kick to the ol’ ego, that’s for sure.

I need to stop putting myself through this, but I can’t help it. There was a time (just months ago), where I couldn’t understand why some of my friends were working out ALL the time. They were running 7-8 miles FOR FUN. My idea of a good time was ordering a pizza, drinking a 6-pack of beer and watching basic cable Law & Order: SVU marathons. My idea of a good time was certainly not training for a HALF MARATHON. SVU Marathons are much more entertaining.  Now, ordering a pizza, drinking beer and watching SVU Marathons is still high on my list of fun times… but the times I’ve been able to run – actually RUN – I can’t describe the feeling as anything short of euphoric. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of. And I know mine is capable of running.

I know I need to listen to my trainer, my coach, my doctors… but I can’t help feeling like I’m a failure. I feel like giving up. I feel like putting on my fat pants. I feel like burying my sorrow in peanut butter M&Ms, fruity cocktails, microbrews, high-carb, high-fat meals… (and trust me, I have done this in recent weeks). But I know that is giving in. I can’t fall back to the old Amy. I can’t let the old fat girl win. The new fat girl is so much more fun. She feels better. She can walk up flights of stairs without losing her breath. She is 10 days away from completing a half marathon (at 250 lbs, none the less). She needs to get over herself, put on her big-girl underwear and stop being such a baby.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… don’t be stupid like I’ve been. Be smart. Accept your setbacks. Grow a pair.

Weigh in Wednesday: 20lbs!

It’s official.

I’ve lost 20.2 lbs since starting this journey January 6, 2010. Sure, the weight hasn’t come off as quickly as I had hoped, but I’ve kept the weight off, which is a huge accomplishment. I’ve never stuck to a nutrition and exercise plan for this long in my entire life. I’m working out 6 days a week.

I am 20% of the way there to achieving my goal of losing 100 pounds. I hope the next 20 doesn’t take as long as the first, but if it does, I’ll be ok with it. My life has changed for the better.

23 weeks ago, who’d have thought I would be just a month away from completing a half marathon?

And yet, here I am, preparing for my 10-miler on Sunday, and a 12-miler the following week.

Life is good. God is good. I’m so grateful.

Manic Monday: Training schedule for May 17-23, 2010

This marks the start of a new series of posts at Losing It. Every Monday, I will post my training schedule, along with my plan for how to fulfill the plan. I’m hoping you will help hold me accountable to my plan (by following my Dailymile training). I’m also hoping that putting my schedule out there will help me not wig out err modify my schedule.

So, here goes.

  • Monday: Stretch, Strengthen or Active Recovery – 100 crunches, 20 min of yoga and/or work with resistance bands at home. OFF – ILL
  • Tuesday: 3.5 mile walk – Do my favorite 5k route through Easttown/downtown MKE OR head to Bayview for a li’l jaunt near my acupuncturist’s office. I have an appointment at 6:15. Time goal: 45-50min (average 15-16min pace). Probably going with the Bayview Route. Running last week right before my appt was awesome. Made the relaxation so much more enjoyable. I do plan to allot more time for stretching though.
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes crosstrain – 6-7 mile bike ride. Time goal: 40 min.
  • Thursday: 2 mile walk/run – I will likely stay close to home for this, and hope to really push myself. Time goal: 33 min (average 14-16 min pace). Honestly, I’d like to see this 2-miler be sub 30 min.
  • Friday: Rest day – aka YES!!! I am working a little different shift on Friday, so I am going to try to get in either a short walk or some yoga before work. Then, it’s Bowlin’ for the Colon Friday night.
  • Saturday: 40 min crosstrain – BOOTCAMP WITH A PURPOSE – 30 min bootcamp led by fitness coach Jeremy Belter. Hope you can join me! Details here.
  • Sunday: 70 min fast walk – Team Challenge practice day. I have a feeling Coach Anne will change this to 6-8 miles fast walk, which will put me in the 1:40-2:30 range.

If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

UPDATE: I wrote this post last week and didn’t anticipate feeling under the weather today. So, I’m changing my plan a bit to accommodate. Changes are in red.

Exercise and Underwear: Decisions, Decisions

If you’re embarrassed by underwear talk, move on to the next blog. We’re talking about ladies underthingies and working out. Gentlemen, take a deep breath.

This is a question I’ve had for awhile, but I didn’t really know how to bring it up.

What is the best underwear to wear when working out?

The few times I’ve worn a pair of cotton underwear to work out, I’ve regretted it. So, I know that those are definitely out (I only have a few anyways, I prefer the good stuff). I’ve already moved beyond cotton socks and am slowly working on my non-cotton workout wardrobe.

But now, I’m at the underthings stage and am not sure where to start. Add my larger size to the mix and it gets complicated. Any larger ladies have this problem?

While some runners love to talk about their running clothes, they become a little more reserved when it comes to undergarments and — as a result — suffer in silence wearing uncomfortable underwear. The “synthetic material/no cotton” rule also applies to underwear. Make sure you wear tight-fitting, non-cotton underwear so any moisture is wicked away and you avoid chafing. Most uncomfortable underwear issues can be avoided by following that rule. Some running shorts do have “built-in” underwear. It is perfectly fine to wear just these shorts — you don’t have to wear another pair of underwear underneath them. Some runners, especially men, prefer to wear spandex under their shorts instead of underwear. Some female runners I know swear by running thongs and claim that they’re extremely comfortable. It’s really a matter of personal preference, so you just have to figure out what works for you. (SOURCE: About.com)

First of all, I don’t wear thongs. I don’t find them comfortable, and let’s be honest… when you get to a certain size thongs just aren’t practical. Why would I willingly let my booty hang out? This baby got back – junk in the trunk – and it just wouldn’t be right to have it go uncontained.

Perhaps I’ll change my mind once I’m at my goal weight, but in my experience over the past 4 months, I have found that the Body by Victoria Bare Ultimate high leg briefs are the most comfortable for working out. They help suck in the gut and keep everything where it’s supposed to be, without riding up my booty. The Body by Victoria seamless bikini briefs and Body by Victoria Hiphuggers aren’t bad either.

What hasn’t worked? My Body by Victoria boyshorts. They will NOT stay put when I’m walking, running or lifting weights. I’ve also had problems with the top bands rolling down.

I’ve looked into some of the “runners underwear” but I’m a little hesitant to spend $20+ on a single pair of underwear I might not like or that might not fit. I’m looking at the following options:

Do you have any suggestions? Feel free to post a comment below, or if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, send me a message using the contact form.

Ok, and because the picture of these has been cracking me up all afternoon, I just have to ask what is up with these? Are they the granny panty of workout gear? I mean, REALLY?

Oh, and don’t get me started on those shorts with the built-in underwear. I don’t get those at all.

Coming soon: Keeping the girls under control when running (aka, How do I keep my boobs from giving me whiplash?)

I ran a mile today

So today I fell asleep when I got home from work, waking up around 3:45. I had acupuncture at 4:45 so I knew I was screwed as far as getting in 3 miles today.

So, I decided to make the time I had count. I changed into my workout gear and headed off to Bay View and parked across the street from my acupuncturist.

I started the garmin and off I went. I walked for about a quarter mile, and then started doing some running. I felt good, so I kept going, only stopping to walk for 30 second intervals. As I was nearing the 1 mile mark, my lungs were burning, but I was DETERMINED to finish that mile in less than 15 minutes.

I was talking to myself (yes, out loud) but I doubt anyone noticed. It was raining and no one was outside. I kept saying, “Do it… keep going… Amy just do this… one more block… to the next driveway… you can do it.”

And I did. Official split: 14:50. HOLLER!

My knees held up beautifully!!! Now, I just have to get my lungs in gear.

Baby steps.

Weigh In Wednesday: Debbie Downer edition

I’m trying to figure out how the above chart translates into a 1lb weight gain. I don’t get it. I’m really struggling today. I’ve been floating between 261-263 for 5 or 6 weeks. I’ve really been cranking up the workouts and last week I introduced biking into my routine to switch things up. I really don’t want to start journaling my food intake. I REALLY don’t. But maybe I have to.

Add that to my desire to run but inability to do so and you have a depressed Amy. I have found it difficult to manage the desire to run with the realization that if I try to push too hard, I’ll screw up all my training for the half in Napa. I have to keep telling myself that it’s ok to walk. Never in my life have I WANTED to run. So this desire to run is new for me. I am having issues dealing with it, because in my life when I want to do something and I put my mind to it, I DO it. I don’t wait around for things to happen.

I’ve also been yearning to adopt a dog. Most people my age have baby fever. I have baby doggie fever. I fell a li’l in love with a three-legged cutie at the humane society. I told myself that when he would be ready for adoption, if his adoption fee was less than $250, I would adopt him talk to my landlord and beg him to let me adopt him. I mean, look at that face. How could he say no to that face? I mean, really. Isn’t he the cutest? Well, Max went up for adoption today. His adoption fee is $450. I can’t justify spending that much to adopt a dog. I certainly wouldn’t have the extra funds to provide him the life he deserves. So you could say I’m upset. I almost started crying at work today when I heard the news (I’ve been in close contact with the humane society peeps since I found out about Max and his story).

Needless to say, I’ve had better days.

Ok, well I need to stop this pity party real quick.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Hello, waist! It’s been awhile

I stopped at Kohl’s yesterday because I wanted to treat myself to some new workout clothes. I got some great deals – the two trek tanks you see above, plus the pants and a sports bra – for less than $60 total. And, when I was trying things on I saw something I haven’t seen in years… my waist. I’m getting my girlish figure back! EEEEK!!!

And yes, those are TIGHT WORKOUT PANTS. They’re basically capri running tights, but they’re slimming in a SPANX sort of way.

Yesterday was a good day.

Coming up later: Weigh In Wednesday!!!

Weigh In Wednesday

Well it’s that time again… Weigh In Wednesday. I lost 1.2 lbs this week for a total weight loss of 10.4 lbs in 9 weeks (see stats here). It’s great to finally see a smaller number again. My goal is to hit 262 next week and by the end of March to be in the 250s.

In other news… I had my first Team Challenge meeting tonight. It was so great to finally meet Tim and to see Anne and Rochelle again. I know they will all help push me across that finish line in Sonoma. I also got to meet my mentor, Jenny. I can’t wait to get to know her better!

Because I hit my first mini-goal of $750 raised for CCFA, Team Challenge gave me this awesome tech shirt! That’s all thanks to you!!

I’ve never worn anything but cotton shirts to work out, and apparently, this is some good stuff. Something about wicking I think. Becky from TC says “Cotton is Rotten.” I guess we’ll see what happens when I use this shirt next time I’m at the gym!

I didn’t get to the gym today because I suck. After work, I napped and then played some computer games before the meeting. I know, lame. Then I had the meeting, came home, ate some food and now I’m writing this blog and I should really hit the sack so I can get up for work in the morning.

Look for a post Friday about my experience at the Sleep Institute tomorrow night… it’s sleep study time. So if you’ve ever wanted to watch me sleep, well you should have become a sleep specialist, cuz they’ll get to watch me sleep all night long.