Friday, August 30, 2013

Ouchies and new kicks

The Monday after I ran the 14-miler, I went to a class at my gym. A class I normally love, but I came down off the step wrong and hurt my right calf muscle. I continued with my normal training routine on the sore calf. I must have done something to the other ankle. I did the scheduled 15-miler the following weekend and that went fine. Well, the next weekend, my left Achilles' tendon hurt every time I tried to start running. I managed 11 of the 13 miles on my training plan, but I've had a lazy lazy week otherwise. I did the Arc Trainer at my gym on Wednesday and Thursday and ran 2.1 miles with my almost-5-year old on Thursday as well. I decided that maybe the high mileage in the minimalist shoes was causing the problems, so I picked up some new kicks. I still wanted lightweight and a neutral shoe. Here are my new Saucony Catalysts. I'm going to take them for a spin tomorrow.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More than a half marathon

As everyone knows by now, I'm training for the Marine Corps Marathon, my first full, on October 27th. I have only run two half marathons and a 10-miler. I have never run more than 13.1 miles. I learned a couple of weeks ago that my blood sugar has been all over the place lately and at that point, I switched to a walk-run format. I run for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute. People say it makes you faster. I am inclined to agree on a good day.

Today was one of those good days. I had a 14-miler scheduled, but my parents were here last night to help us set up the boys' bunk beds they brought from Florida. I didn't know if I would get out and be able to do it at all. I figured I would get out the door at 6 and see how I felt. Well, I hit 7 miles and felt awesome. I figured I could get at least 10. When I hit 10, I knew I could do it. Unfortunately, when I hit 12, I was getting a little run down. I finished strong and actually did the 14 in less time than my personal record for the half marathon!

Next weekend, 15!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why I love going to an all-women gym

So, my regular readers know that I go to an all-women gym, Transformations Fitness for Women. I love the atmosphere of a single-sex environment. I went to the co-ed gym when I was in grad school and didn't want the same kind of thing as a married adult, so here's a little breakdown of why I enjoy it.

  1. We have a very diverse community. You will see a woman in a hijab kickboxing right next to a woman in a sports bra and booty shorts. You will see a 19-year old doing Zumba next to a woman in her 60s. You have the very thin woman lifting weights next to the overweight woman. You wouldn't get that same kind of environment in a co-ed gym. 
  2. My gym is small, but I love that about it. I couldn't go much for a month because of my teaching obligation. When I came back on Monday, I had lots of people ask me where I had been and what I had been doing. It made me feel missed. I feel like that kind of community doesn't exist in a larger co-ed gym. The person checking you in, doesn't usually know your name, but at a place like mine, they make an effort to know people. 
  3. Childcare is very important for me with a gym. I have two small boys and I need to feel safe dropping them for an hour or so while I exercise. Larger gyms have them, but in smaller women-only gyms, the people who work there learn your children's names. I can say that because I work in the childcare area. When I run into the moms and kids outside of the gym, I always say hello and talk to the kids. 
  4. I love that I'm not having to share equipment with men. I wipe down machines before and after I use them, but I remember trying to share equipment with men who didn't.
  5. It's less of a meat market. Most of the women I have met who go to the gym are married, moms, or both. We come in our old clothes, with our hair in ponytails, and no make-up. For the most part, we don't care about looking sexy or cute when we are sweating. This environment makes women more likely to work out harder. I'm not saying that women at a co-ed gym don't work hard or that we don't get our fair share of women in the full make-up who hop on a treadmill for 10 minutes at 1 mph. I own my fair share of cutesy running clothes that I wear, but I'm just as likely to show up in that as I am to go in sweats. I just think that an all-female environment is conducive to encouraging women to work harder.
  6. Women can be people... weird bodily functions and all.
I love my all-women gym, but I haven't done an all-women race. I prefer a co-ed race :) Do you prefer a single-sex environment for your exercise needs?