Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What to do about spin class clowns?

How did I end up in junior high school again? If you're lucky enough to have forgotten what that was like, just snap your own bra straps and memories will likely instantly return to you of the two jokesters in the back of the class who find something sexual in every other word to come out of the teacher's mouth, even when the lesson is about a right-angle triangle.

I know spinning can make you feel young--but I am not sure I want to be that young again. (Does anyone want to go back that far in time?)

There are two fortyish men in my Tuesday 5:30 a.m. spin class who spin in the back of the room and make jokes of the "That's what she said" from The Office throughout the entire hour.

Let's call them Beavis and Butthead.

Yeah, the spin instructor is hot. She's gorgeous, in fact, and she spend four hours a day working in a gym, so she has an amazing body.  And when she shouts out things like, "Come on, move it!" or "Work it, people!" or "Gimme all you got!" I can see how that can inspire the lustful glee of hormonal teenage boys.

But men who have two or three kids a piece, who have good jobs, Lexus SUVs, receding hairlines and all of the other trappings of middle-agedom?

I mean, seriously!

I can tell B & B think they are hilarious. They are nice men outside of spin (yes, I know them--I have run into them at children's birthday parties) and they probably think they are adding some humor to what otherwise would be a grueling workout.

The thing is, I didn't get up at 4:50 a.m. for humor. I got up for the grueling workout. I like it grueling.

They clearly don't, because could you really sprint at a grueling-indeed intensity of 8 without your voice getting even the slightest bit breathy as you yelled out, "Yeah, do it to me baby!"

I did say something to the teacher, and she said, "Believe me, I know!"

But what I really want her to say is, "Hey, Beavis! Hey, Butthead! Shut the f&^%$# up and move your flabby asses!"

If she doesn't say it, I might actually have to next Tuesday.

Of course that would make running into them at birthday parties very awkward.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Puny arms and all

There are only so many hours in the day, and I must confess I would much rather run 4 miles than spend 40 minutes at the gym doing bicep curls. As a result, I simply lack biceps. Think Popeye before he ate a can of spinach. Fortunately, the constant back-and-forth arm motion of running has made my arms lean rather than grandma-flabby, but their lack of bulk creates a major problem for me: that I can't just go into a running store and buy a regular iPhone armband and expect it to fit. I actually spent my first half-marathon with my left arm squeezed against my side to keep the armband from falling off.

Oh, and when I went into a running store in Doral to ask their advice on what armband to buy, the woman who waited on me frowned at my arms and suggested I take up some more strength training. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear.

I did find a cheap Nike iPhone armband at http://www.seejanerun.com/ that fits, but it lacks the features other armbands have. It's simply a black Spandex holder and there's no way to navigate the volume or channels while you're running, unless you take it off, make the change, and then stick it back in the holder. (Which is hard to do if you're going at a good clip--but necessary if you accidentally forgot to disable "Shake to Shuffle" or had unintentionally put a song on repeat.)

I am not a tiny person by any stretch of the imagination--I see runners out there who are much smaller than me, including their arms.  So what do you wear when you want to run with music? Fortunately it's still short sleeve weather around here and I have shirt fabric bulking up my arm span, but in a month or two, we'll be back to tank tops, and I'll have to run with my left arm in a weird position again if I don't find a solution soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Love hurts. Your bra shouldn't.

I'm stealing that line from a lingerie shop in Philadelphia where I was fitted for a bra many many years ago. (It's probably my favorite business slogan ever, so I jump at any opportunity to use it.)

So in this case I'm talking about a sports bra, not anything frilly or delicate or French enough to be found in that shop. But, a stretched out sports bra can cause just as much pain as an ill-fitting demi-cup underwire--and I think my fellow female runners out there know exactly what I'm talking about.

What's your bra of choice? And how long would you say it's lasted? I loved my Target Champion bras when I bought them last year, but they started to get stinky and mildewy after about six months, and now they aren't really doing any bra-like duties at all for me. I need support!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seriously, Nike??

I'm in the market for a new pair of Nike Lunarglides, since my shins protested as soon as I hit the 200 mile mark. (I know sneakers are supposed to last for 300-400 miles, but I either run my shoes too hard into the ground or Nike just makes a softer shoe.)

So I see there is a Sports Authority shoe sale, click on to their site...and look at this.


This is the color combo on sale in my size. The one that's not on sale, in gray and hot pink, is a marginal improvement.

Can I ask what the point is of making a shoe look so ugly?? I wish I had the luxury of buying a running shoe based on looks, but with my funny feet, I've got to stick with what fits.

And I thought the white/orange combo was bad.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fun with the playlist

Sitting on the sidelines is no fun, but the one thing I can do as I wait for my shin splints to heal is perfect my playlist. I've taken out some over-played (on the radio, and by me) Top-40 snoozes and added some new tunes to power up my runs. Here's what I've got.

Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) US3
Misty Mountain Hop 4 Non Blondes
Straight Up Paul Abdul
Zero Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Song 2 Blur
Can't Get Enough of You Baby Smash Mouth
Beverly Hills Weezer
Rockstar 101 Rihanna & Slash
Paper Planes M.I.A.
Cheryl Tweedy Lily Allen****
Are You Gonna Be My Girl JET
19-2000 Gorillaz
Only Happy When It Rains Garbage
Imma Be Black-Eyed Peas
Telephone Lady GaGa
Heart-Shaped Box Nirvana
American Boy Estelle
Where Did You Sleep Last Night (MTV Unpplugged version) Nirvana
New Soul Yael Naim
Shut Up and Let Me Go The Ting Tings

*** I am in love with this song. I think Lily Allen's "Cheryl Tweedy" is just about the most perfect song to run to. It's got beat and power, but the lyrics are also interesting. Maybe a little menacing. I'm all for anything that's got force and thoughtfulness.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Black-and-blue shins?

I'm a prettty light sleeper, so I think I'd notice if someone kicked me in the shins in the middle of the night. (My poor husband can barely exhale without me snapping at him to "stop snoring!" so it definitely wasn't him.)

My shins are achy and mysteriously black-and-blue.

I've only logged about 200 miles on my current shoes. Time to get a new pair, perhaps? I never heard of shins looking as bad as they felt due to shin splints, but running is full of new discoveries for me, some of them less thrilling than others.