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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Product review: Softcup

So I am not a huge fan of change. I've been using the same Martha Stewart K-Mart towels since college. Just recently, after 10 plus years, I switched running shoe brands. It takes a great deal of controlled breathing and inner dialogue to get me to give up the old and familiar. Which is why, frankly, I was shocked to find myself signing up for the Softcup challenge spearheaded by the website For The Love of the Run.

Simply put, Softcup is an alternative to tampons or pads. Who knew there was such a thing? Period protection is one of those things I've just never thought about. 

As a runner, using tampons can be tricky. Who wants to change a tampon during a race? In a port-a-potty? Ugh. The worst is when you have a bowel movement. There's little to no chance of escaping that situation without having to change your tampon. Not so with the Softcup. It sits nice and securely around your cervix and not in your vaginal canal like a tampon. In addition, with a Softcup you have 12 worry-free hours and there have been no reported cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome. 

I will admit that I was nervous, at first, about using the Softcup. I read everything I could about it and watched tutorial videos like they're were going out of style. The Softcup website is very clear and forthcoming with their explanations. I felt as if they understood my anxiety and provided me with the comfort and support I needed to take the plunge. 

As it turned out, my nervousness and hesitancy was unfounded. It was easy to insert, a little more tricky to remove, but not enough to detour me from using it in the future. I don't know that I will stop using tampons entirely, but I like knowing there are options. I will definitely use Softcup while on long training runs and during races. The last thing you want to worry during a 26.2 mile race is having to change a tampon.

Thank you, For The Love of The Run, for introducing me to this great product. As Sheryl Crowe so aptly put it "A Change Will Do You Good."  

Disclaimer: I am being compensated for this review, but the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the one where I realize my bad run could have been much worse

On Saturday, I had a bad run. A terrible run. A run that made me cry. Thankfully, it was just a training run. It wasn't during a race or a situation where it was all or nothing. 

As I'm writing this, I'm watching a replay of the Women's 1500m Olympic race. A race where American runner Morgan Uceny falls on the last lap and loses her chance at a possible medal. Now that's a bad run.

To make it worse (if that's even possible), the same thing happened to her at last year's World Championships. Imagine training that hard and for that long only to have a split second mistake destroy everything? TWICE!

She could have given up after the fall at Worlds. She could have hung up her track spikes and walked away from competitive running. She didn't. She battled back to make the Olympic final. I hope this time, after this fall, she finds a way to come back to the sport she loves. 

Puts things into perspective doesn't it? 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

the one where it all went wrong

The start of my 12 mile run went well enough. About a half hour later it all started to go terribly wrong.

First, at about the 3 mile mark, my GPS watch died. I stopped, sighed, then tried to picture a route that would give me the 9 miles I needed to complete my run. I decided to run the route I ran last week with an additional loop or two in hopes it would add up to 12.

The next couple of miles were uneventful. I did my usual loop through the cemetery and then headed up to  the Wellness park to refill my water bottles and add another mile. On my way back from the park, I decided to do a quick loop through the main street of town. I was feeling a little tired and not really paying attention when BAM! the top of my shoe caught an upraised section of concrete and I went flying.     

This was the result...

My first thought was "GET UP! Get up, before someone pulls over and asks you if you're ok." My next thought was "You need to get home but um, you're bleeding." I crossed the street and went into the police headquarters. I got some paper towels and took a few seconds to catch my breath. I stuck a paper towel against my hand, wiped my knee and then proceeded to run the last 2 miles home.

just another scar to add to my collection

It wasn't until I walked in the door and saw Seth that I started to cry. This is not the first time I've fallen while running but it is the first time that I've had the battle wounds to show for it. My wonderful husband hugged me and then went to get me waterproof band-aids so I could take a shower and not die in agony.

So, in conclusion, I had a really bad run and I am really glad I don't have to run for another 2 days.

I need a nap.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the one where I lose my mojo

This afternoon, E took my iphone and threw it at her brother's head. All I could think was "well, at least it wasn't a golf club". Yeah, that pretty much sums up the last week and half.

Last week's runs were junk. I whined and complained through each mile and barely dragged myself through my long run of 11 miles. I just wasn't feeling it. I'm chalking it up to a combination of homesickness and adjusting back to "real" life. 5 weeks of not having to worry about dinner, cleaning, or anything really, tends to make one complacent. Or, in my case, really lazy. It doesn't help that Direct TV has 3 channels of Olympic coverage. 

Some weeks are ugly. Some weeks are littered with loud voices, time outs, and tears. Some weeks produce runs that make you wonder why you're even trying. That's when you get out of bed, lift your head up, pull your shoulders back, and dare the world to give you another bad week. This week, I issued the challenge and then ran back to bed and climbed under the covers. Baby steps. I figure by next week, I'll have my mojo back and all will be well. Today, W pooped on the potty so I figure we're headed in the right direction. Successful potty training one day, a successful run the next. Whatever it takes. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the one where I neglect everything

Our summer trip is done. Seth is preparing for another semester. I'm cleaning out dressers and sorting clothes. We need to flip our mattress. All the signs are there - it's the beginning of a new year.

However, I'm running about 5 days behind on my new year duties due to this little thing that happens every 2 years or so - the Olympics. I'm completely, totally, utterly, and absolutely obsessed. The television goes on the minute I wake up, where one channel of Olympic coverage has already started recording. I catch up on events from the night before and then prepare for the main coverage to begin. I've watched handball for the first time and was surprised there was no wall (just ask any New Yorker and they'll explain what I mean), and marveled at the speed of those table tennis masters. Will and I cheered on the US archers and celebrated with Kayla Harrison when she became the first American to win a gold medal in Judo.

I have always been fascinated by the Olympics. During the Barcelona games, I literally lived in my living room for 2 weeks, glued to the television. I would stay up late during the Albertville and Lillehammer games, finishing my homework while cheering on the USA athletes. In the summer, I would pretend I was a gymnast and use the side of my pool as a balance beam. If I believed in past lives, I would swear that I was an Olympian.

I have great respect for those that push themselves past their limits to experience something amazing. Years of training culminating in an experience of only a few minutes or even seconds. That moment of greatness is why I run. I may not be competing in the Olympics but each run, each race, is an opportunity to be great. These Olympics and it's amazing athletes are inspiring me to be the best runner I can - regardless if I ever stand on a medal podium or not.