Let’s start with the TMI. HA.
Sometimes, when you’re a “lady,” there are parts that get irritated on long runs. This happens for me in particular, about once a month, when there may be some “additional” items involved. So, I’m super-excited that I just got this in the mail (don’t worry, the actual mailer is more discrete).
I came across a review on another blog (rUnladylike) about running on your period. These lovely underthings by Dear Kates are made expressly for that purpose–the freedom of running WITH wicking and absorption without the other, ahem, accoutrements. I was super-jazzed about trying them out today on a long run–but my nanny just canceled so I don’t think the run is happening as I scramble to get childcare sorted for a meeting I have later this afternoon. Sigh. So, there will have to be a TMI Thursday part 2. HOWEVER, there is still more to TMI Thursday Part 1…
As I said above, sometimes there is chafing in very unfortunate spots. Some of my lady friends run in thongs to avoid some of this and the dreaded panty line. That sounds even more uncomfortable to me. The do sell various running under garments, but they are not cheap. I bought one Under Armour pair that works fine though a bit snug, and a bit pricey. That is why I was super excited about randomly encountering these at Target for $19.99/3 pairs.
There was another pack of nude colors, but they didn’t have them in my size, so I went with my favorite black. They are a nylon/spandex blend, thin and soft, with a decent amount of stretch. I’ve tried them both for a long run and for yoga. As technical, wicking underwear, they are great. They don’t ride, things don’t chafe. However, for me, I found that they are a little snug (again, I feel like I’m in a weird in-between size where some things are too big/small) so there is some underwear line for me although it’s seamless. If I tried sizing up, maybe that wouldn’t be an issue? Although my fear is always that they will be too loose then. Anyhow, I hadn’t seen anything about this line from Champion before, so I thought I’d send along my experiences. I’m always a sucker for cheaper, well-functioning technical wear.
Ok, on to less intimate but no-less-fun things. Yesterday was National Running Day. Oddly enough, I was not planning on running because it was my cross-training day. However, my friend and fellow Ragnarian, Ayesha, posted that she had some spaces in her classes that day training at Orange Theory Fitness. I’ve been wanting to try it out, so I messaged Jenny, who’s doing some PR for them, and we decided to go together.
It was INTENSE. I realized that I don’t really push myself that hard, even when I think I AM pushing myself. Just a quick overview (and apologies for anything I’m not describing exactly perfectly), Orange Theory uses interval-based training combining cardio and strength to “blast” fat (Jenny told me their log is a fat cell bursting, ha) using heart-rate training for optimal performance. The cardio portion is done with treadmills (on a side note, I loved these treadmills. They are called “freemotion” and it felt like I was really running outside) and water rowers (you actually row against water resistance and not that ridiculous giant fan!). The strength portion is done using free weights, the TRX system, kettle bells, and your own body weight. There were three blocks (I think that’s what they were called) where we rotated through the cardio and strength.
The treadmill parts kicked my butt, and Ayesha made it a personal mission to get me in the red zone. It was a series of easy runs at a comfortable pace (or walking–since it’s heart-rate based, it ends up being very individualized) with bursts of hill climbing or sprinting mixed in. At one point one of the OTF workers came in to check my heart rate monitor to make sure it was working correctly. Either I had it on a little bit wonky, or I am a lot stronger than I think, haha. Your heart rate is projected on a large screen overhead so you can always see if you need to work harder, back off, etc. You can see that I never quite made it to red, but Jenny (who was on the Strider bike thing since she’s still not running) was in the red for a little bit.
Personally, I think that the heart rate monitor must have been wonky because that was a tough workout! I really did push myself, and I was tired from the previous day! Ayesha even came over at one point to give me heavier weights because she thought I wasn’t pushing hard enough (based on my heart rate). It’s a great cross training/speed workout to mix in with my runs! I also really liked that it was so individualized. You can be any fitness level and be able to adapt the workout to make it work for you!
Something that I wasn’t sure about at first, but I ended up liking (as did Jenny) is that they have the room somewhat dimly lit with orange lights, and is thumping with the music. However, it actually helped me get more into my workout and focused on what I was doing. Plus I kept wanting to dance 🙂
One thing that’s a little different about Orange Theory membership is that you have to buy their heart rate monitors, but they are yours to keep. And since they are regular heart rate monitors, you can use them with other machines, etc. if you wanted. It’s also more like a yoga studio and less like a regular gym in that you can buy class packages or monthly memberships based on how many times a month you plan on going. You should definitely check out a free class, though (they give you a loaner so you can try it).
Plus, if you look this happy after such a hard workout, it’s gotta be good!
P.S. Ayesha got me an awesome “Every Mother Counts” shirt. She’s an ambassador for them, and an amazing fitness expert! You can follow her blog here. Her Instagram is awesome too. Anyhow, Every Mother Counts is a great nonprofit organization that wants to ensure every pregnancy and childbirth is safe for every mother. You can help donate money to them by using the Charity Miles app. My Ragnar teams will be running all of our miles to donate!