About 10 of the moms in my Awesome Twin Mom Group are starting Couch to 5K (C25K) programs. It is amazing to see them progressing each week. We have a closed FB group where they check in and post selfies taken “on the run” – I check in nightly to see their glistening faces. This is just the sort of thing that gets me going in the best way possible.
Recently, one of them asked me about gear so I have decided to share a few of my favorite running accessories! Of course, one of the many appealing aspects of running is that you don’t need much. In the early days, I only really invested in a decent pair of socks and shoes, but as I’ve gotten more sophisticated (read: old), I appreciate a few other items more and more.
1. Sports Bra: For me, only needed a good one recently, since I started lactating. Before twins, I was pretty small on top. Now, I have huge and uncomfortable melons that chafe when I run… and a newfound appreciation for my old bod. Hooray! The Moving Comfort Juno is the only sports bra that helped me feel secure while running with my new accessories. I highly recommend it.
2. Place to stash my phone: Until recently, I ran phone-less, but since I’m a mom, I feel the need to be reachable in case of emergency so I use a Spi Belt. If you don’t overload it (i.e., just use it for a phone, gel, credit card and a $20), it doesn’t flop around uncomfortably. To try a few different styles, go to your local running store. Be sure to load them up and go for a jog to get a real feel for the product.
3. Headphones: On long runs, I’ve started listening to audio books and podcasts. Earbuds don’t stay in my ears so I use these exclusively for running. They stay put and they’re fairly inexpensive so when the sweat starts to get to them, I just buy a new pair (usually one every year or two).
4. Socks. The most important thing to remember when it comes to socks is to avoid cotton, which will most certainly result in blisters & discomfort. After that, socks are largely based on personal preference so you might have to try a few to see what you like. My preference is for the Hidden Comfort socks from Balega for when I want some extra cushion. They are SO comfortable that sometimes I just wear them around the house. For a more minimalist feel, the Second Skin is the way to go.
5. Shorts. Running in Brooks Women’s D’lite Racers feels like you have nothing on, which is basically my definition of a good running short. If you chafe on your inner thighs, consider wearing tights to protect your skin.
6. For long runs, something to hold my water is key. There are bottles designed to fit in your hand, but I like to be hands-free so I opted for a belt. Nathan’s Trail Mix is my favorite because it has a clip closure rather then velcro, which can degrade over time, not to mention snag your clothes. If you’re marathon training, you probably could benefit from 4 bottles. I usually run in an area with water fountains so I opt for just 2.
Good luck with your running, whether you’re marathon training or attempting to go from C25K!
To say I felt conflicted about procreating was putting it lightly. I spent most of my twenties putting off thinking about it. Based on my limited experience with friends who had kids and subsequently disappeared into suburban routine filled with soccer games, mom jeans, and minivans, raising kids seemed unappealing at best. Around the age of 28 something changed, not logically because I can say with certainty that my head was still not so sure about this kid thing, but biologically, my body said ‘tick tock’.
Fast forward two years and babies (plural) was what we got. When you spend the better part of a year looking forward to the arrival of your little bundles of joy, they are without a doubt the most interesting people you have met that year, potentially the most interesting people you have met this lifetime. Mother Nature mixes up some sort of hormonal cocktail that guarantees that. Thank goodness.
Our little people were perfect. The boy arrived 4 minutes ahead of his sister. I will never forget the moment my doctor handed me his bloody, screaming body and announced that the baby was a boy. My heart was so full. Momentarily, I forgot that there was another baby to push into the world. She followed quickly behind and I was equally excited to meet her and hold her smaller, less hairy, but still very bloody body. The days that followed were a sleep-deprived blur.
Within weeks these fragile beings were developing distinct personalities. We compared them endlessly, which is the one thing you really aren’t supposed to do, of course. They weren’t that interesting in the beginning to anyone but us, but fast-forward to age one and personalities are in full bloom.
With a machine gun laugh and a tiger’s ferocious growl, tenacious is an understatement when referring to our little Birdie. If she were a part of speech, she would without a doubt be a verb. She is always moving, changing and climbing. She mimics adults around her and coos warmly when she receives attention. Her big, twinkling eyes are accentuated by model-like brows, and the smirk on her face gives you the distinct feeling that perhaps she knows something you don’t.
Ticklish from his little toes to his tiny nose, Cal’s laugh is contagious. Even his very busy sister can’t help but join in when he gets going. Sometimes he throws his head back and collapses in laughter. He is thoughtful and thorough in his explorations of all objects, studying them until he understands precisely what they do and how. Another favorite pastime is snuggling with Charlotte the cat – using her as a pillow, really – as she basks in the sun. And he gives the best bear hugs!
This year has certainly been a challenging one. Despite my initial ambivalence, I wouldn’t change a thing about it (except maybe more sleep). These two babies are truly a blessing. Seeing the world through their eyes is a treat.
Stay tuned for a sneak peak into a day in our life.
In college I can distinctly remember spending far too much time in Target testing the ‘el cheapo’ mirrors to find one of the $19.99 variety with the fewest distortions. Nothing bothered me more than getting a false sense of my thinness only to have it stolen away when standing in front of another, more accurate mirror – or worse, seeing photographic proof of my wider body shape.
Officially in my 30’s now, one might think that I’ve graduated to more sturdy mirrors, but I just received a Wal-Mart special “el cheapo” mirror that I ordered last week. Between babies, a dog and a cat, furniture and housewares don’t have a long lifespan here so I find myself more frequently opting for value purchases. Upon initial examination of my new mirror, I was disappointed to see a much thinner version of me staring back in the reflection.
Despite my skinny mirror pet peeve, which still exists (I am a realist after all), I am holding on to the mirror. I have decided that perhaps seeing a thinner version of myself isn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, maybe, just maybe, it will do me a some good.
Here’s my thinking on this topic. I’ve been paying more attention to my self-talk lately. And surprise, surprise, I’m not treating myself very compassionately. I noticed that I had been berating myself for an array of things I’ve done wrong – having a dirty apartment, eating a high calorie snack, not staying hydrated enough, not getting enough done around the house, etc.. And as a result, I feel like a hot mess. I hate that feeling. I am someone who typically takes a lot of pride in having it mostly together. Ugh…
An old friend of mine from business school visited me the other night. We used to enjoy talking smack about anyone and everyone – really ugly and immature behavior, of course – and I have to say she did a complete 180, totally transformed. When I asked her about it, she explained that a few years ago, she recognized the error in her ways. She felt she wasn’t living life compassionately, and she decided to do something about it. She began by noticing something positive about every person she saw or met, who she would have historically passed judgment (usually negative) upon. A worthwhile pursuit, for certain.
What’s even more important, and especially interesting to me, is what she did next. After she habitualized calling out the positive about others, she then decided to apply the same rules to herself. From here on out, she would only to “speak” to herself in a loving, kind, and non-judgemental way.
I must admit, as an outsider looking in, today she seems like a calmer, more centered and happier version of her old self. It is remarkable.
So, back to that skinny mirror. I realized that especially when I am not training for a race, I have tended in the past to spend a significant amount of time examining and judging my body, so much so that the “ugly” parts were far more obvious to me than the “beautiful” parts. I know, I know, all bodies are beautiful, but we all have our hang ups.
So, in addition to broaching this issue head-on like my friend, which I am in the process of doing, I figure that maybe keeping a skinny mirror around will help me temporarily notice the awesome things about my body.
But those clothes that are too tight, the ones you dream of fitting in next summer, those aren’t doing anybody any good. Donate, sell or toss ’em.
It’s a beautiful journey…
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
If you were paying any mind to social media over the weekend, you know that people love their mamas and were eager to share their feelings through countless posts, tweets & grams on Mother’s Day. As a new mom, I enjoy seeing the mama love and I was following closely to see what my friends had to say about their mothers.
I began to feel a little uneasy as the day progressed. Eventually I realized it was the photos that many of my mom-friends posted of them with their children with captions like, ‘My World’, ‘My Everything’, or “This is what I live for.” Of course, these are lovely things to say on the surface. Occasionally, I have been tempted to fall into this way of speaking to express the love that never knew I could have for others, but do, as a mother of twins. But I always stop myself.