What's In My Bag

Runner's Bag Edition

Since this bag is primary used for running, its small and I don't necessary want to carry a lot of things in it

Probably my best goodie from the Black Girls Run conference in Atlanta earlier this year.
As my running distance continues to increase, I need to carry things like extra fluids and etc without causing any inconvenience to my running form.

This bag is just amazing for that. The size and inside compartments are perfect. I might do a separate in depth review of the bag if requested.

2. Water Bottle
To stay hydrated I fill my bottle with water or any electrolyte replenishing beverage such as powerade 

3. Lip Balm for chapped lips from dehydration or harsh winter weather

4. Body Butter Lotion.
Sometimes I run to a destination to perform another activity such as soccer. Winter makes my skin extremely dry and irritating. I keep moisturizing lotions in all my bags for when my skin starts itching from dryness.

5. Earphones
Because I need every motivation I can get and it allows me to multi-task. From taking phone calls, listening to music or an audible.
Speaking of Audibles, I am currently listening to "The Big Little Lies" by Lian Moriarty

6. Whistle
Because I teach Physical Education and I am a run ambassador.
People Obey the Whistle = They pay attention when I need them to.
I have never had to use it as an ER-tool to call for help in case my phone isnt working but I guess it can serve that purpose too. 

7. Arm Band 
For my cellphone, especially if am using an app or program as a training tool. I need to be able to access it on the go so I put the phone on my arm instead of inside the bag.

Not Featured

1. Heat Pads for winter

2. Winter Cap

3. Winter gloves

As we transition into colder climates, these items will find permanent domicile in my bag. Sometimes I start a run feeling extremely cold but it gradually becomes hot and having the bag helps me to put away the hat and gloves....vice versa; where perhaps 30-mins to 1 hr into a run temperatures drop and I have to put on some protective gear.

Dealing With Sore Muscles

I experienced my first NOVEMBER PROJECT Workouts last week Wednesday at the Harvard stadium.

This meant doing an infinite (in my feeble mind at the time) number of stadium steps.

I honestly don't know where I got the mental perseverance to finish it. My only evidence was the jello-like feeling in my legs and slight dizziness that occurred afterwards. Also I experienced 3 days of excruciating muscle soreness.

Here is how I dealt with the muscle soreness after doing that many steps.

#1. Post Workout Stretch

I knew I had to do some intense stretching immediately to prevent stiffness

#2 Hot Shower Stretch
This can be substituted for having a "heat" pad which is usually a luxury reserved for athletics trainer rooms. Warm water relaxes your muscles and that's the best time to take advantage and stretch them some more. Reach down, with your legs straight, touch your toe and stretch those hamstrings & Calves

#3 Roller Foam 
This is the best thing for rolling away those extra tight muscle knots and trigger points. It also helps improve blood circulation in the legs.

#Yoga4: Specifically Yoga for runners
You can google up many variations. I use many videos on YouTube but for dealing for this specific week I used BrettLarkin's 40mins post run yoga. This video is more than 1 years old but I still love it and have used it several times. 

The sequence stretches your whole body with great emphasis on the limbs and shoulders. Basically she focuses on the major muscles used in running.

 I also like that it is 40 mins instead of 10 mins. While a 10 - 20 minutes routine is better than nothing, my body needs more than that.

If done properly , your previously tensed muscles should feel a great deal of relaxation, openness and calmness. If you're in tune with your body, you should feel them "give in" to the manipulations*.

#5 Low Intensity Follow Up Exercises
Usually to experience such intense muscle soreness means you really work HARD. Extra weight lifting session in the gym, extra mileage on your run and etc. Give yourself a break and go easy for the next 2 days or so. For me, walking to work and after work helps with relieving some of the tension. I take deliberate large steps that stretch out my groin. I also keep stretching any chance I get at work. Even though I still ran on the same day, ( BGR run ambassador duties), I kept my miles under 3 for 2 days.

In 2 days am heading back to the stadium for another session with November Project. I can't wait to become so strong that I will be running up the steps like some of the monsters :) "amazing athletes" who show up and kill it like its a piece of pumpkin pie.

Happy Working out and Remember to be kind to your muscles.

Also if November Project is in your city, do check it out.
Its Amazing.
Everyone is super NICE & Encouraging
Most Importantly the workouts are FREE!

Exercising during menstruation - Just Do it

During menstruation you may feel one of these side effects;



Emotional Imbalance

Maddening cravings for anything with an unhealthy dose of SUGAR

It might take you 2 hours to summon up the will and strength to leave the comfort of your bed but just do it.

The rewards will justify the effort.

Running will get your blood circulating and get rid of the sluggishness. Preferably do sprints instead of a slow long run.

Worst case scenario. Go for a walk. It's better than anything but I'll rather run myself to exhaustion and enjoy a good post workout nap.

I find that sprints have a way of "waking up" my body. Everything comes alive. I feel more light weight at the end of the workout.

Practice yoga and channel those crazy bi polar emotions into a state of peaceful meditation . Its healthy for your mind and muscles.

Unless you have a medical condition, I am not comfortable with the idea of taking pills to "cure" pms. It's a natural process that our bodies go through for the greater good of our health.

This is how I deal with periods and exercise. Science and research will tell you a lot of Dos and Donts. Unless your period lasts for many days, give yourself a break and indulge in whatever your heart desires in moderation. 

That's my policy. 

Being a woman is hard work ^_^