Mary's Going with Guts!

Track my progress as I train for my next Team Challenge half marathon for the CCFA

I fell in love today…with a pair of pants

Posted by msdon9 on February 27, 2011

In my entire life I’ve never had any sort of attachment to an article of clothing. Seriously – not my prom dress, not my sorority letters, not even any of the  Syracuse tee shirts I own or my favorite pair of pajamas.

I did, however, fall in love with a pair of pants today. And since I feel so passionate about these pants, I feel the need to compose a blog post and share my devotion with the rest of the world.

Am I weird? Maybe… but I’m comfortable, and most importantly, warm!

Last week Team Challenge Long Island had a clothing & shoe clinic at The Runner’s Edge in Farmingdale, which is how we kick off the training season every year. Now LAST year I was a little more conservative and purchased only a pair of sunglasses…but I took full advantage of my 20% off Team Challenge discount and picked myself up a new pair of sneaks, a vest, and a pair of running tights, er… pants by Falke.

I don’t know anything about the Falke brand. Since I started composing this post, I checked out a bunch of websites and learned that the company is based out of Germany and makes hosiery mostly but also some fashion apparel for men and women and some sports gear. I honestly purchased these pants because they were my size and on sale. That’s all I was going on.

This morning as I dragged my sleepy body out of bed at 8:15, the LAST thing I wanted to do was throw myself outside in windy 30-something degree weather for a training run. But – as soon as I put on these brand new pair of pants (that I didn’t even try out when I bought them – I just went for it). I instantly felt AMAZING! It was like a put on a pair of the most comfortable pajama pants ever. My elation only increased when I stepped outside. It was pretty cold… but my legs felt like they were still in bed under the covers. This could seriously be the warmest, most lightweight pair of pants I’ve ever worn. I HIGHLY recommend making the investment – especially for cold-weather running. On the three mile loop I ran this morning, I had wind blowing directly into my face, messing up my hair, assaulting my back, and freezing my knuckles… but my entire lower body was snug as a bug. No lie! So click the link to learn more about these amazing pants (It’s helpful if you speak German, or you can just go to any store like The Runner’s Edge and ask a salesperson to help you).

Don't underestimate how much a professional can help you choose the right pair of sneakers!

In all honesty – if you’re at all serious about becoming a runner, you should really equip yourself with the right gear. I bought new sneakers last weekend because I was in the “wrong kind of shoe.”   A professional at The Runner’s Edge took a look at my feet, watched me walk, and helped me select a pair of sneakers that would be much better for me. It’s funny – I noticed the difference in the shoes almost immediately, and I feel so much more comfortable in what I’m wearing now. And to be honest? I didn’t have to spend a lot of money either. The shoes he’s holding in his hand are the ones I ended up getting for myself – the same brand of shoes I was running in – just better adjusted for my foot and gait. The folks at the big-box athletics stores won’t give you the same kind of service, not unless you get lucky and encounter someone who actually knows what he’s talking about versus somebody who’s working part-time to save for college.

So how is everything going so far? Splendidly! Even though I’ve been out of training since the Boston half in June of 2010 – I’m getting off to a good start this year. We’re still pretty early on in the training so I’m not running any crazy distances yet, but I feel pretty good – and I’ve started to notice the difference that a change in diet has done for me. As a runner with Crohn’s Disease, I have to be careful about what I eat not only on the days that I run, but every day. I learned from a ton of mistakes that I made last year. (Those new Gatorade “priming” products? Not for me… Chomps and Power Bites? Nope. Stomach ache city. I don’t even want to tell you what happened that one time I took a Gel 10 minutes before a race….).  To prepare for this season I put myself on a low- wheat/gluten, dairy-free diet. I’ve eliminated beer (I actually feel way better since doing this… so it’s worth it), I’m not eating bread, but instead have been loaded up on high-carbohydrate vegetables and making gluten-free pancakes for myself. I’ve stopped purchasing non-organic chicken and beef. I’ve replaced traditional pasta with Tofu Shiritaki noodles (not the same, but I’ve gotten used to it), and I’m eating a TON  of seafood!!! Yum! In addition to the dietary changes, I’ve amped up my weight-training at the gym. I’ve dropped 12 pounds before training, which makes running A LOT easier on my joints.

Till next time… =)

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