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Are you Prepared?

This isn’t a normal topic for LOLZ blog, but last week I thought about how the Winter Storm “Juno” didn’t affect New Jersey/Philadelphia as predicted.  While I was happy that it was’t as serious, it did made me think what if had closed down everything for a few days.  After graduating with a degree in public health, I can truly say staying healthy and safe (mind, body and soul) has always been a passion of mine.  While I no longer work in the field anymore, I do volunteer and educate to stay current in the field.

Then after spending time in Rochester last weekend, I realized I’m no longer in my “winter element”. If there was a snow storm in New Jersey, I don’t know if I would truly be prepared.

I was discussing with a coworker yesterday that it’s important to be life prepared. It’s important to be prepared so that you don’t “just run out of food”. It shouldn’t be the night before a storm and half of the town is at the grocery store.  The night before the storm last week, half of my town was in the grocery store.  Did we need those items?  Probably not…we could have made it through a day or two stuck at home.

The storm taught me a valuable lesson.  Despite not affecting us the way it was predicted too, it made me think about how prepared am I for emergencies?

How prepared are you?

Not only prepared with food but also prepared with making sure to have items like a flashlight or extra batteries incase the power goes out.

While it is true that disasters are relatively rare, they do happen. It’s better to be over prepared versus under prepared. Similarly, it’s better for the weather channel to overestimate snowfall versus underestimate.  If one life, injury or problem is saved because everything closed, then good.

After googling different ideas and lists to stay prepared, I came across this infographic!

The public health major in me says: when creating a food checklist, you should be detailed. Don’t simply gather random snacks from the pantry and place them in a storage bin.  Since you are preparing and putting foods away for later, try to have foods from each food group if possible.  Something I often forget is also making sure to also store necessary equipment and utensils to eat the food. Food checklists are an important part of emergency preparedness.  

Preparing for the Unexpected an Emergency Food Checklist Infographic

Source: Shop.Honeyville.com

When I got home from Rochester yesterday, I actually printed this out and stocked up on some food to keep in my pantry.  I can survive a few days without power and with food.

I decided to grab:

Canned: 

  • Canned meat including salmon, tuna and chicken
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruits.  I really like canned pears and peaches
  • 4 miscellaneous canned soups as well as black beans

For section 2, I opted against freeze dried foods.

“Staples”

  • Let’s be honest that we have enough instant coffee, sugar and cream packets to last a week already.

Some of my favorite snacks that we stock in the house:

  • Beef Jerkey (so much protein!)
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese its
  • Wasabi Nuts (Has anyone tried these?)
  • Cereal

Beverages:

  • We always have powered juice packets (It’s actually a staple in my current diet because you can bring them anywhere and I prefer that over water)
  • What are some good dairy options to keep stored?  I know almond milk doesn’t spoil
  • We have 2 cases of water and a brita filter stored too.

Equipment for food:

  • First Aid kit.  Every single family should have a first aid kit in their house and vehicles.
  • Quick Stove.  This is something I used in backpacking to make food when there is no access to power.
  • Utensils and food preparation: Make sure to have cutlery as well as a can opener and pan to boil water on a quick stove.

As you can see this is just one list to help in food preparation.  There are many more.  I liked this one because it gave me a good list of what to have.  

Questions for you:

Are you prepared for a big storm?

What are some foods you stock up on? 

 

 

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Running on the Cheap

To be straight up honest running is not an expensive sport.  There are many sports that are much more expensive.  With cycling, it costs upwards of 2,000 dollars for a “legit” bike.  Cycling with an old bike is like running a marathon in Nike frees.  This is just one example but many sports are much more expensive.

Most running shoes cost between 120-150 dollars.  People complain about the cost of running but in reality if you spend time searching for good deals and lower “no frills” races, it’s not an expensive sport or hobby.  With the increase of runners in the population, there is an increase in running product (both expensive and not).  Companies want to make money so it makes sense to create more products for a sport more people are participating in.

The most important thing to spend money on is good shoes.  If you aren’t running in appropriate shoes (for your gait and foot type etc.), you won’t be running for very long.  Many new runners ask me my biggest piece of advice:

Get your gait analyzed and invest in a good pair of shoes.  You won’t look back. Every company designs great shoes but it’s important to really get your gait and feet analyzed.  Like getting a bra fitting, you don’t know what you are missing until you do.  Just by being in the right shoe, your training will immediately improve.  

Don’t go cheap on running shoes. 

After purchasing a good pair of running shoes there are not a lot of other expenses.  Sure there are pieces of apparel that cost over 100 dollars but do you need all that?  No, probably not.

————–

Since it’s winter time, I’m going to show you an outfit I put together for running in the 30 degree temperature (all for less than 100 bucks).  

winter meme

Nothing in this post is sponsored and there are no affiliate links.

Running in the winter is all about layering.  You can run outside if you layer appropriately.  I hate the cold weather but I have clothes to run in 10 degree (and below) weather.  You can run in colder weather with warmer clothing but I’m a baby.  I’ll run outdoors if it is cold but if it is icy, I normally won’t.

Anyways enough about me and to the running deals: 

Headwarmer: 

In the Spring of 2012, I purchased this head warmer from Walmart.  Since it was Spring it was on sale for 2 dollars.  It’s fleece and it’s warm.  Walmart has some cute headwarmer gems that are 7 dollars at full sale and 2 dollars on clearance.  I have a few cute ones that have worked from 0 degree temperature to 40.

Here is a glamour shot of me using the headwarmer.

Here is a glamour shot of me using the headwarmer.

Cost $2.00

Similar products: Nike head warmer 18.00  (I also have this one and they are very similar).

Jacket: 

One of my all-time favorite running jackets (you’ve seen it on the blog several times) is this Avalanche jacket.  I found it at Marshalls for 5 dollars.  Yes, 5 dollars for a jacket that was originally 60+.  It blocks the wind and keeps me warm.  The downside is it’s not water resistant.

So cold.  Lake Effect 2013

Proof of how much I wear this jacket: Lake Effect Half Marathon 2013 (Roughly 15 degrees+wind chill)

running sucks.

Running my worst 5k ever! (Roughly 25 degrees)

Good times with my brother running

A few weeks ago running with my brother!

Cost: Avalanche Jacket 5.00 (Total Outfit cost 7.00)

Similar items: Northface Denali Jacket $179

To run in conditions that need wind and rain protection I have another jacket. My Nike wind and rain resistant jacket was also $9.98  at TJ Maxx (a season or two ago).  This is my best deal to date.

There are other brands offering a similar wind breaker for 150+ dollars.

I paid 9.98.  The jacket folds and compresses into any sized bags.  It can be worn on top or long sleeves, short sleeves or as just as a wind shield.  It is a great top layer.

Nike Windbreaker 1

via instagram last week

Jacket photo via instagram last week

Cost: 10.00 (total cost 17.00)

Similar jacket: The Oiselle Fleshman Flyer 160.00 

Pants: 

Everlast Pants (22 dollars for both):

I’ve had my Everlast pants since college.  They literally do last forever…and so does my wallet because I’ve had them 4 years and still run in them.  One has fleece lining and one does not.  Black leggings are boring to photograph and they are logo free.

Rocking The Everlast leggings and jacket while I'm not running!  So functional!

Rocking The Everlast leggings and jacket while I’m not running! So functional!

Cost: 22 (total cost 49.00)

Similar pants: the Saucony shield and Nike legging (75 each)

Long Sleeve Top:

With the Christmas over there are a lot of January sales now too.  I haven’t found a long sleeve top I’m in love with but have plenty of base layers.  I found a few long sleeve base layers for sale at Target.  Each is a black top (so boring) but also dry fit material (meaning you won’t chafe) and costed 10 dollars.

Cost: 10 dollars (total cost 59)

Similar options: Nike Dri Fit  70.00 

Two of the most important pieces of winter apparel are gloves and mittens.  Mittens are warmer than gloves so if you get cold easily, that might be the best route for you (it is the best route for me).  If your hands are cold, then everything is cold.

I haven’t found a method to find extremely cheap gloves and mittens.  The best method is to look for deals when the season changes over.  For instance, in March companies will start cleaning out their winter line.  This is the time to buy gloves and mittens.  I found these Nathan Gloves (different color) for 20 dollars last year.  They are the warmest mittens you’ll ever find.

Online at the Cymb (I just googled) they are 25 right now!  It is worth it.

nathan mitten

Cost: 20 dollars (Total cost 79)

Total outfit cost: 79 dollars (21 dollars left to sign up for a 5k) 

In summary my advice is this:

  • Find apparel in the off season.
  • Splurge on the necessary items such as good shoes.
  • Stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross can give awesome deals on clothing.  You can find cute and functional summer running clothes on sale right now…there is no time like the present…literally.
  • You can look cute and not spend a lot with running.

Next week I will talk about a few products I’ve splurged on and I like.

Question for you: Where do you find the best running apparel deals?

Humidity Sucks.

If you live on the East Coast you know one thing…

The humidity this week has been 150% and awful.  Weren’t we all just complaining about the winter weather and now it’s 1000 degrees with 500% humidity?

At least that is how I’ve seen it lately.  Conditioning to the heat stinks.  Your pace slows down and you feel like you are worker so much harder.  You come back pouring sweat after half a mile and going a minute per mile slower.

No one else?

Well I’ll be the first to admit I was doing really well with my pacing this winter.  Yes it was cold but I didn’t feel like I was breathing through a straw.  I was hitting the perfect pace for 6 out of 7 runs.  I was consistent and I felt awesome.   I credit PRing in my half marathon with my consistent splits.  (I was doing very little speed work).

That, unfortunately, is not how I feel right now.  I am the slog champion!  I feel like I’m breathing through a straw, preying that I don’t get winded.  I’ve stopped timing a good portion of my miles because timing them caused me to compare my miles to fair weather temperatures.  Which is silly and pointless.

Now I come back wheezing, huffing and puffing after swimming through a swampy morning run. 

Not timing my runs seems to be working out well though.  I’m not miserable running, I’m just slower.  Every summer I take the time to tell myself that injury free miles are the most important.  My only goal of the summer is to log miles and log injury free miles.  Training for a marathon cannot happen if I’m injured or worried about each and every mile split of a run.  Plus I have other things to be worried about…

I want to PR in my marathon this fall.  Not only do I want to PR I want to crush the 3:17 I ran at NYC.  I’m not racing a marathon in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity like my training runs right now (at least god I really hope not).

Last year I took this same mentality.  I logged easy base building miles.  I didn’t time a good portion of miles in VA…or if I did they were above 8:30+ pace (almost always).  Even though I was just focusing on staying injury free I ended up PRing in both the 5k and 8k.

Then when I thought my summer was over I moved to Texas and continued for two more months of heat. I remember running my first 20 mile run and when I finished it was 98 degrees.

I saw the twilight zone and slept on the floor for a couple of hours. I drank 6 powerades hoping to find my long lost electrolytes.

But I made it through my six months of summer and toed the line at the NYCM injury free.  I logged several 80 mile weeks and peaked at my first (and only) 100 mile week.  All injury free.  I had one close call but after switching my shoes my knee felt fine again. (my wallet hated the fact I disposed of a 175 pair of Newtons with 50 miles of them but my legs were happy).

I guess what I’m saying is the heat and humidity sucks.  It’s not pleasant and you probably feel like you are breathing through a straw.  Even though you don’t see everyone out and about, others are dealing with the same thing.

Finally if it gets too bad I’ll be the first to admit I’ll go run on the treadmill and catch up on trashy TV.

Being injured or hurt for your goal race sucks more.  I’ll continue to whine about the heat but in reality I’m logging injury free miles.  Despite being slower, I know I’ll feel fabulous when fall rolls around again.

Questions for you:

How hot is it where you live? 


I don’t mind the cold as long as it’s not icy.

Long Week 7 (72 miles)

Was it just me or did this week seem like it took forever?  As with the majority of people I am sick of this winter.  I am waiting for the Spring time and March but that seems like it’s never going to come.  Instead of complaining I’ll just keep trucking on with training. 

runningweek7

Workouts:

Monday 11.45 miles 8:23 pace (treadmill) Nike Training Club: Abs/Arms
Tuesday
Wednesday 12.2 untimed Nike Training Club: Abs
Thursday 13.2 (7:50 pace) with Tim P90X
Friday 10.35 untimed
Saturday 12.83 8:23 pace
Sunday 12-13 NTC: Core/Back
Total: 72

Thoughts:

Monday’s run on the treadmill felt surprisingly easy.  Although it wasn’t much faster than usual, I found myself exhausted afterwords.  About two hours after getting home (around 6pm) I felt very tired and achy.  I think it was possibly the treadmill but also that last week had caught up to me (on a Monday…que the long week).  Whatever the reasoning I felt I needed a rest day on Tuesday.

I thought Wednesday would bring a good run since I had rested.  It didn’t.  I later realized that my shoes were pushing 750 miles and probably the reason for my run not feeling great.  (It didn’t feel awful but I thought I would feel like a million bucks).

Thursday I ran with Tim and finally felt amazing.  We ended up doing a progressive run (starting around 8:30 and finishing around 6:50).  It didn’t feel like we were moving that fast.  A few miles in the middle were around 8:30 when we were running on icey trail but the rest averaged  below 8 and the last mile was below 7.  It was a huge confidence booster for me.

Friday and Saturday I took easy.  I’m not sure what I’ll do today (Sunday).  I am hoping for around 12-13 miles at a slightly quicker pace.  We shall see!

Going into Shamrock next week:

This week was really similar to last week though.  I wish I could tell you I had the two productive weeks I wanted between Lake Effect and Shamrock but that was not the case.  Instead I had relatively  easy weeks.  Since I haven’t done much speed work the last two weeks I don’t know if Shamrock will be the repeat success that Lake Effect was.  I am still questioning my abilities because of it but I know it will be a lot of fun regardless.  I’m not going to force a lot of speed I wouldn’t normally do before a race just because.  As I said in my post a few days ago you can’t stay at the top of your game

While my dream goal is still to PR, I’ll be happy with anything under a 1:27 with my change in perspective.   Speaking of Shamrock, I was featured in the “Shamrock Spotlight” if you wanted to go read about that.

I will probably stay with my normal half marathon taper.  I’ve found it’s worked well for me.

Questions for you:

What is a motivating workout you do before a race?

Random: What is your biggest fitness/workout related goal?  What is something you want to do in your lifetime? 

Senior Citizen Discount

After speaking with my real life friends I have come to realize that I am indeed a 90 year woman trapped in a 23 year olds body.  With the exception of running, I am highly certain most of my habits resemble that of older people.  I see nothing wrong with my lifestyle (except I don’t get the senior citizen discount) and I guess neither did my later college roommates.  In several living situations I was nicknamed the grandma of the house or grandma of swim practice.

Thank you college roommates!

It never really bothers me though and I do what makes me happy and healthy.  I guess it just goes with my off and awkward style.

I’ve just compiled a list of my “grandma quirks”.

I normally fall asleep by 9-10pm.  In my defense, I try and log off the computer over 30 minutes beforehand.  (so no I really don’t go to sleep most of the time at 8:30).  I’ve always found I sleep better if I log off far before I actually go to bed.

Going along with my sleeping habits I normally wake up at 6am…and gasp I really enjoy it.  I enjoy my personal time in the morning to relax.  Sometimes Tim is up, sometimes he is not.  Either way my natural alarm goes off around 6 or so.  Sometimes it’s 6:01 and sometimes it’s 5:58…but we all can’t be perfect.

My meals normally reflect earlier hours too.  I normally eat when I wake up, I’m starving for lunch around 11, starving for dinner around 4-5.  This just means I get all the “early bird” specials.

I think older people like to gather and flock to diners to get coffee.  What a coincidence…me too.  Yes I like coffee but you won’t catch me often with those new age folks getting fancy lattes at starbucks or hip coffee shops.  Nothing beats the taste of a burnt cup of joe, being a regular and ordering the same thing multiple times in the same booth at your local diner.

Ah yes diner joe.  Nice and burnt and with whip cream.

Ah yes diner joe. Nice and burnt and with whip cream.

I take a plethora of vitamins.  I take a multivitamin, “joint lubricant pills” and calcium/vitamin D.  I keep them all in their respectable MTWTFSS compartments in my pill box.  I know I’m 23 and have a “pill box”.   It keeps me organized and I know whether or not I have taken them.

I would rather lay on my couch and watch TV and relax versus going out to the bar on weekends.  Throughout later college it was what I did.  Maybe that’s a runner thing but I like to relax versus going out.  Don’t get me wrong, I did go out in college and we do go out now but nine times out of ten we are still back by ten on weekends.

I sit really close to the computer and really close to the TV.  I wear glasses (fun fact) but my vision isn’t terrible (-2.25) I just like to be close to everything.  I also like to have the volume up really high…

I also like to wear 100 layers.  I don’t really mind when the temperature drops a little bit because no one can judge me in my patterned cable knit sweaters.  I have been known to tell people dressed up for “ugly sweater parties” they look really nice.

So many layers, so little time.  Actually it was -40 in Lake Placid that day and I can truly say that is the coldest I've ever been.

So many layers, so little time. Actually it was -40 in Lake Placid that day and I can truly say that is the coldest I’ve ever been…but at least I was photobombed by some dog sledders.

I drive a Pontiac firebird and after getting 2 speeding tickets in upstate NY, I drive slow (not dangerously slow but not fast).  People expect I’ll go whirling down the road at 90 miles an hour in NJ.  They have a rude awakening….I fear tickets more then I fear getting injured so I’ll stay in the right hand lane and let those youngins get pulled over and pass me.

Due to the weather conditions, here is an appropriate photo of my car from college...same car different snow...

Due to the weather conditions, here is an appropriate photo of my car from college…same car different snow…

Question for you: What is one of your quirks? 

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