Of course LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” was on my training playlist

[Sorry if you are looking for a new exercising-in-denim picture today. I need a place to talk about my first half marathon.]

Short version of my race recap:

My ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon today (my first) in 2:09:40. I gave it everything I had in me. It was awesome. Of course I didn’t wear jeans, Silly.

Long version of my race recap:

I’m a weight lifter. Serious running along with serious weight lifting, in principle, are counter-intuitive. I’ve said it before: even though I run, I don’t consider myself a runner. I run because I know it is good for me. I don’t love it. I have no burning passion for it. I don’t identify with it. I’m not fast. My form is terrible. My face turns tomato red. I feel all sorts of terrible when I’m doing it. And I’m sure I do serious damage to my lung tissue with all the coughing that occurs (I have asthma).

But there is something about turning 40 that makes you want to punch that “4” and that “0” right in its old-lady, sun-spotted, fine-lined-and-wrinkled face. So I signed up for my first half marathon, trained for four months,* and then today…

…I caught 40 square in the jaw with a right hook, landed a spinning back kick, and then submitted that bitch with a rear-naked choke. It wasn’t the fastest “win” by any means – I did it in a shocking (for me) 2:09:40 – but a win is a win, right?

RandyCouture

Notable things on race day:

  • I cried twice. Neither tear-fest occurred at the finish line or because of pain. At one point, early in the race, I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am – that I am able and healthy enough to run 13.1 miles. The second time I cried was when I saw all the military service men, in full gear, on the railings of one of the bridges cheering us on. Runners were yelling “thanks” back at them, drowning out their cheers for us. It was moving in a way that I can’t put into words. And the tears? Full on sobs.
  • My performance. I followed all the advice from my running friends (and sister) and, if it was possible to re-do today’s race, I would not do one thing differently. I had a negative split and gave it EVERYTHING I had in me – 100% was left on that course. I remember thinking when I hit the 13 mile marker that I DID NOT have another tenth of a mile in me, but somehow I was able to focus on the spectators’ cheers and that was enough to carry me across the finish line.
  • The concerned volunteer. A lady, when I crossed the finish line, asked me, “Medic?” as she grabbed my arm and nodded her head up and down. I must have REALLY looked bad. I was, and am, fine.
  • Spectators. I’ve written before that I could not have trained for this race without the support of my running group, Steel City Road Runners Club; their support and company has been vital in the success of my training runs. Today, the spectators were my support. The cheering, the positive energy, the cowbells, the bands, the signs were out in full force! I beamed with Pittsburgh Pride the entire race.
  • The weather. Beautiful. Perfect.
  • Miscellaneous. 1) The kid drummer for the band Chess Club and a Chick that was playing on the North Side. He was awesome. 2) The people handing out gummy worms on Carson Street. I so needed them right at the moment they appeared before me. 3) I didn’t see anyone running in jeans. 😦

Start

And the weekend as a whole:

  • Meeting and hanging out with bloggers Charla (Running Haiku) and Tracey/Andrew (Stride and Joy) made for a memorable weekend that surpassed all expectations. Our time together was fun and comfortable and will be cherished forever. I’m looking forward to when I can get together again with my new friends.
  • I have an old man stalker. The full story is almost unbelievable (in a very fun way). For another time…

NewFriends

* I came up with a training plan on my own and it consisted of one day of running each week [yep, that is all the running I did – 128.5 training miles to be exact]. I’m still deciding on the title of the book that will bring in royalties matching Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway:

BookTitles

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REVIEW: INKnBURN Performance Denim Capris

[ALTERNATIVE TITLE: Don’t take a picture of my butt and send it to me.]

Short version of review:logo_inknburn

INKnBURNS’s True Blue Performance Denim Capris are versatile for all of your workouts. They are comfortable and cute too!

Long version of review:

At least once a week, someone is emailing, commenting, Tweeting, texting (hey, Sis!) me about INKnBURN and their denim line of clothing. If you aren’t familiar with INKnBURN, I would describe them as a company that manufactures workout apparel “with an edge.” If you aren’t familiar with their “performance denim” line, it is comprised of clothes made of tech material with the look of denim. And the line is extensive: pants, skirt, shorts, tank, jacket, even a sports bra and headband! So, when given the opportunity to receive and review a pair of their True Blue INB Performance Denim Capris, I jumped at the chance.

For me, the ideal piece of exercise apparel is versatile – it takes me from the weight room to the yoga studio to the road/trails. I am far too much of a minimalist to have workout wear that must match all the different activities I enjoy. Additionally, my other criteria for exercise apparel is that I don’t want to THINK about it. If I am wearing something that itches or tugs or bunches or rubs, I can’t ignore it. Many workouts have been ruined (i.e. stopped early) due to the fact that I am distracted and/or uncomfortable.

Enter True Blue INB Performance Denim Capris.  I wore them running. I wore them in the weight room. I wore them to a power yoga class.

InkNBurn

FUNCTIONALITY

Overall, they are a high-quality product. Material, stitching…all good.

There was the perfect amount of stretch. Enough that you could wear them more than once without washing them (shut up, you know you do this) and they still retained their clingy stretchiness during subsequent wear(s). But, unlike compression-type pants, they aren’t gut-squeezing tight and limiting movement.

They were breathable and moisture-wicking. These aren’t for winter weather but in a moderate to hot environment, you will have no worries about staying cool and dry.

No tags! Nothing to scratch, rub, or irritate. Yes, the name and washing instructors are “burned” or embedded in the fabric. BRILLIANT!

THE LOOK

I feel like I can say that I “almost jogging in jeans” while wearing them because they REALLY look like denim! From the front, they might be able to pass for blue workout clothes, but the waistband stitching and back pocket stitching…yeah, jeans all the way.

I was a bit nervous wearing them because…well, you KNOW why. The look like jeans and I am wearing them to exercise.

Running: I wore them twice. The first time, I was out on a run by myself. As I passed walkers, I secretly hoped they weren’t JoggingJeans.com viewers and scrambling for their phones to take a picture of me. Thank goodness that my Twitter feed and email inbox have been empty of pictures of my own butt in “jeans.” And then I wore them this morning on a run with the BEST running group, Steel City Road Runners Club. It is comprised of a fantastic group of runners – heck, a fantastic group of people that are supportive and encouraging and passionate about the sport. Today’s run was a “blue out” training run to show our solidarity with all those affected by the tragedy in Boston. Given that these are the only blue pants I own, it seemed like a no-brainer to wear them. During and after the run, several people asked about them – most with a big smile and a “Hey, nice pants. Are they jeans?” or a “Did you just RUN in jeans!?” For those that didn’t ask, I’m sure they were wondering about the weirdo who was running in jeans.

PostRun

Here I am on the far left after our 11 mile run. So much for thinking that I was out of the shot!

Our Bibs!

RunForBoston

The weight room: I was nervous about showing up in the gym. The weight room section of my gym is pretty hardcore and, being the only girl there, I work hard to NOT do things to draw attention to myself. So I wore these on the day when there were the fewest people (Sunday at 8:00a-I opened the place), and there were only a handful of people there. However, those damn mirrors everywhere wouldn’t let me forget that I was in “jeans.” Again, I was hoping the girl on the elliptical on her phone wasn’t photographing me.

Power yoga class: My wonderful instructor (who I mentioned in the only other review I did on this site) came up to me once class started and whispered in my ear, “I was very confused about these and was thinking, ‘Is she in jeans?!’ Cute.”

And a quick video of me at the gym in them. The weird ending is because I told Dear Husband to start the start the recording mid-set and end it as soon as I finished so I wouldn’t have to edit it. He didn’t, so you get it “as is” with his wife looking like an idiot.

To the gym rats: Don’t attack. I don’t normally do squats on the Smith machine. The regular squat racks were being used and this part of the gym was empty.

Final, VERY IMPORTANT words: As some of you know, I’m running my first half marathon in Pittsburgh in 2 weeks (cue freak out). These are the frontrunners as of now for my race day outfit. So if you see them (i.e. me) on May 5th, just say ‘hi.’ Please don’t photograph my ass and send it to me with the text, “Hey, I saw this lady at the Pittsburgh Marathon IN JEANS!” 😉

Disclosure:  The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and based on my experience.  I was provided the INKnBURN apparel free of charge for the purpose of a product review. I am under no obligation to return the product and can keep it for me own personal, continued use.

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