Monday, July 11, 2016

Travel Modifications

Marathon training means planning several “shorter” runs during the week and one long run on the weekend, which makes it REALLY hard to train on top of weekend travel and/or socializing. I’ve been pretty good at getting my weekend miles in regardless; I love running in new places, so that definitely helps when I’m out of town.

This weekend I spent Saturday in New Braunfels floating the Comal River with friends, which seems like a relaxing way to spend the day, but I was just EXHAUSTED when I woke Sunday and had to scrap my long run entirely. I knew I couldn’t run and still have the energy to safely drive home 4 hours alone.

I was actually pretty disappointed to skip the run, even though I’d been dreading the hills in San Marcos. After I packed up, I went to the trailhead near our lodging anyway to check out the Spring Lake Nature Preserve where I’d been planning to run.

It was fantastic! At first I was sad to have missed out on running such lovely, shaded dirt trails, but when two deer ran across my path, I realized that hiking it was a better choice. Running would require keeping my eyes glued to the ground to avoid tripping over rocks, but hiking gave me the chance to see so much more and take pictures. I saw birds and butterflies and wildflowers and even an ocelot!

A photo posted by Moniqa Aylin (@fierymon) on

There was no cell phone reception and no other people in the area for nearly an hour. The morning was humid and warm but not unpleasant until just before I left. As I hiked back to the trail head, I saw a deer across a clearing in the trees, and we stared at one another for several long moments.

After an awful week of news, my time spent solitary in the quiet magic of nature was deeply cathartic.

This early in training, I can always run another day.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Extra Fitness Gear Recs

When you spend so many hours moving, having the right gear matters for your comfort and performance. I'm not competitive, and comfort is VERY important. Here are some of my favorite fitness products. The previous post about essential gear was getting too long, so I broke it up to make a new post for non-essential items that are helpful to have.


Compression calf sleeves:
These help prevent shin splints, lessen calf soreness, and speed recovery. They are difficult to put on, and I wouldn't recommend them if one has limited dexterity/strength. I don't like the "women's" sleeves I've purchased because they were too short, and I am a short lady (5'3"). I definitely recommend the Remedy brand. I own 4 pairs and am waiting on another in the mail. Groupon frequently has them on sale for $10.

Bondi Band
Not all headbands are created equal. Bondi Bands are designed not to slip, and they have lots of fun designs. They also advertise as a "no drip" headband, but I haven't found that to be true in Texas' heat and humidity. You can get 10% off any order at with code: WithAQ

Three years ago, I bought some iLuv brand, FitActive style earbuds from Groupon for $10 and haven't stopped using them. My ears are too small to comfortably wear the standard iPod earbuds, and the in-ear interchangeable-size, dome-shaped insert style was never comfortable for me. Over-the-ear earbuds were also weird, especially navigating them around my hair, my headband, and my glasses. The iLuv FitActive style has since changed a bit, but my roommate bought the newer ones on my recommendation, and she digs them. Search for "iLuv FitActive earbuds" or get them here for $10.