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Asics running shorts

Marathon Training Week 7 Recap – And the Pain Begins

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

When I was in college, my friends and I were frequently flyers at the piercing parlor. (I’ve had 14 piercings in my life but I’m back down to 2 currently.) After my last piercing they gave me a sticker that says, “We put the ‘f*ck’ in ‘That hurts.’” That was theme this week.

Monday:  I had early plans on Tuesday this week so hit the gym today. To my dismay, the treadmill was taken so I jumped on the elliptical instead. I did 4.5 miles in 32 minutes (~8.5 mph). The last time I ran on the treadmill average, my average speed was 7.1 mph. I burned fewer calories than running but I was super sweaty by the end of my workout. Hat tip to Dr. Drew and Gary Vaynerchuk whose podcasts kept me entertained.

When I got back, I knocked out 100 push-ups: 5 sets of 18 and 1 set of 10.  It was challenging at first but got easier by the third set. I hope to be up to 5 sets of 20 next week and build up to 4 sets of 25 within 3 weeks.

Tuesday: No workout today. I spent the day at Shankminds Phoenix.

Wednesday:  Back to running in the real world today, but I accidentally ran 6.7 miles instead of my usual 6.5 because I told a wrong turn into the condo complex next to mine and I got half way around their parking lot before I realized what I did. I did some speed work until I experienced a bit of hip pain around Mile 4 and took it easy for the rest of the run. If this issue keeps up I’m going to hit the injury clinic at Runner’s Den next week.

After my run I finished my push-ups for the week:  4 sets of 19 and 1 set of 24.

Thursday: I went super pathetically easy on today’s 4.5-mile run. I’ve been trying to research hip pain related to running and I wonder if my pain is caused by doing speed work and running on hills. Everything from my waist down seemed to hurt today with a 2 or 3 out of 10 on the pain scale. Hat tip to The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart for entertaining me today.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday:  Holy crap today’s 12-mile run was hard. My right hip and left post-tib hurt from step one. My goal for the run was just to finish without stopping – except for stoplights. I felt pretty pathetic sometimes but I got through it. The last three miles with the hill were really hard. That’s when my knees and quads really started to hurt and I was running so slowly. It barely counted as running. My thanks to Profiles with Malone and Mantz for their extended show about Alfred Hitchcock that kept entertained and distracted from my pain.

My New Shoes

My New Shoes

After today’s run, I checked my running log and saw that I’d run over 330 miles in my current pair of shoes. That doesn’t include wearing my running shoes out and about or walking Rosie. This pair of shoes has probably walked 400-450 miles since I got them in July. My post-tib has probably been hurting more because my shoes are dead. While I was out running errands, I hit REI for a new pair of insoles and Runner’s Den to replace my shoes. Nate at Runner’s Den said the wear pattern on my old shoes (Asics GT-2000) looked “perfect” so I’m definitely in the right shoes for me so we just replaced them. (I’m glad they still had them in my preferred color because it looks like next season’s colors for these shoes are ugly.) I also hooked myself up with another pair of Asics running shorts with the built-in brief and Feetures seamless socks.

Sunday:  The increased muscle tone in my quads definitely came in handy on today’s 19-mile bike ride. I’m able to ride harder and faster than before. (Wait, that sounds dirty.) More endurance + less pain = happier Ruth. And it was nice cool 68 degrees this morning – perfect for a bike ride.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 27.7 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Running Commando

Women might understand this better than men, but when you find a brand and cut of underwear that fits your body, you stay loyal. I discovered my perfect underwear about 10 years ago – I was perfect size medium low-rise bikini brief. I’d tell you the brand, but it’s a Secret, and irrelevant and you’ll soon see.

No Pants AZ 2014 by Patrick McLeod from Flickr

No Pants AZ 2014 by Patrick McLeod from Flickr

My underwear was perfect – it was low enough that they stayed inside my pants and provided enough coverage and elastic that they didn’t go up my butt. And then two things happened:

#1 – I lost 10 pounds during law school.
#2 – My brand changed the template for my perfect underwear.

My mediums in the old cut still fit but they’re starting to wear out and their replacements (same cut, size small) provide sufficient coverage and comfort except when I go running when they give me a wedgie.

I’ve only been running for a few years so I jumped on the running Subreddit to see what others had to say about underwear and running. I was surprised to see so many women reporting that they wore a thong or went commando when they ran.

Now, I don’t really get thongs. They have a purpose in my life, but it’s more about fashion than function, and that’s pretty short-lived. Since I don’t wear them in my real life, there’s no way I’m wearing one in my running life.

Asics Compression Shorts

Asics Compression Shorts

So I thought I’d give running commando a try. I have running shorts with a built-in liner so I suppose it was always obvious that they didn’t need underwear. My shorts have the loose liners (sewed in at the top but not snug to the body) so there’s plenty of movement in the fabric with each step – including the possibility that the liner could go up my ass. Bah! All three pairs of shorts did this and they’re all different brands/cuts/etc.

So back to the drawing board I went. Luckily someone suggested wearing compression shorts as underwear. Compression shorts are very tight and come in a variety of lengths. Given that I wanted mine to double as underwear, I was only interested in the ones with the 2.5” inseam. I tried on every pair available at my sporting goods store and I jogged in place in each pair in the dressing room to test which pair was right for me. I walked out with a pair of Asics low cut compression shorts.

Talk about tiny! These are shorts that will never be worn as a pair of stand-alone shorts outside my house. They work pretty well layered under my shorts but they need to be adjusted occasionally.

Asics Running Shorts with a Built-in Brief

Asics Running Shorts with a Built-in Brief

A few days later I was at my favorite running store, Runner’s Den, for new shoes. Now that I’m back into running 3-4 days a week, I needed shoes that can support my arches and accommodate how much my feet swell when I run. Runner’s Den has an awesome deal where you get a 20% discount on apparel when you buy shoes. I told the clerk about my challenges with underwear and running and he showed me Asics running shorts that have a built-in boxer brief.

I love these shorts! This is a pair you can wear commando because the built-in boxer brief makes underwear superfluous. The brief is snug but comfortable and stays in place when I run. They are a bit pricey, but I could see myself slowly switching out my old shorts with 1-2 more pairs of these and take advantage of the discount that comes with replacing my shoes.