“Running” to the bathroom: Advice for the LADIES (only*)…Beyond Kegels *(seriously guys, leave now)

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The first time I heard of vaginal weights I was listening to Howard Stern on the radio, he was interviewing this guy who was complaining because he had divorced his wife a year ago and she started using vaginal weights soon after. She came back home just long enough to shag him once and show him what he was missing. At that point I was in my early twenties, was newly married and had no kids. I assumed that vaginal weights were some sort of dirty sex toy. 

doll

Now fast forward 15 years. I am older, (almost 40) wiser, (I know there is no such thing as a dirty sex toy!) I have kids, (two to be precise) and I am a #runner. I hang out with ladies who confess to me that they plan their run routes according to available pee stops. portapottyI know women who examine race routes, studying where every port-o-poty is to determine if they can in fact finish the race without peeing themselves. Some ladies I know will only run at the gym on a track that is within just yards of the nearest restroom.

Not me, I’m just fine when I run…as long as I don’t stop. I can run ten miles and never have to worry about losing control, it’s when I stop briefly to let my dog sniff a mailbox that the floodgatesfloodgates suddenly open and I find myself bent over, clamping my crossed legs shut while yelling at myself for being an incontinent fool.

As women runners, we have two problems: we are women, and we are runners.runnwe Most women have had children and this drastically affects the muscles that control our bladder (pelvic muscles). The pressure of carrying a child weakens the pelvic muscles and seems to weaken the sphincter muscle which keeps the urethra (urine tube) closed. Even if you haven’t had kids, eventually you may have problems just because you have gone through menopause, which also seems to weaken the pelvic muscles.

But above all, as runners, we are continually pounding those same muscles, weakening them. Imagine yourself running and unless you are always squeezing your muscles, like you are actively trying not to pee, then your pelvic muscles are bouncing up and down freely like a huge bungee cord stretched loosely between to people. ropesThey stretch out and loosening more and more over time. Sadly, because we are runners, we are adding to the problem.

I’m sure you’ve tried Kegels; you know, the exercises where you stop your pee mid-stream repeatedly in an attempt to strengthen your pelvic muscles. The problem is, you have to remember to do them all the time in order to see any improvement. And if you take a break for a few days, you are back to square one.

Enter the vaginal weight. Vaginal WeightsI can’t recall how I discovered these little things but I have to tell you that every day that has passed without me telling you all about them is a day I have felt guilty. I feel like I’ve been keeping a secret from a close friend…a secret that will make you stop peeing yourself. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

Vaginal weights usually come in sets, mine came in a set of six weights, each progressively heavier. You first figure out which weight is a good starting point for you. You do this by inserting the lightest, see if you can walk around without losing it, (i’m sorry, you just have to bear with me here) you should do this while wearing underwear because these things could break tile if dropped on it correctly.broken tile Once you find a weight you can’t hold, you use the weight that is one step lighter. This weight should be used for 15 minutes twice a day until you have no problem holding it. Then you start using the next heaviest weight the same way until finally you can hold the heaviest weight for 15 minutes twice a day. At that point you can go to once a day or a couple times a week to maintain pelvic muscle fitness.

I know this seems like a huge dedication but it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. If you make it a habit of using them in the morning while showering showerand getting ready it’s a perfect addition to your morning and evening ritual. You will be surprised how quickly you will advance through the weights, possibly in just a week or two. I did. And the best part? They really do work, and they work quickly.

A couple side notes: I noticed that the time of the month (your hormones)hormones affect your pelvic muscle strength. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself having to use lighter weights sometimes.

For added strength training and benefits, try walking up and down stairs while using them or doing light exercises. stairs

And finally, there is an added benefit that I didn’t mention but you’ve probably already figured out: they improve your sex life. happyIf your husband throws a fuss about you spending a little cash on MORE exercise equipment, just tell him the truth: they aren’t weights, they are dirty little sex toys! He will get right on board.

Here is a link to Amazon, these are the weights that I bought. (I am now an affiliate on the suggestions of blog readers, hope you are not upset). I hope you have the same benefits. Please post in the comments if you are brave enough. And guys, if you read this whole thing I hope you have a little more respect for us ladies and all we go through!man

#Running #women #exercise #incontinence #peeing

“Running” to the bathroom: Advice for the LADIES (only*)…Beyond Kegels *(seriously guys, leave now)

If you pee when you sneeze, you really must read this.

The Running Commentary

The first time I heard of vaginal weights I was listening to Howard Stern on the radio, he was interviewing this guy who was complaining because he had divorced his wife a year ago and she started using vaginal weights soon after. She came back home just long enough to shag him once and show him what he was missing. At that point I was in my early twenties, was newly married and had no kids. I assumed that vaginal weights were some sort of dirty sex toy. 

doll

Now fast forward 15 years. I am older, (almost 40) wiser, (I know there is no such thing as a dirty sex toy!) I have kids, (two to be precise) and I am a #runner. I hang out with ladies who confess to me that they plan their run routes according to available pee stops. portapottyI know women who examine race routes…

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Faster, Fitter and Freakier at Forty

me and danny

I’ve been getting quite a few side-long glances lately, and I don’t mean from strangers. No, its mostly been my long-time friends and a few relatives that have been looking at me curiously. They aren’t quiet sure what to make of it, this new me, the old me but different.

My friends that expect me to drop everything and rearrange my schedule to go for a sixty mile bike ride or the friends that expect me to show up at the local race are wondering what has happened to their cardio junkie that could never get enough miles and their overly competitive buddy that could never acquire enough trophies to convince herself she could actually run.

The other homeschool moms are asking why I’m all dressed-up. What’s the occasion? My sister quit waiting for a fight, because I stopped starting one. My kids even stopped being afraid to ask a question, because I stopped jumping down their throat with the answers. My husband still does a double blink expecting his old wife to appear after he clears his eyes. But she hasn’t returned (thank the gods). And the new me is still here. Get used to her, because I’ve fallen in love with her (and so has my hubby).

Don’t worry world, I’m just as vain as ever, I just care less about what the world thinks and more about what I think about myself. If I fall asleep knowing my husband loves the hell out of me, my kids think I’m a superstar and I like myself, I’m gonna sleep well.

You may wonder what the hell all this has to do with running, biking and all the other bullshit I like to blog about, well here it is. I’m fitter, faster and freakier than ever at forty. That’s right, I am faster and fitter and freakier than ever. If you care to be the same at forty, I will attempt to explain what I’ve done without elaborating on how the transformation came about. Just think of it as a transformation that took place because I was exhausted of being my old self.

I may no longer care if the community knows I’m a fast runner, but I still care that I can run fast. A matter of fact, I am running faster now, just shy of age forty, than I have ever run in my life. My latest training run pace was the same pace as my fasted 5K ever. I’m proud of that (and yeah, I did just kind of brag about it). If you are wondering how it’s possible here it is in a nutshell: I run less, do more core and weights, and spend less time working out.

I used to average about 35-40 miles running, squeeze in about 100+ miles on my bike and a 3000 yards swim each week.

Now I run about 17 miles a week, do core/cardio 30 minutes five days a week and swim about 3000 yards one day a week. I work out no more than one hour a day and take off Sundays.

Here’s the thing, I used to run distance because I loved it. I would run away from my problems, contemplate life, indulge in my alone time. I would return refreshed but tired, too tired in fact, to have the energy to keep up with my two growing children. I would drag myself through the remaining portion of the day, dreading chores and schoolwork. By the time my hubby got home I was not only too tired to converse with him, I was resentful that he got to come home and relax while my day was still going. I was a resentful bitch and absolutely no fun to be around.

So now I workout for different reasons. I’m no longer escaping my life, quite the opposite really, I hate to leave for even 30 minutes because I don’t want to be away from my family that long. No, now I work out for my physical health and to look the way I desire to look. That last statement seems really vain, I know, but it is true. My personal happiness is directly related to how I look (so shoot me) and providing I have any control over that, I will work out to meet those needs. My husband appreciates it too, so why not?

Do I worry about gaining weight? No. I figured out a long time ago that weight has nothing to do with how much you work out. I was my heaviest when I was training for my marathon. Weight has everything to do with what you eat (not how much you eat). A calorie is NOT a calorie. If you want to hear more about this, you may have to wait for another blog.

Here’s another tip for those of you pushing forty, especially the cardio junkies: you need more weight training and less endurance training to maintain your lovely figure, especially you ladies. I promise to write a blog about my take on looking hot into your forties next.

So to wrap it up, here is my new me and the philosophy I live by:

Go short and fast (running), do more core and weight training to be leaner not meaner, ride for pleasure not distance, never use a workout as a reason to eat, carb-up, or replace calories.

Always look your best. I don’t care if you are going to the grocery store or to the homeschool co-op, look and be the best you can be. Why the hell would you want anything less for yourself?

If you are too damned tired from your workout to listen and keep up with your kids, then you are being a selfish bitch. Cut it out. They will grow up to hate you.

If you don’t have the desire to jump into your husbands arms and kiss him all over (literally) when he walks through that door, then it’s time to stop and evaluate yourself. Nuf said.

And for those of you who don’t think I was funny enough in this blog, please check out my new favorite website: www.chocolateanus.com. All my runclub friends are getting one of these this year:)

and please, if you like what I have to say, can you please share my blog with your friends?

#running #forty #biking #relationships #racing #kids