Posts for women

You are still a runner

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - August 4, 2017

The best part about running as a recreational sport is that it is inclusive. That probably explains its popularity the world over. Anybody can run, it’s that simple. And the more runners I meet, I realise how therapeutic it is and how it forces you to take note of yourself. For me, it was as if I connected with myself for the first time when I started running. Even pregnancy had failed to do that for me. However, nowadays it also comes with a lot of noise and commotion. There is pressure of what races are you signing up for, your finish time, how much you are running in a week etc. It feels good initially as a new runner but slowly the pressure builds up. Of course, it’s great if you want to improve continuously and important to strength train to remain injury free but it’s not ok to constantly compare yourself with others. Continue Reading

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No more apologies

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul - Anupriya kapur - April 6, 2017

I face the problem of camel toe in most of my workout tights. In fact, for the longest time I rejected most of my workout tights because of that. It got me thinking that instead of comfort, women have to think about so many things when they should be concentrating on just getting fit. What’s worse is when I did a google search on camel toe most links that came up were on “How to hide the camel toe?” or “How to avoid embarrassment of a camel toe?”. So, here’s the list of things, I feel, as a woman, we should not be embarrassed about and ensure we support other women rather than shaming them. Continue Reading

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An injury is an opportunity

In my article, ‘5 stages of grief’  (read here) I had discussed the emotional turmoil we go through when we are injured. But what if you are out of the running scene for really long? I have been out  practically for the last six months except a few decent 10kms and 5kms.

I have come to believe that an injured runner is like a caged animal. No matter how you might treat it, it will never be truly happy until it is set free.

However, this time around I have not struggled to reach the “acceptance” stage. Of course, it’s everything to do with how I choose to deal with it. I have finally realised that running is life long. It’s a way of life rather than short term obsessive goals.

So here are some of those things that help me and might just be of some use to you:

1) Find another recreational fitness activity – And there are plenty only if we runners are ready to give  it a fair chance. It’s ok to not be out there for everything you choose to do. For me it’s stationary cycling which I find extremely boring but it’s safe and at least it tires me out.

2) Shut off yourself from running whatsapp groups if it’s making you feel miserable. Even though I’m still a part of it, I rarely ever check it. Continue Reading

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Yoga for runners -3

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - July 27, 2016

So this is the final post of this ‘yoga for runners’ series. However, I will keep writing and sharing as I learn more. As of now, I’m making a serious effort to include yoga, as I just started running a little post a break of 3 months because of a twisted ankle. I don’t know how I’m keeping sane without much running, actually I’m not. As far as, Radhika is concerned, she has started running a bit as well and I will ensure she does a 5km in Pinkathon Delhi this September.

  1. Tree Pose

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Women’s adidas Training Olympic Sports Bra Review

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 29, 2016

When I wrote an article about how to choose the right sports bra (click here to read), quite a few readers asked me for recommendations on what would be the right fit for them. At the time I hadn’t reviewed enough, so I couldn’t make a fair assessment. Now that I finally have (took me long enough), I might review and share other products that I find useful more often as well.

Getting the right sports bra is probably the biggest challenge we face specially in India as we still don’t have enough variety to choose from. Boobs come in all shapes and sizes after all and definitely seem to have a mind of their own!

I face the problem of being big chested (and I’m a mom so you know what I mean) with a relatively smaller frame. So I end up getting frustrated most of the times as the perfect fit for my cup size would invariably have a loose band at the bottom of the bra. And the only reason I chose to review this particular Climacool bra is because that’s the exact problem it tackles. There is an adjustable loop closure at the sides of the band allowing variable fit. So basically, I chose the bra which fitted my cup perfectly while I had option of tightening the band at the bottom giving me the right snug fit. It covers me well and even though it is not an encapsulation bra (I would prefer that any day), and presses the boobs to hold them in place, you wouldn’t find me complaining as the support is adequate. I don’t face the problem of side boobs in this one either (in most I have tried it feels like that I have a uniboob in the center and two boobs on the side, ughh!)._MG_1938

My other problem being that if I would bend a lot and do yoga, my ‘girls’ wouldn’t want to stay in place. But with this one they stay lifted and I don’t feel the need to keep adjusting them after every back/forward bending asana.

There is a mesh panel on back and side making it well ventilated, my back stays sweat free for most part. The other good thing about having the adjustable loops is that as the bra stretches out over months due to intensive use, you can move the hook a few times before having to buy a new one.

Even though it’s a “Training” Bra, I’m glad that it didn’t deter me from trying it on a run. I have done a maximum distance of 10km in this but wouldn’t be much concerned about doing longer distances. At 2,499/-, it’s competitively priced but I strongly believe that good sports bras are always an investment. And buying anything during sales always makes more sense.

All in all, it’s a great basic supportive sports bra for the bigger-chested women with small frame.

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On the run @Darting Damsel

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and a bit of stretching

Disclaimer – The sports bra was given to me to review. However, all opinions are my own.

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Be Like Bobbi

For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 15, 2016

Boston Marathon is considered the Holy Grail of marathon running. And there is much to its fascinating history. But what struck me the most is the story of a woman who changed running forever (I actually had tears in my eyes). Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run Boston Marathon 50 years back and unofficially so as women were not allowed to compete in distances more than 800 meters. Why? Because it was believed that they were not physiologically capable of running a long distance such as 42.2km. To begin with Bobbi Gibb wanted to participate in the marathon because of her love for running. She started training for it and underwent a spiritual journey. However, when her application got rejected, she took it upon herself to make a statement about what women were capable of achieving. But the question was how? How can she prove when she wasn’t allowed to participate? She decided to race unofficially without a bib. She hid behind a bush close to the start line, let half the men start running, and joined them wearing a big hoodie and her brother’s shorts so that she could disguise herself all the time scared that she might be arrested. The men running by her side realised it’s a woman and assured her that they won’t let anyone stop her from completing the run. It gave her the confidence to throw the heavy hoodie away and run freely. Word got around and the crowd frenetically cheered for her. She ran conservatively (alright if 3:21 for a full marathon can be considered that!!!) as her idea was to prove that a woman can run this distance and run it well, if she trains enough. She knew that she couldn’t afford to collapse or stop as that would only reinforce the prejudices and set women’s running back another 20 years. She was greeted with much aplomb at the finish line. She managed to change the way men think about women and the way women thought about themselves. She ran unofficially again in 1968 and 1969. Boston Marathon officially started allowing women to participate in 1972.

She will be the Grand Marshal for the 2016 Boston Marathon on Monday. I’m definitely going to pick up her book Wind In The Fire: A Personal Journey soon. She started a running movement and as runners we owe a lot to her. (check the short video below to see how gracefully she has aged).

 

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PeeSafe. Be Safe

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 5, 2016

A couple of months back I had written an article (read here) on how to manage your hydration during long runs due to lack of clean public loos. We girls grow up learning to hold the urge to pee by drinking less water and are masters at squatting so that no part of our body touches the toilet seat. But the fact is that it isn’t just unclean loos that cause UTI, it is also dehydration and not emptying the bladder on regular intervals. In Philippines I came across a product (a tiny bottle) which I could spray on a toilet seat to kill germs, wipe it and sit conveniently to relieve myself. However, once I shifted to India, I couldn’t find anything like that. So I was back to putting layers and layers of toilet roll like most of us do, to use the washroom. And I’m talking about even the better washrooms in good hotels, restaurants, parlours and spas. I still wouldn’t dare to even think about venturing into the ‘actual public loos’.

The three sizes

The three sizes

And then, as I was about to request a friend to get me some of those seat sanitizers on her next visit, I got Pee Safe in one of my race goodie bags for one of the events I had registered and then for its review. So, basically my search for a seat sanitiser ended as Pee Safe apparently kills 99% of germs. I use one layer of toilet paper even now and I think that’s more psychological. It gets rid of the dirty smell in the washroom as well. Also, I used to always use a strip of toilet roll on the door handle and the handle of the flush to avoid any contact whatsoever. Pee Safe can be used on these well. The best part about it is the 3 sizes the sprays come in. There is one tiny bottle which nicely fits into my running belt (good for 10 sprays), a mid size can which fits in my smaller sling bags and the big one in my work bag. So, basically I have been carrying them with me irrespective of where I go or which bag I carry. Alternatively, they have Pee Safe wipes for multi use as well.

How to use it? – Hold it 25 cm away from the seat and spray on the surface.

Where to pick it up from? – http://safetykart.com or just click on Pee Safe link above.

They have a lot of other women hygiene related products too. In case you happen to buy and use them, do drop in your review in the comments. Oh! And they have Pepper Spray too.

 

**This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I personally use and like from reputed sellers. All opinions expressed are my own.**

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Everyday Heroes – Inspirational Women Runners

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - March 9, 2016

Honestly, Women’s Day has no relevance for me as I feel everyday is everyone’s day irrespective of the gender. However, it definitely gave me an excuse and the push (lazy as I am) to pay an ode to ‘everyday’ women who are an inspiration to many. I have listed their profile in text below in case you want to look them up on social media and follow.

Manisha Khungar – A swimming coach for the last 20 years. Triathlons are new to India and she has coached some of the first triathletes from our country to achieve their dreams.

Christine Pemberton – She is a blogger and I love her very quirky sense of humor. She started running at the age of 60 and has already done two full marathons and several half marathons. And yes she is usually a podium finisher in her age category in most marathons.

Avani Vora – She is a mother of twins and a Pilates instructor. She has inspired many women to make fitness their way of life.

Bhumika Patel – Apart from her regular 9-5 job, she’s out there helping women achieve their running goals be it through Pinkathon or otherwise.

Zareen Siddique – She is a mother of two (15 & 5) and can give a run for her money to any 25 year old. Apart from being a runner she specialises in Post Natal fitness training.

Ratna Verma – She is a teacher, she is an excellent baker, she’s fitter than she even looks and did I tell you that she is a mom to two teenagers as well.

Kavitha Kanaparthi – I have admired her since the day I met her for her courage to stand up for what she believes is right. She is the only woman race director in India. What’s the big deal? She has created some of the toughest and truest international standard ultra marathons in the remotest places in India.

Nirupama Singh – Forget about the fact that she is a mother to two young adult boys, she has a kickass PB of 1:39 for a half marathon and 3:48 for a full. She is also a zumba instructor fitness coach.

 

 

 

 

 

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Run Day Basics

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - February 23, 2016

I used to be always stressed a couple of days before the run and even more so the day before. And since I’m not a morning person, my biggest fear has always been about snoozing the alarm and not waking up on time. The other one being what if I have to use the washroom in the middle of the run! However, over time I have learned a few lessons by talking to others and from experiences. You can’t control everything that happens on the day of the run but you can certainly be better prepared.

First things first, stop stressing – We are all recreational runners. While we would like to test ourselves, it’s more important to enjoy the event. 5kms and 10kms are the best community events there can be. You get to spend a morning with strangers cheering you on, feeding you and offering water, and celebrating doing something healthy for yourself. There is nothing called coming last and it’s perfectly ok to walk the entire stretch, from start to finish.

Get ready the night before – Lay out your running gear, attach the running bib and get as much sleep as possible- aim for eight hours. But that hardly ever happens so ensure you get enough sleep through the week.

Don’t do anything new – Don’t try new food, new gear or anything that you haven’t done before. It’s easier said than done. I have ended up wearing new shoes and new tees (event tee) and I have been lucky so far. Wearing something comfortable is the most important thing. Wearing something that makes you feel good is important too 🙂 For women it’s equally important to wear the right sports bra which offers good support and doesn’t chafe the skin (click here for some tips on how to buy the right one).

However, I’m always careful about food. I avoid eating sea food specially and outside in general a couple of days before the run.

Eat something – Have a banana, dates or a slice of toast at least one hour before the run.

Port-a-loo – Most good runs have port-a-loos near the start line and somewhere mid distance. Now you can’t expect them to clean or not stink, as they are being used to by hundreds. So clip your nose and use it if need be. You will get used to it soon enough 🙂

Light meals the day before the run – Don’t go overboard with food specially proteins a day before the run. Eat light, healthy and wholesome food instead.

Playlist – If you are not much of a talker or need something to distract you so that the distance doesn’t bog you down, then a good playlist is important. An armband to keep your phone will be handy. I prefer wireless MP3.

Post the run – Eat something nutritious within 30 minutes of finishing the run. I prefer eggs, nuts and a sandwich. And no, eating chole bhature isn’t going to help.

Be active the next day – As sore as you might feel the day after the race, it’s important to do some easy activity or the other, it could be cycling, just a stroll or a bit of stretching. The movement will increase circulation to your sore muscles and help you bounce back sooner.

Happy Running 🙂

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Darting Damsel – Women relay 5km

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Pinkathon 2015

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Now that’s what you call flower power

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - February 18, 2016

I was recently invited for the launch of adidas pureBOOSTx shoes and I felt totally lost in the midst of models and fashion/lifestyle bloggers but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, apparently it’s the first for women only running shoe in the world. My first thoughts when I saw the shoes were,

“Too girly”

“Floral!!!!”

“So not me, I’m a runner!!!”

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With Elena Fernandez at the launch

“I love my Boston Boost and I’m loyal”

Basically, I was wary of running in them. I did a 40 minute Bootcamp in the new shoes and even though they felt comfortable, light, flexible and were wide enough for my toes to breathe, I decided to not form any opinion till I get to run in them.

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Post the 53 min 10km at Mumbai uprising

I had shared in my Boston Boost review that I only understand one thing when it comes to running shoes- that I don’t have to think them about while running. I like to run free. And that’s exactly how I felt doing the 10km at adidasuprising just a day later; I was able to soak in the energy of Mumbai and its runners without a bother. I “broke into the shoes” with ease. 

I have done a couple of runs in them now but nothing beyond 10km. For now I want to stick to my Boston Boost for long runs and alternate these for my shorter runs (5-10km) and training. I love how light they are, hug my feet and have excellent arch support. I don’t like my shoes with too much cushioning or minimalistic, probably any lesser or more and I wouldn’t have liked it.

 

And since this is not a technical review, I’m attaching a couple of links at the end of the article where you can read more.

And who said floral can’t be badass?

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Cool for shopping and even clubbing

Verdict –  pureBOOSTx is a serious running shoe in a very good looking avatar. It looks equally cool with dresses as it does with the running gear.

Word of caution – Since the shoes is a snug fit, you might need to consider a size bigger. However, I’m wearing the same size as my other running shoe and it’s fine.

 

Links – http://www.therunnerbeans.com/2016/02/adidas-pure-boost-x-review-2.html

http://www.runnersworld.com/the-shoe-room/first-look-adidas-pureboost-x

pureBOOSTx was given to me to review. However, all opinions are my own.

 

 

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