WOOT Mid-Summer 100th-Celebration Gift Guide

Jannine Myers

It’s the middle of summer ladies, and for those of you with school-aged children at home to entertain and keep busy, you’re probably in need of some type of stress-relieving self-pampering. As runners, we’ve learned to run our way to calmer and happier lives, but every now again we need something a little more therapeutic, and what better way to achieve that than by going on a shopping spree and treating yourself to some running gifts! AND, what better way to celebrate our 100th blog post!

1. Nathan Intensity Women’s Hydration Vest – $59.46 (with WOOT discount)

Since this is a summer gift guide, and staying well hydrated is a critical element of successful marathon training, this might just be a great little investment for those of you who are currently training for the Naha marathon and other half marathon races.

There are several features this vest offers which makes it particularly appealing:

  • It’s designed specifically for women, with adjustable straps to make it nice and snug, and a padded back panel for comfort
  • It holds 2 liters (70oz.) water; perfect for those long runs.
  • My favorite feature, is that it has pockets on the front side of the vest, making it easy to grab gels, electrolyte tablets, and other energy snacks without having to stop and take the vest off.
  • Here is just one of several positive customer reviews:

The bladder is really easy to fill. I fill it first with ice cubes and then add 32oz of water. When I get done with my run I still have ice cold water to drink! Also I just discovered I can fit a “Silk Soy” chocolate mild in the pack too 🙂 I’m really happy I got this pack and I will never use anything else. Plenty of room for iPhone,keys,money and ID. Get it!!!
From: Jen C., Chico, Ca, USA

2. Beyond Coastal Natural and Active Sunscreen SPF 30+

Shop their website now for a 25%-off one-time offer – when you sign up for their e-newsletter.

If you’re someone who uses sunscreen protection daily (and you should be if you’re out running most days), but you’re also concerned about what type of active ingredients are used to make the various brands of sunscreen lotions, then Beyond Coastal suncare products might be for you. Here’s an excerpt from their website:

Our Natural formulas are top rated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They are packed with natural anti-oxidants and contain no harsh chemicals. Beyond Coastal Actives are fast absorbing, transparent, non-greasy formulas that won’t sting your eyes. Developed with outdoor athletes in mind, they also contain natural anti-oxidants like Yerba Mate, Green Tea and Aloe. All Active formulas are Fragrance Free, Oil Free and Paraben Free.

3. Japanese Sports Candies – Kabaya Brand

Truthfully, I have no idea what these candies are made from, but when Anna introduced me to them, I was at a Family Mart the very next day looking for them. I usually consume Cliff Shot Bloks and Honey Stinger chews on my longer runs, but I can only eat them in the first stages of my run; the sweet and sugary taste tends to make me feel sick after the first hour and a half of running. These Japanese sport candies however, have more of a sweet and salty taste. They also dissolve quite easily in your mouth, so not a problem to eat while running. My only gripe about them, is that they come in individual wrappers which are hard to open, so I would suggest opening a few of them before heading out on your run, and dropping them into a small ziploc bag or one of those awesome little capsule dispensers that sell for just .50c on the Hammernutrition website:

4. Skratch Labs Hydration Mix – $19.95 for a pack of 20 single sticks


A great electrolyte drink which I’ve recently discovered, is Skratch Lab’s “all-natural, no artificial-anything” drink mix. If you’re familiar with “The Feedzone Cookbook,” then you might be even more inclined to try this drink mix, since it was created by one of the authors, sport scientist Allen Lim. I particularly like the lemon/lime flavor, which is light and refreshing and easy on the stomach. Lim claims that many of the athletes who use this product feel better, perform better, and don’t experience the bloating and stomach issues that they do with other sports or electrolyte drinks.

5. Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves – tie dye

I know we featured the Zensah leg sleeves in the Christmas Gift Guide, but with the new summer neon colors, I thought some of you might like to add a pair of neon argyle sleeves to your running wardrobe. Sold in either neon pink or lime green, you can get these at Amazon for $19.99.

6. Lululemon Pace Setter Skirt – $58 (other colors available)

This skirt is undeniably cute, and with it’s lightweight moisture-wicking fabric, it makes for a great new addition to your collection of running skirts. The skirt has built-in shorts underneath, which have a sticky elastic on the hem to stop them rolling up while you’re running. Notice also, the zipper pocket at the back of the skirt, which can hold two gel packets, or an ID card and key. At $58, it’s not cheap, but it’s comparable to other running skirt prices which makes it a little more justifiable if you decide to buy one.

Side note: I have seen this skirt on WOOT member Laranda Carnahan and it is super cute!

7. One More Mile Pregnant Runner V-Neck Tank – $23.99

With so many of our WOOT ladies expecting babies soon, I couldn’t help but add this to our summer gift guide. The front of the tshirt says, “Running for 2,” and the back says, “You’ve just been passed by a pregnant lady.” This made me think of our awesome Jenny Nates, who recently ran a 5k at almost 6 months pregnant, and not only beat half the women on the course but also many of the male runners. I wish she had been wearing one of these tanks!

These are sold at Onemoremilerunning.com, in five different colors.

8. Moving Comfort Sports Bras – various styles and prices (be sure to see the note below about our special WOOT discount)

I don’t own any Moving Comfort sports bras but I’ve heard from several of my running friends, that they are quite superior when it comes to comfort and support. I know for many women who run, that finding a good sports bra is often more difficult than finding the right pair of shoes. So hopefully I’ve helped to solve the problem. One of the features I really liked when I went to the website, is that you can enter your bra size, the type of activity you need a bra for, and the style you prefer, and you’ll be shown a variety of bras that meet your requirements. Check it out; it’s worth it!

WOOT WOOT!!! MovingComfort have offered us a one-time 15% group discount on any items ordered from their website – that includes bras, tops, and bottoms. Watch our WOOT Facebook page for further details!

9. Oakley Custom Sunglasses – various styles and prices

Oakleys are not for everyone, especially if you’re like me and horrible at taking care of sunglasses – but if you appreciate a good-quality pair of sport sunglasses and don’t mind spending a little extra, then you might want to check these out. If you go to the Oakley website, you have the option of selecting a pair of sport sunglasses and then customizing them to your liking. You get to choose the shape and color of two sets of lenses, the color of the icon and ear socks, and you can even have your initials or any text of your choice, etched into the corner of one of the lenses. I’ve seen a pair of custom Oakleys on both Anna and Andrea and they look great! But aside from looks, they have been specifically designed with the female athlete in mind and consequently provide great durability, the ability to increase grip as you perspire more, and of course, optimal UV protection.

10. And finally, our latest WOOT items:

  • Your very own WOOT Running Log – $10

If you’re anything like me, then you would probably enjoy logging your training runs and recording your progress. I like to plan my training runs and routes at least a week in advance, and sometimes months in advance if I’m preparing for a race. Our WOOT running logs will enable you to write up your planned runs – the distances and routes you intend to run each week, and then after each run you can record your time and pace and any details that might be worth making note of. I encourage my clients to keep notes of their runs so that they can start to recognize patterns in their training and how certain factors affect their runs.

  • WOOT Headband made by Bondiband – $12
From the Bondiband website – so you can see the width and size of the headbands

This is what our headbands will look like; plus also available in the same magenta color, but on white headband


Some of you may remember the bondibands from our last group order, but this time we have custom-ordered our very own WOOT headbands in black or white, with magenta ink. Those of you who know our lovely WOOT member, Crystal Brooks, would have seen her on many WOOT runs sporting a cute bondiband, and thanks to her, we learned that it was possible to custom-order headbands and hats – so thank you Crystal! By the way, these will also fit younger girls (from age 6 and up), so if you have an aspiring young female WOOTer in your family, you may want to consider buying a headband for her too.

Don’t delay in sending us your orders as we have a limited supply of both the running logs and headbands.

Happy Shopping Ladies!!!

Beat the Heat and try Pool Running

Jannine Myers

Okinawa is a tough place for runners to acclimate to, especially during the summer months when the heat and humidity forces a decrease in pace and for some, a reduced volume of running.

I came across the following article on Runnersworld.com a few days ago, and although it was first published in 2003, I believe it’s content is still current and beneficial. It’s an article about pool running, and how to use it as a cross-training alternative or as a substitute run workout when it’s too hot to run

If you dislike running in the heat, or if you are injured or pregnant, please keep reading:

Head For The Pool
By Bob Wischnia & Marc Bloom Published 09/05/2003

If you think pool running is weird, boring, and wouldn’t do much for your fitness, we’re guessing you’ve never tried it. That’s too bad, because it’s hands-down the best cross-training activity for runners (and a lot more fun than it looks).

Realize this up front: Pool running is as simple as land running. You jump into the water and start running. If you know how to run, you know how to pool run.

Granted, it looks a little odd, but so what? Thirty years ago, people used to think running looked pretty odd, too, and look how wrong they were.

Here are the two big reasons you should try pool running:

To boost fitness: “Without exaggeration, every single one of the runners who takes my pool-running classes gets faster on the roads,” says coach Doug Stern, who conducts classes for the New York City Road Runners Club. And they do so without increasing their injury risk one bit, as pool running is completely non-impact (you don’t touch the bottom).

To recover from injury: Pool running is the best cross-training exercise for runners because it’s hardly cross-training at all. It’s running–in a pool. A whole host of injuries–shinsplints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis among them–won’t keep you from pool running. Therefore, you won’t lose one iota of fitness during your healing period.

What’s more, research has shown that injured runners who pool run can reach the same positive mood state as when they run. No surprise here. You’re not sitting around sulking, you’re staying fit, and recovering from your injury.

For years, world-class runners have used pool running to maintain their conditioning when they can’t run. Marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi ran in the pool to stay in shape when a recent foot injury prevented him from doing his normal training. Janis Klecker, a 1992 Olympic marathoner, has done twice-a-week pool runs for years. “If I’m too tired to run,” says the dentist and mother of six, “I jump in the pool. It always reenergizes me.”

Finally, pool running is perfect for this time of year. It allows you to run more mileage–only you’re doing some of it in the cool, supportive medium of water. Too hot for those 10 miles you had planned? No problem. Do the first 5 on the roads, then hit the pool for the same amount of time it took to do the first 5, maintaining the same level of exertion. Voilá, a 10-mile run.

Everyone’s Invited
If you’re older or pregnant, you’re an ideal candidate for pool running. Here’s why:

Older runners: Because pool running can increase your range of motion–and doesn’t involve pounding–it’s great for older runners who suffer from arthritis or just the occasional creaky joints. Water running can actually decrease pain and stiffness, and improve joint flexibility.

Pregnant runners: Women runners in the latter stages of pregnancy–some of whom may not be able to run on land–may still be able to do so in the pool. Again, there’s no pounding, and you can stay cool on hot days. Just check with your doctor first.

I started pool running 10 years ago when I injured my back. I thought I’d be bored out of my mind doing it, but I quickly found ways to make it fun. Since that time, I’ve made pool running a regular part of my summer training plan. I have a small group that pool runs with me. Which is my first tip for making pool running fun. –B.W.

  • Go with friends. Organize a group to run at the pool together. Time will pass more quickly when you have company.
  • Run for time. Commit to spend as much time in the water as you’d spend on a normal run. Just start your watch when you jump in, and get out after a predetermined time.
  • Do regular running workouts. Vary the pace, the tempo, the length of time. Simulate a favorite running workout. Some type of fartlek workout, whereby you’re constantly changing speeds, works best.
  • Or try and do a few minutes of running with your fingers out of the water.

Exercise, Self-Esteem, and Eating Disorders

By Anna Boom

Sharing some not so fun stuff……..

While running around the web recently, I spotted a link to Amanda Beard’s new book, In the Water, They Can’t See You Cry:


I admit, I didn’t know who Amanda Beard was as I am not a huge Olympics follower. In case you are like me, Amanda is a three time Olympian, seven-time medalist, a professional model:

And as you can see, she is gorgeous and has athletic talent beyond what us normal human types can ever fathom.

That is why the title grabbed my attention. How could SHE feel anything but sunshine and bunnies everyday? Surely she must have it all and it must have come so easily to her, right?

Even with her status, her beauty, her success, Amanda still struggled with low self-esteem. That shocked me! I read the summary of the book and an interview and a few articles on her to find out more.

Due to her low self-esteem and constant media and athletic community’s attention to her body, Amanda suffered through depression, drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders. Thinking of how critical we are on our own bodies, imagine the world judging you all the time on how thin or not thin you are. Her frankness on these difficult topics brought tears to my eyes.

Not many know that I also suffered through a few eating disorder issues of my own. When I first came into running, after college, I was a little more…let’s say, fluffy. Eating cheap, convenient food, working at an ice cream shop, many nights going out…even though I played tennis for the team, did not lead to a svelte shape. I looked okay but was seeking perfection, which I thought was just on the other side of being skinny. As I ate less and less, my idea of being skinny enough was never enough. I began down the path of looking and acting like an anorexic, where I would only allow myself three bites of food at any meal. I kept running longer and eating less and soon I was down to around 110 lbs and sliding down quickly. Yikes! Even writing that now, I think, YIKES!

For whatever reason, I listened to my family and friends around me and allowed myself to start eating a little more. My running naturally improved as it is a very very fine line between being a lite runner and not having any energy supplies, essential to run long.

Looking back now, I see how intoxicating it is to control eating, that necessary human behavior. It made me feel strong to know I didn’t think I needed to eat. Again though, it is a very very fine line between controlling eating (which I do now) to obsessing over eating. I was obsessed with every calorie that went in and out and it quickly became very unhealthy.

Having kids most certainly turned my eating disorders completely around. Once I found out I was pregnant, I gave my body up to growing my little one inside. I knew she was gonna need some major nutrients so I ate and felt happy about it. Okay, not always happy, especially around month 8, but at least resigned to it. Since having a second daughter, I also see that what I do and how I react to eating, affects what they do and how they eat. I am hoping that I can lead them down a healthier path than I traveled.

Thanks for reading this today. It is not a topic I ever discuss but one that I thought was worth sharing. We all struggle through moments of not being enough. When that happens, look to your family, your friends, your children and know that you are, just as you are at that moment.

By Jannine Myers

When Anna told me her intentions of writing a post on this topic, I was a little hesitant but behind her decision to do so. After all, I think it’s a pretty safe bet to suggest that most women struggle on some level to fully accept themselves. But when Anna proposed that we do a joint post I have to admit, I was afraid of exposing areas of my life that I’ve so far managed to keep relatively private.

Just as Anna battled with an eating disorder during her college years, I also battled with similar issues during my high school and early adult years. There are two distinct memories I have of my childhood, which I believe were the precursors for what turned into years of low self-esteem and ultimately a cycle of binge-eating.

Neither of these memories are of events that were particularly life-changing, or traumatic, but they left an indellible mark on my impressionable young mind that greatly affected how I looked at myself. The first of those memories, is my father referring to me by what he would say was really just an affectionate endearment; he loved to call me by the name Podgy.

As a toddler, I was my dad’s shadow. I went everywhere with him, and he loved it. I was not one of those slight, pretty little girls with the frilly dresses and cute hair ribbons; I was just the opposite. I was the little tom-boy who always ran around in denim shorts and tshirts, and my hair never tied back. I was also a little “chubby,” but it was the kind of chubby that people would comment on and say, “Awe, she’s so cute!”. And that’s how my nickname, Podgy, evolved, and like so many childhood nicknames, it stuck – right through to intermediate school (middle school).

Not a very clear picture, but here I am at maybe 3 years old, with my mother and brother in the garden. Wishing my dad was home, since I didn’t care too much for gardening.

A few years later, with by brother. Note – no shoes on my feet.
No comments about the clothes please – it was after all, in the 70s.

The second memory takes me back to my pre-teen years, when I was visiting my mother’s family in the Cook Islands (near Tahiti).

Raking the leaves outside my aunt’s house – I was 10 or 11 at the time

I recall overhearing a conversation between my aunts and a woman who was asking questions about my sister and I. I clearly remember one of my aunts saying, “Oh, Karen is the smaller one.” Now, in saying that, neither my sister nor I are very big, and nor are any of the females in my mother’s immediate family. However, my young teenage mind distorted what I heard that day; what I really heard was, “Karen is the small one, therefore Jannine must be the big one.”

So now, I’m not only big, but I’ve obviously been big all my life, because for as long as I can remember my nickname has been Podgy! Silly, right? In hindsight, yes! But in the mind of a child, these two things had me convinced that I must lose weight. Hence, I fell into a vicious cycle of binge-eating; I would starve myself for as long as I could, and then gorge myself whenever the hunger pains became too unbearable. My weight went up and down, up and down, and when it was down I was happy, and when it crept back up I was incredibly depressed. So much so that I would lie beneath my bed covers at night wishing I could stay there and “hide-out” until I was slim again.

My breakthrough came when I began working in the fitness industry in my mid-twenties. I landed a job as an administrative assistant at a prestigious fitness center, and under the counseling of one of the nutritionists who worked there, I began to learn for the first time in my life that I could get free of the hold that food and weight obsession had had over me. I learned a whole new way of life, one that encouraged eating, and not only assisted in both weight loss and weight maintenance, but also improved my health significantly.

I still experience the occasional mind battles – the kind of battles that send me off into my self-loathing moods where I allow myself to say terrible and negative things about my appearance. But unlike my former self, who lived with these kinds of destructive thoughts on a daily basis, I now live for the most part, with a much more positive and self-loving mindset.

I think the pastor at my church said it best when he pointed out in a sermon recently, that we should care less about appearance and more about character. It occurred to me as soon as he said it, that some of the friends I love the most, are loved by so many, not because of their outward beauty, but because of the beauty that radiates on the outside, from within.

Walking the hills

By Anna Boom

Ugh, Argh, Man!

You know these moments, the times when you question yourself, your sanity and capability.

Sometimes, you just need to walk the hill.

On a recent long run with friends, we ran part of the Okinawa marathon course. As we climbed hill number 57 on the course (not really, but it seemed like it), we laughed at a memory from when we actually ran the Okinawa marathon the previous year.

We started the marathon together but soon, I fell behind in the crowd. Because we ran about the same pace, I stayed consistently behind my friends, never gaining, just enough behind them that they were never out of sight. Then as I started to climb that same hill mentioned above (the one that goes between the two Fosters: PX on the right, Macaroni Grill on the left), I saw my friends walking the hill.

In my mind, I tried to come up with something, anything witty that would raise their spirits enough to get them up and over that hill. What came out was, “what are you doing?!”. Not quite the effect I intended as the look they both shot me was, well, what kind of look would you shoot me if it was you? Yup, that was it.

Afterward, we laughed about it and they still thankfully, train with me. One of the many memories we share from running and training together.

On more than one occasion, I have found myself in the same mode and I just have to walk the hill. It is my reset button.

This is not only physical, it is psychological too: it’s the moment in the commissary, when your 2 year old melts down at the only time you can make it that week, the car that breaks down while your husband is deployed, the last 6.2 miles of the marathon. Walking the hill gives your brain that moment of doubt to question yourself, can I keep going?

It is the way to keep moving forward without stopping. Even if you feel defeated, enjoy that moment. Don’t beat yourself up for not running the whole way, for not being the perfect mom or the perfect wife.  Know that you kept going and did what you could in that moment. That is the best we can do, after all.

Happy running 🙂