The Traveling Green Girl: Medication and First Aid

The Green Girl's Medication and First Aid Bag for 3 weeks in China
The Green Girl continues her Traveling Green Girl Series with Medication and First Aid.

The amount of medication you carry will be dependent on your destination. When I travel domestically, I tend to only carry ibuprofen, allergy, and sinus medication. If you are suffering from head congestion, I would recommend taking a decongestant approximately a half to an hour before your plane lands to ease the pressure.

I like to carry my daily vitamins in little pill bags. They are inexpensive, convenient, sanitary, and moisture resistant. Each bag features a write-on label and can be easily slipped into a pocket or purse. They can be found at your local drug store.

When I travel outside of the country, I carry an EpiPen with me because I am allergic to seafood.

If you require prescription drugs, I would recommend keeping them in their original containers with the labels still attached. Bring extra just in case you get stranded.

In terms of first aid, I only carry an assortment of bandages and moleskine. Depending on the activities you have planned, you may want to expand your first aid kit. I use the Arnica Plus on rashes to stop the itching - it seems to be the only thing that works. Hydro cortisone never seems to do it for me.

I like to rub the Muscle Ice on my tired, sore feet at the end of a long day and on my legs after runs.

I've heard nothing but good things about No-Jet-Lag so I tried it on the way home from my last trip to Asia and it didn't seem to help but I am considering giving it another try.

You'll notice for all brand name products, I mention the generic equivalent option. I think we've established that I'm a cheap Green Girl so I always go with whatever is cheapest.

The Green Girl's Medication and First Aid List
Traveling To Third World Countries

If you're traveling to a Third World country, I would highly recommend bringing all of this with you. Don't bring the entire package of medicine, leave the box at home and just bring one or two sheets of the pills.

And if nothing else, I implore you to bring Pepto-Bismol (or the generic equivalent) chewable tablets. Any time you are about to consume food at a place that looks less than desirable, chew on a couple of these pink pills and the coating on your stomach will give your stomach a little extra protection.

I would also suggest bringing a broad spectrum antibiotic just in case you end up with a bad case of diarrhea or other sickness that won't go away. Your primary care doctor will write you a prescription for this purpose.

Also check with your local health department or doctor for vaccinations for certain regions.


Sole Runners First Annual Charity Meet-n-Greet

The Sole Runners held their First Annual Charity Meet-n-Greet at McKenna's On The Bay last night.

Non-profit organizations were invited to set up a table and speak about their cause to our running group.

Representatives from Arts Council For Long Beach, National Marfan Foundation, and Real Medicine Foundation attended the event.

I represented the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

I explained the Angelman Syndrome Foundation is a charity that is close to my heart because my niece was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome.

I described the genetic disorder and the characteristics including developmental delay, happy demeanor, speech impairment, arm flapping, and drooling. I shared how she is non-verbal but can communicate using augmentative communication devices and some American Sign Language (ASL).

I mentioned how I'm running the Athens Classic Marathon to raise money for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. All the money that is donated will be used for research. I love my niece but I hope scientists can find a cure so there wouldn't be any more children born with this disorder.

I discovered that the Arts Council For Long Beach created a We Love LB Arts! campaign to recruit Long Beach Marathon participants to choose the Arts Council For Long Beach as their charity recipient. The money raised would be distributed to both community-based and school-based arts programs.

We Love LB Arts! volunteers will be at the marathon showing their support and showcasing local art.

I learned that Marfan Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue and typically attacks the heart. The syndrome is not easily diagnosed and often goes undetected. Diagnosis is usually made by a medical geneticist or a cardiologist because this disease often attacks the heart.

I was really impressed by the Real Medicine Foundation. The organization operates in 15 countries in four continents by establishing mobile and stationary health clinics. The fact that they employ regional staff really resonated with me.

As a bleeding heart Green Girl, I've taken courses on the sustainability of support and aid to Third World countries and I am aware of the obstacles encountered when trying to implement lasting improvements.

I really enjoyed the First Annual Charity Meet-n-Greet. I was truly inspired by the philanthropy of the organizations and the volunteers.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

The Green Girl's Great Weekend

The Green Girl's niece was in town this weekend so the Green Girl skipped her 19 mile run in the scorching Southern California heat.

To avoid the record breaking temperatures, we stuck to indoor activities.

The weekend started off at Frogg's Bounce House where we bounced and slid down giant slides to our heart's content.

We stopped by Guppy Tea House for some refreshing shaved ice with mangoes, strawberries, and sweetened condensed milk.

We collected foam balls to shoot at each other at Seascape Kids Fun and had some fun in the sun at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatic Center.

We climbed and maneuvered our way through obstacle courses at Jump 'n Jammin.

We went down to the Orange County Great Park for a free ride on the Great Park Balloon.

The 1,300 acre site of the Orange County Great Park was formerly the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. There was nearly a decade of political debate over the future of the military base. Local residents overruled construction of a commercial airport but finally voted for a park in 2002.

Even with the passing of the park measure, controversy has continued to surround the project due to lack of development progress compared to the amount of funds being spent.

The Great Park Balloon is a large, tethered helium balloon that takes passengers 400 feet above the geographic center of Orange County.

We finished off the weekend at a McDonald's PlayPlace before my niece had to head back home.


The Green Girl's Ultimate Workout Log Winner

The Green Girl is pleased to announce the winner of The Ultimate Workout Log Giveaway.

There were a total of 34 entries submitted via blog reply or email. The winner number 8 was randomly selected based on results from random.org.

Congratulations to the winner, One Crazy Penguin!

Please send your mailing address to giveaway@therunninggreengirl.com.

I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in this giveaway.


CasITa-to-5k Run and Super Harvest Moon

The CasITa-to-5k ran on the Veterans Parkway wood chip path last night.

It was a beautiful Southern California evening for a run and the path was alive with walkers, pets on leashes, and runners.

We started off with our usual brisk walk to warm-up and then moved into the intervals of running and walking.

As we were running, we spotted a set of lost keys hanging from one of the The Mariposa Pathway Butterfly Totems.

After our run, we drove down to the beach to catch a glimpse of the harvest moon.

Yesterday marked the September equinox, also known as the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. An equinox occurs twice a year and is when the center of the Sun is in the same plane as the Earth's equator.

The full moon nearest the September equinox is referred to as the harvest moon.

This year, the harvest moon appeared on the same night as the autumnal equinox - a phenomenon that has not occured since 1991 and will not happen again until 2029.

As the summer sun set last night, its rays blended with the rising autumn moon to create a unique twilight.

From the beach, only the setting sun was visible so we headed over to Sand Dune Park for a higher vantage point.

At the base of the dunes, we looked up and caught a glimpse of the setting sun in the distance.

We climbed the seemingly endless flights of stairs to the top, stopping periodically to catch our breath and admire the beauty of the full moon.

From the top of the sand dunes, we observed the changing colors of the round moon and the night sky.

The Japanese believe there is a moon rabbit, also known as 月の兎 or Jade Rabbit, that pounds rice to make mochi. As we gazed into the twilight, I fixated on the dark shadows in the sphere and tried to envision a rabbit making rice cakes.


The Green Girl's Giant Rat Scare

The Green Girl went for a run with her Sole Runners friend, Michelle, last night.

The night sky was filled with fluffy clouds painted in shades of pastels.

Before we reached Shoreline Village, we went down the peninsula towards the oil rigs like we did earlier this month.

As we got further out, it became darker so I turned on my headlamp. Unfortunately, the bright light attracted the attention of the world's fattest rats and they started scurrying back and forth across the path.

We both started screaming at the top of our lungs in terror. I thought for sure a rat was going to run into my foot. We flapped our arms in fright and sprinted back to the mainland.

We were certain someone was going to come check on us after the commotion we had created but nothing happened.

With our hearts still pounding, we realized if something had seriously happened to us, no one would have come to our rescue. It was a humbling realization.

We followed the bike path over to the Shoreline Marina and away from the rat colonies.

We were still a little jumpy but the night was beautiful and we enjoyed the rest of our run. And we didn't encounter any more giant rats.


The Green Girl's Latest Nathan Speed 4 Hack

The Green Girl loves her Nathan Speed 4 hydration belt.

My first Nathan Speed 4 got me through my very first marathon. I had used Goody StayPut Thin No Slide Color Headbands to secure the bottles and keep them from popping out.

In between the bottle holders, I had added a small pouch to carry my camera and another to hold a spare pair of socks and BodyGlide.

Eventually, I had to replace my hydration belt because despite the fact that I didn't lose any pounds, my waist became smaller and the large was too big.

Believe it or not, the medium was smaller and there was no longer enough space between the bottle holders for the pouches. Disappointed, I settled for stuffing the pouches into the front bottle slots.

This solution has worked well for me but lately, as I've increased my mileage, I've been struggling to fit enough nutrition in my belt for the long runs. I'm a hungry Green Girl and I eat a lot.

I also realize sports nutrition tends to be more compact and portable but I'm just not a huge fan of gels and gus.

I mulled over this issue and then it came to me - I could add some elastic loops to stick additional snacks in.

I took another one of the Goody StayPut Thin No Slide Color Headbands and cut it into quarters. I folded over the edges of two elastic segments and sewed them to prevent fraying. Once the edges were secured with my sloppy stitches, I looped the piece through the side of the bottle holder and sewed it together.

I rotated the elastic to hide the messy connection.

All things considered, I'm pleased with the outcome.

I'm grateful to Goody for making headbands that almost match my hydration belt and I'm glad my new loops match the elastic I added around the bottle holders.

I am anxious to try out my new fangled hydration belt on my next long run.

This solution is making me feel more confident about carrying all the nutrition I will need for the Athens Classic Marathon.


The Green Girl's Ultimate Workout Log Giveaway

The Green Girl has been journaling her Athens Classic Marathon training in The Ultimate Workout Log she received for her birthday.

The 24 week book starts off with some basic guidelines and suggestions for using the log. It also includes inspirational quotes, fitness trivia, and other tidbits of information.

As I went along, I learned what worked for me. I discovered tracking how I felt each morning was useful so in the 'Morning Info' field, I started putting a happy or sad face to represent my general feeling the moment I woke up each day.

I loved how I was able to refer to the previous week's logs to help me understand why I had a good or bad long run. I've decided I am going to get a copy of this book every time I train for a full marathon so I can look back at what did and did not work for me. It's just the right length because it covers a 6 month period.

Here's an example of today's entry so far:

I reached out to the author, Suzanne Schlosberg, to let her know how much I appreciated her workout journal and how it had become an integral part of my marathon training. She thanked me and offered a copy as a Running Green Girl blog giveaway.

If you would like your very own copy of The Ultimate Workout Log, there are two ways to enter this giveaway:

One entry per person. The deadline to enter is Sunday, September 26th at midnight Pacific Time. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 27th.

Good luck to everyone!


The Green Girl's Makeshift Resistance Band Exercise

36" Bungee Cord
After the Green Girl's last appointment with Dr. Sebastian Gonzales from P3 Sports Care, she tried to figure out a way to do the knee exercises without having to go out and purchase a resistance band.

I experimented with some elastic things in my apartment but they didn't offer enough resistance to do the exercise properly.

Using the bungee cord as a resistance band
I finally realized a bungee cord would do the trick. I'm a highly utilitarian Green Girl so I keep items like bungee cords in the truck of my car.

I hooked the ends of a 36" bungee cord and looped it around my bookshelf. Then I slid my left thigh through.

The Green Girl's knee going in
I positioned myself with the left side of my body closest to the bookshelf so that the bungee elastic band would actually pull in the same direction my knee likes to go.

I stood with my left leg straight and my right leg slightly bent with my right foot behind me. I slowly started doing one-legged squats with only my left leg.

The first few iterations, my knee was going in and I could not see my left foot.

The Green Girl's knee starting to straighten itself out
I slowly repeated the exercise.

Instead of moving further inwards, my knee did eventually started to resist and after a few squats, it was noticeably straighter.

It was almost like magic. It's amazing what a little resistance can do for a Green Girl.

Dr. Gonzales recommended I do this exercise once a day to help reprogram my leg to bend properly.


The Traveling Green Girl: Toiletry Essentials

The Green Girl continues her Traveling Green Girl series with Toiletry Essentials.

I highly recommend the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport toiletry kit because of its roomy duffel style and compartments. The main compartment flap zips open and a swivel hook allows you to easily hang it from almost anywhere. The lining is stain and water repellent.

Please keep in mind the 3 oz rule for carry-ons. Any item containing a liquid, cream, or gel must not be more than 3 oz. or you will need to check it in.

I recommend carrying Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths because they can double as a wash cloth for your shower gel. As a germaphobe, I cannot use hotel soap that has touched the surface of the bathtub so I start off my shower by washing my face with the facial cloth and then I use it with the body wash for the rest of my body. For long trips, I simply take a bar of my favorite antibacterial body soap and I cut it into small pieces using a kitchen knife. I throw all the soap pieces into a zip pouch and I use one piece per shower.

Giovanni Recharge Organic Peppermint Towelettes are one of my 'on the go' must-haves. They are these little mint towelettes that perk me up and make me feel refreshed instantly.

If you are sharing a hotel room, I would not leave home without a bottle of Poo Pourri. You simply spritz the toilet water twice before you do your business and this magical spray will keep your bathroom smelling like fresh lemons.

Please note that first aid and medication will be covered in a separate post but on shorter trips, these items can be included in the toiletry kit.

Here is the Green Girl's list of Toiletry Essentials:


Sole Runners Athens Classic Marathon Kick-off Dinner

The Green Girl attended the Sole Runners Athens Classic Marathon Kick-off dinner last night at George's Greek Cafe.

Debra and Julie from Cartan Tours, the travel agency handling our reservations, joined us for the dinner.

We started off by going around the table and doing informal introductions. We discovered there will be three first time marathoners and we all cheered them on.

Before handing out the travel packets, Julie went over some of the high level details and answered our questions.

It's tempting for me to want to participate in a lot of the day tours because I want to see everything but I am restraining myself because I want to conserve my energy for the big day. Jackie is of a similar mindset so it works out well since we are traveling together.

A few runners sipped on bottles of Marathon Beer as we compared travel plans and training schedules. I was thrilled when Coach Steve mentioned he will be doing early morning yoga classes.

The day before the race, a bus will drive us along the marathon route. I have mixed feelings about this as I'm one of those people who avoids looking at course maps prior to races.

We spent some time pondering what we might expect from the expo.

In our travel packets, we received an informational booklet, travel vouchers, food coupons, and a lightweight Cartan Tours duffel bag.

I can't believe the marathon is next month. It really started to sink in for me last night as we were all sitting there talking.

I need to focus on staying healthy, take care of my right foot, and be cautious of my left knee.


The Green Girl's Sunday Long Run

After missing our Saturday morning Sole Runners run, Michelle and I went for our long run Sunday afternoon.

Instead of staying on the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath, we went over the bridge towards the Queen Mary.

Right before we reached the famous ocean liner, we managed to actually run through the Japanese Classic Car Show.

We looped around the grounds of the Queen Mary before heading back to the bridge.

When we looked back at Downtown Long Beach, we couldn't help but admire the majestic skyline.

The afternoon was warm but we both found in comfort in the knowledge that the weather would be cooling off soon.

Shortly after we passed Shoreline Village, we decided to run on the sand for a change.

It felt good to run on a softer surface for awhile.

We eventually returned to the bike path and took a turn down the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier as the sun began to set.

My right foot felt really good up until mile 8 when I started feeling some soreness in the arch. I concentrated on landing as softly as possible and kept going. My left hip felt good but the inside of my left knee was a little twitchy until I put the patellar strap on.

I am going to continue getting my foot taped and hope for the best.

I've been feeling a great deal of apprehension about my right foot and being able to complete another 17 mile run has done wonders for my confidence.


Marina Run and Phiten Necklace

The Green Girl went on a night run with one of the Sole Runners, Michelle, after work yesterday.

We both wanted to get some mileage in last night because neither one of us were going to be able to make it to today's Sole Runners run. I was registered for a Project Management Institute (PMI) course on Complex Program Management this morning.

We ran along the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath towards Shoreline Marina.

Right before we reached Shoreline Village, we followed a narrow peninsula out into the water. I never realized you could get so close to one of the whimsical oil rig islands. I marveled at the colorful waterfalls.

Back inland, we heard lively music and spotted the giant tents from the Long Beach Lobster Festival

We followed the path around Marina Green Park. We were soothed by the patterns of the rolling ocean waves in the water.

We paused at the end to stare back at the Downtown Long Beach skyline. It felt so good to breathe in the cool ocean air.

At Shoreline Village, we stopped for a bathroom break right next to the Marina Showers.

It actually worked out perfectly because we ran out of steam at the same time. At around 7 miles, neither one of us had any run left so we just walked the rest of the way.

After my class this morning, I stopped by my favorite Phiten store. They had a special promotion giveaway going on where they provided you with a token to insert in a giant gumball machine and depending on the color of your gumball, you won different prizes.

I got a pink gumball and ended up winning a navy blue and green Phiten necklace. Whoo hoo!


Second Active Release Techniques (ART) Session

The Green Girl made another appointment with Dr. Sebastian Gonzales at P3 Sports Care yesterday.

As I mentioned before, Dr. Gonzales is a Certified Active Release Techniques (ART) Provider. ART is a combination of examination and treatment. It involves evaluating the texture, tension, movement and function of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. ART treats soft-tissue injuries by moving muscle fibers, tendons, and ligaments through a combination of motion and deep, targeted massage to release adhesions, smooth the movement of tissues, release entrapped nerves of blood vessels, and promote healing.

The purpose of this visit was three-fold. First, I wanted to get a second opinion on my right foot. I also wanted him to look at my left leg because lately I've been struggling with an unusually tight hip flexor and inner knee pain on that side. Finally, I needed him to loosen up my calves again. I also wanted to follow up with Dr. Gonzales on the results of my gait analysis but unfortunately, he informed me he had stopped using his video analysis resource.

Dr. Gonzales started with my left leg. He had me stand with my left leg straight and my right leg slightly bent with my right foot behind me. He instructed me to do a slow one-legged squat and then slowly straighten my leg back up. He observed that my knee was going inwards - just as it had in my gait analysis video.

He looped my left thigh through an elastic band and he actually pulled in the same direction my knee was going and told me to repeat the exercise. Instead of moving further inwards, my knee eventually started to resist and after a few iterations, it was noticeably straighter. He suggested I do this exercise once a day to reprogram my leg.

After he examined my leg movements, he did ART on my left hip to loosen it up. Once again, I had to focus on yoga breathing to endure the pain.

I let Dr. Gonzales know I'd made a lot of glute progress since our last session. After mentioning my glute weakness to my kickboxing instructor, he's made an effort to integrate butt work into every class - good for my glutes but maybe not so much for my Kickblast! popularity.

Dr. Gonzales mentioned I should also incorporate the Cook Hip Lift exercise into my glute work. He demonstrates this exercise in this video:

Next, he worked on my right foot. He said he didn't feel any tears in the plantar fascia so it was a relief to hear whatever damage I'd inflicted on myself didn't appear to be that significant.

He worked on my calves last. I focused intently on my breathing but it wasn't nearly as painful at the first time. I told Dr. Gonzales how much my calf tightness had improved and how they have remained considerably looser since my first ART session. He said he was surprised to hear this because he couldn't believe how tight they were but I assured him this was nothing compared to last time.

I felt really good as I walked out of his office. My left hip felt much lighter and my calves were all relaxed.


Mr. Green Garmin Takes A Bath

Mr. Green Garmin 'Before'
Mr. Green Garmin's band has gotten awfully dirty from wear over the years.

I tried unsuccesfully to clean him up with wet wipes. I was hesitant to expose Mr. Green Garmin to any harsh chemicals so I avoided using any other types of cleaning products.

Mr. Green Garmin 'Before'
I searched online to see what other owners did for their beloved training partners to no avail.

Finally, I posted my question in the RunningAHEAD.com forums.

MilkTruck replied that he simply washed the band with soap and warm water.

Mr. Green Garmin 'After'
I felt ashamed that I had not come up with such a simple solution on my own.

I took Mr. Green Garmin into the bathroom and carefully ran warm water over each band before I applied some handsoap.

I was amazed by how easily the dirt and grime washed off. I used my fingers to scrub away all the marks. I cautiously ran one finger around the hydrophobic bezel.

Mr. Green Garmin 'After'
Once Mr. Green Garmin looked good as new, I dried him off with a paper towel.

I couldn't stop admiring how handsome Mr. Green Garmin looked on my run yesterday.

I'm sure he's relieved I've figured out a way to properly groom him prior to his debut abroad at the Athens Classic Marathon.
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