Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This coming week is spring break for my hubby, so other than filing taxes and building a fence in my garden, we have plenty of time to run! I am so freaking excited because he has agreed to run a longer run tomorrow... with me! I am so blessed that he has changed his tune about running.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful beginning to spring! The snow that we randomly got on Friday is melting and we are soaking up every little ounce of Vitamin D we can. Happy Running!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Secondly, I HAVE to thank Tonia at http://racingwithbabes.blogspot.com/ for sending me a great gift for being her 100th follower. I am so excited that she included GU. It is my first chance to try it and I am so excited! Everyone should visit her blog when they have a chance. She is such an inspiration!!!
Thirdly, today marks a HUGE accomplishment for me as a runner. I ran outside for the first time!!! Yay! Honestly? I was scared. Weird, right? I decided t run just a mile out and a mile back. I don't know if it was because I was excited to be running again or if it was because I was scared to be running outside but I ran a 11 minute mile out... and a 15 minute mile home. :) All that matters is that I did it. I should really say we did it. My golden retriever, Zeke, ran every step with me. I think running outside will be good for both of us. We could both lose a few pounds. The only horrible thing about me running outside today in the 63 degree temps is that it is supposed to snow tomorrow! If I haven't said it yet... I hate Nebraska! Grrr/Brrr!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I am so frustrated. I have 50 some odd days until the damn half and I have never even run 6 miles before. I'm in trouble.
I'm so sorry for the negativity. On the positive angle my husband and I are going to run a 5k in 2 weeks. I am so proud of him! Since I met him, he has adamantly refused to run. He was a "walker". He has been running his butt off since I started training. I am so proud!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
There have been many studies also concerning sleep's affect on athletes. I found some really great ones with a simple Google search. But I still needed to know the amount of sleep that was right for athletes. I'm a mom! I need to schedule in sleep if I'm going to get any :) So here is part of an article that explains one way to make sure you are getting enough sleep:
How Much Sleep Do You Need? Research shows that as little as 20 hours of sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on sports performance, particularly for power and skill sports.
Sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours of daily sleep for adults, and nine to ten hours for adolescents and teens. You can estimate your own needs by experimenting over a few weeks. If you fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed and wake up without an alarm, you are probably getting the right amount of sleep. If you fall asleep immediately upon hitting the pillow and always need an alarm to wake up, you are probably sleep deprived.
The good news for most recreational athletes is that just one sleepless night is not necessarily associated with any negative effects on performance. So, don't worry if you toss and turn the night before a big competition. One sleepless night is unlikely to hurt your performance.
Click here to visit the full article. I think I am going to be trying the little experiment that they recommended. So... Good Night!
Friday, March 5, 2010
I found an article on Runner's World about a study that determined that, "Around the 90-minute mark carbohydrate stores drop, causing a spike in two key hormones, cortisol and epinephrine. This, in turn, inhibits those neutrophils and lymphocytes, leaving you vulnerable to nasty bugs." Interesting! In an article from www.marathonandbeyond.com, it states that, "[Studies] have shown that one in seven runners comes down with an upper respiratory infection after taking part in a marathon—compared with just two out of 100 runners who didn’t compete. Take part in an ultra event such as the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run, and your chances of getting sick are more like one in four."
Obvious Statement #1: I am not a marathoner OR Ultra runner.
Obvious Statement #2: I am not pushing myself to the same level as a marathoner OR Ultra runner.
But I have a theory!
I am overweight, living a newly athletic/recently static lifestyle, with a BMI that is higher than I want to comprehend. Is running 5 miles for me the same as running 30 miles for a marathoner? Hmmm... Is my immune system being compromised by my exertion?
Luckily, there are a lot of options to boost your immune system and a lot of interesting ways to recover after a hard workout. Here are just a few that I found:
- Active.com states that Echinacea is a fantastic immune booster and has been used for hundreds of years.
- There is a injury and health forum on Runnersworld.com that discusses immunity booster injections. I don't think any of the people commenting on this forum are doctors so please keep this in mind if you are considering these.
- This is the best one!!! www.healthiertalk.com states that sauerkraut, garlic, black tea with lemon, turmeric, and Oregano will all boost your immune system. My German Great-grandmother is getting her last laugh. :)
So, all I wanted to do with this post was share some of my research and of course complain about my sickliness. Just kidding! Well on half of that.
Happy running and I hope this post finds you healthy and immune-ful!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Do you like my avatar? I had so much fun creating her. That is my baby Ayla in the stroller... which she hates! My daughter is not a screamer but goodness all have to do is put her in the stroller to stretch her vocal chords! Meh.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
When I am asked to picture a "runner" in my head, for some reason there is always a dog running at her side. While I have been running on a treadmill this winter, the second it is warm enough, my golden retriever, Zeke, and I will be out pounding the pavement. I believe every dog should have the opportunity to run and play. I believe that every dog deserves the opportunity to simply wag its tail. That is why I have chosen Hearts United for Animals as my non-profit organization to raise funds for.
Hearts United for Animals is a national no-kill animal shelter, sanctuary and animal welfare organization dedicated to the relief of suffering. It rescues dogs from all over the country and specializes in long distance adoptions. It takes creatures who are lost, afraid, hungry or ill and comforts them, gives them a warm, soft bed, good food, medical care and most of all, love.
I have volunteered there and I can honestly say that the dogs in this shelter are truly blessed!
In 64 days I will be doing one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. While my dog won't be at my side on race day, I know that every time I get close to quitting I'll think of the hard work that Zeke and I will have put into this together. I will also be the runner with the bright gold shirt on that has the words on the back:
I run because every dog deserves to wag its tail!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Yesterday I wrote about a certain mom/woman issue that I have been struggling with while running. While I didn't really get very many comments, I felt liberated by putting my body issues out there.
Today a great friend of mine, who is also training for the half-marathon, Facebooked me with her running frustrations. Her name has been changed to insure her privacy! Valerie had just bought a new pair of shoes and had blisters all over her feet. Maybe it was the pain or maybe it was just the sheer longing to be at the finish and not the starting line, but something set Valerie off into a venting rant. She cried out in an urgency that was not lost in digital translation, "Why does it have to be so difficult?!" Ladies, I know that most of us have felt that cry building up in our chests at some point. I know I have and that's why I could only laugh when Valerie said, "Why can't I put on my socks and shoes that don't cause blisters, comfy shorts I don't have to continually pull the crotch down in due to my rubbing thighs, wear one sports bra-not two due to my large boobs and a comfortable shirt-not one that used to fit but now shows my pleasantly plump stomach! WHY DOES IT HAVE TO SUCK SO MUCH!"
Oh, Valerie! I love your humor so much and I truly love that we share such odd trials and tribulations! So ladies, the reason I have posted this is make sure that if you are awkward or insecure about something or things pertaining to your body, please don't let them stop you from running. You are not alone!
I have learned something very important from the book that I am reading, (Marathoning for Mortals), and that is: there is no such thing as a runner's body. We are all starting at different levels and with different "handicaps" but we all have a mutual goal...
that damn finish line!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
On a side note... I ran my rear off today! I ran two miles with out walking at all, ran/walked a mile, and then ran another mile nonstop! Go me :) I am still in shock.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The book that I am reading, Marathoning for Mortals, is GREAT so far! I love how it is two authors almost discussing and debating running. They share their running experiences and really explain that everyone runs for a different reason. SO true!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I decided on Marathoning for Mortals, by Bingham and Hadfield.
The text on the front of the book is what caught my attention, "A regular person's guide to the joy of running or walking a half-marathon or marathon." This book could not be for me more!
I have only read the introduction but I really love it! I can't wait to review it for you as I read more.
3 more miles down today and another 4 tomorrow. Happy Running!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I also got to walk outside today! I know! Ayla, my 9 month old daughter, my 2 dogs and I all went for a walk around the neighborhood. Granted, I could still see my breath and yes it is still freaking cold! I saw that brilliant blue sky though and just HAD TO GET OUT! Can you tell I am a stay-at-home mom? :)
Monday, February 8, 2010
I am a dedicated follower of TallMom's blog, and one thing I always appreciate her posting about are detailed accounts of her runs. I thought since I always am motivated by reading about her runs, I should share about mine every once in a while too. So, here goes:
I started out with an easy warm-up walk. It was going well until I felt a clunk and slip every time I took a step. No, it wasn't my joints falling apart, it was my treadmill saying to me, "Again?!" So I stopped, put in a few turns with the wrench, and hopped back on for try number two. As I was warming up, my loving husband agreed to let me watch my favorite running show on t.v.. Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman!!! Come on ladies! You know it was your favorite in the mid-90's.
As I am running I like to think of my hair flowing in the wind like Sully's did when he rode those horses. I like to think of myself as stubborn as that impossible British/Western actress Jane Seymore. Ahhh... times were so much easier back then, when no one had to run to stay in shape!
Oh right... so I was running, or started to after a five minute warm-up. I ran a mile straight with no interruptions and then proceeded to finish with a run 2 minutes/walk 2 minutes pattern. My legs have been feeling much better but I just don't want to go crazy with lots of running up front.
I reached my goal of four miles and proceeded to walk it out for a few minutes to the loud and juicy snoring of my husband. Unfortunately, his only response to brave women doctors healing the west is to fall completely and solidly asleep. Meh. I made it and that's what counts!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
First of all, my shins hurt! But for some reason they became a big fat excuse. I opened my eyes when my loving husband essentially called me a quitter. He told me that I don't follow through with things. He implied that he doesn't take me serious anymore when I get excited about new things because he knows I am going to quit soon anyway.
All of a sudden my feelings were hurt more than my damn shins! But do you want to know the worst part?!?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
There was a special tonight on the news about running barefoot. Apparently Harvard University researchers compared people who had always run with shoes to people that had recently converted to barefoot running. As to be expected, people who run with shoes are "heel strikers". Barefoot runners are more likely to point their foot and avoid heel collision. Click HERE for a more in-depth news report! Even RunnersWorld has posted an article or two. Try this ONE!
So I guess I'm curious...
Have you ever run barefoot?
Do you like it?
Is it something you would recommend to others?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I hope everyone is reaching their goals and loving life!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Achieving Perfect Form per Runnersworld.com: Take a deep breath, which naturally encourages your torso and upper back to straighten and promotes an upright posture. Maintain the upright position from the deep breath and imagine that you are a puppet on a string suspended from above. This entails further stretching yourself up to your full height with your back comfortably straight, your head in line with your shoulders, and your hips lined up underneath.
THE PERFECT FORM Running better, from head to toe.
By Jane Unger Hahn
(From the August 2004 issue of Runner's World)
Head Tilt: How you hold your head is key to overall posture, which determines how efficiently you run. Let your gaze guide you. Look ahead naturally, not down at your feet, and scan the horizon. This will straighten your neck and back, and bring them into alignment. Don't allow your chin to jut out.
Shoulders: Shoulders play an important role in keeping your upper body relaxed while you run, which is critical to maintaining efficient running posture. For optimum performance, your shoulders should be low and loose, not high and tight. As you tire on a run, don't let them creep up toward your ears. If they do, shake them out to release the tension. Your shoulders also need to remain level and shouldn't dip from side to side with each stride.
Arms: Even though running is primarily a lower-body activity, your arms aren't just along for the ride. Your hands control the tension in your upper body, while your arm swing works in conjunction with your leg stride to drive you forward. Keep your hands in an unclenched fist, with your fingers lightly touching your palms. Imagine yourself trying to carry a potato chip in each hand without crushing it. Your arms should swing mostly forward and back, not across your body,between waist and lower-chest level. Your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle. When you feel your fists clenching or your forearms tensing, drop your arms to your sides and shake them out for a few seconds to release the tension.
Torso: The position of your torso while running is affected by the position of your head and shoulders. With your head up and looking ahead and your shoulders low and loose, your torso and back naturally straighten to allow you to run in an efficient, upright position that promotes optimal lung capacity and stride length. Many track coaches describe this ideal torso position as "running tall" and it means you need to stretch yourself up to your full height with your back comfortably straight. If you start to slouch during a run take a deep breath and feel yourself naturally straighten. As you exhale simply maintain that upright position.
Hips: Your hips are your center of gravity, so they're key to good running posture. The proper position of your torso while running helps to ensure your hips will also be in the ideal position. With your torso and back comfortably upright and straight, your hips naturally fall into proper alignment--pointing you straight ahead. If you allow your torso to hunch over or lean too far forward during a run, your pelvis will tilt forward as well, which can put pressure on your lower back and throw the rest of your lower body out of alignment. When trying to gauge the position of your hips, think of your pelvis as a bowl filled with marbles, then try not to spill the marbles by tilting the bowl.
Legs/Stride: While sprinters need to lift their knees high to achieve maximum leg power, distance runners don't need such an exaggerated knee lift--it's simply too hard to sustain for any length of time. Instead, efficient endurance running requires just a slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. Together, these will facilitate fluid forward movement instead of diverting (and wasting) energy. When running with the proper stride length, your feet should land directly underneath your body. As your foot strikes the ground, your knee should be slightly flexed so that it can bend naturally on impact. If your lower leg (below the knee) extends out in front of your body, your stride is too long.
Ankles/Feet: To run well, you need to push off the ground with maximum force. With each step, your foot should hit the ground lightly--landing between your heel and midfoot--then quickly roll forward. Keep your ankle flexed as your foot rolls forward to create more force for push-off. As you roll onto your toes, try to spring off the ground. You should feel your calf muscles propelling you forward on each step. Your feet should not slap loudly as they hit the ground. Good running is springy and quiet.
I know this is just a tip off the iceberg, but I really like the descriptions offered in this article. Happy Running! If you have anything to add, please share!!!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Alright, this post is more of an advice seeking post. I need help, from the people that know running the best.
I started running this evening, (same shoes, treadmill, socks, etc.) and instantly felt a little tight in my left shin. I continued to run, thinking it would stretch out my sore muscles. At exactly two miles my right shin started shooting mild pain up my leg. After talking to my husband, who happened to be sitting on the couch next to me, I decided to stop running and stretch it out. I got off of the treadmill and instantly felt intense pain in the inside of my shin. It feels like it is right where my shin bone meets my calf muscle. After talking to my brother-in-law, who gave me great advice on how to deal with it, we decided it probably is shin splints.
What I need from you is advice on what to do now. Stop running (God forbid)? Run less? Walk? New shoes? Will they go away? How do you deal with them?
I really would appreciate any first hand advice you could give me. My race is in 101 days!!!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
On a happier note! Today was the first day in my life that I ran a mile under 13 minutes! 12:36 to be exact! I am just thrilled that I am seeing improvement on the timer. In comparison to how I used to run, I feel like I am sprinting now. Not that it is working me that hard, I am just going so fast :)
As a side note: Someone once told me,"Once an addict, always an addict." Even though I have never had an unhealthy addiction, I have always seen myself as an addict. I love trying new things and I throw myself into it 120 percent to the point of obsession then I move on. I go crazy doing my best at whatever it is that i am "addicted" to at that time and then I drop it for the next thing. Of course naturally my fear would be that running has become an addiction for me rather than a life style change. To keep that from happening, I have picked up my next true addiction... knitting! I am obsessed! This is what I have done so far:
If anyone would like a cute hat knitted for their child let me know. :)
Happy running friends!
Monday, January 18, 2010
I know I haven't posted a lot lately and I apologize. This running thing makes me TIRED! If anyone has advice on getting a baby to sleep earlier too that would be great! :)
Friday, January 15, 2010
Today is my day off so I will leave more posting for tomorrow! Night!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
After reading my new friend Michele's blog, I realized that I might be in the minority of runners. I love to run on the treadmill! I think it is easy to develop a steady pace, keep perfect track of time and distance, watch tv, and be in the privacy of my basement. As I thought about it more though, I also realized that I am totally dependent on the treadmill. The thought of running outside scares me! I could trip over a curb, use up all of my energy in the first 1/2 mile, get hit by a car, or get made of by a passerby. Even as I type this I realize that it is probably rooted mainly in my own lack of self-confidence. Let's be honest though, who wants to see a large blob bouncing down the street on their way to work? I am not a small woman with rather *ahem* large breasts. It just isn't a pretty sight and because I know that, I just can't focus on running when outside. Putting all of my self-image issues aside... Does anyone have any advice on how to transfer what I have accomplished on a treadmill to outside? Is there a special way to start running outside? I'm scared.
I hope running is going well for everyone and I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Did anyone watch Biggest Loser tonight? I am so amazed at the bravery those contestants exhibit every time! Getting in front of millions of people half naked? Ha! No way in hell! I kind of enjoyed watching that Italian mom wipe-out too. I am truly ashamed!
Running tonight was really rough at the beginning. My calves were burning when I walked but felt better when I ran. I guess that was good and bad :) I think it might have been my new socks though. I tried my new Thorlo Experias out tonight. My feet were super hot in them (not the good kind of hot) and they were almost sliding around. I think that might have attributed to my cramped calf muscles. Ever have to walk a couple miles in loose sandals? Felt the same way. Hmmm. My blister is filling back up too. They were super comfy tough! I guess we will give it a few more days. So for now the jury is out on the socks.
Good news though! In one week I have taken a minute off of my mile! Good enough improvement for me. I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow! I will be meeting my first day of schedule conflicts and squeezing a run in. I'm just hoping I don't have a black eye tomorrow. My overly exuberant Golden Retriever, Zeke, decided to rearrange my nose this morning. It still hurts to breathe through it over 12 hours later. Any one see Up? Doug is a fat version of my golden. :) Squirrel!!!
Just as much as my body "needed" to run I think it is a good thing that I took a day off. I took Ayla to the local running store with me and she helped me pick out soft, blister-free socks. Ok, well she just pulled socks off of the rack and chewed on them, I picked out the actual ones to purchase :) I decided to go with the white Thorlo, Experia. Tomorrow will be my first day running with them so I will let you know then. They better be like running in Heaven considering the price! I did save over $5 in shipping though by going to the running store. Remember to support your local businesses!
I hope everyone had a great Monday and I truly appreciate all of the support and encouragement I am getting from my friends and family!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Phew! As this title indicates, I have run five days this week! That equals to 16 miles! I am pretty confident in saying that that is the farthest I have ever run. I guess I played soccer in grade school but I was always so afraid. I think I was most afraid of pushing myself. When I ran to the point of exhaustion or light headedness, it used to scare me. I would start walking or quit, convincing myself that it wasn't safe or healthy. I can only hope that those days are over! I am in control for the first time in my life so I am telling myself no more excuses!
I did my first "long" run today. Since it is week 1, my "long" run was only 4 miles long. I completed it in good enough time. Just two problems:
#1 I now have a large blister on my pinky toe! Luckily, tomorrow is my rest day, but I am pretty confident it will still be there on Tuesday. Was it my plain cotton socks? Or was it my brand new shoes? I am a little frustrated at this. If anyone has any advice I would love it!
#2 I only ran the first 1 1/4 straight though. The rest of my run I alternated running and walking every two minutes. Is this pathetic? Am I even able to call it a run? My body sure feels like it got a work out so for now I am going to keep doing what I doing.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I do have an important question though. What can I do to make the first 2/3 of my first mile easier? During it I struggle to breathe, I lose my focus, and I struggle to keep up my pace. By the time I hit 1 mile I am ready to go and I feel like I could go a long ways. Hmmm. Any advice fellow runners?
After a fun night watching Up with our great friends, I am enjoying just relaxing. I think I need to meditate and prepare for my "long" run tomorrow. I know it is only 4 miles, but that is the farthest I have ever run/walked! I will admit it... I'm scared! I just have to start telling myself now, "You can do it! You can do it!"
Friday, January 8, 2010
I have to admit, today I sat on the couch and asked myself if this was the smartest thing I could be doing with my time. Am I being foolish? All I can come up with is, yes, I probably am being foolish. But, I want to prove that I can do this. And if for some reason I am able to run the half-marathon, in time and completely, then we can all be pleasantly surprised together. :)
I am obviously on week 1. I also wanted to thank my brother-in-law for giving me some beginner tips. If he is right, I should be feeling great after Day 3 of running. Hope you are right Adam!
Thanks for all of the encouragement everyone! I'm going to go let my Golden Retriever run on the tread mill now. My day off is his day to run. If only they would let Zeke run with me on race day.
Post Script: So I was just rereading my post and realized that I have already messed my schedule up! Ha! That's how I would do it. Oh well, I guess this week (only) I will be running Fri-Sun straight. AND the website I found the schedule on is: http://www.halfmarathons.net/training_tips_schedule_beginner_runners.html.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
So, that's me. I hope seeing me at the beginning of this and seeing how out of shape I am can inspire just one person to get up and start running. If I can do it, you can too! See you tomorrow and lets hope I can walk to the computer!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I ran a relatively easy three miles today in 45 minutes. I know the time is pretty bad (15 minute miles) and I will HAVE to pick it up. But I am just proud of myself for getting up and starting. I think tomorrow will be horrible! :) Good luck to future me!
I have wanted to run a marathon for as long as I can remember. I have dreamed of passing that finish line with my family and strangers cheering me on. I have dreamed of proving that I can do anything I set my mind to, even if the odds were stacked against me. When I was young, I had a severe asthma attack and have struggled with asthma ever since. I always wanted to be in sports, and tended to push myself far beyond my body's limit, but that limit was frustratingly small.
I have decided that now is the time to fight my fears. Yesterday, I officially registered myself in the 33rd Annual Lincoln City Marathon. Ok, well... half-marathon. All things considered, I don't think I am lowering my goal for any reason but safety. I have to start somewhere and I think 13.1 miles is the best place. I still get the finish line and I still get the pride and success of accomplishing a long time (secret) dream.
Wish me luck and please feel free to pick me up and push me along whenever you think I might need it. Your comments of love and encouragement are going to be fuel to my fire!