Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tips For New Runners - Part 1

Lets face it many of us runners, that are just starting out, simply get a pair of shoes and hit the pavement or treadmill.  Once you commit to your first road race things stay the same for the most part, until you choose to up your distance to a 1/2 marathon or marathon.  Then you start to realize that you need more that just a pair of shoes that you got from the local discount store.  That was one of the first lessons that I learned as a runner.  I found that going to a good running store (I go to Second Sole) to be fit for a pair of running shoes is important.
My Asics Gel-3030 Running shoes
When you go in, they have you run so that they can see what you do, then they recommend shoes for, have you try them on and run around the store.  I have had great experiences of this.

Secondly I learned that there is a lot to say about the running equipment that you have.  First finding wicking clothing is important.  I found out quickly that running in cotton is not good.  I found that out in a couple of runs where I over heated, that makes your run feel horrible.  From that point I learned to dress for the weather, and how important it is.  Since I have a phone that allows apps I decided to get a app that would help me dress for the weather since I am bad at that, LOL

My What To Wear app
I also learned about hydration.  Keeping hydrated is important.  For short runs I don't worry about it too much, however long runs are different.  You need to make sure that you are drinking enough water during your run.  It is also very important that you keep hydrated when you are not running.  What runners often forget is that we need to be hydrated before we even lace up our shoes.  We also need to hydrate after we are finished with running.

For me these are the first and most important lessons to learn as a runner.  There are so many more that we need learn, but these give us a great start.

Suck It Up Cupcake and Keep Running

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 4 done, wow

It feels like I just started training, and the reality is that I am 4 weeks in.  This was a great week over all.  I felt stronger and my pace showed that through out the week.  I was on track with my eating which is a great feeling.  My favorite part of the week was getting my hair done (my roots were driving me nuts, LOL)

My new color - yea I won't curl it like this again, LOL
I also decided that in my training I needed to add something more.  So I decided to add 10 minute trainer into my routine, I figure I can add an additional 10 minutes a day to help me to get in shape.  While I was running during the week, I was rocking great paces.  at one point I had a 9:58 pace, which was shocking since I was starting to get back into running.  One day was a 11:07 pace, the 10:58 pace; the next 10:18; the next 9:58.  It makes me feel good that I am getting stronger.  I know that I will do this, however I do not expect this every day, LOL

I focused on my running form.  For me the biggest part that I need to learn to stop heal striking.  I have found that by watching how I am standing, that helps.  I need to lean forward more and that keeps me from heal striking.  I can tell that I am stronger and I am not having much pain at all.  I am keeping my shins feeling strong with a little more stretching and icing, and some anti inflammatory, so that is a wonderful feeling.  For me it is amazing on how a little thing, such as form can make that big of a difference, but it does.

As I mentioned before I decided to add 10 minute trainer to my daily exercise.  For me adding a 10 more minutes makes sense to help me get stronger.  I have not been shy that I need to lose some weight.  I have struggled with my weight for a long time, however I am working hard to make a difference.  I know that by losing some weight and toning my muscles that will help me to not only look better, lose weight but will help me when it comes to my running.  Right now there are days I feel like I put everything into my run, but I can always find that extra 10 minutes to kick it up as notch.  I know that this is going to make a difference in everything I do, and I am looking forward to getting stronger as my strength increases.

I had an amazing workout with my trainer today.  It is a great feeling knowing that I am becoming stronger.  I know that with my trainer and everything else I am doing my running is going to be so much better, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.

Suck It Up Cupcake and Keep Running

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday Runner Questions

I have been thinking a lot about what to blog about today.  I have learned so much over the past week or so - where did I want to start.  I decided to stick with my three things Thursday.  Determining what I wanted to be, well that is going to be the challenge, LOL.

1.  What is going on with my pace?  Yes I am very confused.  I started running 2 years ago, and in that time so much as happened.  The second half of last year, after an injury I took off due to lack of motivation and to be honest, simply being scared to get injured again.  So after being contacted to be a blogger for the Cleveland Marathon again, (yes I am excited because it got my running butt back in gear) I started training.  While I am doing the half I am starting my training early to help build up my miles again.  When I started at the beginning of January I was at almost a 12 minute mile pace.  Expected being out of shape and not running.  Well I ran a 9:58 pace.  I was not trying for speed, I was not any more tired than previous runs.  That is a big jump, but I guess I am doing something right because I am getting stronger, and that is showing in my running.
While I was running today I decided to pace behind someone that looked strong and going a good pace and at one point I thought wow this is quite slow.  I can not believe how slow this is.  To feel like that again is nice.  I did not expect my pace to start to bounce back this quick, but I know I still have a long way to go.

One of my runs at the beginning of the month - not bad

2.  To run Inside or Outside.  Yes most runners will tell you that they dislike the Dreadmill, and I am one of those.  I will avoid them at all costs.  I over think it and it is way to easy to hit that little button and slow down, LOL.  The gym I go to has an indoor track, so I can use that to run, while I feel weird running in circles it is a nice option.  Well today I took my son to school and knew that I had to make a decision- do I run inside or out side.  The weather here in Ohio has been crazy, pretty warm actually so I have been opting to run outside as much as possible.  Honestly I love running outside.  But today it was a difficult decision.  It was 34 degrees, not bad, but it was raining, and the rain was cold.  I knew that it was a steady rain, I would be soaked so I opted to run inside.  I draw the line at cold rain.  I can deal with snow, not rain, at least cold rain.

3.  Form.  I have been learning that running is more than putting on a pair of tennis shoes you got from your local Walmart on sale and going outside.  There is so much more that goes into running.  First of all there is proper form.  I have learned through searching about form because my shin splints were coming back.  I want to be smart so I decided that I need to do something more than what I was doing because it was not working.  I have noticed that as my form has improved, so has my pace (hmmm I wonder if that has something to do with it) that my shins don't hurt as much or at all after a run.  I feel stronger.  It gives me something to think about as I run.  I am still learning tons about running form, so I am sure that there is more to come, but it is something to keep in mind how important running form is.

Keep up the great work and keep moving!

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Three Weeks and Counting

Wow I can not believe that three weeks are under my belt.  It seems like just yesterday I was deciding to get back into this running thing.  I have to admit this January has been so much easier to run in than last January.  We have had some unusual temperatures for Cleveland, and I really don't mind that at all.  This past week was interesting to say the least.  I had a flash back to training last year - yep the dreaded Shin Splints!  I noticed them after my long run on Sunday.  This instantly scared me because I knew how that turned out last time.  So I decided to make sure that I am smart this time.  First thing I did was go get new shoes, which I love.  The second thing I did was Google shin splints for ideas on how to help them.  Finally I posted on a few Facebook boards for help.  I knew that I would get the answers I was looking for that way.  

With the new shoes I was told I could return them within a week, only if I ran inside.  Of course I had no problem do this, so I headed up to Bally's to run on the track.  Tuesday I simply focused on a easy run and to see how I felt.  It was not bad, but I still had a bit of pain, but much better than Sunday.  Wednesday I started to concentrate on how I ran.  As suggested to me I was heal striking, and that is probably one of my biggest problems.  That lead me to search for running form. I read many articles and then also watched videos to see proper form.  I never knew just how technical correct running form was.  That lead to Thursday's run, where I really worked on having better form.

Working on form is difficult, I quickly found out that as soon as I started to fatigue that my form was harder to maintain, which makes sense.  I also had a difficulty to find a good lean that would allow me to come down on the balls of my feet evenly and ease down onto the rest of my foot.  I quickly learned by trying to stick out my chest that I was able to get into a good lean and it made running easier.  

I continue to take an anti-inflammatory twice a day.  I ice for 20 minutes when ever it is possible.  I work on flexing my foot and tracing the alphabet with my foot to work on this.  At work I put on compression socks.  These steps are really helping, and I can feel a difference.  I am going to continue to look into other things that will make the difference in my shins.  I am glad that I know what I am looking for now, and I can focus on treating it.  I know that being smart will keep me moving and feeling good.  

Monday was supposed to be strength.  Being that I was in pain, I decided to focus on stretching.  It felt great.  Friday was another wonderful rest day.  I am learning to appreciate the rest days. It is a nice break and keeps me going strong.  I finished off my week with my wonderful trainer.  As much as I did not want to move this week, I knew that I would feel great.  I am glad that I went and got the extra motivation that I needed to keep this week going.  

I weighed in on Friday and gained 3.2 lbs.  I knew that was going to happen due to stress eating.    I am not going to let that get me down.  I am going to focus more on my eating this week.  I know that there are going to be up and down weeks, but learning from the "bad" weeks is the most important step!

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3 Things Thursday

1-  Form...  Yep I have bad form, I guess that the shin splints after the marathon should have clued me in on that.  After the pain that I had on Sunday I reached out for help, and it was suggested that I heal strike.  I googled it, payed attention to my next run and sure enough that was the case.  I have done some research on what correct form is and I am setting out to correct it.  I know eventually I will need someone to help coach me to do this correctly, but until that point I am working hard to make sure that I am running correctly.  The nice thing is that I am working on building up my mileage, so running slower to focus on the form works for me.  When I am starting to work on speed then I will have the correct form down I hope.

2-  Winter?  I am wondering is Cleveland finally getting winter weather?  We actually have some snow.  So far this winter has been very mild.  I have not really had to dress warmly for a run yet.  I continue to over dress for these runs.   It will be interesting to see if we are really getting winter weather, or if this is going to come and go like it has in the past....
Last January - Cold!

This year - nice...

3-  New Shoes!  Yep I got new shoes.  I was in Brooks and loved them, but they were not supporting my feet as well as I needed.  As I run I go flat footed so I needed more support.  I switched to Asics.  So far I love them.  They are the support I need.  I feel with the combination of the shoes and working on my form, I will become a stronger runner.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Motivation To Move

Lets face it sometimes we just don't wanna run, we need more to get us to move.  But our will to succeed is what makes us all champions!  

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. 
-- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long Run...

Well Off for another long run.  I got up this morning not motivated to go run at all.  I decided to go later in the day instead of meeting the girls ( Mistake #1 Early Morning Runs - so much better ) lesson one.  I was sitting in my warm chair, with my blanket on.  It is cold out side.  I did not want to get up go running, my house was warm.
My Son's Snowman
Come on look, the weather in Cleveland finally realized that it is January, and it is supposed to be cold.  After some convincing I got up to meet some friends.  Well the Blonde in my came out, because we missed each other, Oh well next time, it happens.  As I am getting ready to go run a lady walks up to my car.  She tells me that there is a guy on the lower trail that was following her, and even when she changed directions and started talking on the phone that he followed her.  She had called the ranger but wanted to let me know.  I texted my hubby exactly what I was going to run, grabbed my pepper spray (now I run all the time with it) and headed out.  I decided not to take the lower trail!
Heading out for my run
I decided for safety not to cross any of the main streets and to stay by the street.  I did not run with any music, and just took my time.  This is a course I knew well.  It is the course of my very first 5K.  At first there is a hill, and I took that easy.  It is approx 1 mile out and 1 mile back, so I knew that I would be doing that a second time.  I kept my eyes open and ran.  At one point there was an older gentlemen on the trail, as I was getting ready to pass him I get a strong cigar odor.  Of course he has to be heading up the hill so the entire way up the hill I am having a difficulty breathing because of the cigar smoke that is traveling back towards me.  After I pass him I start to feel better.

Of course because the rangers came to check out what the woman had told me, I saw them multiple times during my run, so that helped to make me feel safe.  The one got out of his car to look down towards the lower trail.  There was snow on the ground so it was slippery.  Yep he fell.  I tried not to laugh until I was far enough ahead of him.  He got up and smiled at me so I knew he was ok.  Other than that the run was uneventful.  I was able to keep my footing pretty good, so that was a good thing.  I ran a 11:41 pace and I am happy with that.

As soon as I got in the car a familiar pain came back.  Yep my shins started to hurt.  I could have cried.  The last time I had this pain, well I stopped running for a long time.  I texted Jodi who reminded me to stretch, Ice, and elevate it, which is exactly what I am doing right now.  I am going to take a anti-inflammatory before heading to bed.  She also asked when I got my shoes... and that is when I remembered - they are my marathon shoes, I need to replace them.  So off to Second Sole to get a new pair.  I got fitted for Asics.  I was also informed that Over-pronation when I run, so basically my arch goes flat and I need some more support.  I hope that these shoes help!  

Nothing scares me more than being benched because of shin splints.  Yes I realize that they are not that bad of injury to have as a runner.  However my motivation ran out the door last time I got these, and I don't want that to happen again.  So I am going to be proactive about it this time.  I have put it out to my runner friends to give me some ideas.  I am going to ice, and take care of myself.  I am going to fix this before it becomes a problem!

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another Week Under My Belt

Week 2 of training is now complete.  I had some major accomplishments this week.  First I felt like my old self!  While running I felt strong, and wanted to keep going.  I was not praying for my runs to be over like last week, instead I was excited to keep going.  I was wondering if I would ever enjoy running like I used to, and was super excited when I was.  Second, I am focusing on losing weight.  In my first week I am down 6.8 lbs.  I focused on my eating and making sure that I was getting in good workouts.

Sunday was my first long run.  I had a 4 mile run, and met the girls.  I felt good and was impressed that I did the entire run.  At the end I even attacked the hill I hated.  Monday was strength training day.  Another successful work out.

Tuesday I hit the streets for a 3 mile run.  I really wanted to focus on negative splits.  I was so happy to be able to do that.  One of the most difficult thing I have when it comes to running or anything is to start out slowly, and finishing strong.  This is going to be the most difficult lesson I am going to learn.

Wednesday and Thursdays I knew that I had difficult days ahead of me, they were both so busy.  I knew that time would not be on my side to get in my run. So of course I set my alarm clock early and ran before starting my day.  One lesson I learned is to make sure that I either bring water with me or drink before running.

Friday was a rest day, and of course that did not happen.  We finally got snow here, so I ended up shoveling the snow.  I don't mind doing that, at least.  Finally today I had my trainer first thing this morning.  We did a fit test then our workout.  It was a great workout.  This again I saw that I need to learn to pace myself better.  I will be more successful in my runs and in my workouts when I finally learn how to do this successfully.

I am so glad that I had a great week.  I am looking forward to see what next week brings.  I am not going to make any excuses this week.  I am going to stay on plan with my eating, and with my exercise.  I know that this is the key to success in building up my endurance and shrinking my waste line!

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday

I have decided new year - new blog ideas.  I hope that this helps me to commit to writing more:)

1.  No Excuses. We all make excuses why we can not exercise or run.  This year I have decided that there is no excuses ( yes I decided that before the Biggest Loser had that for a theme, LOL )  If I want to finish losing the weight I need to and to be ready for the half Marathon's I have planned I have to train.  To do that I have to make sure that I don't have any excuses holding me back.  For the past two days I have had a busy day ahead of me.  I knew that I would have to squeeze in my runs, so I got up early to get in my run, and go on with my day.  That way I could not skip it.  Yes I wanted to sleep in but I laced up my shoes and off I went!

2. Safety First.  After Reading INSPIRUNNING's Blog it made me think about how important safety is.  I love to run, but lets face it running alone is not always safe.  Unfortunately sometimes we need to get the miles in solo.  It is important to always be safe about it.  When I get up early to run, I don't publish that I will be doing it on Facebook or Twitter until after I am home safe.  I let my husband know exactly where I plan on running, and if it is early enough I usually let Jodi know too.  I also carry pepper spray with me and have it ready to use.  I keep my music down so I can hear my surroundings, and as in the case the past two mornings, if I run early I don't listen to music.  I am not perfect, but please be cautious out there!

3.  New Job.  I have been blessed to be a Stay At Home Mother since my oldest was born.  Recently some things fell into place and I got a part time job.  I am so excited to get out of the house for a few hours a week, and have a conversation with adults!  This will be a blessing for me and my family and I look forward to all of the experiences that come with this opportunity.

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Nature Photography

Baby Squirrel
Not So Much Snow Here in NE Ohio

The duck enjoying the mild weather
Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday

Sometime we just need that little push to go that extra mile...

“If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
- Bruce Lee

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Long Run Sunday - First One

Well my favorite part of training is my Long Run Sunday.  This year it is a bit different than last year, at least so far.  I am meeting the girls for runs, but I am mostly running on my own.  Knowing that I am running with them, because they are motivating me to do my best.  For me the hardest part of running is the mental part, so this is the part I am working the hardest on.

The goal for today was simple, I had 4 miles to run, and I wanted to run the entire thing.  I decided to focus on each song, running the entire song.  That is exactly what I did.  I also was paying attention to all of the scenery during the run.  Have you ever noticed how beautiful the big creek park way is?

Beautiful Woods
While I was running I found a tree with some bulbs on it.  How cute that someone decided to decorate it for the season.  It reminded me of Charlie Brown's Christmas
Decorated Tree
I still can't believe that there is no snow in theses pictures.  Here we are the 8th of January in Cleveland Ohio, and there is no snow.  Simply amazing.  The one bridge that we cross every time we run has a beautiful view.

View from the bridge
And of course it would not be a run with out the interesting Pepsi Can that I found along the way.
Someone forgot to tell me that I should be drinking Pepsi when running, LOL
But Happily I finished 4 miles.
Tired But I finished

I love the big shadow
But as I walked towards my car I decided to tackle "the hill"  This hill I joked with Jodi running up every long run, but never did.  After the 5K on New Year's Eve, and other runs, I know that Hills are difficult for me.  I decided that every week after my long run I am going to tackle the hill.  So I cleared my Garmin, looked up the hill and pressed start.
The Start of the Hill
As Heather (My Trainer) Says this was dessert.  The perfect way to end my run.  So up I went.  It was difficult run, but it I tackled it.  It is .39 miles, and my pace was 12:21.  It took me 4:46 to run it.  I am excited to see how this will change as I continue with my training.

Overall this was a good run.  I need to focus on slowing down my first mile more.  I had an overall 11:09 pace.  I am slowly getting back into my stride.  This run was amazing because I concentrated so much more on how beautiful the Metroparks are to run.  I also loved that while it was a bit chilly this run was perfect.

Suck It Up Cupcake and Move It!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekly Summary Saturday

Today marks the end of the first week of training for the Cleveland Half Marathon.  Yes I am quite aware I don't need this much time to train for a half marathon, but it is my plan.  I have decided to start now.  My plan is do to the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training for the first 12 weeks to focus on getting up to the miles again.  The last 8 weeks I am going to focus on speed.

Tuesday was supposed to be my first day of training, and of course I messed that up.  I misjudged time so I did not have the opportunity to get out and do my miles.  I was more conscience of the rest of the week.

Wednesday I ran at my gym.  I am getting used to the indoor track.  I also learned that when running inside to wear shorts, or lighter clothes, man I was hot.  I also realized that someone in my gym took a bath in, I mean was wearing a strong perfume.

Thursday I ran 3 around my neighborhood.  That was fun I mean interesting because remembering how to run on the snow, ice and dry cement mix was not easy, but I did it.  It was a perfect day to get out and run.

Friday was beautiful here in Cleveland.  It was 55 degrees in January and sunny.  So while a rest day was on tap, I choose to go for a walk with my sis and the kids.

Mr Squirrel that was watching us on the walk
I finished up my week with my trainer.  It was the perfect way to end a good week.  She always comes up with some creative things to do to keep your heart rate up and moving, while toning your body.  I know that this will be the perfect compliment to my training.

I am ready for next week, and continuing to build my endurance, shrink my waist line and mentally get prepared to accomplish all of my goals.

Suck it Up Cupcake and move it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Start of a fresh new year!

It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready to start my training for my first marathon, yet another year has gone by.  Today marks a new start for all of us. For me this is the start of a year to learn to stop listening to my head and start trusting that I can.  I am looking forward to the Cleveland Marathon Half Marathon in May and many other races throughout out the year.

I ended out 2011 with a 5k.  I found this an appropriate way to end the year and start motivation for 2012.  It was the Great New Year's Eve 5k In Stow.  This was one of the hilliest courses I have ever ran.  Making it a challenge to complete.  I did not have any sort of PR, coming in at 35:26, however I am proud of myself for keeping going.  A few of the hills took over my head and I walked up, but I am still proud of what I accomplished.

The wonderful Fresh Start group that I ran with.  They are the most motivational friends.  We all accomplished a goal of finishing out 2011 with putting our health first.  My wonderful trainer Heather has been a life change for me, believing in me.  

I started out this year with the Hang Over Run, sponsored by the Cleveland West Road Runners.  A group I am so proud to be a member of.   I ran with my wonderful hubby and decided to just take my time and run a fun run.  I am so proud of him since it has been a while since he has ran.  We knocked out 2 miles and then enjoyed a breakfast with the rest of the CWRRC Clan.  

I can't think of a better way to start 2012.  I am looking forward to a happy and healthy New year!!!!

One of the best picture I saw on Facebook -

Time to suck it up and start off 2012 with a Bang!!!

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