Saturday, November 27, 2010

Have you ever had a bad run?

I had one Thursday morning. Because of all the running around I had to do Wednesday night, I didn't have time to run so the run got pushed to Thursday morning. I figured I'd take it easy, but my leg was really mad at me. Evidently my right leg was still stiff from driving down to my parents' house, so running just made it madder. That's okay though. I mostly hobbled through the two miles but felt good that at least I could say that I got my run out of the way. It's hard to remember that not all runs will be good, and it's extremely easy to let that kind of run get your spirits down.

Again, that's okay. I'll go later today for a run. Or may it'll be tomorrow. Either way it'll be good. Good in that I'm out training. I don't have to be speed racer; I don't have to beat a personal best. I just have to get out and complete the distance required of me, and that is what I love about running. It is what I make it to be, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Boy do I love Thanksgiving! I get to eat all my favorite foods with abandon and then just goof off and be lazy. Christmas is only better in that I get to give and receive presents as well. Woohoo! Happy fun times LOL!

Anyway, with all this food some of you may be concerned about gaining weight or finding time to work out. I do think it's a struggle if you don't keep your workout routines a priority. Plan ahead with the shopping and decorating and it won't be so stressful. I moved my running schedule around this week to accommodate the fact that I will not be in any kind of mood to run on Thanksgiving. Usually I'd be glad just to make it out for a walk or short run to keep up the good habits, but right now I'm building the foundations for the half marathon. If I want to remain injury free, I've got to keep training consistently.

Speaking of training, Red and I tried something that we've read about in running publications for some time now. When you're short like I am (and I even have short legs and a long torso, making my legs even shorter than other women at 5'3"), you feel like your tiny little running steps are too small. I think I've been subconsciously trying to lengthen my stride to match taller men's strides. They go fast, why shouldn't I? Well, that's just counterintuitive. Turns out when you take tiny steps you go really fast without trying! I couldn't keep it up for long, but it's really cool! I think I'll use that trick when working on speed work down the road. Right now I'm just focused on mileage.

Red was awesome and came running with me twice last week. Saturday we tackled 3 miles, and while that wasn't too hard for her it was pushing me a lot. Let me just say (again!) that having a running buddy who understands and is simultaneously pushing you while helping you take breaks when needed is the bestest thing ever. Instead of just trudging through the run, I enjoyed it. My hips were mad at me until I ran again on Monday, but it's okay. Turns out recovery runs are important too because they work out the built up lactic acid and allow you to stretch effectively post-run.

I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and if you're running in a Turkey Trot you deserve that extra helping of apple pie for dessert!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making progress!

I'm not speed racer, but I'm making some definite progress here. My running schedule has become more consistent, and I ran a full mile tonight nonstop. Woohoo! I know; this isn't exactly ground breaking news. But for me, this is awesome.

I'm trying to make sure I don't injure myself so I've started doing something I never did in the past - warming up. What's that you say? You mean this isn't some new development, and that I should have been doing this all along? Yeah, you're right. But I was too impatient to get the run out of the way in the past to bother with a proper warm up! I'm finding that a decent warm up of a few minutes walking prior to the run not only helps me ease into the run and make it better, but it helps ease my lungs into the extra activity. This alleviates the asthma symptoms a lot. It's not totally gone, but I don't sound like I need medical intervention after a run like I did before.

Speaking of asthma, I really need to see my doctor about getting an inhaler. It's gonna be cold soon! I'm planning on visiting Indiana for over a week in December, so I think I really need it by then because I don't have time to take a break from training. The air is so cold and dry up there that my asthma is going to flare up badly, warm up or no warm up.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good. I am celebrating progress towards the half marathon goal, which is what matters to me now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fat Blasters!

Ever get tired of the same old thing? I know I do. Sometimes I feel like I have a bit of workout ADD, but it is good to try new stuff now and again. If you're feeling like you're in a bit of a rut, check the workouts in this article. Who knew in-line skating was so awesome??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I might need a new strategy

So I hurried home yesterday and knocked out a run before it got too dark to be outside. Unfortunately I can see how this strategy might not work once the sun sets sooner. I'm trying to decide between these two options:

1. Buy reflective gear and keep running in the evening around the neighborhood?

2. Buy reflective gear and run early in the morning?

Option one gives me the flexibility to run as long as I need to. Option two lets me enjoy more daylight. Option two also forces me to get up early, which is really hard to do. I'll have to make it to a running store soon and get some reflective gear either way, so financially it's the same.

We'll have to see what suits my schedule the best soon. I will of course keep everyone updated :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

How are you adjusting to the time change?

Now that we've "fallen back" and somehow gained an hour, the sun is setting around 5:50 pm. Considering that I get home shortly before that, running in the evenings is going to be interesting. Since I'm still in the getting fit stage, I think this will be okay. The shortest day of the year is in December, and the days get longer after that. It's not until January that I start the hardcore training for the half marathon, so I'm hoping this all works out okay.

I've also noticed a trend around this time of year. Because of the cold and darkness, I immediately begin thinking that a gym membership might be a good idea. Then I remember that I don't like gym memberships lol.

Since it's colder outside, I'm going to recap my common cold weather running ailments.

1. Exercise-induced asthma. The cold dry air irritates my lungs, which causes some fierce coughing fits. What helps? Other than just getting used to running outside, using some kind of scarf or cloth over my mouth and nose that lets me breathe in some sort of warm air. The downside? It gets nasty after a long run =/

2. Lack of motivation. Yeah, I deal with this all year long but this deals with the cold and dark evenings specifically. What helps? Making time to run when it's nicer outside, and if necessary find a treadmill.

3. Comfort food season. I will admit that tonight I had homemade mac n cheese and am drinking hot apple cider with whipped cream. Don't mind the pumpkin cookies I also ate tonight. What helps? Other than not stuffing myself stupid with high calorie foods that are freaking tasty, I just have to run and run and run. *sigh*

One of the nice things of winter running is wearing cute hats and jackets. Thanks Red for the cute running jacket!!! =)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting back into the habit

I went for a run on Saturday, and it was pretty good! I took it easy, which meant a good walking warm up and cool down. Two miles took about 35 minutes, but that's all good. Turns out my asthma got a little mad at me, but it is mostly because I need to get into better shape. It gets better the stronger my heart and lungs are.

To keep up the good work, I planned on running tonight. Too bad I had a tension headache all day long that was just brutal. Oh well. I'll try for a good run tomorrow.

I did get to finish my entire November edition of Runner's World today, which was cool. They had a very good article about the barefoot running trend. It was good reading some of the science that's gone into people's opinions, and the consensus is that you shouldn't go from using traditional supportive running shoes to barefoot overnight. Will running shoes in the near future look different than they do now? It depends. Some people will not be able to go barefoot, period. Some will.

For now, just celebrate the runs you get in and enjoy yourself while you're out there.