Monday, July 30, 2012

Re-commitment Time

Last week we received our recommitment packet. This has all the forms for the race entry, Inspiration dinner, fundraising commitment, and hotel information. I first signed up for the Rock N Roll with TNT back in April and must say I am more committed to it as it gets closer. I am starting to realize the reason for the run.

It’s not about me. It’s not about the aches and pains, the early morning training sessions, or the million other reasons I try and come up with to not get my miles in for the day.  This is something so much bigger. It’s about little girls like Claire, our honored teammate.

 It’s for all the kids and adults that have been or will be affected by the terrible C word.  While I wish I was a doctor that could discover the cure for all Cancers, I know that isn’t in my cards. Running and raising money that will directly impact the lives of millions is the best I can do to get us one step closer to finding a cure.

This weekend was my first long run with some of my team members. It was a great experience and I hope to make it to more of the team runs. Getting up at 5:15 a.m. to start running at 6:30 a.m. wasn’t my ideal Saturday morning. However, it was a beautiful morning and was so nice to hear the birds chirping and seeing other people out on their bikes. I ran 6.12 miles and was proud of myself for completing it.

I have 12 more weeks until the race. I hope that you will continue to follow me and cheer me on and help me with my journey by donating to my fundraising page.

Thank you for going on this journey with me..lets keep running!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shin Splints and Plantar Fasciitis

First - shin splints -- this refers to the pain along the shinbone (tibia) - pain is caused by overload on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.  The risk of getting shin splints is in no way a reason to give up your running/walking routine!  Usually treated with rest and ice and other self-care measures along with modifying your exercise routine - you can help prevent shin splints from recurring.

If you have shin splints - you may notice tenderness along the inner part of your lower leg, mild swelling.  At first - the pain may stop when you stop running/walking, but eventually it may be continuous.  If the pain is severe - consult a doctor.  Things that can add to getting shin splints - running downhill incorrectly, running on a slanted or tilted surface, running on worn-out footwear.  In most cases, these simple steps and be taken as self-care and prevention measures:  rest, ice the affected area, reduce the swelling by icing and taking OTC pain reliever, wearing proper shoes, consider arch supports.  After you have rested, it's important to resume your activities gradually!  Also try adding some strength training to your regimen!

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.  There are several stretching techniques that will aid in the self-care of this condition.  More often it involves the calf muscle!  

A great way to ice for plantar fasciitis is to freeze a water bottle and then roll it under your foot. You can easily do this while watching the news or your favorite reality TV show. STRETCH and stretch often and it will cut down on having to have the severe.

Signs/Symptoms:  The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn.  The pain is usually worse:
  • In the morning when you take your first steps
  • After standing or sitting for a while
  • When climbing stairs
  • After intense activity

Friday, July 6, 2012

Heat Wave

Holy Cow I have fallen behind again!  I know I’m terrible with excuses, but I was on vacation with the family. I had every intention of blogging but just didn't get around to it. However I did run while on vacation so I think I get a gold star for that!  Right?? 

I don’t know where everyone is from that reads this, or if anyone actually reads this, but here in St. Louis it has been extremely hot. I think we are on day 8 of triple digit temperatures. Its funny that the weather man says a break in the heat is 90 degrees.  With the heat I have not been running outside. I think I’ve stated before that I’m not a morning person so I run at night, typically 7:30 p.m. Even by that time the sun is still blazing so I have been going to the YMCA and running on the treadmill. 

My coach, Sharon, continues to send out weekly emails with great tips and articles. The article about hydration and sweat rate was very timely with the heat we are having right now.

For the most part- water is sufficient for less than 60 minutes of work out time.  Once you hit the 60 minute mark, then you need to consider adding additional sources of nourishment and hydration sources (such as gatorade, powerade, cytomax, etc.).  Depending on your sweat factor and your body's workout condition, this will add or take away from the amount of fluids you need to take in during your training sessions.  You will need more if it is hot - like this week!!

Drink 16 oz of liquid 2 hours before exercise if possible
Drink another 8-12 oz right before IF not well hydrated -- light-colored urine.  
Try to drink 6-8 oz. every 15-20 minutes of exercise -- Again water only for the first 60 minutes - then start adding electrolytes 

By the time you are thirsty - you are at the beginning stages of dehydration!
Drinking ONLY water for extended exercise time periods (like long training sessions) can lead to low blood sodium and impair performance. 

How to calculate your sweat rate:

1.  Weigh yourself nude right before a run.
2.  Run at race pace for one hour, keeping track of how much you drink (in ounces) during your run.
3.  After the run, strip down, towel off any sweat, and weigh yourself nude again.
4.  Subtract your weight from your pre-run weight and convert to ounces.  Then add that number to however number of ounces you consumed during your run. 

Running Calculator
It's based on the famous Jack Daniels. 

Oh wait wrong one..

Jack Daniels the running guru who PERSONALLY trains the TNT coaches and is known for his running knowledge and ability!

It will help you predict lots of things about your running from different distances - like a 5K to a half marathon and how running in 50 degrees will compare to running in 90+ degrees, or changing from mile to kilometers, etc.

I will be traveling the next couple of weekends which will make it more challenging to get my long runs in, but I’m determined to do them!  

This Saturday is 5 miles ( yes that is a long run.. for me)
Sunday: 2miles
Monday: Rest or CrossTrain
Tuesday-Thursday are 2 mile days

I do feel like I can run longer without getting as winded, but I know I still have a long way to go. So I know I am making some progress! When I start to get tired of running I think about the whole reason I am doing this and remind myself that the people we are running for didn’t chose to have cancer and don’t get to quit when it hurts, so why should I?  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Proper Running Form

So I have fallen behind on my blogging. Sorry! Thanks for sticking it out with me!! 

I was on vacation for a week in Gulf Shores and was very proud of myself for sticking to my running. I ran outside one day and it was super hot. The rest of the time I stuck to the treadmill in the mini gym. 

I have pretty much missed all the team training sessions because I'm either gone or have something else going on, which is frustrating but I'm still getting my miles in which is the important thing.   I am running about 3 miles every other day and on the days in between I am running a mile or doing yoga.  I need to start incorporating more cross training and core workouts. I have been running outside at the park without headphones which is something new for me. After running outside for two weeks, tonight I ran on the treadmill and what a huge difference!

Our coach sends us weekly emails with tips and the most recent one we receieved was on proper running form. Below are a few key take aways...

Feet flat, arms back, chest forward:  feet should strike the ground as close to midfoot as possible, elbows should never cross forward past the torso, and chest should push forward slightly.
Eyes - should be focused on the ground 10-20 feet ahead - DON'T stare at your feet!!

Hands - keep at your waist, arms at a 90 degree angle; keep relaxed -- imagine carrying a raw egg and you can't break it!

Posture - straight and erect - imagine a string traveling through your body from your feet our the top of your head!

Shoulders - RELAX!!  Don't hunch over; arms swing back/forth from your shoulder joint - not your elbow joint!

Stride - by keeping it close to the ground, you can focus on a quicker turnover.  The higher, the great the shock!

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shoe and Apparel Clinic

I knew that shoes and clothes were important, but didn't know how important they were to running! Tonight we went to The Cyclery in Edwardsville and had a shoe fitting. Scott Shaw, the shoe guru, told us about the 3 different categories that people fall into with shoes.  The type of category depends on how you walk, the arch of the foot, and how much you roll in on your feet. The categories are Motion Control, Stability, and Neutral. Here is an explanation of each category. 

Motion Control: Recommended for runners with low arches who are moderate to severe overpronators. They need maximum rearfoot control and extra support on the medial (arch) side of their shoes. Also best for larger runners who need plenty of support and durability.

Stability: Recommended for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators and generally have low to normal arches. These runners tend to need a shoe with a combination of good support and midsole cushioning.

Neutral: Recommended for runners who need maximum midsole cushioning and minimal medial support. These shoes are best for biomechanically efficient runners with minimum pronation and for midfoot or forefoot strikers with normal to high arches.

Some stores will have you run on a machine to determine what category you fall into,  but all you really need is someone who knows what they are doing and take your shoes off and they watch you walk. I am so glad that I had an opportunity to have a professional see how I walk and tell me what shoes are going to work best for my feet.

After Scott determined I was in the Stability category he brought out 5 or 6 different shoes to try on. I walked around the store and ran up and down the aisle to see how they felt. After some difficulty making a decision I landed with Saucony shoes.  Pictured below :)

Some other interesting things I learned that I never thought about.. socks. Running in regular cotton socks is a no no. In the running world "cotton is rotten" because whether it be socks, shirt or shorts cotton doesn't wick away the moisture which will lead to chafing and blisters. So along with my new kicks I got some Balega socks which are made of the moisture wicking material.

One of the other Team In Training coaches was there, Jacob, and we started talking about wearing hats when running. I said that I didn't really like wearing hats because it traps all the heat in, but would be interested in wearing a visor. He made a really good point that I never would have thought of. He said when picking out a visor make sure the under side of the visor is black or a dark color. My response.. Why? Well,  if you get a visor/hat with the underside or bill that is white it will reflect the sun into your eyes which defeats the purpose! Who knew!!?

Needless to say the evening was very informative and I finally got to meet my coach Sharon and some of my other team mates. It was a fun evening and I was proud of myself for getting out of the store with a total under $200! New shoes, socks, shorts, sports bra, and dri fit shirt..  on my way to looking like a runner!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 2

Well I survived week 2 of training. Still doing 2 miles a day. I did run outside for the first time in while on Saturday and it was a struggle. I ran 3 miles at the park and it was a lot harder than running on the treadmill. I think I need to spend more time running outside so I get used to it, but I really like having the TV to keep me occupied at the YMCA. 

On the bright side I did have my first fundraiser. I held a bake sale at work and asked for donations. I think over all it went pretty well. People were very surprised that I was the one doing the running.. tell me about it.. but mostly supportive.  Here is a picture of me and the spread of desserts.  Overall I raised about $133 which is more than what I started with so I'm calling it a success. 

Tomorrow we have a shoe and apparel clinic at a local running store. I am very excited about this because I majorly need new shoes. The ones I have now are okay, but they hurt my feet after about a mile. Plus what girl doesn't want new shoes!!? I will post pictures of the new kicks and digs I get. The goal is to "look" like a runner when this is all over. Here's to hoping... 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 1 Recap

Last week was my first full week of training. My schedule was to run 2 miles a day and Friday was a rest day, with Saturday being our team long run day with a 3-4 mile run. Well, I did good during the week and ran my 2 miles Monday-Thursday and took my rest day on Friday. Then came the weekend and things went down hill.

Because we were going out of town for Mother's Day I didn't get to go to the team run on Saturday, instead I spent 4 hours in the car traveling to Indianapolis to visit my Mamoo ( aka grandma) and mom. While my family is totally worth the trip I didn't have time to fit in my long run. We did do landscaping in the yard for a couple hours on Saturday which made Mom and Mamoo happy. Sunday morning church and then Mother's Day lunch with the family didn't allow time for a run before getting back in the car for 4 more hours of driving back to St. Louis. The up side is I got to spend time with my family and finally got to meet the cutest little man in the world.. Eli, my cousins little boy. 

Today is a new day, so now on to week 2. The schedule says that today is either a rest day or cross training. Since I rested all weekend I am going to get some mileage in on the elliptical tonight. I am also trying to think of fundraising ideas that are different so if you have any ideas I would love to hear them!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lets Rock 'n' Roll!

That is exactly what I texted my friend/co-worker Kelly when I decided to sign up for my first half marathon. Kelly ran the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April and somehow convinced me that I too could do such a thing. For those of you who really know me and my philosophy on running which is "I only run when I am being chased", the thought of me running a half marathon is out of the realm of my comfort zone. I also must say that watching me run is comedic. I am not a runner by any means. So why not make the most of this experience and  do something on my bucket list while improving the lives of others. That is why I signed up to run with Team In Training.

Team In Training provides coaching and training assistance to people just like me all over the country that have pledged to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's research and patient services programs. I have committed to raise $1,500.00 and run 13.1 miles in the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on October 21, 2012. This blog is to document my ups and downs of this adventure and I am happy to have you along for the ride as a reader and motivator.  Here we go....