Tag Archives: running

Dirty Secret.

I have a confession.

As focused as I am on running and being healthy, there was one bad habit I have had a hard time shaking.  Smoking.  It’s stupid, right?  I fine tune my running form, I eat for proper fueling.  I sleep well and I train consistently.  Smoking just does not fit into that equation.  I didn’t smoke a lot, really – just a few a day, but still…  So, I quit.  I QUIT!  Twenty eight days ago, to be exact.  And I figure since they say ‘it takes 28 days to form or quit a habit’, today is the day I can yell it from the mountaintops – I QUIT!

I immediately felt so much better that it was actually pretty easy.  My running felt good, and I added swimming to my training just to give it a shot.  (Swimming is awesome!)  I finally feel that I have a composite healthy lifestyle.  And now that it is here, on my blog, it is really official.  🙂

My next half marathon is in December in Vegas and I plan to CRUSH my PR!

Do you have any bad habits that affect your running?

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Nasty.

Today I woke up feeling mean and nasty.

I went to the gym and had an awesome, nasty 8 mile run – mostly just fueled by meanness and nastiness.  I highly advise using grumpy/mean/nasty/sad/evil moods as JET FUEL for running!

Now I feel GREAT – no more nasty!

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Change it up!

You could say I’m a control freak.  Layer on top of that the fact that I’m also a data junkie and you know what you get?  A treadmill runner.  We are a rare breed – the people who actually go to the gym on sunny breezy days.  But I LIKE knowing exactly how fast I’m going.  I LIKE adding hill work WHEN I WANT TO.  I LIKE running exactly as far I choose without having to plan a route home.  I know.  I’m weird.

So today, like nearly every Saturday and Sunday since I joined the gym a year ago and stopped running in my dark basement, I went to the gym.  And physically I felt great. I’m well rested after a week at the beach, I’ve been eating whatever I want (vacation, ya know) so I am certainly not carb depleted.  It should have been a GREAT run.  But it SUCKED.  I don’t know why but from the first step to the last, I hated running today.  I just wanted to get it over with.  So four miles in, I quit.  I can’t remember the last time I ran only 4 miles.  5 is my easy day, and 4 was almost more than I could take.

I sulked out of the gym.  I have never left feeling worse than when I got there… until today.  I drove home probing my brain to figure out what was wrong with me.  What I found surprised me.  I still felt like running.  I felt good, had energy, and my brain said ‘run more!’.  Confused as I was, I hopped out of my car when I got home and hit the two mile loop around my neighborhood.  It was overcast and somewhere between misty and drizzling, but from the first step of THIS run, I felt amazing!  It has been awhile since I’ve run outside and it felt so… right!

Two miles in I still felt fabulous.  Three – awesome.  At the start of four, the coolest thing happened.  My husband drove by with my daughter and they pulled over, and my six year old asked if she could run home with me.  We were exactly a mile from the house so I figured even if we walked it, it would be fun.  But she RAN the whole way, and it was the happiest mile I’ve run in a long time!  And that girl has some heat!  I think we ran pretty close to my normal 9 minute mile.

So in the end, what started as a terrible running day ended up as 8 miles, capped with a big smile.

All it took was a change of scenery!

Do you run the same course often?  Are you a treadmill runner?  How do you keep it ‘fresh’?

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HOW FUN!!!!!!

I fly A LOT.  And thanks to magic fairy dust or pedaling monkeys or something, I can usually get wifi when I’m 35,000 feet in the air.  But when I can’t, I read.  And at least once a month I make it a point to read the Southwest Airlines magazine, Spirit.  It is a REALLY GOOD magazine.  I always end up taking it (shhhh) because I want to look something up or try something.  And this month, I learned about THE COLOR RUN.  It’s a 5K – they have them in many cities – and it’s an equal mix of RUN and FUN!   Here’s what the website says:

What is the Color Run?
Each kilometer of the event is associated with a designated color: yellow, orange, pink, or blue.  As the runners/walkers reach the Kilometer COLOR RUN Zones, they are blitzed by our volunteers, sponsors, and staff with COLOR.  The color is a special “elf made” recipe of magical color dust.  All products are 100% natural and safe.  You can eat the stuff if you’d like (we have tried it and don’t suggest it, it is surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste).  Of course, we save the best for last, ending the race with a color extravaganza of epic proportions.

How fun does that sound?  And check out the pics below.  I’ll add mine when I decide which city to run it in.

Have you ever run this race?  If not, don’t you want to now?  : )

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Chi

I love running.  I think that’s obvious. But you know what else I love?  Finding small adjustments to my form that make my running EASIER.  Make me FASTER. Make me able to run FARTHER!  And I found just that.  Chi Running.

A month or more ago I was at a party and chatting with my friend Marla.  We were talking about running as she has been recovering from a car accident and is getting back to it.  She mentioned Chi Running, which I’ve heard of and even own the book.  But the book is SO DRY and frankly, boring, that I never got very far into it.  But Marla owns The Still Point Spa, and coincidentally had a Chi Workshop coming up.  So I signed up figuring at least it would give me a chance to meet other local runners, and see Marla’s spa.

In the 3 or so weeks before the workshop, I skimmed the book.  I put into practice a few minor adjustments from the book and VIOLA!  My runs improved immediately.  I couldn’t believe it, so I ran more.  And I felt fantastic!  So the workshop day came and I was very excited to learn more, and confirm what I’d been doing recently.  The workshop was 4 hours long and taught by Robyn Humphrey, a local running superstar.  And it was great.

So, while I am not at ALL an expert on Chi Running, and am still very new to it, I thought I’d sum up the three points that I learned that have really make a difference in my running.  I encourage you to watch videos, sign up for a Chi Running workshop, or (see warning above) buy the book.  If you try any of this, I’d LOVE to know how it changes/affects/helps your running.

1. Lean Forward.  This is a no brainer once you do it.  Leaning forward literally propels you forward, and by moving your center of gravity, suddenly your legs don’t have as much work to do!  This keeps them fresher, longer and allows you to run farther.

2. Keep your pelvis aligned.  In conjunction with #1, keep your pelvis in line with your shoulders, knees and ankles.  Or in simpler terms, don’t break in the middle when you lean forward.  If your lower body is straight and your upper body is tilted forward, you won’t get the benefits of Chi Running.

3. Think of the Road Runner.  You know the cartoon?  How the bird’s feet were always a blur BEHIND him (her?).  Try to emulate that.  Not in a dramatic way but intentionally try keeping your feet behind you.  Bringing your knees up in front of you is inefficient and uses energy you don’t need to burn.  Also, this almost automatically switches you to a mid foot strike.  Another key to Chi Running.

Chi Running is all about efficiency.  Using gravity to your advantage, conserving energy, limiting unnecessary movement.  It is really all common sense stuff once you put it in practice.  But a warning – changing your form in this way may take time.  It may make your calves hurt.  It probably will feel strange at first, and it will take concentration.  But I believe it will yield positive results.

Anybody else tried Chi Running?  What are your experiences?

RUN SMARTER!

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Animal

Today my plan is to run my ASS off as far and fast as I can.  I’ve signed up for three half marathons since my ‘Ready, Set, GOAL‘ post so now it’s time to work.  

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Perspective.

A friend of mine posted this quote on his blog the other day, and it keeps bouncing around in my head.  Recently I’ve been feeling very high velocity.  Things are moving fast in my life, needing my pinpoint focus in what feels like a wind tunnel.  It’s not bad, per se, but it has felt very… consuming.  And as fast as things are moving, I myself haven’t been moving at all.  I haven’t run this week, and it’s not looking good for next week (traveling to San Diego, Orlando and Atlanta).   I’ve been feeling guilty/mad about not running, as if someone besides me was keeping score.  But since I read this, I feel better.  Smaller and bigger at the same time.  And I realize that if I want to run, I will make the time to run, no matter where I am.  Running is my gift to me, and that’s what’s important.  Here.  Now.  Today.

So anyway, here’s the quote.  It’s worth the click.  Sometimes a little perspective is just what you/I need.

I can’t wait to run tomorrow.

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Synchronized

The most awesome thing happened today.

It was over 90 degrees here so I hit the gym for my run this morning.  Around mile 4 the strangest/coolest thing happened.  For about 20 seconds the entire treadmill fleet at Lifetime Fitness was completely synchronized!  Like, 20 people.  Running at the same cadence for 20 seconds!  It made me smile for the next couple of miles!  For a split second I was sure a flash mob was about to start but alas, my dreams of being in the middle of a flash mob will have to wait for another day.  Regardless, it was absolutely fabulous.  🙂

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Bikini Bank

About a year ago I came up with a motivational tool for myself.  I named it the ‘Bikini Bank’ and I have to say, it has paid dividends so I thought I’d share it.  Here’s how it works:  you go out for your run.  Let’s say you are going to run 5 miles.  At the end of those 5 miles you make a ‘contribution’ to the Bikini Bank meaning you run an extra mile (or half – up to you).  Tally up your runs SEPARATE from your Bikini Bank miles (if you log your miles) and you’ll be surprised how they add up!  I have over 100 miles over the past year that I wouldn’t have run if it wasn’t for THE BANK.

Mine is a Bikini Bank.  Maybe yours is something else – it doesn’t even have to be physical.  Maybe that extra mile is dedicated to someone you love.  Maybe it is your ‘playing hooky’ mile.  Label it what you like, but contribute regularly and you’ll see results AND feel an extra sense of accomplishment for having gone ‘the extra mile’.

I wore my cute little orange and white bikini at the opening of the pool last weekend, and felt like a million bucks.  And if 100 miles in the Bikini Bank makes me feel like a million bucks, that’s a pretty fine ROI.

RUN!

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If You Can’t Be An Athlete…

be an athletic supporter. That’s one of my favorite lines from Grease! I’d like to think that I am both an athlete AND an athletic supporter – *ahem*- supporter of athletes. I’ve gotten some link-love recently so I thought I would share some of the blogs that I follow.  ALL of these blogs inspire me, help me tie my shoes when I need motivation, and (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not so) make me laugh.  I’d recommend every one of them to you as well.

Shut Up + Run
Running for Coors Light
DrinkRunYoga
Running with Perseverance
Not a Jogger
The Fathlete
Will Run for Glitter
Running Haiku
My Life as a Runner
Bearrunner

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