and the training begins…
Last week I got in a total of 18 miles and the week before 17 miles.
My long runs on the weekends were 10 and 8 miles. It is still a bit disappointing since a little over a month ago I was at 14 and 15 miles for my long runs but I will take it.
I am back on the roads which matter the most.
Staying injury free is going to make me or break me this race season.
I have cut back on my scheduled races for the season and want to focus on good quality running and stretching/rolling daily. My IT Band has been flaring up a bit lately. I can feel the knots and try to work them out the best I can but sooner or later I will have to invest in a sports massage. I also found a new trick. Body Glide on my feet! I noticed with the additional mileage the bottom of my feet have been rather dry which will only lead to blisters and worse calluses then I already have. So I tried out the Body Glide this past Sunday and it worked like a charm! Something else to add to my pre-run prep.
The weather has been cooperating lately which has helped.
GOODBYE 90+ degree and 100% humidity!! Fall is here!!
I am trying to stay at the 10% increase in mileage weekly but it hard. This past Sunday I could have easily added on an extra 3 or 4 miles but I was good and stopped myself. I am already looking forward to my long run this weekend. I need to get a training plan on paper ASAP to track what mileage I should be running and when to taper. I have a friend helping me with this and should have it this week.
The training is just as important if not more than your performance on race day. Several friends ran the Marine Corp Marathon this past weekend. For some it was their first Full. Reading their stories motivated me even more that I made the right decision to jump in the Full pool. Let’s hope I can swim!

Question for you: I have two Half Marathons I plan to run before my Full. (One even two weeks before) Can I run strong Halfs even during Full training? I am talking PR Half’s. Can I work on pace and endurance at the same time?

The Countdowns Begins

The Countdowns Begins

Keeping the positive motivation up will be key

Keeping the positive motivation up will be key. (Borrowed from my friend Megan)

Did I really just do that? “Full” on crazy!

Yikes, with that I just emailed the Competitor Group to change my registration from the Half to the Full Marathon for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans on 2-2-14.
Am I scared? Without a doubt YES! Even today my legs are tight from my training run this past Sunday and that was only “8” miles. I am just coming back from an injury. Why did I do this? I have a Half Marathon scheduled for December and January. January I will be at my magical “10” number for Half’s and since RNRNOLA was my 1st Half that I ran in 2011 it seemed only fitting it would be my first Full. I would like to do one local Full and do one Full at Disney World (possibly January 2015) and then I will be satisfied. Half marathons are more of a comfortable distance for me and I still dream of a Sub 2hr so I have that in my mind for the upcoming December and January races. How will I work on speed work AND long distance PLUS stay uninjured? Support that is how.
I have a ton of people that have more confidence in me than I have in myself. I must get stronger mentally & physically. I must not Self Defeat. This will be KEY.
I do have a strategy when it comes to the day of the Full. First: I plan to go at my own pace. I will run, walk or crawl to that Finish line. Second: I will remember those that I have personally seen cross the Finish line and think to myself “WOW, if they can do it I can”. In fact the Louisiana Marathon is just two weeks before my Full. I will be running the Half that day and plan to stick around to watch runners complete the Full. I will bottle up that inspiration and save it for race day. Second: I plan to run with my phone. This is something I normally don’t do but I will ask friends that day to text me or message me with motivation so when my legs are dragging my heart will soar.


Do you have any tips to get me through my first Full?
What made you sign up for your first Full?
How do you get through those looooong training runs?

To new opportunities…

Have you seen the new Baton Rouge Mom’s logo on my blog?
Well as of 10/14/2013, I was announced as a contributor for their website.
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For more on this announcement visit: http://batonrougemoms.com/brmb-contributors/
Baton Rouge Moms is the go to resource portal for moms in Baton Rouge and beyond. I am thrilled to have been asked to contribute. It gives me so much personal satisfaction every time I can encourage someone else to step out of their comfort zone and try something new to add fitness to their lives.
You can follow along at http://batonrougemoms.com/ or on their Facebook page.
I have a very special post I am currently working on for their upcoming “Wellness Wednesday” spot that will tie in to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well as the Woman’s Half Marathon, 10K Road Race & 5K Fun Run to be held on December 8, 2013 in Baton Rouge,LA . http://www.womanshalfmarathon.com/
So be sure to check it out!
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How to get started running? Taking that first step..

Lace up your tennis shoes and go!! Just kidding! Ok, let’s back up a bit.

First, depending on what kind of shape you are in and your age you may want get a physical from your doctor to get the all clear to take that first step.

Next, Clothes. Yes, you can technically wear a cotton t-shirt, pair of shorts (not jean shorts!) and your yard tennis shoes but if you don’t want to be a sweaty, hot mess five minutes into it, invest in a dry wick/poly blend shirt and running shorts or pants. When the temperatures dip dress in layers so you can easily adjust. Keep in mind you will warm up at least 10 degrees within the first mile or two into your run so it is important not to over dress.

Shoes: You must get some quality running shoes. I highly suggest going to a specialty, local running store such as Varsity Sports or Fleet Feet so they can check your feet and see how you walk so they can properly fit you.

Jenni Peters owner of Varsity Sports with 30 + years of running experience says: “The only absolutely necessary piece of equipment is a good shoe specifically designed for running. There is nothing wrong with the less expensive, less technical shoes from the major brands but if someone is involved in serious training that one single thing ‘a good pair of shoes’ is critical. Plus it is key to match a shoe type to your own biomechanics. That’s where the professionals at your local running store play a part.”
Buddy up: Don’t forget the sunblock and if you can recruit a neighbor or friend to join you. It’s easier to walk out that door if you have someone waiting on you. Add on an inexpensive watch that has stop/start capabilities so you can track your time, distance and pace such as the Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch.
Safety First: Run against traffic. If you run at night, make yourself visible by wearing light-colored, reflective clothing. Carry identification. Take some basic self-defense training if you are running solo. Always trust your intuition. If you’re unsure about a person or a place, avoid it.

Music: This is optional but if you do choose to run with music please keep it low so you can be aware of cars, cyclists and people around you. If you are into trail running I wouldn’t advise running with music since most races do not allow them and you need to hear the people around you.

Warm up: Jog for 5-10 minutes to warm up muscles. It is not recommended to stretch cold muscles. Save your main stretching segment for after your run. (See link below for Stretching)

Running form: Head up, Eyes forward on the horizon, Shoulders relaxed, Arms low and loose, Elbows bent about 90 degrees, Don’t clinch your fists keep your fingers light like you are holding a potato chip, Run tall, chest high like a balloon is lifting you up, let your legs do the work they should feel quick with your stride short with feet landing underneath you and your feet landing on your heel to midfoot. Try not to twist at the hips. (I am personally bad about this) Hips should be pointed straight ahead. (See link below for more on running form)
Start off slow: Ease into your run. Start slow and push mid way and into a strong finish by saving some gas for the end. You can start off with one mile or 15 minutes your choice. Next time go two miles / 30 minutes. Start a running log to track what you ate, drank, dressed, weather outside as well as how long or far you ran. Track how you felt after your run. Start off slow and only add 10% to the following week. It’s easy to get over zealous on a nice morning and tack on extra miles but doing this regularly will lead to injury which is best to avoid if at all possible. (Trust me I am coming off an injury right now from adding mileage too fast and now I am having to rebuild all over again)

Make a schedule: We all have busy schedules so take the time to plan out when is the best times to get your running in. Whether it is mornings, afternoons or evenings. What days’ of the week work best for you? Plan out at least a month in advance, put it in your calendar and stick to it. Need a training plan? Google it and find the best one that works for your schedule, running pattern and goals. (See link below on various training plans)

Strength train: Running injuries, especially knee and hip-related problems, are often a result of muscle weaknesses or imbalances. Core and lower body exercises are especially important for injury prevention. If you like Spin class, Yoga or Swimming add these workouts to your weekly schedule.

Don’t get discouraged: You have already taken that first step which is the most important. Now write down some goals whether it is signing up for a 5k or 10k that you have had your eye or to simply to feel better about yourself. Learn what inspires you and keeps you motivated.
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It is a lot to remember and can get overwhelming but the main things are Breathe, Focus and be Patient. I have been running since 2011 and I STILL have lots to learn. I am no expert but fortunately there are endless resources out there from various running websites, Facebook groups even local running stores sometimes have running programs and weekly runs to join in. You simply have to ask.

• Info on Stretching: http://www.runnersworld.com/training/stretching
• Running Form: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/perfect-form
• Avoiding Injury: http://m.runnersworld.com/sites/default/files/InjuryPrevention.pdf
• Running Nutrition: http://www.runnersworld.com/sites/default/files/NutritionGuide_0.pdf
• Gear Guide: http://m.runnersworld.com/sites/default/files/GearGuide.pdf

Training Plans:

To find races in your area: http://beta.active.com/running

Have I forgotten anything? Do you have anything to add or ask?
Good Luck and Enjoy the Journey!

The Strength Within…

Wednesday is the day. I turn the big 4-0. Will the earth open up and swallow me in? Probably not but this is the feeling I have had for months. This past year has taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee that you must live for today. Seeing everyone live out their goals is a huge incentive and with today’s social media everything is out for display, but don’t take that as a negative take that as encouragement. One story I have been following is Kimberly Markey from http://makermothermarathonrunner.com/
This past July Kimberly was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 41. The gene runs in her family so she was well versed but nothing can prepare you. She has publicly shared her story to promote awareness of breast cancer and breast cancer surgery. Just weeks after surgery she ran the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon and Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Days after shaving her head she rocked a bright pink wig and ran the Tower of Terror 10 miler. Last Thursday she received a chemo treatment and on Sunday she ran the Chicago Marathon! This woman is amazing and aspiring. A true Rockstar! I am in awe.

Then there is my friend Susan Hayden. Because of her I learned how to swim and did my first sprint triathlon last year. She recently conquered Ironman Tahoe and recently signed up for Ironman Chattanooga fundraising for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Every time I see her she is so encouraging of everyone no matter how small the goal. I truly admire her. She has such a “Can Do” attitude and truly believes everyone has it within them to be great. You can read more about her here: https://susan-hayden.squarespace.com/

Next up is Olive. She recently wrote a blog post about venturing out of your comfort zone. http://olivetorun.com/2013/10/10/the-beauty-in-discomfort/ Olive has an honest, zest for life that is undeniable. I loved her list that she shared. Some are very similar to my own. For months I have thought about two in particular. Tandem skydiving and a tattoo. The closest I could go for a somewhat scenic skydive is Biloxi. My husband was not thrilled with the idea of me jumping out of a plane. He tends to like having me around lol! So I decided to wait on that one a bit and hopefully on a future trip I can do it in a scenic locale. Another idea I had was to run a destination race around my birthday like the Nike San Francisco Half Marathon or the Runner’s World Half but due to my recent foot injury that was probably a good thing I didn’t pursue it. So I came back to a tattoo. This is something personal I have wanted for a very long time. I knew exactly what I wanted. A sketch of a Japanese Cherry Blossom and the symbol for Strength. Strength is within ourselves. It is what gets us through the tough times and value the good ones. You push forward stronger and realize you are ALWAYS stronger then you think! So Saturday I did it and I absolutely love it. Here is a pic from Day 2. It is about 2×3 in size and is on my upper right shoulder on my back. Every time I look at it I love it more.
day 2 tattoo

So now bring on 40 with a bang!! I am wiser and truly value those in my life. I have so much to still learn and experience. I look forward to many more adventures.

What have you done recently out of your comfort zone or plan to do?

A make your own running guide

Where do you go for tips and tricks on running?
There are so many references online and on various Facebook forum groups that it can be overwhelming. I had this pile of Runner’s World magazines where I would tear out articles to go back and reference. Tips on running form, breathing, cadence, injury prevention, training plans etc. I remembered awhile back I made my own fitness binder and called it “Aim to stay an After”. It included articles from various magazines such as Self and Shape with exercise tips on toning of arms, abs and legs as well as success stories for inspiration. (Little fact: I was even featured in Self magazine February 2012 issue as a Self-Inspired Success Story. So yes I included a copy of the article in my book) So I thought why don’t I make one for running. You can purchase a 1″ binder and a 25pack of sheet protectors and as you get new ideas or focus areas you can change it up. It’s cheap and you can take it with you. I personally use this more than Pinterest. You can also use this for articles you find online. Just print them and add to your book.
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Finished product. It may be a bit old school but it works for me and I can get rid of a ton of old magazines!

Finished product. It may be a bit old school but it works for me plus I can get rid of a ton of old magazines!

What works for you?
Here is my article from Self magazine. (Feb 2012) ..Always a work in progress..
SELF Feb 2012

On the road again…..

Back to the doctor today and got the all clear per my Bone Scan. He did say I have Shin Splints in my right leg which is weird since I don’t feel them. Fortunately I did invest in some compression sleeves and socks recently so I am prepared. I am glad I trusted my gut and went for a second opinion. I never had a Stress Fracture go figure. The pain was probably just inflammation due to the tight shoes, my recent fall and ramp up in mileage. I do feel like I was due for a break and probably would not have taken one on my own. This has definitely been a learning experience so I will take that as a win.

What did I learn?
Trust in others: I got lots of great advice from running friends that had my best interest at heart and offered tough love that was much needed.

Trust the process: Rest when you need too and taper accordingly. Slow down so you can stay in the game!

Trust in myself: When something doesn’t seem right find another solution.

I remembered why I do it. Running is my therapy. It’s my ME time.
Enjoy it. Don’t let it be a chore.

What’s next? Well I have to build back s l o w l y. This is painstaking difficult for me. (Did I mention how stubborn I am?) Doctor says I have to start at 1-3 miles. I can run every day if I want but I have to watch the distance. Then 3-5 miles for week two. Week three 5-7 miles. Week four 7-9 miles and so on. He says if I go back to it too fast from being on a three week hiatus I WILL get a stress fracture. He says that’s how most occur. This is disappointing. I will be rebuilding my mileage all over again but at least I will be out there.

Tonight I did 3 miles and it was glorious!!!!

Have you had a similiar training setback? How did you stay focused?