Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Injured-runner math

When you mix this:

 Plus this:

Add a dash of this:

You inevitably get a whole lot of this:

Source: http://blog.opentable.com/
Oh. Wait. Never mind.

So if there's such a thing, I continue to do what henceforth will be referred to as aggressive recovery: stretching, yoga, sports massage, chiropractic manipulation and the "other R word" at my house, rest.

Yoga was up at my house last night. When I told my favorite 8-year-old that I wanted company, I was joined by a robot and a bunch of Lego people. I plan to be more specific tonight. 

Here's hoping that our newest runner also develops a liking for becoming a pretzel.

How do you handle rest when you're injured? What do you use as cross training when you can't run? Am I the only one who'd rather run hurt than not run? (Shhhh.... don't tell my doctor!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

14 answers to how do you have time to run?

I hear that question -- and its cousins "don't you ever sleep?" and "are you crazy?" -- a lot.

As any working parent can attest, doing it all and fitting in time for yourself takes a lot of work and, frankly, creativity. One thing that I do have is a very supportive family that knows that running is my release valve.

Just how creative can a chica get? Here are some things that I've tried (I've mentioned some of these before, but it's always worth brainstorming and sharing.):

* I set aside and change into my running clothes either when I wake up if I'm going for a morning run or right after dinner if I'm going in the evening. I've been known to wear my gear grocery shopping (tonight, for example), to go put gas in the car and to drive kids around town.

If this means I'm a candidate for "What Not to Wear," then please submit my name. I'm begging you.

* I put my long runs on my calendar along with doctor's appointments, work meetings, work travel and any other important commitment. Do I always go out for a run at exactly the time I put on the calendar? Hardly. But I typically do and that's good enough most weeks.

* I run when my family sleeps. I'm up and out the door most Saturday mornings by oh-dark-thirty. They're waking up around the time I get back, so it's like I was never gone. Only the dog knows and cares and that's only because I let her out and feed her before I leave the house.

* I run at night. I'm fortunate to live in a safe neighborhood, although there's enough traffic that I wear a dorky, I mean, high-tech belt with a flashing red light. Cheap find at Target last year. Every time I head out with that thing, my family members roll their eyes. I'd rather be dorky that dead.

I think at least the dog agrees.

* I schedule runs with other people. A very dear friend lives half a mile away. Sometimes, we arrange running dates to catch up and to get our butts out the door.

I also run with the Black Girls Run! Lansing team and there have been plenty of Saturdays when I would have rather gone back to bed but didn't because I knew they were waiting for me.

* I am brainwashing, err, encouraging my two younger kids (did I mention we have two teens and an 8-year-old?) to love running. This has helped them understand and appreciate when I head out.

* I bribe myself with food. Yes, I know that's not healthy physically or emotionally, but sometimes it's that treat that gets me out the door.

* I bribe myself with new gear. I don't do this very often, but you may have more expendable income than I do. (Did I mention I am sending my oldest to college in less than a year?!)

* Not only do I bribe myself, but I also lie to myself. It's just one little mile. You can go out for one measly mile. Oh, you're warmed up? How about just one more mile? Or five?

* I am a Facebook "like" fanatic. I use the Nike+ app and listen the whole time for the cheers that come through when someone "likes" my post saying that I'm out for a run. Sad? Yes. But effective.

* I set and write down long-term goals and scratch them off when I get back from my run. I love the feeling of checking off that I just did a long run. I'm a nerd.

* I blog. You all keep me motivated to get my butt out there.
Source: kimruns.blogspot.com/

* One word (sorta): DVR. I catch up on my favorite shows while folding laundry.

* Not infrequently, I remind myself of all the people in my life who just can't run. A little guilt works on the kids, so why not the adults, too?

Sometimes, nothing I do gets me out there. It doesn't happen often, but it has happened. What do I do then? Nothing. Nada. Zip. I count it as a rest day and spend time with my family or go to bed early.

In the end, I'm doing all this so I can be healthy and able to be around for a long, long time. Now that's worth making time for, no?

How do you get yourself out the door when you really don't have time for it? Is there anything you won't give up to go for a run (a favorite show or family tradition)? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

La chica plus two

Today's post is a bit of a bragging session. Indulge me here.

My favorite 14-year-old has been training all season. She's cross training. She's eating better. And she's speed training.

And today she got her third PR (personal record) in a row. She was even faster than another girl on her team that their coach has been secretly encouraging her to beat.

Nerves almost got the best of her, but she rallied and put her heart into her run.

This is the same girl who last year finished last in just about every race -- both in cross country and in track. She's putting in the work and seeing significant results. Some of us could learn a thing or two from her about perseverance and persistence.

And I'm not done. I took my favorite 8-year-old to the local running store, Playmakers, for running shoes earlier today. We ended up with a pair of colorful New Balance shoes. He's been looking for any excuse to run all day.

There's been very little walking today, actually. He's convinced that he shoes are making him speedier.

He tested his theory when we took the dog for a walk. He certainly ran way ahead of us.

For now, I plan to take him out about three times a week and just have him run a bit more each week. In the meantime, I'll do some research and talk to some coaches to see if there's something more structured we should follow.

As with all things running, there are lots of resources online that I'll be perusing. Including this Runner's World page and this particular article.

The little that I've read so far suggests putting a goal on the calendar. I'm thinking Lansing's Turkeyman Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning might be just the race for my little turkey.

Do you have something to brag about? Hit a new goal or just got out for a run when you'd rather have stayed in bed? Do your kids run with you? How did that happen?

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 (basic) things you can do this week to help make you feel better

Well, what do you know? Amy from Divine Essentials must have the magic touch. After seeing her last night for the first time, I went through my whole day today without taking any Aleve and still was relatively comfortable. I certainly felt better than I have in weeks.

Needless to say, I signed up for another 30-minute sports massage for next week. Did I mention you can book it online? And, no, I'm not getting any kickbacks from mentioning her here.

Which brings me to what I really wanted to tell you about today: Five things I'm doing this week to address my injury (in my case, piriformis syndrome) that you may want to try if you're hurt. So here goes...

 1. Listen to your doctor. Well, duh. But I've been known to think I know better, so sometimes I don't really do exactly as I'm told. This time, sports med doc said to take this week off, so I am. There. I did it. For a whole week.

Almost. Is it Saturday yet?

2. Stretch. I've read conflicting stories about whether runners should stretch before and/or after a run. What's not for debate is the benefit of stretching in the first place. You can talk to your doctor (see above) about whether you should do any stretching and when. I've been doing these stretches. Here are some more and even more that you might find helpful.

3. Do yoga.  I have a love/hate relationship with yoga. I know it's good for me and that most people can do it, with some accommodations. I, for example, use a yoga block.

It looks like this:

Got mine at Target for very little money. It works for me because it allows me to do more of the yoga poses without killing myself. I still tip over a lot, but you may do better than me. Because you're good enough, you're smart enough and, doggone it, people like you.

I finally got over my yoga aversion when I started thinking of it more as stretching than as exercising. There are lots of free yoga videos online. I tried a few and settled on these.

4.  Sit less. Recent studies suggest that sitting is a killer. I thought I was OK because I'm relatively active, but no more. I am forcing myself to get up throughout the day. I even find myself getting up to go talk to people at work instead of emailing them. I'm sure they're thrilled.

A good friend swears by her stand-up desk, but I'm really holding out for this option instead:

Source: Mashable
5.  Drink more water. This is one I struggle with, but I'm working on it. I've been drinking enough more water that I'm finding it helps with #4 above because I'm spending half my day traipsing to the bathroom.
My drinking glass, of course.
After reading even more studies that suggest that I perhaps shouldn't use as many artificial sweeteners as I'm accustomed to, I plan to find healthier options for flavoring my water.

And now, I gotta go. But think about implementing one or more of these ideas in the coming week. Basic? Yes. Consider this a friendly reminder to do things you already knew you should be doing but probably don't.

Put together, they certainly have helped make me feel better this week. That and Amy's divine massage.

Do you do any or all of these things already? Do I really need to include a disclaimer or did you figure out already that I'm not a healthcare professional and that you should consult one before doing anything I suggest? 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time divine

A running friend who's been tackling piriformis, too, shared her plan for recovery: stretches, yoga, chiropractor visits, cutting back on running (boo, hiss), strength training and massage. Better yet, she gave me contact information for her masseuse.

Since I've tried just about everything on her list, I gave massage a try tonight. Apparently, a lot of runners give massage a try after a race because she was just one of about half a dozen runners I know who made appointments this week after Sunday's race. Of course, none of them thought to tell me that this was something I should consider. Ahem.

But I'm not bitter.

Regardless, I made an appointment for today (thank goodness for evening hours) to see Amy W. at Divine Essentials, 119 N. Washington Square, in Lansing. It's in the building right by the downtown YMCA. She even lets you schedule your appointment on her site so you can pick a time that works for you. Perfection.

I picked a half-hour sports massage to give the whole thing a go since I wasn't sure how  I would feel about yet another person working on my, well, body.

Amy immediately made me feel comfortable and I felt confident in her ability. She didn't disappoint.

While I would have preferred a little Pitbull, she had soft music in the background, some candles burning on a shelf and dimmed lights throughout.

I can't say that the sports massage was relaxing, but she did work on some knots, tight spots and my dumb butt. I even felt like I grew a couple of inches.

She also reminded me to use the foam roller at home this week, so that's going to be back in my rotation. Oh, goody. (Not my favorite thing.)

We'll see how everything feels in the morning before I decide whether to book another session, but after seeing my friend's progress, I'm hopeful. And if you're looking for someone to turn you into a pretzel, I've got to say that Amy's your woman.

Have you ever had a massage? How did you feel afterward? Oh, and are you a cat or dog lover?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

El chico runs?

My I-can't-run crankiness reached a fever pitch today, so I laced up my Hoka One One Cliftons, recruited my husband, grabbed the 100 lb. dog and headed out for a nice brisk walk. The weather has been gorgeous this week and tonight was the first time I really got to enjoy it.

We went a few blocks and our doggie decided she was done, so we headed home after about 15 minutes. If you're wondering how a dog can be so lazy, she's a Leonberger. El husbando stayed home, but our 8(thinks he's 17)-year-old grabbed his sneakers and came along.

My favorite 14-year-old has been running for about two years and is currently on her high school cross country team. So far, she's set a couple of PRs (personal records) and is improving consistently. I tell you this because our youngest hears about running all the time.

I've been known to talk about running at the dinner table, to read Runner's World magazine and to hang up my (and our daughter's) wet running gear all over the laundry room.

And until recently, he wanted nothing to do with it. Then he discovered soccer at school and he's been playing at recess every single day. Apparently, he made the connection between running and being good at soccer and is suddenly interested in what big sister and I have to say.

When we headed out, he suggested we run. As much as I wanted to, I pretended to be an adult and told him that I just couldn't run quite yet. 

That didn't stop him. He took off and quickly got to the next block. Then the next one. And the next one.

The same kid who looked at me as if I'd suggested we go buy him some nice broccoli for dessert just two weeks ago was running. Without any prompting. And -- get this -- enjoying it. 

His smile was contagious and I was so happy that I forgot that I wasn't running.

It was one of my favorite runs in a very long time. In fact, I don't think I'll ever get tired of this view.

Do your kids run? Have you inspired them (or anyone else) to start running?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's the opposite of the runner's high?

Because that's what I've got now. And it ain't pretty.

You thought pregnancy hormones were bad? Then you haven't been around a cranky post-race runner who can't run at all. For a week.

I was prepared for the taper before the big half marathon, but no one mentioned how hard the week after the race would be. I even had one running friend tell me I'd be on a post-race high all week.

What's wrong with you people? How about a little notice?

Thankfully, I'm here for you. Come closer to the goddess, I mean, chica.

Here's how to cope with your endorphin-less life:

* Buy shoes. OK, that's just a general rule for some of you, but spending an hour at the local running store trying on half a dozen different shoes made my day. I even walked out with a pair of new Hoka One Ones. They're incredibly cushy and my orthotic inserts fit great. But I can't take them for a run quite yet.
Now I'm depressed again.

* Support other runners. Generally a good rule anyway, but incredibly rewarding to focus on someone other than yourself for once. Like me, for example. Read my blog. Share my blog. Comment on my blog. But only so you can feel better.

OK, so maybe it's not about me despite my desperate cry for help. I did spend some time today sharing tips with a friend who's running her first marathon, sending her tips and a Runner's World magazine article or two. That was fun and it reminded me that pretty soon that'll be me again, training for a race. (And we're back to talking about me. Phew!)

* Plan what you'll do when you can run again. In my case, this week is heavy on yoga, stretching and doing the exercises I learned while at physical therapy for the aforementioned injury.

Boring? Yes. But it'll help me build my core and stability, so definitely a good investment.

* Book a sports massage. I get mine on Thursday night. Will let you know how that goes.

* Spend some time thinking about where you've been...and where you want to go. I have been pinning my race bibs on a bulletin board in my office. It helps remind me that there's life outside the office...a life full of fun things. Like running. Or not doing yoga.

I did take a moment to look at the board and think about my first 5K and all the races in between. It reminded me that I've survived other periods of not-running.

* Get out of the house. We're having beautiful weather here in Michigan this week. I haven't been able to enjoy it, but perhaps you can. Bike, walk or go swimming. Cross-training's supposed to be good for your running and it's even said to help avoid injury.

At least, I went out to Home Depot tonight to buy stain for our front porch and deck.

I have to say, the new Hokas look beautiful under the fluorescent lights...

 Enough about me, what do you think about my blog? How do you cross train? Did other runners warn you about the week after your big race?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Stairs are the Devil and other things I've learned post-half marathon

I trained for months for yesterday's half marathon. The training plan I printed off in the spring is all crumpled up with lots of notes in different ink pen colors, each one detailing what I actually accomplished that day. Some of it is so messy, it looks like a deranged person penned it.

Oh. Wait.

I even thought to use my ChapStick on my underarms because they were chaffing so badly at about mile six or seven even though I'd trained with the same tech T-shirt multiple times. I must have read that somewhere along the way and it worked like a charm.

What I didn't give much thought to was what I would do post-race. Yeah, I knew I'd be a bum the afternoon of the race, rest up on Monday and cut back on my mileage, but that's about it. No plan. No tips. Nada.

I went looking for some advice on my favorite site, Runner's World magazine, where I found some general tips about taking it slow the first week and ramping up mileage later on.

What I didn't come across was the kind of tips or commentary so easily found on my Facebook feed from all of the women I know who also ran the half marathon yesterday.

"Stairs are the devil. That's all." read one post this morning. Hmph. I shook my head. Not sure what she's talking about. I really felt just fine. A little sore, sure, but not bad at all.

Until I tried to walk up or down even a step or two. What's that twinge in my muscles? Holy mother of ... what is THAT? And why do my stomach muscles feel like I did enough sit ups to have a washboard stomach instead of blubber?

Apparently, a smart runner would have booked a sports massage for the day after the race. This chica now has to wait until Thursday night to see someone who can start working on the kinks and tightness (#runnerproblems). I'll let y'all know how that goes.

And what's with the run-ger? Can't seem to stop eating. Or at least can't seem to want to stop eating. I didn't give in to every single hunger pang, but there were some moments I don't want to talk about. Ever.

I've also learned that it's a good idea to stretch as much as possible. I did so twice yesterday and again tonight. Can't say I noticed any difference, but I'm not taking any chances.

Another runner friend said tomorrow will probably be worse than today. Giving you all a head's up now so you can buy more stock in Bayer, the maker of Aleve.

What's on deck tomorrow? Depends on which plan you follow. I, for one, hope to at least get out for a walk and do some yoga for runners.

That's only if I can go down the stairs at home in the morning. Gulp.

How did you feel in the days after a race? Did you have a plan on how you would recover? Did you eat your weight in can't-leave-alone-bars after your race? No? Oh, neither did I.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

La chica is officially part of the Mullet Crew

Ran my first half marathon today and loved it. So much so that I definitely want to do it again. 
Someday. (Just don't tell sports med doc. It'll be our little secret.)

My friend Brandess and her BFF Shannon paced my group at 13 minutes per mile. 

Yes, those are mullet wigs, fake tattoo sleeves and plaid shirts. Brandess is even sporting a fake mustache, which kept falling off, but she continued to paste back on her face for reasons I can't pretend to comprehend.

They also are the reason I actually was able to finish the race. They led our group of about eight from the start, telling us stories, yelling encouragement and cracking jokes. I don't think there was a volunteer or police office on the race course who didn't get a heartfelt thank you from our group.

The race started down the street from the state Capitol, down Michigan and Grand River Avenues, up through the beautiful Michigan State University campus, down the River Trail, through part of Potter Park Zoo and back to downtown Lansing. 

The temps were in the high 50s with a steady breeze. It even sprinkled a few times. Not bad, especially when the weather called for severe thunderstorms and the race director gave instructions should they need to cancel the race due to lighting.

My Sport Beans did the job and I gladly drank some Gatorade and water volunteers hoisted on us throughout the course. 

Ricky Martin, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Wisin & Yandel, Willie Colon and Eminem kept me company up until about mile eight, when my battery was so low, I had to turn off the music.

No trouble.

Thanks to the mullet crew, we set a great pace of about 12:45 for about 10 miles. Our group kept a nice, steady conversation with random whoops and hollers (we love hills!) or when seeing the mile markers. 

By mile 10, my friend Erin and I figured we "just" had 5K to go, so we pushed ahead a little bit and ran at a very comfortable but faster pace. We knew we were close when we started to see other runners already wearing their bling heading back to their cars. 

Words can't describe how touching it was to see our faster Black Girls Run! Lansing team mates waiting for us at the finish line. Hugs all around, followed by more pictures. 

This chica is very blessed. Life is good.

Have you run a half marathon? Who was waiting for you at the finish? How did you celebrate?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm only half crazy

Spent my evening with several of my Black Girls Run! Lansing team mates. We broke bread (and onion rings and mozzarella sticks), shared race stories and the veterans gave us tips for tomorrow's half marathon.
Most of the BGR! Lansing dinner group. We missed Erin!

We were a loud bunch at a local restaurant. A couple of us even wearing race shirts and all of us carefully weighing what we would eat with tomorrow morning top-of-mind. Nothing new. Nothing too spicy. Nothing too, well, anything.

I decided to run this race around April or May, right after I ran a marathon relay with several of these wonderful women.

If you've run seven miles, you can certainly run 13, they said.

Just train. You'll be fine. You can do this. Somehow, I believed it and took on the challenge.

The cheering and encouragement continued, both in person and on Facebook. On days when I woke up with fresh legs and felt like I could run forever. And -- more importantly -- on days when I felt like a 100-year-old woman with arthritis running on quick sand.
Ran into Deanna while picking up my bib and race shirt.
My family has been supportive on many other levels as well. They never complain about my long absences. Or about the many trips to Playmakers for more gear I just "have" to have. They even smile politely when I talk about my running plans or what gear I'm trying out next.

But they really don't get why I've pushed myself through all the miles. In the cold. In the rain. At night. Early in the morning. While camping. After very long days at work.

They shake their heads and secretly (and not-so-secretly) wonder if I've gone insane.
13.1 miles? Normal people don't run that far.

They might not understand, but that's OK. Because tomorrow, I run for them. 

And, after all, I'm only half crazy.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What la chica does when she can't run

The taper before Sunday's half marathon continues and while I'm not yet feeling any more antsy because I can't run, my obsessive tendencies are flaring up big time.

And I mean obsessive in the I-can't-stop-talking-and-reading-about-running kind of obsessive.

So while I did some yoga tonight, I've also spent an inordinate amount of time online reading about running and otherwise finding ways to entertain myself.

Since I apparently have some free time on my hands, here are the five things I found most helpful/fun/interesting/relevant for all of you chicos and chicas:

  1. How to fix some common running probs
  2. Other people who run at night wear safety gear. I stay on the sidewalks but maybe I can get a light to play with; I mean, a light to be more visible. Yeah, that's what I meant.
  3. This song, which I just can't stop humming and might add to my running playlist.
  4. I'm apparently going to live forever according to a study that suggests that sitting less leads to living longer since I seldom sit still. That said, I now have an excuse to leave boring meetings!
  5. I'm not the only writer who's compiled a guide for non-runners.
Bonus find:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Doctor, doctor gimme the news. I got a bad case of ...

... unfortunately not "lovin' you." Although I do think you're all awesome.

I've got a bad case of a running problem. Specifically, my butt's still dumb (or the overly dramatic "dead butt"), which is apparently pretty common for runners taking on the kind of miles that I've been enjoying (snicker, snicker) as I train for the Capital City River Run half marathon on Sunday.

So while he's concerned about my overall health, there's really no reason he could think of (translation: any reason that I would buy) to prevent me from running my first half. So...I'm running it.
source: http://www.popsugar.com
I know. Big shocker there to anyone who's been following my progress.

In other news, got to spend some quality time with a woman who works in my field but in another state department who called me up after reading my humble blog. We caught up over drinks at my favorite coffee shop and traded war, err, injury stories.

She, too, will run the half on Sunday. Just signed up for it, actually, because she remembers her friends jumping in about halfway through her first half to get her through to the end and she's paying it forward.

Runners are the best.

Speaking of the best, I've got my own cheering squad and am often humbled by the amount of support I've been getting from friends who are either running the race with me or who've heard me say I'm running it (OK, who have heard me recount every detail of my training schedule and really wish I'd just run the race if only so that I'll shut up about it).

As for getting anything remotely exercise related today, it just didn't happen. Unfortunately, I got home way too late to go out for a run.

I even had to resort to practically eating grubs and berries in my car tonight while waiting for my favorite 14-year-old to arrive from her cross country meet (she hit a personal record, btw!), albeit nicely packaged and relatively healthy "grubs and berries." (Unsponsored plug: I love the GoPicnic boxes because they're relatively healthy and shelf stable.)

So after the kind of pretzel time I spent on the doc's stable today, I'm giving myself the night off.

Did you get a run in today? Does your doctor support your running habit? What would you do if s/he told you not to run?

Monday, September 15, 2014

A little yoga, anyone?

Monday night continues to be yoga night. And because you don't really want to see pictures of me being a pretzel, I found this for ya:

And this:

And for the cat lovers out there:

Namaste, chicos and chicas.

Have you tried yoga? How flexible are you? Do you like dogs or cats best?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chica, Interrupted

Got to sleep in until my alarm (a.k.a. my 100 lb. dog Khaleesi) woke me up. Gotta love weekends. And dogs. Especially large dogs.

Spent the morning at Hawk Island Park where I got to cheer on several friends at the Come Clean Duathlon, including a couple of my Black Girls Run! Lansing team mates who were looking good as they started their biking leg.

Bonus: Got to see my friend Jef Mallett who's kind of a big deal. He's the creator of the Frazz strip. And if you haven't seen it, please check it out. You'll thank me later.
Like Jef, Frazz is very active and in addition to being an overall great strip, there are lots of running inside jokes.

Jef and I worked together a million years ago at what was then the Booth Newspapers Lansing Bureau. I even saw some of the very first Frazz cartoons.

Always a talented artist, Jef is also a triathlete and an Ironman. And an overall awesome guy.

Between all the picture taking and catching up, I did manage to run three miles along the boardwalk. With a few stops. OK, a lot of stops since I started and stopped to talk to several friends. Gotta love runners.

I'm OK with that since, remember, I'm tapering.

In the meantime, trying to convince my husband to buy us some used road bikes so we can do this race together next year.

A chica can dream.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wonder Woman! (Sing it with me. You know you want to.)

I did it. I beat the overwhelming desire to stay in bed this morning when the alarm went off. I got up, fueled (Dunkin' Donuts again. Don't judge me.), got dressed and drove downtown Lansing to join my Black Girls Run! Lansing team mates.

Ended up running six miles, even though I had told myself I'd run a couple. Then three. Then four.

I felt like Wonder Woman

Sans the satin tights. Or the magic that I do. But a wonder nonetheless.

We ran the Lansing River Trail under very dark skies and temps in the 40s. I don't do 40s, but there I was, bundled up in a tech T-shirt, a light-weight zip up and a fleece running sweatshirt, plus my new capris. Thank goodness I also brought a hat.

That all said, the stripping started about a mile into the run and didn't end until I was in my T and capris, the two tops tied around my waist. I can't decide if that's going to work for me next week for my half. Will have to try it one more time for a longer run.

We saw lots of other runners and a handful of bikers. Can't say I blame them. Despite some drizzle, it really was a relatively nice day for a run along the river. 

Or to walk around the grass if you're a Canadian goose or a peacock, apparently. Let's just say my dog's going to be sniffing my running shoes for days.

I'm very grateful to my  BGR! Lansing runner chicas because there was no way I was getting out there this morning without them. If you're struggling to get your butt out the door, there's nothing like having a bunch of friends waiting for you to get it in gear.

Another option, of course, is to bribe yourself with something like a Caribbean Breeze smoothie from Juice Nation. There was nothing tropical about today's run, but the smoothie was my little ray of sunshine. Cheers!

What gets you out the door when your bed is whispering sweet nothings in your ear? What's your favorite bribe to get you out the door?

Friday, September 12, 2014

All that guilt was a waste of time (I'm in marketing, so I'm calling this week my taper)

Relatively new runner here, so please forgive me for apologizing about my lack of running this past week. Apparently, if I'd been paying attention, real runners would call it a "taper week."

So, as long as I run a couple of times by Sunday, I will still be on track and won't spontaneously combust at the starting line on race day (which is Sept. 21. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!).

Jeff Galloway says so, so it must be true.

Googling "how to taper for your first half marathon" was the best investment of my time yet this week. Thank you, Runner's World magazine!

And speaking of marketing genius, I'm now able to also use the taper as an excuse for my foul moods. Bonus!

Why didn't I take the time to Google this before?

I'm just hopeful my family will be understanding.

Now, excuse me while I go Google "eating donuts is good for your first half marathon."

Someone's got to have thought of that one by  now. Jeff Galloway? Hal Higdon? Jack Daniels? Hansons? Help a chica out!

Have you tapered before a race? How did THAT go? Any tips?

She's a-live!

Yes, I live. And I'm sorry. So sorry. Please accept my apology.

One word: Work.

And a few more words: Parenting. Household repairs. Pain. And mom taxi.

Source: http://ronaleer.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/home_moms.gif
That all said, I'm ba-ack.

No running for me this week. Instead, I've been doing yoga and stretching. It makes me feel like I'm doing something so that when my head hits the pillow at night, I don't feel guilt. Or at least not a lot of guilt about not running.

Or at least not guilty enough to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to go for a run before I get my family out the door in the morning.

That ends today. I plan to run at least a couple of miles tonight  (barring the aforementioned work getting in the way) and am eyeing a group run with Team Playmakers tomorrow morning.

Will this week's blog name be changed to Slacker Runner? I'll let you know.

In the meantime, how do you find time to run given all of your responsibilities? What's the longest you've gone without running?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Like a virgin (I'm talking miles here, people)

Yeah, so I ran 10 miles today for the fist time. TEN. MILES.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Longest run so far had been just a tad over 9. I've done that a couple of times. But 10? Never thought I'd get into the double digits.

Race day is now two weeks away and I am pumped. I feel like I can definitely do 13.1 now and am very much looking forward to it.

A runner friend from Black Girls Run - Lansing met me downtown Lansing in front of Juice Nation, one of my favorite downtown spots. If you haven't tried their Caribbean Breeze smoothie, stop by and try it. You'll thank me later.

But I digress. Because, you know, food. And pretty flowers.

As much as my last run was uncomfortable, today's run was ideal. I tried out the new Under Armour running capris I bought on clearance at Playmakers yesterday. They're from the HeatGear line and are stretchy, cooling and comfy. They even have small panels on the bottom to help with venting. The waistband is nice and thick and didn't fold over at all.

And -- get this -- no wedgie! Bonus.

I didn't see any more at Playmakers, so I'll be searching the web for more of those puppies tonight.

I think I'm in love.

Also a huge boost to my day's run was the lovely runner chica I got to hang out with today. She's done a half marathon before, but had not run 10 miles in quite a while. Still, she went out to keep me company and we hit the Lansing River Trail, through Potter Park Zoo, by the (wait for it) river.

We even saw three deer, which didn't seem to be all that surprised to see us and meandered out of our path while I fumbled with my iPhone to take a picture. Alas, my phone's storage is basically full, so I have no photographic proof of the encounter.

I did manage to delete enough photos to take this one and, really, isn't this the one that counts? Two happy 10-milers:

And because we both know you won't be able to get that darn song out of your head anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s__rX_WL100

Did you run today? What's your longest run ever? Is it just me, or are running shorts the worst?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Running (half) naked

Now before I waste your time, I was fully dressed. (I'm sure you're relieved.)

What I didn't bring on my run was my fanny pack high-tech water delivery system, which also meant I had no tissues to wipe my brow, ChapStick for my lips, candy SportBeans to give me energy, Body Glide for my legs, water to hydrate me or a spot to hold my phone.

I also wore my Asics Abby running skirt, which meant pulling down the compression shorts underneath every half mile or so.

Woe is me, right?

Which all made me think that perhaps I should rename the blog again. Masochist Runner anyone?

I did have my iPhone so I could both listen to some Juan Luis Guerra and log my miles on my Nike+ app. (I'm a masochist, not an idiot.) Slipped the phone in my skirt which is incredibly hot and uncomfortable.

So why the miserable conditions?

My first half is in a couple more weeks and I wanted to put myself in an uncomfortable situation in case everything doesn't go as planned. There's an unwritten rule for running that says that you shouldn't ever try something new on race day. No new food. No new clothes and for the love of all that is holy, no new running shoes.

I'm adding a slight twist to that rule: thou shall plan to be uncomfortable on race day.

No matter how well you plan, something won't be quite as you expect. I'm looking at you, last trail run filled with mosquitoes!

I was by no means suffering today, mind you. And it was "only" four miles. But it feels good to know that I'm not going to die if I don't have every single creature comfort they sell at our local running store. (Though I do love me some Playmakers!)

One of my long-term goals for the half has also been to find a comfortable outfit. Something that doesn't chafe, that doesn't make me hot and that doesn't, ahem, give me a wedgie.

Running shorts have been just OK so far. Target carries some Champion shorts that aren't too bad, but they poof up and aren't flattering. Reminds me of parachute pants. The Nike shorts ride up. The aforementioned running skirt's compression shorts do, too.

So, I'm trying some capri compression shorts with a tech T-shirt. I'll let y'all know how that works out.

In the meantime, I'll be wearing my fuel belt on my 10-mile run tomorrow. Because...

Are you training for a race? Are you trying out new clothes or shoes? What are you using for fuel?