Sunday, May 30, 2010

What to Wear & Helpful Accessories

Here's the 2nd post in my So, you want to be a runner, huh? series!

So now that you have your running shoes and training plan, you might be wondering What do I wear? For now I will just cover warm weather running clothes since it's summer time!!

This stuff is not totally necessary; you can run in any t-shirt and shorts, but clothes made just for running will definitely make your run more enjoyable! Running apparel is made out of special fabric that wicks the sweat away from your skin to help keep you dry and cool. Cotton t-shirts will absorb the sweat and it will stay on your skin and they aren't very "breathable."

You can go to your local sporting goods store to try on stuff and see what you like. I have found that my favorite brand of running shorts is Nike.

I'm not sure what it is, I just like them the best out of what I have tried.

Another thing that's helpful about having running shorts is that they typically have a little pocket for your key and maybe Gu {we'll talk about Gu later}.

As far as shirts go, any type of "technical" shirt or tank top is good. Some of my favorite brands are Nike and Under Armor. I like tank tops, like I wore during the half marathon:

derby116

{it was Nike. I can't find it online but it was similar to this one}
or t-shirts...

If you go to a sporting goods store, like Dick's, to look at clothes, a lot of them will say something like "heat gear" or "cold gear" inside them. It may seem like common sense, but heat gear is for warm weather. It confused me for the longest time... is it heat gear because it keeps you warm, or because it's for warm weather?! Just remember heat gear = hot weather!

Running socks
are also good.

Feet sweat and as I mentioned before, cotton doesn't wick. If you wear cotton socks, you will eventually end up with blisters, plus they will slide around which isn't the most comfortable thing when you're running. Remember, you run with your feet so you want to keep them as comfortable as possible and protect them! You will also greatly appreciate the magic of wicking if you ever go for a run in the rain. Some people can't grasp the thought of spending around $10 per pair, but trust me you'll be thankful you did!

Speaking of rain, if it's raining my favorite thing to wear is a hat!


It's great for keeping the rain out of your face... it's almost like it's not even raining! If you're afraid you'll over-heat, a visor works great too. I've never found that I get too hot with these hats though because they're mesh.

You may also want to invest in a rain jacket. I'm pretty sure this is the one I have but not certain. I don't really like to run in jackets because I usually get too hot... so unless it's a cold rain I don't wear it because I usually think the rain feels pretty good anyway :)

So now that you're dressed we can talk about other helpful gadgets. Depending on what type of runner you want to be, you may find a Garmin helpful.

I have the 205 and Josh has the next version, the 305. They are exactly the same except the 305 has a heart rate monitor, and Josh pretty much never uses the heart rate monitor anyway and the one time I do remember him using it, it fell down a few miles into his run and annoyed him the rest of the race. So I think he'd suggest saving yourself the 100 extra bucks and just get the 205.

The Garmin is very helpful because it tracks your distance & pace, calories burned, total time of your run....and more! You can also program workouts into it which is nice for when you're training. You can tell it what your target pace and distance is and it will let you know if you're on track or not.

This is definitely not mandatory to have, but I would recommend getting it if you want to be a long distance runner... or don't want to have to drive your routes before you run them in order to determine distance.

I know there are other devices out there that may be cheaper alternatives... but I don't really know anything about them. If anyone has any other suggestions, let me know!

One last thing that's pretty important...

You can use Glide anywhere you might have chafing or get a blister. I typically only put Glide on my feet/toes for runs that are longer than 5 miles. You can get Glide at any sporting goods store, or on Amazon.com.

Those are some of my favorite running clothes and accessories! If anyone has anything to add feel free to let me know! I'm sure there's tons of stuff out there that I'm not aware of!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

this morning i ran for the "L" of it...

last week i signed up for the university of louisville's run for the "L" of it 5k.
i did my first road race last october and since then i've done at least one race a month.
so i figured i better keep up the trend as long as i could.
barely squeezed one in for may.
that's pretty much the only reason i signed up for it.
because honestly, now that i've done longer races i kind of don't like 5k's anymore.
they're too fast.

anyway.

i've done three 5k's before this one and my time has gotten about a minute better at each.
my PR was 30:14 and i wanted so badly to break a 30 minute 5k.
BUT...
i haven't been training since the half marathon...over a month ago.
i've run maybe 8 times total since then {slacker!} with the longest being 4 miles.
and i ran ZERO last week.
SO... i wasn't really expecting a PR.
i guess mostly i just wanted to see how it would go.
my strategy... well i didn't really have one but i figured i'd just push it and see what happened.

run for the L of it
run for the L of it
i finished my first mile in 8:49.
umm...since when can i run a sub-9 minute mile?!
i've never done that before!!!
i wondered if i'd gas out and regret it later.
but i felt pretty good and was mostly running by feel anyway.
of course, the next 2 miles were a little slower, but that was to be expected.

other than that, the race itself was pretty uneventful..
no roadkill, no poopy pants, no screaming crowds {or random dudes on the side of the road!}...
just me and my music.

the highlights of the race were running into little kosmo twice along the course.
i'm so glad we ended up bringing him.
he's so cute and he loved every minute of it!

run for the L of it
run for the L of it

he loved all the new sights, sounds, and smells.
so excited!
he tried to say hello to everybody that walked by!
including a horse!

run for the L of it

i finally neared the end and wondered if i was going to be able to pull off that PR..
it was pretty close.
it was also pretty hot and i was sweating like a pig!
phew...definitely getting tired.

run for the L of it
run for the L of it

finally saw the finish line and went as fast as i could!

i came in at 29:56!
i was pretty surprised but very happy.
a 20 second PR and barely broke the 30 minutes by 4 seconds :o)
yay me!

run for the L of it
kosmo was proud!

me and erica

i also ran into erica afterwards.
good to see her since we haven't seen each other since the mini!

so anyway. just thought i would share my good news.
hope everyone has a fun & safe memorial day!
our tentative weekend plans include: making homemade ice cream, going to the family farm, having dinner with my mom, & going to the neighbor's house to watch the ufc fight tonight..

little sicky

but little sicky has bronchitis & apparently asthma so he may be glued to the bed all day.
so we'll see what happens.

p.s. he came to my race this morning even though he's sick... so supportive :)

Stats:
Run for the L of It 5k
May 29, 2010
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 29:56 / 9:35 pace

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Basics (Getting Started from Ground Zero)

Since I am a pretty new runner and went from not running at all to running a half marathon, I have gotten lots of questions about how to do just that. So, I've decided to start a little series called So, you want to be a runner, huh? In this first post I will talk about how to get started. I'll also be posting soon about other topics that I wish I had known more about when I first started such as what to wear, what to eat, injuries, etc. So, here we go!

First, I think an important thing to know is that running is not for everyone. You may try it and it and absolutely hate it, and that's okay. Or you may love it. Just know that if you do want to really become a RUNNER, it will take hard work and dedication, it won't happen over night. And even if you do love it, there will be days that you hate it and don't want to go run, or days that you go run and have a horrible run and that's okay too.

ALSO, it is a good idea to consult a physician before starting any type of exercise. Just saying. {I'm pretty sure I have to say stuff like that for legal purposes, right?}

Okay, on to the advice!

1. Get a good pair of RUNNING shoes!

This is probably THE most important thing. If you really want to be a runner, you need EXCELLENT shoes. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $75-$200 on good shoes. I first started running in some old tennis shoes {because I didn't know any better} and got blisters the first day and my feet were so SORE. It was horrible and almost made me want to give up. I would suggest not ordering your shoes online - go to a running shoe store and they will help you pick out the right kind of shoes for your feet. Everyone has different feet and everyone runs differently. They will watch you run and help you pick out the best pair of shoes specifically for you. It seriously makes all the difference!
This is the pair I have. They're ASICS Gel-Cumulus 11. Apparently now there's a Cumulus 12, but the 11's are still available on Amazon. I got them at a local running store called Pacers and Racers. We like to support the little mom & pop shops when we can :) Otherwise, I'd recommend going somewhere like Fleet Feet. You probably have one near you.

They watched me run in the parking lot to determine the pronation of my feet... I'm not exactly sure what that means, but that's why I let the experts help me and probably why you shouldn't just go randomly pick out running shoes either ;-)

2. Make a goal and follow a plan.


finish line!

My first goal was to be able to run a 5k {3.1 miles}. I got inspired to start running at one of Josh's half marathons, and I knew I wanted to run a half marathon one day but you can't really go from running 0 to running 13.1 miles, so I started with a 5k and went from there. Baby steps, people.


Plus, if I had not had that goal, no way would I have stuck with running. It is hard and you will probably want to give up at first...at least I did. It felt impossible and it seemed like the end goal was totally unreachable. Doing a 5K first gave me motivation to keep with it, even when it got hard, and helped me to celebrate the little victories instead of having a daunting task like trying to run a half marathon right away. Completing my first 5K was a day I'll never forget!

I think a 5K is a good first goal. It's relatively easy for anyone of any background to train for a 5K, and it's a good base that you can build on later if you have the desire to run longer distances. I used an adapted version of this training program to run my first 5K. There's also the C25K program that I originally used and while it didn't work for me personally, I know several people who have done it successfully including my running buddy Erica who also ran the Derby half marathon! These are both great for beginners!

I would suggest going ahead and signing up for a race because committing to it will help keep you motivated when it gets tough! Search for 5k's in your area! If you're local I can send you a list of races coming up this year.


3. Start off slow. EVERYONE warned me about this when I started running. They said, "Don't start off doing too much too fast. That's common with new runners, but you'll get hurt!" And not that I let that advice go in one ear and out the other, but I still wasn't sure if I even liked running, it was still hard for me to even pull through 1 or 2 miles, NO WAY was there a chance that I would start off trying to do too much. If anything, I would start off way too slow and not advance at all. Or so I thought.

It quickly became addicting. Once I built up a few base miles, I kept wanting to push myself to see what I was really capable of. One day I ran about 3 miles STRAIGHT, all BY MYSELF and I was so proud! Then that evening Josh asked me if I wanted to go run 2.5 with him...SURE! So we did and it was so much fun! I went from running maybe 6 or 7 miles a week, to running 5 or 6 a day and guess what?! I got hurt! I was out for almost a month! And let me tell you, that stinks!

So the best thing to do is don't push yourself too hard! Your body needs time to adjust to the impact of running and REST is just as important as training. You need to rest at least a day in between each run and rule of thumb is never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%. So, for example, if you're running 10 miles a week, the next week you shouldn't increase your total by more than 1 mile.

4. Stretch after each run! It's so easy to forget, but so important. It will help with injury prevention!! Go here to see some great stretches for after your runs!

5. Find some support. Not everyone "gets" running. I had several people tell me "how bad" running is for me and that I shouldn't do it. When you tell someone who doesn't "get it" about how sore you are from your run, they will probably tell you that you should just quit then, right? It's bad for your knees, they'll say. And yes, running is a very physically demanding sport, but it also has tons of benefits. I have never felt healthier or happier since I started running! And not only has running changed me physically, it has changed me mentally. I now believe in myself so much more than I ever did because I never thought I could do anything like this! It has shown me what I can achieve when I don't give up. I have also met so many people through running that I never would have known {like Erica!}.

I could NOT have gotten this far if it weren't for the support of my friends and family. If your immediate family doesn't "get" running or will just give you a hard time about it, my advice would be to join a local running group to make friends with other runners. I know it can be scary but trust me, it will definitely be worth it! I didn't immediately join a running group, but once I did it really did make a world of difference! It's SO helpful to have other people who are in the same boat as you and will totally understand everything you're going through! They also make those runs a lot more fun!

I would also suggest creating a blog and join the running community online. I have made several friends with runners online, and while I don't know them personally and I can't actually run with them, I have learned just as much from them as I have my real life running friends! It's inspiring to read other people's stories and learn from their experiences as well. This isn't totally necessary, but it has helped me out a ton! It's also been helpful to write down things about your training/runs so you can look back on them later and see how far you've come. Trust me, that is really cool to see!!

So just to re-cap. GET GOOD RUNNING SHOES. Make a goal, then follow a plan! Don't start off doing too much. REST. And make sure you have some support!

Also, I think this is just as important to remember: HAVE FUN!!! Running should be fun! Yes, it's difficult but it should be fun! If you get burnt out and it's no longer fun, take a break.

Okay, one more thing. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER RUNNERS. It took me forever to learn this, but trust me, running will be so much more enjoyable when you run for YOU and no one else. I am a brand new runner, but all the runners that I'm around all the time are super fast and have been running for years. I was constantly disappointed with myself because even though I would do a 5k - which was a great accomplishment! - I did it 10 minutes slower than everyone else. While all my friends were out running 10+ miles at a time, I could barely do 3. My speed work was slower than Josh's warm up run. I finally realized that all of this is OKAY. I'm brand new and they have been doing this stuff for years. I'll get there eventually... and so will you. As long as you're having fun and making progress, you're doing great! Don't worry about what anyone else is doing! Everyone is different!

That should get you started!

Happy Running!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the little things.

quote
i found this quote the other day on a blog i found called notebook doodles. i love all the little thought-provoking quotes scribbled in cute little doodles on that site.


i'm sitting here watching csi:ny with josh... it's 10:15pm and i'm ready for bed.. i am officially getting old. or it could be the headache i have that won't go away and keeps getting worse despite all the drugs i've taken. either way, i probably shouldn't mention that i was in bed and asleep by this time last night. before my mom even. told you... old.

sorry i haven't blogged much this week {to all 3 of my readers}. i've been in a funk for the past few days {i think it's called pms but i'm not sure.} i guess it's just been one of those weeks.

you know the ones.

filled with days like this --
you get up in the morning with a headache. hop in the shower only to find that the water is lukewarm and there is a spider in there... just too high up to reach and kill... but you have to close your eyes to wash out the shampoo and ohmigosh where did that spider go? there's nothing in the fridge for lunch. you cut your finger slicing an apple. hit every red light on the way to work. turn the radio station just as your favorite song is over. long day at work so you don't feel like going to the gym in the evening. then get mad at yourself for being lazy and not going so you eat too many girl scout cookies. then you feel even worse about yourself and go to bed on a sugar high. blahh...
--those kind of days.

so anyway.

i'm tired of letting all that stuff get to me. after all, i have way too much awesome stuff in my life to be bummed out for too long.

ice cream sandwich
like, you know, sharing an ice cream sandwich with my man. we shared it bite by bite... can you tell which side i ate off? the left side. i don't exactly think it's fair that he gets more ice cream just because he has a bigger mouth.... but oh well, i still love him.

24 finale
the 24 series finale on monday... i sure am gonna miss that jack bauer.

pizza night
the biggest loser finale on tuesday.. we made our homemade pizza again. we started a tradition last fall {biggest loser pizza night} and it started off with homemade pizza but then we got lazy and started ordering pizza or getting frozen california pizza kitchen pizza... but we made it on tuesday. pretty good if i do say so myself!

kosmo in the warm
yesterday kosmo asked to go out so i let him out the side garage door as normal and went back to doing whatever i was doing. when he didn't come back in for a little while i went to look for him thinking holy crap i hope i didn't lose josh's dog! little homie just wanted to lay in the sun.... don't we all?

flowers
fresh flowers on the table... of course they're dead & gone now, but they made me happy while they lasted.

tobey
i just love him and i can't even put it into words. he makes me smile :)

kosmo'
and kosmo's pretty cute too.

just some tidbits from this week... it may have been a little blahhh but it was also pretty beautiful.


i love my life and everyone in it! too blessed to be stressed! :o)

i hope you have a wonderful friday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

23 hour Tennessee trip

On Saturday Mom and I went to Tennessee for Union's graduation. It was the first time I had been back in a year, which was kind of weird. We weren't even gone for 24 hours.... here's how it broke down:

Hours 1-4: So excited to be on a little girls' road trip!

mom
yay roadtrip!

Hour 5: Things took a turn for the slow. Cruising at a snail's pace... 5mph. I had to pee the entire time, too.

detour
stopped

Hour 6: Finally made it to Jackson. 30 minutes late to graduation. Usually it takes 4.5-5 hours to get there. This time it took 6.5.

Hours 7 & 8: Graduation.

graduation is boring
kristen and me
me and goley

Hour 9: Dinner at Moe's.

Hours 10-13: PARTY.

rindi, goley, me, britt
girls
steph and me

Hours 14-18: Sleep.

Hours 19-23: Drive home.

And that was our super short trip to Jackson!

It may have been a super short trip {and spent mostly driving} but it was still good to see my TN girls! I love all of them and wish they lived closer! It's weird for me to think that come August, Rindi will be my only friend who still lives there, and she'll probably be moving soon too. Trips to Jackson will probably never be the same again :o(

Congrats to Kristen for finally graduating after 5 years!! And Goley for getting her Master's Degree!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Planting Flowers With Mom

flowers
flowers
diggin the dirt
plant whisperer
flowers
tobey
flowers
walkway

My mom is teaching me everything she knows about flowers {which is a lot!} and last night we planted some begonias {I think}. According to her, they're a very resilient flower and it's really hard to kill them! I asked her what would happen if I forgot to water them and she said they'd live anyway! I'm not sure that I actually want to test that theory, but hopefully I won't kill them! Luckily, with as much as it's been raining here lately, it probably really wouldn't matter if I did forget to water them!

Maybe if this flower thing goes well I will start planting vegetables! I'm sure that's entirely different though, isn't it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Now what?

lazy sunday

I wasn't sure how I would feel after running the half marathon.
Honestly, I was getting a little burnt out on the training.
So I wasn't sure if I would be thankful it was over and glad I no longer had to run....
Or if I would love it and want to immediately sign up for more!

Well, I definitely loved it and I'm definitely going to do it again!
Now I just have to figure out where.

One of the things on my 23 things list is to run a half marathon out of town.
The ones I've found that are actually before my birthday are in San Diego and Seattle.
Either of which I would love to do, but they're both sold out!
So I'm going to be okay with just having a half marathon out of town planned before my birthday.
We have talked about San Francisco.
Or Akron or Philly again.

I love San Francisco so it would be great to go back there and so awesome to run across the Golden Gate Bridge! I definitely want to run this race at some point, but I don't know if I'll do it this year.
I met the race director of Akron at the Derby expo and he was super nice, and Josh loved that race last year so it would fun to do that one as well {although I hear there is a KILLER hill at the end!!!}
And of course it would be awesome to run Philly because that was the half marathon that inspired me to do one in the first place.
There's also Chicago {Josh is doing the full marathon there in October} or Virginia Beach, both of which I think would be fun.
And of course there are the ones later in the year... like Las Vegas or Los Angeles... either of which would be pretty awesome, but really I would like to do one before then!

So, I'm not sure..
But I'm definitely planning on running at least one more half marathon this year!!!!

Suggestions? Is anyone signed up for any half marathons this year... or have any advice/opinions on any of the ones I mentioned, or any at all for that matter? I'd love to hear them!!

*photo is of Josh's feet; taken over our lazy weekend :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

may may may

i can't believe may is already over half over.
i guess that's what happens when you're out of the country for the first week of a month.
and then have something going on every weekend for the rest of it.

busy busy busy.

but still fun...

on thursday night ariel invited us out to the improv to see jon reep {& to meet her new boyfriend!}
that dude is hilarious... jon reep, i mean.. not ariel's boyfriend.
although he was a nice guy, too {we approve, ariel!}
but seriously, i laughed the entire time!
afterwards, we all went to howl at the moon.
it's a fun little bar with live music and they take requests.
they played britney spears for ariel... and "baby got back."
SO MUCH FUN.

follow me to the moon

ariel made me go on stage with her when they sang "baby got back."
they put bumper stickers on our butts when we were up there.
soooo that was fun.

on saturday we went to my brother eric's graduation party!

cornhole

josh & adam were nearly undefeated at cornhole...losing only one game!

doctor brothers

love my brothers.. and now they are both doctors!
eric {in white} graduated with his PhD last weekend.
so proud! :oD

saturday was also mine & josh's 9th monthiversary! :o)

9th monthiversary

i can't believe it's been 9 months!
then again, i can't believe it's only been 9 months.
thank you for the past 9 months, josh! i love you!

and i think that brings us up to speed for the past few days!
hope everyone had a good weekend!