Run For The Necklace

A girl who runs. Her trails, her shoes and running for the necklaces at the finish-line. I ran for the necklace of my first marathon. It was a beautiful and glorious day in my life. I haven't stopped running. "Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it." - Norman Maclean A River Runs Through It

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Half-Marathoner! :)

I am happy to report that I did it! :) Though my quads are still sore, I completed my first Half-Marathon and it felt great. I always feel that way which I why I love to race. Of course, I am only racing myself.

It was a fantastic, sunny day. And windy too. Fortunately, the beautiful Belle Haven trails of trees buffered us from too much wind interference. The weather was a runners haven, downright delightful.

Unlike me, I started the race to quickly and just as quickly became concerned. So I settled in and heard Jeff Galloway's voice cheering, go at it my own pace, finish strong. And leave it to me to discover a new candy on the half-marathon trail. Nothing like the new Peanut Butter M&M's to power you up. They were great. The race was well done and I even got a kiss from the race Director right before the Early Bird start. After all of his hard work and those regular emails to gear us up, I had to belt out "Are you Jay Wind?" to the first diligently working soul I saw. A huge shout out and Thank You to Jay for encouraging me to meet my goals, no matter how many miles I have logged. It was his suggestion to take the Early Bird start, beginning 30 minutes prior to the official competitive start. I have to admit, it was exciting to finish and it was quite exhilerating to finish the Men's 2nd Place Marathoner. Did you get that, he more than doubled my time. And I was still honored to cross the finish with him. Another unexpected thrill, was the great group of ladies I met from Raleigh, North Carolina. Boy, did we have lots to talk about. Some basics being my parents were married in Raleigh 50 years ago this past March. My mother is a native Greensboro and UNC Tar Heel. Thanks ladies for a great run and friendship blossoming.

Once I learn the skill, I'd love to upload some of the race pics. Until then, Happy Trails and since I made my new North Carolina friends aware of my great friends at Running Blog Family it's time I learn how to list them on my blog.
All the best and let me know when your next race is and how long you have to train.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Imagine that, the Half-Marathon is next week. It has been nary 4 months, since I commited to the race. I am excited. One thing - I intended to train more. Commit we do and quit we won't. I will admit, 'training' has not been what I envisioned that New's Year' Eve night I clicked "pay" commiting myself to the race - my first Half Marathon. I am still excited about the big day. I am so not ready for the big day. :) And such is life and the life of this runner some times. I do know if I do not set a goal I will not reach it. Perfectionism can prevent a lot of dreams. So it will not be as fast as I would like but I do plan to get out there and do it. Then I can indeed add another notch to my race-list. And move on to set another goal. There are certainties like I love running and I plan to give it my best. I actually enjoy running the races not just talking about it or dreaming about it one day. That is another lesson I learned from my first marathon last fall, go for it, dream it and finish! Of course, easier said on that one, since I trained a lot harder.

As for the race, I plan to take advantage of the "Early Bird" start that will guarantee me an extra thirty minutes start time. Sounds perfect for me. Since I am supposed to be 'tapered' - I am planning on an ordinary pre-race week. Some light exercises, normal eating and hopefully a good half nights sleep .... there had to be a down-side to getting to do the 'early bird' start. Less sleep. Well, let's face it, I have to sacrifice some right!

Stay tuned for more and post-race low-down. Fellow racers, happy running!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter and Happy Trails! Was it really Winter when I last blogged. I succumed to BetaBlogger. Only after many attempts to 'just update.' So know I am official. Running is good. I am just steady on. Can't say I have really ramped up my mileage. The Half is coming and I have "I have already run my marathon" attitude. There is some truth to that. Particularly since there is my Girls GetAway Weekend that same weekend. Gee, what's my commitment level. Sleep in on my retreat away or get up early drive an hour and start my half-marathon. I'm still thinking on that one. And while I do I am still looking to log miles and now in the sunshine except that we got snow. Easter snow.

Speaking of Easter, my latest love I want to drop onto my iPod is Well said this Easter. I just want to keep on clicking the repeat. That's My King. I believe it. And Do you know Him?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Done! Got the 5 mile run in for the week. In fact, 5.25 to be exact. It was success on a couple of levels since I was hedging on when to get the long on in this week. It made sense to go for it yesterday while I was treadmilling along with my friend, Carolyn. Talk about inspiration. Even though my iPod did all the entertaining and Barefoot Contessa:) commraderie is commraderie! Now up to the Windy City to see family. Not sure just how much running I will get in up there. However, my Mizunos are the first thing in the suitcase. We'll try.

For this week, I will leave you with some awesome and proven tips from our friends at Complete Running Network - their "100 Beginning Runner Tips!" Anyone can do this - you need committment, drive, determination... well, you get it. There's a huge divide between talking about it and just doing it! Let's do it!

*I didn't add the #s as they did not copy over. The ideas are the same. And as for the running in icy conditions tip- we all just bob sled! right!

Network 100 Beginner Running Tips. This first top 100 post is the CRN teams first group writing project — everyone chipped in to come up with the list. We hope you like it and that it becomes a place you refer to often. Do you have tips that should be on this list? Feel free to comment below!
Apparel Tips
Wear spandex shorts under your regular running shorts so you don’t chafe “down there.”
Cotton socks will only lead to blisters; invest in socks designed for running.
Ladies, do not skimp on a bra. Even if it costs more than your shoes it’s still a bargain.
Buy running clothes you look good in and that will motivate you to run.
Buy new running clothes at the end of the season when stores dump the old season’s line. Think clearance!
Join your local running club—check with your local running store fitness center and/or recreation department to find one.
Volunteer at a local race—meet runners support runners and connect with your Community.
Remember to say “Thank You!” to race volunteers (e.g. when you get that cup of water at the aid station) and family and friends who support you.
Conscientiously share the trail with walkers, bikers and other runners.
Always try to balance running with the people you love by making a schedule that involves and is considerate of everyone.
Don’t carry loose change. It will annoy those who are running with you.
Don’t neglect and irritate your family and friends by spending all your time running and talking about running.
Motivation Tips
Sign up for a race as soon as you feel up to it.
Find a committed running partner. It is much harder to skip a run when you have someone else depending on you.
Remember that you will have plateaus in your progress and tough days along the way.
It gets easier.
Accept and appreciate the fact that not every single run can be a good one.
Be prepared to remove the words “can’t” and “never” from your vocabulary.
“Do not compare yourself to others. Run within yourself and for yourself first.
Don’t expect every run to be better than the last one; some of them will hurt.
Don’t think too much about it or you won’t do it.
Even a bad run is better then no run at all.
If you normally run with music try skipping it and listening to your feet to hear your pace and your gait.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t experience weight loss immediately.
Start a running blog and read other running blogs regularly.
Running is not an excuse to triple your intake of doughnuts because runners gain weight too.
Nutrition Tips
Buy the powdered sports drink mix instead of premixed. It’s cheaper and more similar to race drink mixes.
Each pound you lose makes running a little easier.
Hydrate. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day.
If you are running very long distance drink enough electrolytes (e.g. Gatorade).
On long runs eat something every hour—whether you feel like it or not.
During longer runs if you don’t like to carry water take some cash in your pocket pouch or a shoe wallet. Run a route where there’s a corner store that you can use as a pit stop to pick up your water and maybe use the bathroom.
Avoid eating spicy foods before running and the night before your long runs.
To aid recovery the most crucial time to eat and drink is in the hour immediately after you run.
Prevention Tips
Use Vaseline or BodyGlide wherever things rub. They will help prevent blisters and chafing (guys don’t forget the nipples).
Do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week.
Guys: Band-Aids before the long runs. Your nipples will thank you in the shower afterwards.
Log your mileage for your legs and your Shoes. Too much on either will cause you injury.
If you are prone to shin splints and lower leg pain try running soft trails for your Training runs and save the asphalt for race day.
Do not run two hard days back-to-back.
Ice aches and pains immediately.
Pay attention to your form. Try to run lightly to minimize impact that could lead to injury.
Cut your Training by at least 30 percent to 50 percent every 4th or 5th week for recovery.
When trail running don’t forget the bug spray.
Neosporin (or another antibiotic cream) is good for chafed areas (if you didn’t use your BodyGlide!).
Make sure you cut your toenails short enough so they don’t jam into your Shoes!
Put some BodyGlide between your toes on long runs.
Be careful about running on paths that force you to run consistently on a slant. It’s hard on the hips knees and IT bands.
Don’t stretch before a run. Warm up by walking briskly or jogging slowly for several minutes.
Do not ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Do not use the hot tub after a race. It will increase inflammation and hinder healing.
Frozen peas make a great ice pack for aches and pains. A thin t-towel wrapped around them makes the cold more comfortable.
Racing Tips
Race day is not the day to try new shoes, eat new foods, or wear brand new clothing.
Do not try a marathon as your first race.
For races longer than 5k start out slower than you think you should.
If you conserve your energy during the first half of a race, you can finish strong.
When you pick up drinking cups at aid stations, squeeze gently so it folds slightly and is easier to drink from it while you are moving.
A plastic garbage on race day is a very fashionable cheap disposable raincoat.
Safety Tips
Be aware of cyclists approaching you from behind and try to keep to the right. Try to pay special attention when running with music.
Run facing traffic.
Never assume a car sees you.
Give horses wide berths on trails and walk as you pass them unless you enjoy a hoof to the melon.
Always carry I.D. because you just never know.
Shoe Tips
Try shoes on in the afternoon when your feet are bigger.
Doubleknot your shoe laces so they will not come undone when you run.
Buy yourself some actual running shoes from an actual running store because running in junk “sneakers” will destroy your feet and your legs.
Get assessed for the right kind of running shoes.
Training Tips
In the immortal words of Walt Stack famed senior-citizen distance runner “Start slow … and taper.”
At first keep your runs short and slow to avoid injury and soreness so you do not quit.
If you are breathing too hard slow down or walk a bit until you feel comfortable again.
Pick your route close to home (out your front door)—the more convenient it is the better chance you will have sticking with it.
Find a beginner training plan for your first race.
Set realistic short term and long term goals.
Keep a training diary.
Soreness one to two days after a run is normal (delayed onset muscle soreness).
No amount of money spent on gadget training programs or funny food can substitute for minutes, hours, days and weeks on the road.
There’s no shame in walking.
Subscribe to a running magazine or pick up a book or two on running.
Four laps around the local the high school track equals one mile.
Lift weights.
It’s okay to take walk breaks (run 1 minute walk 1 minute then progress to run 10 minutes walk 1 minute etc.).
Vary your training routes. This will prevent boredom and prevent your body from getting acclimated.
Speed work doesn’t have to be scientific. Try racing to one light post and then jogging to the next.
Push through rough spots by focusing on the sounds of your breath and feet touching the ground.
Do speedwork after you develop an endurance base.
Practice running harder in the last half of your runs.
Do abdominal breathing to get rid of side cramps or “stitches.”
If you can’t find the time to run, take your running gear to work.
Run on trails if at all possible. It will be easier on your body and you’ll love it.
Build rest into your schedule. Rest is just as important of an element as exercise in your fitness plan.
Forgive yourself. Over-ambitious goals usually lead to frustration and giving up on your fitness plan. If you miss a goal or milestone let it go and focus on the next opportunity to get it.
Mix-up your training plan. Make sure your training plan is not too heavily focused on one thing. No matter what level of runner you are your training plan should include four essential elements: endurance speed rest cross-training.
Weather Tips
Dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than the temperature on the thermometer.
Wear sunscreen and a hat when the sun is beating down—even in winter.
Run early in the morning or later in evening to avoid mid-day heat.
Pick up a pair of Yaktrax when running in icey conditions.
In the winter dress in layers (coolmax or other technical clothing) and wear a headband over your running hat to cover your ears.
For colder climates invest in socks rated to 40 below (usually found in sport/ski shops).
To keep cool in hot weather soak a bandana in cold water wring it out a bit and tie it loosely around your neck.
For hot weather fill your water bottle about half way lay it at an angle in the freezer and just before you head out for your run top it off with more water.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's day! Could it be that it's Valentine's Day and that I have not updated our lovely running blog in two plus weeks. Winter Sminter has arrived! And in full force here. We're enjoying the snow days. And though this week, it has equaled a lot of sledding and the subsequent hiking :) I know it's a good cross-training week.

As far as running time, we're "on" so to speak. With the ice and snow of Winter it is hard to visualize the race in a few months. It feels like it is just around the corner as long as I don't look out the window. I cannot help thinking how great it will be to enjoy that first Spring run. And according to Punxsutawney Phil, the Groundhog, we will get to experience that sooner rather than later.

I am up to 4.10 miles this week for the 'long' run. That's nothing stellar compared to those pre-marathon runs. However, we are on track and consistency counts for more than something. The way I see it is we have 11 weeks until the Half Marathon. 11 + 4 = 15 - 2 weeks to taper and we're there 13.1/Half Marathon. Works for me. Of course, that is barring any interruptions. A little Marathon advice here, we do not plan on interruptions. Just run-on and carry-on and on race day that same mentality carries you right across the sweet Finish Line! So I think we go steady and focus on our once a week long runs and the work outs inbetween/cross-training is getting me through the Winter side of things. Did you add a mile this week? Keep it simple and add one mile to your long workout this week coming and check your calendar to see where that leaves you for race day.

Happy Valentine's and Happy Running!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Down but not out. Seriously, is there anything better than that first full workout after something like bronchitis?! I was flying high with just a basic run. Makes one remember not to take a thing for granted. 7 miles and a cross training session this week. Nothing fancy but we're in the game. Feels great.

Three months until the Half-Marathon. Since this is my first Half, I am eager to finsih well and get to compare it to my Marathon. Everything was right about the marathon for me, so the competition is high for the Half to measure up. Then maybe I'll love the Half as well. That's what you call a Runner. We keep coming back for more of the same - well, with a twist. As I prepare for the Half, I am happy I have gotten the ole' 26.2 out of the way. Of course, the idea of another 26.2 in the Fall is mighty tempting, particularly with this perfectly timed Half in May.

The joke in our family is that the entire time I trained for my first Marathon, after each long run and especially as they got longer, I would come home and proclaim, "Don't worry, I am not getting hooked on this. No more marathons for me...." Famous last words I suppose. It's all good. OK gang, get your shoes in motion, expect that I'll rally the troops for a long run soon. Until then, happy running!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Wow! Is it the 20th?! 2007 is taking a steady to fast pace already. As a personal result, I and one of my sons have bronchitis. Talk about a training block. It's all good. 105 days until the half-marathon. Seems worlds away and after training for the Marine Corps Marathon, it is really close. Time to regroup. I like to break it down to weeks. We have 15 weeks which is ample training time. Not a lot of time for say, bronchitis setbacks. Next week, I hope to have some real miles clocked to report. :) Let me know how your training and 2007 routines are going. Happy Running!