Archive for the ‘ Healthy Running ’ Category

Just Do It

startingblock

The Nike slogan is all too appropriate when it comes to setting and meeting goals. I’ve recently started writing a new book after several stutter starts with a separate book that I finally decided to set aside for the time being. While it’s sometimes difficult to start over or make changes in your life, sometimes the only way to begin is by just doing it. Instead of waiting until tomorrow or a special occasion or when the mood strikes. So instead of waiting until tomorrow to eat better, exercise more, write that book, mend those fences, begin today! πŸ™‚

 

Running Wisdom

winterrunning

Saw this picture from 32north.com and had to repost it here. So true! Let’s go for a run!

Happy Running πŸ˜€

Fun New Gadget: Garmin Forerunner 10

watch-pink-glow My new favorite running gadget is a gift I received for Christmas, a Garmin Forerunner 10. Any race I enter I see people of all shapes, sizes and speeds checking their shiny sports watches as they toe the line. Able to calibrate a whole multitude of stats, many runners have turned to wrist ornamentation to track their speeds, paces, mileage, and calories. These stats can then be uploaded to your computer so runners are able to compare their various runs and track goals they have set. Many of the sites linked to gadgets such as the Garmin watch also double as social media sites so runners are able to share their successes and challenges.

There are a whole range of tools designed with a similar purpose in mind. These also range in price from the Nike+ iPod Sports Kit which is set at $28.95 to ones equipped with things like GPS, barometer, and thermometer that run around $500. My new Garmin lands nicely in the middle in both price and features providing me with exactly enough information that I’m not inundated, but am given enough that I can track key stats to monitor my goals and progress. Also, it’s lightweight, easy to use, and a fun pink color (it also comes in bright green and black). It’s a great way to get excited about runs even when the winter weather is floating around freezing. πŸ™‚

Happy running!

 

Happy New Running Year!

Resolution Run 2013 logo

Happy New Year! It’s officially 2013 and no matter how you chose to ring in the new year, today is a great day to start building those good habits and positive changes that you hoped to establish when that final calendar page turned.

Today I’m starting my new year with a 5k Resolution Run. When you enter, you can write a short sentence of your resolution for 2013 and the race organizers print out all the resolutions for people to read. Some are inspiring, some funny, some serious, but all look forward to what could be a reality in the year to come. It’s one of my favorite races of the year not just because of the resolutions but because it’s so well organized, has a great running course through neighborhoods where sleepy families come out to their driveways to cheer the runners on, you receive a hooded sweatshirt instead of the traditional t-shirt, and it sets the tone for building those good new year’s habits.

Happy Running New Year! πŸ˜€

 

Winter Cross-Training

pilates benefits women  I’ll admit it, sometimes it’s just too dark and chilly out to go for a run. And although I still get my butt into gear to run regularly, I also work in more cross-training in the winter. I hardly ever feel like going to the gym during warmer days, so the winter months make an ideal time to build up other areas that will complement and improve my running.

Pilates – I love pilates. It is one of the best ways I’ve found to strengthen my body, keep me healthy, and make me a better runner. I take a weekly class at my gym that’s an hour long and kicks my butt every time. The key is to find a teacher that you are compatible with and that can push you in areas you can’t push yourself. I found a teacher who totally rocks and mixes up each class with challenging moves and isn’t afraid to add pilates props like exercise balls, rings, or bands to increase the difficulty of the moves. Also, pilates really focuses on your core which is essential for healthy running and staying injury free.

Strength Training – This is another great way for runners to build up muscles that assist in becoming stronger and staying injury free. Also, it’s really fun for me to see the looks of the guy dominated free weight area as I bench press next to them. πŸ™‚ While there are a million things I could write about when it comes to strength training, there are two primary points to keep in mind: 1. Women who lift weights will not get huge, man-like muscles (unless they are purposefully working toward a competition or using *ahem* supplements) and 2. Please consult someone, like a trainer, who knows proper form before beginning any sort of strength training routine as bad form can lead to injury and won’t be as effective.

Yoga – Great for flexibility, yoga pairs nicely with pilates in improving your health as a runner. Once again the integral aspect is to find an instructor that can challenge you while providing good modifications to poses so you don’t over-extend your body into injury. There are several types of yoga too, so find the one that fits you best.

Spinning & Swimming – I combined these last two as cross-training areas in which I’d like to improve. I love to bike in warmer weather, but tend to set it aside during the colder months. Same with swimming. Both, however, are great ways a runner can keep fit cardiovascularly and easy to do if you belong to a gym. And if you want to make an investment, buy a bike trainer that you can hook your road bike up to and use inside your house – great cross-training without ever leaving the comfort of your home!

Happy Running! πŸ˜€

Running Toward the New Year

Male Runner in Snow Β  2013 is fast approaching and with it a fresh page on the calendar. While I’m a big proponent of making year-long resolutions as it easier for me to stick to goals if I make and follow through with them throughout the year, there is one special running goal I have for 2013. Run at least one race each month for the entire year.

I’ve thought about accomplishing this goal for a while, but haven’t been able to follow through due to various circumstances. 2013 is going to be the year.

Lately, my free time has been spent searching online for races in my area for each month of 2013. I’d like to run shorter races each month culminating in a half marathon or marathon next fall. Not only will the shorter races be fun, but they will help prepare me while I’m training for my longer race in the fall.

I’m sure I’ll set additional running goals, but this is my primary one. Do you have any running or fitness goals for the new year?

Happy running! πŸ˜€

Banding Together – Runners and All

  Thousands of runners were disappointed by the eleventh hour cancellation of the NYC Marathon due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Having trained for months, made travel arrangements, and making sure every piece of running gear had been meticulously chosen, it’s no wonder.

I live in NJ and see firsthand every day the destruction that the hurricane meted out in the NJ/NY area. I lost power for six days and was welcomed the morning after the hurricane hit with sixty-foot trees strewn across the roads, houses, and yards. Telephone poles snapped in half with live power lines dangling precariously in every direction. And I had it lucky. Some people in my area still don’t have power because the damage is so extensive and I know of one family a few miles down the road that had their house sheared in two by a fallen tree.

I’d see disasters on the news, but it was the first time I’d ever experienced one firsthand. I hope never to again…

NY was hit just as hard with transit systems being shut down for days and flooding and loss of power in many areas. Even with all this I understand why Mayor Bloomberg wanted to still hold the race. Events such as the epic and historic NYC Marathon have a way of bringing people together in times of crisis; rallying the troops for a common good. But I think it was a better idea to cancel it.With the marathon happening only days after the hurricane hit and the city still reeling from the impact, it seemed like a misappropriation of resources (generators, water, volunteers, etc.) when so many people lost so much.

But the cool thing in the face of all that happened is the way many runners rallied, after what I’m sure was disappointing news about the cancellation. Hundreds of runners jumped on the Staten Island ferry with backpacks loaded with supplies and ran around the island distributing goods and helping hands. For me it was truly amazing to hear stories such as this because to me that’s at the heart of what running is all about. Yes, there are many reasons why people lace up, but, as the growing quantity of running charities can prove, it’s about community. Helping each other. Supporting each other through the ups and downs even if it’s just with an encouraging word or a listening ear. So to see these runners take something disappointing and turn it around to still make their experiences meaningful, well, it makes me proud to say that I’m a runner.

Happy running, friends! πŸ™‚

Why Do You Run?

I was thinking the other day about running – well, I think about running every day to be honest – but that day in particular I thought about why I ran. Then I thought about how it’s interesting how everyone runs for different reasons. Some people run away from things. Some people run to things. Some people run because they can’t help themselves. One of the reasons why I read so many memoirs, especially running memoirs, is because I find it fascinating to read about what makes people become runners and how running has shaped their lives and who they are today.

Why do I run? Here are my top ten:

1. TO STAY FIT – Running is a great way to tone muscle, improve heart and lung function, and lose weight.

2. MENTAL HEALTH – Let’s just say I’m a much nicer person and feel better about myself if I’m able to run on a regular basis. πŸ™‚

3.  TIME TO PROCESS – Because I internalize a lot running helps me to process my thoughts both with my life and on whatever I projects I’m working on – especially my writing!

4. SOCIALIZING – It’s great meeting new people at events and races and through the online running community. There’s always a new friend around the corner.

5. PUSH MY LIMITS – Whenever I think I can’t give anymore I push myself a little farther. This has helped me in life whenever I’m exhausted and think I can’t do any more.

6. BUILD CHARACTER – Running has helped show me ways to be calm under stress, become stronger, and learn more about myself.

7. SET, AND MEET, GOALS – Signing up for races has been a great way for me to learn to budget time, meet short-term and long-term goals as well as feel proud once I’ve accomplished those goals.

8. GIVE INSPIRATION – I’ve gotten to talk to so many people about running and living a healthy lifestyle that people notice that I’m different and want to follow suit!

9. ALONE TIME – Because I process so much internally, running gives me the opportunity to think and get into a good frame of mind.

10. BECAUSE IT’S FUN! –  Let’s face it, all these reasons are an integral part of why I run, but it’d be a lot harder to run if I didn’t enjoy so much. πŸ™‚

Happy running! πŸ™‚

 

Fav Fall Races

  Although I enjoy running in all seasons, fall is by far my favorite. Everything smells great, the air is cooler (but not yet freezing), and I just feel invigorated by all the colors that come with the changing season. And with each fall comes a whole slew of great races one can participate in.

While I’m sure there are many races near you, you can’t throw a stone and not hit a 5k these days, these are some of the more notable ones I’ve found.

Runner’s World Half & Festival, October 19-21 – This the first, hopefully annual since I can’t participate in this one this year, running weekend and festival hosted by Runner’s World. Located in Bethlehem, PA, it’s seems destined to be a huge success. Running favs and authors such as Dean Karnazes, Kristin Armstrong, Matt Long, Bart Yasso and Marc Parent will be in attendance. Not only can runners enjoy a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or all three for the hat trick, but there will be movies shown, seminars, speakers and the quintessential pasta dinner. All perfect ingredients for what I’m sure will be a fabulous running weekend.

Baltimore Running Festival, October 13 – Another East Coast running extravaganza, this running festival is very popular. Every entrant gets a sweet Under Armour race shirt, plus entry to the celebration following the race which features live music, activities, food and drink. Enter the 5k, half, or full or register for the Maryland Double, runners who participate in a half or full in both the Baltimore and Frederick Running Festivals. Finishers of the Double receive a really cool looking medal that, for a nominal fee, can be engraved with your name and times at the finish. Cool!

Seattle 5k Beer Running Tour, September 9 – With an onslaught of what I deem kitschy races – zombies, paint throwing, warrior, mud, nude, costumed – I have to say that this would be one I would participate in. More laid back with stops at quirky sights around Seattle, this running tour (they don’t call it a race), begins and ends at the Fremont Brewery where free brews will be distributed upon finishing. And since having a cold beer at the end of my long weekend runs is definitely one of my running incentives, I’d happily participate in this brew happy event.

Run Rabbit Run, September 14 & 15 – For those of you who are very ambitious I haven’t forgotten you! This trail run through Steamboat Springs, CO, features a 50-mile run Sept. 14 and a 100-mile run Sept. 15. Otherwise known as ultrarunning, for those of you who, like me, are content to run somewhat shorter distances, these races are often a combination of trail and road running with aid stations along the route. To top it all off, this is the caveat that is featured on the website: A word of warning: These are not beginner’s runs.  You might find the uphills and downhills fairly steep. You may find there’s a lot of them.  You will spend a lot of time at an altitude of nearly two miles. There may be snow. There may be rain. It may sleet, or be wet, or windy, or then again, it may be hot. There may be wild animals out there, some of them a lot bigger and scarier than a rabbit. Yikes! Think I’ll be a cheerleader for any runs like that!

Happy running! πŸ˜€

Olympic Women’s Marathon

Β  I’ve been looking forward to the Olympic Women’s Marathon for a long time. I’m an avid follower of Runner’s World and loved following the USA Olympic hopefuls on their journeys to the Olympics. It’s inspirational to read about these great athletes watching them train and become extraordinary competitors.

I set my DVR to record the live marathon this morning when it began at 6am (while I’m an ardent follower, I still value my sleep!). Then, avoiding all things Facebook, Twitter, and other potential spoilers, I eagerly sat and watched like a hawk as 116 women from 67 countries vied to become the next gold medal winner.

I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t had a chance to watch, but it really was a great race. The course itself was amazing as it took the runners through twists and turns through the streets of London. It also marked the first time that the marathon didn’t finish in the Olympic stadium instead finishing near Buckingham Palace on the Mall. And to add to all the unusual turns, it POURED for quite a while at the beginning and end of the race. Crazy!

While I’ve loved watching much of the Olympics, there is definitely a special place in my heart for the marathon. Can’t wait to watch the Olympic Men’s Marathon next Sunday! πŸ™‚

Happy running!