Posts Tagged ‘ runners ’

My Running Story

beginningrunner

“I feel like going for a run…” These words sealed my fate as a runner seven years ago. I knew nothing about running when I had this thought. I figured I would throw on any old pair of sneakers and run around the town I lived in at the time until I’d put a few miles under my belt and decided to return home sweaty and happy. Haha! Instead, I put on an old t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and a tread-worn pair of sneakers, headed out my door at a jog – and made it halfway down the block. Not even a city block, a short suburban block. Pretty demoralized, I didn’t run again until a few months later when a friend of mine who was an avid runner said she would run with me and help me along the way.

Still wearing the same worn out clothes and sneakers, we drove to a nearby park that had a great dirt trail that was both flat and easy on the knees. The conditions couldn’t have been more ideal – blue skies, no humidity, warm but not too hot. Birds were chirping, the trees spreading their leafy canopies over the trail providing blissful patches of shade. I managed to jog with intermittent walking for about twenty minutes before being completely wiped out. Even with walking breaks, my lungs felt like they were on fire, my limbs ached, and I felt like I was running in slow motion – definitely not like those glossy pictures of fit runners in magazines like Runner’s World with their toned, sinewy muscles and lean midriffs. But even with all that, I loved it. Maybe it was the masochistic side of me, but I wanted more.

I had only run a couple of weeks when a friend of mine told me about a race called Bay to Breakers that was happening in May. It is a 12k run through the streets of San Francisco, up the notoriously difficult Hayes Street Hill, with most of its participants donning costumes for the event. I would have only been running for a little more than a month, but feeling that having a goal would help motivate me to continue running I agreed to join her. While this goes against the rule of only increasing mileage 10 percent each week, running this race actually worked in my favor. I think that if I hadn’t had the goal of that upcoming race I might not have stuck with my weekly runs and wouldn’t have gotten the love of running rooted deep in my life.

My first race through the hilly streets of San Francisco officially sealed the deal for my love of running. I had two goals during the race – to finish and to not stop running. Bay to Breakers was a perfect race because there was so much to distract me as I ran. People everywhere were in costumes (I wore a pink tutu), most everyone was there to just have fun so there were a ton of people cheering runners along the course and the mood was happy. It got to the purity of the run because I wasn’t worrying about negative splits or checking my pace on my Garmin or aiming for a new PR.

After that first less than stellar run, I’ve grown a lot as a runner. But I haven’t forgotten where I started and always try to keep those initial days in mind whenever I’m encouraging others to put on their sneakers and go for jog.

Happy Running! 😀

Running Skirts – To Wear or Not to Wear

runningskirts  I recently finished reading Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell & Sara Bowen Shea. In it they touted the wonderfulness of running skirts over shorts or spandex. While I’ve seen women wearing skirts at many races I’ve gone to, I had never considered wearing one myself. But when I read about how fun and practical they are to wear, I started thinking twice about solely wearing shorts and spandex while running.

It seems as though there are a lot of pros regarding wearing running skirts:

1. Comfort – With built in briefs underneath created to prevent riding up, skirts allow for more freedom of motion as opposed to the shorts which have an unfortunate tendency to bunch while running.

2. Keep Cool – Allows air to circulate freely while wicking away sweat.

3. Fits runners of all shapes and sizes – A flat waistline fits snugly without the tightening elastic that a lot of running shorts and spandex tend to have. Runningskirts.com also sells maternity skirts.

4. Storage – Roomy pockets are found on many running skirts make for convenient holding places for keys, cash or gels.

5. Fun and stylish – With unique patterns in exciting colors these skirts would make going out for a run even more enjoyable.

With so many benefits, I’m already shopping around for my first running skirt! 🙂

Happy Running!

 

Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

 The holidays are a great time to find that special gift for the runner in your life. But what to get them? Gift cards are perfect for runners to be able to pick out exactly what kind of gear they want, because, let’s be honest, you probably don’t want to grab clothes or shoes without knowing exactly what your runner is comfortable wearing, but below are a few favorites that fit any runner.

Road ID – This is one of my favorite running accessories. Road IDs come in bracelets, necklaces, shoe tags and in various materials. Mine is fabric and although it’s a bracelet I often wear it looped through my shoelaces. Your name, address, and important numbers or allergies can be inscribed on the tag. Even if you always run on populated roads in daylight, there’s always that unaccounted for X factor that makes this a great running addition for that extra peace of mind.

Running jewelry – There are a great number of necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry items that any runner would love. They vary in style and price to suit a wide range of tastes. My favorite place to buy unique gifts such as this is Etsy.com.

 

 

   Race shirt quilt – If you’re not particularly crafty or don’t have access, or the time, to sew one yourself, there are several companies that offer their services. After so many races, runners either have closets filled with t-shirts that probably remain unworn for most of the year or they have to choose their favorites and donate or give away the others. This is a perfect way to save those shirts and have something a runner can continue to enjoy for years to come.

 

 

Stick Traveler Roller Massager – I would love to have one of these for those pesky knots in my calves that aren’t as easy to get out with a larger roller. These are a great way to get out knots, increase blood flow, and improve flexibility.

 

 

 

 

 Trigger Point Roller – I have one of these and absolutely love it. I used to have one of the old school foam rollers and it just wasn’t enough support and quickly bowed in the middle after a few weeks of use. This roller is way more durable. I’ve had it for a couple of years and it looks the same as the day I got it. The hard plastic interior is embraced by padding on the outside that are meant to mimic hands and fingers, massaging those aching muscles and tight ligaments with perfect pressure. I used to deal with IT band pain and by using this roller every day, it quickly disappeared – when nothing else helped!

 

 

Happy running! 🙂

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! 🙂