Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let It Snow, Lets Go Run!

So if any of you have looked outside lately I am sure you have noticed the RIDICULOUS snow that we are getting here in Michigan!!  For those of you not in Michigan, trust me it is absolutely ridiculous.  Here is a testament to Michigan weather being crazy and random, today we have (so far) close to 4-5 inches of snow, yesterday I ran outside for 3 miles!  Nuts I know!  As I drove through the blizzard today, I drove past where I ran yesterday and was like wow, I honestly cannot believe about 24 hours ago I was chugging along on that sidewalk, that is now covered in ice and snow and wintery white-ness.

Now I am not a snow lover.  I know there are tons of people that love snow, look forward to the first snow of the year, but honestly I dont get why.  1, I hate being cold, I hate being cold so much that it is almost painful for me to be cold and no this is not an exaggeration!  2, who likes driving in the snow?  Really?  Its probably one of the most frustrating things about living in Michigan!  (and other northern states/areas as well!)  and 3, what this whole blog is all about! Running!  Or lack there of when it is snowing outside!  I mean I am all for conquering the elements, going out there and proving that you can tackle mother nature and show her whats up.  That she wont keep you down!  But I also am fortunate enough to have a treadmill.  That actually just got a wonderful TV mounted right infront of it (Thanks Dad!!).  And I have seasons 1-4 of The Office sooo....thats what I did while I ran my 4.5 miles today, watched almost 2 episodes of The Office!  But not everyone is as lucky as I am.. So basically I am like the Grinch of snow.  Even if it didn't snow on Christmas, doesn't really bother me.

So first of all, yes I ran outside yesterday!  I must admit, I could barely compose myself when I realized it was 40F outside, in December, 2 weeks before Christmas, and I could run outside.  I was beyond excited!!  No treadmill, score!  So I laced up my shoes, got on some ColdGear and went for it!  I was so excited I kept thinking hey, I can probably run a good 4-6 miles, and I would be so happy if I did that outside in December!  Woot!  But alas, this was not the case...

Sure, things started out ok.  I ran my first mile just fine, but then it started with my hamstrings.  They just felt so...weak, and tired and like I was running through jello or something!  Sure I had taken off 2 or 3 days of running, but I ran a good distance before that break, what was wrong with me?  My legs were tired, I felt slow and sluggish, it just was one of those days.  One of those horrible running days that just destroy your confidence in your running.  I dont know about all of you, but if I have a bad run, it just totally bums me out.  I start to feel like wow can I even run 2 miles?  Is my endurance destroyed?  Of course when I really think about it these are silly things to think of, but I cant help it.  It really gets me down!  So mile 2 came, and I literally felt like stopping.  It was horrible I just felt like crap!  And then it hit me...Subway..I had eaten Subway before my run!  Oh no!

I know you are all thinking what?  Subway?  But Jared ran a marathon...well folks, Jared is a better man than me.  At least when it comes to digesting Subway sandwiches.  Not that I am knocking Subway in any way, Subway is an excellent fast food choice especially when compared to McDonalds, Taco Bell and all those other grease fatty places we all know.  But I have horrible luck with Subway + Running in the same day.  I waited 3 hours to run yesterday and it felt awful, one time I ate Subway around noon, ran at 530pm and still felt horrible when I ran!  I am not totally blaming this on Subway, maybe my body is just weird, who knows!  But I cannot have Subway as a pre-run food!  My guess?  Either the sodium content (although subway is low in fat and calories, depending on the sandwich, the sodium content is high in all choices!) or the fact that I just can't resist to Jalapenos and spicy peppers on my sandwich is what messes me up.  Speaking of sodium content, this is definitely one little thing we should definitely watch out for, whether you are a runner or not!  Too much sodium = Water retention because that sodium is dehydrating you, so be mindful of sodium, along with calories and fat and sugar and protein and fiber...lots to watch out for, but it all makes a huge difference in how you feel and how you perform in your runs!

So after my awful feeling run yesterday, as I said, I was kind of down in the dumps over it.  I personally feel anxiety sometimes before I run.  Whether it is because of a specific run that I felt bad with, or because I haven't ran in a few days and am afraid of not running far enough, I do get this anxiety somewhat often.  I usually experience it less when my running is more consistent, but I still get it from time to time.  I recently read about this on and thought I might mention it here.  Does anyone else feel this anxiety?  You go out to run and feel like you can't even run 1 mile when you probably ran a 5 K less than a week ago?  It happens more often than I thought as I saw many people comment on this topic on the article I read!  People that had ran marathons getting anxiety over trying to run 5 or 6 miles, its weird... I hope I am not alone on this problem, so I am going to offer a few solutions to it:

1.  Check it off as a bad day, and start with a clean slate.  This is basically what I did today.  I had a gross feeling yesterday while running, barely running 3 miles (maybe not even) slower than I have ran in awhile.  But today, I woke up and decided to give it a try again.  I completely let that memory leave my mind and just focused on my run today.  I stretched nice and slow to make sure I was completely loose and ready to go, and hopped on the treadmill.  Instead of setting a specific distance goal, I decided to take it 1 mile at a time and before I knew it, I was at 4.5 miles, at a steady pace, and burned almost 600 calories!  Success! That run from yesterday is so far gone from my mind now, it is out there with the snow freezing its butt off.

2.  Stick with a ritual.  I know I have a specific ritual when I run, and I had a specific ritual before all of my volleyball games.  What can I say, it just makes me feel better.  I know it is probably 95% mental but that makes all the difference in how you approach the task at hand, and the confidence you carry with you through it.  Example, before all of my volleyball games, I refused to untie my shoes before I put them on.  I had to slip them on already tied, and had to do specific stretches in specific orders.  And I swear to you that when I untied my shoes I played worse!  Same thing before I run, I slip on my shoes, stretch my muscles in the same order every single time, for the same exact count of seconds every single time, and I always start my run (when with an iPod) with the same song and then let iPod shuffle take it from there.  Maybe I sound OCD right now, maybe I actually am OCD, not the first time I have been told that or thought of that, but what can I say, it works for me.  Starting my run out with the same song each time tells me "ok, its mile one.  Take it nice and slow, before you know it when this song ends, you will be half way through mile one and nice and warmed up".  Try to get a pre-run ritual, with the way you stretch (Please always stretch btw!), music you listen to, anything!  It can really help ease your mind and leave you feeling more confident and relaxed before your run.

3.  Reflect back.  This works for me sometimes as well, I feel like I can't make it.  I feel like an extra mile is just asking too much and then I think of all of the harder things I have done in life.  I think about when I had a torn ACL, and all I could do was look outside.  I couldn't even walk, I literally had to learn to walk again, and I did!  And I played 2 more years of competitive volleyball and have ran several 10Ks and 8Ks since then.  If I can recover from that, I can do anything!  That rehab was probably the most painful thing I have ever experienced...and I am scared to go out and try and run a few miles??  Really??  Come on now.  I am sure you all have been faced with physically demanding and mentally demanding challenges (or both!) if you can conquer some of these things, then don't try and freak out over a longer distance run.  You are an amazing person that has accomplished a lot, just relax and go out for that run!

I know I have been posting a lot about inspiration to get out and run, and this is sort of like that but a little different.  This isn't based on being too lazy to run, or not wanting to run, this is for the people who want to go out and run (which hopefully is most of you!) but is afraid they can't do it.  That they can only make it a fraction of the distance they want to accomplish.  Basically, I am trying to cover another challenging topic of running!

As for the food of the day, this time I am taking it in the beverage isle.....Green Tea!!!

If you know me, you know I adore green tea.  Maybe it is my Japanese roots, who knows, but Green Tea is pretty much perfect in my mind.  Though green tea is excellent for anyone that wants to give it a try, it is especially wonderful for runners and endurance athletes!  First of all, Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants, which kill free radicals, which make our entire bodies extremely happy, healthier, and better looking ;) Green Tea is also known to increase this does not mean it can help you burn off tons of calories, actually it only really can help you burn about an extra 50-60 calories a day, but still that is good for the body!  And finally, there is recent evidence and research saying that the EGCG in Green Tea can actually possibly improve endurance performance, increase some fat burning, and possibly reduce muscle damage while performing endurance sports (Running!).  And since Green Tea can help spark your metabolism, it makes sense that it could help with fat burning and endurance.

So how to enjoy this delicious Green Tea?  I personally just drink it plain jane with hot water and 2 good tea bags mmm but according to my Mom "Not everyone enjoys the taste of grass" So here are a few ideas...

Green tea and a little bit of honey is delicious, also it tastes great with Lemon.  Be weary of bottles green tea beverages, as the benefits of green tea (when in contact with liquids) generally can only last for about 3-4 days, so more than likely you are not getting the same benefits from those bottled drinks.  Also, milk + green tea = lots of health benefits not happenin from that green tea!  So if you need milk with your tea, use soy milk not animal milk :)

I prefer loose tea leaves, as they contain the most abundant amounts of antioxidants and health benefits.  Like most foods and beverages in life, the less it is processed, the better (trust me).  That powdery green tea you get in most grocery store tea bags is OK and a lot better than the already bottled beverages, but you are probably only getting 1/2 of the health benefits green tea has to offer!

So get some green tea!  Stay warm, and try to get running anywhere you can!

And if you love snow, enjoy and if you are like me, then lets pray it goes away!

Peace out! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

It Is Officially Cold....I Succumbed To The Treadmill...

I am running swiftly past mile 2 and my legs are feeling warmed up...I wait to feel the fresh air push against my skin and instead I see...a sweater, some old hangers, and too many cans of tuna and old soup.  Where am I you ask?  My basement of course!  And it is unfortunate because I am now succumbing to treadmill running.  Its a depressing reality every winter, for every runner that experiences a real winter,  you keep pushing your limits of what you consider *cold* until its finally too much.  This happened to me this past Sunday, I finally had to call it quits on outdoor running!  I laced up my Nike's, and convinced myself that it was just a slight breeze, that after I ran a mile it would feel more like 37 instead of 17 degrees out.  Oh how wrong I was when I barely made it 1 mile!  My Cold-Gear was no match for 17 degrees with a strong wind on Sunday morning!  So I sadly trotted back to my house, into my basement, and ran 3.5 miles staring at my mom's sweater, cans of tuna and soup, and our brand new washer and dryer.  Woo hoo!

But there is a plus side to this treadmill running, I can run in shorts and a T shirt in December and not freeze my butt off!!  I can see my exact pace, my exact distance, an approximation of how many calories I have burned, and even my heart rate.  But who doesn't love fresh air and changing scenery?  I know I do...

So how can you spice up the treadmill?  Make it more interesting?  Make it less dull and boring!  Well first of all if you have a TV or something infront of your treadmill that may help some, but it still may make treadmill running dull!  Lets learn some spicy treadmill tips!

1.  Try A Program!  Even my plain-jane treadmill has some programs set up in it.  Pick a program whether its a 5K race program, interval training, hills, fat burning, anything!  Pre set programs usually go for 30 to 40 minutes so you will get a good amount of running in!

2.  Make up your own program!  Although I have preset programs on my treadmill, I rarely use them.  Instead, I just create my own!
      Example: I will decide to run for 30-35 minutes and instead of tracking my distance, I will focus on training in intervals.  I do this by alternating between 2 different speeds : A slower speed, maybe just 10-15 seconds below your normal mile time, and a quicker speed, not quite a sprint, but definitely faster than your normal pace.  These paces should be spread out with the slower speed from 3-4 (but I would say no more than 4) minutes and the quicker speed 1.5-2 minutes.  For me, I start my first 3-4 minutes with a 6.3-6.4 setting or around 9:40/mile pace.  After those first 3-4 minutes, I will then do my fast pace, around 6.9-7.0 or about 8:30/mile pace, for the next 2 minutes.  I alternate between these two paces for the first 15 minutes.  If I am feeling good and not tired around 15 minutes (give or take) I will adjust my *slower speed* to about 6.5 and my *quicker pace* to 7.4 or 7.5 for the last 15 minutes!  If you don't feel up to adjusting your paces up, just stay with the 2 paces you started at.  This might seem like a lot, but it is really simple!  Not only will this keep your mind occupied by constantly watching the time, waiting for when you can *speed up* or *slow down*, but it is EXCELLENT for building up endurance!  Do this exercise (or something similar to it) for as little as a week and I bet you will notice a difference.  You eventually will be able to run longer and farther with exercises like this spread out amongst your usual running routine.

3.  If you aren't feeling the intervals, just pick a number to hit.  Whether you want to run straight without breaks or anything for 40 minutes, or you want to run 3 miles, push for that number and focus on it.  While you're running, think about your day, think about things that are stressing you out, maybe a to do list for later that day or the next day, what you want to cook for dinner, or for this time of year who you still need to buy presents for!  And what to get them!  Before you know it, your goal will be right infront of you!

I personally prefer the *create your own interval training* or #2, but that is just my opinion.  It honestly works for me every time I am bored on a treadmill.  I am not sure why it works, besides distracting your mind to pay attention to time, but it really does!  Try it!

And now, back by popular (hehe) demand, Food of the Day!  Foods that I think all runners and well just active people in general should give a try!  Today, I will be discussing...Greek Yogurt!!!!  Specifically, Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt (my personal favorite :D)

What is there to say about Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt...first of all, I honestly have no idea why anyone would buy the greek yogurt with fat in it.  I mean, it honestly does not taste different.  Usually, as many of us know, anything *nonfat* especially when talking dairy, means loss of creaminess in taste, flavor and especially texture...but wait, this is totally not the case with Nonfat Greek Yogurt!!!  Greek yogurt is always delicious thick and creamy (with our without the fat!) because this special type of yogurt is super strained!  Well, thats not what they say, but it is excessively a good a way that removes a lot of water and whey, with means less moisture, which means thick creamy goodness!  Did I mention the health benefits?  No?  Oh let me!

On average, Greek Yogurt has at least double the protein of regular yogurt, more probiotics, and (in my opinion) better taste!  As a runner, and as an active individual in general, protein is one of our bestest friends.  Without protein, we can't build stronger muscles for those long and intense runs.  And trust me, we want those stronger muscles, oh man do we want them.  Greek yogurt can help us get there!  Lately, I have been eating PNGY (Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt...too much Rachel Ray?  I'll stop...) probably at least 4 or 5 times a week.  Not only is it loaded with protein, but 1 cup has just around 110-125 calories, and because of its large quantities of protein, it will fill you up!  And if it fills me up, it will fill anyone up.

So how to eat and prepare and enjoy Greek Yogurt....the better question is how couldn't you enjoy it?  Use it as a substitute for making dressings, mix it up with some yummy flavors to use as a spread instead of Mayo, use to to make dips for chips and veggies alike instead of Mayo, or just do what I do, mix it with some fruit, jam, or honey and granola.  Yummmm!

I usually have a cup of PNGY, a table spoon or 2 of a low sugar jam, or fruit, or less than a table spoon of honey and a 1/3 of a cup of granola or cereal!  Trust me, this will fill ya up for awhile!  And it is ohhh so delicious.  Brands that I like are Fage and Chobani.  Greek Gods brands (to me) don't seem to strain the yogurt very well and they contain a lot less protein!  If you can, try to buy the PNGY in a large tub with about 4 to 6 servings in it, its definitely a lot more economical then you can take as much as you want!  This is a great food to eat after a race, a long run, or any run or workout.  I would not suggest eating it before as heavy loads of protein can slow down a runner pre-run.  But post-run?  Rock out with the PNGY!  Oh yeah!  Totally a great recovery food!

This is a rather lengthy post, but I hope it is enjoyable!  Happy Running!  I know it is sad to say goodbye to outdoor running, but try some of my tips, and just stay focused!  Burn off those Christmas Cookies!

Peace out fellow runners and athletes!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Race Is Over...Now What?!

Hello All!!!!

First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I know I did!  I had 2 Thanksgiving dinners actually... nom nom nom... good thing I did a Turkey Trot ;)

So first of all, the Turkey Trot!!  Let me just say a Congrats to Molly Reidy, Bridget Reidy, Cheryl Nazareno, Emily Hoss, Alex Teska, Dan Choi, and my Dad on a great race, way to get out there and put forth the effort.  I am sure you all felt awesome after completing the race!!  I must admit I was nervous for the race due to all the crazy weather reports but in the end, it turned out to be a great race day!  For those of you who were not there, lets recap.....

So I got to the race around 7am and before I knew it, it was time to start!!  I ran the 10K in under an hour (barely but did it) so I was pleased but definitely slowed down in the second half of it.  I ran the first 3 miles in 26:13 and thought "wow, I can run this thing in under 55 minutes if I keep this pace up!" but alas, this was not the case.  I had some tummy issues at mile 4 and had to push pretty hard to run a 9:30ish mile. But then I saw that finish line right around the corner and man did I take off.  Its amazing how tired and breathless you can feel, and when you realize how close you are its a ridiculous adrenaline rush, and suddenly you cant stop your legs from pumping into a full-on sprint!  Amazing.

So now what?  The race is over, it is pretty much December, and there are not many races left in 2010.  Maybe a 5K here and there, but real "race season" doesn't start up again til around March (if you live in Michigan that is).  So how do we stay motivated to keep going?  I know for me, signing up for races is a GREAT motivator because well, you have to train for the race so you don't embarrass yourself (or waste your money).  But when all the racing is done, and the running is just up to you now all on your own, how do you keep pushing yourself?  It is no easy task trust me....

Sure, you figure you can take a day or two off after the race...after all, you over-exerted yourself that day.  Then that turns into a week, a month, next thing you know you totally lost your endurance and have to start at square one!  I know this kind of ties back into my earlier post about staying motivated to run, but you can never have too much motivation!  At least, I dont think so haha.  So here are some tips to keep running, and at a good distance too!  If you ran a 5K, then you can run more than a mile when you go out to run, just push yourself!  Here are some ideas...

1.  Plan to run a distance you have yet to complete in the coming year.  Example, I would like to run a half marathon by June, and I know that since I have never even ran 10 miles before, I need to keep up my endurance now in order to train for the race.  If you just ran your first 5K, maybe try a 10K!

2.  Staying in shape, I mean I know how amazing it feels that I am getting back into great shape.  Think hard (if you can) about how amazing it feels to cross a finish line, to feel like you pushed yourself farther than you did before, how it feels after an amazing workout or run.  I know whether the run is rough or moderate, I usually always feel very accomplished and more alive and awake when all is said and done!

3.  The body!  Of course runners have some of the best bods, I mean, all that cardio??  Can you say flat tummies and amazing legs?  Yes please!!  The more you run, the closer you will be to that.  Plus, food is a runners friend, including plenty of carbs!  Not many diets can include all the carbs that a runners diet does, but runners need to eat plenty of calories and carbs, so enjoy your food and still have the great body!

4.  Run because you know you want to, you KNOW that you can do it, you just have to push yourself.  I almost did not run tonight, I was pretty close to not doing it and guess what?  I decided to get out there in the pitch black 630pm night, bundle up, and I ran 3.5 miles in like 28 minutes.  I felt awesome (and still do) after that run.  I knew I could do it, I just had to go out there and do it.  As cliche as this sounds, it is a lot like the Nike motto, Just Do It.  Literally, don't think about why you can't, why it is too hard, why you don't *feel like it*, just go and get dressed, stretch, and JUST DO IT!!!  The sooner you do it, the sooner it will be done and you will feel awesome.

5.  As a rule of thumb lately, I try to set mileage numbers or amounts of days to run a week.  Example, right now I will not allow myself to have more than 1 day in between runs.  I still let myself take a break (and eventually I will give myself less breaks) but if I go 1 day without running, I make myself get out there the next day.  And I make sure I run at least 3 miles (depending on any time constraints I may have).

So there you go!  Just because the race is over is no excuse to stop running!  If you haven't ran since your Turkey Trot, then it is time to get back out there!  A few days is ok but it is known that if you take off more than 2 weeks from running, your endurance will start to drop.  Example, you ran a 10K this week and you will not run ONCE for 2 weeks after that race (or more) next time you run, that 10K will be a lot harder to achieve.  Your endurance in your muscles and in your breathing will start to lessen, so make sure you keep that up!!

Hope this helps, happy running!  Now go out there and JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It Is Thanksgiving Eve!

Hello All!!

First and foremost, just wanted to say thanks for all of the positive feedback (via facebook!) on the last post and the Blog overall, I really appreciate it and am glad everyone is liking the blog thus far!  And I officially have 3 wonderful followers, yay!

Secondly, tomorrow is...dun dun DUN The Turkey Trot!  And I cannot wait.  I actually can't believe how excited I am to be honest, usually I look forward to it but this year I am ridiculously anxious for the race to begin haha.  I am not sure how I will feel tomorrow when it is cold and possibly raining though!  Lets all say a prayer that it does not rain tomorrow for all of my fellow Turkey Trotter's, Stuffing Strutter's and Mashed Potato Miler's !  There are a few things to keep in mind for tomorrow's big race, whether the weather is rainy or not...

1.  Make sure you get to the race nice and early!  I do not have experience of Turkey Trots outside of Detroit,  but the Detroit Turkey Trot usually draws 20,000 runners alone, that is not counting spectators for the race, volunteers and workers, and spectators for the be ready to face a crowd all morning (but a nice friendly crowd at least!).  The 10K starts at 7:45 ( I think the 5K starts at this time as well) and the latest I would be there by is 7:00am, I will probably try and be there by 6:45am just to be safe.  You want to make sure you use a bathroom, stretch (preferably outside!) and line up!

2.  Please, if you are bringing spectators with you, designate a meeting spot!  As I said, thousands of people will be there, and you don't know who will finish the race in what time or if your spectator will be able to make it to the finish line to see you, so just pick a spot like the car (probably a great place) or somewhere in Cobo to meet!

3.  Parking is at Cobo I believe on the roof, and Joe Louise.  Also there are plenty of parking around the area too, I park usually at Wayne County Community College on Jefferson and the exit from that lot was a lot smoother than from the Cobo Roof, but park wherever you feel is good for you!

4.  Like I said, try and stretch outside, your muscles will thank you!  You should be outside or try to be for at least 20-25 minutes before start time so you can get your muscles nice and ready and used to the cold.  I have skipped this step before and ended up with very very sore muscles!  There will be plenty of runners outside by the start and inside Cobo, but do what is best for you.

5.  Have fun!  This is such a wonderful race, it is my favorite I have ever done.  There are tons of people cheering you on, especially for the first 1 or 2 miles down the parade route.  Be sure to try and grab water as there is only 1 water stop, and have a good time!  People at this race are usually very friendly so if you feel ok, maybe cheer on some people around you that may look like they are having a rough time!  They will greatly appreciate it I guarantee it!  And finish strong, once you see that Finish line in reach, just go all out for it!  There will be a ton of people cheering there as well!  If you feel tired or like you want to stop, just think about all the delicious Thanksgiving food you will be eating later...maybe you don't want to think about food on mile 5 (or mile 2 in the 5K) but think of all the calories you are burning off and how much easier it will be to enjoy those mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie later...that always helps push me haha!

Here is an approximate schedule that I will follow for tomorrow, I suggest you try to make a schedule for yourself (that fits with you, does not necessarily have to be like mine!) just so you can feel great and ready by 7:45am tomorrow!

10:00pm : Try and get all of my clothes ready for the race, set out shoes, socks, pants, shirt and over shirt, get my gloves and head band as well so early tomorrow morning I am good to go.

10:30pm : Try to drink some more water to make sure I am fully hydrated and get ready for bed!

11:00pm : For me, this is the latest I would like to be going to sleep since I plan to get up at 5:25am!  Make sure my alarm is set, I will probably try to set my alarm with an upbeat song off of my running playlist :)

5:25am : Time to wake up!  Do the usual morning stuff wash my face brush teeth blablabla and make sure I am eating no later than 5:35/5:40am.

5:40/5:45am : Have some breakfast, usually for me something with carbs, not too much fiber, a little protein, and not any dairy.  I usually opt for peanut butter toast with bananas!  Dairy might be ok for some, and though I am not Lactose Intolerant, dairy is still hard sometimes on the stomach which I do NOT want!  Drink some water with it, maybe a tiny sip of Coffee, but please do not drink a half cup or whole cup of coffee, that will just dehydrate you and you will feel like crap.  Literally lol.

6:20/6:25am : After breakfast get ready in running gear, and relax some with some morning tv (or whatever is good for you!) and plan to leave my house by 6:20am!

6:45/6:50am: I hope I am parking by this point or already at the race!  After park, walk into Cobo, see some runners (maybe some friends!) and walk out to the Start area by 7:10am!!

7:35/7:40am : This is the latest I would go line up, I would already be outside by this time though!!  It is fun to get in line early, they sing the National Anthem, introduce some awesome runners, play some music, it is a lot of fun!

7:45am : Start!  Now you more than likely will not even cross the START line until at least 4-5 minutes after the gun goes off, but you are about to start an awesome race!  GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:00pm : Chow down on Thanksgiving yummy-ness and replenish calories burned at the Turkey Trot x 3 :)

I hope everyone has an awesome race, and an awesome Thanksgiving!  If you are unable to Turkey Trot this year, please keep it in mind for next year!!!!!

Before I go....for those of you looking for some running inspiration I found 2 awesome stories on Runners World this morning, if these guys can run marathons, I sure can run a marathon, and you sure can too!  They are truly two amazingly inspiring people!

Happy Running!  And Happy Turkey Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Days like today make me love being a runner!!!!

Hey all!  Official countdown to the Turkey Trot is 3 days!  And after a run like I had today, I am totally ready for the 10K....

Sometimes we fall into a *running rut* we all do it, I have done it SEVERAL times.  I don't run for a few days then next thing I know its a few weeks and well, I usually try to end it after its been a month or so..but either way, I will run maybe once a week, maybe 3 times a month, just because I fall into this whole running rut!  Maybe its because we had a few tough or not so nice runs, maybe its the weather, maybe we got sick or are *too busy* either way, everyone does it and everyone falls into it; and if you don't, well then kudos you are awesome! Haha.

But then I ran today and it felt amazing!  I ran my miles at least 45 seconds faster than normal, which is pretty good.  My feet pounding on the street...wind on my face, the feeling of the warm air passing through my lungs free and clear, it was all such an amazing feeling.  I felt so alive and refreshed, the longer I ran the better I felt.  This made me hate that I could ever fall into a rut!!  When I can feel this amazing everyday???  You can't compare it to anything else, its a *runners high* and I love it.

On another note, I ran a wonderful 5K this past Saturday Blitzen The Dotte with two lovely ladies Bridget and Molly Reidy!  It was a fairly flat course with some small hills at the end as we ran through the golf course.  Started at 9am in downtown Wyandotte and though it was a bit cold (around 35 degrees) it was a great run in all!!  And following the race was a Christmas Parade with cute little kids, firefighters, high school bands and remote controlled race cars (which were scary at times haha).

So get out of that running rut!  Whether you are in it now or come to that point, just remember how it feels to run.  To get out there and have nothing pushing you but your feet and your breath.  To revel in the feeling of getting past certain mile markers and feeling nature all around you move with and against you as you push yourself through and past countless limits.  Now go out there and run your butt off (literally!).

Have a great week and Thanksgiving, please look online or at for Turkey Trots near you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It has been TOO LONG!!!!!!

OH MY GOODNESS pretty sure anyone that actually reads this thought I forgot about this blog or that I just gave up, sorry!!!!  I think it has been like close to a month since I last posted, sheesh!  I was busy starting a new job, attending one of my best friends wedding (Congrats Nora and Devin!!!!!) and just staying busy!  But never fear, I am back....

So I have been logging some runs, the farthest being close to 5 miles and I have a week until my next big race: The Detroit Turkey Trot!  Can't wait!  This is a terrific race and for any local readers, you can register all the way up until like an hour before the race starts!  Yes, the race does start at like 7:45 am but it feels pretty awesome to pig out at Thanksgiving dinner knowing that you ran a 10K that morning!  If you aren't quite ready for the 10K, they also offer a 5K (which has the same start time) and a Mashed Potato Mile which starts at 7:30am.  Never fear if you don't feel up to running, there are plenty of peeps that walk it, run and walk it, and some people even bring their dogs!  Also there are costume competitions :)

I will be running the 10K with my new found running buddy Molly Reidy (woo hoo!) and my long time running buddy, my Dad!  Thats right, my dad is 52 years old and is probably in better shape than at least 50% of the people in this country in their 20s.  He is also the reason I am a runner in the first place, so thanks Dad and keep up the good work!!  You not only inspire me every day but I am sure plenty of other people as well!

So this is basically just a post to say hey!  I am still here and this blog is still going haha.  And I right now am currently planning on running a half marathon and maybe a full marathon by next October!  But we will see.  Also, my wonderful and lovely friend Molly Reidy has offered to be a *guest blogger* on here woohoo!  Shout out to Molly :)

I hope everyone has taken up Bananas and Chocolate Milk and here is another awesome runner-friendly food for you to try!!


Some of you may already know about this delicious miracle dairy product, others maybe be saying what?!  Let me tell you about Kefir...

I was first introduced to Kefir only a year ago via my awesome boyfriend.  Though he is not a runner, he is a healthy eater and a smoothie extraordinaire.  He uses Kefir in his smoothies for its taste, health benefits and creamy and smooth texture.  But trust me, it is plenty delicious all on its own!

Kefir is kind of like a cross between yogurt and milk.  It has a lot of the same benefits as yogurt (protein, TONS of probiotics, awesome for digestion) but is thinner than yogurt, almost the consistency of the half way point between yogurt and milk.  Yum!  Actually, Kefir has more probiotics than yogurt, has a ton of protein, and wonderful carbohydrates (and fiber mmm!).  Kefir comes in lots of different flavors, depending on the brand.  I prefer Lifeway Kefir but there are plenty of other brands!  I love the blueberry flavor but there is also pomegranate, strawberry, strawberry banana, raspberry, peach, chocolate, even cappuccino!  But how come it is awesome for runners?  Besides the protein for muscle repair after long runs, the carbohydrates to restore or build up our energy reserves, Kefir contains something called Lactobacillus.  Mmmmm sounds tasty huh?  Its a wonderful little bacteria that is found in Kefir.  Studies have shown that runners (especially long distance runners) that consume Lactobacillus have less severe and less occurrences of respiratory illnesses!  And runners know how important and lovely their respiratory systems are.  Kefir is also great for digestion and our immune systems!

For enjoying the Kefir you can add it to a smoothie or just drink it down!  You can buy larger bottles but I usually get the smaller individual containers and have one for breakfast or as a snack before a run!  Mmmmmmm Kefir!  Try it out!

Until next time!

Remember, anyone can be a runner, you just have to get out there and do it!  Adios :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The weather is getting cooler...

Greetings!  I know I missed yesterday for posting, but I will make up for it today with (hopefully) 2 posts.  This first one is before my planned run this evening, so I want to touch up on a topic related to our current weather situation!  Unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere warm and sunny year round (and if so I GREATLY envy you) you know that October means Halloween, falling leaves, and yes, cold weather.

I receive daily inspirational quotes on running and I recently came across a really good one, it says "There is no such thing as bad running weather, just weak people".  I will be the first to admit that on several occasions I will look outside, see the rain falling or hear the strong wind and I immediately decide "Well, today is just not a running day.." but if I (or anyone else) wants to plan to run a race, especially one that is 13.1 miles long and in the fall, we need to be prepared for any weather situation.  Plus, isn't the saying Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger?

Not only running through rain and strong wind (which is my least favorite by the way), but I have known people to run through snow too!  And although you would first think if it is snowy you can just go on a treadmill, I personally hate running on a treadmill.  Not to mention that treadmill running can give you false hope since it is quite easier to run on a treadmill thank it is to run outside.

So to my main topic for now!  Cold weather running!  I was lucky enough to receive some Under Armor Cold Gear last Christmas and let me tell you, that stuff works.  I could probably run in 40 degree weather with just that and a T-shirt over it and stay quite warm throughout my whole run.  But I am not trying to advertise for just Under Armor, I know that its quite expensive stuff (unless you can find it on sale!).  I also have some running pants from even Target that keep me pretty warm.  Basically, if you can find a shirt and/or pants that are tight to your skin, that will definitely help insulate you and keep in some of that body heat.  The colder it gets though, you need to delve into more than just a good pair of tight pants.

You need to worry about your head (specifically ears for me) and your hands as well!  You will be losing almost 80% of your heat from your head and hands, yet we usually don't think about that when we set out to run.  I don't usually wear a hat, but I have an awesome headband (just from Target) that completely covers my ears.  I have seen some running-specific gloves in stores like Dicks or Finish Line but if you can just get a thinner pair of gloves that completely cover your hands (not the *hobo gloves*) those will work just fine.  The longer you are running, the more essential this protection becomes.

Remember, if you are just running in, say, 50 degree weather, you don't need the gloves, and probably not the headband.  The rule of thumb is to dress like it is around 15 degrees warmer outside than it actually is because after you run for about 5 - 10 minutes, you will be warmed up I guarantee it.  I have made the mistake of dressing all bundled up when it was 45 degrees out and after mile 1 I was regretting it (and still had 5 more to go!).

If you have any specific questions about Cold Gear or what you should look for in it, just let me know!  Like I said, Under Armor is great stuff but not the only stuff.  You can find a good cold running outfit at a lot of different stores (like Target!) at a cheaper price you just need to know what materials and features to look for.

Btw, can you tell I love Target? haha.

I hope everyone has a great day, I have another class to go to, work, then hopefully I can put in 3-4 miles later this evening...hope to update you all by then! (With my run, and food of the day :))

Remember, anyone can be a runner, you just have to get out there and do it!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Taken from the title of this blog, I am sure you all can figure out what its all about: running!  Basically my adventures I will be taking through running or more specifically, training for my longest race yet: the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon 2011!  My hopes are to update this as often as I am able to to take you all through all the ups and downs; the few good runs and the (probably more than a few) painful and tough runs.  But it will be more than just that; I will try to not only share my experience of the actual training, but also try to shed some light on the different nutritional needs of a runner (especially a long distance runner).  Lets just say low carb diets are NOT for runners (or for anyone in my mind).  Each time I update this blog, hopefully once a day, I will try to pick a different food that I feel is great to eat especially if you are a runner.  My hope is to inspire latent runners to hit the road again, and inspire couch potatoes to give running a try!  This is just a short introduction to my blog, and there will be more to come!  But I will still include a Food of the Day that I feel every runner should try and benefit from!

This first food is pretty well known but I will explain why it is oh so good (and not to mention delicious) for you:

The Banana!

Sure, bananas seem like an obvious choice:  its a fruit after all!  But there is more to it than that...
Bananas are loaded with Potassium which is essential for cell functions in your entire body.  Plus, sadly enough, when we sweat out all the nasty toxins as we run, we also lose some good guys too like water and electrolytes.  And guess what Potassium is?  An essential electrolyte!  Eating a banana an hour before or not long after a run will help out our body's Potassium concentration and make for happier cells.  Yay!

Bananas (being a fruit and all) are also good sources of post-run carbs (about 22-23 grams).  And since this form of carbohydrate is all natural from the banana alone (Fructose!) it is way way WAY better for us to carb up with this sugar as opposed to drinking some pop (or eating a cookie).

Also, another awesome fact, Bananas are real easy on our digestive system, meaning its not very hard for our body to break these guys down, which makes for less of a chance of tummy aches and cramps when running after eating them (Although I still always follow a rule of not eating 1.5 - 2 hours before a run!).

So there we have it, the awesome Banana.

Look for updates soon!  Remember, anyone can be a runner, all you have to do is get out there and do it!