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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!