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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 :)