Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fast Forward, Big Accomplishments.

Feet stomping.  Heart beating.  Joints aching.  The pure feeling of aches and pains, breathing hard, the feeling of wanting to simply stop, because all it takes is not putting one foot infront of the other.  All it takes is landing on your left foot and putting the right foot down right beside it, and not forward.  So hard to keep going and so very easy to just stop and quit.

But then you look around and see this isn't just about you.  You see the anguish in every person's face, everyone is suffering.  Everyone is *feeling the burn* or the slow tearing of muscle fibers and the continuous pounding of feet on the pavement which radiates to the joints and makes it feel as though your cartilage is nonexistent.  And you know you are in this together.  And you realize the person next to you that is breathing 5 times harder than you and looks as though they are in 10x the amount of pain, yet they are keeping up at your pace and they don't look like they are quitting anytime soon.  Challenge accepted.

Then comes the roar of the crowd, people cheering and screaming, clapping and holding signs which read "Run Like A Kenyan" or "Run Like You Just Stole Something" and for a second you forget the pain because you can't help but laugh on the inside.  You realize how empowering these people are, cheering in the cold October morning, at least you are keeping yourself warm.  Cheering crowds and announcers fill the air, and then you realize you are about to accomplish what you thought you could not accomplish 5 minutes ago.  What you only thought about attempting to accomplish a year ago.  What you were sure of you could accomplish when you submitted your race entry form, and what you started to slowly doubt the closer the date came, because maybe you should have put in one more long run or eaten one more pasta dinner?  And what you knew you could accomplish that morning at the start line, at 6am in the pitch darkness.  And what you did accomplish when you placed one foot infront of the other, moving forward, on the other side of the finish line.

And still I look at my race certificate, online pictures, my medal and various other reminders which recognize that I not only completed a Half Marathon, but that  I did it in quite an impressive time: 2:01:49, a number I will never forget, and never truly believe.  And the fact that my father crossed the finish line only a second behind me and ran by my side the entire time makes the feeling even more incredible.  Maybe a good amount of people can say they ran a half marathon, and maybe most of those people can say they ran it at a 9:18/mile (avg) pace, but how many can say they ran it with their Father or any parent for that matter?  '

For those of you who can, how amazing of a feeling is that??

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Going Downhill Is Your Reward For Going Uphill

Bonjour everyone, let me start out this its-been-way-too-long post with a story...

So there's this girl I know, and this girl has always wanted to be a runner.  Not just any runner, not just your puts-on-running-shoes-once-a-month runner, but a real runner.  Goes at it in the rain.  Snow.  Sleet.  Tornado.  Ok, not tornado, but just about everything else.  Isn't afraid of wind.  Big hill?  Psshhh that ain't nothin.  Bring it.  And goes into everyday with this mentality, and comes out satisfied, satisfied that she pushed herself, yet again, through another storm; through another tough run.  She sucked it up (and liked it) when everyone else decided it was to windy to run that day.

However, there was a problem..this friend of mine was not the kind of runner she wanted to be.  Sure, she put on her shoes a few days a week, ran her races, put in (some) long runs, but never really pushed herself.  Not as much as she needed to.  She would stay in on rainy days, avoid anything to steep or any day too windy.  She was a runner, but not to the extent she wished.  She wanted to be something, but never put a real action into it.

Fast forward a few years.  She still is wanting to be that incredible dedicated runner, that pushes past plateaus and says things such as "wall?  what wall??" but now she lives in a new area full of more dedicated runner she wants to be like.  Runners are a dime a dozen, and every time she goes for a run, she gets at least 5 thumbs up or waves.  But there are hills.  And rain.  And more (semi-steep) hills that can't possibly be avoided, whats a girl to do?  Do what she always wanted to of course, finally step up and push through it.  Theres a hill, so what?  Yeah, it hurts, I mean, it really hurts and its rough and breathing gets a lot harder, and legs get a lot more sore.  But you know what?  Thats called pushing yourself.  Thats called improvement.  Thats called perfect training to run your fastest race yet.

If you didn't figure it out yet, this *girl* is me.  I always wanted to be that runner that pushed themselves no matter what, went up that hill with power and energy, not huffing and puffing and stopping every other second.  Upon moving to my current location of Ann Arbor, I realized hills are very hard to avoid. Hills were never my friend, I always despised them.  They make running so tough!  But guess what, as I complain about hills in Ann Arbor, there are runners in San Francisco laughing at me.  There are expert runners everywhere laughing at me.  But heres the thing, I am not complaining anymore....

I used a great website known as map my run to plan out a nice 4 mile route.  The first (almost) 2 miles happens to be a consistent up hill climb, and the first time I ran it I was thinking " of course this would happen, up hill the whole time, when do I get to go downhill?  When does it end?"  But then I finally went downhill, and it felt amazing.  What a relief, I get to experience this easy pace, this gliding on air, I am able to catch my breath and truly reflect and appreciate what I just did.  Running downhill is quite incredible because you experience all of these things.  But how can you ever run downhill, unless you make it up the hill first?  All the hard work of trekking uphill, its so worth it for the feeling of downhill running.  And on Monday, Memorial Day, I experiences an entire race of downhill running.

Every year, I run the Grosse Isle Memorial Day 8K with my Dad.  We always keep the same pace, and usually finish within 15 seconds of each other.  I used to consider this a tough race, with *hills* and the like.  How wrong I was!  The *hill* I encountered was so laughable, I couldn't believe how hard I used to think it was.  Miles flew by, mile 1 came quick until suddenly I saw mile 3 and was keeping quite a decent pace.  As I came out of the flying mud that was the trail run, I noticed a burning in my legs; but nothing compared to my uphill battle in Ann Arbor!  I came around the bend to see the clock say instead of 45:and some minutes, it said best 8K time yet?  Really?  OK I'll take it!  Of course I took off at that point and ended up running a 42:35 (or somewhere close to it) which is officially my best 8K time ever.

How did I run such an awesome time?  How did I push through that run, at a pace of 8:30/mile?  Because I went uphill, I did the work of going uphill so that I could experience the euphoria of downhill running.  I use downhill running literally and metaphorically.  Literally, downhill running is amazing, but metaphorically, it is even better.  Metaphorical downhill running is when you feel the hard work and training you have done shine through, and carry you through a race that would have otherwise been rather tough.  Downhill running is finishing well and with the ability to push yourself through.  Downhill running is the feeling you get after running a PR race.

Whether its hill running, speed work, cross training, or all 3: go out and do it, the work is tough, not always fun, and a lot of times painful (not to the point of injury, but soreness); but if you can experience euphoric downhill running, it makes it all worth it.

I thought this would be a great way to celebrate National Runners Day.  I hope everyone had a great run today, I know I did!  I did my first official *run with the roommate* run and it was amazing :)

Have a great night, push on through, keep training, and soon enough you will be the best runner you can be.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Its Race Season!!

AHHH Hello everyone!!!!!  It has been a really really long time...and a lot has been happening!  But in order to keep this post from being waaay too long, I will just cover a few topics in this post and a few more later this week!

First of all, I wanted to cover the idea of recovering and returning back to running after health problems/ this is a small reason why I was not updating this blog!  As you know, I was on a running kick and I was running 5 to 6 days a week, and I was up to 6 miles and life was good..and then one day at work, I felt kinda sick, almost dizzy and like I could have a slight fever, so I decided to hold off on running that evening.  Then, I woke up the next day, felt great, and started to plan my day accordingly to fit in an evening run; however, I started to feel sick again and it was even worse this time...I could barely stay awake!  I thought I had Mono (not the case) because I was just BEYOND exhausted but I also had horrible body aches...turns out I had a freaking Kidney infection!  I was on some crazy antibiotics for awhile that basically made me feel like lying down all the time so I was off from running for almost 2 weeks!  The day before I got sick, I ran 5 miles...2 weeks later, I struggled through 3.5 miles.  It took a consistent week of running to feel like myself again..its rough!  And injuries are usually even worse because you need more recovery time, but just know that if you push when you are still sick or injured, you will just be setting yourself back even more!  What if I had tried to run those two days?  I am not saying I would've died or anything, but I would probably felt even worse and possibly gotten sicker.  I know there is a saying *no pain, no gain* but that only applies to being sore from working out!  Not pushing through horrible pain due to injuries or sickness!  Trust me, your body will appreciate the rest..and it needs it...push hard when you are able to.

Now that that rant is done, time to get to the topic of the is racing season!  If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that is always warm, then I guess racing season is, well, year round for you...and I am jealous.  But, in Michigan, our race season (traditionally) starts around March (although there are of course races in December through February!) and I am totally gearing up for it!  I still plan to run the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon in October but I have a lot of other races to get through before then!  Racing is one of the reasons I got so into running, it is so awesome to compete in races..even if its just for fun with your friends, or to check out some new scenery, or even for a free T shirt...its a great time and gets you motivated!  My first race looks like it will be a 5K on Belle Isle followed shortly by an 8K on Memorial Day in Grosse Isle! (one of the races I do every year, it is a pretty cool; you get to do a tad bit of trail running!) then after that, I will be scouring the area for any 10Ks and 10mile races to prep distance wise for the half.  What are your favorite races?  Which ones are you looking forward to?

For all race info around the area, you can go to or for a full list of races in your area!  If you are not from Michigan, will still work for ya :)

Last but not least, I got a real job!  Yes, a real full time pretty sweet job...the only downside of it, is it is quite a commute, which totally messes with my stand by workout schedule.  But alas, I have to deal with it!  I will admit, the first 1.5weeks of work I did not exercise much (besides taking the stairs at work!) because I was tired and just not used to the schedule; however, I realized I need to get my butt in gear, and if that means going to sleep earlier for an early morning run, thats what it means.  I need to make my health and fitness a priority, and why not learn how to juggle that with a full time job now?  I mean, I plan on having a full time job for quite some time, and when I am 40 and possibly have children and a job, will I give up running? Hell no, I will be that mom with the jogging stroller at 6am!  And I am not kidding about that either lol.  I have been attempting to fall asleep no later than 11/1115pm and waking up around 550am to either do a run or another shorter workout...and sometimes I am able to squeeze in a run in the evening when I am home!  There are times I just feel tired from work but luckily, I work in a city full of runners and active people alike, so every time I drive home, I see tons of people running around Ann Arbor and I think, yep I am totally going for a run when I get home!  Or, I am totally waking up early to run tomorrow morning!

One food that I am going nuts over right now is...Asparagus!!!!!!  I have been an asparagus nut lately...for one thing, it is totally in season right now, so it is cheaper and more delicious.  And another, it is such a versatile can eat it plain, put it in salads or do what I do, and throw it in a stir fry or a yummy pasta!  My favorite is putting it in a stir fry because well, I personally love stir frys, it is SUCH  a great way to get so many vegetables!!  And asparagus is great in it, trust me!  I usually do Asparagus, broccoli, onions, all sorts of peppers, and snow peas or carrots...yum!  Then a protein of your choice.

So why is asparagus so good for us?  Lets talk about great sources of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and antioxidants!  And please, always buy fresh.  Asparagus in a can is insanely salt laden and although runners need sodium, no one needs that much.  Plus it doesnt taste near as good as fresh :)

So get ready for race season, recover properly, and time manage your job/school with your fitness!  Always make yourself a priority, and that means making your health and fitness a priority.  Never sacrifice that part of you; if you neglect your health and fitness, you are neglecting every other aspect of your life as well, including the people that you love and take care of.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Beats That Keep My Feet Beating The Ground (Or Treadmill)

So it has been over a week since I last updated this, but not to fear I have definitely gotten my running in!  Have you?  If not, get to it!

Now that I finally feel like I am in decent running shape, I have been seeing the goal of running a half marathon in 2011 seem closer than ever before.  I ran 4 miles yesterday and I must admit I kind of copped out (granted I had 2 new and absolutely adorable puppies to take care of, so that was part of the reason), but I stopped running at mile 4 when I felt completely fine and not tired at all (where as a month ago, 4 miles and I felt about done.  That 10K on Thanksgiving was rough, I won't lie).  But even though I felt guilty for a second because I cut my run so short, it also made me realize hey, at mile 4 I felt awesome, I could probably at least crank out 6 miles maybe even 7 if I feel super motivated and in the groove!  But what keeps us in the groove while running?  Is it listening to the pounding of our feet on the pavement/treadmill/track/some tangible surface?  Is it that feeling of sweat coming over your face and dripping on the back of your neck and realizing hey, I am totally burning off that cookie from last night?  Is it the rhythm of your heart beat in sync with your breathing patterns?  Or is it just a really awesome song/inspirational and up beat mix of music that somehow causes you to run 5 times better than if you were just running in silence?  For me, it is definitely all of the above; however, I must admit that if I am listening to an amazingly up beat and fast paced song, it keeps me going every time.  The pounding of my feet in tune with the beat of the song while simultaneously in sync with my breathing pattern and knowing that hey, I AM burning off that chocolate I ate yesterday, or today (or both), it is an incredible feeling.  When you get all of those elements just right, its as if nothing can stop you.  You are so relaxed and in the moment, it is almost as if you are meditating (which I swear I am sometimes).

But alas, concentration like this does take some time and focus.  It rarely comes right at the start of your run, or even when you first start out running.  Getting there takes some work but when you find that moment of Zen (does that mean being at peace with your mind and body?  Thats what I am trying to convey) while running, it is beautiful.  So I am going to attempt to help you reach that goal with a few tutorials on Stride, Breathing, and then a list of some of my favorite tracks to listen to while running (which for those of you who know me, will be surprised by my music choices!)

1.  Stride:  Ahh yes, its all in the stride (or all in the hips as they say in Happy Gilmore).  It seems like something pretty basic and easy, everyone knows how to run, right?  Just go for it!  It's not that simple if you are trying to put the least amount of stress on your body as possible.  Posture, foot position, leg extension, arm placement, hand placement, it all plays a role in the stride!
     First Posture: You should definitely NOT be slouched while running, this will cause your run to be so much harder than it needs to be.  And you may not even realize you are a sloucher (the first 2 or 3 years I ran, I didn't know I was a sloucher until my mom-who isn't a runner-had to tell me how silly I looked while running).  Keep your back and torso as straightly aligned as you can, try to keep your shoulders back as far as you can while still being relaxed; this will automatically help you stand up straighter.  Get lazy with your shoulders and you will soon start to slouch which can not only make you look silly, but can hurt your back, and not give you the same lung capacity while breathing or the same abdominal workout while running!  So stand tall and straight people!
    Second, Foot Position:  I know you think you are supposed to hit heel than toe, just like when you walk, right?  Wrong my friend.  I used to do this but turns out, this can put much stress on your Achilles Tendon (that realllllly long Tendon that runs straight up the back of your calf).  Injure this, and you will be a hurting (this is one of my greatest fears, I feel it would be so incredibly painful...)  Run just on your toes though, and you are now a sprinter!  Sprinters run on their toes mostly, but they also run short fast distances.  You, are not a sprinter you are a long distance or medium distance runner, we do not rely on our toes alone!  Instead, try to land on the middle of your foot.  Almost around the balls of your feet, and spring forward.  This will definitely be more comfortable and reduce injury.
    Third, Leg Extension: I always see pictures of runners on so many websites and their legs seem to be so far outstretched it is ridiculous!  I have extremely long legs but surprisingly I don't feel I have an extremely long extension.  I extend my foot in front of me almost to where it is close to straightening out, but I do not kick it high and back behind me, it usually kicks more up than out.  Really wide strides like this, where you kick back really high behind you (almost like you are doing a back kick) is more for sprinting as well but not for a long distance, this will tire you fairly quickly.  So keep those extensions as relaxed as possible, it's going to be a long ride.  Usually I base my stride on my breathing, 1-2 1-2 (I sometimes count them in my head to make sure I am consistent in my timing of hits on the ground).  I don't count as much any more but I used to before, give it a try I bet it will help!
    Fourth, Arm and Hand placement:  This is pretty basic, but if you are running a long distance, and you are pumping your arms like you are Usain Bolt (if you don't know him, pleeeaase google this man he is awesome) you are doing it all wrong.  There is no arm pumping in long distance running, unless you are finishing the last 1/4-1/8 mile of the race!  If you pump your arms, you are wasting precious energy, energy that your legs would be glad to use up.  Trust me, they would be very glad.  Instead, keep your arms bent at a 90 degree angle so that your forearms are hanging out around your hips.  Keep your arms as loose as possible, tighten them up and you are wasting energy and stressing yourself out for no reason.  Same goes for your hands, do not ball them into fists, this will put stress on your mind, body, and waste more energy (I tell ya, every ounce of energy counts!)  Keep your hands loose, try to loosely touch your thumb to your middle finger if you need to stop yourself from making fists.  You are not about to go attack anyone, so take a chill pill, don't look so aggressive dude!

2.  Breathing:  This can make or break a run.  I know I say that about so many aspects of running (it is more complicated than people realize) but this is probably #1.  Healthy lungs and good breathing pattern play probably THE MOST important role in your running adventure (followed secondly of course by your legs).  But in turn, other factors affect your breathing such as lung health, endurance, the amount of shape you are in, weight, etc.  But just for the heck of it, lets say you are already a healthy individual who DOES NOT smoke (and hopefully never will, it is a nasty habit) so you have very healthy lungs, you are of a weight that is not considered obese, and you are in decent physical shape.  How should you breathe for your runs?  First trick is, breathe with both your mouth and nose.  What?  Yes, mouth AND nose.  It is weird at first, it took me some time to get used to it, but it not only can reduce the tendency of getting cramps, but also helped you get the most amount of oxygen possible to those wonderful lungs of yours.  So when you breathe in, just try to take in air through the nose and mouth, but when exhaling, just through the mouth is fine (you need to release the air as quick as possible so you can take your next oxygen rich breath ASAP).  Next, try to find a pattern. I have been told it is somewhat similar to how women practice breathing through child birth (I wouldn't know anything about that but I have read this on several blogs and journals).  When you feel your heart rate elevating, take two quick breaths in, and one nice long exhale.  Keep that up, and you will acclimate your body quickly to your elevated heart rate.  And also, every once in awhile (especially on longer runs) take a really nice deep inhale and long exhale.  I wouldn't do this too often (maybe once every 7 to 10 minutes) but my Dad actually taught me to do this and it feels nice and helps relax you a little more.  Before I close this section of the post I would just like to say you cannot be a smoker and a runner.  The two just don't mix.  So if you do not smoke, please stay that way and take care of your wonderful lungs.  And if you do smoke, then try to find support to quit, I know people who have done it (like my Mom!) so it is possible!  And if you have smoked and quit, good for you never go back to those icky things.

Finally (sorry this is a much longer post than I had anticipated!) a sweeet running playlist!  Be prepared people who know me, you won't find any Beatles or Radiohead on my mix (those are my 2 favorite bands!)
You need songs that are upbeat and motivating.  Some people like rap music, I personally do not really enjoy rap music but I do enjoy some good techno-esque sounds while I run, such as Daft Punk!  And yes, I do put some other pop music on there haha.  Here it goes!

My Top Running Songs (I can add more as I think of them in later posts)
Daft Punk - One More Time
Daft Punk - Around The World
Daft Punk - Musique
Daft Punk - Face to Face (Cosmo Vitelli Remix)
Daft Punk - High Life
Kesha - We Are Who We Are
Black Eyed Peas - The Time
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up For Detroit (and all remixes that go with it)
The Chemical Brothers - The Boxer (this is a pretty awesome motivating one!)
The Knocks - Dancing With The DJ

These are just a few examples, I don't have my iPod on me right now so this is all just from memory!  I can extend this list in my next post when I have my iPod with me!

And Finally, a running food for you to all enjoy!!  This time, I was inspired by one of my best friends, Michelle.  She told me about these awesome Waffles last week and I am totally hooked on them.  So my food for you is, Whole Grain Waffles!  I bought the Kashi kind, but I know Costco has Kirkland ones and I am sure there are several other brands out there!  Full of whole grain, Omega-3s, protein, and healthy carbs, two of these waffles only set you back around 150 calories!  I would personally not put syrup on them, but instead try peanut butter, almond butter, or even some greek yogurt mixed with preserves of your liking (tastes like flavored cream cheese without the fat and the guilt....absolutely delicious!)  On a side note, that last recipe is also courtesy of my friend Michelle, she told me about it, I tried it, I fell in love.  Yum!!!!  These keep you full for hours before your run, or a great after run meal, full of all the goodies your body needs.

So get out there and run people!  It is almost February, get those legs a movin!  Hope all my advice has helped you all so far, let me know if you have any comments or questions!

Peace out!


Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Shoes, New You!

Bonjour!  First off I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday celebrations to the fullest, and rang in the new year in the best way possible.  But enough about celebrating, lets get back to running!

First, I just wanted to say that my leg pains and possible injuries are a thing of the past.  I have ran everyday since Christmas Eve (minus 2 days off for a break) and have yet to be in pain!  The minimum amount I ran was 3 miles and the only thing I feel besides a healthy body is the usual slight muscle soreness.  I am not sure if I stated in here before about my leg pains, but it was pretty bad.  I have been running on and off for about 8 or 9 years now and have ran far distances (well, as far as 8 miles) before but this past 5 to 6 months, I have had horrible leg pains on my inner calf.  Not shin splints, just horrible muscle soreness, after only running 2 or 3 miles, which for me isn't too far.  Even after the Turkey Trot I was in a lot more pain than expected, it hurt to walk and even stretching for more time before and after runs, I could not shake this leg pain.  It was driving me absolutely crazy, I thought my legs were doomed.  I tried to think of reasons why this was happening, I made sure I was more hydrated before runs, ate enough protein in my diet, and gave myself 1 day in between runs, (when usually I could run 4 to 5 days in a row without problem).  Still, the leg pain would come back every single time.

I then started to observe my feet while running.  I would look down at my feet while outside and (when the weather forced me inside) on the treadmill.  I watched my stride, studied what my feet were doing, how my ankles moved, how my legs reacted as my feet pounded down again and again.  Now I know I have high arches in my feet, I always have, and therefore have always purchased running shoes with more pronounced arch support.  But what I noticed now was that each time I stepped, my ankles were slightly pointed out while my foot was going much more inward.  When I focused just on my stride, I could feel it; I was not landing properly on my feet, my feet kept rolling inward and my shoes were not supporting this movement at all, if anything they made it worse!  And each time I stepped down, I could feel more strain on the inside of my legs.  I had found my problem.  I was an over-pronator, and my Nike running shoes were not suited for my needs.  After some research, I found some wonderful Asics shoes that are specifically for people with a stride like mine.

The purpose of this story I just shared is to help all you current and future runners realize just how important the proper running shoe is!  It can make or break your run, the wrong shoe can destroy your stride and put you at risk for a lot of injuries, while the right running shoe can make you feel like you are running on air, or clouds, and that you can keep going forever.  So I am here to help you realize what kind of foot you have, how to identify the type of stride you have, and what types of shoes to look for to suit your specific stride.

1.  What kind of foot you have:  Basically, this test just determines if you have a high arch, a neutral arch, or flat feet.  There is a simple test you can use to determine this, all you need is your bare feet, a little bit of water in a bowl, and a paper bag.  Stand up, dip your bare foot (or both feet if you wish) into the shallow bowl of water and while your foot is still wet (but not drenched) step onto the paper bag to leave an imprint of your foot on it.  When you step off of the bag, your foot print should reveal of you have a high arch or not.  The skinnier the section of where your arch should be at on the print, the higher your arch is (which makes sense). And of course, the larger the section, the flatter your foot is.  When I did this, I had a more neutral print.  People with flatter feet tend to over-pronate and sometimes even severely over-pronate.  People with neutral feet to higher arched feet tend to over pronate (this is me) and people with high arches tend to under pronate. What does this mean?

2.  Over Pronation and Under Pronation:  Over pronation means that as you run, your foot tends to roll inwards more; therefore, you need a lot more support on the inner area of your shoe.  A sign of this can be seen on your current running shoes: If you look at the bottom of your shoe, pay attention to the inside edges of the shoe.  If you notice the inside tends to be a lot more worn out than the rest of your shoe, then you definitely over pronate!  A shoe with more support on the inside will help your foot stabilize more and keep it from actually over pronating, as over pronating results on more stress on the foot, which in turn can cause a lot of stress on your legs and hips.  These shoes will usually contain names or descriptions such as "Motion Control" or "Stabilizing" and though they tend to be a bit heavier, the results are well worth the extra ounces.  Under pronation means that as you run, your foot tends to move to the outside or outer edge more.  This results in more shock absorption on the legs and less on the heel (where it should be).  People who under pronate will have the outer edges of their current running shoes more worn out.  Under pronators need more cushioning throughout their entire running shoe in order to compensate for their reduced shock absorption.  These types of shoes will usually be marked as "Neutral" shoes (don't let the name fool you, they are for under pronators!) as these shoes will have ample cushioning throughout the entire shoe.  These shoes wont be as heavy as ones for over pronators, but will definitely feel a little bulky.  Other ways to see if you over or under pronate is to look at your ankles.  If your ankles are pointing more outwards, your foot is actually hitting the ground more on the inner sole (over pronation) and if your ankle is pointing more inwards, your foot is actually hitting more on the outer sole (under pronation).

Most runners are actually over pronators, but if you are curious check just in case!  If you are lucky enough to be a neutral strider, than shoes such as the Nike Free Runs are good for you because you don't need any corrective design in your shoes!

Hmm all this talk of pronation is making me hungry...maybe because I am typing this on my lunch break instead of actually eating my lunch...or maybe because I have a new wonderful pro-running food to share with you all!!!!!!!!!

WILD Salmon (emphasis on the Wild part) is a great food in general.  For me, I eat it raw or cooked (I actually prefer it raw when sushi-grade!)  Why is salmon so awesome?  For one, it tastes great but also it has wonderfully high levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids!  What do these beautiful Omega-3s do for us?  For one, they act as an anti-inflammatory which means they can help us feel less sore after runs by soothing our achy joints.  For another, WILD Salmon and its yummy fishy oils can increase heart stroke volume (amount of blood the heart pumps in each contraction) and cardiac output (total amount of blood pumped by the heart).  This makes for a happy strong and healthy heart, and we all know how important that is.

Also a side note, I put a large emphasis on Wild Salmon (not Farm Raised!!!!!!!!) because farm raised salmon is typically a dirtier fish, with a lot of contamination not only from being in close quarters, but also from the *feed* they are provided with.  Why get icky farm-raised fish when you can have fresh wild caught salmon?  I won't lecture on my own personal food ethics and rules, but if you are interested go ahead and Google it or read up on some journals about it.  And that is my rant!

I hope this post helps you prevent possible injury and helps you get proper shoes for your run.  In case any of you were wondering, the shoes I had were Nike Air Max (a great shoe, just not for me) and I am now using Asics Gel Foundation (a great shoe that an expert helped me pick out).  And I love my new shoes they are awesome!

Happy Running, work off that Holiday food!