Monday, April 30, 2012

Log Off. Shut down. Go Run.

Thought of a few more notes to add to my Runner's Tale post.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself if you want to be a runner is get yourself the right equipment.  You NEED a pair of shoes that work for your feet.  The first 3 or 4 marathons I ran, I was running in Nike running shoes.  I couldn't figure out why I was icing my knees constantly and had pain at the bottoms of my feet.  My Uncle Ron (an avid Marathoner himself) recommended Asics, so I headed to the local running store to check them out.  This is one of the best pieces of advice I'll give you.... GO TO A RUNNING STORE for your shoes.  Don't go to the mall, or to Dick's, or Footlocker.  Go to a speciality running store where they'll (for free) study your feet and your form and fit you for the RIGHT shoe.  Some brands that I've found good are Asics, Brooks, and Saucony.  I will ONLY wear Asics however.  Here are my babies that I'm wearing now:

BEST RUNNING SHOES EVER.  I'd only trust Asics for my marathoning.  #AsicsGelKinsel4

They weren't cheap (reg 190 but I think I got them for 130 with a marathon discount). but they feel like HEAVEN.  Specialty running stores will measure and study your feet, fit you in different brands, and even watch you run to figure out exactly what shoes you need.  Make the investment.  Trust me, it's worth it.

Second.... invest in a good pair of running shorts, running tights, and Under Armour.  That way you have no excuse-- it's too cold, it's too hot, etc.  My fav running shorts:
Nike Tempo Track Women's Running Shorts

I literally own these in every single color.  They're soo comfortable. they wick away moisture and they even have built in underwear (that don't ride up your butt).  If it's cold I throw on a pair of running tights under them.  One thing I wouldn't recommend for the serious runner is substituting yoga pants for shorts/tights or specialty running pants.  Yoga pants are made specifically for yoga and don't tend to have the breathability of running tights/pants/shorts.  You end up shortening your stride and slowing yourself down.  My running coach taught me this a few years ago and it's made a world of difference for me since I focus a lot on speed and extreme long distance.

<em>Nike</em> Cushioned No-Show <em>Running Socks</em> White One SizeFinally, get yourself some good running socks.  You need something that is gonna cushion your foot and let them breathe.  These are my absolute favs. Notice how there is a left and right sock.  These guys are so awesome that they realize your left foot is shaped different than your right foot- thus your sock should also be.  The dry fit wicks away moisture and those side panels shape and support your foot.  These socks are soo great.

Now.... get out there and go.  And thank you so much for the emails/messages you've sent me about your progress.  It is so motivating for me to hear that someone caught running fever by reading this blog.  I am so in love with the sport and it warms my heart that anyone could possibly be motivated by my ramblings.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why I lived on juice for 3 days (& will do it again)

Let me start this off by saying, I didn't do this to lose weight.  I'm really not a fan of fad dieting.  I'm actually quite opinionated about that actually....this carb free, gluten free, HCG crap is so ridiculous.  I'm sorry, people, you can't live the rest of your life without a piece of birthday cake, a sandwich, a cookie.  please.  So what happens is you lose some weight on a crazy diet, you eventually break, you gain everything back + more.  I've maintained my weight over the last decade by one method--- run, eat healthy, run some more.  There's times when I may knock off a few cals here and there, cut out the sweets  for a bit to get in shape for a vacay or event....and trust me, now that my wedding is in viewing distance, you better believe I'll be back on my veggie burgers and salad full time (a girl's gotta look good in her wedding dress).  I digress....

I started reading about juice cleanses a few months ago in my Runner's World magazine.  Apparently, it's supposed to keep a runner's stomach a little more steady.  Did you know that runners have naturally uneasy stomachs and problems keeping things moving?  I found this out years ago when I couldn't figure out why I had a constant stomachache.  Juicing is also supposed to help with energy, stamina, sore muscles, speed, and shin splints.  It's a great way to clear up constipation and kick start a diet.  Lately I'd had some problems with shin splints due to training on lots of different surfaces (sidewalk, road, treadmill, trail) and instead of rest and bananas like the normal person, I decided to do a juice cleanse.  Also, I've been stressed since I lost my g-ma a few weeks ago to cancer, and this didn't help my stomach problems.  I researched my butt off and finally found a cleanse that seemed to fit-- Juice Rx out of Chicago-- they deliver to your house, it's 3 days (the max I wanted to do) and I had a group-on.  One morning while icing my shins after an 8-miler, I picked up my macbook pro, my debit card, and went for it.  Here we go.

Day 1:  Woke up at 4 a.m.  Didn't look at the clock, just happily raced to the fridge to grab my first juice. I couldn't wait to try it (plus I had a late run the night before and was hungry at 4 a.m.)  First up-- spicy lemonade.  I can't lie...I was disappointed.  Something about the cayenne in the lemonade just didn't sit well with me.  I was a little nervous.  After all, I'm not gonna drink something I hate for 3 days, not worth it.   Luckily, the next 5 juices of the day were YUMMY.  Even the green juice at dinnertime and especially the strawberries & cream cashew milk.  That one tastes like a milkshake.  More importantly, I was FULL all day and felt good-- energetic and my mind felt sharp.  The only thing I missed was actually putting something in my mouth to actually chew.  Kinda just weird to break that habit the first day.  Skipped my run on day 1 since I read that you should cut back a little cardio when doing the cleanse.  Slept great night #1.

Day 2:  Woke up feeling energetic.  Muscles felt loose, even my shins, which usually tend to be a little sore.  Run went great.  A little hungry after the run but fulfilled after the juice and forced myself to drink a little more water to keep full.  I felt FOCUSED, which is awesome considering I'm a night nurse and half the time my brain is mush on my days working/off.

Day 3:  Almost done!  NO HUNGER at all first thing in the morning.  my stomach felt better than it had in months.  Skipped the spicy lemonade day 3 because I figured I'd rather be a little hungry than have to choke that one down again.  However, around lunchtime even though I'd had my citrus juice by then, I felt hungry.  I honestly think it was the missed breakfast juice- so I'd recommend drinking every single juice if you're gonna do the cleanse.  They work together and if you miss one, it's like missing a piece to the puzzle and it just doesn't work as well.

Weighed myself before and after the cleanse and lost 5 lbs (all water weight plus clean intestines and I was just curious as to how much it would fluid shift).  Energy level was great....mind/body focus awesome.  Felt lighter and brighter was how I'd describe it.  I will totally do another one, probably as soon as I can get my hands on another groupon (these cleanses aren't cheap).  Worth it!


A Runner's Tale.

Alright I've been meaning to write this post for awhile....many, many people have been asking me the same question.... "How do I start running?"

Let me just be completely honest with you.  It sucks..........

  to start.  Once you are into it, it will become such a part of you that you won't be able to stop.  Then just when your love/hate relationship is really starting to get the best of you, you'll join your first organized race.  During said race, you'll fight with yourself the whole time, you'll curse yourself for your stupidity (why did I sign up for this????) and then when it's over....your obsession will only worsen.  That high that you'll get from finishing that race, that "hurt so good" pain in your hips and legs, heck, that fake gold medal they'll put around your neck.... it will take you over, and you'll be proud to be the craziest of all crazies....."the RUNNER!"

Marathoning is another story.....another 40 or so blog posts that I've yet to write about.  That's for the craziest of runners....aka...MOI.  I digress.

Alright, so you want to run?  Really??  Alright.  First thing you have to do.  RUN.  That's it.  It's simple. Trust me, getting out the door and actually starting is going to be the worst part.  It's gonna hurt like hell those first few runs, but soon your trots will lengthen and pretty soon, you're gonna be like me, and your day won't be complete without getting your Asics on and hitting the pavement (or treadmill).  Running is the BEST workout in the world.  I've done a million different workouts, worked with trainers, suffered through the hell of P90x, but the best shape I've ever been in is always a result of cutting out the elliptical, the spinning class, the weights, and just lengthening my runs.  If you have never been a runner, or don't work out for that matter.....the best way to start is a walk/run method.  Basically you alternate running and walking, gradually speeding up and lengthening the "running" portion until you are solely running and cutting out the running altogether.  Here is a great program to start with:  (I've had friends with great success using this program).,7120,s6-238-520--9397-0,00.html  (copy and paste into your browser or google runner's world walk to run program).

Not gonna lie, it's not easy.  But it's addicting.  Stick it out for 9 days and you'll develop a habit (maybe even sooner if you're already athletic).  Get a partner if it makes it easier for you to get out the door.  I don't partner, however.  I'm pretty decent at challenging myself and competing against my own times.  I got a running coach 2 years ago and cut 2 minutes off my time per mile.  On average for short runs 5-8 miles, I'm at around a 7 to 7.2 min mile pace.  I was at a 9 min mile pace before I was coached.  So needless to say, a trainer is always helpful, if you can afford it.  If not, go to Runner's and read the stories of fellow runners-- it will be motivating enough.  Also-- get some GOOD music on your iPod. Everytime I dose up on new music, I have an AMAZING week of runs.  My suggestion for this week is Goodie Mob ft. Cee Lo "Fight to Win"..soo motivating.  I ran 8 miles in just under 50 minutes yesterday after downloading that one (a little over 6 min/mile).  Vision Quest soundtrack is also awesome.  don't forget to throw some Rocky in there and a few good gangster rap songs.  I'm also obsessed with 80s music but I realize not everyone will be motivated by Genesis.

Alright.....  GO!!  (let me know how it goes, I love to hear stories, it motivates me).