"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired." - George S. Patton

Monday, May 31, 2010

Doing Hill Work While Training

So my big, first half marathon is less than a month away. I am pretty stoked but just realized that while I have successfully completed all of the mileage on my training schedule, I have neglected to work on many hills.

Oh dear.

Well, no time like the present, right? Today I found the biggest hills in Puyallup during my 8 mile run and I am fairly certain that this is as close to death as I have ever been. Did I stop? No. Did I want to lay down and roll back down the hill once I got about half way up? Most definitely.

So now that I have figured out that I am strong, I am unstoppable.. and indeed, I am woman, how do I get my legs ready for the big hills on my upcoming race? Does anyone have any secret leg workouts or special tricks of the trade to make uphill climbs a little easier?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tips for Beginning Runners

I just started running in January. When I decided I wanted to train for a marathon, I started reading up and learning as much as possible about what I was in for. I guess I disregarded some things or was just too excited about crossing a finish line to pay attention to some minor details. To those of you reading this blog that are just starting out in your training process, or just thinking about it, please... pay attention to the following:

1. Get the spandex. I know they don't look awesome to the naked eye, but when you are on mile seven on a 75 degree day, the last thing you want to be thinking about are your chaffing thighs.

2. Don't feel self conscious about yourself when you see drivers staring at you. Believe me, they are either jealous or thinking about how bad ass you are. They are also probably admiring your taste in spandex.

3. Drink Water.

4. Ladies, if you have birthed a child or more, you may want to think about some kind of panty protection before heading out on your long runs. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you wee yourself a little bit when you sneeze, wait until you hit your wall. Catch my drift?

5. It is okay to stop at stop lights in cross walks. Don't be that person jogging in place and checking your pulse. The people who drive by do not think you are bad ass when you do that. I promise. Also, take stop lights as an opportunity to stretch for a second. You will be glad you did.

6. Make sure you have Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin' somewhere on your Ipod. Just trust me on this one.

7. I know it's kind of cliche, but please don't ever mutter the words "I can't do this" or anything like that. You know damn well you can, don't be lazy. It's now or never.. don't waste anyone's time with negative thoughts.

8. Some things that do not qualify as excuses to skip a run include the following:
a. "I'm on my period." (running helps cramps)
b. "My leg hurts." (Ibuprofen became your best friend when you
decided to become a runner)
c. "I'm too fat for this." (Do you even know how fat I was when I
started? I'm 5'6 and was over 200 lbs. If I can, so can you.)
d. "I'm too tired." (endorphines, runner's high, etc. Next?)
e. "I hate running." (deep down, I think we all do..but like I
mentioned earlier; endorphines, runner's high and let's not
forget, when you are training you can eat what you like and not
gain an ounce!)
f. "I would rather get drunk." (Too bad there is a plethora of beer
post-just-about-every race on the planet!)

9. In the end, all running boils down to is one foot in front of the other. Once you can tell yourself that, you can do anything.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Worst Run Ever

... well for me.

Let me start out by saying after my ridiculous 7 mile run on Monday, I took two days off. My legs felt like they had been run over by a semi. I was eager to hit the pavement today.

Everything went wrong. I don't mean to sound melodramatic but some outside force was kicking my butt all day long. I guess some of it was self inflicted, however. I'll start by explaining my non-runner's diet of the day to you:

Breakfast: Three cups of coffee with creamer, and a lean cuisine ravioli dinner. (Hey, you can at least see I was trying to go semi healthy, right?)

Snack: A big fat enriched roll of goodness with a slice of pepper jack cheese and some turkey/ham concoction melted on it. (no... i'm not pregnant)

Lunch: An Americano and some sour patch kids (approximately 34).

Snack: Two (yeah, you read that right) special K bars.

Dinner: to be decided post run.

Okay, so from my diet today you can see I drank no water and ate enough carbs and crappy food to kill a gorilla. I'm not sure what I was thinking there.

So at 7:30pm I embarked on my measly 4 mile run. I drove to the nearby trail and parked my minivan. I got out, stretched,and turned on the ipod. The soothing sounds of Limp Bizkut's "Nookie" was getting me pumped. I suddenly felt like I was being watched. I turned around only to see the creepiest emo kid I think I have ever seen staring at me. He wasn't even trying to hide it.

I got back into the minivan, and drove off.

Plan B was to park at my brother-in-law's house and run down a different path than I am used to. It started off okay, a little pain, I was sluggish and the heat was not very forgiving. A mile down the road I glance down at the pavement and notice another shadow behind mine. Instead of slyly peaking over my shoulder, I screamed. Like an idiot. Then I proceeded to jump into someone's yard and watched the bum on a bike, with a backpack (probably full of killing supplies) pass me. I tried to play it cool and continue on, but then I just kept thinking about the chance that down the road the bum may realize I am irresistible in my lime green running pants and try to attack. I decided to turn around and take another route. Meanwhile, my legs are feeling broken and I am so bloated from the day's diet, I look and feel 6 months pregnant.

The rest of the run went fairly average(aside from an abnormal amount of hooting an hollering from the passer byes) until I encountered a moment of terror I hope I never have to endure again.

A bug the size of a softball (okay, maybe a dime, but you get the idea) flew directly into my eye and blinded me! I mean this wasn't your ordinary gnat or something, this beast was trying to have my eyeball for dinner. I began smacking my face repeatedly and yelping until I felt like it was gone. This would have been humiliating ordinarily, because I was on one of the busiest streets in Puyallup, but I was clearly fighting for my life.

I headed back to my minivan and thanked my brother-in-law for the free parking opportunity. I was telling him about the close encounter I had with the killer cricket and checked my eye out in the mirror to make sure I got it out. Ladies and gentlemen, I DID NOT. After pulling my bottom eyelid down a hair, I realized that it was still in there! About ten minutes of sheer panic, assault on myself, and a quick self performed bugectomy, I can safely say, the bug that tried to destroy my running career is dead. I don't even feel bad about that.

The moral of the story is, eat better during the day... not only for your health, but for your karma. Also, it is always a good idea to wear sunglasses while running.