Runnerd, Geek Out! – I want to RUN!

People seem to think I am a serious athlete because in the last three months, I have become the go-to person for running questions. Several people have asked me for advice on how to start running. So here we go…

Step 1: Find a running store and get fitted for running shoes. Running in the right shoe will make a big difference. Your feet will feel better. Your legs will feel better. My local running store, GoRun Wichita, has a treadmill with a camera attached to the back that they use to take slow-mo images of your feet while you run to evaluate your stride. I overpronate a bit, so they put me in a guidance shoe. I currently wear a Saucony Guide 7. It’s truly my Goldilocks shoe. It fits JUST right. And while running can be a fairly affordable sport, be prepared to drop around $100 for a good pair of running shoes.

Step 2: Get at least one or two nice running outfits. I have a theory that if you look and feel good in what you are wearing, you will have a good run. Stick with synthetic, wicking fabrics. Cotton is not a runner’s friend. If you plan on running outside year round, you’ll want to invest in a pair of nice winter running tights, a long sleeve base layer, a long sleeve top layer, running gloves, and a warm headband.

Step 3: If you are a woman, get a good running bra! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! I see women all the time at the gym running on the treadmills that I swear they are *this* close to giving themselves a black eye with their own boobs. My weight loss has robbed me of my previously well-endowed chest, but I still wear a good high impact bra. My favorite is Moving Comfort’s Vero. Hint: Moving Comfort has last season’s colors on clearance right now!

Step 4: If you plan on running outside, get a RoadID. If you get into an accident and are able to communicate, emergency responders can access your medical history and emergency contacts. It’s a MUST have! They come in fun colors…mine has three “outfits” pink, purple, and teal. Hehe.

Step 5: Start out slow. I did not start running 3 miles at a time. I used Couch to 5K. It utilizes walk/run intervals to build up endurance. And if you have to repeat weeks, do it! If you go out too fast, you could get shin splits or injure yourself worse. There are several apps, including a couple of free ones, that you can download on your phone. Or you could print out a workout and just use a stopwatch.

Step 6: Find a race and sign up for it! Once you sign up for a race and pay your race fee, you are locked in to the training plan. It will inspire you to keep at it. My city has a 5K almost every weekend when the weather is ideal. Check with your local running store or running club for upcoming races.

Step 7: Reward yourself. I know I said that running can be an affordable sport, but it doesn’t have to be. Ha! I am addicted to buying running clothes and other goodies. There’s so many things you can treat yourself with and collect over time. Garmin GPS running watch, water bottles, running outfits, fun socks, compression gear, an iPod shuffle, foam roller, race belts. And of course, the biggest reward could be clothes in a size or two smaller.

So lace up your shoes, get outside, and give running a try. I never thought I would fall in love with running as hard as I did. And maybe you can to…it’ll change your life!

Me after my first timed 5K. My daddy captured this picture. He missed me crossing the finish line…I was just too fast for him. 😉

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Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

(Blue hollers “DONE!” from the bathroom. The universal word for “Wipe my butt!”)
Me: Woah…that’s a big turd.
Blue: Thank you.

Blue: I thought you were going to make dinner?!
Me: I am. You wanted breakfast for dinner, so I’m making bacon and eggs, and we can toast bagels.
Blue: That’s it?
Me: Yep. That’s what I would call breakfast for dinner.
Blue: There’s no talking you out of this, is there?

I walk into the bathroom to give the bubs a bath. I find them pinching/scissoring their fingers together in the water.
Brown: Whoever finds the longest one wins!
Me: What are you doing?
Brown: Fishing for mommy hairs.
Me: *rolls eyes*


Brown had a morning birthday party. He got in trouble after lunch for not calming down. Then this happened. Thank goodness for big stuffed bears. Every kid should have one.


Oh, you know. Just Blue sitting in a bucket with his big bear watching TV. This is a common occurrence around here.

Consumer Mom Tuesday: Tervis Water Bottles!

Last year, I read about a study done on water consumption by Americans. It was conducted by the CDC and it really surprised me. 43% of American adults drink less than four cups of water per day, 36% of which drink between one and three cups and 7% drink none. NONE?! None…no water at all…all day long. Seriously…how are they surviving? On pop, coffee, sports drinks, and tea probably. Only 22% drink eight or more cups per day. (A cup is 8oz of water…just for reference sake.)

One of the things that I did way back when I started this weight loss journey was to cut out pop. I still have the occasional can of Coke…my favorite soda. And when we go out to eat, I will sometimes indulge in a fountain drink. I’m also a big coffee drinker, but in the last year I have cut myself down to 1 cup per day, with the occasional afternoon pick-me-up. I also occasionally will hit up Quick Trip for a half and half sweet tea. So…I’m not perfect on water consumption. But I am usually in that 22% listed above, in addition to my coffee and occasional pop indulgence.

Since I started running though, water has become a vital part of my nutrition plan. If I skimp on the water over the weekend, my Monday runs are tough. I have to be diligent to stay hydrated, especially on my rest days when my thirst cues aren’t always as apparent. I use two tools to help me remember to drink water.

One of them is my FitBit which has a water tracker on it. I’ve got a blog post in the works on living the FitBit life. The other tool is my Tervis water bottles.

I’d take pictures of the actual water bottles, but they are in the dishwasher. My Runner Girl one has a pink lid, because the first time I used it, I dropped it walking out the door. It hit the baseboard of our front door just right and cracked all to pieces. Thankfully you can buy new lids. Don’t drop your Tervis water bottle!

They hold 20oz, so three of these puppies will get you pretty darn close to your daily recommended water intake. But my favorite thing about them is that they seal. You can shake them, turn them upside down, and throw them in a tote bag and they won’t leak! I also like the hole on the lid. I can hook a finger in it and still manage to carry all of the rest of my stuff and my kids stuff to and from the car.

So hit up Tervis.com and check out all their fun designs. Bed Bath & Beyond also carries them in their stores. If you like the owl one above snatch it up SOON at BB&B. It’s discontinued by Tervis and they will no longer be making it.

Here’s the other two I am lusting over. And maybe one with 13.1 on it after May 4th. 🙂

Disclaimer: I was not provided with these products for the sake of a review. I purchased them or received them as a gift from a family member or friend.

Trying something new

Ok folks…

I am tired of the sporatic blog posts that have been happening around here lately. I need some direction, so I’ve created themes for each day of the week and I’m hoping I can stick to them. I have all these ideas in my head and I think of them will fit into these categories/themes.
 
Mondays-
HDYDI? – How do you do it?
I get asked this all the time. How do I juggle everything? Work, running, kids, husband, house. I’ll post recipes, household tips, organization tips…that kind of thing.
 
Tuesdays-
Consumer Mom
I know we are not supposed to be material. I know we are not supposed to base our self worth on the amount of stuff we have. But, darn it, I like to shop! I like trying new products. I REALLY like workout gear. I’ll use this day to post reviews or check-this-out posts of stuff I’ve purchased recently.
 
Wednesdays-
Not So Wordless Wednesdays
I’ll post funny things my kids did for the week. And since I’m not good at not using words…it’ll be not-so-wordless.
 
Thursdays-
Runnerd, Geek Out!
I LOVE to talk about running. I’ll share my tips, my gear recommendations, and my annecdotes about running.
 
Fridays-
Let’s Relax!
Friday is currently my long run day, but after that is my official RELAX day. I’m an avid reader and a big TV/movie/Netflix fan. Here I’ll share what I’m reading and what I’m watching.
 
Saturdays-
Week in Review
Self explanatory.
 
Sunday-
A Look Ahead
It’s more for me than you. A look ahead at my week. This will force me to sit down every Sunday with my calendar and see what I have to do. It could be entertaining as well when I realize I have to do certain things that week that I wasn’t expecting.
 
How does that sound? Good? Good.

Week 5

Run Update:
Week 5 of the year is also Week 2 of 13.1 training. I think it went pretty well. I missed two workouts due to sick kids and lack of time. But it had some high notes. I completed my first long track run of 5 miles. I got over some serious calf tightness…yay for yoga and foam rolling. And I ran my first 7 mile run…on a treadmill no less.

I also tested my first round of nutrition. I gave Honey Stinger Energy Chews a try and I think it was a success. My 7 mile run took about an hour and 20 minutes. At 30 minutes, I slowed the treadmill down to 4mph and took in 5 of the chews and about 5 ounces of water. At 1 hour, I did the same. I felt great the entire run. I knew that nutrition and hydration would be the toughest part of half training, and so far I’ve been right.

House Update:
Blue has been on my butt about laundry lately. It’s his favorite household chore. As a result, I woke up Saturday with the laundry completely caught up. I try to do a load a day, which keeps me from getting behind.

Our Dyson died. The motor burned out. Thankfully right after I got the house vacuumed. So we are on the hunt for a new vacuum. I think we’ll stick with another Dyson. But if you know me, I have to find a good deal.

Brown and Blue Update:
Brown got 100% on his spelling test this week. He was pretty darn proud. He also grew about 5 inches, which makes sense considering he ate more than his half-marathon-training mama and his half-ironman-training daddy. That’s a lot.

Blue is kicking butt at speech lately. He has mastered K and G. He’s been working on F lately and is really doing well. We’re still struggling with S and S-blends. I’m so anxious about sending him to kindergarten, but he’s finally showing interest in learning his letters. Mama’s late bloomer.

I think that’s enough for now. Not really…I probably have more. But I’m hungry and there’s leftover chili in the fridge calling my name. I finally got wise and made a double batch. I guess that’s part of raising two growing boys who have endurance athletes for parents. We like food and LOTS of it!

Day One

Yesterday marked Day One of my half marathon training plan. It called for an easy 3 miles. Easy peasy, right? Not when you took an inadvertent six day break from running. It took me a while to warm up and then my legs didn’t really feel loose until I was done. Dusting off the cobwebs. But my lungs felt good and my breathing wasn’t completely out of whack.

I went back on my Daily Mile account to try and find my “runniversary” date. I’ve seen lots of bloggers post about the day they started running or the day they first felt like a runner. It was hard for me to pinpoint a date. February 18, 2013 was the first day I did Couch to 5K and I did it almost 3 days a week for two months. But then I took a two month break due to what appears to be illness and just lack of motivation. Yeah, I checked my facebook history to figure that one out. I tried to fall in love with summer cycling, but failed when my clipless pedals and shoes didn’t agree with my klutziness. I picked up running again in June, using Couch to 5K for a bit, and then ultimately just running on my own, using walk run intervals until I finally ran my first 3 miles without stopping on August 2, 2013. That day and that run stick in my head as the day I said to myself, “Yep, I’m a runner.” It had just rained and I spent those glorious 3 miles jumping over puddles and enjoying the post rain coolness. Ultimately I guess we’ll stick with February 18th as my “runniversary.” It was the day this whole journey began.

All of that makes me really just how far I’ve come in a very short amount of time. I can run 5 miles without stopping…probably longer because I’ve yet to try running 6 miles without stopping. My resting heartrate is in the low 50s. I’m in the best shape of my life. It’s really amazing the changes you can make in six months, in a year. You just have to take that first step.

Anyway, back to the training plan… I’m using the Half-Marathon Finish It training plan out of Train Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. I can’t say enough good things about these two women. Follow their blog, follow their twitter, follow their Instagram, read their books. I looked at several training plans before choosing this one. I looked at Jeff Galloway. I still might try his run/walk/run intervals, but a big part of me wants to run this half marathon all the way. It’s a mental thing for me, but I want to RUN! I looked at Hal Higdon, but his plan wasn’t enough for me. Ultimately I went with TLAM because it most closely matched my current running routine, just pushing me to do more and go just that much farther each week. It was also one of the only programs that included a full 13 mile training run for a half marathon.

There’s so many distances on this plan that I haven’t even imagined reaching. And yet there they are in front of me, neatly typed up onto a calendar. I’ll be crossing off the days as I go, each day closer to my goal of 13.1.

Have any of you ever used Couch to 5K or followed a training plan? Which one?

Random Monday

So far all of my posts have been about a certain topic. Today you get a day-in-the-life-random-me post.

I am now the proud owner of bras and underwear that actually fit. I’m telling ya…when I started losing weight, I didn’t really think that eventually I would have to replace my entire wardrobe from head to toe. I went from a size 38C bra to a size 32C bra. Actually, according to the lady who measured me at Victoria’s Secret, I’m a 30C…a size which doesn’t exist except at specialty stores. I got 32Cs and just hook them on the tightest hook. My feet shrunk too. I wear a whole size smaller than I used to wear. In the words of my mama…”well huh.”

I took Blue to Build-a-Bear today. It was my penance for dragging him to Victoria’s Secret. I told him that he could pick out one of the Small Fry stuffed animals. I almost had him sold on the cute little monster one, even telling him he could get the one-eyed one for his brother. But he looked up at me with his little puppy eyes and said, “But Mommy, those ones are already made. I want to make a bear and put a heart that I fill with love in it.” So this happened…

8e55a-photo

Could you say no to this face? Didn’t think so. He named her Rainbow. He was very adamant that she was a girl. She even had to have hot pink bows for her ears. I asked him if she was going to be Black Bear’s girlfriend. He told me, “I don’t know. Black Bear hasn’t met her yet. I don’t know if he will even like her.” Seriously…I birthed a comedian.

I got to run outside today. I hadn’t run outside since the Frosty 5K on New Year’s Day. No wonder my body was craving that vitamin D so badly. It was a glorious 4 miles. I could have gone more, but I wanted to get home and watch Downton Abbey. Disturbing episode, but I think it will all turn out right in the end. That’s the way it is with Downton. They break our hearts and then bring us back up. It’s a roller coast ride.

A couple of blogs I read always end with questions, so here goes nothing…

Do you wear the right size bra?

Tell the truth, you love BaB too, right?

Downton fan, yes or no?