A Hot and Hilly Morning Run

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My son started working about three months ago. The plus side? He has his own cash now. What parent doesn’t love THAT!  The downside for me? His job starts at 5 a.m. Since it’s only about 1.5 miles from the house, he sometimes walks, but being the mom I am – most days I tend to get up, throw something on over my p j’s (it’s still dark enough to hide my Mickey outfit) and drop him off. While that may sound crazy, I do have a plan in mind – a morning run. The problem is that it always sounds so good about 8 the night before, but every morning all I manage to do is crawl back in the bed with the hopes of at least another two hours of sleep before I have to get up for work. The difficulty, however, is that I tend to be more tired trying to squeeze in another two hours of sleep, than if I just stayed awake.

This morning, however, I finally did it! I dropped him off at work, came home, sat on the edge of my bed for a few minutes to contemplate life – then I got dressed, threw on my sneakers and headed out for a morning run. WHAT? It was only 5 am. WHAT? It was still dark out! So many routes to choose from, so little time (otherwise known as “so early in the morning”). I ended up taking a route that, of course, had many hills in the short two miles I managed before the humidity finally overtook my consciousness.

The time wasn’t great, but any time there are hills involved I feel like it was a major win. Besides it’s good practice for two hilly upcoming fall races. Feeling pretty accomplished and extremely happy that I won’t have to plan my evening around what time I think the gym might be empty so that I can hit the treadmill.

What will happen tomorrow? I don’t know. I’d like to think I can make this a two-day streak, but I also know that tomorrow is his one day off from work so there’s no need for me to rise so early. Can I do it? Will I do it? Stand by…

5K a Day Weekend

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Training for the half and the full is in “full” swing. I really challenged myself this weekend. I decided how cool would it be to run a 5K a day for three straight days – Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. I must admit, what sounded like a great plan on Friday, didn’t seem like such a great idea by Saturday morning. I hate when that happens! Determined to follow through, I finished my plan for the weekend. In fact, not only did I complete a 5K each day, but I managed to knock off two minutes a day!

Not only did I manage my 5K a day, but I also managed to stay hydrated with the help of my trusty Nuun. If it’s one thing I learned from my last half is that hydration plays a big part when running.

The weekend is almost over. I get to bask in the goal of my accomplishment. Feeling pretty good today, because now I know that I can finish a 5K a day for at least three days in a row. I’m wondering if I should try for a fourth day tomorrow or rest with a cross training day. Either way, this grandma is on the move…getting it done. The fall season is full of races and I’m determined to be prepared! Here I come #mcm10K #runDisney #marathonweekend, #Princesshalf.

My Running Self-Training Program Day

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There are so many training programs out there, each one promising to train me better than the next. Promises to make me half marathon or marathon ready in five to ten weeks. So here is the problem, which one do you choose? Is there really any difference? Some are three day programs, some are four day programs – they all include cross training and rest days. Is one any better than the other?

Just for today, I created my own training program. It was supposed to be a run day, since I’ve been cross-training for the past two.  I just wasn’t in the mood to run in 90 degree weather, yep I’m a wimp. No running in heat, no running in cold…so I headed to the gym. No real plan in mind, just a determination to stay at least an hour.

It’s Sunday. The building was supposed to be empty, but there was one person and she was on my favorite treadmill and looking at the sign in sheet, she had only been there for five minutes.  Oh well, let’s see self-train. The first 30 minutes I used free weights and the machines…arms and legs…not bad. I didn’t think I would work up the sweat I did, but I did and it felt good. It’s going to hurt later and there might be some bruising, but while I was doing it, I felt like a boss.

Next 30 minutes, she finally got off MY treadmill and had moved to an elliptical, but I would have felt funny jumping on the one she just vacated, not to mention the fact that she didn’t clean it off. I hopped on the front treadmill and worked the next 30 minutes a combo of running, walking and speed incline walking. Not sure what possessed me, but I feel like I was making headway. I got my hour in.

Back at home, I was feeling pretty accomplished so I decided to pop in a CIZE DVD since I hadn’t done one in a while. I chose the 34 minute – Full Out session. Another 34 minutes of getting it done.

All in all, it was a good day.  Will there be soreness tonight? Most likely, but just for today I did my own thing. My own training program and it was a good day. A proud day. #countdowntofirstmarathon

Recovering from a Sunday Run

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Not sure what happened today. I can’t think of a time when my legs actually hurt during a training run. Even during the half marathons, with the exception of the leg cramps, my legs have never hurt (except afterwards) – especially during a training run. I’m trying to decide if that is a good or bad thing. I did take a week off from running. I can’t say that there was a loftier goal behind it, but I can say I didn’t necessarily slack off during that time. I actually DID do some cross-training. I did several 25-minute cardio and sculpting videos (yes, with light weights). I even “re-joined” Spark People because I love their recipes and wide range of workout videos.

I’m going to put this run in the books as a sign to get back on track.  There are several races that I’ve signed up for this fall. I also have to complete at least one redemption run (I now have several to choose from), plus that January Marathon thing continues to loom large in my, not so distant, future. One step at a time, just need to speed them up a bit.

Personal 5K Saturday

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Today was actually a great day! There are very few things more motivational to me than to volunteer for a race. Something about being amongst all those runners that gives me the feeling of camaraderie and motivation, especially when I meet new or fellow slower runners and we share our “war” stories – otherwise known as races we managed to finish and those we want to run.   

The feeling was so good, it inspired me to go run my own personal 5K afterwards. No bling, no tech shirts just me and the road (it was actually the treadmill today, but a mile is a mile). I made it interesting, however, by alternating the speed and grade. I find it most effective, however, when I cover the display so that I can’t see the time. A minute on a treadmill often feels like 10 minutes on the road. 

It was a little bit more difficult today. My legs didn’t feel as strong as they normally do. They actually got tired. I would imagine that’s a sign that I need to increase my fluid and protein intake (sounds almost professional doesn’t it). No worries though, I’m happy with my accomplishments and even though tomorrow brings the threat of more rain. I hope to get in another run, or at least cross-train. I know it’s only June and my marathon isn’t until January, but….it is JUNE ALREADY! A personal 5K is just a drop in the bucket, but today it felt like a pretty big drop.

Vacation Run Secrets

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All my followers who love Jeff Galloway, it’s been a minute since I posted as a JG Blogger and as we head into the summer vacation months, Jeff Galloway has some great vacation run ideas! Check them out!

The best, more efficient workout when you’re at the beach…

Running into the dawn: In Summer, it’s best to run before the sun rises above the horizon.  Since it’s common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach.    Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point.  Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.

When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.  Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day.  Appoint yourself the “lookout”.  Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back.  Repeat this routine throughout the hike.  Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.

On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.  Wear your running gear on the trip.  If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes.  Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up.  If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.

When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.  Many of the hotels in areas like Disneyworld, have designated areas for running.  In some cases you can run to the parks.  Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes.  Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day.  This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run.  As you mention how you are planning your run, you’ll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.  Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there.  Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes.  When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide.  If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.

A home-based vacation.  If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run.  Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids.  Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs.  Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.

Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at http://www.JeffGalloway.com

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Replacement Run for the Fit Foodie

Today was a combo / replacement run. Why?

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Reason One (rain – otherwise known as excuse #1): I signed up for the Fit Foodie 5K run. Even though it sounded fun, I kept wavering on the registration.  Eventually, of course, I finally signed up. After all it was only $35…or was it? Well the race was $35, but adding the associated weekend activities which included; a Friday night party ($55) , a Sunday workout session ($55), plus the cost of the t-shirt, it actually would have cost well over $100 if I had signed up for the amenities, I opted to just sign up for the $35 race, because it sounded like it would have some serious real AND virtual swag. I even went as far as going to packet pick-up to grab my bib. Unfortunately, race day rose with torrential rain and I just couldn’t bring myself to head out the door. (In fairness, the Fit Foodie will be held at other locations nationwide and there seems to be a serious price cut on the “extras” if you sign up now).

Reason two (work – otherwise known as excuse #2): I have not run in three days. Funny enough, a year ago I never dreamed that I would ever experience run withdrawals. I will tell you the struggle is real. After two days of working 12-hour days and tending to some unexpected needs of my youngest, the earliest I could have headed out for a run would have been 8:00 at night. Not in my plans.

Combining reason one and two brought me to today, another grey, drizzly, pretty miserable day. I had already decided that I couldn’t go another day without running so I headed to the gym and ran a mile for each day I missed, plus that extra .1 to make it a 5K for the one I missed yesterday. All in all, I’m feeling pretty accomplished, but have decided it’s time to get my training back on track. I’m not too far off since technically the only run I missed according to my schedule was one long run for this weekend.  I know I have to double my efforts to get marathon ready. I’m up for the challenge.