I Signed Up for the MCM10k

Just a few weeks ago, right before the Disney Princess Half-Marathon registration, I had talked about not signing up for any races. As I look at the framed bibs on my motivation wall, I can see that it’s been awhile and I really couldn’t understand why. Well, I’ve really stepped into it this time. On Friday, I signed up for not one, but two 10K’s. Not even a 5K pre-warm up, but two 10K’s. The first one is thirty days from now. It’s advertised as the “fastest downhill PR setting course in the area” – The Clarendon 10K. That’s not really the race I’m worried about. I signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon 10K. WHYYYYYY?

After toying with the idea for a week, and having a conversation with my sister, I figured why not? Reading about the race, it didn’t sound too bad. Why did I wait to check the reviews until after I plunked down a little over $50? I’m glad I didn’t read the reviews, but I’m still not quite over the feeling that I had been tricked, it sounds like there are, not one, but two hills that can be quite challenging. This is going to take a bit of prep work, both physically AND mentally. It’s scary, but I just read an article, however, discussing how you can psych yourself out of performing well, by months and months (I only have 62 days and counting) of negative thinking that will be almost impossible to undo the day of the race. So here it goes – 62 days of positive thinking, (safely) increased training and a healthy diet. While the temptation was to back out immediately, too late! Now is the time for the power of positive thinking….and prayer. Grandmas of the world UNITE!!!

Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips

It’s been awhile since I shared Jeff’s blogger tips and this is actually one of my favorites.  I know that sometimes we get used to the summer heat and think, “no big deal” or “summer is almost over so the sun is not as dangerous.” In fact, the other day I was in my office and on the phone with my mom and she was telling me how hot it was outside.  I was thinking she was wrong and it sure must be cold out today because I was freezing (probably because I hadn’t been outside since I arrived)… Needless to say I headed out thinking it was a perfect running day only to get to the door and realize it was blazing hot. Jeff Galloway has excellent advice on running in the heat.

Dealing with the heat training through the summer can not only be grueling, but down right dangerous.  Here are some tips to train safely and as comfortable as possible in the hot summer months.

Slow down by 30 sec/mile (20 sec/km) for every 5F temperature increase above 55-60F ( every 2.5C above 14C).
When the temperature is over 70F (21C) you may take a 5 minute “cold shower break” every 25-30 minutes to keep cool.
Try to complete your run before the sun rises above the horizon.
More frequent walk breaks during hot weather can lower body temperature increase.  If you used to run 3 minutes between walk breaks, run only 90 seconds (walk 30 seconds) at 70F (21C) and at 80F (26C) drop to 60 sec run/30 sec walk or 30/30.
When you start to heat up more than normal, take a longer walk in a mall or indoor AC building.
Pick shady courses on hot days.
Don’t wear a hat!  Pour water over your head
Have an indoor alternative—treadmill, etc
Run in the deep end of the pool, using a flotation belt

Grandma’s Run, I Won

Sometimes there are those days when I want to run, but I get home from work and excuses start setting in… “Not today,” I said.

So which run will it be? Outside in the high 90’s or inside in the gym? Gym. Empty, just how I like it and I step, step mind you, not jump onto the treadmill for my planned work out. Today’s workout was supposed to consist of two minutes at an incline at pace, followed by 2 minutes running.

Five minutes into the workout I get a sharp pain in my left ankle, to the point where I can’t put any weight on my foot. Literally none… I slam the stop button and try to stretch it out…start again at a slow walk…nope…stop the treadmill, roll my ankle around a bit, still can’t put any weight on it. By this point panic is setting in – I’ve already paid for the Princess Half Marathon, I can’t afford an injury right now – I’m not that far along in my training. NONONONONONO!!! Try it again, no go. I stand there for about 10 minutes tapping my foot on the floor, I’m going to give it one more try. A slow walk and it’s taking my weight, a little faster, a little faster – victory! Running!   The pain was gone. Not sure what it was, but whatever it was, it was gone…I didn’t do the three miles I intended, only managed a little over 1 ½ miles, but that’s OK, I didn’t want to push my luck. I did a little more leg work on the machines and called it day after 45 minutes. Yes, I panicked. Yes, I almost gave up, but it seems like the devil finally said…”aww never mind, go for it!” and I did! Today, grandma won!

Improving the Diet

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Sometimes it’s just about small steps and one of the small steps, that is turning out to be a big step is my diet. I’ve just discovered I’ve been “victim” to weight creep again. You may know what it is. It’s when you lose weight doing the right things and then get lazy and start doing all the wrong things again. So the 10 lb weight-loss was great, until I started eating the wrong things again late at night, stress eating that entire bag of candy and here I am again – weight creep. I realize I have no one to blame but myself.

So many things happen during the creep including tiredness, laziness (though some may think that is one in the same), just an overall feeling of blah. So realizing that in order to get ready for my next half, I need to start with the diet. It’s more than just going out and buying the right things however, it’s actually about consuming those “right things” that I spent mega-bucks on. I’m not doing that bad, I stocked the fridge and fruit bowl with sale items including Greek yogurt, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, watermelon and avocados. Practicing portion control, etc…

Small baby steps… I’m learning it’s not just about the run….

Signed Up for Three Races

I was just saying to myself the other day that for the first time in a couple of years, I have not signed up for ANY races since the Disney Half Marathon back in February…not a one. Last year I was signing up for races every time I turned on my computer, this year nothing – not a thing – not even motivated. I have, however, trained more (and I use the term “trained” a bit loosely here) then I did in previous years. I don’t know what it was this year that prevented me, mentally of course, from signing up for a single race. I guess today was the day I decided to fix that huge wrong.

Well, today all of that changed. I signed up for not one, not two, but three races. Granted they are a bit of ways off, but it’s the small steps. Signing up for a race is motivating. It’s giving me something to actually work toward. Motivation to keep it up.  Besides RunDisney races are not particularly cheap, but I love them anyway.

I’m just glad I did it. Three races:

2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon

2016 Princess 5K

4.01K Race for Retirement (My sister told me about this one and it seems only fitting for a grandma to run a race with the word “retirement” in it.

Time to get busy….Motivation ebbs and flows.  I feel the flow coming back.

Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips

As an “official” Jeff Galloway blogger, I wanted to share some tips with you. I really need these, especially during the hot weather! How many of these injury risk habits are you guilty of? I’m sure I actually commit every single one!

Why do we get injured?

1. Be aware of irritation of weak links. The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries are these: Knees – Feet -Calf – Achilles -Hip – Glute/piriformis/sciaticia

But the body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.

So if you’re sensitive to the first indication of irritation in these areas and take immediate action it’s possible to avoid injury.

2. Stress buildup due to the way we train.
• Training schedule is too intense-not enough rest between stress.
•Adverse Training Components-speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
•Running form-too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.

So staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines, can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury.
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Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries

1. Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments

2. Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground

3. Slower long runs, with more walk breaks

4. Avoid Stretching

5. Be careful when running speed sessions

I Ran a Hill Today

It may seem like small potatoes to some, but I actually conquered a hill today. Not just any hill, but a real mountain of a hill. Whenever I leave the house, I have choices. Make a right to the track or go left for two more choices – the employee gym with a treadmill or my favorite outside path. I can reach either the mill or the path by parking in the same parking lot. Get out of the car go left to the treadmill or head right to my favorite path. The greatest feature of my favorite path is after a flat stretch there is a nice gentle downhill slope, but then you make a right turn that heads up a small incline for a bit, make another right to head back. The return trip is straight, but turns into 45+ degree incline – a great big ol’ mountain of a hill. The total trip is about 1.5 miles (There is a larger loop, that is about 3.25 miles). So typically I run/walk, get to the hill, walk up it and run on the other side. Except today, despite the 90 degree heat.

Today I not only ran the downhill, but also up the small incline (running the small incline was a first, usually I’m tired after the flat stretch and the long downhill). I make the last right turn and face the straight away to the hill. Today I was not to be defeated…I glared at the mountain hill ready for battle! You will not defeat me today, a running start, my favorite song in my ears, I headed up the hill. A third of the way up, half way up…I was going down…no…no I’m not. Then I decided to trick myself, remember those small fries and that small hamburger you ate during that 15 minute lunch break? Did you have any problem with those? No? Then you WILL get to the top of this hill grandma. You will not stop until you get to the sidewalk at the top of the hill. I did it! I conquered the hill, not only did I conquer the hill, but I took a 30 second walk break and ran the rest of the flat stretch back. Not nearly as breathless as I thought I was going to be, not nearly as tired and sore as I thought I would be. I DID IT! I conquered the hill. Happy dance time!