Tricks of the Trade (Part 2)


Generally when I do lists I at least get up to “ten” so you must be wondering what happened yesterday night. “Did she really only learn THAT measly amount of tricks from the TWO years she has been running?” you asked yourself (probably not really…)! The answer is no. I just got kicked off the computer and told to go to bed. So here’s Part 2.

1. Always run, at a minimum, the number of miles you set out to run. Otherwise the entire run was a waste of time because you won’t be content with the results.

2. Dress accordingly. To the weather outside. For example, just because it’s cold inside your house, doesn’t mean it’s going to be that same temperature outside of your house, in fact, it will most likely be the OPPOSITE. Likewise, if it’s at forty degrees or lower, wear gloves. If you get hot you can take them off, but it’s always nice to have them just in case. It’s a lot easier to have good results when your body is at a comfortable temperature relative to its surroundings. (less clothing when the temp is high and vice versa)

3. Run, even when you’re tired. Sometimes, the run will give you more energy from endorphins thus waking you up. And if that doesn’t happen, at least you will feel good about accomplishing something.

 

Tricks of the Trade: What I’ve Learned Since I Started


I’ve decided to write out a sort of “rules of the road” thing for beginner runners, so all you newbies can avoid making the same mistakes that I have made and learned from. Here goes:

1. Always, ALWAYS stretch.  Do not embark on your run until you feel sufficiently stretched. You will know when you have reached that point. Trust me, you can tell the minute you are completely loose and limber. Wow. Did I really just say that?

2. Don’t hold it until after your run. I have this weird little mentality where I try to get out on my run as fast as I can. More than once, I have rushed out the door without using the bathroom first. Usually it’s fine. But if you think you can hold it until you get back, you are wrong. When you run, everything’s jiggling around inside and it really only makes things worse. So, GO before you go.

3. Don’t assume that cars will stop for you. Even though technically they are supposed to. You cannot assume that they are looking through their windshield at you and not down at their phone in their lap. Just, be careful.

4. Always plan out your route ahead of time or at least a couple minutes in advance. This makes things so much easier so that when you get up to the fork in the road, you already know which way you are turning. Also, if you keep changing your mind and switching directions, you can get really mixed up and lose track of where you are. For more advanced runners, this is a lot easier because there’s only so many routes you can take from your house.
5. Memorize the mileage from all possible routes leading away from your starting point. For me, the “starting point” is my house. I can tell you exactly how far away we are from our house up to a 2 1/2 mile point in any direction. That is very convenient for planning out a route in your head while you are running.
6. Pick music with a fast beat. It sounds stupid but listening to music with a faster beat actually DOES help you run faster. When you’re tuned into your music, your feet get into the groove. If you’re listening to slow music, you will most likely run slower.
7. Stick to main roads if you aren’t sure how far you are going to be able to go. This is probably the best trick I have up my sleeve and here’s why: You run on the main road. You run however far out and then turn around and run back. But if you’re having a really good run, then you can branch off onto a little road, run for a block on the street parallel to the main road and then run back up to the main road. It adds easy distance and if you can figure it right you can add on miles to a normally short run. Magical.
8. Do NOT run right after eating. Unless you are looking for a laxative (see #2). Also, if not the first it will lead to painful cramps.
 That’s all for now, folks!

I’m Back on the Trail


I ran today!

For the first time in (I looked) TWO WEEKS!

I thought I would be horrendous.

Also, I couldn’t stretch very much before hand because I have all the blisters on the back of my feet from shoes. Like, what the HECK! I thought summer shoes were supposed to be comfortable?! Anyways.

I ran. A LOT faster than I had expected. AND! I didn’t even run only the required three miles! I ran four. It was fantastic. -Ly hot. But also just fantastic!

Today was a cool day. It was like 88 degrees or something when I went running and I kid you not, it felt cool! It’s crazy what a change ten degrees can make! We all kept saying, “Oh this weather is so nice! How relieving!” even though normally this would qualify as hhhotttt! So, despite the fact that generally I wouldn’t leave my nice air-conditioned room in this heat, I went for a run cause it felt cool! And I ran a sub-8 minute mile also!!! 7:49 minute mile, which I think is PRETTY good for my first day back after that looooong break!

So, needless to say, despite my sore muscles, I am in a VERY happy mood! And hopefully this “cool” weather will last so I can get some more runs in and get my abs back in shape! 😉

Have a good night you all!

Bare Feet


A couple of days ago I was all set to write a fantastic blog post. I had it all planned out in my head what I was going to say and it was gonna be just GREAT.

Unfortunately, it was also eleven at night. So, I just wrote down my idea and went to bed. Of course, the next day rushed by and I never ended up writing that blog post. So here I am.

Hello.

Anyways. The above-mentioned blog post was GOING TO BE about barefoot running. I never understood WHY there is such a big thing about it right now. I mean, half the reason I like to run is because I get to use all my fancy running merchandise. WHY would I want to run in my bare feet when I could run in my fancy hot pink Nikes? Why why why? Another reason this never appealed to me is because I have very high arched feet so I need lots of support when I’m running or else my feet hurt. And my ankles. And legs. It’s a mess. So, I’ve always preferred running withshoes. And I’d never tried it any other way either.

But.

It’s been very hot lately. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and it was 84 degrees. Seriously? Anyways, because of the heat and humidity and all that fun stuff, I have not been running. In fact, the last time I went on a legitimate 3-mile run (it’s not legit if it’s not three or more miles!) was a LONG time ago. I don’t really remember the exact date. And I don’t want to check on my Garmin cause I am pretty sure knowing how long it’s been since I last ran will make me cry.

A couple days ago, I was shooting hoops outside. By myself. That’s how I’ve spent the majority of my summer. But that’s NOT what this post is about. Anyways, so I’m outside in the driveway, in my bare feet (key words here) and I’m thinking about how much I miss running. So, I suddenly get this urge to just run. But I didn’t feel like going upstairs and changing into all my running stuff cause that would totally ruin the “impulsive-ness” of it all. So I just start off down the sidewalk. At first, I was like, “I’ll just go around the block.” But I got to the end of the block and I wanted to keep going. So I did. I probably ran no more than a mile, about five minutes. And I was drenched when I got back. And my feet were sore and a little shredded by various pebbles. (Nothing that can’t heal though!) It was awesome. And. I’d forgotten how nice it was to run without music pounding in my ears. So, I’m now a convert.

I’ve decided that running bare-footed is a great idea. My mom is not convinced. So I guess I’ll stick to shoes.

Most of the time… =)

Anyways. Because of this huge storm we had last Sunday, the pool has been closed all week, so we didn’t have any swimming. I have been a VERY inactive little girl. But I’m pretty sure today made up for that. It was our first day back at swimming and usually on Fridays we only practice for half an hour and then we play games. But today? We swam 8 200s and then 1 100. NOT FUN. And you basically get no rest between the sets so it really felt more like a 1600. NOT FUN. But it was good to exercise and truthfully, even though I was dying while I was actually swimming, once we finished I felt great. So, all’s good.

Today I’m going to the pool to babysit. I think I’m going to run there. Hey, 2 miles is something right?

Oh. By the way! Happy Fourth! 🙂

How are you staying cool this summer?

Short and Sweet! :)


I know that I haven’t written in a long time and this is why:

This is a running blog. And I haven’t been running lately. Well, I hadn’t been running lately.

Today I went on a run and felt rejuvenated and energized. So I decided to post.

Of course, now I feel like I’m about to fall over dead cause I’m so tired. But I think that’s because I really haven’t had anything to eat yet today. Besides 6 ounces of a smoothie. So I’m starving.

I ran three miles. It was hard but nice. I kept my pace at eight minutes. I listened to my music. It’s windy and hot out today. But it’s the kind of hot where you don’t really notice it unless you’re in direct sunlight or you’re exercising. Of which I was both. So, by the end I was also very sweaty. But glad that I went on a run. Also, I’m not really sore apart from the usual post-exercise aches, so that’s really nice! No strained muscles or twisted ankles or disjointed hips. Sweet!

But the BEST part of the run (besides the whole “working off my weekend” fun) was that I got to run with my LRF or LRB or whatever I used to call her! 😉 LISA! She agreed to run with me after my three miles. Even though, we only ran 1/2 of a mile it was really awesome  that she came with and we walked after that so it still counts as “exercise”! 😉 She is awesome.

So, I am going to be gone on vacation from tomorrow until Thursday, but when I get back I will be relaxed and have MANY pictures to share with you all from Door County!!

On Sleep and Other Things


I have been tired.

Very tired.

And when I’m tired this is what I do:

Yeah, if you are wondering I just put in a google image. Which is weird. And totally blogger-ish. I’m fun like that.

And too lazy to take an actual picture of myself reading. Which would be weird, also.

Okay, HOW TO TELL WHEN CLAIRE IS TIRED.

1. I will either be completely depressed, super slap-happy, or nonchalant. When I am well-rested/ normal I am a CONTROL freak, so if I’m nonchalant, then I am tired. Or completely depressed. Okay, so nonchalant and depressed go hand-in-hand. Yesterday, I was depressed. Today, however, I was just nonchalant. And kind of….in a different sphere, altogether.

2. I will ramble. On and on and on and on and on and on and on. And on. About anything and everything. And if something can link to my current subject of discussion in ANY way, shape, or form I will hop onto that subject. Oh wait. I do that all the time. Okay, so I guess #2 should be more so, I say complete nonsense. Such as someone will ask me a question and I will reply with complete gibberish or a totally off-topic response which has more to do with what I’m thinking about in the back of my mind than the topic at hand.

3. I will do nothing. Or drag myself to do very simple things. Such as, I was starving all day but too tired to actually rouse myself to go make something to eat. Did I mention that for the past three days all I’ve really done besides exercise (and eat) is read.

4. I will only wear workout clothes. Which is fine actually. Especially in the summer when that’s basically all I wear anyways. Actually, my lack of formality might have more to do with summer than my lack of sleep because during the school year I was exhausted but I still dressed up.

5. I will forget VERY IMPORTANT FACTS. Such as picking up my little brother from basketball camp at 11:15.

Shoot. You should have seen how fast I biked over to the college. Very soon after 11:30, a very guilty older sister arrived at the college gym to pick up her long-suffering and very forgiving little brother. He even reassured me that I will be a fine mom and most likely NOT forget my children.

ON A TOTALLY RANDOM NOTE:

I ran five miles on Tuesday. It was 80 degrees outside. VERY HOT. I saw a new record of people I know on that run. Naturally it would be the run where my face was bright red from the heat and I was sweating a bucket a second.! 😉 It was a beautiful run though. And I ran FIVE MILES!!!! Which is great. And I, afterwards, took a long shower. Long COLD shower. My face was still red after it.

I thought about running today. I actually kind of wanted to. But opted for reading instead. Maybe tomorrow. Probably tomorrow. Even three miles would be good. Or four.

Good night! 🙂

I’m Coming Back!


Today I was so tired.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up at 1, at 3, at 5, and then at 6:20 I was like, “FINE I WILL JUST GET UP!”

I was super thankful that we didn’t actually swim today. It was picture day so we just stood around for an hour and got a picture taken. I don’t think I would have had the energy to swim. I came home and crashed. I read and napped. I actually fell asleep while I was reading. That’s how tired I was. Peter took the book off my face while I was asleep. So kind! 🙂

Anyways,  I went out for coffee and ice cream with friends…and shopping! That perked me up until I got home and kind of crashed again from the caffeine. The only thing I could think of that I wanted to do was run.

So I went after dinner.

MOST. BEAUTIFUL. RUN. EVER!

Firstly, it was a lot cooler today than it has been the past couple of days. I had a WONDERFUL break from full-out sweating after the first half-mile. I was still drenched by the end but still…

I ran a new route. It wasn’t completely new; there were parts I run frequently and parts I recognized but it was a new order and a couple new blocks and it was really beautiful! I felt really relaxed. I wasn’t PLANNING on going fast.

I wasn’t really even pushing myself at the start. I was just going at a relaxed pace. Or should I say “relaxed” pace. Cause my first mile was 7 minutes! My average was 7:29 per mile. That is a minute faster than Monday! My overall run was four minutes faster than my run of the same distance on Monday. And I’m not even that sore right now. After my Monday run, my hip felt like it was pushed out of place and I was limping. But today, after my run, I wasn’t limping and I’m barely sore at all! So awesome!
I thought of another reason why I run! It’s the only sport I’ve never tired of. I get bored of all other sports. Except running. And I like to run even when I’m tired.

So yeah.

Running is cool!

Oh by the way, anyone know of any upcoming races they may be running in the Chicagoland area? I have remembered why I love racing so much and am looking for races in the area. Fun ones, preferably. And cheap. And if one of you are running it all the better cause then I will have a friend! 🙂

More Running-ness


Okay I think I now understand why I run.

It’s not solely for exercise. It’s cause I love it. I realized this last night when after an exhausting hour of swimming and day, in general, I went for a run. I wanted too. I was tired and sore from swimming. But I had to go. So I ran four miles. They were by far, the slowest I have run in a long, long time. The last time I ran an 8:30 mile was in March. But whatever. I’m actually just proud that I even ran four miles. So, at this point I don’t really care about the time (I was running 8:20’s) cause I’m just proud that I ran at all. I know. I’m such a  tough coach. 😉

Anyways, after my run of awesomeness, John lent me his compression socks. I’m not the athlete who has like all that fancy post-run stuff like a foam roller or those stretchy things (yeah, I don’t even know what they’re called) or compression socks. Although, compression socks are for when you are running. Well, all through my run and when I got home (and actually all  day), my calves were killing me, so I saw James wearing compression socks and I thought maybe that would help my calves, so I asked John if I could borrow his. I was quite the sight last night in my short shorts and long socks. I thought of taking a picture but decided that would not be the wisest decision!! 😉 But today, my calves were fine! They weren’t sore at all! Now the rest of me is sore. My shoulders, my arms, my back, my hip. I’m falling apart. But it’s okay. Cause once I get used to swimming, I should be okay.

Okay I want to tell you all about my race on Saturday. Thanks for the many well-wishers, both online and in real life! 🙂 That, in itself, made it fantastic! 🙂 It was hot. I was slow. But that’s okay. I ran a minute faster than last year at that race. I had to walk for like 10 seconds (that was all I allowed myself) and I thought I would die. But in the end, it was three miles, and I run that all the time. I was a little disappointed by the results but I hadn’t exactly trained for it. Actually, I hadn’t trained for it at all. It was just fun to actually run in the race! And I started out with two of my friends. They both finished before me, but it was nice to start out with people that I knew and have them there for me at the finish line! 🙂

Who's that half-dead girl about to cross the finish line? ;)

Who’s that half-dead girl about to cross the finish line?? 😉

Victorious!!!!

Haha. I love how I look like I’m dying. Or about to cry. Or something.

I love races. They are so fun. I am planning on doing at least one more this summer. I think I am going to start training for another half marathon. But not now. I have started training for a half marathon like ten times this past year. I’m going to wait until…august? September, maybe. I’m a wimp and I hate running far when it’s super hot out. When I am training for something and I have a schedule and the schedule is like:

-~-Saturday- run 10 miles.

And then it’s Saturday and it’s 80 degrees out and humid. What idiot would run 10 miles in 80- degree weather? Well actually I can think of plenty of people that would do that but I WOULD NOT. So then I get off track and it’s all annoying and messed-up.

Of course, I’ve decided that now that I am a “veteran-half-marathoner” (wow, that’s a mouthful), I no longer need a schedule. But still. I have one in my head. So I’m waiting until it gets cooler before I start. But I’m going to try to at least get my mileage up to six miles over the summer. Six is a good distance.

 

 

Pre-race Excitement


How can you tell when the race you are running in is coordinated by a church?

When there’s a devotional in the running swag bag.

As if I didn’t already know that Run for the Stars 5K is organized by my old church, the running devotional pretty much sealed the fact ! 🙂 It’s actually really awesome to think about the fact that over 900 participants will be receiving a devotional in their goodie bags. Anyways, if you haven’t already figured it out, I picked up my race packet today for the race on Saturday! I am #409! Yay. I don’t understand why that’s a “yay” but whatever… Anyways, I also went on a run this afternoon. It was HOT! I was dripping buckets by the first mile. It was hard. But I ran 3.1 miles.

It wasn’t my best run ever. I had to keep stopping for water breaks. But it will do considering I got up at 6:30 to swim for an hour. And then I babysat for two hours which included biking to the park. And I feel amazing right now.

Getting my race packet got me all excited about the race! I love race packets. They are awesome. In fact, if for no other reason, run a race for the packet! You are bound to get at the least an awesome t-shirt and a bunch of brochures concerning other races. But often there are other things like free samples of various sports items and coupons for athletic stores. And after the race, there is always free food and water or gatorade! And pictures and sometimes medals!! 🙂

I was thinking about what I would write about in this post and I was thinking, “I’ll say that the only reason I run races is for the packet!” Cause that is partially true. The goodie bag is awesome. I always look forward to it. But that’s really not the only reason. I also run it for the satisfaction. I run it for the competition. I run it cause it’s fun to cross a finish line, accomplish something, and have tons of people cheering for you! Even if it’s only three miles which I run practically every TIME I run (except yesterday, that was an exception).

I like races.

They are totally worth the money.

My Very Own Slap-happy Running Post!


For those of you who don’t know: today is National Running Day. And this morning, I was quite upset because I was reading all these slap-happy blog posts from slap-happy runners who actually GOT TO RUN TODAY. I never really realized how big a part of my life running really is! If I’m bored, I’ll run. If I’m upset, I’ll run. But also it’s just part of my schedule. My feet have been itching to get out there!!! I was complaining to my mom about how I couldn’t WAIT until swimming started in the mornings so that I could run in the afternoons. I was like, “MOM TODAY IS NATIONAL RUNNING DAY AND I CAN’T RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Her very comforting response was, “Oh! I should go for a run today!” Wow. Thanks Mom! 😉 Anyways, so all day, I will admit, I was in a bit of a funk, because I couldn’t go on a run. But then I got this brilliant idea! I could just go after swimming!!!!

So:

Today. I got to run!

It was awesome. I ran fast. And short. I only ran 2.2 miles. But I don’t really care because I also swam for an hour!

I feel so fit. 😉

How I know that I am getting more exercise than  usual:

1) I am always tired. I went to bed at 10:30 last night and got up at 9:00 today and I have been half-asleep all day! Okay, not half-asleep, just a little dazed.And, it’s not that I’m not used to being tired but I got 10.5 hours of sleep last night! After a sleep like that I should NOT be tired!! 🙂 Unless I’m burning more calories . Or growing! Growing would be nice also. But I’m pretty sure it’s just the extra hour of exercise everyday! 😉

2) I am incredibly sore. All the time. Right now, my arms feel like they are going to fall off.  And my legs are sore. Actually, basically everything that could be sore, is right now, sore. I’m not really complaining though because soreness means:

3)I am gaining muscle. Noticeable muscle. I have always had this kind of weird obsession with being muscular. My mom says it’s not ladylike but…I don’t care cause I think it’s awesome. Anyways, I now have muscles! 🙂 Not like amazing muscles but muscles enough and they will get stronger! 🙂

The End.

🙂