To eat or not to eat?

One of the big questions I’m trying to figure out is what to eat before and/or after a run. Most of the time I don’t eat in the morning before I run and occasionally I’ll try half a banana. I’m wondering if I’m hurting my ability to run stronger or faster by not eating before hand? I feel pretty dehydrated after the run and drink a ton of water….should I be downing a sports drink instead? Usually I feel ok post run but find I’m crashing late in afternoon.


The tortoise may be on to something

I’ve been feeling like my running needs a little focus – a plan – if I’m going to make some progress so I’m going to try Cool Running’s infamous Couch to 5K Running Plan . For those who don’t know, this plan has a ton of fans for it’s gradual progression to move the beginner from 0 to 3 miles in 9 weeks. My first thought was this sounded painfully slow to me (have I mentioned that I have no patience!) But I think part of the problem in my past efforts to start running is my lack of patience. I start out too hard, too fast and end up injured, frustrated or both. Slow and steady might be the answer, especially since I’m dealing with an “angry” left leg.  Since I am already doing some running, I’ve decided to pick up the plan at week 4 — seems like a good compromise. On my non-run days, I’ll cross-train either a pilates class or weight-training.

So I returned to the track on Monday for my first attempt. The good news is there was once again no knee pain and I comfortably completed my 2 miles. This morning felt even better. For both runs, I felt like I could have done more, but I held off….hoping that my patience will eventually pay off.


Monday’s Motivation

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” – Nietzsche

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Monday mornings are hard for me. Hard to say goodbye to the weekend, the time with family and friends…and of late, hard to get out of bed for a run. This morning my motivation comes from this quote that came to mind as I was struggling to open my eyes much less to get out of bed. It reminds me to be patient with myself…the distance and speed will come. It reminds me that the race I will run in the future (the 5K, the 10K and eventually the half marathon) all begin with one step, one run.


Love that new shoe smell!

Women's Nike Air Zoom Structure Triax 13+ Breathe (White-Urgent/Orange-Neutral/Grey-Black-Dark/Grey)(Size=8.5M)I was so excited to come home today and see that my new running shoes had arrived! I ordered the Nike Air Zoom Structure Triax 13+. I currently have the Triax 11 that I bought over a year ago and I love them! I usually have a tough time with Nike because their toebox is usually pretty narrow, but the Triax was really comfortable and provided great support.  My wonderful hubby suggested I treat myself to a new pair, so after poking around at some of the reviews I decided to order the Triax 13’s. I ran this morning and tomorrow is my weekly pilates reformer class, so I’ll probably try them out Sunday. I’ll let you know how it goes- can’t wait!


I may never walk again!

At least that’s what it felt like about half way through my walking lunges series at the gym this morning! I recently joined the local Gold’s Gym and as part of the deal I signed on for a few sessions with one of their trainers. So once a week, for the past couple of weeks, I spend 40 minutes or so in trainer torture with Mike!

Usually I’m not much for weight training….and based on observing the weights area at my gym I don’t think many women are. Is it the fear of bulking up? Or, an uncertainty about which exercises to do? Or, just no desire to mix it up among the muscle heads? Perhaps all of the above. To Mike’s credit, he makes weight training enjoyable — he sized me up quickly and recognized I can get bored pretty easily, so he mixes it up, finds new ways to challenge my muscles, keeps me laughing all while putting me through a tough workout. And, I gotta say I’m starting to see the results – my left knee pain is lessening and the recovery time needed after a run is getting shorter. All good stuff, right? When I first sat down to talk with Mike, he kept emphasizing the importance of weight-training to my running and he’s made a believer out of me. So all I can say now is “Step aside big boys, cause mama’s got to pump some iron!”


Inspiration comes in small packages

Today I volunteered at my oldest son’s elementary school Fun Run. There was a half mile and mile runs for the kids, and then a 5K. It’s always a great family event and today did not disappoint. And, I had the best job a volunteer could have – I handed out medals to all of the kids as they crossed the finish line! Watching these kids give the race everything they had and crossing that finish line (first, last or somewhere in between) with a look of pride on their faces – let me tell you, it was a great way to spend a morning! (I also had the added bonus of putting a medal around my son’s neck…how many moms get to do that?!) Watching these kids I kept thinking this is why you run — they weren’t worried about form or technique. They just let go and ran for the pure joy of it! I wish I had approached my own morning run with such abandon. Ah well, there’s always next time!


Maybe running in circles can move you forward

At the advice of some of my runner friends, I hit the track this morning. Left knee pain is one of the roadblocks I’m hoping to overcome as I make my running “comeback” (said with tongue firmly in cheek!) so I thought it was worth a shot to see if things would feel any better on a track.

Yes running loops on a track can be a bit tedious, but without the varied surfaces of the roads and sidewalks I usually attempt, I found it easy to fall into a nice, steady rhythm. And best of all… pain! The usual discomfort in my knee was gone before the first lap was completed! Now I wasn’t fast by any means, but without having the pain to focus on I did comfortably complete two miles. I’ll take that kind of progress any day! So I guess while I continue to strengthen my knee with weight-training, I’ll definitely be adding in some more time on the track. 


Getting Started….again

Here’s the deal…I am not a runner. At least I do not consider myself a runner…yet. I don’t miss running if I haven’t gone in a couple of days (er…weeks). I don’t look at my running shoes with great longing on a cool crisp fall day and wish I were out on the open road. No…I have not fallen in love with running yet.

So…the obvious question…why run? I like the results …I like that my clothes fit they way I want despite my serious ice cream addiction. I like the escape factor – you put on your sneakers, headset and go. It clears my head like few other things can. And, for a serious Type A, mother of two boys, like me the value of that cannot be underestimated. I also like both the physical and mental challenges of running – I watch marathoners and am in awe of how they will themselves to keep going, how they find another gear when others would just flat out give up.

And so I am making another attempt to become a “runner.” Yes I have started and stopped running a couple of times before. This last stop came as a result of injury, no access to a treadmill in the dead of winter and the general demands of life, in that order. I have promised myself that if I can get over the initial hurdle (read pain and frustration) of getting started I will not stop this time. I’d like to eventually work up to running a half marathon…but first things, first. First I figure I need to get around my block (1 mile) without feeling the need to dial 911. Then I will work up to a 5K…then a 10K…but I’m getting a head of myself. Right now I need to wrestle one of my sneakers away from my dog and get going.