Capital Striders Happenings and RMC Podcast Interviews

The leaves on the trees have begun to change and radiate fall’s beauty thru it’s vibrant hues.  It’s this time of year that many runners revel in all the glory of the crisp air and sanctuary of the outdoors.  With much anticipation of training that will culminate towards fall marathons, trail runs and the community of runners enjoying this time of year together, I am happy to announce today’s blog post titled, Capital Strider’s Happenings and RMC Podcast Interviews.

RMC Podcast Interview with Capital Striders

Capital Striders representatives, Kristin Adkins, Amber Crews, and Jason Kenyon were all kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules organizing and hosting the upcoming fall trail races, Des Moines IMT Marathon Volunteer coordination, and the 100 mile November Challenge to let me ask them a few questions during a group interview.

Capital Striders is a running club group based in Des Moines, Iowa and is currently about 550 runners strong.  They offer a well-rounded amalgamation of various types of training runs, group runs and is heavily involved in the Des Moines area running community.  Listen to their interview thru the podcast link below that describes and talks more in details about some of their specific training runs thru out each week.

Upcoming Races and Fall Motivation

Amber Crews and Jason Kenyon tell us some of the race highlights of two of the upcoming trail races that the Capital Striders Club will host.

Fast approaching at the end of October (October 27th, to be exact) is the “To Grandmother’s House We Go” trail race.  Included here is a link for registration and race details.  http://www.capitalstriders.org/to-grandmothers-house-we-go.  The race distances of 5k, 10k and 15k offered are based on the 5k loop thru Brown’s Woods.  They even encourage and give prizes for those that are brave enough to come in costume and honor the Red Ridinghood them.

The other scenic trail race being held before the end of the year is the “Sycamore 8“.   This race travels along the Des Moines River and if you’re one of those cold weather runners, then mark your calendar for this year’s race to be held on December 1st.  Link for registration and race details here – http://www.capitalstriders.org/sycamore-8

Along with the weekly offerings of speed work on a track, hill runs for strength, and Saturday group runs, the club offers some more informal trail runs which you can find out about location announcements by following the ‘Capital Striders’ Turkeys‘ Facebook page.

In addition to the weekly group offerings, there is also what’s called the ‘100 Miles in November Challenge‘ spearheaded by Kristin Adkins.  With a couple years under its belt, the 100 Miles in November Challenge has been proud to collaborate prize offerings with Fleet Feet Sport and Heartland Soles to award a pair of new runnings kicks.  Local Hy-Vee dieticians have also contributed runner’s swag in the past like a new Fitbit watch.  If only I lived 2 hours closer, I’d sure be taking advantage of this late fall motivational running group.

Runner’s at Heart

It’s always fun to hear about an individual’s specific reasons for running, their personal motivation or their proudest running moments.  Within the Ep. 8 – Capital Striders RMC Podcast episode, you’ll get to hear Amber tell you about her zen 50k in Portland memories and how she came to identify herself at a young age thru running, Jason’s Rocky Mountain Park experience and his downhill hail running PR, and Kristin’s battle with Mother Nature at last spring’s Boston Marathon and how she came to find her role with Capital Striders.

FREE Race Registration Giveaways Contest!!

Capital Striders was generous enough to give away 1 FREE race registration for each of the upcoming “To Grandmother’s House We Go” and “Sycamore 8” trail races.  If you’d like to enter the contest, here are the parameters;

  1. On Facebook and/or Twitter – “Like” both the Capital Striders and Runnermomcoach pages.
  2. Share this blog post thru Facebook and/or Twitter via the Runnermomcoach Facebook/Twitter page, on your personal Facebook/Twitter page.  This can be done by simply clicking on the SHARE button at the end of this post.
  3. Be the first to directly e-mail cemerunblog@gmail.com with screenshots of 1 and 2, along with which race you would like to receive FREE entry into by 10/25/18.
  4. Ready?…Get Set…GO!!!

 

26.2 Miles for You, and You, and You!!

Sunday is the big day!  On October 7th, 2018 (this Sunday), I will set out around 5:30 am to get to Grant Park in Chicago, IL in order to run the Chicago Marathon for the Girls on the Run Charity. I will run 26.2 miles for You, and you, and you!!

26.2 Dedicated Miles to My Donors!

As promised, I will run 1 mile for each of my exactly 26 donors and the .2 for my husband and family, who are always unconditional support to me.

Here is my 26.2 list of donors (in no particular order) and the miles I”m dedicating to each of you.

Mile 1 – Jennifer Burhans, Mile 2 – Flockhart Family, Mile 3 – Rick & Sue Enyart, Mile 4 – Dad & Phyllis Mick, Mile 5 – Suzie Johannes & Family, Mile 6 – Kathleen Elliott, Mile 7 – Sylvona & Chase Lang, Mile 8 – Allison Ray, Mile 9 – Lisa Flaherty, Mile 10 – Nancy Fox, Mile 11 – Aaron Henderson, Mile 12 – Briana Steffens, Mile 13 – Kathryn Davidson, Mile 14 – Shelley Hannah, Mile 15 – Lori Pleiness, Mile 16 – Darsha White, Mile 17 – Shiloh Jones, Mile 18 – Angie Amunson, Mile 19 – Cindy Bennett, Mile 20 – Angie Smith, Mile 21 – Heather Flatgard, Mile 22 – Rose Reiseck, Mile 23 – Vanessa Duerksen, Mile 24 – Lana Kelsey, Mile 25 – Nicole Miller, Mile 26 – Nancy Schmitt, Mile 26.2 – Joel, Vivian & Victoria & Golden Hammer Collision Center.

Great Thanks!!

It has enlightened me to receive all of your support thru out this charity journey.  You will have a lasting impact on not only myself, but to some young girl who may just be discovering who she is or who she’s to become.  Thanks to you for donating to me, but more importantly for your belief in humanity and in making a positive impact in the world!

Enjoying the Ride

J.Bo and I are looking forward to our experience and are hoping to make the best of it.  Life has thrown us a little curveball as Jen has been experiencing some back issues and it’s affected her running game a little bit.  But we’ve worked to raise the awareness for supporting young runners and specifically young girls thru our charity efforts and running for Girls on the Run.  And we’ve decided together, that just to ensure we are enjoying the experience itself, the camaraderie of the runners in Chicago, and each other that we won’t be at all time focused and may even choose to pause and walk a little here or there to stop and smell the roses along the way.

Post Race Re-cap next week along with a new podcast episode with Capital Striders representatives and even an opportunity to receive a FREE race registration for one of their upcoming fall trail races.  Stay tuned!…

 

New Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards

Hey Folks!  Have you heard about the new Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards for 2020?  I just received this e-mail from Runner’s World that included an article pertaining to the new standards, where the time cut-offs lie, and where a few of the time windows lie for entry if you run faster than your qualifying standard.

“Do you think the new qualifying standards are fair?”

The Runner’s World article written by Sarah Lorge Butler and published on September 27, 2018 asks the question, “Do you think the new qualifying standards are fair?”  You may even participate in an online poll to voice your opinion.

I think the reality of the qualifying standards is and always has been, that Boston continues to be quote “the holy grail for serious distance runners”, per Sarah Lorge Butler.  Read the article for yourself, but the cap of 30,000 registrants must be maintained regardless of the newfound speed of the general population of marathoners.  Read the article here – https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a23481338/boston-marathon-qualifying-times/ 

The limit to the number of registrants, part in due to the original necessity to limit because of the narrowness of the streets out in Hopkinton where the race starts, and the increasing popularity of the race and registrants, has evolved and progressed thru the years.

In fact, it was declared back in 1970 by the B.A.A. officials that “this is not a jogging race!”

“A runner must submit the certification of either the Long Distance Running chairman of the Amateur Athletics Union of his district or his college coach that he has trained sufficiently to finish the course in less than four hours. This is not a jogging race”

The history of the marathons exclusivity is somewhat fascinating in how it’s morphed and evolved.  https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/enter/qualify/history-qualifying-times

My humble opinion on the fairness of this new standards is that Yes, I do believe it will eliminate the “grey area” on qualification times.  The modern era of running has also metamorphasized and evolved into faster runners, better science and knowledge on training, and an overall larger percentage of individuals in general that participate in the sport.  Thus if we want to maintain the prestige of Boston and its’ integrity, the field must be adapted.

https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/enter/qualify

What Can You Do to Get There?

My humble recommendations are to first train intentionally, if you are going after a B.Q. (Boston Qualifier time).  Pick your goal qualifying marathon to nail down your B.Q. time and be sure that it is certified so that the time you run even counts.  Also, make sure that it is within the window of time for you to submit towards whichever Boston Marathon race you want to participate in.  Typically, you qualify the year prior and then submit for entry for whatever age you will be on the day of your desired Boston Marathon.

There are many good and fast qualifying courses out there, but of course my favorites are the only two that I can speak towards where I was able to run qualifying times; Grandma’s Marathon and the Chicago Marathon.  But you can find qualifying marathons thru these links;

If you are indeed going to train intentionally, part of that training should include some goal marathon pace runs, speed work like the Yasso 800’s (which are also a great marathon time predictor workout), and strength and mobility work 2-3 times per week.

Happy Marathon News Monday!!!  Quotting Carrie Tollefson and her CTolleRun mantra, “GET AFTER IT!”

Girls on the Run – Chicago Marathon Update

Well, folks my apologies for the less than consistent blog posts so far this fall.  As most of you already know, I also coach middle school and high school cross country and we’ve had a weird first half of the season with meets getting canceled due to heat and then too much rain or ground saturation and having to scramble to find replacements or re-figure training plans, etc.  The coaching life is a fun and very rewarding one, but can also be quite intense at times. With that said, here finally is my Girls on the Run – Chicago Marathon Update.

Two Weeks Out

I peaked two weeks ago at 20 miles.  I like to typically do 22-23 or so, but since the marathon this time is focused more towards the charity and raising awareness and also checking off a bucket list item, I decided it wasn’t necessary to do the few extra miles.

Last week, I started a 3-week taper that put my long run at 15 miles.  It was such a huge reprieve to finally have cooler weather and I actually felt like I just kinda wanted to cruise for a couple more miles, but then that would defeat the taper wouldn’t it?!?

This week, I’ll continue as always running with the kids at practice as they work towards their own peak in training.  That means 3-4 days a week doing between 3 – 7 or 8 miles.  I don’t typically run with them on their quality or speed work days, since I”m running the clock and coaching.  So have been taking these couple of days off or only doing 3-4 miles with the middle school kids or on my own.  Needless to say, my own training has been a bit more unstructured this time and it’s been a little bit of nice change.

Along with this more un-structured approach, I’ll admit that I have not been as disciplined towards my own strength and mobility, stretching or core work.  I would say on average, I’ll help lead the kids thru what they’re doing at practice and end up doing all or part of their workout, but often times am kinda all over the place with this and again coaching thru out.   However, knock on wood, I’m not experiencing much soreness or tightness anywhere and am assuming the extra off days in between have been a little blessing in disguise for recovery.

Fundraising Deadline and Dedicating my Miles

The fundraising deadline for my charity efforts and donations is Thursday 9/27/18.  So many of you have donated and supported me and for this I’ve been very humbled and so grateful!  It’s not too late, if you’d still like the opportunity to help me pay it forward you can do so thru this link. https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/2018-gotr-chicago-marathon/runnermomcoach

As of today, I have exactly 26 donors.  I will dedicate and run a mile for each of you during my 26.2 mile journey on October 6th.  If I end up being even more blessed with additional donors, then I’ll group your dedicated miles towards the end when I’m having to dig deep.  The extra incentive and purpose to run for you will be my motivation when my body and mind are tired.

My Bib number is #8877 and if you’d like to live track me during the marathon you can download the Bank of America Chicago Marathon App.

Race Day Goals

First and foremost, of course, to run for charity, raise awareness and check off a bucket list item with my running bestie.  Secondary, to run for fun and complete enjoyment.  No worrying about pace, no calculating miles and accumulated time in my head during the race, no obsessing over how I’m going to disperse what’s left in the tank and what’s left for course.

I’m determined to NOT forget my running shoes this time.  Remember this post – http://runnermomcoach.com/happy-running-hump-day-fabulous-debacle-ms-type/

My goodness!  Perhaps, I’ll even cross paths with another famous person in the running world again this time.  Last time I ran Chicago, I met Bart Yasso, dubbed the “Mayor of Running” by Runners World.  http://runnermomcoach.com/bart-yasso-blog-shrine/

I’ll see if I can figure out how to do some live video over Instagram or Facebook.  I’m not as tech savvy with these sort of things yet, but wouldn’t that be fun.  Then you can experience some of it along with me.

Good Luck to All!

Happy Monday everyone!  Hopefully, you are all feeling crisper with this cooler weather and finding your legs spinning beneath you just a little smoother and quicker.   Good Luck to any of you who may also be running Chicago, or the Twin Cities Marathon which is also the same weekend.  Enjoy the remaining two weeks of your taper and on race day go get er done!!

Picture Taken on a run in Bever Park in the Fall of 2015

 

 

 

Humble Running

Humble Running was some sort of cathartic declaration I made back in 2009, in my running journal.  It was a couple years after I first started realizing I could run longer distances.  I’ll never forget the first time that I ran from my house, out to school, and back.  It was 12 something miles and I may have lived off that high for several months.  That’s when I started to believe in the possibilities of running my first 1/2 marathon, which was Mason City in 2011.  I had been bitten by the distance bug and in 2014 signed up for Grandma’s Marathon to try and qualify for Boston.

Picture of a sunrise coming out the front door of the house I lived in at the time.

Humble Running

by Corrie Enyart on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 10:00pm

I read an article today that hit home. In it was an interview of a very famous man in the mountain running world. Who said that he doesn’t measure his running success by miles or minutes or a clock. He just goes until he can’t go anymore and doesn’t race for glory or fame. That would be too greedy and self-absorbed. He doesn’t buy all the latest greatest gadgets or shoes. He finds a pair that fits him and then buys the store out. He doesn’t obsess with all the Power Bars and Energy Gels. He eats what’s available and doesn’t spend a whole lot of money on something that’s not going to be there tomorrow. I’ve often asked myself , Why do I run? I know I run because it makes me feel better and I feel like I’m a better me when I do. I run to meditate. I run to escape responsibility and feel free. I run to maintain good health and be able to keep up with my kids and someday their kids. I run because when I don’t, I feel like every aspect of my life is off. Running regulates me and fulfills me and makes me content. I fear the day that may come that I won’t be able to run. And running won’t become a choice anymore. I run for strength; physically, spiritually, mentally, metaphorically. To run is part of who I am!

When Did You Start Believing?

Distance running is all relative right?  Like the first time, you run a 5k and you never thought you’d be able to run that far.  As gluttons for goal setting, runners like to up the anty after each goal is attained, myself included.  It’s like the possibilities become infinite and you ask yourself to what limits you can get to.

I’m not one of those (yet) that has ventured into the Ultra-marathoning realm, but I can’t say that my mind hasn’t questioned what the next step is after the marathon and after qualifying for my last marathon bucket list, which is New York City Marathon.   But had you asked me 10 years ago if I’d have ever thought I’d run a marathon or qualify for Boston, I would’ve laughed in your face.

Something us coaches have to remind our athletes all the time is that, “you’re stronger than you realize”.  It seems like if you can just get someone to believe in their capabilities or tenacity to go after a goal, then the sky is the limit.

I assume if you’re reading this blog post, then you currently consider yourself a runner, have contemplated running at some point, or already have a string of hardware at home from races you’ve completed.  Can you think back to when you first were “bitten” by the running bug?  Can you remember the elation and euphoria you felt when you completed your first race?  We have to remind ourselves once in a while where we came from and how we got to the point we’re at now.  It’s humbling, yet empowering!  If you can remember when you started ‘believing’ then you can use that as fuel to drive your confidence in what you can accomplish.

Happy Hump Day Runners!  Feels like a Journey song should be cued….”Don’t Stop Believing!”

What is Footstrike Hemolysis?

Isn’t it funny how we start the thought process or researching of one thing and it leads us to something else?  Last week, I was thumbing thru a book in my library on ways to “Boost Your Immune System” in search of ways to keep my athletes healthy.  While reading up on the therapeutic effects of different vitamins and minerals and specifically iron and the conditions of anemia, I came across a term I was unfamiliar with called “footstrike hemolysis”.  Perhaps, you’re asking yourself the same thing I did which was, “What is Footstrike Hemolysis?



Iron and its Function in the Body

Let’s first tackle the importance and function of iron in the body.  In a nutshell, without getting too biologically descriptive, iron in the blood presents itself as red blood cells and is called hemoblogin.  Hemoglobin, or these red blood cells, is essentially what carries oxygen thru out our bodies.  And more specifically from the lungs to our tissues, like a muscle.   It is our body’s requirement for respiration (breathing) and energy metabolism.  Iron was highlighted as a mineral responsible for maintaining the immune system in the book.

Of course, as runners, we rely on ample stores of iron in our blood in order to not only stay healthy but to be able to run at our best.  If we’re low on this essential mineral than we can suffer from what’s called iron deficiency, or anemia.

Causes of Anemia and “Footstrike Hemolysis”

There are various causes of iron deficiency or anemia.  A few of the obvious are blood loss, not consuming enough of the daily recommended amount, iron absorption problems, and some other various medical conditions.  You can do more research of your own and certainly my surface level recap here is not at all all-inclusive.

However, while reading about iron deficiency and runner’s anemia the term “footstrike hemolysis” was introduced to me.  It’s somewhat self-descriptive in its name.  Hemo meaning blood and lysis meaning breakdown.   The red blood cells called hemoglobin sharing the root of the word hemolysis, and thus rupture or destruction of the red blood cells.   And of course, footstrike just as it sounds.

Another name for “footstrike hemolysis” is “march hemoglobinuria”, which was discovered and coined during the 1800’s from an army physician who had observed a soldier who had completed some arduous field marching exercises and thus became anemic thru the impact of his footstrikes breaking down the red blood cells in his body.   We as runner’s can suffer from the same “runner’s anemia” or impact destruction of red blood cells.

In extreme cases, as documented by scientists and sports physicians, long-distance track runners have been reported to have blood in their urine.  Or in other extreme cases, long-distance runners or marathoners reporting blood in the urine after a race from the repeated footstrike trauma.

Runner’s Specific Precautions

As you can deduce, it is easy to understand how our repeated footstrikes while running long distances may be the culprit to our feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and tiredness through “runner’s anemia”.

A few precautions that can help you avoid this annoying debilitator to peak performance, are to make sure you’re replacing your shoes periodically and not running on worn out soles.  A general rule of thumb is to replace shoes every 300-400 miles for heavier or larger framed runners or 400-500 miles for lighter more petite runners.

Change up your running surfaces!  The harder the surface, i.e. asphalt or concrete, the more impact and destruction there is to the red blood cells.  Consider a pea gravel trail or softer trail surface.  Perhaps even consider a grassy park or someplace off the beaten path.  Be creative!  Think cross country running!!

Also, if you are female you may be more susceptible to anemia due to menstruation cycles.  Read more pertaining to this thru this article written by Kathleen Woods for Women’s Running.

Kathleen gives the reminder of food consumption and dietary recommendations.

“Recommended foods that are iron fortified include red meat, eggs, spinach, oatmeal, oysters, dried fruit and whole grain or enriched cereals. Vitamin C helps to absorb iron, so a tall glass of OJ with a nice lean steak could be just what the doctor ordered. Iron supplements are also available over the counter at your local pharmacy, but always consult with your doctor before adding any extra supplements to your diet.”

Great Articles on Footstrike Hemolysis or Hemolytic Anemia

I’ve attached a few of the articles that I researched that go into more depth on this condition, it’s causes and symptoms, and ways to prevent.

Take care of yourselves runners!  Eat well, recover well, run in the right gear and vary up your surfaces. Happy Coaches Corner Friday!!

Hemolytic Anemia from Footstrikes – A Runner’s Perspective

Two Huge Causes Of Anemia In Female Runners

 

 

 

NewBo Half Marathon Recap

Congratulations to all of you who may have run this past Labor Day Weekend’s NewBo Half Marathon or 10k.  Today’s blog post is my race day and Chicago Marathon training recap.

Personal Goals

First part of my recap is that I chose to sign up for the NewBo Half this year to use as part of an 18-mile training run towards my build-up with running the Chicago Marathon on October 7th for the Girls on the Run Charity.  Most of you already know this (donation link on the right of this page if you’d like to support me).

 

6:30am @ Caseys

J. Bo and I started at 6:30 am from the Casey’s on C Street and ran just shy of 5 miles down to the market just in time to make a quick Nascar pit-stop before toeing the line.  Gun went off at 7:30 am for the 13.1.

7:30am at the Starting Line

It was incredibly refreshing to be able to participate in a race and observe more along the way and to not feel the need to worry about pace.  I also must say that I usually have to wear my hydration belt, which doesn’t fit awesomely, along on long runs and was liberated to not have to since the well-organized race had water and Gatorade stops planned out at every couple of miles.

NewBo Race Organization

Thank you NewBo race directors and volunteers for the well placed hydration opportunities and even the energy gel along the way.  The course was a beautiful mix of Iowa rolling countryside, soft tree-lined trails, and a downtown send off and energetic greeting to the finish.

I felt it was a relatively flat course and enjoyed running on the trail surface as well as along some scenic waterways.  It was also quite nice to have each mile signs posted and be able to count down the distance along the way.

PGXC Gives Back to the Community

There were many volunteers from various school’s teams and local running groups thru out the morning, including our very our Prairie Girls Cross Country Team and a few parents.  We had about 25 athletes and parents combined working the finish line and food and drink there afterward.

I truly believe it to be a valuable lesson to teach the kids the importance to give back to running as much as they receive.  Many of them said it was so fun to be on the other side of things and see everyone finish.  One special senior on our team even hung the medal over my neck after I crossed the finish.  =)

Many of the other kids were able to also hang medals around their parents’ necks as the too crossed the finish line.  We had at least 3-4 team parents participate in the races.  J.Bo and I even got to run with one of our special running team Moms, as she too used the NewBo half as a build-up to another fall race.   It was cool to help each other thru the latter miles and cross the finish line together!

The unique medals are provided by the Cedar Rapids Ceramics Center and look like this.

NewBo Run Ceramic Handmade Medal in the Middle

And I don’t hate the nice collection of soft style t-shirts that I’ve collected over the years of helping volunteer.  This year’s color is one of my favorites!

Five Weeks Out from the Chicago Marathon

Next week I will drop back down to a 14-15 miler and let my body recover a little bit.  But will then cap off the peak of my mileage with a 20 miler the following week, which will be four weeks out.  After that, I will do a 3-week taper and just let things kinda ride on into marathon weekend easy.

Hopefully, I won’t forget my running shoes this time, haha!  If you want a good laugh or valuable lesson for traveling out of town to a marathon, then you should read my blog post called ‘The Fabulous Debacle of Ms. Type-A’.  

Best wishes to all of you that are training for fall marathons like myself and with these last few weeks of peak mileage build-up. I would love for you all to tag my Instagram of Facebook pages @runnermomcoach with your pictures and stories of your race(s).

Run Happy my Friends!!

 

 

Why Didn’t I think of a Confidence Journal Sooner?!?

I’ve always been a personal fan of Kara Goucher, one of America’s greatest long-distance runners.  She’s got an impressive running history that includes several showings on the woman’s side at the Olympics in distances spanning from 5,000m on up to the full marathon distance.  She is now carrying her work forward to helping others thru her website http://www.karagoucher.com/ and podium retreats.

But today, I’m especially inspired by a recent Runner’s World article written by Kara called “Kara Goucher Shares the Secret to Finally Finding Her Confidence“.  While reading it, I became enlightened by the idea of keeping what she calls a “Confidence Journal” not only for myself but also for the runners that I coach.  Why Didn’t I think of a Confidence Journal Sooner?!?

Running is 10% Physical and 90% Mental

You’ve probably heard some similar statistics relating to running.  Of course, this statistic is subjective but the point is that running is very much a mental game.  How do we trick our brains into accepting that our hard-wired instincts of survival of stopping something when we feel pain, isn’t necessary?  How do we overcome the mental and psychological demons that creep into the attic after a workout or race doesn’t go the way we had planned?  How does that physical relationship overlap into the mental and emotional relationship of running?

This phrase of 10% physical and 90% mental, is obvious when we talk about athletic character attributes like grit, tenacity, perseverance, etc.   But even taken a step further, if we consider that some of this mental is related to our attitude and the reflection that takes place after workouts or races then the correlation between being internally grateful and it’s possible effects on our performance can be key within the process of the journey.

“The Secret Link Between Gratitude and Performance”

I found another article relating to gratefulness and the possible effects of this positive outlook on our performance in an online article called “The Secret Link Between Gratitude and Performance” by Brad Stuhlberg written for a website called theoutsideonline.com

Research shows that a regular gratitude practice, such as keeping a gratitude journal or writing letters of thanks, is associated with reduced inflammatory markerslower blood pressure, and improved sleep duration and quality—all of which are critical to not only health, but also athletic recovery and performance. A regular gratitude practice could very well enhance your ability to adapt to training.

Brad’s article recommends these three steps to implement grateful practices into your athletic lives.

How to Be Grateful

The effects of giving thanks are strongest when you do so regularly. Simon-Thomas recommends the following three ways:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal: Every week (or better yet, every day) jot down three things in your life for which you are grateful. (Yes, there’s even an app for that.)
  2. Write a gratitude letter: Think about someone who has played a positive role at some point in your life and write him or her a thank you note. This only takes a few minutes and it won’t just give you a boost but also the person on the receiving end.
  3. Say thanks—out loud: Nothing beats real, live, and inter-personal gratitude, says Simon-Thomas. But, she says, you’ve got to do it the right way: tell someone what you are thankful for, acknowledge the effort they put in, and describe why it was helpful.

Addition to My “Books to Read” List

Kara’s article in Runner’s World was apparently an adaptation from her book Strong: A Runner’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Becoming the Best Version of You,.  Guess I’ll be adding this one to my “Books to Read” list.  Of course, that means I’ll have to have time to actually read for enjoyment.  Perhaps after the XC season,…November?

Happy Running Folks!  Next blog post will touch base on the NewBo Half Marathon coming up next Sunday – September 2nd, 2018.

A Heartfelt Message with Respect to Mollie Tibbetts

Runners, I want to dedicate today’s post with utmost sincerity to the most recent Mollie Tibbetts Case.  Many of you may already be aware of the Iowa college-age girl who was abducted while out on a run in the countryside.  My heart goes out to all of her family, friends, and community for their loss.  Your loss is dire!   My hope is that other runner’s, or individuals, may at the very least take extra precautions and safeguards and perhaps “A Heartfelt Message with Respect to Mollie Tibbetts” for your own safety.

In All Honesty…

I’ll admit, I used to be the purist runner.  It was so freeing and liberating to just head out the door without a specific plan, destination or route.  My runs were a way for me to escape to a blank canvas where I was the only one who could paint on it.

I NEVER ran with a phone, because it was MY time.  I often wouldn’t communicate with my family members where I was going to run or when exactly I’d be back.  Even, back in my college days of running, I would take off by myself without even telling anyone I was going to go for a run.  I now look back and realize how completely DUMB I was.  I was irresponsible and selfish!  Don’t be like I was and please take this message of caution to heart.

Run Safe & Run Smart!

Perhaps things change a bit after you have kids or realize that you have a responsibility to your loved ones.  Or, perhaps like me, you have come to the realization that there is absolutely no excuse to not take advantage of all the various tools for safety our there.  There are so many convenient resources of the modern day at our fingertips to keep you safe and for your our own well being.

Here is my checklist for you runner’s to consider;

  1. Take your phone with you!!  If you’re an iPhone user, turn on your location services and use Find My Friends or a Life 360 app. so you can be tracked by your family members.  Not to mention you’ll have it with you should you need to call for help.
  2. Let someone know you’re going for a run.  I told my own college daughter just the other day, that even if her roommate isn’t around that she should still leave a note.  Heaven forbid something would happen to her, but if it did at least authorities and us family members would then know that she had gone on a run or the nature of her absence.
  3. Route your run.  Use mapmyrun.com or upload your Garmin or GPS watch analytics to log your routes or create new ones.  Let your friends or family members know where you like to run or the general routes you take.
  4. Run during daylight hours or at least on well-lit streets.
  5. Run with a partner or running buddy – this could include a dog.
  6.  Run with pepper spray or a whistle to ward off unwanted people, strangers, or animals.
  7. NEVER run with earbuds in both ears or music too loud that you couldn’t hear someone coming up behind you.
  8. If God forbid you feel you are being followed, immediately get your phone in your hand and emergency numbers pulled up.  Or pepper spray un-locked and prepped.  Bee-line to the closest house, business, or public area and forget about any miles or workout you had initially intended on.  Safety first and always heir on the side of caution!
  9. Also, God forbid you are attacked, but you MUST do everything in your will to fight off your attacker.  Empower yourself and try your best not to be a deer in headlights and freeze.  One thing I learned back in my martial arts days of self-defense was, if you’re attacked from behind, lower your center of gravity as close to the ground as possible while maintaining your feet stance.  It is much harder for an attacker to move you if they also have to lift your weight.
  10. Don’t take your safety for granted!

Equip Yourself with the Right Gear

I’ve included a link here to some of the safety equipment or gear that I’ve used or currently use.  You do NOT need justification to purchase something that’s going to keep you safe.  There should be NO excuses!

Products & Gear for Running Safely

 

Learning How to Go with the Flow

Last week was the first week of our official Fall Cross Country Season in conjunction with my own personal first week back at training for the marathon distance.  However, this time I am doing something completely unlike myself.  I am going to try a very loose training progression and mileage plan.  I’m kind of excited about letting the control ropes go a little bit and giving a little slack to myself this time.  I’m “Learning How to Go with the Flow”.

What Will I NOT Do this time?

With the training this time, and since I’m running with the sole goal of raising money for charity and experiencing the marathon with my running bestie, I’m NOT going to do planned or structured speed work.  No mile repeats at set paces, no tempo long runs, no Yasso 800s.

I will NOT abide to such a rigid training plan that gets me up at 3:30 in the morning to log mileage before morning practices.

I will NOT wrap myself so tightly around the time and pace axle, so to speak.  Again racing for pace is not my goal here.

I will NOT take for granted the gift of running!

What I WILL Do

I WILL however, log my usual daily average mileage with the cross country kids.  This varies depending on the day between 3 and 8 miles.  Usually on the higher side, when we fall into two a days and higher mileage runners.  And on the lower side when the kids have a hill workout or some sort of quality workout that keeps us centrally located on a route.

I  WILL also, TRY and run some frequent hill workouts for strength with them.  And when I say “try” it’s because we now have some feisty little speed demons that I’m not sure I can keep up with any more (LOL).  But I like the personal challenge and it’s always fun to coach them while being part of the mix.

I WILL most importantly give myself permission to have more of a “go with the flow” attitude and just ride the train for the experience and pure joy of running.

I WILL try and sponge into the memory bank every mile and memory with my J.Bo thru out our training runs and on the marathon itself.

I WILL try and slow down to take a look around more and smile at the fan support, thank the volunteers, and cheer on other runners beside me during the race more.

Dedicating Miles to my Donors

Lastly, I have decided that for every person that donates to me I will dedicate a mile to that person.  If there are miles left over than I think perhaps I will try and make note for something about my running that I am or have been grateful for.

I will try and keep you posted thru out the next few months until October 7th, which is when the Chicago Marathon is run, on how different my body feels or adapts to the things I have chosen NOT to do this time vs. the things I WILL do.  I like being my own guinea pig subject here.

I am still in desperate need of donations to reach my monetary goal of $1500.  Thanks for considering and if you choose to donate, I promise you that your donation dollars will NOT go wasted.  You WILL help a young girl be able to participate in the Girls on the Run program.  And you may just possibly be able to spark a change in her life for ever!!