Got Yoga?!

Remember the old “Got Milk” ads and campaign in the mid-nineties?  Like milk was such a staple and necessity that the ad almost insinuated that you might be an anomaly if you didn’t drink it.  Almost implying even, that all healthy specimens consider milk essential.  You may be asking yourself, what does milk have to do with Yoga?  Well, runners let me ask you if you’ve “Got Yoga” in your life and if you realize how beneficial to us runners it can be?

The Multi-Facets of Yoga

Yoga has proven to offer a myriad of benefits like lowering blood pressure, reducing insomnia, and offering awareness and harmony for both mind and body.  This probably sounds like a campaign ad as well.  But for runner’s Yoga should be strongly considered as part of your training regime for the benefits of increased flexibility, muscle strength, and protection from injury.

“Running can lead to injury because of its repetitive nature and the resulting musculoskeletal imbalances. On a physical level, yoga restores balance and symmetry to the body, making it the perfect complement to running.” – Human Kinetics.com

According to this blog excerpt on Human Kinetics.com, https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/the-benefits-and-effects-of-yoga-for-runners, the runner’s body and the practice of running itself being such a repetitive singular plane exercise, can mean that a runner’s strength resides dominantly in his/her’s legs or lower body.  It can also mean that muscles that would assist movement in other planes (the same muscles that assist balance and stability while running) become weak.  Thus, major muscles groups doing all the work and becoming tight or “bound” and weaker ones taking a back seat to cropping injuries.  Per the blog excerpt, “biomechanical imbalances” can lead to pain and dysfunction.  And none of us want that!

Re-establishing a Physical Baseline

I have to admit that I had almost forgotten how great I could feel after an hour-long yoga session in heat.  I am pretty disciplined about stretching after I run, and even trying to implement short 10-20 minute yoga sessions 2-3x/week in my own training. But, if I’m being honest, I know that I’m not always as thorough or spending time on reaching all corners of my body.  I’m guilty of only focusing on the major running muscle groups.  I.E. – hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, calf and Achilles, groin or inner thigh and IT Band.

Until I went to a heat yoga session the other day, I had forgotten how good and much more thorough a professionally led yoga session could feel.  As a former sports and orthopedic massage therapist, I fully understand that our bodies are an entire kinetic chain and that our bodies nerves, muscles, and joints must all work together in a chain to produce motion.  After I ran about five miles, I went straight into the yoga class.  I came out feeling a much free-er physicality and range of motion even just in walking.

When and How to Implement Yoga

As a runner, you may like to implement yoga on rest or light cross training days as an alternative to pounding the pavement.  Or you may choose to add it post run for the mobility and stretching benefits.

I’ve even implemented runner’s yoga over the years for the cross county team that I coach.  I firmly believe that it aids them in all of the above mention benefits, but also helps to improve their range of motion.  Surprisingly, even though these are some of the toughest athletes I know, the yoga and pilates sessions are still challenging and fun.  My fellow coach and good friend Jen has become yoga and pilates instructor certified and has brought her lessons to our kids in the form of PiYo or as she likes to call it “Yoga-Latte”.

The PiYo a.k.a. “Yoga-Latte” sessions not only work flexibility and mobility but also challenge the core muscles and kinetic chain stabilizers.  I also personally use and am a huge fan of the Runner’s World Yoga for Runners DVDs with Rebecca Pacheco.

You’d be surprised at how much upper body strength that Yoga can even require in poses such as downward dog.  Or the strength and stability required for planks during a PiYo session.  I may have allegedly even felt the burn in my quads and thighs during a few of the warrior poses.

The Runner’s Mental Edge

Did you happen to read any of the previous blog posts I’ve written on mindset?  I wrote one called “How to be a Zen Runner“, which talks about present mindset and how to finesse your mental game in order to become a more present mindset athlete.  Experts say that when you can obtain a present mindset, you can tap into “the zone” or what I like to call being a “Zen Runner”.

“Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration,” – Dr. Nevins for American Osteopathic Association

So I’m getting back to realizing that deliberate yoga practices and perhaps even a once a week longer yoga session is what my body could thrive on.  I used to be so impatient during a yoga class and get bored.  And perhaps maybe it’s my age coming into play here or that I now understand better what yoga does for my body, but I’m sold on yoga.  New Year’s Resolution #1 – implement more regular yoga sessions into running routine and training.

 

Winter Cross Training

As old time winter settles in, the first of Newton’s 3 laws seems to be blaring in my subconscious.  Newton’s first law of motion states, that an object at rest will stay at rest unless a force acts upon it.  Consequently, an object in motion will also stay in motion with the same principles.  With winter taking hold on outdoor running conditions, it seems like it becomes a daily lottery on whether or not running outside is a good idea or even safe.  This gamble is exactly what my mind had me debating this morning as our school district made the first call for a 2-hour delay, and then followed it up a little later in the morning with a full cancellation.  Even if you can’t get outside to run or don’t have access to a treadmill, you can still stay active and in motion with some other forms of winter cross-training.  Something is better than nothing!

Choose a Cross Training Exercise that Compliments Running

If you want to become a better runner than you’ve got to keep running.  But it can also be quite beneficial to not only give your body a break from the impact of running or pounding the pavement, with cross-training options.  What cross-training options should you choose?

Logically, it would be beneficial to choose something like indoor cycling or an elliptical, which would utilize similar muscles and in the same sagittal plane (forward-backward flexion and extension).  These exercises also give you a break from the repeated impact of running.

If the impact from running is exactly what your body needs a break from you may even consider swimming laps in a pool or aqua jogging.  When aqua jogging, you can even simulate similar workouts that you would run and just implement the water jogging for minutes duration instead of miles.  You can also use this as an opportunity to run/aqua jog by feel or perceived exertion, and practice listening to your body while exercising and learning to challenge yourself or your inner demons. Trust me, it’ll give you a great aerobic workout and the cryotherapy is also a beneficial recovery method from running. Win, win!!

A Few Winter Specific Cross Training Exercises

One of my favorite winter cross-training substitutes for running is snowshoeing.  Snowshoeing allows you to explore more off pavement, since you can pretty much go anywhere that’s covered with snow.  You may notice some different inner thigh muscles being used or a little sore afterward, since the width of the show snow widens your gait somewhat.

Nordic skiing or cross-country skiing is one of the most touted VO2 max capacity gain exercises.  Not to mention again, little to no impact although not as easy to just step outside your front door and go.

All the gear and gadgets can tend to get expensive, but you can save a few bucks if you buy second hand at a sports consignment store like Play-It-Again Sports or buy online from Craigslist or E-Bay.  Or maybe you’ve got another wishlist item for Santa!

Don’t wait until you set another lost cause New Year’s Resolution to exercise more.  Start now, and learn to love the winter months and being active!

 

 

Inspiration In A Small World – Meeting Oddbjorn Homstvedt

A few weeks back I shared how I had randomly met a seemingly handicapped man from Norway, while running on the trail.  That’s Norway the country by the way, NOT Norway, Iowa.  We ran together for three or four miles and tried to conversate thru a little bit of a language barrier.  I discovered that not only did he easily maintain my progressive pace, which had us logging the last mile around 7:20-7:35, but that meeting Oddbjorn Homstvedt made me feel like our “running world” seemed surprisingly small.

Always Amazed…

I’ve sat huddled shoulder to shoulder, wrapped in a garbage bag in pouring rain with other runners while waiting for my wave to start at the Boston Marathon.  In oddly intimate moments like that, you almost feel obligated to alleviate the awkwardness of it by striking conversations with those around you.    When I began to really listen to other’s stories, it was very inspiring to me that we were all there huddled together on that morning in Boston because we shared similar passions and the interest of running.

Of course, the nature and draw of that morning united a pre-destined group of people together.  However, the morning that I was running solo on the trail when I met the Norwegian runner was much more random.  And yet, I went home afterward feeling the same inspiration and worldly camaraderie.

 Meeting Oddbjorn Homstvedt

From what I could gather by my quick visual observations, Oddbjorn was a handicapped runner.  But his handicap, I discovered may also be a defining strength of his.  He quickly approached me running up from behind with two canes attached to his wrists.  I wasn’t necessarily startled or threatened, which one can never be too cautious these days.  His off-set gait created a shuffling of his feet thru the leaves on the trail.

Once he was beside me as he easily could’ve passed me at that point, I cordially just said ‘Good Morning’.  He replied something with a foreign accent.  I wasn’t sure I had heard him correctly.  For the sake of pleasantries, I replied back “What a beautiful Iowa sunrise!” and did quick nod in the direction of the sun rising over the cornfield next to us.

He asked if it was ok to run with me and as we ran next to each other over the next mile or so, he told me that he was from Norway.  He asked me the usual questions one runner might ask another.  And when I reciprocated the same getting to know you questions, I was able to make out that he holds the Guinness Book of World Records for most races in one year.

Like I mentioned before, I ran a progressive pace that day which started with Oddbjorn around 8:00 minutes per mile average and completing the last of about 6 miles (he started running with me at about mile 1.5) at around 7:20 average mile.  I wouldn’t consider myself fast by any means, but conversating the entire time got me thinking that he must not be kidding around about his world record stuff.

About Oddbjorn Homtvedt

At the end of the run we exchanged e-mails and I had him write his name down.  I wasn’t exactly sure how he was saying it.  I couldn’t help after I returned home, typing his name into a Google search and sure enough these are a couple of articles (translated with Google translate) that popped up.

Great success in Årefjorden around

Great success in Årefjorden around

 

Running with crutches – knocks the competitors

 

Since that day and my original blog post mentioning him, his fiance and a close friend have reached out to me thru Facebook.  They shared with me that during his visit in Iowa, he ran the Mercy 5 mile Loop in Des Moines.  There he came in fifth with a time of 33:43 (6:45/avg. mile).  He also ran the 5k Des Moines Marathon and came in 9th with a finishing time of 20:20 (6:33/avg. mile).  His friend’s proudly noted that if you put both of those races together he came in first out of 40,000 people. And had apparently received a letter from the Des Moines Marathon chairman.

 

Who would’ve thought that you could just set out to get a few miles in on a weekday morning in piddly little Shueyville, Iowa and end up meeting an unpredictably speedy man from Norway who holds the Guinness Book of World Records?

Perhaps, I’ll someday travel to Norway and be able to run in the Norwegian mountains and fjords.  I’ve already typed in another Google Search!

*Places I Want to Run Bucketlist
The 14 Best Hikes In Norway You Have To Experience

*added to Places I Want to Run Bucketlist

Local Chapter for Type One Run

Happy Hump Day Runners!  A few weeks back a former Prairie High School alumni, Morgan Russel,  had reached out to me to introduce herself and the Type 1 Diabetes Running Program that she is trying to establish here locally in Cedar Rapids.  I have to admit, it was the first time I’d heard of the global running program and figured that I wasn’t the only one that has never heard of it.  Thus today’s “Happy Runner’s Hump Day” blog post and podcast introduction to Ep. 9 Morgan Russell and our Local Chapter for Type One Run. 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is Type One Run?

Type One Run is a global grassroots initiative to unite those that live life as a Type 1 Diabetic and communes those that also want to live a life which includes running.  Their presence is worldwide and even includes a Type One Run Strava training group that according to their website has already united almost 300 runners from across the globe.

Morgan Russell,  has chosen to volunteer and drive this program to establish local camaraderie, and posts group run announcements and other helpful information to  Type One Run – Cedar Rapids Facebook page.

Podcast Interview Morgan Russell Reveals More of Her Personal Story As a Type 1 Diabetic Runner

Morgan is honest is admitting that learning to run as a Diabetic runner can be a little scary.  She details her own personal runner’s lifestyle and how that lifestyle may look different for her as a diabetic runner.

Her own humble advice to others are to maintain and keep a journal or log to be able to document and recall what’s worked or not worked well for aspects relating to fueling and carbohydrate vs. insulin intake considerations.  She’s discovered that in order to maintain a safe healthy balance thru some of her long runs, she even requires setting an alarm clock to go off at 4:00 a.m. in order to eat and prep.

But these are the types of convos and information tidbits that runners being part of her Type One Run chapter would be able to all share with each other.  No different than perhaps a run club that you or I may be a part of, sharing training tricks of the trade or asking and bouncing questions off of each other for when or how to fuel say for a marathon.  Good stuff!!

Continuing Efforts to Unite Runners and Pay it Forward

Morgan and I seemingly share principles of wanting to just foster other runners and a positive running community.  In interviewing her for my RMC podcast, and learning about the Type One Run program and educating others thru this blog post, we are both hoping to support and foster enabling all kinds of runners.

Please consider liking and sharing this blog post via Facebook or other social media.  In addition, go check out Morgan’s Type One Run – Cedar Rapids Facebook page and follow her unique story and the group’s news.

Happy Hump Day Runners!! (podcast link below but also available thru iTunes, Spotify, & Google Play)

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!!!

 

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!”

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.

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!!

 

Hy-Vee’s Hydration Message

The other day I went to grab groceries and on my way out noticed the Hy-Vee health magazine called “Balance” sitting within a wire rack next to the exit doors.  I like to grab this magazine from time to time.  I often find new healthy recipes in it or descriptions of some new health-related products.  This July issue had a specific wellness article and ‘Hydration Message‘ called “Water Works”.  I wanted to highlight a recipe out of it for you and re-iterate a few of the great hydration game reminders the article point out that are pertinent to us runners.

“During just one hour of exercise your body can lose more than a quart of water.  Drink before signs of thirst appear, and hydrate before, during and after workouts.” – American Council on Exercise

Hydration Marathon

One of the things I tell my cross country team is this – you can’t wait until you feel thirsty to hydrate properly!  Hydration thru the summer months is a marathon and you have to pace yourself for the long haul.  So many of the kids come to practice having just barely rolled out of bed.  Needless to say, most do not take the extra time to get up even earlier than necessary (they are out of school after all) before they need to get to our “optional” summer practices and focus on hydrating.  So, what I tell them to do is focus on the 24-hour pre-hydration game.

However, we also want to remember not to be so obsessive about drinking water that we become hyponatremic.  I talked a little bit about this in a previous blog post called Starting the ‘Running in Heat’ Round Table Discussion.

If we eat a well-rounded diet, that includes some sodium, potassium and other electrolytes than this shouldn’t be much of an issue.  Here even is a fun recipe from the Hy-Vee July periodical that includes a yummy cool and refreshing electrolyte popsicle.  Thanks, Hy-Vee!!

Hydration Pre-Game Strategies

First strategy I talk thru with the kids on my team are a nice simple math problem.  Divide your weight in half and that’s an approximate baseline for how many ounces a day you should consume of water.  Simple and easy right?!

100 pound runner / 2 = 50 oz. H20

Then I have them look at a visual or either their own water bottle or a standard size bottled water, which is just over 16 oz.  So, we know that in this instance a 100 pound runner would need to consume at least 6-7 bottles of commercially bottled water thru out the day.  Double check your own water bottle and see how many ounces it is.

BUT – Hold the phone!!  This does NOT include the sweat that is happening during their ‘beast mode’ cross country practices in the mornings.  So,…make that at least 7-8 and perhaps a nice post-run snack of banana and peanut butter for protein, carb, potassium and sodium replacement.  Done!!

My 26 oz. water bottle helps keep my ‘Hydration Game’ strong!

 

Many, like mine (pictured below) are even larger than store bought water which makes hydrating a less daunting task if you only have to tell yourself to get thru 1 before lunch, 1 thru out the afternoon and maybe (depending on your weight) another to sit on thru the evening.

Fun Fact & Kudos America!!

According to the Beverage Marketing Corp. which Hy-Vee cited on page 63 of their free store magazine,

“Bottled Water is now the top drink in the country.  Americans downed an average 39 gallons of it in 2016, surpassing soda.  “

That’s some real “HYDROPOWER!”

SO…set yourself up to have a great run tomorrow and go fill up your glass or water bottle and get drinking!

P.S. Next blog post I’ll share a new campaign idea that will hopefully enable and empower all of you amazing “mother runners” out there.   Stay tuned!…