Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let's Hear It For Productivity!

I admit that I have been a bit unproductive as of late and I'm glad today broke the mold.  I may not have followed everything on the plan to a T, but everything got checked off.

1.  Wake up and get a blog posted early - check!

2.  Go to the bike shop to check out aerobars and compression socks - check!

I decided that new aerobars are too expensive for my budget, but did walk out with the CEP All Sports Calf Sleeves and a new skewer for my bike.  

My hopeful cure for shin splints

3.  Go to the gym and get in a swim workout - check!

4.  Get my Blackburn Mag 3 trainer up and working - check! (thanks to the new skewer)


 Booyah Mother Nature!  Watcha' gonna' do now?! 
(*Picture taken from my Neanderthal-esque phone*)

I even did a short 15 minute trainer ride to get my legs warmed up and test the mechanics out.  After all that, I had a half hour to wash up, get something to eat, and get dressed before I had to head to work.  I'm supposed to go to a friend's place tonight across the street to watch 3:10 to Yuma.


However, given that it's nearing 9pm already, I may hold off and see if they want to watch it tomorrow.  I know!  I know!  I'm getting old


Ok, so it wasn't the MOST productive day I've ever had, but I was happy with it.


Questions
1.  Who loves compression socks?  When do you wear yours?  Before, during, after runs, when you sleep, or just 24/7?

2.  When do you go to sleep?
I try to be in bed by 10:00pm.  I prefer being an early bird.  


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  

Team Awesome

So...  

About that video yesterday. 

Oh, did you not see it?  Do you not remember it?  Do you want to watch it again?  Check it out HERE.

Q: What is "Team Awesome"?

A: My co-worker, Kristin @ Bigger Girls Can Run Too and I have been running Girl Scout programs about 20-30 minutes away from where we currently live, so we've spent a good amount of time in the car driving.  During all that time, a plan was hatched and it's name was "Team Awesome."  This plan slowly morphed into the idea that we should video tape our crazy conversations, singing, wild dance parties, and just all together hilarious antics and put it on youtube; million dollar idea right there!!  Filming began a few days ago and what you saw was impromptu video #1.

Q: Why does Team Awesome threaten my life?

A: Ummm...  I'll just refer you to the background of yesterday's video.  As much as I like to say it's a green screen, we don't have that kind of cash flowing around.  Of course, caution is always set towards safety over product, but I acknowledge that everyone would set the bar at a different spot.  I'll knock on wood anyways.

QShould you be concerned?

AOf course!  The most fun is being had in our cars in CT and you're not here to enjoy it.  You should always be concerned about missing out on times like these!


On another note, today has thus far (it's only 2:45 at the moment) been a very productive day!  I stopped by the bike shop, picked up a new piece of tri gear, got another piece of training gear finally working, and am set for all the cold weather Mother Nature can throw at me (we're supposed to get snow yet AGAIN this weekend, so obviously none of us here in CT are very thrilled).  I'll have the run down of today's uber-productive day later today (or if it doesn't show up tonight, Sunday).


Stay tuned for a couple reviews coming soon (early next week).
The items will be revealed tomorrow.
Oh, I can't wait!


Questions
1.  How has your day been going so far?  Have you been productive?  What've you gotten done?

2.  What was your first reaction when you saw the video yesterday?  
Did you shriek at my horrible driving?  Did you laugh at my ridiculous dancing?  Did you hit pause 5 seconds in 'cause you were bored? (I wouldn't blame you!)

3.  How has your weather been treating you?
Mother Nature seems to be in complete indecision here - 60's one day, snow the next.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Team Awesome (May Be The Death Of Me...)

What is this "Team Awesome" you may ask.

Why does this team threaten my life?

Should you be concerned?

All good questions.

I will leave this video as a way for you to come to these answers on your own.

ENJOY! 
video

I will explain everything tomorrow.


In other news, I've slightly changed my training schedule by alternating run and rest days.  I still have some shin pain this week, but we'll see if giving myself a rest day inbetween does me any good.  I ran 3.34 miles today at an 8:12/mile pace.  Yesterday I was unable to rest completely, so I went to the pool for a 3000 yard (1.7 mile) workout.


Questions
1.  Do you know all the lyrics to Michael Jackson's Thriller?
I obviously do not.

2.  How has your training been going?  Any glitches recently?


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Look What I Can Do!!

Look at me!  Look at me!
.
Scissor Pose 


Yes, my front leg is supposed to be straight, but my flexibility hasn't quite gotten there yet.  

I was at Yoga class yesterday (Sunday) and our instructor - in one of his tangets of "oh, this would be fun" - showed us this Scissor Pose.  You can imagine that most of the class laughed thinking "Really?  You expect us to do THAT?"  But I'd say about half a dozen people gave it a try and I personally saw four of us managed it even if just for a moment.

I admit that I love yoga.  It's very relaxing at times.  It helps extend your range of motion and flexibility which is a personal favorite aspect.  It can also be a very good workout if you have the right instructor, video, or personal mindset.  I started yoga out of a pure interest in something new that everyone was talking about and I really think ANYONE can get something out of it no matter what type of workouts you do yourself. 

But anyways, back to me!  I think of myself as halfway decent at normal yoga, but I will be the first to admit that my weakness is balance poses.  If you take a class with me, scooch yourself over when we do balance poses; I may very well topple over into you.  So you can imagine how psyched I was when I was able to stick that pose yesterday morning!  I, however, was not a good blogger - I didn't even think of having Chelsea snap a picture right then.  So I had Kristin @ Cupcake Confessions take these ones after my three mile run today; hence the running gear.  

PS.  Shins are feeling better (obviously, I ran today) and I'm off in search of compression socks tomorrow morning since my ace bandage was a huge help this weekend. 


Questions
1.  Do you do yoga?  If so, why?  If not, why not?
I do yoga in order to increase my flexibility, range of motion, and muscle control.

2.  Do you consider yourself flexible?
I've always found it extremely odd that many adults consider flexibility a characteristic of childhood that you more or less grow out of.  I can't do splits anymore, but I still hold a fair share of my flexibility and I refuse to let it go. 


Stay Fit.  Stay Healthy. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week in Review (03/19/11 - 03/25/11)

This Week in Review:
03/19/11 - 03/25/11
ATHLETICS

1.  We've all been on a treadmill at one point in our lives.  We've also all been in the water.  How many have been on a treadmill that is IN water before?  James @ Tri-James put up a video of his experience in the HydroWorx, an underwater treadmill.  Check it out HERE.

2.  Anyone who is interested in the official Ironman races (or the Boston Marathon and other endurance events as well) should check out the site RunTri.com.  They have TONS of great stats on entry times, age group proportions, cross race comparisons, etc.  I've been using this site a lot to try and figure out which Ironman race to enter next year.  Check it out HERE.

3.  One thing I've been working on is my cadence - how fast I spin my legs around on my run.  They say the optimum speed is 180 rpm and Troy Jacobson @ The Life of an Endurance Sports Coach talks about it HERE in his post.  



GIVEAWAYS

1.  Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run Reviews & Giveaways is hosting three - yes count them, THREE - giveaways this week.  The first is for Bad A$$ socks; enter HERE.  The second is for a SONY Walkman player; enter HERE.  The last is a Nuun water bottle and four pack of electrolyte drink; enter HERE

2.  Tawnee @ Tri*Tawn has a giveaway for a new triathlon clothing company called Ignis (Yes, they do exist!).   She concocted quite the unique (and thought-provoking) way to enter.  Check it out HERE.


FUN STORIES

1.  Heather @ Run Faster Mommy! had "one of those days" with her new tri bike.  And as much as you all don't want to publicly admit it, we've all had days/experiences like this.  Read it HERE.

2.  A "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" goes out this week to Amanda @ 5 Miles Past Empty!  Run over to her blog and check this girl out!   Click HERE for the fun to begin. 


REVIEWS

1.  Remember last week Kelly @ Life As a TriMommy gave a review of the EFS Sports Drink line HERE?  Well, Caroline @ Canadian Runner in Exile gave the energy shots a try and fell in love with them.  Read Caroline's post HERE IronDiva also plugged the line of performance drinks for being highly useful and easy on the stomach!  Read her post HERE.  There has GOT to be something to this brand!

2.  Looking for your next running book?  Well, Heather @ Run Faster Mommy! found it for you.  She reviewed "Long May You Run," and it sounds awesome.  Check out her review HERE.  


CONGRATULATIONS

1.  Chelsea broke the 2-hour mark in her second half marathon, the NYC half.  Congrats to her for braving the 37 degree weather and the hectic NYC traffic/crowds.

2.  Amanda @ 5 Miles Past Empty broke the 2-hour mark in the Tobacco Road Half Marathon.  She also finished with two friends, J-Ninja & Breaking Pace.  Read the race report HERE

3.  KC @ 140 Point 6 Miles...Of Awesome finished her very first half Ironman.  And not only that, she finished second in her age group with a 5:11:50.  That's SOLID!!  Check out her race report HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday 50/50 Part II

Get your tickets!  Get your tickets!  One for $2, three for $5, and an arm's length for $10!!

Oh wait!  Hold on.  That's doesn't seem right.  Ah, ok.  Wrong 50/50.  My bad.  Ok, onto running...

This is the second part of Friday 50/50, where I will be going over a few more items that I picked out from Dean Kartnazes' book 50/50 (stories, athletic pointers, thoughts, etc).  If you missed Friday 50/50 Part I, check it out HERE.  If you've caught yourself up, then be my guest and continue on...

1.  John's Half Marathon
I thought I'd start off Friday with a funny story.  Throughout the book, Dean talks about various people he met and talked to during his runs.  You have roughly 4 hours, why not chat, right?  Well, during the first marathon Dean met a kid named John.  John is a twelve years old and his mother drove him over to the race in hopes that he'd be able to meet Dean who has been a huge inspiration.  (HINT: You get the idea real quick that Dean L-O-V-E-S inspirational storiesJohn is running the one-loop half marathon and holds pace quite well with Dean.  As most early runners, John looks great early on, but fades.  Dean and Topher (remember him from last week's Wedding Stunt story?) urge him on and he gets all the way to 100 feet short of the finish.  The boy stops, bends over, and vomits.  Dean of course stops and asks if he's ok.  John graciously says "I'll walk to the finish.  You go ahead."  As Dean and Topher continue on leaving poor John to finish his half marathon, Dean can't help but wonders whether he and Topher had just committed some form of child abuse.  

I couldn't help but laugh HARD at that. 

After the race, Dean got to sign John's book and asked if he had finished the race.  John replied "piece of cake!"  Dean comments "If you're truly born to run, erupting within sight of the finish line can be a likely to hook you on the sport as winning the race."  This reminds me a LOT of my first half marathon, minus Dean and collapsing instead of throwing up.

2.  Ice Baths
Throughout the 50 marathons, Dean was unable to make use of ice baths.  However, Dean states that he regularly uses and highly recommends ice baths to soak your legs for ten minutes after a marathon or similar type of race.  The ice water (just like a cold pack) reduces inflammation and muscle pain.  I personally have never done an ice bath, but I have heard that the key is to run the cool water first, get in, and THEN add the ice; otherwise it's quite the shock to your skin. 

3.  Addictive Tendencies
In the second marathon, Dean met Brad.  During their conversation, Dean found out that Brad had only picked up running a year ago after he had quit drinking.  Dean gives credit to Lily Tomline for this quote in addressing Brad's situation - "Exercise is for people who can't handle drugs and alcohol."  Drugs and alcohol can create addictive tendencies, but so can exercise and if you had to choose one thing to be addicted to, why not make it a healthy choice? 

I know a lot of people who quit unhealthy habits/addictions (smoking, drinking, drugs, etc.) do so by picking up a sort of "replacement" habit/addiction.  I know smokers very often become gum chewers, drinkers become attached to social groups, and so on.  But for drugs, which very often are addictive due to the type of high you get from them, why not exchange it for a natural high, runner's high?  I applaud Brad and anyone else with a similar story a million times over.  Way to be healthy!!


4.  The Sin of Knowing Better
 "The desire to keep running until the task is completed or goal achieved is so great that is overrides our better knowledge and our self-protective faculties."  I read this the first time and thought 'yeah, that's a good way to describe me.'  haha  As Dean states, this is something every runner is familiar with.  In the first couple marathons, Dean ends up with a blister and keeps from addressing it until too late; a mistake an elite ultramarathoner should never be making, right?  But we all do it.  I push myself too hard and far too fast.  I'm sure you've done something yourself.  I know TMB uses a phrase something akin to "Runner first.  Logical thinker second."  It's a tough thing to compromise, not only with others but with yourself. 

Once Dean told one of his crewmates about the blister (days after it had developed), the guy had a quick fix and Dean never felt it again for the rest of the trip.  So the moral - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."



Questions
1.  Do you have a race story similar to John's? 
I hit mile 11 of my first half marathon and knew I was going to collapse at the finish line - as soon as I stopped running, I did.  Not enough training and bad nutrition choices.  

2.  Have you ever used an Ice Bath?  Thoughts?

3.  Have you ever noticed signs of being addicted to something?
I get grouchy on rest days very easily.  

4.  What is your sin of knowing better?
I run on shin splints all too often. 


Did you fall behind this week?  
Are there blogs you haven't been able to read yet?  
Have no fear!  Have no fear!
My Week in Review will soon be here.  
Look for it tomorrow.  

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Disclaimer:  In the case that this is at all necessary, I have received nothing in exchange for posting these reviews on Dean Karnazes and Matt Fitzgeral’s book 50/50 and am not in search of any compensation.  All the views portrayed herein are posted of my own desire, are strictly mine and have no connection to the authors, publisher, or related individuals/organizations discussed.  However, if Dean would like to come by to run with me, I would graciously accept.  Just sayin’!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SCALPEL!!!

The scene opens in the operating room.  A surgeon is working on the lower legs of a young man.

Doctor: NURSE, I need the scalpel!
Nurse: Right away doctor.  Here.
Doctor:  Thank you.  More suction.
Nurse:  Suction.
Doctor:  Scissors!
Nurse:  Scissors.
Doctor:  Ok, I've almost got it.  Just a little more and the muscle will be gone.
Nurse:  You've detached the upper tendon.  Be careful of the lower ligaments.
Doctor: Ah, yes.  There we go.  One more snip...  Just have to keep from clipping any of the ankle's ligaments and we're good.  Viola!  Do we have a pan for this?
Nurse:  Yes, right here.
Doctor:  Very good.  Now let me just sew this guys legs back up and we're good to go. 


I'm just about ready to ask a doctor to remove my tibialis anterior.  It's not necessary, right?  It's just there to annoy run-a-muck runners.  That's right...

Shin Splints Strike Again!

I knew I had them when I went out today, but I was hopeful that an extra long warm up and some stretching would diminish them so I could runWrong!  Of course, it would only be helpful if my legs did what they were supposed to (according to my version of reality); we wouldn't want that! 

Since meeting with Mona (Chelsea's aunt) to try and figure out why my shins are hurting, I thought it might be my lack of a warm up and subsequently running with tight calves and hamstrings.  My warms ups have helped make my legs feel more relaxed prior to a run, but the splints still came back.

While my previous bet as to the culprit (my shoes) still stands, the fact that I had splints last fall with my old New Balance shoes puts a hole in that theory.  Therefore, I'm left with the idea of needing MORE of a warmup and stretching, the fact that I run mostly on roads/sidewalks, running too much too soon, my form (though Mona said it looked fine), or something else I haven't thought of.  After an extended walk today and short bursts of a light jogging pace, my next target to knock off my list is the road.  I'll check out some parks and see if they're clear enough to run at.  Maybe some softer (more forgiving) terrain will help.


Questions
1.  Has anyone else dealt with recurring shin splints?
Please tell me I'm not the only one (lie to me if you have to).

2.  Any other thoughts on possible causes?  I'm open to ANY suggestions no matter how off-the-wall.
Icing helps with the pain, but they don't go away.  I'm doing exercises to strengthen the muscle, but I know that will take time (if that's even the issue).


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taking Pointers from Dean Karnazes

Either Dean Karnazes is having more of an effect on me than I expected or gas prices are really getting to me.  Eh, ok.  Most likely both.  Dean just gave me a way to avoid gas and I jumped at it.

Last night I got home from work and knew I had to do two things.  I had to run because smart me washed all my running clothes earlier and they had to dry during the day and I had to go to the grocery store before dinner.  It was about 6:30pm.  Do I go run now?  I'd have to wait until after I got back, showered, and drove to the grocery store to eat though - that'd probably be after 8pm.  Or do I go to the grocery store now and sacrifice the run?  Oh, HELL no!  I grabbed my gear and got dressed.

Then it hit me - why not run to the store?  I checked the distance and wouldn't you know, one store is 0.8 miles away, the other is 1.82 miles away.  I grabbed my hydration pack backpack and was off. 

I ran 1.82 miles to the new Stop & Shop and made it there in 11:36 (6:22 pace).  I looked around at food and ironically decided I was going to eat some scallops I had at home.  But I did pick up some shredded cheese for my roommate, so the trip wasn't a complete loss.  I paid, put the cheese in my backpack, and headed back.  I was so happy with my time out to the store that I let myself take it slow on the way back and made it in 13:34 (7:27 pace).

In reading Dean's book 50/50, he talks about picking a distance.  Anywhere within that distance from the house, he runs to instead of drives.  He has multiple backpacks to accomodate different trips (the bank, the grocery store, etc.).  With gas jumping 5-10 cents almost every other day over here, I'm starting to think Dean has a pretty good system going!


P.S.  I'm getting more and more used to running with the hydration pack.  However, I haven't run with water in it yet (I'll try that on Sunday's long run).  I'm optimistic that the backpack will be a great way to keep hydrated on long runs since I need to drink so much every hour. 


Questions
1.  Do you walk, run, or bike to do any of your errands on a regular basis?
I'll start with the grocery store (0.8 or 1.76 miles away) and work my way up to general stores and the gym (~6 miles away).  Once the weather gets better I can bike too.

2.  What are your gas prices up to?  
The cheapest gas in CT is $3.45 (30 miles away).  Around me, it's $3.60+.

3.  Have you made any changes to your daily life to try and cut down on driving?
I carpool to work and schedule my general shopping for days I plan on going to the gym because the shops are all near the gym.


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Machine wash cold with like colors, Tumble dry low

As crazy, intense, recreational, elite, beginner, or simply tag-a-long athletes, we've all have heard of the various moisture wicking (tech) materials from which they make just about every form of clothing.  Heck, most of us have more of a moisture wicking wardrobe than we do for work.  haha  And some lucky rascals can say they are one in the same (yes, you know who you are TMB!). 

Anyways, today is... 
Laundry Day!  

When doing laundry, the first rule is to read each article's tag because each one gives instructions on whether it should go in warm or cold water, normal tumble dry or low, bleach or no bleach, what colors to separate, etc.  How many people actually follow all of those instructions?  I think it'd drive me nuts!  I used to do cold and hot, colors and white washes separate back in high school, but when I got to college, everything got mixed, everything got washed on warm, and tumble dried.  Made life a LOT easier.

Moisture wicking clothing all (at least in my experience) have the same instructions:  Machine wash cold with like colors, tumble dry low.  Have you ever noticed that?  How many people follow THOSE instructions?  I mean, they are your favorite clothes, right?  Maybe you take special care of them for that reason alone.  Maybe not.

I bought my first tech shirt last summer and I washed it like all my other clothes - warm wash and tumble dried.  I washed them a few times and then started noticing something - it didn't seem to wick the moisture as well towards the end of the summer.  I thought "maybe I'm just sweating more" and just continued on as normal.  Finally, I got online and it turns out that those washing instructions, especially the tumble dry low part, are quite important.

Heat drying your tech materials ruins the ability to wick moisture.

So now I am back to separate loads.  However, I don't have enough tech clothes to justify a full cold wash, so I wash everything - my socks, shirts, and shorts - by hand in the bathroom sink.  So since it's laundry day, my bathroom is covered with drying tech clothes.  (I'd give you a picture, but my camera bit it at girl scout camp and hasn't turned on since - I'm in the market for a new one if you have any suggestions)

Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to think of washing them later this evening after my run.  So before I can run today, I have to wait for them to dry.  FAIL!! 


Questions
1.  Do you separate laundry loads?  If so, what by? - colors, cold/hot, etc.?
I generally have a light and dark load, but that is only because I have enough to do so.  Otherwise, everything gets mixed 

2.  Do you wash your tech clothes/materials separately or as according to instructions?
I do now.

3.  Do you have any suggestions for purchasing a new camera?  
My camera stopped turning on Saturday.  I have no idea what's wrong, but if it's not the battery, I'm not sure it's worth putting money in to fixing it.  


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Was it Half Marathon Weekend? Did I Miss Yet Another Memo?

I just want to take a moment to say "congratulations" to two people, Chelsea and Amanda.  Chelsea ran the NYC half-marathon today and Amanda over at 5 Miles Past Empty ran the Tobacco Road half marathon.  Both girls ran their races in under 2 hours - Yay!!  And they finished within five minutes of each other (talk about potential pacing partners!; oh the illiteration).  I went over to Chelsea's to celebrate her accomplishment and heard all about the adventure of rushing to find the start line, the chaotic organization of runners at said starting line, the 37 degree weather, some fun signs (like "run like you stole something"; I fucking love signs like that), and what not.  Aside from Amanda's post-race face seen HERE, I'm sure we'll see a full report of her experience soon.  So Congrats to both of you.  What a way to start the new season!!

Apparently I missed the memo on "Half Marathon Weekend."  My apologies (and congratulations) to all who participated.  I will attempt to be more on top of my athletic holidays next time around. 

I did however manage to run 6.02 miles today.  I know, I know - not quite 13.1, but give me a break.  It was my first long run of this training schedule.  As I've said before, it's hard for me not to set out at a 7:15 or thereabouts (really anywhere between 6:45 and 7:30) pace when I go out for my runs, but today I proudly state that I, Kurt, was able to run 5 of today's 6 miles at what I will losely define as a "conversational" pace; roughly 8:10 by my mental calculations while running (please refer to my post on the condition R.I.D. HERE before you trust my math outright).  This "conversational" pace allowed me to maintain the ability to hold a conversation outside of roughly 5 total minutes while I ran a couple hills and recovered from said hills.  But all-in-all, still much slower than my normal pace.  I maintained pace through five miles and then couldn't resist the urge to let my legs rip through the last mile.  I ended on 48:22 (8:02 pace); that made my last mile roughly 7:20.


Hope everyone had an awesome weekend!!


Questions
1.  Have you started your season's races yet?  If so, how many races have you done?  If not, when is your first?
My first race is the NERelay on June 11th and 12th, though I'm itching to get something in sooner.

2.  Does anyone else find it difficult to slow down during training?  Am I the only speed demon junky?
Training at one consistent pace is never the best option for full training.  Different speeds work different muscle abilities which all come into play in the race.  I know this, yet my body just wants to 'let it rip' when I go out to run.  Swimming is very different for me (given 8+ years of training), but running is a whole other beast. 


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Subconscious Savior

For those who don't know, I work for the Girl Scouts of CT. 

That's right.  Be jealous!  

I get paid to develop and run programs for kids.  And my fridge might just rival any of you parents' out there with children for the amount of homemade art posted on it.  Normally I work with K through 4th graders, but today we had a day at camp for 5th through 8th graders.  The girls got to do manicures, make journals, some jewelry, practice meditation, and do an outdoor scavenger hunt.  Once the girls open up to having fun, it's a LOT of fun and quite an easy job - even if you have less than half a plan, just give them some materials and their imagination will fill in all the cracks.  As a person who loves to try and stay as connected to the imagination we all had as children, I LOVE this job!

But either way, I didn't get home until six o'clock, so with a 45 minute run and 15 minute warm up and cool down required, today's long run was out of the question.  As awesome as the day at camp was, I wasn't happy having my schedule thrown off.  Then with that and the fact that my knee felt a bit off the other day and my shins have still slightly bothered me (though they still are doing amazingly well comparatively), the athletic portion of my day was getting me down.

However, in my typical fashion, I pushed on with my workouts.  I switched Saturday's long run for Sunday's cross training.  Any guess where I went?  If you said the pool, you'd be RIGHT!  Even as I drove to the gym, I thought to myself, I seem to have some sort of self-destruct default mode.  Even when I'm not really into it, this subconscious me still pushes on. But then I started swimming and everything changed. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it a ton more, but WOW do I love swimming.

As soon as I was in the pool, all the stress melted away.  When I'm in the pool, it's like I'm in my own little world, a bubble.  Apparently this "self-destruct" mode is really more like "self-preservation."  I felt great and I'm so glad I went!  And not to mention, my splits were much better than I expected them to be, so that was an extra bonus!!

Swim Workout
1.  500 Warm up (free, back, breast) - 7:34 (1:30 pace)
2.  400 Pull (freestyle) - 5:48 (1:27 pace)
3.  300 Paddle (freestyle) - 4:18 (1:26 pace)
4.  200 Kick
5.  100 Swim (IM) - 1:27
6.  100 Swim (free) - 1:18
7.  200 Swim (IM)
8.  300 Pull, kick, swim by 100s (1:21 pace)
9.  400 Pull
10.  200 Swim (gym closed before I could finish the full 500)
TOTAL: 2700 yards (1.53 miles)


Questions
1.  Do you have one thing (activity or what have you) that always brightens your mood?
Swimming seems to be mine.

2.  Who here was a girl (or boy) scout at one point in time?  Anyone have children in scouting? 
I was a boy scout up until about 8th grade.  I made it to Tenderfoot and dropped it for swimming.  Now I am a girl scout.  And don't make fun!  My boy scout troop was (and still is) one of THE BEST in the entire state of NY and it was until recently run by a mother.

3.  What's your favorite girl scout cookie?
I admitted today to one of my superiors, "I need a shirt that says 'Will Work For Shortbreads'."  They're the classic!  With a glass of milk, they're heaven.


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Week in Review (03/12/11 - 03/18/11)

We all have weeks where you just can't help but fall behind, am I right?  Things come up at work, the kids (or 'friends' for those of us without little ones) go crazy, training takes up all your free time...  the list goes on and on.  So wouldn't it be nice to have one place to go and find everything from that week? 

Viola!!

Let today be the first of many WEEK IN REVIEW blogs!  

My goal is to keep a running tab or informative, interesting, funny, and lucrative blogs that have been posted between Saturday of last week through Friday of this week.  The headings I'm sure will change around a bit, but oh-well.  You'll deal.  Here goes nothing...




Week In Review 
03/12/2011 - 03/18/2011

ATHLETICS

The first two posts I'll highlight came about under very suspicious circumstances.  I noticed both of these in the AM, just after I had address both issues the previous evening.  Talk about ironic timing!

1.  Multivitamins: Marni @ TriMarni - A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life put up a blog concerning information on multivitamins; read it HERE.  As athletes, who go through nutrients faster than other people, it is important to make sure we get what our bodies need and many times that means getting the right supplements!

2.  Shin Splints Runnergirl Training posted some info on shin splints and an exercise to help prevent them; read it HERE.  I know I deal with shin splints a lot!

3.  ChaffingDanny @ A Quest for Running Perfection finally got pulled into the category of bodyglide users and believers!  Read about it HERE.  I've been meaning to pick some up myself too. 

4.  Cupcake Marathon:  Everyone seems to have posts about the virtual race call the Cupcake Marathon!  This is one event that makes me wish I had a GPS.  Read about the race at any of the below listed blogs.
Runnergirl Training - HERE.
KC @ 140 Point 6 Miles...Of Awesome - HERE.
Austin @ Enjoy The Ride - HERE.

5.  Endurance Planet Podcast: Tawnee @ Tri*Tawn became the new voice of the Endurance Planet Podcast.  I've listened to a few of her podcasts and I think she'll be awesome.  Read about it HERE.

6.  BodyRockKatie @ Run for the Bikini posted one of the BodyRock.tv workout videos and let me tell you, they are some of the best home workout videos I've ever seen.  There really is no need to go to the gym and she proves it every time.  If you're up for a challenge, check out the video HERE.  

7.   Beach Running:  With Spring/Summer on its way (for those of use in the Northern Hemisphere), the beach is becoming more and more of an attraction.  Tawnee @ Tri*Tawn answered a followers question concerning running on sand.  If you're a beach goer, you'll want to read it HERE


FUN STORIES


1.  Congratulations!!  I want to start by congratulating Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run for having her 2-year Blogiversary!  I haven't been around for the entire two years, but she sure seems to have made her dent in a lot of people, so congratulations to her for two years of fun, friends, and inspiration!!  Read "Two Years of Tall Mom" HERE.

2.  Workouts & Marriage.  Do they mix?  I know a majority of my followers have spouses or significant others!  Austin @ Enjoy The Ride posted about an article in the Wall Street Journal called "A Workout Ate My Marriage."  Please, add your thoughts to his blog comments or email me - I'd be VERY interested to hear what you think.  Begin debating HERE

3.  Slang.  Are you up to date with your slang?  Do you know what "rulk" means?  Well, to find out read about it's invention HEREAimee @ I Tri To Be Me decided this certain activity finally needed a name! 

4.  Good Samaritans. Richelle @ Running Toward A Higher Calling had a great 'Good Samaritan' story you might want to check out; read it HERE.  Stories like this always make me feel better about the world!

5.  Hilarious LettersTMB @ Racing With Babes writes letters to each of her girls on their birthday.  They are absolutely hilarious and touching.  Doodle recently had a birthday, so we have yet another letter!  Read it HERE

6.  People can say the darndest thingsMarni @ TriMarni - A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life spent a day offering samples of veggie burgers to customers.  You should read some of the responses she got; they're hilarious!!  Begin laughing HERE

7.  Blogger Vaca:  Have you ever thought one of those blogger vacations would be cool?  Get a bunch of bloggers together and go out?  Well, just you wait!  Read Heather's behind the scenes recap of her trip to Disney World at Run Faster Mommy and you'll be addicted to the idea!!  Begin drooling HERE


REVIEWS

1.  If you've ever had stomach issues with various sports drinks, Kelly @ My Life as a Trimommy found a product that worked wonders for her, First Endurance.  Read her review HERE

2.  Have issues with blisters?  Runnergirl Training suggests some blister prevention products that she highly recommends; read it HERE


GIVEAWAYS

1.  Austin @ Enjoy The Ride decided to combine the Japan relief with a giveaway; a Finis Lap uncerwater timer and lap counter.  Check it out HERE.

2.  Stephanie @ Thorns Have Roses has a Rainbow Giveaway you all might want to check out.  I don't want to burst the bubble, but she has quite the awesome idea for a certain type of party.  Read about it (and enter the contest) HERE



Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday 50/50 - Part I

Welcome to the first installment of...

Friday 50/50

First off, before I get started (and even explain to you what the heck Friday 50/50 is – yes, that means I’m leaving you in the dark for a second, deal with it; get a flashlight if you need to), happy belated St. Patty’s Day!  Hopefully you all wore green, had some fun, found your pot of gold, and were safe!  

Ok, now back to the regularly scheduled program.  

For those of you who are not aware (all but two of you – you know who you are!), I recently finished reading Dean Karnazes’ book 50/50.  Overall, I very much enjoyed the book.  My roommate will vouch for the fact that I probably laughed out loud approximately every 15 minutes.  On top of that, I stuck a number of post-its throughout the book highlighting over thirty different bits of information, stories, or thoughts that I figured would be good to remember and share.  If you haven’t guessed it already, the title “Friday 50/50” means I’ll be taking each Friday and sharing with you maybe five or so points that I highlighted from the book.  

WARNING:   
For any readers who would prefer not to have the book ruined for them (like finding out the heroin dies in the end!  Oops), please read at your own risk!

Other than that, let’s get started!


1.  Review:  I want to start with a short overview.  Without a doubt, this book is all about Dean Karnazes’ adventure of doing 50 marathons in 50 days.  The book breaks up into over fifty smaller stories combined into one book, much like a set of short stories all with a common threaded theme.  Each of the marathons makes up a short story and from each, Dean brings home a point whether it be a suggestion for runner’s stomach, a plug for children’s activity groups, or a heart- (or funny bone-) felt story he heard from one of his fellow runners.  The biggest credit I give to Dean (as well as the co-author Matt Fitzgerald and their editors) is that the stories are written in such a way that you feel they come from the heart.  They don’t use fancy, complex wording or various styles of writing to draw the reader in.  Everything you read is written fresh, like you heard it first person from your running buddy while meeting for coffee after your afternoon run. 

2.  Karno Kids: 
This is Dean’s charity and the main reason why Dean himself runs so much publicly.  The mission statement of the organization is as follows:

“Our mission at KARNO KIDS is to encourage, motivate, inspire our youth to get outside and become physically active and to restore & preserve the environment for their use and enjoyment.”

And their slogan (as Dean mentions multiple times in the book) is…

“No Child Left Inside”

Sound familiar?  Haha  Dean talks about not specifically the charity, but the children many many many times throughout his book and with good cause.  The main reason Dean suggested the idea of the 50/50 to his sponsor North Face (aside from his personal desire to see if he could actually do it) was an attempt to raise awareness for children’s activities, for getting kids outside and… well, running (or I’m sure he’d be willing to accept any other form of exercise they’d prefer to do).  Personally, I agree with him.  Kids should be encouraged to play games, be active, and consequently, they will be healthier because of it.  And I very much applaude (and gasp in awe) of how well Dean has used his athletic ability to become an example instead of just preaching.

3.  Wedding Stunt: 
At Dean’s first of fifty marathons he pulled what many men seemed to call a “stunt” and women would call a “heart-felt story.”  I’ll let you decide which.

A long-time friend of Dean’s, Topher, who was a priest flew in from Europe specifically for this event.  While everyone was crowded around the general starting area, he whipped out a microphone and started reciting text.  At that same time, Dean’s daughter Alexandria pulled out a bouquet and his son Nicholas handed him a ring box.  Right there at the starting line of the first marathon, Dean surprised his wife (who he acknowledges as having worked tirelessly on plans for this whole endeavor) with a renewing their marriage vows.  Once finished, Topher ripped off his robes to reveal running clothes and ran the marathon with Dean, shortly after hopping a flight back to Europe. 

Heart-felt, right?  He’s so thoughtful for doing something like that for his wife who was unable to come along for the trip other than weekends since she had a dental practice to keep up.

Well, that night on the bus Dean got an email from a fan:

"Dude, you suck. You’ve now set the bar so high that none of us will be able to rival that.  My wife keeps asking me what my plans are for the next marathon.  I know exactly what she’s getting at!  Good luck Karno.  Just, please, for the sake of all of us guys out here, don’t pull anything like that again."

So, heart-felt or a stab in the back for every long distance running male on the face of the planet?  You decide. 

4.  Ginger Chews: 
Have you ever been out on a run and all of a sudden “ugh, my stomach doesn’t feel so good.”  Of course, we all have, right?  Dean strongly suggests raw ginger as a remedy for a runner’s upset stomach while on the run.  He adds that since raw ginger can be a bit strong, there are ginger chews available as well that have a more gentle effect.

I thought this was an awesome idea!  I had never heard or thought of ginger as a stomach remedy.  However, then I remembered, what is one thing a lot of people drink when they get sick? – Ginger Ale.  I had never saw the connection before, but I had always used ginger as a stomach remedy before without thinking about it.  Therefore, ginger really does make sense.

Dean also adds these points for avoiding the stomach issues in the first place:

-          Eat your pre-race meal at least an hour beforehand
-          Avoid dairy and high-fiber foods 24 hours before a race
-          Consume easily digestable foods pre-race
-          Let your thirst guide your drinking; don’t drink too much
-          Train properly for the race’s level of exertion beforehand


 Questions
1.   Renewing wedding vows at the marathon start - cruel stunt or heart-felt?
I don't want to influence your decision, so go ahead and vote!

2.  Have you ever used ginger or ginger chews for an upset stomach?  If so, how well do they really work?
I'd be very interested to hear any actual stories.


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 
 
Disclaimer:  In the case that this is at all necessary, I have received nothing in exchange for posting these reviews on Dean Karnazes and Matt Fitzgeral’s book 50/50 and am not in search of any compensation.  All the views portrayed herein are posted of my own desire, are strictly mine and have no connection to the authors, publisher, or related individuals/organizations discussed.  However, if Dean would like to come by to run with me, I would graciously accept.  Just sayin’!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ondale! Ondale!

I'm only two days into this training schedule (with multiple weeks of seat-of-my-pants training behind me) and I feel great!  With the longer warmup and some stretches, the shins have been feeling good and my legs feel really good too.

I ran the same exact path today as I did yesterday - a three mile out and back - and when I headed out, I let my body find whatever pace it wanted to go.  I wasn't going to push myself today because Wednesdays will be my mid-week recovery runs.  Anyone who knows me knows that short recovery runs don't go well.  haha  I made it a mile before the evil plan hatched!  I'll continue on to the turn around at the current pace and then see if I can high tail it back and beat yesterday's time.  The whole "recovery run" thing will work much better once I get Wednesday's distance higher than Tuesday and Thursday.  But until then...

I hit the turn around at about 11 minutes and had to beat a 10:21 on the way back.  The nice part about this course (and part of the reason I run it so often) is that it has gentle hills.  My mind works best when you give me small little tasks to complete (i.e. make it to the corner, just to the top of the hill, ease down this hill, final stretch) as opposed to one straight and flat shot.  Anyways, I felt great on the way back.  I wasn't pushing it hard, but I had it a notch higher. 

I finished in 21:07, fourteen seconds faster than yesterday.  And to beat that, I felt better today than I did yesterday.  Double bonus!!

Keeping my watch on hand will certainly be a threat to slower pace days (I have a lot to teach my competitively oriented mind still), but it's fun to keep track of pace!  The true test will be seeing what pace I hold for Saturday's long run (6 miles); 7:45 maybe?

Questions
1.  How was your workout today?

2.  Do you ever have spontaneous challenges mid-workout that you simply can't refuse?
The two goals of a coach - as I've always been told - are to tell you when enough is enough and to make sure you're pointed in the right direction.  I need a coach!


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have converted!


MapMyRun has been my home for online workout tracking since I started this blogging endeavor.  I can't recall who it was that told me about the series of MapMy(insert activity) websites, but I automatically got into it and have loved having the ability to keep track of all my mileage, quickly find a route, and easily track my progress. 

However, over the last couple months I've had internal battles over the new "trend," DailyMile.  


While online tracking was one thing, I started noticing other blogs with widgets for "most recent workout," "total mileage," and a number of other things.  Despite my searches, it seems no one I know even uses MapMyRun.  EVERYONE has DailyMile; there must be a reason. 

So after battling the trend current (really 'finally overcoming my laziness'), I am now the newest member of DailyMile.  Find my profile HERE.  Go ahead, friend me!


Other Non-Relevant Info
Today was also the first day of my training schedule - 3 miles.  It went well, but I certainly have to do a lot of stretching; my hamstrings are TIGHT. 

I attempted cooking bay scallops today.  I learned they taste much better in olive than vegetable oil!  I've got half the batch left, so one more experiment left.  Any suggestions?


Questions
1.  Do you use online workout tracking sites?  Do you use DailyMile?

2.  Do you have any secret scallop recipes?



Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

My First Official Training Schedule - Critique Away!!

Today I wrote a training schedule; my very first!

Up until today, I've been very week-by-week or "eh, what do I feel like today" with my training.  I figured with a few LARGE events this year, I should put a bit more effort into scheduling things out.  I'm posting it here to see what you guys think.  I've never ran according to a set schedule, so I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you might have.  THANKS!!

Given my upcoming races, I need to be prepared for around 18 miles of running by June 11th (the NERelay - post HERE and info HERE) and a half Ironman by July 10th (Providence 70.3 Ironman - info HERE).   The 70.3 Ironman is my A priority race this year.  The NERelay will probably be much more 'in the moment' fun since I'll have a team of 11 other people with me, but my essential goal there is to finish without ruining myself for Providence.

So...  I sat down today and after looking through many various training schedules, typed up this schedule based strongly on Hal Higdon's Novice 1 marathon training schedule HERE


Now, I will be the first to admit I am not a runner (Ok, I haven't been until now).  Therefore, I've never had a set schedule and some of you may already be thinking "Well, your schedule says that enough on it's own."  Haha, you're probably right.  That's why I'm looking for your critical thoughts.

What do you think?  Does that seem reasonable for a running schedule?  (Can you ignore the fact that I'll be swimming and biking on a separate parallel schedule?  That won't overwork me, right?  haha).  I know the issues of swim and cycle training on top of this are going to start to question the "rest" sections.  Monday will be a full rest day.  Friday will be an easy swim or bike day. 


Questions
1.  Do you exercise based on a long-term, a weekly, or a spur of the moment schedule?

2.  Why do you work on the type of schedule you have?  
I always worked on spur of the moment & weekly schedules because my personal/work schedule changed all the time; I had to be flexible.  This time around, I'm going to require the rest of my life work around my training schedule. 


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Things I Learned About Running...

This past Sunday I met with Chelsea's aunt, Mona, who was a world class marathoner back in the 80's and is still quite the running enthusiast.  As much as Chelsea warned me "she can be a bit intense," she could not have been more perfect!  She grabbed the camera, took us out on the road, and kept yelling out directions while we ran up and down the road.  She made a lot of good suggestions for run training in general, but also picked out a few form tips that will be hugely helpful.

Since this is going to be long, I'll jump right in.  Here is what I learned.

1.  10 Percent Rule
Mileage from week to week should only be increased 10%.  For example, if you ran 20 miles this week and are looking to increase your mileage, you should run no more than 22 miles (10% greater than 20 miles) this coming week.  I had read about this rule in Dean's book 50/50 and then heard it again from Chelsea's aunt.  I guess it has some grounds. 

2.  Hard-Easy, Hard-Easy...
The idea here is to follow every hard run day with an easy run or rest day.  This will allow your body to recover no matter whether the hard run was speed work, hills, or just a difficult pacing.  My own runs have been pretty similar; I'll run 3-5 miles every day at very similar speeds.  So from now on I will attempt to not only mix up distances, but also alternate intensities to allow myself better recovery and hopefully avoid injury.

3.  No speed work until 25+ miles/week easy
This I was a bit surprised at initially, but it makes sense.  Speed work requires a lot of very fast muscle movements and a lot of quick energy.  If your muscles (and ligaments/tendons) are not prepared for it, you could do a lot of damage.  Therefore, let your body get used to more endurance first and then work in the speed.  I have the exact same approach in swim training, so it only makes sense to follow the same guideline in other sports (including cycling!). 

4.  Your hands (and arms) should not cross your body
The rule of thumb is that your hands should never cross your body further than your nipples; that's as far as they go!  If your arms cross, then your upper body wants to twist more.  If your upper body twists while your legs are trying to run straight, then your legs are not only working to push forward, but also working to attempt correcting the twist your upper body is creating.  This added torsion on the lower body can really cause some damage in your legs, not to mention waste energy. 


With the inserted lines on the right, you can tell how far across my hands/arms are allowed to go.  Since the camera has a bit of an angle, my right hand may be slightly over the line, but overall I do pretty well to stick to this rule already. 

5.  I carry my shoulders
Here's my first critique.  This is the first and most prominent thing that was pointed out to me. 


Looking at the picture on the left, I look normal, right?  Wrong.  As Mona pointed out (and I indicated with lines on the right), you shoulders should be even (yellow line).  However, if you draw a line through both of my shoulders in that picture (red line), I am obviously carrying my left shoulder relative to my right.  This means I have a good amount of tension in my shoulders, upper back, chest, and arms which is wasting energy that could be saved for later.   I've noticed that my arms can get tense and my back gets very stiff after running for awhile, so this was already on my list of things to work on, but now I've seen it in pictures. 

6.  I "pop" due to my upper body tension 
Because of all that upper body tension, I "pop" (move up and down) when I run. We did some drills letting our arms relax completely while we ran.  As awkward as it felt and as funny as it must have looked, I actually stopped bobbing up and down.  If I can stop "popping" (vertical movement), then I have that much more energy to put into horizontal movement. 

7.  My footstrike is generally very good
I was very happy to hear (and see) that my footstrike - in general - is very good.  You can never be guaranteed, but this at least takes my footstrike off the list of issues related to my shin splints.  The strike - as Mona tells us - should not be the ball of your foot or the heel, it should be just behind the ball and just in front of the middle of the foot.  


On the right, I've indicated the three most common places to strike your foot, the heel, the midfoot, and the ball.  The heel and ball are in red (places you shouldn't be hitting first).  As I mentioned, the midfoot position (green) is just behind the ball of your foot.  On the left, I've circled three places on the body, the hip, knee, and foot strike position.  Pretend that there is also a circle on the shoulder (beyond the frame of the picture).  Drawing a line through these points should give you a close to vertical line.  Mine is obviously slightly off, but in general is still good; you do not want the knee and foot any further out from the body than that when striking the ground. 

8.  I have a slight under pronation
Despite the good foot strike, I have a slight under pronation.  (Runner's World has a great explanation of pronation HERE).  I'm told that it is quite natural and as long as it doesn't cause my pain or any discomfort I should be fine, but in theory it does cause some added stress on my legs, so this is something I could certainly work on. 


As you can see, a normal protonation (in yellow) would have me landing flat with my foot.  However, as the red line indicates, I am landing with the outside of my foot first.  This is not the case at all times (I do strike even at times as well), but this is my tendency. 

9.  I have a good kick back
When you run, the power should be coming from the leg moving backwards.  Your foot hits the ground directly underneath your body and should propel you forward by pushing backwards instead of having the foot strike ahead of you and pulling your body ahead. 


Here's a picture of my kickback.  On the right, I highlighted the position of the hip, knee, ankle, and toes relative to one another.  As you increase speed, you should notice that relative to this position shown, the knee will move slightly back, the heel will come further up towards your butt, and the toes will be more in a plantar flexed position due to the force you're using to push off the ground.  


10.  Hills = higher RPM, shorter stride, lean back
No matter which direction you're going, uphill or downhill, your stride length should decrease, your rpms should increase, and you have to focus on keeping your posture up which means most people have to feel like they are leaning back.

On the uphill, many people want to maintain their stride length and muscle through it.  Those athletes will waste energy, increase their heartrate and breathing, and fatigue faster.  You want to maintain your heart rate and breathing by increasing your rpm and shortening your stride.  Once you hit flat ground again, widen that stride back out and start picking off the runners who are now fatiguing.

On the downhill, it is temping to let your stride lengthen and allow gravity to pull you down the hill.  I've certainly done it!  Remember the Run For Nancy's Children 5K, post HERE?  The third mile of that course had two steep downhills and I let loose hitting a 5:54 mile with an incredibly long stride the whole way.  The issues here are two-fold.  In the short run, by lengthening your stride you are putting your foot strike position ahead of you and most likely hitting heel first.  The forward (or heel) foot strike is acting as a brake which you then have to overcome by using your own energy - that's not efficient!  In the long-term, by heel-striking on a downhill, you are putting MUCH more stress on your knees, hips, back, and whole body in general.  I'm sure after one race last fall I will never see an affect on my body, but if I did that on every hill I ever run, I'm going to blow my knee or hip out.  Instead, just like on the trip uphill, you should be keeping your stride short which helps keep stress off of your joints and increase your rpm in order to keep up with the speed.  You should also be maintaining your vertical posture.  


Here, I have a circle at my hip and an imaginary circle at my shoulder (out of frame).  The yellow line is a straight vertical and should be where your posture is at.  The red line connects my hips and shoulders.  And here, where I am still slightly off of a vertical posture, I very much feel like I am leaning backwards already.  This picture was taken after much prompting, so my "normal" posture is far more forward than this on the downhill. 

11.  Warm up!!
Plenty of studies have shown that pre-workout stretching has no benefit.  That doesn't mean warming up doesn't.  By warming up your muscles, you are loosening up the tension and waking the fibers up before you thrash them around for the next hour or more on a run.  One thing I am bad at making a habit is warming up.  I've had my reservations about blaming it for my shin splints, but after asking about it, I was told that it is very likely that stiff/tight calves and thighs could be the reason my shins are being torn apart. 

12.  I have super strong legs
Despite all the small (and large) negatives about my running, Mona told me one thing; "your legs are going to make it hard for you to correct these things."  I thought that was a bit of an odd statement, but she continued by saying "Your legs are so strong that the energy you lose in your upper body is taken care of by your legs."  In the end, I have great legs for running, but I could be getting much more out of them if I learned to not waste energy elsewhere.

 Picture from the half marathon.

Apparently these "beasts" are both a huge asset and a major hurdle.  Who knew?!  

TMB, maybe instead of being challenging rivals we should start a club (or support group) for those whose athletic ability hinders it's own progress.  haha  What do you think?

13.  Strengthen the muscles in the front of your calf
For someone like myself who has issues with shin splints, it is important to keep your calves and hamstrings as loose as possible, but also to strengthen the muscles in your shin.  To do this, simply pull up with your foot (dorsal flexion), release, and repeat.  Many people do this with light body bands as well for a bit of resistance or more weight depending on your ability.  For myself, it seems that the battle between my calves and my shin muscles is a one-sided fight, so I have to try and build up those muscles so that I avoid future shin issues. 


And that is what I learned last Sunday.  And as of today, I have stretch bands, so I will start my daily regiment of building up those Tibialis Anterior muscles!


Questions
1.  Do you have any other running tips to add yourself?  
I'm sure the list could go on forever if we really wanted it to.

2.  Do you follow the 10% rule?
While I find that it makes complete sense, I find it hard to believe that it is followed often.

3.  Have you ever taken photos or video of your running for analysis?  
I've done it a lot with swimming, but his is the first time I've done it with running.  I would like to make it a habit though.  Seeing the pictures really makes a lot of difference in how you mental assess technique. 


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.