Wednesday, March 28, 2012


As a runner it's easy to pick a certain thing to focus on, and generally that is best. Are you working on getting to a 5K, 10K, or longer distance? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to get faster? Are you trying to improve form?

Lacey is a speed demon, don't let her say otherwise, she is constantly working on speed and steadily improving, at an amazing rate! She ran 4 miles in 32:40 today! That's strong work! I'm so freaking proud of her!!! (Everytime she tells me what she's run I do the math and get so stinking excited, and usually a bit teary-eyed!)

My caution is not to let someone else's goal become your goal if that's not what you need. For instance, I never worked on speed until this year. It wasn't MY goal, it wasn't where I was or what I needed to focus on. Just because Lacey and I are working on speed (her way more than me) or I am training for a full marathon, don't let that become your goal. Adequately assess where you are, what YOU want to accomplish next and go from there! If you try to gauge your goals off of someone else you can get hurt, but worse than that you can get discouraged, and that is a true road block, since we've said before running is majority in your head!! :)

Another caution I have is reading too much or getting too much advice. I think that holds true in any situation as you'll always have mixed ideas and conflicting suggestions, but the truth is, if you're wanting to accomplish something with running do two things...1. Find a plan that YOU can live with and 2. Stick with that plan.

I told a friend this week who was asking about doing a full, if you read too much or think too much about it, you'll talk yourself out of it every.single.time!!

My knee has been keeping me from high mileage every week that people say you need for a full. I could let that stop me, but I'm working hard on shutting out the noise and knowing in my heart (and HEAD) what I'm capable of!

Set YOUR own goals, run for YOU! Then, run like you stole something :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pelicans love MJ...apparently!

My race morning prep started with my coffee and pb and agave nectar sandwich. I got up way early so I could be on time...well so I thought. My dad has this lil joke about the man that thought... I will leave it to your imagination. Well, apparently there were two races in Mandeville today, and we went to the wrong race! So I missed the 8am start time of the 5k. No biggie:) Today was not really about me racing it was about my niece, and bug running the one mile fun run. This was my nieces first race, she was feeling a little under the weather, but she decided to run and did a great job!

Bug, who is 3 1/2 finished with a time of 13:38!!! For one mile!! Woohoo! She was doing great, and looking super cute! Kenyan and I ran with her, great great family time!!! She was not feeling so peppy towards the end, but as luck would have it, MJ saved the day! Yep, thats right! As we were coming up to the finish with about 1/4 mile left to go, beat it was playing at the finish line! With the look of pure excitement that came across her face, you would've thought he was there in the flesh. So she sprinted all the way to the finish like the song was her anthem, her power song! Like they had played that song just for her! It was truly one of those priceless parenting moments! She could not wait to tell nani(SIL) about how Michael helped her win the race!!! Michael Jackson!!!

SIL watched the girls so Kenyan and I could go for a quick run, since we missed the 5k;) We hardly ever get to run together anymore so it was really nice, and he pushes me to go faster so I really enjoy it when we get to run together! I felt strong, legs felt great, but there was a lil issue of some MENstrual cramps. I told Kenyan at about two miles, he said here is where you push yourself, this is what makes you stronger (cue Kelly Clarkson singing what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!!) at the last leg of your races. So I sucked it up and ran on! We did our first mile in 8:20, 2nd 8:30, 3rd in 9:( but he kept saying come one pick it up, this is where your finishing strong and passing people up at the finish(I LOVE him so much!) I was really kinda hurting but I managed to get the 4th mile in 8:40!

At the end he said great job.....BUT, I know you could've pushed harder! Love that motivation! And next time I will! My fastest 4 mile time is 34, on the treadmill. Kenyan can do 4 in 32 for an easy run! Ugh! EASY! So next time we get to run together, I want to surprise him with 32 min 4 miler:)
It was beautiful scenery along the Mandeville lakefront! Great Time with great family!!!

Then we took the top off the jeep and danced to MJ as a family on the way to lunch!(just the front top, so she's protected from the sun) But, Bug loves the wind blowing in her hair so we roll the windows down for her!!! She is so our kid!!!

Happy running y'all!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Injury, Rest, Back at it

This is the kind of stuff I google!!!

Injury sucks, plain and simple, whether it's a serious one, or a small one.  The thing we runners say is that this is a mental sport.  Your mind keeps you from doing so much more than you can actually do, unless of course, you actually injure yourself.   Injuries are murder on your mental state, because they tell you that you are weak, that you can't do this, that you failed because you got hurt, that if you try again you will get hurt again, that if you were hurt after that run how can you do a longer run...  The list goes on and on.  More than the physical pain injuries really work over your mind sometimes, but you've just got to persevere.  Know that injuries WILL happen, to everyone!  Also know that you WILL recover, you WILL come back, you WILL accomplish what your mind tells you that you can't!

I'm not sure what I did in NOLA, but my knee decided that it didn't like that run afterwards (thank goodness is wasn't during!).  On Monday it kinda buckled under me when I got out of bed, but loosened up and felt ok later.  Then we drove home hours and hours, so I attributed soreness/stiffness to being in the car and didn't worry.  But when I tried to run on it on Tuesday, that was a NO GO!  So, I rested (bahahahahaha), which meant obsessing over what was wrong and trying each day to run on it (without success) for four days.  I don't do injury well, it makes me mad, I pout and then I cry.  When you are doing well and your running is "clicking" the last thing you want to do is be injured.  But I decided to skip my long run the following weekend and rest for real without trying to run on it at all.  The next Tuesday I had planned to try again, but really life got in the way and I knew our new treadmill was arriving the next day so I decided to rest one more day.

When the treadmill arrived I was literally like a kid at Christmas and got on it as soon as possible (i.e. during Sugar's morning nap).  Luckily I ran mostly pain free, but not luckily I took that as a "move full steam ahead" sign, which it was not!  Went and did weights that afternoon, did not take that easy, and was limping around the rest of the night. **Cue panic stricken tears**  The next day I got up and stretched well and took Sugar for a walk in the stroller because it was gorgeous outside, we walked for about an hour, though I tried to run at first (the humidity was not working with my asthma).  When we got home rather than jumping in the shower immediately after I put her down for a nap, I hopped on my handy dandy new machine and took her for a spin--it was GLORIOUS!!!!  I did some speed work and enjoyed the treadmill immensely, probably because I could breathe!!!  

So, this weekend I did my LONGEST run ever!!!  Eighteen miles, and they were brutal if I'm being honest.  The first 12 were pretty good and I kept a pace that I was happy with, but after that I kinda lost my steam and it got misty, which meant the humidity was about 100% and my clothes were literally dripping off of my body, so the last 6 miles were less than fun.  BUT, I did it, I didn't quit, even when I was super close to the house and could have easily cut it short.  I finished, persevered to the end, and then I walked in a St. Patrick's Day parade for about 2 miles (I didn't think that whole plan through).

I think this post is a ramble, but here are the points, (1.) Injury can do more mental damage than physical, so don't let it psych you out!  (2.) Sometimes, your body needs a rest and when your body is screaming "TAKE IT EASY YOU LUNATIC!" you should probably listen before you cause long term damage. (3.) Then kick your tail in gear and get back at it and you'll be surprised what you can do--maybe even 18 miles :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The importance of stretching! And knowing how to train!!

Many of my runner friends, and myself have recently had some knee issues. I was told during a Podiatry evaluation a few years back that I have one leg slightly shorter than the other. I also have venous reflux in that same leg. I have had EVLT surgery on that leg, which basically means that they used a laser to burn my saphenous vein, well since then it has reopened and causes me some problems at certain times of the month. I also believe that I sustained some nerve damage during that procedure due to the fact that your vein, artery, and nerve run together through your leg. Ok enough medical terminology mumbo jumbo.

My problem is that I must stretch extra extra good during these times of the month. For example, I ran 8 miles yesterday and a moderate pace and my right knee got tight on me. After my run I spent only about 5 minutes stretching and doing some yoga postures because I had to get to the store and get home to bring dinner supplies for bug and Kenyan. Most moms have limited time to run much less stretch afterwards, however, I can not stress the importance of stretching enough! So once dinner was finished and the bug was dancing to MJ, I was on the floor stretching it out for a good 15-20 minutes. I immediately felt a release in the strain on my knee. When I woke up this morning, no knee tightness!!! I also prayed about my knee issues, and Deni and Davinas also!!

A lot of knee pain can come from a tight sciatic nerve(I'm not a dr, just my personal experience, and diagnosis from my internist).
Also, proper nutrition is key in recovery of your muscles, you should eat or drink something high in protein immediately following a workout. Bananas are high in potassium and are super great for keeping calf cramps away! I have read you have an hour window to eat following a workout. I like to have a protein smoothie, chocolate milk, or eggs if it's breakfast time.

Ok a little info I got from Kenyan on switching from half marathon training to 10k training... It depends on what exactly your goal is with your races, if it's just to just simply finish or finish at a pace better than before. After every single race I have run since my very first 10k in 2005, I always finished feeling like I had more to give. Well that means I did have more to give, and I should have given more! I really pushed myself in my last half marathon but when it was all over I definitely could have pushed harder. Learning your ability will take time, thats why being properly trained will help this process. Since incorporating speed work, I have learned that I am way stronger than I ever thought before. I am also getting a new found appreciation for the treadmill because it is such a great tool for this purpose. Also, on race day you are way better and faster, you just have to have the confidence. Don't start off slow thinking you won't finish. Start off at a slightly uncomfortable pace knowing you will finish and pushing yourself a little harder a long the way. Training up to a 10k you really don't have to do longer than 6.5 mile runs, unless you already have that mileage under your belt then doing a few 8-10 milers on the weekend is ok. But your main focus should be on picking up the pace on your 3-5 mile runs, and when doing 6.5 mile runs really picking up the pace for the last half mile. Working on picking up the pace during that last half mile will really help you finish strong at the 10k.

I hope this info was helpful! Happy running y'all!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Run faster mommy!

I know I've talked about my adventure into running. I have had the power at my fingertips, or mid foot (runner joke) for quite some time. Two reasons I never tapped into my ability, I listened to the the little voice in my head that said if I went any faster I might trip and fall and break my face, and second because I saw other fast runners (Kenyan for one) who've been running for years and thought it would take me twice as long to get fast, meaning I would be like 70, which was just a crazy thought! Ok back on track here...

Speed work should be about pushing your limits! Pushing yourself way out of your comfort zone, and then pushing a tad bit harder past that level of uncomfortablness! (I like exclamation points and making up words!) The treadmill is a great tool for doing speed work. I will inject here that I have a new confidence about my running that I never had before, Kenyan has always told me that I had the build of a fast runner and I thought he was just trying to be sweet to his wife that is merely 5'6" and he is 6'2" which is my idea of fast--long skinny legs!(Kenyan legs) I mean no offense here by using the term Kenyan, Kenyans are super fast and it has always been a term of endearment that I have used when talking about my husbands running skills. Something clicked I finally realized I was a runner and I could go faster. Kenyan had mentioned speed work to me before and I was always thinking to myself I'm just trying to finish my runs I cannot run any faster, you are crazy! I've read about speed work before and they mention all these technical terms like meters, and repeats, do 800m at 5k pace, take a 30 sec break, yada yada! Foreign language I thought!

I will post a picture of Kenyan's speed work for me that he gave me before my last half marathon. Here are two ways of doing speed work; if you're on the treadmill, give yourself a time or distance and you HAVE to stick to it unless you truly feel like you are going to die(I mean it!) ex: one mile at 10min/mile pace, stop and stretch, hop back on and crank it up to 9 min pace for a mile, then crank up to 8.5 pace for a mile, then for half a mile do 8 min pace, then for .5 mile go back down to 10 pace. I'm not a Kenyan and I did this, so can you!(adjust pace according to yourself) You want to push your limits, it will not only make you faster it will make you stronger and build your race day confidence. Another way to do speed work is simply picking a point and sprinting to it, for example if you are running where there are lots of trees; pick a tree to sprint to and do this for say 30 min.
I hope this makes sense. Happy running y'all!!!

I agree with Lacey, you never know what you can do until you just try it!  Your body will do so much more than your mind tells you you can do!  Don't let your mind talk your body out of being all that it can be!  Also, don't try to set out and do what someone else has done just because they have and your inner competitor drives you too fast.  I cannot do this same speed work that Lacey has here, however, I could do, 1/2 mile @ 11min pace, stretch good, 1 mile at 10 pace, 1 mile at 10.5 pace, 1 mile at 9 pace.  Then cool down at 11 min.  I may be able to do a little bit more and get down to 8.5, but I certainly wouldn't start there.  You have to know your body, listen to your body and trust your instincts.  Don't quit just because something is uncomfortable, but don't push yourself to injury either (there is nothing more frustrating!!!).  When I started doing speed work this is how I started... Run 30 seconds as fast as I could with good form, then walk for 1 min at a fast pace, and repeat 3 times.  So, I would do my Thursday run, which was about 40 mins at a good strong pace, but not killer, then do this speed training afterwards.  Start with that.  Once that is comfortable try something else, do more repeats, try a mile at a pace you don't normally keep.  Like when Lacey challenged me to run a 9 min mile.  My average pace is around 10 min miles, so that was hard, but didn't kill me.  Afterwards, I could not continue at that pace or really keep a comfortable 10 min mile.  So I did some shorter intervals.  If you have a treadmill using the intervals program is awesome also.  I have asthma, so I have to know when to push and when to listen to my lungs that are trying to cease up on me!  But you will know when it's just your mind telling you to stop, you should evaluate, can I breathe, are my legs in pain (not discomfort), and is my form good?  If these things are ok, it's mind over matter and you should keep going.  If you can't breathe in fully--slow down!  If your legs are in intense PAIN, stop because again injury is super frustrating and will set you back!  If you can't keep good form, you need to bring it down a notch!  

Keep running, keep working, and you'll be shocked at what you can accomplish!  Run like you stole something! :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I ate my way to a PR!

New Orleans is my most favorite city in the world to visit (though I will admit I'm not well traveled), it just holds a special place in my heart.  It seems like every time that I am there I smile more, I feel alive, and let's be honest the food is just killer!!!  You won't find better food anywhere in the world I'm convinced, however, this food would make me weigh a million pounds if I lived there! So, I'd say I ate my way to a PR this weekend.

This was my third New Orleans half marathon (I think the actual name has changed every year), it was where my half obsession began and I love this race.  It has some flaws, namely the horrific uneven roads that lead to injuries every single time we run it.  I got a stress fracture during my first run, and my girl, Skinner, got one this time.  My knee is hurting and I'm certain that these aren't the only injuries that were had during this race.  But it is just SO.DANG.FUN!!  It is beautiful, there are usually a good number of fans, it's flat and fast and you get to see some of the city's history as you run along St. Charles and Esplanade.  That first race I did was so hard, and I was so beat down while I was doing it, but when I crossed that finish line, my world changed.  I believed I could do things that I had never before believed about myself!  So, this race holds a special place in my heart.

This year just grew that love, as I set a PR with my third New Orleans half and 7th half marathon.  I've said before that I'm not fast, but the fact is that I didn't used to be fast, and I may not always be fast.  I'm not qualifying for Boston or anything like that, but I did take 27:50 off of my previous PR, clocking in at 2:09:19.   It was the most fun I've ever had during a race, as I didn't hurt, I could breathe, the day was gorgeous, the temperature perfect, the crowd fun, my play list good, the support texts from Foxy and Lacey were rolling in, and it was just one of those days that is perfect.  Every race is not like this, so to say I was grateful would be a gross understatement!  I felt like God really smiled down on me Sunday and answered all of my weather and course prayers and kept me strong and safe, as I know He moved my feet and filled my lungs!  ***I trained doing speed work for the first time for this race, I'm hoping Lacey will do a good post about speed work, as Kenyan has way more to impart about this and Lacey is super speedy!***
Crossing the finish line--can you tell I was pumped?
I want to give a huge shout out to Julie, who also set a rocking PR, and to Davina, Lacey's SIL, who smoked this race too!  And to my sister, who motivated me to still run even when it was hard and I wanted to quit, I'm giving a huge "WOOOO HOOO" for sticking to it and finishing strong!  Thanks to Lacey and Bug for being at dinner with us pre-race and there at the finish to cheer for us all!  It is so much fun to be there doing it with lots of friends to celebrate with, to have pre-race dinner with, and to talk all about the details with.  There is something strong and fierce and loyal and supportive about the running community and it makes it all the more fun!  My support crew was pretty much the coolest and I'm so grateful for a husband who supports me and totes my cutie to the finish line to cheer for me.  Such a change from my first race that I ran in the face of my first loss, the feeling of crossing that line to see my sweet, Sugar, smiling up at me with my fabulous husband there to hug me and give me a high five was priceless and the gratitude in my heart is truly overwhelming right now!  I am blessed beyond measure!

With my support crew post race!
Sugar's shirt said "Run Mommy Run"
 **As a bonus to this awesome weekend, Sugar started crawling!  She's such a cutie pie!!!**

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What came first...the chicken or the egg?!?

If you are new to running or have been running for a while you have probably come across something that said; "it is what's between your ears that makes you a better runner" or "don't listen to that little voice that tells you to stop" or "you can always go one more mile." All of this is very true!

However, even though I had free Kenyan running advice right under my own roof it took a friend bringing me to a Plyometrics class followed by a yoglates class to gain confidence in my strength and ability. Through learning these new forms of exercise it really made me a faster stronger runner. I never had a butt before, and now Kenyan says all the time that I do(in a good way;) Basic chair squats is all I do, and it has truly strengthened my legs and made me faster, well along with the fact that I started listening to Kenyan about speed workouts a d pushing myself.

Some of my favorite stretches after a run are; pigeon, crescent moon, warrior(there are 3 forms, all are great), bow pose, and splits. Also dynamic stretching is a great way to loosen up before a short run of 3-4 miles, doing 20-25 lunges before you head out, and then again when you get back.

I also shared a secret with Deni, and she thought it was great so I'll share with y'all as well. If I'm really tight and sore I will turn the heater on in my bathroom and put the shower on hot and stretch on the floor in my bathroom. Warm muscles are more flexible.

I hope this helps someone! Happy running y'all!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Go go runners!!!!

Good luck to all the runners of the RnR tomorrow!!!! Goooo Deni!! Rock that PR!!! Go Davina!!(nani veen)!!! Your number one cheerleader is resting up;)