Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer reprieve

I think summer - its heat and humidity - is going to be the bane of my running existence. Last week was quite hot and I only ran once. Running on a treadmill does not agree with my knees, so I have been trying to avoid that when I can.

I just hate the sticky feeling while running. I sweat a lot... kinda like a large, hairy man. The super hot N.C/Va. summers do not help. My clothing - and hair - gets soaked and I end up sweating into my eyes. Not fun people! I came back from a run the other week and my father-in-law asked if I had jumped in the shower with my clothes on... sigh.

This week, however, I have gotten a reprieve. Typically, I have been doing two short runs (3 miles) and one long run (6 miles) a week. Keep in mind my "runs" do involve some walking breaks... I am not quite up to running the whole time yet. We have been lucky to have two days with only highs in the 80s and I have taken advantage by running two days in a row. This weekend, however, looks like the triple digits will keep me from running my long run. Guess, I will have to stick to finding ways inside the gym (i.e. spin) to get my cardio time in.

Any tips to running in the heat? I have been trying to wear cool clothing, sunscreen and making water available. I really could use some sort of headband to keep try to keep sweat out of my eyes.

Beth :o)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A hummus problem

I am slightly obsessed with hummus. Some people (i.e. my hubby) might even say I have a problem!

There are much worse foods I could be stuck on. Chickpeas are good, but the tahini does add quite a bit of fat to the dish. But my main problem is what I like to dip in the hummus. These little things called Pretzel Crisps. All well and good if you can stick to the serving size - which I can do, sometimes. I think they are part wheat and part crack! ;)

One thing in my diet that I need to work on is more whole foods like veggies/fruit and less Pretzel Crisps. Maybe my hummus problem wouldn't be that bad if I was dipping cukes or green pepper strips in that hummus (I am partial to the roasted red pepper variety.).

This post is making me hungry! Off to go find some food...

-Beth :)

Everyday I'm shufflin'

Running is not easy for me. Never has been. I can't run for more than a mile without a walking break. I have been doing run/walk intervals when I run. For the longest time, I have been stuck at running for three minutes and walking for two. Part of it is mental, I think. Going up to that four minutes of running just seemed so hard - and my calves burned a lot.

My husband (who is a trainer and soon-to-be marathoner) suggested I change my gait. I had him watch me run and we talked about the running shuffle. Basically, not making my stride so is apparently more efficient and more of the strain is on bigger muscles like the quads and hamstrings.

So far, I would say it has worked great! Although it has initially slowed my running down a little, I can run for a lot longer distance. My first "shuffling" run I ran for 10 minutes straight!! That may not seem like much to some natural runners, but it was a huge milestone for me!!.

I think I will keep shuffling along!! ;)


Friday, June 1, 2012

A bright night - race recap

The weather was ideal for the Bright Night 5K. It doesn't get much better than the 70s with low humidity in N.C. in May!! We got there super early and had time to make sure our race bibs were on right, get the chips tied into our shoes, get water, go tot he bathroom, etc.

The race was a pretty big one with 300-400 runners and walkers. I was definitely nervous as I found my spot in the middle of the crowd behind the starting line. At this point I wondered again why I decided to do this... I seem to always second-guess myself right before the gun goes off.

Started off pretty well ran nonstop for a pretty good while at the beginning of the race. The first water stop was early.. around the first mile. The side stitch from hell was starting at that point, but it was nice to hear a "Go, Beth!" from my friend Christie at the water station.

For awhile there I ran less than I wanted because my side was hurting so much. I tried taking walking breaks, massaging my side and breathing to help.

I pushed was definitely hard. I felt like it took forever to get to the halfway and two-mile mark. I accidentally left my stopwatch at home, so I had no idea how I was doing.

I dealt with the side stitch through the end of the race. (My husband says better breathing and potassium-rich foods before the race may help next time.) I got re-focused and picked two women ahead of me as people to keep up with.

At the last water station the ladies did not stop, but my mouth was desert dry. I drank two sips of water, dropped the cup and kept trucking. Shortly, after the stop the two ladies started walking and I actually felt like I passed them.

I ran for a bit more, took a brief walking break and was surprised to realize I had pulled ahead from the group around me. One thing that was great about the race was the volunteers cheering on the runners/walkers at each turn!! It helped there at the end.

I turned one of the last corners and decided to run the last bit of the race nonstop. I wanted to stop MANY times, but then I saw the finish line in the offing.

Before I could see the time clock, I saw my husband on the sidelines giving me a thumbs up so I knew my time was good. A smile lit up my face and that only got bigger when I saw the clock. It said 36:10!!! My goal was between 35 and 37 minutes...success!! My chip time was even better...35:53! :)

It was a great feeling that I reached my goal and my hardwork was worth it. My time in February was 39:48...pretty good improvement, I think.

Now onto the next race/challenge. My husband wants me to do a 10K in September...we shall see!

Beth :)