Tips and Tricks Tuesday: in it for the LONG RUN!

My favorite training run is the long run. Where you can just run and run and run at a comfortable pace and let the mind wonder.  It’s a refreshing and beautiful thing. Unless…
You neglect to eat a healthy and mild dinner the night before. Then that’s another painful story…do NOT eat junk food night before!  Just take my word for it. 
There a few tips to help make the long run your most enjoyable run yet!
A few things I’ve learned from trial and error that you may find useful as well:

  • Always stay HYDRATED (a work in progress. You had to know this is one of my number one tips!)  Hydrate well before, during and after.

  • If your runs start creeping over an hour bring food or energy gels.  Raisins seemed to work well. But my personal favorite thus far are the Clif Bar mocha energy gels.  <–check them out!  Yum!  I cannot rave about these enough!  They are easy on the stomach, digest well, gives you that quick burst of energy you need with natural, organic ingredients!  Be sure to follow them with water.
  • Bring flip flops to wear after a long run.  Wish I had learned this a few months back!

  • Bring a towel. Especially during the summer.  Makes the ride home a little more comfortable. If you had to drive to your running destination.

  • Consider investing in a visor, cap or bandanna to keep the sweat and sun out of your eyes!  Sunglasses are also an excellent bug blocker!
  • Sunscreen should be your next best friend. Not only to prevent sun damage but also wind burn….you know from running so super fast. 😉
Trim me!!!
  • Keep your toenails clipped!  Sounds silly but if you do not you will have a booboo on your pretty little toe like mine! Except mine aren’t so pretty. Ugh.

  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!  There will be days when your body just isn’t fit to go.  Take caution and pay attention to any tight muscles or sudden sharp pains.

For more awesome tips check out Active’s article with 7 running experts on effective long runs!

*Just to reiterate, I’m not a professional. These are personal tips that have worked for me. Always seek your doctor before beginning a new exercise program or training plan.  I have not been compensated in any way to review the Clif Bar products. I just love them!

Happy (&blessed) running!

Monday Mission Accomplished

Ah ha!  It worked!  Knowing I had to (refer to last Monday’s post) take a picture to show proof I filled up my running journal with runs and XT gave me a swift kick in the bootay to get my week on!  Okay so I was supposed to show proof Sunday but whatever….what’s a day right?  It was much easier last week because I was on my little staycation (away from work thank you Jesus!) But now it’s back to the grind….boooooooo!!!
Getting 30 miles in last week felt like a piece of cake. I’m curious to see how I feel now that I’m back at work on my feet all fun-lovin day.  (Will someone pleeeeease pay me to run and blog all day?)
Anyway, on another note…. I really like my Runner’s Journal. It’s technically called, The Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log 2012 Calendar by Marty Jerome. It has all the calendar space I need and includes tips and quotes that help encourage me each week. 

The quote in the picture is one from the Running Calendar, one I love the most!

Happy (&blessed) running!

17 Miles on ‘ol Treddy Whaaaat?!

I ran seventeen miles on my treadmill today. I had a blast.


Out of sheer desperation and lack of other opportunities to get outside early (before heat set it) I had to get my long run done on the treadmill. I know what you must be thinking, I’m nuts. Yes I am. But let me say it wasn’t all too bad until about mile 15 at that point I just wanted to be DONE.  Not the most fun two hours and fourty-five minutes of my life I admit.
There are perks of long runs on the machine, however.  For instance, I didn’t have to stop at any red lights, stop signs or careless, idiot drivers trying to run me over.  I had Pandora Radio set to uplifting music. Also kept my mind entertained with prayer, imagining running the marathon course and just let my mind wonder off…I set my speed at a slow and steady 9:40 min/mile pace and put my body on cruise control.  It was also nice to run in a/c and not battle humidity.  I felt pretty good afterward. No pains or twinges.  I felt a little fatigued later this afternoon but I figure that’s normal.  I also tried something new during this run. I usually go with Cliff Bar energy gels (I love my mocha gels!) but I had run out so I resorted to raisins. I would nibble on a few every 15-20 minutes or so.  Seemed to work well with no tummy issues.  Small and bite size. Easy to chew and digest. All natural sugar. Nature’s original energy ‘gel’.  A small step in teaching my body to digest foods on the run.  I may use this in the future…
I also learned something new about ‘ol Treddy, it shuts off at 99:99 minutes. So I had to stop.  Then restart. That was a mental challenge because if the treadmill stops then logically I should be able to stop too, right?!  Wrong. I took the emergency clip out and put it back in and kept going.  I knew that to be fully prepared for this marathon I have to give each week of training 100% effort.  I didn’t give it my all before my last 10k race and it showed. In a terrible way.

*And this is me. After 17 miles.
Lovely aren’t I?*

Happy (& blessed) running!

Wisdom Wednesday: Fools Despise Instruction.

Proverbs 1:7 NIV
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

How does this little verse apply to running?  Easy. Fools despise instruction. The surest and quickest way to injury is to speed ahead in training without regard to wisdom and instruction. There’s much to be learned. And you never stop learing.
*The wise (wo)man knows (s)he knows nothing.*
Anytime someone wiser or has a longer history with running offers you advice or a little wisdom gem, LISTEN!  Not the ‘oh I already knew that’ (I admit…I’ve totally been guilty of this) kind of listen but honestly open your ears and mind. You can read something out of a book or magazine over and over again and you may not fully grasp the context until the 15th read over. Never be so “full” of information you think you’ve got it all covered. Because I guarantee you don’t. And you won’t. Ever. But that’s the beauty of life. It is a journey.

*TIP:  Try to hook yourself up with a local running club. It’s free (as far as I know here anyway) and it’s a great way to connect with other runners from all runs of life. You don’t have to be elite or pro athlete to join. I’ve learned so much from our local club. Why not check out RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) and search for one near you. There were three close to my hometown, including one within.  We’ve even got a women’s running club!  I love that one paticularly.

So don’t be afraid to go out and learn something new. Life is full of challenges. But you don’t have to go at it alone.  You know, I’ve never met a rude runner. They’re almost always more than willing to help someone along the way.

Happy (&blessed) running!

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: XT on a Budget/Fitness Binder

Why even bother with XT (cross-training) when you just love to run all day everyday??? Two very good reasons my friends.
  1. To build strength in supporting muscles and functions to prevent injury. 
  2. To prevent burn-out or boredom with running.
If I could, I would just run all day, everyday.  I do not enjoy XT  much at all. It feels like work. Hard work. Most people like to turn to biking (which is a GREAT mode of XT) or swimming.  I however:
A.) Do not own a bike. 
B.) Do not own a pool and can not afford a club membership anywhere.
So if you find yourself in a boat similar to me or just don’t like biking or swimming or are just looking for variety, here are a few tips and things I find useful to help balance my running routine:
  • Pilates (you can find a variety of DVDs under or around $10 at Walmart!)
  • Yoga (your body will thank you!)
  • Jump rope
  • Park time with the kid(s)(think monkey bar pull ups and bench step-ups!)
  • Magazine workouts: see below!

This is something I’ve been meaning to do a long time ago…
Create a fitness/XT binder (see picture steps below)

**This is a SUPER easy peasy little thing to do!  I promise!  If I can do it in under 30 minutes (thanks to my son’s attention being occupied with his buddy yesterday) anyone can do this. And it is SIMPLE; my favorite word. Basically all you do is:

1.) Grab all your favorite Fitness, Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Women’s Running (my personal favorite..I really enjoy their Blog too!) magazines…if you’re anything like me you’ve probably grown quite a collection!  I’ve always hated throwing them away or I will find a favorite article or workout only to toss it by accident.
2.) Cut out all your favorite workouts, recipes, articles 
3.) Organize them by tabs…mine are organized by Yoga, Core, Notes, Recipes, Races. The beauty of this project is that you can create it however you want. Tweak it to your interests. You can make it as simple or creative as you’d like.
  *I added a race tab with an extra folder to keep directions to races, map routes, hotels, ect. ect.
4.) RECYCLE them!  Earth911 is a useful website with more tips on reusing and recycling magazines or anything.  I was able to locate several recycling facilities in my area that I didn’t even know about!
*Voíla! * You now have all your fitness/XT needs in one organized place.  Remember, organization is a huge time-saver!!Annnnd, you’ve helped save the earth one pile of magazines at at a time. 
I hope you find this useful and enjoy!