Wisdom Wednesday: Do It All With Heart

One of the tips I gave yesterday suggested running with your heart and to remember WHY you run.  And in reading my verse from a devotional I was reading I got to thinking… When you work, run, parent, date or do anything in life for a reason higher than yourself, things seem to have greater meaning.  Certainly we can say well running is something I do for ME.  So what happens when the “me” gets burned out?  Bored with routine?  Exhausted from general life?  That’s when you must dig way deep down inside and ask, why am I even doing all this?  What’s the purpose of it all? 
My personal belief is that every step I make is to have purpose. To honor God and to LOVE on people.  The running I do is a gift that shouldn’t be overlooked as that, a gift. To have a strong heart and body is a privilege. I do work hard for it yes, but this  little ‘ol body could go kaput on me any day. A car wreck could take a limb off.  A sudden illness could put me out for weeks, months, years or life.  You never know.  So when that happens, what do you have left?  Do you still have that heart that loves?  Or will people see a bitter soul?   The reason I say all this is to remind you to run for something more.  With each run or workout, even if you don’t pray or believe in the good Lord, practice being GRATEFUL and do everything with heart.  Find your motivation and determination in loving others.  This big  world is much bigger than you and I.  But if we practice loving and living with all that we are in our small corners of the world then maybe, just maybe we could make a big differece!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”

This verse helps me get through runs and work with more heart, remembering that all I do should be for the Lord. 🙂

***Happy (&Blessed) Running!***

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Balancing Work and LD Running

Work (W•E•R•K): nasty 4 letter word we all need to support our running adventures and general life. 

I was inspired for this post this morning by Wild Things Run Free’s post on working on your feet all day and training for a long distance event.

Question is, how do you deal, manage long distance event training while on your feet at work all day?

It can be tiring and time consuming!  Especially if you add kid(s), managing a household (sometimes all on your own) and other family/friends events in the mix.  Let me tell ya, some days after running and working my poor feet and ankles look like misshapen watermelons!

A few things that have helped me get through it all and manage a happy, well-balanced (well…almost!) ;~) life:

*Try to remember there’s always someone who has it worse…like my friend oversees fighting for our country. He has to run in high heat, high altitude all while carrying 50+(give or take…can’t remember the exact number but I know it sure is heck more than what we carry!  Unless you’re preggo…then that’s a whole other story) pounds on his back while fighting for YOU!  It kind of puts things in perspective. Especially when we have the option to hit the treadmill in the a/c and aren’t running from bombs or guns pointed at us.

*Make time to give your tooties some lovin. I like to scrub my feet with peppermint foot scrub.  And usually just give them a quick scrub down while taking my shower after my long runs.Very refreshing. 
     •Informative bit on feet and foot care

*S-t-r-e-t-c-h it all out!  Everyday, give yourself at least 5-10 minutes to stretch your bodacious body out and massage your legs and feet.  A few yoga poses will help. Your body will thank you.
     •Sneak in stretches at work if possible. While I’m standing at the computer I’ll grab my ankle and pull my leg up behind me for a quick stretch. Get creative.  Every little bit helps!

*Consider investing in some good compression socks.

*Wear the right shoe not only on the run, but also at work.  A great shoe can make all the difference!  If you’re local to Western NC, check out Asheville Foot Rx. They can give you a good fit!  Or just look up a specialty running store in your area.

*Do the legs up the wall stretch.  Sit your bottom as close to the wall as possible and prop your legs directly up the wall and drain that lactic acid baby!
      •Here’s an excellent post on stretching for the LD runner from Livestrong

*REST!  Do not overlook it. “But I don’t have time to rest”. Yes you do. Turn off the tv, cell, whatever other distraction and rest it up. Lock yourself in the bathroom away from kid(s) if you must. But get it in.  Think bubble bath..if I had a tub. Pssht.

*Make time for family and friends.  And talk about THEIR lives. Not running. It’s good for the soul.  It will refresh you and remind you what life is truly about.

*If you get a lunch break take advantage of it. Sometimes I like to eat in my car and prop my feet up on the dash. Its a mini refresher.

*EAT, DRINK & be merry!  Stay fueled to keep strong!  BUT if you have a job like mine, no eating or drinking on the job, you gotta get sneaky. I like to stuff quick bites in my pockets. Think almonds, raisins, fruit snacks, etc… and use your potty break also as a snack breakaway!  Except DO NOT eat while on the pot. That’s just gross…

*Manage your time wisely and know when to cut back.  Easier said than done I know, I know but I don’t think I could stress this point enough.  Sometimes I have a 7 day straight workweek and during those weeks I do cut back on mileage some. And that is totally OKAY!  I know I can always get it on next week when I have more days off. 

*Give yourself some wiggle room.  When I started my Marathon Training plan I gave myself two extra weeks of wiggle room. Which has been a tremendous help!  I’m currently on week 8 of training and have decided to repeat one of the easier weeks due to a hecktic work week and school starting up with the kid.  Didn’t build in extra weeks?  That’s fine. If you need to back off, do it. For your body’s sake.  Your body will eventually adapt to the stresses and become even stronger as long as you stay in tune with your body.

*Remember to BREATHE!  Seriously, that’s one excercise you can handle while on the job. When stressin, get breathin! <~that's totally a word. I just said so.

*Don’t forget what you’re training for!  Give it all the heart you’ve got.

“When your legs get tired, run with your heart.” ~ someone really wise.

On another note:  So where have I been all weekend?  Enjoying life!  Thanks to a new running friend I had the privelage of checking out Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC!  It is a neat place.  That city is perfect for the busy runner.  Tons of hidden gems and good food!  Sounds like my dream.  Except it’s hot. Really hot. Check out SRT HERE!

***DISCLAIMER:  Please remember these are tips and website links that have worked for me but may or may not for you.  Always seek your own doctor or personal trainer before starting anything new.***

Anyways, hope some of these tips and links provide useful!

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

My First 20 Miler and I’m Feeling…

20 miles! Yay! Now I’m pooped…let’s take a nap.

ALIVE!!!  Blessed!  Grateful! 

Finally, an amazing run. My spirits are up and excitement for the marathon is steaming hot.  I needed this run. The good Lord, 5 gels, roughly 75 oz of liquid and sheer determination pulled me through.  I’ve never felt so amazed after a run. One of those moments where you ask yourself, “Did I really just do that?!”  I decided to take it by 5’s…5,10,15,20.  For some reason 4 sets of 5 miles seemed much more doable than 20.  Maybe it’s the mental game. But it worked!  I ran the first 10 very conservatively and two miles on the trail were pretty slow but the last 6 miles or so I tried to speed up a tiny bit.  Last mile was the fastest. Felt good about that because I really worked hard to pace myself better. Usually I’m trying too hard in the beginning and burn out too quickly.  So this time I took it easy and finished STRONG!! This weather has been a huge advantage too.  Cooler and cloudy skies. But the last 5 or so miles Mr. Golden sun decided to shine down on me. And whoa nelly was I disgusting!  I mean I was some kinda stink!
As usual I used the Cliff Bar Energy Gels, 3 mochas and 2 raspberry flavored and had to refill the water bottle 3 times!  Thank God for the Lowes along the bike path and the town’s water fountains or I may not have made it.  I ran it all the way through with the exception of the water refill pit stop and a brief walk up courthouse hill…but I mean c’mon that hill is ridiculous!  My thoughts were, run up this and die or walk half of it and finish the run alive.  I did try a fuel belt of sorts (from Walmart. It was only $7 and now I see why…) but it kept knocking me in the back so I just threw it off in the beginning (later returned the useless thing) and went with the ‘ol water bottle and refilled as needed.  Still debating about using it during the marathon… as I read the event’s details it looks like there will be plenty of aid stations.  Any experience or thoughts on that?
And thus far I have no pains or aches!  Especially compared to the last long run…
Anyway, there were lots of runners, walkers and bikers out today so that helped the time pass.  I always like to take an ear bud out and greet those I’m passing (or those who pass me). The two greetings that really stood out today were:

1.) Two older women who were power walking, I mean buddy they were getting it on!  Took me forever to catch up to them.  So when I finally passed them I greeted them with, “you ladies are about walking faster than I can run!”  I turned around to smile and they high-fived each other.  Priceless!!

2.) A couple with a toddler in the stroller greeting me “good morning” in the cutest little voice.
Now that makes 20 miles worth the journey.

Now I get to go eat the house.  And nap.  :~)

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Training Plans

Choosing the right training plan can be a large factor in success or failure of a race.  And depending on length of race you’re committing to 8-16 (sometimes 20! Eek!) weeks of your life to it.  Having a training plan helps in so many ways.  I personally like knowing what I have to do to achieve my goal(s) and a good plan can lay that all out for you.

Be sure to choose one that:

  • Will fit your life’s schedule (Do you work full-time? Have kid(s) to tend to?)
  • Is on your current level of fitness (Too fast, too soon can spell out a nasty injury)
  • Suits your personality. (Are you more laid back and go with the flow? Or prefer a more ridged schedule?)
I chose Run Less, Run Faster because it’s 3 concentrated runs and 2 days of XT a week which fits my busy (and unpredictable at times) work schedule.  And it has very specific times and paces which I enjoy. I like having something detailed so I know exactly what to do.  I don’t flounder around very well and won’t end up with good results if I just went with the flow.

Run Less, Run Faster

Here I am, on week seven, following RLRF’s 16 week marathon plan and all is well thus far (knock on wood and say a prayer) except one tiny, little thing … I miss running for just for the sake of running!  I like having a schedule of sorts but sometimes I just want to break loose!  So today I “cheated” on my plan and ran 3 miles just for fun.  I’m hoping this won’t hinder the rest of my week’s plan.  Especially the 20 miler I am supposed to hit tomorrow… we shall see… Last time I tried to hit 20 I only made it to 16.  But two weeks ago I did manage 18!  Barely.  But hey, it was done!  I am seriously questioning my desire to run a marathon…after this ruckus I may go back to 5ks!  :~) 
**What training plans do you follow? And do you ever find yourself wanting to break loose? **
Happy (&Blessed) Running!


Them Bones, Them Bones…Them Lazy Bones

I have rated this Post PW for Primarily Women.  Consider yourself warned. 🙂
Oh this week. Shame, shame on me. Nothing but three runs and 100 push-ups. Where were my two days of 30 minute cross-training sessions? Nowhere to be found. They got lost in lazy land along with my good diet. I’ve eaten garbage with a hint of healthy here and there. I’m talking stuff like half a pizza, 3/4 a pint of ice-cream, cookies, strawberry shortcake…all in one lousy week!  I’d like to blame all this on womanhood. And I think today I will. However, I DO know of ways to avoid overeating and undertraining even during this difficult week..

Things like:

• When craving junk food at night, make a cup of hot tea! (Really works!  If you do it…)
• When feeling über lazy, just tell yourself only 5 minutes of a workout. 9 times out of 10 you will continue to go on with a full blown workout. Because you realize how awesome you feel.
• STOP at ONE piece of pizza and couple that with a fresh mixed greens/spinach salad with light dressing.  Always eat the salad first. Veggies fill you up.
• Under no circumstance should you eat straight out of a pint of ice-cream.  Dish a serving out in a bowl and place the rest back in the freezer.  (Did I do this last night??  Absolutely not. I was terrible.)
• When feeling all yuck (ladies, you KNOW what I mean!), try some light yoga to ease it up. My favorite is child’s pose. Ha! Even if you feel like you just can’t get your workout on, a short yoga session will help ease the yuck up and maybe even get you in the groove for a good workout. 
**Check out Self’s Yoga HERE**
**Yoga Journal has a wealth of INFO on yoga/womanhood HERE**
**Prevention’s YOGA HERE**

Did I take ANY of my advice this week?  No.  But will I be better prepared for the next go round?  YES!

***So what gets you going through the rough patches of your month?***

~Happpy (&Blessed) Running!~