new runner

New Running Lessons..from a New Runner

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

 

I’ve seen so many people post about their “run-a-versary” but honestly I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone when I started running.  Even still, I feel as though I’ve learned a lot within the past year and I wanted to pass along my top 5 mistakes lessons I’ve learned in my first year of running:

So, you’ve decided you want to try this whole “running” thing. You’ve laced up your shoes and took your first steps. Way to Go!  As you get into running more and more you will realize there is lots to learn! 

  1. The “I am not a REAL runner” mantra: You know…only those people who are training for a marathon are the “real runners”.  Those people who can run really fast or who can go really far are the real runners.  Not me.  Excuse me…do you run more than you walk?  Do you go a little bit farther every time?  Then you are a runner.  End of discussion. runner
  1. Not wearing proper shoes.  Make sure you go to a running store (Floridians..FitNiche is simply amazing) and get a proper fit.  Ensure you know their return policy in case you need it.  You will most likely increase your mileage as you get into your new passion and your shoes will make all the difference.

                            2A. For my fellow ladies. Get fitted for and invest in a really good sports bra. Trust me on this.

Saucony's rock!

Saucony’s rock!

  1. Hydration and good nutrition everyday are key.  Believe me, no one was more bummed than I was to learn that sweets and beer do not count as “carb loading”.  Your runs will be easier when you take care of your body and what fuels it. Also, hydration is so important, especially if you are running in the summer.  At least 10 glasses of water every day, and I would argue that at least one of those glasses should have an electrolyte replenishing drink if you are going for a long run the next day or just came from one. 
    Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.

    Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.

  1. EAT/DRINK PROTEIN SOON AFTER A RUN.  This seems logical, but let me explain.  I would get debilitating, pounding headaches after long runs.  I would drink water like crazy, but I was never really hungry so I would wait a few hours after my run to eat something.  Big mistake.  If you are going for a long run, have something to eat very soon after.  Go for something with a nice mix of carbs and protein.  Once I started having a protein drink 10 minutes after my long run, my headaches completely vanished. 
    Any excuse to have chocolate is alright in my book.

    Any excuse to have chocolate is all right in my book.

  1. Find a running buddy.  Usually I run alone, happily listening to music, a podcast or just the thoughts in my head. However this can get lonely!  The best runs I’ve had are the ones with other runners.  The time goes by faster because you are chatting and, if you run with someone just a bit faster than you, your pace will ultimately improve.  Plus you can ask all sorts of running questions because if there is one thing other runners love to talk about, it is running.
    running partner

    Yep, she counts as a running buddy, our conversations are hilarious!

     

    Did I miss anything?  Please give me one piece of advice you’d give a new runner!!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

No Long Run Saturday

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

Admittedly, I sometimes slack off change up my weekly running routine.  Some weeks I’ll run 4 days, varying distances and speeds.  Other weeks I’ll only run twice and the same distance each time.  Depends on my mood, the time I have and yes, even the weather.  The one run I rarely miss or mess with is my Saturday long run.  My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturday and the clothes are always laid out.  Generally the lengths vary from six to ten miles, but never less than that.

My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturdays!

My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturdays!  Source

This past Saturday I missed my long run.  Yep, didn’t even try to get it done.  You know what?  I’m OK with that.  Let me explain:

Due to my recent uptick in running (coming back from my medical leave, I jumped back in full force) I am dealing with Runner’s Knee in both knees.  One hurts when I run, the other hurts only when I am not running.

I worked all day Friday on, literally, 2 hours of sleep from the night before.

While I am technically in training for the Tower of Terror, my “all hands on deck” training for my Space Coast half marathon doesn’t start until August.

So when my daughter came crashing to my room at 7am on Saturday and actually woke me up, I felt a twinge of sadness and guilt for not running.  However that all vanished when I stood up and my knees still hurt and when I realized I was still exhausted from my lack of sleep on Thursday.  As my brain switched on, I decided would rather take the necessary breaks NOW vs. being sidelined in the throes of training for both races and even closer to the actual runs.

Sometimes we amateur runners need to remind ourselves that missing a run here and there is not the end of the world.  Life gets in the way of our runs and not only is that OK, it is a good thing!  There is more to life than just running!  Shocking…I know!  As we get closer to my big races I already know that my training will become a higher priority, but for right now, I am allowing other parts of life to consume me more.

The best part of missing that run on Saturday?  Saturday night my daughter asked if we could go for a run Sunday morning.  So we did.  It was the most fun I’ve had on a run I dare say, ever.  The run was effortless, the conversation fun and funny and once we were back on our street she climbed out of the stroller and wanted to run herself.  Stopping to pick up the occasional leaf and to say hello to the slugs and bugs she saw, this actually became an interval session.  It was a blast!  If I had gone on my long run on Saturday I know I would have told her a run on Sunday was not possible.  That mommy needed to rest.  I would have missed out on this super fun, memory making run.

The munchkin & I on our Sunday run, with our "matching" Garmins

The munchkin & I on our Sunday run, with our “matching” Garmins

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

 

2014-Running Resolutions

Image

Good Morning, fellow new runners!

It is officially December 31st and being the procrastinator that I am, I just started thinking of 2014 resolutions.  Being a new runner, I think it is a great idea to set out some goals for myself; simple, attainable, yet a little out of reach so I don’t get stagnant in my training.  So here goes:

1. Cross train more.  Sweet Lord I am terrible at this.  I have a gym in my neighborhood that I never use.  How ridiculous!  Absolutely going to do more than just run.  At least twice a week I want to do something else, either yoga or another form of cardio or even the most boring thing of all (in my opinion) weights.

2. Stop comparing myself to other runners!  I saw this in another post and it is so true.  Who cares how much faster everyone goes or how much farther they can run?  They aren’t me.  I am racing not against my fellow runners but against the person I was yesterday.

3. Work on speed more.  To me, running distance is more fun if you run slower.  However, I have zero desire to finish at the back of the pack and I want to have a good 10 minute-mile pace for a half marathon.  However this does not come without work.  Speed workouts have to be done consistently!

4. Run my first half.  Oh my, just typing this is making my hands sweat.  I know I can do it, but geez the idea of it makes me so nervous!  However I WILL do it.  I hope.  🙂

5. Register and run my first Run Disney race.  I am a huge Disney buff, my family even has Florida annual passes. The idea of running through Disney really inspired me to keep running in the early days.  So I am going to register for both the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October and….the original race that inspired me…the race I think about when all I want to do is stop on those long runs….The Princess Half Marathon for 2015.  (Actually I am hoping to do the Glass Slipper challenge, which is the 10K on Saturday and the half on Sunday).

So there you have it.  I am still not sure about number 4, I need you all to hold me accountable!

I wish you all a very happy and safe New Years!  See you in 2014!!

Enjoy the Run,

Yvonne

What is the one running resolution you are most nervous or excited about?

Garmin GPS & Compression Sleeves

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

For Christmas my family gave into my new running obsession and gave me some pretty nice new running gear.  My husband gave me a new Garmin Forerunner GPS watch and my parents gave me CEP Compression Sleeves for my calves.  As a new runner I was slightly confused as to what these two items would bring to my run, so I tried them out this week!

The Garmin was the new toy I was most excited about (I LOVE gadgets) but also most nervous that it was a want vs a need.  However I wore it on both my short run on Thursday and my long run today.  I have to say it is pretty awesome!  I have a running app on my phone (Endomondo, which is fantastic, BTW) and the app tells me how far I’ve gone and my pace.  However there were times on both runs where I didn’t have my ear buds in (Thursday munchkin accompanied me in her stroller and on Saturday a fellow runner and I had a great conversation for a few miles) and the Garmin continued to update my progress.  No digging in the stroller or the SpiBelt for the phone!  Whoo hoo!  Additionally the Garmin is very convenient, just on my wrist so I could check it frequently and easily, to ensure my pace was neither too fast or too slow.  This was the element I found most useful on the long run.  Ensuring the correct pacing I was able to finish strong on those last few miles.

The CEP Compression sleeves are made to help your legs recover faster, especially after long runs.  Many runners wear them while running, but living in the oppressive heat that is Florida, I would rather not have more clothing on my body than necessary.  So, after I got home and out of the shower today, I put the sleeves on.  There was a bit of confusion as I wasn’t sure exactly how to wear them, but a brief Google image search had me on the right path.  I wore them for about 2 hours and my legs felt great!  No soreness, no aches.  When they were removed, guess what?  The aches and slight pain that is so familiar after a long run hit my legs.  It was unbelievable that these sleeves could make that much of a difference, but they do!!  Next time I am going to wear them all day, if possible, after a long run.

So my final thoughts are if you can get these two pieces of running gear, do it!  The Garmin will really help maintain your speed and the compression sleeves will make your legs feel much better after that long run.  The fun side effect with this type of running gear, you really start to feel like a true runner!!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Did Santa bring you any new fun running gear?  How are you liking it?

Running wish list

Good afternoon Fellow New Runners!

As we are only 2 days away from Christmas, my gifts are wrapped and have actually started to give some thought to what I hope to get this year.  There is nothing I need, but if I were to be completely honest, there is a lot I would want.  As a new runner, there is just so much cool gear to have!  Here are some of the items every new runner should see under their tree:

1. Compression sleeves/socks: I recently completed a 10 miler and discovered why these little babies would have been simply awesome.

2. A second pair of shoes: Read this article in Runner’s World recently http://bit.ly/1d2Ir7l which backs the notion of rotating your running shoes as to prevent injury.  Plus what girl doesn’t want another pair of shoes?

3. A Garmin.  You are a runner, this is now a necessity, even if you aren’t quite sure why.  The idea of being able to keep track of your pace in real time and for your wrist to vibrate if you don’t maintain a specific speed is pretty awesome.  Kind of like your own personal running coach.

4. An unlimited supply of Gu.  Seriously, I am addicted.

5. More pairs of running socks.  Goodbye blisters!

6. A faster pace.  Ok, so Santa can’t bring us this one.  We have to do it ourselves.

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

What would you put on your running wish list?

Go for it!

Hello fellow new runners!

For some reason, as much as running inspires me, I am very reluctant to enter races.  Some theories as to my possible hesitation: I am too cheap (hey, some of those race entries are pretty pricey!), I am worried I will finish dead last (always possible), or something will happen and I either won’t be able to run or suddenly can’t run as far as I could yesterday.  With the exception of the first reason, when I put these on paper, these excuses look pretty lame, don’t they?

One, reason not listed above could be that I don’t like putting myself first.  I can’t speak for the male runner, but most women tend to put the needs of others before their own.  This usually becomes even more pronounced when you become a wife and, especially, when you become a mother.  Everyone else’s needs (and the “needs” of the household) become more of a priority than anything you might want to do.

Entering a race requires not only that you put yourself first when it comes to training, but also on race day.  It requires you to be away from your family or, if possible, for them come out to the race to support you.  It may also require your daughter to create a sign that reads “Go Mommy” in handwriting that looks suspiciously like your own, but that might just be me.

Also, the idea of driving (or even flying) to a new place, finding your way around, figuring out where the start line is, well it is all pretty scary.  If this is your reason for not entering that race you’ve heard about, I hear you.  However, remember these races are planned to be easy to navigate.  Most races start super early and organizers know most runners will still be half asleep and a little nervous before the race.  So they make things pretty easy on you.

If you have any hesitation about signing up for a race, check out the pictures of previous races.  You see those smiles?  See those runners proudly holding their bling?  See the immense sense of accomplishment on their faces?  That could should will be you!!

So have a chat with your significant other or family members,  I will bet you will be surprised at the level of support you get.  Sign up for that race you’ve been hearing about.  Then post it on Facebook, tell all of your friends and get ready to have an absolute blast, get a cool medal & show yourself what you can really do!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

P.S. Just to show I am putting my money where my mouth is: just today I signed up to run The Best Damn Race 5K + 10K challenge and Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, both in February in Tampa.  🙂