Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lesson Learned

What was I thinking?  I don't do practically any running for almost an entire year and my first run I do 3.5 miles.  I then continue to do 4 miles at each run and then on this very last run, I cut my time by 15 minutes.  Sounds like I'm improving right?  Well, yeah, in a way I am.  But what I've also done is given myself my first running injury: my knees.  Frankly, while I've been able to get back into running fairly easily, I've also been rather impatient to get back to where I was and have been pushing myself a bit too hard.  After a recent run, I noticed my knees aching quite a bit.  I did sprint that last little bit of that run, so I thought I probably just strained them a bit.  Well, the next run, my knees were screaming at me the for the first 2 miles.  I've had knee aches before, but this was outright knee pain, bordering on knee agony.  So now, a week before I'm to run a 5K, I'm having to pull back a bit to let my knees rest and hope that I still have it in me to run a 5K.  Lesson learned:  be patient with yourself, or you risk injury.

Hopefully my lesson can help someone else from making the same mistake.  But I also found that knee pain is something that most runners complain about at some point.  After doing some research, I've found some common causes that all have pretty simple fixes.

First common cause of knee pain is called:  Runner's Knee or Chondromalacia of the patella.  This is pain around and sometimes behind the knee cap.  It is one of the most common causes of knee pain amongst runners.  "The pain often feels worst when running downhill or walking down stairs, and the knee is often stiff and sore after sitting down for long periods. You might hear a crunching or clicking sound when you bend or extend your knee."  Luckily, there is a way to manage this type of pain.
This is an easily treatable injury with a little patience. First, relieve the pain by icing your knees immediately after running. You can use commercially available cold packs or simply put a wet towel in the freezer before you run. Wrap the cold packs around each knee for about fifteen minutes to bring down the swelling. Take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or aspirin after running, too, but only with food and never before running. Before bed, put heating pads or warm wet towels on your knees for half an hour. Stabilize your feet. Make sure you have the right kind of shoes for your foot type (review our tips on shoe shopping). Consider buying a commercially made foot support in the footcare section of your drug store. If, in combination with thigh-strengthening exercises, the foot supports are not enough to get rid of the injury, see a podiatrist about whether you might need orthotics.
I think this is what I have because one of the causes, besides pushing yourself too much, is running on a road with banked edges, meaning the road slopes down at the sides for water run off.  This makes sense why I never had this problem with I would run on sidewalks. 

Two other main causes of knee pain are Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Baker's Cyst.  You can read about them, just click on their links. 

Hopefully, none of you are being as stupid as I am and are gradually running farther and faster.  Happily, with the knowledge I've gained, I know how to prevent such injuries from occuring and I know to manage them as well. 

Source:  Cool Running

Comment time:  Anyone have knee problems when running?  Or any other injuries?

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Case for Running

What's the obvious reason that anyone might get into running?  Weight loss!  That was the reason I got into running when I did.  I needed to lose a few, but I also wanted muscles.  With all the different forms of exercise out there, one could pick almost anything and it's going to help them lose weight and tone muscles.  So why should someone pick running? 
Running is one of the top activities for burning fat. In fact, with the exception of cross country skiing, running burns more calories per minute than any other form of cardiovascular exercise.
So there is one from of exercise that beats running, so I guess you could be asking yourself, "Why would I choose running over something like cross-country skiing?  My gut wants to say, "Well, don't ask stupid questions," but I'll just say this:
Cross Country skiing is A)less fun in my opinion, B)you need actual equipment (lame!) and C)you can't just decide to go Cross Country Skiing one day and just run out your front door, bust out the skiis and start skiing down your street.  That'll screw up that wax job in a hurry.

Seriously though, as for as getting the most bang for your buck goes, running is the best option.  So you get the calorie burning effect, that's obvious from how much your heart is pounding as you run, but what can you expect from those muscles of yours.  In my own experience, you can expect a good deal of toning to take place in some key areas. 

First and foremost is your calves.  That's where most of use start to feel the burn as we run, right?  And it makes sense since we are using our legs to run.  Expect even better tone if you choose to run hills as well.

Next are your quadriceps (front of the thigh) and your hamstrings.  As you pull up your legs while you run and then land on them, these muscles get quite the workout. 

Next, the hips.  That's right, you have hip muscles called adductors and abductors.  They surround your hips, as far as I understand, to stabilize you as you run.  I remember, when I first got into running, that the first thing I noticed as far as body improvement, was how stellar my hips started to looked. 

Then we have your core.  Your core is made up of all those stomach muscles that keep your spine straight as you run.  Your core can get a more effective workout if you happen to run on uneven surfaces as well.  Be careful with that though because I can see that being a good way to hurt your ankles or cause you to fall. 

Then there's your shoulders.  Remember my post a while back called The Beginning ?  I mentioned how my shoulders hurt while I ran, meaning that they were getting a workout too.  The motion your arms take as you run work the shoulders, front and back.  However, this toning may by only slight since your arms are clearly not doing most of the work.  But I remember seeing more definition in my shoulders as I got further along in running.  Sprinting will work the shoulders more, if you really wants some wicked shoulder muscles. 

Lastly, we have the butt.  What awesome exercise would really be awesome if it didn't work the area that most of us complain about?  Actually, for most of my teenage years, I never really worried about my posterior.  I come from a long line of small and insignifcant butts.   But after a few kids, all of the sudden I realized that the dreaded "mom butt" had crept up on me.  You know, the kind of butt that couldn't fill out a good pair of pants to safe its life because it's gotten so flat?  Yeah, I had that.  Running solved that one for me.  Recently I've started running on hills to help train for my upcoming 5K and one of the first muscles to become sore thereafter was indeed my butt.

To make sure you're getting the most out of running, I found a few things on how to run so that you're burning the most calories you can and doing the most toning you can.

  • Run tall. Gravity and weak core muscles cause many runners to “fold” in the middle when their feet land. This sitting-down movement wastes energy. Imagine that wires are attached to your shoulders, pulling you up slightly. Thrust your hips forward a bit and think “stability” when your foot hits. It’s easier to run tall if you’ve worked your core properly.

  • Relax. Tension in your arms, shoulders, neck, and face reduces efficiency. Arms and fingers should be loose. Unclench your hands and let your jaw jiggle.

  • Breathe right. Your breathing should be rhythmic and deep, and you should feel your diaphragm, not your chest, doing the work. Exhale with controlled force. When you pick up the pace, don’t let your breathing get shallow.

  • Land on the midfoot. A heel-first landing is a brake. It means you’re extending your leg out too far in front of your center of gravity, so it takes more energy to move forward. And it’s shaky, so your muscles are working on stabilization instead of forward motion. Shorten your stride. It’ll feel odd at first, like shuffling, but once you get used to it, focus on thrusting backward with force.

  • Run softly. The louder your footfalls, the less efficiently you’re running. Try running more quietly; you’ll be unconsciously switching to a midfoot strike and a shorter, quicker stride.

  • Swing symmetrically. Check your form on a treadmill in front of a mirror. If one arm is bent more than the other or swings more, you have a musculo-skeletal imbalance that can slow you down. Target the weaker side with strength and flexibility exercises.

  • As far as weight loss and toning go, my biggest piece of advice is once you start running, don't look at the scale or take a magnifying glass to your body for a least a month or two.  The reason?  First off, you don't need to be analyzing your body everyday just to get frustrated that you can't see the muscles yet.  And lastly, some of us might actually gain weight in the beginning because we're building muscle.  But don't worry, that muscle will burn the fat away, just give it some time.  And I guess one more piece of advice that just came to me would be to not binge when you get home from running.  You'll notice that after a run, that you feel like you're starving.  That's because you just burned an insane amount of calories.  What to do then?  Have something waiting for you when you get home, something healthy like fruit.  I always make a strawberry protein shake (protein within 60 minutes of a workout will help those developing muscles) after I run and then maybe follow it with whole wheat toast or a bagel or something.  If you come home after a run and then clean out the fridge, you've kind of wasted a good run.   

    So if you're contemplating an entry into the world of running, here is my second reason(first reason was the runner's high): the runner's body. 

    Sources: 10 Benefits of Running, Live Strong

    Comment time!  What weight loss have you had due to running?  How has your body image improved since running began? 

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    The Truth About Running

    I've been busy gathering first-hand info on running from other runners I know.  Sometimes, if you just Google info on running, you end up being confronted with info solely targeted at marathon runners or even triathalon contenders.  Well, sorry  Google, but that ain't all of us.    We need more info for the everyday runner, not just those that qualify for the Boston Marathon.  So where better to get info than people that have the same running habits that you do.  I'm not saying I didn't tap people who have run marathons, they are in there too, but I also have my own experiences and experiences from people that are around my same level.  This way, we get a broad spectrum of advice, tips, and other info.  In other words, we get the truth about running.

    The Truth:

    "I recommend switching up your route.  If you keep running the same streets day in and day out, you will get bored and your running days will be over."
    -Kristan Alford 

    "The only tip I have for beginners is that you have to start somewhere. It can be a mile or two but you have to start your run somewhere and I can promise you that it will get easier every day. Before you know it you will be running 5 miles very strong! Anyone can enjoy running and become a 'runner'."
    -Megan Porter

    "My advice for beginners is GET THE RIGHT SHOES!! Also take it slow even if you know you can go farther, ease into the distance to avoid injury."
    -Josh Stuart

    "You will, most likely, HATE your first run.  You will, probably, HATE your second run, but not as much as the first.  You will, perhaps, HATE your third run, but not nearly as much as the first and second one.  Seeing a pattern here?  Running works your entire body and that's hard on us, especially if we aren't used to exercise.  But it gets easier and you get surprisingly stronger rather quickly.   One day you'll look in the mirror and think, 'Where did all these muscles come from?'"

    Please comment!  What tips do you have or have been told by others?  Please share your experiences so we can all benefit.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Let's Share: Robyn's Story

    As I stated at the very beginning, I wanted to share not just my experiences with running, but those of other runners as well.  Well, I thought today would be a good day to share a story.  This one comes to us from Robyn Whitworth.

    Its a long one...
    Here is my running story- and I have to say that I never, and I do mean NEVER thought I'd be able to share a story about running, but here goes.
    Elementary school- the fat complex started, running made my face beet red and I felt embarrassed about my stocky body and I was generally in the last third of all the other runners=the negetive feelings about running complex.
    Middle School- fat complex is REALLY bad, my body is maturing faster than most of the other girls and I don't understand about sports attire, so, yet again, running presents itself as a negative thing. I ran an 8 minute mile and hated myself because I was still slower than most the other girls.
    High school- Running is OUT. In PE I was the girl that would just walk and maybe jog a bit just to pass the class, however, I would run after school before going to work 2 times a week and go about a mile just so I could say I was exercising. I just made up my mind that running is for athletic people and those CRAZY people who actually LIKE to run. WEIRD!
    College- no running at all. Fat complex is fading out as I get a boyfriend and get married.
    Married with one child- Started feeling the baby fat gathering and decide to do something. But I started rashly- just jumped right in and ran without understanding Heart Rate, calorie burn, how hormones and body types affect how you lose fat especially in the areas you want. So it didn't last long, as running barely 1/2 a mile was exhausting me. I resorted to swimming, which toned up my body a little and helped my heart without all the burn and heat of running. Lasted about 4 months.
    Married with 2 children- same thing as with one child, except no swimming, just running a mile twice a week for 3 months, then I got pregnant and it was over for 2 years.
    January 2011- Read a lot about nutrition and changed my diet around, not too drastic, just a little and also started a Wii strength training program and it is really fun! I could feel my muscles starting to get bigger and I "magically" started losing inches all over my body and my heart rate and endurance was getting better each week. So in April I decide that I will try running a mile, maybe more if I feel good...... here is where my paradigm about running shifted!
    That first time I ran 3 miles in 25 minutes. I was sore, but I astounded myself, and the best part, was that I felt GOOD when I was done!
    The next time, 2 weeks later, I ran 2 miles because of time constraints (you have those with kids...) and since then I am running 3-4 miles once every week and I am LOVING IT! I am shooting for a 10 K in the next few months and CANNOT believe it!!!
    For me, I had to learn about how to condition my body to be ready to run- because when it was ready, it was FUN- I can feel power from my leg muscles and my heart feels good, not strained at all. And yes, my body looks better than it has since college and I feel better too!!!

    What I love about Robyn's story is the evolution that took place.  Most of us have similiar stories where we get started and something stops us or we hate our first run so much, we decide it's not for us.  But, as Robyn got to experience, if you give it enough time and heart, you'll get such great benefits from it.  Thanks for sharing, Robyn!

    Have a story you want to share?  Shoot me an email at annadurfee@yahoo.com

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Sign Me Up!

         Yesterday, at a approximately at a time I can't remember, I signed myself up for the 5K race in the Teton Dam Marathon!  I was going to run the 10K last year, but being newly pregnant with twins and being overly nauseous put an indefinite hold on races.  I chose to do a 5K for the Teton Dam Marathon this year because that course is littered with hills and I won't be able to train a whole bunch on hills, so I figured I'd just do the 5K for now.  It's on June 11th, if anyone wants to run with me.  There is a link to the site on my sidebar.  Also listed on the races I'll be running is one called the Scenic River Classic in Idaho Falls.  From what I can tell, it's a much flatter course and I think you get to run along the river.  I'm thinking I'll run the 10K on that one, but I haven't signed up yet because I'm still unsure if I can do a 10K.  That one is on the 18th, so only one week after the Teton Dam.  Crazy huh? 
         So, I'm challenging each one of you who read this blog, which might just be 7 people, to sign up for a race.  There's nothing like being signed for a race and the risk of a registration fee on the line to keep you going!  Find a race near you and start training.  From other runners that I know who've done races, they talk about the thrill you'll experience as you cross that finish line, even if you're dead last. 
         So how do you train?  Run!  If you're really new to running, start out slow and don't pay attention to distance, just pay attention to how long you run.  Gradually increase how long you run until you can run for an hour without stopping.  A 5K is a little over 3 miles long.  If you're running for an hour, you should be running 3 miles for more.  A 10K is a little over 6 miles long.  Back in the day when I was at my best, I could run a 10K in an hour.  Right now I can run about 4 miles in an hour, but I'll just keep gradually increasing my speed and distance until I back to running a 10K in an hour.  It's all about line upon line, precept upon precept, if you know what I mean. 
         Also, make sure to stretch.  I always stretch before a run, but I recently read something from another running blog that says to do things a bit different:
      1. Stretching before running may actually be bad for you. It may lead to injury.
      2. It is better to warm up slowly (e.g. by starting out walking) than to stretch before you run.
      3. Stretching after five minutes of easy running is more advisable than stretching before running.
      4. Stretching after you run is always a good thing.
      5. Doing stretching as a standalone activity (e.g. taking up Yoga) can be extremely beneficial to runners.

    I always start a run by walking, but I think I might save stretching until after I've warmed up a bit like this suggests.  I always stretch after running to help minimize soreness later.  If you do stretch after a run, I suggest waiting until your breathing is back to normal.  Also, be sure to drink some water before and after a run.  As Jane Fonda once taught me, "Dehydrated muscles don't work very well."

         For most life situations, we tend to think a lot about decisions before we make them.  When it comes to running, don't do that.  It works best for me to say, "Don't think, just do it."  So I challenge you not to think, just sign up for a race and start training.  Sometimes thinking leads us down roads of doubt about our own abilities and that's not what we need right now.  I'm a big fan of thinking, I think more people should do it, but not in this case.  For you locals, you've got roughly 3 weeks before the Rexburg Teton Dam Marthon and 4 weeks before the Scenic River Classic in Idaho Falls.  You Can Do It!  If you're not from around here, just google marathons in your area and pick one! 

    Whose with me?!  Now, if you won't scare anyone nearby, give me a warrior cry and then just run out of the room as if you're going to start training right now.  AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    A Case for Running

         The Runner's High

         Okay, so I've gotten comments from people who talk about hating running.  Well, I used to absolutely hate it too.  Whenever I tried before, I simply despised it.  It was on the same level as my distaste for peas and pineapple and if you know me, you know just how much I hate those things.  So how in the world did I get to love running so much?  It's all chemical!  Some refer to it as the Runner's High.  For a long while it was all folklore.  People talked about it, but no one could prove that it actually existed.  Apparently, personal testimony isn't enough for science.  But you can talk to a lot of runners who say that some kind of euphoric good mood would come over them during a race or after a long run.  I've experienced this myself. 
         The first time was when I ran 6 miles straight, without stopping, for the first time.  All of the sudden I was smiling and the feeling of happiness was overwhelming.  I had experiences something like this on other runs, but on a smaller scale.  This time, the euphoric feeling nearly brought me to tears.  Ericka, a friend of mine, said she has done the same thing; all of the sudden, in the middle of a run, she caught herself smiling like a loon and inexplicably happy.  It may take different circumstances to elicit the same response from other people, but most of the runners I know and talk to, experience the same thing.  But a high always leads to something else.  Do we know what it is, class?  An addiction!
         If you look up the word addiction, it's all negative and for good reason.  Most of the time addictions are about bad things like drugs, gambling, pornography and other destructive behaviors.  Something happens to your brain when you involve yourself in addicting substances or activities and it alters the way the brain functions, meaning the brains starts to crave things that are bad for it.  But what if you became addicted to something that was good for you?  Running, to me, is the best kind of addiction.  All other addictions tend to ruin your life and destroy your family and other relationships.  Not running.  Why? 
    A)The "drug" is the massive release of endorphins throughout the body, not harmful substances that alter brain functions and damage cells B)It's hard to stay in shape, but what if you were addicted to a form of exercise?  It would be a lot easier to stay in shape, duh! C)The chemical reaction puts you in seriously good mood and it's not fake!  I've read articles where some psychiatrists have prescribed running to patients with depression.  My kids have told me that I'm a nicer mommy recently.  Hmmm, what I have been doing recently?  Oh, running! 
    Did you see anything in there about it ruining my life because I love it so much?  Nope.  Anything to suggest that it's destroying my relationship with my family?  Nope, just the opposite.  In fact, my husband and kids are already getting excited to see me run a few races this summer(see the sidebar).

    It's been said that other kinds of endurance or intense exercises can have this same effect, but not for me.  I've spent hours on an elliptical, swam long laps in a pool, scrunched up in yoga and pilates poses, but nothing else has ever given me a high before.  Why?  Well, I know the chemical reaction going on, but there is also something pyschological about running.  In my mindset, running is hard.  So here's the argument:  If I think running is hard and yet I do it, I have proven to myself that I can do something hard.  If doing something hard makes me proud of myself and my accomplishment, then running will make proud of myself and my accomplishment.  I think this adds to that chemical reaction and provides me with that addicting high.

    As far as proving that the runner's high exists, they have done it.  Here is a link to an article I've found about it:  Yes, Running Can Make You High

    In the end, running makes me happy.  Sometimes I can pinpoint the second those endorphins are being released.  I feel stronger, happier, more content with life in general.  What's cooler, is this effect doesn't wear off immediately after the run, it keeps going and often lasts me until my next run.  And when I do get stressed or when life is just throwing me too many curve balls, running clears my head and helps relieve the stress.  If you're looking for a reason to run, here is my first reason: the high. 

    Look for "A Case for Running" to be a regular feature here every Monday.  I find the blogs I like to read the most have features that they run on a regular basis, so I thought I'd try it. 

    Comment Time:  Has anyone here ever experienced a high from running or can attest to it's addicting nature?  Let me know!!

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    The Playlist

    A friend from high school, who commented on my very first post here, said she was interested to know what music I run to, what I had in my playlist.  So, I've decided to add a playlist to this blog so you can hear what I run to and decide if any of the songs will work for you.   I also want to give you a little insight as to why I listen to the songs I do during a run.

    "Touch My Hand" - David Archuleta
    No I am not some doe-eyed, fell-in-love-him-at-first-sight 14 year-olds just because I like one song by David Archuleta.  I use this song to warm up.  It's a good one for a slow jog or a walk before I start actually running.  It's got a good beat.

    "Haight Street" - Anberlin
    When I think of this song, I think "peppy."  It's happy, it's high energy and it's good for the beginning of a run, which to me, is the hardest part of a run.

    "Know Your Enemy" - Green Day
    Any other children of the early 90's will appreciate Green Day in this playlist.  Once again, a very good beat, almost to the point that my feet touch the ground with each one.

    "Around the Bend" - The Asteriods Galaxy Tour
    I got this song off of a iPOD commercial.  Wonderful beat that I sometimes want to stop running to so I can dance.  For the sake of any dignity I might have, I do not stop to dance.

    "Everybody Love Me" - OneRepublic
    Who doesn't need a little confidence boost mid-run?  A song totally about being a rock star means you totally feel like struttin' your stuff out on the road...totally.

    "Misery Business" - Paramore
    If you know anything by Paramore, then you know that they don't do much else than super up-tempo stuff.  This song talks about a girl finally getting what she wanted, which in her case is some guy.  I like to pretend I'm getting what I want which is a body that doesn't look like I've had 4 kids.

    "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
    Has a good beat.  No other reason really, except who doesn't love a song by a guy named Ferdinand, I mean come on!

    "SOS" - Rihanna
    Okay, so I don't listen to artists like Rihanna on a regular basis or ever really, but it helps me run, so I listen to it.

    "Sober" - Pink
    This song has a strong beat, but it's not necessarily up-tempo.  I use this song once I've got my rhythm going and I just to stay on beat.

    "Shadow of the Day" - Linkin Park
    This too is a song when I'm already set into the run and just need to stay on target.  Good strong beat.

    "Don't Stop the Music" - Rhianna
    Another Rihanna song I know.  When I think of this song and "SOS" I picture it being used in countless aerobics classes around the country.  Don't you?

    "Unbreakable" - Fireflight
    This song is meant to be about someone being "unbreakable" in terms of their faith.  I choose to make it more about being unbreakable in my will to keeping going.  It works.  This is one I often try to sprint to.

    "Marching On" - OneRepublic
    This one has a good beat, but it's mainly motivational.  It's all about overcoming the hard times.  Perfect right?  It has lines in it like, "For those doubts that swirl all around us, for those lies that tear at the seams.  We know we're not what we seem.  For this dance we move each other.  There ain't no other step than one foot right in front of the other."  Great stuff, I say.  OneRepublic is my new favorite band by the way.

    "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie" - The Submarines
    Another song I just want to dance to.  It's got an interesting message entirely not related to running, but I still like it.

    "I Gotta Feeling" - Black Eyed Peas
    Another band that I don't listen to much, but some of their stuff is cool.  This one has a constant beat, which helps with running and it just makes you feel like moving and moving and moving and moving and....

    "Shut Up and Let Me Go" - The Ting Tings
    I think these guys are British.  Anyway, another good beat.

    "Decode" - Paramore
    Despite that this song is on the Twlight soundtrack (sorry if you're a fan), it's good and this is a good song in that is has a constant beat, but then it speeds up for a bit, so it makes you want to run faster.  From what I've learned about exercise, it's good to have variation in how fast your heartrate is.

    "Single Ladies" - Beyonce
    Beyonce is in the same category as Rihanna.  I think Beyonce is talented, she's just not my style.  But when it comes to running, you gotta listening to anything that you need to. 

    "Let it Rock" - Kevin Rudolf and Lil Wayne
    For the record, I'm completely against the word or shortened word "lil" in front of anyone's name, but this song was meant for exercising, especially running.  If you download this one, there are two versions: clean and explicit.  I chose the clean one.

    "I Do Not Hook Up" - Kelly Clarkson
    I really like Kelly Clarkson.  She's got an amazing voice, but more importantly, she didn't take the route of a soft-sung female vocalist.  She went the route of rock and that's cool.  This song has a good up-beat as well.

    So there is what is currently listed under my running playlist.  I'm still fiddling with the order of the songs.  I've made sure that I don't run out of music before the run is over.  As I start to go farther, I'll probably have to get more, so if anyone has some suggestions, let me know!

    Please comment, I'd loved to know your opinions!

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    In The Beginning

    You know the scene in the 3rd Lord of the Rings where Gollum is having a fight with himself.  Yeah, that's what it felt like to me in the beginning.

    Okay, gotta get going, gotta do some running.  Got the iPod, now I can go.

    Let's start this off by walking a bit, a brisk walk and then I'll start running.  Don't want to strain myself.

    Okay, first song is over, I should really start running.  1, 2, 3, go! 
    Why are you not running?

    Just do it, just start, it'll be okay.  There you go! 
    Ha!  This isn't so bad.  These running shoes are awesome.

    Oh, feeling a little burn in the calves and I can still see the house, so that's probably a bad sign. 
    Just run until you get to that yellow sign up ahead, then you can take a breather.  This is your first time out.

    Why is the yellow sign moving away from me? 
    That's perposterous, just calm down.
    Or did I past the yellow sign and this is a new one?  Dang it, I need to rest, but I have to make it to the yellow sign!  Where is it? 
    It's right there, don't panic!
    Why am I not getting there faster?  What the $&@# is going on!  Arrgghhh!

    Why does it feel like my lungs are collasping?  I...can't...breathe! 
    Yes you can.
    I can't fill my lungs!  Is that a pain in my left arm? 
    You are not having a heart attack, you drama queen.
    I'm only 29!

    There, just needed to stop for a minute, stretch the calves, take a deep breath. 
    Okay, get going, let's do this.  This song is a really good one, just run to the song. 
    Here we go, nevermind the jiggles.

    Ugh, my stomach is feeling weird.  Am I going to throw up? 
    No, just push through it, you a NOT going to vomit.  You WILL NOT vomit.  If you vomit and someone stops to help you, how are you going to say, "No thanks, I'm fine," with chunks of that protein bar you ate this morning in your mouth?  Suck...it...up!

    My shoulders hurt? Why do my shoulders hurt?  Am I even using my shoulders right now?  I don't understand!
    Are you crying?
    *Sniff* No! 

    I'm runnin', I'm runnin', I'm runnin', I'm runnin'.  Oh, Bradley Peterson is up for re-election I see.  Well, Mr. Petersen, if you can take away the stinging in my chest right now, I'll vote for ya!

    Man, it's hot!  The sun...is...taking all of my energy.  Why does the sun give energy to everything else but me?  That's messed up!
    Really?  You're blaming the sun now?

    Ugh, I really want to stop. 
    Don't stop! 
    Please, let me stop! 
    Just turn your music up higher. 
    Yeah, then if my lungs and heart explode, I won't hear it!

    Where are the sprinklers?  Look at all of these lawns and NO ONE is watering them right now?  Your grass needs water, dangit!  I'm on fire! Please, turn on your sprinklers!

    Okay, here comes that song.  The song that makes you want to sprint.  Do it!  You can sprint for a bit.  It gets your heart going and it'll get you stronger.  Here it comes......sprint! 
    Okay, I'm sprinting, I'm doing it, ha!  Leg cramp, leg cramp, oh, stupid, stupid, stupid!  Thaaaat was stupid!
    Walk it off! 
    I can't walk!

    Back on your feet now, get going. 
    Whew! Okay!  I'm up. 

    Why do I feel so heavy?  Why am I going to slow? 
     Because you're crawling you moron. 

    Ah! I can see the house!  Yeah, I'm almost done! 
    You know you have to do this again tomorrow right? 
    Shut up and let me have this victory!

    I made it! Just gonna lay down for a minute and breathe.  Close my eyes and rest just for a minute.
    That wasn't so bad, right?

    Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but some of this honestly went through my head while I was running.  I wish I could write while I ran; that's when I get my best ideas.  Anyway, I hope my self-deprecation (I think that's the right word) entertained you, even a little bit.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    The First

    This blog is meant to tell a story about running. For now, it will tell my journey as a runner, but I hope to add other's stories here as well. So, this is The Running Story. Ahem....I guess I'll begin.

    My first run....

    My first real run, and I mean a run that tortured my body for days, lasted a whole 15-20 minutes and went around the block. I was pushing two kids in a jogging stroller I'd purchased before my 2nd daughter was born and I was literally tortured for 15-20 minutes. I don't even know if this pathetic attempt was even a mile's worth. My feet and calves hurt so bad the next day, I amazed myself when I did it again. I guess my motivation was that I realized that this wasn't high school anymore and if I was going to get my body back after two kids, I'd better get my keester out there and do something and since I bought a $250 stroller with the word "jogging" in it's name, I'd better at least attempt another run. That was a long sentence, I know.
    That first run turned into an addiction for me. The first run was at the beginning of May, perhaps the end of April, and by July I was able to run 6 miles without blinking. For those that can run a full marathon in your sleep, you may stop laughing now. This was huge for me. And before winter hit, I had started running 8 miles everytime I stepped out the door. During the winter, I continued to run indoors on a loathed treadmill. I don't know why I hate treadmills, but I do. Then as the weather hinted at spring, I got set to run outdoors again only to find out I was expecting.
    I got sick right off the bat and the thought of running made my vomit voilently. Then as the sickness went away, 16 WEEKS LATER, I felt like I was too big and that running might rip loose one of the babies I had stashed in me (that's right, I was expecting twins). So I got bigger and the running just stopped. The twins were born in December and after birthing one naturally, meaning ripped out of my loins whilst I screamed, and having an emergency c-section with the other one, running once again made me want to vomit violently.
    4 and 1/2 months after the twins arrived, I had run out of excuses. The weather had turned nice. Check. I was no longer suffering the pains of having the worst possible birth story in the history of birth stories. Check. I had stopped losing weight simply because I wasn't pregnant anymore, which meant I needed to work for those last 10lbs. Check. I had my new running mix on my iPod all picked out. Check. I had gained sufficient motivation from watching The Biggest Loser. Check. It was time.
    So, it began again. My first run, this time, lasted 3.5 miles. It was blasted hot too. I think I possibly walked a mile of it, but I can't estimate to save my life. The point is, I was back, baby! Tonight I did it again, 3.5-4 miles and I only stopped once to walk to avoid antagonizing a rather mean St. Bernard. I'm, frankly, amazed that I didn't have to start from scratch. My body "remembered" what this was all about and it helped me through it. I'm far away from where I was before, but I'll get there again, you can count on that.
    So now, if anyone is reading this, please tell me your stories about running. Tell me multiple stories. I want it all. I actually want this blog to reach as far as it can go. Let's motivate each other. Share tips, share funny stories, share accomplishments, share in this crazy addiction.
    I'll be posting regularly and I hope to get people interested in this blog.