Archive for the Training Category

Strength is a Choice, Not a Situation

Posted in Training, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 11, 2017 by activerunner

Screenshot 2017-06-11 22.38.52I am the kind of person that gets bored easily.  It’s only been 4 days since school ended for the summer and already boredom is setting in.  Saying I enjoy being active is a humungous understatement.  Of course I want to be fit and healthy, but I also simply enjoy doing different activities that challenge me and open my eyes to something new, rather than just chilling on the couch watching Netflix, which don’t get me wrong…. I’ve done a lot of.  Becoming fit and healthy can be done in so many different ways.  The one thing it should never become is boring and monotonous.   If it is…. you are doing it wrong.  There are endless active opportunities to participate in.  It’s ridiculous!  And to say that you don’t enjoy exercise just means you haven’t found a passion yet.  So keep looking.

I have ADD when it comes to exercise.  My exercise regime is impulsive and sporadic, but guess what?  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  Having all your balls in one court, makes you an expert on that court and that court alone.  Sure, you’re an expert and also quite comfortable but strength comes from discomfort.  Once you have reached a high comfort level, it is time to reach for something else.  The more you do, the better you will become.  “The purpose of training is to tighten the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”  Do you do that by doing pushups or sit-ups? Neither.  You dothis by trying, failing, and mastering multiple exercises and activities.  There is no secret formula that will make you an epitome of health.  The best part is that you get to choose the kind of strength you have.  You decide what you can and can’t do, what you’ll try and what you won’t, also what you achieve and HOW you fail.

There will be many times when you don’t feel like you accomplished anything.  And there will be things you simply cannot do.  You may have no way of succeeding.  The point is that you tried and that yougave everything to become something you can’t.  My husband and I are struggling with Infertility.  I’m not sure if I will ever have children… but it won’t be for lack of trying.  And I will go through Hell if only to try.  And I will be stronger for it.  Because other wise my “strength” is in something I already know I can do.  So here’s to the one thing you haven’t accomplished yet.  Go for it!  And don’t make excuses.  After all is said and done and you still couldn’t achieve, at least you will know you went as far as you personally could.  Your strength may not go as far as someone else’s.  To that,I’d say it’s a good thing you didn’t put all your balls in one court.

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Reasons Change

Posted in Training, Uncategorized with tags , , on May 21, 2017 by activerunner

I’ve changed.  I am not the same person I was when I started this blog.  Nor have I written for a good chunk of time.  Running used to be an everyday event for me.  I ran because I loved it and was good at it, but also because it gave me a sense of clarity.  While I ran, my  thoughts ran as well.  It was my time to worry, to day dream, to train and improve myself.  It was my time to redirect my worries and thoughts into something successful, which made for some amazing free therapy and awe inspiring self confidence.  Recently, I have gotten away from that.  I don’t run anymore, at least not nearly as much.  And I’m not sure why; a combination between no motivation and a busy schedule?  Perhaps my recent health issues have played a part, Or I just simply burned out…

Whatever the reason,  Running is still a big part of my life because it’s kind of my job.  The track season just ended for my Jr. High Students and school is finally coming to a close, thank goodness!  I did run with my track athletes towards the end of this season.  Getting back into running has been difficult.  And, I have recently decided that anyone who has ever said they hate running is well justified.  But it only took one good running day… after many terrible ones…. to remind me of what I have been missing.  So, starting tomorrow, I am running.  I am not saying I am going to be the same dedicated, hot headed training runner I used to be, or even as fast, because I was pretty fast!  I am simply saying I am going to run.  The weather is warm….ish, May weather in Utah is more than just unpredictable.  But weather will not be an excuse nor will anything else.  I am going to give this another try.  I will sign up for some races, run on a daily basis and hopefully find some new reasons to stick with it this time around.  After all, I have changed.  I am a different person and need to learn how to train the new me.

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Run for a Cause

Posted in Races, Training with tags , on April 24, 2013 by activerunner

Why do you run?  I run for me.  I run to improve my fitness and health.  I run to look good.  I run to relieve stress and boredom.   I run to feel accomplished.  I run so I can eat dessert.  I run for me.  Just me, and nobody else!   It’s time that changed.  Compare running to life, and you’ll find a lot of similarities.   Lately, charity has been a lot on my mind.  If your whole world revolves around yourself, you aren’t living, and I can guarantee you aren’t happy.  However, it seems when you do things for others you are actually doing a lot more for yourself.   Kind of Ironic that the best thing for you is doing for others.  “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

I’m not great at giving of myself.  There is a lot of room for improvement in this area.  I’m not good at speaking comforting words to strangers, or striking up friendly conversations with people I don’t know.  I’m not good at volunteering or putting myself in uncomfortable situations.  But don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can.  Running is something I can do.   I’m  good at putting in miles everyday.  But, simply being good isn’t useful to anyone. 

 “Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful.”  ~Author Unknown

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I had never thought to use running as a tool to make a difference.  I now see I can use it to do just that.  There are a lot of charity runing/walking events out there, so sign up.  That way, you are running for a purpose, one that exceeds the perameters of self improvement.  There is also an App I have recently discovered called Charity Miles.  This App is awesome!  I’m excited to use it.   All you do is pick a charity listed on the app and go, donating all your miles to that specific charity.  Runners and walkers can earn 25 cents per mile, bikers earn 10 cents per mile.  The app will track the mileage for you.  You then share your run on facebook or twitter to help that charity receive donations.  They want you to do this for awareness purposes, and to inspire others to do the same. 

“Nobody walks for charity in secret. It’s something you do to make a statement and to raise awareness.  When you’re done, we hope you will share on Facebook and Twitter. That has a very valuable market value.”Charity Miles

You can do anything to make a difference, it doesn’t have to be running.  The key is to make a statement.  Find something you can do, something you are good at, and use it for good.  There is no point in keeping it all for yourself.    Running is something I do anyway, but now I run for a cause.  Why do you run?

Running in the Snow

Posted in Training on December 30, 2012 by activerunner

brrrrrrrrrr it chilly outside and a fresh blanket of snow has finally found its way onto our running trails.  Running in the cold can definitely put a damper on your running motivation.  I do not particularly like running in the cold and snow.  In fact, I pretty much hate it.  It makes ears ache, noses run, and breathing painful.  And I find it quite dangerous for those of us who may be a bit clumsy on dry ground, let alone slush and ice.  Plus people tend to think runners out in cold weather are crazy!  But cold weather is just another excuse and shouldn’t stop you from getting a good run in. Real runners run all year around!

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With that said…. I ran outside in the snow for the first time yesterday!  Guess I’m not quite a real runner yet.  It took me a while to scrounge up the motivation but once I sucked it up, I found winter running beautiful!  Of course I had to steer clear of snow banks, dodge ice patches, avoid slush pools and focus all my concentration on where I was stepping, making the white wonderland more difficult to enjoy, but made for a more exciting run than usual.

I have decided I don’t need to be scared of the snow and cold, I just need to be prepared.  There are a lot of clothing options for winter runners that I have always found hard to resist when at the mall.  They are fun to wear too.  Did you know they have shoes specifically for running in the snow? Of course they do!   I could definitely use some… learned that the hard way while running yesterday.  They even have non slip attachments you can put on your favorite running shoes if you don’t want to buy a new pair.

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So that solves the ice excuse.  Having the right apparel solves the cold excuse.  It can also help with motivation!  If you have the stuff you might as well use it.  What’s going to stop us from running now?  We are running out of excuses, literally!  I for one am done with excuses.  I’m going to be out there running in the snow like a champ and I’ll do it looking like this.

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Call me crazy, but I’m not going to let a little cold stop me.  As long as I’m warm and slip free I don’t care because I run all year around.

running in the heat!

Posted in Training with tags , , , on August 29, 2012 by activerunner

Cross Country has officially started.  We had our first meet today at the Cotton Wood Complex and it was quite eventful.  Two boys collapsed with heat stroke, one of the collapsee’s was a member of my team while the other was from ogden.  There I was cheering my runner to the finish line.  Suddenly he slowed way down, slower than walking speed.  his strides became short, choppy, and unbalanced.  “come on!” I yelled.  “The finish line is so close.”  Then I shut up because he started to zig zag down the funnel and then passed out.  Describing it now makes it seems a little funny, but watching it happen was actually pretty scary!  Next thing you know, another boy collapses a short minute afterwards! Today was a hot day to run a hard race.  the course at Cotton Wood has very little shade and has some big hills.   There are many things one needs to prepare for when racing in the heat.  The most important of these is dedication.

Firstly, you need to train in the heat.  training in the heat is tiring!  You get fatigued so much quicker, you feel like you are going your normal pace when you are actually going slower, and your mind becomes easily lethargic and tiresome.  My team has been training everyday in the heat for about two weeks now.  Two weeks is not enough time to become completely acclimated to extremely hot temperatures.  it’s not nearly enough time to even get in shape for running.  That is why running before the season starts is so important, which we didn’t do as a team… but expected them to do on their own.   I doubt they were all completely dedicated to running routinely throughout the summer.

secondly, hydration is critical… duh!  You should be drinking enough water to sustain you.  How do you know how much is enough?  By looking in the toilet!  When your pee is clear you are good to go.  if it’s yellow you are not drinking enough.  You’ll find you get pretty close to the toilet as you become a runner.

When I go running in hot weather I always chew a piece of gum.  It keeps the juices flowing so you don’t get cotton mouth as easily.  It helps keep your ability to swallow and even spit, which is sometimes needed when running.  yeah…. running isn’t always pretty.  All you have to do is look at racers facial expressions and you’ll see that.

Running in the heat is a great training exercise.  It can help you become faster and stronger.  It can improve your VO2 max and make running in cooler temperatures easier at faster paces.  But, you’ve got to know your body and how much it can take.  You need to take care of you body and make sure you are replenishing what your diminishing after workouts.  I have say, however, that a runner who pushes themselves passed their limit to the point where they pass out five feet from the finish line, definitely has a good work ethic.  I can’t believe that I saw girls in the meet today walking in their race.  They were walking!!!  The only thing that stopped my runner was his loss of consciousness.  Which I realize seems crazy and possibly stupid, but at lease he let us know he is dedicated.

Running Nutrition

Posted in Training with tags , , , on July 31, 2012 by activerunner

I’ve always believed in the expression “You Are What You Eat.”  And no, I never found the retort, “I don’t remember eating any sexy beasts lately,” very funny.  When training to become a champion runner, because that’s what everybody wants isn’t it?  To be not only a runner but a champion runner!  Or maybe that’s just me?  Well you can’t become a champion running on pop tarts, pizza, and Ramen noodles.  You need a nutrition plan.

Nutrition is tough especially with all the goodies, desserts, and not to mention chocolate lying around.  I mean some may run for the sole purpose of consuming more sweets!  I have gone running only to eat back every calorie in chocolate ice cream, particularly Chocolate Devotion from Cold Stone.  But once you get passed the phase of running for additional eating, you’ll get to the phase of eating for additional running!  Believe me you can tell the difference.  the second phase gets you a lot further around the track.

first off runners need hydration.  You cannot go far when dehydrated.  Water is where you live.  It is the best choice for runners.  It’s the best choice for people period!  But if the weather is extremely humid or you are running for longer than an hour pick a sports drink for replenishing purposes.  Soda will only bring you down.  My suggestion is to lose it completely.  It is full of sugar, preservatives, acids, and other ingredients that I have no idea what they are.  I don’t drink soda, haven’t for years, and don’t intend to ever!

Complex carbohydrates and protein is a key aspect to running and should consume 60% of your food intake.  You can find complex carbs in whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, whole grains.  All this needs to be whole, none of this enriched white stuff.  White is bad.  Protein is critical in repairing muscles and tendons after a run so eat a lot of protein but make sure it’s lean.  I stick to chicken and fish.  lean beef is probably an alright choice as well.  keep dairy products to a minimum they have a much higher fat concentration as well as more calories.

Also add a variety of food.  don’t eat the same thing everyday.  it’s summer and one of my favorite parts of summer is eating fruits and vegetables right from the garden in my back yard.  Everyone knows what consists of a healthy diet…  Get your recommended intake of each food group.  That includes the little triangle at the top of the pyramid that everyone is so against.  You just need to know how much is too much.  A little chocolate never hurt this running champion!

Getting in Shape

Posted in Training with tags , , , on July 21, 2012 by activerunner

So getting back into shape sucks when you let yourself get out of it.  A little advice… don’t let yourself go.  I haven’t been running much lately.  I’ve been tired, bored, unmotivated and its so hot outside!!  Those are lame excuses by the way so don’t use them.  Let me tell you from experience that trying to get back into shape is a lot worse than just keeping it up.

I’m at that stage now, the getting back into shape stage and it’s not fun.  I just ran 4 miles and felt like I was going to throw up.  running in the heat is hard! Running is hard period.  Here is the thing, running is different from any other kind of work out you do.  You do Yoga? play basketball?  Soccer?  Tennis?  So what… none of these sports will get you into the kind of shape you need for straight out running.  Of course, they can’t hurt!  Cross training definitely helps with overall fitness and will make getting into running shape quicker and easier.  But bottom line, running hurts when you haven’t ran for over a week.  Yep… thats how fast you lose it.  Even with all the other sports and work outs you do.  Getting into full running shape can take months, but losing it takes a week.  Not fair, in my opinion.  But I can tell you one thing, keeping it up is worth it.

Running is a lot easier to force when you are in shape but “aren’t feeling it” than when you’re out of shape and need to lose a few pounds.  I have noticed that when I’m feeling lazy, if I just force myself to go outside for a “quick” jog or even a walk, my laziness disappears.  I always end up running on those days because your adrenaline kicks in, your blood is flowing and that restless feeling goes away quick and you are in too good of shape to walk for long.  The out of shapers have a lot harder time trying to force them selves to run something they can barely walk.  So those of you who are out of shape, you have some work to do but once you get back, keep it that way.  Those of you who are in shape and feeling tired and lazy, suck it up!  It takes little effort to put on your running shoes and walk outside… even when you don’t want too.