Who’s Advice is GOOD Advice?

I do a fair amount of running.  I’ve been running a few years or so.  I run even though I have a few challenges.  I’ve run a few marathons.  I’ve had injuries from which I’ve recovered.  I’ve avoided other kinds of injuries.  I’ve lost weight while running.  I’ve gained weight while running.  I’ve run through pain.  I’ve taken a seat from running because of pain.

Would you take MY advice about running related issues?  This has been on my mind for little bit, so I thought I’d write about it.

What qualifications does a person need to offer advice that you would take?  Do you take their advice because they look the way you’d like to look or they can run a distance or speed that you’re aspiring to run?

Should you only take advice from someone who has done some structured study of the subject and got a certification or degree?

For me, it really depends on how serious the issue.  If I’d like an opinion about what flavor GU I should try, any old advice is fine.  If I don’t like it, I’ve wasted $2.  On the other hand, if I am struggling with my entire running/training program, is it good enough that the advice is from someone who’s run a few races?  Do I need the advice of a run coach or can my friend who ran a half marathon be enough help?

What if I am hurting?  Should I listen to layman advice to take a warm or ice bath, ice it, try some Chondroitin, take an Aleve?   It is my opinion that if my health could suffer, seek advice from a professional.

Here is my big question:  What do you do when you hear advice that you think is just wrong?  Do you offer your opinion as an alternative?

There is a LOT of science behind running form, training, nutrition, recovery, rest, etc.  I think we should ALL take a few breaths to consider whether we’re qualified to offer up advice to those with less experience that we have.  (I’m not saying that I have a lot of experience….)  I’m going to take my own advice and defer to those who know best.

If you want to know my opinion about some GU, a bra, or what I think about some other ‘not so crucial’ aspect of running, I’m your girl!

Dog-Science

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Run Streak

I’m doing the Runner’s World Run Streak again this year.  What is that, you ask?  Runners commit to running at least one mile per day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  I think it’s 38 days.  Sounds simple enough, right?

My husband is doing it with me and I believe we are on day 18.  Physically, it is easy.  It’s a little challenging mentally, though.  There have been days when I am not scheduled to run and I just did not feel like ‘suiting up’ to run one stinking mile.  It seems like a lot of effort to run one mile.  Ugh.  One mile…  So, yeah.  That’s the challenge.

We’ve run in the rain

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We’ve run in the cold..

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I’ve noticed an unintended consequence of running every day:  I’m finding that I wear my running clothes all day long on the days that I ‘only run one mile’.  I’ve become THAT person.  I scoff at the ladies in Target, Trader Joe’s, the mall, etc. that are wearing running clothes.  I’d think to myself that either a) “You ran and didn’t take a shower afterward” or b) “You’re wearing running clothes and you don’t even run.”  So, I’m lady A.  I run a mile in my clothes and then keep them on until I am forced by societal norms to change clothes.  If I have a meeting for any of the community organizations that I’m involved in, I’ll change.  If I have to go to court (I’m not in trouble, calm down!), I’ll change.  If I have to go to the grocery store, say… Trader Joe’s, Target or THE MALL…  I wear my running clothes.  

Yep.  I’m that lady, now.  But hey, the running streak is intact!  Go me.

mace walker #RWRunStreak

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Ten Days til My Marathon!

This is my ‘recover’ week, so I’m just reminiscing on days gone by.

Run Dedeaux Run

The countdown begins!  Only 10 days til my very first (only??) full marathon!  I am excited, nervous, scared…

Last night, I asked my husband this question:  “What if I can’t finish the race?”  He answered, “It’s not just about the race.  It’s about the whole journey.  You set a goal and worked hard to achieve it.  Lots of people start marathons and don’t finish.  Lots of people have bad runs – even elite athletes get hurt and can’t finish.  I wouldn’t be too disappointed for not finishing….(insert some other words that start to run together and all sound the same…)  Are you tearing up thinking about it?  What were you expecting me to say?” 

Me:  “Uh, not that.”

Husband:  “You asked me what if you didn’t finish.  I think you will finish but that’s not what you asked me.”

So.  Let me just say up front.  I…

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Ho Hum…

Now What

I feel like I have no purpose in life right now.  Last week, I was training for a marathon.  Today, I’m just sitting here…

Blah!

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#OwnChicago :-)

I did it! Yesterday, I ran the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon along with 44,999 other runners!

I got to the race in plenty of time but of course… I had to use the toilet. The lines for the porta potties were all a quarter of a mile long! What can you do, though? I had to go.

After I took care of that, I found my pace group. The group I chose did a 2:1 run walk. I was concerned that all of the stopping and starting would be a problem, but it worked fine.

Here’s some random thoughts that I had during the race:

1.   This race is PACKED! When is it ever gonna thin out? I’m tired of bumping into people.
2.   Run the curbs, people. No need to add on miles.
3.   No thanks, strange lady. I don’t want any cookies.
4.   SO HAPPY TO SEE MY FAMILY! That perked me up🙂
5.   WHAT? We’ve only run 5 miles? What the hell?
6.  Is this homeless looking guy in the race or is he just trying to cross the street?
7.   This guy in front of me has BO already. No Bueno.
8.   These are some lovely townhouses we’re passing. I wonder how much they cost. Oh, wait. Never mind. Too much snow and cold weather here.
9.    Aww… Look at the little kids playing their toy musical instruments.
10.  High five little kids!
11.   I need to remember to thank some volunteers.
12.  Oh, that sign is funny: “Run like someone called you a jogger!”
13.  Man… 10 miles down. We are going to be running FOREVER!
14.  -laughing- Thanks lady. I’m AM ‘doing the damned thang!’
15.  -feeling choked up- I love the scripture posters. I WILL persevere.
16.  There’s a lot of cute dogs out here.
17.  I thought this course was completely flat. Why are we going uphill?
18.  I need a drink. (Don’t judge.)
19.  I think my toenail is falling off inside my sock. Great.
20. There’s a lot of KT Tape out here.
21.  Why, yes stranger. I would like some of your hand broken pretzels. I need some salt. Craving salt is a weird sensation, btw.
22.  Mmmmm…. Beer. I better not.
23.  Whew! 5 more miles.
24.  I’m hot.
25.  Alrighty. They’re cleaning up the water/Gatorade stations. #FeelingDeflated
26.  Hip hurts. Can’t keep up. Need to slow down.
27.  No need to panic. I’m having fun. I’ll finish eventually.
28.  “Watch out now’,”. (To the group of middle aged men staring at me.) HAHAHAHAHA I’m cracking myself up, now.
29.  Really, Chicago Marathon? Uphill at 25 miles? This is cruel.
30.  OMG!!! I see the finish line. MUST RUN FASTER.
31.  YES!!! I’m finished.
32.  No, Mr. Spotter, Ms. Spotter… I don’t need you. :-
)

Here are a few pics from the weekend! They’re in random order. I’m feeling too lazy to fix it, so…

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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I Am Feeling Kind of Emotional

It’s October 7:  FIVE DAYS BEFORE MY MARATHON!! 

Last week, I was worrying about the weather.  This weekend, I was worried about my physical fitness and preparedness for the race.  Today, I’m feeling emotional.

Why?  Lots of reasons.  I’m so happy that it’s almost here.  I’m happy it’s almost over.  I’m proud of what I’ve done to get this far.  I’m proud of myself for not quitting.  I am excited about what I’ll experience during the marathon.  I’m nervous about what I’ll experience at the marathon.  I want my family to be proud of me.  I want to set a good example for my kids.  I want to inspire someone else to do something that seems out of their realm of possibilities.  I’m not sure why I’ve placed this much significance (and stress) on this event, but I have lots of reasons to be emotional.  It can be overwhelming at times.

This marathon will be my last.  Most likely.  I don’t imagine a scenario where I’d want to run 26.2 miles again, but I guess I shouldn’t rule it out completely.  So, with that in mind, this is MOST LIKELY my last marathon.  I want it to be a good memory.

I want to finish.

I am going to finish.  I’m ready.  I’m mentally and physically prepared.  Can you hear me chanting?  This is my mantra for the race.

If you are at the BofA Chicago Marathon, I’ll be the one at the finish line in tears, I’m sure.

Say hello if you see me!

Tears of Joy

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Countdown!

PINK 10

Lots on my mind.

Lots to think about – or not, depending on how you look at it.

Tomorrow morning is my very last long run of this training season. I’m doing 10 miles and it may rain. I don’t like running in the rain, but I am committed to do it unless there is lightening. I’ll go to the gym and run on the treadmill if there’s lightening.

Woo Hoo!

Ten days to go. 

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Running With the Invisible Hand

Yesterday, my scheduled long run was 12-13 miles.  I’ve been really thinking about the amount of hills on my runs (I don’t like them) and I TRIED to map out a route with a flatter course.  After trying over and over with no success, I decided to run with the ‘invisible hand’.

I was introduced to the invisible hand by my husband.  He uses it for things such as vacation itineraries, down time on the weekend, etc.  It hasn’t failed him as far as I know.  I’ve been with him on many invisible hand journeys and they’ve worked out well.

Since I had to drop off my husband’s car to get new tires, I decided to start my run from the auto shop.  I live about a mile from the shop but have never once run past it.  Confession:  If I run toward this shop, it’s basically uphill for a mile.  No bueno.

So anyway, I dropped off the car and headed toward the downtown area of Clayton, MO.  It was uphill.  I was okay, though.  The weather was still a little bit cool and I didn’t mind the uphill so much.  The Invisible Hand took me through the very lovely Shaw Park and onto the Great Rivers Greenway trail.  It’s a really beautiful paved trail that is nicely maintained.  It DID get a little creepy in a few places where the plantings were really thick mace walkerand I couldn’t see either the road on one side or the homes on the other.  I was the ONLY person on the greenway.  I kept thinking that I needed mace or something.

I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the trail was only 2.1 miles long, though.  I ended up turning and running down a street I’ve run before.  I headed back to somewhere that I’m also really familiar with:  Forest Park.  My back and left knee started hurting toward the 10 mile mark and I did a little more walking that I intended.  I finished 12 miles, though.  I walked another .77 miles to get home.  I’d say that was enough.

Side note:  I TOTALLY forgot to try out the 3:1 walk/run thing.  Totally forgot.  I walked 100 steps at 2-1/2 miles, 5 miles, 7 miles and again at 9 miles.  I don’t know how I decided on 100 steps.

The route was okay.  If I were a bit more adventurous, I would have turned down the opposite way at the end of the trail instead of running the familiar direction.  Maybe I’ll do that the next time.

I’ve got ONE more long run of 10 (or maybe 8) miles before the marathon and I’ve got some mixed emotions about things.

This race is REAL.  I’ll just leave it at that.

Until next time!

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Taper – What it Means to Me

Well folks, it’s taper time.  Training isn’t over, but it is quickly coming to an end.  Seriously.  Where has the time gone?

I’ve run my 20 miler.  It went great.  I finished tired but not completely exhausted.  I was sore but didn’t have any extra knee or hip pain.  I used a 5:1 run/walk schedule.  I finished in a good time as well.  It was slow but steady.  The 1 minute walk is really helpful for me.   I’ve got to decide what to do at the race, though.  The run/walk pacers use either a 2:1 or a 3:1.  I am going to try the 3:1 on my 12-13 mile run tomorrow.

The week after my 20 mile run, I had a 14 mile run scheduled.  I couldn’t do it.  I ran 8.  At first, I felt terrible about quitting, but I quickly brushed it off and moved on.  I did what I could with what I had that day.

For tomorrow’s 12-13 miler, I THINK I’ve picked a route that’s not too hilly.  I’ve been running some pretty hilly routes the past several weeks and they KILL me.  Here’s my problem:  I don’t know what ‘hilly’ means exactly.  Do you?  Can you give me some numbers?  When I map my routes, I see the elevation chart but it doesn’t really help me know how it’ll feel when I’m running them.  How much gain/loss will seem hard?

Anyway.  I’m in taper mode.  What does that mean to me?  It’s time to get some rest, focus on my goal and get some last minute things done.

Make final plans about how I expect/hope to run the marathon.  What pace group do I think is best for me?  Tomorrow, I’ll try out the 3:1, maybe I’ll try the 2:1 next week.

Hydration:  I know…  I should always focus on hydration.  I mostly do, but now, I’m making it an even higher priority.  Sip, sip, sip…  I’m also trying to avoid alcohol for the next few weeks.  I had a glass of champagne last weekend, though.  I love champagne…

Fuel:  I’m not carb loading, yet.  I’ll save that for the 3-4 days before the race, but I am making sure I eat well.  Except for the chocolate lave cake that I had last night, I’ve been doing a good job of eating lean proteins, whole grains and veggies.

Rest:  I am a night owl.  I can’t help it, but I have been trying to go to bed earlier.  I’ve been getting at least 6 and sometimes 7-8 hours of sleep for the last few weeks.

Outfit:  I need to figure out what I’m going to wear for the marathon.  I got a couple of new pairs of shorts/capris but none have really worked out for a long run.  UGH.  I also want to put my name on my back.  I like hearing people yell my name! 🙂

Make a List:  I’ll make a list of the things that I need to take on the trip.  (I’m traveling to Chicago from St. Louis by train.)  I need all sorts of stuff.  Check out this list on a blog from last year:  http://runningandthecity.com/2013/04/10/marathon-packing-list/

Attitude Check:  Try not to worry about the marathon.  The time limit is 6 hours and 3o minutes.  I’ll finish it unless I fall and hurt myself.  Oh, wait…  Try not to worry.

Breathe in. Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

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I Keep On Falling…

It’s long run day. I remembered my plethora of items and to-dos. I even wrote a cheat sheet for my route. The weather was PERFECT for a run.

I lost my cheat sheet on the run. Looked down and my little pouch was unzipped – no cheat sheet. Alrighty then.

The run went okay until I wet down a street that was closed.
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Had to double back and go a different route.

Then later, I fell. Yep. Hit the ground. I was stunned and a little confused about how it even happened.

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A guy at a construction site came running across the street to check on me. He said “I saw you running and I turned around. When I turned back, you were on the ground.” Thats pretty much how it happened.

I think I’m fine. My knee is a little sore where it’s scraped and my hip (which I fell on) hurts a teeny bit.

But who cares right now? I FINISHED MY 20 MILE RUN!!!

Soon, I will rest.

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