Thursday, January 31, 2013

Support

Sports bras, friends, family and runners all offer a slightly different level of support. In my most recent event, the Carlsbad Half Marathon, all if the above presented in droves to get me through my run.

Sports Bra was there for me on the closest literal level. Supportive and comfortable, she neither chafes nor allows movement thus allowing me to focus on the pain in my knees and ankles so much better. However, I do not have to use the dreaded Body Glide because she knows me so well. Thanks Sports Bra for your daily attention and race ready attitude!

Then friends are the next layer in the onion of my running life's suport. My friends wished me good luck all weekend and brought a smile to my face. They support my addiction even though they think I am a loon sometimes. Some of my friends run and some do not but they know how important running is to me and will always encourage me. They make me a better person for knowing them. Thank you friends!!

My family has always considered me a little off in the head so distance running isn't exercise to them, it is torture. They know I live and breathe running but also, secretly see it as a bit masochistic. They love me and congratulate me and feed me after a race. They let me go to bed early the night before and let me sleep without waking me up. They are quiet when I leave but jubilant and boisterous and inquisitive when I return. Thank you family for your love and attention!!

Fellow runners are the last layer because they are the largest group. In a race it is a lot less tedious to run for two hours if there are other runners huffing and puffing and jockeying for position along with me. People watching is taken to a whole new level and even if someone's hat flies off their head, I stoop over to pick it up and then almost take both of us out with a headbutt to his chest, we keep going anyway, laughing and regaining our stride. (True story!) Thank you fellow runners for being part of one big running party every race day!

Support comes in all shapes and sizes. I hope you have plenty and that the layers are full!! Happy running.
Stacy

Monday, December 17, 2012

There are worse things to be addicted to…

I am addicted to running. Even on the days when I am taking a rest or I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, running is still on my mind. I am constantly playing a game with myself to change it up; make it seem brand new. Like that new relationship feeling, or that new car smell, or the new shoe excitement. Running is the one relationship that I am not afraid to work on; we may take a break from each other for a spell but when we hook up again, it’s like we were never apart.

Running will always leave me breathless with anticipation for the next fix. Endorphins are my friend.

Keep running,

Stacy

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Run Like a Girl

Training, training, training

I am having so much fun training for my upcoming 1/2 marathon!! The Carlsbad Half is my favorite race because it’s on the coast, it’s flat and it’s fast!! I am running at all odd hours of the day to prepare but the weather is so amazing during the day that running at o’dark thirty is no longer necessary or agreeable!

With the kids sound asleep at 4:45 AM, I was running on the hamster mill and grooving to my favorite Pandora station, when I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. I, of course, had a heart attack (because nothing moves in my house that early in the morning), until I realized it was my son. Apparently, the kids are now old enough that noise wakes them from their normally coma-like sleep. He said he had heard the treadmill and got up to see what I was doing. He didn’t know how early it was and so I sent him back to bed; however, my run was over, at least inside.

I added some outer wear and cruised down the road but with it being really dark and a bit chilly, it was a short lived excursion. So, moving the ‘mill is in order but the choices are limited. As an alternate, I have taken up running during my 40 minute duty free lunchtime. I can get a solid workout because the beginning is all up hill and I get back just in time to see my colleagues exiting the teacher’s lounge. I can still get caught up on all the important topics I missed. Because there is a time limit, I am forced to do some speed work a couple of those days.  On the rest days, I walk the neighborhood. I am not waking anyone up, getting caught up in skirmishes between the kids, and I am breathing mostly fresh air and absorbing some vitamin D.

Making these opportunities for myself is also shaving some time off my mileage. I figure in order to finish the 1/2 in under 2 hours, I need to average about a 9 minute per mile pace (give or take 5 seconds). I can run a sustained 8:20 pace for 3 miles and not feel like I am dying and I am running 6.5 to 7 miles per hour on the ‘mill for over an hour and feel great. I think I might do it! I am super hopeful that the Carlsbad Half will be a sub 2 hour event (barely) and then the La Jolla Half will be the next challenge in April. Eye on the prize!!!

What does it all mean? When the battle with sleep is lost or when the morning run is shortened, look for the odd moments during the day when we can squeeze in some exercise. The flexibility it creates moves our spirit and moves us toward our goal. Our bodies will love it and our minds will say thank you. One more way to keep the winter at bay!

Many happy runs!
Stacy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Going the distance

There are a lot of reasons to keep running during the winter; even though it’s cold and dark and…yatta, yatta, yatta. Complaints aside, and really, what does complaining get you anyway; so what do you get if you run during the winter months?

Improved mood from exercise. From personal experience, the cold and the dark sap me of all kinds of motivation and energy, seemingly wanting to sleep all the time…you would think I lived in Seattle! But running almost every day helps keep my mood even and gets me outside. In order to get this done, I use my lunchtime (40 minutes) or some time before the kids get home (30 minutes), or I get up in the morning and either jump on the treadmill or gear up and feel the morning chill on my face. Giving myself options for running time (or jogging, or walking or riding a bike) keeps me motivated and happy to exercise. In order to get warmed up in the morning, I do sun salutations (yoga) and then jump into a run, it gets my legs warmed up!

I get to eat Thanksgiving food and Christmas food without needing 16 New Year’s resolutions to exercise and lose weight. When I run, I am at a calorie deficit so rich foods don’t stick quite as long as they otherwise would. It’s nice to be able to enjoy winter food because I like winter food! Warm soup and bread, hot cocoa, casseroles and roasts and chili and…the list goes on. Running in the winter means I will still fit in my jeans after living in sweats.

Improved circulation that helps me stay warm. When I get up and move around, the cold chill in my bones leaves and is replaced by warm limbs and a warm core. Speed work, distance runs, brisk walks, and sunshine; all good for the soul.

So what do I do to make sure I run all winter? I join a 1/2 marathon training plan so that I get a nifty reminder every morning letting me know if it’s a workout or a rest day. I like this so far. It’s like having a uniform for work; takes a bit of the guesswork out of what I need to do for my workout on any given day. Letting go a little bit of some control lets me simply enjoy the shoe tying and the workout. Ultimately, the goal is to finish the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon in under 2 hours. The race is the end of January so I am guaranteed to run for the next three months!

Winter time is a challenge but it’s no more challenging then simply getting out of bed in the morning, or dealing with sick kids, or bathing the dog. You commit and you do it. Having a goal at the end of part of it, is like icing on the frost bitten cake.

Happy running and goal setting!

Stacy

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Color Run

Ok. This is easily the most fun you can have on two feet! The Color Run is a complete free for all of unabashed happiness and complete amazingness!
My friend Jean and I ran with wave 1 of the 9:00 AM start for 3.1 miles of happy faces, color throwing, drumlines and lively music. I would seriously recommend this run to anyone who wants to simply enjoy a morning run with 15,000 of your closest friends.
There is no sense of competitiveness; no time to worry about, frisbees and shwag flying about, and a rUnicorn waving the starting flag. The memories are going to be around for a long time and I am looking forward to talking a few more people into this run next year.
The Silver Strand 5k next weekend will be another beautiful event. Hope to see you there, constant runner!

Happiness on two feet,
Stacy

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Mornings

As much as I love summer, this past season was warmer than I can recently recall (my age aside, Lakeside is hot in August…just August…and usually for a week, not a month and a half…ugh!). Now that fall seems to have finally arrived, I am loving that the nights are cooler and that the air in the morning is crisp and cool. My lungs love it, my feet love it, and I am sleeping so much better!

If there is one detractor between now and the time change is that it’s just dark Vampire bat at 5:00 AM. The dark is different. You are not quite sure how far you have until the next cross street, your light is limited to a flashlight or headlamp, and sounds are much louder…coyotes, bunnies, birds in trees, footsteps of other walkers and runners all seem ominously louder in the dark. It’s good in a way because adrenaline is coursing through my veins due to my constant vigilance and hyper hearing and that makes my feet move ever so much faster Surprised smile. It makes me happy that my times are better but then I giggle at the thought that it is artificially produced by adrenaline surges and fear of the dark…hee hee hee.

I guess one of the things I value most about being able to run outside is that the atmosphere changes even if the route doesn’t. The sunrise looks different every day, the clothing needs change depending on the humidity or the temperature, it’s darker or lighter depending on the time of year and just when I think my runs are getting repetitive something else changes: The owls start flying around silently from power line to trees, dogs are quiet because they have not been let out of their houses yet by their owners (sparing me the heart attack I would normally get when they start barking suddenly from their fence barrier), and cars are very much fewer. This is the time of year when everyone starts to hibernate just a bit and runners come out to play.

Happy playtime fellow early morning friends. Whether your time is in or out of doors, enjoy the new season, the new stillness and the new vibe. We shall persevere and not hibernate this year. We shall drag out the sweatshirts and the long pants and relish the coolness of the morning…even if it’s a little too dark, a little too quiet, and bit of a charge!

Have a fantastic week and happy feet!

Stacy