Friday Five: Five Ways Running Has Shaped Me

image

Birthdays and a Time to Reflect:

Birthdays always bring about a time of reflection, as well as, a chance to “dream big” for another year.  Running has been a part of my life for the last 27 years.  At the age of 14, I joined my high school cross country team, then went on to run indoor and outdoor track.  I was fortunate to have an amazing coach that instilled in me and so many other young athletes- the love to run.

image

 I feel so lucky to still be active, healthy and running the miles as I turn 41 years old today.

Today I am linking up with Mar Cynthia and Courtney  for their Friday Five Link Up and I am sharing five ways that running has shaped my life.

Empowerment- That feeling of knowing that I am in charge of my health and fitness. Knowing that I have the power to choose the miles and the pace everyday.

Friendships- The running community is strong.  Through blogging, running events and social media- I have formed some great relationships with other women.  These women are no longer just running buddies, but true friends.  Running is the thread that weaves through our friendships.

Clarity- Over the years, despite what life throws at me, running has been that cleansing and soul searching aspect of my life.  Running helps me clear my head, stay focused and gives me an healthy outlet for releasing tension and stress.

Motherhood- Yes, running and motherhood do balance the other.  Running has given me an opportunity to be a strong role model for my daughter.  It is so critical to keep the lines of communication open during the teen years.  I am grateful that running is something my daughter and I share together.  Sometimes, it during those few miles,  out on the road or track,  where my daughter and I can talk about what is going on at school and in life.

Inspiration/Motivation- All around me, other runners are inspiring me.  So many opportunities to plan for and reach new goals.  I love reading about other runners setting goals and working hard to achieve them. Its a bit contagious.  Running reminds that my goals are attainable.  The miles run each day bring inspiration and the tough workouts motivate me to push through any obstacles.

 “Love yourself, for who and what you are; protect your dream and develop your talent to the fullest extent.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson

How has running changed or improved your life?  

Be sure to check out the other blog posts today from some awesome runner/bloggers over at Friday Five Link Up! 

 

 

 

 

Friday Five: Five Training Goals

image
Run Strong, Run Swift, Run with the Wind

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!!!  I am linking up with Mar Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five Link Up  

Training Lately and 5 Goals for Training:  

This past fall I had some strong races and even 2 new PRs in the 5k and 10 mile races.  In terms of training for specific races, I just try to stay at a certain level of fitness for races distances up to the half marathon distance.  I haven’t ever really focused on specifics during any given training cycle.

Last spring I received my RRCA coaching certification and learned a ton of information in regards to training cycles and building plans.  I want to focus more this year on building my own training cycles before I really start working with other runners. Kind along the lines of “practice what you preach” 🙂

Five Goals for Training:

  • Aerobic training in the first 4 weeks of a 12 week training cycle.  Build up that base mileage, increase muscular endurance, increase levels of oxygen and increase the ability to efficiently use levels of oxygen– Steady Runs of 6-8 4x a week, with a long run of ten to 12 once a week.
  • Consistency each week with running at an easy pace, focusing on the miles, not the speed.  I have to admit that I sometimes have to leave all tracking devices at home and just run familiar routes by effort.  I have a tendency to push too hard on the pace when I see it on my Garmin watch or RunKeeper App!
  • Core and Strength training- On my easy mile nights ( 3-4 miles) I am incorporating 30 minutes of essential strength exercises for runners  and yoga to improve flexibility and loosen tight muscles-specifically my hips!
  • Nutrition-  Focusing on hydration, eating foods that will fuel my body, and help with muscle recovery after tough workouts.  I eat a ton of eggs, fish from my favorite company Sizzle Fish , hearty and nutritious grains such as brown rice and quinoa, as wells as a variety of beans.
  • Keeping a Journal: Taking the time to write down my thoughts and reflections on what’s working with this more focused approach.  Being able to pin point the high and lows of each week within the training cycle.  The ability to see when to adjust and be flexible with training and fitting it in to life’s daily challenges.

What goals do you focus on during any given training cycle?  Do you find your training lacking in a certain area?  

Happy Earth Day!!  Don’t forget to check out the other link ups for the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia!

 

Friday Five: Nutrition and Fueling Finds

West to East, Strawberries and Raspberries are in Season
West to East, Strawberries and Raspberries are in Season

Lately,  I have been more focused on nutrition and fueling to keep my body healthy and energized.  As my mileage increases and race season heats up, I find that I need to add in more foods and other products to aid in energy, hydration and recovery.  A few weeks ago, during a run, I felt tired and sluggish despite getting enough sleep.  I took a few days off and reevaluated my nutritional choices.  An increase in protein from fish and plant-based resources, along with supplements and proper hydration had me feeling 100% better and ready to tackle my weekly workouts.

I am linking up with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar for the Friday Five and the topic is food and drink.  I am sharing my current food and hydration options that keep my energized and hydrated!  Some products are “new to me”, while others are regular staples in my pantry!

Link Up with the Friday Five Bloggers
Link Up with the Friday Five Bloggers

 

  1. My favorite hydration mix!  Skratch Labs has this warming Apples and Cinnamon Flavor that is perfect for cold mornings and full of electrolytes!  I enjoy warming my body from the inside out on these chilly spring mornings!
  2. Energy Bits for Energy and Recovery  I started adding this product back into my weekly nutrition routine before and after speedy tempos and long runs.  I have a difference in my performance and muscle recovery.  The only downside is expense and suggested quantity.  It’s a really high quality product, so I am trying to work orders of this product back into my monthly budget.
  3. Organic Protein Powder  I have to admit, I do not love protein powders.  However, this is a “new to me” product.  SoTru Organic Fermented Whole Food protein powder in the Vanilla flavor is yummy!  There is no yucky aftertaste, in my opinion, and I love creating my own cold, creamy morning Frappuccinos with this protein powder-almond milk, frozen bananas, almond butter and cold brew coffee!
  4. Muesli Squares for Snacking  I am a snacker!  Throughout the day, if I don’t have a snack with quality ingredients that I are going to leave me satisfied, then I have a bad habit of reaching for those bags of salty chips!  These bars are filling, full of nutritional ingredients and fill me up!
  5. From West to East-Strawberries and Raspberries are in Season!  My absolute favorite fruit is in season right now from California and Florida.  I love strawberries and raspberries!!  So many nutritional benefits from strawberries!  Strawberries are my cool, sweet “go-to-snack” and raspberries are just as yummy!  So many recipes and ways to use these two yummy summer fruits!

 

What is your favorite summer fruit?  What are your favorite snacks to get you through the day?  

 

Link up with Cynthia Mar and Courtney for the FRIDAY FIVE! 

Five Things About Being a Runner

  
Photo Source

Happy Friday! Today I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta Ladies! Mar from Mar on the Run, Cynthia from You Signed Up for What, and Courtney from Eat Pray and Run DC for five running tips! 

Twenty something years ago, I was a young and carefree high school runner.  I ran without a watch or phone.  Cotton sweatshirts and mix-matched jogging pants were the staple pieces in my running wardrobe! I can’t even remember the brand or model shoe I wore during high school cross country or track!

Fast forward-Today! There are a few things I know now about being a runner. 

  1. Running Specialty Stores- These stores are helpful for runners wanting to get fitted for a certain brand and model of running shoe.  The staff at these running specialty stores are runners themselves and knowledgeable about various brands and models of running shoes. A running specialty store is helpful when choosing and getting fitted for the running shoe that works for you! 
  2. What to Wear: Running Apparel: So many options now when it comes to choosing fitness apparel that will keep you comfortable while running! I like to purchase a few key pieces of clothing each year, that will keep me running through each season! Running and fitness apparel is made with a moisture wicking material that helps keep sweat away from your skin!
  • A few pairs of running shorts
  • Tanks and short sleeve tops for warmer weather
  • A few long sleeve tops for fall and winter running
  • A good fitting running bra
  • Socks!! Socks that fit well and prevent blisters from forming

3.  Logging the Miles- Keep mileage low and your pace easy if you are just starting out as a runner. The general rule is to increase your total weekly mileage by 10%. Be comfortable with your pace so your able to run at a conversation pace. Listen to your body and don’t push through any uncomfortable tenderness or tightness. Don’t do too much at once. Add in new stresses every few weeks. Focus on building a good foundation of easy mileage before jumping into speed workouts! 

4.  Find a Running Group! A local running group can be a huge support system for a runner! I found my local running group to be very encouraging during training seasons. Running with a group once or twice a week gives a runner motivation and support! I also like running with a group when I’m trying out new routes or running trails. Running with a group in unfamilar territory increases a runner’s safety! 

5. Nourish and Fuel: As a teenager, my cross country and high school track workouts were fueled by pizza, Ben & Jerry’s and TJ Cinnamon Buns! Now, I focus on fueling my body with the right balance of carbs, healthy fats, tons of veggies and protein. 

  • Hydrate daily-keeps muscles happy! 
  • Eat well balanced meals and snacks-energy!
  • Focus on fueling your body as you log the miles, give your body what it needs to perform. 

  

Photo Source
Enjoy the running journey and believe in yourself! 

What tips or advice have you learned about running over the years?