Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fit-Lit. Chat

I am going to review two books that I read on my winter running break. The first is an overall fitness book called Faster, Better, Stronger by Eric Heiden, M.D. and Massimo Testa, M.D. The other book I will be reviewing in this Fit-Lit. Chat is the book Run for Life: The anti-aging, anti-injury, super-fitness plan to keep you running to 100 by Roy M. Wallack. I enjoyed these two books the most out of all my winter fitness reads, so I decided it would be a great way to start off with my new Fit-Lit. Chat posts. I hope to read a couple opposing books on nutrition to do a Fit-Lit. Chat comparison on soon! I hope you enjoy!

Faster, Better, Stronger
 Eric Heiden, M.D. and Massimo Testa, M.D.

I enjoyed reading about all the ins and outs of getting fit and reaching goals that this book had to offer. As a beginner on my road to healthy living, I was able to really take in new information that I could use as fuel when learning about goals, limitations, options, pitfalls, results, etc. It outlines a 12 week plan that readers can implement, but I believe this is one of those books that I will just be revisiting as often as possible and using what is most pertinent to me at that particular time. I think this book would be a great for readers of all fitness and ability levels. The authors are Olympians, doctors, and coaches, so the information is thorough, scientific, and motivating without being too heavy for the average Joe. The other up side that many people may enjoy is that it does not focus solely on running, but more on fitness, goals, and bio-mechanics in general. I checked this book out from my public library, but it is available online in paperback, hardback, and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Run for Life: The anti-aging, anti-injury, super-fitness 
plan to keep you running to 100 
Roy M. Wallack

Run for Life is by far the best running book I have read so far. I may not buy in to all the movements and ideas presented in the book, but I was still fascinated by each section. It has amazing interviews with legendary runners like Bill Rogers and Bobbi Gibb. There are also all kinds of great tips from running great Jeff Galloway. I learned so much from this book about form, momentum, bio-mechanics, motivation, and cross-training! It seems that running would be an activity that is just common sense, you put one foot in front of the other, but when I first started learning to run a year ago, I quickly realized I had so many questions, and this book answered most of them. I read this whole book in a single afternoon because I found it so education and interesting. I believe this is another book that I will be reading again and again. I also checked this book out from my public library, but it is also available in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Wallack also co-authored the book Bike for Life, which I have not read, but understand that it is the same concept only with information on cycling. I have added that book to my summer reading list!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Joplin Memorial Run

I ran my second Half Marathon on the 19th. I wasn't able to train as much as I had hoped because this spring turned out to be much busier than I had anticipated. I was able to finish the race, but it's not like I ran a PR or anything. It was also my first race with my "Anything for 10" sister.


Half Marathon Clan

I had a blast with my brother and sisters the day before the race. The race expo was very small, which made packet pick up a breeze. There was really only one vendor booth, but I got my hydration belt for $25!! That was a steal that I was pretty pumped about. I already love it, and I only used it during the race. The goody bag wasn't half bad either, and I got a free, sweet foldable water bottle from one of the tables at the expo. Afterward, my family and I had a delicious pasta dinner at Olive Garden. We can be a little loud at times, but we all had so much fun!

I slept well the night before, and I even went to bed about an hour early accidentally because I was so excited to get ready to run. I had no trouble waking up on time on race day, and I slowly got ready. I had a banana and half a bagel for breakfast, which I have now decided was not enough. Those of us running the half headed out on the race organized bus that took runners from the hotel and race site. We stretched, walked around, stopped at the porta-potties, and caught up with an old family friend. He is in the United States Army, and he ran the race carrying an American flag! I am proud that I know him, and I am super impressed and inspired by his fitness level!


My brother and his wife ran on their own, but my sister and I stayed together the whole way. My brother and his wife both hit a new PR! My sister and I had a good pace, about 11 minutes, through the first 6 or 7 miles, but then everything went downhill from there, but not in the good way like a downhill run. Around mile 4 I started feeling some slight pain in my left foot, which only progressively got worse...and still hurts. Remember that paragraph where I mentioned that I didn't eat enough breakfast? Yeah, I also started getting sick around mile 6, so I would throw up in my mouth and then swallow it because there were too many people around to just start puking everywhere. I had expected the aid stations to have food because some of them did at my first Half, but this time they didn't. I knew I would have to walk some, but because I was in pain and feeling sick, we walked way more than I wanted to. I looked like a giant pile of crap by the time I got to the end, and the pain was very clear when looking at me. There were random spectators who read my name off my bib and started cheering me on. I whined a lot and got pretty angry at a few points, but my sister stayed with me the whole way even though she told me later that she thought I was going to punch her, but she knew that I didn't have the strength to.

Post Race

The sisters and our cheerleader!

I am not going to lie, that race really sucked, but it didn't deter me on my path to 26.2.... it did however, deter my sister from agreeing to stay with me throughout the 26.2. I felt like crap afterward. My foot still hurts, and I am moving across the country this week, so between the two, it looks like I may be on a bit of a hiatus from running. I will be up and running and blogging as soon as possible, but I might throw up some running book reviews in the mean time if I get a chance.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Making a List and Checking it Twice

When I ran my first half marathon, I learned the lesson that one should be overly prepared. I generally have to travel at least a little to get to the city where the race will be held, and while it is not a destination race, I still have to pack things up to travel half way across the state. This requires more planning than I realized last time, and I plan to learn from the error of my ways. So what exactly, will I be doing differently?

As far as my feet are concerned, I will be way more prepared this time around because I learned something that could only really be learned through experience. I have had small blisters before when running, but I had massive blisters after I finished my 13.1. It was late fall, which is not exactly flip flop weather in Missouri, so I only packed closed shoes for my weekend trip. That was a big mistake considering I couldn't wear closed shoes for days. I have a pair of flip flops packed, and I even have running socks packed in hopes that the blisters won't be as severe. (Be warned that I am going to put a blister picture at the bottom for those who are intrigued.)

There are two things that were a slight hitch on race day that I should have already been prepared for. I forgot to pack my watch, so I had to guesstimate as I ran and asked the road block cops for the time. It was probably good in the long run, but I plan to do a run walk this time, so the watch is a must. I also forgot to plan ahead when it came to breakfast. Although the hotel offers breakfast, I will be bringing my own, and I have plans to stop by the store on Friday as I head toward the city where the race is being held.

Here's to showing you all a finisher's medal is just a few short days!!

It's not the clearest picture, but 
that thing was a beast, 
and it was not the only one!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Me!!

This is my one year running anniversary! It is so hard to believe that a year ago today I could only run about a quarter of a mile before I stopped to walk. I started keeping a running journal exactly a year ago, and it was mainly to keep me on track with training for a half marathon that I (probably) prematurely signed up for. So what has happened in the last year?

First Race
I ran my first ever organized race. I realized about a month before my first half marathon, that I should probably see what it is like running in an organized race. I signed up for a 5k in the small town I live in. My boyfriend (recently turned fiance) ran the race with me. I was well into my training, but it was not at all apparent. I had to walk a couple times during the race, and in the last mile, we got passed by some old people who were powerwalking. Also, and he likes to pretend I am evil, I sped up at the end to beat my boyfriend, and passed a 6 or 7 year old girl in the process...right before the finish line.

Half the Glory
I ran my first half marathon at the Kansas City Marathon and Half. I was not really at all prepared by the small town 5k filled with powerwalkers. I prepped for this race by starting from the couch. It was less than six months from the day I started "running" till I ran my first half. I got scared by an issue of Runner's World that was all about running your first half marathon because it said that you know you are ready to try a half if you have been running for a few years. I had barely been "running" a few months when I read that. It was long and hard, but I finished. You can read more about that in "The Background Story," if you have not already.

I will be running my second half marathon in just 10 days! I will be running with my brother and his wife, both of whom ran the first half with me as well. Go us! This will also be their second half marathon. And my sister who started us all on running will be back to run her third half marathon that day!

I am a big fan of reading, so naturally, one of my first moves was to subscribe to Runner's World. I absolutely love the articles. So many of them are things I can relate to even in my short time as a runner. I love it! I also read Runner's World Complete Book of Women's RunningRun for Life: The Anti-Aging, Anti-Injury, Super-Fitness Plan to Keep You Running to 100, and Faster Better Stronger. I loved all these books, and I am sure that I will be doing some running book reviews on here in the near future when I start my summer reading and summer running!

I didn't always write down my mileage, and there were times when the miles were few and FAR between. I also know that not all those miles were pretty, but in just one first year...I have logged 271 miles! I am very proud of myself for setting out to get healthier, to get inspired, and to meet goals, which I feel like I have done!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Heat Wave

Today was a nine mile day, and I ran 3, but I still consider it a success. I set my alarm for 6, but I just couldn't make myself get up. I decided that I could sleep for another 30 minutes, and the next thing I knew, it was 7:15. Oops! I got ready and set out with the plan to still put in the miles, and today I wanted to test out the run::walk system. I have decided that 10::2 will be a good ratio for me. That's where the success comes in. I felt very good about the run walk system, and this time I will make myself do it from the very start of the race...which will require me to remember to bring my watch. It was such a pain at my first Half without it. I kept asking other runners and police officers who were blocking the roads for the time. I was not very approximate.

And the reason I stopped after just 3 miles? It was too hot!! I knew that having a drink sitting out to take a swig from every 3 miles was not going to be enough! I felt good about the running and the ratio, but I have run myself sick from the heat before, and I do not want to experience it again. I took a picture of the thermostat outside my house when I got home around 8 am.