Friday, April 1, 2011

..... Tornado

Due to some crazy weather, tornados, wind, rain, and hail my internet has been down! I know terrible right! It should be fixed later today - so bare with me and i'll get back to my regularly scheduled posts!!

Leave me awesome comments to make me feel better about the lack of internet - (well except on my phone, but that isn't real internet!)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 6

So as I've said before I've been running the Couch to 5k program for a while... Last night I completed week 6 with a 25 minute run! I feel good! Week 7 is all 25 min runs, week 8 is 28 min runs, and we finish week 9 with 30 min runs!

Then I'll have about 2 weeks to prepare for my first 5k! I'm super excited, but nervous too.

Tomorrow its more RUSH FIT plus The Ultimate Fighter TV show premiers with a new season!! Super excited about that! The hubby set it to record on the DVR so I won't miss it or forget!


The Non-Runners Marathon Guide for Women

The Nonrunner's Marathon  Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training

Why I Chose this book: I was looking for a book from a beginners perspective. I didn't want something overly technical, dry, or pretentious. Besides I'm totally a NON-runner! (who is slowly becoming a runner)

My Opinion: Even if in your opinion only crazy loons run marathons or 1/2 marathons its still a fun and funny read for someone just getting into running. I love that Dawn Dais doesn't take her self or running too seriously. A few of the books I've looked at were for people who are running sub 7 minute miles, and that's just not me! The book is both humorous and realistic. Dawn depicts the real torture of going from couch potato to marathoner. Nothing about the plan or her experience was easy except for maybe eating anything you want and not gaining weight. If this book were technical it would be a short and simple 30 - 50 pages of checklists, notes, goals, and information, but Dawn Dais transformed a dull read that had me in side splitting laughter, gasping for air, and some how inspired to give it a try! The book is light, simple, and has advice that any new runner NEEDS and might be too afraid to ask. Like what is Bodyglide and why do I need it, when does one really need GU, and how do I get through this hell! More experienced runners might just enjoy reading it for the humor and joy of reliving their early running days. No matter what your fitness level and running ability I highly recommend this book.

Rating: Overall I give this book a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars for its lighthearted, humorous nature and good information and encouragement for beginners.

~ LuLu

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Exhausting New Adventure

Ok so as you know I've been running mostly to lose weight and get in shape, but since I stopped cross training on my days off the weight loss has almost completely stopped. Well, that just isn't going to work for me!

My husband got the bright idea to try Georges (RUSH) St. Pierre's RushFit At home video workout system.

Yesterday we did the Assessment, and boy can I feel it today! Today we start the full system and I'll admit I'm a little worried. Especially since GSP himself looks like this on the training videos!!

So I'll be posting more about this "Adventure into Pain" (those are actual words used on the website to describe week 2) Although finishing the couch to 5k program is the priority I'll be doing this on cross training days. If however this interferes with my ability to run (or crawl out of bed) I'll tone it down until after the couch to 5k program and then pick it up full forces.... SO here goes nothing!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Writing on the Run

By Araina Bond
Runner's World

Michael Collins makes a nice living writing fiction. His eight novels have received critical acclaim—two were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year—and his screenplay for Julia, a French film starring Tilda Swinton, earned rave reviews in 2008. Most of his work deals with the social and economic inequality that he witnessed while growing up in Ireland and after immigrating to America. But his real-life story is perhaps his most dramatic tale. One August evening in 1995, Collins, a University of Illinois doctoral student at the time, was walking to a train station in a Chicago ghetto when a crazed drug addict stabbed him in the back and slashed his arms with an eight-inch blade. A police officer found Collins and got him to the hospital. He had lost more than a liter of blood. Released from the hospital two days later, Collins was loath to return to his rundown neighborhood, but his starving-student status left him with no other option.

The incident became the turning point of his own personal plotline. Unable to relocate and without access to a car, Collins resumed something he had left behind as a "boyhood fancy": running. "After the attack, I was scared," he says. "I found myself racing down streets. I had a mantra of survival I repeated over and over: I've got to get fast. I've got to get fast."

Collins had come to the United States on a college track scholarship, but running had been a means to an end for him, a way to get out of Ireland in the 1980s. Although his athletic career showed promise, he gave up the sport after graduating from Notre Dame in 1986.

Collins didn't return to running for nearly a decade when, six weeks after the stabbing, he signed up for the Chicago Marathon. The race was a mere week away. Powered by his commuter mileage, he ran a 2:30, good for 39th place. That performance reignited a passion for the sport that pushed him toward ultra distances. "I like the spirit of old explorers," he says. "Go and see if you can survive."

He not only survived, he excelled. In 1999, at 35, he won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race and the Mt. Everest Challenge Marathon. "I was experiencing the world through running," he says.

Collins never hit the trails without a pencil and paper in his pocket. In 1999, he sketched out his first novel, The Keepers of Truth. "I began training hard, 80 miles a week, stopping here and there, writing down expressions that became the touchstones for what I would write about later that night after work," he says. The book was short-listed for the prestigious Man Booker Prize and won the Kerry Ingredients Irish Novel of the Year in 2000.

To Collins, writing and running are natural companions. "Beginning a book on a run has always been the most natural process," he says. "I could not imagine sitting before a blank computer screen. Having that pause in the day with the release of endorphins frees up ideas."

Collins, now 46, lives in Dowagiac, Michigan, with his wife and four kids, and he teaches creative writing at Southwestern Michigan College. In November, Collins competed in the International Association of Ultrarunners 100-K World Championships in Gibraltar. His ninth novel, Of Uncertain Significance, will be released in January.

Fellow Irish ultrarunner Richard Donovan says it's not surprising that Collins has accomplished so much in his running career. "Michael has this amazing combination of athletic talent and intellectual ability," Donovan says. "Michael also values the camaraderie of ultras. After a race, he's the first guy to sit down with you for a beer and ask about you."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Before your 5k

1. Get your zzzz's two nights before.

Pre-race jitters tend to strike the night before the race, interrupting your sleep. When it comes to running for beginners or even experienced racers, trust that this is normal and will not influence your race. Prepare yourself instead by getting quality sleep two nights before the race and taking that day completely off from any activity.

2. Keep it light.

During race week, your running mileage should decrease. At this point, your training is really about "storing up" rest so your legs are ready on race day. During the week, include 2 to 3 short runs with a few, small pick ups—short, snappy segments that get your legs moving faster and prepare you for the faster tempo of the race—to keep your legs fresh. Two days out from the race, take a day off for total rest. The day before the race, do a short (20-minute) run with up to 5 pick ups under 45 seconds to sharpen your legs.

3. Fill the tank.

On race morning, be sure to eat the breakfast you've practiced in training. Aim to eat about 2 hours prior to the race. Keep it simple—a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit, a sports bar, bagel with peanut butter. Eat something high energy and easily digestible. Be sure to include hydration—water, sports drink if it's warm outside to give you the electrolytes you need, and coffee if that's part of your normal routine.

4. Get there early.

There's a lot to be done on race morning including parking, packet pick-up, waiting in line for the restroom, warming up. Arrive at the race site 60 minutes prior to the start—knowing where you can park, what time packet pick-up closes (if you couldn't do it the day before) and where to go for the starting line.

5. Warm it up.

About 25 minutes prior to the race, get warmed up. Start with a 10 minute easy jog, then slowly build your pace for 5 minutes. Then, include up to 5 short pick ups under 30 seconds at race pace. Gently stretch any tight muscles after your warm up.

6. Get in line.

The starting line can be crowded and nerve-wracking with so many people and different paces. Starting in the middle to back of the pack is safe for most beginners. You will start with those around your pace and you will have many more ahead of you to chase down.

7. Pace yourself.

Most racers give their best effort in the first mile leaving two more to go! Aim to negative split your effort on race day—that simply means finishing the second half of the race faster than you ran the first half. Start conservatively and build your effort throughout the run. When you start out too fast, your body works too hard too soon and fizzles after the first mile, making your overall time slower, not faster. In the last quarter mile, kick it in to the finish line to finish strong.

8. Keep it positive.

When things get tough, it's common for the little voice in your head to start telling you all the reasons why you will fail or why you should slow down. Often, having a positive mantra for the race—such as "I can do it" or "Fast feet to the finish line"—will distract you from any pain and keep you focused. Practice these affirmations during your harder training sessions so they become automatic on race day.

9. Breathe.

On race day, let go of any comparisons to other runners and release any worries or doubts. You've done the training and if you have the desire to get to the finish line, you will arrive. At the starting line, take a few deep breaths and assure yourself that you have what it takes to cover 3.1 miles. Revisit your best training sessions to find the confidence you need.

10. Capitalize on the high.

The post-race high can be exhilarating. Capitalize on it to keep your momentum going and set new goals for the next finish line, wherever that might be. Sign up for another run race a few weeks later to keep yourself motivated to continue with your new habits, to test your progress or just to have fun.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Run for FUN!

While setting records, winning your age group, and attaining greatness are all things I'd consider fun they aren't always going to be attainable. There is always someone better, faster, younger, or more experienced. Work on doing better than YOU'VE ever done and occasionally run for fun!

This is a race I'm signed up for just for FUN! I doubt I'll set any reccords jumping over obsticles, leaping through fire, or trudging through mud, but for me that's not what this race is about. This race is about good clean FUN!Well maybe not clean... :)

I've signed up for the Warrior Dash next year! It will give me plenty of time to work on speed, strength, and over all health! Plus it looks amazingly dirty, messy, crazy, and AWESOME!

Plus you get a Beer upon completion of the race, a viking hat, t shirt, and completion medal! They had me at Free Beer! Add Concerts, Mud, Beer, Turkey Legs and I know I'm in for a good day!

So train hard, but PLAY Harder!!