Thursday, May 31, 2012

Enjoying Working Out

Last week I posted about knowing when to keep going and when to stop.  Today, I want to build on that. No, I did not have another long run where I stopped before I collapsed.  Instead, I've come across an article on that really hit home with me.

In the article you can find here, the author talks about how the right type of workout is the one that you want to do.  They're the workouts you enjoy doing and aren't forcing yourself to begin and finish.

Thinking back to where I am and where I have been, I've been lucky enough to enjoy sports and workouts that I've enjoyed.  Yes, I've had coaches and workouts I might not have agreed with, but I enjoyed the sports overall.  I could tell the difference between those days I was forcing myself through practice and those days I was thoroughly enjoying it.  The pattern continues today, except with running on my own instead of swimming with a team.  The feelings are all still the same.

Of course I've also always done sports I enjoy and I have no plans on trying various sports and workouts I have absolutely no interest in ever doing.  I'm not going to waste my time nor my money on them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Murphy's Law for Running

Found this on pinterest and thought it was cute. Figured I'd share it with everyone...

Now, off for a nice short recovery run...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Knowing When To Stop

I fell asleep early last night which made me wake up early this morning... Ya, I should have seen that coming, but it was all for the better.

I ended up running 7.56 miles this morning and it felt good... until about 7.25-ish.  That's when my legs died and my motivation plummeted.  The way I was feeling, I knew it was better to stop and finish the last .5 mile home walking than pushing it, completely dying, and possibly getting injured.

I think that's one of the most important things.  We're always pushing ourselves to go faster and farther, but we also need to know when it's time to stop.  If you go too hard or fall the chances of hurting do become a reality.  I believe that the constant self evaluation is key to knowing if you're good to continue or if you need to stop.

I had that issue during my first few half marathons where I ended up getting shin splints and I think it's a reason an ankle injury bothered me for so long.  Luckily, I had some amazing coaches and trainers who helped me get back on track.  Now I'm always monitoring how I'm feeling and if I can keep going.  Usually, I know it's just a wall or my body not wanting to work and I keep pushing.  Today was just a whole new feeling and I put on the brakes...

There are definitely times I wish I had listened to my body in the past, but we learn by making mistakes, right?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

WDW Marathon Course Reveal!!!

I don't think I can properly convey how EXCITED I am right now.  Let's just say, I want to go on a run now and keep running until January 7th (and well beyond that) to be ready for the Walt Disney World Marathon.

RunDisney had announced that they would be premiering the Walt Disney World Marathon course and some special additions that were being made for the 20th anniversary.  You know what... why don't you watch the same video I just watched...

Pretty cool, huh?

So now I'm super excited about the chance to run through all the parks AND the speedway.  Plus, a bit of the Disneyland Half Marathon is coming to Florida; we're running on the baseball diamond! I just cannot wait for the race now!

Of course, I'm going to have to do some research as to where the characters are going to be, what entertainment will be out there, and where I want to stop for pictures... I guess it's a good thing I still have over 6 months until the race.  Of course, from the video it looks like there is going to be plenty of entertainment and picture opportunities along the course!

Of course I still need to get through the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  All in good time, right?

Click here for a pdf copy of the 20th Anniversary Marathon course.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I have always been an endurance athlete.  When I swam, my best events were my longer events (I managed to annoy my coaches quite often by getting best times in sprint events during a distance race), open water swimming is ALL distance, triathlon is a test in endurance, and half marathons and marathons or no sprints either.  In fact... I'm pretty much anti-sprint.

Yet, sprinting is still an integral part of training.  Without some speed work, it's going to take quite a bit longer to increase your speed.  Now, I've always known this, but I've never wanted to admit that.  I like my distance training and I tend to avoid what sprinting I can.

This week has been different though.  I'm in one of my low points with training, but I've been pushing myself to get out there.  A few days ago I was feeling good and decided to see how fact I could go.  I didn't go too far, but I went fast.  In fact, I dropped down to a 7:37 min pace and the rest of my run averaged close to 9 minute miles.  Yes, I did walk a bit more, but I was focused on speed, not distance.

I'm still wrapping my mind around the fact I did sprint workouts willingly.  Most of my former teammates can tell you how I vehemently hated sprinting and avoided it at almost all costs (of course a coach yelling at you gets you to sprint...).  Still, I've come to a realization that I do need to work on sprinting to help my speed.  Who knows, maybe I'll drop into 8-something minute miles before Wine and Dine Half???

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tower Of Terror 10 Miler Course

It's that time again... when every few weeks something gets posted to get me excited about an upcoming race.  In all honesty, it's one of the best tools for my training because it keeps me motivated to keep training.  Especially with this last update... now I can actually visualize the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.

It's getting closer, and of course by closer I mean 4 months.  Still, that's not too far away.  Overall, I'm feeling good about my preparation.  I've already gotten up to 8 miles in my training so I know I'll be able to handle the 10 miles of the race.  I'm running stronger than ever, and my pace is pretty steady.  The challenge is going to be running in the heat.

Yet, one of the best tricks I learned from competitive swimming is visualization.  So now, with the help of runDisney posting the race course yesterday, I can now try and visualize what it will be like running through Disney World, Hollywood Studios, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at night.  Plus, you never know what villains might be out???  That's my current dilemna, I can't decide if I want to stop and take pictures during this race with certain villains or just run it... O decisions, decisions.  Luckily, I have some time to decide.

Anyway, for those of you running the course and might not have found the race course you can find the pdf file on the runDisney page (I know my picture is kinda hard to see...),

Friday, May 11, 2012

Introducing David Haas- Guest Blogger

One of the things I love about running is that those participating are usually helping themselves become physically fit, and they are also sometimes supporting various foundations.  Everything from cancer, leukemia, alzheimer's, and more are supported in different events.  Some runners even go above and beyond by raising even more money for these great causes while training for various races.

Not only are we, the runners, supporting these great foundations physically, but through the networks of blogs and running sites, we're also talking about them.  Talking and learning about these different ailments and foundations can almost do just as much help as physically supporting them.

On that note, I would like to introduce my first ever guest blogger, David Haas.  We recently started talking and he has written an article (and possibly more) about how staying physically fit can help those going through cancer treatments, in remission, or family and friends of cancer patients; and the benefits of support networks.

David's bio from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog is as follows:

Joining the organization in 2011, David Haas is a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations.

Read more:

I have also posted the first article that David has written for me to share.  It's an informative article on the benefits of Tai Chi.  As David said in one of his emails to me "Each different cancer has its limitations, but if one can keep a healthy body, they can have a better chance to overcome this awful disease."

Tai Chi For Mind And Body- By David Haas

Tai Chi For Mind And Body
By David Haas

A large part of centering oneself while fighting cancer is finding that one thing that makes you content and calm. Tai Chi is a practice that involves centering the mind and body, while pushing yourself to the limit. Slow-motion choreography is part of this practice, and you will slowly link the mind to the body for optimal relaxation and reparative benefits.

Getting Started With Tai Chi

It is never too late to start a Tai Chi routine. Whether you are newly diagnosed with cancer or in remission, you can begin at any time. Start by doing five to 10 minutes of Tai Chi per day. The purpose of Tai Chi is to allow each movement to flow into the next. Constant motion is ideal, but beginners may not be able to maintain as much movement.

Choose a style that interests you. Each style has different principles and methods, and can help people of different backgrounds. Some forms focus on a martial arts aspect, which can be excellent for sharpening your fighter skills.

Benefits Of Tai Chi

Cancer patients have so much to gain from practicing this art regularly. Feelings of grace, centeredness and strength are some of the most common. Tai Chi greatly reduces stress and can alleviate pain.

Tai Chi is also low impact, which makes it perfect for those that are weakened by cancer treatment. Even those undergoing cancer treatments for mesothelioma will be able to work with this. Older cancer patients will find that this practice doesn’t hurt the joints, bones or ligaments.

Tai Chi costs very little to learn. If you opt for a private instructor, it will cost more. It can be done indoors, outdoors, in groups or alone. A simple DVD is enough to teach you the basics so you can practice on your own.

Cancer treatments can cause more pain than cancer itself. This fitness routine relieves chronic pain, improves sleep quality and increases energy and agility. It’s an all around beneficial practice to enliven the body and feel stronger while fighting cancer.

Centering The Mind And Body

Tai Chi is meditative. Meditation has been proven to relieve stress and improve quality of life. For those that have cancer, this is a major plus and can be life altering. Practicing Tai Chi often will provide sustained health benefits, but it will also provide immediate feelings of health and vitality.

Don't worry if it is awkward at first, it will quickly become your favorite fitness activity as you start to feel the powerful healing effects of Tai Chi.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An Accomplished Day

So I said yesterday that I would report back about my run.  Well, I did get a nice 4.1 mile run in this morning.  I didn't cramp as bad as I did in the past and I'd like to say that's because I've been drinking a lot more water this last week.  I've had at least 4 cups of water at work (and I should be having more) and then a few more at home.

On top of my decent recovery week run, I also had a few deliveries today.  I received my patio set, TV stand, and had a carpenter fix a cabinet issue.  The TV stand and cabinet fix were quick, easy, and painless.  The patio set was another issue.  There was one problem after another.    It took me a good part of the morning, and a few phone calls, to get the table up and standing.  Still, I was able to do it and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

So I think I've deserved some rest.  I have friends coming over to hang out tonight so I'm going to clean a bit more before I'm done...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Feeling Guilty

I know I should have had another run by now... even just a 2 miler... but I just haven't been able to muster the energy to get out there and run.  I'm really starting to feel guilty about it too.  Luckily tomorrow is my Saturday so I'll be getting a run in, not sure how far.  This is my recovery week so I won't be going too far in one run, but I'm getting restless.

It's one of the worst feelings, I think, for an athlete.  You want to workout, you want to get a good practice in, but you just don't have any injury.  For me, I think of everything that the run could be benefiting, but that still doesn't help.  I'm not being completely lazy, I do get a few 20 minute circuits in, but I tend to collapse or take a late afternoon nap pretty soon after.

This is one of the downsides of having a job that keeps me outside and in the humidity.  Yet, that's also something that comforts me.  I'm not getting tired after a day of sitting at the computer.  No, I'm getting tired after an 8 hour work day where I'm walk and being pretty active in the heat.  That's also a fact that has me denying the truth that we're just barely getting into summer and the heat and humidity is about to get a lot worse (even though I can't fathom how...).

Hopefully I'll have a run report for you all tomorrow morning... and hopefully it will be a good one.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Early Morning Run

I've always been an advocate for morning runs and morning workouts, but this morning I really took what I say to an extreme.

It started yesterday when I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this morning.  I wanted to get at least 8 miles in, but the days have been getting hotter and hotter, quicker and quicker.  So I figured the best solution to my problem was to wake up early myself.

That's exactly what I did.  I woke up around 5:15 this morning, and after a few minutes of refusing to wake up, I finally started to move around.  I still wasn't too keen on getting moving, but I did.  However, it was one quote I found on pinterest that really got me ready for my run...

It just hit me for some reason and I was able to get out of bed, get my shoes on, and start my run.

I did end up getting my 8 miles in, 8.43 to be exact, and I was home before the sun really even got over the horizon.  Considering today is my day off of work, a nap is definitely somewhere in my future (possibly very soon).  Although the coolest thing I saw this morning wasn't the sunrise, but a shooting star I saw at the beginning of my run.  Yes, I made a wish on it... and no, I'm not going to share my wish.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Top 15 Reasons to Run

I pretty much agree with all of these... Do you have anymore you would add?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Marathon Preparation- LiveStrong Article

The Disney World Marathon is in just over 8 months... I feel like it should be farther away, but it's really not.  Luckily, I'm not waiting around for last minute training like I have in the past with some of the Half Marathons.

No, instead I'm diving into this goal head first.  

One of the things I have done (under recommendation from my father) is join  Yes, this is the site that is connected with Lance Armstrong, which is one of the reasons my cycling enthusiast father likes it.  Livestrong has some FREE tools to manage weight, help train, and (if needed) help quite smoking or get support for cancer.

I have signed up to mostly maintain my weight, as I'm down to a weight that I'm happy with.  I've also listed my goal as Train For An Event, Run A Marathon.  This allows the site to help focus articles to those that will help me in my training.  Now, I have not read through everything, but I'm off to a good start.  I read this article about training for a Half Marathon and it definitely got me thinking about what I need to do to train for the Half Marathon.  There are some great tips hidden within the article that I'll definitely be using in my training.