Monday, February 28, 2011

Flip Side of the Coin

Yesterday I got the opportunity to volunteer at an indoor triathlon going on at my gym. I've wanted to volunteer at a race for a while now, but never seem to be able to because I like to run them so much. It was so different being on the other side - watching and not participating. I'd by lying if I said that I didn't want to get out there and join in.

Since the triathlon was inside, the format was a little different than those outside. Athletes were assigned their own personal escort to be with them during the entire race (my job). I tallied the number of laps they swam in the pool for 10 minutes, then recorded how many miles they rode on the bike for 20 minutes while personally fanning them with a paddle, and then counting the number of laps they ran on the track in 15 minutes.

The first lady I was assigned to help was great. She was a spin teacher at another gym and was laid back and very thankful for my help. She did really well, too. The second person I was with was a guy about my age, and a total jerk. I'm not even sure why he signed up, as it looked like he was not exerting much effort on any of the activities. He didn't say thank you. You can't have all the wonderful athletes, right?

I have a new appreciation for volunteers for a race, especially triathlon volunteers. It is my goal to thank the water stand volunteers in my upcoming races in March. Their job is vital to the success of athletes, but often do not get any credit for a job well done. Speaking of my races, I'm less than 2 weeks away from my 5k and less than 4 away from my first half of the year. Soooo excited to start racing again!

Have you ever volunteered at a race? Did you enjoy the experience?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Nine

My original plans changed this weekend, as my parents decided not to come based on the weather. Instead, I volunteered at the triathlon going on at my gym this morning. I'm posting about it tomorrow, but I will say it was incredibly interesting to be working and not participating.

After I got done volunteering, I came back and ran 9 miles outside, followed by some other various cardio at the gym. I am exhausted from waking up early and all of the physical activity I did today. I realized that I rarely post times from my runs on my blog, so here is a breakdown of my run, according to my Garmin watch.

Total: 9.01 miles in 1:06:48 (7:25 pace)
Calories burned, according to the watch: 1,064
Mile 1 - 7:12
Mile 2 - 7:20
Mile 3 - 7:09
Mile 4 - 7:28
Mile 5 - 7:29
Mile 6 - 7:22
Mile 7 - 7:37
Mile 8 - 7:33
Mile 9 - 7:31
59 feet - 6.4 seconds

Looks like I need to work on pacing, although I will say there were some hilly miles. I am so glad I got to run outside today because it was nearly perfect conditions - 38 degrees, cloudy, and a little misty. I'm off to get some things done before another week of teaching. Hopefully your runs and weekend went well.

What is your favorite weather to run in? I like cloudy, misty weather the best. It is so refreshing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Diabetes, Running, and Parents

It has been the longest short week. I had President's Day off, but this week is going slow. Maybe it is because there has been a lot of drama stirred up at my school in the past two weeks. I hope things simmer down soon. In the meantime, three random things await you.

1. Have you ever had two days in a row where all you felt like to you did was eat, eat, and continue eating while taking little insulin? That is what it has been like for me today and yesterday. I wanted to get in a quality workout after school, but couldn't manage much because my blood sugar would not stay up. Needless to say, I never want to taste a glucose tablet or shot blok for a long, long time.

2. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to get up early, which would be a near-miracle, and workout before school AND then again after school. I want to do a double workout day, and feel like I need one and am ready for one. When I was training for the Madison to Chicago marathon last spring, I occasionally did double workout days. These helped me tremendously in my preparation for that race. I'm not sure what my double workouts will be as of yet. I think a lot of it depends on how I am feeling.

3. I'm the youngest child in my family, and love it. My parents are coming to visit me for a few hours on Sunday and I am looking forward to seeing them. Can you imagine driving 7 hours in a car, only to visit your daughter for 4 hours? They typically bring me some gifts too, which is always nice.

Hope you are having a good week!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Half Training Plan and Mantras

Even though today was my off day, running is a constant topic going through my head. I'm getting to the point in my half marathon training where my runs are becoming "longer" - which is a very relative term. After analyzing Hal Higdon's advice on training for a half, I realized that I am training at the novice level, when really I am better and more least in my opinion.

The novice half marathoner runs a 10-mile long run one week before his/her half, while the intermediate does 12 miles and the advanced runs a 2:00 run. Since I'm a believer in the "why fix it if it is not broke method" of training, but knowing that I want to PR, I keep having conflicting thoughts. I have never run more than 15 miles at one time, which I am confident I could do in under 2 hours (advanced training plan)...but do I have the mental ability to run 2 hours on my own for training? Racing is so different because there are always people for me to "target" while I'm keep my eye on and focus on passing, before picking my next "victim." However, while training it is typically just me and the streets. I can focus on street signs, but it is just not the same. Training is hard to do, both physically and mentally.

I have decided that for my half in March, I am going to run 11 miles for my long run the week before. It does not take me much time to recover from a run of that length, so I am confident I'll be fine for the race. I'll taper the rest of the week and be ready to PR on that Saturday.

However, although I am not registered for it yet, I am hoping to run the Illinois Marathon - Half Marathon race on April 30. This will give me a little over a month after my March half to recover and be ready to race again. I am going to attempt to do some longer runs for that half - including a 2-hour run, like Hal suggests for advanced half marathoners.

I know I can run under 1:40. During my race, and so far during my training, I have been focusing on using mantras while running. Some people only have one that they repeat over and over again. I'm not like that, though. I use 3 different mantras:

Mantra #1: I can do this.
Mantra #2: I am a machine.

Mantra #3: You've got this.

I don't know why I refer to myself as a "you" in mantra #3, but somehow it is like the inner-coach talking to me while running. I'm a big fan of mantras and often repeat them...along with the lyrics to my music, while running.

Do you use mantras? What is your favorite?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You've Got to Use What You've Got

My recovery plan for my newly-diagnosed Achilles tendinitis includes a lot of stretching, exercises, and icing. Being a person who is always cold, as in I often wear sweatshirts when it is 80 degrees outside, the thought of icing is never appealing. However, if it will help me heal, I'll do it.

I've been icing since Friday and each day I actually wished I could just get into an ice bath instead of icing. Not familiar with what an ice bath is? Imagine your tub filled with ice and then run the coldest water into the tub - now you've produced an ice bath. Now, just put your injured foot/leg in and let soak for awhile. Back in high school when I ran cross country I got to experience my fair share of ice baths, and always hated them but knew they helped. It was much like a love-hate relationship. I know they do a world of good for me because I feel like I need to ice multiple parts of my legs. This is hard to do if your ice maker is incredibly slow at making ice. Therefore, for the past few days I have been using what I've got. Enjoy the pictures!

Side view

This is such a weird camera angle...and makes my legs look rather deformed in my opinion.

Feeling better now that I've taken my vegetables back to the freezer. Compression sock time, but they need to readjusted...

Have you gotten to experience an ice bath? Or, would you like to?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Training to PR

This is going to be a...wait for it...legendary! year for my running. My first races are just around the corner, with my 5k being under 3 weeks away now. I am excited to go out there and start racing again. I get excited just thinking about it. However, although I am excited for the 5k, those are not my favorite races. I like to run fast, but I'd much rather run 5 miles or more for a race. I feel like I am better at the middle distances, anyway. My favorite distance to race is the half, as I've done 6..soon to be 7 in a little over 4 weeks.

I can't believe that my half marathon is a little over a month away. I was thinking about that this weekend and about training. As I was doing in August, I'm currently training for 2 races - a 5k and then a half. It was hard this summer, and I didn't really know what to do. It was purely trial and error...but in the end it turned out okay. This time around I'm determined to take what I learned this summer and put it to use to make me a better, faster runner. I'm not just running these two races to run - I'm running to PR. And, to be perfectly honest, if I don't PR you should not talk to me for a good month.

Training for a PR in a 5k is relatively easy. I know this week and next I need to do my speedwork days and be on pace with them, but other than that I'm not too concerned. My issue lies with training for the half. Back when I started to run half marathons, in college, I asked my brother how to train. Keep in mind he was in college at this time as well, but had run a few marathons already. He said that my long run should be 10 miles, and do it the Tuesday before the race. Wednesday he said do 5, Thursday, 3, Friday 1 and then race on Saturday. Looking back, this does not allow for any rest days leading up to the race. There is no taper time. However, I do not need long tapers. The shorter, the better for me.

In September I was training for the QC half and did 11 for my long run the Saturday before the race. I only ran one time more that week, which was 4 miles on that Tuesday. The rest of the week I took off. The race was good and I had tons of energy the first few miles, but then I could feel the lack of miles hitting me. I felt like I should have run more.

So here lies the question: how long should my long run be during my half training? Ten miles, like what I did for my first 5 marathons successfully, is on the short side of training. However, I know people who run 15 more their long run before a half, which seems rather ridiculous to me. To each his/her own, though. Would you stick with what I have been doing for years - running 10 as my long run - or would you change and run a higher mileage long run? My goal is to do my last long run on Monday, as the race is on Saturday. I am hoping to break 1:40, and I feel like this is a critical part in order for me to do so.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Diagnosis

For the past week I have felt something in my right calf. It is hard to explain, definitely comes at random times - before, during, and after runs, sometimes hurts a lot and sometimes it is just a little nag, and, frankly, was driving me crazy. I thought I might have a stress fracture, but then wondered for sure because I could run through the pain most days. Yesterday I decided that I could not take it anymore and I gave my sports medicine doctor a call. I saw him for my knee problem in the fall and loved him. The receptionist got me in to see him today, for which I was ever thankful.

I told him what was going on with my leg and then he told me my diagnosis: I have achilles tendinitis. I was thrilled to hear it! Usually, people would hate to find out they have this, but I was just so happy and relieved that it was not a stress fracture. Yay! Since I "caught it early" I mostly need to heat, ice, and do a lot of stretching various times throughout the day. He said he could send me to physical therapy again, like he did in the fall, but thought I should be able to "cure" it on my own. I sure hope so.

I don't really know much - rather, anything - about achilles tendinitis, but plan on doing some major research on it this weekend. I have not been feeling the greatest recently, and tonight is no different. However, I am just hoping it will go away soon.

Have you ever had achilles tendinitis? If so, how long did it last? What did you use to treat it?

Feeling Inspired

I'm a visual person. I like to see things, and many times seeing certain pictures gives me inspiration. I've known this about myself for a long time, and therefore have made decisions to decorate in accordance with my visual-ness. After trying to update my blog background and make it something that I am proud of, I realized that I rarely post pictures on my blog. I like pictures, it is just that I have other priorities. Taking advantage of my day off of teaching, and the start of a 4-day weekend, I took some pictures of things I see everyday that give me inspiration, both to run and live a better life. But, of course, mostly run.

This hangs above my desk in my office. You can find my racing bibs from the past 6 years (minus one two bibs from races I did in college which I cannot find), medals, and a few of my favorite quotes. Also, pictures of my favorite cousins.

Resting above my running bulletin board (above) are my two running trophies.

This is a piece of artwork I made when I was in 7th grade. I found it two summers ago and realized that I have always had a passion for running, even as a 13-year-old.

My favorite Nalgene...decked out with my flying shoe picture, both of which were gifts from my brother a few years ago.

This was a gift from my mom to me. My grandpa used to collect stamps and got these envelopes when a new stamp was released. My grandpa gave my mom all of these stamp envelopes when she was in college, and she kept them for many, many years. My mom chose stamps that, in her opinion, fit us (me, my siblings, and her siblings). My stamps include Landing of the Mayflower (I love social studies), Christmas (when I got the gift), Love (self-explanatory), Robinson Jeffers (I like to read and write), Namibia (say United Nations, which my mom thought invoked a sense of volunteerism, and I volunteered for two years), and Harriet Tubman (adventurous and courageous, like me...according to my mom).

And, my bobble heads. I love them. I have four: Joe Mauer, Damien Miller, Prince Fielder, and my personal favorite - Bob L. Head.

This will be a double-post day for me. So check back later for some important news.
Do you have something visual that motivates you to go out and run or to be a better person?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday

I'm a pretty habitual person, both in life and on this blog. It seems like I write a lot about running and diabetes, with some other random life things thrown in there every once in awhile for good measure. So, today you get some life. Enjoy getting to know me better.

1. I am not an animal person. Actually, that might be an understatement. I hate animals. Hate is a strong word, but I think it fits. Actually, it might be a combination of words: hate and terrified. When I am running, I will actually cross the road so I do not have to be near a dog. When I go to someone's house who has a dog that is out, they usually put it away because I get terrified just seeing it. And yes, I've always been this way. And no, I have never had a pet.

2. I am not a fan of car inside-your-car decorations. I only have 3 things on my car that I have personally added: around my back license plate, I have a border that reads "Half Marathoner; I run 13.1." It was a gift from my brother after I completed my first half. Even though the white letters have turned dark grey, I still love it and will most likely always have it. The second thing I have on the back of my car is a magnet that says "run." Simple enough - it sums me up pretty well, too. The third thing is inside of my car. I have a yellow Livestrong bracelet that is safety-pinned together around my gear shifter thing (I know nothing about cars, so I don't know the technical term). It has a long history and is incredibly important to me. I'll always have it in that position in my car.

3. When selecting races to run in, I like to choose ones that have interesting names. Flying Pig = awesome. The Bix is rather unique. The Benefit Classic - totally boring. There is a race here this weekend called the Frozen Buns Run. That is an awesome name. If I got to name a race, I think I would call it The Royal Run.

What are three interesting things about you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are those Vitamin C pills?

Setting: The locker room in the gym

Time: 6:20; after I ran a 2-mile warm-up and biked 5.5 miles

Situation: I wanted to test my blood sugar and put my long sleeve t-shirt in my locker. I typically workout in a long sleeve t, but today I was just too warm. Anyway, I tested because I felt like I was on the verge of going low. My meter confirmed this and I got 3 raspberry glucose tabs out of the container and put them on the lid. I didn't want to touch them as I was rummaging around in my purse for a piece of gum as well. I was also listening to my ipod, and believe Nelle was on when an old lady says something. Since I have my headphones in I didn't really think it was directed at me, but when I looked up she was staring at me. I took my earphones out and asked her if she said something to me. She did - she wanted to know if I was eating Vitamin C pills. My response: ", I am not." Although, the thoughts in my head were much different, like do they make giant, mega-sized vitamin C pills? And, even if they did, why would I take them in a gym locker room? Awkward. Although, they lady was not done. Apparently she has taken Vitamin C pills before. I wanted to say, "good for you..I have 5 more miles to run and some work to do on the stair machine." However, I politely told her that was good and then just put my stuff back in my locker and off I went.

Some people say the weirdest things...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Low Signs

Sometimes I struggle with sensing my lows, especially when I am running. Running is a true passion of mine and sometimes I get so wrapped up in my pace, time, distance, or thinking about anything else related to running that I forget that my blood sugar might be dropping. However, there are 2 signs that I know it has already dropped:

1. I get emotional
2. Self-doubt enters my mind

The first thing I mentioned, getting emotional, typically only happens when my blood sugar has dropped significantly, like under 40. I do not pride myself on this, but I can function with rather low blood sugars. I can run sub 8-minute miles with a blood sugar in the 50s, although I can run sub 7-minute miles when my blood sugar is in the 100s. However, when I am attempting to workout when my blood sugar is that low or trying to function in everyday tasks, I am on the verge of tears for no apparent reason. I could feel sore and be on the brink of tears because I feel like I should not feel sore. Anything might make me cry...from a comment to just being cold (which I always am). Even after I have treated my low, my emotions tend to stick around for a while. I stay sad, even though I have nothing to be sad about.

My second sign is that self-doubt enters my mind while I am running. Thoughts like "can I actually run a race and PR?" or "will I be able to run a marathon in my lifetime?" are frequent, unwelcome visitors to my mind when I'm low.

After my double run day yesterday, where I ran 5 miles on the treadmill in 35:40, with progressively faster miles, then a cool-down walk of 0.5 miles and a bike ride of 5 miles in the early afternoon, and then another 4 mile run in 28:30 in the late afternoon, where I set off to PR in a 5k and did (hello 21:58!!), I was sore today. My legs were tired from my fast (for me) runs yesterday, and my blood sugar was not cooperating. I was experience sign #1, and it was not fun. I ended up running 1 mile today because that was all I could handle. I did some biking, stair climbing, and weight lifting as well. Tomorrow will be a better day for me.

What are your low signs? Am I the only one that cries when they are low?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I love my family and would not trade them for the world. I have inherited many things from my dad and mom, and extended family as well, one being the use of uncommon phrases. My family has a few common phrases that can heard regularly that might make an outsider go, "what!?!" but is completely normal for us. Below you can find my favorites, and how they originated.

"Freeze cat." My grandma coined this phrase when I was younger, as she was referring to me and two of my aunts as people who are always cold. This is true - I am always cold. I wear sweatshirts regularly in the summer, both inside and outside. When I visit my parents, I always think their house is cold. This always gets my mom to respond, "you're such a freeze cat." Contrarily to what the world might think, it has nothing to do with freezing cats.

"I'm high." If you have diabetes, this won't be anything new to you as I'm sure it has come out of your mouth before as well. However, if I say "I'm high" in public I get a lot of stares. I'm talking about my blood sugar, not about using drugs. Although, I would need my drug of choice (insulin) to make me feel better.

"Slower than a herd of one turtle." The only thing I am on time for is teaching. For almost everything else, I am late. I used to not be that way; however, since I've gotten older, the worse I have become. When visiting my parents my lateness seems to be escalated. However, my mom is always on time....but my dad is always late. So my dad and I are a herd of turtles, but my mom is the on-time person.

"Kapeesh." My grandpa coined this phrase when my mom was growing up and she has used it ever since. Translation: got it? For example, she might say "We are leaving at 2:00, kapeesh?" I would say yes, because I understand we are leaving at 2, although since I am a herd of 1 turtle, that won't happen.

"Fair is a 4-letter word." My dad's coworker coined this phrase, along with many others that are often heard in our house. However, this one is used regularly. It does not matter if things are fair, as fair is a relative term. This is a phrase that I think about often. Is it fair that I have diabetes? No. But I do and I deal with it. Life isn't always just deal with it.

Another personal favorite from my dad's coworker is "I'm in there like a biting sow." Translation: I have a fighting chance to win/succeed and will do all I can do make it happen.

Do you say anything bizarre that gets people to raise their eyebrows at you?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

11-Year Old Perspectives on Running Races

I'm running a few races in March...a 5k and a half marathon. The half marathon is near Indianapolis and I signed up to do it with a friend. It also offers a quarter-marathon distance, if you do not want to run the half. I had never heard of a quarter-marathon before this race. Anyway, we are trying (unsuccessfully at the moment) to get another friend to run it with us. Our friend has run races before, so that is not the issue. I think he run a few miles every so often, so he is not out of shape. I can't figure out why he won't sign up.

The race is 45 days away, and I am (kindly) emailing him reasons every single day as to why he should run the race. However, I know that it is easy to not open up all of your emails, or read them. So, I sought the help of my wonderful 11-year-old students to help me accomplish my task. I have a lot of kids that ran cross-country in the fall so they were more than thrilled to help me out. Two of my students, "G" and "K", wrote the following reasons of why a person should run a race. They made me smile and laugh.

  • Running for 5 minutes makes you feel like you can run around the whole world.
  • Running is exercise and exercise is good for you.
  • You get to talk to your friends when running a race.
  • It makes you feel like you are on the red carpet because there are so many people cheering for you.
  • Running to a shop is better than driving. Save the Earth!
  • Running makes you feel relaxed.
  • Running a race is tons of fun.

There were other reasons, but the ones mentioned above were my favorites. I especially like the fact that they think running for 5 minutes makes you feel like you can run around the world and how it makes you feel like you are on the red carpet. I hope it will help convince my friend to run the race. Maybe it is just me, but sometimes I wish I could see the world through the eyes of a child again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Race...Another Adventure

Last week was a big race sign-up week for me, as I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, Sam Costa half marathon (in late March in Indiana), and the St. Paddy's Day 5k (local race). Tonight I signed up for another race after much thought and consideration....the NW Passage Ragnar Relay. Yes, that means in July I'll be headed to the state of Washington. I couldn't be more excited to run with Insulindependence/Glucomotive. Although I must admit I am nervous because I do not know a whole lot about the experience.

Last year I ran the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay and it was a unique experience. I don't view these as races; rather, training weekends. I'll be in marathon training mode at the end of July when this occurs, so I'll have to juggle my schedule around to accommodate this race, and I am hoping it will be worthwhile. I signed up for a few key reasons:

  1. I want to meet more diabetic athletes, specifically runners, and this event will allow me to do so. I've only ever met one other diabetic runner in my entire life.
  2. It is a fun, unique way to train. How often do you get to run in the middle of the night? I'm hoping to get that running time slot.
  3. I get to travel to a place I've never been before. I spent a summer in California and I've been to Montana, but never Washington. I've also always to go.
  4. It is in the summer, when I don't have to work. If it were at any other time during the year I would not be able to go because I teach, but the summers are my time to do whatever I want.
  5. I can still make it back to Iowa for the Bix 7 race, which is on July 30 this year.
  6. I know I'll learn better ways to manage diabetes from other people.

Although I have lots of reasons to run it, I do have some concerns:

  1. I do not know a single person doing it...IRL or from the blog world. I'm fairly shy at first so not knowing anyone will be hard for me.
  2. The website does not give a lot of information. Hopefully they send some soon! It is only 5+ months away, which is not long.
  3. Traveling there. My ears do not do well on planes, but hopefully they'll be okay for this trip. Wishful thinking never hurts.

If you are runner and have diabetes, you should sign up for it....or at least consider it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday Messages

Due to the fact that I did not get as much sleep as I should have (and need) last night due to the Superbowl, my post will be rather...random and scattered.

  • Today I had a fantastic run - my first good run in a couple weeks (or so it felt). I ran 8 miles in 59 minutes, with a half mile cool down. The total was 8.5 miles in 1:03-something. It felt good. Run always put me in a good mood.
  • I've been struggling with low blood sugars while working out and keep forgetting to decrease my basal rates during exercise, per my doctor's request. Today I miraculously remembered and the result was good - I ended with a blood sugar of 80.
  • Does anyone know when the Glucamotive Ragnar Northwest Passage Relay application is due? I can't find it on their website. Or, if you apply, do you automatically get in? The website gives some information, but isn't incredibly helpful. I am 66% sure I am going to do it.
  • Do you think 66 is a weird number for something? I don't like even numbers or numbers that end in 5. Therefore, I'm 66% sure.
  • Some quality searches that brought people to my blog this week included "incredible high feet arches photos" and "redhead gushers." I love google stats! :)

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Vitamin Discussion

For the most part, I am a pretty easy-going person. I could care less who wins the Superbowl tonight. However, the things I am passionate about I am 110% passionate about, such as running, working out, diet, some issues that relate to the Continent of Africa (Darfur, AIDS), diversified curriculum and assessment, and the fact that happiness is your choice, just to name a few.

A friend of mine and I recently were talking about vitamins. This would be an issue that I am somewhat passionate about, since it deals with health. Her view is that if you eat a balanced diet then you do not need to take vitamins. She has not taken one vitamin in her entire life, which I find rather amazing. I asked her if her entire family was anti-vitamins, and she said her mom, who is a nurse, instilled in her the "if you eat a balanced diet you will be healthy" motto. Therefore, her two brothers, dad, mom, and her do not take vitamins. She also told me that ideally she would never take them.

I do not agree with her view. I am a big proponent of vitamins. I started taking them at a young age off-and-on, and then regularly once I got into high school. As I've gotten older, I have started to take more vitamins. I currently take a multivitamin and calcium plus vitamin d, and then iron supplements. If I am sick, then I'll take vitamin C as well. My dad got me hooked on vitamins. For the longest time, I could not swallow a pill to save my life. One night, we had a "pill-swallowing lesson" at our kitchen table where my dad told me he was going to teach me how to swallow pills...something he deemed a necessary part of life. Well, the lesson worked and I started taking vitamins the next day. My dad, mom, brother and I all take vitamins. To be honest, I am not sure about my sister, but I think she might. My personal philosophy is that vitamins cannot hurt you in any way. For most people, what they consume varies day-to-day, and, therefore, might not get the proper amount of vitamins everyday.

I am not normal. I eat the same thing pretty much every day, and always have. I have the ability to eat the same thing for year(s) and never tire of it. Do you think I can make it into the world record book for this feat (/digress)?!? What is the worse thing I can do by taking extra vitamins? I was once told you just pee them out. Although I have never checked into this, I have chosen to believe it. I am not hurting myself, just helping me be a healthier person.

Are you a vitamin person?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Compression they actually work?

After some thought and consideration, I decided to buy a pair of compression sleeves. Like the Vibrams debate, I feel like people are either 100% for them, or 100% against them (as in they do not help and are a waste of money). My brother is on the against them side, saying they are just a glorified sock. Your body recovers just fine on its own if you treat it properly. He's training for his second 100-mile race and runs a lot (makes me look like I don't run at all), so I feel like he has a valid opinion. However, I know many more people on the other side of the fence.

After the hilly Bix race I did last summer, my cousins were wearing compression sleeves. They were training for a few marathons and did long runs often. It was their belief that the sleeves greatly improved recovery time and always wore them. Likewise, I have a friend who strongly believes in them as well. I read some articles online and decided to buy myself a pair and see if I noticed a difference.

To be honest, I am not sure if I notice a difference. Right now I am running really well and I've been putting on my sleeves after my workouts. Do I notice a large difference? No, but I do believe they are helping me some. I've been doing quicker runs, partly because I'm getting faster but also because I believe I don't need significant recovery time. Would I recommend these socks/sleeves to other runners? Yes, I would because they cannot hurt you. Anything that can help me run better is something I am open to purchasing or trying. Plus, they serve as excellent leg warmers when the temperature is in the single digits and you are always cold.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Funny Yet True

A friend of mine recently posted this on her facebook page. I enjoyed it and realized it is just a little too true about me. I'm sure if you know me IRL than you'll agree, but even if you don't and just follow my blog, you'll probably agree as well. This will be even more true come the summer when I'm training for Chicago.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So Excited...

I feel like so much has happened since I last blogged. My computer got a virus, but now it is all better. I felt so disconnected from the world without my laptop. Do you ever feel that way too or is it just me?

This year I decided I would record how many miles I run and bike because I want to know, if only for my own information. I've never done it before and love numbers, so I thought it would be a good time to start on January 1st. Below are my stats for the month of January:

  • Running miles: 149.5
  • Biking miles: 143.5
  • Walking miles: 15.45
  • Ellipticle miles: 18.1
  • Stair master miles: 24.4
  • Number of day I lifted weights: 8

Total miles: 350.95

Not too bad!

In other news, I am so excited because I woke up at 1 a.m. on Monday night and I registered for the 2011 Chicago Marathon! If you remember, I was going to run the Quad Cities Marathon this year, but opted to run the half instead due to my iron fiasco this summer. So I'll be making my marathon debut in Chicago and could not be more excited. After waking up at 1, I went back to sleep until 4, when I woke up to go running at the gym. I knew I would not be able to make it there after school on Tuesday due to the snow they were predicting, and I really wanted to run (signing up for a race just makes me want to run), so I went at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. We ended up getting a fair amount of snow - like 17 inches or something. It is funny how big of a deal everyone is making it out to be. I've lived in Minnesota for 3 years, where this type of precipitation is normal. It is all relative I guess. We've been off school for 2 straight days because of the snow and cold weather, which has been a nice break but not necessary in my opinion.

Have you signed up for any marathons this year? I got up so early because I wanted to make sure I got a spot, especially after what happened with the Boston Marathon this year.