Smiley Face

May 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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This is the face of a happy runner!

Excuse the squinty-eyes — I was facing the sun.

I rocked those two miles like a champ this morning and had a GREAT RUN!  Oh, I love these days.  I set out with the attitude that I wanted to improve my pace a little so I pushed a little harder.  It’s not quite as daunting to push yourself for two miles as it is for 8 or 10.  I shaved a 1:15 off each mile time and was so pleased my extra effort paid off!  I’m going to do this more often. 🙂

Before we move on to eats for the day, I’m going to veer off-topic for a minute.  A friend of mine wondered on Facebook if she could be ready for a marathon this time next year.  I immediately replied “absolutely!” because I know all to well the transformational power running can have on your life AND how addicting it can be!  I wanted to reassure her from my newbie perspective that if I can do it, anyone can do it.  Anyone!

She responded that any tips would be appreciated.  Oh, Jennifer, be careful what you wish for ;).


remember: I am not a personal trainer or any other kind of expert — I’m a newbie.  What I’m advising here comes from my own experience training for my half-marathon and successfully completing it.  Consult your physician before beginning a new or strenuous kind of activity, mmmk?

🙂 Invest in good shoes.  Had your kicks since high school?  Do you laces remember when CSI was a new show?  Time for some new sneaks, me thinks.  A good pair of running shoes will fit properly, enhance your stride and protect your most valuable tools (your legs, knees, ankles and feet!!).  If you think it’s too expensive an endeavour, consider it this way: over the course of a half marathon training schedule, a $100 pair of shoes could break down to costing just $0.50 a run.  That’s value.  If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, the peeps at a running store will be happy to help you.  Remember my trip to Fleet Feet?  It changed my running world.

🙂 Don’t worry about pace at first — and really, don’t worry about distance, either.  Just run.  Try and run for a mile without stopping.  Or try and run a mile feeling comfortable with your breathing and stride.  Just run.  Get the running down first, distance and pace will come later.  If you’re a true beginner, consider using a walk/run method (such as the Galloway Method) to get you started.  My sister did this even in training for our half and she completed those 13.1 miles like a champ.

🙂 Journal.  Keep a log of how far you ran that day, the weather conditions, what you wore, your pace (when you’re at that point) and how the run felt overall.  You’re more likely to notice patterns if they’re in writing.  Remember my running log? It was so helpful in noticing that I ran better when I had eaten a little something first, or that my one pair of shorts gave me a wedgie and I should avoid them (true story — they ruined a few runs!).  It can also tell you what time of day you run best it.  Use the power of the pen!

🙂 Don’t bite off more road than your running shoes can chew.  Conventional wisdom advises increasing your mileage at a 10% rate.  So when that mile feels good, go ahead and add another .10.  Yep, that’s it.  If you’re a newbie, you don’t want injury and overuse to bring you down.  Take it slow at first.  Many training schedules and programs will increase you at a more advanced pace, and that’s okay, because those programs are designed for people who have been running for a while already.  My pre-training goal for the half marathon was to be able to run the first week of the half marathon training program at least twice.  I knew if I could do that, I was at a level where I could keep up with the increase of the mileage.

🙂 Grab your pom-poms, fasten your pleated skirt and get ready for those high kicks — BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER.  This is by far my most important tip.  This is a huge undertaking and you’re the only one who will know how good it feels to reach that new distance or pace or kick that long run in the buns.  Never stop patting yourself on the back.  It may feel goofy, but sometimes saying out loud, “I just RAN two miles” makes you grin like a kid all day long.  Congratulate yourself, often and with vigor.  You rock and you know it!  Positive attitudes will carry you through, always!

Okay, tipster time over. 🙂

Breakfast today was supposed to be a special treat for Sam.  I woke up wanting to make in homemade waffles — Oh Boy! waffles to be exact.  Oh Boy! waffles are a family recipe so good, when you walk in the kitchen and see them in progress, you cry out, “Oh Boy! waffles!”.  Truth.

This time around, I wanted to tweak the recipe.  I had visions of health as I added whole wheat flour, dumped in some protein powder and subbed applesauce instead of oil.  Oh, these would be phenom.  These would revolutionize Oh Boy! waffles.  These would warrant an addition to the family cookbook.

These were terrible.

Well, correction: they did not taste terrible, but they were terrible to make.  The waffles, without oil, got super stuck to the waffle maker and required a lot of pulling and prying and praying to get them out.  I told Sam I would name my version “God-awful Waffles” because I was so frustrated.

I ate mine with a banana, cacao nibs and a side-dipper cup of REAL maple syrup (I used probably about a tablespoon this way).  Add in some coffee and it was yummy.

For lunch, I employed the use of another Earth Grains sandwich thin (love these) to house a tuna, avocado, spinach and mustard sammy.  I love this combination.  Go ahead and peak, you know you want to.

I also packed cantaloupe, green pepper slices and plain yogurt with granola to mix in when the time comes (so, um, 4 o’clock, as usual ;)).

I’m off to wrap up my day so I can scoot to a young professionals happy hour tonight, but I leave the other runner’s out there with a question:

What did I miss?  What advice would you give a newbie ready to hit the road? Holler ’em out!

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