Monday, August 13, 2012

TrainingTruths: Workouts & Olympic Soccer Party

I used to be a soccer, breathe, dream everything soccer. It was my first addiction. After two knee surgeries in three years, I stopped playing competitively and eventually found my second passion: running. I'm currently training for my 5th half marathon. Last week my training started winding down, but Olympic soccer started heating up.


#TrainingTruth: I used to think running a 10K was hard.

The first time I ran a 10K race in 2006, I was so impressed that I could run 6.2 miles! Now, when I look at my training schedule and see 6 miles, I know that I can do it. I'm not intimidated by that distance anymore because of the time I have spent pushing myself to go longer and do better. It is an awesome feeling to look back at how far I've come as a runner.

#TrainingTruth: I like running (and wearing unplanned-matching outfits) with my family.

Even though we spend much of the time on our runs lost in our own thoughts, there are often moments where we engage in conversation. I love talking about running and fitness, but chatting about what's going on in our lives is even more rewarding. It is also pretty cool to watch your step daughter achieve her personal distance record or bust out a freakishly fast sprint to the end!

#TrainingTruth: Pacing my running partners is challenging, but rewarding.

Usually my BRF is the one doing the leading on our runs, but she has been on vacation so I have been thrust into the pacer position. It is hard to keep the pace a little slower and to remember to take walk breaks for my husband and step daughter whose training is not as consistent as mine. Being there to see their happy faces when they find their groove or reach running milestones is amazing though.



#TrainingTruth: Sometimes I eat appetizers in place of a real meal.

Thursday afternoon we had an Olympic Soccer Party while watching the US Women's Team play for the gold medal. Preparations for the party included making crab dip and cupcakes (which we decorated with our choices of who would score the first goal). Earlier after going for a run I had a salad. It wasn't breakfast and it wasn't lunch. Later, during the party, I pretty much made the crab dip and wheat thins my lunch.

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to asses ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fitness Friday: Call Us Runners

Running all starts somewhere. Previously I wrote about aha! moments and discovered how incredibly similar we all are when it comes to starting our fitness journeys. 

Last week, after reading Melissa's post On Stealing a Runner's Glory, I started thinking about the moment that I thought of myself as a runner

We didn't lace up our shoes and call ourselves runners immediately. The feeling of owning the title of RUNNER comes to each of us at different moments, after different experiences. 

When the moment comes, it is often memorable:

Katey @ Run With Kate
I felt like a runner when I realised that it had become my 'thing'. I didn't need to run a race to realise that other people would say 'Kate runs' when introducing me to people. It's become part of my lifestyle; to me, running means that it has become a vital part of my identity.

Coco @ Running with Perseverance
I believe that if you run, you are a runner. Whether you run in Mizunos or Keds (but please don't for your own sake!), whether you run 2 miles or 20, whether you race every weekend or never, whether you win your age group or barely beat the course-closing sweeper van, you are a runner. So, when I looked back on my journal entries from my early days as a runner, I was surprised to see what it took for me to think of myself as a runner. Here's what I found in my journal: Looking Back On 10 Years of Running

Heather @ Better With Veggies
To me, being a runner means I get out the door when it's fun and when I'd rather sit on the couch. It means I set goals for myself and work toward those goals, even when it's hard. It doesn't matter how far or how fast, you're a runner if you get out there and run!

Divya @ Eat Teach Blog
Running isn't easy for me. It's never been. But it's something that I love doing regardless of my ability. There are moments where I feel like it's the most painful process to move one foot in front of the other. But then there's moments when my mind is completely separate from my body and my feet take control of themselves - almost an "out of body" experience. I continue to practice to have more of those moments. Being a runner doesn't mean that I have to run at a certain pace or reach a certain distance. Being a runner means I run. And I love it. 

Erika @ MCM Mama
I realized that any time I get "me time", I hit the road. Somehow I went from running for fitness to running for mental health to running because it's an integral part of who I am.  I felt amazing and proud when I realized that.

Natural Nesters @ Designing a Better Me
I use to doubt myself and even though I had ran a 1/2 Marathon in 2007, even then I would not call myself a 'runner' because I thought a runner had to be someone that put hours and hours into it and did every race out there.. had all the right gear... did the charities, etc. You get what I am saying. Fast forward five years and many life changes which includes now being a mom.. I do NOT doubt that I am a runner. From the day I started running again back in March I have said to people.. "I love that I am a runner!" I said it with confidence, happiness, and belief. What made the difference... I may never know... But to me a runner is someone who has the desire and passion to run. That is ME! I no longer look at running as something I can't do. Rather, I look at running as something I WANT to do, DESIRE to do, and want to get BETTER at. I love that at the end of the day, when it cools down, I can pull that faithful jogging stroller out, put on my mismatched running clothes, get my boy a snack and water.. and GO! I love that while I GO I know that I am a runner. Just because someone can run faster than me doesn't make them any more of a runner than me. The fact that I get out there and DO IT makes me a runner. I know that I am a runner today because it is part of my life. Running is now who I am and I hope it stays part of who I am forever. I love my life with running and I hope even when my kids are grown that I am a running Mommy... 

Charlene @ Running with Charlene
When did I feel like a runner? The moment I crossed the Finish line at my first Half marathon 2010. 7 months prior, I could not run a mile. Now, I have run over 45 races, including Full Marathons. I am a 6 time member of the USATF All-American Masters Team and a Certified Running Coach.

Amanda @ Run To The Finish

I felt like a runner when I started going because I loved it and not because it was a workout. For me that took about a year, but the next 9 have been amazing.

Tara @ A Daily Dose Of Fit
I used to hate running. With a passion. And then, I loved it. I transitioned from walking to running over time, and in the fall of 2009, I felt like a runner for the first time when I crossed the finish line of the Chicago Half Marathon. I hated the last three miles, as did my IT bands, but knowing that I could do it...and that I did it...made me feel like I could do anything. To be a runner is to trust your body. To feel your body working hard, step after step after even more steps. But sometimes it's not about those steps. It's about letting go of everything else and finding the time to focus on you. Therapy? Maybe. When I got pregnant last year, I couldn't run like I used to. Five months postpartum, I started running again and flew through a 6-mile race. I felt like I had recaptured a part of myself that had been put on hold for far too long. Granted, not running like normal for nine months was worth it...but moms can still be runners. And I did run throughout my pregnancy. Although, not as fiercely for obvious reasons. But I'm running again, and that means a lot to me. With new passion, too. It's not really about the race, time or pace. To be a runner is to learn to let go of the effort and to enjoy the ride, one step in your favorite sneaks at a time.

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl
I felt like a runner when I was training for my first marathon and woke up early on a Saturday morning to do my long run on the trails around the lakes. I got so many hellos, waves, etc. from fellow runners... I finally felt like I was part of the club! It was a great feeling -- and part of the reason why I'll sacrifice sleeping in on the weekend to get my run in. There's nothing like being out on the trails early in the morning with all of your best running friends.

Gina @ Noshing On Asphalt
I didn’t realize I was a runner until after I finished my first 15k this past February.  It was the Double Bridge Run in Pensacola, Florida, and I ran it side-by-side with the woman who inspired me to run.  Prior to the 15k, I was running about 20 miles a week and had raced several 5ks and one 10k but my internal runner switch had never been flipped.  I don’t know why I felt like I wasn’t a ‘real’ runner, I just didn’t.  But during the last mile of the 15k I had this huge burst of energy and I felt like I could have knocked out another 5 miles easily.  I was so energized/excited and it was at that moment I knew I had the type of experience ‘real’ runners talked about....I had become a runner.

"Hutch" @ Heavy Medal
Being able to run a mile without stopping didn't make me feel like a runner. Finishing 4 full marathons didn't make me feel like a runner. Hearing my friends begin to refer to me as a runner, didn't make me feel like a runner. After 4 years of running somewhat regularly, there came a day when I realized I was looking forward to running and was enjoying the run itself; not just the satisfaction of finishing a run or race day high, but the actual movement of running, the rhythm and challenge of it. That's when I felt like a runner, like I had finally arrived. 

However, some are still waiting for it:

Alyse @ Fit Approach
Based on reading a ton of running blogs, and being friends with so many runners, I get the impression that most people do have that moment when they realize they're a runner. They get sucked in and find they just LOVE running. Or find their peace, or their sanity, by hitting the pavement. 

I'm waiting for that moment to happen to me. I have had a handful of good runs, or times when I enjoyed running and found myself glimpsing what about it gets you hooked, but I haven't been full-on converted yet. I enjoy the endorphin rush when it's over—but mostly, I just enjoy when it's over. :) I'm looking forward to the day when running sinks its teeth into me and it becomes something I look forward to and find joy in. 

Thank you to all the runners from FitFluential and Fit Approach
who shared their memories with me ~ you're the greatest!

Do you consider yourself a RUNNER?

I first felt like a runner last summer when I was training for my first half marathon. I finally felt like I knew what I was doing, it was part of my weekly schedule, and I was having fun.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Find Your Greatness

In the blink of an eye the months of June & July have flown by.

Today, I am looking back at the goals I set for myself for 2012:

  1. Keep running!! - In June I ran 58.05 miles and in July 76.59. 
  2. Run a race every month (at least one) In June I was supposed to run 3 races, but I only ran two. I opted not to run a 5k because of torrential rain. If I had to do it over, I would go to the race anyway. In July I did three runs: two were fun runs (mud & color) and one was a 5k.
  3. Continue to improve my blog In July I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach and a Cape Cod Ambassador for the ZOOMA Women's Race Series. I wrote some guest posts for FitFluential, ZOOMA, and fellow FitFluential Ambassadors. 
  4. Add another New England state to the list of places I have run Although I traveled to Ohio and ran a race while I was there, I have not added a new state to my list yet. 
  5. Keep meeting new running friends I met some other New England runners who also blog and ran some of the same races together.

In the midst of all this, I have found greatness.

The running community is packed with amazing people. People who want to push themselves, have a good time, and support you in any way that they can.

There are extraordinary people working hard to put together some incredible race experiences for runners. Whether you are a new runner or a seasoned runner, the people behind the scenes want you to have a great time running.

Companies are designing sensational gear for runners and getting runners involved in spreading the word. From water bottles to running shoes I have been astonished by the relationships I see being built.

As for myself, I'm feeling pretty marvelous about the amount of miles I've been posting. I can finish runs that I would have avoided a year ago and sometimes I'm even taking the lead.

Where do you find greatness?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts & Cream Cheese Pastry

It is hard to maintain a regular schedule during the summer. Every day is different. Sometimes we are traveling. For the most part I have been able to maintain my training for the half marathon coming up in a couple of weeks, but my diet has been all over the place. 


#TrainingTruth: Compression gear is a life saver.

As I have upped my mileage on the long runs, my legs have been feeling the effects. Tight hips and glutes, sore calf muscles, and achey shins. Following my long runs, I have been sporting compression socks and compression shorts. These things really do work. I use Zensah socks most of the time, but I also have CEP and Feetures. My compression shorts are from Aspaeris and although they work, I'm not a fan of the dual layers anymore.

#TrainingTruth: I still look forward to every run.

Running is my passion. I know from experience that sometimes, after doing something repeatedly for days, months, years, the excitement can wear off. Running continues to be something that I look forward to. It doesn't matter what kind of run I'm doing; long, short, road, trail, treadmill, alone, or with a partner/group I'm always happy to get out there. 


#TrainingTruth: It is really hard not to over-indulge during the summer.

This past week, I made one big dinner for the family. Then everyone's schedules had them scattered every direction and rarely did we have more than two people home for dinner at the same time. Then we went to Newport for the weekend adding to the challenge of eating healthy. Thursday, we're having a Reach the Beach team meeting and I'm bringing dessert. 

If you've never made this and decide to try it, DO NOT HATE ME. It's THAT GOOD!

I got this recipe from a former co-worker in Ohio (I think she got it from someone at her church). 

Don't forget to check out other great recipes at the WIAW link up at Peas & Crayons.

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to asses ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Running Escapades Guide to Social Media

Using social media can be overwhelming.

Once you get the hang of it though, you will discover a world of information and support you may have never dreamed possible.

Inspired by a Women's Running Magazine blog post, I thought I would explain social media the Running Escapades way:

Here's what Women's Running Magazine blog posted:

I don't use all the social media on the list (Linked In & Google+) and I do use a couple not on the list (Daily Mile & Nike+), but it was fun making my guide.

How do you use social media?