So I while back I gave you guys the opportunity to ask me whatever questions you wanted. So I’ve tried to answer them all in one post and if I missed your question, don’t worry I’ll answer it in an upcoming post. Also, be sure to check out the Sweet Deals section today, because it was updated with some new cute stuff.
Mrs. M asked about looking for new shoes for running? What questions should I ask when looking for new shoes?
Well I would answer this by first off doing the ‘footprint test’. You can find more about thishere, and here is another option with pictures. By doing that you learn a lot about your foot before you even enter the store. It’s also important to not fall into the store “trap” unless the sales people are actual runners, they won’t know much about what to sell you, but anyone can act like they do. It’s important to know how you run to begin with. Do you push off with your toes? Do you heel strike? Do you over pronate or under pronate? Here’s 2 pretty sweet videos that explains overpronation and underpronation. A lot of time, I’ve seen and heard that sales people just want you to buy the most ‘cushiony’ shoe out there. Honestly, there is too much of a good thing, and there can be such a thing as too much cushion in some instances. Too much cushion restricts my neutral step and forces me to overpronate in my shoes. Try many different things out when looking for new running shoes and when you find something that works, stick with it. I ran in Nike Pegasus for over two years. I would trust specialty running store sales people over a chain sports store sales person when it comes to ‘fitting’ someone as well. Once you get your shoes ‘fit’ from a store like that, then you can buy them online in the size you need, which saves you some money as well. Try to also find a store that has a good return policy, so that if you do have to return them, you can even after you’ve run in them a few times.
Brown eyed Girl and her Beau is running her first half marathon and asked me if there is anything she should do to prepare herself ahead of time.
First off, the most important thing in running is believing in yourself. You have to know that you can do it, and you CAN do it! I think that is what made my first half marathon so great. Also, especially since it’s your first, ENJOY it. You’ll never have that feeling of finishing that accomplishment again. Remember what a great feat you are accomplishing too. Soak the whole thing in, nothing is as exciting as your first one. Also, remember to get lots of rest during that week and don’t stress yourself out over it. Think of me at mile 8 too… :) Seriously, anyone can run, it’s the fact that you have enough will-power to do it, and to complete a race that makes you stand out. Just count down the miles in your head and when you get to the 5k mark, you only have ten more miles and break down each section like that. It makes it go by much faster that way. Before you know it, you’ll be done and have a fatty medal hanging around your neck and memories that will remain with you forever!
Having fun is super important. This is one of the pictures from my first half marathon and these are my favorite pictures. Seriously. I was SO happy! Remember to always smile when you see a photographer too. You don’t want to look like you’re suffering! ha ha.
Rachel asked me two questions. How to improve your times, and how do you avoid injury.
First off, I’m super flattered that you ask me about speed! Ha, ha. I honestly know how to get faster, but I just don’t have the time to put into all my workouts at this given moment. I know that following plans that include speed work really can help you a lot, and doing track work can help as well. There are a lot of resources for speed workouts on Runnersworld.com. I used to do intense speed work in high school and I was pretty quick back then. If you do speed work it increases your leg turnover and endurance which will help you get faster in the long run. Also, I think upping your mileage helps a lot too. For me, when I was running 8-10 miles for my long run, I increased my 5k speed time because it was ‘so much shorter’ than the runs I was doing at the time and it allowed me to go much faster because I only had to run 3 miles.
For me to avoid injury, I stretch, ice and take time off if I had a niggle (an injury that is bothering me but isn’t a full blow, stop running for months injury). I really found out the power of ice and bengay during my last marathon training cycle. Icing is NOT my favorite thing at all, but it really helps get the soreness out the next day. If you have shin splints, I would definitely ice after every run and stretch your calves, A LOT. Shin splints come from having tight calf muscles. I hate stretching, but doing it while watching TV or a movie makes it much easier. I also play on my phone while I stretch. After a long run I make sure to stretch. Also make sure when stretching to hold each stretch for 30 seconds if not more.
Pancakes and Milk asked me about my breathing technique when running.
Now, when I coached, the coach tried to teach the kids to take two breaths in and one breath out. This is FAR too complicated for me and most of the time I just try to have steady deep breaths in and out. Sometimes when I start to struggle I begin to play around with my breathing. I try to take two breaths in and then one out, or the other way around. When my breathing becomes a problem, I also relax and just focus on breathing in and out. Also, if it gets too hard for me to breath, I slow down a little bit as well. Breathing is obviously very important and I want to make sure that I can still breath at all times. When doing track workouts, I also realize that my breathing will be much more difficult and different but at the same time, I realize that it’s only for a 400 or 800 so I push myself during that time and then allow myself to catch my breath before I run my next lap.
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.. asked about a training plan for the Carlsbad 1/2 marathon coming in January.
I wrote about beginning a lot on this post and on this post and there are a lot of training plans on Runner’s world as well. I used one off of there, that included some ‘walking portion’s’ which I think would work well for you Christina. If you are already walking or active, then it’s a lot easier to start running, you just have to propel yourself to do it and not think that it sucks. For any training plan it usually includes 1 long run a week and then some other runs during the week as well. Usually in between 3-4 other runs and 1 long run. You can always change these training plans to match whatever you feel like you can handle. I think the most important part is to get in your long runs though.
I’d Rather Be Laughing asked about eating and drinking water the day before a race.
First off, everyone always says that the night before the race you should ‘carb load’ I’m not the biggest pasta fan, but it’s been somewhat of a tradition to eat pasta or carbs before a race. Don’t OVEREAT though. That is one thing that I have found that it’s really important. Also don’t try to drink extra water or anything the day before or you’ll be going to the bathroom all night. I wouldn’t do too many things out of the ordinary the day of the race, and remember, there are water stations along the course so you can get something to drink if you really want to. Try not to change your routine or do something very out of the ordinary because it will cause your body to freak out, which might result in weird trips the bathroom. Stay calm and do what your used to. It will pan out in the long term for your success.
Simple Yet Classic asked a few questions: If I ever had gotten fitted for running shoes at a running store? Yes, I did way back in high school, since then I have not. I have just found what works for me on my own.
She then asked about the iPhone and the nike+ program on the iPhone. I used to use the nike + program on my ipod but then realized that when I started running longer distances that it would start to fall off the correct distance. I then got the Garmin Forerunner 305 who I named Claude. The Nike + works great for shorter distances <10 miles but after that it for some reason doesn’t work as well. The Garmin works well because of the GPS satellite tracker.I don’t use a heart rate monitor or anything else besides my Garmin and iPod.
Lastly, she asked about my ‘running bottoms’ I used to run in longer shorts but I realized that for me the fabric would chafe my legs. So then I started wearing spandex and then the booty shorts were born. I really do like spandex capris to run in as well. I would try out anything that works for you. They also make shorter spandex like shorts that might work for you as well.
See here are my beloved booty shorts at the Wine Country 5k, when I was sick. Yup, dropped the key and had to go back and pick it up. You can read that lovely race report here if you missed it.
Then Life, New England Style asked me about starting off running, which I mainly posted about here on this post and on this post, so hopefully that helps. I would start off with the walk/run plan. Even if you feel silly doing it, it will prevent injury and will help you become a sustainable runner in the long term.
KC Tri Chick asked me for some help find a neon green sleeveless or short sleeved running shirt for her upcoming ET marathon.
Well my friend, here are some options for you!
We have the Nathan reflective hot dot dashes and along with these super cute lime green shorts by nike (which are on sale!) Then with this lime green Under Armour Momentum Tee (on sale too!) or this V-neck tee (that is a little pricer) or this SWEET lime green cheetah running Tee that is also on Sale (that I could be obsessed with). Hopefully one of those options works out for you! :) Good luck at the ET 1/2!
Finally, Rachael asked me the only non-running question! How do I get my hair to look the way it does with the big curls. This is a question I get frequently actually.
I get my hair to curl the way it does with a STRAIGHTENER. I know, you all are shocked. I wrap it around the straightener after blow drying it instead of straightening it. It holds way better than a curling iron and gets more of the wave instead of the curl :) Hope that helps.
Also, a little someone asked about my music rituals but don’t worry, I’m going to post about some new songs next week because I have too many to share in one post. But for now, you can check out this post where I talked about a lot of my favorite songs, which still are the ones that get me going.
So I hope that I answered all of your questions! Last night I went running for the first time in Mr. R’s new neighborhood and it was fun. I like the area and how close it was to some trails. This morning I was super excited to get up and run the great run that I ran last weekend with a group of people and I totally didn’t hear my alarm. Giant Fail. So no running today but hopefully tomorrow before we go ‘out to the fairgrounds’ (where the rodeo is held). We are driving up tonight, which means we’ll get there at 2am. Weeeeee what a fun day! But for foto friday tomorrow I do have a special treat for you guys! More rodeo pictures! By next weekend you’ll be so over the rodeo it won’t even be funny. This next week though I have some great ideas for some interesting posts. Like why I loathe bikers and of course the rodeo recap. The giveaway will be on Monday so stay tuned.