All this election and post election chaos and I haven’t let myself slip too far off my training schedule, yayy me! Honestly, I’ve needed the distraction and running and working out helps relieve stress and frustration.
I feel I’m starting to get back in sync with the training and have been finding the joy in it again. Depression and stress can kick you on your butt. And it’s so messed up that the one big thing that can help get you out of depression is getting those endocrines flowing and physically feeling better and stronger. Everything just starts to fall back into line. Like a domino effect. My nutrition has been getting healthy again and full circle, that is helping with both the training and the depression. So, much like the ouroboros dragon, swallowing its tail, like a symbol of wholeness, is the circle of cause and effect with physical activity, feeling better, eating better and feeling better so you want to continue over and over again because of that cause and effect.
The hard part of course is that getting back into it all after you sat the sidelines a while. The good part is that to some degree your body has some muscle memory.
“Muscle memory has been used to describe the observation that various muscle-related tasks seem to be easier to perform after previous practice, even if the task has not been performed for a while. It is as if the muscles “remember”. The term could relate to tasks as disparate as playing the clarinet and weight-lifting, i.e., the observation that strength trained athletes experience a rapid return of muscle mass and strength even after long periods of inactivity.” – Wikipedia
Of course the longer you’re away the less muscle memory, the longer it will take to “bounce back”. I’m no professional but I can tell you that after 3 months away from it all, that first step out the door was hard and the next couple steps were kind of brutal. But then like riding a bike, it was like my body remembered, yeah I like to do this, I like this challenge. Challenge accepted! So don’t despair if you’ve been on the sidelines. Our bodies will follow where our mind leads. And the human body wants to work. It wants to move. Our bodies function better when we make the time to take care of it.
It’s a good mental break from all the stress life can throw at you. Politics, world issues, your job, relationship problems, financial problems, whatever. It’s just good practice to get out of your own head and go for a run, or take a lap or two in the pool.
If you’re a nurturer like me, who tends to take care of everyone and everything else around you first, before yourself, you have to remember you need to remember to take care of yourself. Otherwise you’ll burn out. Find your mountain and climb it. Be your own hero
WHEN IS INDIAN SUMMER?
Here are criteria for an Indian summer:
The conditions described above must occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11) and November 20. For over 200 years, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has adhered to the saying, “If All Saints’ (November 1) brings out winter, St. Martin’s brings out Indian summer.”
Why is Indian summer called Indian summer? There are many theories. Some say it comes from the early Algonquian Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.
The most probable origin of the term, in our view, goes back to the very early settlers in New England. Each year they would welcome the arrival of a cold wintry weather in late October when they could leave their stockades unarmed. But then came a time when it would suddenly turn warm again, and the Native Americans would decide to have one more go at the settlers. “Indian summer,” the settlers called it. Watch a video from Editor-in-Chief Judson Hale about the origin of Indian Summer.
INDIAN SUMMER APPLESAUCE
4 quarts (1/2 peck) apples
3 or 4 purple plums, pitted
2 cups sugar
juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
Wash and quarter apples and plums. (No need to peel or core apples.) Place in a large pot and add 2 cups water. Cover and boil until apples are soft and the peels are falling off. Add sugar. Simmer another couple of minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Pour by small amounts into a food mill or other sieve, and press out the applesauce, discarding peels, seeds, and cores. Stir lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg into applesauce.
Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac (of course 🍎)
There are many many reasons TO run races. They can be really very motivational and being surrounded by so many amazing and supportive fellow runners can be a great experience and very inspirational. But during my mini hiatus from running I considered the race I have coming up and the pressure that can put on me. I signed up for that race long before my injury or my dog passing and all the other stresses life’s thrown at me and us over the last few months. And it’s a length I’ve never even tried before, a half marathon. I’ve done one 10-miler before but usually I do 5K’s, maybe a couple 7 or 8K’s thrown in through the year. But not even in training have I ever done a half marathon. The last time I even walked something that distance was likely the slow walk we did through our Disney excursions. So a half marathon is a little intimidating.
There is something to be said to be in the crowd waiting for the horns or whistles to start a race. There is an energy that can be addictive. It has nothing to do with competing. It’s the vibe of all these athletes (yes you are an athlete if you are in a race, or even running for that matter) who have trained, prepared, anticipated and usually woke very early to line up with everyone in the wee hours of morning. It’s a camaraderie. And it gets your adrenaline pumping.
That preparation you do before a race is a huge motivator for many. For me it’s been both a source of inspiration and specific time to focus on improving my pace and form. It’s the thing that makes you lace up your shoes on days you’d just like to stay in bed with the covers over your eyes. Those cold mornings can be rough, and the hot afternoon sun mid summer is brutal. But still, you have that date ingrained in your head and you gotta keep pushing.
Most races your entry fee is for a charity and that for me is a big reason to do races. I think I do races more for that reason than any other. It’s such a win win. You help a charity with your entry fee and yet you get a shirt, a medal, a piece of fruit, or more (hot chocolate races are awesome from what I hear) AND you get to race yourself, test yourself and your capabilities.
LIVE music! Or at least radio stations playing music. What a rush that is for me. Music is a big motivator for me. I only wish that the Rock & Roll was done more towards the winter months. Great music, but sooooo humid usually. And I don’t take the humidity well. So instead I usually volunteer for that one, and many others in the dead of summer heat. I am not a summer runner!
Some people actually thrive on running neck and neck with another in a race. For a few it really is competitive, especially when you become one of the fastest in an area, or a specific race. But still, it’s usually that competition with self. But running alongside others can be a push for you, especially when you start to drag. Usually I always keep someone who stands out who is going just a little faster than my pace, and I make myself keep up with them. And if I pass them, I focus on another who stands out. It all helps with focus, especially when I start to hit a wall and my legs just want me to stop. I look for that person and it becomes tunnel vision until I get over that hump.
Camaraderie! When you run with a team you don’t all necessarily run “together”. But you do have team members spread around the course who are out there giving you support and keeping an eye on you. Plus before and after the race, getting together with your team makes for a double the fun of the day! Some teams train together. The RWB runs together, and does cross-training together. Some times we do rock wall climbing or yoga too. Many bigger races have training teams for half marathons and marathons.
I love race expo’s! Packet pick up day is a fun time. Especially if you like shopping or trying out new gear. Often you can grab a great deal and learn about new advancements in gear and tech.
Or Not To Race
Some people shouldn’t run races. Plain and simple. For some it’s added pressure that takes away from the shear joy of the run. And the spontaneity of place and distance. Many runners and I’m one of those, especially when on a trail like to stop and take in nature, snap some pictures, enjoy the experience of feeling the air around me and the sights before me.
For others signing up for a race, no matter how much you know you’re only in competition with yourself, let the pressure of others running along with them dull the experience of the run. Then what’s the point of even running? You have to find joy. Or as RunJunkEes® say, “Find The magic In The Misery”. If it’s not fun, you’re just going to stop, so don’t do what makes you unhappy with your run.
I’ve talked to a few who just don’t like the crowds or the noise that events bring with them. While others feed off the rush of all that energy around them. I am a huge fan of the music. I like music when I walk or run. No chatting, just me, nature and music. Usually races like half marathons require a training schedule of some kind and some people just enjoy their runs to be more spur of the moment and unplanned. A free spirit approach, letting the run flow where it will free of constraint.
Weather can be iffy for some people living in certain areas making training for races difficult. Some see this as opportunity to toughen up and face the flurries or downpours. Not to mention some areas get pretty humid in the summer months. If I lived in Florida I would only run at night. But some see these weather obstacles as difficult to try and juggle specific training plans.
Not every charity is one you may want to donate to. I have one I will not run (no names will be mentioned here) because I personally don’t like how their monies are allocated through the charity. So I never run that race, ever. I don’t even volunteer for it.
And finally, my big pet peeve with races. I am not a morning person, not one bit. And getting up early for anything other than my job is always a constant mental battle with me. Most races you have to be out there before the sun even comes up. And on the weekend some times, that is just not sounding fun to me.
So seriously, do what makes you happy and what makes you love your run and find excitement in your training. Running or race walking is trial and error. To run pavement or trails, races or no races, method of run training, etc… It’s all about makes you enjoy what you do. Running is not a competition and it’s not something that should be scary or torturous. It should be challenging yet fun. So get some good quality shoes fitted for you and lace up and get out there. Every step you take is another accomplishment and better health. Adding years to your life and life to your years. Above all else…
personal opinion from personal experience – Not advice from an expert 👍🏼
1. Start Small
Maybe you’ve never run a day in your life. Or maybe you’ve taken a big hiatus from the pavement for whatever reason. Or injury has kept you sidelined. Regardless, you need to start or start back small. The most exuberant first time mountain climber isn’t gonna go out and tackle Mt. Everest his first climb. It would be foolish but also self deflating. You need to set yourself up for success, strength gaining and endurance building.
Heck you don’t even have to “run”. If you don’t feel a run, then walk. Or if your conditioning won’t yet allow running, then walk. Walk as slow as you need to. The point is letting your feet touch the pavement, the trail or the treadmill ( I highly suggest one or both of the first two. Treadmills are great for intervals or really bad weather conditions but being in the open air is just in general better for your health).
Commit to a 15 to 20-minute short walks or runs, or intervals (run/walk/run), three times for one week. Sure, you may want to do more, but just stick to short sessions. After three or four weeks of regular training, aim to increase your workload and running mileage.
2. One Goal
Goals help you to focus. That eye on the prize mentality. Something that would make you feel inspired or accomplished in your training. Sit down and come up with the ONE goal you want to achieve. Do you want to run a 5K, a 5K in under 30 minutes, or are you trying to get back into marathon running? Choose a race allowing yourself enough time to reach that goal. Be very very realistic. Check and see what the time limit is for the race and then set your training accordingly, but make sure it’s doable!!
3. Find Inspiration
That can be from other people who are runners or race walkers. Join a club, or some bigger races even have training groups. Many small running stores have group runs. I’m part of the RWB who gets together not only for races, but training runs, strength training , hill work, yoga and cross-fit.
Follow blogs that inspire you and your training. Find an inspirational quote every day that you focus on. Make it your mantra for the day and focus on that when you train.
4. Commit Your intentions out loud to someone or to many
You can blog it, tell members of that new group what your training plan encompasses, or tell your family members around the dinner table. There are many forums you can find about running, or Facebook groups. Even Reddit has running threads you can follow and share with.
You will also need to hold yourself accountable—long term—for your actions. Don’t just commit once and it’s over, but hold yourself accountable for the long term by providing everyone on your accountability list with regular progress updates every week or so.
So far I’ve told my blog readers my intention and also how I’ve been slacking. My hubby knows, as well as knowing details on my training schedule so he can kick me in the butt when needed.
5. Change up your training routine
Especially when you feel you’re getting bored or losing excitement in your walk or run. This can especially happen when training for longer and longer distances. So small changes help immensely. It can be changing up your play list, or your running route (which you should do for safety anyway), as well as time of day. If you are a road (pavement) runner, find some smooth trails that aren’t to challenging (where you would need to buy trail shoes for), or accept the challenge. Hey that means you can shop for some new shoes ladies 👠
This is the good time to throw in some treadmill intervals where you can change up the speed and incline. If you google treadmill intervals you will find all kinds of routines to do. Or head outside for the hills, I said hills, not mountains, for some hill work. This will help strengthen your legs.
6. Befriend Runners
As I said above, find some fellow runners or walkers. Check what you are doing minute per mile and then go seek like minded (ability) people. I also belong to group on Facebook called the Running Turtles. They are local in my area but they have everyone from 20 min mile walkers to 6 min mile runners. It could even be your spouse or a friend who has similar goals. But if you do that, just make sure you are positive for one another. You don’t want someone who can easily talk you out of walking or running for the day to go to the donuts shop instead!
Also just befriending runners in online groups even if it’s a national group like the RunJunkEes® Run Club is for me. We do have a small local group that meets. But many in RunJunkEes® are online just for the support, tips and motivation they get.
Also small local running stores often hold runs and running workshops. Some are often directed at showing off a new shoes style. But that’s a benefit because sometimes you get to try the shoes too! And besides, you need to get fitted properly if you’re just starting out anyway. Too often people buy running shoes in the size they normally wear in non running shoes, and guess what, most of the time that’s not the right running shoes size you need. Plus there are shoes depending on your pronation (heel goes to the left or right when you come down on it) and you can get shoes to help because that is a discomfort when running.
7. Celebrate your Successes
And try not to do it too much with food if you don’t have a healthy relationship with food. Much better choices are ways to pamper or gear yourself.
8. Starting for the first time
Depending on your skill level and athletic ability there are good training plans out there that are all just a little different and that makes it easier for you to find the right fit.
Couch to 5K training plan you can find on the internet and apps for your phone
9. Some suggested help for you from me…
Zombies, Run Phone App.
Jeff Galloway Training Excellent place for walkers to start. Jeff has training plans to take you from walking into running.
Hal Higdon For those already able to do some running.
ResqWalk ResQwalk is a FREE mobile app that enables you to raise money and resources for animal welfare organizations, simply by walking.
Charity Miles Choose a charity and walk or run for it.
I’m not listing shoes because every foot is different. I have used three different brands since I started. But I was fitted for the brands.
There are other phone apps out there such as Zombie 5K, Map My Walk, Map My Run, Get Running, Runkeeper, Couch to 5K, C25K, Runtastic, and Edumondo. I have used all of these and they all, like most apps have high points and low points. You just have to give them a test run and see what fits your needs best.
Running in Heat, Cold, Rain or Wind
Determining your Race Recovery Time
Race time is just one factor to consider when determining recovery time. The time it takes to fully recover from a race depends on many factors, some of which are outlined later in this article.
When I refer to full recovery, I insinuate that you are recovered from the race completely—so that you can do a race-quality training session or another race with no residual fatigue or affects remaining from your last event.
A quick guide to estimate race recovery time follows:
As a runner, your diet and nutrition are important not only for maintaining good health, but also to promote peak performance. Proper nutrition and hydration can make or break a workout or race, and also greatly affects how runners feel, work and think.
A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these essentials: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some basic guidelines for a nutritious, healthy balance:
As a runner, carbohydrates should make up about 60 – 65% of your total calorie intake. Without a doubt, carbs are the best source of energy for athletes. Research has shown that for both quick and long-lasting energy, our bodies work more efficiently with carbs than they do with proteins or fats. Whole grain pasta, steamed or boiled rice, potatoes, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grain bread are good carb sources. More…
Now that the weather is starting to get warmer and there’s more hours of daylight in the evening, you may be itching to get outside and run. But if you took a bit of a running break during the winter, don’t expect to be running at the same level as you did in the fall. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you head outside to take advantage of the nicer weather and ease back into running:
Make slow increases.
If you haven’t run consistently all winter, start your spring training with short, easy runs — no more than 3 or 4 miles at a time. Don’t run two days in a row. One of the easiest ways to get injured is to increase your mileage too soon, before you’ve established a good running base. Don’t bump up your mileage by more than 10 percent per week.
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