I swim. I bike. I run...usually covered in boogers and crayon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Now What?

After the high of the weekend, I am sitting here wondering "what next?" I accomplished one fitness goal; now on to another, I suppose. But what? I want to continue running so I think I should focus on getting faster for shorter distances like the 10k. I've always had trouble with 10ks. I can run them just fine but nowhere near as fast as I would like. My personal best is 53:10 and that was in a half marathon--not in an actual 10k (I don't get it!) I usually finish around 55 minutes so it would be nice to PR in the 10k this spring. In order to do that, I have to do lots of track workouts. I haven't done track workouts since high school so it will be fun to do them again (I think.)
Anyhow, that's the plan. The week following a marathon is kind of depressing and it's important to look forward to new goals.
I've tried to not be too lazy in the past few days. Today, we did a stroller workout with the moms group in a local park. I was going to run a few miles after but the baby was grumpy and I hadn't eaten lunch so we came home and didn't make it back outside. Also, when is this weather going to change?!? So tired of the 40s and 50s and tomorrow it is supposed to SNOW. WTH? I just want to put away the parka and forget about it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Marathon Recap

I did it! I ran the National Marathon!
My day started at 4am when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. My friend picked me up at 5:30, we picked up someone else, and we made it to RFK by 6:15. We hung out in the armory until 6:45 since it was about 29 degrees outside and indoor bathrooms were preferred over the hundreds of porta potties. I found the 4 hour pace group and, at 7:03am, we were on our way.
Everyone was in a good mood. The first 13 miles flew by (although, I did lose the 4 hour pace group at mile 10). We were joking and laughing and taking tons of pictures. The crowds were thick and there were bands or djs every few miles. We drank water at every stop and walked for a few seconds each time. At 13 miles, the half marathoners turned right to go to the finish line and the marathoners went straight. My friends were running the half so we said goodbye and I was on my own.
I have run five half marathons but never the full so when I was half way done, I felt like my body was saying "Where are we going? Why aren't we stopping?"Mile 13 was decidedly one of the hardest. Miles 14-19 were easy. I had a good pace, I walked all of the water stops and I felt good. Mile 20 took us to the waterfront in southwest DC and there were hardly any spectators on the course. There was a steel drum band here that sounded awesome but not too many people standing around. Mile 21 took us by the Nationals stadium and across the Anacostia river. We ran along the river in Anacostia park and mile 23 took us across Pennsylvania avenue. We ran down Alabama avenue until mile 25 when we turned and ran down a ramp to East Capitol street and looming in front of us was RFK stadium--the finish line! It was the longest 1.2 miles. It felt like forever and I couldn't run very fast and I had to alternate walking and running. I heard someone yell that it was only half a mile and I started running and was determined not to walk. I ran up the hill and through the finishing corral and people were shouting my name and the announcer said "Hello, Mrs. Walden! We've been waiting for you. Congratulations on your first marathon!" I started crying. I knew I would cry when I finshed. When I ran my long runs, I would often tear up at the end just thinking that I was actually going to run a marathon. I hadn't seen my parents on the course but my mom popped out of the crowd as I crossed the finish line and gave me a hug. I was very emotional and happy and relieved to not be running anymore. My official time for the marathon is 4:31:34. Not too bad considering I wanted to finish between 4 and 4.5 hours.
Afterwards, I had a delicious lunch of pizza with my parents and brother. I didn't feel badly at all except that the bottom of my feet were very sore (they still are.) Today, everything is sore. The tops of my shoulders are even sore.
Now to recover. I was told to walk today so I should probably do that if I can ever get up from the couch. At least I have today to relax before my husband and daughter get home tonight. I can't wait for that! Until then, it's a movie marathon to recover from the running one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Running 26.2 Miles Tomorrow!!

Holy cluster, Batman. I'm glad I don't have a full time job that I had to rush back to because, unless you have all day, you don't have time to pick up your packet for the National Marathon. It opened at 11am and I got there at 11:30 to MASSIVE lines outside of the DC Armory. I waited and waited and waited outside in the cold and--tada--you have to go through a security check. So that's why it took so long. I got inside and found some friends and we went to our respective packet pickup lines--mine for the full (which was a significantly smaller section of lines) and them to the half. But, alas, why are we being pushed around and why can't I seem to stay in my line? Oh, because they have the late registration lines perpendicular to the marathon packet lines. So there were a dozen lines going in all directions. What the heck? If you are claustrophobic, you would have freaked. In yet another line, I picked up my shirt. Now, I ran the half marathon in 2009 and loved the shirts we got. They were brightly colored, easy to read, and the back said "13.1 FINISHER". THAT'S what you want in a race shirt--simplicity and a feeling of "look what I did!" Well the shirts are white, have nothing on the back other than the sponsors, and the front is just a busy scene of words, numbers, some fuzzy picture of the Capitol dome, and in small, tiny letters "26.2 finisher." What the heck? I should design race shirts for a living. Hmph.
So I guess I'm all set. Clothing. Check. Bib. Check. Headband that says "I thought they said RUM". Check. Alright...I guess I'm ready. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gearing Up

What a day! My husband had a 2pm flight to St. Louis and around 9am, he decided to take The Baby. We figured that his mom, who lives in Dallas, doesn't get too many opportunities to see her and she has been pretty distraught over the loss so I wish I could see her reaction when the two of them walk in! (We told his mom several times that The Baby would not be going.) The only caveat is that the funeral is actually in Springfield, Missouri but flying there is not feasible since their airport is so small so my husband has to drive four hours once they land. They probably won't get to Springfield until late tonight. (I guess I should say what a day for them!) I just want to say that seeing a father haul a car seat, baby, stroller, and luggage through an airport makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I love that he took it on. I, on the other hand, am free! This is definitely an odd feeling.
On the way home (and after going "wheeeeeee!" all the way out of the terminal), I stopped at Michaels to buy some heat transfer letters to personalize my marathon shirt. I heard it is really motivating to hear strangers cheer your name so that's what I decided to do. I also made a shirt for my friend who is running the half. She volunteered to run the first half with me and I just so happened to know someone who was giving away their entry so tada!
Now I am sitting at home wondering what to do next...seriously, this is weird. I might go to this Italian place next door and order takeout pasta. It's that or go to the grocery store and then I still have to cook so...easy decision, in my mind.
Well tomorrow is the race expo. I'm gonna run my 2 miles and then head over right when it opens at 11. Race expos are a zoo and I don't feel like being herded like cattle if I can help it. I also want to check out the vendors. Sometimes you see the best running items at expos that you wouldn't normally see anywhere else.
Let's hope I take advantage and get some good sleep tonight! I know tomorrow night is probably a wash so tonight has to count.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two (2) Days!!!

Wow wow wow. I have two days until the marathon. I feel much less stressed since last night. I talked to my mom on the phone and we came up with a plan and this morning my friend offered to pick me up and drive me to the race so I don't have to go alone. I've created a checklist of things I can't forget and started throwing items in a bag so that they are there waiting to go on Saturday. (4:30 am isn't the time I want to have to remember things.) I figured out for SURE what I'm wearing and laid it on the dresser so it's ready to go. I even pulled out The Baby's cold weather bundler and made a checklist for my mom of things to bring so everything goes smoothly while they watch the marathon. I also decided on a place to have lunch (brick oven pizza...mmmmm.)
My husband leaves tomorrow for Missouri for his grandfather's funeral so hopefully The Baby will cooperate and sleep for a long time tomorrow night. Friday, we will go to the expo for the packet pickup and run the last, final run of a whopping two miles.
I can't wait for Saturday but despite that, the week still seems to be zooming by. Hopefully, so will the race.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I wish tomorrow was Saturday so I could run this marathon and get it over with because it's hanging over my head and mocking me right now. Last night, we found out that a member of my husband's family passed away and now my husband has to go out of town and won't be here to see me run. The weather is looking to be dismal at best: 40s and rain/snow showers. I was really excited to have my parents watch but now I feel bad that they will be standing in the cold waiting for me while holding The Baby the whole time.
Waaaaah. Hopefully this will pass...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Running LOLZ

I shouldn't blog at 8am because inevitably something will happen during the day that I will want to talk about. I was supposed to run 3 miles today. I decided to run to the trail and head south and run to a shopping center with a post office to drop something off in the mail (yes, I could drop it off downstairs, but where's the fun in that?) So it was roughly 3 miles there and it would take another almost mile to get home in what would be a loop. There were some random signs that I had to take pictures of. I guess someone wanted to spread some cheer? I wonder if there were more further down...
So anyhow I got off of the trail and headed down a sidewalk to go to the shopping center and I passed some woman pushing a stroller and she GASPED and said "Well I NEVER" to me like I had just rammed my jogging stroller into her behind instead of just passing her like I did. Crazy lady. I think two strollers can fit on one sidewalk. So I just ignored her and sprinted away. I got to the post office and the same lady was walking towards it and I was thinking "please, please don't come in here and be crazy" but she kept walking.
I was planning on going down another road that would lead straight to home but there was no shoulder at that point so I just went home the way I came and it wound up being just over 6 miles. Oh well!! It felt good, though, and it feels great outside. I regretted wearing long sleeves.

Nerves and Weather

It's Monday and only five more sleeps until the marathon. I hope I DO sleep. Apparently, it's normal to not sleep much the night before the race due to anxiety so Thursday is supposed to be the night I get the most sleep. I only have to run 7 miles the rest of the week (3 today, 2 tomorrow, and 2 on Friday). I checked the weather for Satuday and it will be in the lower 50s and rainy. Ugh! 50s is the high so I bet at the time I'm running, 7-11am, it will only be in the 40s. Seems familiar...when I ran the same race (the half marathon) in 2009, it was 29 degrees at the start and only made it to 39 by the time I was fininshed. Brrr. This is not fair considering that the forecast for next weekend's Cherry Blossom Ten Miler is 70s and sunny. At least it will be nice while I stand around and watch everyone else run.
I am working on the shirt for The Baby to wear. It is very cute so far! I haven't done the back yet so I need ideas. Help!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


What a glorious day today is! The weather is perfect (for March) and we have gotten so much accomplished. We visited a new church this morning, well, new to us. We have been slacking on finding one. We were pretty spoiled with our last church and I feel like nothing can compare but I did some research and found one just as contemporary, young, and energetic as our last. I mean, how awesome is it that the nursery is just outside the sanctuary and one way mirrored windows let you look in on them but the babies can't see you. I know those aren't the important things but you can't help if you walk in and feel completely at home (I mean, that has to be good, right?) The high schoolers run the worship every fifth Sunday and today was one of those Sundays. There were probably fifteen teenagers playing instruments and singing (and they were really good!)
Anyhow, we ran 3 miles as a family this afternoon. We ran halfway across the Woodrow Wilson bridge and back. Despite the brevity, it was a very hilly 1.5 miles but The Husband is running in the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler on April third (he was one of the "lucky" lottery winners) and he has seemed to conveniently forget about it until recently so it's time to get him in shape!
Now pulled chicken bbq is cooking in the crockpot for dinner. We try to cook a lot of something on Sunday and eat it throughout the week so that's the selection for the next few days but from the smell of things, I don't mind.
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

17 Weeks Down, 1 To Go

I'm running again! Yesterday, the three of us ran 3 miles. We ran to the running store down the street so I could pick up a few things like Gu and a new knee strap. Today, I ran 8.5 miles and it was pretty comfortable but I was still relieved when I got home. Running 26.2 miles still seems pretty daunting to me right now. My plan is to walk through the water stops so I'm sure I'll keep telling myself "just get to the next stop." They're every 2 miles so hopefully it won't be TOO painful.

On another note, I am creating a shirt for my one year old daughter to wear during the race. Any ideas on what it should say? I'm thinking along the lines of "Run Mommy Run" on the front and then maybe something funny on the back (like "Full Marathon, Full Diaper"). Haha. I probably won't get around to making it until later in the week so let me know if you have any thoughts.

Enjoy your Saturday night!

Friday, March 18, 2011

It is a gorgeous Friday in the DC area today! It's 77 degrees and overcast and I forgot that you can still get sunburned even when it's mostly cloudy. Oops. The Baby and I went to a stroller workout with my moms group and then we stuck around to have a picnic lunch. Just imagine twelve moms, babies, and strollers doing lunges, planks, squats, and push ups across a parking lot. I'm sure we were a sight! So now my butt feels sore instead of painful. I feel the best today out of every day this week. I haven't tried running this week but I think when The Husband gets home from work, we're gonna go on a family run for 2 or 3 miles just to see how it goes. Plus, we have to take advantage of this weather since tomorrow it will go back to being rainy and in the 50s.
I can't believe a week from now I will have my bib for the marathon! Aaack.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keep Calm and Ice Away

Must...not...freak...out. So I've been to the chiro three times in the past three days. I still have a dull ache in my lower back. I have been icing three times a night. The marathon is in 8 days. It hurts. My hip hurts. I will need to have 28 appointments before I am healed. What will I do about the marathon?!? OMG. The thought of not running it or not completing it just brings me way down. I know that long term being healthy is far better and blah blah blah. That will make me feel warm and fuzzy in about a year but right now it just sucks. I have the OK to run. I am not going to do any more damage; it's just the pain that is, well, a pain. Since the weather here tomorrow will be in the 70s and I haven't gotten much exercise this week, I plan on taking the baby in the jogger for a few miles and based on that, I will decide if I will run the 8 miles on Saturday.
I can't believe this is happening. The problem I anticipated having at this point is my left knee (I have patellar tendonitis or "runner's knee") and even it doesn't hurt.
I know...whine, whine, whine. I think I need some wine to go with my whine.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

T Minus 9 Days

The marathon is in 9 days and I am one day closer to feeling good enough to run it. I went to see the chiro again today. (She wants to see me pretty much every day until next Saturday.) I seem to have a serious case of degeneration in one of my vertebrae and it is pinching the nerve that sends pain down my right side. This is the fourth day in a row of not running and it feels very weird. (I hope I haven't gained too much weight! So long eating with reckless abandon and still losing weight.) My next run will be on Saturday so I can't wait to see how that goes. It will be 8 miles. In the meantime, I am going to be a good patient and ice and take it easy. Please, please, please let me have a good run on Saturday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Feeling Better...?

I went to see a chiropractor today. Namely, one that my friend recommended. So I drove an hour one way to see her hoping that she could work a miracle. She took x-rays and did an adjustment on me. Honestly, it hurts less now. I can walk without cringing in pain or limping. It still throbs a bit but I'm going back tomorrow and she swears that I will be cured by next week. (She said I'm "twisted" and that it's pinching a nerve.) Hurray for adjustments! My homework tonight is to ice for 20 minute increments. I'm optimistic that I will feel better soon. The thought of not running the marathon because my back hurts just makes me sad. Cross your fingers for me!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Searing Pain

The last thing you want to happen after training for a marathon for four months is to get injured in the last two weeks before the race. But I think I may have hurt myself. After my run on Saturday, I could barely walk. I rested yesterday and felt much better so today so I tried running four miles. I ran one mile and had to stop. I couldn't ignore the pain in my lower back anymore and got off of the treadmill to stretch. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a position that stretches that area. The pain seems to be localized on the right side of my lower back and, when I run, it radiates through my butt and down to the back of my thigh. It. Hurts. I think it may be from limping the past two days and I put stress on an area that isn't used to it. Perhaps? Does anyone know? I may have to make a last minute appointment with the sports doctor. I will cry big fat tears if I feel this way in a week. For now, I am going to stretch the heck out of everything, take ibuprofen, ice, and rest and cross my fingers that I feel recovered in a week. I may even go get a massage. Anything to alleviate this pain! The good thing is that 90% of my training is done so I feel competent that I could run the marathon fine even if I don't run this week. Well, this evening, I'm gonna go hang out on the foam roller and hope for the best. Please, body, don't quit me now!!!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

12 Mile Run

Today was my last double digit run before the marathon. I made it count, too. I ran it at a 9 minute pace (marathon pace, perhaps?) and told it where to go. Now, my body is saying "what the heck, you fool?" My right hip flexor HURTS and after I stretch and stretch, 5 minutes later, it still hurts. I have a pain just under my the right side of my butt (yes, it's literally a pain in my butt.) Also, I'm gonna have to write a post about sports bras. I have some knowledge about bras and fit but for some reason, no matter what bra I wear, it chafes me in the back or at the top of my chest (where there is usually a seam).
Well that's all for my run today! I think I'm gonna do some research on bras...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sony Walkman Review, Ya'll

When I heard that I was going to get a Sony Walkman to review, I was like what? They are giving me a tape player? Haha. Well things have changed at Sony since I was 5 and walked around with mine clipped to my acid washed jeans. My experience with mp3 players goes all the way back to 2000 when I got a Rio 600 and I think it held 12 songs (who else knows what I'm talking about? Anyone?) Since then, I've gone through 3 Apple iPods and now use my Nano (Gen 6) with the touch screen which is a paaaain when you are running and your fingers are sweaty and you want to change the song. So that is my background and where I'm coming from when I tell you that the new Sony Walkman W-series is really, really great for running. I hate anything bouncing or shifting or riding up when I run and earphone cords are no exception. I usually wind my cord 80 times around my shirt to keep it out of my way but with the cordless Sony player, you fit it around your head and forget about it. It is not out of the box ready (what is?). It took a few minutes to load the software and figure out how to get music on to it using the Content Transfer application. I loaded 20 songs on to it from my iTunes (yes, it's compatible.) The Sony Walkman holds 2 GB (or 1.68 since the functions take up some memory.) It's comparable to the iPod Shuffle in that regard. That amount of memory is perfect for creating workout playlists but won't replace your every day player.
Then I took if for a run. There are three sizes of ear buds that you can switch to get the perfect fit and I realized pretty much right away while I was running that my right ear is cavernous and the medium sized ear bud just wouldn't stay put. Other than that, the buttons are easy to access and use while running. One thing that I LOVE is that when you change songs back and forth, it beeps and when you go back to the first song on the list, it gives a lower beep to let you know that it's the end (whereas, on an iPod, you hit the end of the playlist and it takes you to the main menu requiring you to reset the playlist and fiddle with it with sweaty hands. Booooo.) The volume won't blow your socks off but, if you're like me and gradually max out the volume on your headphones as you run, it's probably safer that way. One cool feature is that the two ear pieces are magnetized so when they are attached, the player is off. You turn it on by pulling them apart. (A plastic case comes to store them in when not being used so they don't accidentally pull apart.)
I will definitely be using this on my runs from now on! It kind of looks like you're wearing a bluetooth in the gym if people can only see one side but I didn't feel too silly wearing it. I love that it is no muss, no fuss.
If you are interested in purchasing one, go to sony.com/runningmate and you can purchase one for the discounted price of $48.99.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

They're Here!

The Sony MP3 players arrived! I just spent about an hour installing mine and transferring music to it. I plan on using it when I run tonight (in the rain!) so I am sure I will figure out my feelings towards it (and put its water resistence to the test.)
Two of you will be lucky enough to win one. I am still figuring out what kind of contest to do but I will post it tomorrow along with the full review. Also, for those who do not win one, Sony is doing a special promotion where you can buy one from their website for $48.99 (they retail for $60.)
Wish me luck!

Is It Saturday Yet?

This week has been weak as far as running goes. I didn't run last night because of a stomachache and headache. I didn't run on Sunday because I was still so exhausted from Saturday's run. I HAVE to run 6 miles today despite the rain before I get too off track. (Yoohoo, motivation--over here!)
On another note, I got an email last night that the Sony players will be delivered today so hopefully I will figure out how to work it and use it tonight or tomorrow. I have to think of a good contest to give two of them away. Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Taper Time

There are 17 days left until the marathon and it's time to taper! What's tapering, you ask? It's when you decrease, or taper off, your workouts in order to be as rested and recovered from training as you can be in order to perform optimally during the race. Since I've been averaging around 40-50 miles a week, this week I will run around 30 and next week I will only run around 15.
I ran 5 miles tonight outside and when I was a mile from home, I realized I was following a guy in front of me. I followed him all the way into our elevator. It turns out he's running the same marathon. (So this thing really is happening. Hmm.) So I'm NOT the only one who's been running in the dark all of these months. I guess I will have some stiff competition!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Running Clothes

I decided today what to wear during the marathon (I think.) I still need to run in the outfit I picked out to make sure everything stays in place but it's exciting to know what I'll be wearing when I cross the finish line on that epic day :) I ordered the capris I am running in from runningfunky.com. (I will let you guess as to what pattern I picked out!)
Since I worked in running retail for a couple of years and have two dressers dedicated to running clothes (almost), I am somewhat of a running clothes elitist. I cringe when I see people wearing cotton t-shirts or running in pants and a jacket when it's 60 degrees outside. You don't have to spend a fortune to be comfortable (and not look like a newbie) when you are running. Target has a nice selection of clothes and you can get a polyester t-shirt for $9.99. Cotton is rotten. It absorbs moisture and does not wick it away from your skin therefore it is cloying and do you want to run in the cold in a wet shirt? I didn't think so. It's also better to dress as if it's 20 degrees warmer than it is. It's ok if you start out cold--you will warm up quickly. You probably should always be a little chilled when you first get outside otherwise you will wind up overheating later on.
Don't forget about your socks, too. No cotton socks! Running in cotton socks is a good way to blister up your feet. I recommend Dry Max, Balega, Thorlo, etc. Heck, even Old Navy has wicking socks for $3.50 a pair.
The goal is to be comfortable and to keep your skin dry. I know it's tempting to run in that shirt that was given to you at your recent 5k but keep it for post-run relaxing. I passed a girl yesterday who was wearing the long sleeve t-shirt we got in the Valentine's Day 5k. (It's a cute American Apparel shirt but definitely not made for exercise.)
Ok, I will get off of the soapbox now! Some things I just get riled up about. Like people who wear the race shirt IN the actual race but I will save that for another rant some other day...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Last long run!

Hi, everyone! Today I ran 23 miles. I only had to run 20 but I just needed to have a taste of that last 10k in the marathon so I pushed it further than I had to.
The weather here today is perfect for running: overcast, no wind, 60 degrees. I ran up to the Key bridge, ran through Georgetown to Pennsylvania Ave. to 17th St. to the Washington Monument and then hung a right to the Lincoln Memorial and ran across Memorial Bridge back to the Mt. Vernon trail. The Husband and The Baby met me at a park near the airport (mile 16) and I refilled my fuel bottles for the last 7 miles. (I got there in two and a half hours! I actually beat them since I didn't expect to run so fast and I had to run around the parking lot for 5 minutes before they got there.) I got into Old Town and most of the roads were closed (to vehicles) for a St. Patrick's Day parade and I had to cross the parade route. With less than two miles to go, I just stared at the ground and kept trucking. It was definitely difficult but I kept up my pace. I finished it in 3:45 (or 3:40, since I had to wait for 5 minutes.) I want to know how I will finish another 3 miles in the actual marathon. Hopefully there is lots of crowd support and cheering to take my mind off the miles.
Well I'm off to veg and eat ice cream. Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


For the past couple of years, I have been a huge fan of Sweaty Bands (http://www.sweatybands.com) for keeping my hair out of my face. They come in so many colors and varieties that I have some just for outfits when I'm NOT running. But with the advent of The Great Bang Grow Out of 2011, I need something like a hat; otherwise, my bangs blow into my face. Enter Bondibands! (http://www.bondiband.com) I received a Bondiband last year and haven't worn it much until recently but it's a godsend with my bangs. I usually wear a Sweaty Band underneath and put the Bondiband on top since it covers more area. I found a new selection of Bondibands at my local running store today (when I went to stock up on Gu for Saturday's 22 miler--what?!?) and one is a cute pastel floral design which is perfect for spring! Anyhow, just wanted to share! It's nice to have hair but sometimes it's a drag when you want it out of your face and I think these products rock!

Top Picture: Sweaty Band (yes, that's my ugly mug, don't laugh.)

Bottom Picture: Bondiband

How to Buy Running Shoes

I was thinking last night on my run that all I really do on here is go blah blah blah about my running progress and that maybe I should actually write about something that will be helpful to readers. What better place to start than informing people on how to start running? Running is free and that's pretty much the beauty of it BUT it's probably wise to buy some decent shoes before you get going. I spent two years working at a local running store and I definitely learned A LOT about, well, everything that has to do with running.
You might think that running shoes are running shoes, right? Wrong. Every brand makes excellent shoes and every brand makes some not so great shoes. Let's start with the types of running shoes out there. There tend to be two categories of running shoes: neutral shoes and stability shoes. Neutral shoes are softer and have less dense foam in the insole. Stability shoes have a denser foam on the inside and keep your feet rigid. Neutral shoes are built for people who don't over pronate (their feet don't roll in.) Stability shoes are for people whose feet roll in. The stability will help you stay efficient and keep your body in alignment. To find out what kind of shoes you need, I highly recommend going to a running specialty store and being fitted. Sometimes you can tell from sitting to standing how much your foot spreads out and changes in size. There is something out there called "the wet bag test." It says that if you put your wet feet on a paper bag and look at the outline you can tell by your arches what kind of shoe you need. (The theory is high arches=neutral shoes, flat feet=stability.) Don't do it!!! It's very often inaccurate. For instance, I have high arches but guess what? I over pronate a lot! I ran in neutral shoes for years and seriously hurt my knee so it is really important to get into the right shoes.
You can find running shoes for any range of price but it's probably better not to get the $45 shoes from TJ Maxx. Go out and spend $100 on your shoes. I know you're thinking "what a racket!" but for the extra $55 you are getting a shoe with more cushion, more features, less time sitting on the shelf so the materials aren't disintegrating, and a knowledgeable sales associate (gasp!). Your feet will thank you.

(That shoe above is my holy grail running shoe. I love you Nike Triax! xoxo)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One More Thing

I would like to take this time to say (to no one in particular) that this is my race pace! Hmmmph. Do people really run their long runs super super slow? Like 12 minute miles? Or is it that everybody is ridiculously fast and their slow runs are 9 minute miles? Because I pretty much always run 9-10 minute miles no matter what and that will most likely BE my pace. Anyhow, I guess that's what more advanced marathon runners with time goals do. Those of us who just want to wear a shirt that says "FINISHER" tend to not mess around with times. Anyhow, just needed to share!! I definitely need to order this shirt.

5am Runs

I knew going into marathon training that life would interfere and occasionally I would have to fit in runs whenever and wherever I could. Well that whenever comes in the form of 5am mornings. I ran 8 miles yesterday morning. Since it's still dark, I leave the music at home and just enjoy the sound of silence before people and things interrupt my thoughts. (Also, I can hear if some lunatic is chasing me down.) It was unseasonably warm but I didn't pass hardly any runners or bikers! I passed a guy on the trail in the dark, each of us wearing an led headlamp and saying good morning. It's kinda like we were both in the same exclusive club (crazy people who run in the dark alone before any sane person would even be out of bed.) I passed an elderly guy walking two HUGE dogs and they weren't leashed but I was relieved when he gave a friendly hello and his dogs ignored me. Starbucks had a line and people were on their laptops inside! (I checked my watch--it was 5:43.) The sun was starting to poke through the clouds over the Potomac river when I got home at 6:39. It feels great to start your day like that and enjoy the peacefulness of a typically very busy urban area! But don't look for me that early every day--I still prefer to run in the evening with everybody else :) Be safe out there and don't forget your pepper spray if you do run in the dark!

P.S.--I was contacted by Sony today to review some of their products for runners so stay tuned for my review and some great giveaways!!