Friday, 2 August 2013

Things Runners Accumulate & Beginner info.


Literally since I've been on vacation I've lost all concept of days of the week.  For real.  It is only through the many facebookers writing, "TGIF" that I am aware. :D 

With it being Friday and all, that means I am taking a rest day. For these stale sore fatigued legs to find some rejuvenation to complete my weekend semi-long and long runs. I have a scheduled 8 mile run on Saturday and a big whopping 16 miler on Sunday! This is my longest run since the Johnny Miles Marathon in June. :0

As a means to occupy my busy 'wanting-to-go-for-a-run' mind, I decided that today I would dig through the ginormous bag of race bibs that Matt and I had accumulated.  I thought I was pretty organized, as I had kept all the bibs we have with the names on the back. However, as I came to find out they were not segregated as 'Matt's' & 'Heather's.'  So, after a very long time of sorting and removing the top two pins, I came up with this:

These are all 'Heather's.'  I am going to get a binder of some sort to create my own personal Bib-Folio. :D  Now that I've written it, I feel accountable to actually do it, lol.
One thing I realized is that runner's probably have the most safety pins laying around the house than any other type of person in the whole wide world! We have pins in desk drawers, my purse, my car, the laundry room, kitchen, bathroom cabinet, and bedroom, just to name a few. :S

Since I began running in 2009 I have collected just about every single Runner's World magazine as well.  I couldn't believe how many I was able to locate around my house today when I was organizing! 

Do you have a crazy amount of pins?
What do you do with your race bibs?

What I'm eating
Last night's dinner was the Chicken, rice/quinoa mix and roasted veggies. I tried to make it a bit more colourful than Wednesday night by adding red and orange bell peppers. :)

This morning for breakfast, I skipped the oatmeal :0  I know.  I couldn't believe it either.  I scrambled up some eggs and had toast/butter with my coffee.  It was quite filling if I might say so. 

Info. for Beginner Runners
I often get asked for advice from people who want to pursue running on a regular basis.  I know, my head is swelling right now. ;)

As you know, I am an elementary school teacher and not a coach, physio therapist, elite athlete, etc. However, what I can do is share some beginning tips/advice that have helped me in my four years of running as well as things that I have learned along the way.
  • Start small-doing too much too soon and/or too fast will only result in injury.  And I can attest to that! I actually found a huge stack of receipts from Physio today when I was piling up all my Runner's world magazines. I was reminded that my body is not invincible. Which brings me to my next tip....
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY- Matt always asks me why I 'never get injured?' First off, not true! I have just learned the hard way that when my body is signalling me to stop or slow down, I need to listen. That being said, be sure to differentiate between pain and fatigue.  Some soreness will be normal as your muscles, joints, bones and tendons become accustomed to the pounding. 
  • Take Rest Day(s)-I take Fridays as my rest day. It helps me recover and refresh for my weekend of long running. (I do semi-long on Saturdays and long on Sundays).  Learn to enjoy your rest days as well.  Look at it as a vacation day for your muscles....they do so much for you every other day of the week ;) Maybe that's the day you do an Epsom salt bath or go for a leg massage??? :D
  • Create a schedule-I rely on having a schedule for training, a lot. It stays on my fridge door, a place I visit frequently, and I record my daily mileage/time/pace there. I cannot be trusted to run whatever I want whenever I want......that's when those pesky overuse injuries show up at my door. :(  If you do not know where to start in terms of scheduling your runs there are many sources online and apps you can utilize that will guide you.  My personal favourite is the Hal Higdon Site.  He has plans for nearly every distance and ability. *The plans are recorded in miles, so if you prefer KMs, you will need to convert. 
  • Set goals-When I first started running, I would aim for 20 minutes on the treadmill. Then as I became comfortable, I would aim for 5 more minutes each progressive week until I reached an hour.  I was so excited the first time I ever ran an hour!
  • Sign up for a race/fun run- The races I've run in have runners there from every level of fitness you can imagine. Some marathons even offer an early start for runners who estimate a 5hr + marathon time.  Your race does not have to be a marathon.  Doing a 5km fun run with friends is a great first race. Plus, crossing the finish line of your first race will give you such a sense of accomplishment that you'll be dying to do it again!
  • WEAR GOOD RUNNING SHOES! Do not do as I did and wear a three year old pair of gym shoes in your premier days as a 'runner.' I ended up with a small tear in my Achilles tendon and nearly fell off a treadmill from the excruciating pain. Get properly fitted for the type of shoe.  Local sporting goods stores will test your gait and form to determine whether you need a 'stability, cushioning, or neutral' shoe. 
  • Hydrate-Water will become your BFF.  Well, maybe not. But it should. :)  When you are well hydrated your muscles feel more fluid and you don't have to run with, as I like to call it, "Tree trunk legs." Not fun.  Also, if you are thirsty you may sometimes mistake it for hunger and pay a visit to the pantry for some salty crunchy snacks {cough}.  I would never do that!  It is also important to practice hydrating on the run too if you are doing a race of a high distance. You don't want to wait until race day to test just how your body deals with mid-run hydration/nutrition.  Remember, after an hour of running you should use an electrolyte beverage to replenish your body's supply and not just water.  I'm an avid Gatorade user. I enjoy the taste, it works well for my body and it's usually the sport drink offered at most races.
  • Acknowledge that every run will not be stellar and at every race you will not, and I repeat, will not PB-when you recognize that there will be bad days, you will be more mentally and physically prepared to accept them and deal with them.  Don't think of them as a set back, but use them as learning. Do you need a rest day? Did you fuel properly? Are you not recovered from a previous run?  Consider all these factors.
  • Be cognisant of your nutrition-You must put in what you want to get out.  Quality food will be your best bet at quality runs.  As you approach regular running, your appetite will soar---if you are like me. :S  Therefore, it is important to be mindful of what you eat.  Carbohydrates and proteins are vital in my diet for performance and recovery. I replace used Carbs post-run and consume protein to aid in muscle repair. Also, try not to get into the "I just ran 20 miles so I can devour this whole bag of cookies, " attitude. {Totally not guilty at all}. LOL.
Well, I think I've said enough for one This was probably my wordiest blog post ever! haha.

Thanks for poppin' in on this GGR!

Happy Running,
Heather :)


  1. Great post Heather! Very informative.

  2. I love that I have so many pins now! I use them for sewing, and i kept losing them... but now I have quite a stash!

    I pin my race bibs to my cork board... but I don't have nearly as many as you do!

    1. Your cork board will be full soon I bet by the way you're racing ;)

      I was amazed today when I had all of mine in a pile. I couldn't believe how many there were!

  3. Thanks Heather, I also been running for three years and its good too be reminded about the basics. Really enjoyed your blog!

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