Tips for the Active Mom

 

Today’s post comes from Amanda from Happy Mother Runner. She has QUITE the busy schedule, but still manages to fit in time to be healthy and active. Here are her tips for moms to help you stay on track! Also be sure to check out her blog and say hello!

As a mom I try to stay healthy and happy for my child. But there are times when balancing everything (work, PhD program, Mommy, Wife, and Runner) can get tricky. After much trial and error I have discovered 6 tips that make staying healthy and active just a little easier.

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#1: Stop eating my child’s leftovers.
I hate throwing away food even if it’s only two bites. So now that my son is eating big people food, I found myself eating whatever he has left on his plate. Embarrassed about this action, I asked other mommies if they did the same thing. Surprisingly, I wasn’t alone. But eating my son’s leftovers three to four times a day can lead to some serious calorie intake and overeating (especially when I am eating with him). I have taught myself to throw away the few bites he has left, or wrapping it up and saving it for his next meal. No more guilty feelings for wasting food and no more eating half a bowl of Mac and Cheese when I am not hungry.

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#2: Don’t skip a run because of sleep deprivation.
For 3-4 months Michael stopped sleeping through the night. He was up 3 times, minimum. This, obviously, interrupted my REM cycle and caused me to feel tired and lethargic in the mornings. For the first few weeks I skipped my runs because I was too tired to even lace up my shoes. After a while, I noticed that my patience and sanity were slowly dwindling. I told my hubby that I needed to go for a quick run to hit the refresh button on my Mommy meter. When I was finished I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and happy. Exercise increases oxygen intake to the brain, which helps you feel energized and awake. After realizing that I had been depriving myself of an energy boost, I stopped skipping runs because of sleep deprivation.

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#3: I reward myself for accomplishing my running goals.
For a while I was the ONLY runner in my family. Yes that includes my hubby, siblings, cousins, etc. And during that time nobody really understood what I was doing. Many times hubby would ask, “What do you mean PR?” or “How did you hit a wall?” To make sure that my accomplishments were celebrated, I would reward myself. For small accomplishments (breaking through a mileage barrier) I would splurge on my favorite Starbucks drink. For bigger accomplishments I would invest in a coveted running item (hitting my one year mark of running I splurged on a pair of running sunglasses). There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for your hard work; it helps you realize that you have achieved something pretty awesome.

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#4: Utilize my baby jogger
Sometimes it’s impossible to get out the door for a run. For example, my husband works at a job where he can get called in at any minute. Many times I have had to cancel my run because he’s walking out the door and I have no one to watch my son. What I have learned is that a baby jogger can be a runner’s best friend. Now when I don’t have the option for a solitary run, I throw my little man in the jogger and head out the door. I switch up my running schedule and do a 3 mile tempo and at the end I can throw in some hills. My son loves it. Not only does it make his Mommy happy because she got a run in, but it makes him happy because he’s going fast & getting some fresh air. Many times we find ourselves laughing uncontrollably. It allows us the opportunity to spend time together and bond doing the activity I love most.

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#5: Don’t feel guilty for running
Mother’s guilt is a very strong emotion. But one of the biggest rules I live by is that I can’t let it stop me from getting out the door. A crying child can pull at the heart strings, but a happy and healthy mommy can wipe those tears away for years to come. It is important to keep up with your workout to be a good role model with your child. If you are lucky, your child might just want to start running with you someday. If that day does come for me, it will make up for all those days I felt so guilty leaving the house for 40 minutes to get in a good run.

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#6: Sneak away from work
There are times when things don’t work out; you over sleep, you get caught in the mommy guilt, it’s too cold for a run with the baby, and the list can go on. That is why I keep a pair of running shoes, top, socks, and shorts in the bottom drawer of my work desk. If I really feel like I need a run I will sneak away during my lunch break. Even if it’s a one mile run, I always feel better afterwards. *If you don’t have access to a shower, keep some baby wipes in your drawer … your co-workers will thank you.

Being a running Mommy can be tough. But by setting guidelines for yourself, you can find the task of balancing everything a little easier.

Be inspired, stay motivated, & run strong,

Amanda
HappyMotherRunner.com

QOTD: Any tips for the active mom?

The Small Things

 

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Hola! My name is Adventures with Alexandra and I will be your guest blogger today. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

Hey, everyone! When I’m not blogging over at Adventures with Alexandra, I am squeezing in time to eat right and workout between all of my other activities! This past week or so, I’ve been trying to come up with a list of small things one can do throughout the day to be healthier and fit. Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

1. Take the stairs!

Classic.

 

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Photo from here.

 

 

2. Park far away in parking lots and walk!

I recommend doing this one during the daytime only!

 

3. Wear ankle weights!

Our server the other night gave me this idea. She wears ankle weights as a workout during her shift – her doc actually recommended it!

 

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…so you can get awesome calves like this dude!

Photo from here.

 

4. Cut meals in half immediately upon receiving the food!

One reason restaurant meals have a lot more calories when compared to home cooked meals is because the portions are huge! By cutting your food in half and boxing it, you won’t see it and feel the need to eat it…unless you’re still hungry, of course! However, I think the “out of sight, out of mind” saying will likely kick in here.

 

5. If you don’t love eating leftovers, you can split meals with others instead.

 

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Photo from here.

 

 

6. Keep liquid calories in mind!

My mom stopped drinking sweet tea and lost 10 pounds! I gave up soda as well and try to drink as much water as possible. Don’t like the boring taste? Soak some fruit (oranges are our fav!) in water overnight…mmm, mmm good!

 

7. Pack your lunch and snacks!

Bonus points for packing them the night before! This will save you more time in the morning. I suggest throwing a water bottle, protein bar, bag of trail mix, or piece of fruit in your bag to avoid any stops by fast food restaurants and/or vending machines throughout the day.

 

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Photo from here.

 

 

8. Drink a glass of water before each meal!

I feel like everyone always mentions this tip, but it works! Sometimes when your body thinks it’s hungry, you are actually just thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water and/or chewing a piece of gum before chowing down on a big meal or snack.

 

9. Do hourly exercises!

I’ve been doing hourly exercises a lot recently and they are a great way to fit in a workout throughout the day. You’ll be surprised by what you can actually accomplish! I either do a certain pre-planned amount of reps or as many reps as I can in one minute every hour. I’ve done lunges down the hall at work, I’ve used weights from Target, I’ve done push-ups on a yoga mat I stash in the corner of my office, I’ve walked at lunch, etc!

 

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True story.

Photo from here.

 

 

10. Plan workouts and meals ahead of time…I’m talking a week in advance!

If you can plan your workouts around your weekly social calendar, you will feel less stressed about fitting them in each day. Same goes for meals – you will know when you need to make meals in advance and/or take them with you. This will keep you from any late night fast food stops after work. It’s also good to plan ahead so you know when you need to hold off on some extra calories. For example, if you know you are going to a birthday party Friday night where there will be alcohol and birthday cake, then maybe you should hold off on diving into the sleeve of Girl Scout cookies at lunch.

 

I know Heather always has a QOTD, so here is mine – what small things do you do daily to stay healthy and fit? Let me know in the comments below!

I’d like to thank Heather for letting me take over her blog for the day. I hope she’s having a blast – I’m super jealy of her cruise! I might need to give her a call, so she can book me a Disney cruise ASAP! Also, if you have time today, be sure to check out my blog, Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for reading!

Stay fit and fabulous,

Alexandra

Me Versus The Office Leftovers

 

Today we have a guest post written by the lovely Ashley from A Healthy, Happier Bear.  She has some great tips and snack ideas for you to help win out over the temptation to eat all the unhealthy things in your office break room. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello, too. She just ran the Rock ‘N Roll DC half marathon!

Each day, I pass our office’s small kitchenette only to be taunted by plates of leftovers. I’m not sure when leftover bagels, cookies, or even pasta salad became attractive. I mean, really, when else would I normally be enticed to eat 8 hour old food?

For me, this was the number one cause of the dreaded 10 pounds I gained during wedding planning. In May 2009, I transitioned from a work-at-home role to an office-based role. Gone were the days of working in sweat pants, making homemade smoothies for breakfast, or taking a break during the day for a quick run or workout class. Instead, my life now included business casual attire, a new-to-me makeup routine, a short commute, hours at a desk, and leftovers.

It wasn’t until I saw my wedding pictures that I realized I had to get my daytime eating under control. I would start the day wonderfully with a healthy breakfast and end the day with a healthy dinner, but between the hours of 10 and 4, there was no telling what might tempt me: office chocolates, leftover bagels, catered meeting cookies, etc.

My plan of attack was very simple: always feel like I have something better in my desk drawer.

Now my bottom desk drawer is dedicated to healthy-but-tasty snacks and meal supplements that I can access at any time. At any one time, you can find an array of my favorites stashed away for a busy day when leaving for lunch isn’t an option, or when I’m having an afternoon sweet craving.

Over the past year, I’ve learned another rule that has made fighting the leftover temptation even easier; make sure that you actually stock things you’ll crave versus “healthy cardboard.”

Here are my favorite office snacks that you can find in my desk drawer today:

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Sweet Cravings

  • dried cherries individual packs
  • yogurt covered raisins 100 calorie pack
  • Sokenbicha Replenish Green Tea
  • apples and oranges that I restock each Monday
  • Chobani 0% or 2% yogurts (Okay, so these are in the office fridge, not my desk drawer.)
  • Diet Coke (I never said I was perfect.)

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Salty/Crunchy Cravings

  • Laughing Cow French onion cheeses (also in fridge) and Wasa crisps
  • Kashi Go Lean or granola (pre-portioned at home using snack size Ziplock bags)
  • Pre-portioned bags of honey pretzel twists
  • Individual portions of natural popcorn
  • Individual portion of mixed nuts from Trader Joes
  • Individual portion of Baked Lays

I’m sure you caught onto my common theme of individually portioned when you read through the list. I’ll be the first to admit that my ability to manage my portions is still a work in progress and therefore I’m more than willing to pay a few extra dollars for pre-portioned or portion servings out on my own at home before bringing it into the office. If I had a full size bag of pretzels, Baked Lays, or yogurt covered raisins you better believe they’d be gone in a hot second. This way, they last longer and are easy to grab and go when I need to bring a snack to my next meeting.

QOTD: What is your go to office snack?

Relay Packing List

 

Catching up from the weekend?

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Relax, You’re Here

RWS Features #9

So in case you missed it, Bobby and I headed out of town on Thursday afternoon for a weekend getaway, which ended up being so much fun and exactly what we needed. Sad to be back to reality though. I am headed to yoga this morning, then it’s back to work.

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In five days, I will embark on my first ultra-marathon relay.

My 6 man team will cover over 128 miles in a day. Our van is going to smell awful, but we are going to have FUN! This is the first relay for all of us, but we have done research, asked experienced rely runners a lot of questions, and I think we have  good grip on what it will be like. With that being said, I give you…my packing list! I hope this will help anyone preparing for a relay, and also, please let me know if there is something I am leaving out!

RELAY PACKING LIST:

-ziploc bags

-one running outfit per leg (5 legs)(skirt, top, sports bra, socks)

-visor

-deodorant

-running shoes

– body glide

-garmin

-sunglasses

-towels

-baby wipes

-toothbrush/paste

-first aid kit

-water bottle

-GU

-camera/charger

-cell phone/charger

-sunscreen

-toilet paper

-trash bags

-paper towels

-iPod/headphones

-brush/hair ties

-GO Sport ID

-cash

-drivers license

AS A TEAM we will also have things like:

-shoe polish and other van decorations

-protein bars

-fruit

-sandwiches

-fuel (powerade, Nuun, drink chia)

-water

-peanut butter

-pretzels

-string cheese

-cooler/ice

-utensils/ziploc bags/paper plates

-flashlights/vests/headlamps/butt lights

Ok guys, what am I forgetting?

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No, Bella…you can’t come.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on last nights half time show with Madonna?

Follow Me!

 

So, did February sneak up on anybody else? We are officially in the month of love…and my least favorite month of the year. February is usually gloomy and cold, and I am always itching for March. This year though, February is a FUN month because I am running Disney’s Princess half marathon! (blogger meet up plans here.)

I wanted to be sure you were aware of some of the changes here on RWS. In case you haven’t stopped by recently or are new to my blog (hello!)  I added some drop down menus (still a work in progress) and also a page to shop! I will be adding more to it, but you have to start somewhere, right? I have had the account for several months but haven’t had the time to actually put any product up.

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In the fun land of blogging and health/fitness, there are a LOT of awesome people. I have written a post about getting involved, and I really really encourage you to read it if you have not. I am always looking for new people to follow on Twitter, new blogs to read, and trying to make new friends and connections. With that being said, I wanted to share with you some great companies I think YOU should be following on Twitter and/or Facebook:

Running Skirts: @Running_skirts: I work for Running Skirts so I may be a bit partial, but they make a great product and have excellent customer service. The new spring line is coming out SOON! If your local running store doesn’t carry the line, ask them if they will!

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Drink Chia: @DrinkChia I first met the fabulous people behind Drink Chia at the Healthy Living Summit. I am all about start up businesses and supporting growing small businesses. These are great people with a great product. You can very soon order Drink Chia from Amazon!

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110% Play Harder: @110PlayHarder Super sweet people with great Twitter interaction. Not to mention great products!

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Nuun: @ministryofnuun The nuun team is made up of great giving and caring people. Great interaction, and of course love all the flavors!

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GNC: @GNCLiveWell We all know about GNC. The Live Well Now slogan is amazing, and they have been hosting some awesome Twitter chats! (#Livewellnow)

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Travel with the Magic:  @TravelwtheMagic The other company I work for. I love what I do! Helping people plan their vacations is rewarding and fun. A lot of people don’t realize it’s FREE to use a travel agent! Contact me for a free quote at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

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Go Sport ID: @GoSportID Very interactive on Twitter, and they of course make a great, life saving product! These folks are also very generous. Another family start up business I love to support.

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FitFluential: @FitFluential is another company I am affiliated with and it isn’t even a year old, but already doing amazing things! Kelly and the rest of the team are amazing and great to work with. AMAZING Twitter interaction, and all about health and fitness.

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Newton Running: @NewtonLab  I blogged last week about how I was loving my new Newtons. I have had a couple of questions about the shoes since I bought them and they happily and quickly replied to me on Twitter. They are always sharing great new information and videos with their followers as well!

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There are PLENTY of other great companies to follow, these are just a few I am loving right now. As a blogger, I look for companies who actually interact with people on Twitter of Facebook. Not ones that just have an account to spit out information. I love well done customer service, and it goes a long way with me when someone is willing to answer my questions.

QOTD: What is a brand/company that I should be following on Twitter?

Passionate

 

You can tell when you are reading an article or blog written by a person passionate about their subject matter. The joy and excitement overflow onto the page, and is woven into each sentence or idea. Having a desire to share, motivate, and inspire is evident in their work, making each new story exciting to read.  It’s not just about writing, but about the fire that burns within the author, desiring to get their point across to help inform and share with others. Running With Sass is my baby, and I deeply enjoy sharing stories, tips, and motivation with my readers everyday. To be able to do so on an even larger scale would be a dream come true.

True, I am just an average girl, but that is part of my draw. I attract a lot of readers that are new runners, bloggers, and those just starting out on their fitness journey. I have received countless e-mails from readers thanking me for being real and honest, and for showing them that anyone can be fit and healthy.  They enjoy my message of not having to be the fastest, the strongest, or the best…but just striving to be the greatest version of themselves.

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Growing up, I played multiple sports, and even moved on to coaching after college. I have coached basketball at the middle school level, and volleyball at the high school varsity (6A) level. I am very knowledgeable of both sports, and fitness in general. Running is my most recent passion of three years, and I recently have added weight lifting and yoga to my always growing fitness practices.

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My job allows me to travel to several races throughout the year, so I believe having a fresh perspective on the health and fitness of different cities would be a great benefit to readers. Not only have I learned a lot working at health and fitness expos, but also in partnering with several companies to review and share their products.

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Other passions of mine include putting a stop to childhood obesity, and furthering cancer research. I shared my thoughts and experience in a vlog last month on the matter of childhood obesity. As a former teacher, it broke my heart to see so many children struggle with their weight and be bullied by other students.

Don’t forget about my 6 second “fail” that went along with the above vlog. Oops! At least I can laugh at myself, right? (I’m saying “fail” at the end of the video).

I also love social media, and spend a lot of time each day interacting on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, as well as several forums, message boards and other blogs. I have a large twitter following, and a fan page for my blog on Facebook as well as a personal Facebook page. Participating in Twitter chats and social media conversations is something I really enjoy. Meeting new people, reaching out and making friends is an encouragement and inspiration.

My mother is a stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. She is an amazing woman with a lot of fight, and a great inspiration to many. I have learned so much watching her, and as a family we have all taken steps towards a more healthy lifestyle to help prevent certain types of cancer. My husband and I ran a half marathon this fall with Team in Training benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. It was a great experience and I was thrilled to be a part of raising money for cancer research and treatment.

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In closing, I think the name of my blog says it all. Yes I run, and yes I try to live an active, healthy life…but I do it all with a touch of sass. Who says healthy living and fitness have to be boring and bland? Spicing up your fitness and health as well as your life in general, can help you to be a success story. I have faced obstacles, criticism, injuries, mental defeats, and trials. Through it all, my husband and I are dedicated to a healthy and fit lifestyle, against all odds.

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Below is a video I put together last summer documenting my healthy living journey. I hope you enjoy following along.

QOTD: What are you passionate about?

Making Friends

 

When you were a kid, you made friends at school or in your neighborhood by sharing a swing on the playground, or biding bikes down your street. Now that we are adults, we still need to interact and make friends. I don’t know about you, but I don’t swing all that much anymore, but one thing remains the same…sometimes you have to put yourselves out there to make friends.

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I have gotten a couple of e-mails from new-ish bloggers asking me how they can make more friends online. Some people feel like they aren’t in the “club” and want to know how to get “in.” First of all, as far as I know there isn’t a club, so good news! The reason why it seems some people are always talking to others more often, its because they are putting themselves out there. Everyone wants to be talked to, or else they wouldn’t be on social media sites, so take the first step and start talking! Where? I’m glad you asked!

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I realize a lot of this is old news to a some of you, but think back to what you knew about social media when you first started blogging…you probably didn’t know a whole lot. So let’s get some newer folks involved so they can continue on their journey to health!

Twitter: This is the biggie. This is where you will make the most connections and “talk” the most. (At least I do!) When I first got my twitter handle (@runningwithsass) I didn’t really understand how it worked. I had to do a lot of googling and just get out there and start tweeting. It was a little confusing at first as a Facebook only user, but I quickly caught on and now love it!

Pinterest: This is something I recently joined, and just like Twitter, I wasn’t sure how it “worked” but with a little research I figured it out and now it is the biggest time suck for me! You can “pin” photos, motivational quotes, blog content, etc. on a number of boards that you create and friend people so they can “follow” your boards. Find my pinterest profile here.

Stumble Upon: This is a good way to get exposure for your blog. You can friend people and see the sites that they “stumble” (like) and see who shares common interests with you, etc. It’s also a good way for you to find other sites and blogs that will help you make friends and learn more on your fitness and health journey. My profile here.

Facebook: This is definitely not a must, but I personally enjoy having a Facebook fan page for my blog. Fans can “like” my page and I post content on there like my workouts, blog posts, fitness questions, etc. It’s a great way to interact with other bloggers and my readers and get feedback. My running with sass fan page here.

LinkedIn: This is more of a professional connections site, but still a great way to meet and connect with people in your industry, location, etc. You can find connections and friend people on here as well. My profile here.

Daily mile: Daily mile is a place to keep track of your workouts, and it’s more than just running! You can track cross training, weight lifting, and a variety of other things. People on Daily Mile are great accountability partners, and it’s also a great way to track your workouts. There is even a phone app so you can add workouts on the go! My daily mile profile.

Healthy Living Blogs and FitFluential are two other GREAT places to meet people!

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Bottom line, if you wait around for people to talk to you, it may not happen. If it does happen, it will probably happen slowly. If you really want to make friends and be involved in social media, do just that GET INVOLVED! Join in twitter chats like #runchat or #fitblog. Retweet other people when you like what they say. Just like a lot of things in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. Blogging and social media are a lot of FUN. Blogger meet ups are great, and new friends are amazing. Dive in and see how encouraging and open healthy living bloggers can be!

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QOTD: What is a site I didn’t list that you use? What is your favorite way to make new friends online?

Things NOT to do as a Newbie Runner

 

I started my distance running journey three years ago, and to say I have learned a lot my be the understatement of the decade. As I have mentioned before, I sometimes take for granted all of the knowledge I have gained about the sport, and forget that I , too, once was a newbie and all of this info didn’t just transfer into my brain overnight by osmosis.

With that being said, I would like to save you from some embarrassment by giving you some tips on things NOT to do as a new runner. Please keep in mind these tips are my own personal opinion, so if you don’t agree, that’s ok (or maybe you just need to re-evaluate things haha).

Don’t stop moving at the water stops: No lie, this is the best. story. ever. Probably because it involves making fun of my husband, but yall I laugh to this day thinking about it. We ran our very very very first race spring of 2009. It was an 8k out and back. I am of course a long way back from Bobby, but I can see him up ahead. I watch as he gets to the water station at the turn around, gets a cup, stops dead in his tracks,  hand on hip, drinks the cup of water, throws the cup in the trash can, and then starts running again! I wanted to die I was laughing so hard. Later, when I approached him about this, he said “I was wondering why I was the only one stopping to drink water…I had no idea you were supposed to drink on the go and then throw the cup on the ground!” I die.

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however, it is ok to stop during a full marathon to slather biofreeze on you knee.

Don’t wear new clothes for the first time on race day: I know it’s tempting to buy a new outfit at the expo and show it off during the race, but please refrain. You could be chafed in places you didn’t know chaffed, end up running in a shirt that’s ill fitting, or shorts that ride up, or shoes that give you blisters. Save the new outfit for the next race after you have trained in it.

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Don’t eat new food the night before or morning of: Especially if you have a sensitive stomach. You don’t want to be barfing on the side of the road, or stuck in a port-o-potty at mile 1 because some unfamiliar food didn’t sit right with you. Practice eating what you want to eat on race morning when you are doing training runs.

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I like to eat pizza the night before a race

Don’t start out to fast: I admittedly still struggle with this one. I just get so darn excited at the beginning of a race, and I feel so good, I can’t help myself! I know it’s tempting to take off and stay with the lead pack, but don’t. It’s much better to finish strong then to start off too fast and have to crawl across the finish line, trust me.

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dying at the finish line

Don’t dress to warmly for cold weather: Once you start running, your body will warm up, and you may wish you hasn’t worn those gloves and that heavy sweatshirt you now have to tie around your waist. Yes it sucks getting out the door in the cold, but it will be better once you get started, and may make you run faster!

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Don’t run in place at a stoplight Ever see those people at crosswalks jogging in place waiting for the light to change, well, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s really not necessary. As long as the light isn’t some crazy length of time, you will be perfectly fine to just stand still while you wait for the light to change.

Don’t schedule too far of an out and back: Nothing will make you look more lame than setting out on an out and back run that is too far for you, and you lose all your steam before you get back home…and then you are stuck two miles from home and feeling like death. If you aren’t sure you can cover the distance, do two shorter out and back loops so if something does happen you won’t be as far from home.

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Don’t forget to plan a family meet up area: Let’s face it, some races are HUGE, and it can be tough to reunite with family and friends at the finish line, especially if you are about to pass out from your race. Have a pre determined meet up spot so you can easily reconnect and celebrate afterwards.

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and my biggest tip for newbies (which irks me the most)

Don’t wear the race shirt to run the race: Personal opinion, but I think it’s bad luck to wear a race shirt during the actual race, unless your luggage got lost, or your baby threw up on your other shirt, or something of that nature. The shirt is stating that you completed said race, so how can you wear it when you HAVEN’T finished it yet? I’m really not sure why but this one bugs me!

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My Centrum ProNutrients winner is KIM from Living Domestically! please e mail me with your shipping address and which ProNutrient product you would like.  congrats!

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Yesterday I ran 5 miles, did weights and 25 minutes elliptical. I’m coming back baby!

QOTD: What tip would you tell a newbie runner, something for them NOT to do?

Back to My Roots: Tips for Beginners

 

So, some of you may have seen this post on Twitter yesterday.

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Sigh. I was so ready for a nice, relaxing massage, and instead I spent an hour talking to someone who obviously knew NOTHING about running, but asking me a million questions. Was I annoyed? Heck yes! I paid money to relax! Not explain what a GPS watch is to you!

When I got home, I started doing some thinking. Was it wrong and very annoying what she did? Of course, BUT, at the same time, here was someone obviously very wowed by my running knowledge, eagerly wanting more info and tips. She actually jokingly (I think!) asked me to be her running coach. She also told me she would hate to see me kick someone as she was rubbing my calves. Is it weird that I took this as a major compliment by the way?

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Anyway, here I was thinking “how can she not know what a Garmin watch is?” and “is she seriously asking me how I am supposed to know how far I have run “are there like, marks in the road that tell you?” As I began to feel slightly proud and cocky, I was immediately put in my place when I remembered that there was once a time when I didn’t know the answers to those questions.

How silly of me to assume that everyone knows how to get rid of a side cramp, and how you know what kind of shoes you need. To the “normal” world, these are not common knowledge issues. I do so much reading and research every day, it has become so easy for me to forget that everyone has to start from somewhere, and learn as they go.

So, I have decided to go “back to my roots” shall we say, and go over some things I wish I knew in the beginning but didn’t know.

GPS Watch/Garmin: These handy watches are amazing and it is my favorite piece of gear. They work via satellite and track your distance, pace, time, elevation, etc. Then you can plug it up to your computer and download your info to have for a training log, comparisons, etc. There are also phone apps for this purpose as well.

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(wearing my Garmin)

GU/Chomps: When I first started running I had no need for this as I was just running 3-4 miles at a time. When I got up to six miles I realized I needed to start using something for fuel. I was scared to try GU, the consistency seemed nasty, but now they are my BFF and I love trying the different flavors. I can’t do the chomps (if I can help it) because they get stuck in my teeth. The GU is easy to “suck down” when I see a water stop up ahead.

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How to start training: If you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend the couch to 5k program. I have not done it myself but know people who have been very successful with it. We all start from somewhere, even if it’s your couch. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Sweat Wicking: You don’t want to run in cotton! It gets very heavy when you sweat and doesn’t feel good. Invest in some dri fit/sweat wicking workout clothes that wick moisture away from your body. I of course recommend running skirts for workout gear!

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Log your workouts: It can be dailymile.com., or writing workouts in a journal, but keep track of what you do, and how you felt. That way you can look back to see how far you have come, what conditions you run best in, time of day, etc.

Body Glide: go buy some. You will thank me later when you don’t have burns and rashes all over and your friends do.

Walk Breaks: are perfectly normal. I hate that there is a stigma that if you walk during a run or a race you aren’t really a runner. I have done some experiments, and I actually race FASTER when I take a 20 second walk break every 7  minutes or so after I hit mile 8 of a half marathon. True story. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you need to walk every now and then.

Rest: Being too ambitious in the beginning can get you burnt out or injured. Your body NEEDS rest days to recover and rebuild to make you stronger. Don’t forget to cross train as well. Build strength all over, and not just from running.

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These are by NO MEANS all the tips there are, these are just a few off the top of my head I wish I had know starting out (and some my masseuse asked me!) As always, if you have ANY specific questions, please feel free to comment here or e mail me at runningwithsass@gmail.com. I love hearing from readers!

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Also wanted to add…I ran my FIST MILE since Thanksgiving Day today! It felt good! I took it slow, but ran the whole thing. I’m coming back! YAY!

QOTD: What is a running tip you wish you knew when you first started?

-Also of interest: This post I wrote on beginner running injuries.

The Dangers of Running

Most of you are probably going “huh? running is good for you? how is it dangerous?” Well, if you don’t run, I am here to tell you, be careful, it can be hazardous to your health! Let me give you some examples:
Dogs. yes dogs. We have a leash law in our neighborhood, but does that stop people from letting their dogs run amuck like crazy kids in a toy store? Of course not! Who follows the rules anyway!!! I am here to tell you, I am very observant when I run, and am always on the lookout, and searching for the closest car that I can potentially jump on the roof of. What is even more scary is when there are dogs inside of electric fences that you don’t know exist (the fence not the dog.) There is one particular house with such a fence, and a very large, scary, dog. One day, I was minding my own business, running on the sidewalk, and said dog comes sprinting out of nowhere, right towards me. As I went flying into the street, nearing peeing my pants, the dog suddenly stops dead in his tracks. This is when notice…the collar…UG. So i totally just freaked out for nothing. I was NOT amused.
Next danger is signs. I have the story of my best friend for this one. She was running one day, no one else was home, and she somehow managed to trip on a yard sign that was sticking out. She fell and cut up her hands and legs and broke a bone in her foot and had to hobble a long way back home on her poor broken foot since no one was home to come get her. Isn’t that sad? I am now very careful of stop signs, yard signs, and the like. I kind of like my feet and do not want to break them.
Third danger is the road itself. This story did not happen to my same friend but to someone she knows. A lady was out walking in the dark one morning, tripped on a part of the road, face planted, and had to get stitches in her face! WOW! I would not only feel stupid but ouch!!! Poor woman.
The dark reminds me of my next danger, well…the dark. This is hazardous for me more mentally than anything. I ama chicken. I do not like the dark. Therefore, I do not run alone in the dark. Creepy things live in the dark/woods! Talk about giving me nightmares! The physical dangers of dark are also very scary because if you are running on the road, in the dark, NOT wearing reflective gear (shame shame) you could very easily be hit by a not so fun thing, yes, a car.
The last thing I want to discuss is regional scary things. For instance, I was home for Christmas in Louisiana, running with my mom next to a swamp.Let me tell you, the entire run I kept my eyes on that watery mess just waiting for an alligator to jump out and eat me! Or a snake. Obviously a snake couldn’t eat me, but, you get the idea. I kept looking for things I could climb on if necessary. I have watched animal planet. I know how fast those things move! With that being said, what are some regional things that are dangers of running near you? I can think of some from other regions, but first want to see what others come up with before I list the ones I thought of.
On a side note, I think running is great, and the benefits largely outweigh the hazards, but I like to file things like this under the cabinet in my brain labeled “good to know” just in case that dog’s electric fence isn’t turned on….

SO running. I only ran 2 miles today. The wind was horrid and my nose was running so badly and I couldn’t breathe. awesome.
look at this pretty picture I took on my way to work. It was a gorgeous day, high of 61 and sunny!