On Running Fast

Oh how I love to run fast. In High school, I was a sprinter, and loved the 100 meter dash and anchoring the 4 x 100 meter relay. There is just something about the adrenaline and the thrill of going as fast as you can…but only for a short time. I’m not so good at running fast to GET faster, but I’m working on it! Here are some tips to help if you are looking to run FAST to get faster that I was given as a Jeff Galloway Blogger:

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Why is running faster a good thing?  Short and fast segments not only help you run faster in races.  If you run a few faster segments each week you can improve your running efficiency while receiving a better attitude boost.
How long should you be running before you add some faster running in? After 2-3 months of regular running some short accelerations can be added with minimal risk of aches and pains.

Is it possible that running fast can actually be fun?  Yes.  The secret is be creative and limit the length of the fast segment at first.
How often should you run fast? Playful speed can be done once or twice a week.

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Four Faster, Fun Workouts
1. Speed play that you can do on your own. ACCELERATE AND GLIDE.  After an easy 10 minute warmup of slow running, pick up the pace for 10 steps, then coast off the momentum for 10-20 steps.  Don’t be obsessed about the number of steps as this is just a guideline.  Don’t sprint–be playful.  Gradually pick up the pace, and then glide back down to a jog.  Repeat 2-3 times on your first attempt, and take a one minute walk break.  Each week you could increase the number of accelerations as you wish, with a recommended walk break of 1-2 minutes between each.

2. Speed play you can do with one friend—CHASE game.  After an easy 5 minute jog together, one person takes the lead.  As the leader changes the pace (speeding up, then slowing down, speeding up) the follower tries to stay close but not pass.  After 3-5 minutes, take a 1-2 minute walk break and repeat with the other runner leading.  Repeat as many times as desired.
3. Speed play you can do with two friends—SURPRISE game. Following the same format as game 1, the follower tries to surprise the leader by passing gently but quickly.  While there should be no sprinting, it is OK to run fast for 10-30 steps to pass.
4. A speed play workout you can do with three or more friends—INDIAN RUNNING.  The group is running single file for a minute or two at an easy pace.  Then, the last runner, passes all of the other runners and takes the lead for a minute or two.  The current leader sets the pace, and takes a walk break.  When the running resumes, the last runner starts to move to the front.  Each runner gets to take the lead at least once in this game.

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The 2015 Jeff Galloway 13.1 Virtual Race is closing on March 21st! This is a great way to earn an awesome medal and one of the best race shirts around! Run a 5K or half marathon in your town and be a part of the Jeff Galloway 13.1 Virtual Race!
Register at Virtual Race Registration.

ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: Shake Out Run and Brunch with the Elites

So as if the ASICS LA Marathon VIP party wasn’t enough epic-ness, the next morning we got to have even more fun. Good morning Santa Monica!

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I have gotten a lot of nice comments on Instagram about the below photo. This makes me laugh because what it does NOT show is that I was exhausted after four hours of sleep, severely dehydrated, had a serious headache, and well, the sun was blinding me. But hey, it’s for the sake of Instagram, right?

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I chugged coffee and met my crew in the lobby where we headed over to where we would be having brunch for some instructions and schedule chat.

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Coach Kastor explained that we would be running down towards the finish line to where our final turn onto Ocean Avenue was, then running back and having brunch. It was about 2.5 miles total.

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Yup, that’s Deena Kastor in front of me in the pink. I totally kept up with her the whole time. Kidding.

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I did however end up running with Alysia Montano, She’s freaking awesome yall, and not to mention HILARIOUS. I could just listen to her talk and tell jokes all day. She has a 7 month old so we mostly chatted babies which was fun!

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We made it to where our turn was and stopped to listen to coach Kastor for a minute who was telling us how far we would have to the finish at this point, etc. It was crazy I would be making that final turn the next day at the end of my marathon!

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We made our way back to the hotel and I snapped a shot of the pier before we headed in for brunch.

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Our brunch location is part of the hotel, but it’s right on Ocean Avenue and kind of open, it’s hard to explain. it had a cool bohemian vibe and since the weather was so nice it made it even better! They had a beautiful spread of food waiting for us, and we were told to eat….so I was first in line. Don’t judge, my body thought it was two hours later than it really was.

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I made my way outside to a set of sofas and began to chow down. I felt kind of like I was in high school and didn’t know what table I belonged at, so I sat alone and just hoped someone would come sit by me. WELL, in a few minutes I would feel like a super cool kid because some awesome ladies one by one came over and sat by me. I felt like I was dreaming. First Deena Kastor and Alysia joined me. We all started chatting about random things, just moms talking about our kids. Then Queen Harrison joined us. Then about midway through the meal, Sara Hall walks in and sits down RIGHT NEXT TO ME. NBD. I suddenly couldn’t even eat. I was afraid to say something stupid. I really DID feel like I was in an awkward high school situation, it was hilarious and surreal at the same time.

Soon, coach Kastor stood up to give some final words of advice on our race the next day. We were going to be experiencing record high heat, so he had a lot to say about hydrating and taking it easy. Sadly I don’t remember all of it, I was too busy geeking out and secretly taking and posting pictures of my “new friends.”

Alysia and Queen (and Andrew Kastor)

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Sara and Deena and you can see Shadrack Biwott (he has run a 2:12 marathon and a 1:01:24 half!)

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All of the elite athletes went around and shared one piece of advice for everyone running which I thought was really fun. I recorded some of what Ryan Hall said, but not all because I was running out of camera space (foreshadowing….) He is so chill and laid back when he talks, he cracks me up.

After the talk was over, I had one mission, and that was to meet Ryan Hall. I have always looked up to him for his work ethic, attitude, and for being an outspoken Christian who stands behind his faith. I had rehearsed what I wanted to say to him, but of course my mind went blank when I introduced myself. I told him I really admired him for his faith and beliefs AND THEN I STARTED CRYING. How embarrassing. I’m just so thankful to have good Christian athletes to look up to, that it just came out. Ug. I die. Anyway, I pulled myself together and told him I had a baby five months ago and this was my first race back. He told me I looked great for recently giving birth, so now he is my new favorite person. So I didn’t want to take up his time and asked if we could take a selfie, I went to take the picture, AND MY MEMORY WAS FULL!!!! You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Of ALL times! I panicked and started flipping out (on the inside) and random started deleting apps. I think I deleted Twitter and WordPress, I just didn’t care, I NEEDED space! I FINALLY got it to work and got my picture. Whew. Crisis averted. But OMG what luck.

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It was a great run and brunch, and I can’t believe I got to hang out with so many amazing people. My greatest takeaway is that these are folks just like you and me (except they are really freaking fast!) Other than the tips they all gave at the end, we didn’t even really talk about running at all! I had such a fun time, a huge thank you to ASICS and their athletes for coming out to run and hang out with us the day before such a big race!

QOTD: Do you do a shake out run before a big race?

Heart Health Recap and Fitbit Giveaway

Two giveaways in one week? Heck yes! It is Friday after all, so why not? You may remember I posted at the beginning of February about heart health and some goals I had for the month. I had some great tools form Staples to help me try to reach my goals, and while I didn’t reach them all, it was fun trying!

1.) Take time for myself every day

2.) Delegate- Eh. Still need to work on this one but getting better.

3.) Let things go- I had a couple of things happen this month to upset me, but after the initial anger I chose to let them go and I feel so much better not dwelling on the stress or haters.

4.) plan ahead- We went on vacation and I had to do a LOT of planning ahead to make sure things were covered at work, at home, etc. and everything went smoothly!

5.) run 100 miles- I only ran about 55 miles last month. I realized picking the shortest month of the year for such a  lofty goal probably wasn’t the best idea! Also, I was dealing with a hip injury so I was actually running less. Oh well! I will have to try this one again.

Something that really helped me stay active every day this month was my Fitbit One. I aim for 10k steps a day, and like to check in during the day to see where I am and if I need to do some more moving around. It’s been a great accountability tool!

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Staples has agreed to graciously give away a Fitbit One to one of my lovely readers! Just follow the instructions on Rafflecoptor to enter. Must have an address in the US. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jeff Galloway Tips: Part 2

Hello friends! It’s time for another installment of Jeff Galloway’s run/walk/run tips! It seems fitting to post this today since I am going to the runDisney Princess half expo and am hoping to run into him there! Check out these great tips!

-The training journey for a marathon or half marathon raises your body’s physical performance capability and your sense of what you can do in life.

-Running helps to bring body, mind and spirit together in a unique and wonderful way

In researching my book MENTAL TRAINING I discovered that -running turns on brain circuits for a better attitude more vitality and empowerment better than other activities studied.

-In researching my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100 I found numerous studies showing that runners have healthier orthopedic units than non runners even after decades of running.

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Training:

-When a runner takes walk breaks early and often enough for the individual the muscles are strong to the end.  See RUN WALK RUN at www.jeffgalloway.com for recommendations by pace per mile.

-The “exhaustion wall” can be avoided by running longer long runs up to or beyond race distance-using the appropriate run-walk-run strategy.

-Marathoners tend to improve time by an average of more than 15 minutes when they increase their longest run from 20 miles to 26 miles.

-To recover fast, run the long runs at least 2 min/mi slower than you could currently run in a marathon

-The right run-walk-run strategy from the beginning of each run, gives any runner control over fatigue, injury-elimination, and recovery.

-In numerous surveys, runners improved over 13 minutes when they shifted from running continuously to use of the right run-walk-run strategy.

As always, you can use hashtag #runwalkrun #runinjuryfree #jeffgalloway to join in the conversation on twitter, facebook, and instagram!

Do People Know?

Do other people know you are a runner? How would they know? Do you advertise it? I always find it interesting how I can spot a runner at the grocery store, an office, etc. Here are some ways people may know you are a runner. Do you do any of these things?

1.) Car stickers: I have stickers on the back of my car for different distances I have run. (note: it’s a year later and I still haven’t put my Dopey sticker on. Oy.) I remember being SO excited my first half marathon when I got to buy a 13.1 sticker.

2.) Clothing: Sadly, I have way more workout clothes than “real” clothes. I work from home, so this problem is even more compounded. I live in yoga pants and race shirts. If you see me out and about, you will most likely figure out I am a runner due to my “I did it” shirts, race visor, or KT Tape.

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Out and about in Disney World. This is my “dressed for going out in public look.”

3.) Work space: Have you ever been to someone’s office or cubicle? You can learn a lot about their hobbies and family. I know people who decorate their office with finish line photos, bibs, and medals. Maybe it’s you?

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My workplace happens to be at home, but I display my medals proudly!

4.) Social Media:  If you have a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account, your friends and acquaintances may know you are a runner by your posts. Always retweeting training tips and articles? Posting about being at the gym? Yup, dead giveaway.

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5.) Plans/Free time: Your coworkers ask you to go out for drinks Friday night, and you decline because you have 12 miles on tap for tomorrow morning and need to be hydrated and rested. You are late for your family reunion because you had a 10k this morning. Hey, it happens, and definitely let’s people know you are a runner.

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This may sound odd (or maybe it’s normal?) But when I “spot” a runner out and about, it’s like we are instant friends. It’s this special “knowing” between us that I can’t describe. Anyone else? This is why I love race expos, all like minded people together. It’s pretty awesome!

QOTD: What are some ways that people around you know that you are a runner?

What’s On Your Tree?

When I visit someone’s house during Christmastime, I like to spend some time looking at the ornaments on their tree. Not only do I find them beautiful and fun, but I think you can find out a lot about a family by looking at their tree. I look at it kind of like a scrapbook of sorts, and think that Christmas trees have so much personality! Let’s take a look at what I am talking about.

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Here are a few of the categories of ornaments you can typically find:

Hobbies: A lot of people have ornaments that tell you about what they like to do. For instance, my dad has a couple of golf ornaments, and at my house, you will find a volleyball ornament and running ornament.

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Favorite things: Just like different hobbies, everyone has their favorites. Movies, sports, teams, animated characters, sayings, and colors. Bobby has a Gandalf ornament on our tree, and I have a New Orleans Saints Superbowl one. Also, anyone who looked at my tree would know that I am a fan of McAlisters, especially their sweet tea. You may also find a few Disney princesses chilling on my tree.

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Occupation: Ornaments may also give you a hint as to a persons occupation.Fun fact some of you newer readers may not know, but I used to teach 5th grade!

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Handmade/Kid ornaments: Whether you have children in your house or are just sentimental, you probably have a few very old handmade ornaments hanging on your tree (ok, some of them may have been pushed to the back). The two below are ornaments that I made in grade school but can’t seem to part with. besides, who HASN’T made a clothespin reindeer?!?

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Places Visited: Another favorite category is places visited. I know a lot of people (myself included) that like to collect ornaments whenever they go on vacation or visit a new place. I think these are a great reminder of the fun vacations I have had, and bring back some of my favorite memories. I have several Disney resort ornaments, but the Polynesian and Grand Floridian are my favorites, along with my Disney Cruise Line and Disneyland ornament.

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Favorite Memories: Following along the same thread as vacation/places visited, a special milestone such as a wedding or gradation always make great ornaments. Some of my favorites are ones that we purchased after running races. For instance, below you will see the ornament I bought after we completed the Inaugural Dumb Double Dare in Disneyland.

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As much as I love all of my ornaments, this last one means the most. If it wasn’t for Jesus’ birthday, we wouldn’t even be celebrating at all HE is the reason for the season, so amongst all your shopping, wrapping, eating and baking, don’t leave him out. Happy Birthday Jesus!

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QOTD: If I looked at your tree, what would it tell me about you?

RWS Features #4

 

Good morning! I am actually away this weekend at another wedding. People just getting hitched left and right! I hope you all have a fabulous last weekend before Christmas. Soak up the season and enjoy this time!

Everyone say hello to Brigid! She blogs at Live, Breathe, Huzzah! 

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How/Why did you start blogging?

1.  I began blogging shortly before my 29th birthday. Like many people approaching a milestone birthday (Hello 30!), I started reflecting on my life, my fitness, and what health and happiness mean to me. I started Live, Breathe, Huzzah as a way to keep track of my progress and voice my thoughts about fitness and healthy living.

Sum up your blog in a couple sentences

2. Live, Breathe, Huzzah is about striving to live an active, healthy life full of fun! I aim to focus on the positives, eat more veggies, run more miles, try new things, and not sweat the small stuff. I talk a lot about running because running keeps me happy and healthy.

What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

3. My biggest dream is that people will read my blog and find inspiration. Inspiration to run a 5K, go for a swim, try a new food, or even cut themselves some slack. I’m not perfect. I’m not particularly fast. I have a serious sweet tooth. But I’m challenging myself and aiming high. If I can do it, you can too.

What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

4. My biggest healthy living accomplishment is finally realizing that I am a runner. I’ve always held back from describing myself as a runner because I’m not that fast. I don’t look like a runner. One day I wrote down all the races I’ve completed, and it hit me: I AM a runner. Once I made that mental leap, I’ve become more confident in my running. I even recently made the big decision to train for my first full marathon in September 2012.

Thanks so much for sharing! Everyone be sure to stop by her blog and say hello and show some encouragement and support.

QOTD: What is YOUR biggest healthy living accomplishment?

Mine would be running my first marathon, almost a year ago!

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a “Real” Runner

 

Hiya! First of all, a HUGE HUGE THANK YOU to my awesome readers. Yesterday was quite drama filled here on RWS! In case you missed out, I got a random rude comment on my WDW marathon recap part 2 post. Comment #20. The outpouring of support and love from you all was awesome. I received tweets, Facebook comments, text messages, e-mails, etc. along with all the blog comments and felt so loved by you all! It meant so much to me, more than you will know. This is what the running/healthy living community should be!

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I was shocked when I read it, how and WHY would someone want to diminish my accomplishment? To make themselves feel better? faster? Like more of a runner? It just makes no sense. Just because you think something is true, doesn’t mean you should say it.

I think it’s so cool how God works. Not long ago I wrote this post. Do you remember it? I talked about mean commenters, or “the not so nice” and I talked about having a game plan for how to deal with them if the situation should arise on your blog. I am SO glad I wrote that post. It caused me to create a game plan, and it helped me to not let one sad person rock my world and ruin my self esteem. I was taken aback when I first read it, yes of course, but I honestly laughed about it and felt sorry for the commenter. Making a young girl feel bad about her greatest accomplishment is so laughable!  Due to my game plan and confidence in myself, I was able to sleep soundly last night. Not to mention, it drove my blog traffic up, awesome!

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In case you are too lazy to click on the link, I will break it down for you. I was accused of not being a “real runner” because my marathon time was too slow. hhhmmm….But…what about my half marathon times? my 5k times? They are ok I think….so do I get to be called a “runner” again? it totally makes no sense.

The commenter suggested “real runners run 75-100+ miles a month. Ok…So now we are suggested you are ONLY a runner IF you run long distances? I’m sure the Olympic champions in the 100 meters would have some beef with that. Just because they excel in a shorter distance means they are not runners? it’s SO comical to even consider!

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Through all of this I was never able to pin down the “stipulations” for being a runner. But, in true blog drama fashion, I felt like it really needed to be addressed because there have been many blogger attacks lately dealing with fast times, slow times, what makes you a runner, etc.

I believe I 100% am a runner. I train, I race, I enjoy running, no matter my times, MPW etc. I run, therefore, I am a runner, and darn proud of it!

So I would like to hear from you. What makes YOU a runner? Is it your gear? your PR’s? your MPW? Your desire to be more healthy? How many races you have run? Please share your thoughts, I am so curious!

*Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

*Did you see the article digital running posted on me?