My Future and the Foam Roller

My last post was apologizing for my lack of posts…and that was about a week or so ago. I feel like I owe my readers (the few who are still paying attention to this blog) an explanation.

I was offered a new job opportunity in Oklahoma about a week and half ago, so my husband and I decided to make them move. Needless to say, I’ve been doing a lot of packing and planning for the big move, which is happening in about a week.

The good news is that my mileage is going well. I’m on week four of my mileage increase and my body is responding great. I plan on dropping the miles a little bit next week during the big push before the move and then building again.

Give the body a chance to recover.

Now that I am comfortable with more mileage, I’m adding a couple of days of weight training to the schedule. My legs are excited that I’m building my upper body to help with the runs, but I’ve been so sore!

I will be the first to admit that I’m not a big on stretching. I hate it. Somehow, over the past 17 years of running

My new lifesaver.

I’ve yet to have a major injury due to my extreme inflexibility, but I don’t want to jinx it. In an attempt to be preemptive, I bought a foam roller.

I’m in love.

Since bringing it home yesterday afternoon, I have spent most of my time rolling around on the living room floor. My body feels incredible!

What equipment, stretches or exercises help you increase flexibility?

Dear _____, I apologize.

To all my dear readers and fans, I apologize.

When I left for my trip to ye ole Kansas, I thought for sure I would find time to post. Unfortunately, I did not.

Despite my lack of posting, I did manage to find time to get in several quality runs. You’ve already read about the Cross Country Line Drill, but I also did some 200 repeats with my kid sister, a tempo run, long strides and several runs in the cold rain.

Today, I’m back in the South ready for a long run. The Fleet Feet evening run is tonight, but I’m going to get in some bonus miles this morning to boost today’s total.

I ended up taking Sunday and Monday completely off because my shins were incredibly sore. No doubt due to my increase in mileage over the past two weeks. So, in an effort to avoid injury, I took it easy. Now I’m back in the game.

It’s gotten warmer down here in the past week or so. I’m sure I’ll be posting tomorrow about some more Tuesday run adventures.

When was the last time you increased your weekly mileage? And how do you decide by how much to increase?

By cottontrunners

Cross Country Line Drill

I arrived in Kansas Saturday afternoon (hence the reason I have lacked in the posting department) to see miles of flat ground being tormented by 20-30 mile per hour wind.

My first thought about my week in Kansas was relief from the Mississippi hills. There’s not a lot of hills where I run, but more than out around my parent’s house.

When I walked out of the airport Saturday, I wasn’t surprised to get hit with a violent side wind that knocked all hope of some easy miles out of my mind.

After my last 5K, I’m determined to shave chunks of seconds off my time.

I’m motivated like never before.

So, I knew I wanted to get in a nice long run before the week started and got away from me.

I decided to do a 10-mile course my high school cross country coach called the Cross Country Line Drill.

We ran this course a couple times during my high school career, but it was always the longest run of my training for the year. Now that I’ve been through college and entered the world of even longer distances, I wasn’t as concerned with the mileage.

My Mama offered to bike next to me for the run, and we started before the sun came up. Luckily, the wind had died down to around 15-17 miles per hour.

I got my Garmin ready as we approached the dirt intersection between my parents’ and grandma’s house. My legs rolled into stride as I clicked the button and we were off.

We cruised through the early morning darkness by the light of my headlamp. The Cross Country Line Drill goes straight from the dirt intersection three miles on dirt roads into town; one miles through town (it’s a really small town) on pavement; and 1 more mile on dirt out past town.

My high school cross country coach met us just before town with one of his track athletes to run the middle four with us before dropping off at the 7-mile marker.

It’s a straight, flat shot for five miles out until the road tees off. Then we smack the sign at the tee (the line drill part) and head back.

The most rewarding part of the run was the time and pace. In high school, I recall finishing in 1:22. Yesterday, the watch read 1:26.

A time and distance I am happy with.

What kind of fun runs or courses do you do?

By cottontrunners

Waddling

Sorry about yesterday’s missing post. I’m not sure how the day got away from me so quickly.

I do know that I finally got myself to the gym to lift after all the inspiring comments from Wednesday’s post. Except now I’m waddling.

My legs are so sore!

I tried to go for a long run with a friend this morning and ended up having to cut a few miles off and walk it in on the hills. I’m hovering over my chair right now because it hurts less than sitting down.

The workout I did wasn’t that intense, it’s just been so long since I lifted. Funny how you stop lifting for a while and when you finally get back in the gym it’s like your body has no idea what’s going on.

Here’s the workout I did:

3 sets; 15 reps

  • Lying Leg Press
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Curls
  • Jump Squats
  • Abductor
  • Adductor
  • Calf Raises

I need to make stretching a priority today.

What makes you really sore and how do you work out the kinks?

 

By cottontrunners

Guess Who’s Back

My confidence is back. After my performance at the Legal Beagle 5k, I feel completely ready to take my running to the next level.

Before I registered, I was still hesitant to push too hard. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t keep up the pace or that I would get injured. But in reality, I just needed an excuse to keep me from challenging myself.

Last night was the first run with a group since the race, and I decided to stop fiddling around in different pace groups and go run with the faster pace group.

Sure enough, I was ready.

Running is mental. There is no doubt in my mind that most people can run much faster than they think. It’s just a matter of will power…and sucking up a lot of pain.

Going from casual jogging to competitive running is like jumping off a cliff (in relative terms). It takes a lot of nerve and it’s going to hurt.

One major difference: you’ll survive the workouts.

So, if you’re stuck in a rut or have avoided changing up the pace, I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll love the results.

What are some workouts or paces you’ve wanted to try but haven’t found the courage?

By cottontrunners

To Run or Not To Run

It’s Tuesday again.

And that means an evening run with the Fleet Feet running group. I’ve been running in the mornings, but today I haven’t quite convinced myself that my legs are ready for a two-a-day.

Regardless of what I do during the day, I’ll be headed to the group run this evening. My initial thought was to do some hill repeats. Keep the mileage down but stretch the legs out.

Unfortunately, the morning got away from me and now I’m drinking a cup of coffee at 10 a.m.

Hmm…

I should probably take some advice from my great readers:

Or I could just bottle feed the puppies and clean the house.

How did you decide when you were ready to double up on runs or workouts?

 

Obstacle Run

The time change always throws me off but not quite like it did this year.

Somehow, my husband and I both slept through our alarms and woke up an entire hour late. By the time I fed the puppies, took my big dog out and got the coffee started, I knew my run was going to be a little off.

The weatherman preached all weekend about the high temperatures and humidity this week, so I had planned to get my runs in early before the heat and chance of rain.

No such luck.

I managed to get out the door (had to start from the apartment because I have a low tire on my car) by 7:30 a.m. I settled for an out and back with the last mile and a half on hills. The run went well for the first two miles or so until the chaos started.

I always hear little creatures in the brush next to the trails, but this morning I looked over to see an armadillo waddling through the grass straight for me. Thankfully, I was moving a tad faster than him and was able to avoid any awkward confrontation. Of course, I’m too OCD about my runs to stop and take a picture.

As I hit the half way point and turned around, I thought my post would just be about the armadillo, and then a decent-sized bug kamikazed my left eye. Again, running OCD would not let me stop to dig it out of my eye. Instead, I just started blinking and scratching my eye to get it out. I did manage to dig the bug out with my nail, but my contact had flipped up into my eye. Nothing a little more blinking didn’t take care of.

Able to see again, I prepared for the last mile and a half of long, steep hills. Convinced I would keep the pace, I over compensated and sped up through the hills and to the finish.

I crossed the street and walked up the stairs to my apartment just as the rain started to come down.

What kind of obstacle runs have you had?

 

 

Some Nerve

The Legal Beagle 5k is this weekend.

One of my running buddies is encouraging me to register. I haven’t actually registered to race for a while now and that was for a half marathon.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve lost my nerve to compete. The last time I ran a 5k I was decked out in college gear and kicking ace.

I’m in good shape, don’t get me wrong, but I haven’t shifted up to those gears in a while. There’s a good chance I’m going to need some WD-40.

My biggest fear is what the stopwatch will say at the end. It’s not going to say what it used to, and I’m not sure I’m ready to live that reality.

Am I being selfish, silly or a little of both?

Being an experienced runner, I’m the first to tell others to get out there and try it. Test your limits and go from there.

But, I’m a hypocrite.

I know I’ll finish. I know I’ll run a good time. I may even be able to win it. But can I prove myself to me?

We Want to Know What You Think

Share this poll with your fellow runners. You can also vote on Facebook.

I’m So Lonely

No Saturday morning group run today. All my awesome running buddies are  headed to New Orleans for the Rock ‘n’ Roll half and full marathon.

Registration fees were sky-high by the time I got involved with the group, so I’m sitting this one out.

I was dead set on getting up to run this morning regardless of the group being out of town, but a cool front moved in and a breeze picked up, so here I am. Blogging in my pajamas with a cup of coffee.

Running requires a lot of discipline, and today I don’t have it. I’m sure I’ll get in a few miles sometime today, but nowhere near what I would have done with the group.

If you’re new to running or trying to get back into it, I recommend finding at least one running buddy. If you live in a city, I’m sure there is a group you can join. I had to pay to join the group I’m with now, but it’s definitely worth the accountability.

What do you do to hold yourself accountable to your workouts?