Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tip and Tricks

So last night my roommate (nonrunner) sent me a text on her way home from work that said a little something like this:
"I want to go for a run when I get home!"
Music to my ears! I just love introducing people to the wonderful world of running and helping them get more into it. Although, sometimes I'm not so good at it. The last time she asked to go on a run with me I told her we were going 2 miles and I think we ended up somewhere around 4.5. That was about a year ago and she has not asked to go for a run with me since.
This time I was not going to push it, I was going to make sure that she stayed at a comfie pace and didn't try to do too much the first time. She is active and does go to the gym a lot, just doesn't run, so I figured she could probably handle 2 miles. I told her that we would run down a path that I knew of that was pretty flat, for 1 mile and then turn around.
This picture is probably exactly what I looked like (on the left). I keep giving her thumbs up, smiling, and telling her "YOU CAN DO IT!" I'm sure she probably wanted to punch me in my cheesy grinned face! haha.
The run started out great and she was shocked when I told her that she had almost ran the whole first mile without stopping! She said that she felt good, so we went another .5 miles before turning around (making our estimated total 3 miles instead of 2). After the first mile we ran an average of about .5 miles before stopping for a walk break, but those were never longer than a few minutes and then we would pick it back up. We ended up with some pretty good stats for a beginning runner. Maybe I have a marathon training partner now?!....or maybe we should just stick with building up slowly. haha
Total Miles: 3.31
Total Time: 42:35
Total Calories Burned: 253
Average Pace: 12:52
Mile One: 11:14
Mile Two: 13:05
Mile Three: 12:15
I happy to say that I think she enjoyed it a lot more than last time! When we got home she was asking me questions and I was giving her advice on things that have helped me run better. This gave me the idea for the blog, so I decided that I would put some of my little tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years with all of you!
*Disclaimer*: These are things that work for ME. Everyone is different and everyone will have different running styles and techniques. These are just a few things that I have picked up that have really helped my running. So, with that said....herrrreee weee goooo.....
Em's Two-cents Worth of Tips and Tricks for Beginning Runners:
  • Always run in clothes that you feel comfortable in and that you like to wear. Having cute AND comfy workout gear always motivates me to put it on, and once its on...well, you HAVE to workout! haha.
  • Set small goals and take baby steps. Starting with an over ambitious goal when you first start to run can burn you out and make you hate running. Start small and build your milage over time when YOU feel you can.
  • If you set a goal of 2 miles and still feel good after you have ran that far, add half a mile or even a whole mile. Pushing yourself just a little more is what builds up your endurance.
  • However, don't push yourself TOO hard, this can lead to burn out or injury. Know your body, what it can do, and what it's limits are.
  • It always helps me to set smaller goals within your run. Such as "run until the end of this song" or "run until you get to that lamp post" more often than not, once that song is over, or once you reach that lamp post your fine to keep on a truckin'
  • Pay attention to your breathing. I find it best to breath through my nose and out my mouth. If you are finding it impossible to control your breathing, it is time to take a walk break and get it back under control.
  • Pay attention to your stride. Longer strides make you run faster without putting the pounding pressure on your legs that smaller strides do.
  • TRIM YOUR TOENAILS! (learned that the hard way)
  • Stretching before a run (before the muscles are warmed up) can lead to pulling a muscle. It is best to warm-up before you stretch, or stretch after the run.
  • Don't overlook the importance of stretching! Stretching can help you become a better runner in so many ways. It helps with flexibility, keeps muscles lose, and prevents injury.
So now that I have put my two cents worth in, what are your favorite tips or tricks for running?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Recap

Hey guys! Sorry for disappearing over the weekend. It was my roommates birthday on Friday, so we pretty much celebrated all weekend! So here is a recap of all the things that made up my weekend. Including birthdays, running, and good times with friends :)


The roomie's birthday was today and we had a full day of activities planned, so I woke up early for a run. It was a GREAT run. I had originally planned to run 5 miles, but once I got to five I felt awesome, so I added on two more. Don't you just love those days?! Too bad every run can't be like that. I also did a pretty good job of keeping a nice steady pace and didn't come on too fast at first. This is something that I have noticed that I do, so I think pacing myself really helped too and could have been why I felt fine to add on two more miles, because I hadn't worn myself out. Here are the stats:

Total Miles: 7.13

Total Time: 1:06:43

Total Calories Burned: 600

Average Pace: 9:21

Mile 1: 9:11

Mile 2: 8:59

Mile 3: 9:10

Mile 4: 9:30

Mile 5: 9:09

Mile 6: 9:26

Mile 7: 9:32

I think that I have found my comfortable pace (around 9:20 miles) so once I start getting 100% into training I'm going to try to work a little bit harder on speedwork so I can increase my speed a little more.

So after heading home, showering, and throwing on some new clothes I met my rommie and her stepmom for birthday pedicures. If you remember from the previous post I was in desperate need of one!

After that we speed home to get ready and all dressed up for dinner. I had gone to the restaurant beforehand and gave them a cake with candles to bring out after dinner to surprise. I worked out great and she was TOTALLY surprised!

Here is the birthday girl sporting the tiara that I got her

Britts 23rd Bday 026

Me and the birthday girl (I also got her the pin that says "its my birthday") yeah, I like birthdays. haha

Britts 23rd Bday 007

And blowing out the candles on the cake!

Britts 23rd Bday 016

After dinner we all went out dancing and such. The pictures stop at dinner. hmmm...I guess I have trouble holding on the ol' camera and dancing at the same time?


Saturday involved no running and was used as a "recover" day. Also, I worked all that day, so that was pretty much all I got done. Pretty boring Saturday huh?!


Back to running! I ran 5 miles today. It WAS blazin' hot outside, so unfortunately it was not one of those where I wanted to add more miles to my run! Here are the stats:

Total Miles: 5.28

Total Time: 51:16

Total Calories Burned: 440

Average Pace: 9:42 (a little slower than Friday)

Mile One: 9:07

Mile Two: 8:56

Mile Three: 9:47

Mile Four: 9:43

Mile Five: 9:28

The course I ran was a little but hillier than the one I ran on Friday, so that probably explains the slower pace. I still think I did a pretty decent job at keeping a nice steady pace throughout the run. YAY for me! Also, I noticed in both runs this weekend the second mile is the fastest. Coincidence? That might be something that I take note of.

What did I do with the rest of my Sunday you ask?!....

Well, I had a "double date" and by double date I mean myself and these two little hotties

Thats right, I watched the season finale of Lost DUH! Its only my favorite show ever and I am sooo sad that it is over! The finale was great though, I loved how they decided to end it. I was very satisfied with the conclusion! haha.

Is anyone else into Lost? If so, which one do you think is cuter? (if your not into the show you can just judge by the pics). I lean a little more towards Sawyer. I'm not usually into blondes, but you just cant beat those dimples! :)

Well, kiddos I'm out to start off my week!

Did everyone else have a good weekend? What did you guys do?

<3 Em

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's Talk Music

Good morning dears! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far and looking forward to the weekend :)

Running this week has not been 100% because my knee has been acting up again. Nothing too bad, but I know that my knee can get really bad, so i usually try to catch it before it gets to the point. So the past two days have been spent icing, wrapping, heating, etc. to get it back into fightin' shape!

One things that always get me excited to go out for a run is when I have new fun music to listen to. I downloaded a TON of songs for my half marathon (3:30 hours worth, to be exact). But ever since then I have been in a music rut! I just can't find anything else to put on the ol' ipod and the half marathon playlist is gettin a little old.

My music taste is a little strange. I pretty much listen to just about everything. I stopped that whole elitist "I listen to great music and you don't" kinda thing after highschool. There is so much great music out there, just because its POP doesn't mean that its bad. My music taste ranges from rock to indie to bluegrass to pop. Just whatever kind of mood I am in.

My favorite songs to run to are songs I like to call "badass girl songs". You know the ones. Let's just say "Dont' Cha" and "Like a Boy" are the two best examples. :)

Say whatever you want, but I think the pussycat dolls are awesome! Don't judge. hehe.

So with that being said, here is my half marathon playlist (full of "badass girl songs")

  • Ke$sha - Dinosaur* (Ok I have to admit, I kinda HATE Ke$ha, but this song has a really great beat to run to!)
  • Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind
  • Will Smith - Miami (I know, old school, right?!)
  • E-40 - Wake it Up
  • Black Eyed Peas - Missing You (anything by the black eyed peas pumps me up for a run)
  • Ciara - Like a Boy*
  • Ciara - Get Up*
  • Lloyd - Track shoes (I randomly found this song through a friend, if you need a new running song PLEASE download this one, its amazing for running!)
  • Kayne West - Anyone but Him
  • Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin
  • Ciara - Turntables* (hmm I'm starting to see a theme hehe)
  • Dolla - Make a Toast
  • Usher - OMG
  • Wiz Khalifa - Mezmorized (this is another song that was introduced to me by a friend that by a new artist, his whole album is great!)
  • Maria Carey - Obsessed*
  • Beyonce - Sweet Dreams*
  • Shakira - Hips Don't Lie*
  • Outkast - The Way You Move
  • Jay Sean and Lil Wayne - Down
  • Destiny's Child - Jumpin Jumpin*
  • Destiny's Child - Lose My Breath* (PERFECT for running)
  • Destiny's Child - Bootylicious*
  • Akon - Dangerous
  • Kayne West - Overnight Star (one of my all time favorites)
  • Shakira - She Wolf*

*Songs marked with a star are songs that are classified as "Bad Ass Girl Songs"

Ok, so there are alot more songs on that playlist, but it was gettin a bit long so I decided to tease you a little and save some of the others for another time :)

NOW ITS YOUR TURN! Help a girl out and tell me some of your favorite music to run to.

I'm in desperate need of some new music! aaannnddd GO!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy Run

So I decided to try out the advice that Kellie had given me in my previous post about slowing down my pace during my easy runs and concentrating more on distance than on time. This is sooo hard for me to do because I always get frustrated with myself if I feel like I'm running too slow. Hey, we are our own worst critics, right?!
But today I set a distance goal of 8 miles and thats it. I really even tried to slow myself down to the pace that I am supposed to do my long runs in, according to my training. I ended up going just a teeny tiny bit faster, but it went really well! I dont want to push myself so hard that I get burned out, so slowing it down was a nice change. Here are my stats:
Total Time: 1:23:03
Total Distance: 8.38 miles
Total Calories Burned: 700
Mile One: 9:38
Mile Two: 9:42
Mile Three: 9:59
Mile Four: 10:10
Mile Five: 9:58
Mile Six: 9:41
Mile Seven: 10:01
Mile Eight: 9:07
Keep in mind that my estimated pace time for training on long runs in 10:38. I dont think that I was too far off.

Also, Christy asked in my last post if I was training for a certain marathon. The answer is no, only because I can't decide which one I wanna do for my first one! Right now I am not technically training, since I dont have a set date for a marathon, but just trying to keep in top running shape and also to PR in a half that I AM running in October. Any suggestions as to what would be a good race to run for my very first marathon?! preferably one that is in october/november would be ideal. What was one of your favorite races?  

In unrelated running news, I just have to talk about something that I am SUPER EXCITED about. Three weeks from today I will be flying out to California to pick up my man! If you read my last blog you know that I have been in a long distance relationship for almost two years with Mike. He lives in California. The story of how we met might be a whole other post! :) Anyway, on his last visit we decided that we had both had enough of the distance and he said that he would move her with me while I finish school! Its scary/exciting/every other feeling you can think of. I bought a one way ticket and we are driving back across the country from Cali to my home in Tennessee! It will be a great adventure and I will get to see so many things that I have never seen before! And then I will actually have my boyfriend right beside me all the time, instead of 3500 miles away! :)
Whats that? You wanna see a picture of my hottie?! Well, OK if you insist :)
birthday!! 040
Not too bad huh?! hehe.
Well, ladies and gents, I'm off! Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday!
<3 Em

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend and is having a nice relaxing Sunday. I took yesterday as a rest day from running, because my knees where not feeling that great, and I didn't want to push it. I'm technically not in training until next month, so for now I am not running on a set schedule.
This morning I woke up and decided to get my mom out of bed to go for a run with me. Well, she walked, I ran. But I was impressed because she ended up walking a mile while I was running, so she did good!
I was surprised by my times and think that I may have been running a little too fast. I mean I was stocked and all, but I don't think that I should aim to run that fast if I want to go further distances and hold a steady pace. Which brings me to a question for you readers/running gurus. I have been doing some research in order to make out my training schedule, and most of the things that I find tell me that I should do my easy runs at about a 10 minute mile pace. However, usually when I just run at a natural pace on long runs I run a little bit faster than that (about 8:50-9:20 min miles). So here is my question:

How important is it that I slow down on my easy runs? Should I really try to slow myself down to that pace for the sake of training, or should I just run at my natural pace that is a little bit faster?

I know that a lot you have ran several races and have done a lot of training, so any input into that would be great!
So back to my run today. I ended up warming up with a mile jog and then running 3 miles, while my mom walked. Here are my stats:
Total Distance: 3 miles
Total Time: 25:11
Total Calories Burned: 250
Mile 1: 9:02
Mile 2: 8:17
Mile 3: 7:55
Not too sure what was going on there, not a steady pace AT ALL! oh well.
So, since it is Sunday, I will do a quick week wrap up of my workouts for the entire week. I only got my Garmin on Wednesday, so I don't have fancy stats for my run on Monday or Tuesday, just the mileage :)
Monday: 6.5 miles
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 6.2 miles @ 9:21
Friday: 2 miles @ 8:25
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: 3 miles @ 8:25
Total for the week: 23.5 miles
I'm thinking about doing some yoga later on tonight, since I have nothing else better to do, and my legs are feeling a little stiff. So that should give them a nice stretch!
Hope everyone has a great day! Tomorrow is back to grind :(
<3 Em

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Cut" Short

So today's run was cut a little short. I was running along, feeling fine when I started noticing a little pain in my toe. It kinda felt like there might be a rock in my shoe or something, but it wasn't too bad so I just kept running. After about 2 miles though I felt like it might be worse than I thought....I sat down....took of my shoe...and THIS is what I see:
running 001
Ok, Im not gonna lie, I felt sorta like a badass with a bleeding foot at first. Until I starting freaking out thinking it might be something embedded in my foot, which would mean a doctors visit. So I immediately high tailed it over to my own personal doctor, aka mom.
After cleaning it up and examining it with a flashlight and magnifying glass. (yes, we were diggin' deep for answers) we found out it wasn't a piece of glass at all. What was the culprit you ask?! Well, as my mom said "I should be embarrassed to admit it", but it was my toenail! Thats right, I may or may not have skipped a few weeks of trimming the ol' toenails. They had gotten so long that one of them was digging into the other toe when I ran! Don't judge me, I'm busy ok?! So there ya go guys and girls first running tip of the new blog...ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR TOENAILS ARE TRIMMED :)
This should probably be a rule for life in general as well, cause come on thats just gross!
I got the clippers, took care of the problem, and got all bandaged up.
running 002
Please excuse the freakishly long toes. So no worries, kiddos, I will live to run another day :)
Because of this little nuance, my run today kinda sucked and isnt even really worth talking about.  But her are my stats anyways. For documentation sake.
Total Time: 17:48
Total Miles: 2
Calories Burned: 152
Mile One: 8:47
Mile Two: 9:01
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better run with no injuries! Until then HAPPY FRIDAY!
<3 Em

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Still Going Strong

Hey guys! Guess what?! IM BACK!!

I decided to start up blogging again, now that it is summer time and school isn't taking up every single last second of my life. :) I also decided that rather than going back to my old blog (you may remember me from The Life and Times of Em) that I would start fresh with a brand new one! There have been a lot of things going on in my life since I stopped blogging and the best way to embrace those changes is to start a whole new chapter. You may remember from my last blog that I was beginning to get into running more and more. I ran one 10K and was hooked. I spent the last two months training for a half marathon, and totally beat my goal time of 2 hours with a finishing time of 1:58:38! Since then I have been motivated to train harder so that I can beat even that time, and eventually, hopefully, run a full marathon! If you read my last blog at all you know that this is a big deal because of some of the things that I have been through, and recovered from. I never thought that I would be strong enough to even run a 10K and now I am training for 26.2 miles!

I am starting this blog to document my training and also to help others find the strength to do the same. I hope I can continue to get the same support from you guys as I did from my previous blog and I am so excited to catch up with some of the people that I got close too before. If you followed my last blog then go ahead and click the follow button on this one, I hope to make this one even bigger and better than the last!

To start off the training I picked up a little toy yesterday...

A Garmin FR205! It has been sitting in its little charger all night and should be revvinn to go for my run today! I have never really gotten this technical with my training, so hopefully this will help me to be even faster by keeping track of my mileage, splits, etc. We shall see!

Alright guys its time to get this thing for 26.2 starts NOW...

"Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can"

Update! I just got back from my run using my Garmin for the first time so I thought I would put my mile splits up to start things off. Sooo here we go:

Total Distance: 6.21 Miles
Total Time: 58 Minutes
Total Calories Burned: 508

Mile One: 8:36/mi
Mile Two: 8:01/mi
Mile Three: 8:57/mi
Mile Four: 8:43/mi
Mile Five: 8:59/mi
Mile Six: 9:00/mi

Not too bad...although I have to admit that I did probably push myself a little harder than usual since I knew what my pace was. I had to keep telling myself not to look at the watch and to just run like I normally would. After a while it got a little easier to not be too obsessed with checking my pace every 10 seconds. Im pretty sure that I am in love with my new running buddy though! 

Hope everyone is having a good day...and remember if you followed or subscribed to my old blog, please do the same for this one! Thanks guys!