Friday, July 31, 2015

I Run, Therefore I Am

Hey everyone! My last post and this one are a little different from what my blog has been about lately, but my blog is all about my creations, and lately, my biggest "creation" has been creating a runner inside me. I've had little time for anything else, although, if I do get a moment of rest, it's spent crocheting, which I just might be posting some crochet patterns in the future, so keep an eye out!

Anyways, I was recently asked if I would be willing to share some insight into my fitness and what fuels my workouts. I'm no professional athlete, but I am willing to share my experiences with my weightloss, fitness and training. I hope I can help or inspire someone with this post.

I didn't first start running, or even exercising for that matter, until after I had my first child back in 2005. Of course I exercised in P.E. in school growing up, but it was never fun, exciting or something I ever wanted to do. In fact, I think the fastest I could run a mile in school was like 13 minutes! When I started exercising in 2005, trying to lose baby weight, I quickly discovered that running was by far the easiest workout to do and burned the most calories in a faster time. After a while, I became hooked, I started challenging myself to see if I could beat my running time from the day before. Pretty soon I started thinking "hey, I bet I could run a marathon!" Well, that plan quickly flew out the window when I became pregnant with my second child in 2007. After that, there just never seemed to be anytime to train. 
Officially registered for my first marathon!

Well, February of this year, I finally decided that it was time to try to work off those last 15 pounds that I couldn't seem to shed. So I went back to my old friend, running. So, now that you know a bit of background, I thought I might do the rest of this blog post, interview style:

After achieving my 15 pounds weightloss goal.

What foods do you eat pre workout?

Honestly, unless I am running more than 8 miles, I don't eat anything at all before I go out on a run. I found that if I eat or drink anything before a small run like that, I end up having stomach issues. I've never had an "accident" in my pants before, but boy oh boy do I get cramps like non other if I eat pre-workout. However, if I am going into a race or running more than 8 miles, I usually drink a Kirkland Weightloss Shake, they are packed full of vitamins and protein and it's gentle on my stomach whenever I am having pre-race jitters. Also, I learned from a friend of mine who is an avid Iron-Man competitor, to fuel during those long runs. Believe me, its been one of the hardest things to do, learning how to chew, breathe, and run, but it really has made all the difference in keeping me going and keeping me on pace as I run. I've heard of people doing Gu's and Gel's and even baby food. ETB Fitness also has a great selection of items to fuel your workouts. I tend to stick to GoSqueeze Applesauce, Yogurt or Chocolate Covered Raisins, or I make my own version of a Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Energy bars that has honey, cinnamon and salted peanuts in it! It's so yummy and I cut them into bite sized pieces so I can just pop one into my mouth every 15 minutes or so during my run.

What music do you listen to during your workout?

I've got soooooooo much music downloaded on my phone, but for this question, I think I will stick to my favorite running mix that I have on my phone:

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
The World by Brad Paisley
A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton
Marry You by Bruno Mars
Geronimo by Sheppard
Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Honey, I'm Good by Andy Grammar
The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World
Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Shut Up And Dance by Walk the Moon
Immortals by Fall Out Boy
Larger Than Life by Backstreet Boys
Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor
Heartbeat Song by Kelly Clarkson
Hit the Lights by Selena Gomez
Feel Again by OneRepublic
Good Riddance by Green Day

How do you switch up routines daily/weekly to stay motivated?

Honestly, I really don't anymore. When I first started running, I would pick a new route around my neighborhood everyday so that I wouldn't get bored, but here I am 6 months later, and I have one specific route I like to run now, and while I have the personality to just stay motivated - once I put my mind to something, I don't like to quit - the biggest way for me to stay motivated is to push myself, to see if I can maintain my normal pace, or even beat my previous time for that route, even if it's by mere seconds. I truly believe that if you don't LOVE to run or you don't WANT to run, there will be nothing out there that can motivate you to keep going. My brother once said to me, if you are doing it for anyone other than yourself, then you will always find and excuse not to do it. So make sure you are doing this for YOU!

 I love to capture the sunrise on my camera phone almost every morning! They are always so beautiful!
 I also like to count all of the bunnies I see on my runs, I'm up to a record 45 bunnies in one run so far! Haha!
Collecting golf balls has become a habit for me when I run now (I live near a golf course). It's almost a subconscious thought now to look for them as I run.

What do you eat or do after your workout to make sure you got the most out of your workout?

The first thing I eat when I walk through that door after a run is head straight for the toaster. I am a HUGE fan or whole grain wheat toast and I indulge myself in JIF Whips Peanut Butter Chocolate spread! Then I usually get a Yoga DVD going on the TV and do a small and simple 30-minute routine just to stretch me out and ensure that nothing cramps up after my run. Then as I go throughout the day, I stick to a pretty strict diet. I eat about every two hours (mostly because of my blood sugar) my snacks usually include a banana, a Fig Bar, string cheese, strawberries, yogurt, oranges, Kellogg's Pastry Crisps, yogurt Creamies, really anything that is around 100 calories. For lunch I usually eat a bowl of cereal like Frosted Mini Wheats, Wheaties or Special K, oh and Life cereal is a favorite of mine too. I also indulge myself in a PB and J now and then, especially in the days leading up to a race. Then for dinner, I usually eat whatever the family is having, really anything at all. I just watch my calorie intake at dinner time. I have also learned not to eat new foods the night before a big run or race, my stomach is never happy the next morning. Like avocado, eggs, peppers...none of those are ever easy on my digestive system the morning after.

Any Questions?

If anyone has any more questions for me, I'm a pretty open book and would love to lend any advice or share my experiences. I am in no way a professional runner and I've only really been seriously running for about 6 months. A friend of mine once asked me, "did you just wake up one morning and say 'hey, I want to run today!'?" I guess in a way I did. Once I made the decision, I did it! I started with the goal in mind to just lose 15 pounds, that goal rapidly turned into running a marathon (which I will be on October 3rd!), and ever since I started, and while waiting for the marathon to get here, I have entered myself into 9 other races aside from the marathon. My first race was a 10k back in March, where I placed 1st in my age group! Then, shortly after that, near the end of April, I ran my first 1/2 marathon in just under 2 hours! May I ran a 10k where I took 2nd place overall in Women's! (That was probably the highlight of my running "career" so far.) In July I dialed back a little and did a 5k fun run with 2 of my 3 kids to raise money for our local burn center. The fire trucks came out and sprayed us all down multiple times throughout the run, and the finish line was a slip n' slide and afterwards we all got to splash around and play in a sea full of foam and bubbles! It was by far my funnest race ever, and kind of nice to run because there were no awards to be given, it was purely for fun! So I focused on being my kids' cheerleader (they are ages 9 & 7) and helping them finish the run (after they trained for only 2 weeks!) Tomorrow will be my second half marathon, and I have set a goal to beat my first half marathon time, although I am secretly hoping to at least be in the top ten, but lets be real, those top 10 people are FAST! After that I have another 10k race in September (I'm going for 1st place overall!) October is my first marathon. November is my third half marathon and December will be my fourth half marathon. I think if I could lend just one piece of advice to anyone who wants to run or is a runner: Make a goal and when you achieve that goal, set a new one! You need new motivation constantly to keep yourself going and setting goals and setting new goals once you have accomplished your others, I believe is the best motivation out there. Do it for YOU or you will always find an excuse not to do it. 

My first 10k race where I took 1st place in my age group!

My first half marathon!

My 2nd 10k where I told 2nd place OVERALL!

 The FirehozeFrenzy 5k Fun Run with 2 of my 3 kids!

 All the races I will have completed by the end of 2015!

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