I went out on a four-mile run today. As I ran, my mind wondered. It jumped from why I started running and my initial fears about running to what I’d accomplished. I thought about the running community and how welcoming and embracing it is. I thought of all the people the supported me and gave me encouragement.
I started running on a whim while sitting around my cousin’s table having a couple of glasses of wine. I do believe a lot of my best ideas come after having a few glasses of wine. This resulted in my training for running my first 5K. I was pretty nervous about running in front of people. What would people think if I came in last? Well, several races later, I will say no one has pointed and laughed at my slow running. I’ve come in dead last at a race and again no one cared. Well, no one but me because I was too proud of myself that I finished my first 10K.
It took a while for me to call myself a runner. I still revert back to saying a jogger. I don’t know if it really matters except in my mind. When I call myself a jogger it’s usually when I’m fell down about my abilities. But I am a runner. I go out there and do it. I’m slower than some and faster than others. Running isn’t about my competing with others, it’s about my competition with myself and beating my last time.
I’ve found the running community to be more than welcoming. I was nervous about talking with other runners. I don’t look like a running. My times are much slower than many of my running friends. The more runners I talked to I began realizing most runners love when other’s embrace their sport. Most are willing to give out their advice and recommendation. Most will help cheer you on and encourage. Granted, there are some who don’t fall into this category, however, they have been few and far between.
If you are thinking about starting to run. Do it! It has so many rewards. And none of my worries or fears were ever validated. I found running to be therapeutic. I find it gives me energy and makes me happy. One last time, if you’re thinking about running, Just Do IT. You won’t regret it.
Wool Running Socks: Yeah, I love’em
I’ve been jogging now for a couple of years. I still consider myself in toddler-hood when it comes to this sport. I’ve been doing it long enough, I pretty much understand how it works. I’ve now invested some decent cash in gear and chews/nutritional support, and I’ve done some longer runs to include 2 1/2 marathons. But there’s a lot more for me to learn, hence the toddler-hood.
However, one thing I will tell you hands down, I love wool running socks. Go ahead, close your mouth, stop gasping and looking surprised. Because, yes I said wool. I know what you’re thinking because I’ve heard it. Isn’t it itchy? Or too hot? Does it wick moisture? I’ve heard it all.
But the truth is, they’re amazing! I’ve tried a couple different brands and find they are quite superior to any other sock I’ve experienced.
Here’s why I love wool running socks:
1) Comfort- My feet stay cool/warm appropriately, absolutely no itching.
2) Wicking- Nothing wicks like these socks, I’ve ran through a puddle completely soaking my feet and within minutes, my feet felt dry. After the run removing my shoe, my foot was completely dry!
3) Arch support- My feet feel like they’re getting a nice little hug. Amazing!
4) Long lasting- These wash well. I’ve had two of my socks for 2 years and they still look and feel great.
5) Minimal blisters- Up until my 1/2 marathons, I would’ve said absolutely no blisters. But I must confess I did get one blister during my 1/2 marathons. But I say that’s pretty good hearing and reading about the condition of other runner’s feet.
The downfall, and there’s only one that I can think of…the cost. They are a bit pricey. They range from right around $10 a piece to around $30- Just for the record, I’ve never spent more than $17 on a pair. You can find them on sale and that’s when I purchase them. And I purchase, one here and there to add to my collection.
In my opinion, the benefit and overall awesomeness of this sock, outweighs the cost. Go ahead, order some. Your feet will thank you.
On a completely different note, I have a book give away HERE. Please feel to check it out and register for a chance to receive the book. Thanks!
A while back I shared I was training for a half-marathon. I’ve since then completed two half-marathons all in the month of May. It has been quite a journey. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m contemplating doing a third half-marathon. I know, I may be certifiable but at least if I sign-up for a third, it won’t be until this fall.
It’s been one crazy ride, this goal of completing the half-marathons. And as with everything there were some high’s and lows. I learned a lot with the first one and even more with the second one. I want to take a few minutes to share with you what I learned.
1) It takes time to train Ok so this may seem obvious but to be completely honest, I didn’t realize exactly how much time I would spend training. Initially I was jogging on a treadmill at the gym three times a week. However, once I hit 6 miles it seemed very tedious to run on the treadmill and the weather was warming up. Unfortunately once I got out of the gym I didn’t want to go back. I found my distance decreased because of the weather. I always managed to get my long jogs in, but I skipped several shorter jogs. I spent every Sunday jogging in the afternoon for up to 2.5 hours. When you begin your journey remember it will take you to several hours a week of training.
2) The outfit matters: I knew shoes were important, but your clothes are also important. I took a long time searching for a pair of running capris. I had some strict criteria, I didn’t want them to be see-through. WOW! That was very difficult to find a pair that I felt comfortable wearing. After I found a pair, I bought two as they were super comfy and fit well. For a top, I just used a razor back exercise shirt but you do want to consider your shirt. I found some rubbed funny once I’d put in several miles. When picking out an outfit, pay attention to comfort. Also, wear the clothes for training jogs this way you can see if it rubs anywhere.
3) Make sure you can eat Nutrition is very important both while training and pre-race. I highly recommend maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet while training. During training I would eat a large lunch and then jog 1-2 hours later. The first half-marathon I’d planned on eating before the race. I didn’t factor in two things, one during training I was eating a pretty heavy meal prior to my longer jogs. Two, I didn’t plan on having difficulty eating so early in the morning. Race day I was up and attempted to eat at 4 AM. My stomach couldn’t tolerate food. I ran out of energy very quickly into the race. In preparation for the second one, I woke-up several days and practiced eating my planned breakfast. This made race day much easier.
4) Fuel as you go I learned early on that I needed to fuel on the run. I tried a few different fueling options. GU seems to be one of the most used ones. Both races offered it at some of the water stations. They also offered a sports drink at some of the stations. I tried the GU and carried it with me, but overall I found the texture problematic. It did work, about 15 minutes after eating it, I did notice a slight boost in my energy. I also used Jelly Beans and I had the same boost. During my second half I found Gatorade chews. The texture of these were more favorable than the GU. I didn’t feel the kick of energy like I did from the GU but I didn’t feel tired either. The most important thing about fueling is to do it before you need it. The first half, I waited until I felt the tired set-in. That is too late! The second, I started sooner and felt stronger for longer.
5) Plan to rest following This really took me by surprise. I was expecting some soreness but I wasn’t expect the recommendation and much needed minimum of one week of resting. Even after that week, my hip was painful with exercise. I found jogging a mile difficult. Slowly I was able to jog further distances and by the time my second half arrived I was able to do 10 miles without a whole lot of trouble. Unfortunately, I needed to walk over the last mile. If I had another week or two, I would have been better prepared. I recommend spacing out your races further than 3 weeks for adequate recovering time.
I know I’ve learned so much more than those 5 items. However, I believe those are the most applicable to others. Personally, I also learned that I truly can do more than I think I’m capable. For those well-trained and athletic, the achievement of a half-marathon might not seem that great. But for me, it was an amazing accomplishment.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:4
As I shared several months ago, one of my New Year’s Resolution was to complete a 1/2 marathon. I signed up for the Lincoln 1/2 marathon nervously and have been training now for two months. I’m pretty excited and nervous about completing it. My excitement lead me to sign up for a second 1/2 marathon just weeks after the Lincoln. This one closer to home. This one with a much stricter finish time- 3 hours and 15 mins. And I’m slow…very slow. I’m a bit nervous about whether I can finish it in the time limit. But, I’m going to try.
I’ve picked up a couple of new products during my training time. I’m planning to provide a review on them as I use them. Today I’m going to review the Camden Hydration Belt. This was one of the first products I purchased for my run. Since I have reactive airway, I always jog with my inhaler. Prior to ordering this product, I was just using a fanny pack. Which worked, it easily held everything I may or may not need. The downfall is it bounced around, a lot. At the end of my 10K last fall, I had a line of skin irritation on my back from the fanny pack. I knew there’d be no way I could jog over twice the distance with a fanny pack.
I did some research and found that if I was going to buy a new pack, I might as well get something that can carry water too. I read several blogs about how to prepare for a 1/2 and full marathon and several recommend some way to carry water. In my mind, it only made sense to have on item that could do both.
So, I found this hydration belt on Amazon. I ordered it around Christmas and the winter was pretty bad here, so I didn’t get a chance to try it out until a few weeks ago.
The belt is very comfortable and doesn’t bounce. I’ve worn it on a 8 mile jog as well as several shorter jogs. I’ve had no skin irritation. The pocket is a snug fit for my phone, small set of keys, and GU. Since I have to carry an inhaler with me, I like have the attachment strings. My inhaler stays in place while jogging and with no fear of it falling. The water bottles are small and, in my opinion, a good size for carrying along.
The one downfall was one bottle had holes in it and leaked. I contacted the company and received excellent costumer service. Within 24 hours I had an email back apologizing for the leak and offering a more than adequate solution. This company certainly goes out of its way to help which is quite refreshing!
Overall, this belt is worth the investment. It’s priced well which is always a bonus. 🙂
I do recommend this belt for anyone who is looking for a hydration belt with a pack. It’s a great belt and I’m looking forward to using it for many, many miles as my 1/2 marathon approaches!
Have you found in running or jogging products that you’d recommend? Have you tried the Camden hydration belt? I’d love to hear from you.