Some of us are slackers, some of us are busy, some of us are never freaking home. Some (me) are all three and take their exercise where they can get it. Then there are others of us who embrace their fatchickness even though they are weightwatchers lifetimers *WOOT* and they workout and then tell us about it. We love that about them.
For the newbie runners and Fat Chicks Running viewers, who might get discouraged by the awesomeness that is the progress made by CarbKiller and Hogzilla:
I’ve been searching for the perfect pink running shoe forever, watching the FCR blog from afar with envy and haunting Charm City Run (http://www.charmcityrun.com/) in search of a 5k to get me to finally do it – jump into Week 1 Day 1. Last week, I signed my husband and I up for a 3-mile walk to benefit arthritis (May) and decided I am going to do it – start running. I mentioned my goal to a work-dad who participates in family runs with his wife and kids and he invited me to be on his family team for the Susan B Komen run in October.
Armed with a team, a race date, and a tax refund that fell into my bank account a week early, I ordered the running shoes. They won’t be here for a week but today is the first day of a new month and a Sunday, and since every new long-term endeavor must begin on the first day of a new month I decided I could suffer through the first week in my old walking shoes.
Better, since a shitstorm of shit-tastic proportions is supposed to be heading for Maryland tonight, I figured I’d have the high school track all to myself. No time like the present if I want to drag myself down there without any skinny fit guys scowling at me for clopping and lumbering along in their lane. So I layered and laced and grabbed my iPod and cell phone (how is it possible I don’t own a watch?) and headed out.
I wasn’t totally alone. Some old guy was doing this strange stiff-legged shuffle around the track when I got there. His blue track suit rustled eerily in the sinking dark. Somehow he continued to stay ahead of me, despite my jogging intervals. Old Dude was fast with his shuffle. Anyway – I know the interval is supposed to be 60 seconds run, 90 walk. I made it through the first run. By the time the second came around, I was still determined, but the chest pain and the wheezing set in about 45 seconds into it. The third run lasted about 30 seconds before I realized I was drooling on myself and couldn’t feel the soles of my feet anymore. (Oddly, through all of this, I didn’t notice whether my D-cups were bouncing out of control or staying put inside my cheap sports bra – which I guess means the sports bra did its job.)
By the time I gave up on running, I was really, really tempted to stop and head home. Old Dude kept me going, though. I didn’t want to look like a sissy leaving after two and a half turns around the football field. So I stayed to finish the mile and snuck up the stairs when Old Dude wasn’t looking.
At that point, I realized the error of my plan to utilize the “right across the street” highschool track: “right across the street” going TO is downhill. Coming FROM? Up. Hill. I think it took me 20 minutes to make that 5 minute trek home. And did I mention lung failure?
And now that I’ve made Week 1, Day 1 public, I can’t get up and go out for day 2.
CarbKiller note: I was going to call this “how not to look like an idiot or maim yourself permanently on race day” but the title was too long. I would like to take a moment to give a ginormous THANK YOU to our very own HobbitGrrl she has done fantastic things for my piece of mind…except for that butt crack comment that still freaks me out a bit. You’ll have to read the post to see what I mean. You rock H! SERIOUSLY!
What to expect on your first race…..From one nube to another….
First of all, understand that there are two kinds of races.REALLY REALLY big races with tons of entrants and usually high mileage routes, and really really small races, which are usually small town, local yocal 5Ks, 8Ks, or 10Ks.Big races seem intimidating but there is a certain amount of anonymity with them that the really really small races lack.In a small race, if you are the last one, everyone knows it, and the local police are likely following you, which is really embarrassing after a few miles – not that I know.In a big race, you will most likely not be the last one.There are usually enough people less prepared or worse off than you to keep your ego in check.
Second, do not fret.Whether you feel you are completely and totally prepared for your selected race, or if you feel, like most of us do, that we could have done just a little more, or in my case, a lot more to be ready, the fact is, you are part of 0.00015% of the population that has even attempted to try.Which you should be very PROUD of!!!!You can do it.You won’t win, hopefully you won’t be last, and you will hurt a lot.But, you will pass the finish line.Everything is going to be alright.
With this in mind, try to take care of the details you can control:
-Know your race, know your route.Look up the race, look at where all the mile markers are and where landmarks match up, get to know where the aid stations are.If you are anal-retentive like me, this makes the time go faster and helps you plot out your own course of action.IE.Where you are going to take a potty break, when you will take the Gatorade, and when you will take the water, etc.NOTE:Make sure that your race allows for personal music devices.Some don’t and they have been cracking down lately and disqualifying runners after the race if they were seen wearing one.
- Lube.If you are going over 6 miles, I STRONGLY suggest you lube all the bits that rub together.Trust me you will NOT be sorry and everyone does it so don’t be shy.Get your heels, between your toes, under arms, and where your arms rub your shirt.For ladies: where your sports bra digs in under your dirty pillows. For guys: vaseline on your nipples will prevent really sore chafing and bleeding.And DO NOT forget your butt crack!!!!
- Gear.Decide what gear you are going to need to get ready or have with you and have it all ready and all in one place at least the day before the race.Here is a quick checklist for you to consider:
-Ponytail holders/hair band
-Race day clothing
-Race bib already pinned to shirt
-Shoes with timing chip already clipped on
-Fully charged iPod with Playlist ready
-And any other related accessories you plan to have on your person during and before the race. Nothing is worse than running around looking for your iPod sleeve when you should be on your way, it can really mess with your mental focus.
Water & Peeing.Assuming you drink adequate amounts of water throughout each day, 16 oz. over a couple hours before the race will be sufficient.When you get to the race, get in line at the port-o-johns, and when you finish, get in line again.Repeat until you absolutely have to get in your corral before the start.Along the route, water intake can be tricky.Take too much and you will be in a world of hurt, take to little, and, well, same thing.My advice, rotate between water and Gatorade and take a cup whenever it is offered. You don’t have to drink the whole thing but at least swish it around your mouth because it will get dry, and spit it out if you have to.Listen to your body, it will tell you when hydration is necessary.
Corrals.For high mileage races, when you submit your registration they ask when you think you will be finishing.Then they assign you to a corral according to how fast you run.Your race bib should have the corral you are assigned to on it.With 15,000 runners this can seem chaotic, but it really isn’t that big a deal.It is really just to keep us lesser mortals out of the way of the Kenyans.
Stretching.Assuming you plan to get to the start with a couple hours to spare, do familiar stretches as much as you can while you are waiting.Rotate between stretching and bouncing or running in place to get your muscles nice and limber and warm.It will make the first few miles that much easier.I promise.
Checking stuff.Most races have a way for you to check items to be picked up once you cross the finish line.If yours does, bring some warm fleece to snuggle into after the fact in case you need it. Your body will be over-warm from running and once you stop, your body heat plummets even in fairly decent weather.If not, see if you can arrange for a friend or relative to meet you at the finish line area to give you something warm.Also, have some Aleve or other pain reliever ready and take it as soon as possible after you cross the finish line.
Getting through the race:
Pace yourself.It is exciting to start out, but if you go too fast at the beginning you will have nothing left at the end.And that is the most important part!
Find a person at your pace and strike up a conversation if they are willing.I met this lady named Tigres and we got to talking and the next thing I knew I had passed mile 10.Awesome!
The first 3 miles and the last mile are the worst.Deal with it and move on.
If you start to feel like you are floundering or doubt yourself, and you will, start counting your foot strikes up to 100 and then backwards to 1.This is a technique I learned from Runner’s World, it works to distract your negative-nelly mind to get over the hump.Other techniques: count your breaths or focus on a point in the distance, imagine you are Rocky, recall a funny, happy, or entertaining memory from your childhood, think of all the things you would do if you won a million dollars in a lottery, tell yourself a story about unicorns, etc.You get the picture.Just don’t allow your mind to dwell on the horrible pain.
Remember what you are doing.Remember how rare and wonderful a person you are.Savor the moment.Smell the smells of the course, see the sights, soak up the atmosphere.
Racing is mental more than anything else.Remember that we are all crazy together.
If nothing else works, just remind yourself that you can have whatever you want after you are done, including ice cream, desserts and beer.Yay!Beer!
A little bit on etiquette:
Slow runner and walkers should stay to either side, not in the middle of the course.If you are with friends and are trying to stay together, walk or run no more than two across and stay as tight as you can.It is awful and unsafe when big groups of walkers are all walking together across the road and runners have to work that much harder to get around them.
Pay attention when aid stations are coming up and slowly ease your way over to a side.They usually are on both sides, and will have tons of volunteers from local groups with cups held at shoulder level. Just grab a cup, take as much as you need, and throw the cup to the side (try not to hit anyone).This is expected, the volunteers clean it all up.
At first, this process seems a little bit like the trepidation of your first time getting on the ski lift.You get used to it.Use your aid break to slow down for a minute.
Don’t stop willie-nillie.Plan when you slow down or stop and make sure you are not “braking” in front of someone or cutting someone off.It is a lot like traffic.Be courteous!
The finish line:
This will be the most amazing sight of your life.Whether you are running a 5K or 26.2, the finish line is a sweet sight.Relish that last half or quarter mile, give it everything you’ve got, and make sure you look up, note your time, and smile for the camera!
If you are a 10Ker or a half-marathoner, that is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself!!!Bask in the glow of your accomplishment for a little while.Stay around the finish line and cheer the other runners and marathoners on.Not only will they need it, but it is really fun and inspiring to see them coming to the finish.If you are a marathoner, try not to hate on the halfers. I once considered getting a shirt that said, “I Eat Half-Marathoners for Breakfast.”But I’m now in a much better place emotionally.
Lastly, go eat a big huge dinner and drink yourself a big ol pint of your favoritest ale.Wear your finisher’s medal and tell everyone you see that day that you just ran a race. It’s OK. You’ve earned it!!!J
There are plenty of legit reasons for half-arsed workouts: the heat, working overtime or an awaiting cocktail. But the biggest reasons for bailing come from signs our bodies send us: cramping legs, burning lungs, side stitches. “When we were cave people, pain told us our lives were threatened. Our brains would say ‘Stop!’ to increase chances of survival,” says sports psychologist Dr Jim Taylor. So, we’re hardwired to wimp out. Here, how to keep going when your body’s saying no.
Why you stop Your legs are so sore you’re rethinking your aversion to Deep Heat. You’ve tapped your anaerobic threshold (when muscles begin working without oxygen), and your body is producing more lactic acid than it can clear, burning up your quads and glutes. But that soreness is pain you can push through, and a positive indicator of how hard you’re working, says cycling coach Kristen Dieffenbach.
The fix “Resting for a minute will allow your body to take in more oxygen, which you need to help flush the lactic acid,” says holistic fitness specialist Andrew Mackey. Walking is OK, but Mackey suggests stretching while you rest to separate muscle fibres and improve circulation. Try the Stork to stretch quads and hips: stand on one leg and pull the other behind you, bringing your heel towards your bum. And remember, don’t bounce. Mackey advises holding your leg for a few sets of three- to four-second periods to stretch fast-twitch muscle fibres and increase the blood flow to your muscles.
Why you stop Cardio machines can be tedious. You have 10 minutes to go, but you’re zoning out somewhere near Pluto and your muscles feel like syrup. Your body needs new stimulation, as it adapts to repetitive movements.
The fix Speed up the clock. Creating intervals will trick your mind into thinking the workout’s going faster, and you’ll challenge your muscles, burning more kilojoules and building strength. “Watch the timer, but not in a ‘When am I finished?’ way,” says Laura Keller, a trainer at a sports rehabilitation centre. Instead, she suggests alternating two minutes at a fast pace with one minute at a slower pace, until you’re out of time. On the cross trainer, try changing direction every three minutes. And if you’re using a machine without those swinging “arms”, carry one- to two-kilo dumbbells in each hand, which will give your upper body a reciprocal workout and help strengthen your core as you balance.
Why you stop You’re losing, dammit, which can be about as fun as a double root canal. Meanwhile, you’re also starting to lose control of both your focus and your form.
The fix Get a grip on your game – mentally and physically. For starters, contract your abs and hold your breath for a few seconds for improved form. “Once you tighten your core, you improve your posture and everything clicks into place,” Keller says. To keep going, Dr Taylor says you need to break the three-link chain of losing: frustration, anger and despair. First, view frustration as positive because it motivates you to work harder. Next, step back. Take a few seconds to breathe and relax. Fix your hair, tie your shoelaces – do something different from the game to get physical and emotional distance. Finally, try to identify the problem and a solution. Mini-solutions can help you move through the process positively and ultimately help you win.
Why you stop You’ve burned through the toast you had for brekkie and last night’s lasagne, stored in your body as glycogen (your main energy resource during exercise). But you still have some fat, which packs 38kJ energy per gram (versus 17 in glycogen). So yes, you do have the ability to continue, but if you’re inefficient with your pedal strokes, you could waste fuel fast.
The fix “When you notice yourself slowing down, or it feels like someone’s pulling your back tyre, eat before anything else,” says Dieffenbach, pointing out that cyclists need more food as they usually work out for longer than runners. Her rule of thumb: for every hour of biking, bring 600ml water and 840 to 1100kJ in sports drinks, bars or gels. Sip water every 15 to 20 minutes, rather than all at once, to keep hydrated. If you’re empty and too far from a 7-Eleven, try Dieffenbach’s drill for improving efficiency: pedal fast for the length of five telephone poles, slow for three poles, then speed up again. If you’re cycling in the gym, swap speeds every minute.
Why you stop Why not? Whether you’re doing crunches, bench presses or lunges, it’s easy to lose motivation when doing reps, which can be as exciting as waiting in line at the RTA.
The fix Keep your eyes on your goals. Quick physiology lesson: you build strength when muscles break down and your body repairs them by creating tougher muscle tissue. “If you push to complete reps, you’ll challenge your muscles that much more, so your body will have more microscopic tears to repair,” Mackey says. According to Per Lundstam, a trainer for the US ski team, you barely begin to break down muscles during the first few reps. He advises choosing your weight carefully, so you can challenge yourself but still complete reps. If trying a new exercise, start with an empty bar or 1kg dumbbell and do six reps to practise isolating the muscle contraction. Add weight until you feel yourself using other muscles or momentum to complete the movement, then drop the weight by 2kg. You should be able to complete 10 challenging reps at this weight without compromising form and risking injury.
Hey Fat Chickas Runnin’!! My first ever 5K was today and I did it, I nutted up as my pal Funkybunny would say and I ran the whole 5K!! Yay! Woo Hoo! I honestly don’t know how i did it though, I ran on sheer bravado and good heavy metal; special thanks to Rage Against the Machine, Pantera and Metallica. The weather was 0 degrees with a windchill of -16 and winds were 21 mph gusting to 30 mph. And I tell you it was hell. Wow. The route went 1.5 miles north and then back again so the whole way north was against the wind. I almost cried. Then I saw my husband and my kid on the sidelines in the frigid cold cheering me on! That gave me a boost. They showed up again later in the course then met me at the finish line. I couldn’t even feel my legs. The way back was easier giving the wind was pushing me, but by then I was so exhausted I lost a lot of time. Anyway, I found out we had 470+ people running and I know I didn’t come in last. I don’t have my results yet but I’m guessing I ran it in 30-35 minutes which is way past my goal. So all in all I am very proud of myself and surpassed my goal which was just running half of it. And I’m wicked proud i did what I did because I have been sick for 2 weeks with a roto-nano-gastro virus and only ran like 3 times. Anyway, I DID IT and yeah I did it in ass weather so you can too! I know you can’t compare a half marathon with a 5K, but dudes, I hate running, I don’t run ever and I managed it. If my lazy arse can go out and do it you can too. Just always think at least I’m not stupid enough to freeze my imaginary balls off like Cinde did, lol And I’ll tell ya, it is a gooood feeling. I feel great!
This is the race I did, and the cool thing was I raised 230 bucks for a good cause. Good luck to my fellow FCR’s!
After spending a week off to recover from my heel and knee pain, I started week 5 and boy could I tell the difference. That 1 week off really threw a spanner in the works and I remember thinking, 5 minutes was a lot *easier* 2 weeks ago!! I faux-jogged and chewed on my lip the whole time. So I had nice raspberry lips when I finished.
On the upside, I’m a little girl’s hero and it made my day. It’s not often a kid looks at you with stars in their eyes, and to be honest this was my first time. I’d run to the oval I usually go to and as I was running up, there was this little 4 or 5 year old girl who was in the middle of the field. Some birds were swooping at her and she got very frightened, threw her ball at the birds and ran to the edge of the field. I asked if she wanted me to get the ball and so I did. I gave it back to her, and continued on my track…. Stupid me ran to get the ball on my breather, but with those crazy birds swooping at me…I had to. Anyway, the girl hung around and waved and smiled at me every time I passed her by in the oval. It made me feel good, because for the rest of her day, I was her hero.
Hi, here is another post about my fantastic New thongs. I love em. Tags: footware, orthics, foot care, thongs/flip flops
Besides my runners, thongs are probably my most common footwear of choice. And for $15 for a funky pair, who would blame me? Ahh, but did I ever think I’d spend $70 on a pair of thongs (flip-flops)? The answer would be a resounding ‘No’. That was until I tried on Orthaheel’s Tide range. Cooommfy! This is the one I got: http://www.footsmart.com/ProductZoomPopup.aspx?scene7name=84085_WHITE_NAVY in BLACK/PINK.
Features (as listed on site):
Orthaheel Women’s Tide Thong Sandals help relieve foot and lower body pain with built-in orthotics
Our feet were designed to walk on soft, natural surfaces like soil and sand, but we walk on unnatural, hard, flat surfaces like pavement and floors. This forces our feet to roll over and our arches to flatten, causing excess pronation. This thong sandal features the built-in Orthaheel orthotic, invented by Dr. Phillip Vasyli to realign your feet to their natural position, encourage better body posture and relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and excess pronation. The two-tone polyurethane upper has a leather-like finish.
Features & Benefits of Orthaheel Women’s Tide Thong Sandals:
* EVA orthotic midsole helps realign your feet and ankles.
* Long-wearing rubber outsole offer extra grip, keeping you steady on your feet.
* Padded comfort straps ensure a comfy and secure fit.
AND, the bonus, they are recommended for
Arch pain, bunions, calluses, corns, hammertoe, heel pain and hell spurs, plantar fasciitis
So, with Christmas coming up I know what I want Santa to put in my stocking.
By not having the right pair of shoes before I started running I’ve done damage to my knees and heels. On Sunday after my last run my arch hurt to walk on it and is seriously inflamed. I went and got my foot professionally fitted and spent $275 on these beauties:
What do you think?
So, already done the damage, I’ve been spending my time taking ibprofen and icing alternatively. I’m hoping to do week5 this week but will see if I can do it on the elliptical rider/exercise bike and if on Sunday it’s all healed I’ll go for a run… I don’t like my chances tho – I think next week will be my attempt at week5.
So, I CANNOT stress enough, get your foot professionally fitted. Make sure you have the right shoes for you. You might also look at strapping your foot for extra arch support. After running, use an iced water bottle and roll your feet over it for about 15minutes. This will reduce the inflammation and help the strained ligaments. Remember you only have 1 set of feet, so take care of ‘em.
Here is a youtube technique of how to strap your feet to give your arch some extra support. There are a few out there, so have a look.
Now that you’ve chosen to run, I’m sure that you’re already aware of the importance of a good pair of shoes. But are they the RIGHT pair of shoes for you? Some of you, and even me might ask. Right shoe? It says it’s made for running and it feels good enough so it’s right for me. Well, it has come to my attention that I’m an over-pronator. Sounds complicated? Well simply put: My feet roll inward when I walk/run. Hmm, this would explain the joint pain in my knees that are on the inside…
Now, the question here, is how do you find out what type of feet you have? Here is a run down compliments of coolrunning.com:
The over-pronator. — You over-pronate when your feet roll in when you run, and you supinate when your feet roll out. It’s natural to pronate somewhat when you run, but many runners have feet that simply overdo it. Take a look at the bottom of your running shoes. If you are an over-pronator your shoes will be more worn on the inside edge of your shoes than the outside edge. In severe cases, the shoe will actually slope dramatically inward. You may have trouble with shin splints or runner’s knee. Over-pronation is a symptom of highly flexible feet that need a little help from their running shoes to maintain stability. For added motion control in your shoe, you will generally have to sacrifice a certain amount of cushioning. Rest assured, it’s worth it.
Specifically, you should look for a shoe with a firm midsole, especially on the inner side of the shoe. The shoe should have a straight board last and a rigid, durable heel counter. A good arch support might be helpful.
The supinator. — Supination is the opposite problem. Your foot rolls outward when you run, and you can tell by the fact that the soles of your running shoes are worn and compressed along the outside edge. Supination tends to put too much stress on the bones, tendons and ligaments on the outside of the foot. Because you don’t pronate enough, your foot is doing a lousy job as a shock absorber. You may have trouble with ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome and knee pain. Supination happens pretty much exclusively to runners with rigid feet, often with high arches. You need a flexible shoe that will give and bend where your rigid foot will not.
Look for a shoe with a very soft midsole — it should compress fairly easily with your thumb. There should be very good cushioning in both the heel and forefoot. The heel counter should be flexible and essentially useless — not rigid. Finally, the shoe should have a curved (or semi-curved) slip last.
The neutral foot. — Here, you don’t need to worry much about stability or motion control. Your foot handles the job just fine on its own, thank you very much. In fact, too much motion control may actually screw up your foot’s naturally smooth action. Look for a nice, cushioned ride with a shoe that has a semi-curved slip or combination last.
Now, that we know what shoe type we are, I’m going to say this: the shoeth doesn’t make the runner. Nope. The shoes are just the start of conquering whatever ails you. Now, as you might’ve gathered, I’ve recently had a bout of knee pain. It has become a bit of a concern for me and along with other concerns, some of you might have, knee pain, shin splints, ankle pain, hip pain.. The list goes on from here. But if it distresses you, you might find solutions to your problem by doing some simple exercises. Have a look here for further information.
But since my issue is knee pain, I’m going to go over some things I’ve discovered. After a run, don’t use a heat rub. This just burns and makes you far more aware of your discomfort. No. Instead, elevate you leg so it’s straight and ICE it for about 15minutes. Take ibuprofen after running and then, before bed, use a heat pack on your knees for about 30min. That being said, the main issue lies with my muscles not doing their job and so some strengthening exercises will help.
I hope this is informative and helps you enjoy your running more. Right, on the to-do list for me is a new pair of shoes and exercises to better support my knee.
I’d like to post something about the benefits of hills. As much as I hate them, I love them. Why? Despite the puffing and aching butt doing a hilly run at least once a week gets me prepared for the next step up in the couch to 5k challenge. This week I ran the hell, I mean hill, twice. Then I ran a not so hilly option and was surprised by the ease in which I did it. So find a place to run once a week that just might challenge you. That will make you hit the wall harder and sooner and as the HULK says: What doesn’t kill him only makes him stronger.
Dogs: Your own personal trainer.
I went running with my husband’s German Shepherd for the first time and discovered something. On the warm up they are so eager to be out they pull. That in itself is task to manage. But once the run starts I noticed Sakura *dog* wanted to be ahead of me. It didn’t have to be a full body length. Just enough, like head and forelegs type of ahead – at least! So, after the first half in the last half I ran to try and be ahead of her. It forced me to run faster and the dog to run faster. Now lets be serious, you and I both know she has the double advantage. She has FOUR legs as opposed to my TWO, but I gave it my all and it was fun to irk my dog just so. That in itself was worth it. But these little things are worth it. The small challenges that are going to (I hope) make the transition from week to week easier.