Saturday, January 7, 2012

HBBC Final Update

For the record, the HBBC is the BEST way to keep yourself in check over the holiday season! Thanks for the motivation and challenge Run to the Finish!

Here's how we did this past week (31 December- 6 January):

31 December - Rest Day
1 January - 40 minute bicep workout (3.5 points)
2 January - Ran 5.25 miles (5.2 points)
3 January - no report
4 January - no report
5 January - no report
6 January - 20 minutes - stairs & pull up pyramid (3 points)

Weekly Total: 11.7 points


31 December - Ran 3.6 miles (3.6 points)
1 January - Ran 3.36 miles (3.3 points)
2 January - Rest Day
3 January - Ran 4 miles (4 points)
4 January - Ran 2.3 miles (2 points)
5 January - Rest Day
6 January - Ran 3 miles (3 points)

Weekly Total: 15.9 points

Friday, January 6, 2012

Strollers in the back?!

Since becoming a mom and joining the Stroller Warriors Running Club, I've done quite a few 5ks and 10ks in the local (Eastern NC) area. At all of these races, those of us pushing strollers are told we MUST start in the back. And while I understand the intent behind this rule - starting lines are crowded, strollers can pose various hazards to other runners (i.e. wheels catching ankles, sippy cups tossed from the stroller create tripping obstacles), I think such a rule is antiquated.

I'm not leading the pack by any means, but there are several of us in the club that consistently place among the top of our AG and could probably even post faster times without having to navigate the crowd at the back. It takes so much more effort to run with a stroller or to hop curbs in an attempt to get around the walkers or slower joggers. This could be eliminated with a little common sense rule:

Know your abilities and line up accordingly!

If races are small in size, I use my judgment and try to line up where I will not be in the way of the speed demons, but will not have to struggle around the crowds as I start out. This usually puts me to the side of the middle of the pack. And while most people are accepting, I have come across the occasional naysayer recommending I move to the back. I always find a bit of joy in passing said naysayer:)

In no way am I trying to discredit those slower joggers/walkers in the back of the race either! I'm always happy to see a crowd at a race of any distance and support anyone willing to lace up their shoes and hit the ground running!

So who's with me on this one? Jogging with strollers makes us tougher, and it shouldn't be a penalty!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Running and Relationships

Many of you probably know about Couple On The Run. They live by the philosophy that by harnessing the principles of exercising with a partner and applying this to other areas of our everyday lives we can achieve more. (the pic to the right is just a Google image, but you get the idea)

My husband recently returned from Afghanistan. Prior to this deployment, we had run together on many occasions. First, while both serving on Active Duty in the Marine Corps, then after, I got out, by going for the random weekend run or completing a local 5k. Before now, these were not exactly fun for me. Jason (my husband) was quite the speed demon in his youth, running the 3-mile physical fitness test in sub-17 sometimes! Ten years in the infantry has caused him to lose his love of running a bit (mainly because it became something he HAD to do, versus something he WANTED to do) and has taken a toll on his joints, but he still keeps a good pace. On the opposite side, after having a baby and struggling to get back in shape, I have FOUND my love of running. In the 7 months he was deployed, I logged nearly 800 running miles. I've signed up for a 1/2 marathon in the spring and am continuing my training program, but now I've added him to some of those runs.

Having worked at a running specialty store in college, Jason is quite knowledgable on the mechanics of proper form. He used to spend the majority of the run analyzing my gait and arm swing while I huffed and puffed in a weak attempt to keep up. Now it's different. On Tuesday morning, we headed out in the chilly weather to knock out 4 miles. We split stroller duty and he took the first 2 miles. And over the New Year's weekend, we did a couple 3.5 mile runs. We challenged each other to sprint up the hills and happily chatted away the miles.

He understands my new found love and is very supportive. I cannot imagine going through this journey without him. Running will make our relationship stronger. Together we are setting a healthy example for our daughter. And while he still gives me advice throughout the run, now he's telling me to slow down...and that feels GREAT! And running together sure beats spending any extra time away from him after not being together for so long!

Do you have a supportive partner in your running endeavors?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bigger Than Running

A few days ago, my sister sent me an email containing this post. She said, "I know this is a running blog, but this is really important to me and I'd like to share it with people." So here goes:

On 30 December I had the honor of attending a Dignified Transfer.  For those who are unfamiliar with what this is, let me explain.  When a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, or Airmen from any service is killed in action, the military places extreme reverence on the transportation of his/her body from the theater of operations to their home country.  Because we are currently fighting with a coalition force, this ceremony is conducted regardless of the nationality of the service member. 
Tonight we honored a Georgian soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.  I have never met this man; in fact I did not even know his name.  But I joined approximately 100 other service members in honoring his service and sacrifice as his casket was loaded onto the C-130 that would fly him back to his loved ones. 
We lined up in two formations on either side of the plane’s ramp and participated in the most solemn event I have ever been a part of.  As the casket was carried onto the plane the commander gave the call to “Present Arms,” and everyone slowly rendered a final salute.  The members of his unit then boarded the plane to say their final goodbyes and the formation was dismissed.
The news spends a lot of time focusing on the “bad” parts of the war.  This is quite possibly the worst part of the war, but a part that cannot be forgotten.  I’m grateful that I’m located on a relatively safe base where I have access to the Internet, regular phone calls, hot showers, a comfortable bed, and three hot meals a day.  I’m grateful that I can run around the base without worry and go to the gym every day.  Many people who are over here in Afghanistan do not have these luxuries. 
To the man I saw being loaded onto the C-130 tonight, you will never be forgotten.  

Source (not from Jessica's current deployment)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Which Inspires You More?

Would you rather see these picturesque images gracing the cover of Runner's World...

...or these "regular" people? 

Both types of images are inspiring, but which motivates you more? In our humble opinion, although we LOVE reading running success stories about everyday people like you and I, there's just something about seeing those 6-pack abs and muscular legs that make you want to run faster! I've been a long time subscriber of this magazine (probably 5+ years) and I glean inspiration from each issue (no matter how similar the topics are from month-to-month). But I find myself flipping to the pictures of the pros when I am stuck logging miles on the dreadmill. The "regular" people are absolutely inspiring, but there's really something about seeing the "perfection" of the super athlete that makes me want to challenge myself to run faster!

Which do you prefer?