Sunday, August 5, 2012

3 Years of Built Up Runner Lagniappe

It's been close to a year since I last blogged. Too long. I have no good excuse other than I let life take over and became a little lazy with blogging along with other time consuming things. Well, the past few weeks I've realized how much I've missed blogging, especially for venting. It's always served me as a refreshing outlet to express frustrations and progressions in my training programs. It's true, putting your thoughts onto paper (or virtual paper), you start to feel better once it's all off your chest. So here it is, 3 years of thoughts and feeling built up during my runs...

Today I hit my (runner's) bottom. It's been coming on for a while now, since the Savannah Marathon last November. I'm in the midst of training for my third marathon and this has been the toughest one yet. I set out today to run 18 miles and called it quit at 2 miles. I didn't even run back to the car to make it 4. I simply quit and bitched at myself the entire way back. I thought to myself it's been the hottest summer we have had in years, I'm bored with the Silver Comet Trail, there is really no great running trails near downtown, the humidity is outrageous, I'm continuously tired, and I'm mentally exhausted. Excuses. That's all it is. I've been finding one excuse after another to justify my degression. Let me start from the beginning.

I started running roughly 3 years ago. My main focus was to use running as a source of getting back into shape. As we all do, we set goals. Mine was to run my first half marathon; at the time it seemed impossible since I couldn't even run 1 mile without stopping. I found a planned and began my endurance running journey. I fell in love. At that time, running gave me a since of accomplishment. I was getting back into shape and surprising myself with what my body could endure. I packed a handful of half marathons and one full marathon into my bag of accomplishments. I became invested in running, and wanted to share the experience with everyone around me. I didn't feel like I was a newbie anymore. I transitioned running into more an outlet than a source of health/fitness. At this point, I was almost finished with college and had a lot of stress on my plate. Running helped me relieve and blow off all the stress I felt coming from "the real world". I fell in love with it all over again, but for a different reason. I was still working hard, staying in shape, and staying sane. I increased my intensity working to get faster and run harder. I had new goals with running. I was ready to start training for my second full marathon, this time alone. I knew training alone would be a hard transition and all the accountability would be put on myself. It really test your self discipline and drive. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I believe because it was my first time taking on running solo. Hardly any training runs with company. It was a different feeling. Different. I found myself pushing hard and proving to myself I could do it. This time around I used a more intense training guide encompassing longer 'short runs' and 'long runs'. I was determined to get a faster time even if it was just by a minute; damn, I'd take 30 seconds faster. I was on track. I was running faster and harder than I ever had. The Savannah Marathon came around and it felt like an epic fail. I felt like I had nothing to show for all my hard work but the same time as my first marathon, and I was 15 pounds heavier. Two and half years after starting running, I hadn't taken a break and hadn't accomplished the goals I set out for. Granted the Savannah course was not what anyone expected; but I still felt defeated.

I took a week off after Savannah, and then got right back to it. I dropped the weight I gained during the last training and pushed myself harder in the gym. I'm leaner and stronger than before. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, 10.7.2012, and was ready to start training early to be guaranteed I would demolish my previous marathon times.  It's been harder than I thought it would be. I figured this is my third time around, I got this. Nothing to it. Nope. Hardly the case. I'm afraid I won't get faster and reach my goal in Chicago. I also have found myself worried I will gain weight like I did during my previous training. I've changed my nutrition plan this time around, and keep obsessing. Not good. I've realized on my long runs, I haven't eaten enough crab/protein the day before so it's making my runs tougher than they should be. I know that at one point or another everyone experiences hardship and downfalls in any situation. No matter how good something is for you or how much you love something, there will ways be a down. This is my down. Bringing yourself back up is the challenge. I've hit my bottom with running. Running isn't what I want it to be anymore. It used to be a source of fitness, then a stress outlet, now I find it not to be fun anymore. It feels more of chore and daunting task.  I think every runner at one point experiences this feeling. I haven't felt 'good' after a run in months. On my walk back to the car today, I hypothesized why this may be the case.

I haven't taken a break from running since I've started. I'm not superwoman, I'm becoming burnt out. Everyone, including the professionals, say this happens. Well, I always believed I was different. I put unnecessary stress on myself. I set, sometimes, unrealistic goals for myself because I don't want to be mediocre. When I fail/ don't reach my goals, I feel like a failure and stress more. I am my biggest enemy. I have to realize it's ok if things don't go as planned. No one and nothing is perfect. There will always be a bump and I have learn to go over it and keep on going. I've come to the crossroads in my life where you start to figure out who you are and what you want in life. It's scary, especially alone. I've realized that I'm not satisfied. I'm not one to talk about personal feelings with much of anyone. I keep things to myself and try to figure them out alone. I've used running and exercise kind of as a scapegoat. Well, it catches up. Not being satisfied with other aspects in my life has now affected the one thing I could always count on and control. No bueno. It's not to say I'm not happy; I'm just not satisfied. I haven't done things in my life that I've always wanted to do.

At the start of this year I told myself it would be different. I would do things I typically wouldn't and take more risks. I made a bucket list of over 20 items. I've marked a handful of them off, but not as many as I would like as we are 8 months into the year. I'm not unhappy with life and really have no room to complain, since there are people with worse situations than me. Yet, I still complain and stress over little things. I'm human. My epic fail of a run today has made me realize I'm not satisfied with life. I feel bored and unstimulated. I'm the only person who can change that. So here it is, my oath to myself to change things.... I got all this from a run. It's amazing what you find out about yourself through running. I think I needed this failure to help uncover what is really bothering me. Now, I have to suck up this failed run and keep myself together. I have Chicago in 2 months and need to keep myself from over training. By trying to cover up issues I don't want to deal with, I end up over training. Working out/ and running more than I should. I break myself down and this is what happens.

My advice to everyone; life happens. We all have ups, but we all have downs. Our downs will radiate into other aspects of our lives and you have to learn to deal with them. Keep yourself happy! A happy you makes a happy run!

Well, after 2 beers and hours later of venting, I'm starting to feel better. I have to start fresh and forget about this bad run. I hope to keep blogging weekly! Promise.

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"First Name The Last Name Greatest"

'Tis the season... exercise intensity typically decreases. The holiday season is upon us all, and this is the time of year where exercise becomes harder to fit into our schedules for countless reasons. It could be due to drastic temperature changes, sickness, increase everyday busyness, but we must remember that our health is the most important thing. My exercise regamine hasn't been at the level I would like for it to be the past few weeks. However, according to Runner's World after an endurance race it is ideal to rest/recover a day for each mile ran. This doesn't mean to not do anything for 26 days, but little exercise is okay. Since running the Savannah Marathon in early November, it's been taking longer for me to recover. Since I trained harder than I ever have before, I think my body is enjoying the minimal running. My personality doesn't match with the idea of resting. I've been running and increase my weight workouts, but I feel like I haven't been exercising at the level I should be. I am odd, I know. Remember everyone is different, and the rest each person needs varies. Since it is easier to find excuses not to exercise during this time of year, remember to prevail through it. Don't talk yourself out of it today, then tomorrow, then by the time you realize it has been a month of no exercise. Find a way to schedule in your normal exercise. The intensity may be lower than normal, but remember to workout and run! This is the time of year, the average number of calories per person increases. Don't let that holiday weight creep into your life! Take a daily walk, go to the park, lace up your shoes, take a bike ride, just move!!

Tatum doing stadiums :-)

Training Exercise Stability Ball Bicycles. We all know how important core stability is to every day functioning. A strong core helps increase the athleticism in every sport. We all know the basic bicycle on a mat. After roughly 30 seconds you can start to feel the burn in your abs. Now imagine adding in another element. Multiply that burn by 10!

Stability Ball Bicycles

  • Grab a stability ball.
  • Lay down on your back on a flat surface.
  • While lying on your back, raise your legs straight in the air.
  • While holding the stability ball and your legs are in the air, lift your shoulders off the ground and twist in the bicycle motion (just like a traditional bicycles). 
  • Continue for 30-45 seconds. Repeat for 3-4 sets. 
Training Tip: The cold is starting to set in! Cold and wind equal dry skin! Not only is it important to carry chap stick, and keep your skin from being exposed, but it's also important to moisture your skin after run. Once you shower and clean off, your skin will soak up the moisture and become dry again. Therefore, apply lotion or some type of body moisturizer. to your skin after a shower, especially to your feet. My brother (who is also a runner) recently told me about putting lotion on his feet and then putting socks on to keep the moisture on your feet. Since runners have rough feet, this is a great idea. It helps slow/ prevent new calluses and peeling of skin.  Happy skin makes a happy runner! :-) 

Training Songs: From my last entry you all know how I love the holiday season, and even exercising to holiday music! I've discovered some new tunes this week, and I should be embarrassed by some of them... but, i'm not. Give them a try and you will love them! Promise! ;-)

1. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree- Hanson 
2. Christmas- Hanson 
3. Santa Baby- Michael Buble
4. All I Want For Christmas Is You- Michael Buble
5. Thinkin' About Something- Hanson 
6. Kiss Me When You Come Home- Hanson 

Training Recipe: As promised from my last entry I am going to start adding in some healthy recipes! Especially this time of year, we love those good comfort foods and typically increase the fat content into our diets. Hummus is a great snack, spread, or appetizer. It's low in calories, a good balance between carbs and protein, and very filling. Most people don't make their own hummus because it may seem like a hard/expensive process. Wrong! It's cheap and easy! But since it's the holidays i've added a twist: Sweet Potato! Enjoy!! 

Sweet Potato Hummus (Make 1 medium serving dish)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato 
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • Cinnamon to your taste 
  • Cummin to your taste 
  • Black pepper to your taste 
  • Roasted red pepper (optional) 
Prepare Hummus:

  • Rinse, scrub, and bake sweet potato in oven or toaster oven until it is fully cooked.
  • While, the sweet potato is cooking place chickpeas in a food processor/ blender and puree until a little chunky 
  • Add in a tsp of EVOO and half the juice of them lemon 
  • Puree the rest of the chickpeas while adding in the spices to your taste. 
  • Once the mixture is completely blended, place in the refrigerator to cool. 
  • Once the sweet potato is baked, let it cool before pealing. 
  • Smash the cooled potato before adding to the chickpea mixture. 
  • Combine both mixtures into the food processor/blender and marry the flavors together. Feel free to add more spices to your taste. I usually add more cinnamon to give it a more holiday taste!
  • While the flavors are marrying, add another tsp of EVOO to moisten the mixture allowing it to combine easily! 
  • Once you feel satisfied, place the hummus in the refrigerator to cool before serving! 
Sweet Potato Hummus

Training Lagniappe: I came across the best running quote/statements the other day. The first one was about runners and their coffee. Runners are addicted to coffee and can't function without it! So true. Some runners have to have their coffee first thing in the morning before a run, not for the caffinee, but for the comfort and warmth! So true!

The Quote: 
"Runners want love, the less they get, the further they run." 
She really wanted to go on the carriage ride! 

Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"A Hundred Miles Feelin', From The Picture Smile"

Fall in Piedmont Park 2011
It's been way too long since my last blog. I apologize greatly. Life happens and slows me down sometimes. I pledge for here on to keep up with my blog like I have promised millions of times! :-) It's my duty to you! So much has happened over the past month, so I'm dedicating this entry as a recap of my life over the past month.

Savannah Marathon 11/5/2011:
Done and done! Savannah was an experience. I worked my butt off the previous four months to get stronger and faster. I was on target to reach my goal. Then race day came! Race morning just happened to be the coldest and WINDIEST day the city had seen all season. At the start of the race, temperatures were flirting with low 40s and never reaching above 50 by the end. The wind gust added a whole another dimension. The air was unexpectingly cold, dry, and windy. The course began running through neighborhoods, historic Savannah, and then the full marathon split from the half around mile 12 to run on the interstate for a little over a mile. You think to yourself, the interstate?! Fun. Yea, no. Well, at this moment it was a different experience and kind of enjoyable because when do you ever run on the interstate. After getting off and running around Savannah on the surface roads, mile 20ish approached and back on the interstate we went. This time it was for about four miles, no crowd, exhausted runners, and extreme winds. The portion of the interstate we ran at this time was curvy with slight inclines. All I wanted to do was finish and have a beer. I was so over the race and becoming discouraged because my goal time was rapidly slipping away. I crossed the finished line disappointed and discouraged because the race turned out to be a lot harder than expected. While waiting for my brother to cross the finish line of his first marathon, I realized I just completed my second marathon. I should be proud. I started to see the positive and told myself things happen. No race is perfect and there are always sets backs. It gave me determination to start planning my next marathon! My brother crossed the finish and I couldn't be any happier for him! It's an amazing accomplishment no matter what! All your hard work and training pays off! 

Savannah Marathon 2011
Post Marathon:
After the marathon, I cut back on my running a lot. The rule of thumb is to rest 1 day for each mile ran. So for the marathon a good cut back of running for 26 days is ideal. This doesn't mean to stop running completely, just cut back. I took a couple days off of running to let my hips and legs recoup. I was walking very gingerly for a couple days after. It's best to take the entire week off of running after a marathon to let your muscles heal and build back up. However, I just can't not do anything for an entire week. I started back slowly and built back up to 3-4 miles a day. Since the marathon, my brother and I have completed one longer run. It felt good to go back out there for a long run, but I can tell I am still exhausted from the marathon and all the training. I'm staying consist running 5-6 days a week with shorter distances, but pushing myself to run harder. I've made my strength training routine harder as well. When training for the marathon, I wasn't lifting as heavy since I wanted to keep my muscles fresh, but also wanted to make them strong to help with speed. Now since my running isn't as heavy, lifting weights heavier is ideal to help keep my muscles strong so when I do go back to marathon training I am ready! After running a race, this is a good time to slowly build your endurance back up to a nice base level. Your runs during the week should range 3-4 days running 3-5 miles a day. Then on the weekends adding back in one long run ranging between 6-10 miles. It all depends on your level of fitness and your future goals. Remember, if you stop running all together the day you start back it will feel like the first day you started running. You know how hard it is to work to build up your distance, but's it's just as easy to lose all your hard work if you don't train the body to remember what you have already done. Just because you finish a race, DON'T stop exercising. Start training for a new one! 
Savannah Marathon 2011 Finishers! 

Next Marathon?!
Since I wasn't 100% pleased with Savannah, I have already decided on the next marathon I will complete: Hello Chicago Marathon 2012! There is no question about it, i'm doing it! After much research, there are countless positive feedback regarding this race. It's a Boston Qualifier and considered a "fast" course. I am excited to run a race where a city embraces marathoning! I'll complete another half and a couple 10ks in between, but this time i'm going to reach my goal! I trained hard for the last marathon, i'm going to train harder for this one. I will qualify for Boston. It's my ultimate goal. Just once is all I want! 

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas 2011
It's my favorite time of year! My cousin recently got married in NOLA a few weeks ago! I am so happy for her, it was a beautiful wedding. While everyone was in town, the Bergerons had a pre-Thanksgiving lunch. It was so nice to have most of the family together for once. I love the holidays and everything about it! However, this year won't be the same as the previous years. Thanksgiving was bitter sweet. This year my oldest brother and sister in law were in town for the holiday. It was nice to have the them here, but Christmas won't be the same without them. My best friend, of all my life, moved away the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I spent most of my the holiday embracing our last days together in the city, while trying to spend time with my family, and working the entire holiday. It was an emotional shipwreck for me. I'm thankful for all the friends, family, and love I have in my life, but deeply sadden to have my best of best friends move away. We are such best friends that if there were a contest for the "Best of Best Friends", we would win, hands down. ;-) Growing up is hard to do. This past week I have used exercise as a great outlet to suppress the sadness. It's time to be happy! I miss him so much, but no matter what he is always here and only a phone call away! Don't let depression, stress, or sadness bring you down during the season! Life is tough, but you have to put yourself and health first! Don't talk yourself out of exercising, nor eat/drink your emotions. Happiness is the greatest medicine! Always smile, you never know, it may make someone's day!
Me and My Bestie
A Very Bergeron Wedding!
Exhasted after Christmas decorating

Holiday Lagniappe:
This is the time of year where people overeat and gain some extra LBs. Holiday foods may be delicious, but are detrimental to our waistlines. They are filled with tons of empty calories and fat! This year I challenge you to take your favorite holiday dish/drink and make it healthy! Yes, that means cutting out the heavy cream, sugar, cheese, etc! You may be surprised how good you can make a dish with healthy options! Take your healthy recipe and post it on to RR (Runner's Roux). Don't worry, if you feel stuck, I will be posting healthy recipes for the holiday just for you and your hips! :-) 

Training Songs: What better way to get into the holiday season than to jam out to some Christmas songs while working out!?! Can't workout to Christmas songs? Don't worry, I've added some "everyday" music! Enjoy!

1. Good Feeling- Flo Rida
2. Hangover- Taio Cruz ft. Flo Rida 
3. Tonight Is The Night- Outasight
4. Oh Santa!- Mariah Carey 
5. Jingle Bell Rock- Elvis Presley 
6. Christmas Song- DMB 

Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Life's Too Short To Even Care At All"

T- Minus 12 days till my second full marathon in Savannah! This time around, training has been tough for me. I have been following a harder training regimen with a spontaneous schedule. I have a hard time coping with the idea of detouring off the original training plan to suit my schedule. I see a guide to follow, and I tell myself I must follow the guide to a T. However, through all my studies of exercise and adaption, I know not everyone is the same and extra rest is absolutely acceptable. Remember a training guide is simply a guide. It's the base to your training. It's not your life and don't captivate yourself in the technicalities. The closer a race gets, the more fatigued and exhausted you become. That's a sign you may be close to over-training and it's time to start your tapering. The last 4, or so, months you have worked your butt off training for the race, and there is no need to risk injury at this point. Tapering is the time all runners look forward to during training. It's the break in training that feels like it couldn't have come at a better time! Your weekly mileage decreases steadily but drastically. It may be difficult at first to take the must needed rest. You go from being always active to moderately active. Some runners feel like they are doing something wrong and a little "bum like". Enjoy the rest because your body needs it. The idea is to let your body rest before the race. When race day comes around you will feel fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to run those 26.2 miles! During this time, focus on moderate exercise, good nutrition, and hydration! You won't be eating a much as you were when running 40 miles a week, so don't over eat! Staying hydrated is key to running your best race! Always have water with you throughout the day. Remember to relax and get excited to showcase all your hard work in the next couple weeks! Happy Tapering!
Battle womb of a 20 miler
Battle womb #2 from a 20 miler

Training Exercise: Foam Rolling. Foam rolling is a great way to increase blood flow to all your muscles. It may feel a little uncomfortable the first time rolling because tightness that hasn't been worked out in your muscles. The breaking of the muscle fascia (the connective tissue that is on top of the muscles) mimics the feeling of a deep tissue massage. Breaking the fascia helps increase blood flow to the muscles, reduces soreness/tightness, and may increase flexibility. Try foam rolling before and after a workout and/or hard run. You will feel better and will have a new addiction. 

Basic Foam Rolling:
  • Pick a muscle you want to roll. You can roll your upper back, shoulders, hamstrings, quadriceps, IT band, and even your calves. 
  • We will use your hamstrings as the example: While sitting on the floor, place the foam roller under on of your legs while your hamstrings are rested on the roller. 
  • Lift your hips off the ground, using your hands to support you. One leg will be on the roller. 
  • Now walk your leg up and down the roller with your hands behind you. As you roll you will feel the tissue breaking up in your hamstrings. 
  • Roll until you feel it is acceptable. Then switch legs and then muscles. 
Hamstring Foal Rolling Position

*You can also use a tennis ball or golf ball to break up the muscle fascia as well. Instead of rolling on the ball you will apply pressure on the ball in your hand and move it up and down, as you would with foam rolling. 

Training Tip: Rest is just as important to training as the actual running. It allows your body to recover from the constant pounding and stress you have applied on your muscles and bones weekly. The impact of running (or working out) breaks down muscles fibers in order to build the muscles up and make stronger. The rest period is when the muscle fibers build back up in strength. If rest is never taken, then the muscles remain in a stage of fatigue and more harm can be caused than good. Depending on your training regimen your tapering period may be longer or shorter than others. It's all based on an individual basis. You know your body best, so if you feel like you need an extra day of rest, take it. If you feel like you need an extra week of tapering before the race, take it. 

Training Songs: Many people ask me what gets me through 20 miles and all those long runs?! My answer: Good tunes within numerous genres! You need the ups and downs!  Enjoy!

1. Cough Syrup- Young The Giant 
2. Dedication of My Ex- Lloyd ft. Andre 3000
3. Slow Down Baby- Christina Aguilera 
4. Sound of Freedom- Bob Sinclair
5. Sexy and I Know It- LMFAO 

RR (Runner's Roux) Lagniappe: Healthy eating is just as important as exercise! On that note, I competed in the Southeastern regional Aetna Healthy Food Fight competition at Taste of Atlanta. I cooked my delicious and healthy Pumpkin Butternut Squash Chili with Turkey. It's a very hearty, healthy, and Fall comfort dish! It was my first time in a cooking competition, and I had a blast cooking for the judges, head chef, and festival-goers! Remember a healthy person makes a happy person! :-) 
Ready to be judged!
Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Awe, Baby, Those Are Such Great Shoes"

Morning Sunrise at Silver Comet Trail 
Today marked the end of week 13 of Marathon training! Weeks 11-15 are the toughest of a marathon training regimen. Weekly runs increase, long runs are at the peak, and total mileage is at it's highest. This is my second week running a total of 40 miles in one week. My body feels better than it did last week, but since my long run this week was 20 miles, I'm feeling a little ginger today. This may be the hardest part of training, but it's defiantly my favorite. This is the time when you really get to know yourself, your limits, your degree of self discipline, and how far/hard you can push your body. It makes you a stronger person mentally, physically, and a test of your overall endurance (Yes, I know that's part of physical- just go with me). Just know when you come to this part of your training, everyone feels the same way you do! It's tough to get out of bed and think of running 20 miles. It can be daunting and discouraging. Don't think of it that way. Get dressed like you would for any other run. It is just another run, right?! Follow your normal routine, but make sure you pack all your goodies the night before. This way you aren't overwhelmed with too much to do right before you head out the door. Next get out on the road/trail and start your run. Break it up into segments. I think of it as two 10 milers. Focusing on the now is key. Don't stress yourself out while running because your trying to wrap your brain around the idea of 20 miles. No, focus your mind on the first part. Once you get half way all you have to do is make it back home or to the car. It's down hill from there. The first half of the run is the easiest. This is the time to find what pace is comfortable, work on your breathing, work out any kinks, and enjoy the scenery. When you reach the turn around point, don't think of it as "I have to do that all over again!?!". Instead break that 10 miler down into two 5 milers! You just ran 10 miles, at that moment you know you can run another 5 miles! The concept is to keep your mind focused and fresh. It keeps all negative thoughts away. Then once you reach that 5 miles, all you have remaining is the last 5 miles. Remind yourself you just ran 15 miles, what is another 5?! Also, using landmarks to break your run down into segments is another training tool. It's just like the mileage idea, however, you're telling yourself "Ok, run to the blah blah blah and then after that is blah blah blah". I also use landmarks in edition to the mileage idea. The good thing about running is that each route is broken into pieces. It's rarely ever one continuous stretch. Trails are separated by crosswalks and running a street route you normally make numerous turns onto different road. This way you can tell yourself to just make it to the end of this stretch... then once you get there you realize you DO still have energy and keep going telling yourself to make it to the next. Once you finish your long run, you will feel accomplished and refreshed! You may have an urge to fist pump, Jersey Shore style. I did! Oh yea, it happened! Good luck and have fun!

So, 20 miles is a long way. That's roughly 3 hours of continuous running that allows you a lot, A LOT, of time to think. Here are some of my thoughts from today's 20 miler. Remember these are my thoughts...You'll enjoy, promise ;-)

  • I'm so glad I grabbed that long sleeves running shirt!
  • Where is everyone?! It must be too cold for people! 
  • I'm never going to make it to 4 miles, ugh. I truly do hate the first 4 miles! 
  • Awe, old people! So cute wrapped up in their full blown winter gear, sipping coffee, and wishing me a Good Morning. Glad I can read lips.
  • Coffee, I could use some! 
  • I love the falling leaves and pine straw on the ground! Who doesn't love Fall?! Oh, right, Ross! 
  • Someone's burning firewood, love it! I wonder if they have coffee?! 
  • WTF just hit me in the head?! 
  • Where the hell did that rock come from? 
  • I need to remember to tell Jesse we are considered "Irish Twins". I thought that was only if you're a year apart, but my client said 'close enough'... Why is it called "Irish Twins"? Is that because Irish people have lots of babies? 
  • Ah, another 'Road Kill'... Damn it, I was going to keep track of my 'road kills'!
  • I love this runner in front of me! He has an awesome pace.... I accept this cat and mouse game you've created without knowing, mister! 
  • Where am I?! I feel like I'm in Arkansas with no civilization... It went from city to country too quickly... And there's a cow, WTF?!
  • I wonder if anyone has ran all the way to Alabama on this trail? No, that's crazy..... Why, thanks Powder Springs for welcoming me to your city! 
  • This guy in front of me rocks! I really don't want to lose him, but I have to turn around.... Creeeeepy, he's turning around at the same spot... YAY
  • He would have water with him!.... why doesn't this trail have water on it?!... I'm gonna write the board... Yea, no I'm not... 
  • What if I was famous, would people know it's me running?! I wonder if I've passed a famous person, like Luda?... Nevermind, he doesn't run...
  • What little man?! The beats just take over Playin' wit my not-so-distant- cousins from the A-T-L. Aaah! Back in the mud I've been in....
  • What's wrong with this guy?! Oh he's cramping...ho hum, time to pass. Adios awesome pacer, thanks for the past 11 miles... 
  • Ouch! Really, shirt?! Well, people will now know I was wearing a V-neck!
  • Awesome, I feel the blister on my foot coming back! 
  • I wonder if I knock on someone's door if they would give me water... I really just considered that?! 
  • Glad I put some Rod Stewart on here... Mom would be proud.... Momma's birthday is next week.... hmmm.... 
  • Beer and coffee really are the best cures for a long run... Why? You want to hydrate and those do neither... eh, who cares. I love them both! 
  • I really hate birds and why is that bird flying so low?! Get away... ahh!
  • Savannah is only 30ish days away! OMG! I wonder if Ross and Mackenzie would wear Atl Bergeron Curb Crew shirts... Nah, Ross will laugh in my face...
  • Home stretch.... I'm gonna fist pump it out when I stop! 20 miles deserves a Jersey Shore style fist pump! 

Training Exercise- Bosu Dead Bugs! Dead bugs with the stability ball already feel great on the core, but adding the Bosu ball makes it even more challenging, adding in an instability component. To preform: 

BOSU Dead Bugs:
  • Place the bosu DSU (dome side up) in an area with lots of room around it. 
  • Lay down on the bosu with you back on the top. You may have to readjust a couple of times before you feel stable for the most part. Key: Your lower back will be the part mostly on top of the bosu, right about your glutes.
  • While lying back on the bosu, keep your chin up allowing your neck to be in a neutral position, and bring your knees up towards your chest. You will look like a dead bug. 
  • Now, straighten opposite leg and opposite arm. You're going to feel a lot of instability, but you are using your core to keep your body balanced on the bosu. 
  • Bring both arms back in to the starting position, and release the other arm and leg. 
  • Repeat for 20-30 reps depending on your fitness level. 
  • For extreme athletes add the stability ball back into the exercise between your knees and hands. Remember to keep pressure on the ball. NOTE: I have not attempted the exercise with the ball because it's already tough on the bosu, so you are at your own risk! 
Training Songs: Knowing I was going to run 20 miles, I added some new and old songs onto my playlist to have a wide variety! Here are a few! Enjoy! 

1. Y. U. Mad- Birdman ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne
2. At Or With Me- Jack Johnson 
3. Maggie May- Rod Stewart
4. Give A Little More- Maroon 5
5. Don't Stop Till You Get Enough- Michael Jackson 

Training Lagniappe:  You may wonder what someone eats after 20 miles. Well, since you have exhausted your energy sources you need a good balance between protein, carbs, and minerals. I had lots of water, a protein shake, banana, and whole wheat saltines with natural PB. I had an OJ with me to get some sugar carbs back in me, but I couldn't stomach it, so I decided not to give it a try. The serving of potassium and magnesium in a banana helps to prevent/reduce cramping. It's a runner's best friend from the fruit family. The whole wheat saltines and natural PB were a good balance of carbs and protein. It's easy to stomach, fills you up after eating everything else, and really did make me feel better. Everyone is different, but those were my choices... Now time for more food! :-)

My goodies after 20 miles!
Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Dancing- Dancing- Dancing In The Dark"

Silver Comet Trailhead- Symrna, GA
Since marathon training has started, I haven't done as much blogging through my journey as I had wanted to for numerous reasons. Since moving to Atlanta, I can't do my long runs at the Big Creek Greenway like before (unless home). So, I've been running at the Silver Comet Trail. It's absolutely a nice trail weaving through the outskirts of the city, but it's no Greenway. This time around has definitely been tougher, mentally and physically, than the first time. Training alone takes a startling amount of self discipline that others don't understand unless they have experienced themselves. The degree of mental fatigue multiplies than when training with others. You have no one there to push you, encourage you, judge you, or drag you to the end. It's all about you. When you train for an event and flirt with a distance you have never/ rarely met, it's easy to point out all the negative aspects of the run. It's easier to quit than to push your body to a pain you've never felt before. Just remember you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. No one realizes their true capability, even when pushing themselves past grounds they have never reached before. You are always capable of more! Every new ache, every new mile builds a  piece of tolerance that will push you through the next moment of doubt you encounter. Stay positive when training alone. Think about the outcome. When you cross the finish line you will be overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment you've never felt before, no matter how many races you have ran. Training alone- your accomplishment will be that much more sweeter.

Training Exercise: Agility Wood Choppers. With my job, I am always learning/creating new exercises. One new exercise I have recently learned for a good core/ cardio workout is Agility Wood Choppers. It's just a high tempo version of a regular wood chopper.

Agility Wood Choppers:

  • Safely secure a resistance band to a post or wall lower than eye level. 
  • Grab the band with a firm grip and step away from the base where you feel a point of resistance. 
  • Turn to the side so the band will be moving across the body. 
  • Starting in an athletic squatted position then quickly move the band across the body while the arms are straight. You will be moving the band from your side, across your body, and ending across your body above your shoulders while your arms are full extended. 
  • As you return to the starting position, you while jump in the athletic position turning your body 180 degrees (you are now facing the opposite side) repeating the same "chopping" motion. 
  • You will repeat the motion 15-20 times or 30-45 seconds. Remember your motion is quick and rapid. 
Training Tip: As your mileage increases you will begin to feel new aches, pains, blisters, abrasions, chaffing, etc. Humidity and duration of your exercises plays a key in how your body reacts. Checking the weather before a run, especially a long run, is always important. Don't just glance at the current temperature. Inspect how the temperature will rise/drop, chance of rain, and the humidity. Apply band aids, cream, and/or take an anti-inflammatory if necessary. When going for a long run (over an hour) you are adding excess pounding and stress to your muscles/bones resulting sometimes in uncomfortable aches and pains. Treat properly before, during, and after your runs. You will be happy you did so later on. 

Blistered foot from tip to base of toes. Band aids are runner's best friend!

Training Songs: I haven't really discovered any new songs lately. Just a few. Here are some new and old songs on my current training playlist. Enjoy! 

1.  In The Dark- Dev
2. Hey Mama- Mat Kearney 
3. Paradise- Coldplay 
4. Give It To You- Eve ft. Sean Paul 
5. Footsteps- Nelo

Training Lagniappe: The marathon is getting close. Really close. This is always a bittersweet time for me. I love that the race is close, but the intensity of training is at it's peak. I've logged 41 miles this week. My body is sore, blistered, and achy. It's a love hate feeling. Even though i'm at the hardest part of training, the Fall weather makes it much more tolerable. Falling leaves, changing colors, and crisp air will make anything better! Savannah is right around the corner! Yikes!

Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"And In The Sticks We're Running Free Like It's Only You And Me"

Cross training is important when it comes to efficient running. When only running and not lifting weights, your body decreases in lean weight (muscles) and body fat percentage relatively increases. I'm not saying runners who don't lift weights or cross train become fat. What I am saying is that when you only do one form of exercise your body adapts to that one movement. Think about it in the sense that if you don't lift weights and only run, then your body doesn't think it needs those other muscles for strength. Therefore, your body uses the unused muscles as fuel for running, decreasing your muscle mass. However, there have been countless studies showing how cross training (lifting weights, swimming, tennis, cycling, etc) correlates a positive effect on running. You gain more strength, your muscle mass stays constant or increases, and you use other muscles that you wouldn't use while running. This helps you become stronger, faster, and able to run further distances. Overall, an more efficient runner.

While training for an endurance event (half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon, etc), cross training is meant to keep your muscles fresh and used as an active rest day. This means not to completely fatgiue your muscles so when you go for a long run you don't feel worn down and exhausted. You may experience some soreness, but that's normal. You don't want to experience soreness/fatigue to the point where it alters your performance. Now, when you're not training for an event, cross training is a useful tool to build strength. It's okay to completely fatigue the muscles. This will help you increase lean body weight and aid in performance. Your runs are typically shorter on the off season, so you are able to push through the soreness with more power. Then once you start training for an event you will have built up more strength and endurance, hopefully, allowing you to train harder and faster than the previous time before. At this point, you will then decrease the intensity of cross training back down to endurance building.

Right now during my marathon training I am using strength training and spin class as my cross training. It recently clicked with me that I may be over doing it. I run 5 times a week, lift 3 times a week, and spin 2 times a week. That may seem like a lot of exercise, but it's not so much the amount of exercises I have discovered to be effecting me negativity, it's the intensity. I love exercise, that's a given. I want to be the best and work my butt off each time. However, since starting marathon training I have not decreased the intensity of my lifts. My intensity is heavy lifting, while I am enjoying seeing my muscles grow, it's defenitly affecting my runs. I experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for about 3 days after my workouts, and notice my body has been aching while running. While I give people professional advice on exercise regimens daily, I forget that I am not invinsiable and I am only human. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way to correct the obvious. It clicked with me during one of my runs that my body ached, my running gait was off, I was leaning forward, and my breathing was off. I was compensating for my soreness. My point is, when training for an endurance event, lifting is important for strength, power, and getting faster. However, it's imperative to know that you don't want to do as much heavy lifting opposed to endurance lifting. Meaning, using lower weights and more reps. This way you are still fatiguing the muscles and keeping your strength, but not completely tearing down the muscle fibers to cause the type of soreness that last for days. Endurance lifting aids in keeping your muscles strong and blood flowing to them since you don't primarily use your other muscles while running.

The Old Biltmore Building shining on a Saturday afternoon. I usually pass the historic building during my runs in Midtown.

Training Exercise: Latter (agility) Runs. Being quick on your toes is important as a runner. Although for most endurance runners we run in a straight line for the most part. However, being quick on your toes and able to make sudden movements helps build strength around your knees, therefore, decreasing any chance for knee injuries. You never know, you may need to quickly move over to dodge a snake or dead animal. Trust me, it'll happen if it hasn't already.

Latter (agility) Runs
  • Lay out a latter, rings, or even cones. Something to make spaces. Make a pattern each time.
  • Run the course as fast as you can making as little mistakes as possible.
  • Run sideways, quick toes, football drills, long strides, etc.
  • This will help your running gait,work on stride lengths, posture, speed, etc.

Training Tip: Protein! After a long run you want to nourish your body and muscles with protein. When running over an hour, your body starts to break down muscle fibers causing you soreness. Consuming protein will help repair your muscles more quickly and efficiently. It will keep your body from "destroying" your muscle fibers. Good sources of protein include protein powder, bars (you want a bar low in sugar less than 6grams, and low in carbs), string cheese, greek yogurt, or even some nuts.

Training Songs: I've adding some old school 90s, songs we have forgotten about, and some now music! Enjoy!

1. Home- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
2. Faster- Matt Nathanson
3. Pump It- The Black Eyed Peas
4. Neutron Dance- The Pointer Sisters
5. Gonna Make You Sweat- C+C Music Factory

Training Lagniappe: These people inspire me. 36 hours of running, yea, why not?!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist