Sunday, March 28, 2010


I ran a marathon? 26.2 miles? Me, really? I sure did, and it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my 23 years of life. Call me crazy, but I'm ready for the next one. People always ask "why" I want to run a marathon. Responding with "I love to run" seems to add to my insanity. I find pleasure out of pushing my body beyond what I know it is capable of doing. Completing a marathon, or even a half marathon, provides a sense of accomplishment that is indescribable. If you train properly, have an overwhelming sense of dedication, and a high threshold for pain I recommend training for a marathon. You won't be disappointed. Just remember it does require A LOT of time and effort.

A Few Memories from ING Marathon- March 21, 2010

Marathon-ing Tips
  • Dedicate enough time to complete 20-40 miles a week of running.
  • Trim your toenails to help minimize bruising or breaking of your nails.
  • Remember the first 3 miles are always tough due to your body adapting to the increase in heart rate, blood pressure, stroke volume, and more dorky physiological things. Just take my word.
  • Don't over dress. 26.2 miles is a long way. You're going to warm up. Wear enough clothes so that when you are at rest you feel a little chilly, but not too warm. If it's summer time, I recommend wearing the least amount of clothing possible to help your body heat escape and aid in cooling.
  • Hydrate yourself. After about 45 minutes of running, water shouldn't be your first choice. Drink a sports drink to help refuel your muscles. It is good to drink water, but remember to incorporate a sports drink. This will help avoid/delay muscle cramps. When running a marathon, I recommended after mile 10 to get you a sip of some sort of sports drink at each hydration station. Remember, to not over do it. Don't consume too much of a drink so that you feel the liquid bouncing as you run.
  • Hills are everyone's worst enemy. That's all I have to say on that.
  • The last 6 miles really are the hardest. You just ran 20 miles, now finish strong with one last 10k. At this point in the race it is a mental thing. Stay positive and keep truckin' on.
  • For a marathon there will be spots of little to no cheering support. Don't let it get to you. You need the support at those moments, but try focusing on something different. Admire the scenery, sing to your music, or find something to count and make a game out of it. Just keep your mind active.
  • Have fun! Enjoy the run and stay positive. You're running a marathon for god's sake! :)
  • Refuel once you cross the finish line. After you receive your medal and show it off, of course. All your energy sources will be depleted at the end of the race so start consuming carbohydrates and proteins to re-energize your muscles. Consumption should take place no longer than 30-40 minutes after you stop running.
  • As much as you don't want to keep walking. Walking will help keep your blood from pooling and aid in redistributing the blood back to normal. Just walk it out, even if you do look crippled.

Marathon-ing Tip/ Exercise of the Week: Rest, roll, and stretch. Let your muscles rest after running 26.2 miles. This may be for a week, two, or even three. It all depends on how hard and long you ran. Your muscles just went through a lot of wear and tear, let them rest and rebuild. Roll your muscles on a foam roller or get a massage. This will help keep blood from pooling and work out an knots. You want to keep your muscles loose to help blood flow through out your sore muscles. WARNING: It's going to hurt, but it's worth it. Stretch after the marathon. Your muscles are going to be tight, maybe tighter than they ever have been. Start slow and work your way down creating a more intense stretch. You want to keep your muscles loose not only to help with blood flow, but always to aid in every day tasks. These three techniques will aid in a speedy recovery so you won't miss out on too much exercise. However, don't push yourself to start running too soon. Let your muscles rest. It's for the best. :)

Marathon-ing Songs of the Week: My marathon playlist consisted of a wide variety of music. I think it's important to incorporate different genres for long runs to avoid getting bored. Enjoy!

1. 1901- Phoenix
2. Skinny Little Bitch- Hole
3. Lay Me Down- Dirty Heads ft. Rome
4. Welcome To The World- Kevin Rudolf
5. My Drink n' My 2 Step- Cassidy
6. Strange- Reba McEntire
7. Give Me The Meltdown- Rob Thomas
8. Can You Tell- Ra Ra Riot
9. Lose Control- Missy Elliot ft. Ciara and Fatman Scoop
10. Dancing Nancies- DMB

Upcoming Events:

Countdown to the Atlanta Live DOW Run For Water:
20 Days (April 18, 2010)

Countdown to the AJC Peachtree Road Race:
July 4, 2010

Happy Running,

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's MarathonING Time In ATL!

After 4 months of training it's finally time! The Georgia ING Marathon is finally here! Only 1 more day to taper and then it's time to run a torturous 26.2 miles. Ahh! It's starting to set in that we'll be running 26.2 miles, roughly 4 hours of straight running. We got this! :) No matter what I am so proud of us for training our butts off and believing we can do it! I really don't think I could have done this without Ross. I'm proud of everyone else running the half or full! I'm super excited for Megan to run her first half! :) After your first race, especially a half, an amazing sense of accomplishment overwhelms you with pure satisfaction. Be proud, no matter what. The degree of self discipline to train for such an event is an accomplishment in itself. Race day is time to show off all your hard work and remember to have fun!

The few days leading up to a race are bittersweet. The fact all the training is over and it's time to put it to the test is the sweet part. The sense of nervousness and anxiousness feels bitter. However, I believe it's more sweet than bitter. It's exciting to test yourself past your normal limits. It's amazing to me how much your body can endure. Anyway. In celebration of tapering, I'm digesting my carb packed dinner while my feet are propped up on the coffee table to rest my little legs, thinking about what outfit I will look cutest in on Sunday, and composing a badass playlist. You know, I do need like 4+ hours worth of music... A sample of my playlist (that I still need to think of a witty name for):
  • Pain- Jimmy Eat World
  • Badfish- Sublime
  • Dr. John- Mika
  • Can You Tell- Ra Ra Riot
  • Teeth- Lady GaGa
  • Pretty Girls- Wale ft. Gucci Mane
  • Nothing On You- B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars
  • Meet Me Half Way- Black Eyed Peas
SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! I'm excited and nervous! Again, crub crewers be prepared because I'm going to cry afterwards. Maybe have a tissue ready for me ;) Pictures and stories are to follow soon after. Good luck to all halfers/marathoners! Thank You in advance to all the crub crewers who are coming out to support us and everyone else! It's much appreciated, believe me.

Upcoming Events:

Countdown to the Atlanta ING Marathon:
1 Day (March 21, 2010).

Countdown to the Atlanta Live DOW Run For Water:
29 Days (April 18, 2010)

Happy Running,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

City Running: Atlanta Chapter

Relocating to "Bucktown" (per Taylor) means no more long runs on the greenway. It's a bitter sweet situation/feeling. The Big Creek Greenway is p-e-r-f-e-c-t for long runs reasons being: it's secluded from traffic, a nice boardwalk subsitution from concrete, trail scenery (livestock, the creek, GA 400 :), and lots of trees (not only good for shade, but always pretty during Fall season). My only complaint of the trail is when it rains or snows (which has been a lot in Georgia these past few months) the trail floods in parts making it a very muddy and difficult run. However, we've moved on to city running. One top of of the amazing Spring-like weather today, running through downtown was exciting but dreadful at the same time. I don't ever remember all of Atlanta being one GIANT hill. I mean, really when did that happen? Our 10 mile run consisted of running through breathtaking Atlanta neighborhoods, on to Peachtree Road with a mix of waste, coffee, and bbq smell (coffee and bbq together actually sounded pretty appetizing to me around mile 7), continuing through Midtown into Piedmont Park, ending with Piedmont Road all the way home. Running through Piedmont Park was probably my favorite part of the run, mostly because I didn't have to give the sign of the cross when passing through a red light hoping not to get hit by cars since people in Atlanta don't like to look up while driving. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE ATL! I loved the unique smells down Peachtree, running over the I-85 bridge, running through Piedmont Park, having the city scenery to look at, passing all the other city runners (which is more than I expected), realizing we basically ran from Lindbergh Marta Station down to North Avenue (for you non-MARTA riders that would be 4 stations) and back, and finally stopping at Smoothie King on the way home to end our run. Where else can you get that experience? Well, not in Cumming.

My point is city running is much more difficult than trail running. Obvious, I know. However, the energy and atmosphere is more exciting. You would think since I go to Georgia State I would be used to the crazy motorist while crossing the crosswalks, but it's different when running. It felt like cars have more hatred for runners, bring it. My strategy is to not make eye contact, focus on the tires to see if they are rolling, give the sign of the cross (actively or passively), and speed up like a bat out of hell and get to the other side. Done and Done. Then resume normal pace until the next crosswalk. Give me a week and I'll have this city running down. Now, just if I can improve my hill running.

Exercise of the Week: Calf Stretches: I, for one, get major cramps in my calf muscles after a long or even a hard run. It never fails. If I don't stretch out my calf muscles, I will for sure wake up in the middle of the night with an unbearable pain down my calf into my foot. It's tear worthy pain. So, I have to remember to stretch and even roll it out that day or the next. I won't go into the physiological reasons of why cramps occur, but stretching/rolling out major muscle groups will help break up any "knots", relax the muscles, and keep blood flowing properly. A precursor to foot pain is lower leg pain, ie not stretching and returning blood flow in your lower leg properly.

Basic Calf Stretch
  • Find a wall and face it.
  • Place your hands on the wall for support.
  • Raise up on your toes and hold it at the top for a count of 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 5-8 times or until needed.
Basic Seated Calf Stretch
  • Sit on the ground with legs out in front of you with your feet together.
  • Keep your toes pointed to the sky.
  • Now move your feet from pointing up to pointing towards you. You should feel a stretch through your calf muscles.
  • Hold the pointed position toward your body for a count of 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 5-8 times or until needed.
  • Using a resistance band (or a towel) to help assist the stretch will add more tension. Place the band around the arch of your feet. As you move your toes towards your body pull the band towards you for more of a stretch.
Training Tip of the Week: Remember to keep variety of food in your diet. Not only does eating the same 5-8 types of food and fruits get old, but adding variety will ensure you get the proper nutrients. Most people will eat the same type of grains, fruits, vegetables, and even meats. Variety Ideas:
  • Grains: wheat, oats, barley, rice, quinoa, and more.
  • Fruits: apples, bananas, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, grapes (black or red), starfruit, mango, or papaya.
  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, corn from the cob, asparagus, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, zucchini, or bell peppers.
  • Meats: Beef, pork, fish, bison, turkey, chicken, lamb, or shellfish.
I'm not suggesting you cut out what you currently eat, but to start adding different types of food to your diet. Be creative. Try picking up one new type of food each time you go to the grocery store. Variety is important for good nutrition especially for active people. Keep your diet healthy and fresh.

Training Songs of the Week: R&B/ Rap/ Hip-Hop songs remind me of Summer time. Why? I don't really know, but I am ready for some warm weather for running and tanning. Enjoy!

1. Break Your Heart (Remix)- Ludacris ft. Taio Cruz
2. Hollywood- Jay-Z ft. Beyonce
3. Nothing On You- B.o.B ft Bruno Mars
4. Rude Boy- Rihanna

Upcoming Events:

Countdown to the Atlanta ING Marathon:
14 Days (March 21, 2010).

Countdown to the Atlanta Live DOW Run For Water:
42 Days (April 18, 2010)

Happy Running,