Category Archives: Running Tips

Do you have any advice?

I received the message below from a friend who has begun her running journey.  I want to give her a thoughtful reply and I would love to hear any advice or suggestions you may have.

Thanks in advance!

“Hey lady!  You aren’t goingto believe it, but I’ve done the couch to 5k the past 8 weeks!  A friend and I have been running in the mornings 3 days a week at our school.  We run like a cross country like course.  Anyhow, today we were to run for 28 minutes straight and decided to try to go somewhere flat b/c at school it’s hilly.  We ran at 3:30 which was WAY too hot.  We did a straight/flat run in downtown Maiden.  Our usual pace has been 12:30min mile.  Today we thought we were at our pace and the Runkeeper said we were running a 10:40min mile.  Well, at about minute 15 we fell apart!  Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
We did learn some things….not to run in the middle of the day and we need to figure out our pace.  Help!”

Thought I would update with my reply that I sent to her…

Thank you Anna and Zen City!!!  I copied and pasted both of your replies along with mine and sent to her.  Below is my reply just in case your are interested.

“First of all, pat yourself on the back because you are doing something that most people at our age don’t do. Running is one of the hardest things anyone can do. It is hard physically and mentally but you are still doing it!

Second of all, running in the heat sucks always. The only time I really enjoy running in the heat(it still sucks…) is when I have over indulged on the weekend and I convince myself that I am sweating out the toxins!!! Self torture!

Finally, what you are experiencing (not talking about the heat now…) or what it sounds like you are experiencing is that you are pushing yourself to your personal wall. The more you visit that wall on your runs…(not on all your runs!!!) the more that wall will move. And, trust me…that wall will move! I can remember not being able to run a mile.

For me, some of my runs are long and slower paced while some are short and rough. I am constantly playing a game to run to that edge where I am pushing myself and training my body to get better, but not falling over the cliff. Knowing when to back off a little bit and when to surge comes with time. I promise you that in 6 months if you keep on doing what your doing consistently, your facebook message to me will be very different. And your personal wall will not be 15 mnutes at that pace. TIME on the road or trail is what it takes for you to learn your body and how it operates while you are running.

hope something in one of these replies helps!!! keep me posted! Tessa

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AUGUST SEVENTH 08/07/12

The day I have to go back to work….  I know I need to just enjoy my last few days but..

As mush as I lobe my jove, I readdy lont wovet to obgoe back to ____.  I sreallliey lovbe my long subbmmers ovff.  HELP…

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Should I stay or should I go now? What would Clash suggest?

Should I run?  Should I cycle? Should I swim?  Should I crossfit? Should I watch Housewives???  What would Clash do?  Life is good when you wake up in the morning and your biggest concern is deciding what activity you are going to do for the day!

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Air Squats…

The first AIR SQUAT sucks too.  No matter what, my hamstrings remain so tight!  Looking forward to my next workout!  Also, I need to get back on the road to run!  I have a 10k coming up and I have made no effort towards my running!  Oh my!

 

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RockHill Ramblin’ Rose, REALLY?

Swim girls swim, bike girls bike, run girls run!   Feel girls tap you on the foot in pool?  Let them pass, Tessa, let them pass.  See Tessa transition?  Hurry, Tessa, hurry!   See clips not clipping? Clip-in, Tessa, clip-in!  Feel thighs burning?  Pedal, Tessa, pedal!  Don’t wreck Tessa, don’t wreck!  See transition area?, Rack bike, Tessa, rack!  Friggin’ run Tessa, RUN!  Run to the finish line!  Thanks DICK and JANE!  Geeeze.

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Christmas morning in July??…

My alarm was set for 5:30am.  My plan was to run with a group of ladies around 6:15 right after I dropped off my son for his morning swim practice.  Thunder and lightning woke me a little early.  I checked weatherbug and it didn’t look promising.  I called out to my son but got no reply.  I sent out a text to my girls and checked my email to see if my son’s practice was cancelled.  When my husband and I whispered that swim practice was cancelled my son (in another bedroom down the hall) awoke from his coma.  He came to our room and jumped on our bed and said, “Heck yeah!  This is better than Christmas morning!!!”  Obviously,sometimes the first mile sucks in the pool too!

Good ole Mother Nature gives us a break every once in a while!  Thanks for the special moment with my son Ben, too!

Daily Funny….

Yesterday was a GREAT day for working out!  The weather was great.  The company was even better.  I cycled, swam, and did a crossfit workout all before 2pm.  On cloud 9, I was!  So, after cycling, I was putting my bike in the back of the Scout.  I saw my friend, Maria, running down the street so I called out to her.  “Woooooooo!  Looking GOOD GURL!!!!!”  She She looked great!  Her hair had been highlighted.  Her stride looked strong.  She  stopped and started walking towards me.   I met her half way.  When we were within a foot of each other, with arms stretched out to give each other a hug, we both realized that we were complete strangers!  It was not my friend Maria.  That didn’t stop us!  Without hesitation, we hugged, then shook each other’s hand and introduced ourselves!  Her name was Gina.  After our hug, we said our goodbyes and she was back on her way to finish her run.  Hopefully, one day our paths will cross again.  She seemed like such a sweet lady! 

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Rest days are important!

Rest days are important!  Try to include one or two rest days each week.  This will decrease the chance that you will skip a workout and these days also allow your body to heal and grow!!!  Don’t feel guilty.  Enjoy and know that your next workout is right around the corner!

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Anyone can do crossfit…

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If you want to do CrossFit, you can! I know the lifting part and some of the exercises can be intimidating.  But, do you realize there are modifications for everything???  Your heart will beat as much as the next person’s.  What is stopping you?

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CrossFitting Fool

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CrossFit specializes in NOT specializing.   It doesn’t focus on just one facet of fitness or health. Whether you are an Olympic athlete, a grandparent, or a 40 yr old runner….the fitness needs are similar but the intensity level necessary varies.   Balance, stability, agility, power, flexibility, endurance, stamina, etc…Every workout is different. It reminds me of the things I did as a kid but took for granted like jumping, hanging, stretching, climbing! I love CrossFit!

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MUD RUN!

If you haven’t completed a mud run then you are missing out on a lot of fun. Find one near you and sign up for it with a group of friends or your family. And definitely carpool. Riding together is sooooo much fun!

Carpool!!!

I completed a 2nd mud run this past weekend with my husband, son, and a group of 10 friends. A friend told me about a groupon, so I saved about $40 per person! The run was called the Warrior Dash. It was a blast and was very similar to the Rugged Maniac race I did a couple of years ago!

Clean Warriors!

We climbed up/over/down/under/around/through so many obstacles. At one point, we were submerged to our necks in a mud pit. At the end we were face down crawling under barbed wire in 2 feet of thick mud to the finish line. The water hose party was hilarious. The Warrior Dash post race party was probably one of the best I have attended. I love how people get pumped up and dressed up for this type of race.

newlyweds before

newlyweds after

Shower time!

Checklist of what to take to a mud run:

  • 1-2 heavy duty trash bags
  • throw away running shoes
  • ball cap
  • croc sandals
  • change of clothes
  • large beach towel for “deck changing”
  • photo ID for beer garden
  • camera phone (leave in bag!)
  • good attitude

Have FUN in the MUD!

ride home..
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Runner plays volleyball?

Absolutely…or at least I tried. Remember i did do CrossFit 2 days in a row.
I was actually going for the intimidation technique tonight.
My 8th grade Algebra student is on a traveling volleyball team. When she got wind that her 40 yr old teacher was playing, she took it

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outfit provided by Allie!

upon herself to make sure i was outfitted properly!  I thought the knee pads and jersey with “RAGE’ across the back would send a “don’t hit the ball to me” message. I was wrong. It was fun eventhough we lost. Sorry coach. I will come up with another strategy next week.

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HissyFit…CrossFit

Last night I rode with a group to a nearby town to try CrossFit for the first time.  My husband and son have been doing for a couple of weeks now and bought me three trial visits.  Unable to do one pull-up, I arrived at the warehouse type building full of apprehension.  All types of people, (young/old, male/female, big/small) were running around the outside of the building with a weighted medicine ball.  Some were carrying theirs on their shoulder, some in front of their belly, while others on a hip.  We walked in and the music was pumping.  I was so excited.  There was nothing fancy about it.  The owner/instructor, Michael, did an excellent job with his instruction.  I had no clue what a “burpee” was…Excuse me.  😉  Squats, squats, and more squats with proper form, shoulder presses, 200m run with a medicine ball, etc…  It was different than running but sooooo awesome! 

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I woke up this morning and parts of my body that I had forgotten about were screaming for attention.  I am going back tonight so I am hoping that I will be able to walk at the Warrior Dash this weekend.  

Any CrossFit experts out there?  I don’t know a lot about it, but the little I have read makes sense. 

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This is not me…yet.

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I love everybody.

This is not really me…

When I am running, I wave at everybody! I wave at the car that moves over to give me way more room than I need. I wave at the car that doesn’t move over, because I think maybe they don’t see me, but possibly at the last second they will see me and think to themselves, “next time I am going to slow down or move over for that runner…” I wave and smile at the creepy person as I SPRINT by. My mother told me that when I was little, she would push me in the grocery cart at Huxley Village;-). She said that I would raise up my hand and wave or say, “hey!” to strangers we passed in the grocery aisle, forcing them to wave back, smile, or speak to me.

I mean, of course, I LUUUUUUVVVVV all of my family members and my friends. But I truly feel like I have a “level” of love for strangers. Is that weird?

No matter their gender, their religion, their origin, their appearance, their preference, their anything…

No matter their anything, their political preference, their vote, I have love for everyone.

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Time to Dance Walk Baby

OMGosh this is so freakin’ awesome!!

istopforsuffering

I couldn’t resist sharing this…

This truly put the hugest smile on my face :-).

Happy Friday friends – Love & Blessings to you all ♥

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Course Map?….Not this a.m..

Note to self…

Look at course map before running a race.

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I needed one of these signs this morning!!!

Yep…ran a different route than the other runners this morning at the local “Race for  the Cure”..  Dodged holes running through a field with my buddy.  Two other runners followed us.  Bless their hearts!  I guess we just looked like we knew where we were going!  I love when crap like that happens!!!  Added some mileage but beautiful run!  Awesome race for a GREAT cause!

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Need for Speed…

When I am presented with a new experience or adventure, my reflex response is always, “Sure! Why not?”   

Some examples:

Navigate the subway in a big unknown city, like NY or Paris?  Sure!  Why not?
Learn to crochet?  Sure!  Why not?
Eat tofu?  Sure!  Why not?
Ride a wakeboard?  Sure!  Why not?
Marathon?  Sure!  Why not?
Yoga?  Sure!  Why not?
Mud run?  Sure!  Why not?
Go to Key West, miss your race and your flight, drive home from Mile 0?  Sure!  Why not?

So, when I asked what could I do differently with my running.  My husband said, “you could try to increase your speed.”  And you can guess my reply…I have the song by Cake in my head..I love that song.

he’s racing and pacing and plotting the course,
he’s fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
he’s going the distance.
he’s going for speed.
he’s going the distance.

I welcome any simple ideas for speed workouts.

 

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Positive Peer Pressure….

Sometimes, a running buddy can motivate you to run way more miles than you set out to do.  I love when 2 loops in the cemetary turns into 4!  Two bowls of Breyers Vanilla ice cream also inspires me to run more.  I am sure that we all have different motivators.  Do you know yours?

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I teach, therefore, I drink…and run.

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All independently of course.  Although, this morning while I was running the Clifford’s 5k race for abused animals, I thought that if I licked my sweaty arm that I could enjoy the previous night’s glass of cabernet again.   Pshaw…did I say, “glass”?  I meant bottle… A group of my teacher friends and I get together on Fridays at the beautiful Owl’s Eye Vineyard.  Above is a picture of the aftermath. I used to drink the night before a race and brag that it helped me run faster…sadly, it doesn’t work that way anymore.  I think I am going to stay in tonight and chill.  My body is requesting some reprieve.  Tomorrow, I may swim a little…
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My Dreadmill Assault…

Rainy days are inevitable.  Therefore, running indoors on a treadmill might be part of your training at some point.  Whenever I am forced to battle the dreadmill, I mix it up by doing a “5,4,3,2,1” workout, a friend shared with me. 

My starting speed is very important in the plan of attack!  I start out running the first 5 minutes at a comfortable and moderate pace, usually around 5 or 5.5 mph).   Then, I bump up the speed 1/2 or 1 mph and continue running for 4 minutes.  Next, I bump up another 1/2 or 1 mph for the next 3 minutes.  And again, for the next 2 minutes.  Finally, I increase to a full sprint for my final 1 minute. 

After this interval, I slow my speed down to my original pace and start building again.  Each round is a total of 15 minutes of running.  Try this 3 times and you have conquered a NICE 45 minute run and your treadmill battle!!!  Spice up the clash even more by adjusting your incline! 

For those or you just joining the running world, you can start your first 5 minutes with a brisk walk and build from there.  This workout helps me so much because it makes me pay attention to something other than my boredom!

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In search of the Silver or Ruby Red Slippers…

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Asics and Saucony and Mizunos, oh my!  Asics and Saucony and Mizunos, oh my!

I took a trip to OZ yesterday and tried on “forty-leven” pairs of shoes at a local store.  Tapped my heels together three times and left the store like a “twista” with a pair of Asics off the clearance table.  There’s no place like home, I thought.  Just let me out of here.  I wasn’t even sure if I liked the shoes or not.  I think I just bought them because I ran the poor sales clerk, who had only been working there for the past three days, to death.  Yes, this tin lady does have a heart.

Basically, I have trained in about every brand of shoe and can honestly say that I have no clue which shoe I like the best.  In fact, I am embarassed that I didn’t even know the brand of my latest running shoe until I just looked in my workout bag:  Asics Gel Kayana 16.  They have done their job.  My knees and ankles are still intact.  I am not complaining.  But, I really want to find a shoe that makes me want to buy it over and over again.  I want to feel like I am rolling up on Michelin tires.  I want each stride to feel like I am floating in a big ole Lexus running about 70mph down the highway.  I want each step to feel like I am falling into the plushest down comforter on the planet…

It’s almost 4:30!!!  Time to go follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road!

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Practice your UPSWING…

For the last month, I have been experiencing a surge in my desire to run.   “Tessa done got her groove back”, thank goodness…(for the moment, at least…)  My latest running funk lasted about 4 to 6 months.  I would force myself to run on a Saturday morning once every two or three weeks.  All my girlfriends were still running like clockwork.  Getting up as early as 5am in the cold.  My eyes mght have been open at 4:30am, but I had absolutely NO desire to get up to run.  I am not sure what caused my slump.  But, obviously I am crawling out of it for the time being.  Eventually, I know the pendulum will swing again at some point.  So, while I am up high on my perch, I feel like I need to take advantage of my running boom as much as possible.  Although, 5am runs still don’t entice me, I pack two workout bags in advance for afternoon runs.  Why two bags?  Because Imageof all people, I know myself all too well.  In the past, I would be all jacked up and run Monday.  Then,  get busy on Tuesday morning and forget to pack a bag or not have time to prepare.  So, my well intended run would not come to fruition.  NOW, my packed bags have warm and cool running clothes plus yoga pants if I get a hankering.  “SNAP!” my students would say.  Well, maybe they would have said that last year.  “SNAP” has kind of run it’s course, hasn’t it?

What causes the UPSWING, swell, or rush?  I wish I knew.  What will help foster it?  I wish I knew that, too.  But, if you are in an upswing, savor it, feed it.  If not, then look forward to it’s return…Yes, it’s coming soon.

Get your feet lined up, get a good grip, take a gentle backswing, and follow through by running a little every once in awhile!  And your upswing will be magnificent!

Look forward to seeing all the superheroes tomorrow!!!

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Running and Yoga?

The answer is yes!

I took my first yoga class in Asheville years ago.  I have to be honest, I wasn’t crazy about it.  I was expecting serenity and relaxation.  But what I got, was a drill instructor.  During the class, I remember actually jumping from fear when he would shout out instructions.  Luckily, I decided to try yoga again recently when a dear friend of mine was instructing.  It was such a totally different experience.  My favorite part was the “corpse” pose at the end.  I still wasn’t on the yoga wagon yet, but I knew I enjoyed it.  My mind was stilled temporarily and my freakin’ tight hamstrings got some much needed stretching!  I was incited to go to more classes each week.  Now, I make at least one class per week and  three if I am lucky!!!  I feel like yoga just sort of crept up and found it’s way inside my body and soul.  It’s not a “wagon” to jump on or jump off.  I love it and look forward to it so much.  I don’t know all of the yoga history, yoga poses, or yoga words.  But I don’t think I have to know all of that stuff right now.  I learn a little bit as I go.  I even bought a yoga handbook so when my teacher says something and I don’t know what the heck she is talking about, I can go home and look it up!

My perfect afternoon is  a 3-4 mile run at 4:30.  Yoga at 5:30.  Then 1/2 price pizza and a $2 draft (or two) with my hubby and son across the street at our neighborhood pub at 7.

Give yoga a shot.   Namastae!

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