IT ALL STARTED WHEN I RAN A THOUSAND MILES IN 2013...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mid-Week Massage

Last night, I went and got myself a nice little one-hour massage at Massage Envy. Since I have frequent back pain and posture issues, I am a member of their monthly club and make a visit to see Megan (my masseuse) regularly. She does such a good job...I almost fell asleep twice last night!

Massages are great for my back, but they are also very beneficial for my running. Massages are the perfect solution for stiffness and pain after an intense workout. They increase overall blood circulation in the body, which delivers more oxygen to the muscles. More oxygen allows for longer endurance periods, minimal recovery time and reduced residual pain (which all runners are looking for!). Massages can also improve range of motion, creating more body flexibility. Increased flexibility allows you to perform exercise movements more effectively and with greater ease, which will help prevent injuries to muscles, joints and tendons. 

I strongly encourage everyone to get massages (if not monthly, as often as you can). It doesn't matter if you exercise 1 or 7 days a week, it WILL be awesome and helpful*. 

On another note, I was feeling a tad bored with my normal running route, so I decided to hop on the treadmill for an intense 45-min interval run. I haven't ran on the treadmill in over a month, so it was a great change up for me. 

Here's the workout I completed:



This interval run came out to about 3.75 miles. I usually don't pay attention to the calorie counters on machines, but this one said I burned 638 cals, which it certainly felt like I did...so I'll take it!

Isn't my mom's treadmill so much nicer than 'Ol Reliable??

Check back tomorrow for the month of February recap! 

02/28/2013: Miles run - 156 of 1000. Miles remaining - 844 of 1000 


*This is my opinion only. Please consult with a healthcare professional to make sure massages are right for you.




Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Running With Your Dog

After my 3 mile run today, I took Cobalt out for a quick walk. For those of you who don't know, Cobalt is my 4 1/2 year old Great Dane. I got him from a breeder when he was 4 months old, and 170 lbs later, he's still the biggest baby I know.


The picture on the left is Cobalt on the day I got him.
The picture on the right is Cobalt on his 4th birthday (the old man looks thrilled). 

I wish more than anything I could take Cobalt on my runs with me. But there's a few reasons why I can't: 
1. He tore his meniscus in his back leg when he was about a year and half. He had to have surgery and we were pretty scared we might lose him. Everything turned out alright, but he still has a bit of a limp and the doctor said any intense or long distance running is the worst thing for his leg. We ended up putting him on Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which you can read about in my post here in regards to joint pain in runners. 
2. He sleeps 20 hours a day. I'm dead serious when I say he weighs 170lbs. That is a lot of weight for a dog to carry around (he's by no means fat or overweight, just a very large breed dog). He's in really good shape for his age and stature, but he gets tired even after a one mile walk.
3. When Cobalt does run (which is usually off leash in our yard), you do NOT want to get in the way. Picture a horse galloping. It's basically a full on sprint, usually right at you. The past few times I've attempted running a bit with him, he ends up going full speed ahead! 

"Watch out, I'm coming thru!"

I took some videos today of our walk, so y'all could get an idea of how this usually goes:

video
This is how our walks start off - I'm usually dragging him because he'd rather be sleeping...

video
But once we turn around and head home, he's all for a light jog back...

video
...All because he wants a drink from the water hose...what other dogs do this? 
He refuses to drink out of a normal dog bowl...

Then he crashes and sleeps like this...

Or like this...

Or this...yes, he's smiling


I love Cobalt more than any dog I've ever had and would never want to replace him. However, the day will come when he won't be around, and being the animal lover I am, I will get another dog. I'm really going to have to consider what breed will work best for me and my active lifestyle. Great Danes are amazing pets and the best dogs I've been around. But if I want to be able to run with my dog, I'll need to research other breeds out there. 

Benefits of running with a dog:
1. Great motivators! If this doesn't get you out of bed, I don't know what will? 
"Mom, can we pleeeeassseee go for a walk?!"

2. Keeps your dog physically fit. As if staying fit yourself wasn't important enough, knowing that it's your responsibility to keep your pet in shape and improve their quality of life is another great reason to take them running with you when possible.
3. Stops a destructive dog. Dogs have a ton of energy. If they don't have a good release, they could turn into a devil dog and ruin your things.
4. Bonding time! I don't know of a dog that hates to go for walks with their owners. Dogs LOVE to run! They'll appreciate you, show you love, and be thankful for the time spent together. Plus, it'll help you reclaim a love of running yourself because you can see how much joy they get out of it. Just like bonding with other human runners, the same thing can happen with your furry companion.
5. Make new friends. Many people walk their dogs daily, and if you live in a populated area, it's an easy way to meet new people. Most of the time your dog will do the "ice-breaking" for you. 

What are some of the best breeds out there for running partners?

One of my favorite bloggers, Julie at PBFingers.com, has a Vizsla named Sadie. She seems like a great running breed, as Julie posts about running 6+ miles with her. 


02/27/2013: Miles run - 152.25 of 1000. Miles remaining - 847.75 of 1000 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Juicer, How I Love Thee!

Last week we received a big box in the mail. My mom opened it, not knowing what it was. Out came a big 'ol, snazzy juicer! We were both confused because neither of us remembered ordering one, even though I've wanted a juicer for quite a while now. I shot my dad a quick text seeing if he ordered it for us and he didn't. After coming to the conclusion that my mom may have accidentally bought it with the "one-click order" system through Amazon.com after her 3rd or 4th glass of wine, we opened that baby up!

After ignoring the instructions on how to assemble the juicer and taking twice as long to figure it out ourselves, we went straight for the fruit bowl. We tossed in everything we could find...apples, pears, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, and we even debated on throwing a banana in (even though I eventually decided we shouldn't...do bananas even have juice? Just the thought of that mushy stuff incorporated into my fresh, drinkable juice did not sit well with me). It was delicious, and now I'm hooked!


This is the juicer I got. It's made by Hamilton Beach and around $50.
You can purchase this blender through Amazon.com by clicking on the picture.
I have mainly only been juicing fruits we have lying around the house and drinking that first thing in the morning for breakfast. I've even got my dad hooked on it (Yay! Healthy family). I've been juicing large quantities at a time so it'll last 3-4 days. The only downside of this juicer is that it is a pain in the butt to clean, so I'd prefer to wash it every few days versus every day when I want fresh juice. I need to branch out and try veggies soon. I have a weird texture complex (i.e. banana example above), so I don't know how I feel about drinking vegetables (other than tomato juice, which I love). I'll be sure to blog about the first time I try it out. 

There are many great benefits to juicing:
1. Juicing helps you absorb the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables
2. Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of fruits and vegetables in an efficient manner
3. You can add a wider variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet
4. When making juice, you can add fruits and vegetables that are about to spoil. That way, you don't waste produce (the food we waste the most money on each year).

I'd love if y'all would care to share some good juicing recipes you've tried out. Right now, I've just been wingin' it and throwing whatever fruit I can find in it...precise, I know

02/26/2013: Miles run - 149.25 of 1000. Miles remaining - 850.75 of 1000 



Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Recap and Running With A Partner

Happy Monday everyone! Hope y'all had a fantastic weekend. Mine was a treat! Jon came into town Friday afternoon and we crammed a lot of activities into a quick 48 hours together.

He arrived Friday afternoon from a conference in Vegas and was a tad tired. We grabbed a quick lunch and came home for a cat nap. I didn't want my mom to cook a big meal after a long week of work, so we decided on PaPa Murphy's pizza for dinner. I had never had their pizza before, but after my mom told me that you could customize your pie and that it was freshly made right in front of you for you to take home and bake yourself and they had thin crust, I was sold! My friend Chelsea and her boyfriend Hayden came over and we enjoyed some healthy pizza, wine, and cigars (for the boys) outside by the fire pit.


Saturday, we woke up and went golfing with my dad and his golfing buddies. I didn't actually golf (I drove the cart around and watched), but Jon and the 3 guys played a quick 5 hours. After that, Jon wanted to buy a gun so we ate some chinese food for lunch and went to the gun store. After a quick nap back home, we headed out to downtown Austin to meet up with my friend Korie.



Jon and I with my Dad
Before heading out in Austin

On Sunday, we slept in a bit and met up with a few of my extended family members for lunch at Jack Allen's Kitchen. I was really craving their Twisted Cobb Salad (with grilled chicken, roasted corn, grape tomatoes, cotija cheese, homemade corn nuts, and ranch vinaigrette) but on Sunday from 10-2 the only option if the buffet. I wish I would have known that before picking the place, but it was still delicious! 


Jon and I with my Aunt Tamie

After lunch, Jon convinced me to go for a run. Since we had such a busy weekend, I hadn't hit the pavement since Thursday, so I needed to get a few miles in before I got too behind. We did a quick 3 miles before heading to the airport for his 6pm flight. 

Surprisingly, that was the first time we had ever ran together in the 6 months we've been dating. He's about 6 or 7 inches taller than me, so I knew I'd either have to run faster or he'd have to run slower to make up for the difference in our strides. He ran slower. I wasn't about to try and keep up with his 6-7 min/mile pace! 

I was a bit weary about going for a run with him at first because I usually like running alone, listening to music, and I hate talking while running. But it actually made the time go by faster and I was forced to push myself and keep up the pace. I felt a little bad that all he got out of it was a brisk jog, while I was pushing myself to the limit, but it was a good experience overall. 

Running with a partner can actually be quite beneficial:
1. If you're comfortable with talking while running, a good conversation can make time fly by!
2. Running with a partner can be safer, especially for women and at night. 
3. I usually feel more comfortable testing out a new trail when I have someone else by my side. You never know what you may encounter on a new route. 
4. A partner can push you to that next level, if needed. Whether you just need help getting motivated to get outside and get moving, or if you're trying to hit a new personal record, having someone along for the ride can be a great motivational tool to provide you with that little nudge you need. 

This short month of February is almost over! 10 more miles to go by Thursday. Wish me luck! 

02/25/2013: Miles run - 146.25 of 1000. Miles remaining - 853.75 of 1000 



Friday, February 22, 2013

The Phoebe Run

Last night, I set off for my second run of the day. I was planning on going with my mom when she got home from school, but she noticed a big puddle of water in our backyard. A pipe had burst from a tree root! Long story short, my uncle came over and fixed it, but she was in no state to go running after that. So I left without her...sorry mom! 

During my 3 mile run, I passed a man also running in my neighborhood. Since I live out in the country, I rarely see anyone else out exercising. He was running the opposite direction towards me and once I got closer I almost burst out laughing! But I kept telling myself I couldn't have him see me laugh so I had to hold it in until he passed.

What was so funny, you ask? 

He was running exactly like this video. Dead serious.


I love this episode of Friends and the attitude Phoebe has with running. One day, I hope I can let go and do this...even if it's just for a few seconds. 

Even though this man was very humorous, I have respect for someone who can run that way and not care what other people think. Proper form is important, but having fun is also a must for sticking with it. I hope I see him again soon! 

02/22/2013: Miles run - 137.25 of 1000. Miles remaining - 862.75 of 1000 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Run Like The Wind

Today's run was a tad windy! But I think the weather gods listened to my post yesterday and gave me some awesome 65 degree weather for my run at lunch. It rained a lot this morning, so I thought I'd have to stick to the treadmill this afternoon. Luckily, that wasn't the case. I did 2.25 miles at lunch and will be doing another 3 this evening with my mom when she gets home from work. 

My friend Michael shared a link in my comments section yesterday that took me to some pretty funny, yet true, running pictures. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites today.

Enjoy!





My Favorite!




02/21/2013: Miles run - 134.5 of 1000. Miles remaining - 865.5 of 1000 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Warm Weather Runs vs. Cold Weather Runs

I wish Texas would decide if it wants to be cold or hot right now, because I'm not a fan of 75 degree weather one day and 50 degree weather the next. It's messing with my running! Today was a cold one (well, cold for me...about 52 degrees). But after running my 3 miles at lunch, I warmed right up! 

I am still debating which type of run is tougher for me. A cold weather run vs. a warm weather run? I wish I could run in 65-70 degree weather every day...it's perfect. 

But no excuses!


I do find myself running faster in cold weather, but it is much harder to breathe, my nose always runs, and I'm more prone to cramping. Whenever Texas randomly decides it's going to be a cold day, I need to stretch more and remember to take a tissue with me, because a runny nose and tight leg muscles can be a huge distraction. 



In the upcoming Texas Summer, I'm either going to have run early in the morning when it's somewhat cooler out or on the treadmill, because heat exhaustion is definitely possible here. You can always add more layers in cold weather, but disappointedly, we can't run naked to deal with the heat (how weird would that be?! I just googled "naked running" and started cracking up...I won't post it on here, but if you need some entertainment, check it out). 

Crazy people!


I'm still not sure which I prefer. Would you rather run in cold or warm weather, and why?

02/20/2013: Miles run - 132.25 of 1000. Miles remaining - 867.75 of 1000 

Monday, February 18, 2013

A 14 Mile Weekend

Happy Monday, Y'all! Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was productive, yet relaxing. 

Saturday was another two-a-day run. I did 3 miles around my neighborhood in the early afternoon and another 4 in the evening with my mom. After her first running trail experience on Thursday, she wanted to go back for more! This time, she was determined and I was even more impressed than before. I guess the running bug bit her because she went out and bought new running shoes and shorts. Once we hit the trail, she ran the first 1.25 miles without stopping! I was so proud. We then walked less than 1/4 mile and were back at it. All in all, she probably ran about 3-3.5 mile out of the 4 total. And we got her down to an 11:20 min/mi. MUCH improved from Thursday's 12:30 min/mi. Progress! 

On Sunday, I went out for a solo run. The weather was perfect and I went running in a new neighborhood, so it was a nice change of scenery and people watching. I completed 7 miles in 1:08. Somewhat slow, but that was my first time running a straight 7 miles. I usually only do 5-6, or I'll split it up into 2 runs throughout the day. I was exhausted last night and crashed by 9:30. I'm taking it easy today with a laid back 2 miles at lunch. 

Congrats to everyone who participated in the Austin Marathon this past weekend! I still can't wrap my mind around running 26.2 miles. I am usually beat after 6 or 7...but I WILL run a half marathon within the next year! 

02/18/2013: Miles run - 127.25 of 1000. Miles remaining - 872.75 of 1000 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Running with Mom

Happy Friday!

Come April, my mom and I are running the Capitol 10,000 race in Austin. In order to start preparing,  I convinced my mom to go running with me after work on the trail I hit up last week. She agreed and we headed out. I wasn't quite sure how it'd go, seeing as how my mom is much more of the "power-walker" type and not so much a runner. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised and quite impressed. 

The trail is a 2 mile loop so I told her we were going to go around it twice because I needed to get 4 miles in (quite the long distance for a beginner like her). They have mile markers every 1/4 mile so we agreed to start off by alternating walking 1/4 mile and running 1/4 mile, and so on. The first few running sections were a little tough and our pace was slower than I'm normally used to. But after the first mile was logged, we just kept going! She didn't want to stop. We came back around to the beginning of the trail and walked a bit more before starting the loop again. We ended up finishing the 4 miles in about 47 minutes. This came out close to a 12:30 min/mile, which is much slower than my normal time, but is quite impressive for a mom who never runs. 

I think I can easily get her under a 12 min/mile before March if we keep it up and continue training. Once we hit that and continue on, I think she'll be closer to a 10 or 11 min/mile by the time the 10K race comes along in April. 



I'll be sure to keep y'all updated on her progress...whether she wants me to or not! :)

02/15/2013: Miles run - 112 of 1000. Miles remaining - 888 of 1000 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Healthy Living Blogs

I'm so excited! I finally got listed on HealthyLivingBlogs.com website!


Everyone should check this site out. There are some other really great blogs out there for good reading and the site gives you really great blogging tips. 

www.HealthyLivingBlogs.com

Some of my other favorite blogs to read include:
Peanut Butter Fingers
Fitness and Fro-Yo
Run Pretty
Mix and Match Mama (The Bachelor, Sean Lowe's, Sister)
Diary of a Health Nut

What blogs do you read?

02/14/2013: Miles run - 106 of 1000. Miles remaining - 894 of 1000 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Reward For Completing My Goal

Happy Hump Day! I haven't run in the past 2 days and I'm feeling antsy. Yesterday I was traveling home from Pittsburgh from 5am until 5pm. Talk about a long day. I can't wait to go for a long run after work. It's much needed. Plus, I'm a tad behind in my mileage since I took the past two days off. 

After my Sunday Run From Hell (kind of kidding), it hit me that I had reached the first 100 mile marker in my 1000 mile goal! A very first important milestone, if I do say so myself. Now that I have only 900 more to go (easy, right?), it got me thinking about how I'd like to celebrate and reward myself at the end of this year. I didn't start this journey with a specific prize in mind at the end...I just felt like doing it, and that feeling hasn't changed. But once the thought popped into my head, I was intrigued

What can I buy myself? What can I eat? Where can I go on vacation? 

Honestly, I don't know the answer yet. I'm not extrinsically motivated for this specific goal, but I guess it couldn't hurt! I already feel as if I'm getting so much out of it, I don't know if I even NEED anything else. Along with becoming fit, having energy, and gaining a sense of accomplishment, I don't know if a new purse, a nice meal, or a trip to the beach would even come close to what I have and will continue to gain throughout the year (Ok, so the beach might help). 


Suggestions? What have you done in the past to reward yourself for completing a goal? 

02/13/2013: Miles run - 100 of 1000. Miles remaining - 900 of 1000 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Hills are Aliiiiive - With the Sound Of Me Complaining

When I made my first trip ever to the east coast to visit Jon in Pittsburgh for New Years, I was shocked to see so many hills in the area. I had no idea. It's actually quite beautiful, and a nice change from flat ol' Texas (even though I do consider Austin to have some "hills"...Jon doesn't). 

This weekend I had my first experience running them. I always thought the slight slope in the road throughout my neighborhood was tough to run, but those minor slants in the pavement are nothing compared to these devils. If those so-called "hills" in my neighborhood are in fact hills, then I must have run some mountains in Pittsburgh this weekend. Now that these are under my belt,  I should breeze thru my normal route when I return to Texas tomorrow. 

Take a look at this monstrosity - 


I took this picture halfway up, so imagine this hill double the length of what you see. 
Needless to say, I did some walking. OH YEAH, it was 30 degrees out. 

This is just ONE example of a hill I encountered. There were many, many more and it definitely put a damper on my pace. I just kept telling myself "Where there is an uphill, there is a downhill." However, even though downhills can be a good time to catch your breath, they can be just as hard as uphills...especially on my knees. You have to change your pace, footing, and breathing, and allow gravity to do it's thing. 

This is only sounds like I'm complaining. After my run was over, I actually felt GREAT and knew I was working out harder than usual and benefiting from these mini-mountains. 

Benefits of Running Hills:
1. Builds strength - Running hills is a type of resistance training which works your upper leg muscles more than running normally would if you were running on flat ground. 
2. Builds speed - By targeting specific areas of your legs and using some of the same muscles used for sprinting, you'll increase your speed on flat terrain. 
3. Boredom beater 
4. Strengths upper body - Uphill running makes you drive your arms harder than you normally do while running on a flat surface
5. Burns more calories - Obviously you're working harder and pushing yourself to overcome the resistance, so you can burn up to 100+ more calories than you would running the same distance on flat ground. 
6. Downhill muscle groups - Running downhill engages your lower abs and works your quads. 
7. Prevents shin splits - Running uphill can alleviate the stress and pressure put on your shinbones that you would normally experience when running on a flat surface. 

If you don't have any hills in your area, you can always crank the treadmill up to a 10+ incline for some fun times! 

Side note: I hit 100 miles on Sunday! 900 to go...

02/11/2013: Miles run - 100 of 1000. Miles remaining - 900 of 1000 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Running Stats

Taking a page out of my Runners World Magazine, I wanted to share some stats they discovered after surveying women runners. 

Morning vs. Evening runs:
38% of people prefer to run in the evening vs. 62% who prefer to run early in the morning
I prefer to run in the afternoon. I'm NOT a morning person, so it'd be hard for me to wake up early to get my run in, and by the time 5:00 rolls around I'm tired from working and just want to relax. Noon is the perfect balance for me. I'm awake by then and I can get it out of the way. 

Favorite day of the week to run:
#1 - Saturday
#2 - Sunday
#3 - Monday
#4 - Wednesday
How about any day ending in "y"? :) I honestly don't have a preference and it makes no difference to me. Obviously, people tend to have more time on the weekends, but it's all about making time during the week as well. 

Most common culprit for skipping a workout: 
#1 - Fatigue
#2 - Work
#3 - Injury
#4 - Kids
#5 - Weather
#4 doesn't apply to me, but I have experienced the others. However, I don't believe weather should ever be an excuse for me. I have a treadmill in my house AND a gym membership. Fatigue and injury are legit reason to skip a workout, especially if it's going to prevent you from running again in the future. You don't want to do any further damage. I'd rather take a day or two off to recover, rather than push myself and be out of commission for a week or more. 

Runs per week:
One - 0%
Two - 5%
Three - 40%
Four - 26%
Five - 20%
Six - 8%
Seven - 1%
I think it's important to have AT LEAST one, if not two, rest days during the week, so I'm glad 7 runs a week has a low percentage. I try to get in 4-5 runs a week, depending on how close I am to my 20 miles per week goal. 

96% of people would work out twice a day if childcare, time and showering were no issue.
That's quite the majority. Check out my post about making time for your workouts, even if you have a busy schedule. 10 minutes is better than nothing, people! We can all make time to watch The Bachelor, right? Showering used to be a pain for me as well...especially as a female. Guys have it easy - no makeup, no styling of the hair, etc. I'm jealous. But now that I am able to work from home, I go days without wearing makeup and always have my hair up in a pony tail...attractive, I know.

Hope y'all found these stats to be as interesting as I did. Sounds like kids put a big ol' damper on your workouts! :) Kidding....kind of. 

02/07/2013: Miles run - 94 of 1000. Miles remaining - 906 of 1000 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jim Rodgers Hiking Trail

My mom has continued to tell me about this new trail that is about 3 miles from our house. Seeing as how running in our neighborhood is getting a tad boring and monotonous, I took her suggestion and went to check it out. I wasn't sure what to expect because I didn't even know there was a trail that close to our neighborhood, and I'm always a little apprehensive about running in an unknown area alone. But I decided to put my big girl pants on and head out.


I don't know why I worried. It was 12:30 on a Wednesday...who would be out running? No one. I had the trail all to myself and it was awesome! I'm so glad I sucked it up and went. The terrain was a nice change to the constant pavement in my neighborhood, and the scenery wasn't too shabby either. I started off on the trail where the beginning of the terrain was made up of wood chips. I was a little worried at that point because that's not the most comfortable footing to run on. But after a few steps it turned into a nice little dirt trail, with a few rocks and sticks along the way. I didn't mind those obstacles, because it kept my mind on trying to avoid them so I wouldn't bust it and off thinking about how many miles I've traveled or what my time would be (I went into this knowing my time would be slower than normal due to the change in terrain and obstructions that came in my path). 

I love the first time running a new trail. You don't know where the heck you're going and there's always something new to see. I passed some soccer fields, train tracks, a quarry pool, a duck pond, and some wildlife (yes, I'm counting birds and squirrels...this is Texas). After the first mile or so the trail split off into different directions. I took a wild guess, went with Door #2, and just went with it. Thankfully, it turned into a nice 4 mile loop back to my car. Atleast if I would have gone the wrong way, it would have been easy to go back (unlike our adventure in the Rocky Mountains).

I ended up finishing 4.25 miles in 39:45 (9:23/mile). I will definitely go back at least once a week just to shake things up. 



I also remembered to use an app I had downloaded a while back that my friend Kristen told me about. It's called Charity Miles and donates money to a charity of your choice based on your mileage. I wish I would have remembered to start using this back at the beginning of my journey (if I would have, I could have already donated $23)! You can read a little more about in my blog post here about apps for runners

02/06/2013: Miles run - 91 of 1000. Miles remaining - 909 of 1000 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Two-A-Days

Yesterday was a first for me. I ran twice in one day. I completed 5 miles at lunch and a little over 2 miles in the evening with my mom and Cobalt. Let's just say my knees are feeling it today! I wasn't tired or out of breath during my 2nd run, but my legs were hurtin'! 

Since I had a few hours to kill at the airport on Sunday, I bought the new monthly edition of Runners World magazine. 


After flipping through some pages, I came across an article that caught my eye. The article was called "Double Down - Run twice in one day?!" EXCLAMATION MARK, QUESTION MARK is right! Who would be crazy enough to do that? Ahem - me. I had to try it out after reading the certain benefits a double dosage could provide.

Running twice a day can be difficult for people with busy schedules, as it's already hard enough finding time in the day to complete one workout. It can also lead to a higher risk of injury if done too frequently and incorrectly. You don't have to be a marathon runner or log high-mileage runs in order to benefit from running twice a day. According to the article "Studies suggest doubling up and running in a depleted state can boost fat-burning, train the body to use glycogen more efficiently, and stimulate mitochondria production (more mitochondria can delay fatigue)." They also say that by shortening the time between your runs, you're challenging your body to recover faster, and faster recovery is a good thing. 

With that being said, you need to make sure to not overdo it. They recommend waiting 4-10 hours between runs and to start off by doubling your runs only once a week. Your 2nd run should be an easy, slower temper run, and no longer than 45-min. Don't worry about pace so much, but rather the fact that this run is helping aid in recovering from your first run by "increasing blood flow to the muscles and flushing out lactic acid and other metabolic waste products." Sometimes it's better to take 2 runs that you feel really good about rather than just one run that you were forced to tread through. 

Here are some guidelines they provide to make sure you don't overdo it
- Build a base - Accrue 18-24 months of running 4-5 times a week before adding doubles into your routine.
- Run by time - Start with a 2nd run of 20 minutes. Over time, build up to no more than 45 minutes.
- Ease into it - Begin with one double. After a week or two, add a second. Build up to no more than 4 doubles a week.
- Space it out - Allow at least 4 hours between doubles, and be sure to hydrate and fuel well between each.
- Stay Alert - If you start to feel sick, run-down, crabby, or achy, back off. You're probably overdoing it.

Seeing as how yesterday was my first time doing a double, I am taking today easy and going to head out for a short 3 mile run this afternoon. 

02/05/2013: Miles run - 87 of 1000. Miles remaining - 913 of 1000 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekend in the Rockies

Last week Jon was in Denver for work, so I decided to fly out for the weekend to spend some quality time with him in beautiful Colorado. I flew into Denver where we rented a car to take up to Estes Park for a nice little getaway. Estes Park is absolutely breathtaking. It's such a cozy town with spectacular views. I'm also a dork and love seeing the Stanley Hotel where some scenes from my favorite movie, Dumb and Dumber, were shot. 
"There ya go, There ya go, There ya go"

We woke up Saturday morning with a Rocky Mountain hike on the agenda. I quickly googled some winter trails in the area and we were off! After a 15 minute drive into Rocky Mountain National Park, we bundled up and headed out to Cub Lake Trail. 



A local website said the trail was about 2.1 miles and it would run into another trail that was another 3.2 miles. The first part of the hike wasn't that hard. We actually warmed up rather quickly and started shedding layers. 

 A man and his stick
A recent wildfire wiped out 300 acres of the park

Eventually, we worked our way up the mountain and the altitude hit! It became harder to breathe, the wind was rough, and our layers went right back on. We ran into another couple who was running the opposite way on the trail (I'm all for running as you know, but not on snowy hills), and they told us that once we got up to Cub Lake the trail disappeared due to snow.
 Cub Lake at the top of our hike
Ice skating, anyone?

Seeing as how both Jon and I are pretty stubborn, we decided we'd make our own trail and that a lack of people's footprints wasn't going to stop us from completing our 5+ mile loop. Bad idea. We ended up having to mush through what seemed to be 12 inches of snow (I was in tennis shoes and jeans mind you), battle the intense wind, avoid wild animals, and try not to slip down the hills covered with patches of ice. Since we were making our own trail, we weren't even quite sure we were on the right path. At one point, we were both a little worried and debated going back the 3 miles we'd already completed. We decided against that and plunged through. Thankfully, we were not forced to build fire or shelter and we did not get lost in the Rocky Mountains. Once we saws trail signs and proof of life (AKA people), I felt a sense of relief and we finished the remaining 2 mile downhill trek back to our car. All I wanted after that adventure was a glass of wine and a hot tub...which is exactly what I got :) But not before spotting some elk eating dinner nonchalantly by the side of the road. 

"Excuse me...EXCUSE ME!"

Hiking 5 miles took a lot more out of me compared to walking 5 miles. The trail ended up taking us about 3 hours (with breaks and freak-outs), but it was a GREAT workout and a nice replacement exercise for not being able to run while we were there.

02/04/2013: Miles run - 85 of 1000. Miles remaining - 915 of 1000 
(Note: not counting the 5 mile hike in my numbers)