Update number 2- PERSONAL

Hello there!

It’s time for an update on how my training has been going since this is the last post I will make before finals shift into high gear for me. Not to say that I won’t be training! As I said in my post before Thanksgiving, I have fallen down on the job of training for my race. Over the break, my plan was to participate in a Turkey Trot or other fun run to burn some of the thousands of calories that I consumed over Thanksgiving, and start to get back into the swing of things as my race is only six (SIX) weeks away. I hate to say that there wasn’t enough time to run, because that is an easy excuse, and makes it seem like it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t run. Needless to say, both are not true. Had I made myself get up and do it, I could have very easily found 30 minutes to run. That being said, I did have a great break with my family and very much enjoyed being back in Houston again.

As I said earlier, my race date is about six weeks away now, so that begs the question, “What will you do now dear?” to quote my favorite childhood movie, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

So here is my big idea. I can average about a nine to ten minute mile when I run longer distances, 7-9 on shorter runs; my mother, whom I will be running my first half marathon with, will be running her 13th. She has more experience, but I have the age edge. Her mile times are about 11-12 minutes, which won’t be hard for me to keep up with. After I get done with my finals in the next week, I will slowly start weaning myself into running again, getting my feet wet. I’m going to slowly add distance and time until I get my mental and physical stamina back up. By that time, I’m thinking it will be early to mid January, right in time to be ready to race.

That’s the theoretical plan, the only thing left is to actually do it! Here’s to both of us accomplishing our goals.

Failure is an option?

I won’t lie to you.

I have fallen off the bandwagon.

It’s hard to describe when exactly it happened, I’m not really sure myself. I was doing great at the beginning, running a couple of times a week, working out on others days. It just stopped, not all at once granted, but it stopped.

So the question is what to do now?

There’s pretty much two options: keep procrastinating and eventually quit or get back on track with training. One requires change and making an effort, while the other is just sticking to the program I’ve been on, which consists of not actually working toward the goal I made for myself when I signed up for this half marathon.

It’s very easy to become lackadaisical when there isn’t an immediate event or occasion to work towards. The fact that there isn’t a giant looming deadline is enough to extinguish any sort of sense of urgency that you would have previously had.

Think of missing a run, or two, or seven as just falling off of your bicycle. If you just sit there on the ground and cry, you won’t get any better. You need to get back up, dust yourself off, and get back on your bike and keep pedaling. It may be a little shaky at the start, but if you stick with it you’ll be riding easy again soon enough.

I’m invested in the Houston half marathon; I paid my fee and have bragged about my future participation for the race to many people. I am going to run it. I’m just sitting in the dirt a little bit right now, but that’s okay. Time to break out the sneakers and put them to the pavement again.

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Fall essentials

The breeze is blowing, the air is getting colder, leaves are falling. Turkeys and pumpkin decor filling stores with their thankfulness. It’s that time of year again, the time of year when the #PSL is at its peak, Autumn.

Since it has been getting colder, deciding what to wear has become a bit harder. It’s not quite hot enough to wear shorts and tank tops, but its not exactly cold enough to wear running tights and long sleeves either. What do you wear on these chillier Fall days? My favorite pieces of clothing to wear when the seasons begin to change are cropped leggings and short sleeved shorts. It’s the happy medium that’s perfect for Fall.

This Tuesday I went on a short run around campus, I’m not going to lie, it was slightly sketchy. About half of the route I took wasn’t lit, the sidewalk was also surrounded by trees and didn’t stay close to the road like I thought it would. It kept me running though! Other than the dark parts, the run was pretty good! I finished in 28:19 minutes for 3.1 miles. Strong!

11/17/2015 run

Details from the run

I listened to Spotify on this run; I tried out the running section of the app. The app measures the pace you’re running and plays music that has a similar paced beat. My favorite song from this run was “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes.

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5 Reasons you shouldn’t run

Don’t listen to anyone, running is absolutely terrible. No one should participate in this activity. I mean no one. Ever. Why? I’ll give you five reasons to never lace up your sneakers again.

1: Sweat

The word alone should be enough to keep anyone at bay. Working up a sweat? Messing up your hair? That simply won’t do for my do. Why run when you could look perfectly perfect sitting on your couch or in bed, relaxing and not breaking a sweat?

Sweating means you’re doing something right.

2: Time

Time is money, and simply said, our time is far too valuable to be spent exerting ourselves outdoors or even on an indoor track. Another thing is you really don’t even have the time to spend running. Who can find an extra 15 minutes a day to walk a mile? Life is far too fast paced for that.

You have the time to do a mile a day. Make time.

3: Injury

Bodies are delicate flowers and cannot handle the strain that running will demand of them. The best way to make sure that your body is in its healthiest state is to make sure that it says nice and comfy not exercising. Never mind the fact that every Sunday thousands of people compete in hundreds of races across the country and there hasn’t been an injury pandemic reported yet.

Don’t overwork yourself, but know your body can handle itself.

4: Difficulty

You’ve never been good at running, why start now? Because no one ever had any trouble with a new skill or routine.

Practice makes perfect, it’ll take time, but you’ll get there.

5: Boring

Being constantly entertained is a requirement, never let anyone tell you that you must suffer and be bored in your life. Running is far too boring, all those endorphins being released, making you happier as you run. Just think about how much more fun it is to marathon Netflix and eat bonbons.

You’re making your mind and body better, just think about that. A good song helps too.

The power of playlists

Music is my favorite part of runs. It so powerful! Having a playlist is essential to a successful run, especially a long one. I never run without music, the right playlist can keep your energy up exponentially longer than without it. The best songs are the ones that are super upbeat and peppy, you’ll match the pace of whatever you’re listening to, so make sure it has about 120 BPM. A way to check the BPM of your songs is search for it on SongBPM.com.

When I run I’m plugged into my iPhone, the apps I like to use to listen to music are Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify. All of which require accounts, but all have free options as well as premium. With the free accounts you’ll hear the occasional advertisement in between tracks, premium accounts have ad-free listening as well as other benefits for a small price.

Here are my go to playlists and stations on Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify respectively:

Playlist Part 1 Apple Music:Playlist Part 2

This the playlist I like to run to from my iTunes library. I always shuffle it so that I listen to the same soundtrack when I run. I also like to use Apple Radio, they have workout mixes that are upbeat and help you keep a good pace while running.

 

 

 

Pandora Stations

 

Pandora:

Pandora has a lot of workout stations to chose from. The two I like to listen to are the Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout station and the Pop Fitness station. They are both very upbeat and play popular songs. One feature that I really like about Pandora is that you can rate each song they play with a thumbs up or down. They use these ratings to play music that you will be likely to like.

 

 

 

Spotify:

I just recently joined Spotify, so I can’t say too much about the app or program. From my experience, I like what I have seen. It’s very versatile and an easy way to share music with friends and listen to other people’s playlists. There is also a section where they have stations just for running. They match your pace and there is a ton of options for what you can listen to. The only thing is that there are ads, but upgrading your account takes care of that.

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An update of sorts- PERSONAL

It’s been a while! Here’s an update on how my personal training is going/an introduction of sorts, since I never quite properly introduced myself.

Hello there! My name is Delaney and I’m currently a fish in a new bowl. It’s my first year of college in a city that is brand new to me. I’ve always had a sort of fondness for running. When I was in elementary school, I ran in a couple of track meet events. Middle school brought timed Physical Education (PE) running which, I will admit, I did not respond well to. We were awarded grades based on our times and I don’t believe that running is something that earns you a letter, especially not based on your speed. The journey and growth you experience should be appreciated far more than a number. In high school I was in color guard, a sport of the arts. If you’ve ever seen a girl or guy dancing and twirling with a flag in their hand you’ve seen a guard member. Color guard is a very intense performance art, shows are often four to ten minutes long, and you are running, jumping, spinning- the entire time.

Being in color guard for four years built my stamina up, during my last season of my senior year it wasn’t hard to transition to becoming a runner. I would run after practices or on days when we didn’t have rehearsals. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the feeling of accomplishment I would get after a run- good or bad. There’s a reason it’s called a runner’s high.

Since I never ran track or cross country competitively, I’m a bit new to that aspect of the running world. I’ve only actually competed in a single race, a fun run 5k called the FoamGlow 5k. It’s a night race, that took place in a parking lot. They have “Foam Zones” where they have black lights and large foam machines set up. There are about three of these zones in the course and you run through a three foot deep section of colored bubbles. Following the run there was an after party that featured even more black lights and bubbles, I’m talking bubbles and foam enough to cover my entire 5’2″ self. It was interesting and a learning experience; truly a fun run.

The foam filled after party.

The foam filled after party.

My mother has run a few half marathons and was my inspiration for my choosing to run a half marathon with her. The race I chose to sign up for is the Houston Chevron Half Marathon, which takes place on January 17th. I’ll be running it with my mom, but training solo for the most part. Glad to finally tell you about myself!

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How to choose your training plan

I’m about to reveal the biggest secret for how to be successful in any area, including running. Ready?

Have a plan.

Being prepared for your run is the most important aspect and your training plan is vital to that. If your race is your performance stage, your training is your crew backstage. Just like the crew would help you get ready and hyped for your show, training will get you both mentally and physically prepared to run. A mile is 5,280 feet, multiply that by a factor of thirteen or twenty-six. That is over 138,000 feet! As the saying goes, “The journey of  a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

My favorite resource for training plans is Pinterest. Pinterest is like a huge database for health and fitness, I love browsing that subsection. There are a ton of different plans ranging from eight to twenty weeks that combine running with cross and strength training as well, or you could always just come up with your own, tailored to your own needs. The three main things you’ll want to take into consideration when you’re choosing your plan are the number of weeks, number of training days a week, and the gradual lengthening of distances.

Ideally, you want as much time to prepare for your race as possible, but you can still get ready in as little as 8 weeks. When you’re selecting your race, you’ll want to start looking into when you’ll have to start training as well. Choose a plan that has you running or strengthening 3-5 times a week, any more and you will overwork yourself; any less and you may not be ready when the time comes. Lastly, and this may seem obvious, but a good plan won’t have you on a roller coaster when it comes to how far you are running, and likewise, it won’t have you doing long runs every time. A balance between short 5k’s and distance runs is what builds your stamina.

I liked the POPSUGAR 16 week plan for myself, it has a good balance and will push me to be active 5 days a week. I love that it features strength and cross training so that I won’t be disproportionately strong when I finish my race. The chart can be found in this article, and they offer their own tips in it as well. Now go make it happen!

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Choosing a race

So you want to run a marathon? Me too, but let’s start small and plan ahead. Choosing your race and training plan are the most important steps to getting off on the right foot with running (puns intended). The race you choose is very important. Imagine being a singer. Your race is your big performance; you want the right stage, lighting, and atmosphere for your best show possible. Things you’ll want to consider when choosing a race are location, who’s sponsoring the race, date, and time.

Location:

Consider where the race is being held, if it’s your very first race, and you’re training in a flat environment, a race with rolling hills will be very beautiful, but difficult to say the least. Themed races that require traveling to them may be appealing, but may not be the best to start out with. Your first race should be somewhere fairly close to you so that you won’t have to worry about lodging, major transportation, and being in an unfamiliar area before your race. You want too limit the number of variables that will stress you and distract from your training.

Sponsors:

While the Color Run is a fun concept and a great 5k to do with friends, it may not be the best half or full marathon to choose. In the same vein, a locally held race may not be the best to choose either, even if it is much cheaper than others you’ve seen. You’ll want to choose a race that is well known and with a good reputation. You’re investing not only time and money on your race, but also weeks and miles of training for it. Choose something that will be well worth the sweat and shin splints when you finish. Also, a great shirt, bib, medal, and after party don’t hurt either.

Date and Time:

As much as I love to run year round, Summer is the bane of my existence. Texas is hot, and Summer’s can be brutal. Make sure when you select your run you consider what the weather will be like. Each season has its own disadvantages; Spring showers, Summer heat, Autumn winds, and Winter chills. In addition make sure the time of the race is a time you’ll want to run in as well. If you’re not a morning person, opt for a night race, or vice versa.

Check out this site for race listings, http://www.halfmarathons.net/

Deciding to do a half or full marathon is a big decision. Congratulations on embarking on your journey! I can’t wait to set out on this adventure with you.

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