Hot, Hot, HOT.

Weather Shot

This is my life right now. We are currently in a heat advisory, now through Sunday. And guess what tomorrow is? Long run Saturday! Training for a trail race, there is no substitute for getting out on the trails, so I have no choice but to make sure my butt makes it to the 6:30AM training group tomorrow.

Training in the heat and humidity is a different beast. You need to be SO careful. I normally run 9:40-10:00 minute miles on the road. This was my yesterday:

Humid RunKeeper

Slooooooooooooooooooow. But you know what? It’s ok. Why? BECAUSE I DIDN’T DIE. So that’s a huge plus. I ran out of water around 4.5-5 miles. And then experienced a few chills. When you start getting chills, it’s time to say game over, throw in the towel, get a cold drink and call it a run. But I was so miserable the rest of the day. Headaches, body aches, you name it. Not ok. I know better.

If you’re in a part of the country experiencing this heat, be safe! Listen to your body, take more water than you think you might need and let someone know where you are! Take shade breaks, walk breaks, whatever you need. Allow yourself to be slower than normal because it’s totally ok! Dying is not ok.

Stay safe, runners!

Customers Making It Happen! Sara Finishes Strong at Her Second Sprint Triathlon

GH Sports

Sara Finishes Strong at Her Second Sprint Triathlon
 

Sara Mechelle Vieira, one of our dedicated, loyal customers, was in San Luis Obispo recently and popped by GH Sports to prepare for her upcoming triathlon, the Republican Tiger Tri, held in her resident state of Missouri. Here’s her update:
I completed the Republic Tiger Tri in Republic, MO yesterday wearing my GH Sports Women’s Tri Shorts. They were AMAZING!! They stayed in place and dried quickly after the pool swim. Another excellent product from you guys, you never disappoint!…Though I no longer live in the area, I visit the shop when I’m in town and recommend [GH] to people out here in Missouri.”


~Sara Mechelle Vieira, The Outspoken Runner
 
 
Congratulations Sara for your accomplishment – you made it happen!! 
 
Do you have a fitness story, healthy recipe, or exercise to share? Let us know!

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Falling behind

Life. It happens. Life doesn’t care if you have a triathlon in two weeks or are just starting a 13 week training plan for your first 25K trail race. It carries on however it pleases and you have to figure out how to roll with it.

It also doesn’t care if you are supposed to be starting a new job in two days either. But this is a running and fitness blog so we’ll stick with the other stuff 🙂

When life calls, you answer. You don’t ignore what’s going on because you have something else going. When someone needs you, you go. This isn’t me complaining that I had to pick up at a moments notice and go home to be there for my family. I would do it again in an instant. It’s about how you pick up when you get back.

You can sit there and be miserable that you missed that time. That triathlon PR would’ve been great. That 12 mile trail run that turned into a 9.5 mile trail run could’ve been way better if I didn’t miss the first three weeks of the training group. But I didn’t PR and I didn’t train those weeks. It is what it is. You pick up and continue. Make the best of where you are and know that you’re going to get there. It’s just going to be a little longer than you first thought.

It’s totally ok.

In fact, it’s better than ok. It means that you are confident enough in yourself to know that you can step away for a moment, tend to what you need to, come back and be fine.

Never get so caught up in your own life that you aren’t able to answer the call when someone needs you. Running teaches us to be confident and strong. Be confident enough to step away and lend that strength to those around you when they need it the most.

A Weekend of Firsts!

What a fantastic weekend in the Ozarks!  I experienced so many new things that I haven’t ever tried.

 

A friend of mine and I decided to try out stand up paddle boarding.  We had no idea what to expect when we headed down to Branson on Saturday morning.  The people at White River Kayaking were so helpful and gave us many tips on where to paddle to in order to get our bearings, what creeks would be nice to go up and how to not get run over by a boat.  We spent two hours on Lake Taneycomo, paddling around near the Branson Landing and checking it out.  If you know the lake, you know it is COLD.  The owner of WRK warned us we did not want to end up in the water.  Unfortunately for my friend, she did!  FORTUNATELY for her, she was wearing the GoPro and all of it was captured here.  There’s definitely a little bit of language in the video but it’s pretty funny.

Paddle Board

 

Sunday morning was all about new things!  My first group run, my first training run for Dogwood, my first time at Busiek, my first time on a real trail and my first time in my Mizuno Wave Kazans.  It also had rained the night before so the trails were muddy.  And of course it rained as soon as we got there.  By the end, my clothes were SOAKED but I had a blast!  I definitely enjoyed the dynamic of running in a group and the tips I got from seasoned trail vets were so valuable.  I feel like I’m getting more comfortable off the road and was able to dominate the less technical portions.

 

Walking up the steep inclines is definitely for the best, walking down them is definitely something I will need to continue doing for now as well.

Busiek climb

Bug spray is an absolute must.  The parts of my body that I missed with borrowed bug spray are paying for it.  My quads ache today.  That feeling of accomplishment though…that’s something.  I can’t wait to get out there again.  My new shoes were PHENOMENAL.  Mizuno does it again!

 

Wave Kazan

 

Look at all that mud!  I only almost lost my shoe +/- 3 times.

 

Did you try something new this weekend?  How did it go?

Summertime HEAT!

Is anyone else out there struggling with the heat and humidity?  My goodness.  I feel like normally by this time in the summer, I’m completely adapted and doing just fine.  This year?  I’m struggling.  Really struggling.  It’s not so much lack of motivation to run but a lack of motivation to be a hot, sweaty mess.  The humidity is stifling.  Coupled with my job that has me outside quite a bit and it’s really unappealing.  So I’ve been hitting the treadmill with my own personal fan.  Literally.  A little fan clipped to the treadmill.

 

Which then got me thinking, why can’t I attach a fan to my neck?  How weird would I look?  Would people be jealous?  Could I start a new trend?  Maybe a new running club?

 

Reality is, my 25K trail race in October is starting to loom big in my head.  I need to get my booty outside and running  the trails.  Which means I need to make a decision on trail shoes.  And find a trail running buddy.  Sigh.  Time to get it together!

RANTS AND RAVES: Joplin Memorial Run

You’re probably thinking “wait, didn’t you just run a half marathon last weekend?!” Indeed, I did. But I got this wild idea a bit ago that I wanted to be a Half Fantatic. So I signed up for JMR, a mere six days after my last half. More like five days. But whatever.

If you’ve heard of Joplin (of course you have) you may know that three years ago this month they were hit with a devastating EF-5 tornado that killed 161 people. I wasn’t living in Missouri at the time but had met Boyfriend and remember how scary it was for him and me, 2000 miles a way with zero experience with severe weather. I’ve visited Joplin a few times since moving here and the effects can still be seen and it is very eerie. After the tornado, the race was renamed the memorial run and it is very special to the town.

We arrived Friday afternoon since the race had a 6:30am Saturday start time. Here are some of my rants and raves!

RAVE: Packet pickup it was organized, easy to find and had plenty of space. We got there late so some vendors had already packed up, but it ran until 9pm, giving out of town runners plenty of time to get there.

20140512-094440.jpg

RANT: No race day pickup?? first the event advertised no race day pickup. Then it was for a fee. Then someone was told all packets would be moved to the start line for race day pickup. Confusing!! I still would’ve come to town the night before to stay there, but some people may have made an unnecessary trip or paid a needless fee.

RAVE: Accomadations!! JMR did a great job partnering with hotels and recommending LOCAL restaurants to eat at. Three of the partner hotels were a location for bus pickup/drop off, as the race start had limited parking. Partner hotels also offered a special early breakfast! Not a full spread but enough for me! Fruit, toast, coffee, cereal. Full breakfast was available after the race and it was wOMNOMNOMNOMnderful.

RANT: Prerace announcements the day was expected to be warm and humid. Event organizers made an announcement before the start about flags at aid stations and what they meant in regard to weather. BUT YOU COULD NOT HEAR. To me, that’s pretty important. Print up a sheet, put it in the packet. Make sure I know what a red flag means!

Other raves: great course support, aid stations, post race food, scenic course and a sweet medal.

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I have to say, the crowd support for this race was unbelievable. So many people coming out to cheer, sit in their front yards and watch. It was very powerful to see how much the event means to the community. If you’re a Midwest runner, this is a must-run event.

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Rants and Raves: Run Like A Diva Half Marathon

Remember me?!  Probably not.  It’s been far too long.  But I will say, I’m about a week and a half out from graduation so hopefully that means life is about to calm down and I can blog more!  Yeah right.  It’s probably going to hit a whole new level of crazy.  Oh well.

 

April was a nutty month.  I dealt on and off with being sick and having a low back injury (dead lilfts – like an idiot) that really knocked me off my training course.  My April 19th half marathon was supposed to be my PR race.  Didn’t happen.  Oh, I ran.  But it was miserable.  That’s a blog post for another day.  

 

THIS weekend was the first of two races I’m using to qualify for Half Fanatics!  I felt great going into this.  Much better than I have felt in a while.  Less back pain and less anxiety.  More excited and happy.  

 

Run Like A Diva Half Marathon and 5K Series puts on races around the country.  Their big hook is a blinged out medal (handed to you by hot “firemen”), roses, and feather boas with tiaras handed to you before the finish line.  It’s a (mostly) women’s event and quite large.  I have to say, I’m not THAT girly so I wasn’t sold on it.  But I made a last minute decision that I wanted to qualify for Half Fanatics and have anther half to run with my amazing running buddy before she moves, so I signed up.  

 

Here’s some of my rants and raves from Sunday in Branson:

RAVE: The DJs!  There were five DJs on the course playing music and amping up the atmosphere.  It was GREAT!  They all had energy and looked like they were having a great time.  I also stopped and took pictures with 4 of the 5.  

Image

RAVE: The crowd!  I guess that probably has nothing to do with the race directors but the crowd was PUMPED!  Event organizers did a fantastic job of having a station at the expo for people to make signs for race day and I saw quite a few of them around the course.  There were several “fans” I saw at different times along the course (BF included!) and they were so vocal and positive!  It made a challenging race so much more fun.  

 

RAVE: The “firemen” handing out the medals.  I don’t think I need to go into detail here…

 

RANT/RAVE: The course/hills.  The course was beautiful.  If you’ve been to Branson, you know what a gorgeous area that is.  You also then know that those hills are NOT. A. JOKE.  They’re huge.  Now, event organizers SHOULD have made that clear, rather than saying “mostly flat” after mile 3/4.  That was a lie.  And anyone from around here knew that it had to be.  I have a bone to pick with you, event organizers.  STOP SAYING SOMETHING IS FLAT!!  Just because the total elevation climb/drop equals out does NOT make a course flat!  The total climb for this course was over 1300 feet.  My legs are reminding me of that fact today.  That said, I had fun on the hills! *GASP* I know.  But I did.  Except this one. 

Image

 

And this one…mile 12.5.  What is with races doing this to me?!

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RAVE: The expo!  Are you an expo person?  I am.  I like things.  They had things.  Shirts, jackets, headbands on headbands on headbands.  Bondi Band (LOVE!) was there and had special ones designed for this series with bedazzled crowns (you can sort of see the hot pink one I got in some of the pictures).  Lots of necklaces and stickers and all kinds of things.  Weird: handanas.  Have you seen these?  Bizarre.  I’ll wipe sweat on my shirt or have it wicked off by one of the million headbands I own.  Awesome:  the teenage boys dressed in tutus and tiaras signing people in at the expo.  You were hilarious and if it wouldn’t have been creepy, I’d have taken my picture with you.

 

Last but not least…

RAVE: the 72 year old woman from Arkansas that I had the pleasure of running portions of the race with.  YOU, ma’am, are a badass.  You crushed that race, looked as strong or stronger than anyone out there and were so positive.  I hope I’m running when I’m your age.  Thank you for the hug at the end. 

 

Overall, a great race and a great time!  10/10 would do again.  

 

The Biggest Loser

I’m sure I’m not the only one blogging about this today.  My take may be a little different than others.  I’ll admit, I haven’t watched this show in a few seasons.  After embarking on my own weight loss journey and studying exercise science, I just felt it was too out there and a bigger detriment to viewers than a help.  

 

If you haven’t yet seen what the winner looked like, here is a clip on Yahoo that shows her final weight, figure and trainer reactions. 

 

I’m on the fence. At 5′ 4″, which is her reported height, she is 3 pounds under her “ideal weight”. To me, not really something to be concerned about. She could have been stressed out the last couple days with the finale coming up, had the shits, couldn’t eat, whatever. I know my weight can fluctuate 4+ lbs in any given day in either direction. Even if she is at a good weight for her height, that is still A LOT of weight to lose in an extremely short amount of time. 

But that’s what this show promotes. Extreme, UNREALISTIC weight loss. And now people are in an uproar because she took it too far? You cannot have it both ways. None of this would have happened in the real world. Sticking to a severely restricted 1200 calorie per day diet and exercising multiple times a day? That’s not real life. Real life is convincing yourself not to have the large order of fries, or having a nonfat latte from Starbucks instead of whole milk.  It’s researching nutrition via Google.  Real life is carving an hour out of your day to get in some semblance of a workout.  It’s not having your fridge pre-stocked with dietitian recommended food and being shoved into a barn full of exercise equipment multiple times a day.

It’s also important to remember that she lost the final 40-45 pounds at home, away from the ranch and trainers.  

Shame on everyone skinny shaming her. It’s as bad as fat shaming. You don’t know her body fat, her training program or how she feels. If she feels amazing and is happy and her body composition is good then good on her. If she can maintain it, even better. People cannot preach body acceptance out of one side of the mouth and bash someone for her weight loss without ANY knowledge of her life out the other side. 

I will say this. Weight loss is a slippery damn slope. Once you get that ball rolling and you start losing, you’re in a routine and everything is going well, it is DAMNED hard to change your mindset that you should at some point maintain your weight and not lose any more. You get used to seeing those numbers on the scale go down and don’t understand when they don’t or when they tip back up a few pounds on some days. She could be a perfect example of someone that just hasn’t quite gotten a handle of how to just maintain. Who knows. 

Anyone that is outraged for her extreme weight loss is forgetting the point of this show. $250,000 to lose the greatest percentage of weight loss. And now you’re surprised that someone may have taken it too far? Please.

Balancing Act

No secret here, when I start training for a race, I go all out.  I run all the time.  Every day or just about every day.  Even though I know it’s important to keep variety in my training and my life, I sacrifice so much else to be able to get my miles in.  More miles than I even NEED.  This ends one of two ways after the race.  I keep the excitement for a little while after and continue running hard until I hit a wall and lose all motivation or I wind up injured.

 

This time around, I’m trying to do differently.  I’ve been working a lot on my strength training.  It’s important to me and I love to lift heavy weights.  It makes me feel strong.  I don’t want to lose what I’ve worked hard to gain.  I’ve also started attending hot yoga, which makes me feel grounded and in touch with my body. These are two things that I love.  But I’ve already noticed how quickly I will go to sacrificing them if running comes up.  

 

Yesterday was the first day I took a long hard listen to my body and actually put running down for a minute.  I went and lifted instead.  And it felt good.  No, it felt great.  Before, I would’ve tried to push that training run even though I knew my legs felt dead tired.  Now?  I’m more committed than ever to listening to what my body needs.  

 

I don’t have to run 6 days a week, 4+ miles each day plus a long run in order to be well trained.  Seeing how well my 11 miler last week went proved to me that I don’t.  I need the variety.  My body needs the variety.  Some people do it differently and that’s ok.  We all need to remember that the only voice we need to listen to is our own.  Your body will tell you what you need.  

Meg’s Miles

If you’re a runner that is active on social media (which you obviously are because you’re reading this blog) you have heard of Meg’s Miles.  In case you haven’t heard, here is an excerpt from the Facebook event: 

Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014. As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere. 

 

Runners everywhere have united today to run in her honor.  I don’t belong to a running group or club, nor do I usually run with a partner.  Running today in her honor got me thinking about several things.

First of all, I am truly blessed to be fortunate enough to get out and run.  I live in a spot where I am able to walk right out my door and run in any direction.  There are beautiful, well maintained trails everywhere.  The scenery is gorgeous.  Not only that, I am healthy enough to get out and run.  Did I feel like running today?  Not really.  It was windy and cold to start but I got out there.  Why?  Because there are people out there who want to run, would give anything to run, but have had it taken from them in one way or another.  I ran for Meg and countless others who have had it taken from them.

Secondly, I ran without headphones.  Normally I’ll keep them for longer runs just to keep me motivated but I wanted to feel connected to everything around me today.  I wanted to be aware.  I wanted to be as safe as I could be.  As runners, we are unprotected.  It is up to us to do everything in our power to make sure we are seen and make sure we are safe.  And even then, something could still happen.  The very least we can do is everything in our power to make sure we get to Point B of our run in one piece.  I ran for Meg and countless others who did everything right.  (Sidenote: to the runner who I saw just dart out into traffic because he couldn’t be stopped by a red light, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!  Pausing for 30 seconds won’t kill you.  Running out into traffic might.)

Third, I was extra diligent in making sure Boyfriend knew my route and expected time of arrival to my destination.  I am guilty of not always doing that.  I try but sometimes think “oh, it’s just three miles, no big deal.”  Wrong.  Always, always let someone know where you are going to be and when to expect you.  I vow to be better at that.  

In addition to this, I always wear a Road ID, carry pepper spray, carry my ID and cell phone.  I wear my Road ID 24/7.  I didn’t always carry pepper spray, but after a strange encounter with a few dogs and some weirdos, I don’t leave home without it.  Some people think I’m weird but it makes me feel better.  I hope I never have to use it.  I run on well traveled roads where there is almost always someone about in a car.  I like to think that if something happened, that would mean someone would be driving by and could help if needed.

 

What do you do to stay safe when running, cycling or whatever your form of exercise is?  

Did you participate in Meg’s Miles today?  

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