Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goofy Challenge Training

So RunDisney, who helps to organize the Disney Races, just sent out a training plan for those doing the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Technically, this week starts our training for that; but as we are already in training mode for the Providence Rock N Roll Half Marathon at the beginning of August, we are already half way through that training plan.

The exact day of the RnR Half, will be the day we start our training for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC. This will also be when we start our fundraising for the MCM, with the donations we receive going to Make A Wish Foundation. More on all of that in time!

We then plan on continuing our Marathon training and doing a few back to back long distance runs on the weekends from the time after the MCM (October) until the day of the Goofy Challenge (January), which will begin to coincide with the plan they sent out to the participants. The plan is a Jeff Galloway training plan, and I've heard good feedback on those who have used it.

But it's really and truly here now, no more putting it off. No more short 4-5 mile runs, it's really time to start focusing on increasing our long runs on the weekend!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Miracles


"Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears" - Richard Wilkins

Friday, June 24, 2011

For The Love Of Trail Running


 So I've discovered this little trail not far from my house that runs parellel to my normal running route. Today was the second day I ran on the trail. I ran about three and a half miles on the road and then to the end of the trail. The trail itself is only one mile long, and then finishing some more on the road to round off a 5.5 miler run.

There is definitely something to be said about trail running, and I can see myself getting hooked. First of all, the ground is softer than running on pavement, so it's softer on your legs, knees, etc. Even though you do have to be extra careful about rocks, fallen trees, and roots. Lot's of jumping over things, which is fun as well.

I love that on this trail, I've been the only one. I unplug (turn off my iPod) and just run to the sounds of the Sudbury River running by, the birds chirping, and the wind blowing. Just me and Mother Nature. It's a very magickal moment!

No crazy drivers on their cellphones to avoid, no people with baby carriages to dodge. Just me and the squirrels, chipmunks and (oh yes) snakes that dart acrss the trail as you come hurtling toward them.

Its such a beautiful and peacful thing to just be in tune to your body, as you run completely with Mother Nature.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

I AM


I am without FORM
Without LIMIT
Beyond Space, Beyond Time
I am in EVERYTHING
EVERYTHING is ME
I am the BLISS of the Universe,
EVERYTHING
AM I

~ Ram Tirtha

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I've Learned From a Year of Running

 So while I was out running today I started thinking about how I want to do a trail run, but I've been too scared of the unknown to venture out onto a trail. This got me to remember that over a year ago I couldn't even run one minute without giving up, but I set a goal to run at least a 5K. I managed to train not only my body but my mind for that 5K! I started to believe in myself and know that I could accomplish that.

That first year of running I did not just one, but three 5Ks, a 10K and my first HALF Marathon. I have now set a new goal for this year, running my first FULL Marathon. I thought if I could get over the fears that I had with running a year ago, I could certainly get over my fear of doing a trail run. Heck, I don't even know what I'm exactly afraid of.

 This line of thought then had me thinking about all I learned in my first year of running and was able to complete a Half Marathon and improve on my speed as well. This is the main reason why I love running, it gives you time to really think. I like to call it moving meditation!

So here is some of what I learned in my first year of running, and hopefully it will help some other runners that are just starting out!

1. STRETCHING - Stretch BEFORE and AFTER your runs. This will loosen up muscles, etc before your runs so you can run better, faster, and longer. Stretching after runs will help to soothe muscles and prevent cramping. I believe that stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury, inflammation and maintain flexibility. I have found that Yoga and some of the asanas really help muscles that are used during running that we forget to stretch, particularly the IT Band (Pigeon is amazing for this area!!)

2. FUEL - When I first started running I bought into the myth that "running on empty" burned more calories because your body would use fat to fuel itself for your runs. Not true!! Generally, if you are running for 30 minutes or less you just need to bring some water to stay hydrated and maybe something quick to eat before you head out. If you are going to be out for an hour or more, you need to fuel. The best fuel for your body is a simple carb that will digest quickly to supply the body with the fuel/energy it needs. This is wear the gels, GUs and more come in. I have started testing out my Quick Energy Bites and find them a WAY better and healthier option than the commercial gel fuels! Don't forget to eat something when you get back from your runs, I like to have a protein smoothie with lot's of fresh fruit and Vega Whole Food Optimizer!

3. HYDRATION - I get VERY thirsty and dry when I run, so I always carry water with me. I just take sips when I feel I need it, but you can actually become dehydrated before you feel thirsty, so take a sip every minute or so. If you are running with music, take a sip of water at the end of every song. If you prefer you could use Energy Drinks like Gatorade that will hydrate and also replenish electrolytes.

4. SET GOALS - I know this one sounds weird, but I set goals for myself as I run. Especially, if I'm just not feeling the run. If my mind or body wants to stop then I'll set a distance goal like "I'll stop in another quarter of a mile" or "I'll stop for a walk break when I reach that purple mailbox" etc, etc. Then the best way to keep going is to reach that goal, and set another! "Yay, I've reached the purple mailbox, now I'll keep going until I reach that black car parked on the side of the road". Just keep setting and achieving small goals to push yourself.

5. WALK BREAKS - some people say that if you have to stop and take walk breaks while out on a run, or during a race that you are NOT a runner, and you can't say "I ran a Half Marathon" because you took walk breaks. I say to them "Screw you buddy!" I think it's one thing to mentally push yourself but it's another thing to push your body beyond it's limits. Listen to your body and take walks breaks when you need to. The goal is to gradually decrease the time spent walking and increase the time spent running! You can do it! Besides, Ive seen people who take walks breaks beat the jerks who insult them while they ran the whole time. Just do what's best for you and your body! YOU ARE A RUNNER!!!

6. LOOK THE PART - basically what ever it takes to get you out the door and hitting the road is a good thing! If it's that cute running skirt, or the cool run watch that gives you all sorts of data that you don't even know what to do with...USE IT! I use so many things when I run (iPod, hats, running shorts, Nike Sportwatch, really, really, really good running shoes, etc) but it helps me to get out there and do my best! I am definitely NOT a minimalist runner, but I'm still a runner (even with all my gadgets)!!

7. REGISTER FOR A RACE - even if it's a 5K, register for a local race. Having a race on the calendar that you paid for will get you out on a run, to train, and give you something to look forward to. Besides, the excitement and energy at the start line of ANY race increases endorphins which makes the body and mind feel good. I'm always nervous right before a race, but nothing compares to that moment you cross the finish line!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ganesh

 I have such a strong affinity lately for Ganesh (or Ganesha) the elephant headed, Hindu God. Ganesh is known as the "Remover of Obstacles", "Destroyer of Evils, and is also worshipped as the God of education, knowledge, wisdom, and wealth.

The story of his origina and how he came to have the head of the elephant is quite a remarkable one. The Goddess Pavarti created a boy out of the dirt from her body to guard her as she lay in the bath. When Pavarti's husband, the God Shiva, returned home, Ganesh would not allow him to enter the room where Pavarti was bathing as he was instructed.

Shiva was so angered and outraged that he chopped off Ganesh's head. When Pavarti saw this, she fell into a great state of grief. Seeing how upset Pavarti was over the death of Ganesh, he instructed his guards to get the head of the first being that was sleeping with thier head facing North. They came back with the head of a baby elephant which was put back onto Ganesh's body and bringing him back to life.

Ganesh is often seen carrying a noose in his left hand which symbolizes how he captures difficulties and the goad in his right hand is how he propels man forward by cutting through obstacles that stand in his way. Ganesh is often seen with a mouse (lower right hand corner of picture) that sometimes he is portrayed as riding. This shows that he is not above riding a mouse, or having it near him.

The symbol Ohm/Om, is often related to Ganesh as a chant to him, to ask for him in prayer, and even seen as a depiction of him, with his trunk and all.

Call upon Ganesh at the start of any new project to have him help you along the way, by removing obstacles and clearing the path set out before you.

You chant this mantra to Ganesh and give him offerings of incense and fruit

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~ Buddha