Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nursing my wounds...

     My first 5K race that I ran in is coming up at the end of March.  I originally hadn't planned on running it again because I have a good friend who is getting married that day and I was intending to go to her wedding.  Unfortunately My Hottie Hubby cannot take off of work to accompany me, and no kids are allowed at the reception. So, that leaves me S.O.L.  It sounds like it's going to be one wild reception.  Now that I know I'm not leaving town, I can run in that 5K again and try and beat my original time!  Woo hoo!  I don't think it should be too hard to do since I have several races under my belt now and know what to expect.

    I have a great training plan from my Build Your Runner's Body book that I am looking forward to trying out.  It is an eight week plan which means I would need to start it this week.  Here's my problem.  I went running on Saturday and a little ways into my run my foot started hurting.  I shrugged it off and finished my run.  My foot hurt for the rest of the day, but the next morning it felt totally normal!  Great.  Just to be safe, I took Sunday and Monday off.  No pain experienced either of these days. So, yesterday the Little Dude and I went for our run.  I did my brisk 5 minute warm-up and literally as soon as I started running, I felt the pain in my foot again!  No! No! No!  I still finished my run which in hindsight sounds pretty stupid, but I am determined not to get sidelined.


     Here's my thinking on this, and to some of you it may sound a little hokey and out there, but I can attest to the efficacy of this.  I believe it is my brain that is causing me this pain.  My Hottie Hubby has a book which has helped both of us immensely with problems such as these.  It is called The Divided Mind by Dr. John Sarno.  In a nutshell, what it asserts is that in order to get your mind off of some deep emotional pain or trauma, your brain will create pain and problems within your body to keep your focus there.  It in no way is saying that the pain isn't real because it is, but it's your brain that is creating it.  And the only way to rid yourself of the physical pain is to face and confront the emotional pain.

Uveitis     I have used this practice successfully twice.  I had problems with uveitis many many years ago.  Bascially my eyeball would get really red and was extremely sensitive to light.  During that period in my life, I had HUGE problems with my family.  They hated my hubby and there was so much stress going on.  I finally confronted all of that and I haven't had a flare up since 2007.  Before that I would get several in one year!

     The second time I used it was within the last few months.  My Little Dude was not planned.  In fact, we had never planned on having children.  So, my pregnancy created a lot of turmoil within my relationship with my husband.  He was having a difficult time accepting that things were going to change and worrying about every aspect of our future, and I felt completely unsupported during my pregnancy.  He was supportive by being there physically, but I didn't feel it emotionally which is what I really needed at the time.  And I went through my entire labor alone.  It was just my mid-wife and me with my husband and in-laws waiting in the other room.  And my labor was HARD (that's a whole other story).  Anyhow, I had been experiencing a sore groin.  It wasn't so bad that I couldn't run or work out, but it was annoying.  I had never told my husband how I felt during that time.  Then recently we were talking about it all and it just came pouring out in waves of anger and tears.  And then the pain was gone.  Just like that.  And let me finish this off by saying we both couldn't imagine our lives without our Little Dude.  Sometimes you have no clue what you're missing.

     So, now that leaves me to sit here and think about what am I avoiding confronting?  It could be a number of things.  I was laid off from my job earlier this year and I now find myself at a precipice of where to take my life.  Do I jump in feet first and try to start my own business, or do I continue to take the safe route and not live the life I truly want?  And then I have so much anger toward my sister.  That's a really long story, but maybe it is time for me to just throw it all out on the table.  Regardless of what it could be, I am not going to let it keep me from doing something I enjoy and love!

     Have you had any experiences with mind-body connections?  I'd love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments!

Run On!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tools of My Trade, Part II

     The following list is Part II of the essentials I use during my runs.  They may not be quite as important as my list I posted in Part I, but they are pretty darn close.

     The clothes you wear during a run can be the difference between a good and a bad run.  In the summer time I personally like to wear shorts with briefs built into them.  I am considering trying out running in compression shorts this summer to see how they feel.  I live in Texas, and it gets hot and humid here, so it's really imperative for me to stay as cool as possible.  I have a tendency to get hot very easily.  I always wear dry wicking tank tops, too.  During the summer, I'm not much of a hat/visor person.  I always find wearing a hat keeps all that heat on my head, making me hotter.  I have yet to find a visor I like on my head, plus I wear glasses and they always tend to intefere with the fit of them.
     During the winter, I wear either compression capris or leggings, a tank top, and a light pullover.  I tend to order my gear from Old Navy because I like that I can order petite size capris and leggings to accomodate for my smaller stature!  When it's really cold outside, I wear running pants over my leggings and an additional winderbreaker style jacket over my pullover.  Depending on the temperature and length of my run, I can take off layers while I am running to help me stay cool.  I will also wear a fleece headband to keep my ears warm and gloves to protect my hands from the cold! 

      And perhaps the most important piece of clothing, at least for us B.A.M.s, is a good sports bra.  When I was running and nursing, I needed some really good support for the girls.  Any of you mamas out there who have run with full boobs know how uncomfortable it can be if you don't have the proper support!  Don't go cheap on a bra!

     I do not use a GPS watch for my runs.  In order to keep up with with my time, tempo, and distance I use the RunDouble app on my phone.  They have several plans you can choose from if you want to train for a specific distance, but you can also program it for a custom run, including intervals!


     Finally, I like to run to music.  I know that there are some purists out there who don't believe in running with music, and others who think you shouldn't race with earbuds in your ears so that you can hear others around you.  I am not one of these people though.  Music motivates me and gets me pumped up for my run.  I have an eclectic playlist, and each song gets me moving!  I choose songs with good tempo, and they sometimes help me with my pace.  I don't have any songs downloaded on my phone, but I do use the Spotify app.  I love that I can add any song to a playlist, and if I buy a monthly subscription, I can pick the order of the playlist. 

What do you like to wear when you run?  Do you listen to music?  What songs get you motivated?

Run On!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Tools of My Trade, Part I

     I thought I would share with you all the tools I use to have a great run, and sometimes a great race.  First and foremost would be my running stroller.  A great running stroller makes all the difference in the world.  As I mentioned in my first post, I began my running journey with a second-hand running stroller.  I think I spent $50 on it.  It was an old Jeep stroller, and I still wonder if it actually was meant as a running stroller, or if it was just a tripod stroller.  I say this because the wheels were plastic, and they were not stationary.  Shows you I didn't do much research on running before I ran!

     Even though it may not have been an actual running stroller, it got the job done.  I think it must have been a bumpy ride for Little Dude, but he always seemed to enjoy it.  I never knew how easy running with LD could be until I got my new stroller.  Last year for Christmas my parents asked me what I would like and I told them a new running stroller.  Luckily for me, they love me a lot and got me a BOB running stroller.  The present came early and so did my Christmas!  I couldn't wait to try it out.  It is such a smooth ride for LD, and after a few runs I got the hang of maneuvering it with ease.  I am using the BOB Sport Utility Stroller which is for all terrain.  I have never tried trail running with LD, but maybe one day in the future I may.  My only complaints about the stroller are that you have to buy the trays, etc. separately, so it can be a pretty pricey buy, and it is bulky (it takes up most of the trunk space in my Honda Accord).  Overall, I am very happy with the stroller we use!  I have seen some other moms out there running with their tripod strollers and I feel like telling them if they are serious about running, invest in a good stroller!
BOB Sport Utility Stroller with Fixed Wheel  

     Just as important as the stroller is what I wear on my feet!  I realize that there are debates out there about barefoot running, and I have heard both sides of the argument.  I just know what works for me and what feels good on my feet.  When I started running seriously, I began with Xero Shoes.  I sent in a drawing of my foot and a few weeks later I had my running sandals.  I did like running in them, my only complaint was the laces.  Since the laces rub against the ground, they will wear out.  And when you're in the middle of a long run and your laces break, you are S.O.L. and that sucks.  They have new shoes out that apparently don't have that problem any more, but I tried a different brand.  I am now a big fan of VivoBarefoot Achilles Sandals.  They are super comfortable and easy to run in.  They also have a small lip on the sides which helps to prevent getting little rocks and pebbles in your shoes while you running.  The back strap is padded as well, so you don't have to worry about getting a blister there.  There are some complaints about getting blisters between your toes, but I have kind of finagled my way around that by wrapping my big toes and second toes with electrical tape.  Sure, it looks a little weird, but so do the shoes and it gets the job done!  I get comments and questions everywhere I go about the shoes.  If you're interested in barefoot running, read and research about it first.  You MUST start slowly, and if you're not willing to give up heels, don't bother.  All of my shoes are zero drop, I wear lots of ballet flats going out.  You risk injury if you go from barefoot running to shoes with heels in your working/going out life.  VivoBarefoot make casual shoes as well, although they are pretty expensive (in my opinion).  Maybe that  will be on the wish list in the future...
                                     Vivo Barefoot Achilles White Womens Multi Terrain trainer

     Another tool that is important is a training plan.  What is your goal?  Are you preparing for a 5K?  Do you just want to start running for fun?  Find a good training plan that you can easily stick to and do it!  As I mentioned in my previous post, I began with the C25K app on my phone.  It was perfect for a beginning runner.  When I was ready to train for my half marathon, I used the training plan for beginners off the Hal Higdon website.  He has many free training plans for all types of races and runnners.  And now I am using a training plan from my running bible, Build Your Running Body.  I love this book, it is an excellent tool itself.  It is so comprehensive that I am going to do a complete review of it on an upcoming post.

     So, that is it for now.  I'll post part two next time.  Until then, what is your most important tool you use? 

Run On!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Running with a B.A.M. (bad ass mama)!

     Welcome to my inaugural post.  Let me introduce myself.  I am KB.  I am a soon to be 35 year old wife, and a mother of one.  As my blog implies, this post is about my love of running.  What is running with a B.A.M.? Well, it means running with a bad ass mama.  I by no means am stating that I am a bad ass mother all of the time, but I have moments where I feel a little bad ass-ness coming out in me.  And, the bad ass-ness is mainly referring to my personal running achievements, not my mothering abilities!  Trust me, I am not one of those mothers who has it all together!  In fact, I think I am far from that, but that is a whole other topic.

      Let me give you a little background of my running history.  In high school I joined the Cross Country Team, ran for about 1-2 weeks, and then quit.  That was the last amount of running that I did until a little over a year ago.  I would pick up running for a few weeks, thought that I hated it, and quit again.  And then I had my son and I was working hard to lose the baby weight.  I would work out at home and then I thought I  needed to add some cardio to help me lose more weight.  I begged my husband to let me get a running stroller, and given my history with running, he compromised by letting me get a second hand running stroller from a consignment shop.  I started out using the C25K app which slowly gets you accustomed to running, and I found that I loved it.  I loved being outside, I loved the energy and the high I had after running, but mostly I loved being an example to my 8 month old son.  He's my running partner.  He's my motivator and my cheerleader.

A few months after I began running, my husband signed us up for a 5K.  I had no idea what to expect, but I thought I'd go out and have fun.  My little dude (LD) and I finished the 5K 3rd place in my age group.  That was it, I was hooked.  The competitive side of me came out and I wanted more!  Since then we've run a 10K and finished first overall female, and a 15K finishing first in my age group, and completed another 5K with another first place in our age group.  And this past fall we (LD and I) ran a half marathon together and finished in under 2 hours!  Now, let me tell you, I am a small fish in a smaller pond, meaning I am not a crazy fast person, I just have a small amount of competition surrounding me.  Never-the-less, those finishes, especially completing the half marathon with a stroller, make me feel like a B.A.M.
 So, what is the purpose of this blog?  Well, I am hoping to inspire, support, motivate, and cheer on my fellow running mamas, my fellow B.A.M.s out there by sharing my trials, tribulations, failures, and triumphs of running.  I would love to create a virtual community of B.A.M.s out there who can support and motivate each other in achieving whatever personal goals we might have.  Maybe you are not a runner, but you have some other personal fitness achievements that you are a B.A.M. in, welcome to the community!  Let's celebrate our achievements and carry each other through to our goals!  I'd love to hear what your current goals are!

Run On!