Thursday, July 24, 2014

Post Series Tips for Beginning Runners Part III

I am truly sorry I have been silent the last couple of days!
 
Unfortunately, there hasn't been much to talk about in my little World and I most definitely do not want to bore you with talking about treadmill runs that were painful (to get through) and lots and lots of rain in these parts.
 
It's been a strange week weather wise.
 
I know that in my Post Series last week I said I would talk about races this week, but I think I am going to push that back on more week and talk about something else that is important for runner's starting out:
 
Running Buddies!
 
So I will be honest, I don't really run with anyone.  I am not opposed to it personally, but I really really like being out on my own, with my own thoughts in my head, music in my ears, and no agenda (unless I have to be somewhere).  But that is not to say that other people feel that same way.
 
1.  Find a friend.
 
 
a) Running should be a fun activity and it is a great way to spend time with someone that you care about.  I suggest getting your significant other out there or grabbing your best girl (or guy) friend and running together.  First off if running is a complete snoozefest to you then this is a great way to make it go by quicker.  Secondly, it holds you accountable.  If you are both supposed to go running then one person or the other will make you follow through.  Finally, it is a fun way to get in some friendly competition :)  I know my husband loves it when we run together....just kidding.
 
(Boston Strong mile run last year after the bombings)
 

(All of my friends after their International Triathlon last year!)
 

2.  Join a running club.
 
a)  There are so many fantastic local running stores that offer great programs like "Couch to 5K plans", weekly running clubs, brewery running clubs (how fun!) and much much more.  Check out your local running stores, stop in, give them a call, or check on the internet and see what they have to offer!  It's a great way to meet new people and you get great exercise at the same time.  It's a win win in my book!
 
3. Leash up your favorite 4 legged friend.
 
 
 
a) If you've been a long time reader then you know about my favorite running buddy, Molly, my almost 4 year old chocolate lab.  That girl LOVES to run and I love running with her, but you have to be careful not to let them get over heated.  I had a horrible instance where I took her when it was too hot outside and we had to go to the emergency vet because she was overheated.  It was a bad bad day and I really felt horrible about it.  The cooler outside the better when it comes to running with her so I ust try to take her in the Fall/Winter/early Spring if possible.  This is also a win win because you and your pet are getting exercise and having a blast together!
 

 

b) If you don't have a pet that can run, ask one of your friends!  I am sure they would be more than happy to have you take their dog out for a run!
 

 
Running is a whole lot easier when you have someone do enjoy it with.  I definitely suggest just asking around and seeing if anyone wants to go with you.  I think you would be surprised by the amount of people that would take you up on it and you never know who you could meet!
 
Happy Thursday :)
 
Do you like running with anyone?
 
Do you run with your pet?
 
Work out 7/22- Run
 
TM- 3.5 miles, 31 minutes
 
Work out 7/23- Weights
 
free weights/machines- 45 minutes



Monday, July 21, 2014

You Have to Believe

Hey guys! Literally jumping in to say a quick hello!
 
I saw a quote that caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you all for an inspirational Monday treat.
 
 
It's so easy for our mind to take over and think that we "can't make it" in so many situations.  This does not only have to relate to running, this can truly relate to anything in life, but since this is a running blog I figured we would use it in that way today.
 
Yesterday I went on a run.  Without my Garmin.  For the first time.  Ever.
 
The battery died and I was too lazy to wait for it to charge.  I knew that I wanted to run about 5 miles and I know the route distance around my neighborhood like the back of my hand so I just uped the distance a bit, ran for 50 minutes, and assumed that was right around 5.5 miles.
 
The hard part was the heat and humidity.  Also, the fact that I haven't ran outside since the 4th of July race so there was that.  And it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  Dumb.
 
I kept thinking I wasn't going to make it, it's ok if I don't run the 5 miles, it's really hot.  Guess what?  I made it.
 
I do that a lot in races too and everytime I am done, I smile a little bit to myself because I know that I beat my mind, and that is a pretty cool feeling.
 
Happy Monday :)
 
Tell me something cool about your Monday?
 
Work out 7/18- Rest (didn't feel well)
 
Work out 7/19- Walk with hubs and dogs
 
3 miles, 45 minutes
 
Work out 7/20- Run
 
5.5ish miles? 50ish minutes?
 
Work out 7/21- XT, weights
 
elliptical- 15 minutes
free weights/machines- 15 minutes



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Post Series: Tips for Beginning Runners Part II

Last week I started a post series called Tips for Beginning Runners that is going to cover my personal opinions and tips for people starting out or wanting to start out with running.
 
I definitely appreciate the feedback regarding the post and I encourage you to reach out and ask me anything that you would like to know or would like for me to discuss.
 
Since we started with "Running Fashion" last week and talked everything from shoes, clothes, and miscellaneous running gear/fuel, I thought we'd finally get into the actual running discussion now.

 
Starting Out
 
 
1.  Taking the first step.  Literally.
 
a)  To some people, this is the hardest part:  Getting out the door.  In my personal opinion this has to deal with discipline and the true commitment to wanting to run and actually making it a regular thing in your daily (or weekly) routine.  Don't get me wrong, running is definitely physical, but I personally feel that it is more mental than anything else so if you think positive thoughts, tell yourself you want to do this, and really have a good attitude about it, then you will get what you want out of it.  Too many people say that they "hate running", but I don't think that's the case, I just think they hate the idea of running and that is a completely differerent thing.
 
2)  Start SLOW.
 
a) I really cannot stress this enough.  Whether you are in the best shape of your life from doing other forms of physical activity, and you think you can go from 0 to 100 the second you put those running shoes on, you are going to be sadly mistaken and probably pay for it in more ways than others.  You have to remember that it takes time to build up the running stamina and the most important thing is to start slow and take baby steps to reach your goals one at a time.
 
 
b) Start out by running for 5 minutes and walking for 5 minutes and continue that for 20 - 25 minutes..  I suggest starting out on the treadmill because you can adjust your speed so that you are comfortable and not go "too fast" and burn yourself out.  Once you can comfortably run for 5 ninutes straight, then you can bump up the time to running for 10 minutes and walking for 5.
 
 
 c) Not only should you start with short increments (like I mentioned above), you should definitely start slow with your pace.  I know when I started running for the first time on the treadmill I had it on 6.2 speed and then finally was able to work my way up to 6.5 after a few times, but it takes a while to get the breathing down and that is an extremely important part...you don't want to be winded the entire time so that you don't enjoy what you're doing.  It's not fun.
 
3) Hit the pavement.
 
 
a) Treadmill running is great.  You can set your pace, see your time and mileage, and you're on a flat surface...it's great, but it's not reality.  Once you get to a comfortable base time built up on the treadmill, hit the pavement and go outside for a run.  I promise you it will be completely different and feel much much harder, but it's just something you have to work up as well.  Once again, start slow and work your way up, try not to avoid hills (I know, sounds crazy) because they really do help overall, and definitely make sure to hydrate and fuel before.

 
Tune in next Thursday for another post in the series where I will talk about races!
 
How did you start running?
 


Work out 7/15- Run, weights
 
TM- 3 miles, 26:24 minutes (.2 miles, 3:30 minutes walk)
free weights/machines- 15 minutes

Work out 7/16- XT, weights

elliptical- 25 minutes
free weights/machines- 20 minutes

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday Mantra

 
Sometimes, I just need things like this today.
 
I hope this can inspire someone else as well.
 
What inspires you to run?
 
Work out 7/14- Rest


Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekend Getaway: Blowing Rock, NC

This past weekend the hubs and I went up to Blowing Rock to enjoy a nice weekend away together.
 
His parents have a condo up there so we try to go as often as possible, but it has been a while since we have been able to go just the two of us, so it was a great weekend filled with lots of fun, good food, beautiful weather, strenuous hikes, and relaxation.

Friday night we went to a new place called Blowing Rock Brewing Company and it was amazing.  Truly amazing.  Great beer, great food, it was just so good.  If you ever go up to Blowing Rock, it is a must do.

 
The Double IPA was my personal favorite (IPA pictured here), but I did love the IPA as well.
 
Saturday morning we got up, made breakfast and hit the road to find a trail we have never done before.  We ended up coming across the Grandfather Mountain Marathon and so we drove along the course and got to see and cheer everyone on! 
 
To say that I was impressed would be an understatement.  The elevation change is INSANE and I cannot believe that anyone could do this marathon.
 
After that we hiked the Profile Trail which was pretty strenous to say the least.  Basically it was uphill for 2.5 miles and then you had to go right back down the way you came up.  Lots of slippery and loose rocks made it difficult and you were almost crawling on your hands and knees at some points going up.  I loved it.

 
After the hike we ate our lunch and then drove up to see the beautiful views that Blowing Rock and the North Carolina mountains have to offer.


North Carolina is beautiful.


We went to dinner at a new place in town called The New and we both agreed that it wasn't our favorite, but we still had a great night!

 
Sunday morning we hit up one of our favorite trails, Hebron Falls, to jump on the rocks and get some more exercise.  The distances of our hikes weren't long this weekend, but they were strenous with lots of climbing, ducking, crawling, and jumping.


 
 Just a little yoga on the rocks.
 
The weekend was just perfect and it was great to get away and spend time together and with nature.  We both love being outdoors so I feel rejuventated, but can't wait to get back there soon.
 
Do you like hiking?
 
Ever been to NC mountains?
 
Anyone out there reading run the GMM?

Friday, July 11, 2014

TGIF

 
I don't know about you guys, but this week seems to have lasted F-O-R-E-V-E-R.
 
Probbaly because last week was a 4 day week with Friday being the 4th, but goodness gracious I am so ready for the weekend.
 
I am mostly excited for this weekend for one reason:  Mountain get away with the husband.
 
I can't wait to head to cooler weather, disconnect, go on long hikes, rekindle my relationship with nature (it's been way too long), and just kick back and relax with the husband.
 
Another reason I love the mountains is the laid back, relaxed atmosphere that goes along with it.  That means natural hair, rompers, sandals, hats, and cross body bags all weekend as well as fitness clothes for hiking of course.
 
The hubs and I can't wait to hit up some of our favorite spots in the cute, quaint little town of Blowing Rock so be sure to follow along on Instagram @blaire_elmore throughout the weekend!
 
Happy Friday!
 
What are your weekend plans?
 
Work out 7/10- XT, weights
 
elliptical- 10 minutes
free weights/machines- 40 minutes
 
Work out 7/11- Rest day



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Post Series: Tips for Beginning Runners

One of my best friends from High School, Meredith, asked about tips for running for starting out and I thought that this would bring up a good topic for a post series.  By the way if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, The Life of Riley, please do.  She quite possibly has the two cutest kids you will ever see in your life and she talks all things family, fashion for mom and baby, friends, and about her adorable kids.
 
Since I have a lot to say I think I am going to make this into a series of posts.  Please feel free to comment and let me know what you would like to know about in addition to my tips and I will try to answer them to my best ability.
**All of these opinions expressed are my own and I am in no way a professional when it comes to running/fitness by any means so please do what works best for you and what makes you feel comfortable.
So to kick start the series, let’s talk fashion.  Running fashion that is.
Clothing/Gear
1)      This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but to me it is.  If you don’t have the right materials, then you will not feel comfortable, and can increase your risk of injury.  The right SHOES are probably the most important thing in my opinion when it comes to starting out because I have definitely been through some issues regarding not having the correct running shoes.

Tips for finding the perfect shoe:
a.       Read reviews.  There are SO many different brands and types out there so do your homework, read up, and see what others are saying.  Believe me, runners love to talk about all things running J
 
b.      Go get fitted.  I personally have not done this (I know, I know , shame on me), but a lot of my friends have and they said that it makes all the difference.  Just go to your local running store, tell them you want to get fitted for shoes, they will make you hop on the treadmill and will measure your gait, and then they will find the best fit for you.
 
c.       If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.  What I mean by this is even if you think you love it, the color, the brand, etc., if it doesn’t feel right after a few runs, TAKE IT BACK.  This is the easiest way to get injured (take it from me) if you are wearing a shoe with the wrong type of support for your foot.
 


2)      The correct clothing is also extremely important when it comes to running/fitness of any kind.  You need the right materials for when it’s cold/hot/raining/snowing??  You name it, if you start to get serious about running, you’ll be running in all different types of conditions, I promise.
 
 
a.       Everyone starts to find a brand that they prefer, and for me, I prefer Nike DriFit.  I know Lululemon is fantastic, but I have to be honest, it is way too expensive for me to justify sweating in.  Nike DriFit isn’t necessarily cheap either though so I like to buy a few of the staples i.e. good running tights and a pull over for when it’s cold, and good shorts that fit well and look good for when it’s hot.  If I am just looking for a deal though Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s all have great running clothes that won’t break the bank as well.
 
 
 
 
b.      For women, comfortable sports bras are also a must.  I will admit that this isn’t my favorite thing to purchase because, let’s be honest, you don’t really see them, but they are very important.  You do not want an uncomfortable sports bra digging into your skin and leaving rashes that are painful.  Try out a few, see which ones you like best, and buy that brand in a few colors.  That’s what I do.

 
c.       If you like to listen to music while you run and you don’t want to hold your phone the entire time, I suggest getting an armband that your phone can fit into.  I use the Belkin and I absolutely love it.  It was a lifesaver for me because I used to hold my phone while I ran which just isn’t the best idea.  Also with the new iPhone headphones (and pretty much any other brand) you can change the song right on the cord and that is a great feature.
 
3)      Hydration/Fuel
 
a.       If you’re like me and get really hot while running you may want to invest in some type of water carrying device.  My dad got me a version of the Camelback for long runs in the heat, and I also have a handheld one that I take on shorter runs.  I love them both and they have helped me get through some really hot and horrible runs.
 
 
b.      Fuel.  VERY IMPORTANT.  Depending on the mileage it is extremely important to take in calories during your run.  I really like GU, but there are so many different types of fuel out there so try some out and choose which works best for you. 
 
Well that pretty much sums up the first portion of this series of Tips for Beginning Runners, but I am inspired to talk all things running for newbies so the posts will keep coming and please keep the comments coming as well and let me know if there is anything specific you would like to know about!
What's your brand of preference?
 
Work out 7/9- Run
 
3.5 miles, 30 minutes (.6 miles, 10 minutes walk- 4.1 miles, 40 minutes total)


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Am Capable

 
I originally liked this picture because of the bigger message, until it read it a few more times.
 
For some reason "I am capable" kept standing out to me and I thought about it for a minute and then it really hit me.
 
You don't have to be the best. You don't have to be the fastest.  You don't have to win. You just have to love what you do and be thankful that you are "capable" of doing it.
 
I know that I take a lot of things in life for granted, and I wish that I didn't, but unfortunately that is human nature.  I think this is why I blog though.  I get to write about something that I truly enjoy (maybe not every day) but definitely more days than not. 
 
I get to document my amazing life, even if I am not going on crazy trips to Europe or the Caribbean, I have an amazing husband who I love, the best family in the world, the best friends anyone could ask for, oh and on top of that, I am capable and get to do something that I love, work towards goals, and improve on every day. 
 
Running really is a direct correlation with life in my opinion...and you know what?
 
Life is good.
 
What do you get out of running/fitness?
 
 Work out 7/7- Run, weights
 
2.3 miles, 20 minutes (.2 miles walk, 25 minutes total)
free weights/machines- 10 minutes
 
7/8- Weights
 
free weights/machines- 45 minutes


Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler Race Recap!

Well this past weekend was great and I have another race in the books.
 
You truly couldn't have asked for better weather the entire weekend and race morning was no different.  Even though I still get hot running in any temperature over 50*, 70* in July in the South is probably the best thing you could ever ask for.
 
This was a great race, smaller but that was to be expected since it was on a holiday, and the course was typical.  HILLS.
 
Charlotte = hills and there is just no way around that.  Unfortunately I was not expecting as many hills as there were, but hey what can you do.
 
I am not in PR shape so I didn't have any plans to go out there hard.  I always go harder during races because of adrenaline so I just planned for that and let my body and mind do what they wanted to do.  No pressure.
 
There were great spectators, racers dressed up in all things American, and just lots of pride throughout the race.  It was a great way to start the day.
 
The race started right on time at 7:30 am and we were off, straight up an incline of course, but the race route was through my favorite neighborhood in Charlotte so I didn't mind the hills at all.
 
The race went by so fast (not because of my speed, just because it was kind of a blur), but I always enjoy every second of it, even if I can't remember it all.
 
Afterwards they had a great band playing, lots of waters, gatorades, bananas, local restaurants came out with bread/bagels/etc., and it was rocking at the finish line.
 
 I had a tiny mental goal to finish in 32 minutes, but when that wasn't going to happen I knew that I wanted to finish in 33 minutes. Well, that didn't happen either and I ended up finishing in 33:35 minutes overall (official, not by the clock in the picture), but since I went into it with no pressure I was happy with that. I was beyond surprised when I went to check my time and saw that I placed 3rd in my age group. 
 
 



We ended up sticking around for the awards ceremony just because that doesn't happen all the time, so that was fun.
 
It's a crazy feeling of accomplishment just being able to run and do something I love, but placing isn't a bad feeling either :)
 

 
As always, I want to give a huge shoutout to my awesome husband David who never misses a race.
 
He's my biggest supporter and I can't tell him how much I appreciate that he is always there to cheer me on and to see his smiling face at the finish line.  Love you!
 
The rest of the weekend was fantastic.  Lots of pool, sun, lake, hanging with friends who are more like family, fireworks, grilling out, and relaxation.  It was a great 4th of July weekend and I hope everyone else had a great 4th too!
 
What did you do for the 4th?
 
Who else ran a race?
 
 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

4 Miler on the 4th

I am so last minute when it comes to signing up for races unless it is a half marathon or a race that I ran previously.
 
Yesterday I signed up for the July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler race here in Charlotte.
 
 
Any race that is put on by Run For Your Life is fantastic, they are a great local running store here in Charlotte and put on a lot of races throughout the year, so I am hoping for a great turn out and lots of fun. 
 
It's hard to find races during the Summer, but I know this will be a great one because I am sure people will be dressed to the nines in American gear and there will be lots of Patriotic pride.
 
So pumped.
 
I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend and I will be back next week with updates from the race and the weekend!
 
Anyone running a 4th of July race?
 
What are your plans for the weekend?