Category Archives: Exercise

Freedom in Your Run

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There are certain essentials that you’ll need for a good run:-

1. A good pair of running sneakers
2. Pair of decent earphones
3. Rockin Playlist
4. Running watch

Other than the above, you need to ensure you’re adequately hydrated (have you drank your water lately?) and have had a well balanced meal.

Now you’re set for your run.

I hadn’t been pounding the road since last Wednesday, and truth be told I didn’t have a well balanced meal neither was I adequately hydrated. On top of that I am having the onset of the flu.

Readers Note:- Don’t follow what I’ve done today. Yet you’ve got to know your body.

But I decided I wanted to get out and about, seeking a different scenery….actually the truth is that I’d bought a new pair of earphones and I desperately (OK….”desperation” is overkill..) wanted to see if they passed my test.

My earphones brand are “Bose”, and aparantly Bose is the Jaguars of earphone brands (at least according to a friend..). What’s different with this set is the earpiece. If you look at my picture at the beginning of this post you’ll see and odd shaped earpiece. This fits inside your ear, flat. Not only does it give a flush look, it did not budge or drop out. The sound quality was excellent. The weight is lght and the cord was not too long and dangly.  Mind you I’d only ran a 5k but for Testing Day #1, I’d say it passed.

Wednesday, on a longer run I’ll try these out again.

Aside from my new earphones I did enjoy my easy jog. I can proudly, and happily, say that I’m jogging 3.10 miles in under 30 minutes.

It was good to go it alone and I felt happy and peaceful this evening.

Whatever your reason is to start, just start and continue running.

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A Swim in Caribbean Waters

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Today was my first official “swim day”.  

I know how to swim. I’ve been taught by family members since I was a child.  When I do think of swimming and my childhood I can’t help but think of those fond memories of laughter,  togetherness, comfort and fun. 

Today, some friends and I got together and mapped out the two points that we would swim from and to.  The points would equal one mile, our aim for the day.  We had our swim caps and goggles and we’re all set.  When we started off it was an amazing feeling and in and of itself an amazing view.  The natural waters of the Cayman. Islands were blue and green.  The sun was out and shining (and hot). 

My technique today was “freestyle”, and what I did notice overall was that while my body was not acutely fatigued, my breathing was quick and shallow.  This, I believe tired me out early on into the swim.  Instead of taking a nice breath of air, and stroking twice or three times while simultaneously (with concentration) letting the air out of my mouth in the water then lifting my head to the side for another break of air, i found myself just freestyling with my head up and put of the water, turning with my arms.   Not a great for,  but once again I noticed that breathing is paramount in a lot of the sports, if not all, activities.

When I reached the ending point, my “official” I’m was 49 minutes.  Long, but not terrible for first time semi-training for a one mile swim!  Notably,  there are many things to work on, but a start is better than none.

I have to say that I really enjoyed being out and trying different sporting activities, and being in a beautiful country helps!

Yes, I believe I shall be back out again soon.

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Push Yourself

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Saturday evening was a great run. I even surprised myself. 

The days have been hot, coming on to summer it usually is hot. But recently it’s been unusually hot than prior years, as far as I can remember.  With that being said, heat was a factor in me deciding, rather convincing myself, to go running.  I sat deliberating for a while the pros and cons of getting my tush out the door and tapping the pavement.  Finally after what seemed like half an hour, at 5:41pm I clicked my Garmin watch and began my run.

I had not anticipated the actual distance and time that I’d accomplished, but had an idea of where I wanted to be.  I set out aiming to run 6.25 miles.  This wasn’t an ordinary run, it was one experimenting with a product that would help keep my fueled during my run.  To ensure that I would put no pressure on myself, I set out with the understanding that this run was one of distance and not speed. At least not yet. 

One of the things I wanted to do was keep a steady pace throughout my run.  I knew that my body wasn’t used to running more that 4 miles but I was willing to push for that evenings focused goal of 6.25 miles and visually, from point “A” to point “B”.  After the first 5k, and about half an hour into the run, I downed one of the gels.  It was not pretty as I held it like I was holding a cup, and got some sticky fluid on my fingers.  No matter, I kept running while licking the vanilla fluid from my fingers. 
I had not noticed an immediate change or sudden super woman burst of energy, but after a few minutes I realized my body wasn’t tired.  At that point I checked in on my breathing, steady and controlled.  Checked in on my form, little change here and there was needed, then good to go.  Without any other expectations, I seemed to have been doing ok.  The gel fluid didn’t make my stomach ill at that point so I was happy. 

Another 20 minutes into the run and I stopped for about 10 seconds. Mentally I just stopped.  Decided to push myself again, not looking at how far I have to go but that I was doing the run.  Little pep talk at this point proved helpful in the long-run.  I slowed just a bit but kept going.  As I ran back the direction I came, a firm wind was against me. It was on the seaside after all.  I kept going, realising that the gel fluid left my mouth a bit dry.  Unfortunately I didn’t carry water with me, but I kept going.  I downed my second gel fluid.  

Tried to keep a steady pace, watching the sky above which suddenly seemed to get overcast and moreso as I ran in that direction.  I could feel the area just below my right knee start to ache, not too much to hamper my run, but enough that I made a mental note to ice it when I was done.  Slight drizzle at this point.  I’d never really ran in the rain before, and if it started to pour then i would have no choice but to run in the rain to my vehicle.  I kept going.  I’d say that the threat of rain pushed me that much more to keep going in order to beat the downpour. 

The last couple of meters I increased my pace and sprinted towards my vehicle, and the ending destination.  Like second nature, I immediately stopped my Garmin watch.  I surpassed 6.25 miles and completed 6.63 miles in 1:18 min.  Not bad for a novice runner in training for the half-marathon six months away!

I was completely surprised at myself and very glad that I got out of my house and onto the street for a run.  This run was definately a great run.  Yet again I am proud of me. 

It is good to have a goal to focus on, to keep ones eyes steady towards the prize.  It’s also important that you force yourself to not veer off looking at any distractions to the left or right, and begin second guessing your strengths in comparison to other athletes.  My challenge is with and within me, to do my best every time I am out there.

Running Stitches

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I’ve learned something quite important tonight about stitches.  Tonight,  at 7:00p was the start of our first “Glow Run”. 

It was a 5k race and the excitement in the air was motivating.  My first ever glow run, but a 5k I’m now used to running.  I had not planned on doing a personal best, but was cognizant of my eating and food preparation before the race.

The beginning mile I tried to keep a nice easy pace, and about half-way through the second mile I caught a stitch in my right abdomen.  Normally, I would have stopped and walked through the stitch or just stopped but for some reason I kept going AND kept motivating myself to work through the pain.  It was during his time that I realized that it is just me out on the road, even though I had friends doing the run, this was MY rum.  Every run I do is MINE.  Me on that road, and me to motivate self. 

Having decided to work through the stitch-pain, and motivating myself mentally after a while I realized that the stitch was gone!  I was ecstatic!  All in all I completed the third and final lap AND was able to speed up for the last couple of meters through the finish line.  It felt so GOOD!

So I’ve learnt that sometimes, perhaps more often than not, you have to work through the pain and not focus on the pain itself – you know it’s there – but to focus on moving forward and the finish. 

I am so PROUD of myself tonight! 

Yikes! Half Marathon in the Near Future

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Last year after having participated in the relay portion of the annual Intertrust Marathon held in December,  I dug deep inside and found that as another personal challenge I wanted to take on the half marathon.

It isn’t common for people to wake up one day and decide to do a half marathon.  A half marathon looks and sounds very easy, but to truly appreciate what it is like comes from listening to the stories of those who have ran that or the full marathon. 

Participating in the relay portion last December inspired me to take on another challenge, this time for me.  while chatting with my friend K about my choice for this year, I told him that I’m not running to win or to compete against others but to challenge myself to overcome what I didn’t think I could.  Having said that to K, he quickly found the below pic that was quite fitting:

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For me, the 2014 theme for the half-marathon is exactly that: overcoming the things I thought that I could not do. 
For me I know that it will take great personal planning,  execution, commitment,  motivation and encouragement to stay the course and to finish my race.  I won’t bother state what I’m not, and in so doing secretly comparing myself in a negative way to those who are advanced in their runs, but I can say that my heart is very willing and eager to do this. 

I will open myself up to a new experience and embrace whatever lessons it will bring me, and those persons whose paths I will cross. 

I am in love with running. 

For now, I am Bib #239.

Running Moment

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I had another “moment” this evening.  See, I planned from the niggt before to run a short 5k but when five o’clock came I really didn’t feel up to going.  I’m glad I didn’t listen to that negativity!   I forced myself to change and found a route, which was less than a 5k but I improvised. 

I stretched and warmed up by brisk walking then got into my run.  During, I noticed that while my body seemed prepared to endure the run my breathing seemed…shallow (for lack of a better terminology).  It was as if I couldn’t take in enough air.  Either that or I wasn’t paying attention to regulating my breathing patterns.  So I stopped a couple of times and brisk walked.  I kept telling myself that I’m not here to push myself beyond what I could honestly do, however, I pushed myself past my comfort pace and tried running in the 9 minute mile range. 

It wasn’t until I was nearing the 5k mark when I felt a deep sense of freedom and joy.  I’d truly missed those alone runs, but more so that I knew I was improving albeit slowly but still improving.  Today,  I did exceed my past 5k personal best by finishing in a time of 32:16.  I was joyful.

There’s something to be said about getting out and exercising, whether it be run in,  cycling, swimming etc.  Do what you love or try something new.

I really enjoyed today.

Left, Left, Left-Right-Left

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Left, Left, Left-Right-Left

It seems as though I am falling into that groove of running. For the last 2-3 weeks now I have had a bit of a struggle finding and settling on a routine for the days of my runs. But I’m happy to finally see and feel that fit taking shape.

Tonight I attended, for the third Wednesday in a row, a running club. During the run and about halfway through our route there was a moment when I could hear our footsteps moving in unison and for that moment I realized that I truly enjoy running. Not only do I enjoy it, but I can feel the improvements in my physique.

Tonight we did 5 reps of 7 minute runs and 1 min walks. Finishing up with three 2 minute runs and 2 minute walks, then a final cool down walk back to the start/finish point.

Some things I have noticed: my breathing is more regulated, more in-through-the-nose and out-through-the-nose. Today, for the first time, I ran without my crutch: water bottle in hand. The route was a 5k, so really not that long of a run that one would need a water bottle. Also, I made sure that my water in-take the day before and today were sufficient to keep me hydrated.

One of the other personal accomplishments is that this is my third run where I am not using my music. Last Wednesday by chance I decided to try the route without my music, but still using the Nike app on my phone to track and record our run. When I tried this last week, I was pleasantly surprised that I was more able to concentrate on proper breathing and running for – it was a fantastic run then and still is now. Music has and eill have its place, but for right now on my short runs I am also giving up another crutch. Being without music, I kept focused on regulating my own breathing and running form. What I noticed was that I was not panting hard and out through the mouth. My breaths were more controlled and in-through-the-nose and out-through-the-nose.

I have to acknowledge and am thankful for the running club “WNRC” and the positivity I sense every Wednesday. They are a good source of encouragement and help in my quest to be a better runner. Also, you cannot exercise and eat unhealthy! Eating the right foods and taking proper vitamins will go a long way in keeping you energized and healthy.

Thanks also to my “P”, who encourages me to eat and maintain a healthy body, and mind.

I leave you with this: coming out of your comfort zone, is a freeing thing. Do what makes you happy as for me, this is running.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

When I think of threshold many things come to mind, but as I look at my collection of photos taken I believe this featured photo best fits this weeks photo challenge.

Back in September 2013 I agreed to be part of a relay team for the annual Marathon held in December. Each of the four team members had to run equal parts if a total of 26 miles. It was the first event ever that I would take part in and to me, it was a huge deal.

Training began in September and for the few weeks leading up to Decembers’ race there were so many experiences, good and bad, that allowed me to grow in so many ways.

This featured picture, of my race packet, was taken the day before the marathon. After putting it together for the photo I can remember sitting down in awe and somewhat disbelief that I was really doing this. I had finally worked long and hard through laughter, injuries and tears for this moment.

Committed and focused, I had pressed forward to the event I had prepared towards.

(Click herefor more information on this weeks challenge.)

A Runners Diary (Late Post)

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A Runners Diary (Late Post)

14 October 2013

I’ve been running now for about two months. How I came into running, was a per chance occasion. See, I’ve been procrastinating for almost three years to run in the Cayman Islands Annual Intertrust Marathon on 1 December 2013. This year by chance I found a colleague who wanted to run in a four-person relay race and who was looking for other interested parties to join her. I saw the opportunity and took it.

We finally started training consistently together for over a month now. Last week and this week we are up to running four miles, two miles shy of our relay-leg. Honestly, from beginning to right now, this journey has been filled with so many beautiful things. For one, I’ve met many different people who share the same types of fitness goals and who are motivated to achieve them! Also, along the journey others have given their support and encouragement in various ways.

I will detail more in the future, but for now I can say that what I am experiencing is as if another chance or door has opened up for me to be able to see what differentness looks like. I like it.

Sometimes you just need to experience a good run by yourself. Tonight was a good run. I hadn’t been out running by myself for just over a month now. I wasn’t prepared to run this evening, but I felt like I needed to clear my head from my own thoughts of the day. So I went.

The run itself was beautiful. I’m a slow runner but I am trying to build on distance rather than speed. When I started out this evening, I hadn’t planned on running more then 2 or 3 miles but during the run I just felt like I wanted to go further. It was as if my body wanted more of the road. On the way my iPod battery died and ordinarily I would have allowed its death to ruin my run, but this time I paid no attention to the minor glitch.

I found myself wanting to run, tasting the run, hoping for more. I could hear my regulated breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. The beating of my heart, steadily as I ran on. Every so often I found myself looking down at my feet. For the most part, my looking down at my feet was because I would start to feel like I wanted to give up, and looking down at my feet somehow seemed to encourage me to continue onwards. On the return leg, my thoughts shifted to what running means to me. I hadn’t planned on being sentimental at all, but I welcomed this train of thoughts. I decided that running means a great deal to me, because it has found many new acquaintances some of which are going to be friends. It has also taught me a lot about myself, in particular commitment towards the impending goal in December 2013. It has also taught me that there is always tomorrow, if I don’t pound the pavement very well today then I have tomorrow to try again. Running has changed my focus from self-absorbed weight-loss to fitness, freedom, passion, excitement, commitment, motivation, to say the least.

What I also found during tonights good run, was a small intimate voice of motivation. A voice loving, unafraid, certain of itself, strong and true – after I finished the run I realized that that voice was me.