Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Motivational Monday December 15, 2014 – Christmas

This will be the last Motivational Monday of 2014.  Enjoy your Christmas and New Years everyone!  Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Thanks Mrs. Rogers, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Christmas

 

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Motivational Monday December 8 2014 – All Your Heart

I love this!  Great advice I need to take and a great motto for 2015 :)

 

Have a great week! Go out there with all your heart!

MM128

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Winner, Winner Turkey Dinner?! Road ID Gift Card Winner

Thanks to all of you who entered the Road ID Gift Card Giveaway!

If you didn’t win now is still a great time to visit Road ID

because Black Friday Started Early this year.

Check out these saving and visit them at my affiliate link on the above right of the blog.

RIDThanks

 

Congrats Laurel!

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The New Harbor Lights Half Marathon and 5k Get Lit Challenge #harborlights14

This past weekend, November 22 and 23, I participated in the Inaugural Harbor Lights Half Marathon and 5K Get Lit challenge in Norfolk, VA.

I was excited as always to participate in another J&A Racing event.  J&A Racing is the premier racing company in the area. I swear they have their skills down to a science.  And this new race was no exception.  Well organized, plenty of cool swag and a great new course in Norfolk.

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The 5k

Saturday morning was one word……brrrr,.  It was very cold for this time of year in Virginia.  Like most of the country we had been experiencing below normal temps for most of the week.  Saturday morning was no exception.  With a start time temp of 27 my buddy Cara (Running in Sanity) and I bundled up an headed for the start line.  My goal for this race was nice and easy.   I have been fighting a cold virus all week and I wanted to stay as healthy as I could.  So no PR goal just a nice shake out for Sunday’s main event.  This was the first time I have ever run the day before a half marathon and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Although cold for VA the breeze was light and there was some sun.  The only negative for me was I wasn’t a huge fan of the two cobblestone roads that we hit during the course,  (we adapted by running on the brick sidewalk) the race was a nice new course to run.  This was also the first race Cara and I have ever run together from start to finish.  It was enjoyable to run with her as I often run solo.  I never got too warm during the race and my hat, headband, gloves etc stayed on for the entire 5k.   Race #1 done

Pre Race Selfie

Pre Race Selfie

 

Yup it was cold.  All these clothes stayed on me!

Yup it was cold. All these clothes stayed on me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race #2 The Half Marathon (lots of firsts this weekend for me)

  • first time I completed an entire half marathon using run/walk
  • first time I ran with a buddy at my pace
  • first time doing a race challenge weekend
  • first time I have ever run a race sick.
  • first time there was mini pie tarts at mile 10ish! ;)
  • first time I had negative splits during the second half of a race

Sunday’s weather started off about 10 degrees warmer than Saturday at about 38 degrees.  Thank goodness.  The high by my anticipated finish was supposed to be in the upper 40’s low 50’s.  I decided to go with a visor, short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve half zip top over that, capris and a gloves.  I also brought a “throw away” fleece I got from the thrift store for waiting at the start and warm up miles.  I am not a fan of cold and wanted to have options.  I had a plan to meet up with a buddy Natascha whom I met through the Sub Thirty Club on Facebook.  We had met in person at Crawlin’ Crab Half  but missed each other at Wicked 10K.

Cara, Myself and Natashca

Cara, Myself and Natashca

After catching up with Natasha at the corral we headed to the start.  I had warned her ahead of time about my cold and that I had no definite time goal because I wasn’t sure how I would feel.  We decided on a run/walk interval of 3/1 and off we went.  The course was really nice with some great views of Norfolk.  I guess I never realized how lovely Norfolk really is.  Natascha and I ended up staying together until somewhere between mile 7-8.  I was feeling way better than expected and decided to go ahead and stick with my 3/1 intervals.  I truly enjoyed pacing with another runner, it really did make the miles wiz by.  I wished my buddy luck and headed out on my own.  I have run a few races in Norfolk before (Heart of Ghent, CHKD 8k and The Freedom Half) but never this exact course.  I wish I had more pictures to share because I have to say this was my favorite race in Norfok by far.  And the tiny tarts around miles 10 didn’t hurt either!  YUM!

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View of the Battleship Wisconsin near the Nauticus Museum – photo credits HarborLights Facebook page

Tiny tart pies at around mile 10 ish

Tiny tart pies at around mile 10 ish  Photo Credits Harbor Lights Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At mile 10 I was more than pleasantly surprised at how good I felt.  Run/walk and the HRT or heart rate training  (you can learn more about that by clicking here) I have done since August definitely made all the difference for me.  At about mile 11 I realized I was in PR territory, even while not at 100% health.  Wow!  I found a few people around and ahead of me to set my sights on for those last few miles.  I missed my PR by only 28 seconds!   Of course a PR would have been nice of course but I am 100% satisfied with my race effort.  I took off just over 11 minutes since my last half in October.  That’s huge!  Kudos to J&A Racing for another amazing race!  Now its time for me to get healthy so I can enjoy the Manchester Road Race with my brother on Turkey Day in CT!

Running in Sanity and I Get Lit Challenge Finishers!

Running in Sanity and I
Get Lit Challenge Finishers!

Happy girl!  Ran sick yet only 28 seconds off my PR!

Happy girl! Sick and only 28 seconds off my PR!

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Motivational Monday Nov 24, 2014 – The Spirit of Christmas

As we head into the Christmas season I thought this was a perfect reminder on Motivational Monday.  Keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year-long.

Have a blessed week!

 

MM1124

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Elf on the Shelf 2014 Photo Contest Starts Nov 28

Hello all my fellow Elf on the Shelf lovers!  I love, love, love this time of year.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, good food, family and oh yes Elf on the Shelf!  That sneaky, mischievous yet adorable elf that comes to visit and bring fun to our house every year.  Our Elf is named Kayla.  Here she is.

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Isn’t she jus the cutest!!!

And when OUR Elf returns that means something else exciting returns too!

I am so excited to announce the:

Third Annual Elf on the Shelf Photo Contest on my Facebook page!

Its going to be a blast!  

If you haven’t already joined the event page on Facebook

here is the link:

 

***2014 Elf on the Shelf Photo Contest Event Page***

 

Fun, great ideas and prizes too!

All the fun from the last two years plus new sponsors!  

Please visit their pages and say hi!

Kim – Barking Mad About Running (a returning sponsor)

Mandi – Mandi Sewell Fitness

Kelly – Miles to Go

Hope to see you there for all the fun!

So hurry contest starts November 28 and runs through Dec 24th.

Prizes include gift cards from iTunes so you can update all your jams for the 2015 new year.

 

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Great Gifts for Running Friends $20 & Under!

It’s that time of year again and you have a long list of Running Buddies that have helped you rock 2014.  The big questions is…”What can I give them this is running related and won’t break the bank?”

No worries!  Here is a short list of fun running related items under $20 each!

 Help your friends:

Show their fun sporty and colorful side with gifts from Runner Decals.  Decals, Tumblers and more!**

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Be Safe with gifts from Road ID.  ID Bracelets, reflective items and accessories and more! *

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Keep fun in run in the run with gifts from Crazy Compression.  Compression socks and sleeves**

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Show them they are special with gifts from Momentum.  Beautiful, inspirational “Foot Note” bracelets, necklaces!***

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Great Holiday themed gifts from Gone For A Run.  In fact they have an entire Holiday Shop! Personalized Ornaments, Mugs and fun socks!***

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Keep your essentials with you on a run with the Running Buddy Mini from Running Buddy. (additional colors available) ***

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Keep cool while looking hot ;) with Hippie Runner.  Sweat Wicking Headbands in hundreds of different patterns!***

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Man th

Man that chick looks familiar?!

 

Accessories from Skirt Sports.  Socks and visors.  

Under $20 when you use code RWM25AMB thanks to Running While Mommy and get 25% off!

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I hope some of these ideas might come in handy.  Enjoy your holidays!

Do you have a favorite runner gift to give for under $20?

Disclosure:

* I am an affiliate of Road ID and will receive a percent of items sold only when my affiliate link is used.

** I am an ambassador for crazy compression and runner decals however I do NOT receive any monetary compensation from these companies.

*** I am not an ambassador / affiliated with Momentum, Gone for a Run, Running Buddy or Hippie Runner or Skirt Sports (I just really think they had some cool items to share)

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Runfyhp – Thanks for the Love and Road ID Gift Card Giveaway

2014 has been such and exciting and fun year at Runfyhp!  I hope you have all enjoyed the stories we’ve shared, the crazy fun races and accomplishments you’ve all had, and best of all the support and love we have shown to each other as a running community.  I personally enjoy cheering you all on each with through the Weekend SHOUT OUT.  I find it exciting to see all the races people are running all across the country and the world!  I love adding some inspiration to your week with Motivational Monday and so much more.  I hope you guys know that you inspire ME each an every day!

Therefore as a fun and simple thank you I would love one of you to win a $10 gift card to RoadID.  I was so excited to recently announce I have become an affiliate with RoadID.  I have had my bracelet for years and feel blessed to have been accepted into the RoadID family.  It really is a wonderful company I believe in 100%.  Such a simple idea, yet such and important one.

As runners, marathoners, triathletes etc. we do all we can to stay safe out there, however you can never plan for the unexpected.  My hope is that none of us ever have to rely on our RoadID but I know I feel safer every day I step out there when I have my bracelet on.  I personally never take mine off and I honestly don’t even notice it on my wrist anymore.  It’s just part of me now. “It’s Who I am.”

Interested in learning more about Road ID?  

Please feel free to use my affiliate link at the top right of my blog :

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I honestly wish I could give each an every one of you a gift card.  Really.  I think having a RoadID is that important.  I hope that if you don’t have one already (or if you don’t win) that you would consider purchasing one for yourself.  Many of the Road ID products start at under $20!  A $20 investment that could save your life, that’s a deal!

Thank you again for your support and love for my page and for each other throughout 2014.  

Let’s do it again in 2015 peeps!

Good Luck!

~ Darlena, Runfyhp

To Enter see the Rafflecopter Link

at the top right of the Runfyhp blog page!

 

Legal blah, blah:  The $10 RoadID gift card was NOT provided to me for free but it was purchased on my own.  It’s just my thank you to all of you.

 

Coming in 2015:  

  • Mondays:  Motivational Monday continues

  • Tuesdays:  Healthy Tip Tuesday

  • Thursdays:  Weekend Shout out SIGN UPS ( on the Facebook page) continue

  • Fridays: Weekend SHOUT OUT (on the Facebook page) continue

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Motivational Monday – November 17 2014 Live in the Now.

I’ve gotten better about not living in the past and when it starts to sneak up on me I stop myself.  For I am not the person I was yesterday.  However there are many times I spend so much time worrying about what will happen tomorrow I forget to really LIVE for today.  I thought this was a great quote.  Enjoy.

 

Have a great week!

MM1117

 

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Why Running Slow Really Might be the New Fast: Training by Heart Rate

Please Note:  I am not a coach or professional runner.  I am writing this blog using my own experience with HRT.  You should check with your doctor or medical professional before starting any exercise regime.  :)

Also note that my HRT plan is based on the book:

Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot by John L. Parker, Jr.

There are different books with slightly different plans, choose which is best for you.

 

As a runner you have probably seen something like this…

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 8.52.34 PMAdmittedly I love this slogan!  Why?  Because I believe every runner fast or slow is still a runner.  We cover the same miles in the end no matter what the time!  But did you know running slow may actually be the key to running faster with less effort?

Welcome to the world of Heart Rate Training or HRT.

So where in the world did I even hear out about HRT? 

After reading Finding Ultra” by Rick Roll (in which he touches upon his experience with Heart Rate Training)  I remembered reading a blog about HRT on  Shut Up + Run (click here to read her post)  a while back.  Being August (at the time) and with a half marathon on the schedule for October, I decided that book was a good place to start. I was not in great long distance aerobic shape at all since I hadn’t run a half in almost a year.

I bought the book,  “Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot” by John L Parker, Jr. and got started. Now I have to tell you Heart Rate based training is first and foremost HUMBLING. It will knock your butt off your running pedestal  after run #1.  But we will get more into that later. The basic idea is that most people train far too often in their anaerobic zone, even when they don’t realize it.  That was totally me and most likely, it’s also you.  While most gains are actually made in the aerobic base building zone.

Aerobic vs Anaerobic training

For the sake of keeping things as simple as possible (you know keep it simple stupid)  I will use the following colors for each word to help us keep track:

  • Aerobic (pink, easy runs where most of HRT takes place)
  • Anaerobic (red, faster running, less time is spent here in HRT)  Not that there isn’t a place for faster running because there absolutely is.  But it’s how often should you be in this anaerobic zone that might surprise you.

OK so lets step back a minute and discuss the differences of Aerobic vs. Anaerobic.

 I found this on My Food Diary :

“During aerobic conditions, the muscle cells have adequate fuel and oxygen, and they can contract repeatedly without fatigue.”

“During anaerobic conditions, muscle cells must rely on other reactions that do not require oxygen. This anaerobic metabolism in the cells produces waste molecules that can impair muscle contractions. This results in fatigue. Fatigue causes you to experience added discomfort and weakening muscles. Eventually you will need to lower your intensity level and allow your body to remove the waste molecules.”

Using the above definitions we can conclude the idea behind aerobic training is training without fatigue to build your running base.  The heart of HRT (no pun intended) is building your aerobic base. 

 Less fatigue = less stress on the body = less injury = stronger base

Build a strong base and eventually the faster pace will come.  The science behind HRT is actually pretty cool and I enjoyed learning about it.  However I won’t be going all scientific on you in this post.

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 If you do want more info you can check out this great article from Runners Connect it’s worth the read.

Note: There are a few different books out on HRT and they do have some variations.  

As I mentioned earlier the book I am basing this post off is the one I started off with:

“Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot”  John L. Parker, Jr.

 

So how exactly does one build their aerobic base with HRT?  

Well that’s the kicker.  You do MOST of your weekly running slow at or below your aerobic training heart rate. And by slow I mean…

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How slow?  That depends on your specific training heart rate. And will differ for each person depending on factors like age, health, injuries etc. 

Wondering what your easy training heart rate might be?  

An fairly simple formula to use is called the MAF 180 (Maximum Aerobic Function)

Click here to find out more from 

TriFind.com about calculating your MAF training heart rate.**

**MAF is not the formula used in Heart Rate Training for Idiots but it lined up pretty darn close.  And is popular among those using Heart Rate Training.

 

And so it began:  Time to set aside your pride and get humble, really humble.

The hardest part of HRT for me (and it seems most participants) has been realizing how slow my base building pace really should be.  In fact in the beginning I had to walk…a lot.  Even today I still have to run/walk on my easy run days.  Seriously humbling.  On a happier note I have read about elite athletes (i.e.: Rich Roll) having to walk hills when beginning HRT.  That made me feel a lot better. ;)  In other words you can be a fast runner and have a crappy aerobic base.

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It’s also NOT easy to give up your “get out there and get it done as fast as you can” mentality.  I have read about people ready to throw the towel in after day #1 of HRT.  So if your going to do it your really need to commit to the process.  Check your pride and the door and dig in.  I admit I have strayed off the path a few times myself, but I buckled myself back in and am seeing benefits.

So what can HRT do for you?

Let me break it down in layman’s, or even better Runfyhp cupcakey (yes it’s a word, don’t judge) terms.  You will be doing most of your weekly running slowly, at first possibly even painfully slow (maybe even walking like me).  But this is how you will  begin building up your aerobic base. In our “cupcakey” example the base is the bottom half of your cupcake.  You know the part that holds up all the good magical stuff (the frosting!).  Strong, sturdy and the biggest part.

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If your base is not strong you won’t be built to last.  And I don’t know about you but I would like to keep on running for as many years as I can.  I’m not saying you can’t get fast any other way, BUT training at your anaerobic threshold on a regular basis is more likely to get you injured, fatigued and at some point dare I say it….you’ll drop your frosting!!!!!  Gasp!!! And no one wants that.

Injury / Fatigue =Pain / Frustration =Time off

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However over time using HRT at your aerobic pace you build a strong base and will begin to reap the benefits of your running potential.  That’s when the sweet stuff happens “the frosting” if you will. You begin to reach your happy pace with less effort!  Easy runs become easier at a faster pace, tempo runs become quicker AND you don’t feel beat up after a run.  Then when the time comes to race you should be strong, healthy, injury free and able to hold up and enjoy every bit of it. 

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OK so there is some bad news: 

  • Progress is slow, running at first is also slow.  It will take time, probably more than most of us would like
  • Patience and persistence are key.  This WILL NOT happen overnight.
  • Once you begin to reap the base building benefits you have to push yourself harder on tempo and speed work days to get your HR up.  But this is actually a good thing!

Benefits will happen.  I am starting to see progress with my pace. And best of all I feel great after a run!  It works if you have patience and stick to the program.

You might ask….Do you run slow on every run?  No.  The program I have followed from Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot” includes a weekly tempo run (at a specific Tempo Heart Rate) and weekly speed work (also at my specific Interval Training Heart Rate)  These heart rates are different from my easy run HRT.  But yes all other weekly runs should be done at my easy pace. I’m trying I swear! :)

The Pros:

  • You will build up a solid aerobic base
  • You will run more efficiently
  • Most runs are done at an easy comfortable pace (which gets faster with time I promise)
  • It will prevent over-training or under training by working at the right intensity for each run
  • You don’t feel beat up at the end of a run
  • You should be less prone to injury
  • Eventually your pace will improve (you will be running longer and stronger at an easier effort)

The Cons:

  • I would, at least, get a HRT book, or a coach if your so inclined, to help walk you through the steps of HRT
  • Be prepared to run slow (and possibly walk) in the beginning (like painfully slow, I’m not gonna lie)
  • Progress takes time (how much depends on the starting point of your aerobic base)
  • You will need to invest in a Heart Rate Monitor (if you don’t already own one)
  • Humility and Pride need to be checked at the door BEFORE you leave for your run

For me Heart Rate Training has been a huge blessing.  I don’t feel as tired and beat up after a run, my times and paces are beginning to show improvement and I have been able to find my happy pace on almost every run.  If your worried about your pace or training I would suggest starting HRT in your “off-season” That may help you with persistence at sticking to the program.

I would love to hear if any of you decide to try HRT out.  Its working for me, maybe it can work for you too!

So who’s ready for the challenge?

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