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!
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.
Help your friends:
Accessories from Skirt Sports. Socks and visors.
Under $20 when you use code RWM25AMB thanks to Running While Mommy and get 25% off!
I hope some of these ideas might come in handy. Enjoy your holidays!
* 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)
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.”
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!
~ Darlena, Runfyhp
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.
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!
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:
There are different books with slightly different plans, choose which is best for you.
As a runner you have probably seen something like this…
Admittedly 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?
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:
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.
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:
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…
How slow? That depends on your specific training heart rate. And will differ for each person depending on factors like age, health, injuries etc.
An fairly simple formula to use is called the MAF 180 (Maximum Aerobic Function)
**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.
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.
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
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.
OK so there is some bad news:
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!
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?
This is without a doubt one of my favorite races every year, the Wicked 10k in Virginia Beach. Its like running with a bunch of crazies and I just love it! And let me tell you some of these peeps do NOT mess around when it comes to costumes. The winners this year were fantastic, especially the group winners. Check these guys out!
Almost 6,000 people finished this year.
I decided to go as a cheetah this year. So fun. I found a cute pair of leggings and an headband, bow tie, tail combo along with cheetah face stickers at Five and Below. I think the whole thing cost me a whopping $10. I found some temporary cheetah eye tattoos at another store (I had no idea there even was such a thing as eye tattoos?!) and BAM! Instant costume. Rahh!!
So how was my race…it was just wicked I did not PR, however I was only off last years time by seconds. Pretty sweet considering I just stared distance running again back in August. I could not be more pleased considering how far my training has come since summer. This is also one of the very first races that I completed using the Galloway run/walk method for the entire race. So in essence I was even running faster than last year at an easier effort.
I also finally made it to my local Moms Run This Town (MRTT) pre race picture! Wahoo! Somehow I always miss those, lol.
Post Race Fun!
This year the post race party was back on the beach. The weather was perfect the food was great thanks to Baker’s Crust. I even had a beer, ok half a beer, which I never do. I had a great time hanging out with Cara from Running in Sanity and her hubby. We even won these sweet purple chairs in a cup stacking contest! Who knew Cara and I had mad cup stacking skills? If you ever get the chance to do Wicked you really should.
Next up is Harbor Lights Half Marathon. What’s next on your race schedule?
Live! Have Purpose! Be Strong and Courageous!
Have a wonderful week!
Run/Walk Challenge Recap:
As many of you may know I recently participated in raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. I also created a Run/Walk Challenge – Team of One (that would be me) to help bring awareness and raise funds in honor of my Mother.
I think Alzheimer’s sometimes feels like the forgotten disease. Here is a great quote from Seth Rogan who is a huge supporter in the fight to end Alzheimer’s:
I had looked around for a local half marathon that had the Alzheimer’s Association as one of its race charities, but was unable to find one. However I was pretty determined to run a half for Alzheimer’s. Since I couldn’t find one locally, with Alzheimer’s Association as an official charity, I decided to create a challenge of my own. Thus was born the Miles for Memories Run/Walk Challenge. Hey sometimes you just have to pave your own road right?!
I was lucky enough to find a local half marathon happening just one week before my local Walk to End Alzheimer’s. So why run a half marathon when I could just as easily participate in only my local walk? Well my goal was to give people a greater awareness of the disease and a greater incentive to give.
For my family Alzheimer’s disease is personal. I have watched my maternal grandmother, my husband’s maternal grandmother and now my Mom suffer from the disease. In the past year we have seen a dramatic change in my Mom. And since May it has been more like a nose dive. In March my beautiful mother was barely sleeping and walking nearly 20 hours a day (no I am not kidding, it can be part of the disease). She did not know who most of us where on most days but was still able to feed herself, and dress and shower with assistance. Even though she could not be left alone she still was at home and well cared for. By Mother’s day weekend in May she was wheelchair bound, unable to walk, unable to feed herself, unable to talk and in the hospital. I was blessed to spend mother’s day with her but it was nothing less than heart breaking. My mother now resides in a wonderful Alzheimer’s Care Center.
I live far enough away from my parents that I am not able to see her as much as I would love to, but I couldn’t stand the thought of doing nothing at all. With the help of my family and some wonderful friends I set out to raise as much as I could for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in her honor. My hope was to raise at least $500 with a bigger goal of $1000. As of race day I am excited to say that with the help of my friends and family we raised $1495.00!!
I completed the run part of my challenge at the Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, VA on October 5th. By far my most meaningful half marathon ever! In fact I was not only able to run for my Mom but for 16 other mothers, fathers and loved ones of friends, families and even strangers. Each ribbon on my shirt represented a specific person. It was a huge honor for me.
The next weekend I participated in my local Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. Both the courses for the half marathon and walk included ocean views which my mother would have just loved! My parents are especially fond of the ocean. I grew up taking vacations camping at the beach in CT and my Dad still owns a boat that my parents spent many, many weekends on.
Thank you so much to everyone who was able to support my challenge by either donations or prayers. Because of you all it was a huge success! Here are some pictures from my local walk.
The man in the lower left picture is the CEO for our local Alzheimer’s Association. A wonderful guy who waited at the finish line to personally thank each and every walker for their support and participation. Lower right picture is Sean who also works for my local Alzheimer’s Association. Sean was able to answer my thousands of questions regarding fundraising. It was a pleasure to meet them both in person at the walk and to thank them in person for all they do.
So Run/Walk Challenge Complete! It always surprises me when donations and support come from the most unexpected places and people. I thank all my friends, virtual friends, family and my Mom’s former co-workers for going out of your way to help me make the challenge a success! God Bless you all.
Did you know there may be a walk in your area too?