Making The Most Out of My Training Speed Bumps

Week 3 of speed training crashed and burned. You know those training speed bumps I often write about? Well this week was one on top of the other. Instead of getting upset, it's all about making the most of the situation and rolling with the punches.

Monday I left work early to so I could pack my bags, get some groceries, and head to the man friends for "Superstorm" Juno hibernation. The media told us to prepare for the worst so we were bracing ourselves for what was made out to be a blizzard for the record books. We had a crock pot full of chicken soup, a couple of bottles of wine, tons of carrots, celery, hummus, pretzel chips, (ok there was some chocolate for me), cornbread, bagels, and Lara Bars. The best part of being snowed in is the reading and wine consuming! I got to flip through about 20 running world magazines and finish the book I've been reading. (Super Sad True Love Story. CHECK IT OUT. GO READ IT. A huge giant slap of a wake up call.)

But when we woke up the next morning everyone was like "oops sorry we overreacted but enjoy your day off because we closed all the public transportation." After spending the morning working from home I decided to play hookie and join my family in Brooklyn Bridge Park for some sledding and an all out war snowball fight.

The next day I was SO SORE. I could hardly even lift my arms they were so sore. I was struggling through my Physical Therapy session all the while being laughed at because of my dismal upper body strength. I think it's time to start taking my arms a bit more seriously.

The next speed bump is due to the fact that I am babysitting my cousins for the remainder of the week. I can't exactly leave them to fend for themselves while I get a run in so last night after I made dinner, my cousin Havana and I decided to tackle some P90x. Holy smokes, what a workout. Here are my thoughts on P90X.

Pros:

  • Convenient
  • A great workout
  • Intense
  • Easy
  • Quick

Cons

  • Easy to do the exercises with poor form if you don't know how to execute them properly which leads to injury.
  • Impossible to find the room in a normal NYC apartment (I could never do P90X in my apartment. My downstairs neighbors would want my head on a stick.)
  • I'm not a huge fan of the "90 days" thing.
  • I hate working out at home.
  • I don't have weights at home.

That being said I had no clue what to expect. Basically P90X is a series of 30 minutes of different series of dynamic exercises. We started easy enough with a little warm up to get our heart rates going.

We used the opportunity to dance our way through the warm up.

Next we slowly went through the series of exercises. This was the time to instruct us on how we should and should not be doing each squat, dead lift, ski jump, split jump, and other exercises properly. The only problem is we didn't have a mirror so we really can't see if we were doing it properly.

I I had to modify the core exercise we were supposed to be doing. I literally couldn't do it because of my pitiful arms (which were still really sore) and my core being embarrassingly weak. I swapped it for a couple of the different plank exercises my PT has me doing.

All in all P90X really is a kick ass workout. If you prefer to workout with DVD's in the comfort of your own home this is a great investment. The hardest part about getting into something like this is carving out the time and then executing without injury. If you are a runner and if you aren't doing your strength training you are 100% sabotaging yourself. Do your squats, split squats, dead lifts, and core work. It makes running SO MUCH EASIER. A short dynamic 30 minute workout like P90X is a perfect way to kick start your day. Do it first thing in the morning if you're an afternoon runner. Otherwise set 30 minutes aside before or after dinner to bang them out.

Those speed bumps are going to happen, there's absolutely no avoiding them. But just because you can't get a run in doesn't mean you have to dig your grave. Find something else you can do to keep you on track. What's your favorite way to get active when you can't get out to run? Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

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10 First Time Marathon Tips and Tricks

Running your first marathon is both terrifying and spectacular. The months of hard work and sacrifices will lead to a 26.2 mile run that will take you from “I’m not sure I am going to make it” to “I can’t believe I just did that.” I’ve run two marathons now and spoken to many, many marathoners. If you are trying to find the courage to pull the trigger or are stressing about your first 26.2, here are some tips to make the process a lot less scary and even more spectacular:

1. Practice Where You’re Keeping Your Energy Gels.

I was an energy gel disaster during my first 26.2. From not thinking ahead as to where I was going to keep them, to forgetting to take one before the start, I was a ball of nerves. Plan on taking a gel every 45-60 minutes of the race. This means you are most likely going to be packing around 5+ gels. That’s a lot of gels. This is me at my first marathon with a million gels stuffed in my sports bra.

I probably had 12 energy gels in my sports bra.

Not the best look. I have friends who gave half their stash of energy gel's to family and friends and ended up not being able to find them on the course. Don’t be stranded at mile 16 with nothing. Plan ahead. Give friends and family extra gels as backup but keep everything on you, and not in your sports bra.

2. Try Gel Alternatives if Gels Don’t Sit Well With Your Stomach.

Gummy bears, energy chews, jelly beans, jelly bean sports beans, power bars, raisins, dried fruit, salted pretzels, fruit puree, fig newton’s, saltines, sweet tarts, honey, sports drink. The list goes on and on. If you’re someone who can’t stomach energy gels start early in your training to find your alternative. You are going to need the carbs and electrolytes to carry you through the 26.2. And figure out where you are going to stash 26.2 miles of your alternative carb/electrolyte source.

3. Bring Something Comfortable to Sit On.

See, doesn't he look warm AND comfortable? Luxury.

Planning on getting to the race early? Bring an inflatable pool toy to sit on and some trash bags/space blankets and hand warmers to keep warm.  Comfort is key if you are attending a bigger race where you may be hanging around in a start village for 1-3 hours. Bring a pool toy and lounge like a Queen.

4.  Cover Your Body in Chafe Cream.

Your best friend and mine.

I’m talking SLATHER your body in body glide. I bring the little mini ones to the start village and re-apply right before I start. If you feel something along the course, stop at medical and get Vaseline. Only you can prevent chafing and bloody nipples. And that post race shower will burn like it’s never burned before. Slather your body. Slather it.

5. Know Where Your Spectators Will Be.

Don't miss this moment!

Don't miss this moment!

If you have friends and family out on the course, have them tell you their cross streets. During the NYC marathon I was getting so exhausted and out of it towards the end that I missed two different groups of friends AND my sister. During my first marathon my parents didn’t tell me where they were going to be and I spent 23 miles stressing about missing them. Plan ahead so you have something closer than the finish line to run towards.

6. Ask Strangers to Take Candid Photos.

This is my absolute favorite picture from any race I’ve ever run. My sister struck up a conversation with the woman standing next to her as they both awaited their runners and when I came by, the woman snapped this and texted it to my sister. Make friends with the people around and take candids of each other. Finding your family and friends on the course is one of the best parts of a race. Having a picture only sweetens the deal.

7. Have a Back Pocket Mantra (Or 12).

mantra

Around mile 20 you are going to start to feel some serious pain. Dig deep and reach for that back pocket mantra. That is the time to start telling yourself how amazing you are and how you are almost there. Just keep repeating “One more mile. I am amazing. I am almost there.”

7. Ham It Up.

Hamming it up.

Marathon Foto pictures cost about a trillion dollars but you might want a picture from your first marathon. Ham it up pre-race, ham it up mid race, and then MOST IMPORTANTLY LOOK UP AS YOU CROSS THE FINISH LINE! DON’T LOOK DOWN AND TOUCH YOUR GPS WATCH OR YOUR PHONE! Look up and forward, smiling and princess waving until you’re well over the finish line! Smile for the camera and bask in your glory.  

9. Have a Post Race Plan of Attack.

Not checking a bag? Have a friend or family member hang on to a change of clothes or at least a warm sweater. Know exactly where you are meeting people because for bigger races, cell service disappears. Go into it expecting that you won’t be able to contact each other. Better safe than sorry.

8. Keep Moving Post Race.

I know this is the last thing you want to do, but after you finish and collect your medal... keep moving. Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving! Go for a nice long slow walk. Take break to drink your chocolate milk and eat recovery snack but then get moving. You will be infinitely less sore the following week if you keep moving.

9. Eat Something Truly Delicious.

pizza

If you’re traveling for your marathon, think ahead and try to make a reservation for your post race celebratory meal. After I finished the NYC Marathon, my sister, our best friend Heather, and I went to our favorite Ramen place down the street from my sister’s apartment. The restaurant is known for 2 hour waits and doesn’t take reservations so my amazing sister played touch and go with me while I hobbled back to her apartment and timed it perfectly. By the time I got out of the shower, our table was ready. Try to pass the dinner reservation responsibility to someone else because you may be traveling in a post marathon drunken haze. Reward yourself with some incredible treat and go somewhere delicious.

10. Take Some Time Off.

It going to be hard but take some time off. Take an entire week off from running. Do some very light cross training if you find it impossible to sit still. Most professionals say to take a day per mile off, that’s over 3 weeks. Do I expect you to take 3 weeks off? No. Listen to your body and take it easy for 2 weeks after your race. Take it easy. Recover. Avoid injury.

Otherwise enjoy every single painful and blissful second and share your tips! Any tricks you've learned along the way? Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

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Five Ways to Kick Running Boredom to the Curb

There comes a time in every runner’s life when running goes from this

to this.

and this

and then this.

Running Boredom: Synonyms include monotonous, mundane, torturous, awful, self-inflicted suffering, and tiresome.

What do you do when you find yourself spending more time trying to convince yourself to get out the door than you do actually kicking the pavement? I’m not going to sugar coat it, you should quit. NO I’m kidding! Don’t quit! Look we've all been there. We've all had to figure out a way to climb out of the running rut/boredom hole. Here are 5 ways to kick running boredom to the curb:

1. Change it Up.

fear change

Change your route! If there is a typical trail or route you run go the opposite way or try a different area completely. Go get lost! Go to the local high school and get on a local track! Focus on speed work with interval, tempo, or hill workouts. If you’re fighting running boredom, a 30 minute interval workout is short enough to seem doable and intense enough to kick your ass.

2. Throw Yourself Into Cross Training.

Bored running? Throw yourself into spin classes or swimming. When I started to feel burnt out while I was training for the NYC Marathon last year I changed my training plan to 3-4 days of spinning and 2-3 days of running. Sometimes you just have to shake it up so you start looking forward to your runs.

3. Find a Running Buddy.

If you’ve been running solo or intermittently with a friend, start doing it regularly. Running with a group or a buddy will push you further than you normally would alone. And if you decide you aren’t feeling up to a run you have someone who is expecting you to show up and help hold you accountable. And you have a friend to talk, gossip, and joke with. You both share a common love of running, focus on that.

4. Train For a Different Distance.

fast

If you’re a serial half marathoner focus on the mile, 5k, or 10k. Start racing shorter distances and focusing on getting faster. The same goes for the serial 5k-er. Push yourself for a half marathon or marathon. Or hell, get really crazy and go for an Ironman or Ultra-Marathon! Boredom can set in when you aren’t challenging and pushing yourself. Go do something crazy. (Want to know what’s scarier than running a marathon to me? Sprinting a mile. I think we all know the race I’m going to force myself to run this year…)  

5. Set a New Goal.

If you’re bored then your problem may be that your goal isn’t resonating with you. Hell, maybe you don't have a goal you're just running because it's a fun way to stay in shape! The time is now to figure out and re-evaluate what you want. Your goal has to be bigger than staying in shape or looking good in a bathing suit. Running will turn into a chore if that's what you seek. But if your goal is a finish line, faster time, or state of mind then you have something to work towards. A banging body and weight loss are two of the many wonderful side effects of running and it will come, but tie that weight loss goal to a race or event. Maybe a tough mudder or a super fast 10k for a good cause. Push yourself for something huge and you'll have much more fun body slamming your goals.

woohoo

Don't get discouraged if you find yourself in a rut. Remember why you run and let that fuel your fire. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

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The Snowpocalypse Workout

Winter has thrown a curve snowball our way in the form of SnowPocalypse 2015. With a predicted 20-30 inches of snow (also known as an actual 6 inches) we are stuck inside. While most are getting ready to plop on the couch to binge watch a TV show while half heartedly attending conference calls, I thought I'd share four of my favorite snowpocalypse inspired strength exercises. And the best part? You don't even need to get out of your pjs! Here's 4 of my favorite ways to workout when you're snowed in:

#1. Wine Bottle Dead Lifts

The key here is to use wine bottles that are full but because we are in Day 2 of the SnowPocalypse, mine are either empty or half empty. 

  1. Slightly bend your knees. 
  2. Hold one wine bottle in each hand.
  3. Bending from the hips while keeping your back completely straight and flat, slowly bend forward until you are parallel with the ground. 
  4. Slowly return to standing. 

Do 1-3 sets of 15-20 reps.

#2. Single Leg Wine Bottle Deadlifts

  1. Stand on one leg and hold the wine bottle by the neck in the same hand as the leg you are standing on.

  2. Keep the knee slightly bent and bend at the hip, using your opposite leg as balance and keeping your back flat and straight *(DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK), and bend forward.  
  3. Lower yourself from the hips until you are parallel to the ground and slowly return upright. 

Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps on each side.

#3. Body Weight Squats

No wine bottle necessary, all you need is your body weight!

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Drive the weight through your heels NOT your toes.
  3. Ensure your belly stays tight while you keep your chest lifted to keep your spine in line.

 Do 3 sets of 15-20. 

#4. Planks! 

Planking is everyone's favorite. You know you just kind of plank in place until you just can't plank no more. If you really want to make this one extra special, dip your hips side to side. 

Hold for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds. 3-5 reps. 

There you go, four of my favorite snowpocalypse exercises. And you can get some good arm curls in every time you lift that wine glass to your mouth. Keeping it well rounded. Happy snow day everyone, I'm gonna go sledding! 

Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat. 

 

 

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

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Tough Long Runs and the Mental Game Of Running

In my opinion, running is 75% mental and 25% physical. You don’t have to be in tip top shape to run, you just have to have the mental power to keep going when your thighs are screaming and you want to lay in a corner and die. Last May I was talking to my motivational and insightful Uncle Bob (we will refer to him as Coach Bob) who just so happens to be a Sports Psychologist about the inner mental game of running. I was starting to get frustrated about my inability to break a 2 hour half marathon. At that point, I had run a handful of 13.1's at a variety of different levels of preparedness from very little training, to unprepared, to over-prepared. It didn't matter how little or how hard I trained, I continued to run times between 2:00:37-2:04:34.

I was suffering from a mental block and it was incredibly frustrating. I started thinking about the advice Coach Bob gave me last year during my 12 mile long run yesterday. Yesterday's run completed week 2 of “Operation Speed Demon” and I am supposed to running all of my long runs at a 9 minute pace. I won’t lie to you, I’m all over the map. I’m running everything from 9:30 minute miles down to 8:30 minute miles. I’ve never buckled down and paid attention to my pace. Since I started running, I've run according to my comfort level, pushing myself when I could. I’m learning how to zero in on running a consistent pace instead of achieving the average pace I am hoping for.

I have set some lofty goal times for this year and I am starting to feel the pressure. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed with my performance yesterday, my average pace was on target, but I started to get frustrated with how difficult it is for me to run a consistent pace. Then I remembered the advice Coach Bob gave me the race before I broke 2 hours:

Performing well when it matters most presents a paradoxical challenge to the runner: the more one focuses on the outcome the less likely they are to perform well in the moment. But since the outcome really matters it is difficult not to think about the results of all the hard work that you have put in training for this one opportunity. So how does one go about staying focused on the process rather than a result? In other words, how does one pretend the outcome doesn’t matter and that this is just another training run? The key to performing well will be holding onto that feeling of readiness and joy throughout the race. When you catch yourself thinking ahead to the finish line and the time you might achieve, refocus back onto the joy of running the race in that moment. Check in with a friend, take a selfie, take a couple deep breaths and remind yourself of why you run in the first place, anything that keeps you focused on the here and now will work.

If you want to get more serious about this, check in with your body; how do your legs feel, how is your breathing, is your upper body relaxed, could you go a little harder if you wanted to? If the answer is yes, then pick up the pace for a little bit. If that feels good, maintain that pace. What you are doing now is focus on the process rather than the outcome, and that paradoxically, will get you the time you’re actually looking for.

To summarize: stay in the moment; focus on the process, not the outcome; remember why you run and have fun; and when you catch yourself thinking about the outcome too much, take a deep breath and refocus on the here and now.
— Coach/Uncle Bob Corb, PHD

It’s simple and effective advice. When the going gets tough, get back in the moment. When you find yourself dwelling on how uncomfortable you are and how difficult the run is, bring your attention back to yourself. Why do you love running? Why are you putting yourself through it in the first place?  Do you have something to prove? Why are you feeling exhausted, do you need to adjust your pace or your gait? Take a couple deep breaths and keep going forward. Readjust. Not every run is going to be a great run, sometimes it’s going to take everything you have to get through it. Other times you’ll be able to reset mid run.

If you’re new to running or coming back after a break, there’s an adjusting period. It takes time and strategy to mentally prepare and execute goal and pace times. It’s like your brain and your body are a bickering couple arguing about fatigue, pain, and exhaustion. You have to adapt and find the will power to dig deeper and pull through when you feel like giving up. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the throng of a race or in the middle of your long training run, it takes practice.  Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

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