Archive | January 2013

Awesome Trail Run!

Mud, rocks, creeks and hills…….oh, yeah, now that’s trail running.  I had such a great time that I wanted to share it with you.

Saturday morning I went on an awesome trial run!  I had been on this trail before, but it was during the fall when things were dry and I was in great shape from my marathon training.  This time around, it was a cool, foggy morning and the trail was still muddy from recent rains.  In addition, I’m in my “base phase (think nice slow, relatively short runs),” nowhere close to the shape I was in just months before.

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Muddy Trail!

While I’m in this “base phase,” I’m supposed to keep my effort level very low.  Normally, I can do that by controlling my pace.  However, on Saturday, I have to say there were several parts of the run where my effort level was anything but low due to the hills.

I know that not everyone likes the challenge of a hill, but I love it!  Hills will make me a strong runner.  Hills are my friend! This trail not only offers hills, but the hills are rocky.  The rocks don’t cause a problem for me on the way up.  But, being a novice trail runner, the rocks are still a challenge for me on the descents.

20130126 trail 7This was one of the hills.  A little rocky?

Just as I was getting a little winded, I turned the corner and a came upon a view of the lake.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  The distraction was appreciated and I was reminded of why I love trail running (the views are only 1 reason).

20130126 trail 3Beautiful view

Although I wanted to continue running on the trail, I followed my workout plan (does this surprise you?) and turned around at the ½ hour point making it an hour run.  I’m still adjusting to the fact that I won’t cover as many miles on the trails as I used to out on the road.  But being able to enjoy nature makes it all worth it. 

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It’s always fun rock hopping across a creek.

TGIF! 1/25/13

TGIF……..It’s Friday again.  And, I’m looking forward to a long run this weekend!  What activity do you have planned?

Each week, I’d like to share an outdoor activity with everyone.  It’s my Friday Favorite Photo Post (how’s that for some alliteration?).  I’m going to be sharing pictures of the trails in this area for the first few weeks.  I’m having so much fun running the trails that I just need to share my experiences with you!!!  I’d love it if you shared some with me, too!

2013 Beal's trail #2The lake with snow capped mountains in the back ground.

Last weekend, my family and I went out to Beal’s Point.  It’s another part of  the Folsom Lake area with several trails to explore.

We used my son’s new metal detector to look for treasures.  The kids are having a lot of fun searching and I’m loving the fact that we are outside getting some exercise in a beautiful setting.  While we were there, I was able to sneak in a 30 min run.  I took a few pics to share with you.

Oh, I should mention that last weekend, the weather was perfect.  It was sunny and in the low 60’s!  Is this really winter?!

2013 Beal's trail

Can you see that it’s not completely flat?  I did find a few rollers in the short amount of time I was out there.

Once again, I am amazed at how beautiful and peaceful it is out on the trails around here.  I actually already knew this.  I just didn’t spend enough time out on the trails to really appreciate it.  I certainly am out there now!  This is just one of the main trails that mountain bikers, walkers and runners share.  We have been out here several times and the kids enjoy riding their bikes here.  So, this was a familiar trail, but one that I wanted to share.

I’m hoping to learn the trail system here soon.  I know that there are several “hidden” running trails that I need to explore.

Have a great weekend!

Yoga is calling my name!

I’m on a mission (watch out!)……..I am determined to find a way to incorporate yoga into my life.  This is one of my 2013 exercise goals.  However, it’s not so easy.  I’m not the most coordinated person.  But, I’m willing to try and I don’t even care if you laugh at me, because I’ll be the first to laugh when I’m trying a new pose and just can’t get it.  There are times where I feel more like a pretzel, all twisted up, than a flexible person.  I’m hoping this feeling will go away soon.  And, if you know, you probably know that I will practice something until I can do it.  Yeah, I’m persistent.

yoga poseHere’s a pose that I can actually do.

I set the goal to start yoga for a few reason.  I have an irritating, dull pain that just doesn’t seem to go away.  It isn’t an injury and it doesn’t prevent me from running.  But, I can feel it and I’d like to find a way to make it disappear.  I’ve also been told that in general, my body isn’t very flexible, especially my hamstrings.  Even though I stretch 5 out of 7 days and have an awesome routine from my PT (Thanks, Mike Berretta).  The last reason I decided to try yoga is because I feel like my soul needs it.  I know that we all have a lot to juggle, but I am feeling the need for something to help me relax.  I’m hoping that yoga will help me improve in all of these areas.

About a year ago, I came across an advertisement for a book on yoga.  However, it was better than just a book about yoga.  It was especially for runners!  I tore out the ad and placed it in a pile of things to get to one day.  This Christmas I finally purchased the book as a gift to myself.

yoga book pic

A few weeks after I ran a marathon, I was invited to go to a yoga class with a friend who is pretty much a yoga pro.  Sure, I’m up for trying new things.  It was a great class.  The room was heated which felt wonderful on a cold, December day.  Fortunately, the class was small.  This allowed the teacher to go slowly which I desperately needed since I am a newbie.  Even though we went slowly from pose to pose, I felt like the teacher was speaking a different language.  Since I do not know all of the yoga poses, or even the most common ones, I definitely needed all the visuals and physical prompting I could get.

I am going to try another class next week at a different place and then I’ll make my decision on where to go.  Along with a class once a week, I have found a few routines from the book that help me stretch tight areas.  I will continue to focus on these routines at home a few times a week.

more yoga poses

After becoming interested in yoga, I came across a few different links that I wanted to share with you.  I don’t know if they are any good, but it’s worth taking a look if you are looking for some poses to help you with running.

http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/flexible-routine

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1578

http://www.active.com/fitness/Articles/4-Yoga-Poses-for-Runners

http://www.active.com/mindandbody/articles/Yoga-for-Runners–3-Poses-You-Should-Practice

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/6-Yoga-Poses-to-Improve-Your-Running

I’m excited to learn something new.  I also know that during this next year I will feel some changes in my body.  Perhaps I’ll become more flexible or more relaxed.  Perhaps I’ll become a stronger and faster runner.  Or just maybe, I’ll improve in all these areas! 

TGIF!

What are your plans for the weekend?  I hope that you are able to get out and experience the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather (ok, mornings are still a bit cold for me!) .

Every Friday, I am going to post something to inspire/motivate/share with/remind everyone to get out and be active over the weekend.  Most of my posts will involve the trails around here.  I’ve made it a mission to find and run/explore a new trail on a weekly basis.  I’d love to hear about your favorite running trails.

Let’s share ideas.  Please post what you are going to  do this weekend.  It doesn’t have to be running related.  But, it does have to be an outdoor activity (beer drinking doesn’t count).

This Friday, I’m sharing 2 pictures from my trail run by Folsom Lake (I told you in my previous post that I would post a lake vies picture).  It’s so beautiful!!!! I’d love to run on this trail everyday!  Once again, I feel fortunate to live in such a great area.

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This weekend, the kids want to come out here and do some searching for treasures (metal detecting).  Although I won’t be running on the trail, I’ll still get to come out and enjoy nature.

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TGIF and have a wonderful and active weekend!  Lucky us………it’s a 3 day holiday = more fun and activities.

Trail Running

I love trail running!  Take a look at these pictures.  How could you not love it?!

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The oaks are absolutely beautiful!  I never get tired of looking at them.

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There are no cars whizzing by at 60 mph.  It is so quiet on the trails.  I’m able to enjoy the sounds of chirping birds and flowing streams.  And, I smell fresh air instead of car fumes.

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All and all, it’s therapeutic……..it allows me to relax and really enjoy my time running.  The best part of trail running is that there are so many trails around here!  These pictures came from trails practically in my backyard.  Wanna know where these trails are?  Well, if you don’t recognize them, you’ll have to come running with me.

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I’m not new to trail running.  In fact, I ran cross country in high school (I know, a really long time ago) and in the past few years, I tried to incorporate a weekly trail run into my training plan.  However, giving up the roads completely is new for me.  So far I’ve been happy with my decision.

One of my goals for 2013 was to switch to trail running.  I chose to do this for a few reasons:

  • I wanted to take a break from road racing
  • I felt that my body would benefit from less impact than road running
  • I love the trails around here and want to explore more of them
  • I hope to strengthen my legs

Here’s another picture, just because.

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Once I set the goal, I had to take action.  What have I done to make this change?

  • Since the last week of Dec., all of my runs have been on the trails (except maybe 1 or 2)
  •  I joined a local trail running group.  I’m really excited about meeting some other trail runners
  •  I found some trail running training plans
  •  I chose a few trail runs to race

A few things I need to remind myself:

  • When trail running, my pace will be slower than on the road which means that I will cover fewer miles
  • I need to really pay attention to the trail.  Sometimes there are rocks in my way!
  • Take the time to enjoy being out in nature! (this isn’t too hard to do)

Now, I need to figure out how to prevent my shoes from collecting so much mud.  They must have weighed 10lbs each!  Ok, maybe not that much, but a lot.

This was from my run this morning.  A little cold (low 30’s), but such a beautiful trail run.

trail running pic with frost

Next time, I’ll have to post some lake views.  But until then, come on out and give trail running a try!

Dynamic vs. Static stretching

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Are your pre-run stretches helpful or are they slowing you down?

Since I have been running for so long, I consider myself an “old school” runner.  I know that things change over time and I too, must change.  I am very open to learning new forms and techniques, nutrition, etc.  However, until I learn something new, I only have my experiences and knowledge from my earlier years of running.  I’ve learned a ton in the last 3.5 years and consider my running to be in the process of getting a complete makeover.  Every little bit helps!  I’ll pass along what I learn.

A few years ago I learned that I wasn’t stretching correctly.  How could it be that difficult?  Well, apparently, all the stretches I knew were static stretches and good for after running, but not good for pre-running.  I learned that the static stretching that I was doing before my run could actually slow me down.  I’m trying to run faster, not slower.  So, with the help of Jon Klingensmith (great coach!), I learned which stretches were good to do before and after my run.

Here’s a brief description of dynamic vs. static stretching:

“Dynamic stretching involves movements that more closely resemble what the body does during sports activities, but without the bouncing often involved in static stretching. Static stretching involves stretching while the body is at rest, by stretching to a point of tension and holding that stretch for a few seconds to a few minutes.”

“Dynamic stretching is usually done at the beginning of an exercise program after a proper warmup, while static stretching is usually performed after exercising. Dynamic stretches closely mimic movements made during exercise, so they’re usually used to prepare for athletic events. Static stretches are used to improve flexibility and cool your body down after you exercise, and are therefore done when the body is standing still.”

Here is another article about the 2 types of stretching:

http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-diary/best-way-stretch-and-after-workout

Here are some links with great stretches for after running:

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/5-Key-Stretches-for-Runners

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/4-Post-Run-Stretches-for-Runners.htm

Not only do I love running, but I also enjoy learning about running (especially if it will make me faster!).  Using dynamic stretches gives me an advantage over someone who is using “old school” stretching.

2013 Goals

images- 2013

Have you set your goals for 2013?

I’m in the process of finding the right events for me.  Along with searching for the events, I’ve decided to make a few changes.

After being coached for the last 2 years, by a wonderful coach, I have decided to take a break.  Instead, I will use a plan from the internet (I’m not sure which one yet).  This may mean that I may not be as competitive, but that’s ok with me for this season.  My focus is going to be more of a, just get out there and have fun attitude.  We’ll see how long that lasts (I’m naturally super competitive).

I also want to switch things up a bit and do more trail running.  Not only do I enjoy the trails around here, but I hope to strengthen my legs.

I also know that I need to continue strengthening my body.  So I hope to introduce Yoga into my weekly workouts in addition to my core workouts.

While setting my goals for the year, I came across these two good reads:

http://www.active.com/mindandbody/articles/Athletes-Guide-to-Setting-Goals

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Set-Goals-Not-Resolutions

This was a good article for me to read and remind myself of some of these points ……….oh, I’m so guilty of #2 and #6.

These are the events (some for the kids, some for the family and others for me) I have chosen for 2013:

1/1/13 – 1 mile fun run benefiting Sweet Dreams – family event

3/24/13 Knickerbocker Canyon Trail – 10k – for me

4/14/13 – Sacramento Zoo Zoom – kid races

4/27/13 – Folsom Lake Trail Run 10k – for me

5/?/13 – JDRF Coloma 10k or 10 mile Run – for me

I will reevaluate and decide what I feel like doing for the next half of the year.

6/2/13 – Kaiser’s Women’s Fitness 5k – daughter and me

6/23/13 -????Burton Creek Trail Run – Half marathon -for me

7/?/13 – Fab 40’s benefiting Alzheimer’s Foundation 5k – family event

8/3/13- Color Run – family event

9/28/13 – ????Big Sur Trail – Half marathon -for me

10/7/13 – JDRF walk – family event

10/19/13 -The Sierra Trail – Half marathon -for me

11/?/13 – ????????

11/22/13 – Folsom Turkey Trot – family event

12/?/13 -????????

These are just some of the great events in our surrounding area!  I hope you find what you are looking for and get out there to play!!!

I’m going to add some cycling events, too.  There’s so much to do……..