Injury Prevention 102

Nope, you read that correctly. I’m calling this “Injury Prevention 102” because there are things I do every run that not only protect my body from sprained ankles or whacked out backs and inflammation, but from chafing, stomach issues and more. Because let’s face it, any sort of pain, whether internal or external, can be considered injury – especially if there’s ways to stop it. From the obvious to the not-so, here’s a few tips to prevent injury while running:

  1. Vaseline is your bestie. Your BFF. Your Soul Sistah. Before a run, rub it anywhere and everywhere that bounces, jiggles or rubs – no shame. Chafing is a bitch and unlike post-run exhaustion, it can hang around for days.
  2. Drink lots of electrolytes, before and after longer runs. Your stomach bounces around quite a bit when that mileage starts to rack up which will have a bad effect on you as soon as mile three. Try Nuun hydration tabs – one the night before, one before your run starts and if you’re feeling any sort of stomach pain, one after. Aside from that, extra electrolytes will keep you from dehydrating during your run.
  3. Eat more food. Pre-run, get your good carbs and fats, post-run, get your protein. When your body loses energy – which food provides naturally for us – you’ll become sluggish, lose form, lose focus, maybe even get light-headed.
  4. Post-run may be the most important part of your run. Take the time to stretch – and stretch everything. My favorites include pigeon pose and forward lunging into my hips. (There’s probably a simpler term for that but I like to be descriptive… yeah, that’s it.) If anything feels particularly sore, ice it. Take an Epsom Bath. Foam roll. Then stretch some more. Spoil that body – it carried you far.

The Longest Yard (or Mile… Whatever)

Pardon my tardiness on this post, I just ran 15 miles. Just as in six days ago but who’s really keeping track? My quads, apparently.

I did it! I think one of the biggest road blocks I’ve had in my mind during this training ‘venture is that I couldn’t fathom running more than 13.1 miles so this may be perhaps one of my most important milestones of the whole process. I will say, around mile three I was ready to quit. My foot still isn’t 100%, and the pain at times was worse than listening to Taylor Swift while waiting in line at the DMV next to a guy who wreaks of cigarettes and feet. But when I set my mind to something, stubbornness is my anti-hero. I didn’t want to let myself down. I mean, I wrote all of those haikus about it! And while that may have been the longest three hours and 15 minutes of my life, I sure as Hell celebrated success with a “whoop whoop,” an ice bath in the Truckee River and two giant blueberry pancakes from Squeeze In. Also, I Mia Hamm-ed it with a celebratory shirtless, victorious cry of never loving my body more than I had at that moment.

12734060_10100885609219058_3307507916310526762_n

How does one run fifteen miles in Reno? Here’s one way: start at Huffaker Park, run along Longley, to Neil, behind the airport and to the Grand Sierra Resort. From there, loop around the back into Rock Park and follow the trail along the river four miles out and four back. Then have your friend’s boyfriend pick you up and deal with your running stench and bragging on the way to the aforementioned pancake restaurant.

Proud is an understated word for this run and I was very happy and thankful to have Ann with me along the way. From the friendly chatter, to the new products she lets me try to the out-of-sync dance parties we have along the way as we both listen to our own music, running with a friend has never been as big of a necessity or reward as it has been during this training adventure. Oh, and she takes amazing selfies of us.

Endurance Training, 2.15.16

Well – I’m still on “running rest” but not losing hope just yet. The pain in my foot is diminishing daily and I’m hoping I’ll be able to log some miles this weekend (60 degree weather!!). To ensure I stay on track, I’m determined to get to the gym 4-5 times a week, even if it means limping my way from dumbbell to dumbbell. Not being able to run isn’t the end of the world (so I say to you, but in my head I’m thinking otherwise) and it certainly doesn’t mean the end to my good health and awesome muscle improvement on my shoulders and back. If you ever see me at the gym, then yep, I am checking myself out.

I was pretty proud of the workout I invented yesterday so I thought I’d share it with you all – copyrighted, trademarked and… just kidding, don’t try this at home. Ww = with weight. I used 15 pound weights, but go at your own strength. If you’re just starting out, I recommend an eight.

Warm-up:

  • One mile on the treadmill, at your own pace (Okay, I ran a LITTLE during to test the waters. Fifteen minutes later….) 

Round 1, 10 reps each:

  • Hammer curls, ww
  • Hip Raises, ww
  • Shoulder Presses, hips up, ww
  • Shoulder Flies, hips up, ww
  • Ankle grabs
  • Sit-ups
  • Repeat x 4

Round 2, 10 reps each

  • Dead lifts, ww
  • Tricep push backs, ww
  • Bicep handouts, ww
  • Side plank dips, each side
  • Push-ups
  • Repeat x 4

Round 3, 10 reps each

  • Ice Skaters
  • X-abs
  • Tricep dips
  • Crunches
  • Bicycle Abs
  • Squats, ww
  • Repeat x 4

Depending on your speed, this should take you about 30-40 minutes to complete, but don’t rush! Runners often hear and say, “Enjoy the miles” so in lieu of my running rest, Enjoy the muscles…. that won’t work well when you go to the park afterwards to play baseball.

 

Tomorrow may not bring good news.

It’s been hard for me to start a new post because over the last few weeks I’ve been dealing with some awful pain in both my feet – pain that sometimes prevents me from walking. It started in my right foot and cleared up in time for me to do a 12-miler on Saturday, but right after, it moved to the left. I don’t think it’s from compensation and it’s a pain I’ve never felt before. I’ve known I’ve needed to go to the doctor for a few weeks now, but I’ve avoided it because I don’t want to hear bad news. I don’t want to be told – after all the posting, and talking, and peeing my pants, that I can’t run a marathon. “Can’t” is something I’ve felt about something so gigantic for my entire life. “Can’t” is the stereotype so many people gave me in the heavy years. “Can’t” is the word I refuse to give into. Needless to say, I’m a little down right now – nervous, emotional, strange.

Training Goals for Feb. 2016

I know yesterday’s post was all “oh em gee, three months until race day already!?” but I’ll express such one more time: THREE MONTHS FROM TODAY. I. AM. RUNNING. A. FULL. MARATHON. -Insert trickle of pee here-

Whew, that aside. Here’s what I’ve got my eyes on for the month:

  • Distance runs: 12, 14, 6, 16.
  • Seven more classes to complete the 30 Day Challenge
  • Resume once-a-week personal training
  • Stick to independent strength training schedule
  • At least once a week 5K at lunch
  • Continue healthy, clean diet once challenge ends
  • Start testing salt tabs
  • Yoga at least twice
  • Seeing Britney Spears with my family (dancing in my seat is totes cardio)

Friends, here’s where I’m going to really need your help. I’ve never run more than a half marathon and now I’ll have to do that twice in one month. The craziest part? After those two runs, I only have two more long distance runs in March (18 and 20) before I taper. Things are happening faster than I thought. Except my pace – definitely, definitely not faster. Anyway. Please check in on me on Saturdays to make sure I haven’t died, please don’t be offended when I turn down Friday outings and please, please, for Heaven’s sake, meet me at the end of each distance run with a giant cookie and glass of wine. Just kidding… kind of.

Hey, this time, three months from now, I’ll have run 26.2 miles.

Woah, we’re halfway there.

Three months from tomorrow, I’m running a full marathon. Holy shit.

/endblog.

Just kidding. Kind of. But It’s crazy to believe that I made this decision three months ago and I’m already at the half way point. I pee my pants a little every time I think about it. Okay, maybe not… maybe I just throw up in my mouth.

Training resumed this last weekend with an 8-miler that I was eager to get out and do, but unfortunately had to succumb to an Eminem-length treadmill run thanks to some fresh snowfall. Blah. But alas, I toughed it out (and truth be told, it was a rough run… mostly because my last distance run was two weeks ago). I did, however, discover greatness in the form of the “F@!$ Running” playlist on Spotify which consisted of punk rock classics and pop punk songs I haven’t heard since my times as an obese, frizzy-haired high schooler. Remember that post about “Fueling” your run? Well, there was definitely three scoops of pre-workout in that playlist.

Coming up this week, I’ll get in my last seven total body classes with the Evoke 30 Day Challenge followed by girls weekend consisting of a 12-miler, yoga and a glorious cocktail-filled time at the Peppermill Spa complete with massage. As my body is starting to feel a little burnt out, it anticipates Saturday like a kid on Christmas but knows it can’t come without the Elves of endorphins.

What are you challenging yourself to this week? And what’s the reward?

Star Wars Half Marathon Playlist

More recently, I’ve been listening to The Nerdist or just random shuffle during my runs, but as I approached Race Day, I couldn’t help but feel I needed certain songs to keep me going. If you know me, MOST of these songs should be no surprise and the amount of New Found Glory, albeit a lot, is probably less than what most would imagine. I’ll admit – I made this playlist in a hurry and I miss the days when my running list was really, really good. Thanks to a loss of …. everything …. my stored music is a little less affluent these days. But still – thanks to these runs for pacing me and pumping me up through 13.1 miles of Southern California.

  • Paramore – Ain’t It Fun
  • Kelly Clarkson – Catch my Breath
  • Paramore – Fast in My Car
  • New Found Glory – Selfless
  • Sheppard – Geronimo
  • A Day to Remember – The Downfall of Us All
  • A Day to Remember – I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?
  • Fall Out Boy – Centuries
  • Paramore – Grow Up
  • A Day to Remember – NJ Legion Iced Tea
  • New Found Glory – Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing
  • New Found Glory – Something I Call Personality
  • New Found Glory – Belated
  • New Found Glory – Boy Crazy
  • New Found Glory – Ballad for the Lost Romantics
  • New Found Glory – At Least I’m Known for Something
  • New Found Glory – Over the Head, Below the Knees
  • All Time Low – The Beach
  • All Time Low – Let it Roll
  • Allister – Overrated
  • Andy Grammar – Honey, I’m Good
  • The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Parade
  • Blink 182 – Roller Coaster
  • Blink 182 – Easy Target
  • Britney Spears – (You Drive Me) Crazy
  • Every Avenue – Where Were You?
  • Finch – Stay With Me
  • Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
  • Good Charlotte – The Anthem
  • H2O – Role Model
  • Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American
  • Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us
  • A Loss for Words – JMR
  • Nsync – Dirty Pop
  • Nsync – It’s Gonna Be Me
  • Nsync – Bye, Bye, Bye
  • Panic! at the Disco – The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicides is Press Coverage
  • Panic! at the Disco – London Beckons
  • Panic! at the Disco – Time to Dance
  • Panic! at the Disco – Camisado
  • Panic! at the Disco – Sell You Beautiful
  • Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance

Race Day Do’s and Don’ts

I’m not an elitist or snobby runner by any means but I do get anxiety over race day faux pas. Few things can be more frustrating than when someone breaks common courtesy or protocol during a race – it just kills your vibe, man. Granted, if you’re signing on to a race of five to ten thousand people, you just have to know these things are going to happen, but while running at the Star Wars Half Marathon last weekend, I couldn’t help but feel I must do my due diligence and teach at least one person how to save the world. Or just get someone to lessen my anxiety. I’m pretty sure I got through an entire mile just by listing out my pet peeves of life. Don’t judge me… running is emotional. And also… don’t be a Racehole.

5 Courtesies to Keep in Mind When Running a Race:

  • Walking is okay! But please stay to the right so those still running don’t have to weave in and out of walkers. Keep this in mind at water stations as well – not everyone will stop.
  • Hang on to your trash! Whether it’s your GU Energy Shots or aid station water cups, don’t be a Littering Larry. Hold on tight till you pass a trash can or stash it in your fanny pack until you cross the finish line.
  • No sudden stops! Just like walking – having to stop is quite alright. Put your hand up to let the people behind you know you are getting ready to halt.  Running is not a contact sport and we are not trained to tackle. It could get ugly!
  • Avoid aid station greed! Chances are the aid stations have tons of people ready and willing to hand out water or electrolytes. Look behind you before heading to one side and don’t grab the first cup you see. Move forward to someone looking for a friend (this will also get you through faster and back on your way.) Be sure to thank the volunteers that want you to get to the finish line hydrated and full-spirited. And don’t be a Littering Larry!!!
  • Watch your surroundings! Perhaps most importantly – be aware of the other runners on the course. If you nudge someone, turn and apologize. If you feel someone wanting to pass, let them. If someone trips, pick them up. If someone needs encouragement, cheer them on. Remember – we all want to get that medal at the end so whether we know each other or not, we’re in it together.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

Well folks, I’m halfway there! I’m still, kind of, recovering from my third half marathon over the weekend. I say kind of, because I’ve yet to take a day off from working out. Please don’t be like me. It’s sick. (Don’t worry, I’m being very wary of injury. Lots of stretching, soaking, stretching more and advil.)

First and foremost, I have to thank Natasha and her family for being such wonderful company over the weekend and allowing me to crash their party. It’s always wonderful to have a few friends by your side to ease the nerves and celebrate the after.

Second, nothing proves how much running gear you have than when you have to pack for an out-of-town race. Proof: here’s everything I packed aside from a Lion King tank top.

12509225_10100864396010498_2223651002237528082_n

Included in my packing list: GU Energy Gels, Body Glide, wicking socks, rolling stick, Nuun electrolyte tabs, running fanny, Beats Wireless In-Ear Headphones, portable phone charger, Run Disney race waiver, Fitbit, Ibuprofen, sparkly headband, Old Navy compression pants, Nike sports bra, tank and sweater, and of course, the Darth Vader skirt and matching hat… which I ended up not wearing.

One of the running perks that comes with big races is the expo and packet pick-up. Tons of goodies, samples and things to buy. My favorite acquired item? A sparkly headband that says “May the SPARKLE be with you.” If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that there probably is no better headband for me to own.

The bummer news about the race is that I was in corral E. I was most definitely one of the last two hundred people to start the race which meant I started about 30 minutes later than planned. But once across the starting line, I felt bliss – I was finally marking something off my bucket list!

Miles one through five were throughout Disneyland and California Adventures. Most of the time it was exhilarating, but then there were times where I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. Trying to fit 10,000 runners through one entry gate and a back alley into Disneyland is probably the worst idea in the entire world. As I looked down and saw that I was pacing 14 minutes per mile, I could feel all the anxiety running through my body. Knowing that I didn’t want to waste my energy on the petty stuff, I tried to take deep breaths and – oh hey! There’s Chewbacca! Space Mountain! Storm Troopers! Big Thunder! I can’t wait to ride all of these! You see… those first few miles, though aggravating at times, were quickly shoveled aside by the atmosphere. Here I was, Sunday morning at the butt crack of dawn doing one of the things I love most at one of the places I love most. The Castle, Main Street, the Ferris Wheel, Cars Land, oh my!

The rest of the course took us on a tour of Anaheim – did anyone see that giant hotel with all of the giant indoor water slides?? I’m in. When does it open?

I do wish there was more Disney during the race – in the sense that once you’re done with the parks, you kind of forget you’re doing a Disney race. It’s mostly residential, parks and businesses the rest of the way. Too bad Target wasn’t open. I could’ve used a Cliff Bar. But the people of Southern California did a great job of dressing up in Star Wars costumes and planting themselves at random stops along the way. At one point, about mile eight or nine, I was staring at ten Darth Vaders plus a mini Vader. Someone even dressed their car as R2d2. Side note… I don’t think the guy with the Delorean got the memo.

Usually between miles eight and ten are when I start to feel the need to hop in a disgusting port-a-potty but I can humbly say that I, Sara Robbins, successfully made it through a long distance race without the dreaded Runner’s Shits. Seriously. I was soooo looking forward to every part of this race except the though of walking around Disneyland afterwards and having to leave the two hour Space Mountain (errr… Hyperspace Mountain) to barely make it to a toilet. I feel confident that between my pre-run electrolyte stock-up and taking advantage of Powerade at every aid station, I waved a big middle finger to ye’ old trots.

At mile 12, I got my runner’s high. I was ready. Let’s get this last mile done baby – you’re on your way to churro gold. And before I knew it, I was done. Two hours and thirty eight minutes later – I tried not to be too disappointed with my time as I reminded myself of the park cluster and instead gave a big ol’ fist bump to those who finished with me and accepted my medal with style and grace… and a post-race waddle. Half marathon number three was officially in the books.