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Passing the Torch

Posted by WickedLizzie9 Jan 16, 2009

Today was all about acceptance. I accepted that Irving wanted to run to the gym and was going to literally push us there if he had to (and he did). I accepted that I have to practice what I preach and try to regulate my breathing so I'm not gasping for air next time. But most important I accepted that even though I may have had a previous experience with a 1/2 marathon, there are better people for the title of trainer. Today I passed the torch.


When we were talking about (or texting, really) the possibility of getting together to go to the gym today (even though we originally had today scheduled off), I was thinking we would meet at the gym, hop on a treadmill, run for a good 30 minutes, warm down and be on our merry way. Then, I got a dreaded email from Jessica..."want to meet us at the house so we can run to the gym?" I was laughing so hard that my co-workers probably thought I was insane. I agreed half thinking that once I got there my laziness would rub off on them and we would either carpool or walk... No such luck! We hit the main intersection and off we went. I must say I was pretty impressed by what a group dynamic will embarrass you into doing. I was so afraid that i would look like a lazy *** (even though I FULLY admit I am!) that I pushed myself harder than if I was running on my own. Even though I truly felt like stopping Irving's extra push (literally) kept me going. Even up that infernal overpass hill which, I am proud to say, I ran most of the way.


I was, however, disappointed in how little control over my breathing i had. I was huffing and puffing at 1/2 mile... maybe even sooner. My throat was dry and my mouth full of saliva. What gives? Well, when breathing through my nose started to hurt my sinuses, I opened my mouth like I was taking a bite of my favorite slice of pizza (MMMM PIZZA!!!), but the feeling of relief was momentary. Soon after, I wanted to drop to my knees, curl up into the fetal position, and take a long, long, LONG nap. Ah, what the lack of oxygen does to a body! I plan to research the whole breathing thing again and practice it BEFORE I run for more that 50 steps.


I must say, and those who know me well can vouch for this, I like to be knowledgeable about the project I take on and usually don't like not being at least above average at it. But when it comes to running or most other sports, I suck. This is my full and unbiased assessment of my physical abilities. I suck. I have strength, that's not the problem, but that special gene, drive, or voice in your head that tells you to go that extra mile to excel at the sport went MIA when God distributed my qualities. And I'm really, really, OK with that. So when I found out that Irving did cross country running in high school, I was overjoyed! Today's workout was great! Having Irving and Jessica both there gave me that push I had been missing in previous attempts to get back in shape. So Mr. Irving, I gladly pass the motivation/trainer torch your way.


Jessica and Vera have been so great to set a workout goal with. These ladies have a no-nonsense attitude about it and that will definitely come in handy when we have to run 13.1 miles for the first time. I kept looking at Jessica running in front of me today thinking, I have to keep up, I have to keep up! Vera running while pushing a stroller (and still faster than I, by the way!) is an inspiration... OC Marathon watch out 'cause here we come

388 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, inspire, gym, drive

Assessing the Damages

Posted by WickedLizzie9 Jan 15, 2009

After our first rest day, it was time to assess the damages. What we had was 1 blister, 1 nauseated stomach, and 1 leg cramp. All in all, we did pretty well for a first workout. After consideration as to what may have caused our symptoms, we came to these conclusions: 1. Always wear appropriate shoes and socks. 2. Make sure you're getting enough oxygen and 3. Stretch! Seemingly easy steps, right? Well sure, but the fact remains that there is a lot of misinformation out there. How do you sort through it? What will the 3 disciples of fitness come up with to balance all the new information?


One of the most important things you need to prepare yourself with are shoes. Your running shoes can be the difference between an effective workout and an injury that takes you months to recuperate from. Now, I make no claims as to my level of expertise. I know just about as the next guy/gal who likes to Google, but from past experience and an endless sea of training websites (my favorite by far is ) I can tell you that the shoes you wear while training can make all the difference. Try a shoe store that specializes in the activity you are training for. There are some great running stores with some large selections. Some of my favorites are Road Runner Sports in Costa Mesa and A Snail's Pace in Fountain Valley. They have sales associates trained to help you find the best shoe for you according to your needs. Price... well; let's not get into the price because I don't want to discourage anyone from taking up running.


A blister is not caused by a shoe alone. The socks you wear while running can also be of great discomfort. For those of you thinking that you don't have a problem because you wear 100% cotton socks, I say OUCH! From my previous encounter with them and running combined I can tell you that cotton socks are evil for runners. Cotton socks absorb the moisture from your feet when you run, leaving you with socks that are sweaty and rub against your feet causing blisters. The things to look for are the durability, how well they wick the moisture away from your feet, thickness, and comfort. Again, you can always ask one of the associates with help in this area too!


So what brings about nausea after a workout? I used to think it was simply from working yourself to your breaking point and from not eating right throughout the day. While that is partially true, there are many other factors to consider. First and foremost is your breathing. Yes, it sounds like second nature, but are you doing it correctly? Until very recently I thought that the perfect way to breathe was simply inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth it doesn't matter how many breaths you take and let me tell you that if you Google it you get such varied answers that you feel just as confused, or maybe even more so, as you did before looking it up. There did seem to be a consistent technique and I found the best explanation of it on . According to Stew Smith, former Navy SEAL and strength & conditioning specialist, you should breathe a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio; full inhales and full exhales. This means you INHALE on the LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes and EXHALE fully on the RIGHT, LEFT foot strikes. This pattern is not that hard to turn into a habit, but it may require you to slow your pace down for a few runs to master the technique. Well, maybe it's the website or maybe it's the Navy SEAL... but this is the advice I'm going to put into practice during the next training. ::wink::



Are you asking yourself what is up with the muscle twitches and/or cramps after a good walk or run? I read that muscle twitches are caused when muscle fibers are being overloaded, but they eventually adjust and the twitches stop. As to the cramping, improper or lack or warming up/stretching prior to a workout, deficient electrolyte levels, and sometimes simply exercising in the heat can cause muscles to tighten causing you to get cramps. Simple ways to avoid this are to warm up at least for 5 minutes and properly stretch your muscles before and after a workout. Keep yourself appropriately hydrated before, during, and after by mixing an electrolyte supplement drink like PowerAde and water in equal parts. A nice massage would also be great, but let's face it... the vast majority of us will be heading home to clean up after someone or cook dinner instead of heading to a masseuse.


Hopefully, with all the new information at our fingertips we will see fewer casualties. So onward we head to our next workout. With any luck, we will be a bigger group. Until our next quest, goodbye.



413 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: running, muscle, friends, blisters, assessing, damages, twitches, nausea

The Quest to Our Beginning

Posted by WickedLizzie9 Jan 13, 2009

Here we are, January 12, 2009 and already thousands of people all over the world have broken their New Year’s Resolutions. We, however, are not part of those thousands. Today Jessica, Vera, and I went on our first ½ marathon training workout. We started what will optimistically be a long tradition of good health and exceptional fitness. Of course, like any event that involves Jessica, Vera & I, Jessica & Vera, Vera & I or any combination there of, it was not as simple as we had planned out. From the weather to finding the ever elusive Del Mesa Park our first workout will without a doubt bring us laughter for many a day.


The weather lately has been a bit uncooperative. The Santa Ana’s have made our weather go from a virtual icebox (well, for us Orange County residents anyway) to a windy space heater. Having the weather be so uncertain makes running a sketchy subject in most beginners’ eyes. And, we were no different. Soon after arriving at our meeting place it was suggested by one of us, who shall for the sake of sparing her mockery remain nameless, that maybe the wind would make it too cold to go out and workout. This was answered by a look of disbelief and laugh among friends. Really, worried about the cold? I was practically having hot flashes with the temperature of the wind. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little… or a lot but, you get my point.


So nevertheless, we embarked on what was supposed to be a simple ½ mile warm-up walk to the park. We headed out virtually blindly (and at one point literally since there are NO street lights down that road, NONE!) in the direction of the park… or so we thought. We hadn’t been walking for more than 2 minutes when we started to question whether we were going in the right direction. We honestly didn’t think it would be so difficult to find the park. After all, we did Google the darn place! Well, Google-ing a destination only works if you either, 1. Write down or print the result OR 2. Memorize the directions by looking at the map. Neither of which we did!


When we came to the 55S on-ramp, I decided to break out the good ‘ol cell phone and Google the park again. We got a little map from the park’s website and found our sense of direction once again. Thus, we maintained our course down “the path with no light” stumbling over branches and accidentally kicking twigs at each other’s feet. Finally we made it to the light! The traffic light, that is, and being once again disoriented I brought out the cell phone (thank God for the technology age!) and produced the image of the map on the screen. Having found our way, we walked on looking for that street sign with our turning point.


Voila! There it is! We marched on looking for the cross street to the park. We walked… and walked… and walked until the end of the street came and we were there standing, laughing and already tired, but not any closer that darn park! We decided we would walk back towards home and if we happened to see it on the way back we would stop and run 1 lap, to save face, and be on our merry way. Once again we passed street after street and didn’t see that sign that would take us to the park. Again, I brought out my handy dandy cell phone. Jessica and I stared at it trying to figure out where we went wrong while Vera tended to Andres and Emma (who all this time had been such great sports about the shenanigans we got ourselves and them into).


OMG! We went too far! The street we turned on had nothing to do with our elusive park except that it happened to be on the same map! Laughing at how off course we had gone, we rallied on. This time determined to just go home…we had walked enough for today. Sure enough, the street which had made itself so obscure whilst we were in search of it magically appeared! It was the first street we passed! We decided to go and make an appearance just so we know how to get there next time. Then, we headed home. Having turned what would have originally been a 1 maybe 1.5 mile walk into a 2.5 mile QUEST

588 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: goal, marathon, walking, friends, 1/2, lost, quest



Member since: Jan 9, 2009

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