God’s gift to Running


Yesterday – 7 miles. no garmin, just a watch and it was just under 8 min mile pace. which is what I was shooting for after Sunday’s run. and the fact that it was 5 am and I had very little motivation to run much faster. even if a wild animal was chasing me, not sure I would have had the desire to pick up the pace. followed later by a nap time workout (Luke’s nap, not mine, just to be clear) 30 min stair master speed intervals, 20 minutes strength. I know what you are thinking. killer workout day. you’re right. it was. 
strength moves included some of these moves:
Wall sits with shoulder presses

Stork stance reverse row (alternate legs)

V-sit core work

Dumbbell Chest press with hips thrust

Pendulum core exercise

Side lunges (alternate sides for 1 rep) with weighted arm extension 

12-15 reps of each, or until tired, repeated 3-4 times

Pretty confident none of those are the actual names for those exercises, but what they would logically be called if I named them. Interpret at your own risk. I am not a trainer. I just pretend to be one. in the comfort of my home. 
Today – planned cross training day. no running. 1 hour stair master, speed intervals and hill setting. 
gearing up for a little strength session, but it’s possible it may not happen
As you can see by the magnificent photograph above, I enjoy sporting a good compression sock. that is one item that I have deemed God’s gift to running. it makes running possible. It possibly makes running and all time spent after running comfortable and injury free. even if I didn’t run, I would probably wear these. I have some pretty gnarly veins in my right leg, one of God’s gifts of pregnancy and childbirth, and these socks help a great deal with keeping that lovely gift a little more in check and a little further away from God’s gift of medicine in the form of sclerotherapy. which is as uncomfortable as it sounds. which would put me out of running for a few weeks. which is why it’s not going to happen and why I’m going to run compressed instead.  

Read on to find out some other things I have deemed God’s gift to running.  and because I think whatever I do is the best thing to do, you might want to consider following along. at your own risk.
1.  Cardio equipment that allows for cross training. I underestimated the importance and the effect cross training has for me this past spring, in training for my races. I got so focused on a plan I picked out online, which didn’t include any cross training. my bad. I did a lot of cross training last summer/fall because I was a clueless runner. sometimes it’s better to be a clueless runner and run on instinct. or some form of in between a plan and runners intuition of what works for you as a runner. things like spinning, stairclimber and stair stepper/stair master are pretty phenomenal ways to cross train and supplement the running miles. I don’t plan on replacing my miles with these machines as much as adding them on because I think they add a lot of strength without the pavement pounding. easy on the mind and body.  here’s my ad for the stair master: keeping runner’s burnout away, one step at a time. catchy, I know. I’m thinking about a career change into marketing. 
2. Strength training. I know there are runners who don’t lift a weight and can fly through a 3 hour marathon like its no big deal. I dont like you. that’s not true. I love all runners and people that are naturally fit and strong without having to lift a finger.  in a slightly envious way. anyway, I need strength. 
I have been thinking about what I did differently this spring from last summer and fall. I did quite a bit more strength training, core work and leg exercises last summer. Jillian and I were tight.  I could have done the whole shred dvd without watching it.  maybe.  and maybe I should get a life.  not so much this spring.  weights have taken a bit of a backseat. time to move them to the front.
3.  Lululemon. I’m just going to throw this one out there, call me crazy, but looking and feeling like a superstar when I’m running is just fabulous.  
Wasn’t feeling the fab vibe there, but I tried

besides fabulous, it’s functional. Is it too much to ask for a running bottom that doesn’t end up at my boobs, or lack thereof, by mile 2? I think not. lululemon figured that out. thank you. fashion and comfort. I could not ask for more. except maybe for more reasonable pricing, but that would be like hoping for gas to be $3 a gallon.
4.  Bad races. in hindsight, I am thankful for the disaster at gansett, and I am thankful for the shin splints. if every situation in life was peachy perfect, never presenting a challenge, we would all be pretty boring. and dull. and stagnant. we would never learn, change and grow. upward and onward to find the next challenge to rise above. bring on the bad races, as long as there are plenty of good ones to make the bad ones sweet.
5.  The track. for speed.  It’s lovely. truly, it is. I did not know of this glorious thing called speedwork at the track until this spring, but you fly. and it’s great.  try it out. get faster.
or take cute pics of children there.  it won’t make you fast, but you’ll have some memories. those are a nice gift too.
6.  Mizuno Musha. my new favorite shoe. I have a thing for lightweight sneaks. I just love them. I want to wear these all the time. for every run.  they love my feet like no other mizuno.  you NEED good sneakers when you run. injury will find you if you run in old, poor fitting sneakers. the truth. get some good sneaks, then run. every joint and bone in your body will thank you for it. 
7.  Avocados. this is just one food item that I love and believe to be perfect in many ways – supplying my hard working bod with the nutrition it craves. I say, an avocado a day keeps the doctor away. very original.  I’ve also recently found spicy honey mustard as a major addition to my lunchtime wrap.  Where has this wonderful condiment been and why have I not been using it??  I’m a big believer in that nutrition is important in running well. and living well for that matter. you are what you eat. have an avocado. then an apple. and stay away from the donut. most of the time. 
That’s what I’ve come up with so far. I don’t really run with music, so I can’t comment on that, although I’m sure those of you who do run with music would put it in this category of all things that make running lots of miles bearable and enjoyable.  I also do not use a lot of fuel on training runs, because I don’t like much of what is out there, so there’s another no comment. feel free to add to my ever growing list. 
Quick update on the home front…

We ventured to TJ Maxx today, and that was utterly not exciting. I bought a dress that would get me arrested if I wore it in public because it’s so short. I didn’t try it on, I just grabbed it because it looked cute and I had monkey boy with me so we were on a time crunch. that’s what I get for grabbing from the juniors section and thinking its gonna happen. Not so. time to grow up.  We did end up with a lot of pillows and towels. It was that kind of time to buy the necessities trip, not as much fun as seeing what fun designer jeans we can weed out. Luke is enjoying our new purchases. that’s nice. 
And I’ve actually been cooking. don’t fall over. I have a new favorite little veggie dish. and tonight I topped it with my new favorite marinade/dressing that I made up because of my new love for spicy honey mustard.  eat your heart out – broccoli, cauliflower and gold potatoes. quite tasty. 
So easy.  wrap those spuds in plastic and microwave, cut up and mix with the microwaved frozen veggies.  continue to massacre the nice veggies by sauteeing in a frying pan in the nice light dressing.  to ensure all nutrients are zapped from the dish.  but hoping some stick around after they are cooked to near death.
Honey mustard dressing: no measurements, because I don’t do that, guesstimated:

~ 1/3 cup water
~ 1/4 cup canola oil
~ 3TBSP spicy honey mustard
Splash of white wine vinegar
Any kind of onion, I used dehydrated onion, but I’m sure scallions or shallots would be lovely
Garlic salt
Salt and pepper
Whisk together and toss with whatever microwaved, devoid of nutrient veggie you would like. Or if you like to be healthy, throw it on a fresh salad

I do believe that is far too much info for one post. that should keep your head spinning for awhile. take a couple Advil and you will be fine. 
Speed work is on the agenda for tomorrow, but so is a 100 degree day with 1000% humidity, so that’s going to be determined. the Mushas are ready for some fast action though.
What is your favorite veggie?

What is your favorite kind of dressing?

How many times a week do you incorporate strength work?


About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

21 responses »

  1. Great post! I try to incorporate about 3 days per week of strength training.
    1 hr on the stairmaster= crazy awesome! Even for a non-running day, that’s pretty flippin’ killer.
    I like your 4th God’s gift to running. It’s a tough one but you’re right that we learn and grow from those challenges. 🙂

  2. I love strength training! I try to do a few reps after every easy run and on my XT days. I never used to do it, but since starting it has done wonders for my running, and given me definition that I never would have gotten from cardio alone.
    I can’t say I have a favorite veggie; I love them all (or at least most of them).
    I have been looking at the Mushas for a while, but I am hesitant to cheat on my beloved Kinvaras, which work really well for me. Given that you have worn both, how do you find the two shoes compare?

    • I, too, LOVE the kinvaras, and I really can’t say that there is much of a difference for me because my feet are pretty neutral – I can kind of wear anything. The biggest difference I think would be in the heal/toe drop. I love the 4mm difference and low drop of the kinvara. The musha is somewhere between 9 and 12mm, I can’t remember exactly. But, I did NOT notice a difference when I put them on. I did notice the difference in the precisions. The musha feels a little more minimal to me, but as far as support goes, they are almost exactly the same. It’s been awhile since I’ve worn the kinvara, I will slip them on again and do a better comparison for you:) You would like the musha. It’s my favorite mizuno sneaker.

  3. I haven’t tried any speed workouts yet, but I have them planned in the close future. I know a lot of people say great things about them really helping their speed. Cross training is something I did well when I first started running but not os much anymore. I need to back on it! I really enjoyed your post!

    • Speed work is pretty darn fun and gives your run some purpose and change of ‘pace’, literally:) I think cross training is great, especially when the miles start creeping up – I think it helps strengthen and ward off injury

  4. I love this post! I don’t normally like to weight lift though. It probably brings back too many memories from college (hot, sweaty gym with tiny cross country runners lifting next to the baseball team – YIKES!) However, reading your posts always inspire me to do so, so I hope to add a bit more to the routine this summer.

  5. Okay why talk about strength training when we can talk about important things like dressing. 🙂 I’m a huge fan of my homemade balsamic vinaigrette or lime vinaigrette. Clearly I have a thing for acidity.

  6. agreed that avocados, strength training, and compression gear are all little slices of heaven on earth.

    and those bad races, girl you’re preaching to the choir! i’ve had more then my fair share thus far for 2012 and i don’t regret a single one of those or any of the moments that lead up to them. they’ve made me that much hungrier and craving a kick butt race where i just want to run like i have a rocket pack attached to my back. soon enough…

  7. I’m with you on feeling like a rock star in awesome clothes. I throw back a ton of brussels sprounts, beets, and asparagus..so those are my favorite. All together.

  8. I love your blog! I’m so glad you were featured on Skinny Runner. I too am a stay at home mom who recently found running. I ran my first half marathon this month and I love reading about your journey. You should post videos or pictures of your strength workouts, your arms are awesome!

  9. Just stumbled upon this blog via SkinnyRunner, love it! I am just getting back into the swing of strength training. People always said ” You’re a runner, don’t strength train, youll bulk up”. You prove that isn’t the case! Im curious though – how heavy are you lifting (reps wise) and do you do body weight for legs or add weight?

    • Thanks for reading! These days I lift pretty light, and hold a 10lb weight in each hand for leg stuff. When I workout at the gym, which is rare, i lift a little heavier. At home it’s usually just 10 lbs because that’s the weight I have:) I think you can do so much with body weight and resistance. I’m not looking to be a body builder, I just like feeling and looking strong!

  10. I’m sorry, am I the only person who thinks it’s overkill to run 7 miles AND do another 50 minute work out (30 of which is more cardio) in the same day? That doesn’t strike me as balanced.

    • I guess it’s all subjective and depends on your fitness level, ability and goals. Some people think its overkill to run 80 miles a week, run a marathon, an ultra marathon or do a lot of physical activities out there, but people do it and to each his own. Balanced to one person is an impossible activity to another. I try not to judge.

  11. Pingback: Some Winners and Multitasking « msfitrunner


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