Keep Warm, Winter Runners

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It depends where you live, but this cold snap could be affecting your runs. Remember, there is no such thing as weather that is too cold, just not enough clothes. If you have the right clothes, you will stay warm, dry and comfortable!

This is just a preliminary guide, since every person differs in how much warmth they require, it depends on the length of the run, and the humidity.

When It’s 32 Degrees or Below:

  • Our first layer is a anti-wicking bra and tank top. This keeps the sweat from soaking the layer closest to your skin and making you sick.
  • Long sleeve midweight base layer shirt. You can either try wool/polyester, or a long sleeved race tech shirt. If you don’t have a pair, try finding one at a second hand store (running clothes are just way too expensive!). If you’re up for something cute, try the Swiftly Tech from Lululemon.
  • If your feet tend to get cold, use wicking knee length socks. Also try ski socks if you have those handy!
  • Over the long sleeve shirt, wear a wind breaking jacket. This should be tight fitting so it doesn’t bounce as you run. The purpose of this jacket is to keep you dry and protect you from the wind.
  • Invest in a pair of running tights. May we suggest the Pearl iZUMi Women’s Thermal Tights, which are extremely warm and have a zipper at the ankle to ensure no cool breezes up your legs!
  • Wear a lightweight running beanie, anti wicking so it doesn’t retain moister from sweat and cause a head cold. We don’t suggest purchasing this item online, as they tend to be too short to cover your ears.
  • Light gloves work for cooler temperatures to warm up your hands. Some people only need gloves for the first couple miles, which means they are removed by the time your hands get sweaty. If you need them for a longer time, try a pair of running gloves.
    clothes

    This is my running attire for weather at about 25F. An anti wicking tank top, two long sleeved race tech shirts, and loose fitting wind breaking jacket. I also wear running tights and think long socks. I need gloves for the first mile or so, but I stash them into my pockets once my hands have warmed up.

     

When It’s Above 32 Degrees:
When it’s a little warmer than freezing, it still requires you to dress for the weather. Layering with all those layer above results in a sweaty uncomfortable run, but you can’t head out in shorts and a t-shirt.

  • Dress in layer, but wear the same first layer of a anti-wicking bra and tank top.
  • Wear a long sleeve midweight base layer shirt.
  • If you need a jacket, keep it light weight in case you warm up and it needs to be tied around your waist.
  • If it’s windy, wear the thicker running tights. However, if it’s warmer, thinner running capri’s will keep you from overheating.  Our favorite is the inspire crop from Lululemon.
  • Try a thinner running hat or cap to keep your heat warm during your run. If it’s raining, try a waterproof cap to keep the rain from soaking your hair.

What do you wear on your winter runs? Share them on twitter #girlsrunfaster or on our facebook page!

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Hill Training

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Try these simple steps to gradually increase strength, avoid injury and enjoy running hills.

Our favorite time of year… training.

If you’ve signed up for a new race, a course that you’ve never run before, it might be in your best interest to check the incline of the route. Running hills building strength better than any other type of workout, so don’t shy away from a hilly course. Speaking from experience, it takes much more out of you to run a hilly course compared to a flat course. In fact, my race in June is extremely hilly, and I’m already starting to dread one hill in particular!

According to Runner’s World, “Running inclines forces your muscles to work harder; as you grow stronger, your stride becomes more efficient and your speed improves” (UK 12/12).  If you are avoiding hills just because they are difficult, here are a few simple tips RW provides to gradually introducing hills to increase strength and reduce the challenges to boost your fitness.

1. Start easy
on your first hill workout, jog for 10 minutes to warm up, then walk two minutes to lower your heart rate. From the bottom of a gentle incline, run up at an easy pace for five seconds, then walk back to the starting point. Run up again for seven seconds, walk down. Finally, run for ten seconds, and walk back down. Repeat as often as possible. Cool down with a 15-minute jog. See step four for maintaining good form.

Running Hills
2. Progress Slowly-
Do step one several times, increasing times as possible. Once you are comfortable with that workout, ramp it up. Run up the hill for ten seconds, twice, followed by running up the hill for 15 seconds, twice. Follow this up with running up the hill for 20 seconds, repeat twice before rounding off the workout with a 30-second run.

3. Stick with it-
It’s easy to lose the progress you’ve made if you aren’t out there running hills… but you don’t need to run it every day. RW suggests scheduling a hill run every seven to 14 days. Once you’ve conquered step 2, add extra reps until you are running a total of 10 inclines. If you’re running a race with hills, try to find hills that mimic the course you will be running.

4. Maintain Good Form-
It’s easy to injure yourself on a hilly course, so make sure you are maintaining good form… As you ascend, shorten your stride and keep feet low to the ground. Keep your head, chest and hips perpendicular to an imaginary  horizontal line. On descents, take short quick, light steps (don’t pound the pavement), and keep your center of gravity over your legs (don’t lean forward).

So there are our tips; and if you are a runner, give us your tips on introducing hills into your routine. If you’re a beginner, feel free to leave questions if you have any!

Take Care of Me.

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One of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF. Ignoring your health by eating terrible food, not working out, and getting enough sleep will run your body down and you’ll end up sick more often. Meaning your loved ones will be put out of their way by taking care of you. We’re not just talking about getting the flu more often; but especially as we age and our bodies degenerate, we are more prone to falling, catching viruses, and our body isn’t able to fight diseases as well. Those who take care of the

mselves by eating healthy and working out will be healthier as they age. Who wants to ask their children to take care of a 70-year-old mother because she isn’t healthy enough to take care of herself? Not me, if I can help it!

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Ignore your body and undermine your own future. Your own potential. Your quality of life depends on it.

Guest Blogger: Heal Love Be

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We’re so excited to feature another Guest Blogger, Jamie Falahee from Heal Love Be. She speaks candidly about her struggle with food allergies, and provides a detailed account of her journey towards health. If you struggle with similar problems, we encourage you to contact her (see bottom of page) with questions.

Q&A with Health and Wellness Blogger, Jamie Falahee

What motivated you to change your lifestyle?

Jamie @ Heal Love BeAs a child, I always had allergies.  I was clearing my throat constantly and took allergy pills and nasal sprays.  I thought that I was unlucky to have allergies and that it was just the way it was.  I also developed reflux in college, so then I was taking allergy pills, nasal spray, and reflux medication.  Additionally, in college I took pain reliever pills almost every day for headaches (and I’m not just talking hangover headaches here)!  I thought this was normal and that I was healthy!  I worked out inconsistently and tried to eat “healthy.”  I ate chicken and turkey instead of red meat most of the time, drank skim milk, ate low-fat cheese, and ate fruits and veggies.

I started to become concerned with this pill-popping and diet regime in my senior year of college.  I was taking courses in speech-language pathology learning about strokes and how it affects language and reading some of the causes of strokes and heart attacks, increased consumption of meat being one of the dietary causes.  Then, my roommate, Rachel, gave me a VHS (yes, a video! haha) called You Can’t Improve On God by Dr. Lorraine Day.  Dr. Day developed cancer and cured herself by making ten healthy changes in her life including transitioning to a vegan diet, participating in daily positive mind exercises (e.g., gratitude, etc.), getting enough sunshine, and exercising among other things.  Could this actually be true, I thought?!  I decided to temporarily give up meat (i.e., red meat, processed meat, poultry), but would continue to eat eggs, dairy, and fish.  At 22 years old, I became a pescatarian, and I never went back.  Of course, I have “cheated” here and there since then, but for the most part, have stayed the course.  It was easier than I thought it was going to be, and I liked it!

From 22 to 26 years of age, this was my diet.  I stopped my allergy pills, nasal spray, and reflux medication, and only used them when I had a “flare-up,” which was more often than I would have liked.  Around 25 years of age, I started to get sick ALL the time.  I had sinus infections and felt stuffy and had constant sinus headaches.  I took antibiotics to help the sinus infections (per doctors’ orders), but it wasn’t fixing the problem.  I would ask the doctors what I could do about my chronic sinus problems, and their only suggestion was medications.  I was so frustrated and upset that the doctors were only suggesting temporary treatment of my symptoms instead of helping me to prevent my symptoms from happening in the first place! 

This is when I started to do some health research on my own.  I read a book called Secrets of Self-Healing by Dr. Ni, and he recommended eliminating dairy from my diet because it is very mucus-forming.  So I tried it.  I decided to give up dairy and eggs.  Within 2 weeks, I felt so much better.  I wasn’t getting nearly as many headaches or post-nasal drip as before!  So, now I was practically vegan I realized.  I was only eating fish.  Little did I know, I wasn’t being the healthiest I could be, though.  I thought, since I didn’t eat all meat and dairy anymore, I was eating healthy.  But this was not true.  I was still eating lots of processed imitation meat products.  Then, in 2009, my sister-in-law, Sarah, recommended a book to me.  It was called The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and this book changed my life!  It discussed the importance of a whole-foods (i.e., not processed) plant-based diet, and how it can drastically change your health.  So, I gave up fish, and I started eating less processed food, and more whole foods.  But my health journey didn’t end here!

My husband and I, for various reasons, moved five times in the past three years from Chicago, IL, to Charlotte, NC, to Cullowhee, NC, to Deerfield Beach, FL, to Jackson, MI, to Whitmore Lake, MI, which is where we are now (and are staying!).  All of these moves, job changes, and life changes were so stressful which did a number on my health, and my hormones became unbalanced.  After much research and experimentation, I found that I had candida overgrowth and a gluten intolerance which were also affecting my hormones!  So, now I don’t eat gluten anymore.  Not eating gluten has made me feel so much better and given me so much more energy.  I currently am working to get my hormones balanced by eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, gluten-free grains, beans, lentils, and nuts as well as exercising and using stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, and massages.  So, that’s my health story so far.

How are you dealing with these setbacks?

I try to look at the journey and be proud of how far I’ve come.  Most days, I’m motivated by how much better I feel.  Some days I get frustrated, though, because it is a lot of work to change your lifestyle.  The best way I’ve found to make changes is one step at a time.  If you’re interested in giving up sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy, etc., try to just give up one at a time.  When you start to feel so much better and see results with the way you look as well, it will help to motivate you to keep going.

 How do you stay motivated?

It becomes easier and easier the more you get into the healthy lifestyle because you will slowly be making these positive changes and won’t even realize that they are becoming habits until they just are.  That’s not to say that I’m perfect.  There are days when I don’t eat as well or get off track with my stress level, but the most important thing to do when this happens is get right back to your healthy lifestyle as soon as you can.

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It’s Goal Time

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Breathe Deeply

We are spending the first day of the year flying back to our home in Virginia. As I opened my email, I received a great email from “The Daily Love” talking about goal setting. Since I was excited to talk about goal setting, I wanted to include the most inspiring quote:

“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come. What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?”

Who doesn’t just want to sit down with a clean sheet and pen and create a list of great goals for 2013? I like to set a list for the year and break it down by month and wrote it in my daily planner to keep me on track.

These are a few of my fitness goals for this year:

• Run 3 half marathons – one of the is going to be the Williamsburg Run for the Dream!
• Sprint triathlon- reeeeeally nervous about this one… guess that means I’ll have to start swimming, right?
• Run 700 miles – should be easy to do that, but with picking up some biking and swimming miles… who knows?
• Do an hour yoga set at least once/week – I just get so tight that I need a full set on the weekend to be able to move normal again
• Group trainer certificate – HUGE GOAL! (so scared)
• Expand Girls Run Faster – aka write better, more informative, blogs
• Take the time to enjoy every moment… where ever God has planted me

Those are my goals for now… I’d love to hear about yours! In fact, if you blogged about them, leave a comment with your link and I’d love to peruse your post!

Close of 2012

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What an amazing year… how can you begin to cover the highlights of such a fabulous year?

At midnight tonight, the gorgeous ball will drop in Town Square, and we will toast to a New Year! We’ve got the wine chilling, the treats tucked away in the fridge, and our bags packed to head back to Virginia in the morning. I love the holidays, but I also love the chance to a new beginning. I know that while 2012 was amazing, 2013 is also going to be phenomenal. One of the reasons is because I was able to graduate with my undergraduate degree this December, and I am truly able to begin afresh in January. So, while everyone is wildly excited about our new year: 2013, I’m still recovering from 2012!

So I’m gunna go ahead and brag (haha),  you can see why it’s been an exhausting year.

Here are a few highlights:

  • got a great promotion at work
  • ran two awesome half-marathons
  • did a little traveling
  • completed my undergraduate degree
  • ran over 500 miles (which was my goal)

Needless to say, I’ve spent my Christmas break sleeping! Regardless of all this, I still reached my goal of running 60 miles in December… Despite all my days spent traveling 🙂 They were mostly short runs, around three miles, and my longest run was five miles. Considering most people drop off the fitness planet in December, I’m pretty happy with it!

December Run Goal
I’m planning on posting all my New Years goals later this week, things like the races I want to run and PR’s 🙂 My goals aren’t just about fitness, but about keeping my life balanced… so keep posted for all of that!

Some of our New Years Resolutions

Some of our New Years Resolutions