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I am an experienced direct marketer who is now perusing a graduate degree in Entertainment Business with a concentration in Sports Management and a master's degree in Internet Marketing.  One day soon I will be a Director of Social Media Marketing for a major sports organization.   I am avid runner who in the next 6 months will run at 2 full marathons and 3 half marathons and that doesn't include the training runs. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's Racing Day. Today's The Day We Race.

I'm two weeks away from running my first half-marathon of the season at the Disney Wine and Dine half-marathon. This is my favorite run at Disney as it is all done at night starting at 10:00pm on October 1st.   With just two weeks away and my first training run in double digits, 10 miles, I am starting to think about all of the planning that goes into being prepared to run a race.  

Of course the first step is to get out the door and start putting one foot in front of the other.  To do that you need motivation, this might be losing weight, raising funds for a good cause, or just making sure you stay in shape.  After you find your motivation you need a training schedule. Then, of course, you need to stay on track with each of the scheduled long runs, weekday runs and find time for cross training. (See a previous post on tips for this). I have chosen to run with the Galloway program, which has a great training plan that includes interval running and walking.  There are other programs out there and I highly recommend the training plans on Active.com.  You can download your plan based on distance as well as your ability. (i.e., Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced). 

The next step is getting a great pair of shoes.  This doesn't mean that you should run to your local discount shoe store.  Instead, I recommend finding a running specialty store.  These stores hire people who are runners; they are trained to find you a shoe that fits your running style.  Most running stores will watch you run and will determine the best shoe for you and only you.  We are all unique.  This means that your shoe may not be the color you like and they may or may not cost more than you wanted to spend.  Most importantly, ensuring that you are injury free will cost you less in the long run.  If you are looking for a national store that is dedicated to running, see if Fleet Feet is in your area. 

While you are at the running store pick up some running specific clothes that are made from wicking, dry-fit material.  Just remember the saying, "Cotton is Rotten".  This includes socks and undergarments.  Believe me, you will thank me later.  

Last but not least, make sure to plan what you will eat before and during the race.  Test your food choices before every long run until you find the food that works for you, and then make sure that you stick to the plan on race day.  A race like the Disney Wine and Dine half-marathon creates a challenge.  Especially, if you don't normally run late into the night.  I've found that pasta the night before and pancakes in the morning with a small lunch of chicken and pasta works best.  Don't head out and try all of the great foods, on race day, at the Food and Wine Festival. If running longer than a 10k start testing things like GU and GatoradeThis will help you with energy and hydration.  I do suggest checking out the race details to see what they will be serving on race day.  Again you don't want to try anything new that day.  

So how does one learn all of these tips? Years of running and making some really bad mistakes.  But no worries if you plan ahead you will have success on racing day. 

Now get out there and run.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I am not Superman. How do you fit it all in?

How do you have your cake and eat it to? Okay the answer to that is run a ton and you'll never think twice about that piece of cake.  But really how do fit in family time, running, cross training, working, school, volunteering, making sure the dog goes out and everyone is feed?

These are questions that I have been asking a lot lately as I find time to be Supermom, CEO of the family, train for a marathon, work and go to school.  I am lucky as my project management skills of scheduling everything has helped.  If it is not on the schedule it will not be done.  I have this down to when the dishes are done and have even scheduled bath night for my little guy.  But "life" still seems to get in the way.

Last week I had a trainer session before getting my son from school.  Not knowing that traffic was going to be a nightmare I had no idea how little time I had to run from the gym to the school.  When I got there the guilt trip started as he proceeded to inform me he was the last one there with another girl.

I had just read an article on in Runners World Magazine about how a structured schedule keeps you happy and healthy.  I knew I had to continue to work out with the trainer and I needed to ensure that pick up at school wasn't a guilt trip for me and a therapy session years from now for my son.  As the wife of a football coach, I knew my husband was out, so I enlisted my dad for his first ever carpool lane experience.  Like project management you have to delegate to others so that you can stay on track.  I know that this won't work for everyone.  My next options were changing the session to lunch time or making my husband leave football practice for a few minutes.  I was determined to get in this training session.

As it is starting to get cooler, multi-tasking to get the workout in always helps.  There is nothing like running next to my son's bicycle or having him do planks with me.  Of course at 4 he thinks planks are fun.  The Mayo Clinic gives advice on how to fit in exercise when you can't make it to the gym.  Anytime you can watch TV while moving will help you in the long run.  I also find that recording my thoughts on my iPhone while running also helps.  Yes, it sounds funny when you play it back but you don't miss things on the to do list and dictating that paper while running makes it a better paper with clear thoughts.

If all else fails wake up at 4:30 on a Saturday for an 8 mile run before everyone is up for the day.  You get the run in, everyone else sleeps and you still have time for family day.  Just remember that sleep is over rated.  That's another blog post for another day.

Now get out there and schedule your run.