Saturday, May 28, 2011

2011 Soldier Field 10 Mile Recap

I haven't posted one thing about my training for today's Soldier Field 10 mile race since I posted my training plan back in January. I think that's because it went surprisingly well! I was able to complete most of the weekday runs. The longest long run I was able to complete was 8 miles. I was a bit worried because I decided to try Bikram (hot) yoga for the first time earlier this week on Wednesday. It completely wiped me out. I was so sore Thursday. I was still a little sore this morning, but I really loaded up on sleep between yoga and the race to help me recover faster.

Today's race was great. Fleet Feet always pulls off really well organized races. It sold out at 15,000 participants, everything went seamlessly. I had a few friends at the race too, that always makes races more fun. The least pleasurable part of the race for me was running on a closed off lane of Lake Shore Drive. It was nice that part of the course was flat, but the car exhaust from passing vehicles was almost nauseating! I'm being hyper-sensitive. I couldn't wait to reach the turn around at mile 5 to run along Lake Michigan. The most awesome part was entering Soldier Field like like a BEAR!

There were spectators cheering in the stands, it was pretty cool. I finished sub 1:55. I'm sure there are some Brightroom pictures of me with my hands up with a goofy smile crossing the finish line on the fifty-yard line. This was the first race of the season. I hope the rest of my season is this enjoyable!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nike Tempo Shorts ~Vs~ Curves

I will start this post by pumping up I've heard amazing things, but this is the first time I've ordered from the site. I ordered a pair of infamous Nike Tempo running shorts on Sunday night, and received them at work on Monday! Talk about service. They're currently offering free next day shipping, but enough about Zappos. On to the shorts, I ordered a size large. I was a bit concerned they would be too tight.

I carry my weight in backside and legs. I bought a similar pair of Champion brand shorts in size large that ended up being too tight to run in. After reading the reviews on the Nike store site, I decided an extra large may be too big as many reviewers said they run big. Today I wore them on a 3 mile run. I definitely felt the breeze! I felt the need to keep checking the bottom of the back of the short because I felt like they were flying up in the wind. The shorts have built in briefs, but shorts flapping in the wind is not a good look. I also wore my iFitness belt and had to adjust the shorts several times to get a comfy position. They didn't ride up too much but they will take some getting used to after running in tight fitting bottoms like capris for the last 3 years. I felt a little exposed. I did though keep much cooler longer, which is the reason I'm trying out shorts.

Update: I love Nike tempo shorts! I want to order a million more pairs : ) They definelty took some getting used to compared to running capris, but really, these are very comfy and breezy. I did invest in some Bodyglide for Her for my legs. Like I mentioned, I carry my weight in my legs, so chafing is a concern when wearing shorts! Temps shorts + Bodyglide = comfy run.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10 Tips for the Black Woman Beginner Runner: Based on a True Story

1. Don’t wait, Get Moving
Waiting around for your sister, mother, or your cousin to join you for a workout, you may be waiting a long time. Don’t allow others’ lack of motivation stop you from getting in a workout. Your self-motivation may be an encouragement to others to also get moving.

2. Give it Time
Endurance takes time to build. Don’t be discouraged if after a long period of not working out, not being able to last very long. Don’t push your limits too hard. Working out to the extreme will cause you to crash and become discouraged. Respect your limits; they will increase as you continue to work out consistently.

3. Lose the Cotton
Most people have a generous supply of 100% cotton t-shirts from company picnics, family reunions, and random free give-a-ways. The shirts we love to lounge around the house in seem like a great option to sweat up good during a workout. Unfortunately, cotton holds moisture which results in uncomfortable, damp workout attire. Try workout clothes made with technical fiber like polyester. These high-performance fabrics wick sweat and moisture away from the skin keeping you cooler during your workout.

4. Take it Off
It’s 40 degrees outside; your natural instinct is to throw on a sweatshirt, hoody, scarf, gloves, and a knit hat. Sure, that’s ok for running errands, but about 20 minutes into an outdoor workout, you’ll have torn off those layers off and left them in the streets. Remember the twenty degree rule. Once you get moving, your body temperature may go up as much as twenty degrees. It’s important to wear the right amount of layers that can be easily taken off, wrapped around your waist, or stored in a waist pack.

5. Go for a Fitting
For the beginner, I suggest getting properly fitted at a running store for your first pair of real running shoes. Fittings are free, and your sales person will be able to answer all your burning questions like, ‘Do these come in pink?’ Which brings me to my next point; don’t buy running shoes based on color alone. We’re all familiar with buying a pair of dress shoes one size too small because they’re just so darn cute. Your feet will make you pay for being cute, along with your knees, and your hips. Not worth it. Go for fit first, style is an added bonus.

6. Rest Days Rule
Even professional athletes take time off to rest their body. Recovery is equally as important as your workout. Allowing time for your muscles to heal improves performance. Going H.A.M. seven days a week will only increase your risk of injury.

7. Wear Sunscreen
Yes, chocolate drops and yellow model chicks alike need sunscreen when working out outdoors. We’ve been blessed with an extra dose of melanin, but it doesn’t exclude us from needed protection from dangerous UV rays.

8. Learn to Co-wash
Both permies and naturals can benefit from washing out sweat buildup with conditioner only. Washing with shampoo too frequently can cause our hair to dry out. Washing with conditioner only cleanses the scalp while not being to drying on our hair.

9. Always Carry ID (and a little mace won’t hurt either)
Women go missing. Be aware of your surroundings and always carry identification. You are less likely to hear about a missing Black woman on the news. I will leave it at that.

10. Think Fit, Not Thin
Every bit of physical activity reduces our chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes other leading causes of death in Black women. Place focus on becoming healthy rather than losing weight. That focus will keep you motivated if you’re not losing weight as quickly as you’d like, or reach a weight loss plateau. When you become more physically active, weight loss will come.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Black Girls RUN! Chicago First Run

Black Girls Run! Chicago held its first group run last Tuesday. It was freezing, 40 degrees! We ran 3 miles along Lake Michigan. Rain drizzle and winds made for less than ideal conditions, but we made it work. There are three group Ambassadors including myself so there was a person to lead, a person to hold down the middle of the pack, and me to bring up the rear. Ten girls in total. I've run in groups before, but never organized and lead one. The toughest part is making the run good for everyone, since each person may be at a different ability level. Adjusting the pace and sweeping up the rear will take some practice. It's very encouraging that the group is very positive and jazzed about running with other black women. The group's Facebook page already has over 70 members and I see our group growing even more!

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