Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Five Link up!

It's Friday, yay!!!!! And what a good day it would be to have a baby no?  HAHAHA! Wishful thinking I am sure but she has to come eventually ;)

So this Friday Five link up brought to you by You Signed Up for WHAT?!, Eat Pray Run DC (newly married!!!!!) and Mar on the Run! is Five Ways to Beat the Heat.  Summer is fast approaching and I know
that after the winter of Polar Vortex conditions we all are trying so hard to NOT complain about how hot it is.  This extremely pregnant mama is having a really hard time since the heat, humidity AND this gigantic "speed bump" of a belly has me nothing short of miserable, but I really *am* trying to embrace the heat and enjoy it....

Anyway, one of the easiest ways to beat the heat is to bring it inside (AIR CONDITION!) and run on the "mill" but if you are anything like me, that really isn't an option.  Not only do I not have access to a treadmill, I hate them. Like can not stand being on them and would rather run in any weather condition there is.  Here in Maine I often get 2-4 of those weather "conditions" during any given run, so I have learned a few things. Here are my 5 tips for beating the heat while still getting out there and pounding the pavement!


Go Early or Go Late:

The summer sun gets pretty darn intense as soon as it rises and stays that way all day.  So go when the sun
has yet to come up or has gone down.  These non sun times of day can still have high humidity and high temps but without the blazing sun beating down on you, you will feel cooler.  My run affair actually started with hot humid night runs back in August of 2010.  The pre dawn hours and post dusk hours can also be super peaceful and reflecting.  You are out there as the world is waking up or going to sleep and it's like you are transcending time.

Hydrate WELL and bring water:

You are hot and it's worse with dehydration.  So make sure you get that water in before you run.  Your body needs to be fully hydrated so that when you are out there you stay that way.  Sweating is good!!! When you stop sweating that's BAD!!!! And go out carrying some water with you.  It is good to drink even on your short runs in the heat and splash on your head if needed.  Speaking of splashing, I like to go out when I know the neighbors will be watering their lawns.  Running through those sprinklers is pretty fun!!!!

Cool off before or during:

Do not be afraid to jump in a cold shower or a pool before your run.  Starting out cool will help you get through some of your run before you start to warm up.  And if you can, take that opportunity to run in the rain.  Nothing beats a good summer rain storm where you get to run, and cool down! Just remember, that visibility in the rain lowers so make sure you stay visible and alert!

Dress Appropriately: 

Dress in loose, moisture wicking clothing.  Do NOT decide that your high socks make you look cute or that the long sleeve matches your sneakers the best.  You do not need to add the extra warming layers now that the vortex is over.  Carefully, pack them up and put them aside until the weather cools OR decide to rock them in the comfort of your AC once your run is over.

Pace Yourself

As the weather heats up and the humidity strikes your pace IS going to change.  Do not force yourself to run your best pace at each run.  Take your time out there and get the distance in.  Pace doesn't need to be top speed all the time.  And if you are out there and feeling faint, dizzy weak or all of a sudden ice cold with goosebumps stop and walk for a bit.  There is nothing wrong with walking, moving is moving and it is always better to be safe out there then be breaking records.

Now have some summer running and enjoy this season of running.  We all know that once the cold kicks back in we will be back to the complaining... ;) What kinds of tips do you have to avoid being too hot out there?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FOUND: One AMAZING Mother Runner

Today is National Running Day! All over the running media community you will find signs declaring why we runners run. You will find post after post about getting out and putting down the miles today and you will see runners everywhere hitting the road, the trails, the treadmills to honor our commitments to run. Little motivation is needed today to get out there, there is a huge adrenaline filled excited sweep of people just getting out and getting it done. Even though today is the day to RUN, there are some who made that push to take that first step and to challenge themselves to become runners in the quiet of a normal day, a day that was no different than any other except for the fact that they just kept at it and didn't quit. Being Wednesday today is also WICKED INSPIRING WEDNESDAY over here at Crazy Mama Runner. Today we meet Alexis. Her story left me sitting in awe and respect of such an amazing mother who has conquered huge obstacles and found herself and saved herself. My words can not do her story any justice so I will just let you see how strong and determined this mama is! If I had an ounce of her determination I wonder what kind of runner I could become!

I hated running when I was young. Avoided it like the plague, cursed and sulked during track and field season. If you fast forward I was active, rode horses and trained them. Did some treadmill stuff to shift weight but hated it with a passion. At 27 I became a mother, I gained 60lbs and it stayed after pregnancy. I had this awesome baby boy and then? then I got sick. I couldn't walk, staggered and stumbled. Weak and tired I finally woke up with numbness in my left arm. I had already been diagnosed over the course of my little boys first year with Fibro. This was something else. By the end of the month I was blind in one eye and in agony in the hospital. Optic Neuritis was the cause and the MRI said I had Multiple Sclerosis. Once they had figured it out I was 30. My lesions affected my motor control and my gait. I needed physio. I was walking with a cane. My husband sent me on a cruise and told me to soak the quiet. In the islands no one could believe a pretty 30yo woman could look okay but not be able to walk three hundred yards. We lived in Texas and the heat made everything worse. Everything. I was housebound. But that
wheelchair had been promised to me. the lesions were already there, dormant now but still waiting to pronounce me crippled. I couldn't walk a mile. I had to do something or my son would never see me out of the chair or without a walker. I would be a quitter before I had even tried. I did push ups. You don't need balance and the floor
is close. I did burpees because hey, fall, push, get up... right? In the cool, after crying for days it seemed, my husband drove me to the park and in the shade as the sun rose I made myself walk. Physio had fixed the worst of the drop foot and the odd listing had stopped. I was fat. I was wheezy from a lifetime of asthma. The next day I ran. the little loop in the park was just shy of the mile. I ran it. it was torture. took me a ridiculous time. I came back. ran again. three times a week he would bring me and spend half an hour playing in the cool with kiddo while I bullied myself round that paved shady trail. But I won. I got stronger. I learned how to balance on numb feet. Learned to run and learned to love the freedom. the quiet in my head. I was able to write again but couldn't always read the print on the monitor. but I could do it. I mapped a loop in our shady but sidewalk-less neighborhood that winter and built mileage. the pounds dripped off. I ran each day that winter. That was a while back. I'll be 32 this summer. Since then I've moved country for my health, because I can't be trapped. Because I have to
be outside where I can run. I found myself. I saved myself. I am not a cripple and I have not wasted my warning. While I have my legs I will run. I will never forget that FB update the first time I logged 5 miles before breakfast and fulfilled that promise to myself. that I would do it, that I would want more. I did. Before I left Texas at easter I ran 8 miles in glorious crisp sunshine to say goodbye to the trails I found myself on. those miles healed the parts of me that had nothing to do with my body and had everything to do with strength. I am strong enough. I know what it is to be floored. I know how to get back up again. I've run into mailboxes and tripped over nothing. But I never once stopped. This summer I'll run my first half. Next month I'll run a 10k and call it easy. I regularly run better than that just to feel that all is right with something. MS will always knock me down. Running showed me how to get back up. My little boy has a strong mama. he's so proud of me. 'Mama Exercises.' he tells people. 'Good luck, I love you mama have a good run!' he calls. I won't run forever but for now, while I can? I will run. I will run back to that playground and my biggest fan runs to meet me so I can scoop him onto my shoulders and finish strong with him up high laughing and screaming his delight at his mama. That's my story. That's why I run.
No one should look down and say 'I could have. But I never learned how it felt.' I can run anywhere.
(PS. I totally don't weigh 240lbs anymore. bonus!

Since Alexis has sent in her story she has recently completed her FIRST 10k!!! She was one of 40,000 runners and finished in just a shade over an hour!!!! Way to go Alexis you are the epitome of strength and inspiration!