So, What’s Next

Hey gang! I’m currently in the midst of packing and saying goodbye to Geneva.

Last night was all about the fun, while today is all about packing.

I’ll let you guess which of the two I prefer more. Luckily the movers are also packing the majority of our things but I ended up spending most of the day packing the air shipment goods, the things we’ll check on the plane Saturday and then helping the movers. It went better than expected but is still stressful.

Instead of focusing on the move, let’s talk about something that is more fun: RUNNING! After Sunday’s race, I’m anxious and excited to run ALL THE RACES! Luckily, we’re moving back to New York City this weekend which means that I will have easier access to races of all lengths. Since I have a tendency to over commit, I’ve only signed up for the below races so far. We have a lot going on this Summer with the move, finding an apartment, moving into the apartment and getting reacclimated. But, I’m excited to have a mix of races on the schedule that I can race and others like the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, that I can run for fun and enjoy with friends.

NYRR Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breath 4 Miler – July 18th

  • I’m hoping to run this with my sister-in-law Meg and her fiancée, as they have recently started running.

NYRR R-U-N 5k – August 6th

  • A NYRR race in Central Park on a Thursday night? Heck yes! I’d love to race this one and then celebrate with my runner friends over beers and burgers post race. You should join us!

NYRR Bronx 10 Miler – September 27th

  • Jess suggested that this could be a great half marathon warm-up race to check in with my fitness levels and practice everything for race day.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon – October 10th

  • Excited for an awesome race weekend with LOTS of friends! Amy, my original running buddy is flying in from Cincinnati for the race and lots of fun.

Nike Women San Francisco Half Marathon – October 18th

  • Running for fun with Kristine and my Geneva friend, Lauren, who just moved to San Francisco. Here’s hoping we get in via the lottery.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon – November 7th

  • Running it and then walking with my Mom, Aunt and my brother’s girlfriend Madeline. SO excited for another great Savannah race experience!

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In addition to running, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of Summer in New York City with free outdoor workouts,  trying standup paddleboard yoga with a local yoga studio at Rockaway Beach,  and supporting friends for a few of their miles as they train for fall marathons!

I hope to see a few of you out running! Are you signed up for any of these races? If so, which ones?

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Using Exercise to Maintain My Sanity

Moving is stressful. Saying goodbye to friends is tough. Transitioning from one job to another brings a lot of unknown and complexities. Based on these three facts, the next six weeks should be a joy.

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Luckily, these days, even thirty minutes of physical activity can help relieve stress. Gone are the days when I crave a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to eat away my stress induced anxiety after a long day.

These days, I’ve decided that my mantra for the next six weeks will be to lace up my sneakers and go.

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Today I spent 30 minutes outside letting my thoughts run wild while I ran through a local park, enjoyed the sight of the Spring flowers and completed a quick 30-minute run. I didn’t track my pace or distance.

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I stopped twice, once to complete my 5-minute strength circuit and again to say hello to a friend. This was far different from the training runs a few weeks ago. But, don’t get me wrong. It served a purpose that was equally if not more important. It helped me relieve the stress that comes along with moving two people on two very different dates, while managing a full-time job and trying to enjoy the last few weeks in Europe.

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If April training focused on the half marathon, then May and June’s training focus will be using exercise to maintain my sanity.

I’ll be living alone for June, which means I’ll have plenty of time for evening yoga classes and early morning workouts. I’ll try a few new Les Mills classes at our office gym before I say goodbye to that membership.

What are your suggestions for managing stress the next six weeks?

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Running After Stomach Illness

Happy Thursday!

Last night I finished a few work projects from home, with my legs propped up on the sofa in compression socks.  I did my best to take care of my body yesterday once I got home from work, resting and doing yoga, in advance of this morning’s long run.

I woke up at 5:45 so that I could finish my 10 mile run before a work breakfast meeting. I scarfed down my usual peanut butter toast and coffee, chugged a bottle of water, added a few layers to fight off the windy, 25 degree temps and headed out the door at 6am.  Last night and this morning, I couldn’t contain my excitement for this run. It felt like ages since I’d laced up before work for a long run, enjoying sunrise views along the lake and chasing swans.

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Unfortunately, about three miles into my run, my body had other ideas. The whole time I was running during these first thirty minutes, something just felt off. I didn’t feel fueled and I literally felt as if something was lodged in my throat. Unfortunately, a moment later, that huge hunk of bread and peanut butter was on the sidewalk. What the hell? I’ve never had an issue eating before long runs.

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I stopped in my tracks, turning to Google and WebMD for some answers.

“Is it common to have an issue digesting foods soon after food poisoning or stomach virus?”

Not being able to digest foods after stomach virus?”

Does it take longer to digest foods after food poisoning?”

“How long should I wait to start running after stomach virus?”

How does stomach virus or food poisoning affect running and training?”

You get the point. Over the next five minutes I found multiple articles which helped me understand why my typical, pre-run breakfast, wasn’t fully digested and why the sudden influx of carbs and water in my system made me feel so ill.

I slowly jogged three miles back home, busy with my thoughts, analyzing my choice to try and run long this morning and take in fuel, with what the articles suggested. In hindsight, doing 3-4 shorter runs this week over the course of Thursday through Sunday would probably have been smarter than attempting my long run. We’ll see what my coach says, but mentally I’m ready to lace up again tomorrow just without any illusion of it being a long, strong run.

Since stomach flu alone affects more than 20 million people each year, here are a few links to helpful articles and tips for your to consider the next time your training gets kicked off course with food poisoning or stomach bug.

Give your body 48 hours to recover

    • That recovery begins once your able to eat normally and retain fluids and nutrition.

Make sure that you hydrate more than usual before your workouts.

    • In addition to water, it can be helpful to sip electrolyte replacement fluids such as NUUN or Gatorade during and for a few days following the illness to help with electrolyte depletion.

Start out small for a few days

    • While everyone is different, depending on severity of illness, starting with a short workout will allow you to understand what your body can manage. 
    • Most articles suggest shorter, lighter workouts for a few days after illness before attempting more rigorous workouts.

Don’t eat too much

    • After a lack of nourishment for even just 24 hours, it’s normal to be starving. However, eating too much too soon can prove detrimental.
    • Eat multiple smaller meals versus large meals and drink often, but in small amounts.
    • Eating too much can cause you to feel sick again as it takes up to a week for your body to get back on track and digest foods regularly.

13 Things You Should Know About Stomach Flue

Coming Back from A Stomach Bug

How Do I Train After Illness?

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The Morning Run

Last year, I ran before work almost daily. The runs varied in distance, but I knew that at least three mornings per week I was lacing up my shoes and out the door before 6:15am.

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Lately, I haven’t been running much at all, especially not before work. In fact, it is hard to believe that 51 days ago I ran the Berlin Marathon and 37 days ago I ran my first trail half marathon.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been recovering or taking a break from working out. Instead, I’ve been spending far more time cross training. After focusing so much of my time and effort on running, focusing my energy on cross training has been a welcome change of pace. I am not constantly comparing myself to others or to my previous abilities as so many of these activities are new. I’ve written previously (here) about the rabbit’s hole I find myself in every few months, coveting other people’s runs and comparing myself. 

I have no desire to return to that place. Swimming has given me a confidence I haven’t felt in ages. Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, as I’m showering after practice, I basically give myself a personal high five just for waking up and surviving practice. In addition to swimming, I’ve found myself incorporating more strength work and group fitness classes. This change of pace has allowed me to stay in shape and stay motivated during the previous few weeks of rain in Geneva.

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But this morning, as Mary and I ran along the lake, I remembered why I used to run each morning. While any morning workout provides me with a burst of energy stronger than any cup of coffee, running is one of the only morning workouts that also allows me to enjoy that breath of fresh air. I find myself inside, especially during the winter months, for the majority of each day. Even though the sun may not be shining and as the weeks continue each run will be colder and colder, the fresh air regardless the temperature, invigorates me. It allows me to enjoy morning views of the snow capped mountains, explore the streets before the commuters takeover and spend time catching up with a friend or just my thoughts.

My race calendar may only consist of fun 5k and 10k races over the next few months, until my Spring goal race, the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, but that won’t keep me from heading out the door at least a few mornings each week.

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