Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Practical Guide to Running Free From Danger

Very often, I'm out there running solo. Sometimes I'm plodding through wooded areas, and it occurred to me the other day that it could possibly be dangerous, and perhaps I should share some safety rules with you. These are in no way comprehensive, and please google "running safety tips" if you want more advice. But without further ado, here are a few of Patsy Albrecht's Running Tips For the Slow Of Legs, in no particular order:

Rule Number 1 -- Run with a buddy. This can get quite uncomfortable on the treadmill,  however, so I recommend going outside.
                                         Nothing about this even vaguely resembles me...                                
2.) Take your taser with you. I have a pretty pink one, with which I would not hesitate to fry some bad guy's butt. I also carry pink pepper spray, but since I don't wear my glasses when I am running, I am hesitant to use it because I cannot see what direction the spray comes out. That hole is so darn tiny! But hey, if I think someone's up to no good, I'm taking my chances. If I spray myself, it's going to make it that much harder for him to drag my body. (Note: Check state laws. It is illegal in some states to carry a taser.)
Many people disagree with carrying a weapon. You must do what you feel most comfortable with. Carry a whistle or other alarm device, or take a self-defense course. Kick, scream, and draw attention to yourself if attacked. Do what your instinct tells you to survive. As a woman, I feel vulnerable and prefer to carry something with me. But this is my personal opinion; I cannot tell you what is best for you.
Yep, I'm armed and dangerous. My husband says I'm mainly a danger to myself.

                                          Go ahead, make my day....                                 
3.) Run on the correct side of the road. That's the left side. Facing traffic. So that you can see the @#$%^&*s who are trying to run you over. If there's a sidewalk, that's even better to run on. If there are two or more of you running in the road, go single file. Remember that Stephen King movie, "Christine"? The possessed demon car that went around trying to kill everyone? When you're out running on a road, just picture each car as having that capability.

                                       She's out to get you, so keep on your toes...(pun intended)                                    
4) If you're running at night, make sure you're visible. I wear clothing with reflective strips. I also wear several flashing clip-on lights, carry Knuckle Lights (a fantastic product!) and occasionally wear a headlamp. I also wear reflector strips that velcro around my arms or ankles. In fact, I'm so well lit (with these items, people, really-- get a grip on yourself, I'm not out there running inebriated!) that small planes have dive-bombed me, apparently mistaking me for a runway.

                                          That's me, just running by....                                  
5) Vary your running routes. Recently, a Montana runner was abducted and murdered. This happens more frequently than we know. Police are warning us to switch up our running times and places. Before you go out, be sure to tell someone where you will be running, and about what time you will return. Always carry your cellphone too. There are armbands that hold the phone so your hands stay free. Be aware of your surroundings, and the people or cars that are getting close to you. Always know exactly where you are on your run and have an escape route in your head. Just in case. You can never be too careful.

                                         Never run the same route at the same time every day...                          
6) Carry identification. I wear a Road ID wristband when I go out alone. Some water bottles and belts have spaces for identification. Or tuck your drivers license into a pocket. You can always write your ID on your forehead with a Sharpie, but then people you don't know will give you strange looks and/or yell at you by name.
                                                        In case I have a senior moment...                      
7) Watch the headphones. Well, not literally. It would be a tad difficult to run if you were trying to stare at your headphones the entire time. Just be careful that you don't have your music cranked so loud that you can't hear cars, ambulances, or someone sneaking up behind you. And shhhhhhhh -- you really don't have to sing "Born to Run" at the top of your lungs, do you?


Monday, March 5, 2012

This Healthy Stuff Is Killing Me!


Well, I guess it just feels that way.

 And I know, I know, it's going to get better.

Why do I feel like it's killing me?  Because dear readers, I am doing a LOT of things that are wayyyyyyy outside my comfort zone. And we know from experience, when that happens, it can hurt. Am I right?

Did I mention that, recently, my husband said to me that I was an athlete? And that he was proud of me? I almost cried. See, you have to picture this: when I was growing up, I was tall, skinny, gangly, uncoordinated, and extremely shy. Not the last picked in gym -- next to last. Never did any organized sports. Never won a trophy. Never had anyone cheering for me for anything. So when he said I was an athlete, I wondered, "Holey moley! Am I? I AM!!"
                       I don't look like her, I just thought she was pretty...
Well, a couple of weeks have gone by, and I guess that "athlete" remark may have gone to my head. Because soon I was "liking" all sorts of fitness pages on facebook. And then I found myself signing up for several challenges.'s what I am doing right now.
I am in the midst of training for my first half marathon. I started this in January, but was derailed by a 2-week illness --  I'm just now beginning to regain some of my strength. I'm in Week 6 of the training, which looks like this:

Mon - 4 mi   Wed - 6 mi   Thurs - 4 mi   Sat - 11 mi

I next signed up for 100MileMarch, a challenge in which I have pledged to run 100 miles in the month of March.

I also joined a private group, which is geared toward 90 days of clean eating and exercising more. I have a personal accountability partner that I talk with every day.

And last, I just received my Shaun T Insanity and Rockin' Body dvds.
                    I don't look like him either, I just thought he looked fiiiine....          

Yep, I MUST be insane. 

As of March 4, I'm already 21 miles into the 100 miles I need to run. If I keep to my training schedule this week for the half marathon, I am well on my way and won't need to worry -- I'll easily make the 100.

It's the eating that's been hard for me. I LOVE the idea of being vegan or vegetarian -- I support it wholeheartedly. But darn it all, I just like meat so much! Before I even signed up for clean eating though, I have been making changes for myself and my husband. My goal has been to have at least 2 or more meatless meals a week, plus 2 fish nights. That leaves about 2 meat meals, and that's usually chicken. I am cooking a bigger variety of vegetables too. I've felt positive about these changes. Clean eating, though, is taking it to a different level. So far, I'm not doing too well with it, but I'm only 5 days in, so there is a lot of hope.
I'm feeling very good about everything over all even though I joke it's killing me. Yesterday I ran 10 1/2 miles (YEAH -- ONE HALF, do you know how hard a half mile is to run after you've managed 10??) I am beginning to think -- I just may live through this after all...

How's your week going? How are you feeling about YOUR goals? Drop me a message and let me know!