Monday, May 20, 2013

Good Form Running

Genevieve from New Balance at Fit Tri Run in Galveston

FitTriRun store in Galveston hosted a running clinic this past Saturday.  It was taught by Genevieve from New Balance. (Gosh I hope I spelled it right.  I know it's not pronounced the way most of us think it should be but I think I have the spelling correctly.)  This was my first time to a running clinic so I went suited up to run or maybe not.  I forgot my water bottle (which is a definite no no in this Texas heat and humidity) and I forgot my strap for my phone.  Fortunately, most of the clinic consisted of doing some exercises inside the AC'd store and doing a very short run in front of the store.  I learned that a running clinic is a class to instruct you on the proper form or technique of running and also record you to humiliate...I mean consult you on how you can better your form.

Now, Genevieve did not humiliate me. It was a joke.  However, she did record each of us running past her, first with shoes and second time barefoot.  Then she hooked her Ipad, the device she used for recording, to a large TV inside the store and proceeded to play each person in slow motion as she critiqued their running.  I have to say it was interesting to see everyone in slow motion. You see alot of minute things you would have missed had you watched at regular speed. For instance, while I was running across the screen, I could clearly see each roll of flab as it jiggled up down with each pounding of my foot and I must say, I discovered that each jiggle comes in waves and not just one big whop! Ok, that is not the only thing I discovered but before I go into my evaluation let me tell you some of the things I learned about good form running.

  1. Posture:  Stand tall while you are running (even if you are only 5'1").  Your toes should point forward because...well because you want your toes to point in the direction that you are going. Keep your head up because looking down will cause you to slouch. Unless of course you are running on uneven road or trail and in which case you may want to look down from time to time so that you don't fall flat on your bum.  Your arms should swing freely from your shoulders with your thumbs pointing upwards and elbows at about 90 degrees.  (Another good reason to get the Amphipod hand held mobile phone holder) She suggested you reset your posture during your run by reaching up towards the sky and circling your arms back into correct position.
  2. Midfoot:  You should aim to land on your midfoot when running.  Visualize marching in place while your ankles are flexed.  Heel striking can cause plantar fasciitis, over striding and injuries because of the hard landing.  Landing on the forefoot can cause Achilles pain, calf strain and shin splints.  She said shin splints happen because the wrong muscles are being used. Instead of the calf being used, the runner is using their shin.  
  3. Cadence:  Ok, this was completely new to me. But when running your cadence should be 175-180 strides per minute.  That is 90 strides per leg.  If you are not sure about what that is and you have a smart phone, look for a free metronome app from Itunes or Googleplay and set it at 180.  Try to match the cadence at home while marching in place. Or click here for an online metronome.  She also mentioned Jogtunes that works on your IPhone or Android phone. To find your current cadence, count the number of right foot strikes you do per 20 seconds and multiply by 6.  Remember to run light.
  4. Lean: This was a fun exercise.  She asked us to stand with are toes pointing forward and lean forward from our ankles until we felt the urge to take a step forward. She said that angle just before we fall forward is the optimum angle to utilize gravity to propel you forward rather than excessive muscle force. Some of us did that one over and over again.  I think we just liked the idea of falling forward.
Sounds like a lot to memorize, right?  Well she said one way we could train ourselves to do this naturally would be to barefoot run once a week. (of course make sure the surface is smooth and free of broken glass or loose gravel that may harm your foot.) She also said to march in place prior to your run with ankles flexed to help you strike midfoot.  Also before and even during  your run, reset your posture by swinging arms overhead and bringing them back to your side.   Also, listen to your foot steps.  They should be light. Your goal is to reduce the sound of your footsteps to a minimum because that means you are running light.  

Well when we watched the video of my running, we discovered that I look down instead of forward. One could argue that I am a trail runner and must keep my eyes out for fallen limbs, snakes, rabbits and alligators but that is no excuse. Because I looked like I was looking directly down at my feet.  I am also a heel striker...which could explain why I am having another episode of plantar fasciitis.  I didn't seem to heel strike as badly when I was barefoot so I guess next on my list are some vibrams 5 fingers and incorporating some track work into my running routine so that I have a smooth surface.  (My husband would argue I am just looking for another reason to go shopping.) 

If you want to learn more about good form running, just click here and let me know if there is anything you discovered that you can improve.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

LG Tone+ Review

In this video, I review the Lg Tone+ wireless headset.  It works with both iPhone and android phones.  This headset fits comfortably around your neck. It is so comfortable, I forget I have it on.  It has the option to allow it to vibrate when the phone rings.  The ear pieces can be worn in the ear or stored magnetically to the headset.  You have the ability to control your media with it as well as your voice commands on our phone.  It has about  15 hours of talk time per charge and the range is anywhere from 30-50 feet.  It comes in both black and white and can be paired with two devices.  I highly recommend this for anyone on the go who listens to media or wants to use their phone hands free.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Project Life Worthy

I love Project Life. It allows me to record my day to matter how mundane. But even after living in the same house for years,  I have come to realize that my daily routine has changed so dramatically since that first day here.  I want to remember the way it use to be. I want to be able to share with my grandchildren what this house use to look like...better yet, have them judge the old fashion decor that for the time being is fresh and new.

I am a story teller by nature.  Perhaps that is why I blog.  I blog because I see a story in everything.  Unfortunately, what I see in my head doesn't always translate well in pictures.  According to my pictures, my world has dark shadows, is blurred and always tilted to the left or right.  At times it even seems washed out. I thought buying a new camera would help. And it did to some degree. My world isn't so yellow anymore.  But my pictures were still at best.

So when my daughter asked me to take pictures for her and her boyfriend before prom, well I panicked.  This young man was celebrating his Senior prom and they wanted me to capture that moment in his life. I had seen his Senior pictures and they were, they were better than great. They were amazing.  So when she asked me, I immediately said, "Sure. No problem.  I would love to do it."  with much confidence and no hesitation.  I  had 24  hours to come up with a place and poses.   Again I say thank goodness for Pinterest. I searched Prom, which by the way, will pull up a bunch of celebrity prom pictures.  So after about an hour of looking at their pictures and laughing, I finally searched up prom poses and made mental notes.  And then when I got to Pine Gully Park, a park off the water about 2 minutes from my house, I forgot all that I saw and just winged it.  The only pose I do remember is the one with someone in front and the other in back. (By the way, if you have a DSLR and you don't have a nifty fifty...get one)

I think for once in my Project Life scrapping I will have pictures that reflect the story I see in my head.  I really can't wait to put these in my album.

So this is what my world normally looks like through they eye of the camera:
Awkward picture in front of door

Bit blurry and dark
Then I took a deep breath and calmed my nerves and took some more pictures.  We had to hurry because the sun was setting..well hurry as fast as a girl can go in stilettos in the grass or across a pier.

the gentle kiss on the forehead, he is a good guy in our eyes

One of the poses from Pinterest...and yes he has a funny personality

Asked them both to pose, funny that they look similar

For this moment he is her world

So my story for prom is how it is a magical moment in one's life.  How what we wear speaks volumes about the fashion of your generation.  How that special person in our life at that time seems like the world. That many have their first loves in high school.  The funny pose is a reflection of their lightheartedness towards each other   And the kiss on the forehead speaks volumes about how this young man has been nothing but a gentleman and how he was the first person to court my daughter.  So for this moment, this is her world.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dirty Girls Run

Picture taken by Ellie's husband

I love it when two of my worlds collide, like they did this Saturday. The two gals with me are scrap buddies. Once a month, about 12-14 women meet to scrap and chat. But on this Saturday, three of us came together to do run, jump, walk and grunt through a 5K mud run.  And of course, being the scrapbookers that we are, we took tons of pictures.

Now if you are new to running or maybe you are doing the Couch25K plan and still within the first weeks of it, you may be hesitant about registering for a 5K.  Don't be.  As a matter of fact, I am going to tell you to get over yourself and I mean it.  Get...over....yourself because you are the only thing holding you back. You see, Monica, the girl with the glasses, has never run a 5K. She has never done a training plan or tracked her pace or joined a running group.  She saw this 5K as a way to have fun with some friends and so she signed up for the joy of it.  Let's face it, if you aren't training to place at the top and earn a trophy, then I hope you are training and yes, running these races for the joy of it.

Did she run the whole course? Nope. Did she have a certain time she wanted to beat? Nope. Was it hard? Yup.  But she has earned the bragging rights to say she has completed a 5K.  She did amazing and never quit.  She got a stitch on her side within the first quarter mile but she stretched it out.  She could feel her calves cramping so she stopped and stretched them.  But she never gave up. She listened to her body and responded to it.  She did the obstacles she could and skipped the obstacles she couldn't.  (As did I)  Ellie and I stayed with her and encouraged her when she needed it.  (Well I must say Ellie was amazing. She always kept an eye on both of us. She can run circles around both Monica and I but she chose to stay with us...more on her in a later post). Monica did her best and I believe when it was all said and done, she realized that she was able to go farther and do more than she ever thought she could.  As a matter of fact...she's looking for her next 5K.  That's right people, this girl gots game!

So you see, you shouldn't over think your first 5K. If you keep asking yourself  "What if..." you will never get out there and miss so many opportunities to see how great you are.  Heck, sign up for a 5K mud run obstacle course, if you are really worried about not being able to run the whole thing.  In a run like this, you are guaranteed to have to take mandatory breaks while you wait your turn to do the next obstacle.

Remember what John Bingham says, "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."  Are you ready? Do you have the courage?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dirty Girl in 3...2...1

(Picture from Gritty Goddess Facebook page)

It's 3 days until the Gritty Goddess 5K obstacle run in Galveston!  I can't wait. Two wonderful gals are going with me. No, we aren't running buddies. We are scrapbooking buddies. I love that my two worlds are colliding!  

The last time I did a mud run, I did it with a good friend. I have to confess that when I said yes, I really wanted to say no.  I even think I tried several times to excuse myself from it.  I was scared.  I had not ran in a while and the idea of running through an obstacle course for 5Ks frightened me.  I didn't think I could walk 5K much less run 5K and throw all my fluffiness over a wall or climb a tall rope thingy or huge bouncy thingy (yeah I have no idea what their official names are).    And that day I proved myself right.  My poor friend Mari, I am sure she was ready to strangle me. I admire her. She is tough and independent and confident.  But at the same time she will give you the shirt off her back if she thought you needed it.  She doesn't put up with any crap and is a natural born leader.  She is soo cool she is even part of a roller derby team.  Her name on the team GREEN BEANER ! Love that girl! So she would say, "ok lets just run to spot X" and I was just turn and look at her like she was crazy. You know why I would just look and not say anything?  Because I was out of breadth from just walking!  Half way through, I pretty much convinced myself that I was going to pass out.  Now I am not sure if I was going to pass out because I had no more energy or because I thought once we got round this group of trees we only had on more obstacle and when I got around the trees, I realized we have 5 more obstacles to do and plenty of walking (Uh I mean running) to do in between .   But being the wonderful friend that she has always been, she just encouraged me and stayed with me. Thank you Mari for putting up with my drama.  

Ok, I am pretty sure I still can't run a 5K, much less run a 5K and then some.  But I am not scared.  I want to try.  I want to see what this body can do. I have been running for a few weeks and I want to take this body for a test drive.  I am sure I will get tired. I know that a dozen women are going to grab onto my bum and push me over the 5 foot wall.  I know all this and I am okay with it.  I JUST WANT TO TRY!

So my next run will be Saturday morning at 10:10 in the EIRENE wave at the Gritty Goddess.   I will wear a Tiffany Blue team shirt with ratty old shoes and other clothing that will probably have to be chunked after the run due to all the mud we will encounter.  (thank you Monica for offering to make the t shirts at such a great price) and  (thank you Ellie for having the idea to use a part of my blog name as the team name).  I promise to   nevermind. I make no promises to do anything but do my best, support and encourage my friends and all the women and enjoy every minute of it.