Friday, January 18, 2013
Friday Fodder - Things I Learned From Running...
I'm in one of those weird moods these days. I think it's the weather. It's rained or been dreary for faaaarrrr too long here (side note: the sun is shining today...YAY!). On top of that, Jay has had the flu all week and while he is an amazing patient, I think we're all a little stressed over the looming illness of who will get it next. We are all loading up on our vitamins and focusing on getting rest and nutrition. Also repeating "I won't get sick, I won't get sick" will help right?

I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the things I learned from running. The thing is, even if you're not a runner, anytime you test yourself with something new, you learn from it. This is just a list of my personal experience with trying something new (which happens to be running).

1. Mind over matter. This has been a huge lesson for me. I've worked out my entire life from dancing since I was 3 all the way to aerobics in my teenage years to now being a personal trainer. I swore I was not a runner and never would be. I read others' experiences with running and was jealous of the experience (the high, if you will), but that never happened to me. What I learned though is that the main reason I didn't like running is because it wasn't easy for me. The stubborn girl in me, wanted to learn more and figure out how to enjoy it. So, I consistently kept trying it and have now fallen in love. Admittedly, after 8 months of running, last weekend was the first time that I looked at myself after my 5 mile run and I actually felt like a runner. I don't know when it happened, but I became a runner!

2. Pain is good, well to some extent. You see, if you don't experience a little bit of that muscle soreness, then you aren't changing. I was at the point where I wasn't really feeling my workouts anymore. When I started running, my legs really felt it. My hip flexors hated me! Go figure, with a new workout comes changing muscles. Adding a new exercise to my routine really was exciting even if a little on the painful side.

3. Breathing. WOW, I had no idea that my lungs would actually change from running. Well, yeah, this was a strange one for me. I have mild asthma (I do not have a regular inhaler, but seasonal changes can trigger shortness of breath for me). I would always give up when the breathing got hard, but after some research, I realized that this was actually good for me. My lungs had to learn to take on more work too! For me, this has actually been a good thing. My lung capacity has actually improved over the past 8 months! Don't get me wrong, I huff and puff during HIIT workouts, but the endurance side of changing my lungs really has changed for the better.

4. Being ok with just being you. No comparisons. Truth, I think one of the major reasons why I stayed away from running is because it seemed like an elitist sport. People are serious about their runs and me, learning how to run, next to a running superstar, made me feel inferior. Until I learned that my runs are mine and you can not compare yourself to the person next to you. Some people walk/run, some people jog, some people run like the doesn't matter what the person next to you (or a quarter mile in front of you) is doing. What matters is that you're doing this for you.

5. Running gear. People this is part of the addiction! Once you get started, you can't stop! Oh my gosh, why did no one warn me of this??? Shoes are a must and without a doubt, the most important. I wear Mizunos, and I love them. These are my shoes and they work for me. You NEED to get your stride checked at a running store and invest in shoes. They are worth it! The other stuff, well, that's the fun stuff! My suggestion is moisture wicking clothing though because nothing makes me sweat like running. Holy moly do I sweat when I run. Oh and inside or outside, I wear a hat. Otherwise, I have sweat poring in my eyes and that is no bueno! Compression socks are a huge thing for me too. I prefer to run in them, but some people only wear them for recovery (which I do too!). I have a list of things that I want to purchase, but I'm keeping things under control. This is a huge test to my self restraint! I would like a heart rate monitor with GPS and mileage information though. That's the next thing I'm gonna get.

6. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!!! You all know I'm a freak when it comes to nutrition. It's really the most important part of your health. I don't care how much you do or don't exercise. If you're not eating properly, your health will be sacrificed. You have to remember with any new training plan there will be some adjustments you need to make in your fuel (notice I didn't say diet since most people label that with restriction). I'm not gonna lie to you, most of Tony's weight loss is due to the fact that I changed the way he eats. Being certified in fitness nutrition gives me a leg up on this when it comes to knowing how to change your fuel sources to accommodate a changing fitness plan, however, even for me when I started running, this was different from what I'm used to. With changing muscles/endurance comes changing fuel.

7. Water, water, water...drink it up!

8. Sleep! I've started getting up at 4:30am Monday-Thursday to train clients before they head to work. Yes, I am the super crazy girl that LOVES mornings! However, this means I'm heading to bed to sleep by 9:00pm at the latest. I read or watch a little mindless tv until about 9:30pm some nights, but my body and brain are done by that time. Sleep is a major part of recovery and your body really needs the rest. I've been taking melatonin for awhile now and it really helps me relax and turn my brain off for some rest. This girl needs 7-8 hours of sleep or things get a little on the nasty side (and I don't mean that in the good way either ;)...

So tell me, in life or workouts, have you learned anything new lately? What is something new you've tried stepping out of your comfort zone? Please share a little inspiration!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:27 AM  
  • At January 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM, Blogger Heather Iacobacci-Miller said…

    Love love love this!! I was just sitting here nodding. It's not easy and I think that's why it can be easy to say you don't like it and move along. You assume it's gotta be easy or so many people wouldn't glow about running LOL. Running has most definitely helped me with my asthma (that and Singulair). Definitely increased lung capacity. So much learning - love this kind of post from you!!

  • At January 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM, Blogger Kristina @ spabettie said…

    agree, Agree, AGREE! running is one of those things you love to hate until you love! I think I got a "high" very early on, and so each run is chasing after that high... for me it STILL can be one of those things I'd rather not do today, but five minutes in I am glad I did.

  • At January 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM, Anonymous Paige @ your trainer paige said…

    So much awesome in this post, Sarena :) Running can be SO mind-clearing. I do some of my best thinking while running...well, when I used to run :-p haha. I should start that up again sometime.
    Hope you don't get sick!!

  • At January 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM, Anonymous Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said…

    LOVE this! I credit running with getting me into a healthier lifestyle - it made me want to eat better and take better care of my body. And showed me how much fun it is to be fit.

    Enjoy the sunshine today!!!

  • At January 18, 2013 at 1:03 PM, Anonymous purelytwins said…

    totally agree with you -especially with #4, we felt the same way.
    It is finally sunny here too yay ;)

  • At January 18, 2013 at 2:35 PM, Anonymous a farmer in the dell said…

    Running is my therapy. And hey, it's way cheaper than making an appointment with the counselor. I too believe in mind over matter. That is a huge one! Love your blog!

  • At January 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anna @ On Anna's Plate said…

    I love how much you're loving running :-) I've been feeling the itch to get back into it as well...and all this did was make me itch MORE! :-)

  • At January 18, 2013 at 5:34 PM, Blogger Alisa said…

    I know what you mean! Tony has been sick for 2 weeks solid now, and I knew it was inevitible for me after all of this - here I set sniffling.

    I'm so happy that you are loving running! I'm following you a bit. I've been running just a little each week. Because of my knees, the most I can do is a few miles to avoid pain, but just doing a few miles a few times a week has made my lungs feel so much stronger!

  • At January 18, 2013 at 5:44 PM, Blogger Jolene said…

    Yes yes and yes! Totally agree on the breathing thing, that is one thing I still struggle with at times, and it is so frustrating. I can't wait to get back to running, but in the meantime, I am loving seeing you flourish as a runner! (I used to think running was an elite sport too!)

  • At January 18, 2013 at 9:31 PM, Blogger Cotter Crunch said…

    looooove this too! 100% agree with it all. nutrition, gear, being YOU, and Mind of matter! Love you and your passion evolving!

  • At January 18, 2013 at 10:57 PM, Anonymous GiGi Eats Celebrities said…

    Sleep & Diet = Definitely two of my BIGGEST pieces of advice to those who want to EXCEL at fitness!!! I know that if I don't sleep well or enough at night, I DRAG the next morning when I work out!! Lets hope it doesn't happen tomorrow, lol!

  • At January 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM, Anonymous Jess said…

    Ahhh you and I are like running kindreds, I swear. I am ABSOLUTELY with you on all of this -- I love how you approach running and how you are absolutely unaffected by the 'elitist' runners out there (yes, they do exist) -- but who carees about them, run your way, for you, and because you love it. Which I am SO thrilled that you DO love it. It suits you so well, clearly :)

  • At January 21, 2013 at 12:28 AM, Anonymous STUFT Mama said…

    This post makes me so happy. You are awesome and I'm so happy for you and what running has done for you in the past 8 months. You ARE A RUNNER! Love ya!

  • At February 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM, Anonymous Emily said…

    This is so inspiring--I've been trying to get back into running. This reminded me of all the things I love about it. Thank you!

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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