Results tagged ‘ Trenni Kusnierek ’
With 1o weeks to go until the Brewers Mini and just one until the Brewers Famous Racing Sausages 5K Run/Walk, we’re in full-on training mode and you should be, too!
But what if, say, you work crazy hours or travel a lot for business? Or, since it’s that time of the year, you’re headed on vacation?
You don’t have to let those things become excuses or prevent you from staying on track. Read on to for some of our personal tips, then share your own in the comments field below!
Working in baseball, your hours can be crazy and unconventional. Night games followed by day games. Long homestands. Travel. Ask anyone, and they will tell you that it is not a normal 9-to-5 job. That makes working in a workout a little more challenging and makes the discipline needed to train a little greater.
I don’t travel on every Brewers road trip, but when I do travel, I always plan ahead knowing that I enjoy to maintain a routine of working out. Sometimes it means losing an hour of sleep and waking up a little earlier, but it is nice to continue your normal workout plan.
I look ahead to see where we are staying and check out the workout facilities. Having done this for awhile, I now know which cities have the “good” fitness centers and which cities have “bad” fitness centers. Doing a little advance research in hotel fitness centers is important. If you know ahead of time what to expect, it makes your workout on the road a little easier.
Some cities are also better suited for running outdoors than others Chicago, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver and Phoenix (depending on the time of year you are there) are great cities for running outside. Many hotels even provide maps with safe routes for running outdoors in case you are in an unfamiliar city. Running outside on the road is also a good way to become familiar with an unfamiliar city.
Another thing that people might find as an obstacle to working out on the road is packing extra gear. With airline baggage fees skyrocketing, every pound you save when packing your suitcase helps. There are things you can do when traveling to use as little space possible in your suitcase. Rolling your t-shirts always saves space and I usually travel with older shirts that I don’t mind throwing away when done, thus saving space (and laundry!) on the way home. There are also packing solutions that allow everything to keep fresh and clean.
I know when traveling my normal routine is something I won’t be able to achieve, but with a little planning ahead and some dedication, one can still maintain their workout routine so travel doesn’t interrupt training.
I don’t work quite as crazy hours as John, nor do I travel nearly as much for in my role, but I can tell you that my schedule is jam-packed, especially in the summer. It’s also a time when trips pop up. Your friends ask you to spend a weekend at their cabin up north, or maybe traveling to attend a wedding or other family gathering.
Most recently, my friends Emily and George got married in Brooklyn and I found myself in New York for a few days. As I was packing for my trip, I included some workout clothes, hoping I would be able to hit the gym at my hotel. However, I knew my days would be packed with wedding activities intermingled with sight-seeing–and the last thing I really wanted to do was “waste” any of my precious vacation time in the hotel gym. So, while I didn’t stick to my exact running schedule while I was gone, I still kept active by turning my sightseeing adventures into mini workouts.
Walking can be just as good of a workout as running, so instead of taking the subway each time I wanted to go some place, I plotted out how I could walk between places I needed or wanted to go, and it turned out to be quite easy to work in exercise.
Bonus! I also saw more sights by being on foot and saved a little cash by needing fewer cab and subway fares.
The moral of the story? While routine can be nice, you don’t always have to adhere to a strict regimen while training–in fact, sometimes it is good to give your body a break–but it is always a good idea to keep active. On your next trip, consider ditching the gym and immersing yourself in your surroundings with a run or walk!
Heading out of town, whether it is for business or pleasure, can wreak havoc on your training plans. Who wants to go to bed early on the first night out of town so they can run 15 miles the next morning? How many of us can politely duck out of a 7am breakfast meeting to hit the track for a speed work out? I think the resounding answer is almost none of us!
With that said, time spent in planes, trains and automobiles does not mean your workouts (or eating habits) have to suffer, they just need to be adjusted, not abandoned.
I’m actually heading out of town Saturday morning with my family, but Saturday is my scheduled long run of 15 miles. (Did I mention I signed up for a 50K race the week before the half??) I also have a follow-up run of 7-8 miles on Sunday.
Let me be totally up front here, my will is not strong enough to turn down a crazy night with my huge, fun-loving family! However, I’m committed to being ready for all of my races this summer and fall, so I don’t want my workouts to be neglected.
Easy fix. I just moved everything up one day. Friday morning (today) I rose earlier than normal and was out the door by 6:30am to sneak in 15 miles before my work day. Saturday morning (tomorrow) I will once again rise a little earlier than normal and knock out my 7 mile run. The result? A weekend free of being tied down by a training schedule.
If you have a family vacation or work trip coming up, simply plan ahead. Take a look at your training schedule and see how you can shift your runs around. And keep this in mind, if you need to skip a run, make sure it is a short, easy distance not your long run of the week. Missing a five-mile jaunt in the middle of the week won’t ruin your training regiment, foregoing your first ever ten-mile run will cause you problems in the long run.
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)
Can you believe it is just 12 weeks until the Brewers Mini-Marathon? Time is running out to start training properly–and to save on registration fees!
Regular Entry ends on Tuesday, July 31st; after that, Late Entry fees kick in, so if you’re on the fence or just haven’t gotten around to signing up yet, now is the time to do it!
If you haven’t heard about the Brewers Mini yet, the 13.1 mile race will start and finish at Miller Park, taking participants on a scenic route past a number of iconic Milwaukee landmarks along the way, such as Saz’s State House, the Miller Valley and Miller Brewery, the Mitchell Park Domes, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Palermo’s Pizza. Runners will also run through the park along the warning track.
The event will come with plenty of fun and entertainment as all participants will receive a free Brewers ticket voucher good for select 2012 or 2013 games at Miller Park, a participant medal, a “tech” shirt and a post-race tailgate party outside Miller Park with live music.
Great on-course support will be provided with 10 aid stations featuring water and Gatorade, misting stations, and entertainment along the way. Spectators will have plenty of free parking at Miller Park and will have the opportunity to watch racers run through Miller Park while being shown on the scoreboard.
Additionally, participants can raise money for the MACC Fund, benefitting childhood cancer research in Wisconsin.
Participants can sign up for the race and organize their own fundraising page online at www.brewersmini.com.
We are all in the midst of training for the race ourselves, so we hope you’ll join us on Saturday, September 22!
-John & Cait (and Trenni)
Here’s a recap of our training posts to date:
Two weeks ago, I told you about my experience of pushing myself too hard early on in training. I warned readers to err on the side of playing it safe. Now, here’s another lesson in that from Trenni, based on her experience at Summerfest’s Rock ‘N Sole this past weekend.
It’s a good reminder to listen to your body and train safely!
-Cait (& John)
DNF. Did not finish. That was the outcome following the Rock ‘N Sole half marathon for me on Saturday. I have been running distance races for nearly seven years now and no matter how bad I felt or how tough the race, I have never dropped out early. I could have survived and crossed the finish line on Saturday and probably not much slower than my usual time, but I had to stop this time so I won’t have to again.
Starting with the Boston Marathon in 2010 I have been struggling with dehydration issues in all but a few of my events. The races I run start out just fine, but as the miles pile up, my body wears down far too fast when the temperatures are even slightly warm. The symptoms start with me feeling very, very thirsty and a little “off”. Things then progress to where no matter how warm it may be outside, I experience goose bumps on my arms and legs. By the time I get closer to the finish, it is nearly impossible for me to even approach a pace I’m capable of running and the headache and nausea have set in.
I began to experience these symptoms around the 10-mile mark on Saturday. I was running at a pretty decent clip (about a 7:25-7:30 mile), but nothing I couldn’t handle for that distance. Just one week earlier I had run a 10-mile race at a 7:24 pace and felt just fine. (The weather was cooler, less humid and more overcast on the day of the 10 mile race.)
As the route rounded toward Veteran’s Park on the lakefront, I spotted a medical tent at about 11.5 miles. One and a half miles from the finish. Despite how close I was to the end, I stopped. I decided it was better to figure out what the heck is going on with my body than to finish another run knowing I’ll feel crummy again the next time around.
Although I was disappointed I stopped, I finally have some concrete information to work with.
One, my feelings of discomfort are not in my head. (I was partly worried I’m just mentally weak and can’t push through the finish of races.) The medical team had me walk around and drink Gatorade to try and calm some of the symptoms. After nearly ten minutes of no aerobic activity, they checked my heart rate and it was still at 140 beats per minute, which is way too fast after an extended period of time without intense activity-especially for someone at my fitness level. In addition to my heart rate, the medical team in the main tent twice took my blood pressure. Once while lying down and again a few minutes later sitting up. My blood pressure dropped nearly 20 points between the two, which again is not normal. A drop of 20-plus is very alarming, so I didn’t fit into that category, but it was still enough of a red flag for the doctor.
The second revelation, a medication I’m taking may be to blame. Apparently the type of medicine I’ve been taking for the past few years (right around the time I began having issues) can sometimes exacerbate heat exhaustion and dehydration. I may need to switch medications or make the simple change of taking the does at night as opposed to first thing in the morning.
So although things didn’t go remotely the way I wanted them to during my first half marathon of the summer running season, I walked away feeling better about future events. For the first time in more than two years worth of racing, I may finally have a solution to a frustrating problem.
I am going to visit my primary care physician and figure this thing out as I continue to train for the Brewers Mini. Don’t forget to always train safely and really listen to your body.
Here’s a recap of our training posts to date:
With just 15 weeks to go until the Brewers Mini Marathon and just 7 until the Brewers Community Foundation’s Famous Racing Sausages 5K Run/Walk, John, Trenni and I are all in training mode.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, even though I’ve participated in running events before, I’m not an everyday runner. So, in preparation for these upcoming events, I’ve been trying to run more regularly and build up my speed/mileage.
For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have a “Type-A” personality. I am ambitious and like to push myself, which can oftentimes be good when it comes to accomplishing goals and getting things done, but can also, at times, be harmful, such as when I push myself too hard.
In the case of my training, thanks to Trenni’s guidance, I was really starting to enjoy my morning runs and had begun running outside almost every morning. After achieving a personal best time for a 2-mile run, the next day I attempted to run a 5K distance just to time myself and establish a benchmark.
I got about halfway through that run and felt something funny in my left knee. I made it home, but I could tell something was wrong. I took a day off and then tested it out again–it still hurt. Two days after that, it still bothered me, but it didn’t hurt when I walked and I wanted to continue training. However, the moment I tried to run on it, it would buckle. Then I went to play golf and while I walked the 18 holes, I noticed my other knee starting to ache, as well as pain in my elbows.
Worried that I had somehow seriously injured myself, I made an appointment with my doctor before doing any other form of exercise. She checked everything out physically with my joints, particularly my left knee, which was the primary source of pain, and even ran some blood tests due to my family medical history.
It turned out that everything checked out just fine–it was just a classic case of overuse. I was trying to do too much too soon and, by not giving that left knee a chance to rest after I first tweaked it, I also put myself at risk for further injury by changing my form to compensate for the pain.
I took a week off of running and adhered to the pain medication schedule prescribed my physician and I’m feeling much better now. I was very lucky I didn’t do any serious damage to my knees and I’m ready to get back out there, but this time, I am going to play it safe and really listen to my body.
I hope you learn from my mistakes and take it easy when starting out.
Happy (safe) running!
Cait (& John & Trenni!)
Here’s a recap of our training posts to date:
Happy National Running Day from John, Cait and Trenni!
Feel free to share one or both of these graphics on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to spread the word and show your support for these two great causes!
You can also visit www.runningday.org to create your own badge–whether serious or funny, Brewers-related or not,–then share the link, or what you wrote, with us in the comments field below!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)
Here’s a recap of our training posts to date:
17 weeks to go until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!
Last week, we sat down with Nicole Fasules, Board Certified Sports Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer at Way of Life Nutrition. Nicole works as consultant for the team, visiting with the players and team medical staff to ensure proper nutrition techniques are carried out. Knowing that she is a great source of information, we wanted to get her advice on what to eat while training for the Brewers Mini, the week of the race and the night before. Nicole also talked to us about using supplements, reinforced the importance of hydration, and addressed the ways common “vices” of sugar, coffee and alcohol effective our bodies.
Since nutritional needs vary based on body type, weight, height, level of activity and time of day, it was difficult for Nicole to give us a precise plan to follow; however, her general tips below are good guidance. If you have specific questions or concerns, you will want to consult your own doctor or nutritionist.
Training for a Race- How to Fuel Your Body Over the Next Four Months:
Afternoon/Early Evening Runners
If you are running in the afternoon, the most important thing to do is to make sure that your glycogen stores are topped off (that’s the carbohydrate in your muscle). You can do this by making sure your carbohydrates are spread out throughout the day. Ideally, Nicole says, you’ll want to be eating every 3 hours or so. Make sure you have a regular lunch, and then if you you are going to have a snack before you go and run, do it about 1-2 hours before you plan on running. You should be looking at a snack of between 50-60 grams of carbohydrates (e.g. lowfat yogurt, fruit, maybe even a granola bar with that; or, a peanut butter sandwich would work well, too).
Again, ideally, you will make sure you eat 1-2 hours before your run, but what if you already get up early in the morning and can’t see yourself getting up 1-2 hours earlier to heat? Nicole says you should make sure you have something an hour or two before you go to bed (such as a bowl of cereal) and then hydration is key.
Depending on the length of your run, water is generally fine, but if your run is longer than 45 minutes, she suggests adding Gatordae.
One tip that really stuck out was that, according to Nicole, to be properly hydrated, you want to drink half your weight in ounces of water in addition to 16-24 extra ounces per hour of activity. For example, a 120 lb woman should aim for at least 60 ounces of water on a normal day, plus 16-24 extra ounces if she is going on an hour-long run.
What if you don’t like just plain water? Nicole says tea or milk can work as well, but that sugar-free products like True Lemon or True Lime and Mio can help add flavor to water.
Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day
Make sure you don’t skip breakfast. Good, balanced breakfasts include carbs and protein, like a bagel with PB, egg and fruit, plus milk or water or oatmeal and fruit, nuts or flax, and milk.
“You always want a little bit of protein with your carbohydrate because it does help the carbohydrate get into the muscle a little bit easier. It also extends the properties of the carbohydrate, meaning it allows the carb to be used at a slower rate instead of rushing in and out of your system. That means that your carb can be more readily available,” Nicole explained.
When you get further into your training and start to add mileage, Nicole says you need to adjust your caloric intake.
“Typically, per extra mile of activity, you want to take in 100-150 extra calories per mile. It also depends on how fast you guys are. If you are doing some speed work, you might want to go closer to 200 calories per mile then. Your main goal is to keep the power up as much as you can.”
Energy Gels, Chews & Supplements… Oh my!
When we visited Performance Oufitters, we were overwhelmed by all the different bars, chews, goos, gels, etc. that were on the market. How do you know when to use them and what to choose?
Well, Nicole says that usually, you are good for the first hour of running where you won’t need to supplement. After the first hour, your body will require about 45-65g of carbs/hour.
“We usually recommend you are taking in a goo gel or a chew every 20 minutes at that point. Your main goal is to not let your glycogen stores deplete. You have to see what feels right to you guys. As you get higher in your distances, you can plant your goos along the way if you can’t carry everything with you, so you can kind of gauge what you might need.”
As far as which products to choose? That’s a personal preference related to taste and what works best for you. For instance, a goo gel might go down easier while running, while a chew might work better for someone biking.
And, when it comes to vitamins, if your diet is lacking then you probably need a multivitamin. But if you’re eating enough calories and you’re getting a good balance, you’re covered. The only additional supplement Nicole recommends to everyone is an Omega-3 fatty acid.
Closing in on the Race: Eat to Compete for the Main Event
The Week Leading Up to the Race (September 17!)
“Usually, the whole concept of carb-loading isn’t exactly the way we thought it was at one point,” Nicole said. “Really, your carb-loading starts the week before your race and that’s because usually before your race, you’re tapering your mileage. When you’re tapering your mileage, you’re using less carbohydrates and they can stay topped off. Usually you don’t want to change your eating so much before, because of the taper.”
Night Before the Race (September 21)
“The night before, you don’t want to take in mass amounts of carbs because your body actually can only store so much,” Nicole warned. “The purpose of the night before is to make sure you are very well hydrated depending on the time of the race. The more hydrated you are, too, the more saturated your muscles can become so the more efficient they will operate. Do you want to focus on carbs for your dinner? Yes, but you don’t necessarily have to go above and beyond what you would normally would.
You do want to make sure you have some nice solid sources for that meal, such as pasta or rice, good complex carbs. Balance that with a protein, a vegetable, milk, a roll, and maybe even dessert (such as froyo or sorbet) and you will hit your carb needs for that meal and it’s very well-balanced.
We had to ask. What about some of our “vices” like coffee, sugar and alcohol?
Are you someone who can’t survice without a cup of joe? “Studies have shown that it doesn’t dehydrate us like we once thought,” Nicole said, much to Cait’s delight, “But it doesn’t hydrate us either. It is fine if you want to keep it in, but you need to drink more liquid as well.”
“Real sugary foods aren’t necessarily a problem if you’re wise with how you use them,” Nicole said. Simple sugars are great post-run because when you take them in, they get into your muscles that much faster, which means the healing happens that much faster too. The reloading of your glycogen stores happens that much quicker as well. It’s the easiest for your body to use that sugar. Having simple sugars when you’re just lying around is not what you want and having simple sugars before an event is not what you want either because you can crash pretty easily if your stores are already topped off.”
Simple sugars are found in natural foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurts and milk. Obviously, healthier than processed foods with more refined (or added) sugars.
Alcohol on the other hand is a different story. Alcohol can stay in your system up to 72 hours after consumption. Throughout the whole training schedule, it is good idea to cut back on alcohol consumption, especially days before your longest runs. And, the week before the big race, at the very least, make sure you cut out alcohol at least four days before, so your muscles aren’t hurting.
“Alcohol can inhibit the reuptake of carbohydrates,” Nicole said. “Alcohol is very greedy, which means it wants to be used for energy first and foremost, so until it is completely out of your system, nothing else can be utilized very well.”
Overall, you want to be sure you decrease muscle damage, because when you run, you are tearing up muscle tissue.
Here’s a scary visual: “When you think about ingesting alcohol, think about putting rubbing alcohol on a wound….it just kills. The same thing happens with your muscles inside. It creates a lot of inflammation and it can’t heal. Be wise,” Nicole warned.
I talked in an earlier blog about how my high school cross country coach, Mr. Jim Kearney, had a lot to do with teaching training techniques that are still in my head today. nyone who ran for Mr. Kearney remembers his many “Kearney-isms.” One that I always remember was (for lack of a better term), “Eat like (garbage), you run like (garbage).”
Now, that is not to say today I’m always eating healthy, but those simple words do stick in your head. I do enjoy my fair share of sweets, snacks, probably too much red meat and, well, the occasional “garbage.” But, I try to be aware what I’m eating and when I’m eating it to keep up as healthy of a standard of living as possible.
That is pretty difficult to do when you work at a baseball stadium where there is an endless supply of food all around you (Hey, but I have to taste it all to write about it for the blog!). Add that to working weird hours and I feel like I’m a pretty special case. I listened to closely to what Nicole had to say during her address to the team at Spring Training and again the other day. I picked up on the importance of being able to balance everything and eat at the right times. The food you eat affects your performance, but it also affects how you carry out your job, your overall mood and well being.
I really found the above tips useful. I know it can seem a bit overwhelming, and by no means am I going to stop eating the foods I like. I will, however, think more about what I eat and when I eat it, not just for a better performance in the Brewers Mini, but also for better overall personal well-being.
I may work out often and hard enough, but I know that my diet could use it’s own boot camp… I am that person who doesn’t like eating breakfast in the morning. I love coffee, have a major sweet tooth, a penchant for bloody marys, and such a sporadic, hectic schedule that I tend to skip meals and/or end up eating out too much.
I confessed most of this to Nicole and, although she was very polite about it, I am guessing I am probably her worst nightmare. I found a lot of her advice to be very useful and it really helped keep things in perspective. She didn’t tell us we had to give up coffee, sweets or even alcohol, we just have to be smarter about it. And, I’ve always read about how your body uses food as fuel and energy, but having the Brewers Mini to train for and hearing her talk about the science behind how your body uses the food that you put into it, really helped me understand that not only what, but also when, I eat can make a big difference. I know I’m not going to change overnight, but I’m going to start with some small changes like drinking half my weight in water and making sure I am eating more regularly throughout the day, especially at times more conducive to my runs.
A personal trainer recently spilled the beans to a friend of mine, working out is important, but what we eat really determines how fit we are!
I remember when I was training for my first marathon. I thought I would shed pounds and look like the women on the cover of Runners World. Instead, I gained weight. And not the “muscle weighs more than fat” kind of weight. I fell into the very large trap of thinking that because I was working out more than I ever had before, I could eat whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, that is just not true.
Food is fuel and you don’t want to put the wrong “gas” in your “car”, but you also don’t want to be running around on empty.
I am certainly not qualified to advise anyone on proper nutritional or caloric needs, but I do know that eating well not only improves your performance, but makes you feel a heck of a lot better!
I recently completed a 10-day cleanse which included a fiber drink, herbal cleansing and probiotic pills and a diet void of sugar, refined, white starches (white breads, pastas, tortilla’s, etc…) caffeine, alcohol and dairy. It was not easy, but I can assure you that after ten days I felt better than I had in years. I no longer crave sugar (I suffer from a crazy sweet tooth!) or junk food like I did before. When I began the cleanse, I was dreaming of double cheeseburgers, fries and custard. By the time I had finished, I honestly no longer wanted those types of food.
Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t treat myself or have something if I want it, but I definitely broke the addictive habit of having a cookie or some ice cream almost every day. It wasn’t that I really wanted or needed that particular food, it had just become routine.
I challenge our readers to adopt a new habit or break an old one this week! See if you can skip the cupcake, the post-work glass of wine or promise to eat a healthy breakfast every day. My goal for this week is to continue to eat meals high in healthy proteins and loads of fruits and vegetables. I’m also hoping to keep kicking the sugar habit!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)
19 weeks to go until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!
This week, we visited Performance Running Outfitters in Brookfield, to get geared up so we can officially begin training.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Performance Running Outfitters is a store that specializes in high quality performance shoes, fitness apparel, and accessories. Besides Brookfield, there are two additional locations–one in Shorewood and another in Oconomowoc. The company, which will have been open 6 years this July, is locally owned by Trae and Jessica Hoepner, who together have over 20 years of coaching and 30 years of running expertise.
Performance Running is also the official training partner of the Brewers Mini. They will be providing the pace team for the race and they have developed an official training program for the it! Beginning on Saturday, July 7 and going for 12 weeks leading up the race, participants can meet at the store in Brookfield for training runs. [For more information on the program, or to register, click here.]
When we arrived today, Jessica and Trae took great care of us to properly fit us with the best shoes and apparel for our individual running styles. Read below for individual descriptions of our experiences and check out our photo gallery!
We are also pleased to announce that Performance Running has teamed up with us to offer a special savings to John and Cait…Plus 9 readers! The first 50 people to come to Performance Running and mention the coupon code “Brewers Mini” will receive 20% off their purchase. (This offer is only valid once per customer.)
We had a great visit to the store and now we’re ready to start our workout. We highly encourage you to start shopping for your gear and to visit Jess and Trae….And tell ‘em John and Cait sent you!
It was quite a treat to be properly fitted for my new running shoes today. Trae Hoepner helped me learn about how my feet were built and what needs I have for the proper fit. This is a very important part to running and training–especially when you are doing long distance like a half-marathon. He started me in a “neutral” shoe and from that he was able to tell the pronation of my foot from watching a video he determined I was an “overpronator” especially in my left foot.
I tried a couple different shoes all of which had a stronger “post” to keep my leg and foot straighter. Getting back on the treadmill was great because I could instantly feel a difference. I tried three different pairs of shoes and finally settled on a pair of Nike’s.
The customer service was outstanding. Trae and his wife Jessica are not only extremely knowledgeable about running, but they also cared about making sure your shoe had the right fit (they even made sure they had the right color!). The whole experience from start to finish was first class. I can’t wait until their new store in Shorewood opens, sounds like they are very excited about it as well.
As John mentioned, the customer service at Performance Running was simply amazing. While Trae was working with John, Jessica helped me pick out the best shoes for my gait. I was very impressed by the level of detail and care she took in making sure I had the most comfortable shoes. She started by measuring my feet and then, as Trae did with John, she started me in a “neutral” shoe and got me actually running on the treadmill that they have in the store. She videotaped me and from that, she was able to show me that I tend to “supinate,” but overall, I have good form, landing on my forefoot.
She then took me outside to try the shoes on the pavement. From there, I tried on several different styles and brands (including a cool pink pair of Newtons that had special lugs in them) until I settled on a pair of purple and blue Brooks, which was actually the first pair Jessica had me try on (she’s obviously good at what she does–nailed it on the first try!).
While I was at the store, I also purchased some Nike running capris and Jess threw in a pair of her favorite socks that she wants me to try.
She also introduced me to the world of running belts, power gels and foam rollers–foreign territory to me as a fairly novice runner. I’m not quite ready for those things yet, but I know where I will be shopping for them when I am!
It may be accurate to call me a shopaholic. So, when I discovered the next step in getting ready for the Brewers Mini-Marathon was to get “geared up,” I was all in, despite the fact I own a closet full of running gear and am not due for new shoes until at least late June!
Here’s a little motivation secret, something as small as a new t-shirt or even a new pair of socks may get you out the door when the urge to run has reached a low point.
I took seven whole days off from running last week. My legs did not feel like they were recovered after Boston and the frustration and discomfort was a sign I needed to slow down. I hit the pavement this week, with the weather helping push me out the door.
Until I hit up Performance Running Outfitters this afternoon.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m dying (no rhyme intended!) to get out in my new gear. Not only is it nice to look halfway decent while sweating up a storm on the east side streets, it is important to have the right stuff. Yes, it is perfectly OK to run in any pair of tennis shoes, t-shirt and shorts, but it can lead to problems. If you’re shorts don’t fit quite right, the chafing can not only cause some pain, the raw skin can be pretty unsightly. If you are wearing a plain, old cotton t-shirt as the weather gets warmer, your body can’t properly sweat and breathe, which causes you to dehydrate and tire out much faster.
But if there is one piece of “equipment” that matters the most, it is without a doubt your running shoes. Caitlin emailed me earlier this week complaining of some knee discomfort and my immediate response was in regards to her shoes. Caitlin had been running in the same sneakers for a year, which is far too long to keep a pair or running shoes. When the soles and structure deteriorate, your feet have to make up the difference. Your body begins to make adjustments to compromise and the next thing you know, you are on the couch instead of the treadmill.
I’m sure you’re next thought is, “how do I know which shoe is best for me?” Great question! The best thing to do is visit a running specific store like Performance Running Outfitters and give a number of pairs a try. I have been buying my shoes from Performance for more than a year for one, main reason–the staff is knowledgeable and will not rush you through the process. When I was having issues with my previous style of shoe, the folks at Performance spent nearly an hour with me as I tried on NINE different brands and styles on the treadmill.
I run in two different shoes during my training seasons–a long distance and speed shoe–alternating days to keep my legs fresh and different muscles working. If you are a more recreational/novice runner, this certainly isn’t necessary, but something to think about as you progress!
So, I left Performance today with a new pair of shorts, two new tanks, and some great advice from Jessica about how to gradually ease into a minimalist shoe I bought this winter. The clothes cost a few bucks, but the advice and post-purchase running glow were free!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)
Remember last month when we told you that we were signing up to run the Brewers Mini-Marathon in September?
Well, we’re signed up, we’ve started raising money for the MACC Fund, the early-bird registration deadline has come and gone, and now, with just 20 weeks to go, it’s time to get serious about training!
So, we decided to sit down with one of the best runners we know, Trenni Kusnierek, current sports anchor on 620 WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Afternoon News and co-host of Sports Central. Besides being one of the Brewers great partners, WTMJ is also a proud supporter of the Brewers Mini as well!
I like to think I am in pretty good shape right now, but definitely not the kind of shape you need to be in to run a half-marathon. I work out around five times a week and occasionally play other sports when I can. I’m ready for the challenge of training and participating in this race.
I ran Cross Country at Marquette High School. I wasn’t very good, but I learned a lot from my coach, James Kearney. He put us in the mindset not only to train to be physically strong, but also mentally strong. I still use a lot of those methods today when working out. I really enjoyed running and look forward to getting back into it and to accomplish the goal of finishing this race.
Another part of this that is special to me is the tie in with the MACC Fund. The MAAC Fund has been something that I have been pretty much been supporting one way or another my entire life. The organization means a lot to me and to my family. I’m very excited for what the training process will bring, we have a lot of great things planned for the blog that I think will be beneficial to everyone.
As I mentioned in my first post about the Brewers Mini-Marathon, I did not run in high school (I played golf instead), but I have completed a few 5K’s and one half-marathon since then. I like to challenge myself by setting new fitness goals, like climbing Camelback Mountain when we’re down at Spring Training, participating in a 60-mile walk for breast cancer, etc. I keep active by trying lots of different workouts (like Insanity, P90X) and regularly practicing yoga, but I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore runner. In fact, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: right now, I find running boring. Yes, that’s right. I said it. Most of my previous running has been done indoors, on a treadmill at a speed where I can still vaguely read a fashion magazine. When I admitted this to Trenni, I could tell this did not sit well with her, but she’s really nice and encouraging, so she politely challenged me to run outside. I promised her I would, but I’m having trouble getting started. The rainy weather hasn’t exactly helped either. I know I need to get going if I want to do well in this race, so any words of encouragement or advice from our readers is much appreciated. I’m looking forward to getting some new gear and training alongside John and Trenni this summer as I think they’ll provide the motivation I need to finally start to like running!
[Note: I just shared this draft with Trenni and she already responded with some tips for me, so I thought I'd share them with you as well!
Trenni: Here's my advice for running outdoors. Do it first thing in the morning. Put your clothes out the night before as a reminder/motivator. I'm not a big fan of music, but I think an upbeat playlist will help. At the very least, if you make a new mix, you'll be excited about listening to some new music! Find a route you know will be pretty--maybe the Menomonee River Parkway, or through a cute neighborhood. Start small and shoot for 20 minutes-10 minutes out and 10 minutes back. By breaking it up into two, 10 minute segments, this should help as well. It's a good way to trick your mind! Now...if it's REALLY hard to get outside, I then challenge you to begin by tossing aside the magazines and books and cranking up the speed on the treadmill. Start small, and set the speed at 5.2 or 5.3 if you were at 5.0 before. If you are running at 6.0, you are pacing at a ten minute mile, which I believe is VERY achievable for you!]
I am three weeks post Boston Marathon and my body is still rejecting the idea of running. It has been unbelievably frustrating to head out the door only to have my legs feel as if someone cut them open and poured sand into my quads.
Running is as much a part of my daily life as breathing. It has gotten to the point where easy runs feel natural, comfortable and even *gasp* enjoyable! But for some reason it is taking my body longer to recover after my most recent 26.2.
I’m not alone. I recently had dinner with my training “crew”-Bart and Stephanie- and we have all been feeling the same. Despite our high fitness level, we are slow and groggy when we hit the pavement these days, but the desire to get back out there is hard to ignore!
Unlike John and Cait, the September Brewers Mini-marathon will not be my only big race this summer, so I feel a little pressure to get back on the training track. My next race, the Summerfest Rock N’ Sole half marathon is just seven weeks away on Saturday, June 23rd. However, unlike past races, I’m approaching half-marathon number one A LOT differently than every other race in the past. I will not be wearing a watch. Yes, you read that correctly. No time keeping piece on my wrist allowing me to manage my splits every single mile. My hope is that by running my first race of the summer season “naked” I get a better idea of what my body is really capable of in terms of speed and endurance. It will also be a mental test to see if I can still run fast and control my pace, based on knowing my body rather than counting on numbers.
My long-term goals are still being formed. If my body and weather permits, I would really like to set a PR (personal record) on the half-marathon course in September. Right now I’ve been pretty consistent at crossing the finish line around 1:40, but I feel pretty confident I can get my time down around 1:35.
I’m also entertaining the idea of running a late fall marathon. Prior to Boston I said I was going to take a summer off from training, but I feel as though I’m at a point in my running career where I’m capable of racing my fastest. I’m playing with the idea of upping my mileage into the upper 50’s/low 60’s per week (in the past I’ve peaked at 45 miles per week) and paying more attention to speed work and strength training.
Right now, I’m in rest mode. I am restricted to just yoga and easy cycling until next Tuesday-one whole week without running. I’m cautiously optimistic the next time I check in, I’ll be up and running like normal!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)