Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Training to Run #4 - Hip Mobility

One of the most important things, and also one of the activities that I've failed at maintaining during my running journey, is hip mobility with hip flexor stretches. I was forced into doing them after becoming incredibly stiff in that groin area in the first few months of running. Although I've had this post in drafts for a really long time, I've finally gone back to it, because well, I've been suffering again and had realized the benefits of hip flexor stretches for hip mobility and overall comfort when running. These are best done after a workout. See various images from runner's world, pop sugar fitness etc stolen from Pinterest of these exercises:

Change, Raw Vegan and Regular Run Happenings

Hey Runners!

So it's been a little while... that seems to be my usual greeting for the last few months, so I won't make any excuses and just get into whats been happening.

Change... Change happens, sometimes we're afraid of it, we don't want it, either way it happens. My life has been going through come changes, so has everyone elses, injuries, work, family, and I really don't to intrude on anybody elses life. So, here comes Ana, my beloved running partner, Ana who introduced me to running club, who is always lagging behind with me, who faithfully got up to run at High Mountain run in the hills of Manchester. Ana has been going through changes in her life and doesn't run as much. But do you know what Ana did? Ana told Dane that i'm not a good running partner because I don't nag her to go running on a Saturday morning!!! I was so hurt, I did what any hurt partner would do, I broke off the relationship!... Within the next few hours, somehow we had managed to talk things out, apologize and made new vows to improve our running for the summer. Thanks Dane! 
New Running Shoes based on recommendations from Shoe Dog

The first thing we did was go to the Keep it Alive 5K test run, which wasn't bad, (it was better than the actual run IMO) She brought another friend, who also knew about our issues, but no fuss, at least he's there as a buffer and to keep us on our best behavior.

The day after that was the Tru Juice Run for your cause. I went along with Roya. (since I had initially broken things off with Ana, she wasn't invited) Roya was the one who basically got me to sign up. She wanted to go, but didn't want to go alone. So I said I'd go. It's amazing, in the beginning I was going to all the races alone and would just say hi and small talk with the familiar faces when I was there, now I feel lonely if I don't have a set person who I'm going with or going to meet up with at the start and finish lines... Damn you Loneliness!!! I don't know why I didn't run in my reeboks, I went on the running shoe site mentioned here and got myself a pair of Asics gel nimbus 15, which were nice and shiny... but then after the race they looked like this (see image below)
New Shoes after Tru Juice Trail Run
Ugh!!! There was so much mud, I was running in slow motion, slipping down the hills... it's was awesome, just not in my new shoes! Thankfully, I was able to wash off all the mud and its almost as good as new.

In the midst of all of this, I've convinced hubby that we should become raw vegan, and he agreed. In reality we're reducing our consumption of meat and processed foods, we're essentially becoming pescatarians [ Pescatarian - Definition: Occasionally used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. (source:]. So mainly calaloo, choy, banana, plantain, pumpkin, sweet potato, mackerel and snapper. It's intermittent, I really would have to cook more for it to be a success. Let's just say he didn't marry me for my cooking skills.

Then there was the Keep it Alive 5K, it was a new race put on by Guardian Group, there were some ups and downs, I just did it and left, I got to the race with a few minutes to spare because up to an hour before they blocked off the roads leading up to it and literally every turn was road block, so we ending up parking on the road in New Kingston and walking a distance to the starting line. After the race, it was really hot, and everyone was sweaty, so we just made a beeline back to the car and back home. Hubby chauffeured me and cheered me along for this one, since it was a while since he's been at a race.

I've been embarking on a workout program, that I'll  just do 1 post about when I'm finished. On a break from races til September, and long runs til August.

Happy Running!

4 months after... Everyone's a Winner 5K, 6K, 7K

Hey Runners,

I'm a winner!

So running along after almost 2 months not doing any races, I did the Everyone's a Winner Best Dressed Chicken 5K in March followed by the 6K in April and finally the 7K in June. It was ok great! I realized that since late last year I've seriously tired, this year when I was going bootcamp, I managed to get through, but I was still very tired. I take my vitamins consistently, even added iron and fish oil when it gets really bad, but still no luck. My eating habits haven't really changed much so I don't think that's it. As a result of this tiredness, I have absolutely  no drive to push myself. However, once you've started the race and finished it, your a winner, so right now the aim to be a winner. I'm a winner!
Mel and the Best Dressed Chicken

I signed up for the 3 races in advance, and saved $500. I did this last year and still managed to skull one of the races, but this year, i really tried to drag my tired body to the starting line for each one and I did. Now, the key thing, for this race, and every race really, is to be on time. Jamaicans have a tendency to be late for everything, coupled with the limited parking and smaller roads. I had that experience last year, was late and the parking lot I went to was full, and the one the security was trying to direct me too would take me too long to get to the starting line, so I just pretended I was leaving and parked badly, then scurried off to the starting line before anyone could see me. This is not a good practice! After that, I starting going there early. For races at Hope Gardens, I enter by Gibson Close and park near to the zoo entrance, lots of abundant parking. Since then I've been stress free.

My aim was to finish each race in the same time, hoping that I would get increasingly better, then it was just to do the 7K under an hour. I failed both miserably. But I'm still a winner. There was this blog on tumblr I used to follow one-twenty-five about a girl named Liz trying to lose weight and her goal weight is 125lbs. It's been a while, and Liz still hasn't gotten to her goal weight. She's travelled around the world, love and lost, started running, did a few 5Ks to marathons  including the Berlin marathon, but she still hasn't reached 125lbs. Sometimes I wonder, if she ever will, but I think she will. She's going against a lot of nay-sayers, haters, but she's still blogging and living her life, even with the highs and the lows. So it happens, that even though I was going into yet another slump again I won't let myself myself get discouraged, I'm just riding it out, and i'm happy to say that i'm getting out  of it now. A friend messaged me a few weeks ago in the middle of my downside to ask me if I was doing a 5K and I was like "nah, not really feeling like doing anything anymore", and she was like, "but your my inspiration". Thats was motivating enough... then I read this post about 5 surefire ways to  cheer up!

So back to the 5,6,7K.... So the morning of the 6K the organizers announced that they weren't so sure about what they would do about the 7K because entrants weren't so comfortable doing it. Thats understandable, since the additional K would be uphill and it's summer in Jamaica, which is hot... but I still felt weird... It didn't make send to do 5,6, then 5 again did it? Eventually, they decided to have both a 5K and a 7K, early registrants such as myself would automatically be signed up for the 7K, and others the default would be 5K. 

The 7K was rough... it's amazing, I can do 6 mile on a Saturday morning run but a 7K i'm dying. Could it be nerves? or the heat? In the end, I was proud of myself for actually turning up to all the races. I was disappointed that I didn't meet my goals, but  what to do but keep trying. Until the next race...

Happy Running!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

New Stuff

Hey Runners,

Since suffering from severe shin splints at the High Mountain Coffee Run I've been very wary of my running shoes. Thankfully I was referred to Shoe Dog at Road Runner Sports that recommends shoes based on you weight, mechanics etc. So I'm hoping the shoes I chose based on these recommendations will solve that injury.

The next thing, if you are in Kingston, Jamaica, the best way to keep in touch with running events as well as running groups, is We Got The Runs aka WGTR on Facebook. They post weekly runs from various clubs twice per week and have an email subscription thing that can notify you if your not one to be checking Facebook for update regularly.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Running Comeback

Hey Runners,
Just a quick mention on an article I saw last week.  So one  morning I logged on to facebook to see Runner’s World post this article 7 Secrets for Making a Comeback. I had to read it... in summary, if you’ve been off running for 3 months, you need to start from scratch. It's an interesting ready, especially since many of us fall off track for one reason or another and aren't sure how to get back into the grove of running effectively. 

Hope it helps/motivates one of you reading this.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

High Mountain Coffee Run Weekend

Hey Runners.

Amidst the rain, I was once again in Williamsfield, Manchester for the High Mountain Coffee Run. Hard to believe that even though it was in its 31st year, I had only learnt about it a few weeks before the 30th staging. Nevertheless, this time I brought my team, and the four of us, Me, Hubby, Anna and Sue, huddled under one big umbrella to collect our race bibs and shirts an hour before the race. I was a bit worried then, it was cold, it was a good distance from home and I was fighting off some variant of the flu already. Amazingly, the rain eased up, and held up until we finished the 5K and was back in the car after the race eating pan chicken and drinking manish water (goat soup).

Once the rain eased up, we were all in good spirits, I had signed us up with the Bullhead Mountain Spring Water Team, which was beside the Lucozade  tent, which was beside the St. Mary's Banana Chips tent. So we had water, lucozade and ripe banana's to fuel us before the race as we mingled.

So, just a little update, I starting going to bootcamp after the Training Camp 5K. It focuses on core and cardio strength, and I've experienced pain throughout all parts of my body and realize how remarkable the human body is that it mutes the pain for that one hour in the morning during bootcamp, then resumes again when I'm finished. All except for that nagging pain in my shin, which is more prevalent now from all the jumping and bouncing around. 

During the run, the pain in my shin, took a turn for the worst, it spread from the front of my shin to the sides, down to my ankles, that whole area was just burning. I could barely walk. Then in the spirit of the High Mountain Coffee Run, as we neared the finish line, a walker came up beside me and helped me towards the finish line. It's like one of those stories you read about on the internet.

That evening after I rubbed my shins and ankles with voltaren, took 2 pain killers and went to bed. The next morning for bootcamp, I wore a pair of firm sneakers I got at Payless and put some Dr Scholls  athletic gel insoles insides... I was pain-free. The next morning, I only wore the sneakers with the gel insoles, It wasn't as pain-free as the day before. Might need to alternate with the painkiller til I can identify a new pair of sneakers, or learn more about what cause shin splints so look forward for a post on that very soon, until then...

Happy Running!

And we're of!... Training Camp 5K + NMIA Palisadoes 5K 2014

Hey Runners,

Sorry for getting to this post so late, but lets get right to it... and we're off. First and foremost, I love how it seems like EVERYBODY is starting off the new year trying to improve their running time and fitness over all. Even though it has only been two four weeks almost two months, I'm seeing all the running apps update on my facebook timeline, Runtastic, Endomondo, MaymyRun etc, personally at home my Hubby recommends RunKeeper, even he's been getting in his runs and making improvements. It's a good look for 2014!

So following up on my previous post where I was sad, and tired and feeling delinquent, I signed up for the Training Camp 5K on the day of the deadline. The girl at Trafalgar Travel was really friendly, and we chit-chatted about the run and some sports travel package they were considering and if I'd want to do runs in other Caribbean islands etc. I didn't even think about it. My only thought was that after I was able to do a half-marathon, I would probably do the Disney half-marathon, and that would be it, but Running in the Caribbean isn't a bad idea at all. A few days later I went back to pick up the bibs, and hurried off to sign up for the NMIA Palisadoes 5K. This one is usually awkward since its at the airport, and you know how the parking at airports are, so I managed to get hubby to be my chauffeur that lunch hour so he could sit in the car while I ran and got registered. To my surprise they were issuing the bibs at the same, really quick and efficient, and I was back in the car by the time they realized we were parking and not picking up/dropping off anybody. As usual, there were some festivities going on at the airport to celebrate whatever it was they celebrate or recognize, I really didn't take note. Just that they had Pink Ting, A Jamaican Pink Grapefruit soda, and since I am trying to be disciplined and off soda for this year. I had to decline the nice offer I had to try some.... I love Pink Ting!!! *deep sigh*

Feeling much more motivated and ready to run now. This was tricky because I couldn't go to bed early the night before due to the Shaggy and Friends concert. I just made up my mind that I wouldn't be able to see all of it, and promptly went to bed after Tessane's performance. Tessane is a runner too, she usually passes me at about the 1K mark at the runs that are kept at Hope Gardens. Later that morning, I struggled to get out of bed, woke up hubby, and we were off. The turnout wasn't as much as last year, which was expected since the LIME 6K was the same morning.

Unfortunately the Training Camp 5K was much harder than I remembered last year, I really struggled with this one, but I made it through to the end. Not much to say here. It was pretty much the same for the Palisadoes 5K as well.... Since I took so long to finish this post I totally forgot any relevant details I would describe here so this is it... :-(

Happy Running!