Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fun Run - It's not an oxymoron

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too, is fun.  There are many who say that running cannot be fun so there is no such thing as a “fun run.”  I would argue that this is not so. This is why:

·         To a serious runner, it is fun to run a race and win.

·         To a recreational runner, it is fun to run a race and perform better than last time.

·         To a beginner runner, it is fun to run your first race and experience  the sense of accomplishment that accompanies it.

·         To a walker (because walking is allowed at Fun Runs), it is fun to do something healthy with other walkers.

·         To everyone, it is fun to get a T-shirt that tells the world you participated in a Fun Run!

·         Prizes are fun!  Sure, the fast guys get a prize, but race registrations often go in a drawing for things like water bottles, gift certificates, and socks.  That is always fun!

·         It is fun to hear observers cheering you on along the route.
T-shirt from Old Fort Boise Days Run 2012
The next time you hear the phrase “Fun Run,” remember it isn’t that running is fun (Well, for some), it’s that participating in a run is fun.  Don’t believe me?  Why not try it?  This one is small and low key, so you really can have fun!

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Carol - aka Running Granny Green
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Lonely Run

It seems I’ve been training for a half marathon all year!  Actually, I began in March and hit a road block about the time I was due to run my first six-miler.  After recuperating from a couple of setbacks, I began again and reached the six-mile long run last weekend.  I had recruited a running buddy because long runs can get pretty lonely.  Unfortunately, there is a strange phenomenon surrounding the six-mile run.  Running buddies tend to disappear for six-milers.  I think I know the reasons.  It isn’t because they are wimping out (well maybe) rather they have reasons not to run six miles.

#1 – They are not training for a half, so six miles is just a random run.  It is not their goal.

#2 – Unless you can run a six minute mile (Most of us can’t) it takes a while to run six miles. Sometimes a long run just doesn’t work into your day.

#3 – Recovery.  Six miles takes more out of a body than three, or four, or even five.

This time my running buddy had something else come up and she had to cancel.  That happens, too.

That’s why I found myself alone on the road with only the voices of Alan Jackson, Sarah Brightman, Roger Miller, The Beatles, David Essex, and George Jones, to name a few.  I have an eclectic taste in running music!  I chose a route I had not traveled for many moons.  Long runs are typically done at an easy pace.  Their purpose is to build strength and endurance. I think they also have a purpose for building patience – something I need to work on.

Blooming Russian Olive Tree
 I started slow.  At 1.5 miles I was still slow and tried to pick up the pace a bit. Somewhere around mile three I got lost in my thoughts.  This was strange because somewhere around mile three I realized I had a 2 mile stretch that was bordered by blooming Russian Olive trees!  Like this one.

This was a problem because those innocuous yellow blossoms have a sickening sweet aroma that wreaks havoc on my head!  I dislike blooming Russian Olives with a passion, which is unfortunate because I am trying to bridle my passions! I thought, perhaps, this 2 mile stretch would be my undoing, but I just kept moving.  I ignored the trees and focused on … I don’t remember.  I think I let my mind wander, enjoying the assorted tunes bouncing in my ears and wondering what the uphill mile at the end of the run was going to feel like.

It felt fine.  In fact, it almost felt good!  The best part was the time on my watch at the end of the run.  It was the fastest I had ever covered six miles – 10K races included!  The slow start, the Russian olives, and the uphill mile at the end, were all a part of my lonely run and they combined for success.  I was satisfied with a sense of accomplishment afterwards, yet I had no buddy to whom I could brag, but then, if I had done the run with a buddy my time would have been slower because I would surely have been chatting along the way.

Innocuous Yellow Blossoms

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What's in a word?

I had a conversation yesterday with a non-running friend about participating in an upcoming local 5K.  This One. Her goal is to walk the route and that is always a worthy goal.  We don't all have to run, but we should all attempt to move!  I was reminded once again how runners have our own vocabulary. 
She asked, "Now, there is a five and a three?"
"No, just a 5K,"  I answered.
"So ... a 5K is how far?"
"Three miles."  (I thought everyone knew that. Yet, I didn't know that before I began running.)
She looked at me sideways, but seemed to accept that information as fact.  I didn't include that last .1 mile.
I am sure it's all very confusing.  We measure our races in kilometers and our pace time by the mile. We use terms like tempo and tapering, throwing them at non-runners the way educators throw acronyms (AYP, LEP, SAT) at parents. 
Maybe it isn't the running that scares them off.  Maybe it is the confusing lingo.  Running is hard enough without the challenge of learning a new language!  For the non-running reader out there, here is a short glossary.

K - Kilometer or 1000 Meters.   A 5K is equal to 3.1 miles.  A 10K is 6.2, and so forth.
Carbo Load - Eating lots of carbohydrates prior to a race for race day fuel.
Race Pace - How fast can you go for at least 3 miles or 5000 meters?
Tempo Run - A workout done just under Race Pace.
Tapering - Taking it easy at the end of your training plan in an attempt to have fresh legs on race day.
PR - Personal Record. Your fastest time at a given distance.(I once had a sibling thinking I had been interviewed about my race!  Public Relations???  I'm really not that fast!)
Refueling - Just what it says. Eat up!  You earned it by racing!

This is a SHORT glossary, but it might help next time you try to communicate with a runner.  We sometimes forget that not everyone is interested enough in running to try it.  Fewer still have mastered the language!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Non-runners Just Don't Understand!

New running shoes!

My non-running friends and family do not understand my obsession with running shoes.  I suppose neither do yours.  Ahh, the comfort of the perfect shoe!  We don't care about the color, or what world class athletes wear, or if the shoe looks fast.  It's all about the fit and performance.  Once we find The Shoe we don't ever want to stray.
If you are like me, you study the tread of your favorite shoes like a meteorologist studies a radar map, checking often for the first signs of wear.  You can almost predict the number of miles left in the shoe. You begin shopping for sales in a panic that you might not find The Shoe before it's too late!  When nagging pains begin to develop in your knees or ankles, you know you are pushing the limits and it's time to bite the bullet and go shopping.  I even brought out a retired pair of runners recently while awaiting the purchase of a new pair.
My husband and sons took me shopping for Mother's Day.
"Those look fast!"  One commented.
"Yes, but they don't have the exact size."  (I run in an 8.5 while I wear a 7.5 dress shoe.) "I will lose toenails if I get an 8 and a 9 might make me trip!"  It's all very scientific and proven by personal experience.
"I like the color of those."  Wrong brand.
"These look comfortable."  Not enough stability.
My shoe of choice?  Asics Gel- Kayano. They don't match any of my running shirts, but I don't care.  My feet are happy and I even feel faster in them!
Unfortunately, The Shoe was not on sale.  Well, last year's model was on sale, but all out of my 8.5's.  Fortunately, it WAS Mother's Day, so I was pampered and got the more expensive shoe.  At least, I think I was pampered.  I'm pretty sure I got stuck paying for them!