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!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Benefits of a rest day

Ahh!  Rest!

I love a rest day – and it’s not just because I don’t have to run on the rest day.  I actually miss the run, just a little.  Here is what I love about the rest day:

  • I don’t have to plan my meals around my running schedule.
  • My legs feel stronger and ready to run again after a rest day.
  • I don’t have to plan my shower around my running schedule – and believe me, you want me to shower!
  • Rest days give me a chance to catch up on the running gear laundry – and believe me, you want me to wash my running gear
  • Mostly, rest days remind me that I really enjoy running. 

I miss the friendly chatter with my running buddies on rest days.  We usually check in with a text or two.  In my last post I murmured about half marathon training, but after a day off even the long run wasn’t so very daunting.  In fact, in some ways it felt better than the shorter training runs I had completed earlier in the week. 

The benefits of a rest day are partly physical and partly mental.  I feel reenergized in both body and mind after a day off. Think about it ...

We have been charged with a commandment to observe a day of rest in which we honor the Lord.  Perhaps the correlation between body, mind, and spirit is stronger than many would suppose.

Happy Running!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The goal is so close and yet so far

Will's Hill.  Halfway point on one of our runs.
I’ve hit that point in my half marathon training when I just want it to be over. I’m enjoying my training partner, and I always feel good after the workout, but the anticipation of the long runs and speed work days is starting to get to me.  My legs are tired. We have just over two weeks until race day.  Only two more long runs and two more speed workouts loom before we reach the goal.  I know I can make it.  I just need to get my head in the game – recommit if you will. 
Training for a road race, especially a half marathon (I wouldn’t know about marathon training and I doubt I ever will) is much like any other path towards a goal.  How often do we get so close and yet the end is far enough away that we consider aborting the mission?  We begin to doubt our ability to achieve the goal that once seemed so worthy, so attainable. How can we recommit?

Sometimes it helps me to look from whence I came.  For instance, before the training began I was logging about ten miles per week – often fewer.  I wasn’t timing any workouts so I didn’t know how fast or slow I was running.  After a ten-miler on Saturday I will have logged 26 miles this week.  That does not include walking miles to warm up and cool down.  I have also cut 30-40 seconds off my average per mile pace over a three-mile run.  I have made a new friend in Kelli who has enriched my life.

I made some commitments this summer for which this training will help me prepare.  First is the Fitfor Life Half Marathon.  I ran it last year and I am hoping to beat my time.  We runners call that a PR (Personal Record).  After this race I can cut my mileage back just a bit, but not too much as I am doing the Burley Spudman Triathlon two weeks later with my good buddy, Paulee. My run leg is a 10K (6.2 miles) so I should be well prepared for the distance.  Again, I am hoping to beat my time from last year. Lastly, and probably craziest of all is the Grand Teton Relay two weeks after the Spudman.  My training has prepared me for the distance, but the elevation could be my nemesis! You can expect a full report sometime after I have recovered.
I’m feeling better already!  This quick evaluation of my progress towards my goals has changed my perspective. I can get through the next seven timed workouts.  I can do the long runs and the speed work.  They will help prepare me for the race.

I encourage you to evaluate your progress towards a goal.  Maybe it is possible, after all, to write your novel, kick that bad habit, or reduce your debt load.  Take a look at from whence you have come.  You may be farther down the path than you thought!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer running by example

Come run with us!
Open summer runs for the cross country team began last night.  “Open” runs are optional – show up if you can, feel guilty if you can’t.  “Open” also means anyone can join us.  They don’t have to belong to the team.  We had as many adults present as kids.  That is great and here is why …

I learned a long time ago that a good leader, even a great leader won’t ask those he is attempting to lead to do anything he is unwilling to do himself. Let me word that a different way … Great leaders teach and lead by participating in the very thing they require of their subjects or students. 

This is especially effective on the cross country course.  An adult that has logged as many miles and traveled the same route as the young athlete, perhaps a little slower, gains the athlete’s respect and attention. Respect because they both know how difficult the task at hand, and attention because the athlete can be confident in the adult’s knowledge and experience. This holds true whether that adult is a coach or a parent. Surely, the adult knows what it feels like to want to quit, have lungs that burn, and legs that cramp. The adult also knows that the discomfort will end when the race is over and he can reassure the athlete that they are doing fine. 

It’s a simple concept and one we’ve all heard.  “Teach your kids how to work by working alongside them.” Yes, we’ve heard it, but sometimes we forget.  We want to dictate.  We want to make assignments and hope they get carried out properly. We justify by saying, “Do as I say and not as I do.”  Then we wonder why we have trouble leading.

To all the brave adults out there teaching by example I say, “Carry on.  You have it figured out!” And if you are a running adult I say,
“Happy Running!”

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It must be a mind trick

Country running
We ran nine miles today as part of our training for the Fit for Life Half Marathon, but this post isn’t about the long run.  This post is about the short run.  I am beginning to believe the short run is as much about the mind as it is about recovery and speed work. Running is a mind trick.
The first mile of any run is always hard for me.  It takes that long to warm up and get into the groove of running, and from where I start, it is usually uphill.  Slow.  The second mile goes by quickly and then the short run is over!  The end of any run always feels good.
Two days ago we did a short, two-mile run.  Later in the day I found myself thinking, “I feel like I need to run farther.” I refrained.  After all, I’m on a training plan and I’m sticking to it quite faithfully.  A rest day followed the short run and by today, I was ready to settle in for the nine-miler. 
I suppose it’s a little about perspective. When training for a long race, the short run leaves me feeling like there is more to do.  As the long runs get longer the short runs do, too.  I find myself saying things like, “It’s only five miles.”  Only?  Really?  That’s quite far, but compared to 9 or 10 – not so much.

Don’t get me wrong.  I look forward to the short runs, especially those two-milers.  However, they leave me feeling just a bit unsatisfied, like an appetizer they are starters, getting me ready for the main course. It's a mind trick and that is good, because I need all the help I can get to ready me for those long runs.  Like I said, the end of any run always feels good, especially the long ones!

Question: Do you have a mind trick that helps you overcome difficult tasks?  Please share in the comments below.

Happy Running!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tempo training in the rain

Soggy runners!
Today was one of those running days that could have gone very wrong, as in I may have opted out!  My bed felt so nice this morning and the birds were quiet because it was raining.  It was the perfect combination for hunkering down and staying indoors. I've been praying for rain. However, I am in training for a half marathon and my running buddy was counting on me.  I could have talked her out of it had we not been training.  That’s the beauty of preparing for a race. It keeps me dedicated. I use the term “dedicated” loosely. 
So it was that we found ourselves on a five mile workout with a three mile Tempo Run in the middle – in the rain.  The rain was actually kind of nice, until we stopped.  The cool down came quickly, as did the shivers! I was soaked through all my layers, but we were under our prescribed pace!

I’m warm now and the rain is still falling softly. I’m glad I did the run and I am very grateful for the rain. I am also grateful for race training – it keeps me moving.  Here is a short list of things that are good about training.

Training keeps me on a schedule.
It gives me goals I might not set for myself.

I get to eat snacks on the long runs.
I actually do long runs.

Rain, wind, sleet, or fire – we run!
If you are having difficulty staying on schedule with your running/exercise routine, maybe committing to a fitness event is the answer.  It works for me!

Question: Do you have a training tip you would like to share?
Happy Running!
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Monday, June 16, 2014

An easy two miles

A runner's view in Erie, PA
Today was an easy two mile run.  I remember the days when I would never have considered two miles “easy.”  It’s all about perspective, I guess.  My running buddy, Kelli, raced hard in the Old Fort Boise Days Fun Run on Saturday. I was so proud of her! I sat this one out, mostly for logistics.  There were too many places to be and not enough Me!

Back to my two easy miles – Kelli was sore from her race and our half marathon training plan said today’s run was a 2-miler at an easy pace.  That is a good distance for a recovery run. It was cool outside which makes running more comfortable.  I forgot my watch, and that’s okay.  We have been easily under the prescribed training paces on most of our workouts, even with each of us taking time off to travel.  Except, now I’m wondering how fast we were on that easy two miles. We discussed the usual – running shoes, who passed her during the race, religion, running aches and pains, who she passed during the race, cool downs, stretching, our kids – the same things friends discuss whenever they are together with a stronger emphasis on running stuff.

When I left the house this morning my hubby said, “Have a good run.”  I replied, “It’s always a good run when it’s just two miles.”

Just two miles.  Yes, two miles used to seem far, but we have a 9-miler planned later this week.  Nine is far.  Two is just a warm-up, unless, of course, it’s at the end of a race.  Then it’s an eternity!

Like I said, it’s all about perspective.

Happy Running!