Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hold me to it...

I've been a total slacker lately. Today is the first day I have felt well in about 3 weeks. I still wouldn't race. I need to get back on track with my training for Ragnar DC and the Marine Corps Marathon, but I leave today for vacation.

I need y'all to hold me accountable. I intend on running 4 days while I'm at the beach. I also intend on adding a new state to my "I've run there" list. Remind me on here or Facebook or Twitter (@AlyKen78) that I need to run.

Do you have problems getting back on track after an illness?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Running Vacation. A Runcation?

Next week, I'm going on vacation with my family. Just to the beach for a week. Honestly, it isn't really a vacation for me since basically we pick up our household and move to another location for a week with extended family. Since I will hopefully be better by then, I plan on taking my running gear and get in some flat miles. No, this isn't what I mean by a "runcation."

What is a "runcation" you may ask? It is a trip you take with the purpose of running and seeing the sites or doing a new race. I've taken one "runcation" in my short running career. I did the DC Ragnar last September. It meant 2 nights away from my husband and kids and running part of a 200-mile relay. The team with which I ran did the Key West Ragnar in January, too.

In honor of the 10th Anniversary of the first Ragnar, I thought I'd ask what your dream running trip would be. Is it a big race in an exotic locale like the Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii? Is it just doing a major race like the Boston Marathon? Is it a more fun but competitive race like a Disney Marathon? Is it a scenic relay race like the original Ragnar Wasatch Back in Utah?

Right now, the races on the top of my bucket list (aside from the Marine Corps Marathon in October) are The Pensacola Beach Half Marathon and one of the Outer Banks races, either the OBX Half or the Flying Pirate. I'm blessed with living close enough to DC that I can hit a race that runs by lots of interesting landmarks.

What would be your dream "runcation" race?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Cough, A 10K, and more Coughing

Those of you who know me outside of the blogging world know that I've had this terrible cough for what seems like about 10 years... Okay, it's really only been a little over 2 weeks. The little germ factories I call my beloved children decided to pick up a cold and share it with their mommy.

I probably shouldn't have done it, but I ran the Crofton Kiwanis 10K on June 8th. Aside from the fact that I couldn't breathe properly and had a coughing fit every 5 minutes after I hit 4 miles, this was a great race. There were only about 250 people. The scenery was nice, through a golf course neighborhood. There were a few hills, but nothing I can't handle. The post-race perks were great. They had Chick Fil A, Bruster's ice cream and sherbet, and Smoothie King smoothies, in addition to the normal bagels and bananas they usually have after races. The shirt was nice as was the goodie bag, which I won't really be able to use since it's for a competitor's gym.

When I got home, I crashed. I have been coughing like crazy since then. I can't go an hour without having a fit. Today is the first day I have felt a little better. Being sick has completely thrown off my training. I have only run once since the race. I did a 3-miler as opposed to the 7 miles I had scheduled.

Have you ever raced when you probably should have skipped it?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why does my nose think it's okay to run when my feet are?

You get up early in the morning and head out the door for your morning run. You can't leave without a pack of tissues in your pocket or sports bra because you know the second you get in your groove the dripping is going to start. You dread running in cold weather because that makes it worse, but then again so does allergy season. You may have even invested in a Handana so that you can keep your gloves and sleeves from being covered in snot. Why does my nose think it's okay to run when my feet are?

This is a condition called exercise-induced rhinitis and is more common in those with allergies than those without allergies according to a 2006 study. Unfortunately, many decongestants and steroids used to treat rhinorrhea are prohibited for use in competition. You might remember the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when a gymnast had her gold medal stripped because she basically took a Sudafed for a cold that was given to her by the team doctor. Basically, a common cold pill ruined the careers of two people.

Why exactly does this happen? Well, physical exercise is a vasoconstrictor. This means that when you exercise, the muscular walls of your blood vessels are contracting and your systemic blood pressure is increasing. Noradrenaline releases into the blood stream and your nasal resistance decreases.

Cold-weather athletes are more likely to experience this condition. Actually, winter athletes have a greater incidence of exercise-induced rhinitis and asthma than summer athletes. I can speak from personal experience in this matter. During my childhood, I was a competitive figure skater. I was at the rink 3 hours a day 4 days a week. By the time I decided to end my skating career, I could not make a lap around the rink without having a coughing fit.

Stock up on the tissues, buy a Handana (I wish I had one), learn how to use a Neti Pot, find an athlete-legal decongestant and head out the door. Runny nose or not, exercise is good for you. Since I have small kids, I will end with this silliness: when your nose is runny you may think it’s funny, but it’s snot J