The Good, the Bad and the Coronita, Plus Running Truths for Newbie Runners

Let’s sum up the weekend quickly.  Friday night involved dinner at our friends, a raucous game of Cards Against Humanity and a few too many of these…

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I didn’t win at cards, but when it came to next morning hangovers, I was the champ.  Those sneaky Coronitas left me feeling pretty pathetic on Saturday, so I scrapped my scheduled 3-miler.  I lounged on the couch instead and chilled with the family.  That was bad.  I felt like a loser (mainly because I was one.  Let’s call it like it is.)

The good part of Saturday?  My baby turned 12!  Here he is last night with his second birthday cake of the weekend (HH provides a lovely photobomb here.)

I love my new 12-year old!  And he loved his new Lego King’s Castle that you see on the counter…

ImageThat was the good…well, that and my 9-mile run yesterday morning.

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I needed to get out and have a good long run to finish my second week of training, and I did.  The wind was calm, so I was nice and comfy the whole way, though I did feel a little like Randy from A Christmas Story.  My splits got faster with each mile, and I had to hold myself back so I wouldn’t go under 9:15.  It felt wonderful, and I finished with no fatigue.  Yippee for me, and hooray for my new Garmin Forerunner 220 that I purchased with Christmas gift cards.  I needed this thing like Anthony Kiedis needs a shirt and a stylist!

Some things you just can’t unsee…

So. Damn. Bad.  I think you can skip the belt when you’re shirtless, dude.

And now I leave you with a short Monday list of Running Truths for Newbie Runners…self-evident to me, perhaps not to others.  Feel free to add contributions in the comments and/or to disagree.  This might become a regular segment.

If You Are a Beginning Runner:

Never do an out-and-back run with an untried distance or a big jump in mileage.  Having to quit or come up with a muscle strain/cramp/injury with a long walk home sucks.

Always stretch after runs.

Never get in a race on a treadmill with some random person next to you (I admit that I race with unaware strangers to this day, but I don’t recommend it for newbies!)

Never decide one day that you’re going to start running and set a marathon as your first race (see my previous bitchy post on this topic here.  And may I add that the lovely gal and fabulous blogger got sidelined with a common running injury during Jeff Galloway’s pathetic training program and couldn’t run for months.  No marathon for her.)

Always invest in decent running socks, and if you’re running beyond three miles a few times/week, get yourself a proper pair of running shoes (preferably with a treadmill analysis at a running store.)

Never underestimate the potential pain of bloody nipples.  If yours can cut glass when hard, tape them, men, please.  Every time I see bloody nipples, I die a little inside.  Please, think of me and have some compassion.  🙂

Never run in 100% cotton.  You don’t have to spend a lot, but get yourself some moisture-wicking gear.  Please.  Chafing is a friend to no one.

Never increase mileage more than 10% per week.  Did you just start running last week, got high on the endorphins and now you ran 4 miles three times already since Sunday (and it’s Thursday?)  Oh my God, you are so kickass…and when you come up lame here soon, let me know.  I will send you a sympathy card.  Seriously…start slow.  Don’t be afraid to start with a jog/walk regimen.  Build up the time on your feet, with at least 70% of your running time spent jogging at a comfortable slow pace.  I always put a few songs on my long run playlists that I can’t help but sing to…and I sing them under my breath to make sure that I am keeping my pace where it needs to be (and just to show you that I have no shame, I will list those songs at the end of this post.)  Your entire body–muscles, ligaments, tendons–needs to get used to the pounding of running.  It’s not just about willpower.  I want you to be a lifelong runner, so don’t get hurt or give yourself a chronic injury right off the bat.  Oh, and if you are one of those exceptional people who was born to run and can just take off like a fricking gazelle with no running background?  I hate you :-).  Mazel tov!

Always be thankful.  Every run is a gift.  A good run puts you closer to nature, closer to your pure sense of self.  Your heart, lungs, legs, everything working together, testing your mental and physical limits…it’s pure perfection, and so many would love to be doing what you’re doing.  Take a moment to appreciate it.

And finally…Always act promptly when a BM feels like it falls off a cliff into your lower bowels and then starts chug-chug-chugging through your colon.  Take it from an experienced (average, but experienced) runner…the time to act is now!  Just google “chocolate rain” if you have a strong stomach.

Happy running, readers!

Cheesy-ass songs I check my pace with because I can’t help but belt them out:  We Belong Together by Mariah Carey, Giving You the Best That I’ve Got by Anita Baker, Jukebox Hero by Foreigner, Forrest Gump by Frank Ocean, Love on Top by Beyonce, Solid by Ashford and Simpson, Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds, We’re in This Love Together by Al Jarreau, Takin’ It To the Streets by the Doobie Brothers, Baby-Baby-Baby by TLC.

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21 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad and the Coronita, Plus Running Truths for Newbie Runners

  1. Enter a race / event early in your running life to give you a goal and your ruuning some structure – there is nothing like the buzz of a mass participation run…..but do a 5k or two to start with. A marathon is not a fashion accessory, it is a hard earned accomplishment and if you breeze into casually, the road will find you out quickly. BTW – great post!!!

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  2. You crack me up. I’ll take your word for it regarding “chocolate rain.”

    I’m not sure I’d call the Galloway program pathetic. I agree that the three runs a week, stow of which are only 3 miles, is wayyyyyy too few to prepare for a marathon. Or even a half marathon. But I used the run/walk method for my first half marathon and finished in 2:06, which is respectable especially as I’d only been running for about 4 months. And I felt fine the next day. I’m going to use it again for a training run marathon in 4 weeks because I need to be able to get back into my regular marathon training within a couple days. I’m definitely not using his training plan — mine is McMillan with personal running coach Emily Harrison and she’s okay’d me doing it for the “race”. I’m hoping for around a 4:30 time with a 6 minute run/1 minute walk ratio. Which will be horrible for me early in he race because I’ll want to just run, but I’ll be glad for it at the end, I suspect if what happened in my first half holds true for the longer distance. I’m hoping it will give me a better sense of the distance and I’ll have water/portapotties/medical assistance to make it all a better experience.

    I’m not dissing your opinion though. A part of me is growling at myself for taking the wimpy way for my first marathon, but it’s part of an overall strategy (you should hear me arguing with myself that I MUST NOT race that first marathon). But I am so with you — I’m running around 45 miles a week right now. I cannot imagine toeing the marathon line with Galloway’s recommended mileage. For 5k to even a half, maybe, but not a marathon.

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    • Thanks for the input…and of course your measured perspective is more appropriate. “Pathetic” might have been too strong a term, and I of course am an average hack and he is Jeff Galloway. I think your last two sentences sum up my viewpoint best…I just feel STRONGLY that that program is not enough for a marathon. And while I love the idea of encouraging runners of all abilities to get involved with this amazing sport and helping them structure their progress, I guess I draw the line at beginners = marathon. 🙂 And have I mentioned that you are an amazingly fast “newer” runner? You amaze me. I ran my ass off in my first marathon–no-walk breaks–and still only finished in 4:22. Also, I could never have taken a walk break after Mile 20. My muscles would have cramped up instantly!

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      • I think we agree more than disagree. I did meet Jeff Galloway last year, and he was a sweetheart of a guy. I think he genuinely wants to help people, but I think his marathon training plan is a little sparse.

        As for my fast-ish running for a newcomer, frankly I’m not sure why I am. Not that I don’t work my ass off for it, but lots of other people work just as hard. My dad was a fast runner back in the day, so I must get it from him. :). But I haven’t done the marathon distance yet. It could break me!

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      • You will be fine, I am betting. A lot of it depends on injury, quite honestly…straddling that line between preparation and getting hurt. Just my opinion. But you seem to have made so much progress so quickly–I admire it! 😉

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  3. Yep, agree with the first point. I did an out-and-back for my first 7 miler and it was 13 degrees and there were at least 3 inches of snow on the ground. I thought I was going to die and seriously needed help, but I had to keep going to get back to the car. My husband almost needed to take me to the hospital because of my low body temp. I did my recent long run as 1 mile out, 1 mile back until I reached my milage and it was so much better! I had no fear of dying out there alone 🙂

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  4. I have read maybe a half dozen of your posts and already, a girl crush.

    So, thanks for answering my question on the whole poop thing. & I didn’t even have to come right and ask! I do not feel quite strong enough to google this “rain” that you speak of. ::shudder:: I had read some things and had managed to ask a runner friend or two for the lowdown: “ohh, yeah, I don’t know”. Thanks, guys. I call bull shit- no pun intended. Well, ok, maybe a wee bit of pun intended.

    Thanks for the pearls!

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