Brotherly Love..12 miles and counting

Lupus runner, Jessie, is aided by big brother Jeffrey Russell as she runs to complete the Boston Marathon.
Lupus runner, Jessie, is aided by big brother Jeffrey as she runs to complete the Boston Marathon // Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! WBZ4

I love a happy news stories! Don’t you? I get really saddened when I all I hear and see on the news is “bad” news. Today I stumbled upon a story that brought tears to my eyes.

Last year, I ran a race with my brother on Thanksgiving and I really struggled. It’s the only race I’ve almost quit and not finished. (I never quit anything!). But in the extreme cold  the last mile stretch my little brother runs up behind me (he had long ago finished) and yelled at me. Yes, he yelled. He knows nothing makes me move faster or quicker than people telling me I can’t do something. Through tears, incredible pain and embarrassment, I ran. He prodded me, ran circles around me and yelled me into the finish line. I have never loved him more.

This story brought that memory to mind :) So many people followed the “big” names at the Boston Marathon, but behind the greats, I believe, was one of the greatest stories of all. A brother who loved his sister so much he ran the last 12 miles of Boston with her to enable her to finish her dream of running the Boston Marathon. But Jessie isn’t your typical runner! She was diagnosed with Lupus her junior year of high school and being out in the sun is extremely difficult for her.

Her brother, Jeffrey, knew that the sun would be a challenge for her. At mile 14, Jessie thought she might have to stop. She was pushing to get to the medical tent when she noticed someone running at her. It was Jeffrey :) Big brother had been tailing her along the route shouting encouragement and taking photos. He told her if it was just the sun not to stop. He then ran into a local toy shop and bought an umbrella with sharks on it. In work boots and jeans, he ran/speed-walked next Jessie to holding the shark umbrella over her, sporting her running fanny pack and supplying her with water along the way. Step by step, Jeffrey and Jessie moved along the 12 miles until they crossed the finish line at 7:16pm :)

That ladies and gents..is true love! A brother loving his sister so much he endures 12 miles in work boots and jeans to help her live her dream. Jeffrey, I hope you had on really good socks :)

To the big brothers (and little brothers!) of the world who push their sisters to finish races..thank you!

Xoxo!
One Teary Eyed Lemon

 

PS: See the video of Jessie and Jeffrey running here! Jessie Runs Boston

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2014 Running Goals

Banner-RunningGoals

This has been a bit tricky! I struggled to knock the end of 2013 out, but alas..the limbs and joints are feeling better than ever. So time for me to get to it!

My running goals for 2014:

1 – Run consistently!

I want to put in at least 3 good runs a week. Pushing for farther distances instead of faster times.

2 – Run with a purpose!

I want to have a goal and run that goal. The little goal: be able to run a 5K without stopping by March. The big goal: run 1200 miles for the year! The long goal: train & run a 10K by December. Last year I logged a little over 624 miles. I ran from my house in SC to the center of NYC :)

3 – Create a training plan and stick with it.

If you look at my training log from 2013, you’ll see I go through “phases”. I get really into Zumba then I get burnt out on it. I get bored with working out really easily. I need some variety to my workouts. So this year, I’m going to meet with my trainer at the gym and customize my training plan. I really want to focus on my core conditioning. My legs are solid but the flexibility needs some work. For that, I’m incorporating 2 days of yoga into my workout plan.

4 – Run with a buddy!

I noticed a lot of improvement last year when I was training with two other people. This year I’m bitting the bullet and joining a running club. They really intimidate me so this is a big step for this baby runner. I’m hoping to gain insight and knowledge about my form, difficulty breathing and stride.

5 – Get that Sub 40!

I’ve been stuck in the 41 mt range for a couple of months now. I was down to a 37 mt 5 K..you have to start somewhere right? But hey it’s better than the 54mt I was sitting at sooo…yeah. I want to focus on a steady pace. I start off slow, second mile is good, third mile is usually great. I want to be consistent and steady instead of fast/slow/fast or slow/fast/sluggish.

6 – Run the Grand Prix!

Our local running timing company is putting on a grand prix of running this year. Over 14 something races and you have to run 10 of them. So I thought it’d be a nice challenge :)

7 – Have Fun!

I used to hate running. I never thought I’d be doing it for recreation or fun. It’s always just been work for me. But I miss my “college” shape. I played soccer for a couple of years in college and let me tell you that “retired” athlete life is crap. You gain a ton of weight ’cause you’re still eating like you’re a soccer boss but not working out like you’re a soccer boss. This year I’m hoping to get close to being back in “soccer shape”.

What are your running or fitness goals for 2014? Have any good running tips or tricks for me?

XoXo!

One Slow but Getting There Lemon :)

To Recovery Run or Not to Recovery Run…

You’re in the middle of training and you feel great! The legs are pumping, blood is flowing and you’re on top of the mountain. Then you hit the wall of lactic acid and muscle cramps.. What’s a girl to do? I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about recovery runs and I decided to delve into the world of research to see what I came up with.

I’ll be the first to admit to that I don’t really “recovery” run. BUT! After talking with Scott over at Team All-American, I’ve decided my running might need some tweaking. So this week I decided to try a recovery run. I ran 4.56 miles the other night and my legs and ankle (still healing from a torn ligament) weren’t very happy campers. Today I headed out with a goal of a 10 minute mile pace for 1.5-2miles in mind. That’s about 2.5 minutes slower than my normal average. It was a struggle!!! I wanted to go zoom zoom zoom..I mean why go slow when you can run fast? But I knew that I needed to pay attention to my pace and my breathing something that I have learned goes hand in hand. Surprisingly enough I hit the half mile mark and wasn’t winded at all. By the mile I was at an easy lope and my legs felt really good. It was like the light suddenly came on and my brain got it ~ sometimes slower is better, breathing is stronger and hey my legs don’t hurt..

The biggest thing I’ve seen when recovery running is that the body is already in a state of fatigue. By moving at a slower pace you lessen the impact while allowing the blood to flow. I feel like recovery runs increase my fitness by challenging me to run in semi-fatigued  state. My thoughts on a semi-fatigued state is this..if a bear is chasing me I’m not going to have time to say: “Excuse me Mr. Bear, but I need to stretch out first.” I should be ready to take off at any moment…come fatigue or no fatigue.

I found an interesting study out of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark on Active.com. In this study, test subjects exercised one leg once daily and the other leg twice every other day. The total amount of training was equal for both legs, but the leg that was trained twice every other day was forced to train in a pre-fatigued state in the afternoon (recovery) workouts, which occurred just hours after the morning workouts. After several weeks of training in this split manner, the subjects engaged in an endurance test with both legs. The researchers found that the leg trained twice every other day increased its endurance 90 percent more than the other leg. Conclusive? Seemed so to me.

They had some great tips :) I thought I’d post a few..

    • Whenever you run again within 24 hours of completing a key workout (or any run that has left you severely fatigued or exhausted), the follow-up run should usually be a recovery run.
    • Don’t be too proud to run very slowly in your recovery runs, as Kenya’s runners are famous for doing. Even very slow running counts as pre-fatigued running practice that will yield improvements in your running economy, and running very slowly allows you to run longer without sabotaging your next key workout.
    • Recovery runs are only necessary if you run four times a week or more.
      • If you run four times a week, your first three runs should be key workouts and your fourth run only needs to be a recovery run if it is done the day after a key workout instead of the day after a rest day.
      • If you run five times a week, at least one run should be a recovery run.
      • If you run six or more times a week, at least two runs should be recovery runs.

I’ve seen a lot of research on recover running the last few days. Some of it pro-recovery, some of it blah who needs that. So which is it for you? Are you pro recovery runs? Anti-recovery runs? Do they work for you?

XoXo!

One Curiously Recovering Lemon