Hello, my name is Nikki. I am a stay at home mom and a running mom. I have been staying home with my children for ten years, and I have been running, on and off, for around seven years. My running is now in the on position, and has been for about two years. Being a homemaker puts my focus mainly on my family...that is where running enters my life. Running is my "me time", my freedom, and I cherish every minute of it.
I'm not sure that I can describe what has been called the "runner's high", but like poetry and beauty, I know it when I experience it.
runner, Matthew Shafner
I think there is too much emphasis placed on the distinction between the people in the front and the people in the back. I happen to feel the sensations are exactly the same for all of us.
Kenny Moore, marathoner and writer
The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.
Jaqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ
Well, we did it! The Barefoot Music Festival 5k, our inaugural event as an organization, a learning experience, and a whole lot of fun! All the stress that went into organizing this running event was well worth it, but it wouldn't have been the huge success that it was without the help of a lot people and businesses. We, Running Moms, would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to the following people and businesses:
Southern Mobile Media for donating the awesome Runningmoms.org banner
Ice River Springs for the donation of water for the finish line
Winn-Dixie for donating fruit for the finish line
Liz Alford for the donation of 3 $25 gift certificates
The City of Marianna and Byron Bennett for the donation of the timer and racing clock
Mallory Myhill for handing out water at the turn around table
Our wonderful course assistants, Jeremy Edwards and Terry Edwards
Don McClaren for securing the course
Nancy McClaren for making sure our runners were taken care of
Meghan Myhill for writing down all of our runner's times
Jeneane Brown and Judy Braxton for working our results table
Weeblos Pack 170 for handing out cold water bottles at the finish line
Compass Lake in the Hills for providing volunteers to help on the course, as assistants and at the water table, for loading and unloading cases of water, helping with the banner, and other various mundane tasks, I wish I knew all of their names, because they were a tremendous help to us, you know who you are, thank you; but mostly for allowing us to participate in this wonderful event, The Barefoot Music Festival, it was an honor to organize the 5k race with you.
This was an awesome event that absolutely would not have happened without the runners and walkers, thank you!
Last, but not least, we would like to thank our families for allowing us the time spent away from home to meet and organize this event. We love you!
We had the best time sitting in our registration booth Friday evening, listening to the entertainment, talking with each other and with everyone who walked by; we had fun Saturday morning talking with all of the runners and volunteers, I can't think of one single time when someone wasn't smiling or laughing. That alone made the event a success. I took nothing but good memories with me when I left; I can't wait until next year! Thanks again to everyone; your efforts are much appreciated, and never forgotten!
This past Saturday I ran in a race, I didn't really push myself until the last mile. When I came through the finish, I noticed I was getting a cramp in my side; it took a minute (or ten) for it to go away, but when it finally went away I didn't think any more about it. It was gone, or so I thought...yesterday I ran 3 miles, no big, I do it all the time, but within the first half mile this cramp reappeared, and stuck with me the entire distance. This isn't the first time my crampy little friend (I like to call him "Stitch"), has run the distance with me, and frankly, I am tired of him showing up, he slows me down. Stitch is an unrelenting little fellow that not only sticks with me during my runs, but leaves his mark as a sore muscle in my side. I researched Stitch and have found that he is also known as ETAP (exercise related transient pain). Researchers believe that "the side stitch is caused by stretching the ligaments that extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs, particularly the liver" (About.com, sports medicine). Breathing in and out combined with the jarring motion of your feet hitting the ground causes the ligaments to stretch. Most people, while running, exhale every 2 to 4 steps, usually when their left foot hits the ground; I am in a limited group of people that exhale when their right foot hits the ground; we are more prone to catching cramps. Apparently, landing on my right foot and exhaling simultaneously causes more force on my liver (located on the right side under the rib cage), because as my liver is dropping from my right foot landing, my diaphragm is rising to exhale causing the repeated stretching of the ligaments, leading to my friend Stitch. However , there are preventative measures we "right landers" can take: instead of taking fast, shallow breaths, try taking deep and even breaths while running, breathing deep stretches the diaphragm; make sure to be sufficiently hydrated, dehydration worsens the risk of cramping; stretching also works, put your right arm above your head and bend toward the left, repeat on the other side; having food in your stomach may increase the risk of cramping, make sure you put enough time between eating and exercising. If the stitch sneaks up mid-run, SLOW DOWN and apply pressure or massage the painful area and bend forward to ease the pain. If slowing down isn't enough, STOP and put pressure on the cramp and push up, this will slightly lift the liver, relieving the force being put upon it. Now, if you have done all of the preventative measures, and you are still having pain, consult a doctor.
I have another race this Saturday, so I am going to be doing all of this myself, plus, I am really going to focus on the mental aspect of running between now and then, as well. I am hopeful that all of this will keep Stitch from visiting as often...or at all.
Hope this helps, good luck and run happy!!
" Mom, can we eat at Burger King?" This comes from my 10 year old, all the way in the back, followed by, "I want chicken, french fries, and Dr. Pepper.", from my 4 year old in the car seat directly behind me. We have been on the run since picking my son up from school, it is dinner time, and we are all hungry, but Burger King, really? At this point, my choices are limited; if I go home and cook a meal we will all be rushing around to eat and get showers, and get in the bed at a decent time; I don't want that stress, so I start going through the pros and cons of it: Pro...it is quick and easy, Con...do I really need to spend the money?; Pro...it will make the kids happy (BONUS!), Con...let's face it, it isn't the healthiest option. Of course the Pros win, and on through the drive-thru we go. At the speaker I order the kid's meals, and my husband's; but what do I get for myself? I have done my research and come up with some options: a Whopper Jr. meal with no mayo, no cheese, apples instead of fries, and a Diet Coke, small sized, only has 330 calories, 4 g sat. fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 15 g sugar, 44 g carbs, 11.5 g fat, 0 g trans fat, 14 g protein, and 560 mg sodium. That is for the whole meal! A Tendergrill with no mayo, apples and Diet Coke has 450 calories, 2 g sat.fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 17 g sugar, 67 g carbs, 9.5 g fat, 0 g trans fat, 25 g protein, and 1190 mg sodium. The secret is no mayo, it makes a difference of about 100 calories, and of course the apples instead of fries. You may be reading this thinking, Why not order a salad?, and to this I answer, because salads are for dieters; I don't diet, I eat what I want with a few smart adjustments. Be honest, a burger with some crispy apples on the side sounds loads better than a boring salad. The sodium is high(especially the chicken sandwich), it is fast food afterall, but when you find yourself in the drive-thru faced with the decision of what to order, you do have options, just remember "no mayo", and "no, I wouldn't like fries with that". I went online and researched Burger King because it is my children's favorite place to eat, but I imagine the golden rule of "no mayo and no fries" applies at any fast food restaurant you may find yourself at. The nutrition analysis of most restaurants can be found online, some of it is shocking, but the knowlodge is useful; even more so if you can talk your kids into apples instead of fries!
Running is just as much mental as physical; I tested this theory at the last race I ran. By the time I arrived at the race venue, I was a big bundle of nerves. When the race started my mouth was so dry it was sticking together, cotton mouth isn't fun during a race; I also had to stop and walk at one point because of nausea, again, not fun. Although I came in with my best time yet, it was one of the hardest runs I have run lately ( with the exception of the infamous Quasimodo run; see Good Days and Bad Days). The physical was hard because my mental was off. I run everyday; it isn't new to me, so why do I get so nervous before races? Because, it is a "race", and we enter races to win them, right? Sure; but we shouldn't focus on the win. It isn't about winning, it is about running. Since that day, I have decided not to let myself get bogged down with nerves; it is just running, it's what I do. This is my new mantra, "it is just running, it's what I do". When I have "lead legs", I say this to myself. When I don't want to get off the couch, I say it. Anytime I can't get my head in the game, I say it. This helps me, it gets me going.
If mantras aren't your thing , there are other ways to get through a tough run. Whether it is your first mile or your first marathon, setting small goals for yourself will help. Talk yourself through it, tell youself that you CAN make it to the next telephone pole, or the next mile marker. Sometimes headphones can help; it is personal preference on what you listen to. It can be your favorite music, a favorite book (this is really good for long runs), or even something inspirational or motivational. Another good way to get through a tough run is to get a group of friends together. It is always easier with a little help from good friends. Whether you decide on a mantra, a self-pep talk, headphones, group runs, or all of the above, just remember that while the physical is a big part of running, so is the mental. The mind has to be prepared for the run, just like the run prepares the body for the next run, or race. Mind over matter. I think I like The Runner's Book of Daily Inspirations' Kevin Nelson's way the best, " Free your mind, and your feet will follow."
"Ultimately, the best runners are the ones who are willing to work very hard but who have a little bit of a lazy streak in them."
Benji Durden, Coach
I love this quote, it makes me smile.