Running Etiquette vs. Selfies

Brambelton 5K

Race Etiquette 101: After crossing the finish line of my first 5k, I pulling off to the a designated spot to out of the way of other runners so my husband could snap this shot.

When running a 5K it never dawned on me to stop, take my iPhone out of my carrier belt and snap a selfie of me.  That’s not why I run. Sure I had my husband take a photo of me crossing the finish line for my first 5k — that was a big deal to me.

I’ve run other 5k races since and not once did I stop in the middle of the course to snap a photo.

Well apparently it is becoming a problem. More people stopping mid race — in front of other runners — to take a selfie. There will always be rude people who are so self-absorbed they are inconsiderate of others. But apparently it is dramatically on the rise in races thanks to smartphones.

Race organizers are trying to come up with solutions to this problem — no selfie sticks allowed (good start!), redesigning courses to allow selfie areas (fine), and “discouraging” runners from taking selfies or social media updates mid race (ugh!).

I think when idiots like this get their 15 minutes of fame by taking selfies of unsuspecting “hot guys” during the New York City Half Marathon, racing organizers are going to have to do more than “discourage” these folks. When media like Good Morning America covers a story like this because “oh how cute” expect more of this crap to happen. Unfortunately I think it’s going to take a serious injury for it to happen. Read More

Book Review: Born To Run

This book will not only entertain you, but inspire you to run for the sheer joy of it.

This book will not only entertain you, but inspire you to run for the sheer joy of it.

Before picking up Christopher McDougall’s Born To Run, I was training for my first 5K. I finished the book last night with my right leg elevated and an ice pack on my knee and all I wanted to do was go out and run an ultramarathon.

Born To Run starts with McDougall’s quest to run without pain and it leads him to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. The tribe is the keeper of a lost art — running for hundreds of miles without rest or injury and loving every minute of it.

Whether you are a runner or not, it’s a fascinating and funny tale about runners and the art (and science) of running. While the book builds up to the greatest 50-mile race you never heard of, I really enjoyed the science part. McDougall takes you to the research labs of Harvard seeking an answer to the theory that humans were in fact born to run.  And it takes a modern-day rabbit to unlock our understanding of Homo Erectus and why we survived and the stronger Neanderthals didn’t.

The book also dives into the shoe vs. barefoot debate and shows how today’s running shoes actually increase your chance of injury. Thanks for that Nike!

It’s a great, fun read that shows you that happiness is right at your feet, literally.

Marcellus Wallace Was Right. Pride Only Hurts.

Marcellus understands how pride never helps only hurts!

Marcellus understands how pride never helps you…it only hurts!

I just finished up the long run part of my 5K interval training, and I completely screwed the pooch by not pacing myself.

I started off great – a nice slow pace – for the first ½ mile. My intervals are set for a 20 second run and 40 second walk. Am I going to set records at that pace? No, but I am a newb when it comes to running.

For some reason, I started thinking (first bad sign) that it was too easy and I wasn’t pushing myself.  I could go faster. And I did.

By the half way point I felt great and I wasn’t out of breath.  Then I turned the corner and realized my mistake.

The rest of the way home was uphill.

That, my friend, is pride screwing with me.  I didn’t think about the back half of the trail. I used all my energy and reserves before I hit the hill.

During the climb my legs felt like lead. I was huffing and puffing. Each 20-second run felt more like 20 minutes.

At the top of the incline I hit a wall.

Exhausted and desperately trying to catch my breath, I ended up walking during the last 3 20-second intervals.

Marcellus Wallace was right — “Pride only hurts. It never helps. You fight through that sh#%.”

Fun At The Color Run (And Ran My Best Time)!

Before the colors fly! So happy a few minutes before The Color Race starts.

Before the colors fly! So happy a few minutes before The Color Race starts.

Yesterday I did my first Color Run 5K in Baltimore. If you’re thinking about doing a Color Run, do it! It’s known as the “happiest 5K on the planet,” and it is. Everyone is happy — the volunteers, the 25,000 runners (dang!), the staff. Even the cops providing security on a Sunday afternoon were having a blast.

After we arrived, I could tell my husband started feeling a bit envious that I was in the race and he wasn’t. Although he perked up when he spotted the La Cakeie cakemobile. He quickly ordered and devoured the (aptly named) Ribbon Cake.

He did promise to run with me next year.

The Color Run, weight loss, 5Ks

Covered in color! I wiped my face a couple of times during the run and I ended up looking like a hot mess! But it was worth it.

How Did I Do?
The Color Run is not a traditional 5K — it is not timed. It’s all about having a good time while exercising and raising money for local charities. I did this race for the experience and not with the idea of setting records.

I still made a point of looking at my phone for my start time — 1:46.

This was my first race without any inclines. The whole route stayed around the Camden Yards ballpark — home of the Baltimore Orioles. An easy route, my pace started faster than normal, usually meaning I won’t finish strong. But I had such a great time during the race, I ended up with my best race time yet.

When I crossed the finish line, the time on my phone read 2:34. Holy cow…48 minutes!

My last 5K, The Goblin Gallop, I ran/walked in 55 minutes. Wow!

Why was this one quicker?  For the Goblin Gallop, my interval training lasted only 1 mile. During The Color Run, my interval training spanned the entire race.  I’m not sure if it was the sensory overload or the sheer amount of fun, but I never felt tired.

In fact, I can’t believe to cross the finish line when I did. It didn’t feel like I just ran/walked 3.1 miles.

Of course, I paid for that great time when I got home. My right knee and left ankle started swelling.  This morning I woke up to very sore legs.

Thankfully today’s muscle workout helped to relieve the stiffness. I plan on an easy walk this afternoon to help with the soreness.

Some Color Run Advice
If you want to do a Color Run, here are some tips for you:

  • This is not the race for designer tracksuits! The color is just powdered cornstarch and does come off…mostly.
  • Keep your phone in a plastic bag. Trust me, the color gets everywhere!
  • Ladies, before the race, use leave on hair conditioner or spray coconut oil in your hair…you’ll thank me later (especially if you’re a blonde)!
  • No makeup! Just makes it easier for the color to come off in the shower. Plus, why would you exercise wearing makeup anyway?
  • Regardless of time of year, always wear white. It’s the best way to proudly display your colors.
  • Arrive early! The crowds are huge — 25,000+.  Runners are released in waves. I was in the second wave. The last wave of runners started as I crossed the finish line.
  • Prepare for the color zones. Along the 5K route, I ran through five color zones – yellow, orange, purple, green and blue.  When you hit one of these zones volunteers squirt you with the colored cornstarch.  I wish I had my sunglasses on to protect my eyes from the powder. Some people wore bandanas over their nose and mouth.  But that means no multicolored tongue!
  • If you want a lot of color on you, run on outer edges of the color zones. The volunteers will nail you! Less color? Run straight down the middle of the zone.
  • Stay for the after party! The Color Run is one big party with a 5K in the middle. It has a DJ, Zumba class, food vendors, and lots of color!

And I Ran, I Ran So Far Away (Well, Not That Far)

Today was a beautiful day. Unfortunately I was stuck in doors working on our budget. I planned to go on a walk early afternoon, but that just didn’t happen. I did convince my husband to go for a short walk (just a mile) this evening before sunset. Boy, it was cold and the wind didn’t help either. He’s having a bit of a problem with one of his baby toes. So the deal was if he was feeling up to it we could go more than the planned mile.

Now I haven’t gone on one of my dailies for a few days. Wasn’t sure if I was going to feel sluggish or not. Oh, and something you should know: Before the weight loss, I always struggled to keep up with my husband in parking lots, let alone walks. He’s got very long legs and has huge strides. I use to always complain about how fast he walked, but in reality, it’s his regular pace.

Tonight was a different story. I felt great and walked faster than the hubby the entire time. Before Easter, my pace was around 16:40/mile. Tonight try 15:10/mile. I just decided to go all out, thinking we would only go a mile (and I was right about that). So I wanted to maximize my workout. The most awesome thing, I actually ran for more than a block in the final stretch.

Now I’ve done little sprints previously, but 1) only about 10 yards and 2)being totally winded afterwards. Not tonight. I felt great and could have gone a little more, but I didn’t want to push my luck. I do worry that I might mess up my knees. I just don’t know what a safe weight would be to start running or if there is even such a thing. Part of me thinks I’m being paranoid and I should give it a try while the other thinks I should focus on my walking speed. Ugh!

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?