Monday, June 27, 2011

Running with Natural Hair

I've worn my hair without a chemical relaxer (straightener) since 2003. I must say, wearing my hair in its natural state has made incorporating exercise into my routine easier for me. Hair is a huge deal for most women, and sometimes we use it as an excuse not to work out.

I have a go to style I like to wear when working out in warmer weather. I don't think this is anything new or inventive, it just works well for me. It also keeps my curls separated and tangle free. For the most part, I wear my hair in a curly fro every day like so . . .



During a workout, I prefer wearing my hair in a double puff as it seems to keep my head cooler. I could just wear it loose in a fro, but my hair responds to heat and humidity by shrinking beyond recognition. I could wear a single puff, but all that hair piled on top of my head makes my scalp hot and sweaty. It's probably all in my mind. But every degree counts to me. The double puff also works well with headbands and visors.





I imagine this style would work well for anyone with thick or tightly curly hair. You can use anything to secure your puffs, I prefer pantyhose holders. I literally cut them from old pantyhose. They are the most comfortable and snag free puff and pontytail holders ever. The only problem is they stretch, so keep that old pair of hose on deck and keep cutting away as you need new ones.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Training

Today I consider my official start of training for the half marathon in August. Last Sunday was actually ten weeks out, but with finishing out my training for the Soldier Field two weeks ago, I didn't really take last week's runs too seriously. My legs feel good, so I don't feel a lot of pressure to be super regimented in my training for this race. I want to beat my time in my first half (sub 2:56), which won't be too hard! The course for this race is flat as opposed to the course of ten thousand hills in St. Louis. Today I lead my non-existent run group in a five mile run. I say non-existent because no one has shown up to my scheduled runs! The run group is still finding its way, so hopefully we can get into a groove by finding a good central location and convenient time. It's warming up nicely here in Chicagoland, so for Saturday mornings, I've been scheduling runs early, like between 6:30 and 7:30am to beat the heat. No turn out yet other than the other run group leader, but I have high hopes more ladies will come out! My friends who also did the Soldier Field are training for a different half in September, so we'll be able to do some training runs together. It is nice to run with others sometimes. That's the great thing about running, it can be a solo or group sport.

Today's run random pic . . . who expects to find graffiti in nature? Hoodlums.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Road Runners Club of America Coaching Certification


I love running. I want everyone to enjoy running. Although, I know everyone does not! I've had a few friends ask questions about running, how to get started, and about my experience as a beginner. I love sharing how I got started and why I truly enjoy running. I enjoy running with newbies and offering encouragement to push through a workout. I would love to become better at the coaching aspect and legitimately coach those interested in improving their health through running. I started researching coaching certifications and came across two reputable organizations, the U.S.A. Track and Field Association and Road Runners Club of America. To me, the USATF program is more geared toward coaching track and field professionals, college, and high school athletes. The RRCA is more geared toward distance running at all levels from beginner to advanced. So I decided to register to attend a RRCA certification program this fall. The certification consists of a two day Official RRCA Coaching Certification Course, followed by an online test, and a CPR certification. I'm really looking forward to learning new things about running and coaching from the certification program. I can't wait to go through training and become all professional and shiz.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bikram Yoga Recap


The final class of my Bikram yoga two week trial was Thursday at Bikram Yoga Oak Park. The heater was back at 100%, when I walked into the hot room I immediately noticed the difference. I took Shavasana (dead pose) and as others filtered into the room, I heard a couple of whispers about how hot it was! I didn't realize it until class was over, but the instructor was actually the owner, Nancy. I was very challenged this visit because of the extreme heat and her style is a bit quicker than the other two instructors I experienced during my trial. Nancy mentioned several times during class, 'If you can do it, you must'. Which really pushed me to try harder and push through the sweat and heat. Needless to say, the next day I was exhausted. Much like I felt after my first class. I really enjoy Bikram, and will likely take it up again in the fall. I actually enjoy being warm, and the heat is really relaxing after a day at the office.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bikram Yoga


After the Soldier Field 10 mile race last Saturday, I decided to take the week off running (Monday through Friday). I understand it's good to take one or two breaks throughout the year. I also start training for the Rock n Roll Chicago Half next week, so I wanted a little rest period in between It's only 10 weeks away! During my break, I played a little golf, and I tried Bikram Yoga again, which I now love.



It's much more enjoyable when your'e not training for a race. Bikram is hard core. You will get a great workout and a deep stretch by holding various poses in a room heated to 105 degrees (literally). My heart pounds as if I'm running at a 9:00 mile pace. I definitely had to sit down a couple of times to slow my heart rate, which the instructors pointed out is perfectly normal. I bought a two week introduction package at Bikram Yoga Oak Park, unlimited visits for $25. On my second visit, the heater wasn't completely functioning, so the room wasn't as hot in the beginning, but by the end of the class I think I was more drenched in sweat than in my first class when the heater was working. The heater must have completely bonked out because this Thursday's class was canceled. The owner has graciously extended my visits an additional two days. I can't wait to go back next week. Running and hot yoga is turning out to be a great combination for me.

Brightroom finally posted pics from the race. As I thought, there are a few pics of me waving my arms like a crazy person at the finish.



Happy Running!
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