Sunday, April 29, 2012

Training & life: Fitting it all in

I like to keep busy. Idle minds are the devil’s playground! But last week had me thinking I may have busied myself a tad too much. Between working full time, half marathon training, the running group, contributing for Examiner.com and blogging, I have a lot going on. My half marathon training had fallen behind by an entire week. This week was spent playing catch up after seriously slacking during the planning of the running group event.
The professional pictures turned out fabulous! Two great local photographers, Chuckstr and Dare2dream Photography donated thier time to capture the day. There are a ton more pictures, you can check them out here.
My training is back on track as of today. I even had the gumption to dust off my bike and do some cross training. I hadn’t ridden my bike in probably over a year. I got in a good workout biking the trail I usually run. I plan to fit in more biking in preparation for the half in June. Loving the cardio with no impact.
So, even though I have a lot going on, I’ve added a few more things to my task list. I started sewing lessons, taking my love for crafting to a whole 'nother level! My first lesson was this past Wednesday, at Pamela Penney Textile Arts in Oak Park. This is my new toy.
During my weekly lessons, Pamela will help me complete this dress pattern. Of course, I plan to make it atypical. I’m inspired my Boxing Kitten’s African print designs, but somewhat uninspired by their cost. So, I’m making my own version. I found some great prints for super cheap at Textile Discount Outlet in the city. I decided on these patterns. I cannot wait to see the finished product.
Also on the horizon, I got word this past Friday I’ve been accepted as a FitFluential ambassador! I’ll have more to come on the topic as I get more involved. I will find a way to fit it all in! I definitely have to focus on prioritizing to be able to do all the things I want to do. Completing tasks and activities in their order of importance is the key for me right now. Properly training for the half is my top priority. I don’t plan to fall behind on my training again for these remaining 8 weeks. I’m sure once things settle in for me I’ll be searching for the next project or task to tack onto my schedule!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Black Girls RUN! Chicago one year anniversary & celebration

This April is the one year mark for the Black Girls RUN! Chicago running group. I've been working as an ambassador for the group since day one, scheduling group runs, facilitating the group on Facebook, and organizing social gatherings. Yesterday we had a large meet-up at Fleet Feet Sports Chicago in Old Town. Over fifty ladies from all over Chicagoland gathered to fellowship with one another. The group ran and walked a 5K route along Lake Michigan and later gathered back at the store to nosh on post run snacks and chat about none other than running. A lot of planning went into the event. We did it all from coordinating the venue to blowing up balloons and I am ecstatic that everyone enjoyed themselves! Fleet Feet Chicago was our awesome host giving away entries to their upcoming women's race as well as stainless steel water bottles to everyone who came. There are close to 1200 women who have joined the Facebook group and we hope the excitement generated with this event will only encourage more women to come out and run with the group.
My brainchild, homemade cupcakes and cupcake toppers were also a hit!
The BGR! Chicago group ambassadors, Udodi, Renisha, and myself

There were also two professional photographers in attendance. I'm looking forward to sharing more pics as they come!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Half marathon training: Trail running

Training for the Chicago Women's Half Marathon is now one week strong. I've slightly adapted this Hal Higdon training plan to fit my schedule and what I think I'll actually stick too. On my most recent training run, I hit up a trail near my work building. I've run on this particular trail many times before, but not for quite some time. I was kind of excited to get back out there. This season I've hit asphalt and track surfaces, but after this last run I realized how much I enjoy trail running! Mostly because it's more challenging than training on a treadmill or the track, but not as stressful as running on asphalt. I may need to seriously look into trying out some trail races. Trail running/racing seems like an entirely different realm of running I'm not totally familiar with yet but I thought of a few things that may be helpful to novice trail runners like myself just starting out.

1. Reduce safety risks
Run in pairs or let someone know where you will be running and for how long. Take plenty of fuel and fluid, a lightweight jacket and a cell phone. Take notice of your surroundings. Things look different coming back than going. Use trail signs and identify rocks, trees or landmarks to keep track of your location.
2. Expect varying inclines and surfaces
I've become spolied running the flat streets of Chicagoland. Trails can be hilly and uneven. It's ok to walk steep hills. Avoid stepping on unsteady rocks or surfaces. Plan your steps around obstacles before you reach them.

4. Focus on time, not distance
Out-and-back routes are my favorite because you can cover the same distance it seems a little bit faster on the way back since the path is familiar.

5. Respect nature
If you have to fuel on a trail run, hold onto your empty wrappers. There aren't any street cleaners in the wilderness to pick up behind you. Stay on marked trails and try not to cut through or create new paths which may disturb the surrounding wildlife.

That's all I've got on trail running for the moment. Happy trails to you!

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