The Benefits of Kayaking and Cross-Training, Part II

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Today’s Workout: Rest day

I wish I could say that today’s (Monday’s) rest day was hard to take off, but it wasn’t. I was pretty freaking tired after Sunday’s run! If you haven’t checked out my post from Sunday, be sure to read it, as I’ll be referring to a couple things mentioned in it.My last post was on the benefits of kayaking as a form of cross-training. Today, I’ll be discussing the benefits of trail running as a form of cross-training.

First off, my time on Sunday was slooooow, but that didn’t bother me at all. The point of my run was to complete a long, slow run, which is what I did. And because I have been having some major issues with pacing myself, I decided to take it to the trails. I felt like it was the best decision I made in my life! I barely looked at my GPS watch the entire time I was running! I just enjoyed myself, stopped and took some photos for the blog a couple of times, and concentrated on not falling.

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There are a couple bridges in the trail system behind my house; this is the first of the two. I actually took this shot during my early morning run last Friday.

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The trails behind my house actually meet up with the lake where JP and I go kayaking.

How could I not enjoy my run when I’m able to enjoy this beautiful scenery? For me, I feel at home when I’m running in the woods. I ran high school cross-country while attending a private school in the city, practicing on the road all the time, so I was always ecstatic when we had cross-country meets at another school where you actually ran in the woods. To me, that’s what cross-country running embodies.

I could go on and on about what I love about trail running, but for time’s sake, I’m breaking the benefits and withdrawals into a list of pros and cons:

Pros:
• It will force you to slow down and pace yourself
• It will prevent you from shuffling – you HAVE to pick your feet up to avoid tripping over a branch or rock!
• You are less susceptible to knee injury, as the trails are more forgiving on your legs than pavement
• Your chances of getting hit by a car are zero to none (unless your trail meets up with a road that you have to cross somewhere along the line)
• You’re less likely to get bored, as it’s a nice change of scenery
• You could possibly spot some cool wildlife, like a deer or a moose
• You’re less likely to check your GPS every two seconds, because you’re not only enjoying the scenery, but pushing yourself as well, and are too busy making sure you don’t trip and fall to look at it 🙂
• You WILL get a workout, and although it doesn’t seem like it, the trails will help you improve your time

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The second bridge I encountered on my run.

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A scenic view of the lake after crossing the bridge.

Those photos are all to remind you of the beautiful scenery you can find on trail runs before I dive into the drawbacks of them.

Cons:
• You’ll be moving at a slower pace.
• If you run on the trails enough, you’re likely to trip and fall. In fact, you may just hurt yourself if you trip and fall, so pick those feet up!
• My friend Meg’s biggest fear – you may encounter a snake…or even worse, some other sort of wildlife that could hurt you.
• It’s usually a lot more secluded on the trails, so if you get injured, it could be hours, even days, before someone finds you (I always bring my cell phone)
• You could possibly get poison ivy or poison oak if running somewhere with tall grass (luckily I am resilient to both)
• It’s a major workout compared to road running (this could be a pro or a on, depending on who you’re talking to)

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There’s a beach across the lake from where I run, so I suppose if I ever got injured, I could always yell out to the people there!

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When on the trails, the end of my run usually consists of going up this huge, mountain-like hill. This photo doesn’t do it justice. My short-term goal is to be able to run this entire hill by the end of the month!

So, what do you think…are you ready to give trail running a try?

If you’re already a trail runner, where’s your favorite spot or what’s your favorite race to go trail running?

Next up this week: Wicked Random Wednesday makes a comeback and Short-Term Goals vs Long-Term Goals to keep you motivated.

The Benefits of Kayaking and Cross-Training, Part I

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Yesterday’s Workout: 3.03 miles @ 29:07
Today’s Workout: 6.00 miles @ 1:14:56

There, I’m glad we’re all caught up now with my mileage for the past two days! I downloaded the most recent version of the WordPress app onto my phone, so if this blog post looks a little different than normal, I apologize!

When I started to write this post, I intended to make it about both kayaking and cross-training (as in cross-training in the trails), but it started to get really long and out of control, so I’m breaking it down into Part I and Part II.

JP had asked for Giftcards to Dick’s Sporting Goods for his birthday. He originally had wanted to get an elliptical, but since the one he wanted is pretty costly, we’ve put our dreams of buying that on the back burner for now. Instead, he got another kayak. This one is for me to use (and I did not ask for, not put him up to this, I swear!). I didn’t really show any interest in kayaking until he asked me about a week ago if I would go with him if he got one for me, too. So yesterday, we hopped in the car, went to Dick’s and got a lovely bluish/greenish kayak for me, along with a paddle and life vest. When we got home, we walked the dogs, both went running, and in JP’s words, “We GOT it!” (My new running mantra).

Around six o’clock, we decided to take our kayaks out on the lake, which is literally two minutes away from my house. It took me a little while to get the hang of kayaking, but I managed to get it after about 15 minutes, and was paddling along in no time. The lake near our house is pretty large, with a dam, an island you can kayak around, and even a tunnel you can go through!

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Not sure if you can see the tunnel too well, I took this picture today on my trail run!

The weather was perfect – a little chilly, but great for if you’re breaking out in a sweat. My arms started to burn pretty quickly (did I tell you I have no upper arm strength), but I just kept paddling. JP and I are pretty competitive, and I knew he wanted to turn this into a race, but this is one I wouldn’t be able to win. We paddled around the island, where people can actually rent out to go camping on, and the people staying there’s Pitbull chased us by running into the water, swimming towards us, and tried to hop into my boat. It was actually pretty scary! My first time out kayaking, and I get chased by a dog, lol. I’ve barely ever gotten chased by a dog while running!

I managed to get away, though, and have lived to tell the story. Now, if you’re wondering what this has to do with running, there are a few ways that you can benefit from kayaking as a runner. Kayaking is a great form of cross-training. A lot of runners like to lift weights to help build muscle mass. If you’re someone like me who wants to attain some arm muscle, but doesn’t get all to trilled about picking up a dumbbell, this is a great way to help you build some muscle, by:

• Forcing you to use your triceps by paddling
• Making you use your core (you get a total body work out, minus the legs) while pushing yourself through the water and breathing in time with your paddling

You’re probably wondering how this helps you while running? Well, you have to use your arms to help you pump yourself up a hill – or just in general – while running. And if you’re running properly, you should be using your core, as well!

I don’t think that kayaking should be the only form of cross-training that you use, but if you implement it in conjunction with weight lifting and running, it will help you build muscle mass…and you’ll have fun while doing it!

Stay tuned for Part II of my cross-training series, to be posted within the next couple of days!

Also, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to enter my contest to win a pair of My Soxy Feet!

What’s your favorite form of cross-training?

Newport Half-Marathon Race Recap

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Me and Steph after finishing the 2013 Newport Half-Marathon.
Yesterday’s Workout: 4.04 miles @ 43:06

Hey everyone! I was planning on posting a little earlier today, but got side-tracked by a few things (like buying a new pair of running shoes for JP and getting a kayak – more on that in the next couple of days).

Today I’m a guest blogger for Carson over at Running Southern, so if you don’t follow her blog, please head over there and see what I have to say about my top five favorite races. Since my all-time favorite race is the Newport Half-Marathon, and I mentioned a couple times since the inception of my blog that I would post a race re-cap, I figured this was the perfect time to write about it (finally). Continue reading

Ten Dollar Tuesday: My Soxy Feet

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Today’s Run: 3.11 miles @ 29:24

Hey, it’s Tuesday night, and there’s only three days left in the work week! Who else is excited about this?! I am! But for work weeks that last longer than a second, I occasionally order something special for myself and have it delivered to the office so that I have a little treat to look forward to at some point throughout the week. Most days, I don’t need any “swag” to help me get through the day, but every once in a while, I’m having a bad day and a package arrives; if it’s for me, and it happens to be running gear, my frown immediately turns upside down, and I’m feeling better.

Today was a not so bad day, but because of the three-day weekend, I have to admit, I was dreading going into the office a little bit. Knowing that I had ordered some new running socks last week definitely helped with me with getting up and going to work in the morning (I tried to get up early and go running…although I got up earlier, it wasn’t early enough. Still working on that one…). Because our post office, is super slow, though, my socks weren’t waiting for me bright and early this morning, as I expected. However, when 4:00 p.m. rolled around, and I knew that the mail had come, I had a present waiting for me:

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I’m going to start this review with (of course!) the price. I was recently named a My Soxy Feet Ambassador, so I’m lucky enough to get a 30% discount on their products—most of them retail at around $12.99. So with the 30% discount mine are under $10. Sorry if this seems like I’m cheating on this $10 Tuesday. But for all of my friends who love socks that rock, be sure to use the coupon code SOXYFRIENDS at checkout and you can enjoy 10% off of your purchase. Not $10, but pretty darn close!

I have to say that I love, love, love this company. I will only act as an ambassador and write positive reviews for businesses and products that I love…and this is one of them. From their website: 

 

Running <3

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Today’s Run: 5 miles @ 51:18

Today was my long run day, and something really strange happened while I was running. I went outside to start at about 2:30 p.m. Right before I was about to get ready, the skies opened up and it started pouring out. Undeterred, I threw my Wave Riders on, prepared a water bottle, and started stretching. By the time I actually started my run, the rain had stopped. Continue reading

A Bachelorette Party Fit for a Runner

Lately, I’ve had weddings on the brain, an it’s no wonder why. I may have mentioned it once or twice a million times that my cousin is getting married in June, and my sister is getting married in July. Everyone in my family is really close, so that means that over the past two months, we’ve either been shower planning, buying shower gifts and/or wedding gifts, and attending showers. Continue reading

Blogger Profile: Meg Go Run

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Yesterday’s Workout: Rest day (other than walking the dogs!)
Wednesday’s Workout: 3.15 miles @ 30:15

Happy Friday, everyone! This week, I’m featuring a Q&A special guest blogger on 26.2×2. Before I get started with the Questions and Answers, though, I need to give you a proper introduction to this awesome blogger, Megan of Meg Go Run. Continue reading

Wicked Random Wednesday 5.21.14

Today’s Run: 3.18 miles @ 32:37:38

Welcome to your latest edition of Lis’s Wicked Random Wednesday! I know it’s been a little while since I last posted one and you’re probably all just dying to hear what wicked words of wisdom I have to offer, so let’s just dive into this week’s randomness and get started:

1)
Today I went running and had another “vomit inducing run.” I didn’t actually vomit, but my run made me feel pretty sick afterwards. This left me thinking…am I pushing myself too hard? How HARD is too hard?

2) JP texted me while I was still at work that he ran on the treadmill and his time was 32:12. So of course (the competitive person that I am), as soon as I finished my run, I had to flash my GPS watch and tell him to “eat my dirt,” only to realize that he finally beat my time today. Boo. Of course, I made myself feel better by reminding myself that he ran on the treadmill and I ran outside, which is WAY harder…right?

3) I was looking back at my old FB account (the one I barely go on anymore) and couldn’t believe how enthusiastic I was about running in my beginner days (trust me, I still am, I just can’t believe I’ve been keeping at it for so many years already! One of my favorite quotes: “Just got OK’ed by the doctor to start running again. Whoo, what a workout! I can’t wait to go again tomorrow!” I still feel that way every day…even after my “vomit inducing” runs.

4) This past weekend, I watched The Wolf of Wall Street. I have to say, I was severely disappointed. I have always been a huge fan of Scorcese films, but the last two I’ve watched (this and Shitter Island) have been pretty crappy. Why didn’t i like this one, you ask? Because it was just like Goodfellas and Casino, but with more nudity and the f bomb was thrown in there for literally every other word. Different cast, somewhat different storyline, but the plot was not as good. Yawn. Although I thought Leo did a great job as an actor, his character reminded me way too much of Ray Liotta’s in Goodfellas.

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5) By the way, I have a huge obsession with gangster movies. Goodfellas, The Godfather, Mystic River, The Departed…anything that has gangsters in it, I’ve probably seen…and loved. Of course, my all-time favorite is The Godfather (the original), though!

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6) I am so excited about Memorial Day weekend coming up! Who doesn’t love a three-day weekend?! But this holiday weekend is super special, because we’ll be celebrating JP’s 34th birthday, which usually falls on or around the holiday. Happy birthday to my hubby!

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I got me a good catch! Even if he does beat my running time!

7) Of course, I have to leave you with yet another Basset pic!

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And if you ever wonder why so many of my pictures of the dogs are taken in bed…I usually only have time to write right before bed.

Your turn: Answer one of my “questions” above…or tell me something about yourself that related to one of the aforementioned blurbs.

P.S. If you haven’t done so (or don’t know about it, please like my FB page at 26.2×2. I’m almost at 100 likes!

Ten Dollar Tuesday: Another Awesome Bargain…and Some More Big News!

My Last Workout: Sunday, “long run day” 4.01 miles @ 40:02

Since my last post ended on a very bad note, I wanted this one to start off on a very good one! Sunday was my “long run” day, as in 4 miles long. I am literally starting from scratch with my marathon training, but I’d rather err on the side of caution, and (hopefully) avoid injury. Everyone who commented on my Vegas post is just going to have to wait until November to find out what decision I’ve made.

I’m not even going to breathe a word about which marathon I’ve decided to make my first until it’s over with, because as you know, I’m superstitious and don’t want to jinx myself.

But in the meantime, I’ve been on a major runner’s shopping spree, starting with a bargain I found while at Marshall’s on Friday. Continue reading