A Runner's Neurosis

For the past three weeks, or so, I have been fighting a cold and feeling sick for awhile. I've still been working out and running everyday, pushing through. This week, it got the best of me. I came down with a horrible sinus infection that kept me from my workouts for about five days (I've since gotten antibiotics and now I'm feeling better).

 This is is what I noticed while I was sick: The first few days of missing workouts, I felt guilty. Sort of like I was going to instantly become fat (Does anyone else experience this kind of self-punishment? Or am I just messed up?) In addition to this, I wanted to eat constantly. Maybe that was my body's way of trying to fight the infection. I don't know. By the last few days, I didn't feel guilty about missing the workouts anymore. It was almost like I had gotten past those feelings and just didn't care. By last night I was feeling much better and couldn't wait to start fresh. This morning, I went for a run, felt great, and everything in the world is right to me again :)

I never really feel guilty when I eat some ice cream or french fries, but I do feel like I punish myself when I miss a workout. I'm sure in addition to eating disorders, there are exercise disorders. I'm not to any extreme, but I realize in a world with so much pressure about body image, I have to keep myself in check. Not only for myself, but to set an example for my daughter.

Do you have any mental battles with yourself? How do you handle it?


You Might Be a Runner If:

The other day, my toenail on my big toe completely came off ( I know, really gross).The one on the other foot is soon to follow. But, they had been completely black since the Marine Corps Marathon back in October and I knew it was coming. Why am I telling you all this gross stuff about my feet? Because it got me thinking about other things that runners accept as completely normal. Losing toenails is one of them. What else? Oh, things like using the bathroom in the woods, throwing up after a great race, being able to eat while running, feeling naked without a sports watch...the list can go on and on. Check out the site below for a list of more, #'s 4 and 8 are definitely me!

You Might Be A Runner If..

Please comment! You might be a runner if...

That's not my toe! I have no nail! You didn't think I'd take a pic of my own ugly toe, did you?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dan4th/5551936218/sizes/s/in/photostream/

New Shoes!!!

Aren't they beautiful?
Yesterday, I got new running shoes! You fellow runners know that it felt like Christmas. I couldn't wait to get home and take them for a spin. I bought the Asics Gel Kayano 18. I've been wearing the Kayanos for years and I love them. Sometimes I think about trying a different shoe, but then I'm too chicken. I went to Sports Authority because I had a coupon and they ended up costing only $120. Normally, however, I find the best deals at RNJ Sports. They offer free shipping on orders over $65. In honor of my new shoes, I've researched the prices of some of Runner's World Magazine's top shoe picks for this season. Please comment and let me know what you run in.

Runner's World Editor's Choice
Brooks Trance 11

RNJ Sports - $139.99

Zappos -$140.00

Road Runner Sports -$139.95

Running Warehouse -N/A

Runner's World "Best Update"
Asics Gel Kayano 18

         RNJ Sports -$123.90

         Zappos -$150.00

         Road Runner Sports -$149.95

         Running Warehouse -$150.00


Runner's World Editor's Choice
Saucony Progrid 5

RNJ Sports -$87.90

Zappos -$89.00

Road Runner Sports -N/A

Running Warehouse -$100.00

Runner's World "Best Buy"
Brooks Pure Flow

RNJ Sports -$89.99

Zappos -$90.00

Road Runner Sports -$89.95

Running Warehouse -N/A

Sketchers GoRun
(Most of the running sites didn't carry these)

Zappos -$85.00

Finish Line -$79.99

Runner's World "Best Debut"
Altra, The Intuition

   Running Warehouse -$100.00

Heart Health Month

Today I picked my son up from preschool and he showed me this:
It was a packet his class worked on, in honor of February being heart health month. Inside the packet were different pages with a fact about the human heart. The last page read,
 "I can keep my heart healthy by eating ________". My son wrote "apples, bacon, & corn!" Hmm...bacon? He must have gotten that from his dad!

This got me thinking. If our kids are learning about taking care of their hearts in preschool, shouldn't we (the grown-ups) be thinking more about taking care of our own hearts? Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. So, in honor of this special month, below are some tips on how to keep the heart strong. I challenge everyone to do just one thing this week that is good for the heart.

Heart Health Tips:

-Exercise 30 minutes/ day. This can be as simple as going for a walk.
-Maintain a healthy weight.
-Quit smoking.
-Make healthy food choices.  Choose a diet low in fat, cholesterol and salt and include more fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
-Get regular check-ups. Get regular screenings of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and possibly a diabetes screening.

Check out these sources for more healthy tips and resources:

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

Bringing my blog into 2012!!

Here's the little guy
If you have seen this blog before, then you will notice all of the changes I've been making. I finally have a header...yay!! It took me a couple hours, with my preschooler wanting something every two minutes, but I did it! (I'm very proud of myself right now :) I've also got Facebook and Twitter buttons now. (I didn't even know how to use twitter) This is all thanks to my dear friend Bay, of Queen Mother blog. Yesterday, I took my four year-old son to her house to play with her little girl and I got a ton of advice on blogging. I am not the most tech savvy person, so this is a lot for me. I also created a Facebook page for my business. Check it out at www.facebook.com/rungenierun and Like it for me!
Eventually, my goal is to add more pages with workouts, including videos and pics, training plans, and whatever else I can think of!

Guest Article: Fitness and Cancer, By Liz Davies

Special thanks to Liz for her contribution to this blog.

Fitness and Cancer

A diagnosis of cancer often results in a significant decline in physical activity, according to epidemiological studies.  The stress of preparing for treatments and telling family and friends about the diagnosis is overwhelming enough to make many people put exercise on the back burner.  The type of treatment can reduce exercise regularity even further, as patients experiencing the fatigue and nausea of chemotherapy and the pain of recovery from an operation are less likely to push themselves.  Instead of leaving exercise as an afterthought, more and more doctors are urging their patients to engage in physical activity, and their reasons may come as a surprise.

The Role of Fitness in Reducing Symptoms

Whether the cancer is rare and terminal or a treatable, hormone-based cancer, exercise offers some definite benefits. Fatigue is one of the leading complaints. Beginning with the stress of a diagnosis, many patients experience fatigue that can last years after successful treatment. Exercise combats this, causing the body to balance hormones and promote healthy body composition. Toned muscles and strong circulation are important to keeping a steady metabolism, which is the body's energy management system.

Regular movement is also helpful for treating digestive problems that routinely appear as nausea, loss of appetite, constipation and diarrhea.  Exercise stimulates the body's need for nutrition and promotes regularity in bowel movements.  Additionally, the hormones produced during exercise can relieve pain caused by treatments and the cancer itself.

Fitness and Survival

Though researchers have been unable to separately verify whether exercise is beneficial to treatment regimens, it does promote quality of life.  Exercise during treatment for certain types of cancer has been shown to increase survival.  This may be due to the direct effect of the body better able to metabolize and distribute medicine, or it could simply be the indirect effect of having a better quality of life.

It is well known that exercise prevents many forms of cancer, and survivor programs are increasingly turning to physical therapists to reduce recurrence.  One of the major benefits of maintaining a program during treatment is that is can be continued after treatment. 

The type of fitness program is less important than keeping to a regular schedule.  Most experts agree that any form of aerobic exercise engaged in regularly will show benefits, but it is important to consult with a doctor and fitness expert during cancer treatment.  Sometimes certain types of exercises will be recommended.  For example, mesothelioma and lung cancer causes doctors to often advocate cardio exercises while breast cancer patients will be urged to focus on flexibility.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness.  She wants to make a difference in people's lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world.  Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

The Comeback

Have you been on a running hiatus this winter? Here is an article by Jeff Galloway with easy tips on how to ease back into your training plan.

Runner's World Article