Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The "I can't attitude"

Ok, here I go on my soap box a little... I was listening to a podcast the other day at work, I know - shocker!, but it was all about how people constantly are saying that they can't do a race or complete a marathon, 5K, Triathlon, etc.  The podcast made an excellent point that with an attitude like that, you are right you can't reach those goals.  So why in the world do people even have that mentality? I don't get it.  I honestly don't. 
    I mean don't we all have our doubts?  Don't we all have the fear of getting injured or it not going the way we had planned?  But why in the world would anyone say they can't do it?!  Its one thing if you are physically unable to do it but its an entirely different matter if it is only your mentality holding you back.  Don't to it to yourself. 
     When I ran the Chicago Marathon my first time and I went through all of the intense training, never ever did the thought cross my mind that I couldn't do it.  Sure a few times I thought why in the world am I doing this but not I can't do it.  Even once I got injured and had a good TEN miles to go, quitting and giving up was never even an option.  Honestly, it never even crossed my mind.  I have to say that I think the whole process has made me into a stronger person because you have to be strong mentally and fight against everyone who is telling you that you can't complete the race.
    So don't ever have the mentality that you "CANT" do something, I am a firm believer in you can do anything that you set your mind to!  YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Motto: Challenge yourself in every aspect of your life and see where it takes you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Survive the "LONG" run!

   For every runner, especially every runner that is training for any kind of race, be it a 5K or a full marathon, they each have their own version of a long run.  For the person training for a 5K, their long run is about 3 miles, whereas the marathon runner's long run in 20 or more.  Both runners find conquering the long run to be a huge challenge that is difficult to overcome.  So how do we do it? 
   First I'll give you the biggest challenges and then I will give you some solutions! The challenges are; being motivated, time, injuries, and food and hydration.  What is important to realize is that there is no way around a long run if you are training for a race, so tie those laces and get out there!  Oprah once said after her marathon that "running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out exactly what you put in it!" How true is that!?
    So here are some solutions:
      Motivation: If you haven't read my blog post on motivations, I suggest that you do! But one great way to stay motivated is to have a prize or reward for yourself at the end!  I had a personal fitness professor who said that she bribed herself with new music for her ipod.  She wouldn't add new music until she had completed her workout or fitness goal.  I thought that was an awesome idea.  Or maybe you give yourself all new music before you start out so that you are focusing on the new tunes rather than the fact that you just ran 12 miles and have another 8-10 to go!  Another way to motivate yourself is to change your running route, if you take a different route, your run won't seem as boring because you are passing areas you haven't seen before on your feet!
      Time: Time is always a huge problem, and there is no way around it, depending on who you are a long run can take a few hours, depending on your pace and the amount of miles you need to log.  But if you are swamped, go for a run earlier in the day!  While it might be hard to get up and get going, you will feel like you have accomplished so much by the end!  My senior year in college, when I was training for my first marathon, I would wake up at 6:30 or 7:00 am on a saturday and go for my long runs, it wasn't unusal for me to come back and find that my roommates were still sleeping!  Naturally I showered did a few things and then took a nap! But I was glad to get my run done before I missed the fun events for the day!
     Injuries: Now I can't say that you will never get injured, but if you have already decided to do a race then, injury is probably something you have moved past.  But what about if you already have an injury? How do you recover from it?  Here is a great way: RICE! R-Rest, I-Ice, C-Compression, E-Elevation.  If you feel like you have an injury, give it a minimum of three days before you get back out there pounding the pavement!  Then once you start again, do a short run to test out the waters!  A few weeks ago when I was training for the STL 1/2 marathon I landed wrong on a training run, it was a week before the race so I decided not to run again till the race.  I probably shouldn't have run on it even in the race but it was too late to back out! After the race I certainly Iced it a TON, once I was finally ready to run on it again, I only ran 2 miles.  Seems like a regression but it was a Victory in my book!
    Food and Hydration: I've noticed that this is something that runner's often get wrong and to be honest I definitely got it wrong for my first marathon.  Because I was training down at school, I was on my own and didn't have my wonderful siblings to meet me with water at different points during my run.  As a result I never trained with drinking fluids during my runs, except for an occasional water fountain that was pretty few and far between.  When I got to the marathon, a day that got to be a whopping 93 degrees! I took everything that was given me, at every Aid Station...BAD CHOICE! While it was an extremely hot day and I needed fluids, to drink both the gatorade and water gave my cramps very quickly.  I never trainied with Gu or any gels either but took them during the race and thought I was going to puke!  So what do we do?  Every serious runner and coach will tell you that it is imperative to do your training runs exactly like you are going to run your race! So here is a good rule of thumb: You MUST hydrate Before, during and after a run or race!  If you are going to be running for over an hour you should drink some water and an electolyte or sports drink, to help replenish your electrolytes.  If you are running for over 1.5 hours you should add food!  As I was told on a run with my Running Club: "One glazed doughnut gets you 2 miles!" :)  Do not eat anything for an hour before a run, otherwise you will have some intestinal discomfort.  Eat or drink something after a race or long run.  Bananas are a great source of potassium and other vitamins that have been depleted. Chocolate Milk and Chocolate Protein Shakes are a great way to replenish your body!

Lesson: Remember every long run hurble and obstacle can be overcome!  Get out there and DOMINATE!

Rocking out to: Adicto - Enrique Iglesias

Friday, May 14, 2010

Running Log

  I have heard that it is really good for any serious running to keep track of their workouts by using a running log or a fitness log.  So I've decided to start doing it too!  The purpose of a Log is to be able to keep track of your workouts from what time of day you ran, the weather, the temperature, your pace, the amount of miles you completed, the food and drink you consumed before, during and after your run, plus any additional information you might find important.  At first I didn't know what was so important about keeping a running log, but it can tell you a lot of things.  I've noticed that it is very hard for me to get up in the morning to go for a run, but I have noticed that my run is even worse at night after working all day.  I am mentally and physically exhausted and have a harder time pushing through some runs.   So keep track! Let me know what you discover!  What works best for you?

Here's an Example that I have found works for me:

Currently Rocking Out to: Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Housing History

   There are many styles of houses throughout the United States and there are features of each that can help your easily determine which style is which, but do you know what they are?  If not, get ready for a whirlwind tour of housing history throughout the United States!
    1. Cape Cod - This style dates back to the 17th century, it became very popular in the 18th century.  The most common feature is that it has a centered front door with front windows on either side of the door!  They are typically a story and a half, just cute, quaint, comfortable cottages!
    2.  Georgian - This style was greatly influenced by Greek and Roman design.  This design came to England in the 1700s and as a result became a common style in the colonies.  Just like the Cape Cod this style has the front door centered, with windows flanking the door on either side.  One common feature is that the windows have 9 to 12 individual panes on glass.  Typically these houses were made with brick:
    3. Greek Revival - This style became the dominant style right after the civil war because many people were attracted to the ancient Greeks, specifically their concept of democracy and simplicity.  These houses typically have a roof cornice that continues around the the entire house as a decorative detail.  These houses often have front porches that have huge columns and symmetrical windows with 6 panes of glass.
    4. Gothic Revival - This style is considered one of the first picturesque styles of houses.  It is characterized by steep roofs, with decorative trim.  The style also often has double windows with arched tops.  This style didn't last too long but it created a huge shift in the style of houses.
   5. Queen Anne and Victorian Era - These types of homes are characterized by complex exterior forms, roof lines with multiple gables, towers and bay windows, wide porches and a variety of siding to create an aesthetically appealing house.  These houses have extremely detailed millwork, with an eclectic design.  This was even carried into the interiors of the houses where there was a large amount of ornamentation, and elaborate woodwork.
    6. Bungalow - These were smaller and simplier home designs, they often have low-pitched roofs, wide eaves with the rafter ends exposed and porches were included. 
    7. Prarie - This style was developed by Frank Lloyd Wright, they are typically two-stories, have low pitched roofs and an emphasis on the horizontal lines.
    8. Tudor -  This is loosely based on late medieval designs, they have steep pitched roofs.  Decorative timbers are used typically on the gable ends.  Windows are usually tall, multipaned and set in groups.  Chimneys are often prominent topped with decorative chimney pots.
   9. Ranch - These houses came about in the 1950s when people started to own cars and the houses needed to accomodate them.  These homes are set much lower to the ground and are often sprawling in form.  The roof have small slopes and very little ornamentation.

Which style is your favorite?

Rocking Out to: Sympathetic by Seether

*** Happy Birthday Shout Out to my little sister who turns 16 today!***

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Essential Running Accessories

  Now I don't typically promote certain items or brands unless I really think that they are really something special.  So here are a few items I have found that I can't live without while running!

1. Road ID - the Road ID is the best way to have emergency contact information on your person while running, biking or any fitness activity.  I've been a little slow on the purchasing of one myself but I quickly remedied that and bought a purple one! So I think if you don't have one, you should definitely get one! Here's the website: Road ID
Here's what it looks like:
    They come in different styles from Wrist, Ankle, Dog tags, Etc!
    I even have a coupon for you! It saves you a buck, which every little bit counts! Here's the Code: ThanksEmily747101 Just type it in the coupon box when you are finished and going to pay!

2. The Nike+ chip for your ipod - I love this accessory! Its great because it will calculate exactly how far you have gone, what your pace is, the amount of calories you have burned and the average pace of your entire workout!  Its awesome!  Check it out: Nike+
Here's what it looks like and if you have Nike shoes this chip fits right into the sole of your shoe!
    Well I know that's not a lot of accessories, but really as a runner we don't need much!  But I really recommend these! Enjoy and get out there and run!

Rocking Out to: The Man Who Can't be Moved by The Script

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Profiling a Runner

    As I was brainstorming ideas for another  post, my friend Sabrina called and naturally the conversation turned to training for marathons and just running in general.  Later on thinking back on our conversation I realized that she has a lot to offer the running world through her inexperience.  I know that probably sounds crazy but its true!  She is trying out training for a marathon for the first time ever!  So I thought why not do a runner profile and introduce all of you to her and follow her down her training path to figure out what works and what doesn't!

Name: Sabrina
Age: 23
Race: Chicago Marathon 10.10.10

  What would you say is your running history?
       " Before I decided to sign up for the marathon, I would just run during the summer because I HATE running on a treadmill. I still Hate running on a treadmill but since February I have been more committed to it as well as sucking up the cold weather. I have actually found it to be easier to run in cold weather as long as its warmer than 25!"

   Who or what is your running inspiration?
       "Anyone who has ever run a marathon is my inspiration. I have actually wanted to run a marathon for a few years but there have always been things in the way. This year I have a good reason to run, I have a personal goal I want to achieve and I feel that if I can train and run a marathon I can overcome this personal challenge. "
     What is the biggest challenge you are going to face while running and training?
         "It seems I have many little challenges. The biggest, for me is my Gluten allergy. This was a reason I didn't even consider running a marathon last year! Being Italian, loving pizza, pasta, bread and anything else that has a lot of carbs has been very hard because every runner needs his or her carbs!"

    What have you had to change since starting to train?
        "Since I started training I had to start to seriously workout! In addition to running 3-4 times a week, I have also started using weights because I learned quickly that its not just about running! Your arms need to be strong as well as your core! I have also realized I'm always hungry!! I try to stick to a strict eating schedule through out the day and at night I allow myself to have some ice cream or something sweet!
    What is something you are not willing to give up?
          "I am not willing to give up sweets! I have a huge sweet tooth and I have to have dessert after dinner! I'm willing to train an extra half hour as long as I can have my dessert! Quite frankly, why should I give up sweets? I'm training hard I should enjoy things I love to eat!"

    What is your biggest fear?
         "During this whole training process my biggest fear is getting hurt. My mom, dad, and siblings all think I'm crazy for training for a marathon. The first thing I heard was "Its hard on your body" "You are going to get hurt" "Why would you even consider doing something like this" Am I crazy? Probably! But if someone tells me I can't do something I will go out of my way to do it, and do it well! So, since the marathon isn't until October I have already started training, I want to train at my own pace I don't want to follow a schedule that tells me I have to run 10 mile a certain day. What if I don't want to run 10 but I want to 8 instead? Right now I'm following the Nike training program in that I do weights 2 times a day, run 3-4 days (a long run usually Sundays) and rest one day. I like to think that this is my training program with Nike's program as a back bone. This is how I believe I will beat my fear. Is it certain I won't get hurt? Not at all, but at least I'm not adding additional stress on myself!"

     What's your favorite power song?
         "I have a lot of power songs! My absolute favorite is "Lord give me a sign" from DMX I listen to rap when I run, I love it because its so out of character for me and it really lets me get in the zone! Of course I have some guilty pleasures in there like "The Climb" from Miley Cyrus and Fun remixes as well!"

    What is your favorite thing to eat after a run?
          "After a long run I usually eat an omelet with spinach cheese and whatever veggies we have in the fridge; as well as an apple or banana with peanut butter, yogurt and a glass of milk. My long runs are usually Sunday mornings, while I'm running there is usually an aroma in the air of bacon, so by the time I get home I'm starving!!!"

     What is your favorite Running accessory?
           "I have 2 running accessories that are my favorite!!! My red heart monitor watch and my red shuffle! Without those two, my runs are not the same!!! I also tend to run with my phone because you never really know when and if you might need it, but I wouldn't count that as a running accessory!"

    What is your favorite Quote?
         "Right now my favorite quote is: "Winners make goals, loser make excuses" its a short quote but every time I'm ready to cut my run short because my shoulder  is sore, or I'm thirsty I think about the excuses I'm making up. That's motivation to keep running!

Way to go Sabrina! Looking forward to checking in with you to find out how training is going down the road! Good Luck in the Chicago Marathon and thank you for being such a good sport about listening to all my running ramblings!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

    One of my biggest pet peeves of having a degree in Interior Design is that most people do not know what an Interior Designer really is and what we do.  Somehow people think that Interior Designers (IDs) only pick out paint colors and flooring and that is true but it's not all we do! We don't just know how to decorate, or how to pick out paint colors, flooring and fabric.  We don't just put a piece of furniture in a specific spot because it physically fits there.  Recently IIDA (International Interior Design Association) took to the streets to interview people to get their perception of what they think of when they hear Interior Design.  Almost every single person that was interviewed described the role of a decorator! So I'm going to set the record straight!
   An Interior Designer is any person who has gone to school for a degree in Architecture or Interior Design and has taken the liscensing exam.  For an Architect once they take the liscensing exam, they are automatically considered an Interior Designer as well.  For an Interior Designer they have to take the NCIDQ exam to really be considered an Interior Designer.  Just like a nurse isn't a nurse until he or she has taken the liscensing exam.  But what does that really mean and what does an Interior Designer really do?  This means that an Interior Designer can design a space from the placement of interior walls all the way down to picking out paint colors.  We do all the the technical work of floor plans and checking specifications, making sure spaces are ADA compliant, determining how much gypsum board (sorry- dry wall) you need for a room.  Basically we do it all and yes we pick out paint colors, buts its so much more than saying "thats a pretty color," it is sometimes a matter of knowing a gloss vs. matte, low VOC vs. High, Flammable vs Non-flammable.
   Many people often have horror stories of ordering cabinets and designing it themselves and end up with cabinets that can't be opened or they don't calculate the correct amount of flooring needed for the space.  While designers are human and make mistakes it typically only happens once! Just remember we have gone to school for this, we've taken classes on Building Codes, the History of Architecture, Manual Drafting, Construction, Business Practices, Colors, Housing, etc.  We've done case studies, learned about Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, we've studied Renaissance Architecture vs Gothic Architecture, etc.