5K, 10K, Half, Marathon-Find Your Race and Run it!

running race

It’s time for a confession. Before we start talking about running 5K, 10K half marathon races and marathons, you need to know something about me.

I was never in good shape as a kid. I was not the track star, volleyball and basketball player that my brother and sister, and many of my friends were in high school. I was uncoordinated, lazy, and preferred to spend my Sunday curled up on the couch with a good book, or nestled in the crook of the walnut tree branches, daydreaming, instead of riding my bike or running around the neighborhood, or hanging upside-down from the monkey bars at the park. Was I chubby? Yes. Not by today’s standards, but certainly not one of those skinny, ropy kids without an ounce of fat on them.

Fast-forward to college. I was still super insecure about athletics, or even about working out. I started doing more physical activity, and even got laughed at by a particularly sadistic boyfriend when I went for a run with some other friends. So the voice in my head always told me that I couldn’t do it.

When I moved to Boulder in 1991, I had some friends who were runners who came with me. They forced me to run if I wanted to hang out with them. At first I was mortified by my lack of fitness, and my slow pace. But bit by bit, I got better. Then I clerked for a local firm in the summer after my first year of law school, and those lawyers huffed and puffed their way through a daily lunchtime run. Some of them went further, on seven-mile trail runs, and they peer-pressured me into joining them. They were old, so I could keep up, right?

It was really tough. I think they slowed down a little at first so I could do it. But it made me confident enough to run my first half, with a good friend, the following summer. I have been running races, including halfs and marathons, ever since.

Today, my goal is to make it to the next age group and shave some minutes off my time so I can place in one of the smaller half marathons. Because right now those women in their 40s are killin’ it (and me)! Of course, I do race in Boulder and Denver, and there are people who run for a living here, and I’ve learned that I am not willing to work as hard at my training as I need to in order to reach my peak performance. But more than anything, the most important truth I have discovered during all of this running, is that 95% of it is in your head. That’s right. The voice in your head that says you can’t do it is what’s stopping you, and nothing else. If you go slow enough, you can run one mile, then two, then a 5K, then a 10K and beyond. Just don’t stop!

My favorite race calendar is Running in the USA.  You can find local calendars that will tell you about the most popular races, and all of them have little gems that may not be included in the bigger calendars. But Running in the USA is the one that has the most coverage, and the biggest variety of races all over your state or the U.S.

So check out Running in the USA, choose your race, get together some friends, and start running. You will feel like a superstar!

Visit Solve HR, Inc.

Photo credit: GoToVan via Foter.com / CC BY



Friday Facts-Hydration

glass of water

I’ve always heard that people should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day in order to stay healthy and hydrated. But I started thinking about the fact that I live at 5,430 feet of elevation, and the climate is desert-like. Besides the dry air, I also run almost every day, sometimes up to 10 miles.

I’m guessing the old rule doesn’t hold. Anyway, I found this hydration calculator from Camelbak. It’s not precise, obviously, but it does ask you about your height, weight, age, color of your pee (!) and the activity you are contemplating. So the calculator tells you how much water you likely will need to plan on consuming during and after the activity in order to remain hydrated. Try it and tell me if it works for you!

WebMD tells us that we need between a half an ounce and an ounce per pound of weight per day of water to remain properly hydrated. The higher end is for those who are more active, living in a warm climate. I don’t know how much water I drink every day. The only indicator is that last time I went to give blood, they wouldn’t take me because I was too dehydrated. Bummer. Dehydration can cause kidney stones, too.

I won’t even mention the gallons of coffee and the wine and cocktails that contribute to the situation. I’m going to turn over a new leaf and try to get in an ounce per pound per day. I’ll probably feel better. I’ll keep you posted!

Visit Solve HR, Inc.

Photo credit: Enkhtuvshin’s 5DmkII via Foter.com / CC BY

Does Running Make You More Successful at Work?

Friday Facts: Running Edition

It always feels like summer when it’s time for the BolderBoulder, an incomparable race run every Memorial Day here in Boulder, Colorado.  Flowers bloom, the sun shines, and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” starts playing in my head (I always tear up too). Those of you who have run this race and stayed in Folsom Field for the celebration know what I mean:

Bolder Boulder

Since the BolderBoulder is coming, I got to thinking about running and working, working and running. Although I did train for and run my third (and slowest by far) marathon last year while commuting 10 hours per week and working a grueling schedule, it’s better for my training to work from home-my regular mileage is way up. I always figured that running was good for my health (and I know it helps me stay sane), but today, I’m also curious about whether runners are more successful at work, happier or more productive.

Here are the facts:

  1. One 2015 social science research study found that CEO fitness had a positive impact on a firm’s value and profitability. The researchers considered successfully completing a marathon as indicative of fitness. There’s more information on the takeaways in this Entrepreneur article, but I found it fascinating that there was a statistical link between the leader’s fitness and the company’s success.
  2. The “runners’ high” doesn’t just come from endorphins. We are happier and more clearheaded after a run because of a protein released by our brains in response to the physical stress of a tough workout. Turns out this substance has a reparative effect on memory neurons and can act as a mood enhancer. This FastCompany article has those facts and more, with tips for creating and sticking to a habit of regular exercise.
  3. Exercise can improve productivity in all the ways you would expect-by generating greater energy levels and reducing stress. But I find that when I need to plan around runs, I tend to get more work done so I feel good about taking that time away for myself. And it’s certainly true that running can help keep your weight in check, which may reduce the risk of type II diabetes and even cancer. It’s also great weight-bearing exercise that increases bone mass, which can keep osteoporosis at bay. So in short, you may be less likely to have unexpected time away from work, because you’re healthier!

t’s not too late to register for the BolderBoulder 10K. Click here and start your journey to success, happiness and productivity!

Photo credit: andrusdevelopment via Foter.com / CC BY