Answering Your Questions!

A lot of times, I get a lot of questions from people about running. I am always happy to help and willing to do what I can to get other people into the world of running. When I posted that I was looking for questions to answer for another FAQ post, you guys didn’t disappoint! Some really good questions were asked, and I hope that I answered them to your liking.

Shannon asked: Have you ever dealt with IT band issues and how did you deal with it ? — YES! I hate IT Band pain! It’s one of the fewIT-BAND-IMAGE-FOR-BLOG-1 painful things that I can’t ignore and go on with because the muscle links between your hip and your knee, and pulls on your knee cap. It hurts, and while you aren’t doing anything too bad other than pulling it too tight, it feels like you are tearing your knee out.
For me, IT Pain started early in my running when I didn’t get fitted for real running shoes. I was using whatever I found and that didn’t help. First things first — GET FITTED for real running shoes if you  haven’t already. They will save your feet, and your legs. If you have gotten running shoes and are still having issues, invest in a foam roller and make it your best friend to work on the muscle. There is no real way to stretch it, but I find a combination of foam rolling, hot tubbing (or hot bath with Epsom salt) and taking it easy will help.
If you are in pain, avoid inclines and speed. These two things are the worst possible things you could do with IT pain. And if it hurts to walk, then just don’t run for a few days. You need to take a break from time to time and rest the muscle and stretch them out.
And how do out handle the Fl heat? It is starting to get hot and humid here. — Very carefully. Seriously. I learned how easy it is to overheat while running two years ago at the Gate River Run when I finished the race and was almost rushed to the hospital with a body temp of 110 degrees. Knowing how to handle the heat while running starts with knowing how YOU handle the heat period. If you are prone to being overheated, then drastic changes are needed. If not, then you can do some minor adjustments and you should be okay. For me, I need a breeze when I’m laying out in the sun, or else I’m dying. So I need help in the heat.
I carry water with me when I run during the summer. Invest in either a flask that you can have tucked into your hand or in your running belt, or in one of the smaller Polar Bottles ( The dino one is super cute, and so is the Pixie! If you get one, send a message that you got one because IRG rec’d it!) where the water stays pretty cold the entire time. I’m investing in a smaller Polar Bottle when I get my next pay check so I can have cold water with me to splash on my neck or drink down. I also wear very little when I run. It’s not always something pretty seeing a fat girl run in shorts and a sports bra, but it’s hot outside and I don’t care.
When it comes to actually running, I take it slower and a bit easier. I don’t push it. I personally don’t get along with the heat very well as it is, so I almost always slow down during the warmer months, cutting my mileage back significantly. I try to run early before the sun is out, or later in the evening when the sun is setting as well. Your best bet is to start slow and careful and test your body out. Then change as you go.
Kelley asked: do you drink a lot of water while you run? Sometimes I worry that I might drink too much while running — This is actually a toughie because it all depends on a million different variables. Is it hot, or cold? Are you dressed in full gear head to toe, or are you just in a tech shirt/tank and shorts? Do you FEEL thirsty, or are you feeling okay? Did you drink a lot before your run, or are you dehydrated? womenwithwater
For me, when I am running a training run I don’t take water with me if I go 5 miles or less. Unless it’s in the dead of summer, then I drive out on my route and stash water bottles, or carry one with me. If I am running downtown, there are a lot of water fountains around, and some of the restaurants will give me a cup of water if I need it. But I also drink water continuously during the day and don’t really need it. As long as you pee as close to clear as you can before the run, and the sun isn’t beating down on you, you should be okay.
When I do take a water break, I take no more than three big swallows. Any more than that, you are chancing a sloshing in your belly that is uncomfortable and could hinder your run. Again, this is unless it’s summer and the temps are high. That changes things, and in that case, I take a swallow of water every walk break, which for me is often.
When it comes to RACES I hit EVERY water stop. The water in the little cups they hand out is a good two swallows, maybe three. I’ll grab two cups, one to drink and one to pour on my head/neck in order to relax the tensing muscles and prevent a migraine. Unless it’s summer. Then I drink two cups.
My advice is to run three miles without water and see how you feel. If you are really thirsty, add some water intake to your day. If you are okay, then you are on the right track. You should stop for water/fuel every 45 minutes or so. I’ve been doing 5 miles at about 55 miles so I go without when I run that distance, but longer runs include water for me. And if worst comes to it, bring it with you. Even if you don’t drink anything, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stephanie says I’m full of questions tonight! How do you organize your running gear? (Mine seems to have taken over multiple rooms!) — One drawer in my chest is for race gear. I have my pants, cotton shirts, socks, headbands, ect all in that drawer. My race shirts are hung up in my closet because I don’t really wear those to run. Partly because the female cut is a little snug on the belly and I hate that, 43176946Eand partly because when I do wear them they get hung up to dry. No dryer for them! That ruins them! I also have 4 hooks attached to my bathroom door to hang up the gear I just used. I keep my shoes by  my front door because tracking gross stuff through the condo makes me angry.
What do you do with your running tutus after a race? How/where do you store them? — My tutus are hung up in my guest room closet! I have them on the plastic hangers you use to hang up pants that you get from Walmart. Right now I have….7 or 8 tutus that I rotate through. I do need to remake a few of them because the elastic on them is getting stretched out and the tulle is getting ratty. But I keep them because believe it or not I wear them for stuff other than races! 🙂 I wore my green one with tights and a blank tank top to an 80s party, and I wore my rainbow colored one to a WJXT function.
What’s your favorite race that you’ve run? —I have a few favorites. I ADORE the Gate River Run. It’s such a challenge and it’s an awesome way to see the city of Jax. I also love the Jax Bank Half/Full in December. It goes through Mandarin and I run by so many of my childhood friends houses, it stirs a lot of memories. Some of the more fun ones was the Color Me Rad 5k, the Halloween 10 miler through a cemetery, and I ADORED the She Runs LA I did last year. It had bands every mile or so! So much fun!
What’s on your race “Bucket List”? — I want to do the RunDisney races. All of them. I want the Goofy Challenge and I want the newly released grr_logo11Dopey Challenge medals. I also want to do a bunch of the Rock and Roll races. The one in Las Vegas runs on the strip! There is one in Daytona that starts and finishes on the track too that I’m itching to do. I’m still making my bucket list, so when I get it done, I’ll let you know! 🙂
Do you listen to music while running? If so, do you use your phone or mp3 device? And, how do you “carry” it? — I do listen to music. It’s almost required. If I don’t have any music, headphones or whatever, you aren’t likely to see me go run. Unless I run with someone then I’d do it. I downloaded Pandora on my phone and use that, but recently went back to using my MP3 player.
I go back and forth with which I use, and which I like. I run with the iFitness Ultimate II running belt and almost always run with my cell phone. When you are fighting migraines like I am, you want to have a phone with you at all times in order to call for help in case of an emergency. When I put my phone in the belt, it sometimes gets hard imagesto use the headphones, so I swap to the MP3 player…but I’m so behind on getting the  music that I want so much. If I use Pandora, they have awesome stations that are titled workout stations and have good tunes. It just depends on how things go.
Lately, I’ve been using my MP3 player because my sister filled it with music (effing Bieber) and I’ve had a change in sound so it’s been nice. I clip it to my belt, and run the earphones under my shirt and tuck it into my sports bra for less bouncing.
What’s your post-run go to food/beverage? — I adore Gatorade. That’s no secret. I’m a fruit punch kinda girl. Sometimes, if I have it, I’ll grab some chocolate soy  milk. That’s yummy too. As for food, I usually grab something light and water filled like fresh fruit and  veggies, with lean meats and some rice or something.
And if I’m feeling like I need a treat – I’ll grab a Popsicle instead. 🙂 IMG_3338
What are your favorite running socks? — Balega. They save my feet. I have tried others but none I like more than Balega.
Courtney asked What motivates you the most? — Right now? Bathing suits. 😀
Seriously, though, it’s more that people think I can’t do it. When I registered for the TdP:E, Brian made numerous comments about wanting to be at the races in case I need help. I had a reporter here at the station who was shocked that someone who looked like me ran. I have friends who constantly act like my running and races are an inconvenience and that I was stupid for doing it. All those things make me want to do more, to be better, and to prove them all wrong…and to shut that voice inside me that thinks that they might have a point.
Proving to them, as well as myself, that I got this. That’s my motivation.
0511-0907-1220-3962_Cartoon_of_a_Woman_Asleep_at_Her_Desk_clipart_image.jpgStacey asked How in the world do you run on a Saturday after working an all nighter? Why don’t you just do your long run on Sundays? — Because most races are on Saturdays around here. Ultimately that’s why. Lately, I haven’t been running on Saturdays because I’ve been so tired, but I like the idea of changing into my running gear at noon when I get off on Saturday, running 5-8 miles and then going home to shower and nap.
I used to do my long runs on Sunday mornings, but I found it really really REALLY hard to get out of bed early enough to get it in during a moment when it wasn’t balls hot outside or interfering with other plans. I  may go back to that in a few months when running at noon is a bad idea (oh, hello summer!) but right now this is kind of working. Kinda.
Zippy McZip asked Do you eat pre race? If so, what do you eat? I cannot figure this piece out. — Depends on the race. Usually, no. I eat a healthy dinner and then don’t eat again until I cross the finish line. HOWEVER – if I am gearing up for a long race (think….more than a 10k) I will eat half of an English muffin with some peanut butter. We peanutbuttertoastused to not eat anything before a race, but one of the guys here at the station suggested that and it seems to work pretty well.
Also – Less than 10 minutes before a race, I use a gel. Or the Jelly Belly sports beans. And I get a kiss from Dreamboat. It’s a pre-race ritual that I have. I’m weird. My race sucks if I don’t do both of those things. (more the kiss than the gel/beans)
Gillian says: Here goes…I just started running again recently. It has probably been about a month now of running 3 to 4 times per week, about 4 to 6 miles each run. A couple of days after I started I noticed a funny pulling feeling around my left ankle when I bend down at the waist w/o bending my knees. No pain, just felt like a muscle/tendon was out of place or something. It usually does not bother me while I am running except this last one, again not really pain just like something is not right. Any ideas? — Few questions: are you wearing running shoes you were fitted for? Do you do other sports, like yoga or step aerobics? Have you fallen recently? This sounds a lot like what Dreamboat had a few months ago. He went to the doctor and he said it was tendonitis.
I’m not saying that’s what you have, but it might be a good idea to rest a bit and ice it down for a few days. If after a few days of that it still is bothersome I’d go see someone. Sometimes it’s best to get in front of it before it sidelines  you (remember me and my plantar faciatis? Yeah, that sucked)
IMG_6350Donna asked  What is your job at Channel 4? — Social Media Producer. I’m in charge of all of our social media platforms, and I produce the 9am hour of the Saturday morning show!
Where were you born? — New Haven, Connecticut. Yep, I’m a yankee! 🙂
What brought you to Jax? (if you weren’t born here) — I moved down here with my parents when I was 9 years old. I’ve been stuck here ever since.
What made you start running? — Channel 4 is a sponsor of the Gate River Run, and about 4 or 5 years ago I signed up for a comp entry for the Times Union 5k. I was hooked after that. I did more races and worked harder at it. An injury sidelined me for about a year, but then I jumped back into it and here I am! No race is too hard or challenging! I’ll try any of them once. (sometimes once is enough!)IMG_4454
What is your greatest accomplishment in running? — My greatest accomplishment? Wow. I felt it when I did my first Gate River Run. I felt it when I finished my first half marathon. I felt it when I finished the TdP:E. It comes at random moments, and I feel like I am never really satisfied. Lately, I’m still riding the high of finished the Tour de Pain: Extreme.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m going to try and do one once a month with questions that you all have for me. Like I said before, feel free to ask away and I’ll try to help as best I can. If I don’t know the answer, I know plenty of runner people who are more than happy to help you as well. People like Jennifer Bauer (Guerrieri now, and she’s a new mom!) and Richard Nunn and Paul McRae are the ones that helped me not only get the run bug, but make it so I can do this adventure smartly…and they’d be happy to help you too!

4 thoughts on “Answering Your Questions!

  1. Gerry says:

    Great post! One of the things about running is that it’s cumulative — you just get better by being out there consistently. But it’s a sport of years, not weeks. If you’re willing to live *slightly* outside your comfort zone while you train you will get a *lot* faster and really surprise yourself (just listen to your body and don’t overdo it — the best training is when you stay un-injured so you can train more).

  2. Shannon says:

    Thanks for answering my questions!! : D MY IT band kicked in badly on my short run today. I am going to lay off for a week or so. After my 5k on Sunday. It has been bugging me for a few months. Now it is really not happy with me. Do you recommend any brand of foam roller?

    Thanks for the weather tips!! It is starting to heat up here in Tampa and I am not happy about it. I am like you and don’t deal with heat well. I am doing the Iron Girl 5k in Clearwater this weekend and it is going to be hot. I am hoping for a cool breeze!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s