Monday, September 27, 2010

Day Hike Near Seattle - Short with a Great View

Owen and I got up early on Saturday to hike Rattlesnake Ridge in North Bend. He wanted to get up and be on the road by 6:30am. I wasn't so keen on that plan, so we left an hour later.

It was a great Saturday morning hike. Only about two miles up, with an amazing view at the top!

If you decide to hike Rattlesnake Ridge hit the trail by 8:30am. You'll see why as you pass dogs, kids, babies, and large groups near the bottom on your way back down. You can reward yourself for not hitting the snooze button by taking a nap by the lake when you're done. The trail would be a great run, not too steep, and short. Perfect early morning trail run.

If you live in Seattle or nearby and want to read more about this hike checkout Weekend Hike's Rattlesnake Ridge guide here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Trapeze! Add Some Circus to your Life

This week has been a huge leap into the unknown for me. I stepped out of my job on Friday and into the world of "self employment". It's scary and exciting. My days are spent working on freelance projects, studying my NSCA book and reaching out to potential clients. But at night as I almost drift off, I am shaken awake by thoughts of car payments, rent, food... can I do this??

It was only appropriate that I should try trapeze yesterday. Much like the overly metaphorical Sex and the City episode featuring little miss Carrie trying to reach out and let go of the bar, I stood at the bottom of a ladder that was much higher than I'd anticipated. Climbed it. And somehow talked myself into reaching out for the bar and hopping off that plank to swing out (much like a wet noodle) over the net. Yes, yes the metaphor is here. Leaving my comfortable little spot on the ground, or in a cubicle, or behind the shop desk. Choosing to leap out into a situation where the outcome is unknown. Looking like a wet noodle. ;)
Of course at trapeze class there is someone yelling out your next move. Hook your legs! Let go of the bar! Stop being a pansy! They offer a helpful critique of your last attempt. In life you often have to be your own cheerleader and instructor. Wake up! Workout! Email that client! You can do this! And then if you slip up you have to be nice to yourself, firm in your advice yet optimistic that you will improve. I was so lucky to have this unique opportunity try a free class with Sassy Fit ladies, Bri and Kelly. I will be back! If you have the opportunity to do a trapeze class, do it. It was an amazing experience, physically and mentally. Especially if you're terrified of heights (like me). I was surprised by how much we got to learn in just a couple hours. If you live in Seattle, check out Emerald City Trapeze Arts. You can even have a private party like a bachlorette party there! There's nothing like this experience. Go! Do it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lucky Strike - Running Speed & Foot Strike

My new running shoes arrived. Being a life long runner nerd, I like to study where the tread got thin on my old ones. All in the toes and mid-foot. You can tell a lot by looking at the bottom of old shoes. If the tread is worn off on the 'inside' or 'outside' or back... it can tell you about your foot strike.

Left = Old, Right = new (after one run, I couldn't resist)

I didn't learn to run on my mid/front foot until one year into college. I wasn't strong enough. But it really made a difference in my efficiency. (If you don't have to strike heel, then roll mid, toe, lift - you will go faster). Someone told me, probably my dad, to imagine running on very hot ground. That's how running is, you don't want to spend a bunch of your time with your feet on the ground. You have to train to maximize that contact with the earth.


These drills are from an article on Sara Hall in the NYTimes a couple years ago. To read the article and get more tips click here:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What to Wear for Fall Running

Chicago Marathon 2009 was Under 40 degrees
Fall is a beautiful time to be running. The leaves are changing, the popular paths are less crowded, it's a much more reflective time for training. Many people are tapering and gearing up for their fall marathons (Portland, Chicago...) The days are getting shorter and a little cooler. If you're new to running you may wonder what to wear as the temperature drops.

Here are the four guidelines I have followed for over 14 years of running

Never train in shorts if the temperature is under 40 degrees (F)

Take the temperature outside (say it's 45 degrees) and add 20 (65 degrees). Wear what you would be comfortable standing around in at that temperature. So for a 45 degree day I would wear shorts and a longsleeve. No hat, no gloves.

On a cold day it will take almost a mile to warm up, if you're over dressed you'll know by then.

If you're racing, you can adjust. I would feel slow racing in pants, but that's just me. I've raced in buns in 30 degree weather. It's much more mental. Now with the arm and leg sleeves it's especially easy to wear shorts in a race. *Wear layers that you can throw off if you're nervous.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Break the 'All or Nothing' Cycle

When it comes to working out, or training for a race, it's very easy to slip into an 'all or nothing' mentality. You miss a workout or indulge in a midday dessert and think, "well this day (or week) is shot!" It's important to forgive yourself and not dwell. If your friend came to you berating themselves for missing a workout or spulging on dessert you would never make them feel hopeless.

With a career, perhaps a family, friends, relationships, it can be hard to stick to the fitness goals we've set. Of course staying fit and healthy will contribute positive things to all these other areas, so it's vital to your life. Make a plan and get it done. But if you miss a workout (no beating yourself up!) and have a spare 10 minutes make the most of it. Seriously, waiting in that tiny room for the doctor is the perfect time to fit in some stretching or squats. Dips using the bathroom counter at work? Done that before too.

Sweat and the City is one of my favorite new fitness sites. You can sign up for free daily workouts sent to your inbox everyday. This weekend the focus was on 10 minute workouts. 10 minutes, 10 exercises, no equipment. Perfect little workouts to have in your back pocket for those days when there is no time.
*Check out the 10 minute workout here!