Thursday, December 30, 2010

Texas Trip



The river walk at night lit up with holiday decorations
I had a great time in Texas! We flew in on Monday and settled into the hotel room. My mom, dad, sister, and I went on the trip while my brother stayed at home (he had other plans). After unpacking we went to explore the river walk. It was my first time to San Antonio and I loved how pretty it was there!









Trying to reach the top of the world's tallest man
Tuesday we woke up and went to see the Alamo. It was a really cool experience and I'm glad we made some time for it. Next my sister, who I call Munchkin, and I went to a goofy guinness world records museum. We had a lot of laughs taking goofy pics and trying to beat some of the records.
Sitting in a love-o-meter! haha

Running at the hotel (gross pic but proof! haha)
That night, was supposed to be a run according to my training plan, and I am so proud to say that I actually did it! I went to the hotel gym, which was nicer than I expected. I finished my run while watching tv. I am really really proud that I did this run because I have always made excuses not to exercise, using lack of time as my main excuse. I've never gone for a run or even completed any type of workout while on vacation before this trip and it felt great! I noticed that running on vacation gave me extra energy and probably made the trip more fun!

Some things I learned about running on vacation:

  • DRINK WATER!!!!! - I am decent about this at home, but on vacation without easy access to water at all times(not to mention extra intake of yummy but dehydrating alcoholic drinks) I kept forgetting and had a bad headache after my run before I drank about a gallon of water. Next trip I plan on carrying a water bottle with me EVERYWHERE.
  • Have a plan - I almost missed running because I didn't know when the gym at our hotel closed, so make sure to check ahead.
  • The hotel Treadmill
  • Pack for indoors too - I planned on running outside, but it was pouring down rain and very slippery out so I had to move my workout indoors. Luckily the same gear applied for me. 







Me and munchkin








Wednesday was game day and Munchkin and I just went shopping and had dinner while my parents went to the game. Overall the trip was great and helped inspire me more to keep at my running. 

I have so much stuff coming up soon to talk about (including product reviews, my first 5k on january 8th!, and new years resolutions)  so stay tuned! And in the mean time, how do you stay active while your away? What tips have you learned that make it easier for you?

Monday, December 27, 2010

San Antonio

This week I'm in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl! It is really beautiful here, and I'm having a blast. I only brought my iPad/iPhone, so I'll be posting pics and stuff like that after my trip.

Totally unrelated, but my mom gave me a gift certificate to buy a Road ID for Christmas and I'm really excited to test it out once it gets here! But the nice people over at Road ID gave me a coupon to pass along to the first twenty people to use it for $1 off any RoadID purchase in the next 30 days!

Coupon Number: ThanksSara1708856

So happy shopping everyone! From what I've seen I'm really impressed and would recommend it, and even more so for the wheezers or those with medical conditions!

Thanks Road ID!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I've been taking it easy, so there hasn't been much to say.  My Christmas was wonderful and I got some amazing running goodies that I'll be reviewing soon! For now here's a couple pics from my day:

Bullwinkle, my pom, trying to open his present (a treat!)
The definition of overboard, but I love it! Thanks mommy for always making our tree a fire hazard!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I'm home for winter break and I'm so happy! I absolutely love my family, so it's good to spend some time with them. Mr. Perfect had to stay back because of work though, so he won't be here until Christmas. Miss him!

Now for the bad news...For the first time in training, I couldn't finish a run. I stepped wrong at some point and hurt my shin much more and could barely hobble of the treadmill to my car. I think that I've finally learned my lesson: Give yourself a break when you need it! I was extremely frustrated and disappointed, but I'm just going to have to give myself a REAL break. Only walking for me this week!

Today reminded me that I really need to take care of myself in order to perform my best, and not just in terms of training. I should be trying to make sure I eat well, sleep enough, and stress less. During finals week I definitely put my health and my sanity on the back burner. I tend to worry so much about school and the people in my life, that I don't remember to take care of myself too. Sometimes you have to help yourself in order to help others.

Does anyone else struggle with this?

The holidays can be a hectic and stressful time, so I've decided to give myself a challenge to remember to take time to take care of myself, so that I can be a better girlfriend, daughter, friend and runner. Every day I want to try to:

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Take at least 15 minutes of "me time" a day to relax
  • Take my vitamins
  • Strive to eat more protein every day (I don't eat much meat, so I'm always letting this one slip)
How do you make time for yourself? What's your favorite version of "me time"? 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!  Remember to take care of yourself!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Drumroll Please

And the wheezy shirt winner is........

Drew! So, just email me at ros@lifesawheeze.com with your size and address and if you want any color/ phrase changes and I'll get it in the mail for you!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I hope to have another giveaway soon!

Sorry I kinda bailed for the week. I had some really hard finals to study for. I took time off this week from my training plan (and blogging) to focus on my exams and recover from shin splints, so I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me on my long run this weekend. (8 miles!). I'm done for the semester now, so I should have a lot more time to write and run!

School is a big stress for me right now and has been bringing me down lately, so I started look up more race info to get me excited and out of my funk. Whenever I think about the race, it instantly lifts my mood! Here are some tips I've discovered so far for long-distance races and races in general:

  1. Sign up for a race you can get excited for - for me it's definitely Disney, so I'm right on track there. Not only does this motivate me to keep training because I'm signed up and can't bail now, but I'm also a huge Disney World fan. I can't wait to run this race because it means I'll get to be in the mouse's house once again! Choose a race that's good for your goals and concerns too. Another reason I picked this race was because I'm easily discouraged. Disney's races are known for their amazing support and distractions along the way. There are so many great races out there, just find one that makes you excited. 
  2. Test EVERYTHING well in advance- no new shoes, clothes, belts, food, or anything else on race day. It's important to know how your body will handle certain things before you go. I need to work on this one because I still haven't tried eating on a run. Oops!
  3. Run a shorter race during training- this will help you learn what race-day feels like and help you better gauge your progress. Another thing I need to work on, but I've got some plans for January that will hopefully fix this. 
  4. Stick to a plan - there are so many out there and they make sure you're on track for race day. As I mentioned before, I'm using galloway's training plan for beginners (made for the disney race but would work for any) and I really like it. It only has you running 3 times a week, 2 shorter runs and one long one that gradually increases in length. It also encourages the run/walk method which is supposed to help avoid injuries and give newbies the endurance to go farther. I think it's great for asthmatics because we perform better in short bursts of high intensity.
  5. Bring Encouragement - I have quickly learned that encouragement, especially from friends and loved ones, is a huge help in running. If you are competing in a local race, ask friends to come cheer you on. If not, ask for some long distance encouragement. I heard of several great ideas that supporters have used. One put inspirational voice memos like"you can do it babe!" on his girlfriend's marathon playlist so that they would play at random times during the race. So adorable!

What about you guys? Have you learned any good tips or tricks yet?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ouch

That pretty much sums up my run today. I just cant get rid of my shin splints and this run was so painful I felt like I was breaking my leg with each step at the end. Not a good feeling :( I'm really considering custom orthotics. They're really expensive, but I have basically flat feet so I'm not really sure if much else will help. I all ready tape my arches every run. If you've ever tried them before, please let me know what you think of them!

Anyways, enough with the Debbie Downer routine! It's my last week before winter break, so I'm just studying for finals and trying to squeeze in my runs in between exams. My wonderful mom brought me a bunch of treats for finals week so I wouldn't have to worry about shopping for groceries or anything. I'm so spoiled! Speaking of my mom, she's training for the half marathon too and we're planning on running together. It's really fun bonding with her over our training so far, so I know the race will be a blast.

I've been looking for local races before the half marathon, but there aren't many around here until after February. Oklahoma has some really windy, really cold winters (right now its 19 degrees out! before wind chill!). I did find one though that sounds like a total blast! January 8th is the Elvis Run to celebrate the king's birthday! I predict some tacky costumes in my future... haha. I haven't decided if I want to do the 5k or the 10k. Because it will be so cold, I know the 5k will be better for my lungs, but I don't know yet. I guess we are going to have to see.

Asthma means staying inside a TON when you are training because of cold weather, pollen, humidity, you name it. So, I thought up a few tips to keep the dreaded treadmill runs more entertaining:
  1. Listen to music- this is a no-brainer, but becuase you don't have to worry about cars, maintaining your pace, getting lost, etc. it's much easier to turn up the music and zone out
  2. Watch TV - so far this hasn't appealed to me, but everyone at my gym seems to do this. 
  3. Listen to an audio book - I've done this and really liked it. I got so into the book I didn't want to get off because I wanted to hear more. If you are going to make this a habit, try only allowing yourself to listen to your book when you are on the treadmill for added motivation.
  4. People watch - can I just say people are hilarious at the gym? Just looking around can provide plenty of entertainment. Prime example: watch the guys lifting weights. Any time a cute girl walks by, the always seem to need a heavier weight :P
  5. Learn Something - Bring lecture recordings to listen to, or foreign language tapes. I brought flash cards before a test once to read during my walking intervals.
  6. Secret Races - I sometimes try to race the person on the treadmill next to me to see if I can go faster or longer. Don't try this if they aren't at your level, but it can be fun!
  7. Word Games - If I'm really bored sometimes I'll play word games in my head just to keep me distracted. Pick a word like "marathon" and see how many words you can come up with using the same letters. 
Hope you can use some of these ideas the next time your stuck inside like me! Stay warm out there!

Friday, December 10, 2010

carbs + ice + bad tv = one very happy wheezer

So Nice!
I had a great run today and made it 6 minutes without walking! Woo hoo! Maybe that dream of running a continuous 5k will come true someday?

After my run I decided to treat myself to some of my favorite junk food, mac and cheese, while I iced my shins and watched some holiday TV. Please excuse my crazy slippers-if your a nerd like me you might get the joke: they're supposed to be Freud. Get it? Freudian slips?... Anyways, while I don't recommend the junk food as a healthy addition to your life, I think rewarding yourself is really important to keep you motivated. How do you keep motivated? What are your favorite post-run treats? I could right an entire book on my junk-food addiction, but we won't go there.

By the way, I'm so glad I've got new followers to my blog! Thanks guys! And thanks to Drew for bringing so many friends!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Giveaway!!!!

In a pathetic attempt to get out of studying I made this shirt on zazzle. I think it's pretty cute, if I do say so myself. I'm probably going to bring it with me to the race in February! It says "wheezy baby!" and "{asthmatic runner}" underneath. Maybe some other wheezers out there might want it too?


So here's my first giveaway:
- one long sleeve shirt in the size of your choice!

I know a lot of people out there may not be wheezers, but luckily I know my way around the computer enough that I can pretty much change out the words to say anything you want. So, if you aren't an asthmatic enter anyways and I'll make it say what you want. Maybe even your blog name? I was thinking it would be cute if it said things like marathon girl {26.2} etc. It's up to you!

So, ways to enter?
1. Follow my blog and leave a comment telling me you do
2. Post about this contest on your blog (or twitter or daily mile page) and leave me another comment letting me know you did
3. Leave a comment to tell me what saying you would like to see on a shirt or other product

I will close the contest on December 17th and announce the winner soon after that! Good Luck Guys!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Finals Blogging and Asthma! Oh My!

First I just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me changing the look of the blog a ton. I'm new to the blog world and so I've been experimenting. But, I think I'll leave it alone soon! Maybe.... :P

My life until finals are over
I've been really busy lately. I'm a computer science major and this is technically my senior year (I changed my major late, so I will be staying in school longer).  My classes are very demanding of my time and it is almost finals week, so my free time has been close to non-existent. Soon it will be winter break and I can blog and run more. Hopefully I'll have some more interesting things to take pictures of besides the dreadmill and my lovely textbooks. haha

I have really gotten into blogs since I started training for my half-marathon. I just signed up one day, and then I thought to get some inspiration I would look and see if anyone had pictures online from last year. Searches led to picture which led me to some amazing running blogs that have really inspired me to get out there and run and also start this blog. I hope one day I'll have a successful blog along with my race medals :) However, I'm really new to this, so if you have any suggestions or ideas of things you would like me to talk about or review etc. on my blog, drop me a comment! I promise to try to blog more once I get through my finals and maybe I'll even host a giveaway!

In other news, my asthma has been doing great. I know I've only been running for a few weeks now, but I can see a huge difference in my breathing now. I used to be sick so much in the winter and I still have bad days for sure, but the days seem to be much easier to handle when they aren't all at once.  Another reason to keep on running!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Great Run

Last night I had an amazing run! I had honestly been dreading the run all day. Thursday I had an attack while running and sort of rolled my ankle - I could put weight on it but it was VERY tender. So last night I knew my schedule said it was the day for the big seven miles and I thought it was going to be awful. Here I was having trouble with my asthma, ankle in pain, knowing I would be walking 7 miles on the dreadmill. Yuck! But I promised myself I would try.

I got to the gym, which was really crowded, and I got the last treadmill. I started my warmup 5 minute walk and somehow dropped my iPhone and broke one of my headphones. So far the run keeps getting worse. With my one remaining headphone in, I was very discouraged. Then my iPod, on shuffle, decided to give me the inspiration I needed. A Disney song I didn't even know was on my iPod came on: When You Wish Upon a Star.

This really helped me remember why I was doing this: to FINISH the Disney princess half marathon. Not to win, not to be a star athlete, not to impress anyone, but to finish. To show myself it was possible. So far, I've run farther and harder than I have in my entire life and that's something to really be proud of. I finished my run thinking about running through the Cinderella Castle and ended up jogging a good portion of it. I'm so proud of myself for doing it.

Sometimes it can be hard to get going, hard to keep things in perspective. We all struggle with this. Just remember why you are doing what your doing and that each step is a huge accomplishment. I think one of the biggest things that has kept me going is knowing I'm signed up for this race. Not only do I feel like I have to finish it, I want to. It's my dream race. I love all things Disney and to be there with characters cheering me on would make the miles fly by. If you are feeling unmotivated try to find a goal that can keep you going on the bad days. Sign up for a race that inspires you, promise yourself a reward after so many miles, volunteer at a hospital and run for someone you met that can't. Just get out there and do it because you will never have an amazing run without taking your first steps.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jingle Bells

I absolutely LOVE this time of year! Everyone is in such a great mood and all the hot apple cider and holiday movies bring me back to the times when I used to put out cookies for Santa with my siblings. It's only the first day of December and I can all ready feel the Christmas cheer!

This year feels even more special to me because I have a new passion- running. And you know what that means! I have a few things to ask Santa for this year! First, my mom, who spoils me to no end when she sees me, has all ready gotten me a few items I'm in love with:

  • A Garmin Forerunner 305- I absolutely love my forerunner. I've been running inside mostly, but when I go outside it's so nice to know my pace, time, and distance while I run. It's fun to "race" myself too. I've heard runners are supposed to name their Garmins. One blogger I read calls her's Claude. I decided to name mine Mikey after the character from The Goonies, my favorite movie wheezer!
  • Good Running Shoes- mine are Brooks and I adore them, but the best part about my shoes is that I found this amazing shoe store in Edmond, OK (where my parents live).  I learned so much at the store. The staff watches you run and examines your feet to tell you exactly the kind of shoes you need and they also gave me great tips based on my unique problems. They taught me ways to improve my running, stretches to try, even how to tape my foot for added arch support to correct my pronation, and more. I REALLY REALLY recommend using them if your live near me, but if not go somewhere that specializes in running shoes and will spend time working with you. I cannot stress enough the difference I felt while running after getting the right shoes. 
  • My insulated water bottle- I have a Polar Bottle. It's awesome because it has this lining that keeps water ice cold if you want, but for my asthma I love it because it keeps hot water hot. 
Now for some on my wish list:
    • iFitness double pouch belt- I've heard great things about these belts and I want one for race day to carry my inhaler, id, and camera to take pictures to share with you!
    • RoadId - I'm kind of a freak about carrying ID with me EVERYWHERE. It's really important because you never know when you may not be able to talk to tell someone your information. I love that these would be an easy way to have information visible and ready if needed and its easy to carry with you. 
    • The Stick- After begging Mr. Perfect to give me leg rubs after runs, I have decided I need to give the poor guy a break and try this out. 
    • A scrapbook- Ok, I know it's kind of cheesy, but running this half-marathon will be a huge accomplishment for me, so when I'm done I'd love to have a place to put my pictures and race bib. Hopefully after that I can keep adding more races to it!
    What's on your running wish list for Christmas? 

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    One foot after the other

    Well today I did 6 miles which was awesome! Proud that I finished it at least. Today while I was running I was having a really rough time, seriously thinking about quitting, and then I got a message from my boyfriend. My boyfriend, Cameron, is an incredible guy- I call him Mr. Perfect. We've been dating for about 4 1/2 years now. I'm so lucky! Anyways, Cam sent me a message asking how I was doing. I have to admit something here. I've been really shy about telling him much about me running. He knows I'm going to the half marathon and he knows when I work out, but I haven't really talked to him about it much because he's so athletic. He's one of those people that kind of wins at everything and I'm one of those that almost fails gym class. I guess I was worried he wouldn't be supportive because he wouldn't understand why I have to work so hard to go so slow or i don't know.... I'm really dumb sometimes. Anyways, I almost cried when I got the message because I was really needing a pick me up. I was on the treadmill, so long paragraphs weren't an option. I settled for "omg so hard" haha.  He sent me back "Stick with it". I know this doesn't seem like much, but at that point it really meant the world to me. None of my friends are doing this with me, so I've kind of been on my own and in that moment I really just needed some encouragement. His message helped me finish and it also made me think about how lucky I am.
    Cam bringing me flowers on our anni

    Now I know whenever I'm struggling to finish a long run I can just picture my guy waiting for me with a big hug. He always makes me smile. I hope everyone has someone in their life to help keep them going on the days where it's tough.


    Attack of the cough that won't quit

    Well, I WAS doing great with my training and loving every minute of it, until I had an asthma attack one night (not from a workout- just from my lovely friend mr.pollen). Attacks are such a pain, but hey that's life right? Anyways, after the attack I got really sick and had a cough that pretty much kept me in bed or in class wishing I was in bed. I tried to walk a mile or so every day after the first few days just to do SOMETHING until I could run again. Anyways, I'm feeling like maybe I can run again tomorrow, I hope. I should do 6 miles because that was the long run I missed but we will just have to see how that one goes. Haha. I'm excited to get back to it but I have to admit this has shaken me. It's taken away more than a week of training. What if I can't keep up with training now? I know I can do this. I just hope my goals that I have set for the race in February don't get sidetracked if I have more attacks or trouble with my training.

    Well happy running! Hopefully I will have encouraging news soon!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    shin spints:(noun)- 1.evil incarnate 2.opposite of fun

    So shin splints are no beuno, but I'm trying to power through them. I still haven't missed a workout :)
    Speaking of workouts, I wanted to share my training plan. I'm just following the Disney Princess Half Marathon Training Plan. It's super easy in that its only 3 days a week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are just 30 minute maintenance runs and Saturdays are the long runs. I sometimes do my Saturday runs on Sundays if my schedule is too busy, but otherwise I follow it pretty religiously. 

    The hardest part so far, for me, has been my asthma issues or my own head games because of my asthma. With the asthma it's hard to find what works. I tried all different kinds of pacing for the first few workouts and have found that the more breaks from running I take the better my asthma can handle it. In other words, its better for me to run a minute and walk a minute than to run 5 minutes and walk 5. I totally thought the opposite just because I thought having more time to recover would help my lungs keep up. Who knew? Also, focusing on how I'm breathing is super annoying but really important. My mom is a nurse and she gave me a great tip: exhale through pursed lips like you're blowing out a candle. This is called pursed-lip breathing. I know it seems lame, but it helps me to avoid chest pain and bonus! side stitches. Side-stitches are caused by shallow rapid breathing so make sure to breath slow and deep while you run. I know easier said than done- haha.

    The other thing that's really hard about working out with asthma is the head games you play with yourself. Lots of things go through my head on days when my run isn't so great like:
    -Frustration that my muscles are capable of more than my lungs
    -Am I having real trouble with my asthma or am I being lazy when I take breaks
    -I think that dude on the other side of the gym can hear me wheezing
    -Its not fair that its easier for everyone else just because they can breath
    -I will never be able to run as fast as someone without asthma, so why bother trying

    Well, my fellow troubled asthmatics, let me tell you something: it will all be ok. In the moment it's really hard to remember this but: it really isn't that big of a deal. You are out there doing something for yourself and your health. Your pushing your body and it's a huge accomplishment that you can keep going, even walking, despite the pain. It's going to be hard, but remember how good it feels to know that you did it after. 

    As far as what others think, remember, who cares? In some ways you're tougher and braver than the runner's without the wheeze, because,well hey, how many of them have been to the hospital for working out too hard? Most of what you think they are thinking is in your head. Chances are they aren't listening to your wheeze just envious of your persistence ;)

    Some tips to avoid head games and problems:
    • Train for distance NOT pace or time. Distance is a goal any asthmatic can reach, somedays faster that others. 
    • Set easy to reach goals until your lungs become more conditioned for exercise
    • Constantly trying to cover up how you're feeling during your workout will only make it harder.If you're shy about your asthma or running level, try exercising at times when the gym is empty or outside. But I say just ignore them with headphones and focus! haha
    • Don't drink cold water. First of all it's been proven that warm water hydrates you more effectively and second of all cold water can cause asthma attacks. Drink lukewarm or hot water. When I'm right on the edge of an attack or having trouble with a cough hot water can sometimes help me to get it back in control. 
    • Keep your ID on you and tell a friend if you are going on a run alone. It's  important in case you were to have an attack and couldn't tell others you needed help. I estimate when I'll be done and tell my friend "If I don't call you by ____ , call me. If I don't answer, come looking". Also ID with all your important info is helpful for many reasons, so just be smart. 
    • Be aware of your triggers and avoid them. For me it's just about everything, but especially cold and pollen, so if its really cold or the pollen count is high I move my workout indoors. 
    • Finally, take care of your body- asthma causes fatigue so make sure you get enough sleep and if you have a serious attack take a break from working out to recover
    Hope this helps some others out!
    Remember:  There are days when you aren't sure if you can do this, but there will be a lifetime of remembering you did!

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Getting Started

    I have always struggled with asthma. When I was two, I had my first attack and have been having them ever since. Im 21 now and asthma is still a daily issue for me. Recently however, I decided I was tired of letting asthma control my life and decide what I can and cannot do. As a result, I made the outrageous decision to sign up for a half marathon in February. That’s 13.1 miles folks. I’ve never ran more than a full mile without whipping out my trusty albuterol and calling it quits. But, I’m not going to let a little (okay a lot) of huffing and puffing stop me anymore. I want to prove to myself that I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it.
    In the next few months I hope to share some of my stories and maybe some tips for my fellow wheezers and wannabe athletes as I learn to run the 13.1. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it!