It only took four full days for my legs to finally feel some life again after my half marathon on Saturday.
My legs no longer felt sore so I got in an 8 mile run on one of my favorite roads in the state of Utah (it is a bit of a drive but totally worth it in my opinion… switching up my routes is key to my running happiness). I averaged an 8:17 average pace and while my body felt much better, my breathing felt harder than usual. The usual case for me after I do a hard race. It usually takes about a week for everything to work normally again. Whenever my breathing is off during a run it usually leads to stomach cramping or side stitches (which really are still quite a mystery as to why they are caused but these things always help me) so I try to focus in on my breathing and ask myself two questions…
1. Am I breathing in and out of my mouth (mouth breathing is the best way to get in the most oxygen… Which our muscles need during the run)? The nose just can’t get in as much oxygen as the mouth can when breathing BUT it can do a part of the breathing… just focus on breathing through the mouth.
2. Am I chest breathing or belly breathing? I think when I start chest breathing = cramps or side stitches. When we belly breathe we get in more oxygen so let that stomach expand while you are running/breathing. Chest breathing is way more shallow and it makes it so that your lungs don’t fully let out all of the oxygen when you exhale. Good stuff.
Whenever I do start cramping a bit or feel that wonderful side stitch we all love (I kid)… I just try to slow down my breathing, take deeper breathes and focus on my stomach expanding (not my chest) with each breath.
As far as breaths to steps ratio goes… do whatever is best for you and what feels comfortable. There are plenty of different opinions on this but unless I’m running in the Olympics and have a coach telling me the exact amount of breaths to do per steps… I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the run and do what feels comfortable. Sometimes thinking too much makes my breathing worse so I just try to relax:) Trust your body to do what is right for you.
Usually I do not really think about my breathing during a run unless—> I am recovering from a really hard race or workout, I’m out of my normal ‘running shape’, I’m going uphill or doing a speed workout. I think our body adapts better to breathing most efficiently with more and more experience.
Okay, last thing about BREATHING but when I finish a race and start coughing like crazy I really try to stay UPRIGHT. While it sounds like a great idea to lay down or bend over or hunch over… staying upright will help me to get more oxygen! Our chest expands and allows more oxygen in when we are standing up.
PS I take Andrew’s gopro out with me on my runs:)
Just a little bike riding in pajamas.
Shower and then straight to a dense blueberry pancake
A little mid-day family picture. If we are out somewhere doing something and we call it a ‘family activity’ the kids go NOOOOO our whole family isn’t here. Beretta is a vital member.
The day turned out to be really warm so there was plenty of trampoline time (Beretta is waiting for Knox to throw the ball for her). It is quite a strange thing to see a lab jump on a trampoline. Back before I met Andrew he had gone out of town for a week and the neighbors fed Beretta… while he was gone, Beretta chewed a whole through the net of the trampoline so that she could be on it while Andrew was gone.
We also made it over to the park.
My 12 year old (ehhhh 31 year old) self hurts a little each time I find one of my old Beanie Baby’s tags ripped off. Selling these was supposed to be my retirement.
Dinner, baths and drive-thru Wendy’s to pick up some Frosty’s. Within 2 minutes of taking this picture, Knox spilled a huge glass of milk all over the kitchen quickly followed by Brooke spilling her entire Frosty on me and the floor. Fun stuff.
Lots of spills call for time just us on the couch watching the end of Moana.
Just like me… falls asleep so easily in a movie.
**April 28th is going to be a big day. FINALLY. Why has M&M’s waited so long to fill that chocolate shell with everything on the planet other than caramel. I am guessing that these will easily pass peanut/peanut butter/almond/mint M&M’s for first place as the best type of M&M’s!**
Also, my friend Kristi posted this and I really loved it:
Last random thing to share today—> I have a new race mantra for my next half-marathon:
BRING ON THE PAIN.
My middle name is Worrier and for some reason I tend to worry about a situation before it even arises (I’m better than I was a few years ago with this but still working on it). But here is the thing with races… what’s the worst that could happen. Some pain comes along during those final miles?
Fun fact: We’ve felt that pain before and we kept pushing through it. I’ve felt that pain that happens on race day a ridiculous amount of times and I still finish, love it and sign up for another. So why worry about the pain. We know it is going to come (for everyone) somewhere along the course so instead of trying to ignore the fact that it is going to happen… time to welcome it with open arms. Time to prove to myself again that I’m strong enough to experience the pain/desire to quit and push through it.
Growth/faster times/further distances isn’t going to happen without it (not the injury type of pain…) so BRING ON THE PAIN:)
What has your latest mantra for your runs and/or races been?
What is your opinion of the best M&M flavor?
Ever get side stitches or cramps while running? What do you do to help them?
Collected anything when you were a kid? What about now?
-Beanie Babies were number one for me as a kid followed closely by Polly Pockets and Pogs. Now I mainly collect clothing that I don’t really need but want and running shoes.