Week 3 of Marathon Training: The Hills Are Alive

Shelley's DiaryThe hills are alive…just ask my calves, quads and glutes!

Hills played a large part in this week of marathon training. This was in part by design and in part due to my neighborhood geography! Continue reading “Week 3 of Marathon Training: The Hills Are Alive”

Week Two of Marathon Training


Week Two of Marathon Training


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Week Two of marathon training was much like Week One, with a side of adventure and surprise! Continue reading “Week Two of Marathon Training”

Marathon Training: Week One

Shelley's DiaryWell, here we go! Who would have believed, when I started running in 2012, that I’d ever want to run a marathon? Certainly not me. Not even after running my first half marathon, which had also seemed out of reach for me.

But this year, for whatever reason possessed me, I decided it was time to make the marathon a goal. I chose the California International Marathon in December for several reasons; not the least of which include the opportunity to train with some awesome running coaches, and with friends who are also running their first marathon.

So here we are, 3 months away, and already through the first official week of training. Here’s how Week 1 went.

Continue reading “Marathon Training: Week One”

Run, Brunch and Bloody Mary’s

Shelley's DiaryThis post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through one of these links I make a small commission.

I can’t believe I slept in this morning! Well, I don’t know why I can’t believe it – I stayed up last night binge-watching Ozark with my son. (and it was the second time for me, so how silly is that?) I didn’t get to bed until after midnight. That used to be the norm for me, by the way, but not since I’ve started running!

Continue reading “Run, Brunch and Bloody Mary’s”

Three Reasons Runners Should Do Planks

When it comes to core workouts, most people think about crunches. But Coach Scott Young says that instead of crunches, runners should do planks.

When we think about core workouts, we usually think about crunches. But Coach Scott Young says that instead of crunches, runners should do planks.

We do crunches all day, especially if we sit at a desk, says Coach Scott. “When you sit up from a chair, you’re doing crunches, and that’s why people get back problems because (only the front) muscles get a workout.

The plank works the “entire wraparound area” – all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes.

Here are three reasons planks are better than crunches for runners:

Continue reading “Three Reasons Runners Should Do Planks”

Running in the Dog Days of Summer

running in the dog days of summerHere we are in the dog days of summer. I assume they are called “dog days” because it is too hot to do anything else but lie around. It is arguably the hardest time of year for runners. Here in the high desert, the heat often couples with wildfire season (which is in full swing this year!). This can make it difficult to keep up with training and get in a good quality run.

My preferred way to deal with this is to beat the heat…by a couple of hours, anyway.  Early mornings are my favorite time to run any time of year. The best part about summer running, as far as I’m concerned, is the sun rises much earlier. It’s especially effective this time of year, when there can be a 20 degree difference between early morning and late morning. My dogs prefer it, too, since just about any other time of day is too hot for them.

But it doesn’t matter what time we rise to run if the air quality is unhealthy. Almost every summer there are wildfires in our area at some point. At these times, there’s no other choice…but to hit the dreadmill…er, treadmill!

Last weekend following a group run in the midmorning heat, Coach Scott Young gave us a little pep talk on treadmill running. “It’s a good way to get a high quality workout…in a controlled environment.” Running in the intense heat can bring on dehydration, which sets back your training while your body’s recovering.

The downfall, Coach Scott admitted, is that running the treadmill can be downright boring. So the best way to deal with that is to find a structured workout that will make it go by faster.

Just do a web search on your favorite search engine and you’ll find hundreds of ideas for treadmill workouts of varying lengths and intensity. I’m looking forward to giving this one a try:

What do you do to make sure you get in quality workouts during the dog days of summer? Please leave a comment.running in the dog days of summer

Running With the Masters

running with the mastersI’ve only been running for about five years. Yet I recently learned that I am a member of a particular class of runners. I am a Masters Runner.

That sounds sort of “elitist”, doesn’t it?

Well, it isn’t. It just means I’m a runner over the age of 40. Maybe even 30, depending on who’s doing the “classifying”!

It tickles me that from my very first race, I was classified as a “Masters Runner”. I’ve always associated the word “master” with (1) someone who was eminently skilled in their craft or profession; (2) someone who has excelled in their study or art; (3) someone highly qualified to teach others, or (4) someone who owns slaves.

I am none of these things. So if anyone had asked me “Are you a Masters Runner?”, I would reply, “Oh, no! I only just started!”

But apparently, I am a master, if only by virtue of my age.

It might have been helpful for me and my friend Jeff to have known this at a race earlier this year!

Before the race, we visited the various vendor tables. As we stopped to admire the display of medals to be awarded to the top males and females in each age category, it surprised us to note that the highest age bracket being awarded was age “46 and above”!

Now hold up. Most of the races we’ve participated in award age categories well beyond 46. We lamented that the years between that alleged “peak” of 46 and our own ages can mean a big difference in performance. It seemed unfair to the more senior participants…even those of us only five to ten years into the category!

Before runners were even making their way to the start line, Jeff had lodged a suggestion with the race director for next year’s race…in short, that they really should expand the upper register of age divisions so that all age categories have an opportunity to place.

I found the race itself quite challenging because trail running is not my strength. So I was shocked to find that I had placed second among females in my age group.

Yes, the 46 and above age group.

Jeff placed fourth among males in the same age group.

But here’s the punchline. None of the individuals who placed ahead of us in our age division were younger. Rather, every single one was in their 60’s.

Running with the Masters - Results

And we thought we were standing up for these runners! As we now know, these are the Masters.

So the moral of the story is this, I’m not, nor will I ever be, an elite or professional runner. But I can say I’ve always been a Masters Runner. And I’ll be able to hold on to that category for many, many years to come.

From the looks of it, it only gets better! And, that’s the goal!

“Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.”    – Unknown

Running with the Masters - medal

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