Author Archives: Beth Baker

Pre-Run Check List.

Ready to run? O.K. GO!!
Yikes, not yet. Hold the phone! (do people still say that?) Let’s back this show up a little. Before you get out the door….wait. Back up even more.  Even be before you do the dance of the awkward sports bra. Even before that, there is something that will help in your running career. Pre-run rituals! It’s a great way for your head and your body to match up and get into the habit of getting out the door. Because, as we all discussed before with us new runners, running is mostly mental. So let’s get this brain screwed on right, and your body on board, and do the “Pre-Runs”, so your run will go better, and happier. Mmkay?

Pre-Run Equipment Checks. (Possibly done the night before)

Equipment line up. Have it ready and waiting for you, and imagine it be all excited to go out running like a black labrador.

Ear happiness check. Playlist ready to go? Podcast downloaded?

Garmin or sports mile keeper charged up?

Eat something small 30 minutes before. Like half a banana, or half a piece of toast.

 

Pre-Run Go-to Goals For The Run:

“I will get out the door for at least ____ minutes”

“I will appreciate my surroundings.”

“I will listen to my body, not my head.”

“I will not judge myself on my run.”
Pre-Run Warm-Ups. Pick 2!

Walk for 5 minutes, at a brisk pace.

10 toe-touches.

2 sets of 10 squats.

20 leg swings. Across your body, from side to side, like a pendulum.

If you can start to get a ritual around your running, and your exercise in general, your body will be better prepped, and your head won’t give such a fight. It is like waking up and going to work, you do all these little steps in between and then bam, you are out the door.

Check Check Check!!

Find Your Mojo

So, here’s a question for you. Why do you want to run? Yes, I know it seems great and all your friends are doing it, but why do you want to do it?

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There is that punch drunk love of endorphins or the training for that race you may or may not have signed up for in the near future. But why running? It’s a good thing to ask yourself in case you lose your mojo. It seems like a total no-brainer, the why. But if you think about it, and even write it down, you’ll be much more motivated to keep doing it when the weather turns, or you’re too busy…or when you just have lost that running feeling. AKA: Running Mojo.

First a quick lesson on what mojo is: Running Mojo is a magical feeling that comes with running. It’s that bliss that you get on your run when all is right in the world and all your problems go right out of your pores and slide onto the ground. It is fantastic.

But what if you lose your mojo? I lost mine back in 2011 and I found it under the couch, hiding. Silly mojo! When I did lose it, I went down my go-to list of mojo makers. Here is what I found, and hopefully you will find it helpful if you lose yours, if it’s not under the couch.

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1. Find Your Rest
We put our bodies through some big expectations, and then we are surprised when this feeling of “meh” washes over us when we think about running. If you have been training for something, or stressed out, maybe you’re just tired. Giving your body a week off won’t hurt you. If you place that time on the schedule, and don’t beat yourself up about it, you’ll come back to it refreshed and ready to go go go.

2. Find Different Places
This is my go-to when my love of running lacks luster. Look for new places to go, trails to travel, and new mountains to climb. Even if it’s a different neighborhood near you that you have never been to before, your brain will light up like a Christmas tree with good mojo feelings.

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3. Find Your People
Here is a fun fact: Runners are rad, and when you get a group or partner up, you have accountability plus a person to chat with and solve all the world’s problems over a 3 miler. Running is one of the few sports where you can chat and exercise at the same time. As long as you like short answers. Phew.

4. Find New Goals
Some people do a mile a day or a half marathon a month. For new runners I suggest the 5K a month until they find their love of their new sport. Another one is to jot down a list of “bucket list” races and maybe put it up somewhere you can see everyday. When you visualize your goals, and put action to them, they happen every time!

What the Eff To Eat?

What to Eat? 

NEWS FLASH!!!! Did you hear about the newest thing that can improve your metabolism, boost your speed and make you fly for all runs?

Dirt! Fresh DIRT! It is the answer to all your running needs.

The only drawback is it tastes like… Guess what? Dirt.

Totally kidding!! But, did I have some of you? For like 2 milliseconds? And if it was true, what kind of dirt? I mean if it made all runs amazing…

So now we have come to, “what the heck to eat.” Good news, it’s not dirt. Although, some of those bars out there, claiming all those things above… They come a close second, amiright?

When speaking to new runners, there are some simple guidelines to follow. NOTE: This is for us recreational runners who just want to know what to eat so we don’t feel like dirt or need to find an emergency port-o-potty in the middle of a trail…here are the rules of thumb.

  • Carbohydrates before. Around 45-60 minutes beforehand. Just one serving too, and stick to something easy to digest (toast, banana, cereal). No beer, not a deep dish pizza… I have done meticulous personal trials with these, and have had very bad outcomes. You are welcome.
  • Protein after. Your body has this magical 30-minute window where it becomes a sponge for all things to help replenish your body. I like string cheese or an egg. Even if you aren’t hungry, try to get something down. It will make you feel better for the rest of the day.
  • Gotta GO? Stay away from high fiber items of food before your runs. I had a friend who plowed through a huge bowl of cherries before her first 10k, but it became a race to the next honey bucket. You get the picture.
  • Hydrate! Water helps everything! Skin, muscles, and your overall machine of a body. Tip! Drink all through the day, and not all at once. Chugging water will lead to cramps and side stitches.
  • 1 mile = 100 calories. That’s it. Granted your overall metabolism is boosted, but as far as the actual running, that’s all it is. It’s a good thing to keep in mind when fueling your runs. You might need to rethink that cheeseburger, fries, and margaritas after your next 5k fun run.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and everyone is different. I like the 3T’s: Test. Train then Take Notes: Find out what works and stick to that.

Light Em Up!

This Little Light Of Mine. 

 

BOOM! It happens just like that. The sun is no longer there. Thank YOU winter, daylight savings, and a very northern latitude.

Jerks.

But, when the heck are you supposed to get your run in, especially if you feel uneasy running at night, or in Seattle, 4:00 in the afternoon. Here are a few tips to make it happen, and feel safe doing it.

1. Light yourself up like a mother trucking Christmas tree! I recommend headlamp, butt lamp, and something near your ankles (just to verify to other people that you are indeed a runner, and not a slow, low moving drone).

2. Buddy UP! And make sure they are lit up as well or take out a nice big insurance policy on them.

3. Take off your earbuds. Yes. I know, this isn’t fun. But being aware of your surroundings is essential and you can talk to your buddy, who is also lit up!

4. Stay on well lit and populated streets or parks. AND make sure you are seen by bikes, car drivers and other runners. Don’t assume others can see you. Give a little wave or nod to make sure no one is going to get hit.

5. Weather! It is extra hard to see runners in a downpour or fog. You can still run, but please be extra cautious out there.

And, when in doubt, add another light on there. It may look a little dorky, but dorky is better than dead.

SMACKDOWN!

Cookies, Eggnog, Christmas Cheer! Meet 4 weeks of runs to help keep your sanity and in stay in running shape.
4 weeks. All the Runs!
  • Come to as many as you want.
  • Runs are at an easy peasy pace, with good people, plus, safety in numbers!
  • Prizes are given out to whoever gets the most runs.
  • (Tokens are given out for each run.)
Starts Nov 26th.
Details: All runs meet at Super Jock n Jill except the * classes
Runs:
MTTH 8:30
M-Th 10:30 a.m. & Noon
T&Th 6:30 p.m.
*Wednesdays 11 am & 6:30 p.m. RockIt Class, think track work out to get you stronger/faster and sweaty class at 11 am and 6:30 (meets at the lower Woodlawn track)
*Saturday morning at 9:00. 3-5 miles. Meet at Gasworks
Tokens are given out on every run.
Pre-Sale Price $99 on 11/16
$120 After 11/16
FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO SIGN UP GET A SAFETY LIGHT KIT! Sign Up HERE

Leave Your Work at Work.

Some people say they don’t run because they are afraid they will get laughed at by doing it wrong, or they are too slow and won’t be taken seriously. Especially around Greenlake on a sunny day.

I get that.

But, being a coach, sometimes I do see some people who get around the lake in a running fashion, and want to take them aside and give them unsolicited advice about how to run a little more efficiently. I would do it very nicely and give them a little pat on the fanny to let them know that I care. Some of the things I see may resemble positions from a colorful persons resume, but they are also names to describe people with bad running form.  

   Pirate- Take your arms, and swing them to and fro, across your body, like you are going to sing a shanty or pillage some booty. Strong and across your body. Arrree! You can even sing out “Yo-ho-ho” when doing this. Hey, that’s great! This move should only be used by pirates or pretending to be a pirate, and not for runners. Arms should move in the direction you are moving, and not in front of your body.

 Bouncer Your name is now Scud, or Snake. You’re wearing leather, with studs and checking and winking at underage girls trying to get into a club with their fake id’s. You jump high in the sky to check how big the line is that it trying to get into your hip new club. Please do not run this way. Calves, in jumping or bouncing manner, should not be used much, and this is where shin splints come from the bouncy runner. This is also very painful watching a women runner who bounces too much while wearing a bad sports bra. (Ouch) Think about engaging your quads more, to move smoothly. Smooooth, not bouncy. Bouncy=Bad.

 Office Worker 12 hour says, hunched over a keyboard. If you remove desk and keyboard, throw on some wicking clothes and run. The same posture, you just sat at for your work day, hunched over, with a c-shaped spine, then you are an office worker who hasn’t left their work completely. This is not good as well. Pulling back your shoulders and getting your spine in a more I-shape. This will help you breathe easier and get your body and mind away from the office.

If you run like a runner, and you are a runner

Stay In Yo Lane

Coaches Tip Tuesday!

Stay in your lane!!
This is the part where running and life lessons come to the surface. 
It’s a little tough when you start running and look over to the right, and there is a gazelle-like human floating in a sports bra and teeny shorts. To the left, there’s a 90 thousand-year-old man who is passing you. Then you, the runner who is just out there doing your best.

I hear people say all the time, “I want to run like them, I want to look like that person, I want to beat so and so.”  cause, from the outside, they are faster, stronger, something-ier and seem to be happier.  I lean back to one of the ‘contract’ lines that I make all of my new runner’s sign saying:don’t compare yourself to another runner. Don’t compare your insides to their outsides.’ You’ll never win.
Instead, find your own motivation inside. Why you want to stay healthy, move and be in the community.
That will drive you to your own “best” as oppose to never getting to another persons “best”.

Stay in your own lane, focus on your own goals, and of course, have fun!

Tip Tuesday! Running on Vacation?

Coaches Tip Tuesday!

Vacations, have to get away! 
As the death rattles of summer are upon us, people are in desperate need to get out of dodge for a few days to enjoy the waning summer.  BUT What about running?? Do YOU run on vacation?
I have two trains of thought for this, with a different track for personality types.
Type A. A stands for always running. All the time. If this is you, a vacation might be the perfect time for your body to take a break. If you need to exercise, explore something else and save your running for when you get back. It will still be there for you…promise.
Type B. B stands for the beginner or barely running. My advice is to just pick 1 or 2 days and aim for fun as vs. must run x amount of miles. Explore your surroundings, take pictures and check out the scenery. Some of my all-time favorite runs have been on vacation when I had no place to go and just had fun!

If you are somewhere in the middle, I will always encourage you to bring your shoes and get out there!

See Ya Later!
Coach Beth

See Ya Later!
Coach Beth
  • Half Marathon registration is OPEN. 9 spots left! Sign Up here.
  • Couch to 5k is OPEN and ready for you in September. Sign Up Here!
  • NEW 7:30 a.m. REBoot Camp is UP! Sign Up HERE!!

Trail Run 101

You go up.

 You go down.

You are muddy.

Really muddy.

Breathing is hard.

Climbing is always happening.

Down hills are scary.

Knees are on fire.

Views are epic.

Plates upon plates of humble pie do not taste good even thought its got that pie word in it. And your brain is always working.

Welcome to the wild world of trail running, or MY recent world of trail running. Sometimes, I get really confident and my bad ass strut muscles gets sore, and then I feel like I need to learn something new to show my ego who is running the show…spoiler alert..not my ego. (sorry dude, you are still super cool)

Let me back my muddy calves up a little to give a little story about my not so glory. I took on a challenge a few years ago that contains 3 words: Trail. Run. Marathon.

Catalina Island Trail Marathon. (95 degrees)

So my road running, or road strutting is now ready for a new challenge, trail running. When I went for the first time, in a very long time, I was not quite prepared for the new obstacles, fallen trees, everything is slippery.  I really struggled with my first few runs, walking a lot, falling, and there may have been some tears. My extra patient, and rock star guide kept checking on me. “You ok?”

…and with my last dying breath, I blurted out I’M FINE! (I was dying )

But there is always that tenacious lesson of life, the more you do, the better you get, then you get cocky, then you climb more hills, then  you almost die again whilst uttering out, I’m fine. And so on, and so on. 

Step 1. Use your whole leg, and your whole body. Use your whole head. Your can’t let your ham

Step 2. Quicken up your foot strike. You should be doing this in your normal running, but in trail running it could mean your foot finding a root, and your face finding the ground.

Step 3. Carry your means. A whole new world of equipment. Different shoes, back packs and new clothes, (cause your clothes get so dirty, and it’s just fun to buy special trail clothes)

Step 4. Walk when you need to walk. This becomes less of a choice when lungs just go into full capacity.

Step 5. Be safe. Let people know where you are, and grab a running buddy. It’s a little riskier then road running, with more chances of falling. But totally worth it.

Want to put some skin in the game? Check out our Trail Run 101 Class! Spot still open.

I Pee When I Flee!

It happened to my mom, it happened to my grandmother, and now, it’s my turn. The torch of “Oh my goodness, did I just pee a little” has passed down to me.

Seriously, womanhood, motherhood!! WTF! It’s a never ending jack in the box of surprises that this body is popping up or leaking out. The mammograms, IUD’s, periods from the hells balls, migraines from hells other balls, and not to mention the pressure of appearance that we are supposed to keep up with. Fuck that shit.

So this new fun item on the list is happening now when I run.  I have to say, I knew it was a very common thing, since I am a running coach who primarily works with woman. I thought I was safe, cause I had a c-section, but no. And then I had all these women who didn’t have kids talk about it. So no one is safe, exempt men. Men are safe AF.

I posted this last night on the ol FB, and I heard from a ton of women who this happens too. And from a the array of PT’s who posted (bless you PTs) that it’s common, but not normal and you can DO something about it.

I will always remember my poor little grandmother being horrified when it happened to her. We’d be shopping for a prom dress and having a ton of fun, then it was all, “We have to go right NOW!” Oh… Ok.

And the countless surgeries my mom had to make her bladder re-work after pushing out four kids, and the first one was over 10 pounds, when she was 18. Luckily, he’s a cool dude.

Look, I am not the bitter type, and I love being this awesome woman I am, but I do need to vent. Sometimes, when I complain, people help me out, and tell me there is hope. YAY HOPE!  I am listing all of the links that I got, so if you are interested in being more woman then a fountain, you have a resource.   Now go on with your bad selves.

http://www.juliewiebept.com/video/tips-for-runners-who-leak/

https://nataliehodson.com/abs-core-and-pelvic-floor/

https://havefiness.com/

https://kathewallace.com/

http://www.juliewiebept.com/