Instawhat: Weeks of 7/21 & 7/28

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This is Bug’s new friend Noah.  Noah’s super awesome parents just moved here on a total leap of faith to be the worship leaders of our church.  They moved to a new city & state knowing only a few people… just picked up and moved.  They have garnered a lot of respect from me!  We’ve really enjoyed getting to know them and showing them a little bit about where we live… like Mote Marine!  One of our favorite places to spend a morning.

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The day we visited Mote, we took the boys across the street to have a little picnic lunch.  Not a bad spot for a picnic, huh?  The boys loved watching boats go by!  You will notice here that Bug looks quite a bit shorter than Noah.  This is true.  And, of course, Noah is 3 months younger than Bug.  Story of my poor short kid’s life.

I realize it doesn’t look like much of an incline, but this is pretty much the biggest hill in Venice.  It’s part of the Legacy Trail, which is the amazing bike trail that I run on.  This bridge goes over US 41.  I used to look at this bridge as a challenge during my run.  Now I stop and walk and take pictures.

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Sometimes, Bug wakes up too early for my liking.  Especially after I’ve worked a late night.  Hubby goes to work at 7am, and his car often wakes up a small child.  If I don’t have to work that morning, or if we don’t have plans of some kind, Bug gets to pick out a movie and climb in bed with me.  We both think this is awesome.  He’s holding a Tums in that picture that was left over from the night before on my bedside table… I wouldn’t let him eat it, so he just held onto it for like 45 minutes.

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It was my turn to wait for the hood cleaners at work last week… yay!  Once a quarter, guys come to clean the hoods in the kitchen.  Instead of leaving work at about 11pm, someone gets to stay with the hood guys until, oh, about 2am.  It’s awesome.  I decided to make the most out of that time and work on a project.  I started making a paint chip mobile for baby girl’s room.  It turned out pretty cute… eventually I might even do a little tutorial on it.

This is Bug.  He was once a baby.  He is now a big boy.  Just ask him.  I love looking in on him while he’s sleeping, because he just looks so… so… grown up!  Until I realize that his Bud (his lovey blanket) his in his mouth because he fell asleep sucking it.  That makes me feel a little better… like he’s not growing up quite so fast.

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Running While Pregnant

Before I start this post for real, I’d like to put out there that I am not an expert on exercising while pregnant.  I am not an expert on exercising at all.  These are merely my feelings & opinions.  Please consult your OBGYN before starting any kind of workout program while pregnant.

Okay.  That’s done.  To start this post for real, I’d like to say that I did not run during my first pregnancy, which is something that I wish I had done.  It was really difficult to get back into running after not having done so for close to a year.  My doctor, whom I really like, said he didn’t think all of that bouncing was good for the baby.  Being my first pregnancy and being uber-careful and worried about every little thing, I followed his advice without much further thought and without a second opinion.  (I did, however, do a lot of prenatal yoga.)  Now, let me tell you about my OB.  I’m not sure exactly how old he is, but he’s got to be past retirement age.  The man has recently started wearing hearing aids and looks kind of like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.  He is very laid back, very old school and an excellent doctor.  He delivered Bug and I am so glad that he did.

My OB office has four doctors and three midwives.  I see my doctor when it is recommended, but for my usual monthly visits I actually prefer to see the midwives.  This pregnancy, I have asked two of the three midwives about exercise and both told me the same thing: if you did it before you were pregnant, you can do it during pregnancy… as long as we’re not talking something crazy dangerous, obviously.  They said that if I ran before, I can run now, and I can do it until I am no longer comfortable doing so.  Sweet.  I’ll take it.

To me, the most important thing about running pregnant… or any prenatal exercise for that matter… is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  If you begin to feel faint & overheated: stop.  If your belly starts to hurt: stop.  If you feel like you are going to throw up: stop.  Pretty simple.  My first pregnancy, I was so much more worried about reading the right thing to do that I didn’t feel the right thing to do.  This pregnancy, I am relying so much more on instinct, and though I’ve had some emotional/crankiness issues this time around, physically I have felt much better.

To get to the bones of prenatal, I’m going to lay out how it’s similar to running sans growing baby and how it’s different, as well as some tips that I have found to be very helpful.

SIMILARITIES

When you take a break from running, say a couple of months, it can be hard to get your groove back.  I find that the first run back is always awesome.  You get all pumped up because you’re thinking, “That wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be!  I felt great!”  And then, your next run, your legs feel like lead and your lungs are on fire and you think, “This sucks.  I’m never going to make it.”  After that, each run gets progressively more comfortable and eventually the groove returns.  I took a several month break from running when I got pregnant, mostly because I was so exhausted that all I could think about doing in my spare time was sleeping.  I took a very necessary nap almost every day for 3 1/2 months.  Once I finally started to get some energy back, I started running again about once a week.  Just like a non-pregnant return, the first run was fantastic.  I was amazed at how “easy” it was.  Joke’s on me, because the next run was rough.  But, just like a regular comeback, it has slowly gotten more comfortable and my groove has returned, although said groove is a different groove, for obvious expanded belly reasons.

The other major similarity to running pregnant versus non-pregnant that I’ve found is the boost of energy and positive mind set.  I feel great, energetic and super happy for a couple of days after I run… both now and before baby-on-board.  I’m a pretty happy & positive person to begin with, so an extra dose an happy isn’t usually too noticeable.  However, I’ve been dealing with some crankiness issues this pregnancy, and that dose of happy right now is amazing.  Hubby can probably attest to that.  The energy boost is a pretty nice added bonus, as well.

DIFFERENCES

The groove.  Here’s where I’m going to talk about taking it easy.  See, I’m the kind of person that is very competitive with myself.  When I go for a run, I get a tad bit disappointed if it wasn’t faster or farther than the last time.  That’s actually part of the draw of running for me.  I can set constant goals and the only person to hold accountable for the success of reaching those goals is me.  I have to continually push myself harder for that desired result.  Prenatal running doesn’t exactly allow for that.  For the first time, I’m taking it easy while I run.  No long term goals in mind except to stay healthy.  No short term goals of “today I’m going to run this far” or “today I’m going to hit this pace.”  I have no qualms stopping if my body tells me to stop, when usually I would just push through.  I run slowly and take walking breaks every few minutes.  It’s kind of refreshing, but difficult to change mind sets at the same time.

Kind of going along with the groove being different and the need to take it easy is that usually, when you run regularly, you are doing so with the intention of either losing or maintaining weight.  While pregnant, it’s hard to lose sight of that and to remember that you are supposed to be gaining weight!  This makes your pace slow down as time goes on rather than speed up.  I keep reminding myself that the goal isn’t speed, it’s health!

TIPS

Water.  It is important to stay hydrated.  We all know this.  It is even more important to stay hydrated when you’re pregnant.  My midwife suggests that I drink something crazy like 96 ounces of water a day.  Normally, I only carry water on a run if it’s going to be more than 6 miles.  Anything less, I just drink water before I go and then drink lots when I’m done.  Mostly because I don’t like carrying things while I run.  When I trained for my half-marathon, I used a Camelbak Mini-M.U.L.E., which was great because it had a pocket for snacks/gel/fuel/whatever.  That was also during the fall and winter, though, and it wasn’t so darn hot outside.  Now, it’s too hot to wear it.  I’m pregnant, dude, I’m already hot enough.  So, I’ve been running with a water bottle.  My favorite is my Camelbak Eddy Bottle.  I hate carrying it, but I love that I don’t have to tilt it to get water.  Pregnant, clumsy me would have issues with not watching the road.

Take it easy.  I know I already talked about this, but it’s important.  Don’t go faster than you need to.  Don’t let yourself overheat.  Walk if you need to.  Listen to your body.

Stretching.  I usually stretch after I run, but non-pregnant me didn’t see a huge difference if I skipped the stretching every once in a while.  I didn’t feel unusually stiff or sore or anything.  Pregnant me is different.  The thing is, though, it’s not my legs that get sore if I don’t stretch.  It’s my back.  If I run and then sit down for a half an hour before stretching, my lower back will be pinched the rest of the day.  If I stretch first and then sit down, I have no issues.  Today, I ran and then sat in the car for 20 minutes and then went to the grocery store before I finally made it home to stretch.  My back is angry, folks.

MY RUN

As of right now, I’m doing a 5 minute warmup, just like always.  Then, I’m following this 10 minute increment pattern:

  • Run 7:00
  • Walk 3:00
  • Run 6:00
  • Walk 4:00
  • Run 4:00 or 5:00
  • Walk 5:00
  • Run 2:00 or 3:00 & walk the remainder of the 10 minute increment as a cooldown.

That gives me a total of about 20 minutes running and 20 minutes walking.  Again, if I feel like I need to stop and walk, I do.  This has been my pattern for a few weeks now, after trying a couple of different things.  First I tried running a mile and then walking a quarter mile, repeat.  My GPS was wonky so it ended up not being reliable.  Then I tried running for 10, walking for 5, repeat.  I didn’t make it.  This pattern will likely be changing as my belly gets bigger and my joints start to stretch.  I’ll keep you posted :)

Did you run while pregnant?  Tell me about it!

Instawhat: Week of 6/16

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For the first four months of this pregnancy I was so tired that I spent every free moment napping.  Finally, about a month ago, I started exercising again.  I’ve been running once or twice a week and, man, does it feel good.  Don’t worry, I’ve been taking it super easy… alternating jogging for 5 minutes or so and then walking for a few minutes.  There is a great, wide bike trail that runs throughout our county that I take advantage of as often as I can… mostly because it is full of views just like this.

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We spent the weekend with Uncle Chris & Aunt Millie (Bug’s Godparents) and Chris’ wonderful kids Karley & Timothy.  Chris’ grandmother has a home right on the beach here in Venice, so we took advantage of the fact that she is up north for the summer.  That’s Hubby and the kids heading from the pool to the beach.  Rough life, huh?

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Buggers and Karley enjoying an awesome surf & turf dinner on the grill.

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When Hubby told the kids that he brought fireworks, they were excited.  When he told Uncle Chris, he might have jumped up and down a little bit.  Proof that boys never really grow up.  They just get big enough to use lighters all by themselves.

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Yeah fireworks on old crab traps!

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Sunday morning swim session/water gun fight.  What else would you do after breakfast?

What did you do this weekend?

Instawhat: Week of 5/26

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After not running for 4 months, I’ve been trying to get back to it… I’m attempting to run once a week.  Don’t worry, my doctor says its okay and I’m taking it really easy.  My run last week was on an ominous day.  Actually, every day for the past week or so has been rather ominous… lots of gray clouds and threats of rain with only sporadic bursts of actual rain.  I love running on days like this.  The sun isn’t beating down on you, there is a little bit of a breeze and the sky is so interesting to look at.

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Bug started swim lesson on Saturday!  Ok, short run down on Bug’s swimming progress over the last year:

  • Beginning of last summer (exactly 2 years old) – Bug LOVED the water.  He would hold himself under as long as he could, jump in off the side all by himself (with someone there to catch him, of course) and by the middle of summer would even swim underwater from you to the wall about 4 feet away.  He had a swim vest thing that barely let him float and he’d kick all around the pool wearing it.  We’re all, he’ll be swimming by himself in no time!  No lessons needed!
  • End of last summer (2 years, 4 months old) – Bug realized that water is something he maybe, possibly should be afraid of.  Awesome.  Refused the swim vest.  Absolutely no jumping in.  Wouldn’t leave the steps… not even holding on to Mom & Dad.  He would still put his face under, but only from the second step down.
  • This spring (April – 2 years, 10 months old) – First pool excursion since last year (finally warm enough).  Bug would go into the water holding onto me for dear life.  He would also jump in, but only if I held both of his hands.

Back to swim lessons.  I fully expected him to freak out as soon as the teacher pulled him into the water.  I think I knew that he actually wouldn’t freak out, but I prepared myself for it.  He did fantastic.  He was excited the whole time, and each time he was in the water, he did exactly what the teacher instructed.  Now, she never let go of him, but he didn’t hold on like crazy either.  He had another lesson on Sunday and did just as well.  She dunked each kid underwater and he came up smiling.  I would like to mention, though, that my child definitely was the least attentive while sitting on the steps waiting for the other kids to have their turns.  Not that he was intentionally disruptive or misbehaving, but there was a lot of splashing and talking involved.  Credit that to either a) he’s the youngest in the class or b) he’s Scary Uncle Adam’s nephew.

Week of Workouts: 10.14 – 10.20

I wouldn’t say that I was lazy this week, despite the fact that I only had one “real” workout.  Quite the opposite, actually.  On Sunday, Hubby & I played 9 holes of golf… though we took a cart instead of walking.  That totally still counts as exercise.  And, on Thursday I could have worked out, but instead I chose to get some of the million things done at home that I have been neglecting: cleaning the furniture, dusting every nook & cranny, finally hanging up the pictures and shelving in my bedroom that I have had sitting on my dresser for close to 6 months.

My one actual workout this week:

Friday 10.19 – Running

3.3 miles in 30:03 for an average pace of 9:06.  Not bad, considering that I did a good amount of walking.  Let’s just say that even though October is technically supposed to be in autumn, it still felt like summer on Friday.  I ran at 9:30am and the temperature when I got back to my car was 90.  Yay.  Here are my RunKeeper notes: Goal was 30 minutes. Started too fast. Walked around 18 minutes. Ran off and on. Walked fast, ran faster than usual pace. Still hot as crap outside.

As we speak, I am sitting on my couch on this beautiful Monday.  It’s my day off, Bug is at school and it’s 72 degrees outside at 10am.  Wanna take bets on if I can motivate myself to a) work out b) get some yard work done c) get some more house work done or d) none of the above?

You’ll have to wait until next week to find out!

Week of Workouts: 10.7 – 10.13

Wednesday 10.10 – Pilates

Sleek & Sexy Arms for Beginners - this hurt a bit

The 100 Workout - wasn’t super excited about this one, though it was quick & effective

Gangnam Style Call Me Maybe Squat Challenge – ok, that was fun

Flatter My Abs Workout – Loved this one

My arms were sore for days after this workout!
Saturday 10.13 – Running

My first 7k!  The Phillippi Shores 7k to be exact.  I went into this race not having run farther than a 5k since February.  Because of that, I decided not to push it.  I just wanted to finish in under 44 minutes, which would be right around a 10 minute mile.  I took it easy and I felt great.  Results: 4.35 miles in 40:32 for an average pace of 9:19/mile.  Awesome sauce.  There were 20 women in my age category and I placed 11th.  I’ll take it, considering the woman with the fastest time overall was TWO age categories ahead of me.  Wowza.  I hope that I am competitive even a little bit when I am 40.

What I Wear When I Run

Alrighty, this post is going to seem like one huge advertisement.  I assure you, it is not.  None of these brands knows that I a) am talking about them and b) exist.  These are just things that I love.  Let it be known, however, that I am not above selling out.  If Under Armour would like me to try out some new products and review them, I’d be MORE THAN HAPPY to do so.  Hear that running brands?

I am not necessarily a brand junkie, but I like quality products.  And, once I find a product or brand that I like, I tend to stick with that product or brand.  So, here we go.  Starting from the top down.

I really like to run in just a sports bra and shorts.  It is, therefore, imperative that I have a sports bra that is not only comfortable, but also one that doesn’t look like I am wearing a bra.  I have had two Adidas sports bras since high school (that’s TWELVE years, folks) that are finally starting to wear out (way to go, Adidas!).  So, I went shopping a few weeks ago and was so disappointed in the selection.  Mostly due to the fact that I wanted something that I could wear without a shirt over it.  Pops, Great Nana… you might want to skip a few sentences here.  See, I have this issue called I-breastfed-a-baby.  That issue has led to nipples that are constantly poking out.  This is not awesome for bathing suits without pads & sports bras.  Needless to say, I never found a bra that you couldn’t see at least a little nipple through.  However, I did find one that did a pretty good cover job.  I am now obsessed with this sports bra.  I wear it as often as possible because it is that comfortable.  I can hardly feel it when it’s on and yet it still supports amazingly well.  It doesn’t even leave strap marks on my shoulders, which is surprising considering the thin, adjustable straps.  Without further ado, here’s my favorite sports bra… the Seamless Essential Sports Bra by Under Armour:

Next up… shorts.  I used to only run in shorts with pockets, which is difficult because nobody sells running shorts with decent sized pockets.  I carry my phone with me when I run because I use Pandora for my music and RunKeeper to track my runs.  I know I could use an arm band or a waist band, but I can’t stand them.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  What I end up with are basketball-type shorts because they have pockets.  Here’s the other thing about shorts for me… I like them short.  Call it less chafing, call it more comfortable, call it keeping me cooler.  I just like ‘em short.  One day, I decided to try out a pair of New Balance short running shorts without pockets.  I heart them.  I need to buy more of them.  They have spandex-type compression-ish boy shorts underneath and are super comfortable.  The shorts underneath allow for me to tuck my phone into my waistband.  They are the New Balance Momentum Short.  **Side note – when I do run in another type for shorts, I wear Under Armour underwear underneath.  SO COMFORTABLE.**

Onto socks.  I wear Balega Hidden Comfort.  They wick, they are comfortable, and they’ve lasted me a long time.  Which, at $10 a pair, they damn well should.  Worth every penny.

Lastly, let’s talk about shoes.  I cannot stress enough that you need a good pair of shoes.  I remember when Hubby and I first started dating, he’d wear shoes from Walmart to run in.  Once he got his first good pair of running shoes, he couldn’t believe how much better not just his feet felt after a run, but also his legs, knees and back.  I used to have hip issues, but once I got fitted properly for shoes, those issues went away.  Go to a local running shoe store (or a corporate one, whatever) and have them check your gait and fit you properly.  You are welcome.  I wore New Balance for forever.  And then Brooks were recommended for me.  I am now a Brooks fan for life.  My only gripe is that my local running store doesn’t carry the super awesome colors that I have seen available online.  But, I’d rather give my money to the local guy, you know?  I over pronate, and therefore need support… so I wear Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12.

 At some point, I’d really like to try some minimalist shoes… any recommendations?

Do you have particular running/workout gear that you LOVE?

Week of Workouts x2: 9.23 – 9.29 & 9.30 – 10.6

In light of my trying to play catch up, I am posting two weeks worth of workouts in one post.  I know, crazy shiznit here on The Baker Bee.
First week: 9.23 – 9.29

I only ran this week, because my first 5k of the season was on the 29th.  I know I’ve mentioned RunKeeper before, but I just want to add in here that one of the features that I love about it is that I can write myself a note at the end of a run about how that particular run went.  From here on out, I’ll be sharing those notes with you.  Word for word.  Totally honest.

Monday 9.24 – Running

1.91 miles in 16:03 for an average pace of 8:26 min/mile.  Notes: Intervals. Upped it to ten intervals. Felt good but last one was tough… Booked it on that one, though!

Wednesday 9.26 – Running

3.2 miles in 31:38 for an average pace of 9:53.  Notes: Ok. Not feeling great, so went slow.

Saturday 9.29 – Running

Run 2 Live 5k in Lakewood Ranch, FL.  3.12 miles in 27:36 for an average pace of 8:52.  This was amazing.  My time was not amazing and I felt like I was really heavy and slow.  The race was amazing because I placed 3rd in my age group!  One of my 5k goals is to place, and I did just that!  It was a small race and there were only 16 ladies in my age group, but hey… I’ll take it!!

Second week: 9.30 – 10.6

Wednesday 10.3 – Running

2.02 miles in 17:24 for an average pace of 8:37.  Notes: 10 intervals with James. Good. Dropped my phone on the last one, so time & distance is not correct, because I ran back to get it.

Thursday 10.4 – Random Stuff

I took Bug to Mote Marine and then he wouldn’t nap when we got home, so I did a half-assed work out in like 5 minutes in between laundry & dishes & not napping.  Here’s what I did:

2 super-fast rounds of:

  • 10 push ups
  • 25 crunches
  • 10 sit ups
  • 20 squats

Not exciting and not really effective, but better than nothing, right?

Saturday 10.5 – Running

1.77 miles in 14:32 for an average pace of 8:11.  Notes: Middle of day. 9 intervals with James. Right after lunch and hot and humid = really tough.

Looking back at our times, we rocked those intervals.  We walked from my In-law’s house to a friend’s house to walk their dog and then we ran intervals from that house to another friend’s house to walk their dog.  It was a dog walking kind of weekend.  And THEN, we walked the 2 miles back to my In-law’s house, stopping for ice cream halfway.  In the end, it was a great workout and we had a great time doing it.  We didn’t think that we’d be outside for close to 1 1/2 hours and didn’t think to wear sunscreen, so I now have an awesome sports bra tan line.

Hubby is running the bed races in a couple of weeks, so he’s really into using the intervals as training for that.  I realize now that I didn’t write about the bed races last year, but they are an event that starts off Sun Fiesta here in Venice.  Different area clubs, businesses and organizations race beds down Venice Avenue (our main street downtown).  Four runners push a bed on wheels a quarter mile down the road.  At the end, the bed rider jumps off and does an activity… hula hooping, paddle ball, the chicken dance, etc… and the jumps back on the bed, which is raced the quarter mile back to the start line.  Hubby & I have been involved as either runners or bed riders for going on 4 years with either Sertoma or Venice Area Young Professionals… and every year, our bed wins.  Just saying.  Last year, I run in Hubby’s place because he couldn’t be there.  I was the only female running on our team.  I wanted to die.  It’s an elimination style race, so you run two teams at a time until somebody wins.  The winning team usually ends up running three times.  That’s a mile and a half of sprinting.  Ouch.

That’s me on the left.  I apparently had that face on the whole time, because every picture looks just like that.  Nice, Casey.  Like our shirts?

Anyways, two weeks of workouts written out.  Almost done catching up!

Instawhat: Week of 9/23

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This is baby Emma.  She’s almost 5 months old.  At some point, I may write about her.  Bug and I watch her once a week so that both of her parents can go to work.  Bug loves her and calls her his girlfriend.  Way to rob the cradle, buddy.

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Hairdos at the request of the toddler.  He brought me a hair tie and said, “Pony, Mommy!”  I’m not sure exactly where he learned about ponytails (probably preschool… thanks, Miss Yayle) because my hair is too short for them.  So, he got a pony.  And then, he said, “Mommy pony, Mommy!”  So, I got one, too.

Sideways picture, I know.  Hubby & I ran a 5k last Saturday.  James talked the New Balance guy into actually wearing the show costume that was lying on the floor.  And then, Hubby grabbed what would be the shoe’s boob.  Because that’s what the men in that family do.

I got third in my age group!  At first, I was thinking that there were probably only 3 in my age group, but turns out there were 16!!!  I was super excited.  This is me celebrating with a beer. At 9am.

Loosey Goosey

Did you know that it isn’t a good idea to stretch before you run?  True story.  Stretching cold muscles can lead to muscle strains and tears.  That is exactly the last thing you want if you are a runner.  Or, really, anybody.  A lot of people are unaware that stretching un-warmed up muscles is dangerous, because we’ve always been told that stretching is a good thing.  Stretching is a good thing, as long as it is done properly and at the right time.  I warm up and stretch in a way that has been recommended to me time and time again… by serious runners, track coaches and physical therapists.  So, here’s my routine:
I walk for about 5 minutes before I run.  Some days, I just walk at a good clip.  Most days, though, I do a little series of warm up exercises while I walk… and I usually start these after I’ve walked for about 3 minutes.  I do about 20 steps each of the following:

  • High steps/knee ups/whatever you want to call them
  • Straight leg kicks to the front
  • Butt kicks
  • Walk on my tip toes
  • Walk on my heels
  • Skips… jumping as high as I can with each step

And then, I run.

After running is when I do my stretching.  I get myself a big glass of chocolate milk (with Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup, obvi) and do some yoga stretches.  There is a sequence that I found on FitSugar years ago.  Of course I can no longer find that video.  I don’t know enough about yoga to tell you the names of the poses… but I know there’s some downward dog, some warrior & some pigeon involved.  I also do some calf stretches and some quad stretches.  And then, I call it a day.

To sum it up: don’t stretch before running.  Walking for a few minutes is enough.  Stretch after.

The end.