Run Kansas Run

Caveat….{almost} all these are instagram images;-)No Mark III here people!

My Amazon recommendations are below and I also drink Advocare Spark before and Rehydrate after (more stuff HERE-and yes I signed up as a seller because you save like 20% for every order so sign up HERE and save;-)

Over the last 10 months I have lost almost 30 lbs and started running with a passion in mid-July…I have never felt so healthy, in shape, and lean in my life! So I wanted to share as I know a lot of people are starting their New Year’s Resolutions this week! (Photo below in Central Park this past December-my hubby rode a bike while I got my run in!) I did my first half marathon on a whim this past weekend (details at the end of the blog)-I never, ever thought I would do that, never even entered my mind but I am so thrilled I was able to and am registering for more…;-)

I have received so much love and and support since I started my running journey back in mid-July. Since I started running (and tracking it) I have racked up 866 miles, burning 81k calories-whew! I never had any intention of turning running into such an integral part of my life but it became addicting just like everyone said it would (everyone being the other crazies that run). So now I am hooked and loving it! I have also had so many people email me, message me, asking me questions about my journey into running. I love that I am having an impact, am encouraging others to get out there and do this too!

All that being said, I am no running genius-I literally started in July and didn’t fully immerse myself until recently. But there are some things that I have learned that I wish I had known when I started. Had I googled a little more, gone to a running store, or just talked to other runners I would have learned more, faster. Honestly, I didn’t realize there were so many little things that could make running easier, more enjoyable, etc. until I started really learning the little things. Since so many of you have asked I wanted to do a little post and share what I have learned!

These are in no particular order-I am just writing from the heart with no idea how much I will write so take this with a grain of salt!


1. Today I learned something new (and that is what prompted me to write this post actually). I have a spot on the top of my feet towards in the inside where my bone pokes up a bit that always rubs my shoes. It is always red when I take my running shoes off but I just didn’t really give it much thought even though it does cause some discomfort. Today, though, I decided to google it; lo and behold there is a way to lace your shoes around these trouble spots! I did it today and it made a huge difference in my comfort level while running. HERE is the post about it-it is awesome and easy;-)


2. Speaking of shoes…when I started running I never thought about getting actual running shoes. Not the ones that are labeled “Running” at the Nike Outlet-actual running shoes. When I started I was wearing Sketchers I had purchase for zumba because they were super light and not bulky; probably the worst possible shoes I could have been wearing for running on pavement. Then someone told me get running shoes. I researched online and bought Saucony Hurricanes (THESE).  They were awesome shoes and I wore them for over 600 miles. Made a huge difference. The thing is, I never thought about my needs for a running shoe. So, when I retired those the other day, I went to a running store (locally Run With It) and let them tell me their thoughts. Turns out I pronate quite a bit and was still doing so in my Hurricane’s (I was having some inner ankle pain on and off and that’s why-not enough support). The lady there watched me walk and immediately told me what I needed and showed me a few pairs that would fit my needs. So now I am in Brooks Trance (HERE). I broke a cardinal rule and wore them for the first time (ever) in race on Sunday-my first half marathon-they rocked! No blisters or anything after running 13.1 miles in brand new shoes. Oh and did you know that as a rule of thumb you are supposed to replace running shoes about every 600 miles. Some even say you should have more than one pair and alternate days that you wear the shoes. I see no need for that-I’m not that much of a runner…I guess;-)

 My old ones & my new ones…

3. What’s under your shoes? So then my husband mentioned one day that maybe I should look at running socks because I was getting blisters on my feet. This was like, months after I started running-why he waited that long I don’t know. Running socks are amazing-they are moisture wicking (so no blisters) and padded in all the right places which will make your feet & joints very happy. This, in addition, to the shoes will soften the impact on your knees and joints, especially if you run outdoors instead of a treadmill. My favorites thus far are Feetures (THESE) and more on them HERE.


4. Clothes…I don’t really need to talk to you about this-wear whats comfy for you. If you are leery about wearing spandex or body hugging stuff do it anyway-its just less distraction-nothing flapping in the wind or making noise or slowing you down! Nike’s Pro Series stuff is amazing but pricey and pricey because its awesome! (Some of it). These pants have a 4-5″ waistband so if you don’t have the flattest of tummies (hey I’ve had three babies!) and are worried about a little pudge hanging over your spandex these are amazing and I love them: As Presley Grace says all the time…you will lub them.


5. Entertainment…There are the traditional methods of getting music and iTunes but I love Spotify. Basically its free (and completely legal) to play on your computer at home. If you want to take it with you its like $9.99 a month. Well worth it because you can play virtually any song ever recorded and put them into playlists and do whatever you want, except burn them to a disk. You don’t need to burn them to a disk, though, because if its on your iPhone and you have a semi new vehicle you can plug your iPhone into your car and listen to it there as well. So we are talking about any song, any time, on a playlist if you want, synced with your computer (so you can make playlists at night for your run the next day) and phone…all for $9.99 a month.. WELL worth it in my personal opinion. Here I am on Spotify:

6. I have the knees of an 80 year old woman-they crack and snap just crouching down to pick something up. They ache…but oddly enough they don’t ache as much as they used to. Maybe its the almost 30 lbs I lost, maybe its because I use them more and they are getting used to the use, I really don’t know. What I do know is that I believe in Kinetic tape. Some people do, some people don’t. There are so many mixed opinions on the web but I am sure you saw it very prominently on the Olympics this year. Personally if my knees are bothering me, I tape them up; if I am going for a long run ( and know beforehand-sometimes I just keep going even if I didn’t plan to ) or if I am in a race. This was another suggestion of my hubby. THIS is the brand I prefer but I did order some from China off eBay because its pretty expensive to tape up two knees alot. This is a post first half marathon instagram picture of my knees taped up (complete with compression socks, which is my next thought):


7. Compression socks (pictured above)…Again so many mixed reviews/opinions on these. I will let someone else explain what they do (HERE) and that is just one explanation and opinion. I didn’t actually even read that one but it looks like it has good information and its a starting point for those who want to look into them more. I have worn mine during a normal run and didn’t notice much of a difference. However, through research and a recommendation from my friend, Keri (who just completed her 3rd half on NYE), I put them on immediately following my first half on Sunday and wore them for almost 2 days straight. My 2 cents? My calves are less sore from the 13.1 miles than they were after my 9k (whose course was actually 6.1 miles). And this after having taken a few weeks off before the half and not training at all for the half. So I will wear them after long runs and after races. For some reason after a race the main soreness I have is all calves. Someone told me last night that’s because that’s my weak point…I do have teeny tiny calves so maybe I should look into working on that. My husband calls them princess legs!!! haha That’s when I knew I loved him;-)


8. Keeping track. No matter what you are doing, if you have specific, measurable goals you will do better. (Remember, I was a psychology major with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis-they live for measurable results) I have been using mapmyrun and was about ready to quit it because it kept messing up. I didn’t want to do it til the end of the year so I could have all my stats in one place. Oddly enough, it hasn’t screwed up in a while so I purchased the pro version ($1.99 on iTunes) and I will keep using it. I like that it interrupts your music momentarily at every mile and tells you what mile you are at, your total time, your pace, etc. HERE is my profile if you want to be running friends;-)They are running a New Year’s Challenge right now so join in! 10 workouts in 30 days and you are entered to win: Oh and you can also use this app for other workouts too. Go to Log Workout and there are all kinds of workouts you can log and keep track of along with your running…


9. Okay ladies, let’s talk sports bras…I have tried them all. Before I lost my weight my chest was quite large. I am now down to a 32D which sounds big but its really not-I’ve lost more inches off my chest than any other part of my body. To be really honest, the best sports bra I have found is the Victoria’s Secret Pink Yoga Sports Bra. I bought mine in a small which is tight but that makes it even better. Let’s be honest, this may be the most important thing you need if you are a woman who runs. I know you are saying that you don’t need a push-up sports bra (because that’s what it says in the description) but I honestly think thats what makes this one better (because it has padding to hold the girls in) than the regular ones I have used and its not that push-up…Click on the picture to take you to buy it!

10. Headphones…..Make sure you have that all set-up right-you don’t want wires everywhere and ill fitting ear buds;-)My hubby got me some for Christmas that I asked for-they were too expensive but I’ll use them everyday and I love them. There is a speaker right on the wire near my mouth so today when he called while I was out running I just answered my phone (thats what I run spotify on) with my ear buds in and talked to him while running and then clicked “End’ for the call and my Spotify came right back on! HERE are mine.

11. Mace…You never know what’s out there. Yes, we live at the beach, but coyotes and even bears are routinely spotted in our area. One of neighbors even claims to have caught a panther on camera! My brother got me some for my birthday;-)See?

12. Hydration. I am so not the person to ask about this because I don’t drink when I run at all. I will tell you why…I’ve had three babies;-)Plus I don’t like to stop and I don’t like to carry/have something strapped to me. At my half I did grab one cup of water along the way because my mouth was dry. What I do is drink lots of water all the time. About an hour before I run I stop drinking water and make sure I am all empty before a run. Then, when I get home, I drink my protein shake and then more water.

13. Stretch before and after. This is one of my goals this year-I don’t take enough time to stretch before or after. My hamstrings end up getting tight and so my back hurts…Don’t do that. HERE is a little info on that and, of course, you can always google it!

14. Race. I know you don’t want to and I know, starting out, your time may not be amazing but it really does something for your running spirit to be around other runners, getting up, lacing up everyday just like you. Its not about being the fastest (well it is but its not like this is your job), its about being there, competing, finishing…It just does something for you-the adrenaline, the camaraderie, the things you learn from others. Its really just fun! I know you don’t believe me but try it and you just might agree…Run With It has a comprehensive list of local races HERE.

Of course there is more…things I have no business discussing because they are somewhat medically related and, clearly, I am not a doctor;-)Things like vitamins and supplements, protein supplements (which I do take post-run), and energy supplements (not like 5 hour energy mind you)…those are things that are very individualized and things that should be researched in depth before starting. So you are on your own there;-)

Some of my running highlights this year…I did my first 5k in April (I wasn’t really running yet just doing 2-3 miles a few times a week with my weight training on a treadmill). Here I am with some of the girls I went to high school with…

I forgot what I finished with as far as time-I wasn’t using anything to track at that time but it was somewhere around 28 minutes-decent for a non-runner at the time…I believe Alison took home a medal as well;-)

Didn’t do another “race” for quite some time but this one intrigued me-it was at night (I hate getting up in the mornings and am pretty worthless when it comes to actually doing anything that early). This was a 9k (whose route ended up being 6.1 miles according to mapmyrun). I got 3rd in my age group (out of both men and women-yay)! My time was 46:12 or a 7:41 pace, better than I had ever done racing or otherwise. Alison and her hubs did this one too! It was the Shelter House Luminaria Run.

Not a race but a highlight nonetheless…running in Central Park;-)

And my proudest running moment thus far…completing my first half marathon last Sunday;-)I did it in 1:46:17 and I was dang proud of that time;-)Afterwards you always think, I could’ve done it faster but honestly you just never know til you have a few under your belt. I am hoping (and have registered) to do the Disney Princess Race to the Castle Half Marathon in February-I would like to do another half in January but just don’t know if I will have the time…(both of these courtesy of MIKE-BROOKS:COMMIEBIKE.COM via BiggestLoser)-I can’t wait to see my finish line picture-haha but those aren’t up yet so I will settle for these;-)The first one is pre-race (it was freezing and I was nervous and ready to go) and the last is with two of the Biggest Loser contestants from last year-I got first in my age group and 20th overall in the half marathon…

  • alison - January 3, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    i believe your time in that first race was 27 or 28 minutes. alls i know is that you beat me out for first place so next time, i’m going to trip you if i can catch you ;) Good luck in the princess run! maybe i will work up the courage (and the distance!) to do it next year…ReplyCancel

    • kansas - January 3, 2013 - 4:33 pm

      Hah! Well then I won’t get near you-pavement doesn’t seem like it’d taste all that good ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Sara - January 3, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    This was a great post, very inspirational:) The only challenge I’ve had with running is cramps in my rib cage. How do you keep from getting them?ReplyCancel

  • Kim Tyler - January 3, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    Awesome job Kansas!! Now it’s been about 10 months or so since we met you for our session. How in the heck did you have 30 lbs to lose?!? You looked amazing then. And my youngest is already talking about when we go back to the beach, saying we have to have pictures every year so it can be a tradition like our beach trips.ReplyCancel

    • kansas - January 3, 2013 - 4:58 pm

      Kim, Thank you! Haha your shoot was in May I think so I had already lost about 12 lbs ;-) It’s really about just being healthy and lean-I can see muscles now, not just being skinny! I hope you guys do call me when you come back-it was fun and you got a really unique looking day-I know you had hope more for clouds but the way they turned out with the color of the seaweed and the sky and your choice of clothing was amazing! It all came together so well! Here is a picture I posted to show the before and after….

  • Kim Tyler - January 5, 2013 - 8:25 am

    That’s awesome, I know what you mean about being healthier. We are doing the same thing here. I have started crossfit and also seeing a nutritionist and changing my diet and the changes I’ve seen already are making me happy! And we will definitely use you again. We haven’t decided on when we will be heading that way. Madisen will be going to high school this next school year and will try out for high school cheer leader this spring. So I’ll have to work our vacation around softball and cheer if she makes it. We are doing a disney cruise in February but still intend to get our beach trip in. We are more than happy with our family photos and get so many compliments of our canvas prints when friends and family come over. The link brought me to your personal page so I requested you as a friend, maybe I can see it after that.ReplyCancel

  • […] year ago today I ran my first half marathon…today was my 4th. The catch? In completely different places in my life-what a difference a […]ReplyCancel

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