Welcome To The Streaking Runner!

The Streaking RunnerHi!  My name is Judy Mick, also known as The Streaking Runner.  More about my name later!  I am passionate about running and helping runners to stay runners for life.  So many runners start a running program and quit for some reason or another – I want to help them get started correctly and keep running for life!

Throughout the years I’ve run numerous races at all distances.  As I’ve grown older, though, I find myself running the longer distances - marathons and half-marathons.  And, I always plan a race in Florida during January or February to get out of the cold!

I started running in college (around 1978) to basically try to stay in shape (you know, beer and pizza at all hours).  There was also a secondary reason.  My best friend and roommate was trying to catch the eye of a member of the cross country team.  Well, it worked on all counts, she married the runner and I’m still running!

My main claim to fame is that I have not missed a day of running since November 20 1985!   Thus the name:  The Streaking Runner.  I absolutely love running and I know that it has kept me healthy all these years – and probably more sane!

In this blog, we’ll be talking about many different aspects of running – from staying overall fit, proper clothes, shoes, fun races, continuing to run as you get older, etc.  Feel free to comment to let me know anything you’d like to see.

I’m also a firm believer in positive attitude and motivation.  Positive attitude can make all the difference in all area of life – including running!

If you’re a Facebook or Twitter user, I’d love for you to connect with me there!  Just click on the link to get to my Facebook Fan Page (and please “like” me while you’re there) and to follow me on Twitter!  I’d love to keep in touch!

I also am a published author on Amazon.  You can view my author page at: http://judyruns.com/authorpage

Another thing that I’m extremely excited about is that I’m an RRCA Certified Running Coach.  I want to help new runners get started correctly and help them to achieve their goals.

You can also email me at:  judy@thestreakingrunner.com

Run Happy!

 

I’m So Happy To Have My Hubby!

My hubby and I after the Bay Bridge Marathon in Virginia Beach several years ago.

My hubby and I after the Bay Bridge Marathon in Virginia Beach several years ago.

Running is mostly a solitary sport – but, in my case, there’s a very important person behind the scenes. My wonderful hubby has been there for me since day one!

In fact, the day of our first date, I was out on a run in the afternoon.  I was about 2 miles from my house and Bob (hubby) pulled over.  He asked if I’d like for him to pick me up earlier and we’d go to dinner before our planned movie.  So, I had about an hour to get home, shower and get ready.  Yes, I made it – but, the point is, he knew from that first date on that he had a runner to deal with!

Hubby knows that when we are on vacation that he can sleep in a little longer or have some time to himself while I’m out for my daily run.  I plan destination races all year – and he never says a word.  (But then, I think he secretly loves the fact that I get him out of the cold in January or February for a race in Florida!)

No matter the race – he’s always right there waiting for me at the finish line with dry clothes and a Pepsi! He also enjoys buying me things at the Race Expos.  What runner would turn that down?

One year, several years ago, he bought me this necklace.  He found an ad in the back on Runner’s World, picked it out himself and ordered it.  I love it – and the fact that he did it all by himself – and that it shows that he supports my longer runs!

Running Necklace

Here’s another story about how supportive he is.  When we built our restaurant in 2000 (we have a Dairy Queen) – he put a building behind it with a shower.  He did this so that I could run to work (about 10 miles) and be able to shower before starting work.  How cool is that!

And, as far as my streak is concerned, he has no problem with whatever I need to do.  He never complains when my alarm may go off at 3 – 4 in the morning when I have to get a run in before something that I have to take care of early during the day.  This has happened before family members’ surgeries, appointments, weddings, etc.

I know that I am totally blessed and lucky to have such a supportive husband.  It just breaks my heart when I hear that there are spouses that don’t support their running – let along if they run every day.

Hey, maybe they’ll let their non-supportive significant others read this and it could help!

Thanks for indulging me and letting me go on and on.  I’m just so happy to have my hubby in my life – over all – and especially for his support!

Run Happy!

Judy

Don’t You Love It When A Plan Comes Together?

Happy RunnerMonday was my scheduled long run.  Now, when I say a long run – I mean the longest run that I’d done for a few years.  If you’ve been keeping up – I’m getting back to my “usual” running.  I haven’t been able to train for a marathon for a few years and this is the year that I decided it was time to get back at it.

I picked the Outer Banks Marathon in November for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it’s a beach area.  I love the beach.  Doesn’t matter what time of year.  It’s my favorite place.  Then, the time of the year for the race.  I usually do a marathon in Florida during the winter – but, that means 2-3 months of cold long runs.  The first of November date should mean that the majority of my long runs will be in nicer weather.  (Yes, I’m a wimp).

Back to the story.  Monday was long run day.  Planned on doing 22.  I know that so many people don’t agree with doing more than 18 or 20 miles when training – but, I feel that you have to get used to the time on your feet.  I also feel that this is important for me since I’m just getting back to longer distances.

If you remember, last week I told you about my great shoe dilemma.  Here’s the link – in case you missed it.  http://www.thestreakingrunner.com/great-shoe-dilemma/

I decided to try the newer shoes.  Also, since I want to do a 50-miler next year – I decided that I needed a CamelBak.  I really liked my hand helds for water – but, after 3 hours – it gets a little old.  And, I don’t like anything around my waist.

So, for this run, I went out in fairly new shoes and my CamelBak.

The 22 miles went great!  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it felt!  And, the great shoe experiment was a success.  I’ll be wearing these in my marathon.  CamelBak – took a few miles to get used to – but, I really liked it!  Especially, with the 50 ounce capacity!  No stopping to refill!

All in all, it was a pretty terrific day!  22 miles done.  Feeling confident that I can go the distance in a month. (Yikes, a month today!)  Shoe dilemma is solved.  And, I have a new running gizmo that I like.

As they used to say on the A-Team – don’t you love it when a plan comes together!

Run Happy!

Judy

 

The Great Shoe Dilemma

running shoesAs of today, my next marathon is 36 days away.  This means at least 2-3 more long runs.  But, that’s not the problem.  My issue involves my shoes.

Most runners who run distances rotate 3-4 pairs of shoes at the same time. One of the major reasons is so that one pair dries completely before you run in them again.  And, I’m no exception.

Here’s my dilemma.  I’ve got one pair that I’ve done most of my long runs in.  They’re like a wonderful friend that I pull on and everything feels right.  But, these shoes have 350 miles on them right now.  I usually go about 400 – 450 on a pair of shoes before I retire them.

I’ve started another pair – same brand and model – and went for 10 miles in them.  Felt good.  Like a soon to be old friend!  :-)  (I’d wear one of the others that I’m rotating – but these feel better on longer runs due to a larger toe box).

So, here’s the problem.  Do I retire my old friends and save them for race day?  Or do I really start working these new ones and have about 100 – 150 miles on them for the race?  (And, yes, I know that I was goofy not to start them earlier!)

What to do…..what to do?   Any suggestions?

Run Happy!

Judy

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Starting To Run

running motivationWhen people start running they are very excited.  They know that they are embarking on a journey that will take them to better health, more energy and an overall better lifestyle.  However, this excitement can cause these new runners to do things that they shouldn’t do as they begin a running program.

The biggest mistake that I’ve seen new runners do is to try to run too much too soon.  They will head out the door and try to run 2 or 3 miles or more.  This will get a running program ended before it even had a chance to get started.

Actually, if you have not been doing anything and decide to start running – it may even be hard for you to even run 1 mile.

The best way to avoid the “too much, too soon” syndrome is for beginning runners to start off doing a walk/run process until they can run a mile without stopping. What this means is that you run so far, walk so far, etc. You continue with more running and less walking over a period of time until you reach the time you can run non-stop.

Another mistake that runners make when they begin running is to not properly pace themselves when they run. They are excited about running and will just take off almost at a sprint. Then they will inevitably run out of steam after just a little while and be so winded that they will think that running is just not for them. To avoid this – just remember to start out slowly and pace yourself over the time that you are running.

When you begin a running program – it is important that you are wearing good shoes. Running shoes are the most important piece of equipment that a runner has. If you try to run for any period of time in shoes that are not made especially for running – you risk becoming injured. You need to have the support and cushioning that running shoes have.

Running is a simple sport – but, it is so important to start correctly.  A running coach can help you to get started correctly.  I love to help runners get started on the right road – pardon the pun!  If you are interested in beginning a running program – or know someone else who is – please check out my coaching site at http://runhappycoaching.com.  I also have a program at http://walktorunprogram.com that can help you get started.

 

Don’t Hate The Porta-Potty!

Porta PottyThe Porta-potty.  It’s something that doesn’t have it’s praises sung very often – but, it should!

If you’re a runner and have run a race – I know that you’ve visited one.  Probably even more than once.

First of all, I’m not a germaphobe.  Going to a porta-potty doesn’t bother me.  Yes, I know, after so long they don’t smell the greatest.  Well………if I don’t get to one – I may not smell the greatest, either!  I’ve visited so many bushes during long runs – I see the porta-potty for the wonderful travelling toilet that it is!

My hubby and I used to have season tickets to Virginia Tech home football games.  One of the people that we went with refused to go to the bathroom anywhere while we were there.  We got there super early to tailgate – and she would not use the potties in the parking lot.  She also would not use the toilets in the stadium.  I really don’t know how she did it.  (I wish that I had her bladder during my long runs).

We have a cruise in at my hubby’s garage a few times a year.  People who have cars that they show come by, we fix burgers, etc. and have a nice time.  Hubby also gets a really nice porta-potty that he sets up.  He always gets the ones with the sanitizer inside and the sink outside.  It amazes me that some people with go over to a fast food restaurant or convenience store to use their bathroom instead of using our outside john.

The funny thing is – have you been in some convenience store bathrooms where you’d rather be in a nice porta-potty?  I know I have!

Maybe all the years that I’ve been running and racing has made me appreciate the wonderful porta-potty.  They really don’t bother me.  And, there’s been a few races where they were a VERY welcome site on the course! What would you’d do if they didn’t have these wonderful, big blue boxes at the races?  I think that we all should be a lot more appreciative of them!

Run Happy!

Judy

Review of “Marathon” by Hal Higdon

Marathon by Hal HigdonFirst of all, I’m a big fan of Hal HIgdon.  I’ve been reading his “stuff” for many years.  And, I am also a fan of his training programs.  I love how he helps runners of all abilities reach their goals.

But, I could kick myself for not knowing about this book earlier. Marathon was published in 2009.  I didn’t find out about it until just a couple of months ago.  Better late than never – and boy, am I glad it wasn’t never!

Marathon is a fictional book about the goings on of a big city marathon.  The main story is about the race director.  If anyone has ever directed a race – there’s so much that you need to keep your finger on. This book tells the story of race directors and their problems quite well.  This race director had to deal with some major weather problems, celebrity runners, a ghost from his past, etc.

The book also has several subplots.  There are stories of a very famous person (Celebrity X in the book) and the trials with getting to the starting line, elite runners, a supermodel, a newscaster, running commentators, and more runners that are just trying to reach that finish line.

I really liked this book.  I loved reading everyone’s stories and how they all intermingled together.  It was fun to read about what was going on in the elite marathoners’ minds as they prepared and were running the race.

Marathon kept my attention all the way to the end.  It was one of those books that I couldn’t wait to get back to.

I did read the reviews on Amazon – and I feel that the negative ones seemed to forget a very important point.  This is a work of fiction!  Yes, some things happen in the book that will probably never happen in the real world – but, it made for interesting reading.  And, again – it’s fiction.

If you like to read – and you like to read about running – I highly recommend that you read Marathon.  It’s a really enjoyable read!

Marathon, by Hal HIgdon, is available for Kindle and in paperback.  You can find it at http://budurl.com/marathonbook.

It’s Perfectly Alright To Be Slower As You Get Older!

running as you get olderI’m writing this the afternoon after a morning 20-miler.  I’m thrilled to say that I got it done – and that I feel great!

As you’ve heard me say, I’m in the process of training for a marathon in November.  Due to “life”, I haven’t done a marathon for about 7 years or so.  I did 19 last week – and added another mile in the evening – but, there’s just something about hitting that magical 20 for the first time in training.

I’m feeling really good about my training – I’ve been adding a mile or two to my long run each week and then cutting back on the 4th week to about 1/2 of the long run.  It’s something that I read that Bill Rodgers did to help stay fresh and injury free – so, I figured I’d try it.  So far, so good.

It also feels good to be back over 40+ miles a week now.  With everything that had been going on for the past few years – it was hard to get in my usual mileage weeks (usually around 50).  I actually feel better and fresher with my mileage back up.

The only thing that kind of bugs me is that I’m considerably slower than I used to be.  But, I”m really OK with it – well……..I’m coming to deal with it!  :-)   I’m not quite as young as I used to be (mentally I am – but sometimes that gets me in trouble) and I know that I’m not going to run as fast as I used to.

My marathon PR is 3:37 – and I know that I’ll never see that again.  Heck, I may never break 4 hours again.  And, I am totally OK with that.  The important thing is that I’m still out here on the roads after all these years.   With this marathon, I really just want to finish – and finish strong.  Then, I’ll possibly work on a little speed for the next one.

Many runners get frustrated by how they get slower as they get older.  I’ll admit – sometimes it’s hard to deal with.  But, don’t feel bad – or get frustrated.  Our muscle fibers decrease in size and number as we get older – usually after the age of 40. It doesn’t affect all runners the same. It depends on many things such as heredity, how active you’ve been all your life, etc.  The important thing with running is not to compare yourself with anyone else.  As the saying goes, just keep running your own race!

And, if you’re like me and been running for many years – how many of those that you used to run with are still running.  I’m afraid that not many of my old running group are still out there.  That’s what my wonderful, supportive hubby keeps saying – “you’re still out there”.

So, don’t get frustrated if you are getting slower as you are getting older.  We’re still lacing up those shoes every day.  See ya on the roads at 90!

Run Happy!

Judy

I’m Not Giving Up My Pepsi

fuel for runningYes, I know that as I start writing this that I’ll be getting the usual comments – “cola is so bad for you”, it has no nutritional value”, “cola is full of empty calories”, etc.  All I have to say is Whatever!

First of all, I’ve been drinking Pepsi for more years than many of its critics have been alive.  I can remember as a kid – my parents would tell me that I could have my Pepsi after I finished drinking my milk.  I would chug my milk down so that I could have my Pepsi.

(Come to think of it – learning how to chug at that early age probably helped me as I chugged another beverage while I was in college! :-) )

Also, many of the Pepsi critics will wolf down a whole plate of cookies and then talk to me about how bad my habit is.  Seriously?

Anyway, yes, I do have a Pepsi habit.  But, I don’t drink coffee – I can’t stand the taste of the stuff.  So, I have to get my caffeine from somewhere.  And, I eat pretty well and I drink between 80 – 100 ounces of water a day – so, don’t use the argument with me that I should be drinking water instead.

And, then there’s the old – colas make you gain weight.  Uh, OK.  I’m pretty much the same weight that I’ve been since I left college.  Well, after losing the 20 pounds that I put on during college with the chugging of the other beverage that I talked about earlier.

Pepsi has also helped me through some tough races.  The Charleston 15-miler is a race that I used to run every year.  On the old course, the first 5 miles was run through some of the toughest hills in the city.  Then, the course was almost flat for the rest of the way.  My wonderful hubby would always be at the 7 mile mark with a Pepsi for me.  You can’t believe how well that tasted and the kick it gave me for the rest of the race.  Those running with me even noticed how I did better after that stop.  (It was a joke for years with my running friends about Hubby and my Pepsi stop!)

But, I feel that there is something to that.  Many ultra marathoners drink Pepsi or Coke during their races to get them through.  Not every stop – but, when they need a little extra kick.

And, after a long run, nothing tastes better to me than my Pepsi.  I’ve had water and Gatorade during the run – so, I’m all ready for my caffeinated beverage of choice when I’m done!

Alright, I’m ready.  Go ahead and bombard me with the comments about how bad my little habit is.  All, I know is that I’m 56 years old and in pretty good shape.  It can’t be all bad for me!

Run Happy!

Judy

 

Not What You Want To See On A Training Run

Last week, my hubby and I took some much needed time off and headed to the mountains.  Our life has been super crazy this year – and especially through the summer – so, it was really nice to get away.

We try to head to Tennessee (and The Great Smoky Mountains) each fall after Labor Day. Hubby shows his car at one of the car shows – and then we just spend the week doing a little R&R.  One day, is always special.  We take a picnic lunch and head to The Chimneys picnic area in the mountains.

Our picnic site in The Chimneys

Our picnic site in The Chimneys

We usually stay up there for several areas – just relaxing, reading, eating and napping.  It’s a nice way to forget about everything.  Oh yeah, side perk – no cell service!

The Great Smoky Mountains

From our picnic site

Now, to the topic of this post.  Another thing that I love about our fall in the mountains is a change of scenery for my runs.  Since we’ve been going there for so long – I’ve developed some routes that I love.

One morning, just after the sun came up, I was running up a side road.  And, there crossing the road was something that in all the years I’ve been going there (30+) – was something that I’d never seen before.  I’m still not sure what it was.  But, it looked like a scorpion.  I don’t know if they have them in Tennessee or not – but, that’s sure what it looked like!

Since I don’t carry my phone with me when I run, I wasn’t able to take a picture of it – but, I’m not sure I would have stopped to do so anyway!  :-)   This thing looked to be about 6 – 8 inches long, solid black and had pinchers like a lobster.  And, he was crawling right across the road.

This isn’t exactly what it looked like – the tail wasn’t quite that long – but, pretty close.  Needless to say, I hurried on up the hill and took another road back to the main one!

I asked several people who lived in the area what it might have been.  No one seemed to have any idea – and most had never seen anything like it.  Oh, well.  All, I know was that it was pretty freaky and I’d be perfectly happy if I never come across it again!

Run Happy!

Judy

With Marathon Training You Just Never Know

marathon trainingCurrently I’m in the process of training for the Outer Banks Marathon in November.  I’m looking forward to it because I haven’t been able to run a marathon in 7 years.  This has been due to family “stuff” – Mom’s illnesses, Daddy passing away, Hubby’s surgeries, etc.  But, this is the year to get back on track!

I picked the Outer Banks Marathon for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I love the beach.  I love running in a beach area – and I just love sitting watching (and listening) to the ocean.  I know that I’m a little boring – but, I absolutely love to just sit on a balcony overlooking the ocean and reading a good book. Yep, how exciting am I!  :-)

The other reason reason was so I could get most of my training done during nice weather.  As I get older – I hate colder weather.  Period.  I used to do a marathon in Florida in January or February – but, I’ve cut them back to a half.  It’s a mental thing – but, it’s easier for me to do 13 miles in the cold while training rather than 20-22.

(But, yes, I am heading back to Key West for Half Marathon in January.  That race is a keeper on my calendar!)

So, here I am in the midst of training.  Have you ever trained for a marathon?  Sometimes, training gets a little hinky.  This year, I was building up my long runs one mile to two miles at a time each week – just as I always did.  One week, it was all I could do to get through my 14 miler – even though the week before I got through a 14 with flying colors.

I decided to do what some coaches (and Bill Rodgers) say and decided to back off every 4th week.  My long run the next week was 10 that went fine.  The next week – 15 went great!  Absolutely felt super.

Aha, my new plan is working.

Two weeks ago, it was my back off week again and I went out for 10 miles.  Felt not so great.  The next week – 18 with no problem – and feeling great.  Go figure.

Marathon training is interesting.  You just never know.  But, if you do have a bad run – just shake it off. There’s always another day and a better run!

Run Happy!

Judy