Kayla’s Running Analysis

As some of you may remember, I had some hip/groin issues during the end of my marathon training. I went to physical therapy at Campbell Clinic here in Memphis. I had two great PTs Nicole and Phillip!

Toward the end of my therapy, they told me about this really great service their clinic offered, a running analysis. Of course, my first thought was Amy Schumer in Trainwreck when she visits Bill Hader at his clinic.

It was not like this, but I will say that every time a doctor tells me to walk normal, I strut for like a split second and have to remind myself I’m not Beyonce!

Instead! It was a wireless system that the analysis guru stuck on my shins that would communicate with a pager like device I carried in my pocket while I ran around the block for about 30 minutes.

 

The analyst, Drew, also watched me run for a bit to notate any physical markers the system might not track. When I got done running for 30 mins, Drew took the pager and connected it to the computer to get the details about my awesome running skills!

IMG_3189Then I was given a ton of information, that made me go huh?! But Drew was great in explaining. My cadence, which is steps per minute, is slow but this doesn’t mean I am slow. It just means that I do not open my stride wide to get more steps in per minute. I take about 100-120 steps per minute and I have an average speed of 6mph.

I favor my right side, which makes sense since I am always injured on my left side. In the photos below you can see that the time I spend with my left foot on the ground is more than the right. Some suggestions he had for this first eval was that I can download a metronome app for running that would help me increase my cadence and stride. This will also help the time I spend from foot to ground to back up. Like, I said, a lot of information!!

 

I had to come back for the final eval which included Drew watching my form on squats, push ups, wall sits, shoulder rotation, neck rotation, trunk rotation and more. All of this information is put into the system and then you are given an at home training plan through the Fusionetics app. Which is really cool.

They give you specific exercises to strengthen your weaknesses. They focus on the area you originally came into physical therapy for. So for me, the hip and groin area. Then they give you exercises to stretch, strengthen and stable your weak areas. They also make you foam roll! And each exercise comes with a video you can watch.

 

 

So all of this is sent directly to the app on your phone. It syncs with your calendar so you know what days you are supposed to be doing it. And the goal is to make a routine you commit to BEFORE running or working out. Which if you know me, you know I am bad about!

So I had to go buy some things, foam roller, resistant bands, exercise ball (which I still need!). I am trying to change my routine to carve out ten minutes before a run to do the stretches and exercises. Since I run at work I was told that you can split up the exercises. Do the static stretches and strength stuff before the run and then the ones that require props, do that evening at home. You can make it work for your schedule.

Now while it seems like a lot and you do have to change your routine I said something to the analysis like “How can I fit this all in?!” He said, “It’s only ten minutes once you get the hang of it. And think about all the time you spent in physical therapy, you don’t really want to come back here do you?!” Touché, Drew, touché.

So huge thanks to the crew at Campbell Clinic for keeping me in tip top shape. Now if I could stop hurting myself when I am not running! *cough* kickboxing *cough*

With healing,

Kayla

How Unicorns Run Far

We have made it to November, meaning one month until we toe that start line and put all of our training to the test! Now that we are up to 17, 18, 20!!! mile runs, we thought we would share our long run routines. We thought it would be interesting to share the differences between our routines. If you didn’t know, not all runners are the same. We’d also love to hear about your long run routines! So leave us a comment when you’re done reading.

Okay, so this first part is how Kayla preps for a long run. I thought about referring to myself in third person but I think that would be weird.

I usually wake up an hour before sunrise to give myself time to get ready. So the first thing for me is COFFEE! I take about 15 minutes to drink my coffee and scroll through the social world. Then I make myself something to eat while I finish up my coffee.

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This is my absolute favorite pre-long run breakfast. When I don’t have this, I like to have a toasted peanut butter and jelly. It’s important for me to get enough on my stomach to give me some energy but not too much where I am feeling full.

Next, I make sure to Glide Up! Is it too much information to talk about the chaffing of running? Probably, but it’s reality. This training cycle I found out I can chaff under my arms where it rubs against my shirt. So weird! Just thought my thunder thighs were the issue!

 

Another reason, I have to wake up before the sun is so that I can take my water bottles out to my running route and drop them off. I live in a pretty rural part of Tennessee and do not live around any running trails. (I am pretty jealous of Sarah’s convenient Green Line! Even though I get some great nature shots!) Anyways, I take two water bottles out, one to the halfway mark and one to the two mile mark.

I also carry my handheld water bottle with the strap with me. When I get to my other water bottles, I refill with some nice ice cold water. They make for pretty good rest stops!

Last but not least, I take my first nutritional gel. I used to use Gu Energy Gel but recently I have switched to Huma Plus Energy Gels. They are more natural, lighter on my stomach and seem to give me more of an extra boost. I take my gels at the top of every hour. I have also learned that I need some type of electrolyte drink during the really long runs. So I try to have Gatorade mixed in my waters at the pit stops. This nutritional routine is what has worked best for me. But like I said, everyone is different!

And then finally! I am ready to run! I would love to hear about other’s long run routines. Leave us a comment!

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Kayla and I are perfect examples of how runners can be completely different.

Here’s my long run preparation check list:

The day before a long run:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Stretch
  • No alcohol at all
  • Eat a carb loaded dinner- now that I am eating gluten free this meal usually contains rice, or potatoes.
  • Charge my wireless headphones!!! – I Always forget to charge my headphones the night before so I usually wake up in the middle of the night and remember to charge them or plug them in as soon as I wake up.
  • Get a good night’s sleep

The morning of a long run:

  • I wake up about an hour before I want to start my run
  • stretch
  • make sure headphones are charging lol because I probably forgot to plug them in the night before
  • Eat a granola bar- the best for me is the Kind brand.kind bar
  • Go to the bathroom – a definite must!!
  • Apply Glide to chaffing prone areas
  • I can not drink much of anything before my run – helps me avoid having to go pee during the run
  • Eat an Energy Gel on the way to my run- I am currently still trying to find the best Energy gel for me. I have tried Gu, Huma, and now Hammer. All pretty good. Huma and Hammer contain more natural ingredients and are lighter on my stomach.
  • I make sure I bring enough Energy gels with me on my run- I consume an Energy gel about every 5 miles.
  • I bring my handheld water bottle with the strap with me on my runs. I refill my water bottle with the water fountain at the beginning of Shelby Farms Green Line and at the Tap Routes along the green line.
  • tap route2  tap route

After the long run:

  • stretch
  • refuel immediately- meaning lots of water, Gatorade, and FOOD!
  • post results on Social Media because I am proud that I am I runner!greenline

-Sarah

How do you prepare for your long runs? Leave us a comment!

Waves

 

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Kayla and I recently took a trip down to the beach to celebrate our birthdays. It was amazing. I can still feel the ocean breeze and hear the waves crashing on the shore. I absolutely love the ocean. 

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ocean sakay

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Of course we had to run on the beach! ocean run

As I stand in the ocean, water all around me, waves crashing into me, I am at peace. The constant breeze, sound of waves crashing onto the shore, smell of salt water in the air and the sun on my skin. You look out on the horizon and see nothing but sea and sky. There is just something about the ocean that refuels my soul. As I reflect back on our ocean trip, I am reminded of all that the ocean has taught me. 

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As Kayla and I venture out into the sea, we are constantly hit with waves. Just as in life, waves, trouble, stress, chaos, hurt, pain can constantly keep hitting you. It can and will knock you down, especially if you are not looking forward, paying attention, and keeping focus on what is ahead. And if you get knocked down, the waves don’t stop, they keep coming. So you have to get up and prepare yourself for the next wave. If you keep walking further out into the sea, walking and pushing through the crashing waves, you will get to a place of calm. The waves are still there but are more calm and manageable. You look back and look at the chaotic waves crashing on the shore and see all that you pushed through and got through. Yet you realize can’t stay out at sea forever, you have to return to the shore. Your time of peace will not last forever. So you’ll have to venture back through the waves, but this time you are prepared, you know what to expect, and you are stronger. You push through the waves again and make it to the shore. The ocean, life, is less intimidating now that you’ve made it through the waves and back again. Now that you are stronger and wiser, you know you can make it through the waves again if you had to. 

ocean poem

Refueled and Renewed,

Sarah Burns

Running is Always There for Us

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to Kelly Roberts’ podcast  where she had Coach John Honerkamp as a guest. I have been tuning in to the ones he has been a part of because those episodes are specific to marathon training. Really good stuff, I highly recommend it if you are in a training process for a race.

On Episode 74 they specifically talk about when life gets in the way. He said something along the lines of “When you’re having that bad day or bad week, it’s okay to be selfish and take time for yourself. Running is always there for you.”

And damn! That just washed over me. Running is always there for you. It can be great therapy. It can be a way to refocus on a number of things in your life. When I have that quiet morning while the sun rises, it allows me to be grateful for the good in my life.

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I think it is time I just get it out there. Some people close to me know what I am going through right now, but most people don’t. I am currently in the process of getting a divorce. From my high school sweetheart. Although it is somewhat mutual and we both know this is for the best, it’s still really hard and sad to end an 11 year relationship.

So talk about life getting in the way… Sometimes I feel guilty taking the time to train while I know I need to finish painting my house, make sure the roofers show up, the lawn gets mowed and the weeds get pulled so we can get it on the market. But I need to run. I have to run. I think we have to figure out ways to balance training and life. Running isn’t easy and life definitely isn’t easy.

For example, this morning, I woke up to my pool completely drained therefore flooding my back yard. I just stood there, in the dark, like “Well, what the fuck now?!” Still have to go to work. Still have to get a run in. So I thought back to what Coach Honerkamp said and told myself, “Just run. Run through this.”

So that’s what I did. I pushed through a five mile run with too many thoughts spinning in my head. By the last mile, I broke down in tears. But I kept running. I cried on that last mile. It wasn’t pretty. But it helped cleanse my soul. A wise woman told me this morning that crying can heal us as long as we don’t linger there too long and let it render us helpless.

It also helped when Beyonce’s “Freedom” started playing during this break down. I mean, “I’m telling these tears, Go and fall away, fall away May the last one burn into flames.” “I break chains all by myself Won’t let my freedom rot in hell I’ma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” YASSS Queen. Listen below. Seriously, listen to this song!

During this time, I think one of the things I am most grateful for (besides my amazing family) is running. There have been mornings where I am so angry at the whole situation I knock out a 6 mile tempo run and know that this divorce isn’t going to kill me. There are mornings when I am so sad, that I slowly meander through a 5 mile run and even though it’s slow, I kept moving. It helps me know that this divorce isn’t going to drown me. There’s mornings where I have to run 10 plus miles and then immediately work on a house in order to sell and I know that this divorce will only make me stronger.

So I encourage the reader to find something to throw yourself into if you are going through a hard time. It can be running, painting, gardening, poetry, woodworking, or hell even sword fighting! Just find something that challenges you but also brings you peace. Find something that brings you joy even if it makes your heart want to explode! We are stronger than we think and our brains give up long before our bodies have to.

So I will leave you with a poem from a poet my heart connected with immediately, Rupi Kaur. Because this is not a pity me post. This is a soul cleansing one to show that I will get through this. I will get through this with running. I will get through this with my friends, my family and even the random readers of this blog by my side. Because I am strong.

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With determination and courage,

Kayla

100 Miles Later

I’ve been in the trenches of marathon training for a month now. I’ve ran 103.78 miles. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m hungry. All. The. Damn. Time.

I don’t know if I mentally blocked what training for a half marathon was like but this seems different. I am not even up to the super long distances. Next week I will be hitting 12 miles. Of course, 13 is the longest Sarah and I have ran so we are getting close to new territory. The level of hunger at 25 miles a week is literally ravishing. I can’t imagine what it will be like in another month. I want to eat all the foods!

Other than the never ending need to consume something delicious, the training is going pretty well. I have only skipped one run and one cross training session. I think it was from the sheer fact that training is exhausting. I don’t remember being this tired last time I trained. It may have to do with the fact I get up at 4:30 in the morning. But it comes with some beautiful sunrises, so it works out.

If you are ever thinking about running a marathon, just know, you will be tired and hungry. Very hungry. And sore. I have come to realize how important stretching is. If I do not stretch after a run, I will pay for it by the end of the week. I get horrible lower back pain. So I have been making sure to take the 15 minutes after a run to stretch it all out.

So far, this training has been a good way for me to focus on a goal. It’s been a good way to let my mind wander. I have been able to center my thoughts and focus on a path moving forward. A positive path that will allow me to move on. Training is hard and so is life. But I’ll get through it. And after I cross the finish line, I’ll eat and eat. And eat and eat and eat.

 

Don’t forget, all this training is for a great cause! The children of St. Jude! Donate today!

 

With love,

Kayla

The Marathon Training Officially Begins

Today is the day that our marathon training officially officially starts. I say officially twice because we kind of started last month in order to give ourselves room to miss a run or get in longer runs if we needed to. But today, July 17, is the day that our plan lines up with the date of the full marathon, December 2.

We wanted to share our plan with everyone. I, Kayla, simply Googled a first time full marathon training plan and found this one on Women’s Running. The plan explains what some of the terms mean like XT=Cross Train, H=Hilly Run aka DEATH!, EZ=EASY Effort and so on. Hopefully by sharing this plan with everyone we will hold ourselves more accountable. I know that when I have a structured plan I do much better than just running freely. Something about being able to cross the run off my calendar gives me a sense of accomplishment. Or I just like highlighting things!

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So there it is! So many miles! During this training, we are going to share with your our successes, our struggles, our funny stories, what we do to prepare, what we eat, how we fuel and more. As some of you may know, we are registered for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon which raises money for the Children’s Research Hospital here in Memphis. We are really proud to be raising money for this great cause. If you didn’t know, patients and families that visit St. Jude never receive a bill for the care they receive. This means that the hospital functions on donations. How amazing is that. At the end of this post, you can find both of our fundraising pages. We hope that you will donate to each of us. Any amount is helpful!

So, we may be crazy. And we may regret having to run more than 13 miles! But I know it is going to be worth it. I also know that it is going to be hard. A lot of people ask us what our goal is for the marathon. My goal is to finish it. I am not a fast runner. This is going to be an all day thing. Someone will need to carry me to food and beer! But I know that I want to say that I have run a full marathon. This may be my only one. I am glad I chose a local one that is for such a great cause. So don’t forget to donate!

Love,

Kayla

stjude marathon

So today may be the official first day of the training plan but I, Sarah Burns, am already on week 4. Now to be honest with you I have not followed the training plan exactly and I will not follow it exactly. And that it totally ok. Find a training plan you like then tweak it to fit you and your schedule. So on this training plan, I’m trying to focus on the miles. I’m not too focused the type of run (Ex: hills, easy, etc.). For my shorter runs throughout the week I run on trails at Shelby Farms Park (my favorite place) which contains several hills. Then on my long runs I usually run on The Green line (also at Shelby Farms) which is flat. I also TRY to include going to the gym at least twice a week.

My goal for this marathon is the same as Kayla’s which is to finish. We want to try to stay within an 11 minute to 12 minute pace but if that doesn’t happen we aren’t stressing about it. We want to say we ran a marathon and survived!

stjude how much does it take

I am just so excited to be able to participate in this awesome race. I absolutely love St. Jude and all that they do. I have a close friend with a daughter that regularly goes to St. Jude. So this hospital is very close to my heart. Not only do they not have to pay a cent, the staff at St. Jude is amazing. Always so nice, helpful, and truly cares for the patients. I am so glad that I am able to help support this amazing hospital. stjude marathon kid cheer

I was told that some of the patients come to cheer on the runners during the race! Wow that will be a site to see. I’m not sure if I should include bawling my eyes out during a run into my training plan in order to be more prepared! lol Please help us raise money for this amazing cause by using the links below! Every little bit helps and is appreciated! Thank you so much! Continue to follow our blog for updates on our marathon training mishaps and successes, life, and everything in between.

Love,

Sarah

Donate for Sarah

Donate for Kayla

Kayla Runs Washington

Another work trip, another place to run.

I traveled to Whidbey Island, Washington for another work trip. I visited Bangor, Washington last year and immediately fell in love with Washington. If you’re lucky, when you fly in to Seattle, the first thing you see is Mount Rainier from the plane. On this trip, I did not get to see the magnificent mountain in all its glory. That still does not take away from the beauty of this state.

IMG_1231.JPGWhen this is your view while flying in, you know the state will have even more to offer. The first chance I got to hit the road running, I did. I woke up with the sun on Tuesday morning and started heading toward the water. It fuels my soul. I was surprised that the Navy base had running trails with a view.

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Coming from the Memphis area where the heat is feeling like 105 degrees, it was a bit of a climate-shock having to run in 55 degree weather! I definitely did not pack appropriate running clothes for the chilly morning but thankfully I had my “plane hoodie” which of course was too heavy for running, but better than nothing.

Speaking of the Memphis area, if you are familiar with the community you might know about the 901 Rocks. It’s a movement taking over the 901 community to spread joy.  People paint rocks and hide them around Memphis so that other people can find them and smile. Talk about a surprise when I was running and came across a Whidbey Island Rock! It really was a sweet coincidence and made me smile so many miles away from the 901.

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As I was running along the water, I see a bird chilling on a post ahead of me. In my head, I think, “That looks like an eagle. But there is no way that’s an eagle cause when do you ever see one in the wild?” So as I get closer I come to realize, it is an eagle. And it stuck around for a picture! It actually stayed there the whole time I ran. It was like he was spending his morning just listening to the ocean. It encouraged me to turn off my music and take in the beauty around me.

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So my first running experience on the island was a success. My plan was to hit the bay again Thursday morning but some work issues arose and I had to skip it. Thankfully this wasn’t Memphis and I could run in the afternoon. Can you even imagine running in the afternoon in July?!

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is an aviation base. Which is why I was sent here! I came here to interview sailors that work on the Navy’s newest aircraft. So, running in the afternoon was a bit different than early morning because all the jets were flying around doing training. As I was running, I got the chance to see several aircraft in action. It’s always a nice reminder to see what our military is doing and know that this country is taken care of. I love my job and I am so glad I get to talk to sailors about their service. Pictured below is an old P-3C Orion plane, which probably means nothing if you aren’t in the service. Still cool to see while running.

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My Thursday afternoon run was a nice way to wrap up my running on the island. I listened to My Favorite Murder Podcast which actually made me cringe this time! I thought about how lucky I am to be able to travel for my job. I love getting the opportunity to run in new places. My family always worries about me but I cannot be afraid to go on adventures when I travel. I want to see the world. I want to experience all I can. I am so glad that running has given me that chance.

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I am glad that I get to share these experiences with you all. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my travels in Washington. Until next time!

With wanderlust,

Kayla