Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's I Run Long 7 Month FB Page Anniversary & Giveaway!!!

7 Months!!!
Good morning, friends.  Today is the 7 month anniversary of the I Run Long page!!!  Starting this page is one of the best things I've ever done.  It has been so much fun gaining new running friends and supporters from all over the world. Since it's the page anniversary, I am doing a giveaway via LOVE CRAZY DESIGNS and you can find her on facebook.   Giveaway details at the end of the blog.

Before the facebook page, I started a blog to journal about my training and races.  I had been running 5K's and then the idea of training for a half begun and I wanted to be able to write down all the details of that journey.  I was going to be running even longer and after trying to come up with a name that was easy to remember, I Run Long was born.  Wish now I could have just made it Running Long, LOL, but anyways.  

Looking at the training plan and seeing all the miles I was going to have to run was so unreal to me, especially coming from being a sprinter and cross-country athlete in high school to running a few 5K's as an adult.  I thought a 400 meter dash was long in my high school days and here I was attempting to run longer than a 5K!  I also wanted to make sure that I shared about races and my times, what events I ran, etc. or I would forget!  Anyways, I was new to running again and was excited about starting again!  You know when you're excited about stuff and you want to just share with everyone, so, starting the running blog was a great way to help with that and to have others share their journey with me as well. I then started a I Run Long group page, but had a hard time getting that going. I started another page mainly to get ex-high school track runners back to running again and that was better, but I thought about just starting the I Run Long facebook page.  I wanted to reach not just ex-runners, but people starting out with their running, people running 5K's, half marathons and more.  I also wanted more feedback from readers, so anyways the page was born November 27th, 2012. 

Since the page has started It has been wonderful.  So many people don't get the support from family and friends and I'm so sorry.  You will find the support at I Run Long.  It's okay if they don't want to run or find it interesting, but if anyone reading this is one of those people who have no interest, please support your friends and family.  They are trying to get healthy.  If there's that little, tiny thought of giving it whirl, do it.  In fact, start with walking and go from there.  Don't say you're not a runner.  Anyone can run!  It doesn't have to be fast.

I've gotten to hear about so many of your experiences, amazing running stories, people who have been inspired by others who they have witnessed the drive and determination of their friends and family and felt motivated to do so as well.  It has been exciting to see many of you go from doing a 5K to wanting and doing a half marathon, something you and never thought we'd do, but we did it!  With training YOU can do anything you want.  I'm here to help motivate and encourage you to keep pushing forward, go run, small or long run, just move!  I enjoy the accountability on the page.  You all have inspired and motivated me.  I've had my lazy days or days I just didn't make the time to be active.  It will take time for a lot of us to get into the groove, but we must keep active by doing something, running, biking, swimming, yoga, spin class or whatever.  Let's keep motivating and inspiring each other.  We all need that.  It pumps us up, right?

I'm thankful for other pages that helped me get my page out there and many of you readers who shared with your friends and family about my page.  It has grown so quickly, more than I ever thought it would, so thank you.  The page would not be what it is without you.  I enjoy meeting new readers and learning more about their race history and everyday life as well.  Thank you for sharing with all of us at I Run Long.  Looking to help get more and more people out there to run and you all keep doing what you're doing...keep motivating and inspiring others.  I look forward to many more awesome months with you all!!!-fRAN


A big thank you to 
LOVE CRAZY DESIGNS for making this custom unisex 26.2 (numbers 2/3 inch) on silver and attached to distressed leather bracelet just for one lucky winner! Who wants to win it?  be sure to check out her amazing page.  She designs some pretty awesome jewelry and her photos are so pretty!

1. Since LOVE CRAZY DESIGNS is offering a gift for this giveaway, Go and LIKE LOVE CRAZY DESIGNS & tell them I Run Long sent you and comment in the comment section below that you did so so I can put your name in the entry.

 2. For another entry, invite a friend/family member to my fb page, I Run Long and have them "like" my page and have them put "sent by" (your name).  When they like my page, it will show up as new like on my page, but they have to be sent by so you get the credit/entry put in.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway starts June 27th, 2013

A name will be put in a jar and one winner will be chosen. 

The gift will be sent to a U.S. mailing address.

Winner will be chosen Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Once winner is announced, you must respond with mailing address within 3 days or another name will be drawn.  If you miss out, I'm sorry, that is just one of the rules and someone else will get the gift.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Second Marathon Training Time!!!

Second Marathon Training Begins!

Who would have thought that this (me) ex-high school 100, 200 and 400 meter dash sprinter would become a marathoner....CRAZY!!!

Well, after completing my first marathon April 28th, 2013, I knew within an hour that I wanted to run another marathon regardless of the burning that was happening in my legs and being hot from running in 85 degree weather that day!  I didn’t know at the time that it would run another 26.2 within the same year though!  First of all, I had said I would run just ONE marathon just to say I did it.  How many times have you heard people say that???  Well, my first marathon experience was so awesome.  It was an honor to run in honor of those lost in the Oklahoma City Bombing and to run with thousands of others who were doing the same thing was priceless and just a few short weeks after the Boston Bombing.  The course at OKC Marathon was GREAT, the crowd support was AWESOME and shortly after the race I knew that I would run another and knew that I would be back to Oklahoma City to run their memorial run again!

 It’s not even been two months since I have learned of where and when I’d run my 2nd marathon.  I believe it will be the Bass Pro Marathon held in Springfield, MO in November.  I ran their half marathon last November and that was a great run, great course and great crowd support so I can imagine what the full will be like...nice! 

Since running my first full, I've had the opportunity to be a pacer at our local Joplin Memorial Run.  That was my first race since the marathon and I really enjoyed it!  I met nice people, Jennifer, Rob and a sweet kid who ran next to me most of the race.  Poor kid got injured tripping over a curb and could not finish the race.  Hope to meet him again one day.  He had such the go-getter attitude and he is only 12 years old!


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Deena Kastor
Deena Kastor, considered one of the top American long distance runners, will be our speaker for the Joplin Memorial Run
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Friday May 17th. Make your reservations now to hear this amazing athlete! Register Here

Meet Your Pacers 

Checkout the Rufus Racing crew who will be your pacers for the 2013 Joplin Memorial Run this weekend! 

2:04:30- 9:30 min mile Fran Johnson
I'm Fran! Wife,athlete mom of three and assistant track coach at CHCS. I have enjoyed being back to running for the last 1 1/2 years. I have completed 3 half marathons, one full marathon & many other races in the last 9 months. I look forward to participating in many more races! See you on race day!

My training sort of started last week.  We’re about 19 weeks left until race day.  I don’t really have a training schedule, just like the first time, but just mainly doing what I did last time, which was running what I could when I could.  I increased my long run by a mile each week until I had reached 20 miles.  I do have a family and their busy with their sports too, so I’m training around their schedules.  I’ll be running about 40-45 miles a week once I get going good and maybe 25-30 starting out again.  My longer runs will be on Thursday and Saturday or Thursday and Sunday with shorter runs on three of the other days.  I’m excited!!!  

I have gone crazy drinking a lot of coffee and not eating my best since doing my 1st marathon.  I have been spending a lot of time at the ballparks of my kid's games and found myself eating hot dogs and zero candy bars.  The coffee is not a problem and it’s actually good to have as a runner, but my problem is that I use way too much French Vanilla creamer and I have been drinking about 3-4 cups most days..two in the morning, a cup in the afternoon and a cup before bedtime.  No, the coffee doesn't keep me awake at night, LOL!  I’m still drinking my water.  I’m motivated to ease up on the coffee while I train for my marathon.  I’ve got this!  I love eating salmon and veggies, spaghetti (simple, but my favorite meal) and drinking smoothies.  It’s what I ate and drank the most during training the first time.

I think training the second time around will be a lot easier.  I know what to expect, knowing how my body will handle the training.  I do want to be even stronger the second time around.  Looking back at what I’ve done so far, I know I can push harder and focus on my breathing.  I am motivated to qualify for Boston, but it’s not my main focus.  I want to get a better time than my first which was 4:21:40 and if it happens to qualify me for Boston, that will be a bonus.  I’m not that far off from what I need to run to qualify for my age group (40-44), so there’s time in the near future to reach that goal.  Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me that I can get that with no problem.  I can’t believe I’m actually doing another marathon in the same year!  Below is the 2014 Boston Qualifying times;

 Boston Marathon Qualifying Times for 2014
With the exclusion of the Olympics and various Championship races, the Boston Marathon is the only marathon in the USA that maintains qualifying times and requirements. While the specific requirements change from year to year, the requirements generally state that a runner must have completed a qualifying marathon within the year and a half before the upcoming Boston Marathon.
All participants must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the B.A.A., USA Track and Field or foreign equivalent, International Paralympic Committee, Wheelchair Sports, USA, Disabled Sports, USA, and the United States Association for Blind Athletes. Qualifying times must be met in competitions observing these same rules. Proof of qualification must accompany the application.
•For the 2014 Boston Marathon, qualifying times must be run on or after September 22, 2012
•The acceptance of official race entrants will be based on qualifying time, with the fastest qualifiers (in relation to their age and gender) being accepted first until the race is full
•All qualifying times are subject to review and verification
•All standards below are based on official submitted net time
•All standards below are equal to the 2013 Boston Marathon qualifying standards
•The qualifying times below are based upon each athlete's age on the date of the Boston Marathon in which they are participating
Open (Classes 3 & 4)
Quad (Classes 1 & 2)


The qualifying time is 5:00 hours for visually impaired athletes (men and women) classified T11, T12, and T13.
Individuals with permanent physical impairments that affect their ability to ambulate and would not otherwise qualify for entry in other divisions may be granted the following extended qualifying times:
The qualifying time is 6:00 hours for individuals who, because of the nature of their disability, have difficulty ambulating.
The qualifying time is 8:00 hours for individuals who, because of the nature of their disability, need mobility aids such as prosthetics, leg braces or crutches to ambulate.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Running Safety Tips!

It's summer. That means warmer weather, more daylight, people out and about enjoying the sunshine—it has to be safer to run outdoors, right? Wrong.
Generally speaking, yes, it is safer to run when it's light out, as opposed to when it's dark, but there's something that happens to most of us during daylight—we feel invincible. And this is just as hazardous as running by ourselves at midnight on a poorly lit street.
According to a UNIFEM report, one in three American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her. If you find this shocking, it is. 
If you're wondering what it has to do with running, I'll tell you that assailants are no longer waiting for the cover of night to strike. They will surprise you in the early hours of morning, during a midday trail run, or abduct you from the streets of your neighborhood. Just ask the five bay area women threatened while running a popular trail; or the woman who jumped over a cliff in Malibu to escape her attacker, or even Candice Moncayo who escaped Chelsea King's killer.
It can happen and we want you to be safe. Below are some of the best tried and true safety tips from police officers, EMT's, and other safety experts.

1) Do Not Run Alone

I know, it's so simple, but it works. Two people are harder to control than one, so attackers are less likely to strike and if they do, you've just doubled your chance of survival. If you don't have someone to run with, get a dog. Or borrow a dog. Not only does it make you a less attractive target, dogs can sometimes sense danger before we can. Please note: the dog factor only works if your dog is bigger than a breadbox, otherwise, you might as well have a small child with you.

2) Do Not Run With Earphones

Again, this isn't rocket science. When you have loud music blaring in your ears, you can't hear a potential attacker come up behind you and it also slows your reaction time. Most of us runners have the bad habit of tuning out while we run. I do it—it's why most of us put our shoes on every day, and consistent loud music makes it easier to escape from the hyper-alertness of our everyday lives.  But when we dull our senses, we are less effective in the case of a surprise attack. If you must run with music, only use one earpiece, and switch ears during your run.

3) Alter Your Route

This tip is not only for those with crazy ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. When we run the same route, or the same two routes, day after day, it not only makes us easy targets for stalkers, we also have a tendency to zone out. Altering your route makes you harder to track and keeps you more alert during your run because you are navigating unfamiliar terrain.  The more alert you are, the more likely you are to escape an attack. 

4) Run Against Traffic

It makes it harder for someone to abduct you in a vehicle if you see the coming, literally a mile away.  This also helps prevent traffic related accidents, especially if you like to run in the early morning or at dusk.

5) S-I-N-G

Anyone who saw the charming Sandra Bullock movie, "Miss Congeniality," will remember her demonstration of self-defense at the beauty pageant talent show. "Remember to sing," is her line and it stands for four vulnerable parts of a person: solar plexis, instep, nose, groin.  If you are attacked from behind self-defense experts tell you to elbow your attacker in the stomach, stomp on their instep, turn and shove the heel of your hand up their nose, then knee their groin. This often sounds easier than it is, so try to take a self-defense class about every five years to keep the concepts fresh and your reaction time quick. 
You can check in with your local community college or police department for available classes.

6) Carry Runner's Mace

I once heard an EMT say, "Of all the assault calls I've been on, not one of the victims was carrying mace." This tip is conditional because mace and pepperspray are not legal in every state, but if it is legal for you to carry it, do. Runner's mace is a small can (3/4 oz) that has a velcro strap that fits easily around your hand or wrist. It is effective up to eight to 12 feet away—depending on aim—and one burst is usually enough to stop someone. 
The 3/4 oz. canister has approximately 10 bursts. An ex-army trainer has one tip on using mace: buy more than one can and practice using it during your run and right afterwards. Physical exertion, especially intense physical exertion, takes a lot of blood away from our brain and thus has a detrimental effect on our ability to think and aim. If you are going to carry a weapon while you run—yes, mace is a weapon— then you should know how to use it effectively. 
Know how a run affects your body and mind, and how to compensate for this.
Bottom line, don't be an easy target, be aware of your surroundings, listen to your instincts and know what to do in the case of an attack.  If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Listen to that squeamish sensation in your stomach, stop, look around and find the quickest exit towards civilization.   

If mapping new routes is too time consuming, use websites like to find ready made runs in your area.