Can I do a split, Negative but I can do Negative Splits!

Happy Thursday. Yesterday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and this morning I ran 6.2 miles on the treadmill. I’m taking a well deserved day off tomorrow. 🙂

Instead of my typical run today, I ran negative splits.

I love negative splits but it took me some time to learn how to do them properly and to get used to them. Once I did, they helped me to improve my endurance and speed on my long runs and I credit them for my pr in the half marathon this year.

Running Negative Splits

In case you’re not familiar with them, negative splits are when you run the second half of your race, training run, etc, faster than the first half.

The reason negative splits work is because it can take your body several miles to get warmed up and for your muscles to get charged, your joints lubricated, and endorphins to flood your system and once that happens you can run faster without feeling any additional effort.

Anyone can benefit from running negative-splits but I found it even more beneficial when training for half marathons or longer races.

Because of the summer heat, I’m not running as far as I normally would so this morning I ran a 10K training run and I practiced my negative splits. I ran the first half in 30 min and the second half in 28:41.

I started out running a 9:40 pace and then after the first half I gradually sped that up to around 9:15. I finished the second half in 1:19 faster and it felt great.

The biggest challenge of the negative split run is to figure out what your starting pace should be. You don’t want to start out too slow or too fast. I ran negative splits for quite a few weeks before I narrowed it down so practice is the key in my book.

So, when running a negative split, you start slow and gradually build speed as you near the middle of your run. Try to hit your race place or as close to it as you can and when you get toward the end if you have some reserve, kick it in high gear and run full out.

Do you run negative splits? How often?

An embarassing post about peeing my pants because I like you

Happy Tuesday to ya!

This morning I ran 5 miles on the treadmill. I felt great after. In fact I was going to write something about that run and why I felt great after but then something happened and it inspired me to write about something entirely different and ultra embarassing….the post that needed to be written. When I was out walking the dogs this morning one of the ladies in the neighborhood commented on my running skirt and how cute it was and asked if there was a reason I’m always wearing skirts….well, there is.

running skirt

Five years ago, I signed up for my very first 5k race. I was pretty excited about it because while I have run off and on for years, this was my very first foray into competitive racing and I felt completely prepared for it. My hubby and the Kid were there to cheer me on and I was nervous but I felt confident. I lined up at the start, humming aloud as usual waiting for the gun and then, BANG, we were off. I felt good, I felt fast and I felt light….and then I felt wet. Oh My God! I totally just peed my pants! How could that be? I went to the porta potty twice in 30 minutes before the start. I didn’t feel like I had to go? I didn’t even realize it happened.

Should I run off into the woods and hide? Should I run the other way and when I’m out of sight call MacGyver to pick me up? Or should I just run faster and hope that it dries before the finish? I chose the latter option and that’s probably the reason I placed third in my division because up to that point I had never run that fast in my life…ever…period.

Running for Bronze

The following Monday I called my doctor and informed her that I must have a tumor pressing on my bladder because that’s the only possible explanation. She laughed, hard. She then informed me that if you’re a woman and you run or perform any type of physical exertion that puts pressure on the bladder, it can cause you to leak urine. In fact 30%-40% of women actually suffer from exercise-induced urinary incontinence. In other words, it’s quite common for a woman to pee her pants while running. ‘Are you sure?’, I asked. ‘Yes’, she said, ‘and you just happen to be one of them.’

So what causes it?

Stress incontinence is the most common form of incontinence in women. It often occurs after pregnancy when the muscles and connective tissue around the bladder and urethra weaken or stretch out. Any increase or sudden pressure on the bladder and bam, you pee. It can also be caused by the effects of aging. Another cause is prolapse. Childbirth, aging, prolapse, three strikes, I’m out!

The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor to find out what causes it and what you can do to alleviate or eliminate it.

My problem is caused mostly by prolapse. You see, I live in Clearwater but my uterus lives in Key West somewhere. This is probably due to the fact that when the kid was born, he hung out in the birth canal for around 36 hours deciding to wait til Christmas evening to show up just in time for dinner and he hasn’t changed much over the years. Anyway, childbirth is a common cause.

prolapse

It also probably didn’t help that as I child I would often ‘hold it in’ just until I was about to burst because I was too shy to ask for a hall pass. You would think that would be the first thing I would do after my first grade experience. I’m pretty sure I peed my pants at least once a week for a solid year. Poor Mrs. Cates got so used to cleaning up my little ‘mess’ she named the mop after me.

Anyway, back to the current day. One of the best things that my doctor told me to do was kegel exercises. They really do help. You can also try timed voiding. That’s when you go to the bathroom on a schedule such as every hour. For women who need a little more help, there are support devices, such as a pessary which will help to keep your bladder in place and, if your symptoms are really severe, there are surgical options. My sister had surgery and her problem is gone. I can’t help but be a little jealous but I’m not quite ready for surgery yet.

You may still suffer from occasional stress incontinence and there are some things you can do to help avoid any embarrassment. I wear a running skirt during almost all of my races. I just feel more comfortable knowing that it helps to hide the obvious. Panty liners are also a good investment and they help a bit as well. You can also visit the porta potty up to the very last minute. It helps me if I lean over a push a bit on my lower abdomen, just to make sure it’s completely empty. And don’t forget your kegel exercises.

But please remember, as a runner, it’s so very important not to become dehydrated, so don’t let this problem affect your hydration and make sure you drink enough water! I’d rather pee my pants than to become dehydrated and perform poorly, seriously I have no problem with that.

You can learn more about stress incontinence here.

At the end of that 5K race 5 years ago, I proudly walked up to the race director and accepted my bronze medal for third place in my division. It could have been the last medal I ever won or the last race I ever ran but instead I chose to learn more about stress incontinence and what I could do about it. I didn’t give up on running and I’m so thankful for that and I don’t want you to give up on running either. It’s very common and it happens to a lot of us. Don’t let it hold you back. Besides if I gave up on something every time I peed my pants, I’d be a zombie by now.

So tell me, would you write something this embarrassing on your blog?

The mini vacay is over.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaack. The mini vacay is over. *sigh That’s okay though because we’re going back in about 10 days! Nice. I’m spoiled, I know.

I did manage to get a few runs in while on vacation. Saturday I ran 9 miles on the Legacy Trail and Sunday, I ran 5 miles on the Venetian Parkway Trail. I would have run more but well, we had some very important things to do:

boating in Venice

You know they’re totally saying, ‘Mom, can we jump in yet?’ because 5 seconds after I said, do you wanna go swimming, they were already across the Bay. Gotta love em.

I was really looking forward to riding my paddleboard but every time I turned around MacGyver was jackin it:

Paddle board thief

My husband is a paddleboard thief, really. Guard yours if he is in the vicinity.

We went to dinner Saturday night. For some reason I was craving Applebee’s so that’s where we went.

Dinner at Applebee's

Somebody needs a hair salon stat! Got any ideas? I’m clueless when it comes to my hair.

Our waiter reminded me of this guy:

Sunday, it was back to the boat. Hank absolutely loves to fish with daddy:

Dachshund who fishes

He’s trying to score some bait fish and I believe he scored around 3 before the day was over.

Boomer just watches me fish until I catch one and then he tries to eat it off the line:

Fishing with my black lab

The kid even made an appearance this weekend. He was in Bradenton for a movie on Saturday so he went to Bentley’s in Nokomis afterward and brought me and MacGyver some of the best calories ever! We love Bentley’s and we go there way more than we should but if you are ever in the Venice, Florida area, more specifically, Nokomis, check them out. You will think you have died and gone to ice cream heaven.

We left a little early on Sunday because Hank wasn’t feeling too well. (Probably from all the bait fish he stole.)

I got up this morning and ran a quick 3.1 on the treadmill. I ran the first mile in 8.5 minutes but I couldn’t hold that pace for the next 2.1 so I slowed it down and finished in 28:09. I either take Mondays off or I do a short run on Monday and Tuesday. Since it’s been so hot, I’m running shorter distances but doing so more often. It works for me but I also play it safe and if I feel I need to rest, I do.

So, that was my quick recap of the weekend, what did you do this weekend?

Do you take mini vacay’s? How often?