Friday, June 11, 2010

Sun Safety

Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer but people have been baring plenty of skin while running for weeks and I’m one of them. It’s hot and I’m trying to stay cool.

For me, when the clothes start to come off, the sunscreen goes on. I’ve faithfully used a sports sunscreen on my body for years but can’t say the same about my face. I did use a facial moisturizer with SPF but felt like I needed more protection. This year I decided I was going to find a sunscreen for face that was suitable for my active lifestyle. I wanted a sunscreen with a high SPF that wouldn’t run in my eyes or cause breakouts. There are several on the market but after trying a few, I choose Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF 55. It’s very water resistant and retains SPF after 80 minutes of activity in the water.

Regardless of the brand you choose, we all need to use screen. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1 million basal and squamous skin cancers are found each year and there are more than 68,000 new cases of melanoma. Since runners are out in the sun a lot, we need to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. I also slap on a hat or a visor and wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB light.

The skin on our faces is fragile. Not only do I want protection from skin cancer but the premature aging sun damage can cause. What type of sunscreen do you use and why?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Bugs Attack

April showers bring May flowers and bugs are definitely in the mix. All that rain we’ve experienced so far this year has provided the puddles and ponding necessary for a healthy bug population.

Lately when I’ve been running and riding, I’ve had to watch how I breathe to make sure I don’t swallow any bugs.

I had a particularly bad bug encounter last fall, about a month after I had moved to Northwest Ohio. I went running in a wooded preserve like I did every Wednesday but this time it was one day after a heavy rain. The bugs were out in full force. I had to cut my run short after a mile. I had bugs in my hair, in my eyes and all over my clothes. There were plenty of people out running but I couldn’t take it anymore. I went home and debugged in the shower. I learned my lesson and haven’t done that again.

Now that the weather has warmed up, the bugs are back. I’ve been breathing through my nose and really careful when I breathe through my mouth. If I do shallow one, at least I hear I’ll get some protein but I hope that doesn’t happen. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rock ‘n Roll San Diego Recap

13.1 miles in one of the most beautiful cities in the country – I’ll take it.

Rock ‘n Roll San Diego was a blast. While this was the first half marathon that I didn’t PR in, it was a very positive experience.

First – it was in San Diego. I love San Diego. The weather is great. The scenery is picturesque. There is plenty to do and see before and after the race and I tried to do it all. I went to Coronado. I went wine tasting. I went shopping. Need I saw more…

Second – my girls were with me. The ladies who initially helped shaped me as a runner. The ones who encouraged me to run with them even though I couldn’t keep up. The ones who told me I could run a 10K and they were right. The ones who told me I could run a half marathon and they were right again. I owe a lot to these women. We ran together every week for more than a year when I lived in California and did a fair share of races side by side. This was my first race with them since last year’s San Francisco Marathon – 1st Half. It was nice to share this experience together.

Third – it was my first Rock ‘n Roll race and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall it was well organized. The expo was great (although I was disappointed Race Ready wasn’t a vendor – I was hoping to purchase a pair of capri's). The start went smoothly. The finisher’s village was nice with a beer garden and food by P.F. Chang's.

Now back to my time and not setting a PR. I missed my goal by two minutes but I wasn’t disappointed. The last three half marathons I did, I shaved 4 – 5 minutes off my time during each race. I figured it was a matter of time before I hit a plateau. This race was 6 weeks after my last half marathon. Now that I look back, I don’t feel like I trained as hard as I could have. I did several tempo runs but only one speed workout. I had a few low mileage weeks due to work commitments. I did feel good on race day. A friend decided to run with me to help me get to my goal. We went out strong but I ran out of steam around mile 11 and really had to push to get to the finish line, one minute slower than my PR. This race was definitely a learning experience – I got some pointers on my stride that I’ll have to try.

After resting for a few days, my plan is to change up my training routine. I want to cycle two days a week, have a weekly long run, a weekly tempo run and alternative weekly easy runs and speed workouts.

I don’t know what my next race will be. There are a lot of options and I’ll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the journey. Happy running!

This is the last post in the Marathon Mondays series. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you.