FAQs from Readers

Several of you have been asking me several of the same questions, and instead of continuing to answer the same question multiple times, I thought it might be time to put together a FAQ post for all of you.  So here are your burning questions, and my answers to those questions!

How long have I been running?

I started running last March after being inspired by my husband and his completion of the 2013 Disney World Marathon.  To see the full story about how he inspired me be sure to check out my very first blog post.

My empty RunKeeper account, ready to start logging my miles!

My empty RunKeeper account, ready to start logging my miles!

What is my warm up/cool down routine?

On running days, I warm up by stretching for a couple of minutes and then I slowly build my speed up.  This is very easy to manage on the treadmill, and not so easy to manage when I’m running outside.  When running outside I typically find, especially lately with the winter weather and my inability to run outside as frequently as I’d like to, that I’m very eager to get going as quickly as possible.

I usually cool down with a cool down walk, followed by more stretching and foam rolling if my legs and/or hamstrings are feeling tight.  If I’m weight training on the same day that I run, I lift weights after completing my cardio workout.

How has running affected my health? (weight loss, stress, energy, etc.)

Running has had a very positive impact on my health.  Although I lost weight prior to our wedding in 2011 by spending a couple of hours a week on the elliptical and lifting weights, I didn’t spend as much time in the gym after Preston and I got married, and thus, put a couple of the pounds back on.  Since I’ve started running, I’ve gotten back down to my “wedding” weight and size.

I’ve also noticed that running has been a stress reliever, especially since I transferred to a new school back in September and started teaching an Advanced Placement course for the first time.  Although I’ve been much more exhausted in the evenings than I used to be, especially after working out, and go to bed much earlier than I used to, I wake up in the mornings much more energetic than I did before I started running.

What is my favorite race distance?

To this date, the race distances that I have run are 5k, 10k, half marathon, and three miler.  At the moment my favorite distance is 10k, but I’m sure this will change as I log more mileage.  Because I’ve found great success in using run-walk intervals, I’ve found that I can’t comfortably get into a good run-walk pattern during a 5k because of how short it is.  I’ve also only completed one half marathon thus far.

After my second 10k, the Perfect Ten 10k

After completing my second 10k, the Perfect 10 10k

Will I ever run a marathon?

At the moment, the answer is no.  Last month’s Disney World Half Marathon proved to be a significant challenge, and although I’m registered to run my second half next month and am looking into other half marathons for late 2014, I don’t currently see myself wanting to add a full marathon to my bucket list.  Preston thinks that once I get some more half marathons under my belt that I’ll reconsider my decision about running a marathon, so I guess we’ll see what happens.

Will I run another runDisney race?

Absolutely!  We had a great experience last month during Marathon Weekend, and I can’t wait until time and money allow us to return to Disney World for another race.  Other than making a return appearance at Marathon Weekend, the other runDisney race I’d like to complete is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  While Preston and I would love to run it during its 5th anniversary this coming November, we’re not sure yet if this will be possible. At the present time, we don’t have any desire to fly to Disneyland for a race (for both of us, Disneyland is quite underwhelming compared to Disney World), but I suppose anything could happen in the future.

Ready to run my first half marathon!

Ready to run my first half marathon!

How many trips have I taken to Disney World?

Last month’s trip to Disney World was my fourth visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth.  My one and only Disney trip as a child was when I was in first grade.  My other trips to Disney have all been since Preston and I got married in 2011.  For those of you who didn’t already know, Disney holds a very special place in my in-laws hearts (Preston grew up outside of Anaheim and his family had annual passes to Disneyland until they moved to the East Coast when he was 13).  A month after we got married Preston and I joined his parents and siblings over Labor Day weekend at Disney World.  This was my one and only Disney trip with my mother-in-law before she passed away in 2012.  My third trip to Disney was when Preston ran the 2013 Disney World Marathon in his mom’s honor (which was also his first marathon), and my fourth trip to Disney World was last month.  We also went to Disneyland (my first time there) this past summer during our anniversary trip to southern California.

My first photo at Disneyland, taken as we entered the park

My first photo at Disneyland, taken as we entered the park

Who are my favorite Disney characters?

Of the classic Disney characters, my favorite is Minnie Mouse.  Of the Disney princesses, my favorite is Belle.

With Belle at Disneyland in July 2013 and Minnie Mouse at Disney World in January 2013

With Belle at Disneyland in July 2013 and Minnie Mouse at Disney World in January 2013

Why did I choose to start blogging?

I chose to start blogging for two main reasons.  The first reason is that my blog provides me with a means to hold myself accountable for my training.  I have found that by logging my running and keeping track of all of my workouts that I’m more motivated to stay on top of my training schedule.  The second reason I started blogging was to share my thoughts and progress about my running in one place, and offer interested friends and family an insight into my running progress.  When I first told family and close friends about my intentions to start running and my goal to complete my first half marathon, nearly everybody’s response was “Please keep me updated on your progress.”  My blog has provided an outlet through which to do that, and given friends and family the ability to stay up to date on my training at their convenience.

QOTD: What questions do you still have that I haven’t answered?

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5 Responses to FAQs from Readers

  1. I love that you and your husband run together! And PS, I said I never had a desire to run a full marathon but guess what??? I’m doing one! I think the urge will hit you one day!

    • We tend to run together, except at races where he strives for a fast finish time or a PR. When at the gym, we often run on side by side treadmills, which definitely helps during longer runs. I’m still skeptical about getting the urge to run a marathon, but who knows, maybe somebody it’ll all of a sudden hit me.

  2. Kristen says:

    Hey, Kathryn! I wanted to get your input on what your and Preston’s experience has been eating during your longer runs. I finally did 10 miles on the treadmill yesterday (PD record – yay!), running as long as I could and then walking for a few minutes to recover. I didn’t eat during the run, and I was so weak and exhausted afterward!

    I’ve never tried those gelpack foods, but one website said they can cause gastric distress. I’ve heard that Fig Newtons or gummy bears are great for quick energy if eaten during a long run. What do you do? Thanks!

    • Kudos to you Kristen for setting a new PR yesterday! 10 miles on the treadmill is no joke!

      I’ve been using Gu Energy Gels during long training runs and during races, and have also eaten either a granola bar or protein bar in the middle of my run. I usually eat a gel every 30-45 minutes. All I used ate my half marathon were energy gels, and I wish I would have eaten something more solid in the middle of the race because my stomach started to bother me, but this is the one and only time that’s happened (it could have also been nerves and anxiety about the race itself). I’ve heard from some runners that they’ve eaten gummy bears, but have no knowledge about eating Fig Newtons while running.

      I hope this helps!

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