Thursday, June 6, 2013

National Running Day Recap and Plank A Day Challenge

The last few posts have been pretty heavy material, but I felt it necessary to tell the back stories surrounding my running and my desire to finally start this blog.  So today's topic will be something I could probably talk about for hours on end - Running!  If you are active on social media then I'm sure you were blasted from all directions with notifications that yesterday was National Running Day (or what I like to call 'The Most Wonderful Day of the Year!' haha).  There were so many contests, goodies, discounts, discussions, tweets and blog posts on the subject, it really did feel almost like Christmas - well Christmas for runners I guess :)

Funny Sports Ecard: My running style can be described as 'seductively awkward.'

So, how did I celebrate?  Well yet another blessing of having some time off, is that I've been able to dedicate some time to volunteer work.  I'm currently coaching a women's running group for the summer and Wednesday nights are our track workouts.  So I spent last night running 4 x 800's around the track with some great ladies!  It's been great to see their progress over the past few weeks, and what better way to celebrate National Running Day than with a bunch of other runners!  A funny thing is happening to me as I continue to coach these women toward their 5K goals.  I am actually beginning to like sprinting, and enjoy being on the track.  As a distance runner, I really haven't incorporated speed work or track workouts into my routine.  It's something I know I should be doing, if I really want to improve my race times, but I've always been focused on simply getting my mileage in leading up to events, and not really thinking about other aspects of training.  That includes speed work, strength training, active recovery, stretching (seriously lacking on this one).  I've really seen firsthand how good volunteering is not only for the recipients, but also for the volunteer. 

In addition to running yesterday, I also took advantage of Runner's World one day offer to take 20% off the entry fee to their second Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival that's held in my hometown of Bethlehem, PA!  I'm so glad I have my fall race set now (I was debating between a few) and that was a great deal!  I missed their inaugural race last year because I was planning to run the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco.  However, I was injured and ended up missing that race (but that is a whole other post).  I can't wait to go back home and run some of the same streets I ran in track practice 15 years ago (how can that be?!) surrounded by so many family and friends. 

In other fitness news, I decided to hop on the Plank A Day challenge boat for the month of June.  I'm designing my own challenge in that each day I'm trying a different plank variation, then holding it til I drop, or die, whichever comes first!  If you follow me on Instagram (@Jillyruns) or Twitter (@Jillyruns) you can see my daily time postings.  Here's a list of the planks I've done thus far:

June 1st - straight arm plank
June 2nd - forearm/elbow plank
June 3rd - straight arm plank with alternating arm/leg lifts
June 4th - left-side straight arm plank
June 5th - right-side straight arm plank
June 6th - reverse plank

I am personally loving this challenge!  Its so fun to try out a new move every day, and I love putting my endurance/willpower to the test each day.  When I told a few friends about the challenge, they asked, "What are you planking on?"

I had to explain it wasn't this type of plank:
But, this type:
My enthusiasm for planking must be contagious because one of my friends even has her kids planking now! 
So my questions for you today are:
What did you do to celebrate National Running Day yesterday?
Do you plank? 

1 comment:

  1. LOVE that you're planking! :) <3