Cancer Freeze 5K Recap

My most recent race was a 5K in Florala, Alabama about two weeks ago. I finished with a new personal best time of 25:15, and I am very excited to share my race photos with you!

IMG_0701Everyone is getting very excited and anxious to start the race! The weather was perfect for a race – cool, but not too windy and chilly. Plus the sun was out for a great morning run.

 

 

 

 

 

The race course went around the beautiful Lake Jackson                                                                                  in Florala, which provided great scenery through the run.

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The t-shirt is always an added bonus to every race!

 

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Running with friends always helps with support and motivation during the race.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0706 Finishing the race is always a great moment to savor and be to be proud of. This was a very enjoyable race, with many supportive fans at the end cheering everyone on to finish. Also, there were many yummy foods for a post race snack, including bananas, oranges, grapes, and apples. The food is an important part for me and they definitely succeeded in this part.

 

Overall, this race was very fun and it was also for a great cause. This race was only one of the events that was held during the Cancer Freeze day. I enjoy races that have great causes such as this one, because I know the money raised will go to families and people who are battling and have battled cancer. It was an awesome experience and it was very fulfilling to know I supported such a great cause and had a great race! I would recommend this race to every runner out there!

 

 

 

 

What Do I Need To Be Eating?

I started my half-marathon training plan last week and I am getting very excited/nervous for the upcoming weeks of training. Jumping into this training is going to require more focus on a healthier diet, especially before going on those long runs.

I was never conscious of what I ate before I ran until one morning after eating apples and peanut butter. I thought this would be a nice, healthy pre-run meal to eat. I was wrong very, very, wrong. As soon as I got done with my three miles, I took off to the bathroom, and I was very sick the entire morning, to say the least.

After that experience, I began researching which foods to eat and what not to eat. Keep this in mind also, that everyone’s body is different and some of these foods may or may not affect you.

What Not To Eat: running.about.com gave a list of foods that should be avoided before your run. The first on the list was foods that are high in fiber, which was were I went wrong on my pre-run meal. Although apples are healthy and a great food to consume, they are considered high in fiber, which explained my horrible morning run.

Now, whenever I want to eat any vegetables or fruit, I make sure they are not high in fiber if I eat them before my run, or I wait until after to eat them. Another no-no to eat is foods with concentrations of high fat. Yes, everyone is going to have some cheat days, but for the most part try steering clear of foods such as French fries, cheeseburgers, etc. a couple of days before your races.

What To Eat: U.S. News gave a great article on their health page about a lsit of foods to eat before a run. It also included foods to eat considering how long you will be running, because running for 30 minutes or less does not require as much nutrients and carbs as a run over 30 minutes would. A few 30 minute and under foods would be foods such as bananas, peaches, or an English muffin with jelly.

For the longer runs, carbs are definitely a must. Foods such as slices of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and grains are great choices that will keep your energy up throughout your run.

I hope these foods help you out for your runs!

Is Cheerleading A Sport, Or Not?

This ongoing debate for deciding if cheerleading is a sport is a very meaningful topic to me, since I cheered all throughout high school and now in college. I very much agree that cheerleading is a sport, and I am using my blog post today to tell you why.

The definition of sport, according to Dictionary.com, is an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. As a current cheerleader, I can tell you from my perspective that cheerleading is definitely athletic, ranging from the daily practices a week and the 5:45 a.m. workouts we are required to be at every Tuesday and Thursday.

A big debate for why people don’t think cheerleading is a sport is because of the reason that cheerleaders to do not compete to win anything; they merely look pretty on the sidelines and cheer on the winning team. This is completely false. Yes, many high school teams do not compete but there are also several teams that do compete in the UCA high school cheerleading competitions.

Troy University has recently begun competing again in the past two years. I had the opportunity to experience the real world of competing this past year when we competed at UCA’s college nationals in January. Training for this event was insane, just as all of the other universities competing for this title are. We stayed in Troy practicing almost every day and twice a day during our Christmas break. We only had a week off for Christmas, and we practiced on New Year’s Eve.

Why do we dedicate our hours and time off, if this isn’t considered a sport? We chose to compete to win first place, just like any other sport does. The amount of physical activity that goes into cheerleading, including gymnastics skills and the incredible amount of strength required is definitely aspects that account for as being a sport.

An article in The Washington Post states that cheerleading accounts for more than half of “catastrophic” injuries to girl athletes. The seriousness of the danger in this sport is not taken seriously, which is why there are so many injuries caused by this sport today. My last thoughts on this topic are if this wasn’t considered a sport, how is it that over half of girl athletes’ injuries are from the SPORT of cheerleading?

Treadmill VS. Outdoor Running

This week, I have been focusing on increasing my 5K time because I am in a 5K race this weekend. I want to improve my personal best score from the last race I was in, which was last summer and my time was around 29 minutes. I am hoping to shed a few minutes off of that time so we will see!

 

This week, I have trained both inside and outside for my 5K. This made me start thinking about which place I like to run better: inside on a treadmill or outside around the campus and town of Troy? I could rant on and on for days about how I feel about both of these locations. But, to save all of my readers, I will keep it short and sweet and provide the most important information that I find helpful.  🙂

 

IMG_0671Running on a treadmill is how I first began training to become a runner. I enjoyed running at the gym on campus or at my old apartment complex because they both have TV’s connected to them, so I was never bored while running. I also enjoy the accessibility of keeping the same pace on a treadmill. Active.com gave some great pros and cons tips for treadmill running so you can go weigh out your options!

 

I have grown to enjoy running outside much more this last few months. Since it rarely gets freezing cold down here in Alabama, I haven’t had to worry much about running outside during the winter months. When I swapped from running on the treadmill to running outside, it was definitely a shock! It wasn’t that drastic as I am making it sound, but I definitely didn’t prepare myself for the hills that come with the outdoors. But it didn’t take me long to get used to it, and the awesome advantage of running outdoors is you get to see beautiful scenery like these photos I took on my run this week!IMG_0667

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Another great website I found helpful was daveywaveyfitness.com. It gives a brief description of pros and cons for both treadmill running and also running outside.

 

As for my opinion for which I enjoy better, I would have to say it depends on the distance I am running. I honestly wouldn’t enjoy running 10 miles on a treadmill, but if it’s around three or four, I’m good with that!