Happy Fourth of July!

I hope you are all enjoying your independence this weekend. The Fourth of July is even more fun when it falls on a weekend! My whole big crazy family is here for my grandma’s 95th birthday party, so we are having lots of fun.

Friday night we ran a 5k in the next town over. I ran a horrible race, over 2 minutes over my P.R., geez. I’m not sure if it’s because my friend Myra wasn’t there to pace me or if it’s because I am that out of shape or if it’s because I was fighting off a little cold (that usually doesn’t matter). I never got to the “wheezing” point which tells me I wasn’t maxed out. I just couldn’t get myself to push it. Oh well. I need to race more I guess.

They had a mile kids’ fun-run and Campbell ran her first mile! It took her 13 minutes but she ran the whole way and didn’t complain. (I just looked and at age 5 Evan ran a mile at 10:30. Because comparing your kids is what parents do, right?) Here she is before the race.



They’re off running!


She held her dad’s hand most of the way. I didn’t catch a picture but this one was on the city’s webpage:


Almost done!

Woohoo!

Chris, Evan and I ran the 5k and no pics of that because we were all running! :) Last night, we had a hog roast and fireworks with my family. Fun times!

Weather Forecast Accuracy

Yesterday while the kids were at their camps, dance for Campbell and soccer for Evan, I decided to go for a run. The sky looked really cloudy and dark. I don’t mind running in the rain, but storms aren’t my favorite. I checked the radar, which showed nothing, not even a speck. The hourly forecast said 0% chance of rain for several hours. Still, somehow, I ended up running most of my run in a light rain.

It was pretty pleasant, but confusing. How is it possible to be THAT cloudy when nothing at all showed on the radar? I don’t really understand weather. For example, there has been light rain today, and the radar looks like this:

That is more how I expect a rainy-day radar to look.

Anyhow, on that topic, which weather website do you like the best? I used to use weather.com, but their links on the page drove me nuts. My least favorite types of stories on Facebook are those with the lame titles, like “_______ and you won’t believe what happened next!” The weather.com website is full of them. How can I take weather seriously from that type of website? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a screenshot of today’s weather.com page (that part of it at least):

I recently discovered the National Weather Service website.

Everything you need is all on that main page, no clicking around, and there are no ads or links to stupid stories. That still doesn’t solve yesterday’s rain issue, though, as the radar is the same on all weather sites.

Meanwhile, the kids were having fun at camp. Here is Campbell at dance camp, loving pom poms of all things:

Evan was at a soccer camp:

I seriously cannot imagine 3 hours of soccer or 4 hours of dance but both kids really loved their camps.

Anyhow. Have you ever run in rain when it didn’t look rainy on the radar? Which weather website do you like?

What Makes a Runner’s High?

Last night I felt so great after my run; I would even call it a runner’s high. Factors leading into the run weren’t great. It was warm, a little sunny, and I’d spent the whole day running around like a crazy (kids’ activities and interviews at work) including an afternoon at the pool.

Maybe it was because one of the friends I ran with was Myra, who always pushes the pace a little. It wasn’t even fast; our average was 9:37 for 4 miles, but it felt comfortably hard. Maybe it was because we ran a couple of good hills and didn’t slow down on them. Maybe it was because I haven’t talked with her in awhile and we had stuff to talk about (our daughters are the same age). Maybe it was because the humidity was lower and we could breathe.

When do you get a runner’s high? According to a Runner’s World article, it comes most often when you push the pace but don’t run at max effort. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

“Most runners I have worked with experience endorphins when they are pushing their bodies, but not usually at max effort,” says Cindra S. Kamphoff, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology at Minnesota State University. A short, casual run likely won’t produce enough discomfort to trigger a rush. Attempt a pace or distance that’s too aggressive, and you’ll possibly be too overwhelmed by the effort to feel good. As powerful as they are, endorphins can’t override an injury or lack of training (which is why newbies aren’t likely to feel elated when they are just starting out).

Hooking up with others could also help: An Oxford University study reported that rowers who exercised together significantly increased their endorphin release compared with solo rowers.

Based on that information, maybe it was because it was comfortably hard AND I ran with some of my favorite running buddies. But I’ve had plenty of runs with those same people at that same pace that doesn’t feel as great. Hmm.

What causes a runner’s high for you?