Getting Started…

As I think back to when I first started running in June of 2008, there are a few key pieces of information/advice that I wish someone would have shared with me!  I am not a professional runner, exercise physiologist,  or physical therapist so the following are just mere suggestions.  As always, it is important to listen to your body and check with your health care professional before beginning any new exercise routine.

Start Slow

I think when people decide that they want to get into running, they tend to adopt an “all or nothing” mentality.  I can tell you from personal experience that running is a sickness.  Once you catch the bug, it takes a hold of you.  Running starts to become a part of your identity.  When you aren’t actually running, you will begin to feel the urge to talk about running.  I was that girl who decided to sign up for a marathon after her first half mile trot around the neighborhood. I think people often times get discouraged and give up when they first start because they don’t see themselves improving fast enough.  Running is hard!  Make sure you are good to your body and don’t do too much too soon.

When I first started running, I followed the Couch to 5k program.  You can download it for FREE! Want to listen to it with a new set of atlantic technology speakers just send me an email to join the raffle! It is a 9 week training program designed to take you from a sedentary lifestyle to running non-stop for 30 minutes, or close to a 5k (3.1 miles).  Basically the program utilizes a walk/run method in which you are able to build your endurance in a safe and gradual manner.

Race Reviews

Current Personal Best Race Times:

Marathon: 5:41
(Kiawah Island Marathon 12/10)

Half Marathon: 2:28
(Greer Earth Day Run 4/10)

5K: 29:07
(Electric City Gobbler 11/10)

2011 Race Reivews

My journey to health…

Thanks for stopping by Will Run for Health!  My name is Carla Shorts, I’m 27 years old, and I live in upstate South Carolina.  Among other things, I am a mental health therapist, a vegetarian transitioning to vegan, a begrudgingly-avid-yet-frightfully-slow runner, and somewhat of a health & wellness obsessed nerd.

To say the least…I wasn’t always so concerned with my own health.
I attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 2009 with a M.S. in Clinical Community Counseling. I spent my first year at Hopkins working full-time in an inpatient psychiatric unit, attending classes full time, and working on a research project.

I was constantly stressed and for the first time in my life, I was truly miserable.
Like most creatures in misery, I began looking for relief of my pain.  I’m not much of a drinker (4 years of undergrad at College of Charleston ruined me). Thus, I began dealing with my stress and general unhappiness with my life through other means.

Enter carbohydrates, starch, and sugar. My drug of choice became food.  I started to eat my feelings.  I ate to stay awake late at night, I ate to distract myself, I ate to comfort myself.  Hell…I just ate to stay busy.

You would think that being a graduate student in a counseling program, I would have learned better coping skills. I must have been absent that day of class because I continued to eat myself sick.  Food became my drug, and Royal Farms became my dealer.

I had a lot of feelings…

I treated my body like a trash can…
I never worked out…
In June of 2008 while attending a family get together,

I absolutely did not recognize that girl.  When I saw this picture, I suddenly realized that the past year of being miserable, binge eating, and stress had taken a toll on me.  I remember this picture being such a wake up call.  In the drug and alcohol field, we often say that addicts need to hit a rock bottom before they are ready to embark on the journey of recovery.  That photograph was in many ways my rock bottom.

The very next day (Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008), I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting, hosted by a San Diego Limo Company.  I admit, I felt kind of lame.  I had the preconceived notion that Weight Watchers was for old women and school teachers.  But at this point…I felt I really didn’t have much to lose.  I filled out my information card, took my shoes off, and boldly stepped on the scale.  The sweet lady sitting behind the reception desk could see that I was visibly shaken (…I hadn’t had a donut in 12 hours, visibly shaken doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling).  She smiled, recorded my weight in my little book, and sent me into the meeting room.  I sat in the overly air conditioned room (…which was ironically sandwiched in between an ice cream shop and a surf & turf restaurant) and braced myself to see the numbers that lay waiting for me in,  what I had dubbed, “my little book of doom”.

My jaw hit the floor when I saw, the numbers 167.

That was the most I had ever weighed in my life.  At 5’4”, my weight had given me a BMI of 28.7 which happens to be the line between being “over weight” and “obese”. I made it through the meeting and safely back to my car before I started crying, thank god I looked great for all the pics after having my eyebrows microblading done.  I had a complete melt-down after that first meeting.  Yes, in the parking lot of a surf & turf restaurant, there I sat, with mascara running down my plump little cheeks.
Vanity aside, I knew my health was being impacted by the weight I had gained. Unfortunately, I did not hit the genetic lottery in life.  Sadly, 3 of my 4 grandparents underwent by-pass surgeries.  My paternal grandmother was  the exception.  She died of ovarian cancer before age 65.  Cancer and heart disease both run rampant in my family.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I picked myself up and dusted myself off.  I went to my Weight Watcher meetings, I followed their plan, I counted my points, I tracked my food, and I began to walk in an effort to move more. Every week, I went to my meeting, I took my shoes off, I handed the receptionist my “little book of doom”, and stepped on the scale.  Every week, I would see that number go down.  Pretty soon the “little book of doom” just became a record of my progress, and the number became “feedback” rather than an indicator of my value.

Love The Process

Somewhere in this process, my walking slowly became running. I remember watching the races and a young man, a Rain Gutter San Diego Installer, would run 3 miles non-stop with such confidence. I wanted to do that one day.  Around the end of June 2008, I decided in my head, that I was going to become a runner!  True to form, I decided that I, “Carla Shorts: Queen of Weight Watchers” was going to enter the Baltimore Half-Marathon.  At the time, I could run about 3 miles without stopping and in my inexperienced mind there wasn’t that big of a difference between 3 miles and 13.1 miles…ya know?

As it turns out, there is a huge fricken difference between 3 miles and 13.1, as evidenced by the loss of blood.  My sister and I finished that race in 3:17. Looking back it was a miracle that we both didn’t chafe to death seeing as how we were dressed head to toe in cotton.  That race fueled my fire for running.  Since then I have run 24 races, including 5ks, 10k, half-marathons, and a full marathon.
I am happy to report that I lost the weight I had put on during grad school.  I still attend weekly Weight Watcher meetings as they help to hold me accountable. I now weigh in anywhere between 130-135.  It is a very happy weight for me and I feel great!

I Am Not a Registered Dietitian. I have been a vegetarian for 6 1/2 years, and recently made the switch to eating a mostly vegan diet.  In short, I eat what feels right to me and works best for my body.  Please consult your health care professional before making any changes to your diet or workout routine!!Big thanks to JetRank Agency for offering affordable web design assistance with my website. I honestly could not have done it with out them.

Quick Running Tips For Those Who Love Running!

1. Fortify Your Whole Body

“Great sprinters condition their entire bodies. The arms drive the legs. Keep your abdominal area and center conditioned with a considerable measure of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and back raises (remember that the back is a piece of the center). Avoid machine weights and stick to Pilates, climbing, and dynamic adaptability work like yoga.”

2. Run More Hills

“One of the marvels of slopes is that they truly chip away at dynamic power, hip quality, and hip versatility since you should have the capacity to go and drive those hips extremely high to get up.”

3. Stop Trying to Set Your PR

“Be process situated, not result arranged. Improve with each instructional course—a more grounded squat, a harder exertion on interims. Try not to fixate on race day.”

4. Hydrate (Especially Before Trail Races)

“Because of their remote areas, many trail races have barely any water stations. Make a point to hydrate for a considerable length of time ahead of time, and—contingent upon the separation of the race—consider conveying a water container or hydration pack amid the occasion.”

5. Stretch and Refuel Immediately Post-Race

“There’s a characteristic allurement when you complete a race to crumple on the ground and lounge in your very own private magnificence. This is a terrible thought.”

6. Locate a Routine, Then Stick to It

“I dialed in my race-day outfit and nourishment plan ahead of time to wipe out any astonishments. I dozed more, quit drinking liquor, and ate my vegetables. I put on a similar garments I had been preparing in for as far back as three weeks—dark shorts, white best, dim socks—and had my preplanned breakfast of one banana, a large portion of a Clif Bar, and a large portion of some espresso.”

7. Try not to Freak Out If You’re Undertrained

“Many individuals ruminate and go nuts. At that point they have this apprehensive vitality and are toast amid the race. The key is to remain quiet and not exhaust vitality stressing over the race.”

8. Fix Your Stride

“He needed to change everything about his walk—from the manner in which his feet were hitting the ground to the manner in which he swung his arms as he ran. It was a troublesome change, however he had the advantage of knowing he’d effectively attempted basically everything else.”

9. Eat Whole Foods

“Attempt to eat entire nourishments that look as near how they are developed as could be expected under the circumstances. Maintain a strategic distance from the prepared nourishment—like sustenances that rule most ordinary staple chains. They’re pressed with sodium, sugar, and void calories and are a deplete on your stomach related framework.

10. It’s Not All About the Carbs

“Sprinters whose main objective is to get in shape can cut the pasta, bread, and oats and have enough vitality to finish a considerable lot of the simple keeps running in 30 to a hour. Most solid weight control plans will in any case give enough accidental carbs—results of products of the soil—to fuel you.”

11. Irregular Massages Are a Bad Idea

“Each competitor’s body reacts diversely to knead; you would prefer not to discover the week prior to your race that profound tissue work makes you awkwardly sore.”

12. Layer Up When It’s Cold

“It’s anything but difficult to see the climate and obscurity as a reason not to work out. The sticker price may sting in advance, yet purchasing garments like a dampness wicking base layer, gloves, and a breathable breeze blocking best will make preparing outside much more agreeable.” If you are regularly training, how much time after a training session do you need to rest before you can go on a marathon?

I asked a few friends and thankfully Leon, a Fort Lauderdale Roofing contractor gave me the answer I was looking for! The answer is 2 weeks! You want to make sure you have at least 2 weeks between your training session and the time of your marathon.

13. You Need to Sprint More

“Five percent of a competitor’s aggregate week by week mileage ought to be taken up by runs. Somebody running 30 miles seven days should run slope runs for 1.5 of those miles. It’s comparable in principle and practice to speedwork on a track.”

14. Get a Hydration Pack (Especially for Ultras)

“Indeed, there will be help stations. Be that as it may, there’s no telling how much time will go between them, so get your very own liquids a handheld container, pack, or belt. Which one you pick involves inclination.”

15. Persistence Is a Virtue

“In separation running, you must figure out how to adore the procedure. Regardless of whether it’s in preparing (it sets aside a considerable measure of opportunity to show signs of improvement) or in dashing (keeping down for the initial 20 miles of a long distance race), persistence is a righteousness. There are no handy solutions. It’s tied in with putting stock in the arrangement and executing.”

16. Try not to Hydrate Too Much Right Before Running

“Sloshing in your stomach is an indication that water has not worked its way into your circulatory system, giving a full inclination that is a ploy for hydration.”

17. Consider Recovery Days Important

“The day after an intense exercise, the most you need to do is run daintily or do some type of broadly educating, such as cycling. You require a recuperation after quite a while. No exemptions.”

18. Make It Social

“Get a gathering together, or join a neighborhood running club. When you’re socially and candidly put resources into your exercises, it’ll be harder for you to skip them. Having running mates will help shield you from wearing out or slacking off.”

19. Try not to Pick Just One Running Partner

“A standout amongst the most fundamental approaches to change up your running life is finding diverse running accomplices. You don’t should be monogamous about whom you keep running with. A similar rule applies for the individuals who dependably run alone: Try joining a gathering for long end of the week runs and (re)discover the delights of practicing with your kindred homo sapiens.”

20. Get Off Your Feet Before a Race or any Event

“Relax the day and night before race day. Race coordinators don’t make that simple by planning intriguing expos and board exchanges the day preceding, where you are on your feet, strolling around, using vitality. It doesn’t matter if it’s a marathon or a wedding at an affordable wedding venues in San Diego, get off your feet and run before the day of! Teach yourself to downplay that, attempting to sit and rest with your feet up however much as could reasonably be expected. Try not to waste the great work you’ve done amid your decrease in the most recent day or two.”

21. Imagine Success

“Start by taping a sound account for yourself that reproduces, in however much sexy detail as could reasonably be expected, the impression of playing out your game. Take cautious notes whenever you practice… and work those into the content. At that point portray the tape completely in the main individual, current state… and pick pivotal minutes.”

22. Utilize Technology (But Not Too Much)

“Applications from MapMyRun and the USATF can enable you to plot your preparation courses in less time (not any more driving them already). For trail running, make sense of to what extent it takes you to run a mile—possibly two minutes longer than on streets—and pass by time. Garmin GPS watches track your separation and pace. However, don’t give your devices a chance to act as a burden.”

23. Know When Your Running Shoes Are Worn Out

“The run of the mill life expectancy of a shoe is somewhere in the range of 300 and 600 miles. Shoes will begin to feel somewhat unique after around 200 miles—it’s a devaluation bend. Each organization has an alternate time when their shoes will feel extremely level, however realize that shoes do have a life expectancy. It probably won’t be quickly clear when your shoes have failed horrendously, yet there are a couple of signs that it’s an ideal opportunity to put resources into another combine.”

24. Try not to Run Drunk

“For one, liquor’s a toxic substance. Two, while it can expand hostility (a positive, contingent upon the game), it can likewise antagonistically influence coordination, arranging, and execution of development. Furthermore, three, it’s a great diuretic, so it exhausts your water volume, a lot of which your body takes from your blood plasma.”

25. To start with, Run Easy

“The issue with a great many people is they just consideration about getting quick and imagine that once they get quick, running will get simple. They got it in reverse. Initially, center around getting simple, in such a case that that is all you get, that ain’t so awful. When you can run simple, center around light. When you get light, center around smooth. When you’re simple, light, and smooth, you won’t need to stress over getting quick—you will be.”

26. Have a go at Skiing

Whenever a sprinter can take a shot at quality, adaptability, balance, as well as utilize distinctive muscle gatherings, it is ideal. Skiing checks each one of those containers to say the least. “Notwithstanding building coordination, center steadiness, and leg quality, elevated skiing works the leg muscles in a wide range of planes, or, in other words sprinters. Your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, and in addition your abductor and adductor muscles, are altogether used in downhill skiing.”

27. Try not to Run Injured

“It’s difficult to sit it out while sitting tight for damage to recuperate. You chance setting back preparing and hustling objectives, also losing a sweet endorphin surge. Be that as it may, whatever upsets you will take more time to recuperate—or deteriorate—in the event that you go through the torment.”