Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Blogger, Noreen Karcher, talks about her running and Active Lifestyle

As a new segment to my blog, I will be featuring a guest blogger on occasion to speak about topics that incorporate elements of an Active Lifestyle and specifically running.  Today, I have my sister, Noreen Karcher, featured.  Noreen is an avid runner, reader, greeting card designer (check out Northern Notes), and a great example of someone that leads an Active Lifestyle.  I will let her fill you in more. Thanks Noreen!

Noreen: I define myself as a runner and biker.  I started running when I was 39 yrs old as I felt like I hadn't achieved anything monumentous in my life physically.  I ran my first 5k right after turning 40 and have been running ever since.  I have completed a lot of 5k's and 10k's and one marathon in 2004 and learned so much about the process, the ability to push your body and when to listen to your body.  I love the ability to just go out and run or bike on my own terms.  My running goals have evolved over the years to tracking my 5k times in an excel spreadsheet to now focusing on long runs, building my endurance in running and biking and adding weight training.   Age is only a number in my book.

Since my move to Central VT I have to come to terms with my struggle with loving hills.  I went through a period years ago where I honestly could say I enjoyed running hills and looked forward to it.  I then moved to central Kentucky in 2008 where the town I lived in had rolling hills and one particular hill that I cursed and ran regularly to mentally say I beat Prospect today.  No matter how many times I went up that hill it kicked my butt.  I’ve been running long enough to know it’s 90 % mental 10% physical.  I knew I had to get an attitude adjustment or I would be doomed moving back to VT where there are no flat roads.  

Consequently,  a few weeks ago I decided to start running the stairs at work.  I work on the 1st floor and the “free” coffee and cafeteria are on the 4th floor.  Every day I would walk up the stairs and be out of breath when I got to the top.  It was crazy, I was a runner how is this possible.  Something had to change, so I’m running the 4 flights of stairs twice a week.  I get a half hour for lunch so I’m changing quick, running 15 minutes, changing and cleaning up and back to my office by the end of 30 minutes.  I get more of a work out in 15 minutes then I do when I hop on the elliptical or run on the treadmill for a 30 min workout.  By the end of the 15 minutes I'm pushing myself and mentally cheering myself to push and finish strong.  My goal in the next few weeks is to increase my time to 20 minutes and carry hand weights eventually.  I can see the difference in my hill running outside and my walk up the stairs to the “free coffee”.  

Here is an article from Runners World about stair running for runners.  Get out there and conquer the beast. It’s free!

Here is a tentative list of my 2014 events:

8/9/14  Harpoon Point to Point: (It doesn’t hurt that it starts and ends at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT. 

TBD  Climb Camel’s Hump On my bucket list.  I’m so doing this hike this year.  

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