quick plug for my business

I know this is a blog about running…but aside from running I have a passion for two other things: molecular biology (my real job) and holistic healing (a side “job”).  I’m a certified Reiki Master Practitioner/Teacher; have been since 2009 but I’ve been practicing since 2002.  I’ve always had this intense intuitive prowess about me and I didn’t really learn how to harness it until college.  It wasn’t until college when I figured out what some of the things were called that I was somehow innately doing on my own for so many years. 

Reiki is a type of holistic light work, basically it realigns the energy points in the body so that a person can become more balanced and extraneous mental/emotional toxins can be removed.  I mainly work on family and friends, but I’ve been trying to branch out. I did some work for a gentleman in Boston from the comfort of my own apartment here in Maryland and it worked out great. 

My web designer started slacking a bit too much for my liking, but heck it was free and it was my dad so I felt like I couldn’t harass him too much because he offered to do it…then a guy i dated was going to help but things fell apart with him so I found this little site for people who do healing arts etc..and I made my own page. It’s not much but it’s enough to get some info out there. Eventually I’ll start a Reiki blog with more information on it but for now I have that little site where people can schedule appointments with me, oh and I have an Etsy shop as well. 

My webpages are as followed: http://www.betterfly.com/intuitivehealings


Feel free to try it out or tell friends about it…I’ve been known to turn many skeptics into believers.

I’ve also dabbled in reading tarot/oracle cards for people since college. Check out my page..ok enough publicity…i’ll try to post a running blog post tomorrow.

Happy Running,

Coach Gwynne


September 13, 2011. Random Musings. Leave a comment.

Not Everyday is a good running day

There are many days you wake up and go “ugghhh, is it really 5am already???, do I really have to run? can i just skip it today and do it later?”…yesterday was one of those days for me…I had 2 late nights of concerts, saw Stevie Nicks Saturday & Journey Sunday night…Waking up for my sunday long run was a challenge, I knew it would be so I set 2 alarms and told my cats to also bug me as much as possible to get me out of bed and going.

Zoey can be really annoying in the morning

So my alarm went off, I pushed snooze, then it went off again…again I pushed snooze & grumbled “do i really have to get up? maybe i can run 18 miles by myself later…” then my 2nd alarm in my hallway went off “ok,  I really need to get up! I know I won’t get more than 7-10 miles by myself..this is a nice training run, it’s part of the race course for next weekend…” I stumbled out of bed, tripped over the cats that were coming in to get me up, pet them then went to the dark bathroom and put on my running clothes I layed out the night before.  I put my glide on my feet then put my socks on & then my Newtons. Grabbed my running bag, turned on the radio for the cats and sleepily made my way out my door to my car.
It was muggy, I mean really humid…ugh.. I took my inhaler and plugged in my ipod, I really needed some peppy songs to wake me up. I got to our meeting point and realized I had forgotten to put gum in my bag, so I asked around until I found someone with some gum I could use on my run. I chew gum when I run because my inhaler dries out my throat, unfortunately I had finished a pack and didn’t replace it yet. The worst part about this course we were running was we don’t hit a bathroom until 3 miles in because we meet at the metro and run to the start of Rockcreek Trail….and I really had to pee :-/ 
My bladder is my worst enemy at times, I’ve claimed a bush by the Lincoln memorial (shh don’t tell park services!)-that’s my bush for all races I do near there from now on! And no you can’t borrow it 🙂 The first 3 miles were good and I made it to the bathroom in good shape, from then on we had water about every 2-3 miles and bathrooms starting at 6 miles in and then every ~2miles from there.  ( i know this b/c having said small bladder i keep track of any and all restroom facilities along any trail I frequent so I know when I need to befriend a tree or bush) At about mile 10 my stomach started to bother me and I just figured i’d be able to run it off.
 I got home late the night before and I ate something really light at midnight knowing i’d be up in 5 hours but I didn’t think it’d make my stomach turn like that-I really felt like I could throw up..I can’t eat before I run or I’ll throw up, I learned this the hard way a few years ago where I basically threw up within the first 2 miles of our training runs while I was trying out foods to see what I could eat. I’ve learned I can only consume powerade before a run and then I can’t take a Gu or some kind of food until about 6-8 miles in or I’ll just get sick to my stomach…maybe it was the Gu chomp I ate at mile 4, I probably should have waited another 2 miles to eat that…my stomach needs to jiggle/slosh around a bit before I introduce something else to it or else pay the price and negate any caloric intake i was trying to get.  
So by mile 15 my stomach was really bothering me and I was barely keeping up with my pace group because of that and a nagging pain in my left butt cheek :-/ and calf muscle.  I knew what it was but knew I really couldn’t stretch it until I got home.  About the time I left my pace group I jogged upon my friend who was walking because he’d had the flu during the week. We walked together for the next 2 miles and then started to jog, he stopped when he saw his wife and I continued until our intended stopping point. 
 Even with the walking I managed to run my 18 miles in around 3.5 hours with some water stops my group took…but i still felt awful and defeated..at some points when I was dragging behind my pace group I started to cry & I never did find the pace group behind us, they must have taken very long water breaks. Not everyday is a good running day, I knew Sunday wasn’t but I didn’t want to kill myself over my run because I have a half marathon race this next weekend and our second 20miler is in 2 wks so I want to stay injury free for those and my goal marathon on October 30th.  You have to know your body’s limits, but sadly in order to figure out those limits you can tend to get injured a lot, get sick a lot and can get discouraged but it’s all a learning experience. 
 When I started running longer distances I kept a running journal where i’d put down my workout, what the weather was like, where i ran, what I ate that day before/after/during, what hurt etc. I kept this journal to look for patterns and see “ok I got sick when I ate these things after a workout, my body can’t handle that type of food, let’s avoid that.” or I’d notice what was hurting me, oh that trail was banked so that my one leg was always higher than the other..etc. 
 I highly suggest starting a running journal so you can have a better recollection of the ordeals of training and sort out why you might have gotten a certain injury or why you threw up during your run, or why you “bonked” A running journal is very beneficial when you start out, even if it’s just on your computer as a word document or excel sheet, no need to be fancy & spend a lot of money…i’m all about being thrifty, save your $$ to buy a good pair of running socks or hydration pack 🙂 
Hope everyone had a good labor day weekend!
 Happy Running,
Coach Gwynne

me with my friends in Disney marathon weekend Jan'11

September 6, 2011. Random Musings. Leave a comment.

funny videos


August 30, 2011. Random Musings. Leave a comment.

It was just 2 years ago that I did my first marathon in Harrisburg, PA with my family driving around the course cheering me on with “run for the cupcakes” signs, my dad was swapping me water bottles with fresh cold electrolyte, my ex boyfriend ran with me for the rough 3 miles from 17-20…and when i finished I got a big hug from all of them, my ex bf, my best friend, a few other friends and my nephew gave me a giant cupcake that I couldn’t even look at and it ended up going bad before I could even eat the dang thing 😦 

A year later I ran the Marine Corps marathon (fall 2010), I realized half way through that I hadn’t left enough mileage on my shoes and that’s when my knee started to feel like it was going to give out on me…I was so upset because I had been running really well up until that point. I held back in the beginning running with a slower paced friend until mile 1, I passed a wanna be Waldo by mile 5, I passed a few wonder women.  I passed a girl a went to high school with going up the hill towards Georgetown. 

Lululemon had hilarious signs “Chuck Norris never ran a marathon”, and a few others i can’t remember but I do remember laughing out loud…this year i’ll take pictures.  I do remember Georgetown having the best crowd support and wished they would’ve been at the bridge.

Ok, back to the pain in my leg…this happened with 10miles left to go. I stopped at the medical tent to get tylenol and basically had to yell at the lady because she wasn’t paying attention, usually i’m well-mannered but she was hitting my angry button & i was hurting so bad but didn’t want to give up b/c i’d just trained 5 months for this thing. After this I took mental note to be my own travelling apothecary on the next marathon.  At this point I ran into some spectator friends and they talked me through my cursing.  A few miles later I ran into my friend Mayra, she had a new powerade for me and some pretzels, this pacified the beast for a bit & she ran with me for a good mile listening to me complain about my knee. 

The worst part was around the national mall because seriously going up to the capital building and back around is the longest 4 miles of my life and it’s sunny & hot at that point. I ran into a guy i was seeing with a “run for cupcakes” sign…are you seeing a trend here? (i love cupcakes!! they’re my inspiration for everything-sadly  they ceased to inspire me during this run, no amount of imagining dancing cupcakes could get me out of my painful funk).  I continued onto the bridge, saw a guy holding a sign that said “the bridge is your bitch”- and i remember thinking, actually talking out loud ‘no, i’m the bridge’s bitch…but not next year’  it was at this point my one friend was supposed to meet up with me but she had injured herself the week before so I was on my own. I saw our club’s photographer smiled for him and as soon as I passed him I started to walk.

At this point running hurt, then walking would hurt so I varied my running and walking depending on which hurt less at the time.  I kept thinking “once I get to crystal city i’ll have another pacer and some support, if i can just get there i’ll be ok”.  I got to crystal city, my pacer was nowhere to be found, I started cursing him under my breath…then I realized my cheer squad also didn’t show up…so much for THOSE people…i was livid..that’s when I tried to dig down deep, it was just me-I needed to inspire myself but how the heck was I going to do that….I changed my name every time I heard someone scream for Ann or Lisa or Ben…though occassionally i got a ” you’re looking good Gwynne” from a random stranger…thank you sharpie for allowing me to write my name on my arms so people knew who I was…even if they pronounced it wrong I didn’t correct them I just said thank you and continued on my own. 

At mile 25 I came upon a pace coach from my marathon training program, he ran with me for a few minutes to get up a small hill then went back to cheer on others b/c i was “looking strong still”  I continued up to the bridge, started walking…commisserated with a fellow walker who was crying. I looked at her and said “Honey, you’re on the last mile no matter what don’t give up there are still tons of people behind you!” she looked at me, smiled and was like ‘we can finish together!’  to that I responded “I actually need to start running again b/c walking is hurting my knee, but good luck, you only have less than a half mile left good luck!” then I took off…not fast just took off.

that last 200m was the worst of my life…my knee was killing me, and i had to go up a craptastic “baby” hill, but at that point if felt like scaling the Himalayas! I passed a few people on my ‘kick’ and then just started crying as I crossed the finish line.  I hugged the marine that gave me my medal and onward to food I went.

The finish line was a total zoo, sweaty tired runners looked like zombies just milling around. I found some training buddies that had finished right before me, one didn’t look so hot.  I made sure he ate his bagel right away and I navigated him through the crowd and to the club’s hospitality suite where I made sure he got some more food, some ice and lots of water.  He recovered in about 30mins and was fine.  I sat on the floor of the hospitality suite just crying…putting on my icy hot and then went to the bathroom to change out of my gross clothes take a quick wipe down with soap and put on some sweats…

My only thoughts were “my knee is killing me, how am I going to get in sufficient training for Disney in 2 months!!”

And THAT was my 2nd marathon experience…i’ll share another race story later.

So as for training for my 4th marathon, we’ve been training since May. Our first 20mile run was this past sunday and I felt amazing! This year I feel so strong and I know that i’m going to come back to MCM and crush my time from last year. From each marathon, or each race I do I learn something new about myself. I pick up something different to do or how to approach a situation in a different way, how to prep for anything, what to make sure I carry with me & what I can live without…what I can con a friend (spectator) into bringing for me.  It’s good to have friends, that way you have less to carry while running, you can do a hand off of sorts.

well back to work.

Happy Running!

Coach Gwynne

August 25, 2011. Random Musings. Leave a comment.

Beginning Women’s Program 2012

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, impending apocalypse? None of those scare me…though darkness does…but nothing stops me from formulating next year’s program! I’m hoping to implement some exciting changes to make it a more fun experience! (if it wasn’t already..)

Some little previews:

1) 2 extra weeks of training to let the real beginners feel more confident

2) varying our scenery 🙂

3) maybe some tasty dishes?

That’s all I can say for now…hoping to bring more smiling faces into the mix for next year and make it a more interactive program.

maybe we’ll teach you how to out run a tornado or hurricane…or aliens…just saying 🙂

Happy Wet Running!

Coach Gwynne

"Courage to start: through the anxiety, the pain, garner the determination & concure...it's just you and the road and the road doesn't care if you're having a bad day, if you feel fat...it'll keep your secrets safe, become good friends with the road"- Coach Gwynne

August 25, 2011. Random Musings. Leave a comment.

Seriously an Earthquake in DC?

So if you haven’t heard because you live under a rock, we had a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Richmond, VA…and felt it in the DC area…I wondered why it felt weird while driving. This was nowhere near as crazy as the one a few months ago that happened at 5am right near my apartment. It woke me up from a sound sleep, I thought it was a crazy thunderstorm that really shook the ground…then i didn’t hear the rain so i thought “great a plane flew into something near by” i listened for the sirens but didn’t hear it…that’s when i thought the worst possible scenario: we were being attack by ALIENS!!! …hey i was half awake but it’s totally possible….good thing I have Will Smith on speed dial, he knows how to handle aliens & zombies, you know just incase those people near the landing zone of the aliens got mutated and became zombies.

My job gave us leave yet I’m still in my lab doing my experiments because I’m a dedicated scientist…hopefully the earthquake didn’t mess it up and I have to start all over because it takes 3days to do this experiment from start to finish.

Good exercises to practice during earthquakes:

  1.  balance exercises on a bosu 
  2.  yoga balance poses
  3. diving
  4. running ahead of the tremor! (now that would be a fun experiment)
  5. doing a handstand
  6.  swimming in a pool, would turn into something like swimming in open water
  7.  jumping on a pogostick
  8. jump roping
  9. archery
  10. an intense game of jenga

Check back tomorrow for a real article on something running related.

Happy Running in Earthquakes,

Coach Gwynne

August 23, 2011. Random Musings. Leave a comment.