What the Heck Has Luck Got to Do With it? – Running is hardly a sport for the lucky

“Good luck.” In the flurry of races this weekend, even I was guilty of rattling this phrase off to lots of my friends who were about to toe the line. Written, said, Tweeted, Facebooked…you name it, when someone we know is about to race these are our go-to words. The ‘bon voyage to vacationers.

track in sunglasses

Trackside view.

But shouldn’t we really be saying something more along the lines of, “Think of how many countless miles of hard work you’ve put in to get here.” Or, “You’ve busted your @$$ for this race, get out there and get after it. And when it really starts to hurt remember how hard you’ve fought to get here and refuse to give in to that voice telling you to ease back.”

We could say, “You’ve got this.” Or, “This chick/dude next to you, there is NO WAY they can tolerate as much pain as you…make them hurt and then when they crack blow that sucker away.”

Because in running, to actually get to the starting line it’s taken anything but bounties of luck. Sure, you could always argue this is the margin of luck, avoiding the rock in the trail that, would you have stepped on it wrong, you would have fallen down, twisted your ankle so bad that you would have been laid up and injured for months. There’s a wee bit of luck, sure, but that pales in comparison to the sweaty miles and days when you really didn’t feel like doing that workout but you did it anyways.
man racing
I say we should do away with the “Good Luck” as the steadfast, we should try to get a new phrase to catch on…I mean some people did get “that’s the bomb” circulating there for awhile. Something more fitting would be, “Race with confidence.” Because isn’t that what you really would rather hear at the staring line? I know I would…being told that I should be confident in all the training and hard work I’ve done would do much more in the way of quelling those nerves too. Run relaxed, run with confidence, because you know you belong at that starting line.

Good luck rattles off a little too easily. Sure the sentiments are there and always appreciated…but when it comes right down to it, running isn’t a sport for the lucky. You can be d@## sure that it doesn’t take luck to run a PR, a marathon, a four minute mile, an ultra, the best 5k of your life.
I’m going to take a second to apologize profusely to anyone who has been trying to get on my site over the past few days and are only met with an error message or have been blocked. I’ve been sucked into tech/website h-e-double hockey sticks and been trying to get it taken care of! Please do come back despite my server crashing…would it be more tempting if I baited you with cookies, Pop-Tarts, and ice-cream??

1) What would you rather hear at the starting line if it wasn’t “good luck?”

2) What helps you the most with nerves before a race? Do you get nervous?
I always got nervous before races even if they were small ones, but it was excited nervous. My mom always told me, “If you weren’t nervous, then I’d be worried…it means you didn’t care.”

3) What do you tend to tell people, friends, or anyone about to race?

4) Did you race this weekend? How did you get your sweat on?
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Run Towards Your Goals: Don’t let anything stand in your way, that includes yourself

Don’t let anything, including yourself, stand in your way.
get out of my way
Today will be short and sweet. Remember also, that running is incredibly mental and usually the biggest limiting factor is YOUR OWN mind. Don’t let your mind out-thinking yourself from your goals…next time that little voice in your head says, “Stop, you can’t do this, it’s too hard, slow down, ease back.” Respond by ignoring it and plowing forward. :)
I’m also excited to share that one of my pictures is featured today on the Run The Edge Facebook page! If you haven’t checked it out, head on over. While you’re there be sure to see what other awesome things are going on at Run The Edge…there’s even continued updates on Kara Goucher’s road to the London Olympics. Talk about some awesome goals to run towards. :)

1) What goals are you currently working towards?

2) What do you do when you find yourself doubting yourself, a particular goal, or have the little voice in your mind telling you to ‘stop’?

3) What’s going on for you this weekend?

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My Love/Hate Relationship With Running

Running and I have a fickle relationship. Running…
I hate how you taunt me each morning, “When are you going to get to me today?”
That little question hangs in the silences, it screams over any chatter, it teases me with updates of what my friends’ workouts were. That question sits there until I get you done.

Yet I love how you reward me once I’m a sweaty mess. Despite all else the day entails I feel that I have at least accomplished something through you. The endorphins you gift me, even after an easy run, are enough to tide me over until the next day, when you again start this vicious cycle all over again.

I hate you on those days when the first few miles steps make me feel like a Sumo wrestler who is doing something completely against nature and sanity. The days where that act of right-left-right feels foreign…
runner on the beach
Though I love how somewhere along the line I slip into my stride and remember that I am actually a runner.

I hate 400′s. I hate those track workouts, heck I hate the warm-up BEFORE the actual workouts because I know what’s coming. Who are we trying to fool here, Running, I know you’re going to only bring me pain. I hate standing on the line, JUST before I’m about to start the first interval where I have to play into your charade and tell myself, “It’s not going to be that bad,” and then take off.

Though there is NOTHING I love more than being in the middle of a kick @$$ workout, one that I know I’m owning, I’m on a roll and I’m surprising myself at the splits that keep ticking off. The mix of emotions: excitement at doing all I can to keep the times fast so later that night I can write down the averages in my little training log with a smile…the anxiousness at knowing what goes into making those splits ever faster, I’m not quite done after all…the dread of starting the next interval because my legs are burning like an unholy fire.

I hate how you constantly make me question my own mental toughness. “Did I let up a hair when I could have pushed harder? Did I weenie out on that last mile? Was there more I could have given? Was there a lost opportunity for me to cover a move that would have changed the outcome of that race?” I hate the doubts, they can drive you mad.

Though I love how you make me question what is possible…make me start to believe that I can achieve something more…aim higher. Even when at first it seems like an impossibility, you chant it enough, whisper it into my ear so many times, you start to fool me into believing…and then going for it.
track runner
I hate how you so cruelly can make me fall short of those goals. You can callously break my heart with the dead legs on the day that seems to matter the most. You make me watch as my goal slips away, when I know it’s not going to happen.

But I love that there is always tomorrow. And somehow, I take you back because you remind me that there is tomorrow, another chance to go for it. No one minute is the end of the line…I love you enough to take you back and in my heart know I will forever and ever, no matter how many times you may be cruel to me.

I hate the times I have these insane runner withdrawals. Injuries and stretches when you are just out of reach; where my mind and body crave you like some crazy addict. Nothing quite compares to you, they all fall short of your fix.

I love being addicted to you though, there are far worse things out there I know. And when I finally get you back, it’s crazy, but so many other things shift back into place and all is again right in the world.
tough kid
I hate starting a long run that I know is going to be one where I have to keep telling myself I’m only going one mile more. I love the long runs that I get lost in and never want to leave. I hate the epic, tedious, insanely hard workouts that hurt in every way, when even my eyes are burning. I love the entering the last mile of a great tempo run and wanting to really burn it up. I hate the sucky races. I love the awesome races and PR’s. I hate running next to a two-stepper. I love having an amazing training partner. I hate feeling like I’m running too slow. I love the cool-downs that leave you feeling like you’re tripping because you ran hard and great.

Running, I love you because you’re all mine.

1) What’s something you hate about running?

2) What’s something you love about running?

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Comics for Runners- Runner’s Strip: Exciting New Running Products!

In case you’ve missed the commercials, these are just a few of some awesome running products to be released soon!
running cartoon
(Click to enlarge image)
Just some running humor for today…feel free to get caught up on previous Runner’s Strip cartoons HERE and HERE!

1) Got any hot leads for new items for runners we should all be excited for?

2) Do you have your own running invention that you think we’d all enjoy?

3) What’s a running related product that you’re currently loving?

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Smoothies Aren’t the ONLY Way to Go: Eating those fruits and veggies rather than sipping

I don’t like smoothies. Now, before all you smoothie loving masses stop reading here and immediately black-ball me, at least let me explain my case. I don’t get a lot of trendy things, I don’t even drink coffee, for shame! But I’m hyper enough as myself, caffeine would probably end up effecting me like cocaine.

fresh food sprouts

I prefer to eat my food fresh, or at least not blended. (Just some design inspiration I tossed to Sprouts, they just opened a store near me.)

The running realm and the healthy living world are interconnected and whenever people find out I’m a runner and the conversation drifts to food and nutrition, the topic of smoothies seems to inevitably come up. They rave about their protein powders, their spinach combos leaving their glass looking like the Swamp Thing, they start spouting off their must-try recipes and I nod and smile. But in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “I still have teeth and I plan on doing as much chewing as I can until I lose them and then I’ll turn to your smoothies along with Jell-O and applesauce.”

Smoothies work great for TONS of folks and power to you, I can see the benefits:
* Quick and easy to make sure you hit the 30 minute recovery window
* Convenient to eat on the go and tote around
* Wonderful for people who don’t like fruits and veggies and thus need to sneak them in
* Adding protein to them is easy and great for people who are lacking in that department


Again, more fun I thought Sprouts may enjoy. :P

I get it, and keep on blending if that’s what you need and it works for you. But I’m one of those crazies who really do enjoy eating fruits and veggies as they are and don’t have a problem eating the real versions throughout the course of my day. I also love eggs, cottage cheese and shrimp and have no problem getting that protein amount in real food either. The ocean called and they were running out of shrimp because of me, actually. ;) You know it if you got that last one.

So an ode to fruits and veggies today, they are great in oh so many ways, even if they are blended. With summer coming up plenty folks find them more appealing and could see using their teeth as a more plausible option.
* Water content: A portion of the water you get each day does, in fact, come from a few of the foods you eat, fruits and veggies are some of those. Obviously not enough to slack on the real liquids but watermelons, melons, pineapple, celery, lettuce and ‘juicy’ fruits/veggies supply more of that H2O good stuff.
* Fiber: Yes, running can help keep you regular, but fiber does that too! Fruits and veggies can be a great source of fiber; again celery and lettuce fall into that category, as do broccoli, cauliflower, and apples. But be warned, because of this they may be better eaten AFTER your run, not before, if you are sensitive to GI issues.
* Antioxidants: Berries are our besties for this one, those colorful blueberries and raspberries may stain your fingers but they are rockstars in the nutrient department. Pair these babies with cottage cheese or greek yogurt and you’ve got an award winning protein, carb, and antioxidant combo!
* Iron: Those dark, leafy spinach greens contain iron which is essential for runners…trust me, low iron is NO energy and it’s important to ensure you get enough of this element.
* Potassium: Bananas, because they also have more carbohydrates than many other fruits, are often thought of as the ‘perfect runner food’. The reason that their high potassium count also swings in their favor (like a chimp on a vine…sorry, lame-sauce, I am!) is because this is an important electrolytes; it’s one of the ones, that when their levels are too low in the body (along with sodium), that people have gotten over-hydrated by drinking too much water.

Eating for running fuel and health: We all know fruits and veggies are things our body need to run at its best and if you’re asking your body to run to perform it’s even more important. Sometimes people find it hard to swallow certain things even if they know they ‘should’…I can’t argue cookie dough ice cream may be more appealing than an apple, but sometimes we need to eat to fuel!


The ocean called for me...

Other quick ideas to bulk up your fruits/veggie intake:
* Toss bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. into your omelets. Not only do you get the veggies but the protein in the eggs is even better.
* Stack those sandwiches higher with more veggies; toss in more veggies to your tacos and burritos too.
* Portabella burgers, have you ever tried these, they are in fact awesome.
* Kabob parties! Grill up those pineapple slices along with your skewered shrimp and chicken; also, have you ever skewered mangos and papayas?? Yum! For veggies, squash and zucchini kabobs rock too.

Smoothies aren’t the only way to go and I may be a bit of an anti-smoothie-ite, please at least read my case before hating me. And if smoothies are your slurp of choice, that’s okay too. :)

1) Are you a smoothie lover or hater? If so, what’s your favorite kind of smoothie?

2) Are you pretty good about getting your fruits and veggies in? What’s your favorite kinds and how do you eat them?

3) Do you use any kinds of protein powders in your recipes, smoothies included? If not what’s your top protein choices?
I’m not a huge powder person, I eat a ton of protein foods and know I’m covered.

4) Have you run into a person who refuses to acknowledge or accept you’re not a huge smoothie person?
Yes, I swear some people who try to sell Homer on the idea of the liquid donut.

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Don’t Try So Hard: Trying to Force Your Running Won’t Work…Relax

Don’t force it. This applies not just to running but in other areas of life too. Trying too hard can hold you back, it is the self-imposed weight vest of extra pressure and stress.

track runner

Was stuck for a background inspiration for this one...wasn't liking attempt #1

Some pressure is a good thing; Type A neurotic runners tend to excel because they don’t settle and want to push themselves to reach for higher goals. But as with many gifts they can also be your greatest undoing if taken too far. Getting too wrapped up and focusing on what you AREN’T doing or achieving can lead to overlooking the positive gains you may have made.

You’re in the middle of a workout: it’s not going how you wanted, the splits are off from the start, your legs feel like lead, you keep looking down at your watch praying that it will bring you some good news but the times keep getting slower and slower. You tell yourself to push harder, go faster, to man up and hit the splits…why can’t you hit the bloody splits already?!

You tense up, your jaw is locked with clenched teeth, your shoulders are up to your ears…your stride is forced. You’re trying too hard.

track runner

Try #2 and still wasn't feeling it...

Take a breath, shake out your arms and relax. Unstrap the burden that is the watch, the weight vest your mind has strapped on your back and STOP obsessing on the flipping splits, what you’re NOT able to achieve, wondering WHY you suck so hard, and HOW you’ll never achieve anything if you can’t get your legs to act up and run the way you want.

In times like these, sometimes it’s best to just not know…as in stop timing your splits, run for effort. Times won’t come sometimes, that’s a reality of running and training, you’ll have off days, off races, off runs, off stretches. What you don’t need to add on top of that is the obsession of WHY you’re sucking so much, getting sucked into the negative spiral, the ruminating thoughts, the negatives circling your brain faster than you are on the track.

Running for effort will in the end give you positive gains in your fitness:even though the times aren’t there for whatever reason, your body is still being pushed, the muscles being stressed, and the effort is there. Make sure to take into account if there are other factors: outside conditions, increase in training volume, your easy days aren’t letting you recover, and if, so be proactive and address those issues. But if not, that’s okay too…one workout does not make the runner.

track runner

Try #3, stopped trying to make it over-complicated and stopped trying to force it so much...at least i liked it the best of the bunch.

Running relaxed can surprise you too, sometimes just shifting your mindset can effect the watch and you may end up hitting faster times. Instead of thinking about the negatives, go back to focusing on the basic elements:
* Your breathing
* Your form
* Counting your strides
* Visualize the smooth, relaxed runner you want to be
…the little things, anything but the clock.

Don’t try so hard, don’t force it.
Tomorrow’s your last chance to enter my ‘The Runner’ water-bottle giveaway.

In case you missed it, you can be one of the first to snag the Arty Runnerchick shirts and join the ‘Get Chicking’ movement! :)

1) Can you recall a time you kept trying harder and harder but were falling further and further behind?

2) How do you catch yourself from trying too hard and pushing it? How do you find the proper balance, and when you are forcing it how do you try and get back in check?

3) What are some positives you try to take away from negative or bad races/workouts/runs?

4) Are there other areas in life where sometimes you just can’t force it?
I get that a lot in art and writing, you can’t always force yourself out of a creative block.

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London Done and Come Early: What us mortal runners can take away from the elites

Yes we’re all excited for the London Olympics this summer but there’s plenty of action over there prior to that with today’s London Marathon. I know I can’t be the only person who feels like a total slacker, slow-poke reading and watching all these amazing races; odd how it’s a mixture of that and then of course jaw-dropping inspiration, right? ;)
track runner
In case you missed it there’s plenty of motivation to vicariously soak up (try not to feel too much like a slacker, slow poke…instead, channel these amazing athletes as examples to reach higher in your own goals.) on both the men’s and women’s side.

2:18:37. That’s what Mary Keitany blazed through the streets of London today in her quest to victory. That’s the third fastest women’s marathon ever recorded, and disregarding the whole hoopla on re-establishing World Records for women it does sit behind the fastest ever time of 2:15:25 that Paula Radcliffe ran at London in 2003. I had to throw that in there because Radcliffe’s run there is just beastly to just an insane level.

Keitany tackled the race in a phenomenal demonstration of the power of negative splits. While the pace ‘dawdled’ early, I’m speaking in relative terms for them because it was 5:30-ish, she then knocked down the pace and ended up throwing down 5:07, 5:02, and even a 4:59 split for mile 25. Let’s take this as a lesson for the mortal: negative split running works, don’t go out to fast due to over-excitment and end up crawling to the finish line.
man running
However, there is something to be said for going out blazing saddles from the gun IF you know you are capable of hanging on to that heated pace as Wilson Kipsang and his 2:04:44 win is an example of just that. (Shout out to all Prefontaine fans here, we know our American harrier was known for running all out from the gun regardless too.) Kipsang literally creamed the field as second place was over 2 minutes behind.

Going out in 4:39 for the first mile, even a 4:30 14th mile, is a risky move even if you are in fantastic shape. The marathon is a tricky beast of a race, a lot can happen over those 26.2 miles and to an extent there are some variable you just have to leave up to chance and hope that things line up in your favor come that day. Even so, when pulled off, such feats are astounding and have to be admired.

Back to mere mortal running realm, there is always something we can take away from what these top runners achieve and accomplish.
* Have confidence.
Both of these races are examples of running with confidence but in two different ways. On the women’s side it takes confidence to have patience. It’s been said that it is the runner without confidence who isn’t secure enough in their ability to stay controlled early in a race, as they doubt that they will be able to close strong. Mary Keitany had patience and the confidence in her fitness, and herself, that she could still beat out her competitors come the latter stages of the race. On the men’s side, Wilson Kipsang clearly had the confidence in himself to go out in those heated times. No doubt he’d been assured of this from previous workouts; he knew he could handle that on race day. Have confidence in yourself; it’s natural to be nervous on race day, but know you’ve put in the work and are ready.

* Run your own race. Don’t run someone else’s race or get too hung up on your competition and what they are doing. Races can always play out a myriad of ways so be prepared for that; go into each one with a few different race plans depending on how the actual race plays out and how you are feeling. Having a few different plans to choose from mapped out beforehand makes it infinitely easier to run YOUR race; making decisions on the fly in the thick of things can be stressful and lot harder in the moment.
* Reach and run. Everyone is motivated by different things; for some it’s the elite runners and for others it is their neighbor who never ran a step until they were 50 and now is avid about fitness. Whatever motivates you to keep at it is great; the London performances should still be able to inspire you to keep setting goals for yourself and are fine examples that CONSISTENCY and staying the course with training and the bumps along the way are worth it. Running will always come with up’s and down’s…be prepared to handle both; relish the up’s so you can recall them during the down’s. Set goals for yourself and reach for them; they don’t have to be PR’s or even times but perhaps just staying consistent. Whatever it is, your mind is often your biggest limiting factor and the thing holding you back.

That’s enough words out of me for a Sunday! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and getting your run or sweat on in any way…if you were throwing down some 4:59 miles too en route to a marathon then my hat is tipped to you. :)

1) Do you follow elite running? Do their races inspire and motivate you to achieve your own goals? If not, what does inspire you?

2) When you race, do you tend to go in with a few different race plans and goals?

3) What do you think an example of running with confidence is? How do you gain confidence in your running and yourself with running?

4) What is something you are reaching for? A goal with running or anything related to fitness?

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Running, Racing, Tapering, Peaking and Avoiding the Burn-out Factor

Bring on track season! All us track nerds and nerdettes are no doubt loving that those high energy, big draw events are kicking off, all culminating in the grand daddy of them all which we wait for every four years, the Summer Olympics. I’m partial here, but the Summer Games are so much better than the Winter ones, am I right? ;)
hayward field runner
Still, even though Mt. Sac, Stanford, and Hayward Field are hosting some pretty big ticket track meets that always boast a quality field, awesome races, and packed stadiums, technically it is still really early in the season. We’ve yet to even hit May here and while it’s always nice to have a fast time under your belt the important thing is to be running your best at the END of the season for those championship races. (An exception can be if you need a qualifying time, which is always nice to get done earlier rather than later because it can be a huge stress reliever.)

If you missed the article I wrote featured in the May issue of Running Times, you can read it online now: “Blazing Start, Mid-Season Blahs.” No one wants to be the runner who lights up the track in the first meet of the season but never even makes it to the starting line of the championship races come June and July.

Timing your fitness, what many call peaking, is a tricky beast and there are a myriad of factors to be considered. Part of it is timing your training schedule, another is making sure you’re running your workouts at the appropriate level, adjusting volume levels, and what kind of workouts you’re doing are just naming a few.

tired runner

You don't want to feel like you're dying AND still watching your times take a nose-dive.

Watching your workouts take a nose-dive as the season progresses, feeling overly fatigued and dreading each run because the miles take infinitely more effort and still are slower than you’d like is mentally crushing. This can happen even if you’re not racing in a structured season, the burn-out factor can happen to the best of us…the big question is whether you are able to turn it around and start feeling like there is some life in those legs!

The article covers some key elements to reversing the burn-out feeling, but I’ll just give you a few other thoughts here too:
* Know your body and the situation: Everyone handles training differently and a part of racing and running your best is being attuned to your body and how it adapts to different workouts, work loads, stressors, etc. There’s the ‘lag effect’ that often happens whenever you add something new to the training routine, change coaches/programs, increase volume, increase intensity, etc. The adjustment period can mean that you might actually have to take a few steps back before you adapt and then start to improve again. If you know this is going on, you can trace this to feeling burned out; the difference is here, it’s usually a case of needing to stay the course, stay patient, and wait until you crest the hill.

* Too much too fast and too soon: Getting overzealous and overly excited (it can happen!) for an upcoming season can lead people to spike their miles and hammer their workouts way too early in the season. Remember the 10% mileage increase rule (only go up that amount in mileage each week) as well as the fact that reining it in at times can be the harder, but smarter choice to ensure you last the full season.

* The glass analogy: Think of your entire season as a glass of water; the water is a combination of both physical and mental energy, both of which you need to perform at your best come the big time, late season races. You want to really only be sipping that water in the pre-season and early season races because the goal is to save the majority of that water for the championship races. For those races you’ll want enough water left over to not just take little sips, but some gulps so you can really take your game up to the next level. If the glass is already empty come that time you’re not going to be able to do that.

* Mental approach to racing and running: Over-racing can lead to mental energy being zapped too much too early; it takes a lot to talk yourself up and kick it up for a race compared to a workout. Take each race and think of how it plays into the big picture; if it’s a little meet you shouldn’t approach it the same as the national finals. Set a goal for each race depending on how it fits into your grand plan; if it’s not a major race, part of that goal is to take a more relaxed approach to it so you don’t drink too much of that water.

fast runner

Time and pace your season right so you race your best when it counts the most.

That dead feeling in your legs is NO fun; honestly we’ve all starting digging ourselves into the hole of feeling burned out (physically and or mentally) at one point or another, but it IS possible to avoid digging all the way to the Earth’s core. Put down the shovel and looking up to the sun. :)
In case you missed my BIG NEWS about the very first Arty Runnerchick running shirts…feel free to catch up on the announcement. :)

1) Have you ever dug yourself into the hole I’m talking about? Were you able to turn it around? This applies to people who don’t necessarily race track, over-training can happen to everyone.

2) How do you distinguish the burned out feeling versus just being tired for a few runs, workouts, or days?

3) How do you save the water in your glass so that it lasts for the whole season and there is enough to drink more of it for the big, key races?

4) When’s your next race, did you race this weekend?

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A Big Arty Runnerchick Announcement: The Start of the Get Chicking Movement

So I’ve got some exciting news…at least it is for me.I’d like to reveal to you the very first Arty Runnerchick designed (aka Cait Chock) running shirt *imagined overly dramatic drapes being pulled*:

arty runnerchick shirts

Support the Get Chicking Movement

This is a project I’ve been brainstorming and working on for quite some time, I’ve always dreamed of being able to sport my own little running shirt but wasn’t really sure how to go out about that or had the full security of believing anyone other than myself would, in fact, be interested in wearing a similar version. Cut to me with a box full of shirts in various sizes, I’d then be donning the same style shirt for years and then living out of the cardboard box. ;) Anyways, if that’s the route that ends up happening so be it.

But this shirt comes with a mentality, it’s the Get Chicking attitude.Runnerchicks, we’ve all been in the position of having to deal with the man who can’t handle being chicked. It’s the faceless dude on the opposite side of the road when we’re on our easy days, he starts picking up the pace in an effort to not get passed, we end up getting sucked into this little rivalry and wind up defeating the purpose of our ‘easy runs’…though the satisfaction of dusting his @$$ is a reward that may be worth it.

you got chicked

All rights Cait Chock

It’s the dude in a race who doesn’t really think anything of it as he’s tiring and hears the smooth footsteps and controlled breath of a runner ready to pass him. He’s accepted his fate as the passee, that is until he realizes it’s a chick. He then swerves around like a mad man clinging to the hope that if he makes it nearly impossible for you to get around him he may avoid getting chicked.

It’s even sometimes a fellow teammate who just can’t handle getting chicked in a workout…these are the saddest cases because these guys just give the AWESOME runnerdude teammates who enjoy the company of the fast runnerchicks a bad name.

Not all runnerdudes are unable to be man enough to handle being chicked and I of course want to establish that…I personally have had the pleasure of usually being surrounded by guys who I know pushed me to run my best. They let me tag along as an equal and I’ve always been thankful of that.

The Get Chicked mentality isn’t about hating on runnerdudes at all (and I’ve got more plans in the works down the line for you runnerdudes, just be patient as I’m still working out the fundage…lol.) it is instead about empowering us runnerchicks. We are fast, we are out there, and we will chick you. :)

runner shirt

All rights Cait Chock

That said, I owe more than a bit of creative inspiration to one Britt over at Chicago Runner because I really must have been living in a box for all of these years and hadn’t heard the actual term ‘chicked’ or ‘chicking’ until I read one of her posts! I know, I’m a dork…but I fell in love with the term and knew I had to use it. So THANK YOU, Britt.

And thus the Get Chicking revolution shall begin. ;) If you would in fact like to don one of these running tees here are the logistics:

* I’m now in the pre-ordering phase so you can be one of the first lucky few to have a shirt that’s in your correct size secured.
Here's the basic, black core shirt.
* The shirt itself is an Asics Core Short Sleeve Running tee in black. It’s light and breathable, trust me I’m the sweatiest runnerchick around and would not stand for anything else.

* Sizes will run from XS to XL.

* The shirt is $25 plus shipping costs.

To get one send me an email: captaincait@hotmail.com with your desired size and address.

Keep on Chicking friends! ;)

1) Do you have a fun chicking story?

2) Favorite shirt to run in?

3) Do you tend to train/run alone, with a partner, or a group? Are they of the same gender, opposite, or a mix?

4) For guys: are you man enough to accept being chicked and enjoy the company of running with females?

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To Tote or Not to Tote: Running with a water bottle…Clean Bottle Review and Giveaway

Seems like the hot topic of as late is hydration. You can revisit my post earlier in the week about hydration tips for runners and wouldn’t you know that when I popped on over to the Running Times website there was an article just posted about the very same thing. Great minds think alike, maybe? I’ll kid myself into believing that even if it’s not true…hehe.

friend running

That's Running Times and me running with the same great idea...it's a stretch but roll with that. :)

Their article got really scientific about the whole ‘weigh yourself pre and post-run’ and then take the percentage of sweat lost from your entire body weight and apply that to the amount lost…etc. I sometimes feel that getting too wrapped up in these calculations and conversions may be a little much; certainly more knowledge can be better but at what point is it just over complicating things? In the end the article sums up that even outside of the fanciest tests, scientific equations, lab results and simulations everyone is different and should get to know their body and how they react to certain stressors. Isn’t that pretty much across the board in anything, hydration and training alike?

Athletes, the longer they are at it, become incredibly attuned to subtle nuances that the ‘average person’ probably wouldn’t think twice of. The thing is, when you’re constantly asking your body to perform at it’s best, you can sense those small degrees of deviations from the norm. Feeling 10% off of your best may not mean much if the most physical thing you do all day is stroll around the block, but in the quest for a PR 10% in a HUGE difference. Just some food and drink for thought.

Back to running and hydration, I’m not someone who carries a water bottle with me. I never have and unless I embark on marathon distance-plus training I don’t really plan on doing so. I’m a less is more type of runner and get annoyed if my watch is too big and bulky. Everyone is different and I know my body, I can make it through my runs without needing water or gels…that’s just me.


Taking hydration to an extreme.

But there are lots of runners who DO prefer to carry water and gels; there are the fanny-packs, the belts, and other similar contraptions. With today’s tech age I’m seeing runners taking their phones along like they are just as vital as the actual running shoes. Again, I’m a less is more person, but whatever floats your boat. It does make for some more interesting blog trolling as I can see the pictures other people post of them getting all sweaty with it. :)

I was contacted by a new company, Clean Bottle, who have come out with ‘The Runner’ and wanted me to share my thoughts on it. Even though I’m not a bottle-toter myself I’ll give my opinion on it to help runners who do carry hydration and other items on their runners.

The Runner Run-Down: Clean Bottle’s ‘The Runner’ is pretty neat in that it’s been able to combine a couple of different things in a smaller package. It’s a handheld water bottle with a mesh strap to hold onto; attached is a clear, pouch where you can slip in your phone or iPod in through a side zipper. There’s also a little cinch strap on the side that can hold some gels or other fuel. So it’s able hold quite a number of items that a fanny-pack would but it’s a lot less bulky.

The Pro’s: Like I said it can hold a lot of things and it secures them safely. There are loops where you could fasten your keys into as well, even a pocket behind the phone/iPod holder to stuff some money or identification. The strap to hold onto while running is tight enough that it’s not slipping around, and as for a water bottle that’s pretty much self-explanatory. It gets the job done. I don’t usually run with a bottle but I do carry one around other places and I’d take this guy along with me just in everyday life.

The Con’s: Personally I just hate holding onto things when I’m running and a filled water bottle could be a pound or two, but I know you drink it down and it gets lighter. It’s also a little tough to manage your watch or Garmin if you’re taking splits or something; hitting a button while still clutching a tote can be a little tricky. Other than that though, I can’t really say anything bad about it. If I did take hydration on my runs I’d think this would be preferable to a fanny-pack just because I really can’t stand those.

The Company: Clean Bottle actually really impressed me on the whole and not just because of their products; I like the start-up stories and this is one of them. As to their Clean moniker there is a strong tie to being eco-friendly, for which all of their items are, and 10% of their sales go to an environmental related charity you can choose from. They are currently on the Kickstarter website and if you’d like to help support their burgeoning business check it out and support.

Clean Bottle also gave me one of ‘The Runner’ bottles to give away to a reader, so if you’d like to score one leave a separate comment for each of the following:

1) Follow Clean Bottle on Facebook or Twitter.
2) Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.
3) Tweet, blog about, or Facebook about the giveaway
4) Visit Clean Bottle’s Kickstarter fund and if you sponsor them leave two comments and get a double entry there.
5) Tell me, do you carry water, gels, your phone, etc on your runs?

Deadline will be next Tuesday!

Until later, keep on sweating and swigging…water, that is. ;)
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