5 Ways to Make Sure Your Race Doesn’t Suck

Ah, the thrill of race day is what some runners live for. Take all that adrenaline and exited-nervousness and it’s a schmorgesborg of energy. With race day comes the (hopefully mostly) self-imposed pressure, expectations and hopes to run your best. You’ve got big goals you want to achieve and you hope that by the time you cross the finish line you’ve hit those. Here are 5 ways you can stack the odds in your favor to step away from the line satisfied.
runner angel
1) Game Plan: You need to go into any race with a concrete idea of how you’re going to run and the goals you want to achieve. You don’t want to have to try and make decisions on the fly; in the middle of a race you don’t want to be wasting mental energy on wondering what to do. Plan how you’re going to run, the splits you want to hit, how you are going to react if someone surges or your competitors make a move. Go in knowing if YOU plan to make those moves and what you will do if someone covers them. With race plans you need a few because you don’t know what others may do; you don’t want to be surprised in the middle of a race and freeze-up. You also don’t want to mess up your entire race by poor pacing. When you’ve got your race plans it’s even better if you’re able to use mental visualization to ‘practice’ them.

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Downing Donuts and Crunching Carrots: Runners balancing their nutrition

In case you needed an excuse to hit up Krispy Kreme, today is National Buy a Donut Day; please runners, by all means indulge, let’s just make sure it’s of the 100% whole wheat vareity. ;)
runner eating donuts
Let’s talk runner eats. I’m the first person to shout from the rooftops, “I run so I can eat like a Sumo-(wo)man and not look like one!” As runners we do carry license to do some damage when it comes to the grinding; but, at the same time we recognize that we are fueling those miles. If we want quality miles, then we should do our body the justice of giving it QUALITY fuel, right?

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Runner-Speak: A runner’s unsaid language defined

Runners, we really have our own language. True there are the actual words: fartlek, tempo, IT band, nip-guards, chaffage, etc. that we toss around. But there is the running BODY language that sometimes emotes much more than anything that could possibly be vocalized. Enter Runner-Speak…

runner-speak cartoon

I hope you enjoy my little Sunday Runner Cartoon. Get some giggles, then go make sure your Garmin is charged and able to pick up a signal. ;)
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If you want some more cartoonage you can see some of my other Runner’s Strip cartoons HERE, HERE, and HERE!! :)
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Quick Tips to Improve Your Running in 10 Minutes or Less

I cringe slightly because that headline sounds borderline Runner’s World, but I’m NOT going to say that by eating such-and-such you’ll drop your running PR’s by 2 minutes. Rather that with running there are SO many little, ‘extra’ things that supplement your running workouts that will improve your performances. Get more flexible, have better range of motion, improve your stride, fix your form and there’s a direct correlation to running efficiency. These things also reduce your risk for injury.

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Runners Deserve Equipment Managers: Because attending to our needs is just that important

Running is different from most other sports, namely it’s better. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think I deserve to have an equipment manager around here attending to my needs like the football and basketball players get. What about MY needs?

vibram shoes

Dear My Running Equipment Manager,

I bestow upon you the great honor of lining up my running shoes each and every night, laces loose enough so that all I have to do upon waking is slip my feet in. It’s brutal enough waking up earlier than most, I shouldn’t be expected to function until I’ve gotten at least a 1/2 mile into my run. The task of tying my shoes is implied, I’ll be too busy trying to strap my Garmin on my wrist. (I’ll let you off the hook on that one.)

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Running Consistency: It’s a sum of all the miles between the PR’s

With running, those shining races, performances worth remembering and runs where everything clicks are more just a representation of all the crappy runs, slog-fests, and uneventful miles before them. The highlights are always outnumbered by the runs done where no one else is watching, probably wouldn’t even know if you did them or not.
women art
If you checked out my Facebook wall yesterday (and you should definitely ‘like’ me! hehe) you saw a sneak peek of a collage type of project I’m working on. It has various women, different eras and poses but it’s an example of a piece of art that can’t stand alone, it needs all the smaller pieces to work. Right now I’m not done and it’s still needing more artwork clips, just like in running. You’re constantly ‘adding’ to your project with every mile, every workout, each race and all the steps forward.

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Running All Over the Place: Humor, Shirts and Ultra Running Gluttony

I think my brain’s been running in a million more directions than my feet could keep pace with as of late. So today’s post is going to be a bit of Arty Runnerchick updates, link loving, and randomness. It’s getting closer to what actually meeting me in real life is like, I’m the queen of talking tangents…

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I Spy a Runner

Etched across your face are the words you choose to define yourself by.

runner face
Select them carefully, for while you can change them later, some are harder to rub off than others. Labels may be controversial, are they good, are they bad? Who gave them to you, are you just putting them on for show? Do they fit quite right? All that politically correct jazz.

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Adrenaline and Endorphins Are My Drugs

The act of running floods the brain and body with endorphins, the rush of these feel-good hormones isn’t all that different from a drug-induced high. Those drugs being the ones you get on the streets; there are other kinds of ‘drugs’ that in the sport of running don’t call to mind images of strung-out addicts on the street shooting up.
runner legs for miles
These drugs bring to mind images of runners floating on air, setting records, bulging muscles, endurance that seems inhuman and then being able to kick like a monster. It seems inhuman because it is, there are drugs involved. I’d call them steroids but at this point the science in that area is so advanced who knows what in the heck it really is, the bottom line is they are performance enhancing drugs.

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Runner Bones

When you’re a runner you know it in your bones.

runner bones
Despite the times of injury, cross-training purgatory, and miles withdrawals, you know in your heart you are a runner.

When the track workouts and intervals gnaw at your fortitude, your stomach and your lactic acid riddled muscles, you know you are a runner. You curse it a little in your mind, your sick attachment to this thing that tests you in such painful ways.

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