The Woes of a Being in a Relationship With a Runner

I’m sure it can be a little tough for spouses waking up to a cold left side of the bed…”Sorry Honey, out running.” Being in a relationship with a runner may mean pleading out of weekend plans because they’ve got their long runs, races, workouts, and whatnot. All night ravers and barhopping don’t exactly work well into the training program.
runner spouse pains
Air-drying our running shirts and tights across the banister, cupboards full of protein bars and Gu’s…the oft empty refrigerator. “Sorry Honey, I got hungry!!” That’s runger for you.

Certainly the friends and loved ones of a runner may suffer, they may not ‘get it’, they may not harbor ANY desire to worship the all-mighty mile, rock a Garmin tan so burned into your skin it lasts through winter, or not bat an eye about wearing ‘short’ running shorts in public. “Seriously, they’re not even that short.”

The thing is though, TRUE friends and TRUE loved ones may not always ‘get’ our running quirks habits but they will support us regardless. Some have argued that running is a ‘selfish sport’ and in some ways it may appear to be. But I will always argue that any selfishness is absolved so long as:

1) Every running KNOWS how lucky they are for any support they get.
2) Always thank those awesome people waiting at the starting line or watching your kiddies (or doggies, or plants, or comic book collection) so you can go for a run.
3) Running makes you a happier, more productive, better you.

Any runner who does that, not only DESERVES their running ‘me’ time but shouldn’t feel any ounce of guilt. Even if they’re dodging out of the marriage bed in the wee early morning hours and their spouse is left to spoon with a pillow. You’re not cheating…you’re a runner. ;)

1) What are some ways that you are lucky, what pillars of support do you have in your life?
2) How do you thank your awesome family or friends who think you’re crazy for this running thing but support you anyways?
3) How does YOU running make you a better person and how does that benefit your supporters?
Umm…if I didn’t run no one would want to be around me…fact. ;)

The Quickest Way to a Runner’s Heart…

It’s that special time of year where every runner everyone is a little kinder, a bit more generous, and hopped up on hot cocoa and sugar cookies!! Amidst all the list making, if you REALLY want to win over the hearts of your family, friends, or that certain someone…you better have stashed away in that gift pile some brand spanking new running shoes!! ;)
rudolf running
Other acceptable presents that are sure-fire ways to rock the recipients’ holidays are:
* A Garmin
* An AWESOME running shirt
* BodyGlide
* A PR

…actually that last one you have to go out and win for yourself! ;)

Happy Holidays my runner friends!!

1) What’s something that you’re excited to be giving to someone this year?
2) It IS the spirit of giving but let’s be honest, is there one item in particular you’re really hoping to get?
3) Best holiday gift you’ve ever gotten? Best one you’ve ever given?
Gotten, wow, there’s a few. I think I’d like to share that I was SOOOOOO pumped when a talking PeeWee Herman doll was was unwrapped. “I know you are, but what am I?”

My New Love Affair With Stretching and How it’s Rocking My Running

I love running (duh) but you may recall I’m not entirely in a Ménage à trois with stretching AND running. Don’t get be wrong, I KNOW how important regular stretching is to prevent injuries and improve your running performance. Heck, I write about it tons HERE and HERE…oh and I harp on it in my Competitor and Running Time articles.

But do I love it? Eh…we’ll say I would choke it down.

Then the world shook. You probably felt it actually. Remember THIS post where I talked about the BEST MASSAGE THERAPIST in the world?? Al Kupczak (aka also my BFF…all runners should contact him: 303-817-9961) literally solved a string of 3.5+ years of injuries stemming from my car accident. Side-not, getting hit by a car and almost losing your leg isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Well I mean I was able to run…but it was ugly, it never really felt like it used to, I couldn’t go faster than an easy pace without getting injured to where I couldn’t run at all. I saw lots of docs, tried lots of things…yada yada yada…finally got my butt up to Boulder, CO.

“Cait, you’re tight as h*ll.”
“I know, Al.”
“It’s not all your fault, there’s lots of scar tissue and calcifications stopping you from being able to stretch.”
“I’ve been TELLING PEOPLE!!! See, it’s not my fault, stretching doesn’t like me!!”
“Well now that I’ve broken all that up you CAN stretch now.”

[not verbatim but you got the gist]

It was an intense 12 days, saw Al Kup every other day, hours on the table, and then…miracle beyond miracles check this out:
pre stretching
First day in CO…I’ve never IN MY LIFE touched my toes before.
mid visit stretching
This is only four days later after 2 treatments. I was able to touch the ground and even grab my ankles and pull myself closer to my thighs. [yes I'm wearing the same scrubby runner shorts, don't judges. I had to pack light...it's called rinse, hang, and repeat ;) ]

I had a lot of issues but the main ones were my hamstrings, adductors, and abductors. They were extremely tight and in a constant tug-of-war when I ran. When I left CO, Al sent me home with a bunch of stretches and some lovly parting words, “If you want to stay healthy you have to keep stretching.”

So I’ve been religious about my stretching routine.

stretching

I had to touch my toes to take that first shot!! Booyah! ;)


#proof

Now I want to also tell people that when you have a TON of issues [like I did, Al had a lot to work on, and fixed a pretty marked leg length difference] and you make changes, even ones for the better, your body is thrown for a loop. It takes time to adjust to the new running style.

Think about it, you do something one way for years and years, it will take time for the body to adapt. There will be weaker muscles not used to working as hard that need to get stronger and to avoid compensation injuries you’ve got to be careful.

So my new runner body IS going through lots of changes, sorenesses and tightnesses I’ve never had before. I call Al freaking out but his answer is always the same: “Stretch. Be patient.” He’ll give me the best stretches for the specific soreness and I am always amazed that *viola* a few days later the sorenesses are gone.

The world has been flipped upside down. I actually AM embracing a three-way with running and stretching. And I certainly hope you do too…preferably it’ll take you SOONER than I did to open up to the miracle of the stretch. ;)

Side-note here…this Arty Runnerchick is FINALLY on instagram!! You can check me out HERE…and see my very first picture. Awww…sooo cute…like a baby taking their first steps, except I’m a fully grown adult who was too lame to get on the site at a decent age. PS- I’m an artist, I post my art my choice…so don’t worry there will not be tons of selfies :P

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In case you missed it…check out my NEWEST running shirt!
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1) Do you stretch often?
2) Do you actually LIKE to stretch?
3) Are you on instgram?? Let me know!!

Two Truths and a Lie: Running, Endorphins, Depression, and Self-Esteem

Okay, I’m sure every runner remembers that game “Two Truths and a Lie.” You come up with two stories or facts that are true then one that is, well duh, a lie. Trying to make it tricky for your friends to figure out the lie, usually you pick some pretty off the wall REAL things that happened. Well, here will be a little runner’s version of that.

Finally I may have a better shot at pulling one over on you guys, I’m pretty sucky at lying face-to-face, so now I can hide my smirks behind the words. ;)
keep running
Running Shoots the Brain Up With Endorphins = Puts You in a Happy Mood

Exercise causes the body to release ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins. When these are picked up by the brain’s receptors it puts you in a happier, more positive mood. But let’s be honest and say that running gives you cooler endorphins than other forms of exercise. ;)

Endorphins released from running give the brain a similar kind of ‘high’ or sensation that people experience doing other not-so-healthy alternatives: drugs, binge eating, gambling…and if we’re going to acknowledge it as a true addiction…sex addiction?? (haha…wow, I’m so mature, right?) So people recovering from other addictions have found taking up running, or other forms of exercise, really helpful. Maybe LiLo should really stick with this running thing.

Running, because of the natural ‘high’, and the positive reinforcement of setting goals, putting in hard work, and reaching those goals, has also proven to be helpful with those struggling with depression. Running also introduces people up to a new community and friendships, so those relationships also help with feeling better. Finally, anyone who’s had a runner buddy can attest that some of the best free therapy sessions come from a good, solid run with lots of chatter.
eating cotton candy
Running Helps Bolster Confidence

Running is hard. Bam…straight to the obvious. It takes a lot of self-motivation, effort, and pushing your limits to achieve those goals we set. But, when those goals are fulfilled, there are fewer more rewarding sensations. Hello, how awesome is the feeling of crossing the finish line and earning a brand spanking new PR?!?!?

Going through that goal setting and goal fulfillment process instills a work ethic and helps breed confidence. Running has a great way of helping boost self-esteem because of that confidence. Also, it gives you a whole new level of respect for yourself and your body; you view this body as a vehicle for performance, something that can really DO big things!!

Running and Endorphins Solve All ‘Feeling Bum’ Moods and Sad Feelings

So really we could solve all of life’s problems if we all just started running, right? I mean, hello, we’ll then have a world full of people with brains chock-loaded with endorphins. We’ll eliminate all drug problems, all forms of substance abuse, we’ll save all those marriages destroyed by ‘sex addiction’, we’ll even clean up all of Hollywood so will movies be better??

There will no longer be anyone struggling with low self-esteem or depression either. Right?
turn left on the track
Okay, I think you see where I’m going and that last one is obviously the lie. YES, running does release endorphins but, sadly, they aren’t a cure-all for more serious underlying issues. While, I still think that having running as a positive outlet in ADDITION to other forms of treatment help with these things, running isn’t a magical cure-all.

I bring this up because I contributed a post to ‘The Anxious Girls’ Guide to Dating: Silencing the Inner Critic’ because it touches on some more ‘serious’ stuff I don’t always talk about here. Also, recently the British hurdler, Jack Green, has come forward saying he’s switching sports because he’s working to recovery from his depression.

Now the telegraph article sort of ‘blames’ the intensity of the sport of running for causing him to slip into this depression, while that may or may not be the case, I would like to say two things. 1) Yes, competing and training at such a high level naturally can put someone in the position of letting too much stress get to them, and when you’ve invested so much of yourself into the sport and you wind up falling short of your goals or injured, that can be a crushing blow magnified times a billion. 2) HOWEVER, I don’t think it’s as simple as that; as a professional athlete you go in knowing that you’re not always going to win and that running IS cruel because there will always be injuries, and it’s a sport that tests you like none-other. That said, you should have an underlying, true, self-motivated passion for simply running.

That is another whole other topic I could write on, but the main points I wanted to get out are that:
1) You should always run from within, truly love running. If you love the feeling of pushing yourself you can have a life-long relationship with running and that appreciation will get you through the ‘low points’ (ie: injuries, falling short)

2) Running is one of the best forms of free therapy and it certainly keeps many of us runners sane. But realize it’s also totally natural to have days where you feel crummy, most times running can HELP that…but it’s also not the magic bullet. If you need to supplement with other things…don’t be ashamed or shy. Plus, when you’re truly happy with yourself and your life it has a funny way of actually making your performance better. Shocker, right? [sarcastic font used...it's not a shocker...hehe.]

Run…be happy…my friends!!

1) Give me two truths and a lie on anything.
2) How has running helped improve your overall happiness, confidence, self-esteem, life, etc?
Way too many ways to count. Running keeps me sane! :)
3) What are some other ways, outside of running, that keep you happy in life?
Close friendships and family. Yea, my younger sib’s rock!

3 Ways Running Can Fly By and 500 Reasons to Update Your Running Shoes

Oh I’m so proud, I’ve been diligently helping spread the running infection. Last night I ordered my cute little high school friend a pair of running shoes. I’ve been working on her for months, when she told me she wished she could be a runner.

“Be a runner?” I said, “Anyone can BE a runner.” That’s the funny thing, most people think you either pop out with your Nike running shoes on or you don’t. The ones who don’t are sadly shunned from society, left to wallow away through life sans any endorphins via miles. ;) Just kidding.

running track

The cool place all runners get to hang out.


But I told her anyone can become a runner, at any age, and regardless of starting fitness level. Probably the greatest thing about our sport, regardless of genetics, if you are consistent with your running you WILL improve and get better.

The beauty of running a PR (personal best for any of you newbie runners) can be felt by ANYONE. You just have to work for it. Earning that sweaty, glorious time is tough but so worth it. It becomes tougher the longer you run, the improvement curve doesn’t always sky-rocket away like it does soon after you become a runner. That just means you have to work harder AND smarter. ;)

Back to my friend though, I’ve been so proud watching her go from barely making two miles and now busting out 6 miles. I was, however, APPALLED…I mean appalled at the raggedy-@$$ shoes she was running in.

When I say I was appalled, I’m not in ANY way judging her or disappointed in her AT ALL. Most new runners just really don’t have any idea how crucial it is to have the right kind of shoes. Also the age of their shoes. “My foot kind of hurt after my last run, I think I need a new pair…I love these shoes but maybe a year and a half is too long to still be using them.”
run from problems
A YEAR AND A HALF!! My mind freaked the freak out, only because I know how much a ‘dead’ pair of running shoes can turn into an injury bomb. Granted, she did other things and wasn’t logging mega miles in them, but still. A pair of shoes should never be out there on the mean streets logging miles if they’ve seen 500 miles or more. Time for a new pair, baby!

So I assessed her foot type and we’ve gotten her squared away with dem new running shoes. We also got to talking about things that make running go by faster and what makes those miles feel like an eternity:

1) The Scenic Route: Per minute, running on the treadmill feels like about 10 minutes. ;) Just kidding.
2) Training Partners: Having a training partner makes those miles zip by quicker too. I mean that figuratively AND literally if the workout for the day are repeats or a hard run. Working WITH someone and getting ‘towed’ along during intervals will wind-up with faster splits that ‘feel’ easier than if you were running alone.
3) Being fitter. The reason most non-runners think they can’t ‘be’ a runner is because running a few minutes feels KILLER and they don’t understand how anyone could run multiple miles. The reason is because they just aren’t fit enough. The body adapts, it grows stronger, cardiovascular fitness and endurance improves the more CONSISTENT you are with your running. Eventually you get to the point where 2 miles are easy because you’re comfortably able to run 4 miles, then 4 are easy because you’re regularly running 6 miles. You get the picture.

So now it’s your turn. Keep spreading this running thing across the lands…prove to the non-believers that ANYONE can ‘be’ a runner…they just have to try. :)

1) When did you start running? What caused you to try?
I sucked at all sports requiring an ounce of coordination. I can turn left.
2) Is there anyone you have inspired to become a runner?
3) What’s one thing that makes your running go by faster?

To Run Great You Have To Trust Yourself, To Do That You Put Trust In Others

Running is one of those sports that is pretty much you against yourself. But that’s not quite right because running FORCES you, if you want to be your absolute best, to rely on a few key other people as well. There is an incredible amount of trust you must put on others in order to ultimately trust yourself and your own capabilities.

track runner

For ever runner there is an entire support system.


You have to have TRUST in your coach. A running coach and their athlete’s relationship is one that is incredibly intimate; there is much said without ever being voiced. The ‘best’ relationships are build to become ones that a coach can literally sense what a runner is doing and how their body is reacting even better than the runner. A bond like that takes years of course, and finding the right ‘fit’ also takes time. To get that ‘fit’ an athlete needs to be able to have nearly blind faith in their coach. Trust is imperative.

Not everyone has a coach, so this trust must be shifted to that of the training program, whatever that may be. You see, to get the confidence one needs to excel in racing you have to have to have ‘proof’ by way of your training. Hard evidence from grueling workouts that you survived; you remind yourself you’ve outlasted the pain before and can do it again. The concrete TIMES and numbers also don’t lie and offer up ample proof. You need to trust your training come race day.

You need to feel comfortable with your competitors. The word trust here is slightly altered; more fitting is embracing those runners next to you throughout the race. They are the ones pushing you, driving you to reach your potential, pulling you along to times and feats you may not even realized you were capable of. You THRIVE under the presence of your competition.
teammate runners
Trust is spot on for what you must feel amongst your training partners. Be them actual bodies pulling you through workouts (probably the most ideal situation) or those you communicate with online. Either way they keep you extra accountable; the shove you sometimes need to either get out the door or pick up the pace when necessary.

Physical training partners make a world of difference. Bonds of trust, reliance, friendship, and so much more are created through sweat and miles. Those bonds are more resilient than any amount of words or coffee dates. Your training partners begin to know you and have a sense of your ‘running self’ a bit like a coach; not to the same degree but in that direction. You need to TRUST your teammates and training partners, use that relationship as the ‘good’ kind of pressure when the gun goes off. Race for yourself first, then race amongst your teammates knowing they too have confidence in your abilities. Finally, race with extra confidence in seeing your teammates thrive; if you’re doing the same amount of work as them, the better they do is PROOF that the better you can do.

There is a world of trust and gratitude that each and every runner needs to have in their other supporters. Be them parents cheering or significant others who accept that running time isn’t selfish time; the physical therapists who piece us back together after injuries, the massage therapists if we’re lucky enough to snag a rub-down from. Then there are the poor souls who listen to us rant during times of injuries or bad races; give us some time to vent but then push us to get into a positive and proactive mindset to keep moving forward.

Running gets coined as a selfish sport but it isn’t so long as each runner acknowledges they are NOT an island, but that they have a network of those they must rely on and TRUST in to reach all of those lofty goals they strive for.

1) Who are some of the people you have trust in and ‘use’ to become the runner you have become and want to be?

2) Do you have a coach? How long have you been with them and what is that relationship like?

3) Name a source of support you get that is a non-runner.
My little siblings (getting not so little) are blessed with coordination so compete is other sports…hehe.

best running shirts

When Running Gets Lonely it’s Okay to Have ‘Imaginary’ Training Partners

If you’re a runner suffering from a bit of Suri Cruise syndrome and you don’t have any friends to run with, do what I do and make some up.
fast women
Actually, I got an email from one of my AWESOME Team Cait runners taking part in the September Miles Madness Challenge that completely made my morning, “Thanks for the enthusiastic welcome, I’m actually really excited. I’m always looking for someone to run with (who shares the same schedule, yeah right!) and now I feel like I’m part of a whole team… I’ve already run 2 extra times in the last 4 days and am feeling extra light today as a result!!”

Running is the best sport but let’s be honest it is hard business, no way around it. It takes an insane amount of self-motivation and more often than not is a mental battle as much as it is a physical one. There are days when those miles feel a lot harder than they should or when your desire to get out the door may be more on the ebb than the flow; however, all of those days are worth the runs that feel magical. Or the PR’s that feel so painful you cross the line and know you definitely reached down deeper than you ever had before. Oh us runner and our sick, twisted love affair with self-torture.

Having other runners to help bare the pacing burden for workouts, even just to share the same track or run alongside you, can make a world of difference. Even for those long runs, should two runners go 14 miles in near silence, it’s hardly lonely and it could be argued that those two runners were in fact closer during that time than two friends yammering away over a cafe latte. [Kramer shout-out to anyone who got that!]
trail runner
There are times a runners seeks the solitude of miles done alone and there are times they crave the company. Instances when a runner looking to get the best from themselves is compelled to find competition, the burning desire to seek a mate who can kick their butts in the best way possible.

For the times one’s self-motivation starts to wane, the temptation to blow off a run when they really shouldn’t, having accountability to someone, or someones, can act as the push int the right direction.

Why what this runner’s email meant so much to me was because it epitomized what Ashley and I had hoped to do at the onset of the challenge: inspire and motivate people to get out there and get ‘er done! It’s never too late to join the September Miles Madness fun, I’ll keep you all posted with updates and the prize pot will continue to grow too!

Flesh and blood real-life running partners, cyber teammates, or imaginary people…whatever works for you. So if you have to imagine your running partners helping pull you along, by all means. Just be sure to set the post-run refuel table with extra plates ala a Suri tea party.

1) If you have committed to a friend or a group that you’re going to go running does that impact your motivation to follow through?

2) If you don’t have real life friends to run with, do you find support in an online community venue or through reading blogs?

3) If you’re running alone, do you ever imagine there are others around you? Be honest! [You can revisit my post on racing your shadow HERE.]
Straight up, if I’m running a hard workout sometimes I even pretend there is a double ‘me.’ Wait, don’t commit me yet, let me explain. If say I’m doing a tempo on the same route I usually do, I pretend there is the ‘me’ that ran one of my faster times and I want to beat that version of me. When I pass each mile marker I check in and see who’s winning. Okay, now you can still commit me to the cuckoo’s nest now if you want. ;)

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Love Your Running Competition and Thrive in Their Presence

When a runner steps to the line they are never alone. The racers next to you all have goals of their own; some of the goals may be the same as your own…you both will be fighting for that same finishing place. Some of those racers may be your own teammates, your friends, your training partners.

But in the end, when the gun goes off you all become one and the same: racers. All other titles momentarily erased.

fast runners

Of course if you know some of those racers you may devise a race plan where you work together for some portion of the race, helping each of you through the early stages and setting you BOTH up for a better finish. There can be a team component to track, more-so in cross-country, but there inevitable comes a certain point in the race where anyone running next to you is nothing but your competition.

Embrace your competition because they are what will make you faster, and one of the strongest tools you have to utilize in the quest for your best. They will push you to your limits…or rather they will push you to the point where you will have to decide whether you are willing to go to those limits.

This opportunity isn’t solely in races, and with the London Olympics fast approaching, there are some really great articles highlighting Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher not just as two of the USA’s top chances for medaling in the Olympic Marathon, but also the fact that they are indeed training partners.
kara goucher shalane flanagan
Both are excellent reads, and some things you can gather from both are:

* Train For Your Best: Both women have run nearly every workout together; similar to a race situation when you workout with someone who can push you, both of you end up the winners.

* Race Day Confidence: Of course when the gun goes off, both women rightfully acknowledge friendships and training partner labels are completely taken off the table. In the article featuring Goucher they touch on what it means to have Flanagan around her the longer the race drags on. On the one hand, because they have trained together both can get a bit of a confidence boost having the other around with the thinking, “Look, if Shalane/Kara is still here and handling this and we’ve trained together, I KNOW I belong here and can handle it.” The whole, “This hurts, but she’s doing it, so can I” line of thought.

* In The End You’re Running For One: On the flip side, there is the point where you need to drop your competition. There’s nothing more to be said on that one except that rather than ever fear them, be thankful for them…embrace your competition and allow yourself to thrive under their presence.

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Some people get more nervous knowing faster people are in the race, so here’s a look back on a post I did about race day nerves, how to manage them and actually use them to your advantage.
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1) How do you handle your competition, do you tend to get more nervous if you know faster people are in the same race?

2) For training, do you seek out people to run with who you know are at your same pace or a little faster?

3) Do you enjoy a race more if you know some of the other racers or if you have teammates?
I know I did…always fun to have company on the warm-up and cool-down too! :)

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dont’ fear compeition

And a Wee Bit ‘O Luck to Ya…

Yes, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I could also say St. Patty’s Day but every time I do it makes me think there should really be a Happy York Peppermint Patty’s Day somewhere around here too. ;)
leprechaun runner
I hope you’ve all been having a great one and doing a little celebrating yourself. I’m not a drinker, so if you are feel free to have my leftover beers. I do love everything green, though, and you could find me noshing on some green chocolate chip pancakes. (My dad used to make those for us when I was a kid on St. Patty’s Day.)

It’s a fact that my all-time favorite color is lime green and so let’s hear it for a few more oh-so cliched Irish holiday inspired items:

* Don’t steal my lucky shamrock. Do you believe in luck? Do you have little trinkets, rituals, or things you swear to others you know don’t really bring you luck but you have them/do them anyways just because, well, it couldn’t hurt? Hey, I own up to the fact that whenever I see a clock reading 11:11 I make a wish to myself. ;)

* Leaping Leprechauns! Those little guys have springs on their legs, or maybe they have just been doing a ton of plyometrics. ;) I HATE doing those plyo’s, this girl can’t jump, but they work wonders for your speed. So get to jumping like a wee, green man!

* Corned beef and cabbage, say what? I’m not a big corned beef fan, I do like cabbage. But don’t shy away from all red meats if you do like them because they have iron, which is super important for runners! If you don’t like red meats (guilty) then seek out other iron rich foods…hey, spinach is a leafy green that contains a lot of iron. It could be cut into the shape of a clover too…maybe. Teehee.
prankster
* Pranksters! I wish I were really good at pulling off great pranks and such but I am so gullible that I usually end up being the one pranked. That said I use sarcasm like it’s going out of style and plenty of times people think I’m being serious and sometimes that gets me in a wee bit ‘o trouble.

* Spuds! I am in love with the spud, I’ll take me my fair share of potatoes and then some. My favorite is probably a big ‘ol baked potato loaded with chicken, broccoli…and actually cottage cheese. Is that last one weird? I don’t care, I like it. And for you skin haters…you’re missing out, the skin of the potato contains nearly all of the awesome vitamins and nutrients found in the potato…so choke the skin down if you have to. Jk.

* Friends and merry, good times. You picture people celebrating St. Patty’s Day and you think of parties, people, and good times. I’m all for that…whether you are a fellow sweat obsessed runner or not, you can be my friend. :)
skate boarder
Have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day and I think I’m going to talk to someone about instituting a York Peppermint Patty’s Day too! ;) (naturally then, we’ll need a Junior Mints Day…just saying.)

1) What did you/are you doing for St. Patty’s Day?

2) What is your favorite St. Patty’s themed item?

3) Do you believe in ‘luck’ or do you have a lucky item/ritual?

4) Do you like potatoes? Are you a fan of corned beef and cabbage? How do you make sure you get enough iron? Pick any of those and answer…hehe.

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Eating the Heart Out of Life: Digging for Positives and WHY the Journey is Worth it to You

How do you ‘eat the heart out’ of life? How do you celebrate the positives in life? Cherish even the little, fleeting moments, soak up what the moment may bring, and savor the deliciousness of what makes you smile?
eating cotton candy
Sometimes we can all get stuck in the hustle and madness that is our day to day schedule and blitz through a day without really even having ‘lived’ it…or sat down for that matter.

It’s also easy to get stuck going through the motions; sometimes it’s because you’re not exactly loving whatever it is you HAVE to do and going on auto-pilot is much easier. Hey, not everything we do in life we look forward to…we all have to scoop the dog poop one way or the other so to speak.

This happens in training too…the vast majority of those miles and workouts are not going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine. Unicorns won’t be frolicking around and shooting stars out of their behinds in your wake. Not every race will bring a PR…not every long run will go to plan.

But we don’t just run for the good times, because if you did that you might only run once or twice a year. You run for the quest of those ‘good times’…you keep putting money in the bank for the days you can then make a withdrawal. You stick to the path for the journey because even in those crappy runs there is the nugget of accomplishment when you are at least done and you put in work. Then, you REALLY should soak up those fantastic ‘ups’ and successes when they come…you worked hard for them!

eating ice cream

A vat of ice cream could be in order after a FAT PR!! :)

But I think it’s important to remember that regardless of what you’re going through, where you are, there ARE positives. It may take some thinking at times, and during these times it may call for just going outside, turning your head to the sunlight and forcing a smile.

FORCED smiling, forced laughter can even feel good…liberating…and turn into a real smile…if even for a fleeting moment. And if that still doesn’t quite do the trick, try thinking back to something in childhood that made you smile…and if it’s taking a huge bite out of cotton candy…then by all means, indulge yourself.

1) How do you eat the heart out of life? If it’s tough to force a smile in the moment, what’s one way you make yourself remember how?
Usually thinking of my family or things I loved as a kid…Disney movies are always a sure fire way to time warp me back to an 8 year old me!

2) In training, what’s the ratio of the days you feel ‘great’ compared to the ‘not-so-awesome-but-it’s-done’?
Depends where I’m at…but have to say the ratio gets skewed when you’re only cross-training!! Haha.

3) Why is all the training time meaningful or ‘worth it’ to you? Is it PR’s, so you can eat like a runner, so you can be faster than your husband, because it keeps you sane???
The last one for sure! :)

4) Last thing that made you smile?
I was telling a story and my brother interjected this side comment that totally made my day…he didn’t even mean to, but it just made me stop and bust out laughing.

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