Dream It, Then Work (Run) For It: 10 kicks to motivate you out the door

When you close your eyes, may you dream of lanes, miles, and splits.
track runner dreaming face
It’s never too early to dream of track, or any running goals for that matter. But at a time in the season where your next race may night be quite close enough to ‘taste’…the motivation to brave the elements (Hello, Winter, I was over you last month.) can wane for some runners.

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Running Outside the Individual: How training partners make you faster

This weekend they will be running the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The pinnacle of excitement for college cross country, I’ve done a few pieces highlighting a few of the front runners vying for the individual title: Shelby Houlihan, Crystal Nelson, and Patrick Tiernan.
running workout faces  emojis
Whether you ran cross country in college, or even went to college, or not I urge you to read them because among all of there runs a similar theme: cross country is unique because it blends the individual component of running with the team aspect. As every runner knows, ultimately, a race is against beating yourself, and while track does have a team scoring element, it is in no way like cross country’s.

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Ask Me: HELP! I’m stressed…

Here’s an excellent question I got from a reader recently. If you’ve got any running related questions for me, feel free to drop me a line: cait@caitchock.com

Q: Hi,

I came upon your page regarding running and could not help but be very impressed. I am a 23 year old dental student in my final year and the stress of exams has got my anxiety to higher than average levels. I am writing to you regarding advice and techniques on how to relieve such stress/anxiety through the sport of running. I previously ran 5km a day, however due to recent time constraints I have been unable to match this goal. What would you suggest in terms of distance to ensure I do not spend too much time on recreational running? What intensity do you recommend I perform? And finally what supplementation would you suggest to help me improve and relieve said anxiety.

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The Running Grinder and the Recovery Champ

Within every runner live the Yin Yang twins…the grinder and the ice-cream loving, sloth who lives to watch cartoons. We’ll call the latter the ‘recovery champ’.
runner and lazy girl art
While I jest, because it’s not just ice cream they love but pizza, donuts, burritos, french toast [insert runger fantasies here], there is truth to it.

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Ask Me: Solving Calf Injuries

I always love getting mail from readers and I often get questions which, because I could talk/write/draw about running all day, I’m always happy to answer. The other awesome thing about bloggy-land and our cyber-culture is constantly making new friends. I enjoy hearing updates back from the runners I’ve ‘met’ after they’ve sent questions and it’s always cool to watch them go on to run healthy and set new PR’s.
running motivation art fitspo
Well because great minds think alike, or at least I’m certain questions I’m emailed are ones others probably have, I decided to share a few. If you’ve got a questions feel free to email me at: cait@caitchock.com

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All About the Climb

Runners are constantly climbing. It’s in our nature to always have a goal we’re working towards, always wanting to push ourselves to do better. Whether it be chasing new PR’s, challenging yourself to expand your race distance range, or even after we’re past our ‘PR-PR’ years, redefining the times and bests (weekly, yearly, masters, etc.) bests.

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Waiting Can Suck, But the Patient Runners Win Out

Being patient sucks. Waiting for what we want isn’t fun, but the reality is that often times we are forced to wait. Even more often is it that rushing things will ultimately leave us more frustrated in the long term.

As runners, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just lace up and make our next race/workout/run a PR? If only, right?! The natural tendency to want those faster times and better fitness TODAY is the breeding ground for injuries, overtraining, and slowed progress. Beautiful irony there, right?
runner pr
Every runner has been guilty of it, and hey, some things you just have to learn yourself the hard way. (Sometimes a few times to really NAIL that lesson home.) Being patient sucks…but we need to learn to embrace it.

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Misery Loves Company: Surviving a running injury

Nothing unites complete strangers more than discovering they are both, in fact, injured runners. Because let’s be honest, no one REALLY understands the agony us runners go through when we’re deprived of our ‘fix’. Miles give us endorphins, take those out of the equation and you do the math. It sucks.

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4 Steps to Getting Through the Grind

Long runs and long workouts tend to scare people. It can feel intimidating looking down the barrel of a double digit run or mulit-mile repeats. We’re distance runners, we love this stuff, but large quantities of miles (especially faster miles) still intimidate us.

Running and that mental component, can’t escape the mind games. Our bodies are apt to surprise us and prove our limit-setting minds wrong…BUT it’s a matter of pushing past the mind crap (doubts/fears/discomfort) before we can be ‘pleasantly’ surprised.
skulls on a track
The best thing about running into new territory, be it your longest run, the most number of long intervals, or the most volume of hard running, they’re all scariest before you do them. Once you’ve conquered the best you’ve proven you’re capable of it and you get a new frame of reference.

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Kill Some Stress, Run Faster, Be Happier

The last few days my Adobe was acting up, legit like a two year old heck bent on crippling me. I couldn’t finish work that NEEDED to be done, I cursed the computer and slammed some fists. It had turned ME into a toddler. Hot mess.

Stress. Frustration. Anxiety. We can’t avoid it in life and we can’t avoid it in running either. There are ALWAYS going to be things totally out of our control. My tantrum wasn’t going to solve the computer issues, and neither is the wildest of fits going to cure a stress fracture. Sometimes sh*t just sucks but you NEED to deal.
stress fractures suck
In the moment that can feel impossible but our fast-paced lives have gotten to a point where the stress, anxiety, and frustrations churning through us are destroying us. Making us sick. Clearly even if you’re not on the verge of a stress induced heart-attack or breakdown, I dare say everyone and anyone has some sh*t going on that they would do well to unburden themselves with.

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