They Always Say Home Is Where the Heart Is

Find your home. Find your love. #run

track heart

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MY NEW NEWSLETTER! If you missed the first Arty Runnerchick Ezzere Newsletter, don’t cry…don’t worry…just sign up and you won’t miss out on one minute more of the action! ;)

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Think of them like a weekly vitamin shot: packed with training tips, news and updates, art, motivation, and more to boost and fuel your running. ;) Plus way tastier than those wheat grass shots.

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1) Where do you feel most at home?
2) Where are you finding love with your runs lately?
3) What vitamins or supplements do you take, if any?
I hope everyone takes at least some iron supplements!

What’s Fueling YOUR Run?

Whether it be sarcasm, pancakes or otherwise, whatever fuels your running must be celebrated.

Power of the Running Snark

fueled by sarcasm
Trust me, a runner’s brain is wont to wander on those long runs and easy days, making jokes is certainly one of the best ways to roll. The perks of being your own running comedian:

* No hecklers: yea, let’s be honest, our brains may be a little deprived of of oxygen mid-run so the jokes may not exactly hold-up on a real comedy tour.

* Free laughs: it’s always MORE than okay to laugh at your own jokes, and out loud. Heck, you could wail like a hyena in the middle of the woods.

* Good times: spot really random moments of people when they have no idea anyone is like finding gold. Runners tend to go unnoticed by normal folk, we just blend into the background, so running is sometimes like the People Watching Olympics.

Running For Pancakes

fueled by pancakes
Literal fuel for your running, certainly never to be overlooked. Now the bait reward of the foods to come often spend copious amounts of time on the brain during a run…

* Long run salivation: staring that 22-mile long run? Shall I take a poll as to how many of those miles were spent drooling over just how much you’re going to savor devouring [insert favorite food here] upon return? No judgement if drooling starts the moment the watch starts.

* Pre-food penance: on the flip side, pick the WRONG food before a run and you’ll most likely spend the entirety of that run paying the price. We need to start assigning a Points System for certain foods if ingested before a run: ice cream ands loads of dairy = 15 fart points, super spicy thai = 27 bush-dive points, burrito bomb = 45 clenched cheek shuffle point/27 fart points/39 bush dive points…that may work in making us reeeealllly consider if it’s worth eating that BEFORE we run. ;)

* Energy: okay, let’s take a moment for a bit of seriousness…use food to fuel your performance people, fuel up right and you’ll feel the benefits. Good news is there aren’t militant expectations, it’s all about balance: ensure you get enough protein, time that protein right, make the majority of your carbs high-quality, eat your fruits and veggies, hydrate well and with electrolytes too, get enough iron and THEN…after that you deserve your desserts, treats, and rewards.

So now I ask, Runners, what’s fueling YOUR runs??

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Tips for coming up with a winning running nutrition plan.

How to eat out while still eating to perform…BONUS, that means you CAN eat for ‘fun’ and ‘performance’…hehe. :)

More cartoons and humor because, let’s be honest, laughing is the only way to go!

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1) Last thing you found hilarious while on the run?
2) What were you thinking about on your last run?
I had this annoying song stuck in my head, and that you just can’t run away from. ;)
3) What’s one tip when it comes to running and nutrition you like to live by?

Runner #CoreandCake Party! A core routine chased by loads of cake

Let the #CoreandCake Party get going, Runners! :) I’m going to start by showing you a quick core routine that you can do post-run. It’s short and sweet but effective at hitting those important core muscles, so there’s NO excuse for not doing it because you can whip it out fast.

I’ve got some picture demonstrations for a few of the ones that might be trickier to explain. Truth: I actually did a video but I think I’ve already grown tired of my chipmunk voice, so opted for the stills. ;)

Here’s how it works, there are group of exercises. Work up to doing three sets of each group, do all the sets for each group before moving onto the next group. Try doing this (or at least SOME core work) three days a week.

Group A

reverse crunch roll in core exercise
1) Reverse Crunch Roll-In’s — Set of 16

2) Ball Crunch — Set of 30
*Note: for the middle set, I like to mix it up and do the crunches alternating side to side.

Group B

alternating ball reach
1) Alternating Ball Reach — Set of 30
* Alternate reaching opposite hand to opposite foot; 30 total, so 15 each side

split crunch scissor
2) Split Crunch Scissors — Set of 16
* Start laying flat, as you reach up to center with the ball bring your left leg up towards the ball. Lower back down then bring your right foot up to the ball. Repeat.

hamstring ball pulls core exercise for runners
3) Hamstring Ball Pulls — Set of 8 for each leg
* This move works in three phases, and similar to the BRIDGE EXERCISE DEMO I did but up on the ball. Start with one foot on the ball and back flat on the ground, lift your butt up so you’re doing a bridge on the ball, then roll/pull the ball in towards you. Roll out, lower your back down to the ground out of bridge, then repeat. Then switch to other leg.

Group C

1) Push-up — Set of 10-15 (Modify on your knees if you have to.)

2) Chair Dips — Set of 10

BAM!! You can’t tell me you can’t bust that out in 10-15 minutes at most. But the benefits to your running are incredibly important:

* Strong Core = Efficiency. Build up your core and ‘weaker’ muscles so you’re able to hold better form as you run. Maintaing proper form, even as you tire, will keep you more efficient…read as faster.
* Strong Core = Less Injuries. You got it, most injuries are a result of an imbalance that result from a weak muscle. Fix those so you don’t wind up injured and not running at all.

Oh wait, we forgot the OTHER major benefit, you do your core and you get cake too! ;)

#CoreandCake Party Phase 2…

core and cake
Nom.
run for cake
Nom.

eating cake

Cake sees no speed. Runners of ALL levels working hard get their cake! ;)


Nom.
eat cake sweats in the city
Nom….check it out, #coreandcake goes #SweatsintheCity style in my Ezzere Run Your Fortune Tee!!

Check out the AWESOME Lisa @ RunningOutofWine because she’s celebrating all the #coreandcake goodness over at her blog too!! :)

Thanks all your runnerchicks and runnerdudes for coming, now go get YOUR #coreandcake on too! Don’t forget you can tweet/insta/social media #coreandcake all day, seeing hardworking runners devouring their just desserts always makes me smile. ;)

1) How often do you incorporate core work into your routine?
2) What’s your favorite kind of cake, or any dessert?
3) Have you partied down with Lisa yet too?? If not…you best head on over NOW!! :)

Believing, Running, and Lies

A runner’s mind is filled with lies. We live in our own sort of warped reality. I’ve talked a lot about how lies are our little coping mechanism so we CAN stay dedicated and motivated to keep reaching our goals. That lies can be a good thing.

The thing is though, not all of those lies are created equal and it’s important to know which lies you should be ‘believing’ and when you need to be truthful.
believe and lies
Good Lies

* Midway through a workout: “I’m only doing 1 more repeat, don’t worry brain!”
* About to start a workout or at the starting line: “It won’t really hurt, I swear!”
* In moments of motivation lulls to just START running: “Just run for 5 minutes, if you want to stop then you can.

These are the lies that help us tune out the pain and call our brains out when they’re just being lazy. These are AWESOME lies and the ones you should be blasting from a megaphone because they’re coming from your inner rockstar runner. The runner who wants you to achiever your goals…believe everything they say, those lies will fuel your greatness.

Bad Lies

* Mid-workout brain chatter: “You can’t keep this pace up.”
* Starting line: “Holy crap, I don’t belong next to so-and-so, they’re going to kick my butt!”
* Mid-race: “They just surged, they must feel way stronger than me…I’m just going to let them go.”

These are all the things that weak, insecure, tired, lazy, annoying, complaining brain likes to shout at you. These are remarks your rockstar runner persona needs to refute and call-out as lies. “I am stronger than I think. I belong at this starting line. A race isn’t over until the finish line and I know they hurting too, I just need to hang onto them.”

Dangerous Lies

* Mid-workout: “What was that POP? I’m sure it’s nothing…I think this pain will just go away in a second…”
* After 6+ days of feeling like total sh*t and workout times getting progressively slower: “Just suck it up…I’m DOING this long run/workout exactly as was planned 4 months ago.”
* In life: “It’s totally okay that I’ve only slept 4 hours the last five nights and been existing on Sugar Daddies, Ramen noodles and Diet Coke.

You get a runner, heck-bent on proving their toughness and combine that with our own ‘stupidity’ (“It doesn’t hurt THAT bad, I can surely make it three more repeats!”) and that’s when things get ugly. Injuries, Baby, injuries. Runners are always riding a fine line between good pain, bad pain, when to push, when to ease back, and to our credit it CAN be incredibly difficult to distinguish ‘right pain’ from ‘wrong pain’ and from there the degree of ‘wrongness’. I’m sure that reads like jargon to normal people, but runners totally GET exactly what I’m talking about.

The thing is, runners usually have to just learn the hard way and suffer through times when they’ve made mistakes to LEARN. Eventually you’ll come to find it’s better to err on the side of caution. It doesn’t make you mentally weak or a lame-o runner; in fact it takes more self control and confidence to hold back and issue that self-restraint.

Think of it this way. You’re running and mid-workout you definitely know something is off.

Option 1: Either slow down to a pace where you don’t feel the ‘bad’ pain or pull the plug on the workout entirely. Follow it up with some easy days and you’ll be right back into training mode after.

Option 2: Grit your teeth, finish the workout come h*ll or high water. You limp through a cool-down and the grimace never leaves your face. You ice like a mofo the rest of the day, chomp Ibuprofen like they’re Smarites and pray you’ll somehow go to bed and miraculously be fine.

What scenario do you think wins out?? Finally, what’s the WORST thing that could happen if for some reason you could have finished the workout and been fine after? The running police won’t come and yell, “SLACKER!!” at you.

Just keep working hard and remember training works on the law of averages, that single workout isn’t going to ruin your entire build-up to your Championship race.

Why it’s Hard to Admit a Dangerous Lie is Reality

On the flip side, runners sometimes grit their teeth through the ‘bad pain’ because they are afraid that if they stop they’re going to lose the ability to PUSH through the ‘right pain’. I know you know what I’m talking about because it feeds right back into the GOOD kind of lies.

Running hurts one way or another whether you’re injured or not. You can’t let your mind actively be looking for excuses to stop. So naturally there is the fear that if you pull the plug on a workout one time, you’ll start a chain reaction that results in you never being able to finish a workout. This does happen, and it’s mental suicide for a runner but here’s the thing…

…it works on a case by case basis and for lots of runners this fear of ‘losing the ability to push through pain’ is irrational. So, be honest here…you DO know good pain from bad pain, you DO know you can push through good pain, so in those pinnacle moments of needing to decide if you need to stop or not, listen to your gut.
runner bones
If your bones tell you you’re in danger of really doing damage, stop. It’s not worth it. You can’t run at ALL if you’re injured.

The same goes for a runner who refuses to acknowledge they need to ease back and give their body some rest rather than keep pushing, and keep digging themselves into a hole. Again, all those fine lines, but if you’re experiencing chronic fatigue for a week or more, you need to adjust.

Training routines aren’t concrete and always need a degree of flexibility. Flexibility goes both ways, sometimes you need to push yourself harder but other times you need to know when to scale back.

Don’t dig a hole so deep you have to take a full-on break. Sometimes a few easy days will do the trick and breathe life back into those legs!

Wow, so many lies!! You see why I said we live in a warped runner reality, no?! But be smart.

Tune into the good lies and believe them with all of your heart. Then be secure and confident enough in yourself to recognize the bad lies for what they are and face the real truth.

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More posts on CONFIDENCE
More posts on MENTAL TOUGHNESS
More posts on INJURIES
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1) What’s a good lie?
2) What’s a bad lie?
3) What’s a dangerous lie?

Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night

All you AWESOME runners better save the date and make your way to Cali cuz THIS is going down…the Ezzere Launch Party and Runner Night!!

ezzere launch party runner night
Do you have your excited face on? Good. Here are some more det’s:

My AMAZING friends at US Cryotherapy are opening up their doors for this runner posse. Haven’t ever tried this subzero temperature recovery treatment? Now’s your chance to come in and try the local treatment. Read all about their benefits for injury prevention, faster recovery after workouts, and injury treatments HERE.

Nuun Hydration is also taking part in helping sponsor the event too! They will be keeping all us runners hydrated up right as we party down with their NEW Nuun Active Hydration Drink. We already love their current drink line, this latest formula has those same essential electrolytes but now packed with extra B Vitamins and Caffeine. Still less than 12 calories and sans extra sugar though!

GU Energy also knows how important it is to fuel runners right and they’re going to be brining their fine selves and those awesome packs of Pure Performance energy to the party!

Not sure of the perfect place to put that hydrating drink or energy gel?? Well never fear, Hydrapak is coming to this Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night too and offering up some of their SoftFlasks to a few lucky runners in attendance! These SoftFlasks are well, soft (duh), and flexible meaning you can easily squeeze them on the run and get your energy gel or drink much better than the hard shell variety of flasks.

PRIZES!! Yes, let’s be honest everyone loves some good prizes and SWAG, right? The first 50 people will be gifted AT THE DOOR with one of Nunn’s new Active Hydration Drink Vial. The raffle will include a KICK@$$ Ezzere Running Tee, a Nuun Sample Pack, a GU sample pack, SoftFlasks from Hydrapak, AND a whopping $200 valued US Cryotherapy gift pack that includes: a 5-Pack Cryo Chamber/Localized punch card, US Cryo tee-shirt, water-bottle, and pen.

Excited smile getting bigger? Come as you are, Runnerchicks and Runnerdudes, there’s going to be a core exercise and injury prevention tips demonstration lead by moi and everyone there will be able to get arty and create their own motivational artboard.

Support a runner in Africa and bring a pair of your old running shoes, please don’t make them too dead, at least 100 more miles on them and make a donation to the shoe pile. :)

If you’re not in the local Roseville, CA area…I’m sorry, but I’ll be sure to take loads of pictures and you can STILL get your Ezzere Runner Tee, US Cryotherapy, and Nuun Hydration love at the respective sites. :)

Any more questions about the event send me an email: cait@caitchock.com

Until manana…keep running!

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Oh and THIS Friday there’s also a party, I know it’s getting full on club in this blog, there will be the #CoreandCake Party, check out that info HERE!!
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1) What do YOU consider a fun party, event, thing to do?
2) What’s the best prize you’ve ever won? Are you pretty lucky?
I never win any raffle or giveaways…haha.
3) What’s you’re favorite Ezzere shirt?
4) Have you ever tried US Cryo?
Yup…you can see that HERE. :P
5) Have you tried Nuun? What’s your favorite flavor.
Wildberry. :)

Escape into Sanity. Run.

I run to escape. I run to be free. I run for sanity.

run to escape
Go, escape into your run!

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#CoreAndCake Party!!! So it’s happening THIS Friday and you’re ALL invited. I’ll be sharing a new core routine to help you runners stay strong, build a more efficient running form and reduce injury risk. Talk of cake will follow. Get the gist?
core and cake
I’d also LOVE for any and all bloggers and social media-ites to hop on board.

1) Blog: Get creative and share anything core and/or cake related. Fitness folk that could mean sharing some of your favorite core moves, all foodies you could make us all drool over your favorite cake recipes! Heck, so long as any mention of core and cake makes it’s way in there I’m sold!

2) Social: Snap a pic of you doing a #coreandcake related celebration and Tweet/FB/Instagram it!

3) Link: If you’d like to be included in some blogger link-up partying, email me at: cait@caitchock.com with your link!

Looking forward to our runner part. :)
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1) Finishing the sentence…”I run to/for…”
2) Share a time when going for a run lead you to figure out a problem, get through a tough situation, or acted as your escape?
3) Favorite dessert?

There’s Only One High I Chase

Runner’s…I fully endorse living this high life.
endorphin high
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Reminder! The #coreandcake party is happening next Friday…here are the det’s!

More running MOTIVATION

More running ART AND CARTOONS
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1) What’s getting you high this weekend?
2) Is the sun poking out for you yet?
3) Best way to reward a hard running workout or race?
A hint…it’ll always be tagged #getinmybelly ;)

Hamstring Strengthening Video For Runners: Keep those hammies happy!

Alright, Runners, time to tell you the brutal honesty about your hamstrings: they’re plotting against you! They’re weak, they’re tight, and they’re cranky! Okay, okay, I’m speaking in the general, so your personal hamstrings (if you’re ALREADY taking care of them properly), may not be secretly plotting away an injury for you in the future…but it’s an ongoing offense we must play.

Hamstrings rank among one of the TOP injuries, or underlying issue for an injury for runners. The reason? Partially our lifestyles with too much sitting and also because runners are just prone to tight and weak hamstrings. The solution? Be proactive!

I’ve put together a video demonstrating an exercise routine targeting those weak hamstrings (and glutes). It hinges on the bridge exercise, doing them as single leg bridges. Aim to do these three times a week after your run, it will literally take you a minute or two, so no excuses!

3 Way Single Leg Bridges
10 raises each leg
3 Different distances from glutes

Avoiding an injury that keeps you from running is an ongoing effort, being proactive in the stretching and core work is your two-pronged approach! These nice exercises are one part of the puzzle and the other is doing the stretching.

Do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and keep being proactive…an injured runner on the streets is NOT someone I’d like to cross. ;)

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Fun announcement! If you follow me on Twitter you may have caught wind of #coreandcake parties that have been going on. It’s simple, do you core and you get your cake! Runners are human, we work well off of bribes. ;)

I’d like to take this party to the blog world! SOOO…I’m having a #coreandcake party NEXT Friday, March 28th and EVERYONE’S invited!! Here’s what’s going down and how you can take part:

1) I’ll be posting a core routine I’m currently loving, followed of course by talk of cake!
2) BLOGGERS: This will be a link-up sort of deal, so if you email me: cait@caitchock.com with an RSVP that you’ll also be talking core and/or cake on your blog we’ll kindly link up.
3) Social Media: If you’re tweeting, FB’ing, or Instagraming on that Friday let’s bust out that #coreandcake hashtag and give me a shout-out…cuz, let’s be honest, I can’t get enough of seeing core and cake taking over the net. :)

So this is your INVITE!! :)
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1) What is one of the ways you proactively take care of your hamstrings?
2) What is one of your known weak spots as a runner that you give extra care to?
3) What’s your favorite kind of cake?
Ummm….chocolate….duh! ;)

Ruling Your Fear: Running Like a Gamer, Fear be Da**ed

Let’s talk fear. Okay, I’ll break the silence and let you in on a dirty little secret: EVERY runner has fear. Regardless of how fast they are, how much they’ve accomplished, the Gold medals sitting in those shiny cases…every, single, runner has fear.

Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means that you WANT something. You have goals, you want to hit them and you’re scared/nervous/anxious because if you fall up short…then what? Fear merely proves you have goals that MATTER to you.
running motivation art
With running there is also the fear of the pain. BAM. I just touched on the TWO big taboos runners are never to speak of in the span of less than 150 words: fear and pain. Knowing that pain is going to be there, that you’re going to have to be mentally tough and push through that pain, that you’re NOT going to let that pain break you…that’s also where a large part of a runner’s fear comes from. And it also explains why, every runner, regardless of how good they are, be they professional or back of the packer will harbor some ‘fear’…every runner goes through pain. It’s part of our sport.

Now the thing is, the big difference between elite runners who race like ballers and every other runner who races like a gamer and the runners who implode is: the gamers don’t let the FEAR rule them. Gamers rule the fear. They turn the fear around, use that energy more as nervous-excited rather than nervous-fearful/worried. See the difference? It’s all in the mind.

Not letting fear rule you is difficult, even the most experience runners go through periods where they may struggle and need to get back on track. And to be honest, there’s always going to be a point in a race or workout where you’re riding a fine line between keeping your fear in check, “Am I seriously going to believe I can make it at THIS pace for THIS much longer?”

Combat The Fear

* Find Your Confidence: Not letting fear rule you means you push those doubts aside with reminders of why you ARE a gamer. Think of past workouts, know that you’re mentally tough, know you’ve survived plenty of times when you’re mind began to doubt your ability…and you proved that silly mind wrong.
* Find Your Mojo: Tap into that confidence and a part of that is just realizing WHY you’re doing something. Without the ‘why’ as a driving force it’s easy to just let the fear take over and not give a flip over the outcome. Set some goals and know WHY you’re willing fight through this fear and OWN it.
* Relax: The thing with running and pain and then running through that pain, if you try and ‘fight’ it you usually wind up running slower. Kinda like you just have to ‘relax’ into the pain, let it come, than do your best to just numb it out. If this makes sense? To put this into more ‘physical’ terms, a good way to describe it is to just make sure your form and body is relaxed, you’re not clenching your jaw or fists or scrunching your shoulders up near your neck. Relax your body, relax your mind, don’t ‘try too hard’ and don’t ‘fight it’.
#epicfailWIN picture
Everyone has fear, and that spans across all areas in life, but I’ve always found the best way to rule your fear is to DO what’s scary and prove that you lived through it. The more times you get through it, the less scary it becomes because you’ve built up your confidence.

I’ll tell you what helps me, and I’m be brutally honest, I say it like it is to myself, “Stop being a freaking idiot, just effing DO it.” Now, usually I’m not fearful of workouts, but I ultimately realize that the fear is stupid. Just effing do it would certainly apply across the board though, and with running sometimes that tough love is what you need. ;)

As for running, you can never let fear of workouts or racing turn into a monster: 1) because that sucks any fun out of running in the first place 2) you’ll implode in the workouts or races. Rather, just STOP thinking so much and freaking start. Just get going, relax, and roll with it…fear be da**ed.

The reason I feel it important to SHARE that EVERY RUNNER has fear is because you shouldn’t feel like a weakling just for having fear. You’re only a ‘weakling’ if you let that FEAR rule YOU. If that’s the case, don’t lose hope because you can always turn that around…tap into your confidence and race like the GAMER you want to be. ;)

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I wanted to do a post on fear because it came up in a really great article by Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running. Read “7 Quick Lessons from my 16th Place Finish at the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon” because it’s filled with tons of important recovery tips for runners. The bit on doubts is what triggered my idea for this post. SR is a great resource for runners, so go, stay and check out all his awesome reads!

I also talk a lot more on the mental side of running and tips to tune out that pain in my ebook “Effective Mental Strategy: Race better by out-thinking your brain”
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1) Fear is ever-present in running and in life. What is the last things you had fear or anxiety about?
2) How did you deal with that fear in a positive, GAMER way? Or did you find that fear won that time?
3) The last time fear won, how did you learn from that experience and make it so you can overcome that fear going forward?
Yo, we all lose sometimes, it’s just important to learn and make that a productive ‘loss’.