Does This Rest Day Make My Butt Look Big?

Hammock - Polynesia.

Would you pass this up for a run? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahhhh … rest days. After a grueling week of easy runs, long runs, tempos, track workouts, strength training and cross training there’s nothing like a day to relax and recuperate, you’d think we runners would be counting the seconds until our next rest day.

Maybe not.

Some look forward to those rest days, while others dread or ignore them. We all know that our bodies need some down time for recovering and growing stronger, but for many, putting that knowledge into practice is anything but easy. Read more

5 Signs It’s Time to Throw Out That Pair of Old Running Shorts

I admit that I still run in shorts I bought in 2005. I will go even further and admit I should probably not go out in public in these shorts and that they’re more suited for the trash bin than the light of day. But I have a hard time with that. I wore one such pair for the Boston Marathon! I can’t throw those away! Another, younger, although equally noxious pair of shorts suited me quite well when 9 months pregnant. I will never need them for that again (*knocks vigorously on wood*), but they remind me fondly of all those waddly pregnant miles.

Ok. You’re right. I am a border-line hoarder (although, I prefer the term “sentimental pack rat.”) I think it’s time I wrote myself some rules to help me know when it’s time to part with a pair of shorts no matter how desperately in love with them I am. Read more

Want a Strong Core? Think Beyond the Plank!

Kettlebell Swing

Is this the new plank?
Photo Credit: breakingpower.com

Can you hold a plank for more than a minute? Do you diligently hit the mat for your daily dose of core work before or after every run? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might want to consider trading in some of your planking time for some good old strength and power work.

Open any running magazine and you’re sure to find at least one article extolling the virtues of core work for runners. Planks appear to be the king of the core exercises, with most people aspiring to spend as long as possible in the plank position. The internet is full of plank challenges, where the win goes to the person who can hold plank the longest. Some experts, however, are challenging the power of the plank. Might there be a better way to strengthen your runner core? Read more

On Comparison, Coaching and Unlikely Mother’s Day Gifts

Shannon Rowbury in the Women's 1500m finals of...

I’m not elite like Shannon Rowbury. And…I know I probably never will be.  But if I take my running seriously like she does, what will people think? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Everyone asked me what I got you for Mother’s Day,” my husband said the next morning. He’d been at work when most families were treating mom to a lovely late afternoon lunch. “I guess they thought I had a deficit to make up, leaving a 9 year old in charge of making the Mother’s Day dinner.”

“What did you say?” I asked, hoping he’d made up a story about flowers and jewelry.

“I told them you asked for a running coach. They thought I was joking, like that was as bad as giving you a vacuum or blender. I tried explaining that you wanted to take your running to the next level and be elite, but they didn’t really get it.”

I swallowed the knot in my throat before the embarrassment filled up to my ears. Elite! You told them I wanted to be an elite? No! An elite version of myself, maybe. But I’m not so delusional as to think I have any business calling myself ‘elite’! Now all your colleagues will think I’m ridiculous and weird and full of myself! What if they find out my times and see what a poser I am? They’re all going to mock me for hiring a coach! Read more

Group Runs: Why You Should Join In and How to Get Started

Akela, the Lone Wolf

No need to be a lone wolf. Run with a pack! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first mile of a new group run sometimes feels like a date. It’s slightly awkward as you try to figure out the right speed or how to line up (all in a row? some ahead?). Things get a little more comfortable as you find topics of conversation that are interesting to all. If you’re lucky, by the end you have found a new friend or two and make plans to run again. However, like dating, it can be hard to make that first step to connect with others for a run. I’d like to share some of my tips for organizing or joining a group run and why it’s the best thing you may be missing. Read more

Race Report Trifecta

Firecracker 5k

One of the best AG awards I’ve ever won. It’s the size of a dinner plate!

I had one goal for this summer’s races – win my AG in every race I entered. My B goal was to place in the top 3 of every race. Knowing I would be racing closer to home, and in somewhat smallish races boosted my confidence that I would be able to achieve what I set out to do.

Mission accomplished!  Three times over! Read more

5 Post-Long Run Flapjack Recipes

Runner’s World recently posted an article about those flaky, syrupy, delightfully light yet sinful delicacies. Pancakes. Griddle Cakes. Hot Cakes. Flapjacks. Whatever you like to call them.

I’m not a huge fan of breakfast foods (eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls and the like are not my favorite; it takes a while for my body to wake up and heavy items like such usually result in some immediate GI discomfort for this gal); however, after a long run… there’s simply nothing better, in my opinion, than a good ol’ syrupy-drenched pancake. Not only are they just the right balance of carbohydrate energy-reloaders, but they can come in all different flavors to cater to any runners’ tastebuds! Add a cup of Joe and you’ve got yourself the perfect little duo to look forward to after pounding some pavement.

Some recipes provided were just plain WEIRD, but some sounded delightful. Here are the five I will be giving a try after my long runs over the next several weeks, as I train for the Columbus Half Marathon! Read more