5 Lessons from Kids About Running

Becoming a mom three years ago was a life changing experience. I’d like to say that I savor every moment, but that’s not true. Many days I’m frazzled and counting down the minutes until I can sit on the couch with a bowl of ice cream. But sometimes, like now, I sit back and realize how cool it is to be someone’s mom; for every lesson I teach my kids, they teach me way more. I’ve been surprised lately how these lessons can relate to my running, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you! Read more

What Counts as a PR?

PRs are what we competitive runners live for!

PRs are what we competitive runners live for!

Oh my gosh! I just ran a 5k PR on the treadmill!

YES! I ran a 10k, 15k, 10 mile and half marathon PR in my marathon!

I just ran a minute 5k PR, but everyone (and my Garmin) think the course was 3 miles instead of a 5k.

My GPS said the course was 13.4, but at 13.1 I had a 30 second PR, but was over a minute off my PR when I finished.

Are these personal record performances? No. And here’s why. Read more

A Quick and Salty Guide to Running in Chicago

Going to Chicago for the weekend? In the middle of marathon training? Like cities where people drink… a lot? Great. You’ve made it to the right place.  Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza, friendly Midwestern people  and 15 professional sports teams. Though as runners we know it as the city that hosts The Chicago Marathon. Since its inception in 1905, the race has been one of the major world marathon growing to about forty-thousand runners last year. But you don’t need to run in the marathon to enjoy running to Chicago!

Chicago Lakefront

Chicago Lakefront (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re heading to Windy City and need a little rundown on the running scene, this post is for you! Read more

Find Your Fitness: Time Trials

Good times with time trials

Good times with time trials

With fall racing season now in full swing, many of us are ramping up our workouts accordingly.  But when your training plan calls for you to run at 1-mile pace, or 3K pace, or 30 seconds faster than 5K race pace, what does this translate to for you, especially if you’ve never run a race at that distance?

Time trials might just be the tool you need to establish a baseline for your fitness and fine tune your training.  Read more

Running with the Blind

Marla Runyan was the world’s first visually impaired Olympian, and being blind didn’t stop her from breaking tape! img via dokter-hanny.blogspot.com

The other day my running partner decided to bring a friend to our run who was training for the Savannah Half Marathon.  Imagine my surprise when they arrived and I discovered his friend was blind!  I will admit that for the first few minutes I was a bit apprehensive; I’m not sure why, but I was.  I mean, I knew blind people can run. Marla Runyan has been one of my personal heroes so I knew it was possible, but I had not met any blind runner until now.  I mean, what would we talk about?  Would we have to hold her hand the whole way?

Not exactly…

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5 Ways to Run Through a Rut

Friday 5So, while Catnip was writing a post about staying motivated while pregnant and Salty was asking why we do this to ourselves, I was sitting around and considering the fact that I’ve had no motivation to run over the course of the last month. Or two. So I started to wonder what it takes to break out of a running rut. And then I started wondering if it really mattered whether or not you really break out. Stop throwing things at me and hear me out. 

Have you ever taken a break from running? I’ve taken whole years off before. And when I came back I came back because I wanted to, not because I felt obligated to.

Here are five ways to break out of your running rut…or not. Read more

The Difference Between Running and Racing a Marathon

No matter the pace, racing a marathon means those final miles are tough!

My coach is fond of saying that I have only raced a few marathons. What, you may ask, was I doing the other 20-some times I toed the marathon line? According to Coach I was just running. Is there really a difference between running and racing a marathon? I think so.

I know countless great runners who do not race their marathons; they run a few marathons year after year always finishing in the same 10 minute range, and I wonder what they could do if they were just willing to put it all on the line. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with simply running your marathons without racing, but any way you slice it, you still have to cover 26.2 miles! Crossing the finish line is a big deal in itself! It’s not for everybody but if you suspect you’ve never really raced a marathon, I encourage you to consider taking the leap. You might be surprised by what you’re capable of!

If you’ve never done it before you may be wondering, “How exactly do I go about racing a marathon rather than simply running to the finish?”
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Achieve the Perfect Long Run for Your Marathon or Half Marathon!

English: Start of a long road

A long run need not be lonely or boring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a while since we’ve visited the long run, and since many of us are getting into fall racing season it’s time!

Most of us know long runs are important, but we also have some newbies among us who need a little background on the fundamentals of good half and full marathon training. Weather you’ve run a bazillion of them or are sweating about your first, this post is for you!

It seems like runners either love or hate going long. No matter your standpoint, they are necessary, especially for half and full marathon training.  And as we creep up on prime timing of long training runs for this fall’s racing season, I’ll share what the experts have to offer as well as what has worked for me, personally, for these time consuming but gratifying runs.

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The Perfect Training Log Trap

Years of B+'s in your training log will get you farther than a season of these.

Years of B+’s in your training log will get you farther than a season of these.

Training plans are the best. All you have to do is look at the day on the calendar and do what the training plan says. I don’t know about you, but I take a lot of pride in logging week after week of perfect training, nailing all my training plan’s workout paces and weekly mileage goals. I find that the more perfect training weeks I have the more I push myself to hit all my targets and to maintain that perfection for the entire training cycle. Who doesn’t need a little extra motivation every now and then?

But there’s an ugly side to training log perfection.You must be thinking I’m crazy. What could be wrong with nailing an entire season of training?! Now is where I ask you to take a step back and answer this question:

What is the point of training? Is it to log perfect workouts and nice round weekly mileage numbers? Or is it to get faster and nail your goals on race day?

Now I’m not saying we don’t need to work hard. We do. However, we tend to think of training as more is better, even when we know better. And that perfect training log thing suckers us, especially the type-A among us. In some ways, going for perfection even past the point of jumping the shark to the point of overtraining, even when continuing to run ourselves straight on into the ground is easier than smart effective training. With training log perfection there is only one rule: GET. IT. DONE.

But when it comes to smart effective training, it’s more complicated.

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Move Well to Run Well

Here you can see my funky arm swing: chicken wing on the left, arm tucked close to my body on the right

Before FMS: Here you can see my funky arm swing: chicken wing on the left, arm tucked close to my body on the right

As competitive runners, either in spirit or in practice, we can be counted on to rattle off our latest PR, our optimal target heart-rate, how many calories per hour we need during a race…name your statistic.  But if I asked you if you have adequate shoulder mobility or rotary stability, would you know?  My guess is you wouldn’t; you might not even know what they are, and these are two movement patterns that are fundamental to human movement at its most basic level. 

It’s really okay if you don’t know, though! Most of us don’t know whether or not we move well on such a rudimentary level, but if we were armed with this information we might be able to better stave off injuries or take our running past those performance plateaus that limit us.  This begs the question:  how can we gain this awareness? Read more