Running with Lupus

“The blood tests indicate that you might have syphilis,” the doctor said. “I will need to run a few more tests.” WTF!? I thought. “Syphilis?” I asked out loud. “No, you misheard. You might have lupus.” “Oh thank goodness! I can totally get down with that.” My primary care physician and I still giggle about this exchange from early 2013. It was the middle of my four-year break from running, my hair more » Read more

Mindful Goal Setting for Runners

If you are well-studied in the art of mindfulness, you may find the title of this post misleading. And you would be correct. Mindfulness has no goal. I first introduced this concept in a primer post on mindfulness and running. Often referred to as nonstriving, when we are mindful we enter an experience open to whatever that experience presents. A better word for goal would be intention but, if I titled more » Read more

Barley’s Post-Run Summer Beers

As many know, I take my recovery pretty seriously. That also means I take my post-run beers pretty seriously, and no one can expect you to re-hydrate with the same beers year round. It’s summer, so put down stouts and porters and hopefully by now your local store stopped carrying my recommended holiday beers. No one likes the house with Christmas lights in July either. It’s time to stock up on the lighter more » Read more

Back in the Saddle: How to Survive a Return to Running After a Break

When you fall off a horse in riding, the best thing you can do is get back on and ride again. It helps you overcome your fear of falling again. Is the same true for running? Returning to running after a layoff, especially one related to injury, can be tricky. Two things typically happen. You’re either mentally raring to go, but your body takes longer to respond. Or, you’re physically more » Read more

Can I Stay In Marathon Shape in the Pool?

One week out from the beginning of my taper, while cruising through a ten-mile tempo run, I felt a terrible pain in my right shin at mile seven. I’m tough, I thought, and pushed through. After I completed the prescribed workout at 6:25 pace the pain got worse and I hobbled home. Subsequent days of frantic icing, stretching, icing, stretching, and PT sessions ensued. After numerous PT sessions, including (terribly painful) more » Read more

SOS: Even Elites Bomb Workouts

Tough days are a fact of life. And in training, tough workouts are too; you push hard, then recover, then push harder, trying to get just a little closer to the sun every time without getting burned. But some days you try and fail, your body refusing to cooperate. Sometimes you just don’t have it in you. And believe me, it’s not just you! It’s all of us. You might more » Read more

What’s Worse for Running, Injury or Illness?

When you’re sidelined with a running injury things are pretty cut and dry: you can’t run for a prescribed amount of time until your injury is healed. And while it’s difficult to miss out on running, especially if you’re in full training-mode for an event, it’s almost a badge of honor. You got injured because you were working your body hard. In most cases, you can cross-train through injury. While more » Read more

Last Run

If I had known last Sunday was going to be my last run, for possibly a long time, I would have gone further. I would have savored the fresh air, enjoyed the scenery despite running down a sidewalk near a business park, and relished the heaviness of my breath and tiredness of my legs. Instead, I took it all for granted, assuming I would wake up the next morning and more » Read more

How To Take A Cutback Week

Spring marathon season is coming to an end and many of us are already signing up for fall races and laying out our training plans! I don’t know about you, but I get excited when my coach’s training plan arrives loaded with solid chunks of mileage and challenging workouts. But I also like to look ahead to see when I might get a little break from the effort, the little more » Read more

It’s Serious: Running and Concussions

Early last Saturday morning, I woke up after a late night and decided that a run would boost my energy for the day. So, instead of heading back to bed, I headed out for a quick eight mile tempo, which is exactly what I needed. I felt great, maintaining a consistent 7-7:24 pace before heading toward home on the main roads. About a mile out I ran past a construction site and suddenly found myself more » Read more

Running Performance and Diet: from Vegan to Vegetarian to Carnivorous

One look at social media and you’ll likely see some runners declaring devotion to a plant-based lifestyle and others shouting their love for bacon from the rooftops. Everywhere you look, runners are swearing up and down, “THIS is the diet that boosts running performance!” We all want a healthy diet over all, but what that means to different runners can vary widely. Some of us watch our diets closely, others don’t. Some of us allow for daily or weekly more » Read more

Blood Clots: When a Pain in the Leg is More than a Tight Muscle

On April 15, 2004, just six months after I quit my full-time biotech job in Boston and moved to Michigan to join the Hanson’s-Brooks team, I experienced a pain in my calf. At first it seemed like one of those normal runner things, especially since just ten days before I had run the 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon. But as it turned out, this was serious. You might be surprised to learn more » Read more

Should Runners Track Heart Rate Variability?

Heart rate. It’s one of those things runners either track obsessively or scoff at the mere thought of thinking about it. While I’m not quite obsessed with tracking my heart rate, I do find tracking it very helpful. For me and many others, tracking resting heart rate, if not while running but at the very least first thing in the morning, can reveal a lot about how our training is going or our overall health. more » Read more

What Running Has Taught Me About My Body That I Want My Daughter to Know

As I watch my daughter bloom from a toddler into a spirited, willful little girl my heart yearns for her to maintain the absolute lack of body self-consciousness and self-judgment that she enjoys right now. I watch her twirl without the fear of what others might think, I see her put together outfits and crazy jewelry combinations, not to impress anyone, but simply because they make her happy. She picks more » Read more

On the Suckiness of Post-Marathon Slumps Even When You Expect Them

While many of the other women who competed along side me last February at the Olympic Marathon Trials raced their first big races after L.A. this weekend, I did not. In fact, I don’t think I could race right now if someone paid me. After every marathon, whether race day goes well or poorly, I end up in a slump. I excitedly stuff my face with every baked creation imaginable and that’s fun more » Read more