North: The War on the Shore

For the first meet of the season, the North girls climbed onto a bus with their coaches and the boys’ team for the War at the Shore, an annual meet nearly an hour away in rural Ashtabula, Ohio, so close to the state border they were competing against Pennsylvanian teams. Neither of the senior girls were racing today; top-runner Sydnie was focused on the bigger meet coming up on Saturday and Ashleigh was busy more » Read more

On Injury

This last Spring, I had the best training cycle of my life. After much hemming and hawing over whether I’d go with a higher mileage plan than I’ve done before, I decided to take the plunge with Hanson’s Marathon Method. I was originally worried to take on more miles, as the last two marathons I’d started training for left me injured before I could get to the starting line and more » Read more

North: An In-depth Look at a High School Cross Country Team

When the sky turns silvery blue with those big puffy clouds and the first leaves threaten to turn from green to gold, even while the temperatures say it’s still summer, cross-country season begins. In power-house districts, mostly concentrated in wealthy suburbs, huge teams of teens congregate in parks for repeats, drills and strides through meadows and trails. But in some, like Eastlake North, a Division I school in the working more » Read more

Who Should Women Runners Fear? It’s Not Who You Think

As I ran this morning on the treadmill, I watched Fox News cover the story of the female runners who had been recently murdered while out on a run. I watched the story transition from one about potential connections between the murders to one where a trained individual showed two women how to protect themselves from a stranger attack while on a run. He mimicked running behind each runner and using more » Read more

What I Learned from a 30 Day Run Streak

In the spring, I noticed a trend after posting my training logs: immediate and crushing guilt. I could see plainly on the screen, and in the notes that I keep so religiously in my phone, that I wasn’t doing my best. I wasn’t pushing hard enough. In fact, I was barely pushing at all. I read other training logs and compared my own work to everyone else’s. Not in a negative more » Read more

Finding Meaning in the Process

Lately I’ve been obsessing over sand mandalas. If you live in a big city or have visited a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, you may have even watched one as it was created. Mandalas are those really cool rosettes made of brightly colored sand that employ the use of various Buddhist imagery, created by monks in orange robes hunched over little sticks they rub together to create each tiny line. They’re hypnotically beautiful and reassuring more » Read more

When Your Running Identity Changes

Lately, I have been struggling with accepting and publicizing that I am really only running because I don’t want to have to purchase a new wardrobe. I have been mostly silent about it here, but since starting my career in academia, running has quickly become a different part of my identity. Ultrarunning, at least for now, has become a less salient part of who I am, in identity development terms. “Cilantro the more » Read more

Busting Through the Boredom

If life were like the cover of a fitness magazine, we would always run alongside breathtaking mountains or into a tropical sunset (and we’d look really hot while doing it). The truth is we need to get our runs in when we can, which often requires running the same routes close to home or, worse, staring at our basement wall while we cram it in on the treadmill. Yes, I’ve more » Read more

Smile Training to Run Happier

Thank you to Brooks for inspiring and sponsoring this #runhappy post. Darn it. I was late leaving the house again, but I had to get my tempo in. I hurriedly laced up my Brooks Ravennas and then started my watch, but I was nowhere near the zone; monkey mind would be an understatement. I have to get back to finish that assignment.  I think I forgot to put the wet laundry in more » Read more

Summer Reading List, Olympics Edition

It’s summer reading list time, but this year summer is also time for the Olympics, so it’s only natural that we compile an Olympics reading list. As an Olympics super fan, I’ve read many books about the Olympics over the years and have compiled some of my favorites below. Take your pick and read now to get excited, read in between events, or read afterward when you’re depressed over the long wait more » Read more

Do Women Runners Need Female Coaches?

Picture a running coach: someone in command, respected by their team, competent and knowledgeable about the sport. Maybe this person is holding a clipboard and stopwatch, and wearing a cap bearing the team’s name. Are you picturing a man, maybe in his fifties or sixties? I am. (I probably ruined the effect of this experiment with the title of this article, but you get the point.) I have that picture in more » Read more

Vacation! Get Away Without Throwing Your Training Away

You cross the days off of your calendar in anticipation. You start to pack, make a list of things you need to pick up at the store, and begin to plan each day’s activities. If you’re going to the beach or some place warm, your bag is probably pretty empty; flip-flops and bikinis don’t take up too much space … unless you’re a runner. If you’re a runner, half of your more » Read more

What the Flock? Is Oiselle’s Volée Right for You?

Being a serious runner has its privileges. Brands often throw themselves at us, offering free merchandise in exchange for our tweets, ‘grams, and a place on our bodies at races. In their beginning, Oiselle was no different in this way than many brands. Through it’s brand ambassadorship program, the Volée, Oiselle offered loyal, socially connected runners a race kit and discounts on apparel. But things changed in 2014, when Oiselle introduced the Flock. more » Read more

5 Reasons to Run with Faster Runners

So you’ve completed a few races and you’ve started to think about getting faster. A BQ? A PR? You know how the story goes: to get somewhere you’ve never been, you have to do something you’ve never done. You do speedwork on your own, you pick up the pace in your long runs, but your race times still aren’t where you think they should be. You know of a few faster running more » Read more

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