Fandom and Our Obsession with Winning

Marathon season recently kicked off with the granddaddy of them all, Boston. For me and many of you, watching this race is no different than watching the World Series or the Super Bowl. Come to think of it, it is our World Series and Super Bowl. So it’s hard not to feel a little down when your team comes oh so close to winning but falls off at the end. All more » Read more

Racing Superstitions: What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

Luck. Juju. Magic. We runners tend to be a ritualistic bunch. Chances are that your race day essentials include not only safety pins and Bodyglide, but some kind of lucky charm, whether it’s a part of your outfit, a particular pre-race tradition or just a talisman you have on hand. A little pre-race superstition never hurt anyone, right? Sassafras and I have teamed up this week to discuss the use more » Read more

5 Ways to Ensure Your Race is an #epicfail

Race day nerves are just part of the drill, right?  In the days before a big race, adrenaline buzzes around your body, hopefully surging at the right time to bring you home to a PR.  But what happens if you use that adrenaline unwisely, by going out too fast in the first couple miles?  Or what if that adrenaline misfires even before the gun goes off, or worse, before you more » Read more

Beginners Guide to Choosing a Goal Race

Whether it’s your very first race or simply a distance you’ve never raced before, the primary goal of any beginner runner should be crossing the finish line intact.  As a beginner myself, I know just finishing that first distance race is a hard concept to swallow; all I was thinking during my first 5k was, “Am I there yet? What’s my time?”  What I wasn’t thinking about was that, in more » Read more

#RunningLikeaGirl Isn’t Always Pretty

I love getting that email notification telling me my race photos are in. Surely this time I will look like the powerful lithe running goddess I am, I think to myself! And then I click on the link and sink further in despair as the slideshow proceeds. My hopeful thoughts quickly turn to self-loathing. Do I really look that manly? Why is that stuff flapping over there? Do those shorts even more » Read more

Learn to Race Your Best 5k!

Though a long-time runner, I am somewhat of a newbie racer.  Nearly a year into my tenure as a competitive local road racer, I still find myself learning things about how to race the 5K, my distance of choice, every single time I do it. Yes, I wrote “learning how to race.” For, much to my surprise, it turns out racing a distance is not only about bolting at the more » Read more

Should You Use a Race as Your Long Run?

During the last weeks of 2014, without any goal races on the horizon, I started getting comfortable with 5-6 mile runs, and the thought of going longer seemed awful.  I found myself really struggling to do long runs!  But it’s a new year, and my first goal race of 2015 is the New Orleans 70.3, a half Ironman, so I know I have to somehow get out of my funk more » Read more

The One Sentence You Should Never Say About Your Race

I don’t know many people who don’t enjoy recapping their race experience. Whether it’s a local 5k or a major marathon, don’t we all love to give the play-by-play on the group cool-down, in our training logs or in a formal race report? Even when things don’t go as well as we hoped we like to do a postmortem to figure out what we did wrong and when things go more » Read more

Adventures in Pacing!

They’re at every big half and full marathon, carrying their signs for many, many miles and helping innumerable runners achieve their big goals. But have you ever stopped to wonder what the pacers you follow in races are thinking or doing?  Have you ever thought about being a pacer yourself? I recently had my first opportunity to pace the 2:00 group at the Madison Half Marathon and it was a great more » Read more

An Interview with Julia Webb

As many of you know from Catnip’s recent post or various other sources, Julia Webb broke the world record for 10k run “pushing a pram” at the Run Like Hell 10k in Portland, OR on October 26 by over four minutes! We were very excited to get the opportunity to talk with Julia about her recent race, running with a stroller, balancing training/parenting/working schedules and many other things! The questions more » Read more

Race Result Fiascos

I don’t think it’s off base or too much of a generalization to say that as runners, we sign up for races with goals in mind. Sometimes the goal is big and public: I want to PR. I want to win. I want to qualify for Boston. And other times the goal is more personal: I want to run the whole distance. I want to finish strong. I want to more » Read more

The Champion Mindset

A few weeks ago, I ran the Canton Fall Classic 10K and ran as well as I’ve ever run in my life. Though my time was a significant PR, and I am proud of that, the biggest breakthrough was a mental one. You see, for the first time ever in a race I “went there.” You know that place, the impossible, painful, air-sucking, muscle-burning place of exhaustion. I went there, more » Read more

Pre-race Rituals

Recently I heard someone mention pre-race rituals. I got to thinking about them. At first I did not think I had any pre-race rituals. After all I am not superstitious. I do not cross myself or even pray at the starting line. I do not have anything lucky that I must wear such as a special pair of underwear, a hat, gloves, or socks. I do not carry a rabbit’s more » Read more

Quieting the Quakes: How to Deal with Pre-Race Anxiety

Recently I ran my fall goal race, the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5K, and I experienced a full-blown case of pre-race anxiety.  Starting about a week before the race, every time I thought about it I felt sweaty and sick to my stomach.  Though I always feel somewhat anxious in the days leading up to a race, this race lead-up was particularly bad because for the first time I was racing with more » Read more

The Runner’s Biological Clock: Age Grading

Last week, Salty wrote a great post about how to define a PR.  This concept can become tricky when you’re an older athlete.  For some who started focused training later in life, many PRs may still lie ahead because you weren’t training or keeping track when you were younger.  However, if you ran competitively in your youth, you may never again be able to run the same absolute time over more » Read more