Home

Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
Loading
Ragnar Relay - Chicago 2014

We are all signed up.  Another 200 mile overnight adventure for Team What's That Smell.  Stay tuned for more info from our prep for our second Ragnar Relay.


http://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/chicago

The Summer Is RUNNING By

So looking at the calendar makes me realize that August is almost upon us.  August brings many things:  the last month of summer, back to school (and the associated shopping), the last few days of unbearable heat.  But it also brings us something exciting.  It means that our fall goal race is coming up quickly. 


For many, the fall means a nice, cool marathon to get that BQ and to run again in April.  Since I ran Fargo (with a PR and a BQ), I’m taking the fall off from any marathons but doing a couple of other bucket runs.


The first one I just completed last weekend, which was Tough Mudder in Somerset, WI.  This was a great run and can’t be summarized in a couple of paragraphs, so we’ll cover that in another post.


The second one is the Ragar Relay, Great River in mid-August.  Myself and 5 other “ultra” runners will be covering ~200 miles from Winona, MN to St. Paul.  Again, we’ll cover this one in another post, hopefully with plenty of pictures.


The third event for this fall is the Twin Cities 10 mile race.  I am a huge fan and a 2-time participant of the Twin Cities Marathon, but this year I wanted to try something different.  The 10 mile requires a little different training vs. a marathon, as I definitely will be pushing the pace in this one.


To those that are running a fall marathon, best of luck!  Just remember perseverance, endurance, and dedication are key.  Train hard and continue to Run The Race.



The non-Nuclear Energy Crisis

ALRIGHT. So you’re powering through your day, getting stuff done, completing assignments, filing reports, presenting projects, meeting with clients, feeling like a freakin’ boss for being so on top of everything. But then, all of a sudden, this wave of, “how about I just curl up on the floor and like, sleep, pass out, die, whatever. No one will mind, right?” Know what I’m talking about? That seemingly random slump in the middle of your busy day? For me, I always feel it when I do math problems, but then again, I associate math and sleep under the same category. Anywho, y’all get that. What’s up with that? Your energy levels just plummet down to Atlantis, never to be found. Typically, this is fixed with a nice brewed pot of coffee...four pots later....you’re good...right? Wrong! Coffee isn’t the only saviour here! Not to mention that coffee gives you a quick high, resulting in overstimulation, which ultimately turns into a killer headache after consuming all that caffeine. Not to mention that this excess drug (yes, caffeine is a drug) takes a toll on your kidneys. SO, I decided that y’all need some better energy options that won’t give you the shakes, or that demonic, half-crazed look that so many people get when it’s, “two pots down, three to go!”

 

5 Alternatives for Coffee/Caffeine  (yes, I’m drinking coffee as I type this. Judge me.)

 

1) Goji Berries!

    This little red fruit resembling cranberries is popular in Asian medicinal practices, promoting longevity, fertility, boosting immune function, and improving circulation. Might I add that it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and most importantly, antioxidants?! Goji berries are rich in vitamin A and many studies have proven (this is indeed a REAL study, I’m not just promoting the fruit, okay?) that subjects who consumed goji berries &/or drank the juice showed higher levels of energy and serotonin, the “happy hormone.” These little guys are found in trail mixes, teas, juices, and herbal blends. The (mostly) whole foods store Trader Joe's carries ‘em in their dried form, like cranberries. They’re not as sweet as cranberries, but add quite the punch for a snack.

 

2) Guarana (whaaaaaat?)

    I’m sure you’ve heard of this stuff. Read the label of any energy drink (Monster, Red Bull, Amp, 5-hour Energy, etc.) and you’ll find it listed in there. Guarana is actually a small, deep red fruit (much like goji berries) that has officially made it onto my superfood list. They’re also commonly used in supplements and multivitamins, even many preworkout mixes. So, what’s the big deal about this hot-shot berry? It’s got caffeine. And lots of it. Yes, I know I’m supposed to be giving you alternatives, but this stuff is too good and useful to pass up. So shhhh. Trust me. Guarana has been found to: boost energy, increase stamina, and up one’s physical endurance. How? It’s the absolute richest natural source of caffeine; 2.5 times the amount found in regular coffee! The compounds theophylline and theobromine, which occur naturally in guarana, make it ideal for longer lasting energy WITHOUT the crash and overstimulation that countless cups of coffee provide. You can get this gold in the energy shot form at whole food markets or supplement stores and you can get a hold of it in its extract form, which is spendy, but hey, anything for energy these days, right?

 

3) Pumpkin Seeds!-believe it or not!

    Turns out you CAN indeed do something with the brains of your Jack o'Lantern from last Halloween that you begrudgingly scooped out and either froze or fed to the dog. These babies, raw or toasted, are packed with protein, healthy omega-3 fats, and fiber! The minerals zinc and magnesium, and elements manganese and phosphorus are found in pumpkin seeds, supplying additional energy support to help you last longer throughout the day/workout/run/dinner with your inlaws. The best part? You can consume these guys right before a workout and not experience bloating or cramping in the middle of your session because, unlike fat from dairy, pumpkin seed fats do NOT cause GI distress. Yippee! You’re welcome.

 

4) Edamame. No, it’s not some weird fish.

    SOYBEANS! First off, let’s demolish the common misconception that soybeans are estrogenic and hurt your gains. THEY DON’T! They’re a complete protein and won’t give you boobs. Okay. Now that that’s out of the way... Soybeans are high in B vitamins, which help break down carbs into glucose to be used for energy! The compounds copper and phosphorus are also found in soybeans, which also aid in the conversion of food into energy. Let’s not forget that it’s got loads of fiber in it, aiding digestion even more. One cup of shelled soybeans (steamed) contains over 8 grams of fiber and a whopping 17 grams of protein! Good deal! This is ideal for a post-workout recovery meal. Find ‘em in any supermarket (I’m a Sam’s Club girl; they have healthy food in bulk! *gasp*) All yah do is steam them in the bag and chow down. Add salt for those extra electrolytes from sodium.

 

5) Almonds. GO NUTS!

    I looove these guys. I always have a huge bag on hand and when it runs out, I go into manic depressive mode. They’re great to have on hand as a quick snack when you’re running on empty. Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, an essential antioxidant that helps with immune function and partners with vitamin K to give your blood a little umph. Also packed into these beauts is copper, B vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium, which all aid in boosting energy levels and making yah “look alive.” Almonds have around six grams of protein per serving (roughly a handful...unless you have Paul Bunyan’s hand...then I’d be concerned), and contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which help to lower LDL cholesterol levels, AKA the bad kind. Really, almonds are the ideal food; they curb cravings, give you lasting energy, and make a fantabulous snack. So chow down!

 

So, before you head for the break room and pour yourself another cup of coffee (that’s what, your eighth cup?), have a go at these naturally energy-boosting superfoods. Put. The mug. Down. Here’s another little tip: sometimes, when you’re feeling that really low slumpy feeling, your body is telling you, “I NEED TO GO FOR A RUN!” Maybe. You never know. Unless you try. So uh, lace up, and see where you go. ;)


Happy Trails!

Gym-Phobia?

Hey guys! So, I’ve been noticing a bit of a trend lately. It seems that wayyyyyy too many people are afraid to set their pretty feet into the gym. Ladies, you are much too guilty of this. Runners, you too. There’s nothing to be afraid of! Okay, maybe it isn’t an actual fear, but y’all shouldn’t be anxious about hitting up the gym. Sure, you see the huge jacked guys in there grunting and throwing around ridiculous amounts of weight and slamming dumbbells down and walking around in a preworkout (or roid rage????) kind of huff, but they really don’t mean to come off as intimidating. They’re there for the exact same reason; to progress, to better themselves. If you’re afraid that you’ll look stupid because you don’t know what you’re doing, never fear! It’s okay to be the newbie. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions, so be open and step a little bit outside of your comfort zone. In fact, anyone you ask will be delighted to help you, even flattered! I remember when I first starting going to the gym. I was pretty shy and uncomfortable, not to mention I had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what I was getting myself into. Sure, it’s weird at first and you have to get the hang of it and get into your own rhythm, but it pays off!



Hey you runners. Yes, YOU. Just running all the time will not get you the progress you want as an athlete. You need to cross train. Yes, I said need. You’ll be able to develop other muscles that help you run, muscles that aren’t developed as much as the major muscles; quads, hamstrings, and calves are what you’re mainly hitting when you run. Your hips, ankles, knees, core, shoulders, back, and glutes are all crucial when you’re running! Don’t neglect these other muscle groups. Cross training also helps to prevent injury, so you don’t have to spend as much down time recovering. Get to the gym you guys, your running will benefit greatly, I promise.



Also, here’s a little shoutout to the guys and gals I see in the gym working towards their goals each and every week. While I may not be outright and blatant about it, I’m SUPER proud of y’all. Really, I admire you guys every time I see you. Thanks. Thanks for putting yourselves out there and working hard. I know it sucks at times. I know you’re gonna wanna quit sometime. But hey, just think of how worth it that it’ll all be when you’re looking back at how far you’ve come!



Bottom line: get over your fears and anxiety and intimidation factors. Don’t even think about it. Just go. To me, the gym is a second home, it’s where I’m most comfortable. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the same for you! But don’t go once and decide you don’t like it; give it some time. And don’t be afraid to ASK QUESTIONS! Remember, you’re doing this for YOU.



Happy Trails! :)

Hangry? I got you, bro.

Hangry: (adj)- a state of being in which one is so ravenous and starving that one morphs into a hulk-like beast and parades around in a fit of rage searching for satiation.
 
 
Okay, maybe not exactly like the Hulk, but close. You know that feeling; the one where you get back from the gym or a run and you can hear your stomach growling and howling like a banshee or moaning like some awkward dying whale. I don’t know about you, but when I’m really hungry, I can’t function. Like at all. In fact, I get really crabby. I mean, it takes “Hungry Hungry Hippos” to a whole new level. Bottom line, we runners get hangry, and a post run smorgasbord of grub is just what we need. THAT is why I shall grace y’all with a few of my favourite post-run snacks.
BTW: You want to consume about 200-400 calories with a substantial amount of protein (15-30 g) and carbohydrates (30-80g) after an intense workout/run. Keep in mind that it’s important to consume these macronutrients within 30-45 minutes after your workout. This is called your “Window of Opportunity,” where your muscles are primed to take in these nutrients and use them as efficiently and effectively as possible.

  • GREEK YOGHURT W/ STRAWBERRIES & WALNUTS
This stuff is incredible; incredible tasting and incredibly simple. It’s comprised of ½-1 cup of nonfat Greek yoghurt, ½ cup of chopped strawberries, and a handful of walnut pieces. Banana slices work too! I even add honey or Stevia to the mix to sweeten it up. I’m telling you, this is freaking delicious; it fills you up without filling you out or making you feel bloated. WIN.

  • GOOD ‘OLE OATMEAL
Ah yes, the perfect “poor man’s” meal. Oats are SO good for you; people underestimate the power of these guys. Need to lose weight? Oatmeal makes the optimal breakfast food for anyone; it fills you up, keeps you full, and is freaking delicious with mixed berries, stevia, and yoghurt thrown in. It'll replenish your carb stores after a long run and keep your raging appetite at bay.
  • EDAMAME & SWEET POTATO
An unconventional-sounding post run snack, for sure. But this is the perfect post run snack for a vegan or vegetarian. I follow a plant-based diet (two claps for paleo!) If you aren't familiar with edamame, they're simply soybeans! Don't worry, these guys don't contain all the pesticides and chemicals that you usually see in the fields around you (Midwest gal here) You can buy them in bulk (they come in little individuals packages @ Sam’s Club) and steam them and voila! Sweet potatoes are a fantastic carb source, and they also provide fiber...so you can go go go..ahem. All you have to do is take a potato, stab it a few times with a fork, wrap it up in a paper towel, place it on a microwave-safe dish, and pop it in the microwave for about 4 to 5 minutes.

  • GO BANANAS!
Ah yes, the tried and true post run snack; the banana. This glorious fruit can be paired with pretty much anything....besides ketchup...I don’t...yeah..just don’t. I personally stick to the classic banana and peanut butter combo; it’s quick, it’s simple, and oh my lanta is it delicious. Team healthy carbs? I think yes. OR you can always go the Elvis route and grab a slice of whole wheat toast and slather some peanut butter on it for a quick snack! Add bananas for that extra oomph of carbs. :)

  • DRINK UP
Fruit smoothies are great recovery drinks, but often times lack sufficient protein, so be sure to add something like greek yoghurt, flaxseed, or protein powder to the mix. Speaking of protein powder, you can always take a recovery shake after a run! No, you don’t need the super expensive brands that claim to have all these extra “minerals and compounds” that get you “ripped and big” if you’re not trying to bodybuild. Really, a simple whey protein powder works perfectly. Wanna know my go-to drink? A cup of unsweetened almond milk, half a cup of water, half a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder, and stevia. Shake it up and it makes for a tasty and filling post workout blend.

YES, it is VERY important for y’all to refuel after a hard workout, and quickly! Don’t miss your window of opportunity; even if you’re not hungry, have something. Your muscles need it to replace and repair damaged tissue! I mean, come on, it’s FOOD. Omnomnom.

Happy Trails!

WHOA. Did I forget to mention pancakes?! Silly me. Yes, I eat pancakes. *gasp* Perfect for replacing those carb stores. YUMMMM.

RadRun Adventure Race

Do you need something a little different than the standard road race?  Check out the second annual RadRun, co-sponsored by Run The Race, and hosted by the Marshall Area YMCA.  Last year's event was fun, hot, and well attended. 

This year, we are expecting even more runners!  Also, there are some new/updated challenges on the course including bigger hay bales, some balancing work, and a surprise water challenge.  Best of all, there will be more mud! 

With all of this snow we've had in recent weeks, the river is sure to fill up so prepare to get wet.

Click here to register!

In The Wake...

Hey guys. So it's pretty well known by now that yesterday around 3:00 pm Eastern, there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line. Three dead, and scores injured. When I first heard, I was consumed with fury. Why would anyone do that? That's ridiculous! Who, in their right mind, would commit something so awful with the intent of hurting so many people? I mean, we're runners, for Pete's sake! We're like, the most harmless athletes ever. Look at us; we run, we sweat, we eat, we sleep, and repeat. It's like "PEACE LOVE & CARBS" for us.

 

Running is known as an individual sport. We do our own thing, run our own events, keep track of our own mileage, and collect our own medal at the end of the race. But now that this has happened, it's more important than ever that we runners come together and support each other through a tragedy like this. Listening to the radio I heard interviews from runners who witnessed the explosions, yet kept running. You can interpret that as either crazy, stupid, awesome, or admirable-- but I think it says something about runners as a whole. Amby Burfoot couldn't have said it better, "...that's what runners do; we keep on keeping on." And it's true! We keep going no matter what. We run the race. We finish the course. We don't stop, unless, of course, shin splints wreak havoc on your poor legs or you need to tie your shoe..

 

I guess this is a shoutout to all of the runners in the Boston Marathon, and those spectators AND runners injured or killed yesterday. While it's easy for us to feel hate for the individual(s) responsible, we need to keep our heads level and give it to God. He knows how to handle this, even though we question His methods endlessly. Our hearts are heavy, but our legs are light. Today, let's run for them. Let's finish the race.

Not Feelin' It

By yours truly: @agneadele

 

Have you ever had one of those days where you just don't want to do ANYTHING? You know, that feeling when your motivation is at 0 and the last thing you want to do is get up and go run? We all have those days. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with us-- we are human, after all; it's totally normal to not feel like running! You see pro marathoners and track stars talking about their training schedule and think to yourself, "Huh. That's kinda insane. Don't they ever get sick of it? Burnt out?" The answer is yes, they do. Keep something up long enough, be it a routine or even just a job, and you're bound to get sick of it for a while.

 

I always talk about how much I love running and how we have this kind of intimate relationship, my running shoes and I; but believe it or not, I too have those days where I just don't. Want. To. Run. Nuh uh. *gasp* ...For the past month or so, I've been rising at 4;45 sharp to get dressed in my ratty running shoes and throw on an old 5k shirt and drag my sorry arse down into my basement for a morning cardio session on my treadmill. I'll run anywhere from two to eight miles on a given morning. That gets old. Fast. Lemme tell you, this morning I had NO DRIVE WHATSOEVER. I kept telling myself, "Okay, I'm gonna get up now," but it was no use. But then I was reminded by this poster on my wall that shows a picture of this half naked guy standing in freezing water chopping at the ice with an axe to clear a path for his boat. The caption reads, "WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?" That got me going. After all, I really had no reasonable excuse NOT to run.

 

I hated that run. I was SO out of it. I couldn't get into any semblance of a groove, and I was very, VERY tempted to just step off and call it a day. So, what's up with that? How can we combat this feeling of "I'm just not feeling it?"

 

1) Mix it up! Routines get boring. Your body adjusts to them and they become useless when it comes to challenging you. Run a different route, do hill repeats, try fartleks, throw in some cross training, hula hoop! You can do all kinds of different workouts to help you become a better runner; kickboxing, swimming, martial arts, cycling, lifting weights, calisthenics, yoga, pilates, dog walking, hiking, etc. The possibilities really are endless. Sometimes you just need a challenge to reignite that spark you once had.

 

2) Confide in someone who gets it! You're not alone in this "blah" feeling! Every runner experiences it. It's always nice to have a partner to confide in and just exchange ideas and experiences. We at Run The Race are always open to your questions and 'complaints' about running! Just talking about running when I'm not feeling like running makes me want to go for a run...if that even makes sense. Don't just wallow in your self pity for not having motivation, GET motivation.

 

3) Rest. Sometimes, we just need a break. Our bodies get worn out if we keep up such high intensity workouts for so long. Tone it down, or just take a complete rest day. Besides, if you're on the verge of an injury, you don't want to take any risks.

 

4) Get excited! Remember, running isn't JUST for racing! Take a moment and go for a run just because. It's fun! All too often we take our training too seriously and forget to enjoy the simple act of running in itself.

 

Happy Trails! :)

20 miles revisited

By @therunningsnaz


This past weekend I was struggling to get my long run in.  I needed to do a 20-miler as I’m training for the Fargo Marathon and over the next couple of weeks I will be hitting my peak mileage.  Saturday we had a family commitment so I was only able to sneak in an easy 4 miles before it got dark and so I planned to run the 20 on Sunday.  


“On the seventh day, God rested.”  I have always struggled to do long runs on Sundays.  Obviously church is a big priority and it’s always great to socialize afterwards.  Then sometimes we go out for lunch or having something at home.  So while you wait for your food to digest, you might lay down and take it easy (and sometimes fall asleep).  That lazy feeling along with less than perfect weather (#minnesnowta) seems to wreak havoc with motivation to go and tackle 20 miles.  Sunday’s should be all about resting, right?  How about Monday?


Monday comes and it’s decision time.  Do I force a 20-miler, or skip and hope for the best next weekend?  Luckily, I had a renewed motivation to go get it done, but I had to wait until after work.  So here I go for 20 miles, on a Monday, after work...Blah!


After I completed my 20-miler, I thought about how my run is similar to our spiritual walk.  The first few miles you are not sure what to expect as your body warms up and adjusts to the pace, just like becoming a Christian.  Early on, it feels good and you feel confident, but you know something is about to hit you and you need to prepare for it.


The mid-run miles seem to go better.  Your body now is feeling good, you’ve settled into your pace and you have already covered some hard miles.  Again, such is life.  Once you have adjusted to your new found spirituality, things seem to be clicking along and you’re on top of the world.


Then it happens.  For each runner, it differs.  It’s that point where your body starts saying “this is enough” and wants to quit.  But you know you have a few more miles left and you keep pushing because you know you will be better for persevering and going the distance instead of quitting.  So I pushed through the last few miles, picking up the pace to finish strong.  Not my best effort at that distance (2:26, and I have been in the low 2:20's before), but its done.  It’s all about finishing.  


Getting the point yet?  We are all challenged and tempted.  As soon as we grow, Satan wants to knock us down.  We need to remember that if we continue to run the race as it’s marked out for us, there is a finish line at the end that cannot be explained in words, but needs to be experienced.


Sometimes I Question My Sanity

Oh. My. Goodness. I just went for the most amazing, exhilarating, muddiest, most beautiful run of my LIFE! I don't even have enough adjectives to sum up how ABSolutely perfect it was. Heh. See what I did there?...no?..okay.

 

I adore running. I have this weird love affair with it. I think it's safe to say we're going steady, running and I. Most of my runs end with me saying, "OHMYGOSH that was the best run ever!" to no one in particular. But I don't recall myself being so excited about a run before. I mean, it was only a mere four miles -- following a favourite block route of mine out in the country. Yes, I still got chased by dogs. Yes, my legs burned and that one hill just about killed me. And yes, there was mud. Lots of it. (BTW I encourage y'all to sign up for a mud run like the Warrior Dash; they're SO fun!) Minnesota had been blessed with a 42 degree afternoon with the sun shining and just the slightest hint of a breeze listing in the air. THe snow from the previous weekend had melted and left behind massive vats of delicious, tantalizing, glorious....mud.

 

 Let's flash back to your childhood, shall we? After a nice dousing rainfall you head outside equipped with your big rain boots, much too big for you, but hey, anything to splash around, right? You leap into puddles, gleefully laughing and sending fat droplets of mud flying in all directions. Soon enough, you're soaked from head to toe and look rather homeless. But that's okay, because no childhood is complete without a good mud puddle to jump around in.

 

Okay, back to the present. My run. My amazing, million dollar run. It had been a long, frustrating day for me; I never even planned on running at all. But as soon as I got home I was overcome with this wrestless, I NEED TO RUN feeling. I'm sure y'all can relate. So I scrambled to find my running tights, grabbed a shirt, gave it the sniff check, "Meh, it'll have to do," pulled my mop of hair into a ponytail, and stuffed my feet into my beloved, ratty, worn out running shoes. Stylin' huh?

 

And so I set out at a quick pace, quicker than normal, feeling the afternoon sun on my face and a slight breeze kicking up my hair. I was surprised at how good I felt-- not having run on the country roads in a LONG time. See, that's the thing about living in Minnesota-- I mean, Minnesnowta; winters are tough for runners with all the harsh temps and feet of snow that accumulate over the weeks. I've been stuck on an indoor track and confined to a dreadmill for months! It's a wonder I'm still (somewhat) sane.

 

So here I am, running and feeling like a kid on Christmas day, waving at the goats and horses in the pasture, having a conversation (a rather one sided one) with a deer, and just relishing in the act of running itself. Before I knew it I had passed the two mile mark and was now faced with a hill. This hill in particular always gets me; it's steep, it's almost always rough and worn out, and it stretches over about 200 meters. So it kinda sucks. But I powered through without a second thought. What? That never happens. By this time I was smiling like a maniacal lunatic. At one point I had a bout of hysterical laughter; I'm not THAT crazy, I just really really love to run.

 

I splashed around in the mud puddles along the gravel roads and the result of this was quite the sight; my running tights and shoes looked like Mother Nature had taken a trip to Taco Bell and had explosive diarrhea soon after. Not the illustration I was initially going for, but it works. Of course, there were dogs; this stupid little yapper of a Russell Terrier bit at my heels like he was herding me down the road. I honestly didn't mind-- I was just SO HAPPY to be running. I get called insane more often than I do dedicated. Not sure if that's a good thing.

 

In all honesty, this post isn't about my afternoon run; it's about my love for running. Just the simplicty of running in itself is a gift we tend to disregard all too often. Next time you're out for a run, smile. If not for joy of running, then at least strike a pose for Google Maps. ;)

 

Happy Trails!!

Injuries

So let me set the stage:


You are halfway through your 16 week Marathon training schedule and you have just completed a 14 miler on the weekend.  Things seem great... you are right on track.  Slower than you want… but moving in the right direction.  The next week, you are on a short 5 miler and you notice that the top of your foot is starting to hurt… You think to yourself, “Probably nothing.”  The week goes by and you are still feeling a “little twinge” and then Saturday rolls around and you put in a 15 miler and there is no doubt:

 

"Something is wrong."


Now what? You have paid your entry fee, put in your time… scheduled your trip and now everything is in question. You begin to panic.

So desperately, you google “pain on the top of your foot” and you get results from anything to:

  •  “You are tying your shoes too tight”
  •  “fallen arches”
  •   “Stress Fracture…”  
  •   to... "Cancer…” (no matter what health condition you have… WebMd will probably tell you it’s cancer and you are going to die.)  So, my first bit of advice is to ignore WebMd and focus on the other possibilities.


Yikes!

 

Stress fracture??  Been there before. You go to the Doctor, they place an immediate moratorium on your running plans and they order a CT scan of your foot… Make you drink some sort of “plutonium concoction” (that might possibly give you cancer) so your joints and cracks in your bones will glow and they will be able to diagnose with pin-point accuracy that:


“Why yes, yes you do have a stress fracture.”

 

Or


“Nope. It’s not a stress fracture.” 

 

The last time I dealt with this, it was the latter… but by the time I received the positive diagnosis, 6 weeks had passed and my marathon training had gone by the wayside along with my hopes of completing my 2nd marathon.

 

The point is this… when you make your plans for training for a half marathon or marathon, included in those plans should be a contingency plan to cope with injuries. Unless you are among the few that have never dealt with an injury, we have all experienced them and the approach we take to training through an injury can be the determining factor on whether we reach our goals.  If you have never had an injury, count your blessings… I would argue that, for most of us, it is not if you have an injury, but when.

 

I would suggest that the first step in your contingency plan should be to pray over your injury and have others pray for your injury as well.  Not as a last resort, but as a first resort. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. The Lord cares about our lives… and he cares about the details… no matter how trivial they may be or how trivial other’s perceive them to be.  He is the creator and has control over our health.  He designed our bodies and I truly believe that he can heal them in the “twinkle of an eye” should he so choose.


Second step: think through the possibility of an injury and how you will deal with the injury as you train…

 

After my first experience with a similar injury, this time, rather than seeing a Doctor right away, I am taking a different approach… I am backing down on the mileage a bit this week so I can see if the slight reduction in mileage will help my foot heal on its own.  Also, the only Dr. I am going to visit right now is:


Dr. Scholls  - I have heard from other runners that his inserts can work miracles… so I am going to try that first. (Walmart electronic shoe insert dispenser here I come.)

 

If that doesn’t work, the next step will be a new pair of shoes… and then if the new shoes don’t help, I guess a “real” Doctor will have to suffice.

 

In conclusion:  Keep in mind that injuries can be a fact of training. Don’t get discouraged and keep things in perspective… should your training injury keep you from reaching your goals, it really could be worse. I have been reminded of this fact recently as my brother deals with more severe health issues than an injured foot. In reality, for me… if worst comes to worst, I guess, my 3rd marathon will be delayed to the end of the season. 

 

Regardless of the outcome of your training and whether an injury you are dealing with heals quickly, it is important that we keep our eyes focused on the Lord… While an injury may not been part of your plan, he is not surprised by it.

 

Keep Running as you "Run The Race!" Hebrews 12:1


Runner Grub: Granola

Hey guys! So this week I stumbled upon a really awesome recipe for granola and am super duper excited to show it to you! Like, PUMPED! Why? Well because it has one of my favorite foods in it.....peanut butter! A good friend of mine -Jake from Ontario- is currently training for an ultra-marathon....like, this guy is insane. Anyways, I asked him what his go-to snack was before or after a workout. I was expecting something like a banana...or protein powder...or a brick...so imagine my surprise when he replied with 'peanut butter granola'. Granola of any sort is notorious for having a high fat, calorie, sugar, and carb content, so it's important to read labels and know exactly what's in there...but the key word here is "moderation." I'll shut up now and give you the recipe already. (Those Canadians sure know what they're doing..)

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA
 2 Tbs all natural peanut butter
2 Tbs all natural almond butter
4 Tbs organic raw honey

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder (shhhh. just go with it)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2-2 1/2 cups whole grain rolled oats
1-2 Tbs ground or whole flaxseed
 Dried cranberries/blueberries
Unsweetened raw coconut flakes
Raw pumpkin seeds
Chopped walnuts 

So here's what you do. Combine the peanut and almond butter (you can just use all peanut butter if you don't have almond butter on hand) and honey in a big 'ole microwaveable bowl and microwave it for about 30 seconds, or until the peanut butter is a bit runny. Throw in the cinnamon, chili powder, and vanilla. Stir these up reeeaall good and then add the rolled oats and flaxseed. That's about it. Grab a baking sheet and line it with foil, maybe even spray a little bit of cooking spray on it. Dump the granola onto the sheet and spread it out real nice, so it covers the entire pan. Pop it in the oven @ 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, giving it a stir every few minutes so you don't scorch your lovely granola. Bake until golden, take it out, and let the granola cool for a while. When it's cool you can throw in the berries, seeds, nuts, and coconut flakes. You can even add dark chocolate chunks *gasp* for some extra goodness. I love this stuff; it's perfect for a pre-run snack. In fact, I think I'll go make some now..Enjoy y'all!

Happy Trails!

This outfit makes me run faster.

As a runner, you probably have a closet or dresser full of different workout clothes and accessories.  Different colors of shorts, shirts, tanks, shoes, tights, socks, maybe even rundies (but we won’t go there).  Then there’s that one combination of all of the above that gives you that special feeling; that this outfit makes me run faster.

Well, I’m that type of runner.  For training runs, I’ll usually grab any old thing that I can find.  If it fits and feels good, it goes on.  For long training runs, I get a little more selective.  Maybe at least trying to find something that feels good, but also matches or just plain looks good.  For the actual race day?  Now that takes special thought.  What do I want to look like at the start?  How do I want to look at the finish?  What’s the temperature going to be?  Wind?  I don’t take many pictures of my training runs (actually, none), but pictures of you crossing the finish line are around for a long time, so make sure to smile.

Ultimately, every runner is different.  This is why you need to experiment with different variations.  I used to run marathons in a tank top with normal length shorts.  Then I got some longer Nike running shorts and loved them.  I also switched from the tank top to a short sleeve tech shirt and felt so much better on the long runs, but I still wear the tank top for 5k’s and 10k’s, when I want to feel really fast.  Why did the short sleeve feel better?  I have no idea, we’ll cover that another day.  But once you have a good run, you build confidence and you want to keep repeating that feeling on every run.

Now, if you want to run at ludicrous speed, throw on a sleek pair of running glasses.  I’ve always used the tried and true polarized Oakley Flak Jackets, I’m on my third pair.  We’ll maybe review other options in another blog post later on.

I am also the type of runner that has been known to wear a certain pair of shorts for 2-3 runs before washing.  It literally stinks if you have one pair of shorts that are your favorite.  That’s why it’s a good idea to pick up 1-2 extra pairs if you find something that works.
So grab those pair of lucky running socks and go for a run.  Unless your lucky running socks have holes in them, then it’s time to switch them out for new ones.  Compression socks, maybe?

We’re curious...What’s your go-to running item (shirt, shoes, shorts, or accessory) that gives you that push to hit a PR time or distance?

Drink to your health

Hey guys! It's been a while since I've posted anything, sorry 'bout that. In an attempt to redeem myself, I figured I might as well treat y'all. To what? You ask. Well the most amazing smoothie recipes of all time, of course! Okay, maybe they aren't "Oh my goodness I've died and gone to heaven" good, but they're close. You see, as a runner, smoothies are my best friend. I usually have 'em post workout to refuel after a long run. But these babies aren't just for running, they're great for breakfast or a meal replacement when on the road or when you're simply too busy for a sit-down breakky. Talk is cheap though, so I'll let you try these amazing blender-fuls of goodness for yourself: (p.s. my personal favorite is the Banana Spice Smoothie)

 

 

Chocolate-Banana Smoothie

2 bananas (can be frozen)

1/4 cup oatmeal

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1-2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 cup milk of choice (can add more or less)

 

Wild Berry Smoothie

1-2 cups frozen mixed berries

1 banana

1 kiwi

1-2 cups spinach leaves

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup milk or juice (give or take)

Banana Spice Smoothie

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

(or 1/4-1/2 cup vanilla yogurt/kefir)

1 cup milk of choice (give or take)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon chai spice

 

I encourage y'all to try these smoothies, 'cause they're really good...no joke. Did I mention that they're all bursting with nutrients and fiber and omega-3s? Well, they are. You can use soymilk, coconut milk, rice milk, cow's milk, or almond milk, I prefer soy & almond milk; they have the most mild flavors but are still slightly sweet. Don't be wary about adding the oatmeal and flaxseed! Oatmeal provides a great source of fiber and adds substance to the smoothie, filling you up without filling you out. I LOVE flaxseed because honestly, it can go anywhere. It doesn't alter the taste in any way (in my opinion) and is just a really great source of lignans, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Is flaxseed the new wonderfood? Yes. Most definitely. Although it really isn't new...it's just, not common. Sad. Enjoy these recipes and tell me what you think! Oh by the way, you might need a blender..:)

 

 

 

Happy Trails!

Just Breathe

Just Breathe

 

Hello my darling readers...fellow runners...and health nuts alike! I'll have you know that I am a procrastinator to the EXTREME. I'm a "I'll do it the night before, no problem" kind of person. I like to call it a talent...I mean, I'm pretty great at it. I kept telling myself I'd get a post up tomorrow. 'Tomorrow' came and went. And then another tomorrow arrived and I said, "Nah, tomorrow, for sure." Then guess what? ANOTHER tomorrow came and I still hadn't gotten around to it. So I have no excuses for not posting. Sorry. Anyways, let me tell you about my little epiphany this morning. I got up at 5 as usual for my ritual morning workout. Cardio and abs. Today though, was a sweat sesh to the extreme. I like sporting the ever-sexy sweatpants and sweatshirt combo when I work out in the morning, mainly because the amount of sweat I produce makes me feel like I'm working harder than I actually am. So here I am, sprinting on the dreadmill like ghosts are chasing me, sweat dripping into my eyes, five seconds left...done. I hit the stop button and take a breather. 


That's it. That right there was the moment of my epiphany. "That's it?" You ask. "You just ran on a treadmill and then stopped." Um, yeah, that's pretty dang awesome. Why? That first breath after my run was pure bliss. A natural high. It's similar to when you're coming up from underwater after you've been holding your breath for so long. Your lungs fill up with the oh-so-precious oxygen that you've been incessantly huffing and puffing for however long and you just can't get enough of it. Yeah yeah, I know, it's just breathing, nothing special. But to a runner, it's kinda amazing. Do it, right now, take a deeeeeeeeep breath in....................now let it out............Feels awesome, doesn't it? Think about it, your body does some pretty amazing things; most of which you don't even notice. That, my friends, is why running--the most simple of activities--is such a huge feat. Take a moment to thank your lungs. Without them, running would suck. Not to mention impossible.


It's the little things in life that make it interesting. When we take the time to really let things sink in, they become so much more meaningful. Okay, maybe toenails and sweaty feet don't exactly fit in that category, but hey, they help you run, too. So take a sec, look around, and find the awesomeness in the insignificant. And most importantly, just breathe.



Happy Trails!

Bookmark and Share
Follow Us On: