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
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Blog Archives - 2012
Surviving the Holidays

Hey y'all! December sure is flying by, huh? Like most people, I love the holidays. It seems like everyone becomes a little bit nicer, a little bit more generous, and we can actually stand our families without going insane. Okay, maybe that last one is a tad iffy... But let's not forget that that generosity reaches over into the food sector as well. And no, I'm not talking about the millions of people donating to their local food shelf (which is great, by the way, I encourage it!)

 Actually, I'm referring to the ridiculous amounts of food we're eating over the holidays. And not just the amounts of food, but the quality of the food we're relentlessly gobbling day in and day out. Cookies, pies, cakes, chocolate, chips, cheese plates, deli meat, potatoes, gravy, yadda, yadda, yadda. I could go on all day about the evils of the pounds of sugar, fats (the 'bad' kind), carbs, and sodium that end up coursing through our bodies over the holidays. EMPTY CALORIES! But I won't. Even though it all adds up to equal weight gain. No big deal, right? Actually it kinda is a big deal, mainly 'cause it's really really really hard to get rid of holiday weight. Why? Think about it. After the holidays are over, we've still got refrigerators stocked with goodies, leftovers in Tupperware stacked to the ceiling, half empty liquor bottles lining the counter, and of course, mom's cheesecake that no one was able to finish (as a result of pigging out) staring you down with its irresistible Saran-wrapped goodness. Temptation at its finest.

Anyways, we all know how hard it is to resist Grandma's apple pie, Mom's famous mashed potatoes, and your too-friendly neighbor's boxes of Christmas cookies. Next thing you know, you find yourself wondering if the bathroom scale is broken, after all, you can't REALLY be that heavy, can you? I mean, come on, it's not like you ate THAT much....just nibbled here...and there...and had one too many peanut-butter blossoms...but hey, that can't make a difference, can it? Ah yes, here we are thinking we're invincible, that our jeans will always fit and our "naturally fast" metabolism will take care of those extra 500,000 calories..Boy, are we in for a surprise. Let's prevent this war with the bathroom scale and refrain from having to buy roomier pants, shall we? ;)

1. Eat BEFORE the meal. Never approach a holiday meal on an empty stomach. That's a recipe for disaster. You'll ALWAYS end up overeating, even if you try not to. Try to snack on something like almonds or walnuts. They curb appetite so you don't pig out as much. Or drink a glass of water 10 minutes prior to the meal, you'll feel fuller and won't be tempted to gorge.

2. Don't starve yourself. Seriously, don't let yourself get too hungry. Skipping a meal to prepare for another? That results in overcompensation. Keep a healthy snack on hand while you travel, socialize at parties, and spend time with family. Nuts, seeds, cheese sticks, trail mix (minus the m&m's, of course) all make great snacks to keep you from reaching for the cheese plate and cookies. Keeping your blood sugar level also helps suppress appetite & control weight. So you win both ways!

3. H2O. And lots of it. Always, always, always keep a bottle or glass of water around you during the holiday season. All too often we forget to hydrate, and we'll end up guzzling egg nog, calorie-rich alcoholic drinks, and soda. Drinking water helps prevent mindless eating and just gives you something to do instead of chasing down the hors d'oeuvres waiter. 

4. Moderation! I'm in no way anti-Christmas cookies. I love 'em. But let's be honest. They provide absolutely no nutritional content worth your while. All the same, it's okay to have some of the "good stuff" you don't usually get to have during the year. But choose wisely. Pick one or two things you really love and skip the rest. Sometimes just a taste is all one needs to satisfy a craving. Weigh the "do-I-really-want-this" value of the foods. Have a little, no prob, but watch yourself. Seemingly harmless overindulgence is what sews your pants a little bit tighter each night. Sneaky as heck.

5. Get out. Lethargy always seems to take over once the holidays roll around. That needs to stop right now. Drag your guilt-ridden, hungover, bloated self out of bed and go for a jog. Or hit the gym. Or something. Anything! Combating holiday weight isn't gonna happen without some good old fashioned exercise. I promise you, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes will become your saving grace. Don't forget to throw in some strength training to maintain muscle, too. Have your family join you! It's always more fun with someone else to complain to. 

6. Remember to socialize. All too often we focus too much on food during the holidays and put people second on the list. Bad idea. The holidays aren't about food, it's about baby JC and the miracle of Christmas and kissing the year goodbye, ready for a fresh (or not so fresh) start! It's about friends and family, giving and getting (selfish much?), reflection!  So put that plate of assorted desserts down and go be the social butterfly we all know you are. And don't stand and talk around the dinner table, get away from there and into an environment free of temptations...like the living room! Conversation is calorie-free, after all.

I apologize greatly if this post was too long....but I think it's necessary. Don't forget to catch the occasional (or regular) z's! You need your beauty rest to make balanced food decisions. Most importantly, have a good time! Don't stress too much about food, 'cause that really ruins the fun. Balanced meals will just keep you on track. Need more tips? I'm your gal. I've many tricks up my sleeve...

Happy Trails (and holidays! Or in 'Murica, we like to say "Cheers!" *clink clink*) ;)

Open Season

I know, I know, this post is WAY overdue, my apologies!! But, as you all very well know, hunting season is in full swing! Groves, fields, and government land all become infested with hunters decked out in blazing orange apparel. Deer stands are finally put back into use. Shots contstantly ring through the air from dawn to dusk. Day in and day out, it really is an exciting time-even though I pity Bambi-and yes, even I took part in the "festivities" by gutting a deer. Mostly by myself...WITHOUT gagging, might I add. But as a countryside runner who sticks primarily to backroads & forest trails, this glorious time of year gets to be tedious. Why? Well think about it. I'm running at the crack of dawn...during hunting season....in the middle of thick groves....during hunting season....amid hundreds of animal being preyed upon by y'all marksmen....did I mention this is all taking place during hunting season? Naturally, I feared getting shot down by an oblivious troupe of inexperienced hunters, but hey, I did my part as a humble citizen to combat this; I went out and got my paws on a bright orange hat. (Thanks Austin!) While it sure won't fend off flying bullets, the cap gives me some reassurance in it's ability to (hopefully) ward of blatant stupidity. And now, here are a few of my favorite encounters with you hunters during my runs. Drum roll, please:


1) So I'm on my 6th mile, going strong, having a great run. Along comes a truckload of college-age guys, guns in hand and ridiculous-looking orange vests taking center stage. They slow down and ask me, "Hey! Are you out here hunting?" They're dead serious. Like no smirks or chuckles. And here I am, wearing running shoes, tights, and a 5K shirt, accessorizing with my orange hat. Me? Hunting? So I answer, "Yeah, I am, actually. I just killed this here deer and I'm hauling it back home, care to join me?" They look around with quizzical expressions on their faces and reply, "Where's the deer?" Facepalm moment right there.


2) It's 6:30 am. I'm just finishing up my last mile and pass yet another truckload of hunters clustered around the back drinking coffee and gobbling warm pastries. I hear a "Hey! Hey wait up!" as I try to run past inconspicuously (in vain, of course). I jog over and they invite me to have a cuppa with them 'cause it's "so dang cold that hell's gonna freeze over" and I oblige. Turns out, this group of old men have been doing this hunting tradition for over 40 years! They were extremely kind and we all had a good laugh exchanging hilarious stories from "back in the day." Here's the best part, after about half an hour of good natured socializing, I was ready to head out. But as I fell back into an even pace, I heard one of the old geezers call out, "Don't get shot!" Fantastic.


3) This is my favorite one. I was drinking coffee and composing a tweet when I heard a car horn outside of my house. I peeked my head out to be greeted by a couple of middle-age men with bewildered expressions on their faces. ME: Hello gentlemen, can I, uh, help you? THEM: Well, we were just drivin' past when we saw your albino deer in your there grove. That's sumpin, I ain't seen no albino deer 'round here. Ever! ME: *eyebrows raised* Albino deer? Do you mean my pony? My white pony? Snickers? THEM: Well can we shoot it? That still counts, don't it? ME: Um. No. *facepalm*


Ah yes, hunting season. What a joyous time. Hey, I didn't get shot yet, so I'd say this has been one successful season. Good luck to all hunters! Oh, and please refrain from shooting at the chick with an orange cap and her white pony.


Happy Trails!

The Point of No Return...

Every runner has been there…


So let me set the stage:


As runners we tend to be strategic in our running routes… We are creatures of habit… so we tend to plan routes based on convenience / overall mileage / Etc. Want to run a quick 8 miles?  I have got just the route.  Only feeling like 3 miles?  No worries… I gotcha covered.

And then there are usually other reasons for a developing a certain route… Come across a loose dog on a country road…? More than likely, you won’t be headed back that direction again.  Encounter some sort of wild life that has decided to chase you… geese, skunk, badger, OWL??  You will probably think twice about heading that direction again…


So as runners, we develop “the list.”

“The list,” you say?


Yep.  “The List.”


“The List” of course is a list of things that factor into deciding what route to take and why that route will prove to be a tried and tested route for years to come…


      - Don’t like to deal with stoplights…? You find a route without stoplights.

      - Hills not your thing…?  Change your route…


      - Can’t stand the wind on the open road??  You find a nice neighborhood with

        mature trees to shelter you during the storm.


So what does this have to do with “the point of no return” you ask?  Good question… As stated above, we runners take all sorts of things into consideration when determining our routes and everything listed above is, without question, important to consider.


HOWEVER, I would argue that, while running… one of the most important things to consider is this:


What happens if we have to poop??


(Did he just say poop??) Oh, I am sorry… you are one of “those people” that don’t say things like “taking a crap, dropping a growler, taking a dump,  pinching a loaf, laying some cable, dropping a log, Seeing Mr. Brown off to the coast, Building a House for President Lincoln…. Etc.”


Okay then… what happens if you have to go - number 2?? *Shhhhh… don’t say it too loudly… it’s embarrassing* :)

Ah yes… the POOP FACTOR.

Every runner experiences it and it is the worst feeling in the world… Home is in sight and you are at a dead sprint for the last half mile… just hoping…. NO PRAYING... that you don’t  “Build a House for President Lincoln” in the middle of street, or worse yet… two steps from your door. (City building code wouldn’t permit that)  ...and you think saying “Poop” is embarrassing. 

We all have stories.  Just one of the many of mine include a thick group of trees off a major interstate near the Twin Cities.  (I seriously have never been so thankful for that “thick bush” in my life.)  Yes, I must admit that I risked pooping in public and probably a ticket for indecent exposure and/or a citation for public defecation  had I been seen… but you know something? I don’t regret “fertilizing that small patch of forest” (Yet another saying) for one minute… because “When you gotta go… unfortunately… You.have.got.to.go.


SO… all this to say that, I would be remiss if I did not advise you (as you make “The List” of factors that determine what you will deem as an acceptable route) to consider the poop factor.  Are there strategic gas stations on your routes?  Are there city parks with public restrooms?  A construction site with a temporary “jiffy john?”  Anything?


 It is imperative that you consider all of your options is all that I am saying…


That said, no matter how good of a planner you are… on some routes… there is always that dreaded “Point of No Return.  You know the point…  The point at which you probably have the following conversation with yourself:


“Am I feeling good?”


“Was that a bowel movement I felt coming on the last mile… or just a fart?”


“Hmmm…. If it was a bowel movement… I have 4 miles to go and no option during that stretch…”


“Should I risk it?”

"Can I make it??"

“If I take a left now on (crapping like a) Goose Lane… there are 3 different options, should the need arise.”


“Straight… Left?”  “Straight… Left?”  “Straight… Left?”




We always go straight.  Why?  I have no idea…


Maybe it’s the challenge… Maybe it’s the fact that “Goose Lane” is .5 miles shorter than the preferred route… and tacking on an additional half mile is simply unacceptable.  And then maybe… you just have no other route in order to get the miles in…


So… as I wind this blog post down… I wish you all the wisdom in the world as you encounter the dreaded “Point of No Return.”  The next time you see a runner at a dead sprint making a Bee-line for a house… just smile and think two thoughts:


“Hmm…  Looks like he/she made the wrong choice... I am smarter than that.”



“Glad it’s not me.”


Happy Trails!  :)

(Written by Greg)

Core Teaser #1

I need to address something. Something that bothers me (way more than it probably should). The lack of core work at the gym is appalling. I mean, here all you lovely people are, pumping your iron, running with absolutely no destination on the endless rows of treadmills watching Food Network and making a mental checklist of all the food you're gonna eat when you get home. All food aside, let's get back to this whole core idea. I rarely see anyone really focusing on their abdominal muscles. Maybe you don't think you need it....so think again. Strong core muscles equals a better posture, better balance, and a better fit for all of those clothes you put into the "I'll fit into this eventually" pile. Core work is crucial!! That's why I've compiled a bit of a core challenge for y'all. After introducing it to my 'team', we've done this workout once a week on the days we're less active-and trust me, you WILL without a doubt feel sore tomorrow (if you do it right!). This workout targets all areas of the core, working each abdominal muscle to build up that underlying muscle hiding beneath the layer of fat and giving you some tone you can be proud of. You can break it down into different segments and distribute it throughout your normal routine as well. (That's what I do during the week) It combines bodyweight, resistance, and cardio training to keep your heart rate up and help you burn fat throughout the workout. Enough of my lecture, here's the meat of this:


Core Teaser #1

Warm up:  Jump rope 1 min

          Toe tap 1 min

          Pushups 25


Set 1:    Mountain climbers 25-50

          Bodyweight crunch 25

          Bodyweight sit-up 25

          Russian twist 25-50


          Jump rope 1 min

          Toe tap 1 min

          Pushups 25


Set 2:    Weighted hyperextension 25

          Weighted sit-up on stand 25

          Captain’s chair-legs straight 25

          Captain’s chair-knees bent 25


          Jump rope 1 min

          Toe tap 1 min

          Pushups 25


Set 3:    SB crunches 25-50

          SB pass-off 15-25

          Planks (BW or SB) 1 min


Cool down: Bike 10-15 mins


*SB = Stability ball

*BW = Bodyweight 

*Stick to 1-2 sets....3 if you're feeling ambitious


Hopefully this isn't too overwhelming, but if you do suck it up and try it, tell me what you think! I'm always open to criticism and suggestions. Maybe you're wondering why it's called a "teaser"....this is because it teases your abs and gives you a taste of a range of ab moves without being too difficult. Want even more of a challenge? Contact me for a harder level (I've got 30 different ones!).  Most importantly, enjoy it! And take a moment to check yourself out....those abs won't stay hidden for long. ;)

Happy Trails!!

The Comeback

We runners all know that feeling when hear the words, "Looks like you're going to need to take a break from running," from the doc. Your stomach sinks, your heart pounds, and your mind goes crazy trying to imagine (insert number of weeks here) without being able to run. For me, that's like a death sentence. Just thinking about a day without running scares me. Call me obsessed, whatever, but if you've ever met me, you get it. I'm crazy, head-over-heels in love with running. That's about it. Anyways, back to the 'words of doom' from the doc. Don't get me wrong, doctors are great-they know what they're doing. But at those moments I always envision that bearer of bad news being choke-slammed and shipped to Siberia....without mittens. (Sorry Dr. Hill!) I think y'all get the picture. When running becomes a daily part of your life it's hard to break the routine you've gotten so accustomed to, especially when an injury keeps you out for over a month. (Believe me, I know)It's incredibly depressing. My main point? Our ultimate goal (as runners with 'technical difficulties') is to pull on those asiscs and head out for a nice long run. But before we go all out and hurt ourselves once more on a 16-miler (or however long you prefer), there are a few things you need to know (and do) to ease back into your normal routine.

I like to call this the Comeback. It sounds cheesy, doesn't it? But that's pretty much what it is; coming back. :) Here are some tips y'all should take heed of when it comes to making that Comeback:

Have faith in your body. Your body knows how to heal itself! We runners tend to get a little too irrational sometimes-we think that once we're injured, it's all over. Career = ended. This is not so. Stay optimistic! That makes the healing process go by a whole heck of a lot quicker!

Ease back into training. Remember: you're never more likely to get injured than when returning to running after an injury. (coach's words) Kinda harsh, huh? But tissue damage can still linger long after the pain vanishes. After that, it opens a door for new injuries to develop. Don't pick up in your training right where you left off, that's a recipe for disaster. Start with small increments of mileage, building your way up over a period of time to where you were prior to the injury.

Cross-train, cross-train, cross-train!! Way too many runners think that running is the only workout they'll ever have to do. Wrong. Sooooooo wrong. It's SO important to work on other muscle groups while working your range of motion. Strength training, biking, swimming, ellipticalling (is that even a word?), yoga, kick boxing, etc. will without a doubt improve your running. With injuries, x training will give you that edge to speed up recovery. So if running isn't an option for a while, give swimming a try, or maybe use that weight rack you always pass on your way to the treadmills. As a runner, overall fitness is crucial (especially to being able to run shirtless (gents) or with just a sports bra (ladies), right?). ;)

Watch the weight. When you're not as active as usual, weight gain becomes a problem for most. Food's a comfort, and when you're feeling depressed about your injury (or anything, really) you tend to turn to food. Blame science, they're the ones that figured it out. Although it really is just common sense. Duh, food's a comfort. Make sure you're not gobbling a bunch of sugar and carbs-keep in mind you're not able to do as much as before, therefore those glycogen stores aren't being used to their full extent. You've heard it from me before, but try to eat healthy. I've got some crazy delicious yet surprisingly good-for-you recipes up my sleeves.

Injuries suck, but these simple 'tricks of the trade' make them easier to deal with. 

Happy Trails!

Is it Okay to Cheat?

I know you've all heard how good rest days are for your body and how crucial they are to maintaining physical fitness, but what about cheat days? Way too many people associate cheat days with failure, thinking that if they stray from their diet it means they've completely fallen off the wagon. That's not the case here. While taking an entire day off of your diet can cause some problems (sugar cravings, carb cravings, GI disruption, feeling like a loser) it's okay to have one or two less-than-healthy items on a designated day of the week. Having a cheat day does a lot more than you think. Physically, you rev your metabolism with the extra carbs, sugar, or fats that you're eating "unexpectedly." Mentally, you're satisfying that little voice in your head pleading with you to eat that 300 calorie piece of chocolate cake by replacing it with something a little less horrific. Or maybe you'll eat the cake, no big deal, it is a cheat day after all.

But how much is too much? Many people have come to me claiming that this whole cheat day thing wasn't working out for them. When I asked why they thought that was, I got the same answer every time, "I just couldn't stop eating!" That's a common issue people have with diets in general. After a period of time depriving themselves of a certain food, they either completely disregard the food or begin to crave it even more. Sadly, most of the time it's the latter of the two. If you have a pretty healthy diet but find yourself being tempted with sugary, fatty, carb-filled foods, you're probably lacking something in that "foolproof" diet of yours. Remember that BALANCE is key to any good diet. Another key word is MODERATION. On cheat days, for instance, it's fine to have that scrumptious-looking piece of chocolate cake that's calling your name, but after that, you need to draw the line. Having a cheat day isn't about totally kicking your diet to the side and gorging on junk. What it is about is having that (insert food here) in moderation. Maybe you want to have both the chocolate cake AND the ice cream. Okay, well here's a solution: Halve that piece of cake and take half of that serving of ice cream and you're set. You're cutting out half the calories & sugar you normally would have taken in without realizing it. Just don't overdo it.

Let me tell you about my personal diet. Actually, it's really not a diet. Every meal consists of a carb, a fat, and a protein. Breakfast is an egg, oatmeal or fruit, a green smoothie (totally optional, I drink it for the nutrients), and a fat like yoghurt or full-fat cream in my coffee. That's the usual standard I place for my meals. Lunches and suppers consist of the same protein-fat-carb (I'll refer to that as "PFC" from now on) meal plan. Yes, I do have snacks, I love food, so naturally I'll be snacking on something whenever I get peckish, always following that PFC rule. Here's the thing though, I do not in any way, shape, or form have a perfect diet. Not even close. No way Jose. Sometimes I really want ice cream. Other times I'll want to dig into the cheesecake my sweet self-proclaimed 'grandmother' always brings over. I even crave chocolate. Shocker, right? (I really hope you noted my sarcasm) How do I fight off these stupid cravings that threaten the very existence of my "practice what you preach" standard? I eat. Didn't expect that did you? You probably wanted to hear the secret to a perfect diet. I'm here to disappoint you. There is no secret. There is no such thing as a perfect diet. I don't know what kind of world you're living in. If I want that cheesecake I'm gonna have it. But here's the catch. If I eat that, I redeem my "cheat card" for the week. That day becomes my cheat day. The reverse psychology (it's really self-psychology) of this is that it makes you think about something else you've been craving, and you're mind says, "Hey now, what if I want the German chocolate that my aunt sent me last week? I'm gonna wait until I can have that." Or something along those lines. You're gonna want to wait for the stuff you really want, the good stuff (no, not drugs, that's way too expensive).

So what's the verdict? It's perfectly fine to have cheat days; in fact, I encourage it. It's just a matter of not going overboard with your cravings. My cheat day was today. I had a scone from Starbucks and a caramel latte. And that was the extent of my "junk food rampage." Any good workout regimen includes cheat days, all other arguments are invalid. Cheat days and rest days certainly can be on the same day, but the next day it's always a good idea to go hard and 'redeem' yourself. Don't stress about your diet! Just remember that balance and moderation are both key to a healthy lifestyle & mentality.

Happy Trails!

Crossing The Line

With Election Day fast approaching (Nov 6), everyone is getting fired up about who our next president will be. "VOTE NO" and "VOTE YES" signs are popping up on every lawn, along with "Obama/Biden" and "Romney/Paul" signs clearly displaying a person's political preference. It seems like every time I tune into NPR they're discussing a presidential candidate's latest actions or how the odds are looking for the incumbent or how Romney may or may not prefer boxers over briefs. It also seems that Republicans and Democrats are fighting more than ever. The hostility between the two political parties never fails to astound me. There's like this invisible barrier between the two--preventing us from acting like civilized human beings around one another. It's as if we feel the need to compete with one another just because of differing views. Is the great nation we live in at risk of separation within our own borders? I sure hope not.

Here are some links outlining the core beliefs and differences between each party: Core Beliefs
                 Compare & Contrast

Yes, this is a running blog. And no, I am not going to give you an insulting speech on how my preferred candidate is better than yours. You know who should be president? Ryan Hall (famed marathoner), because he promised to put classy fitness centers into each and every airport. This was via Twitter of course, but I'd say that's a great campaign strategy. Running and politics have never really been something people associate with one another, which is GREAT, don't get me wrong. But why? Why is it that runners can just get together and not feud over why abortion is right or wrong? I'm sure every one of you have your own take on this, but hopefully mine offers a little more insight. Remember when I mentioned a few blogposts ago that runners everywhere have this "connection"? That's where it all comes into play; we see other runners and immediately feel a swell of pride every time we glimpse them hauling arse.(I personally give people a mental high-five when I pass someone running when driving to or from school.) 

Think about your last race (or most recent run with a group). Think of all the energy, the excitement, the camaraderie floating in the air, weaving in and out of the masses. It's pretty amazing when you think of over 20,000 people running the same race, sharing the same road, and swarming amongst each other. How do we not kill each other over differing opinions? I have an easy answer for this one. During races, it doesn't matter what political party we belong to or what sign is stuck in our yard; we're all just runners striving to go above and beyond our expectations of ourselves (and to finish the freaking race, of course). And during those hours that seem to fly by during the races or at the expos, we form deeper connections with other runners just like us. Deeper than politics could ever possibly reach. Honestly, have you ever seen someone refuse to run with a friend JUST because they were on the other side of the political spectrum?....I didn't think so. I really can't stand the fact that our nation can be so divided over a label we stamp on ourselves. I mean, just because someone supports gay marriage and you don't doesn't make them a bad person. In another instance, those who are a part of the pro-choice movement while you're pro-life does not in any way automatically make someone the enemy. It's just a difference in beliefs and morals. Let's just refrain from getting all worked up about how your neighbor just put a "VOTE ___" in their front lawn. Don't let that be your reason to avoid them. Talk to them, see their side of it. Or just go for a run with them and see them as the person they really are, not the party they belong to. (I prefer the latter)

You see, when we pull on our nifty ASICS and embark on the many miles that await you, you're not running with Republicans or Democrats; you're running with beautiful children of God. Real people. Runners. The beauty of running is that we runners all share a special bond, one that sometimes we don't even realize. When it comes time to run, we shed our labels and prejudices and congregate with people just like us. No debates. No boundaries. The lines we draw to separate ourselves are crossed without hesitation once the starting gun fires and the race begins.

Happy Trails!

Des Moines Marathon Weekend

Wow, what a weekend. After a 5 hour drive, my business partner Greg and I finally got to Des Moines and setup shop at the expo. Chris Burch and the gang ran a great event at the expo and we were pleasantly surprised. Friday evening at the expo was nice and calm and we had a chance to settle in and meet some new friends and just enjoy the time. We even saw our new friend Dane Rauschenberg who we met at the Omaha Marathon Expo (from the famous "Give me my shirt!" scene from an upset runner who didn't get his proper finisher shirt). After the expo, we went and got a burger and watched some baseball.


Saturday brought some excitement and nerves. Excitement for meeting some new friends and seeing the hustle and bustle of the expo. Nerves because I knew less then 24 hours from now I would be on my 26.2 mile journey through downtown Des Moines.


Saturday was crazy busy at the booth. Thank you to all that stopped by to say hi, pick up a shirt, and to give us encouragement in our business venture.  You all made it a great weekend.


As the expo closed down Saturday evening, we took part in the Pasta Feed. It consisted of different kinds of pasta, marinara and alfredo sauce, with salad, veggies, and of course, dessert.  We also listened to a few speakers, including Dane, Chris Gillespie from Team 413, running expert Jeff Galloway, and of course the Race Director, Chris Burch.  As my nerves were reaching their pinnacle by this time, we decided to head back and get some sleep for the big day.


Marathon day:

Of course, since I wasn't able to sleep much the night before, I got up around 6 and headed down to get some breakfast.  During training for this race, it was strictly a bagel or toast with peanut butter.  I was having some awesome training runs on this regimen, so why change now!  Waking up that early also gave me a chance to see some of the elite athletes loading up on bread.  Interesting site...


The start area was pretty typical to most other marathons.  Runners trying to stretch in the ~40 degree weather, long lines at the porta-potties, and the tried and true hefty bag.  The nice part about this race is I didn't have to get up super early to catch a shuttle or something like that, and only had to be in the corral about 15-30 minutes before the start.


And here we go, the start of my 6th marathon.  I was feeling great for the first couple of miles.  I wanted to stay with the 3:10 pace group but found myself taking it easy and was closer to the 3:15 group.  Then at mile 3 came the hills.  Long incline, sharp declines, repeat.  It felt that way for another 5-6 miles.  Although I didn't do much for hill training this time, I was attacking the hills and making up time in order to catch the 3:10 pace group.  Greg was tracking my progress and provided some encouragement at different spots throughout the course.  More on this later.  We made our way up to the Drake University track, ran a lap, and got back on the road.  By about the 14 mile mark I had caught up with the 3:10 pace group and settled in at a nice 7:14/mile pace.  I sustained that pace for about 2-3 miles and decided to venture ahead.  In the past, this usually was a big mistake, but I was feeling great and wanted to see what I was capable of.  As we made the transition from the road to the paved bike trail, I was hitting my stride, passing people and feeling good.  Now that the temperature was rising, I was finding myself taking more fluids compared to earlier in the race.  I hit mile 22 and saw Greg on the side of the course.  I was starting to feel some fatigue when Greg shouted at me "How bad do you want it!".  Well, I couldn't give up after that!  I pushed on through mile 24.  Miles 24 and 25 were rough, but I had one eye on the road, the other on my watch.  I turned the last corner, saw the mile 26 marker ahead on my left, and I still had time to come in under 3:10.  So I sprinted that last ~1/2 mile.  It hurt so bad, but felt so good.  I crossed the finish line pumping my fist and raising my hands to the sky praising God for what I just accomplished.  I just finished my best marathon in 3:09:24, an 11 minute PR, and a Boston qualifier.  Are you kidding me!

The Des Moines Marathon definitely ranks high on my list.  It's a good mix running downtown in a big city and out in the middle of nowhere on a bike trail.  If you don't mind a few hills early in the race, you absolutely should try this one out!

My splits:
10K:  45:34
Half:  1:34:43
20:  2:22:55
Last 10K:  46:30
Time:  3:09:24
Pace:  7:14

The Truth Comes Out

The Bible says that on the seventh day, God rested.....but I think we runners know what's really up..Have a great Sunday!! (No, not a lazy one, go run)

The Smurf Fruit

  Blueberries are just blueberries, right? Wrong. This bright blue fruit is a whole lot more than a topping for your oatmeal. As runners (and avid nutrition/fitness 'freaks') we try to incorporate a variety of healthy, wholesome foods into our diets. Fruits and veggies are without a doubt a diet staple for any runner (at least they should be) and provide tons of nutrients without any of the added junk that's stuffed into processed food. I've heard way too many people tell me to stop eating fruit because of its sugar content.....No, I'm not kidding. I couldn't believe that people actually avoid fruit because of that. Yes, I understand how certain health conditions would make you want to limit fruit (type 1 diabetes--my sister has it), but cut it out completely? That's just pathetic. Let's get one thing straight: Yeah, fruit has sugar, we call that fructose. Keep in mind that this is NATURAL sugar. But fruit offers SO much more than just natural sugar--like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients that we can't easily access with other foods. Fruit also contains a lot of water, so you feel more full with less. And even with the sugar content, you get a whole lot less calories per serving than you would with, say, a muffin. Win-win situation? I'd say so.

Alright, so now that I've lectured you on fruit in general, I'm gonna re-zoom in on blueberries. You've probably had them in a fruit salad, oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, or yogurt without even contemplating how much your body benefits from these wonderful little spheres of goodness. Blueberries are actually the 2nd most popular berry in the U.S., just a step behind strawberries. I'm not sure on it's global status, but I heard Vladimir Putin is a fan....so that counts, right? Anyways, I've recently become obsessed with blueberries, and here's why: (please, bear with me)

 They're freaking LOADED with antioxidants. Seriously, these babies are packed. If you're not completely in-the-know on what antioxidants do for your body, let me break it down for you. Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells from free radicals that may damage cellular structures and DNA. Free radicals also form unstable molecules that are linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related
diseases like Alzheimer's. When I say age related, I don't mean that it's just the 50 years of age and up group that needs antioxidants, it's everyone. When you start early, your body builds up its defenses and makes aging a little more graceful, protecting your body from the detrimental effects being old can come with. Antioxidants are super important for runners (duh) because they help to protect our cells from those reactive oxygen species, defending our muscles and ligaments from the stress that comes with higher-intensity. There are substances in blueberries called polyphenols  which are really just antioxidants in themselves  specifically anthocyanins that give the fruit their deep blue color. So basically, any of those brightly colored fruits or vegetables you see are likely to be bursting with antioxidants. Among these are beets, carrots, tomatoes, raspberries, and blackberries, to name a few. I bet Smurfs are just riddled with antioxidants....if you ate one you'd probably become immortal or something.

They've got TONS of vitamin C. Even more than that orange juice you're chugging every morning. (By the way, that orange juice has about 8 times more sugar than your scrumptious cup of berries would have. My opinion? Skip the fruit juice....there will definitely be a later post on that) Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which your body needs to form collagen (natural proteins) in your bones, muscle tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage. This also helps your body absorb iron  crucial for runners, especially female runners. Vitamin C aids in strengthening your immune system as well. As a runner, there is nothing worse than being sick and unable to run. Unless you're injured, 'cause that sucks even more. Your immune system is working 24/7 to keep your body functioning properly and defending it from any of the bad stuff that could find it's way in. If you work out hardcore every single day you're apt to have a weak immune system, no matter how jacked you are. That's why rest days are important, but it certainly doesn't hurt to take that vitamin C supplement and munch on some blueberries on a regular basis!

They keep you going! Literally. They help you go. Like, poop. Blueberries are like little storehouses of dietary fiber, helping with regularity and general gut health. This fiber also aids in heart health and keeps your cholesterol levels in check. Did you know that roughly a handful of blueberries meets the daily requirement for fiber? That makes it so easy  you won't even have to put up with scarfing down those wretched Fiber-One bars anymore. 

Blueberries are also a fantastic source of manganese, which is an element found in many minerals that plays a key role in bone development and converting PFCs (protein, carbs, fat) into energy. Think about how much stress your bones have to take while you're running....it's amazing that we're able to go such long distances without our skeletal system giving way from all that force. We need to remember to take care of our bones; something we take advantage of all too often.

They taste great. I could use a random word like "ambrosial" to describe the taste but that would really just ruin the effect. They're kinda tangy, kinda sweet, totally amazing. Period. I usually eat a handful of these guys after my runs; they get my glycogen levels back up and help jump-start the muscle-repairing process. Bottom line? Blueberries are a fantabulous food for runners. Eat them. And no, the little blue dots in that packaged 'blueberry' muffin does not count. I don't even know what those are...but they're not blueberries. Beware.

Happy Trails!

Enter a Descriptive Title for your New Blog Entry

Beautiful. We use beautiful to describe something we like; something that is appealing to us. A beautiful sunset. A beautiful song. A beautiful girl. I looked up the word "beautiful" in the dictionary to clarify.


Beautiful: (adj) having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, or think about; delighting the senses or mind. 


 I recently had a conversation with a good friend about what we consider to be beautiful. When I asked her what she thought, her answer intrigued me. "Beautiful is what you get when you look past the ugly, the pain, and the abnormalities." I've been mulling that thought over in my mind for a few days and finally decided to write a post about it. But this is a running blog, so I've got to somehow tie this in to running, right? No problem. The next thing she said was, "There's beauty in every single thing we see, do, and say." Keep in mind that we're having this conversation during an actual run, so naturally, my mind immediately jumped to running having some correlation to beauty. If you're a runner and think really hard about it, running in itself really is beautiful. Picture this: you're on a long run, let's say 12 miles or so (however long your long runs are). It's a beautiful fall evening--the sun is setting, a cool breeze rustles through the orange and red leaves on the trees, the corn is at it's peak, ready to harvest--you're on mile six and feeling strong, unstoppable. You stop to retie your shoes (or take a breather) and look around you, feeling good about all the ground you covered. But then you look up at the sky and see just how huge the world actually is, and how small your own little corner is. Now let's zoom out a little bit. You see a runner on the road. Let's zoom out even more. You can see the neighboring town, and the runner gets smaller. Zoom out some more. Hey there's Minnesota. A little more. Oh look, the United States. More? There's the entire Earth. Where are you? Where's that runner? It's gone. Because it's too small. You just can't see it anymore. When we compare our logged miles to the insane vastness of the world, we are sadly outnumbered. But it's not sad, it's amazing. Out of 8 billion people on this Earth, here we are, making our way across miles of roads and fields, not even realizing how little we really are. 



Running is beautiful in another aspect, the pain aspect. If you run for a long time, you're likely to feel discomfort at some point. Keep running, and your lungs and muscles burn, and you consider calling it quits. What goes through a runner's mind at this moment is absolutely insane. Our brain jumps from one thing to another, recalling past events, flipping through quotes, going over conversations you had, acknowledging the pain, sifting through memories and experiences, leaping to conclusions, and ultimately deciding whether or not you keep going. That all occurs in a four second time frame. How cool is that? You subconsciously make that decision before you even know you're gonna make that decision. (Psst, God also knows exactly what's going through your head and what you're gonna end up doing, He's cool like that) I hope that you push through the pain. I do. At least I try. That inner battle we fight makes us who we are as runners and as people. Sometimes you want to give in to that other side that's telling you to stop, to give up. But when you push through that--demolishing the mental wall--that's where the beauty shines through. Whether it be emotional or physical, you can always find beauty from pain. 


Sometimes it's not about looking good, or feeling good. Sometimes it's just about looking deeper into something that we all too often disregard. I think we all can agree that from the outside looking in, running looks like it sucks, how on Earth can it be considered beautiful? But from the inside looking out, we as runners see that the act of running is beautiful in its own weird way. Maybe you've never heard of the concept, hopefully I exposed you enough to change your mind. Beauty is everywhere. You covered in sweat and dust, on the other hand, well that's a completely different story. Go shower.


Happy Trails!

Just Run.




Stupid question

We came. We saw. We said, "Hello!"


We had a great time at the Twin Cities Expo!  It was fun to talk with everyone who stopped by the booth.  We were encouraged by all of you who said, "keep up the good work."


Next stop: Des Moines.


In the meantime... Keep Running!

What's So Great About Running??

There is one question I get asked every freaking day. Like, not even kidding, every day someone asks me this, and I don't understand their logic behind asking the question. As a runner, you get pretty sick of it. Mainly because nonrunners will NEVER understand. But then again, it gives us a chance to "minister" to them....hopefully turning them into one of us. So what's the question? Drumroll please..............

"Why do you like running?"

Whoa. I bet you didn't see that one coming. Shocker. Maybe this is a little too condescending, but for all you nonrunners out there: you need to understand a few things about runners and why we do what we do (and why we love it so much). So please, bear with me. Who knows? Maybe this will convert you...

1) It makes us feel GOOD. There is absolutely no better feeling than the one you get after a run. I can't even describe it. You've probably heard of runner's high, and if you haven't, you need to get out more. And the definition is exactly that; feeling high after a run. Kinda like taking drugs, but not taking drugs. Okay no, that was a bad comparison. You see, there's something called endorphins--chemicals in our brains--that act as a natural painkiller for your body. A runner's high is basically just an endorphin high. You feel invincible. You are past the stage of your muscles feeling like they're dying. I honestly cannot even begin to tell you how AMAZING it feels. Feeling depressed? Go run. Your turtle died? Get a few miles in. I promise, you will feel better afterwards. Don't do drugs...that would be stupid. Especially when they're so expensive, geez....just run. That's free.

2) We drop weight like it's hot. Running is seriously the world's best exercise for weight loss. Hands down. Your argument is invalid. None of that elliptical or spinning crap. That doesn't even compare to the weight loss benefits of running. Every weight loss expert will tell you the exact same thing: Eat right and exercise. Duh. Running burns about 100 calories a mile (depending on your speed), making it the king of calorie burning exercises. You can kiss spinning goodbye. Here's a little bonus: when you exercise regularly and up your mileage or intensity, you magically begin eating better. Why? Well because your body craves the nutrients it needs and you're gonna eat less and less of the junk that you used to stuff down your throat. Win-win situation? I think yes.

3) We look cool. Now before you roll your eyes and click exit, listen for a sec. Runners are the most respected athletes in existence. We can run for hours on end. Doesn't matter if we're fast or slow. We get our butts out there and work it. There's no denying that you nonrunners secretly envy us runners. Let me see you run 19 miles and maintain your sanity. (19 miles is the longest I've ever run consecutive miles-wise....) People don't say, "Wow that guy running and sweating like crazy looks like such a douche...." No, you guys say, "Oh hey look, a runner. That looks like it sucks." Does someone running on a windy, snowy, 30 degree afternoon look lazy to you? I didn't think so. Runners are tough. We push ourselves, therefore earning the bragging rights we have. We enjoy bragging about our long runs, mainly because there are so many people who can't do that. Not to mention the awesome shoes, shorts, shirts, and other running gear that's available to us.

4)  Inspiration strikes. If we ever just need time to think, we run. Whenever we're running, we come up with our most ingenious ideas. Alexander Graham Bell came up with the idea of a telephone while he was running....Actually no, he didn't, but that would have been cool. In fact, I don't think Bell even ran. At all. But anyways, my point is that our imaginations go absolutely crazy when we're running. A good deal of people actually use running to solve their mental blocks and decisions; musicians, artists, business owners, writers, videogame designers, *ahem* the president....Can't think? We go for a run and BAM! Creativity breakthrough. You know what? I bet Steve Jobs was jogging with his dog when he thought up the Apple iPhone. I mean, it's the only logical explanation.

5) We meet new people and explore new places. Running the same old route every single time gets boring and tedious, which is why you expand your horizons and find different routes you've never run before. There's a sense of excitement and unfamiliarity that we runners just love. There are tons of runners who drop everything and go for a run when they arrive in a new city or while on vacation. It's a great way to adjust to the area and become familiar with the basic layout of the city. The same goes for trailrunners. A new country trail is like getting a puppy for Christmas. Races give us a chance to meet people just like us: people who actually enjoy running and don't do it for punishment. Meeting other runners is encouraging to us, making us want to run more and enter more races. There's an unspoken rule of camaraderie among runners. But there's also that sense of "I'm better than you" vibe just because we're competitive. All in all, it's the best kind of love-hate relationship. Ever.

6) Last but not least, running gives us time to think. We can hit rewind and go over the day's events, reflecting on certain things and coming to different conclusions. A lot of runners--when stressed--will tell you that they "need to go for a run or something," meaning that they need to clear their minds. It's a time where we can be alone with our thoughts and just escape reality for a little while. I personally use my running time as a devotional, praying to God and just thanking Him for everything. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out to run just to talk with (or yell at, sorry) God. I don't want to get too deep and ruin the moment, but for me, running and God go hand in hand. Running is free therapy. Who needs to pay hundreds of dollars for a session with a shrink when we can just go for a nice 10 miler? That's runner logic right there.

Hopefully I provided you nonrunners some insight on what we (runners) are all about. Running is our life. Believe it or not, we actually enjoy the pain that comes with it. Call us masochists, whatever. If you want a piece of what we love about running, go put on some tennis shoes, suit up, go out that front door, and start running. That's all it takes. Seriously, go try it. Right now. I don't care if it's cold out, don't be a wuss. And most importantly, have FUN!

Happy Trails!

You Know You're a Runner When.....

So this past week I've been bombarded with questions about running, but one question in particular spiked inspiration: What makes a person a runner? This sounds like a simple question with an equally simple answer, but I like to switch it up a bit. So, how DO you know if you're a 'real' runner? Well, here are a few signs you've converted:

You know you're a runner when......

1. Your first thought when you look at weekly weather forecasts is, "When can I fit in my runs?"

2. You have more sweaty running clothes than regular clothes in your laundry pile.

3. You go into Starbucks more often to use the bathroom than to actually buy coffee.

4. You no longer make fun of fanny packs because your running belt is curiously similar to them. (but much cooler)

5. Your treadmill or running shoes have more miles on them than your car.

6. You're not embarrassed to wear spandex.

7. The salespeople at your local running shop know and greet you by name.

8. You've developed a friendship with port-a-potties.

9. You know where your illiotibial band is located.

10. You spend more time researching running routes than local restaurants and attractions when traveling to a new city.

11. You know exactly where one mile from your front door is (in any direction).

12. When you hear "PR" you automatically think 'personal record', not 'public relations'.

13. You keep extra running clothes and shoes in your car "just in case."

14. Your Facebook or Twitter updates frequently involve running.

15. You get jealous when you're driving in your car and you pass runners.

16. When you hear the word "bib," you think about a race number, not a baby.

17. You know how to convert miles to kilometers and vice versa.

18. You say things like, "I'm running an easy 5 miler today," and actually mean it.

19. You don't run faster to lose weight, you lose weight to run faster.

20. You actually look forward to freezing-cold ice baths.


Hope this provided y'all some comic relief, and if you fall under any of these statements, you are DEFINITELY a runner.....especially for #13!


Happy Trails!!

Dog: Man's Best Friend, Runner's Worst Enemy


And so as I sat there, cursing the two mutts, I came up with a plan. I would throw the dogs' toys as far away as I could into the grove, then make a run for it while they were distracted. So I threw, and I ran as fast as I could down the driveway, but I only got so far when both dogs were on my heels once again. I sighed and headed back to the house. I couldn't just let them follow me! By now it was getting dark, not to mention pretty cold. Each minute that passed made my frustration build up even more, the fact that I was pretty much helpless was too much for me. I like to be in control, but I guess God wanted to have some fun today. Speaking of God, I began having an out-loud conversation with Him as I tried to figure out how the heck I was gonna get out of here. "God, I really don't get your sense of humor, 'cause this isn't any fun. Help me out here? I could really use some magic right now, or something. At least show me some kind of sign that you're here, because I don't know what to do."

I stood up and shuffled over to a tree, leaning against it when I felt my foot hit a small object. I looked down and I kid you not, there was a chain wrapped around the tree with a dog clip attached to it. I shrieked in relief and excitement, thanking God a million times over as I dragged the yellow lab over to it, clipping him to the chain and doing a little dance just out of his reach as he barked furiously at me. Now I could escape! But alas, this was not to be, as the other mangy dog was still sticking to my side like glue. She was quite a sweetie, but not very fast and had a slight limp. I decided to use that to my advantage, throwing her ball as far as I could and turning to sprint down the driveway once again. As I flew down the gravel, I glanced back and saw the mutt chasing after me, albeit quite a ways behind. I knew she would keep following, so I took a leap of faith....literally. I jumped from the driveway and rolled into the ditch, James Bond style, dashing into the thicket of the corn. As I crouched down and waited, I saw her trot past, pausing to take a sniff, and continue. When she finally went back home, I let out the breath I had been holding. I army crawled through the corn, just to be safe, until I reached the end of the driveway via cornfield. "Hasta la vista suckers!" I sprang up and ran home, praising the Lord the whole way.

So what did we learn from this? 1) Don't trust your neighbor's dogs. 2) God gives you loopholes. 3) I got a great sprint workout. Email me your crazy dog or any animal encounters you've had during your runs and your story might end up on this blog!!

Happy Trails!

Dog: Man's Best Friend, Runner's Worst Enemy

Dogs. They're cute. They're friendly (sometimes). They're playful. They make wonderful companions, especially for running. But while a dog can be the greatest source of friendship for one guy, that same dog can be the ultimate pain in the neck for runners. If you read my "Running in the Rain" blogpost, you'll know that I'm pretty fond of dogs. But recent 'events' have twisted that fondess just a bit, resulting in my disdain whenever a dog appears on my run. I'm gonna give y'all a taste of what I had to put up with last week, just promise you won't laugh.


I have been chased by numerous dogs throughout my running career, but never have I ever experienced a 'chase' quite like this. I was on mile 4 of my 8 mile run, relishing in the coolness of the late afternoon and enjoying the serenity of the countryside. It was definitely a good day for me--I was feeling strong and kept perfect form for the duration of my run so far. As I passed a neighbor's long driveway I heard a dog barking but quickly dismissed it since I never had a problem with their dogs before. So I continued running, not seeing the huge yellow lab bolting towards me at lightning speed. Before I could turn I felt the massive ball of fur slam into the back of my legs, causing me to stumble and nearly spill onto the ground. As I scrambled to my feet a sudden fear came over me; What if it bites me? So I did what usually worked; I backed away a few steps and began talking to the mutt in that voice all owners use with their dogs (if you own one, you know what I'm talking about). "Hey buddy! Who's a good boy? You're a good boy, aren't you? Come here, it's okay, I won't hurt you." The lab just stared at me for a moment before waddling over to me, his tale wagging as he rubbed against my legs. I patted his head affectionately, then pointed towards the house saying, "Go home!" The canine promptly sat on my feet, refusing to move. I tried pushing him away but he wouldn't budge. I knew I was losing valuable running time, making this ridiculous situation all the more irritating. After I freed myself, I began running again, hoping that the dog would give up and go home, but after about three-fourths of a mile, the lab was still sticking right by me, causing me to trip every few steps.


I soon came up with an idea: I would run up to the house, tell my neighbors that their dog won't let me leave, and run off happily into the sunset (literally). So I turned around and began heading back to the property, scowling at the grinning dog whose jolly spirit just would not diminish. As I approached the run-down house, I caught sight of another dog. This one looked old and quite mangy, so I didn't really see her as a threat. I looked around the farm--it was pretty large, with sheep dominating a fenced-in area. There was country music playing in the barn so I went to check it out. Much to my dismay, there was no one there, and the two dogs followed closely at my heels. Everything was locked, so I couldn't leave the dogs in the shed. I trekked back to the house and leaped up the steps, politely knocking at the door and calling out, "Is anybody home? Your dogs won't leave me alone!" No reply. I knocked a little harder. Again, no answer. I banged on the door and shouted. Still nothing. I let out a shriek of frustration as I realized that there were no cars in the drive, therefore, no owners to 'save' me. I took a seat on the steps and gave a cold stare to each of the dogs, "I hate you. You two suck."


To be continued.....(mainly because this post is turning out to be really long...sorry guys!)


Happy Trails!

The Other Lean Protein

So you're a runner...and you're looking to improve that sexy physique of yours, right? Not that you aren't already stunning. And not only do you want to look better, you want to run better, to feel better! I hate sounding like a paranoid, underpaid salesperson, but have I got a deal for you! Actually I'd like to touch on a very important subject when it comes to any kind of athlete (with the exemption of golf, sorry Tiger). I'm talking about protein powder. At the words, "protein powder", many minds turn to an image of a bodybuilder in a skimpy loincloth flexing like his life depends on it. (Take Arnold Schwarzenegger for example) You also think of big burly guys pumping iron in the gym, carrying their shaker bottles as if it's a security blanket and looking quite ridiculously jacked. But yet a lithe distance runner never comes to mind, does it? Believe it or not, elite runners use whey protein as a key part in their nutrition. Take Ryan Hall, for example. He uses protein powder and Muscle Milk daily. Not that you care to know or anything, but his favorite flavor is actually cake batter.


Unless you live under a rock in the Sahara, you've heard of GNC. And, like any striving athlete (or fitness fanatic), you've all too often found yourself waltzing into the company store to browse. Browse? More like gape at the ridiculous prices. In most of GNC's stores, the protein powder is located in the back, stacked from floor to ceiling with tubs of the magic powder (definitely NOT a cocaine reference..). GNC is by far the largest distributor of products regarding sports nutrition, and has great stuff, albeit expensive. It has a great variety of protein powders, like whey, soy, egg, and casein. I'll admit, I shop at GNC from time to time, mainly to purchase the lotion....yeah, I know, what's the point? But honestly, the lotion is amazing..


 I personally am a firm believer in bananas and chocolate milk post run. But I was told that there's one little problem with that. Apparently the fact that the chocolate milk is a dairy product isn't that great. You see, running and dairy isn't the greatest combination, as it leads to bloating and terrible stomach cramps if you consume it pre run, or immediately after a run. As an avid runner, I never really deemed it necessary to use a protein supplement, I mean, after all, it's just running... Turns out that isn't the case. Sure, you can gobble eggs after a run for protein, or make some kind of Greek yogurt smoothie, but that's a tad inconvenient for those with busy schedules. That being said, I'm liking the idea of using a protein supplement, it's a fabulous and convenient way to get protein into one's diet without having to worry about having other certain foods on hand. I should point out that the protein powders WITH creatine aren't what you want to use as a distance runner. Sprinters, heavy lifters, and jumpers tend to use creatine in order to enhance performance and help them achieve bursts of strength. There's no scientific research that supports the idea of creatine benefiting those in endurance sports though. Nonetheless, protein is crazy important in a runner's diet, any athlete's diet really. It's what makes us last longer when our carbohydrate stores don't suffice. It repairs muscles and tissues, along with helping us to avoid that crash after a hard workout. Bottom line? I'd use it. Most servings pack 25 grams of protein, so go for it!


Happy Trails!




Race Day

So you're a runner. You get up early, log the miles, do the workouts, you enjoy the runs, and you're pretty content with that. But what about racing? Sure, you ran the local 5K two years ago with your dog....but that was the extent of your racing 'career'. Maybe you want to start racing, or maybe you think it's just not for you. Either way, taking the next step to racing is a great way to rekindle your passion for running. Here are a few tips to help make race day easier so you can have fun and enjoy the run!

Be okay with that sluggish feeling. Sometimes you'll feel like you're having a sucky run prior to your race, but that's totally normal. Speed workouts will revamp that burning out sensation to snap you out of it!

Put together a playlist. If you always run with music, make sure you put together a playlist with a beat that helps you keep pace, and put enough songs on there to keep your mind preoccupied. There's nothing worse than being bored on a long race.

Be organized!! Set your racing clothes and gear out the night before. Wake up with plenty of time left and have a nutritious bite to eat! Arrive at the race early, so you have enough time to visit the bathroom and get yourself warmed up. Mentally prepare yourself. Stay loose when you're waiting at the start.

Know the course beforehand. If you're competitive, you'll have an upper hand by driving through the course and paying attention to hills, turns, mile marks, and terrain.

Don't worry about lack of sleep! Insomnia the night before a race is totally normal, just ride it out and don't stress too much.

If it's a longer run, don't skip the water stops. BIG rookie mistake. You're gonna want to stay hydrated, so you can last as long as possible.

If you hit the bad patch, or a mental wall that makes you want to quit, start counting. Steps, that is. Once you get to 100, start over at 1 and keep doing that to keep your mind off of the trouble and get you back on track.

These are only a few tips, but the most important thing on race day is to have fun! Don't get all worried about getting last or not finishing or something silly, just relax, know that you did all you could to prepare, and enjoy the run!

Happy Trails!

Recovery Food

Ever come back from a long run and skipped the recovery meal? How did you feel? Were you fatigued, nauseous, and had a pounding headache? Although it may not seem like it, that's quite dangerous and detrimental to the body. Your body needs post-workout nutrition in order to replenish glycogen levels, repair damaged muscles, restore tissues, and metabolize nutrients. In case you weren't aware, well after a long run or intense workout, your body actually continues to burn calories, even two hours later! This means that if you don't add some fuel to the fire, it'll start feeding on your muscles and break them down. That's why you always hear about bodybuilders and running drinking either chocolate milk or protein shakes after their workouts. It won't make you gain unnecessary weight as long as you're consuming wholesome foods.

It's important to take the 30-60 minute time frame after an intense workout to get some nutrients into your system. This is the "window of opportunity" for your body, since it's the peak rate at which your body is metabolizing nutrients. So what exactly should you be eating post-run? The answer varies, depending on the type and intensity of your workout. Let's say you've been running for about a hour, so a meal of about 400 calories including carbohydrates, protein, and some fat will suffice. A bodybuilder, on the other hand, usually opts for a protein shake or some kind of high protein meal. That's why bodybuilders consume so much fish, certain kinds are high in protein yet very low in fat. But this is a runner's blog, so we'll stick to that side.

You've heard the term carboloading, right? Well post-run meals are pretty much a version of that. You consume simple carbohydrates, limit fiber, and restore those energy levels as quickly as possible. Why limit fiber? Fiber tends to give runners indigestion if consumed right before or after workouts. Simple carbohydrates are digested slowly, giving your body more time to recover without feeling sluggish and bloated afterwards. Simple carbs like white bread, pasta, and fruit are perfect examples of good post run carbs.

Protein and fat are equally important, although you're gonna need less fat than protein. Your muscles become fatigued towards the end of a workout, so protein will assist in repairing torn and damaged muscles and tissue. Protein will also help your muscles to grow and become stronger by giving them the boost they need. Eggs, chocolate milk, nonfat greek yogurt, and whey protein shakes all contain high amounts of protein. I personally prefer a hard boiled egg and chocolate milk after a hard lifting day, but that also suffices for a run as well. Fat just helps keep your blood sugar from shooting skyward as your body metabolizes the simple carbohydrates. It keeps everything in check and aids in the absorption of nutrients. Good fats like avocados and peanut butter are great in moderation post run.

As long as you're eating right, running nutrition is a breeze and you can focus more on the actual workout instead of worrying about what you're going to eat. Just relax, and your body will know what to do.

Happy Trails!

Newbie Guide...Part II

The process of becoming a full-fledged runner isn't as easy as it people make it seem. Here are more tips to help you get there:

Glutes: Your butt plays a big role in your running. Your stride is driven by the gluteus maximus and medias. These muscles tend to get soft since they are often neglected. Work in an office? Then you NEED to do these simple yet efficient exercises to strengthen them. Your office chair is the enemy here, that's for sure. Squats and lunges are two easy moves that help strengthen your glutes. Lunges are simple, but instead of stepping back each time, turn them into walking lunges, feeling the stretch deep in your hamstrings and glutes. Squats are definitely one of the more fun exercises. You can do a normal squat without any weights, or you can double the benefit with the bar w/ weights above your shoulders. Make sure you feel your butt working to keep you balanced.

Torso/Abs: Remember my post about cardio junkies?? Well apply that to this post too. Your abdominal muscles are always engaged while running, keeping you balanced and helping you with your posture. This is why you must have good form when running. Beginner runners almost always lean too far forward, causing the feet and knees to take all of the force with each footfall. This has quite a detrimental effect on your legs, so keep that in check. Run tall. That's what my coach has always told me to do. Don't stare at the ground while running, it causes your shoulders to hunch and throws off your center of gravity. Always be looking up and shorten your stride. Like I said before, pretend you're running on eggshells. You'll be saving tons of energy and reduce impact on your joints.

Stomach: Runners love to eat. It's as simple as that. And the better you eat, the better you run. So I guess that's a win-win situation. You need to eat real food. Not the processed junk full of added sugar. Remember, sugar only gives you a quick boost that doesn't last long, but healthy protein will work for you over a much longer period of time, allowing you to run longer and with more vigor. If you're planning on running more than 4 days a week, you should be having an adequate caloric intake. That means never letting your stomach growl. So every 3 to 4 hours, eat a small meal of about 400-600 calories to keep your energy levels up.

Arms: Your arms help you with your pace and efficiency. When you swing your arms faster during a run, your pace increases with it, and vice versa. Any way you set your arm speed, your legs will follow their lead, thus, giving you a nice manageable pace just for you. Don't let your arms hang limply at your sides, but don't bend them so much that they inhibit your form either. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your hands should be kept around waist level. My cross country coach always told me to pretend that I'm pulling tissues out of my pockets. It helped with my form, and still does now. Also, relax your hands. Don't keep them balled up in fists, just loosen them up.

Eyes: The best piece of advice I can give to you regarding your eyes is to just keep them on the horizon. Keeping your eyes up automatically relaxing your torso and straightens your posture, allowing your abdominals to take over and keep you balanced.

That does it for the newbie guide!! I feel like it's lacking, but I promise there will be more to come, regarding the brain/mindset and your heart and lungs. Until next time..

Happy Trails (newbies)!

Runner Moments

Hey ya'll, this post isn't exactly one on nutrition or running tips, but it is something I encountered during my run this morning. I've been getting up super early--around 5--to go out for a morning run. I go out as early as I can so I can have a quiet moment just to myself. Those moments really are rare, so I treasure them. I was pretty deep in thought on my 5th mile, and the fog was ridiculously thick, so I didn't notice nor did I hear the runner coming my way. To make a long story short, we literally ran into each other. The first thing I noticed about him was the prosthetic leg sticking out from his shorts, the ones you see runners wearing. To be honest, I was a little freaked out, but I apologized and introduced myself, as did he. Dane Collins was a soldier in Afghanistan for 3 years, and tragically lost his leg in a bombing. As he told me his story, I felt tears pricking my eyes, and thought of how terrible it was that he has been through so much crap in his life. But the thing that struck me the most was him saying, "Losing my leg has been one of the more sucky things in my life, but to be honest, I'm glad it happened to me, I wouldn't be the person I am today! The only reason I'm still here and fighting through struggles is because I've got the most amazing guy of whom I owe my life to, God, on my side." He also told me that when he lost his leg, he wasn't a Christian and through it all, he came to God and now lives for him, running races and spreading the good news. If that isn't inspiring, I don't know what is.

Happy Trails! Let's support those troops and pray for them. They need us, we need them, and we ALL need God.

The Newbie Guide

New to running? That certainly isn't easy. The whole feat of getting into a regular running schedule, increasing distance, getting faster, and staying motivated is no easy task. When I first started running, I just did each mile with abandon, no particular motive, just to get out and be alone. I wish people still went out and ran just because. That's the best reason; because you enjoy it. There are very few people that I know of who run 'just because'. Even if you're a runner that's just getting back into the swing of things after a long break, you'll want to take note of this post, even seasoned runners could benefit from a few pointers here and there. We'll start from the bottom up....shall we?

Feet: These are probably the most crucial part when it comes to running. If you don't have a quality pair of kicks, it seriously affects the way you run. There are different kinds of running shoes for everyone. Some are more cushioned and have a lot of support, while others are minimalist shoes. Your feet take in so much force while you run, with all your weight pounding into them with each step, so it's important to keep in check the way you're running. You want to take quick steps, instead on slower ones that last longer, so you have less weight on your feet per step. You're also gonna want to keep from pounding your feet relentlessly into the ground, keep it soft, kinda like you're running on eggshells (my cross country coach gets the credit for that).

This is something I've always struggled with. I have knee issues myself, and let me tell you, it sucks! Your knees, like your feet, take a lot of the brunt of the force while running. Did you know, each time your foot makes contact with the ground equals about two to four times your body weight traveling downwards, hitting your knees with the full impact? That's kind of scary. A way to prevent any problems with that is to let the ligaments and tendons in your knees adapt to the forces they must withstand during a run. You can do this by increasing your run time in small increments, so while your muscles develop, your knees can catch up and develop as well to become stronger in the long run.

Quadriceps: Being both the largest and strongest muscle group in your body makes your quads super super important. After all, they're the ones controlling your femur, you know, the bone that's basically harder than concrete? It's important to keep your quads loose. Trust me, tight and sore quads feel almost as bad as tight and sore hamstrings. Ouch. BUT, you should stretch them AFTER your run. This helps them to relax so they don't hurt and tighten up later. Just do the basic quad stretch, bringing your heel up to your butt, that's the motion. Hold it for about 15 seconds, on each leg, alternating about 4 times.

Hamstrings: Your hammies play a big role in running. They help flex and support your knees, as well as absorbing impact and helping you lift your feet. If you have weak hamstrings, you'll have weak knees, since your hammies won't be able to help with the pulling motion as you pick your leg up while running. Ever been in a ridiculously long car ride and when you got out, the back of your legs cramped up? That's because sitting for a long period of time makes them tight. You have to be careful not to pull them when they're like this. It's really painful. It helps to do leg-kicks. I personally like calling them the zombie. You basically kick out your leg and reach out your arm, touching the top of your shoe....like a zombie!

Calves/Shins: Here's a common problem with beginners--shinsplints. I personally haven't had too much trouble with those, but I hear a bunch of complaints about them. They are the result of overuse or a sudden increase in distance or workout intensity. This then causes the muscles of the lower leg to become inflamed, thus, the shinsplints. What helps? Keeping your calves nice and loose. Warm up those ankle muscles, reducing strain on your calves. Just rotate your ankle for 30 seconds or write out the alphabet with your foot, I always do that, and haven't had any problems. It also helps to do heel-toe steps, it's like exaggerating your walking, walk with your toes pulled up, and then pull your heel up as your foot touches the ground.

That's enough for one post. Next, I'll give you the scoop on the butt and up.

Happy Trails!

Why Run?

Why do you run? Why do you work out? Why do you eat healthy? There are an endless amount of responses to those questions. But as for me, well, I only have one. I am constantly being asked why I enjoy running and lifting and taking care of my body, it's almost as if people are enthralled by the notion of proficiency in fitness. It really does dampen one's spirits to see how unmotivated and debilitated so many people are in the aspect of personal health. Can you imagine a world where people actually thought for even a nanosecond, Maybe I should start taking better care of my body...?! It's every personal trainer and dietitian's dream! I suppose I should get to the meat of this post, i.e. the reason I workout, eat healthy etc. It's quite simple actually, just read 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20. Weren't expecting that, huh?

I'll save you some time and give you the verse right here;

"Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body."

I think there is a very VERY important point here. 'You are not your own' is telling us that we belong to God. He ultimately owns us, and the fact that He gave up His only son for us is a pretty big deal. We kinda owe Him, right? Now you see why I work so hard for optimum fitness and nutrition. What kind of servants to Him would we be if we filled our bodies with junk and didn't take the time to care for them? I'd say that's pretty insulting to the man upstairs. We need to honor God with our bodies. It's really the least we can do.

Every time I don't feel motivated to run or workout, or if I'm craving something that I know has trans fat, I think of that verse. Every single time. You may think I'm some pretentious, high-morale Jesus jerk for trying to preach to you, but it's really really important to me that people get it. That it CLICKS. Our body is a temple, and inside of us is where the Holy Spirit lives. Shouldn't we at least give Jesus a 5 star room during his stay?

Happy Trails!

Fueling Up for a Race

We've got some races coming up this fall, and those of you who are rearing to go need to know some key tips when it comes to the right nutrition. Training for the race in itself is difficult and you have multiple worries when it comes to the actual day of the race: running form, finishing in your goal time, scheduling those longer runs, blisters, weather, even doubting your ability to finish. But there is nothing more important than having proper nutrition so you can fuel up and run with one less worry, and you can focus on reaching that finish line. Unless you fuel up properly, you'll have more difficulty on your training runs and finishing your races. Here's a few tips to help you prepare for the big day!

Learn how to carbo-load correctly: Marathon nutrition tips have always included the recommendation for carbo loading the night before a race. Basically all that is is simply consuming a bunch of carbohydrates, storing up energy in your muscles. People also do this for their long runs as well. You consume whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, ones that are rather low on the glycemic index. You should be eating several portions small/medium in size all throughout the days prior to your race. Yes, days. If you just carbo load the night before, you're likely to have indigestion. In fact, it's a good idea to start carbo loading 3 to 6 days before a race. Keep in mind that the carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index are quite rich in fiber, so think and make smart choices when you load up!

Keep fiber intake under control: Fiber is really important when fueling up for the big day, and most of the complex carbs you'll be eating have a lot of fiber in them. There is a downside though, all that fiber will leave you stuck in the smelly old outhouse on race day if you're not careful. Your body has different reactions to different foods, so pay attention to what your body is telling you and avoid the foods that have a rather distasteful reaction when fueling up.

Are you getting that protein? Any good marathon training nutrition plan will provide you with an adequate amount of protein to keep your muscles lean and strong. This will make sure you have enough protein to repair ripped or worn out muscles after harder workouts. The more intensive the workout, the more protein you'll need to consume.

Try not to run on an empty stomach:
We all know that cramping feeling we get in our abdomen when we try running without eating anything for a while. It sucks. Especially on long runs! Whether it's a short or long run, you need to have something fueling you as you go. A small snack will do a little bit before a shorter run, but on a long run, say, if you're going to be running for over an hour, you should take some protein bars or other snacks with you. You should consume a little something about every hour, so you don't burn out. Try not to eat large amounts at one time, as that will most likely make you feel bloated and sluggish, while causing indigestion. At the same time, avoid running on a full stomach as well, there's nothing that will ruin your run more than spewing up that delicious meal you just splurged on...eww. Large meals right before a run is a huge no-no. Try to eat a small/medium meal one or two hours prior to your long run, so the carbs/other nutrients have a chance to break down and supply you with that energy you'll need. And when I say a small meal, I don't mean nibble on junk. I mean have some whole food, healthier food, that will keep you satisfied and fueled up for your run. Fruit or nuts make a great pre-run snack, along with whole wheat crackers. Also, try to stay away from dairy and fat right before a run, as they tend to slow digestion and give you a sick feeling when you work out.

Know what you're eating: There's nothing worse than being unprepared when it comes to racing. Which is why you shouldn't experiment with foods you haven't eaten a whole lot of before when a race is coming up. You're gonna want to know exactly how your body reacts to certain foods. For something like a day or two prior to race day, stick to eating foods that you eat on a routine basis--runner food--so they agree with your stomach.

Hydration, hydration, hydration!!!!
Have you ever collapsed during a run as a result of dehydration? It is quite a scary experience, not to mention an embarrassing one. You're gonna need to be drinking a whole lot of water. Especially in this heat!! Try to drink enough water so that your urine stays a clear or light yellow ALL the time. This is very important. Water will certainly suffice in shorter runs, but on longer runs you should mix it with a sports drink mix or take gel packs along as well. This is really helpful because it helps to replenish those lost electrolytes while hydrating you. You're also gonna want to keep drinking well after your run, to help you recover and keep you hydrated as your heart rate starts to slow down..this make take an hour or two, so keep drinking water!

That was quite a bit to take in, sorry! But if you're planning on taking your training/races seriously, I strongly suggest you take note and keep these tips in mind! I wish you luck during your training and on race day!

Happy Trails!

Cardio Junkies Anonymous

"Hi, my name is Agne Miskinis, and I am a cardio junkie."

Okay, so while this really isn't true--at least not anymore--it's a pretty common problem with runners. Now I wouldn't exactly call it a problem, but more of a hindrance, an irritation for seasoned, well-rounded runners. What exactly is a 'cardio junkie' you ask? Why a cardio junkie is simply someone who runs....and that's it, they just run, or bike, or do some other cardio all the time. They only focus on the cardio aspect of exercise, sometimes for the enjoyment, or for the wrong mindset of thinking it will help them to lose weight faster and keep it off. Let me tell you something though, that's a lie. A big fat LIE. Just doing cardio all the freaking time is no healthy way to lose weight, I mean, honestly, how much more brainwashed can the media make us?! Losing weight can be SO tricky, because it depends on you, your composition, and genes. But it's possible, if you do it the right way.

Cardio junkies--you've seen 'em, in fact, you may be one of them! They're the ones with the great legs; slim, defined muscles, something I would totally be jealous of. But you'll also notice that they're lacking a bit in the upper/middle body. As in, their arms lack definition, and their abs, well, they are quite nonexistent, not to mention the love handles. I'm not trying to insult anyone here, but let's admit it, that is totally not the picture of health we're looking for. You see, in order to be a more successful, more efficient runner, you need to have a more balanced body. This may cause you to retort with a "But it all depends on your body type, we're born with it!" remark, but that, my friends, is a sad, sad excuse. It really doesn't matter what kind of body type you have, it's totally possible to proves those genes wrong. Cardio junkies tend to just work on their legs, allowing their middles and upper body to go soft. The problem here is that without a strong core, you can't run efficiently. Your abdominals are the muscles that keep you balanced as you run, giving you a good posture and allowing you to last longer with that strong central core.

There are plenty of exercises you can do to strengthen and define your ab muscles, although they're never easy, mainly because plain old situps will never do. For one, they're hard on your back, and two, they only target one area of your abdominals, so they aren't nearly as effective as your gym teacher told you back in high school. I'm gonna give you a few exercises to help you dominate your core, and be sure you can handle doing a plank for over a minute before you try any of these.

: You can use either a medicine ball or one of those bouncy exercise balls for this. First, lie on your back and hold the medicine/exercise ball behind your head resting on the ground. Then lift the ball above your head, lifting both of your legs simultaneously and crunch your abs--trying to touch your feet to the ball, all the while keeping steady and balanced. (if you are using the big exercise ball, you can let your feet grab the ball by holding it between your ankles and then handing it off each time you go up) This is a really hard one, but it gives results, I promise!

Stirring the Pot
: I promise you, this is NOT a drug reference. My fellow trainer and I kind of made this one up, so hopefully you like it! Take one of those big bouncy exercise balls, and get in the plank position on it, so your elbows are resting at the top and your body is in a relatively straight line. Clasp your hands together like you're playing volleyball and begin moving your hands as if you're stirring something in a big pot. Make sure you stay balanced and engage your core. This one gets to be painful, so have fun with it!

The (dreaded) Plank: I hate these. And I'm sure you do too. Like seriously, every single person I know hates planks to no end. But they're incredibly effective, albeit painful. Let's start with the simple front plank. Get into the pushup position, then place your elbows on the ground underneath your shoulders. Keep your butt down, and your body in a straight line. Hold this for about a minute to ninety seconds. Not on to the side plank. There are many variations of this, so please bear with me. Lie on your left side, and lift your upper body off the floor so your weight is resting on your elbow, which is supporting/balancing you. Lift your hips and knees so only your elbow and forearm are touching the ground. Make sure you're in a straight line, and hold for about 1 min to 90 seconds. Then switch to the other side and repeat. You can also turn it into an oblique abductor raise by raising your leg up vertically while in a side plank. Do this about 25 times or for the whole minute. You can also do that while in the front plank. Just lift your legs up vertically, alternating between legs. Each time, do about 25 reps on each leg and then switch. Keep your body aligned straight, and engage your core!!

I hope this was helpful to you cardio junkies, I mean, who doesn't want abs??

Happy Trails!

Are You Going the Distance?

What's your definition of endurance? Mine is not letting yourself quit when your body or even your own laziness beg you to. But really, endurance is just the ability to run farther, not faster, just farther, according to Runners World Magazine. Did you know that every one of us is born either fast or slow? Just like how we genetically get our fast or slow metabolisms. It's quite sad really, knowing that your intense speed workouts aren't benefiting you as much as you thought. I'm still trying to figure out whether I'm fast or slow...I like to say I'm on the fence on that one. You wanna know the best part about gaining endurance? Anyone can do it, it's not a matter of your genetic speeds, but just training your body to go the distance, in a surprisingly short amount of time.

But why is endurance so important? Even if you're a sprinter, you need to include endurance workouts to help you improve race times. Now I'm just going to assume (yeah, bad idea, I know) that ya'll are longish distance runners, not sprinters. But if you are, then by all means, keep on reading anyways! Endurance has always been known to increase muscular strength, helping out every muscle that is associated with any kind of running. It also helps strengthen your core. No, not your abs, but your heart, the real core. Not only does it strengthen muscles, but endurance running also strengthens the mind in crazy ways. We all know that pushing our endurance boundaries is a huge drag and certainly not easy, but it really pays off. It gives us that mental confidence and persistence when we force our mind and bodies to go longer than they want to. Endurance helps with efficiency. Aerobic efficiency, that is. I bet you didn't know that slower endurance running builds more capillaries in your muscles. Capillaries bring oxygen to your muscles--so you'll have extra pathways for your lungs to transport oxygen to your muscles. Since they'll be getting all that oxygen, your muscles won't become fatigued after a longer period of time. It will also help you recover from harder workouts so you're back on your feet in a jiffy.

The longer you run, the more calories you burn. You'll also burn more fat, lose more weight and keep it off/maintain your ideal weight a whole heck of a lot better. Here's a little tidbit--every mile you run burns approximately 100 calories, so keep that in mind next time! Long runs can teach you a bunch of things, like, for instance, handling stress! The run teaches you how to complete endless tasks that you would rather not do despite fatigue (mental or physical). You'll feel more productive and who knows, maybe you'll even start something you've been putting off for a while! I'm telling yah, those long runs do good things. Eric Zorn, who is a both a marathoner and Chicago Tribune columnist, claims that, "The lessons learned from endurance training can definitely be translated to your life beyond running." And that is SO true. Have I convinced you yet? I sure hope so, so please, get out there and put in some mileage! I'll be back with another post on endurance running: the basics.

Happy Trails!

Top Foods for Runners A-Z

Hey ya'll! Haven't blogged in a while, due to a few technical difficulties and a week down south in New Orleans (I'll blog about that later). Are you a serious runner? If so, are you serious about your diet? For instance, do you still have that doughnut for dessert at lunch? Or maybe it's that Dr. Pepper you just can't give up? Well if your diet is still lacking the essentials that your body needs, then advancing to becoming a better, faster, more efficient runner is quite out of reach. I'm gonna give you a nice long list of foods that all runners should be including in their diets. Don't worry, I know you're probably thinking how I'm going to have you taking wheat grass shots and drinking egg whites and chewing on cardboard for bread, but that's not the case. So relax. Not only do these foods help with your performance, but they're also low-fat, which help with that waistline, and also lower your risk of heart disease, cholesterol, and cancer. Not to mention how incredibly easy these are to prepare. So here goes:

Almonds: These babies are loaded with Vitamin E, which help to reduce muscle damage and fend off age-related diseases. They're a fabulous source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which is basically one of the best fats to have in your diet. They also supply a good amount of protein, which helps to keep you full and last longer during your runs!

Bananas: The notorious 'telephone fruit' actually has a use other than to entertain your children while talking to a banana. They're full of carbohydrates, perfect for both a pre AND post run snack. It's also got potassium, important for all functions of cells,  along with a dose of Vitamin B.

Beans: This is the best source of protein, iron, AND soluble fiber for (drumroll please) vegetarians!! So if you're a vegetarian and don't eat beans, then start now, Lord knows you need 'em. They're good for any diet really. They're high in both carbohydrates and folic acid, fighting birth defects and heart disease.

Broccoli: Vitamin C is prominent in this tree-like veggie, which plays a big part in reducing damaged muscles induced by exercise. It also has Vitamin K which is great for building strong bones that withstand the impact of running and cancer-fighting phytochemicals!

Brown Rice: This is a much healthier AND natural alternative to bleached, enriched white rice. Brown rice is a powerful, long-lasting carbohydrate, making it perfect for a runner, without giving you the too full, sluggish feeling you sometimes get after consuming a lot of carbs. It also contains quite a wealth of antioxidants, something you won't find in the conventional white rice you're used to.

Canola Oil: This is an awesome source of monounsaturated fat AND omega-3 fatty acids, which lower your risk of heart disease. In order for your running to be the best it can, any runner should get about 30 percent of their calories from fat. Uber important!

Flax: Flaxseed is incredibly rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which is a fat that helps boost immunity, bloodflow, and even endurance! (talk about a superfood) The platlets in your blood also benefit from this since flax helps keep them from clumping together and forming dangerous clots. Flaxseed oil is the best way to take this.

Ginger: Ginger not only does a great job of settling an upset stomach, it also acts as a natural inflammatory by reducing joint and muscle pain. It also aids in thinning the blood, preventing heart attacks.

Peanut Butter: Ah yes, my favorite food. And you'll soon see why. It's a great source of Vitamin E, (found in most nuts) which might I add is by far the most powerful antioxidant. The fats in peanut butter are both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which, just as a reminder, are the healthy fats. PB also packs some protein, along with that healthy fat and a little dose of carbohydrates. Keep in mind that although healthy when it's natural, there are companies like Jiff, Skippy, and Peter Pan that tend to add other unnecessary oils like cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil...please please please avoid that! PB also contains quite a lot of calories, so eat in moderation!

Salmon: High in omega-3 fatty acids, boosting immune system and cutting the risk of heart disease, salmon is a superfood at best. It's packed with protein, vitamin B, and calcium. Try to eat salmon at least once a week, it has so many important vitamins and minerals your body needs!

Spinach: Popeye was right, spinach is the HEALTHIEST food there is. And yes, it certainly helps you to build that muscle of yours. Where do I start, spinach is high in carotene, calcium, iron, and many, many others. The carotenes ward off those pesky age-related diseases, (we're definitely not getting any younger, regardless of what we say) and the calcium keeps your (increasingly brittle) bones strong. The iron that it packs in keeps your energy levels high so you can last longer.

Strawberries: These delicious fruits are high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and folate. As if that's not enough, they're loaded with ellagic acid, which is actually an extremely powerful antioxidant that prevents the growth of tumors. Not only are they sweet, they're healthy! Shocker..

Sweet Potatoes: These hold a healthy amount of carbohydrates, without the overwhelming starch in regular potatoes. They also contain fiber and carotenes, which prevent cancer.

Sweet Red Peppers: NOT the spicy kind. While those speed up the metabolism, running on a spicy pallet is so not the best idea in the world. These milder, sweeter peppers have a huge load of Vitamin C. They're also packed with carotenes, so eat up, if you haven't tried them, they have an interestingly sweet tang to them. I eat them raw myself.

Tofu: You probably saw that one coming, but hey, don't be so skeptical! Tofu can be delicious, or disgusting, it all depends on how you have it. Tofu is the best non-meat protein source--a dream for vegetarians. It also supplies you with a good dose of calcium and B Vitamins. I suggest it in pasta sauces or stir fry dishes, as long as they're a little crispy on the outside after a quick fry, they're tasty!

Whole Grains
: Eat them. Do it. I dare you. Whole grains are essential and incredibly healthy. High in good carbs, packed with Vitamin B and also fortified with iron, this is a great addition to a runner's diet. Oatmeal, bread, rice, tortillas, and cereal all come in whole-grain forms.

Greek Yogurt
: This is a fantastic source of carbohydrates--fueling your muscles. It also contains a significant amount of protein and calcium, with huge emphasis on the protein. I usually get the nonfat kind, it's easier on my stomach before a run.

I hope this was helpful to you, because as a runner, the diet is just as important as the training. If you want to be a successful runner, try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. Who knows? Maybe you'll actually enjoy 'em...and think of all the health benefits, it's really the best of both worlds.

Happy Eating!

Running in the Rain

So here I am. Sitting at my desk on an exercise ball, steaming mug of coffee next to me, dressed in dry clothes, a towel slung around my neck. I look out my window and see the rain coming down, a torrential downpour really. Most people will look outside and say, "What? Raining AGAIN? This sucks!" But when you're a runner, especially one of those crazier runners, you say, "YESS!! It's raining! Hallelujah!!" and hurry to pull on your running shoes and head out into the pouring rain for some nice soggy mileage. That was me this morning, I woke up at 5 and when I saw that it was raining, I became like a kid on Christmas day, I was giddy with excitement. I scrambled to pull on my running gear with some difficulty. After all, I had just woken up and still quite groggy. I fumbled with the laces on my running shoes, This is why people use velcro, I thought to myself. After pulling my unruly brown hair into a ponytail, I scurried out the door, being careful not to wake anyone up.

As I stepped out into in the rain, I tilted my head up and felt the cool raindrops on my face. There really is no better feeling than that. So fresh and clean. After doing a few meager stretches, I started jogging down our driveway, and was instantly soaked. I kept a good pace for about 3 miles, and took a breather by a little bridge. The rain was still coming down hard, but the creek was strangely calm, and just starting to fill up again after the drought. Looking into that clear water gave me a wild idea. The bridge wasn't very high, and the water was just the right depth, so I took a glance to my left and right and jumped in. Wow, how stupid is THAT? She actually jumped into a creek...what is it with these rednecks? Okay, maybe that isn't what you're thinking, but I'm close, right? But the water felt so good! I mean, I was already soaked from the rain, so why not? I soon heard a dog barking, and turned to see a huge golden retriever bounding towards the creek. Towards me. It really was quite a hilarious feat, he leaped for me, but landed short and plunged into the water. Believe me, if it had been in slow motion, that video could win an award. He swam towards me and chased me around in the creek. I don't even know how long I was in there, maybe 15 minutes, maybe 45? That didn't matter though, because it was FUN! After a while I decided I should probably be getting on my way. The bank was quite steep, so I helped the dog climb up by pushing him up by his back end. After climbing out and squeezing the water from my shirt, I bid the cutie farewell and starting running again, with a big smile on my face.

As I ran I looked around and saw all of the beautiful scenery. Even though it was cloudy and absolutely everything was wet, there was an unusual appeal to it all. The wildflowers were glistening with raindrops, the trees dripped water from their bright green leaves, and earthworms were bathing in the mud. I felt a little sorry for the worms though, because the robins were feasting on them like kings. I've gotta say, I feel like I am able to run so much longer in the rain, it's almost like the rain magically gives us more strength and endurance. Another upside to running in the rain: sweat is no problem! You don't get over heated in the rain, and you can easily stay hydrated, especially in a downpour this hard! Really, you should try it sometime, it's almost like therapy. I ran another 4 miles and ended my route sprinting up the driveway. That's how I end all of my runs, with a dead sprint. That way, I know I finished and did my best. They always say, the most important part of your workout is the last little part, that's the part that counts the most. And so, I strode back into the house, peeling off the wet layers of my shirt and shorts, changed into sweats, and sat down with my mug of coffee. It's a runner thing, I guess. We're the creative ones, right? I mean, who needs a pool when you have a creek?

Happy Trails!

Good Nutrition For Runners Part III

Now for the protein. Protein is SUCH an essential part to any diet. It's capabilities and benefits are great. But what exactly is protein? Sure, you've heard of the latest high-protein diet craze, and those protein shakes you endlessly consume to help you build muscle, but have you ever taken a closer look? Proteins are part of every single cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. As we exercise (or just live), those proteins are constantly being both broken down and replaced. The proteins we consume through food are digested into amino acids which actually replace those broken down proteins in our bodies. I'm gonna get a little technical here, so please bear with me. Proteins are made of amino acids, which are essentially your body's building blocks. There are many different amino acids that join to form different types of proteins. Some of these are called essential amino acids, since our bodies can't actually make them on their own. This is why we need to supply our bodies with these through our own diet.

Proteins make up about 15% of the mass of the average person. In fact, every single function of any living cell depends on proteins! So if you aren't getting enough protein in your diet, especially as an athlete, your body can't function as it is supposed to! As a runner, I'm sure you've been told that carbohydrates are more important than protein, but that is totally wrong. Protein and carbs are equally important for any runner! Your muscles can't repair or rebuild themselves if you don't have an adequate amount of protein in your diet. Did you know, that when you're running, each footstrike can carry anywhere from 2-7 times your bodyweight? With all that strain on your body, you need protein to allow your body to handle that. You will also be able to heal faster and resist injury better with the right amount of protein in your diet.

So now for the actual food part. Sorry to keep you waiting, but hey, I think we all need to be educated on what we're eating, so you can go tell your buddies and look real smart. Who knows? Maybe someone will actually come to you for some nutrition advice next time (winning!). The USDA says that you should be eating around .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. But that's where they're wrong when it comes to athletes. It's recently been claimed that runners should be taking in about .72 grams per pound. In English, that would be something around 75 to 120 grams of protein every day. But this is for a runner in the weight range of 160. If you weigh less, then you'll need to take that number down a notch. If you're not a vegetarian runner, then it's pretty easy for you to get that much.

  •  Lean meats and animal products like eggs and milk pack a lot of protein. Whey, which is a by-product of milk, is also full of protein, which is why they put it in protein shakes. And please please PLEASE try to stick with the lean meats, because the fat in some meat interferes with the proper absorption of the protein, so stay away from high-fat foods and that prime rib! (of course, on occasion, you can have it in moderation. Moderation, that is the KEY!) There are also vegetable-based sources of protein, for you vegetarians out there. Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy pack some protein, but not quite as much as other sources. Try to eat protein-rich vegetables/grains whenever possible, like quinoa, soybeans, and oats.

So next time you're carbo-loading for your next race or long run, add some turkey, soy or eggs to that plate of pasta!

Happy Eating!

Good Nutrition For Runners Part II

Okay, so now that I've filled your brain with info on minerals for runners, I need to give ya'll a good dose of real food. Runner food, to be exact. Along with the necessary vitamins that runners need (which I'll cover in another post, I promise), there are some things that your body can actually live without! For example, sugar. Sugar really doesn't have any nutritional density. The sugar you consume and don't burn off will quickly turn into fat, and we don't want that! Here, I am going to tell you the good stuff and bad stuff. And yes, I personally think that there is a strict list for each. People tell you not to deprive yourself, and I suppose I can agree with them to an extent, but sometimes depriving yourself is just what you need! A food I've always been used to eating before, cheese, has now lost any significance in my diet. I decided to cut one thing from my diet, and that turned out to be cheese. Cheese is full of calories and fat. Now I'm not telling you to stop eating fat, because that is a staple in any good diet. (the good kind, anyway) After not eating cheese for over a year, I have lost any desire to consume it! I challenge you to try that, try to intentionally deprive yourself of a food, and see what happens. Resist the cravings, a least for a week or two, and then see how you feel. DON'T deprive yourself of a good food, but something unhealthy that you tend to consume more than you should. Alright, now let's get back to what-to-eat part.


As a runner, you need carbohydrates to keep you going. You are constantly burning that energy you get from carbs as you run, and for longer runs, you need sufficient energy stores that your body can tap into. Different sources of carbohydrates can either give you quick or long-lasting energy, and our bodies work so much more efficiently with carbs than they do with protein or fat. Carbohydrates should make up about 60-65 percent of your total calorie intake. But be aware that this is if you are ACTIVE! If you are going for a hard workout/run every day, then by all means take in those carbs. BUT, if you have a rest day or are sedentary for a period of time, you need to take that percentage down a notch. If you're not using all of that energy, your body is going to turn that into fat. And extra fat on your body really doesn't help you as a runner. Try to make your carbohydrates the healthier kind, like whole-grain pasta, steamed/boiled rice, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole-grain breads. Potatoes are also a good carb source, but if you're a runner looking to lose weight, I suggest you find a different source of carbs. Fruits and starchy veggies are great because along with carbohydrates, they supply you with so many other vitamins and minerals. Here's a bit of advice, try not to eat a carb alone, eat with a healthy fat or protein. For instance, as a healthy snack, you can have a pear (carbs), peanut butter (healthy fat), and a boiled egg (protein).

Be ready for Part III!

Good Nutrition for Runners

Hey all you runners! I'm Agne, just a girl who eats, sleeps, and runs! (I promise there's more to me than that, but for now:

As someone who wants to become a trainer and dietitian, I've done more nutrition research than you would believe. Just ask the librarian at our local library--I have skyrocketing fees to pay for not returning any of the nutrition and dietetics books I checked out....3 months ago. I take lots of notes when I'm reading, so absorbing all that information takes a while! I'll try to bore you with the old standby and menagerie of useless advice, I promise you will take something away from this!

I have always been a vegetarian runner, I never really cared for meat, any meat. Along with that, I'm that crazy person that hates animal cruelty. Now before you jump to any conclusions there, I'll tell you that I'm not so extreme as to go all PETA on you. Yes, it's a great cause and I love that someone is taking action, but at the same time, I feel that they take things a little too far more often than not. Let's just say I'm a little more mild than that, and have more of an open mind to things than they do. But as a vegetarian runner, it was always hard to get protein in, along with the iron that I needed. I was actually diagnosed with anemia resulting from that deficiency. Anemia is basically where you don't have enough red blood cells in your body. This is pretty dangerous for serious runners, especially women who are serious runners. You see, women need more iron and hemoglobin in their bodies because of our menstrual cycle. We lose quite a bit of blood then, and it's hard to replenish that, unless you have a very sufficient diet. My mother has always been slightly anemic, and she consumes protein and iron all the time, yet nothing really changes. I inherited that, and being a serious athlete, it's been a bit of a challenge.

 Since we're on the subject of iron, let me tell you about minerals and nutrients your body needs as a runner. Iron, like I said before, is good for your red blood cells, and extremely crucial in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Iron also keeps your whole body in robust health, helping you in all aspects: hair, nails, skin, digestion, bones, muscle, and energy. You can find iron in a large variety of foods, so even vegetarians are able to get the iron they need without popping up to 9 different supplement pills in a day. Foods such as legumes, lentils, soy beans, whole grains, and dark green leafy vegetables are surprisingly rich in iron. These dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and even broccoli are really good sources of iron, and I make sure to include one of these into every meal. Dried fruits also have a higher iron content. Try dried cherries, cranberries, prunes, dates, raisins, mango, banana, and even dried blueberries. But keep in mind that they are all pretty high in calories and sugar, so eat in moderation! For males, anywhere from 8 to 11 mg of iron a day is needed. And for females, you're gonna need about 15 to 18 mg of iron a day.

Calcium. Calcium is extremely important in a runner's nutrition. It will greatly help you in the prevention of osteoporosis and stress fractures. (stress fractures, by the way, are devastating to ANY runner, they take a long time to heal and are easy to prevent, so take note!) You may or may not already know this, but professional athletes claim that having a sufficient intake of calcium help to prevent muscle cramps, and we all know how those are. OUCH. You also lose calcium through perspiration (sweating) while running longer distances and even just doing a high intensity workout. Your bones will be stronger and you'll be able to do more, while keeping injury-free! Calcium is not just found in dairy products, and you should know that just consuming dairy products isn't that great because they aren't absorbed into the bloodstream very well, at least according to the latest scientific research (that's another book I still need to return). Foods like sardines, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables, and tofu are good secondary sources of calcium. As an adult, you should be consuming about 1,000 mg of calcium a day, and 1,300 mg for teens.

Sodium. I know what you're thinking. You're kidding me right? So you're actually saying I need MORE sodium?! But yes, you do need sodium as a runner, and although high sodium levels are dangerous, low sodium levels are just as bad, especially as an athlete. You see, we are constantly losing salt through our exercise and training, by sweating. You know what sweat tastes like, when you lick your chapped lips during a workout and taste salt. Not to sound gruesome or anything, but if you licked yourself after a hard workout, you'd be tasting salt everywhere. No not THERE! Get your head out of the gutter! What I'm saying is your body is always trying to expel those toxins from your body, and sweating is one way it does that. You also need other electrolytes to keep you going as a runner. If you have a nicely balanced diet, you will naturally be getting those electrolytes. But if you're randomly craving a salty food, it's likely that your body doesn't have enough of a sodium intake and is deprived of it! Sport drinks have a good amount of both sodium and electrolytes, so that's the form I take it in. There are also a number of supplements on the market. You can also consume a slightly salty snack after your runs.

Now go run!

So I meant to post...

... about the Deadwood Half Marathon. Better get to it before my memory gets fuzzier than it already is.  What a GREAT race.  Talk about being able to take in the beauty of God's creation while running as fast as you can.  Without question, the Black Hills are a great setting for running a Full/Half marathon.  This was the first time I participated in this particular race and it was a super experience.  I started running with one of Mark's family members, Steve, but quickly had to pull back on the reigns if I was going to be able to complete the race... and I am glad I did. The race consists of running about 6 miles down hill on an old railroad trail... then up hill for about a mile... and then, "as they say," it was all down hill from there.  Some of the declines were so steep that it was all you could do to remain on your feet.  By the end of the Half, I was thankful that I wasn't running the Full.  It was a pretty tough race.  That said, I would run it again... and will probably do so some time in the future.  I would really like to run it when I am in a little better shape.  So, add it to the list of races I would like to run again someday.

All in all, Mark and I had a great time... working the expo and "running the race."

Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon

We had a great time at Deadwood this past weekend. The event started off with the expo on Friday evening. We met many new friends and had some great discussions on running tips and race experiences. After the expo, we then headed to our cabin rental to hang out and experience the woodsy feeling that the Deadwood/Lead area provides.

Then on Saturday things really picked up at the expo. We met even more new friends, as well as talked to friends we met on Friday night. We received a lot of great ideas on different t-shirts you would like to see and we are working on getting those on our website for you. In summary we had a blast at the expo, and many thanks to those that stopped by.

On race day (Sunday), it was nice and sunny and a relatively cool feeling at the start of the race. We lined up for the half marathon with roughly ~3000 other runners. Down the trail we started (or should I say up the trail for the first mile). Then at mile six, there it was, the long steady incline. The angle of the hill isn't too bad, it's just that it goes forever (about a mile). Once at the top of the hill, the rest of the race is pretty much a downhill run, even steep at some points.

All of our runners had a great day and did pretty well. Many thanks to the DMTM crew that put on a great event. If you are looking for a challenging but scenic race, make sure to check it out!


Definition of a good friend...

Good Friend (noun).

1: a: one attached to another by affection or esteem b : acquaintance

2: a:one that is not hostile b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group

3: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)

4: a favored companion

5: one that will get up with you and run with you at 5:30 in the morning.

Run The Race will be at Deadwood

Come check us out at the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon (DMTM) Expo on June 1st and 2nd.  We will have some shirts for purchase and we would love to talk about anything related to running.  We will also have some members from our local running club participating in the Half Marathon on June 3rd.  For more information on the DMTM, check out http://www.deadwoodmickelsontrailmarathon.com/.  Hope to see you there!

The Fargo Marathon/Half Marathon

So, this weekend I was in Fargo, North Dakota participating in one of the Midwest's premier races. This year's theme was "Fargo's Rockin' Marathon." It was a great running environment that touted "a band every mile." (The local bands were actually not too shabby.)

In short, it was a great race and a great day.

 I enjoyed connecting with both old and new friends (CoriAnn, LeAnn, and Kendra.)   And for me, this race wasn't about a personal best, but rather enjoying the experience.

After experiencing this welcoming atmosphere, one thing is for sure... The people of Fargo/Moorhead really know how to host a first class event. I would encourage anyone who is contemplating coming to the "Northern Plains" to run this race... to make the trip. You won't be disappointed. I am sure this will not be the last time I will run this race.

"Ya, Sure, You Betcha. We rocked it don't cha know!"

Runners SET... "CRACK" ... and Race Begins...

So Mark and I are "off and running" (Ha. Get it?) on this new adventure of creating a new business/running company.  Our blog will range from plugging regional and national events to covering topics such as running injuries, annoyances, quirky stories and the like. We may even have a shameless plug from time to time encouraging you to buy our shirts/products.

So how did "we" get to this point??  Great question... but, first things first: who are “we?” My name is Greg and I am co-owner in the business Run The Race, LLC.  Mark, is my business partner (and friend) and equal share holder in what we will refer to as runtherace121 (I can type that faster.) :)  Now most people who are taking notes are saying, "WHOAH... hold the phone... Business Partner and Friend?  That's a little dangerous... I thought I always heard not to mix business with pleasure?”  Well that is true; however, this business has a little different focus. Which of course brings me back to...

"How did we get to this point?"

Well, it all started on one of Mark and my many runs... about 5-6 years ago as we were training for Grandma’s Marathon - located in Duluth, MN. (For those not familiar with Minnesota or the race.)  During one of these runs we began talking about having a vision of opening up a running store... Our thoughts have always been to open an upscale running store in our small town... however, before one just opens up a running store, marketing research/due diligence must be done to determine whether the market will support said store... so, as we do this, we have decided to create this business in stages... so the first stage is to launch an internet site / T-shirt business... eventually hoping to move toward the brick and mortar store.

So recently, I was talking with Mark and he mentioned how he felt like he needed a new challenge... at the time I was "in between jobs" (which makes me sound like a slacker... but really, I opted out of a bad situation at work and stood firm on the convictions that I had... I was working for a couple of friends as a hired hand on their farm until I could re-enter my profession... so I wasn't really “unemployed" but I was technically between jobs.)   ANY way, I asked him... "So, if you are looking for a challenge, why don't we start the running company we have talked about?" And after much prayer, thoughts, planning and consideration...


Viola!  Here we are.  RuntheRace121.com  

Now back to mixing the business with pleasure deal... the unique foundation of this company is that we have decided to take every dollar of profit (minus investments and expenses) and use it to bring glory to the Lord.  We will either donate this money to established ministries OR use the money to help people in need.  So while we are, indeed, looking to make a profit, it is not for our own personal gain, but rather to build a company that is founded on the Lord and is in existence for Him and Him alone.  As you can tell by the verse on the top of the page, the business is founded on Hebrews 12:1 (hence runtherace121) which states: “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…”


So… we are off… Running this Race that the Lord has marked out for us. While the first 6 months have moved along at a slower pace (in order to plan accordingly and ensure that we have built a proper foundation) the last 3 weeks have moved at a pace equivalent to about 9.5 miles per hour…


At this pace, we will reach our goal in no time... and we may even qualify for Boston!   :)


Welcome to Run The Race. Please browse around our site and feel free to contact us with any questions you have. If you have questions on running, we will have the answer. If you have questions on anything else, we'll make something up!