RUNNER’S SHARE: What Do YOU Do When You DON’T F&$% Feel Like Running?

Runner's Share

We all have days when we just don’t feel like running – it’s inevitable. Motivation isn’t constant – it ebbs and flows. So what should YOU do when you don’t feel like running?! I took it to Instagram and gathered some awesome tips to help you answer that question next time!


DON’T RUN & LET MY BODY REST:

Let my body rest and try to get the run in later”
@ali_bertolami

“Don’t run”
@astrid_janssen_q

“Just rest or walk
@nottoosweetcaroline

“Lay in bed”
@fivekrunner90

“Drink!”
@keller9385

I just don’t, or I do a nature walk!”
@hey.itsjayne

“Sometimes I run anyways, others, like today, I listen to my body and rest.
@runningbaldman


DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

“Core or lower body strength training”
@therunningryan

“Hike/swim/bike/nap/second nap.”
@insane_zane01

“Go for a good walk with the dogs.”
@stephen.foster44444444

“Walk instead…”
@firemankevin629

“Choose a different type of exercise like swimming or rowing.”
@shann0nwils0n

“Long walk or hike with my dog.”
@zarbicath

“Go to the gym and do a different type of workout.”
@hannalyn13

“Swimming or cycling are great alternatives! TRIFLIFE!”
@dominic_eigo


STILL GO RUN (OR AT LEAST TRY):

“I’ll still go, if not I’ll just reset for the next day.”
@cjtherunner

“Run more.”
@tbogda0471

“Start running! The feeling always fades with the miles!”
@i_livesore

“Give it a go for 10 mins and if after that I still don’t want to, I go home!”
@honestlyamylynn

“I just go and let myself walk whenever I feel like it. But at least start out running.”
@ladrury

“Go anyway!!!”
@boymom_ontherun

“Run.”
@dan_runs_downtown

“I put on my running clothes anyway. Usually that’s enough to change my mind”
@running_my_best

“Tell myself I’ll walk, it always turns into a run once out.”
@rularuns

“I run”
@j_fit_smit

“RUN”
@momrunsthis

“Run anyways!”
@b_mindfit

“I push myself to go anyways, and I usually end up enjoying it and being glad I went. The moments when I lack motivation and need to go, I just fall back on discipline.”
@Rachaelroxy2117

“I walk for a half mile or so and then I’m usually in the mood to run by then.”
@oli_beringer

“Go for 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes you still feel like not running then stop! I never stop.”
@runleaderz

“I usually just run at a different time in the day. Morning run turns into a night run.”
@uuh_idk

“Run.”
@elizabethrose__

“Run”
@al_ex26.2


FIND SOME EXTRA INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION:

“I usually start watching really hard core athletes train on Youtube! It really inspires me!”
@homeschoolingfitmom

“Remember who I used to be”
@adamwebb.77

“Do breathing exercises for the run”
@haille_holmezzz

“Add some new songs to my playlist and run anyways!”
@haleyrunsamarathon

“I tell myself I can turn around at anytime”
@run__emc

“Take a walk to motivate myself”
@taylorrunsny

“Tell myself, “I’m just going to do 5 mins!” helps me determine if I’m making excuses or do need rest. If after 5 mins I’m still not in it then I’ll rest… 90% of the time I don’t want to stop then!”
@homeschoolingfitmom

“Tell myself to just to X number of miles then see how I feel. Then I focus on 1 mile at a time.”
@jimmystixruns

“I take a shower to warm my body up! It sounds kinda weird but it works.”
@amypritchard12

“Take it one step at a time with no expectations.”
@the_flexing_flexitarian

“Listen to happy music.”
@cris.tianlg

“I find an inspiring endurance book like “Into Thin Air” if they can climb Everest, then I can run!”
@solideogloria_runner

“Go slow. Pretend you’re going for a walk. After a mile, I’m ready to run!”
@nagromathon

“Make a really good playlist. Or run fast so it’s over quicker!”
@getyourfittogether

“I try and switch up the route, change my music, do something different to switch it up even just a little!”
@dan_runs_downtown


Have your own that I should add to the list?! Share it below and leave your Name or Instagram handle to have your idea added!

10 Things You Can Count on Runners for

Running

Us runners are a…special…breed. And while others may have to deal with some of our weird quirks, there are some things that you can ALWAYS count on us for…

Weather Forecasts & What to Wear:

Don’t know whether you’ll need that coat today? We do. Runners always know what the weather is supposed to be like AND what the weather is ACTUALLY like – so you can always rely on us to let you know what to wear. “No, you’re not going to need that coat. Actually, you might want to swap out that long sleeve for a t-shirt too. Once you get moving around out there it really warms up.” Trust us, we know.

The Best Pizza & Pasta Places Around:

Looking for somewhere to eat? Runners ALWAYS know the best places to eat – especially the ones that specialize in carbs. We’ve got the scoop on all the best pizza and pasta places in town – and we’ve likely tried everything on the menu. What? A girl’s gotta refuel after that long run.

The Locations of ALL Public Restrooms:

Out for a bike ride and need to use the bathroom? Don’t worry. If you’re with a runner, you’re in good hands. We know all of the public restrooms, whether they’re open, and whether they’re cleaned regularly.

The Multiples of Numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12:

Need some quick math? Runners know all multiplication and division facts – especially for the numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. While running, we’ve gone over these quick facts millions of times to calculate our pace.

Wind Forecasts, Wind Speeds, and Wind Direction:

We always know which way the wind is blowing and how hard. Have you ever tried to run into the wind when it’s on full blast? If you have – you’d remember which way it’s blowing too. Even though we can’t avoid the wind, we take mental note of which way is the easier direction to travel during those runs.

The Distance You’ve Traveled (by car, boat, bike, foot, etc.) to the Nearest Tenth:

“Oh yeah, that store should be about 1.3 miles up there to the left.” Yes, we speak directions to the nearest tenth – and usually – we’re pretty accurate. “We’ve been going for about .7 miles so far.” Just trust us.

What Time Sunrise Will Be:

“The sun usually rises about halfway through my 6:30 a.m. run – sometime around mile 4. So the sunrise should be at approximately 7:02 these days.” Have you ever tried running 8 miles at 6:30 a.m.? If so, you know what I’m talkin’ about.

What That Muscle, Tendon, or Ligament is:

Us runners have had every injury scare, sore muscle, potential pull, and physical freak-out – and we’ve done our research. So if you have a question about something going on – you can trust that we likely have a stack of information to pull from to help you out.

Where to Put All Those Things You Don’t Want to Carry:

Wondering where to put those keys that you don’t want to carry while you’re at Disney World? We know all of the tricks and tips for carrying things that you don’t want to carry. We’ve had to carry water bottles, phones, headphones, keys, chapstick, powerbars, starbursts… so we can offer many-a-suggestion for how to most conveniently carry those random items.

All of the Motivation, Encouragement, & Support You Could EVER Dream of:

Runners know how to cheer, motivate, support, and encourage those around them. We give, and receive, support in such abundance that we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. If you’re needing a pep-talk, an accountability buddy, a support system, or just some encouragement – you can count on runners to supply it in large doses. That’s what we do best (outside of running, of course)!

The Day the Music Died…

Running

CONTROVERSIAL RUNNING TOPIC ALERT

Do you listen to music when you run? 

Many runners swear by it – some can’t even run without it – and then there are those who have ditched the tunes & instead tuned into themselves when they run… I’ve been both. 

I used to be one of those runners who literally could not run without my music. If my headphones, or my phone, died mid-run (which, if you know me, you know that they usually did – just check out the ALABAMA trip if you’d like an example). Anyways, I would go into an all-out panic if I didn’t have my jams. I relied on my music so much & would strategically create playlists that I deemed best for my performance. Until one day… 

One day, upon arriving at the gym for my regularly scheduled 5 AM morning date with the treadmill, I noticed that, lo and behold, my headphones were – per usual – dead. Now, this usually wouldn’t be a big deal, since, well, I’m usually the only one at the gym at 5 AM & could blast my music out loud. But today there were TWO other runners there – what gives? Anyways, I couldn’t be that girl, so, I had to make a choice between my music and my miles. I guess I’d be going it without the tunes for today. 

Anyways, fast forward through the remainder of the day (which was likely filled with children asking me questions all day long at work, racing to get everything done, and likely eating Doritos at some point) – to the next morning, when I found myself on the treadmill again, STILL with dead headphones. I had forgotten to charge them amidst the chaos of the previous day. But (this might shock you) I really didn’t mind. The day before, without my music, had been shockingly peaceful. It allowed me to just tune into my mind, my pace, but most importantly – my breathing. 

I hadn’t noticed how out of control my breathing would get prior to ditching the headphones – but turning off the music and truly listening to, and focusing upon, my breath was the most beneficial thing I have done for my running-game thus far. But it’s not just me, here are a few other fun facts and comments from other runners who have given up music:

PACE 

Alexandra Parren shares that music, “may make you sprint off faster than you intend, making you burn-out before the end of your training session or race. By not listening to music you are more likely to keep a steady pace and not rush off too fast.” 

BREATHING

In a post on ACTIVE.com, Nick Clark shares how music impacts your running as he shares how music impairs your ability to engage in diaphragmatic breathing: “Without developing this style of breathing, athletes tend to breathe through their chest which is shallow breathing. Fast and efficient consumption and delivery of oxygen to the working muscles is crucial in endurance sports. Shallow or chest breathing will limit this process.”

FOCUS

While listening to music while running can definitely make it more enjoyable and increase your motivation, tuning into yourself, and your surroundings once in a while can be good for your focus – both internally and externally. It’s easier to think about your strike, your pace, your thoughts, and your needs on any given day when the music is off. 

I know, I know… 

It’s totally not for everyone. And honestly, there are TONS of reasons in SUPPORT of keeping the music up while running (sometimes I, too, put the headphones back in & enjoy the HELL out of some Lady Gaga during my entire ten miles). But growth is about trying something new every once in a while, and this was one change that – surprisingly enough for someone who LOVED the music/running combination – I have definitely found to be beneficial for my running journey. 

So maybe give it a try just once. 
Or don’t. Or just keep your Lady Gaga blasting. This is your running journey – I’m just telling ya about the day MY music died you guys. So what do YOU prefer?! Do you run with music or no?! Take your side of the debate in the comments below!

I DON’T F*%$@ FEEL LIKE RUNNING!

Running

You know the feeling… 

You’re getting ready for what’s supposed to be one of your favorite parts of your day…your runBut something just isn’t right. You just don’t feel like running. You lace up your shoes, hoping to get some momentum going. As you walk out the door, you’re feeling sluggish, slow, heavy — oh, and your feet weigh approximately twenty two thousand pounds. Simply put: you just don’t feel like a runner today.

If you’re anything like me, you have these days – and these runs – ALL. THE. TIME. Sometimes it’s not just one day either – sometimes it’s a week – or two weeks – or even an entire training season. You’re running on empty and you just can’t seem to find the energy, the motivation, or the ease that once flowed. Your feet are dragging, your breathing is heavy, your mind is occupied with this thing and that.

You’re running on empty

So what do YOU do when you don’t feel like running?

Do you muscle through it and push yourself?
Do you give up and go home to rest and reset?
How do you get the momentum back? 

Life isn’t always going to be a walk in the park. You and I – our surroundings, our life circumstances & situations, our relationships, our bodies – are constantly evolving – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially. We can’t, we shouldn’t, ever expect life to stay the same forever – and we shouldn’t expect our running to either. Challenging days, and even entire periods of our lives, require different amounts of ourselves. And that’s OKAY. Giving yourself the grace and the flexibility to pause and figure out the source of your fatigue, as well as what you’re needing during this moment in time,  is what I’ve found to be the most important step for getting your mojo back. 

Whether it’s an isolated argument with a loved one, a financial hardship that’s been mentally draining you for weeks, or simply that dreaded time of the month for all you women out there – we must remember that it’s okay to not be okay. Life’s challenges have a way of seeping into other areas of our lives – including our running – leaving us feeling drained before we’ve even laced up our shoes. But once you can put a label to what you’re feeling – and accept the reason behind your feeling – you can start to take back the power and the control.

You can recognize that the argument you had with your husband is making you feel frustrated, and then you can give yourself the space to figure out what you’re needing from your run that day – do you need a slower pace? A shorter distance? Or do you need to cancel your run all together to think about or journal your feelings today instead? 

What’s the alternative? Mindlessly heading out on that run. Feeling like shit. Ruminating and becoming frustrated with yourself. Maybe even letting those feelings turn into some false beliefs like whether you’re just simply not cut out for running – trust me, I’ve been there before & it’s not a fun place to be. But when you don’t give yourself the space to actually figure out why you’re feeling so drained or uninspired, you start to assign blame where it doesn’t belong.

It’s easy to blame a “bad run” on something physical – your endurance, your energy, your muscle recovery, even something you ate the night before. It’s even EASIER to blame it on circumstances you can’t control – the weather, the time of day, your headphones being dead. But blaming your lack of flow on these circumstances won’t help you get better – it won’t help you get back in your groove. Sometimes we forget how important of a role our emotions, our thoughts, our beliefs, and our needs play in our ability to run – & sometimes that’s exactly where the solution lies. 

So, again, what do you do

Pause. Take inventory of your life – ALL areas of your life. Think through your work, your family, your financial situation, your body, your energy, how much sleep you got the night before, what you ate this morning, the weather, everything and anything. You could start by trying to think through the areas of health to see if anything comes to the surface of your mind: physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. You could also use more of a time-line type of thinking: what happened 5 minutes ago, earlier today, last night, yesterday, last week, this month? Once you’ve developed a sense of the source of your lack of gusto – think through what you’re NEEDING from your run today (or if you’re even needing one at all, man). There ain’t no shame in the walking game on those days when you just don’t feel like running.

RUNNER’S SHARE: STRANGEST MID-RUN THOUGHTS

Runner's Share

After sharing my own (very strange) mid-run thoughts in my most recent blog post, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I was alone. I COULDN’T POSSIBLY be the only one who has the absolute strangest ideas, experiences, thoughts, and visions pop into their head 3-miles into a run…right? Well, I took it to Instagram to find out – and here is what runners shared when I asked them,

“What is the strangest thought or experience you’ve had while running?”


“How funny it would be if every step I took I farted, so the faster I run the more I’d fart.”
@jimmystixruns

“Running along a lake and a guys fishing hook hooked my shoe!”
@lindseyandrew

“Would it hurt if I “accidentally” jumped off the bridge into that river…?”
@dil.handy

“Those gnats who just died on my sweaty legs really have a sad existence…”
@solideogloria_runner

“If I faint… try to look graceful.”
@lyphil

“I wonder if I would still run if I could fly…”
@jessecale

“What if I flag down the next car and hitch a ride back to my starting place…?”
@queen_authentic

“The only reason I’m going to stop is if a deer runs into me.”
@seh.millar

“I can hold it… oops maybe not!”
@montrealrunner1

“I’m so cold… how am I going to pull my pants off in the porta potty?”
@thejourneysofjen


So, let me just say – for the record – that I am CLEARLY not the only one who has wild and crazy thoughts while running. Huge shout out to all of you who helped me to feel a little better about my mid-run thoughts – if you want to check them out yourself, click HERE. I know these aren’t the only brave souls willing to admit their craziest running thoughts – so don’t forget to leave your craziest running thoughts below!

Runner’s Train of Thoughts

Running

A Runner’s Train of Thoughts

Diary of a Half Marathon

​As we walked back to the car after half marathon #28, the sun slowing beginning to warm the air around us, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I recalled the outrageous number of thoughts that had cycled through my mind during the hour and a half I was running. When you’re running, for any amount of time, you inevitably find your mind wandering to people, places, basically ANYTHING to keep your mind off the moment, off the negative thought train. You know, the one telling you that you’re tired, out of breath, maybe hot, probably too cold, your legs definitely hurt, your head hurts, wait, everything hurts. 

Now, that train might not be so bad when you’re running a mile, two miles, even three miles, but… when you’re running 13!? Boy. Does your mind go some funny places to avoid that taking that train. Like… really funny places….


The Starting Line


Oh God. Where do I stand? Right here, okay, cool. This is my spot. Perfect. This person is way too freaking close to me. And how does he already smell? We haven’t even started running yet. Oh wait. Is that me who smells? No. Ok. It’s not me… yet. I am definitely going to smell by the time this race is over. Ew. But. Maybe it will be worth it. Maybe I’ll win. Or not. Maybe I’ll be last. No. Ok. You won’t be last. That won’t happen. Stop thinking that. When the hell is this thing going to start anyways? And WHY IS THIS PERSON SO DAMN CLOSE TO ME AGAIN? Should I move up? Maybe I’m faster than that girl. Or maybe not. Maybe she’ll pass me and I’ll look like an idiot. Ok. I’ll just stay here. OH SHIT. HERE WE GO. 


The First Mile


Alright. This isn’t so bad. This is great! I’m not even cold anymore. I am on top of the fucking world. I might even win this whole thing. Wouldn’t that be fucking sweet? Oh shit. She passed me. Ok. Just one girl. No big deal. WTF ANOTHER ONE?! Ok. These people are NOT messing around. I need to go faster. NO. I can’t. Remember that time you completely overexerted yourself and then died at the end? Yeah. You hated that. Especially when they tried to force you into that ambulance after you made a joke about the defibrillator looking like a boombox. I mean, it did look like a boombox. Don’t do that again. You’re fine. Just run your race. It’s literally the first mile. You have 12 more to make it up. These people are so dang fast though. What the heck did they eat for breakfast? OHHHH I’m gonna pass you, HAHA! Sucker. I’m cruising now. What?! Mile 2? God I feel like I’ve been running forever. 


Miles 2-8

Alright. Mile 2. We got this. We are feeling good. Let’s just keep this going. Wait. What is that pain in my side? Is that going to get worse? Oh great. At least I have that to look forward to. No. You need to stay positive. Do not start thinking about the end yet. We literally just started. At least you’re not dying yet. Remember that race in Arizona? Yeah. Nothing is worse than that. At least I didn’t get high last night. At least I’m not high right now. Yeah. I’m feeling good! This is great. Okay. Let’s focus on our pace. Should I look at my watch and check how fast I’m going? No. Let’s just run our race and see what happens. But. Also. Maybe I should look at my watch and just check. No. No Amy. Oh a dog!! That store looks nice. I wish I had enough money to shop there. An ice cream store! Yes. I can totally afford that. What was the name? Shit. It’s gone now. Oh well. Alright. Let’s re-focus. FOCUS AMY. Just one foot in front of the other. We got this. I CAN DO IT. 


Miles 8-11

THIS IS TAKING FOREVER. My legs hurt. Everything freaking hurts. I feel like I am going so slow what the hell is happening here. I don’t care about that dog. Ok. Maybe I do a little bit. Aw. Look at that. A little girl holding a sign. I should give her a high five. But that would mean having to take several extra steps. I’m not doing it. But she’s so stinking cute. Ok fine fine fine, DO IT AMY. YES. So glad I did that. You are such a good person. Okay gotta get my head back in the game here. What’s my pace? Oh. Wait. That pace is actually pretty good. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m dying right now, I’d be super pumped about that. TWO MORE MILES OH MY GOSH. Ok. Let’s just slow down and then go faster for the last two miles. 


THE END IS NEAR!

I’m ALMOST THERE. I can do it. I am on fire. SHIT he passed me. I need to pick up the pace here. How much further is it? Shit I really have to pee. Okay just one more mile. I CAN DO IT. Maybe I should go faster. SHIT what is that pain in my side?! Ok. Don’t go faster. Just relax for now until you get a little closer. But everyone else around you is picking up speed, you HAVE to go faster. OH MY GOSH THERE’S THE FINISH LINE. I wonder where my mom is. I should smile. I can’t smile, I’m too tired. Okay let’s just sprint this final stretch. One. Two. Three. GO. HI MOM!!!!!!! Finally. I’m done. That was amazing. 

The BEST & WORST Half Marathons

Running

The BEST & The WORST
Half Marathons

The same question somehow seems to slide into my DM’s every single week: “so, which race has been your favorite?” There have been some INTERESTING (to put it lightly) races and places throughout my journey… but here are the absolute BEST and WORST race travel destinations that I’ve seen so far.

The BEST:

Ogden Half Marathon
Ogden, Utah

The Ogden Marathon/Half Marathon is held every May in Ogden, Utah & it was by far the BEST travel destination that I’ve been to thus far. While I have visited many big cities (Las Vegas, New York City, etc.) along my journey, Ogden offered more than any of them. Ogden is unique, gorgeous, and offers endless adventure. 

The city of Ogden itself is located North of Salt Lake City with an endless mountain backdrop lining the sky. The downtown area is a pedestrian hot-spot filled with quaint little shops, unique eats, bars, and art galleries. Right outside of town there are countless options for exploration. Here are just a few of them:

– Antelope Island State Park
– Ogden Trails
– Waterfall Canyon
– Ogden River Parkway
– Ogden Canyon Trail
– Snowbasin Resort
– North Fork Park
– Powder Mountain
– Nordic Valley

If you’re one who loves outdoor adventure – Ogden is truly the PERFECT destination for your next trip. And what about the race itself? Well, Ogden made sure that it was a perfect representation of its town. Starting at the top of the mountain in the crisp early sun, you ran downhill, between massive slabs of rocks on both sides of the street. Waterfalls slipped down into creeks as you soaked in the scenery of the beautiful mountainous landscape. After 13 miles you finished in the downtown valley, greeted by the perfect picture opportunity. 

The WORST:

Veterun Half Marathon
Summit Point, West Virginia

Well… sorry, West Virginia, but you take the cake for the worst race travel story so far. Now, nothing against West Virginia itself – the state actually has some interesting sites to see in certain cities – but not in Summit Point… At least not from what I saw. 

While the trip itself was fairly short, just a quick little road-trip weekend, I didn’t necessarily need to see anymore. The race took place at a motocross park – a never-ending road that twisted and turned into countless opportunities for half marathon chaos and confusion. And that’s exactly what happened. 

Hundreds of runners took off, twisting and turning in unison for the first couple hundred feet. Until some started leading the pack, and some started dropping back. That’s when it happened. The confusion. The chaos. The absolute disaster. The course was not marked well, to say the least, and runners had absolutely no idea which way to turn, or where the road was leading, or should be leading, us. We were all running in random directions, nobody quite sure where we had come from or where we were supposed to be going. When I finally found the finish line, I realized I was still only at 11 miles…. which is obviously a problem when you’re going for 13.1. I literally had to TURN AROUND 100 feet away from the finish line, and run back into the course just to grab another 2 miles. It was an absolute mess. Straight up madness. 

Outside of the race being a natural disaster in itself – the town itself didn’t necessarily offer too much more to see (sorry, Summit Point). We actually had to drive out of the city limits to find somewhere to eat/to fill the car with gas. So. Not that I’m saying you SHOULDN’T visit this West Virginia town – but, I’m just saying, it’s not quite gonna make the list of places I’d go again. BUT WHO KNOWS. They could build a Dairy Queen and change my mind. 

South Carolina

States

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

State #30

​Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Half: BEACH RUN
Date: June 4, 2020
Finish Time: 1:43
Pace/Mile:
7:40/mile
Who’d I travel with? Nick
Pre-run meal? Pasta, pizza, some red wine, and a shit ton of Moscow Mules

Guess I’ll Just Make My Own Damn Race…

Just a few months ago I had my shit together, man. I had races planned for nearly every single month of 2020 – new places to travel, exciting races to participate in, bigger goals to achieve… and then… Corona Virus. Covid had such an unforeseeable impact on so many – and I refuse to complain about something like my races being cancelled when I compare those races to the life changing damage done to so many others. So, instead, I decided to continue my journey anyways.

Running wasn’t cancelled. Road tripping wasn’t cancelled. Exploring wasn’t cancelled. So, I decided that instead of participating in those now-cancelled races I had registered for, I would simply make my own. I would still travel each month to different states and run my own 13.1 miles in each one. I decided that I will still explore new places and spend precious time with people I love... Starting with…

SOUTH CAROLINA

And guess what?! After 9 hours of being trapped in a car together… he STILL LOVED ME. I know, pretty amazing. After a long car-ride and a bit of a mishap with the lock at our Air B&B, we were finally settling into what would be our home for the week. When it comes to Nick & I, I have to admit that we’re a bit of a competitive couple.. Okay, we’re an extremely competitive couple. So, when we saw that our place was right next door to several putt-putt courses – well, it was pretty obvious where we’d be spending most of our vacation.

In case anyone was wondering… I won (well, I won at least one game out of four). The remainder of our vacation was split between relaxing on the beach (where I forced Nick into listening to the remainder of our true crime podcast), eating LOTS of food (where Nick gently encouraged/forced me to try oysters), and playing soccer with a volleyball in the sand (where we both completely embarrassed ourselves by pretending we still had the same touch on the ball that we had when we played in college).

Let’s pause for a moment here to talk about South Carolina’s race preparation – or rather, the lack thereof. Due to the fact that this vacation was FREAKING AMAZING – I wasn’t overly concerned with strictly preparing myself to run. Life isn’t just running. Life is spending all day long at the beach, drinking Moscow Mules and playing corn-hole and mini-golf in the afternoon sun, ordering Hawaiian pizza at 9 p.m. because Nick and I got lost in a crime podcast once again while drinking a bottle of wine on our patio. Life is so much more than trying to be “good” at running, or trying to always do your absolute “best.” Sometimes, other things are simply more important. And, you know, that whole lack of preparation thing likely would have been fine… had it not been for Nick’s suggestion (or challenge, rather) to run my 13.1 South Carolina miles on the beach. But hey, at least my emotional tank was full, right?

Morning came, and…well…Nick and I slept in a little later than we had planned (classic). Sometime around 9 a.m. we finally stumbled down to the beach for my “race” to start. Nick dragged a stick across the sand to create my starting line as I continued to panic about the race (who knows why, but I was still my normal pre-race nervous-Nelly self even without an actual race). See evidence below.

Eventually, I finally came to terms with the fact that I was about to run 13.1 miles in the sand – so, I waved goodbye to Nick and took off down the beach! Let me be clear here: RUNNING IN THE SAND IS THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE. I am not kidding. I have experienced many terrains during my 29 states – the hills, the heat, the humidity – and yet NOTHING compares to the challenge of running in the sand. Nothing. It feels like you’re putting all of your effort into each and every step, yet you’re somehow just still moving so dang slow. For the first 6-7 miles, I simply tuned the world out and enjoyed the scenery as I bobbed and weaved between beach-walkers and sand-castle-makers – simultaneously trying to avoid the approaching tide. And although it was hard as hell – it was also incredible. It was a once in a lifetime type of run – the type of challenge I wouldn’t have thought to try, or even have had a chance to, had it not been for the change of plans this year.

The last few miles were by far the most challenging. My calves felt like they were going to explode (I don’t recommend trying to run 13.1 miles the FIRST time you ever try beach-running). My body simply wasn’t prepared. I’ll spare you some of the details, but, essentially, I added a bit of additional mileage to my race due to the fact that I had to keep running up and down the beach to the garbage cans (that whole pizza and wine combination ultimately didn’t go so well). I was freaking EXHAUSTED as I approached the final stretch. But. The moment I saw Nick standing there, my spirits rose. I was so excited to hug him, to celebrate with him, to share the entire experience with him. I crossed the home-made finish line he had prepared while I was running and collapsed into the sand. Armed with water in one hand and alcohol in the other – he congratulated and hugged me (despite the extreme amount of sweat being inevitably transferred to him).

After a quick splash in the ocean, it was time to celebrate! We spent the remainder of the day drinking, laughing, exploring, and social distancing, of course. State #30 was so unique – sure, my time wasn’t great, my preparation was… welll, there was no preparation, and my body wasn’t necessarily equipped to run that far in the sand – but you know what? It was absolutely perfect. I had challenged myself to do something I had never done before, and I did it. I ENJOYED myself without stressing the whole time about my performance or my time. I took a road-trip and vacation with someone I love. And even though there wasn’t an actual race…

I had still run 13.1 miles in my 30th state!

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The BEST & WORST Pre-Race Fuel

Fuel

So, it’s the day before the big day; you know, pre-race day. Usually, for me, that either means I’m…

1.) stuck in a car for four thousand hours driving somewhere
2.) traveling by plane & getting settled into some unfamiliar city
3.) exploring a city that I’ve already arrived at the previous day

Sometimes I’m like super-woman: packing healthy snacks, drinking my 150000 ounces of water, and indulging in foods which are said to predict the perfect performance. Anddddd then sometimes I’m like Amy – drinking 3 glasses of wine, an order of cheese fries, and a pre-bedtime milkshake with a cupcake on the side. So, let’s take a look at the best and the worst foods I’ve fueled my body with before the big day – and whether they truly did or didn’t impact my performance. 


The BEST:

Idaho. Hands down. Hardest I’ve EVER tried to be the perfect athlete. Alright. Picture this (and keep in mind, I didn’t lose my shit through any of it). It’s Friday. I’m at school teaching preschool children who are out of their mind because, well, it’s Friday. I manage to hydrate, ALL DAY LONG, despite the fact that this means I have to call an administrator every 40 minutes to go to the bathroom. I PRE-MAKE pasta the night before to bring to school; because all of the articles say that a pre-race lunch should actually be the one in which you consume your carbs for the race. So. Like I said. I FREAKING PREPARE PASTA and have it at the correct time of day.

Fast-forward a bit, keeping in mind that I am still hydrating all day long. I leave school at 3 PM and get on a plane to Idaho. I avoid ALL of the Starbucks, Cinnabon, airport snack traps; and manage to fill my water bottle again before hopping on my plane. I arrive at my connection airport (where I am meeting my mom) – it is now approximately 6 PM; we have one more flight before arriving in Idaho at approximately 9 PM (I know, sleep wasn’t going to be a priority for this race- so I had to make sure my nutrition was on point). AGAIN, I avoid all of the snacks that the airport offers. I get a QUINOA CHICKEN SALAD at the airport – who does that???? Me. Because I was being a rock-star. I managed to:

  • Eat my carbs at the appropriate 2 PM time slot
  • Hydrate all day long – and have nothing but water after 9 PM. 
  • Quinoa chicken salad with lots of veggies – a light dinner
  • Have NO ALCOHOL

Performance Impact?

Well. It didn’t. This race was absolutely nothing special – performance wise. I finished at 1:36 and ultimately took place as second female. Don’t get me wrong – a lot of things could have impacted this, the route, the altitude, the temperature, the other individuals in the race/the competition, etc. What I’m saying, though, is that it didn’t make me some super-human runner that managed to accomplish something crazy because of what I consumed. For the most part, you should try to still eat something pretty health, just so it doesn’t hinder your race-day performance – but, what I’ve found below, is that it ain’t the end of the world if you go a little outside the recommended diet. 


The WORST:

Let’s be perfectly honest here. There was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to abstain from nutritional defeat in Las Vegas. No freaking way. The race could have been 2 hours after I arrived and it wouldn’t have mattered. But to make matters even worse, the race was at 7 PM THE NEXT DAY. This meant I had a whole day to trot around the city trying all the food and alcohol I could find (or afford). Before race #2 I managed to consume the following around 8 PM. 

  • Nachos – complete with every fixing you can imagine
  • 3 beers and a Moscow Mule
  • DEL TACO – YOU GUYS. DEL FREAKING TACO. I had a Las Vegas fast food dinner. Unreal. 
  • A late night buffalo chicken sandwich with fries
  • 7/8th of a piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream 
  • Sunchips. Because. Why not at this point?

Performance Impact?

Well. It didn’t. This race was at 7 PM and somehow I still managed to finish with a time of 1:38 AND place second in my division. Again, so many things go into how one races – the day, the week (for my female readers), your fuel, your training, the time of the race, my travel situation, temperature, altitude, the atmosphere of the race. But I was in Las Vegas – I wasn’t going to sacrifice my enjoyment of the trip for my performance – but ultimately I didn’t have to. My fuel, no matter how shitty, didn’t impact my performance in the negative way that I had assumed it absolutely would. Which leads me to the point of this post… 


BOTTOM LINE:

​Don’t sacrifice your experience for your performance
Performance can only be elevated by your genuine enjoyment of the race. Don’t panic about what you fuel your body with – try your best, and if you can’t, then say fuck it and run your best race anyways. Only you can determine how your race will go- and sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you have Del Taco the night before – you’ll still kick ass anyways. 

How Important is Hydration?

Fuel

How important is it to get that agua in each day? Why do I need to drink it? & what happens if I don’t?

Getting enough water each day can be a HUGE challenge, especially since we’ve become so accustomed to such a fast-paced lifestyle with demands and distractions in every direction. But, and I am speaking some real truth here, YOU CANNOT PUT OFF YOUR HYDRATION. Getting enough water in is VITAL to your performance in any physical feat and your overall health and wellbeing. Read below to figure out why…


WHEN YOU’RE ON TOP OF YOUR HYDRATION GAME: 

We’ll start with the PRO’s of getting enough water – because – well, it’s always good to start with the good. Getting enough water is like the secret weapon of productivity. When you are fully hydrated your body is more effective, more resilient, more attentive, and overall just performs STRONGER, QUICKER, & BETTER.

Here are a few areas where you will see the impact of getting those glasses in: 

  • YOUR SKIN AND HAIR: When you are properly hydrated, your body can flush out more shit. Enough said.
  • YOUR WEIGHT: When you drink water, you fill your body up. It’s like a magic trick. If you fill your body with water, you can cut down on some false hunger cues, curb overeating, and boost your metabolism. Yes. You read that last part right. When your body isn’t hydrated, YOUR METABOLISM ISN’T AS EFFECTIVE. SEE FOR YOURSELF HERE MAN. Also, like, water will help you flush some stuff out…. if you catch my drift. Goodbyeeee constipation. Hellooooo water. 
  • YOUR ENERGY:  Your body needs water to be able to function properly. Obviously. But even MILD dehydration can cause fogginess, lack of energy, and feelings of fatigue. On the flip side; staying properly hydrated can give you a boost (especially when you know you’re making a healthy choice) which can rev up momentum for taking your next positive step in the day. 
  • THE CREAKS & CRACKS:  Water will help to coat your joints and nourish your muscles. This helps them operate effectively and efficiently. It helps YOU get a better lift, and your BODY recover. Hydration is essentially your insurance policy. 

WHEN YOU FALL OFF THE HYDRATION BUS:

Mid-day headaches? Annoyed with anyone and anything? Bit of dizziness keeping you down? Fatigue keeping you behind? Lack of energy at the end of the day? These are just a few of the MINOR issues that occur if your body isn’t getting enough water. And in the long run, not staying hydrated can lead to a slew of much more serious issues including heat injuries (especially for runners & athletes), kidney/urinary complications, seizures, and moreYour body absolutely, positively, NEEDS water to be able to operate effectively. Without it, your body will start to shut down. Here’s how…

  • TIRED AS SHIT:  Okay… guys. Who likes feeling tired? Yeah. That’s what I thought. Nobody. And this is just one of the FIRST signs that your body is lacking water. When you don’t get enough water, your body is exhausted. It has to WORK HARDER to do the things you do. It has to use MORE ENERGY because it is NOT RUNNING AS EFFICIENTLY. You will feel tired…. and that is gonna really bring ya down productivity wise. JUST BE SMART & DRINK MORE WATER.
  • YOU’RE NOT YOU WHEN YOU’RE THIRSTY:  When you’re not getting enough water your MOOD will be worse. Think about it: when you are tired, have a headache, have a cramp, etc…. You’re not gonna be happy about it. And this could impact your relationships, your job performance, and basically everyone and everything around you. Don’t be that guy. DRINK MORE WATER. 
  • WEIGHT GAIN:  As I said earlier, drinking water can help to curb cravings and boost your metabolism. On the other end, if you’re NOT getting your water, weird shit happens man. You get MORE cravings, your body metabolizes SLOWER, and because you’re so damn tired, YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO WORKOUT. Don’t to this to yourself. DRINK MORE WATER. 

Bottom Line:

JUST DRINK YOUR WATER.