ROAD TRIP PLAYLIST

Running

Giants” – Dermot Kennedy
Living on the Edge” – Aerosmith
Come Together” – Gary Clark Version
Greyhound” – Swedish House Mafia
Perfect” – Logic
August” – Taylor Swift
Till I Colapse” – Eminem
All the Way Up” – Fat Joe
Blinding Lights” – The Weekend
Sad Sad City” – Ghostland Observatory
Automobile” – KALEO
I’m Gonna Be” – The Proclaimers
Where is the Love” – Black Eyed Peas
Shotgun” – George Ezra
Magic in the Hamptons” – Social House
Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
What a Man Gotta Do” – Jonas Brothers
ME!” – Taylor Swift
Same Love” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Honey, I’m Good” – Andy Grammar
Vienna” – Billy Joel
Pompeii” – Bastille
Wild Wild Love” – Pitbull
Hard to Forget” – Sam Hunt

Runner’s Share: Pre-Run Fuel

Runner's Share

Need some suggestions for fueling up before you run?
Check out these awesome ideas from Instagram runners around the world:


PRE-RUN FUEL:

THE CARBS:

+ Oatmeal
+ Cream of rice
+ Cliff Bar
+ English Muffin
+ Toast
+ Cereal
+ Bagel
+ Nuun
+ Waffle
+ Honey
+ Saltine crackers

THE PROTEINS:

+ Peanut Butter
+ Egg Whites
+ Marigold Protein bar
+ Cliff Bar
+ Nuts
+ Hummus

THE FRUITZ:

+ Banana
+ Green Apple
+ Blueberries
+ Apple sauce
+ Raisins

THE OTHER STUFF:

+ Coffee
+ An oatmeal raisin cookie


WHAT ABOUT PRE-RACE MEALS?!

NIGHT BEFORE:

+ Pizza & donuts the night before
+ Heavy spicy stew with rich homemade broth and loaded with veggies
+ Chicken Parmesan
+ Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich + a long island
+ Black bean and beet burger from No Meat Athlete
+ Cheeseburger
+ Steak & potatoes
+ Pizza and wine
+ Pasta or a turkey sandwich
+ PIZZA
+ Carbs & less protein (something easy to digest) and then water

DAY OF:

+ Home-made banana bread
+ A banana with a sprinkle of salt
+ Dried banana chips and Maurten gels during
+ Avocado bagel
+ Peanut butter and bread with half a banana
+ Nothing, oatmeal, or PB toast – depends on my race strategy or distance
+ Cliff bar, banana, 12 oz. salted water, and a 5 hr. energy
+ Bagel & cream cheese
+ Greek yogurt with granola or cereal
+ English muffin with laughing cow cheese
+ Bagel & honey
+ Sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich
+ Sourdough bread slices
+ Black coffee
+ MUST INCLUDE PEANUT BUTTER
+ Oatmeal (preferably chocolate chip)



THANK YOU TO ALL THE AMAZING RUNNERS WHO CONTRIBUTED THEIR IDEAS TO THIS POST:

@minimalinfluence – @sergio_guerra_r – @randyrunzmaine – @cris.tianlg – @kaf_runn – @runningbaldman – @jimmystixruns – @queen_authentic – @lea.zun – @scrubs_n_spandex – @andrewtram – @dontcallita_runback – @elaina_runs – @nomivv – @tbogda0471 – @dp_on_the_go – @ellakbuss – @lindseyandrew – @oli_beringer – @millzgotmiles – @zhanelturarbek – @t_perk13 – @ruben_sgomes – @j5thekosmostones – @dwaynejordan23 – @nartron3k – @siamese.runner – @fafi_stags – @trekettup – @caragiovannaa – @willa_jace01- @run_like_a_mother2 – @lenaclaudia – @dan_runs_downtown – @jordynefriedenfels – @thatsastep1 – @madisonbrookeharmer – @stevekorchinos – @elite.et – @1beer.1mile – @emily_kenyon4 – @mikefire53 – @stavlevyhalabe – @run_emc – @kelli.threet – @casi.lummer – @sprintergonedistance – @amystrahan – @sk1nnylegs – @lizzieroyer – @ambegezda – @_tony_trains – @runthefifty_ – @frumpycob – @hannalyn13 – @will.run.for.smiles – @innerathletemi – @xtyleryoungx – @wilson.50.by.50

Once you’ve explored, make sure to share your own suggestions below!

FUEL REVIEW: Mediterranean Orzo & Roasted Veggie Salad

Fuel Review

MEDITERRANEAN ORZO & ROASTED VEGGIE SALAD

INSPIRED BY: THIS RECIPE

AMY RATING:

SERVINGS:

+ 5-6 servings

NUTRITION INFO:

+ 420 calories/serving (6 servings)
+ 505 calories/serving (5 servings)

NOTES:

+ From start to finish – this recipe takes about an hour (including baking time of the veggies).
+ I chose to add black beans and corn to the recipe for some extra color and protein
+ You can adjust the seasoning and the ingredients to fit your preferences!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR ORZO & VEGGIES:

+ 1 red bell pepper
+ 1 yellow bell pepper
+ 1 orange bell pepper
+ 1 green bell pepper
+ 1 bunch asparagus
+ 1 can of corn
+ 1 can black beans
+ 1 onion
+ 2 tbsp. olive oil
+ 4 tsp. garlic
+ 2 cups grape tomatoes
+ 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

FOR DRESSING:

+ 2 or 3 lemons (based on preference – I used 3!)
+ 2 tbsp. olive oil
+ 1 tsp. salt
+ 1 tsp. pepper

TOPPINGS:

+ 3 tbsp. parsley
+ 6 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

STEPS:

STEP 1: VEGGIES

+ Preheat oven to 425

+ Prepare a sheet pan with olive oil (You may need two)

+ Chop up the peppers, asparagus, onion, tomatoes, and garlic
(Dice the peppers, cut asparagus in half or thirds, dice onions, cut tomatoes in half, mince garlic)

+ Toss the veggies with the olive oil on the sheet pan and ensure that all veggies are spread on the pan without overlap

+ Season with salt and pepper and put into the oven

+ Bake veggies in oven for 30-40 minutes (check regularly and continue to flip veggies every 10-15 minutes)

STEP 2: ORZO & DRESSING

+ While veggies are cooking, start boiling water for orzo

+ While waiting for water to boil, prepare the dressing

+ Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil to bowl and whisk

+ Once water is boiling, add orzo to pot (orzo will take approximately 7-8 minutes to cook based on preference)

+ While orzo is cooking, open and rinse black beans and corn – set aside

+ Once pasta is finished, strain and place in bowl with a little olive oil
(enough to coat – this will help to keep the orzo from getting sticky while the veggies finish up)

STEP 3: PUT IT TOGETHER

+ Once veggies are finished, remove and dump into large mixing bowl

+ Add the rinsed black beans, corn, and pasta

+ Add the dressing

+ Toss lightly

+ Chop up parsley (enough to preference) and add to mixture

+ Taste & season to preference with salt and pepper (and lemon juice if you’d like more)

+ Split up into 4-5 containers based on calorie preferences

+ When you’re ready to eat a serving, top with feta cheese!

+ ENJOY!

RUNNER’S SHARE: NEVER HAVE I EVER…

Runner's Share

Ever wondered whether other runners do the same weird shit as you?

Yeah, so have I. So I took it to Instagram to find out how many other runners have actually done some of the weirdest “runner things” during their journey. And the results are in…


NEVER HAVE I EVER:

LOST A TOENAIL?

Of 363 runners…

149 HAVE | 214 HAVE NOT


PEED IN THE WOODS OR IN A BUSH?

Of 372 runners…

251 HAVE | 121 HAVE NOT


GOTTEN LOST DURING A RUN?

Of 372 runners…

259 HAVE | 113 HAVE NOT


RAN IN 100 DEGREES OR HOTTER?

Of 369 runners…

241 HAVE | 128 HAVE NOT


SHOT A SNOT ROCKET WHILE RUNNING?

Of 358 runners…

223 HAVE | 135 HAVE NOT


BEEN A LITTLE TOO LATE TO THE BATHROOM?

Of 351 runners…

170 HAVE | 181 HAVE NOT


TAKEN BLOODY SOCKS OFF AFTER A RUN?

Of 372 runners…

208 HAVE | 164 HAVE NOT


THROWN UP ON A RUN?

Of 374 runners…

146 HAVE | 228 HAVE NOT


LIED ABOUT A PACE OR FINISH TIME?

Of 359 runners…

134 HAVE | 225 HAVE NOT


WANT TO PLAY ON YOUR OWN?

PICK A FUN NEVER HAVE I EVER QUESTION FROM BELOW AND SHARE IT ON YOUR INSTAGRAM STORY!
FEEL FREE TO TAG ME SO I CAN VOTE: @RACEACROSSTHESTATES!

NEVER HAVE I EVER: SLEPT IN MY RUNNING CLOTHES?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: LIED TO GET OUT OF PLANS JUST TO RUN?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: SHIT IN THE WOODS?
INSPIRED BY @kaf_runn and @blankgetsmoving

NEVER HAVE I EVER: RAN BEFORE 5 A.M?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: GOTTEN BLOODY NIPPLES?
INSPIRED BY @the.andy.allen and @stevekorchinos

NEVER HAVE I EVER: STOPPED AND WALKED BACK?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: BEEN ATTACKED BY A GOOSE?
INSPIRED BY @tbogda0471

NEVER HAVE I EVER: TRIPPED AND WIPED OUT WHILE RUNNING?
INSPIRED BY @kristinsaly

NEVER HAVE I EVER: RAN THROUGH SOMEONE’S YARD OR DRIVEWAY FOR THEIR GRASS SPRINKLERS?
INSPIRED BY @i_livesore

NEVER HAVE I EVER: LEFT A SWEAT STAIN SOMEWHERE AFTER RUNNING?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: ACCIDENTALLY SPIT ON SOMEONE WHILE RUNNING?
INSPIRED BY @getyourfittogetherr

NEVER HAVE I EVER: HAD TO CALL SOMEONE FOR A MID-RUN BATHROOM EMERGENCY?
INSPIRED BY @kelseyrunsandruns

NEVER HAVE I EVER: PUT DRYER SHEETS IN MY STINKY SHOES?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: TRAVELED OUT OF STATE FOR A RACE?

NEVER HAVE I EVER: HAD TO WRING OUT MY SWEATY RUNNING CLOTHES?
INSPIRED BY @dp_on_the_go

NEVER HAVE I EVER: RAN SO HARD YOU PEED YOUR PANTS?
INSPIRED BY @run_like_a_mother2

NEVER HAVE I EVER: SEEN A TERRIFYING ANIMAL WHILE RUNNING?

SHARE YOUR RESULTS BELOW!

REAL TALK: Hormones & Running

Real Talk

Let’s be REAL honest here – hormones can be a real BI*#% when it comes to running. Picture this: It’s the week before your big race (that you’ve been training for every single day for the last 5+ months). You’re feeling good, feeling prepared, getting excited… and then that first cramp hits. The next few days include (but are not limited to) the lovely familiar gifts from mother nature: bloating, cramping, cravings, fatigue… all of which come and go up until the VERY DAY of your race…

I know. Trust me…I’ve been there. While men and women both experience, and are impacted by, their hormones – women tend to have much more unstable hormone levels. Us women have to constantly battle the shifting levels of hormones in our body, and the handfuls of symptoms that come with these shifts. And this can be a REAL pain in the ass when you’re trying to get your body to do something specific – say – like run a freaking marathon.

One thing that I’ve realized throughout my years of running – is that hormones impact my running to a LARGE degree – and I have to get comfortable with that and be kind to myself when it happens. The fact of the matter is:

I simply run better on certain weeks of the month than others.

Some weeks I’m bloated, retaining water weight (making me heavier and thus making it harder to run), I have cravings for salty and sugary food (again, if I indulge, it leads to retaining water and making it harder to run), I am moody, tired, and simply less motivated. And these are just a FEW of the symptoms that us ladies have to deal with during THAT time of the month.

While we can’t change mother nature, or stop it from happening, there are definitely a few things that I’ve found helpful when dealing with the impact of hormones on my running. Here they are:


1.) PLAN AHEAD:

This might sound a little intense – but I literally plan ahead for these times of the month. I plan my races accordingly. While I don’t always know the exact days that I’ll be more impacted or less impacted by my hormones – I can predict, based on the patterns over the months, which weeks might be safer than others. And that’s exactly what I do. I try to plan races on weeks when I know that I’ll be feeling my best – and that helps me to perform my best!


2.) SHIFT MY PERSPECTIVE:

While it can be difficult to “stay positive” when I’m having these challenges on race day – it’s been really helpful to shift my perspective and my attitude towards the shifting levels of hormones – and the changes that they bring to my running. The first thing to do is simply TAKE NOTE of how your hormones actually impact you personally with running – do you feel more tired during that time of the month? Have more fatigue? Simply feel slower because you’re bloated or carrying water weight? Lose some motivation or drive to keep up with your running? Just IDENTIFYING these changes and feelings is a HUGE step towards showing yourself some kindness when they arise. Instead of thinking “I am going so freaking slow what is wrong with me?!!?!?!?!” I can remember, “I am going slower today, and that’s okay. I know my hormones are a little out of whack, and I can choose to go slower and enjoy the run anyways. I will get back at it next week.


3.) HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE:

While you may feel bloated – it’s even MORE important that you stay hydrated during this time. Staying hydrated when you’re feeling bloated will actually HELP to flush out some of the toxins and waste from your body – thus helping out the situation! Plus, if you’re anything like me, some of those healthy habits (like staying hydrated) tend to fall off during this time of the month – so I have to truly be intentional about staying hydrate! I set timers on my phone and make sure to keep up with my water intake!


4.) TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT YOUR DIET:

While you can’t stop the cravings from happening – you can control the likelihood that you cave into them! You can do this by making sure that your meals, especially during this time of the month, include lots of healthy carbs and proteins. These will help to keep you full and reduce the chance that you’ll give into that whole pack of Oreos or tub of ice cream – especially if you’re also staying hydrated!


Alright ladies… those are MY tricks for overcoming the havoc that hormones try to cause during my running journey. Now it’s your turn! How have hormones impacted YOUR running journey?! And what are your tips, tricks, and strategies for running during that time of the month?

SUMMER ROAD TRIP

Running

States #31, #32, #33, and #34

I AM SO EXCITED! Well… it pretty much goes without saying at this point – but – 2020 has been QUITE A WILD RIDE. I had so many running plans for this year – plans to travel to several states, plans to compete in ACTUAL RACES in Missouri, New Jersey, Colorado, South Dakota, Massachusetts… and more, plans to have at LEAST 36 states checked off my list by the end of the year. But hey – life is ANYTHING but predictable, and I had to change course.

After running state #29 in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 1st (in an ACTUAL RACE) – I was on my own personal little running CLOUD 9. I was the first place female finisher in a HUGE race – the biggest race that I’ve ever even placed in, and I actually WON. I beat my personal record by shaving 4 MINUTES off my previous record of 1:29 – this time running 13.1 miles in 1:25 (a freaking 6:30 minute average). I was SO FREAKING PUMPED about this year – so excited to keep going and building on my progress… but… again, life changed! So I had two choices: I could either get frustrated, discouraged, and wait until things opened back up (which would take WHO KNOWS how long) – OR….

I could take control of my journey.

I could readjust, replan, and rearrange my year. And that is JUST WHAT I DID – starting with STATE #30. I ran state #30 in South Carolina (Myrtle Beach) on June 5th. Sure, there wasn’t an “actual race” going on – but that was just fine with me. I packed my bags and road-tripped all the way down South to run my OWN 13.1 miles on the beach – my own, personal, homemade race (and guess what? I WON!). So now, I’m going to keep the adventure going by taking another summer road-trip to conquer states #31, #32, #33, and #34 this AUGUST. While I can’t compete in real races – it’s so important to me that I embrace the challenges and unexpected changes in life. Why?

Because my running is NOT about competing – it is NOT about setting records, winning first place, or always have to be the best – and I feel like I almost started to forget that when I won in Arkansas. My running is about ENJOYING it, it is about having FUN, it is about TRAVELING and EXPLORING and ADVENTURING, it is about the love of running itself. And nothing, not even COVID, can stop me from driving, exploring, or running (safely and socially distanced of course)!

So, here’s the game-plan…


IOWA
(Des Moines)

Des Moines, Iowa

DATE: AUGUST 4th, 2020


NEBRASKA
(Omaha)

Omaha, Nebraska

DATE: AUGUST 5th, 2020


COLORADO
(Colorado Springs)

Colorado Springs, Colorado

DATE: AUGUST 7th, 2020


KANSAS
(Topeka)

Topeka, Kansas

DATE: AUGUST 10th, 2020


I am SO excited to take this trip and challenge myself to try something different. I have NEVER traveled by myself, so this adventure will really be something completely new for me, and for my running journey. As you all know, I am ALWAYS looking for places to explore, things to see, and what to eat whenever I take a trip – so if you know someone who lives/has been to any of these cities – PLEASE leave some suggestions below!! And feel free to subscribe to get updates on the story of each state once I get home!

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.