Switch it Up

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Lately my running has felt a little boring.  There is a one mile loop near my college that I run over and over and OVER for almost every run.  I use it because I know exactly how far I’ve run and I feel very safe there since security is always driving around and there are a TON of people running and walking this route.

But today I decided I have had enough of boring runs where I loop the same buildings 4 to 5 times a run, so I decided to try some new things to mix up my workouts.

I have never run on a treadmill.  Sure, I have used a treadmill, but never for a scheduled run.  So today I went to the rec center at my college {I’ll admit for the first time since I got here in August} and ran 4 miles on the treadmill.  It wasn’t the most exciting run ever, but it was something new and different.

It is so important to switch up things when you are running, especially when you train for long distance races like I am right now.  Running the same 2 or 3 routes can get very monotonous and make running not as fun.  And when running isn’t as fun, you have less motivation to get your workout in or complete your workout once you start it [especially if you run by your car 5 times during your run…]

What are some of your favorite ways to switch up your running and keep things interesting?

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Back into the Swing of Things

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As runners, we all make (or at least try to make) running a priority in our lives.  Sometimes, it’s really easy to do this, but sometimes, life gets in the way.

For me, it was the beginning of a new semester of school.  For the first two months of school, I ran once and that was a 10k on Labor Day (which was ROUGH let me tell you..haha!)  But finally in the beginning of October I realized that I should probably get training for my half marathon on Thanksgiving.  So in slight panic about how little time I had to train and how little I had run in the past 2.5 months, I got back into the swing of things!

It can be really hard to make running a part of your regular routine after a long time off.  I have found three things help me to get motivated to get out there again:

1. Sign up for a race!  I mentioned this in an earlier post about staying motivated after a big race, and this truly is one of the best ways to get motivated to run again.  No one wants to go into a race knowing they didn’t train at all, so if you sign up for a race, it will be a huge motivator to get out running.

2. Schedule your run like a meeting!  If you find yourself saying you are going to run, but then finding an excuse not to do it, schedule your runs like meetings.  You wouldn’t skip a meeting just because you didn’t want to go, so if you treat your run like a meeting, you will be less likely to skip!

3. Make a Goal Chart!  This is one of my favorite ways to motivate myself to run.  Every time I finish a race, I make a new chart to help me visualize how I am going to reach my goal for the next race.  This helps to break the goal into bite-sized pieces so it isn’t as intimidating.  It also motivates you because you know exactly what you have to do for the day!

Next time you find that life has gotten in the way of your running, try one of these ideas to get back on the road!

xoxo

Clare

Confession Time…

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[It’s about to get real y’all! haha]

So the main reason why I started running was to lose weight.  I started almost 2 years ago with a small running group that did a maximum of 2 miles along with strength training for tennis.  I really enjoyed the group and that fall, I did my first 5k.  That next summer I ran my first 10k (the Peachtree) and from then on I’ve been addicted to racing and running!

Along the way, I have struggled with my weight and eating healthily (if that’s a word? haha).  Finally last fall, I got it under control with counting calories and running, and I was at a comfortable weight for my height and I felt good about it, then the Christmas season happened…I gained about 15 pounds in 6 months.  It has really affected my running.  I have had less and less motivation to run, and I really struggle with eating healthy.

I find myself eating unhealthy foods {and not in moderation} and most days turn into “cheat days.”  Even when I do hit my calorie goal, it is usually not with healthy foods.  I really want to eat healthy and clean and stay away from junk food, but the temptation is very real and hard to conquer.  I get really discouraged and just give up.

I’ve tried to up my mileage, reduce my calories, cut out certain food types, and many other things, and I never stick with it.

If any of y’all have tips or suggestions for me, that would be awesome.  I’m struggling with what to do, and I don’t want to keep gaining weight like I have been.

 

xoxo

Clare

Excuse my absence…

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Hi everyone! I am back from my almost month-long hiatus! After the Fourth, things just got super busy & I didn’t have as much time to run and blog as I hoped I would. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as focused on my running goals and keeping up my training in the past month as I was before, and I think a lot of that has to do with the Peachtree being over.

A lot of times, runners training for a big race (either a new distance or a really fun race such as the Peachtree Road Race) will stay very dedicated to their training in the months and weeks leading up to the race. They think everything is great and they will just keep running & training hard after the race. But many times after the race, there is a sort of let down, and runners find themselves thinking “what now?” This often leads to a lack of motivation to run and train. I know for me it certainly does!! And this is not a fun time because its kind of like “well, if I don’t have a big race coming up, what’s the point of training?” And it can be hard to get out of this slump.

The good news is, there ARE ways to get out of the post-race slump! Here are a few of my favorite ways to get back on the right track post-race:

1. Sign up for another race! It doesn’t have to be a huge race or a longer distance, just any race will do. For example, after I ran the half marathon in November last year, I went ahead and signed up for a low-key 5k in December that I knew I could do well in so I would have a reason to keep up training.

2. Look for a running partner or group that will keep you on track! Running with other people can really spike your motivation to get running. You are more likely to go for your run if you know that someone is counting on you to run with them. (Plus its nice to have someone to talk to on long runs!)

3. Reward yourself for your hard work! Go to your favorite running store, and buy some new running clothes, shoes, or accessories. I know nothing gets me excited to run like a new pair of shoes or some new stuff to try out!

4. Destination running (at home!) Find somewhere fun that you want to go to near you such as a store, coffee shop, park, or whatever you want and run to it! Tell a friend to meet you there (with a car! haha) and this will motivate you to get out the door. For example, if you live near a mall, you could tell a friend to meet you at the mall, and you could run to the mall. I, personally, would be more motivated to run if I knew I had a fun day of shopping ahead of me when I got done running!

These are just a few tips of how to get back to running after a big race, and I hope they help you like they help me! Feel free to comment some of your favorite strategies of how to get out of the post-race slump!

Happy Monday!

xoxo

Clare

It’s Tomorrow!!

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I am so so so excited because TOMORROW IS THE PEACHTREE!! This is my second time running it, and this year my sister is running it with my dad and I. [We are actually headed to Atlanta now!]. I love this race and everything surrounding it.
•The expo is really fun and there’s a lot of free stuff {which is great for a college student}
•I love the atmosphere of the race. It’s so patriotic and it’s just an overall fun race. Tons of people line the streets to cheer on runners, and I didn’t feel like this race was a 10k. The miles flew by.
•The post-race festivities at Piedmont Park are super fun too! There are free peaches, ice cream sandwiches, water, sports drinks, and of course the coveted finisher shirt.
I basically love everything about the race and I’m super excited if you can’t tell!! I will post a recap of it in the next few days!
Happy 4th of July too!!

xoxo
Clare

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My Week In Running

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This week was better than I expected it to be with running and nutrition and everything!  I had to take my little sister to her cross country practice four times this week, which was a perfect time for me to get my running in as well.  This was my running week:

Sunday-Rest & Yoga {Yoga was really fun! I recommend trying it!}

Monday-Rest

Tuesday- 4 miles

Wednesday-30 minutes on the elliptical

Thursday- 3 miles

Friday- 3 miles

Saturday- 6 miles

Today’s long run was hard to make myself do, but once I did it I was really happy.  This is the first time I’ve run 6 miles in a while, and I have the Peachtree Road Race 10k [6.2 miles] in 2 weeks!  I still struggle with the guilty {this is the best way to describe it} feeling I get when I don’t do super long runs, but I just tell myself that this is the best distance for me to be doing NOW and I can build up to doing more and more miles in the future.  It is definitely getting better now that I am running more consistently.

I have also noticed a correlation (I think that’s how you spell it) between my running and my eating habits.  On the days I run, I am able to have more control over my eating and I tend to not go for extra snacks during the day.  And on the days I don’t run, I find myself snacking more and eating more than I need to.  Sometimes runners find they eat more during training because they are hungrier from burning more calories, but I find it easier to control my cravings if I have been running!

I’m hoping to log some more great miles this week!  I have a busy week ahead of me, but I’m gonna do it!

xoxo

Clare

Brooks Ravenna 4 Shoe Review

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One of the most important components of running a good race is the shoes!! And I am absolutely IN LOVE with my most recent pair of shoes, the Women’s Brooks Ravenna 4.

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I have always had flat feet.  My first pair of running shoes were minimalist shoes, and they worked well for me, but then I tried shoes with more stability.  I recommend Brooks Ravenna 4 if you have flat arches, or just want shoes with a little more stability.  I have had less pain in my arches since I got these shoes, and my feet just feel better overall.

These shoes feel very light [they weigh 9.0 oz] and feel amazing, especially for people who like a little support but don’t want to feel like they are restricted,  They also provide great cushioning, which I enjoy since 99.9% of my running is on the road.  I have seen a lot of improvement in my shin splints since switching to these shoes.

Overall, the Brooks Ravenna 4 is a great pair of shoes. {Plus Runner’s World magazine named them “Best Buy” in their Spring 2013 shoe guide.}  I would definitely recommend to give them a try next time you need a new pair of shoes.
(This was not a sponsored review of the shoes, I just wanted to share my experiences with them with you!)