Have We Made Running Too Complicated?

color-marathoner-webRunning, as people like to say, is a “simple” sport.  Yes, it used to be that way.  But, is it still? Personally, I don’t believe so.   OK, I know I’m probably going to sound like the person that used to walk to school in the snow uphill both ways – but, here goes.

There’s a humorous picture of a marathon runner that has so much gear on them and carrying that they look like they are going into a survival weekend in the wild.  They have a back pack on, a gear belt on, an arm band with their phone, etc.  Do we really need that much stuff to go on a run?

Runners think that they can’t run around the block without carrying the kitchen sink with them and without their phone.  I see so many posts on social media where a runner has gone ballistic because their app didn’t work for their whole run.  Or the app on the phone didn’t match their watch when they got back from a run.  Seriously?  In my opinion, we shouldn’t be that super dependent on technology.

And, nutrition.  There are SO many products to choose from.  Should I use a gel, a bar, electrolyte liquids?  There’s a lot of companies out there making tons of money from runners.

Now, here we go.  :-)

“Back in the day”, here’s how a run went.  We’ve gone out sometime before and we know where our mile markers are by driving over the road in the past.  We have on a watch that basically just tells the time we’ve been gone.  We run by feel.  When we feel good – we speed up.  When we don’t – we slow down.

There were no fanny packs, no gels, no cell phones – we just ran.  If we got thirsty, we stopped at a park at a water fountain.  This is when I started the habit of running with a bit of money.  If I got too thirsty, I’d stop at a convenience and gulp down something.

And, here’s the funny part.  With no gels, no music while running, no technology – we ran and ran fast.  Personally, I ran too many long runs to count this way and also had numerous sub 4 hour marathons – including my PR of 3:37.

I’ll admit – technology can be a good thing.  I never leave the house now without my Garmin on my wrist.  But, sometimes, I wish we could go back to making running simple again.  It was a joy to run unencumbered.  I guess that’s why I stay old school as much as I can.


I Love My Gym!

I was having a little bit of trouble coming up with a blog post, so I googled for ideas.  One of them was pros and cons of your gym.  Perfect!  So, here we go with a little bit about my gym and why I love it! First of all, I guess that I should admit that my gym is in my basement.  There’s a BIG reason for this.  If I had to actually drive somewhere to work out – I would never do it.  I love the convenience of just wandering down to the basement after a run to get my weight workout done. I’m set up with everything that I need.  I have a weight bench (actually 2), dumb bells, medicine balls, balance ball, dip bar.  Everything that I need.  I even have an exercise bike – one that I used in high school every morning.  Not high tech, … {Continue Reading… }

The Best Way To Keep A Running Streak Alive

Being a Streaker for over 30 years – this is probably one of the questions that I get the most. Runners always ask how I can run every day and how I stay motivated to do so. It’s really kind of funny.  After this long, I really don’t think about it that much anymore.  Running is just a part of my life – like brushing my teeth and eating.  It’s just something that I do. When I think back about it – there’s a few answers.  First of all, I always tell runners to listen to what their body is telling them.  If they are feeling a little “glitchy”, back down for the day.  Either go slower or go fewer miles.  Your body is probably trying to tell you something.  This is one thing that I’ve always done. Another thing that’s been my stand through all these years is to … {Continue Reading… }

Race 13.1 Roanoke Recap – Slowest Half Marathon Ever – But, I Had A Blast!

Last Saturday was the latest half marathon in the Race 13.1 Series Races – and was held right here in my hometown of Roanoke.  So, of course, I had to do it. Now, to start my story – I’ve been fighting a little “glitch”.  I really don’t know what it is.  It’s mostly in my butt, and a little bit on the top of the back of my leg.  So, somewhere between glute, SI or hammy.  Running doesn’t really bother it – it is just an annoyance when I run.  What hurts the most – and I mean hurt – is when I’m driving.  And, considering I drive 1 1/2 hours each way to my Mom’s every week……well, let’s just say it gets downright uncomfortable. I’ve been doing exercises for all 3 – plus Piriformis exercises.  And, seeing my chiropractor a couple of times a week.  The week of the … {Continue Reading… }

Reasons To Run Alone

Yes, I can hear some of you yelling at me through your computer already.  But, I have some very valid reasons why it is advantageous to run by yourself.  Yes, I know that it can be great to have someone to run with you to help the miles go by.  Yes, I know about camaraderie.  Years ago – we’re talking 15 or more years ago, I ran 4-5 times a week with a group of guys that were my bestie running friends.  But, then I started running by myself – and I absolutely love it!  Here’s some reasons why:  You won’t try to be a runner that you aren’t.  When you are running with someone else – you will try to keep up with their pace – whether they are slower or faster than you.  If you’re the slower runner – you won’t kill yourself trying to keep up with … {Continue Reading… }

Race 13.1 Richmond – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Well, another half marathon is done.  Race 13.1 Richmond was held on Saturday at the Richmond International Speedway.  First of all, before I get started – I just want to say that I absolutely love the Race 13.1 series.  They usually have their act together and put on a great race.  I’ve done several of their races over the last few years – and I’ve enjoyed them all! That is the one of the “good” parts of my story.  These guys are great, well-organized and are obviously runners themselves. I’d been watching the weather all week.  It looked like it was going to be 100% chance of rain. But, we all know that the weather forecasts have been wrong in the past – and I’m sure will be into the future.  This time, they were spot on.  Race morning was about 55 degrees, rainy (downpours at times and windy).  Dressed … {Continue Reading… }

I’m SO Confused!

Tomorrow Hubby and I are heading out of town for a half marathon.  And, it looks like I will be packing running clothes for a week.  Let me tell you why. First of all, it’s May.  It’s supposed to be warm.  Running when it’s warm is SO easy to dress for and to pack for.  You take a pair of shorts, a singlet, a cap, sunglasses, shoes, socks and you’re ready to go.  That’s another reason why I love Summer running.  No decisions.  You don’t have to think about how long you’ll be running to gauge what to wear and how to layer.  No math…..let’s see it’s 40 degrees….dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer ……..but, it’s cloudy…….so……..   You know what I mean. Anyway, the temperature at race time is supposed to be 50 degrees.  Normally, that’s pretty good for a longer road race.  HOWEVER, there’s 100% chance of rain … {Continue Reading… }

Pre-Long Run/Race Eating – Back To Old School

Last year, many of you remember that I was moaning about the end of my favorite flavor (and only flavor that I eat) PowerBar – my beloved Banana!  I had eaten them for years (and I mean a lot of years) before my long runs and before races. All of a sudden, there I was trying to find a replacement for pre-run nutrition.  I spent several weeks purchasing and trying out different things.  Nothing that I tried seemed to work – or tasted as good as my Banana PowerBars.  Maybe I was being a little hard-headed – but, oh, well….. Anyway, one day I was thinking about it – again.  And, then a super brilliant thought popped into my head.  Go back to being old school.  I’m old school with my running in so many ways – why not with my pre-run snack. So, I went out and bought a … {Continue Reading… }

Running Tips – When To Ice And When To Use Heat On Running Injuries

  You’ve been out for a run and something just doesn’t feel right. You don’t want to get an injury that will keep you off the roads – so you want to take care of this as soon as you get it. But, should you ice the injury or use heat on it?  Here are tips for knowing which to do. Basically running injuries will break down into two categories – acute or chronic. Acute injuries are those that have just happened – within 72 hours. During this time period, the injured area will be inflamed. Chronic injuries are those ongoing and still giving you a little problem after 4-5 days – but usually there is no inflammation. During the acute stage of your running injury is when you want to ice. Icing the area will help numb the pain and will help with decreasing the swelling as ice constricts blood … {Continue Reading… }

Be Your Own Runner

I’ve been toying with writing about this subject for awhile – and know that I’m going to rile up some people – but, there’s some things that I want to address. I follow several running groups on Facebook – and I love the community and reading about everyone’s accomplishments.  However, sometimes I see some things that worry me.  So many runners out there are always looking for something different than what they are currently doing. Here’s what I mean.  A runner is happily running along in their certain pair of shoes.  Someone posts how marvelous their shoes performed on their run that day.  Suddenly runner #1 has to try those shoes – which may or may not be right for them.  Word of advice here – go to a good running store and get fitted by a professional.  Runner’s feet are like snowflakes – no two are the same.  So, … {Continue Reading… }