Tag Archives: Running gear

Endurance: A 4 letter word.

Through endurance ……. we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another… that together you may with one voice glorify ……Jesus Christ.  (Romans 15:4-7 ESV)

Endurance is a dirty word. Endurance conjures up images that we don’t want to see and emotions that we would rather not feel. We get images, or perhaps flashbacks of personal experiences and traumatic events. Pictures of the sweat soaked, dehydrated athlete, the parents of a newborn child who enjoys frequent 2 AM parties, the years of loneliness and betrayal at the hands of an abuser, or the sleepless nights finishing up a PhD dissertation fill our mind when that cursed word is uttered.  Everyone wants a gold medal, but few want it bad enough to sell out for it.

This week we paused to remember and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I have had the privilege and simultaneous horror to visit many stops in Alabama that played an epic role in the civil rights struggle of this nation. The truth is, anything worth fighting for is going to leave with it a long trail of tears. Whether the tears are  temper tantrums (because we don’t want to push ourselves, make difficult choices, and get our hands dirty) or legitimate gut wrenching productions doesn’t matter. Ultimately the key to enduring anything is to exercise your “No” muscle (self-denial) and to experience frequent paradigm shifts (perception and thoughts). Dr. King’s dream fueled his passion and was greater to him than momentary discomfort.His bend was to focus on the greater long-term cause than the immediate injustices.

Most people who achieve greatness have done so not in spite of adversity, but because of it. Take the marathon for example. Perhaps if you were in great shape, ate totally clean, had all the stars aligned for you, and were 21 years old you could wake up one day and decide to run a marathon and finish it. You, in fact, would not be able to move the next day, but it would be possible to finish under such circumstances, especially if you didn’t care how long it took you. For the rest of us though, it is the daily discipline of fighting through struggle that prepares us mentally and physically to get the starting line and then subsequently to finish strong.

This is why I love running. It is the ultimate metaphor for life. As a student of the Holy Bible I find so many spiritual and philosophical parallels to life on this earth and physical fitness. Building physical endurance makes mental, emotional, and spiritual endurance easier.

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If I can run 9 miles in -4 degrees outside (which I did yesterday), then certainly I can let someones snide comments roll off my back. Running helps teach you when and how to react. Your stride matters.

I love how the Bible links endurance and encouragement. The fact of the matter is that if you learn to stretch yourself and push beyond, the encouragement that fills you will be overwhelming and it doesn’t require anybody else. I encourage myself. If you congratulate and encourage me, great and awesome and I love you and I need it. However, if you don’t, it doesn’t ultimately matter because I have proven to myself that I can do anything if I learn to endure.

Perhaps it seems simplistic to link running with the civil rights movement or to great spiritual accomplishments, but the physiology and the psychology are the same.  Endurance brings success which brings encouragement which builds more endurance and that generous helping of encouragement and endurance fuel hope. It’s hard to feel hopeless or stay down for the count when you know that greatness lies within you and the only way to be assured of greatness is to have proven to yourself that you CAN and you WILL. I’ve changed my mind. Endurance is not a dirty word, but it is in fact a 4 letter word: HOPE.

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Stuff Happens

Ingredients for success – attitude, discipline, self-control, belief in yourself, willpower, be teachable, set your plan and no excuses, ever.

Today I ran 3.1 miles, just a little 5K, to keep the Run Streak alive and get my muscles ready for my strength training routine. I know that a lot of runners struggle with fitting strength training into their weeks, but I seem to be a little injury prone and strength training has greatly reduced my pain in running. Since I have been hitting the weights hard and consistently, I have had very little trouble with my Achilles, and muscle cramping on long runs has gone away (this also has to do with the fact that I have learned the art of fueling and hydrating). Most runners suffer from overcompensation injuries created by weak muscles. There are some muscles that you don’t use much when running, but are needed to be strong to support the muscles that you do use. The moral of the story is, some strength training will do you massive amounts of good. You do not have to be aspiring to Ms. Universe, and you definitely don’t want to bulk up if running is your goal and not your side note.

I have noticed a great change in the way my body looks too in the year and a half I have consistently worked out at the gym to supplement and grow my running. I actually have abs now, which is a miracle. How many women do you know that look better after giving birth to kids than they ever did at any point in their life before they had kids? Yep, I’m one of the few. I just wish that I would’ve done this when I was younger so I would’ve reaped double benefits. I do have one recurring nagging running related pain/injury that I will discuss on a blog, but for now I want to address the very sad issue of……….

Runner’s Tan: A condition experienced by those that run outside. Runner’s tan includes a very distinguishable sock line, a glaring block on your arm where your sleeve once was, and a bizarre space right above your knee where your bottoms hit. In summary, I am tan from a blocked off space right above my knee, to a blocked off space right around my ankle. This is a very fashionable look when I am wearing a summer skirt and sandals.

Runner’s Face: A condition experienced by runners where your face is aging light years ahead of your body. I am fighting Runner’s Face tooth and nail. They actually addressed it in an issue of Runner’s World once. Because running reduces your body fat, your face tends to be thin and lean when you are a runner and you lose face fat the older you get anyway, which is why wrinkles and lines become more noticeable. What happens to runners is that their face becomes super thin and mixes with the sun damage from running outside creating a phenomena where they have the body of a 25 year old from all the exercising and the face of a 78 year old from the constant face jumping and thumping that happens when your feet pound pavement and the sun is scorching you. Last year I just made sure to wear sun screen, but this year I have a running hat. I hate wearing it. In fact, I have only worn it once, but I will start being faithful to it. It will keep the sun off my face and hopefully preserve my skin. I don’t want to have to choose between being fat with plush skin or fit with the face of a leather boot. This is a tough conundrum because I look better with a little sun kissed color, but I guess being cancer free and looking young is a higher trade off.

On a semi related side note, my husband Jonathan told me that someone introduced him to their boyfriend as having the most gorgeous wife they had ever seen. I about fell out when he told me that. Apparently they  haven’t been around very much. This lady said that I was 33 but looked 23 and was filled with an enormous amount of spunk and energy. I think I’m pulling off the charade 🙂

Does anyone else have issues with gym etiquette? Since I have addressed my strength training in this post, I will take a moment to say that I get super annoyed when people camp out on the nautilus type machines and take naps, read the newspaper, and have gossip parties. All of these things happen on a frequent basis where I go. In fact, today I had to skip an entire machine because it never came open. The guy sitting there on it wasn’t even moving or working out. He was chit chatting with three other people who were surrounding him. YES! The men in my gym are far more of a problem than the women.  I have overcome this astounding lack of good gym etiquette by learning more free weight and kettle bell work outs, which, in the long run, are more intense and better for you anyway. I also enjoy them more because you have more control over how you position yourself. I have seen increased results from moving some of my muscle groups to free weights instead of circuit machines. Regardless though, there are a few that I like that seem to be confused with lazy boy chairs or a chaise lounger because that is what happens when these guys beat me to the circuit. (In full disclosure I will tell you they are old and retired so that is why I don’t say much to them about their lack of movement. I do believe in honoring those that are my elder, allowing them to burn their 7 calories an hour,  and I am sure they need the socialization.)

20130521-212057.jpgSometimes stuff just happens. Sometimes you are trying to cook a good healthy meal and the little plants your kids have put together for you fall off the window ledge into your sink creating a fun mixture of dirt, water, and dishes for you to clean up. Sometimes when these things happen, the little boy who potted the plants for you starts crying and feels hurt and dejected. Yep, life can throw you dirt, but it should not throw you off. Just expect the unexpected.

20130521-212110.jpgHere I am practicing before church with some people from our worship band. The running keeps me fit to jump all around singing like a maniac without getting breathless and missing notes. Mind-Body-Spirit Our lives can be limitless if we could just grasp this concept of everything about ourselves and others being intertwined without end or beginning with Mind-Body-Spirt. Don’t focus on just one to the detriment of the others of you can’t and won’t grow to your full capacity.

Any advice on runner’s tan besides running in booty shorts and a sports bra?

What is your greatest advice for avoiding premature aging due to sun exposure?

Does anyone at your gym annoy you?

 

My first 5K

An attitude of “whatever is convenient” won’t accomplish very much. An attitude of “whatever it takes” is impossible to stop.-@women_sports

Yesterday was a first. I accidentally published a blog that I had not yet written and tweeted it out to the whole world. If you are one of the lucky ones that got to it before I changed it back to draft mode, you can celebrate my incompetence with me.

It has been a couple of days since I’ve posted because I have been busy living “La Vida Loca”. Life is so much more interesting to live and write about when you are actually living. I made a determination when I turned 30 three years ago that I would not be a passive spectator in life’s journey, but that I would make things happen. This does not mean that all of my expectations and dreams become reality, but it does mean that I have raised the expectation of my life to a new level and it has been a game changer. Being aware of mortality in your 30’s is a blessing, but the death of my dad when I was 24 is what has made me hyper aware. Every blessing has a curse, but I have allowed myself to learn through the struggle and I’m grateful that tragedy didn’t defeat me, but advanced me. The Bible tells us to learn to number our days and make them count. Too many people think they are invincible until they hit about 50 and then a major  mid-life crisis creeps in and they totally spaz out and ruin a lot of what they have taken decades to establish.

I am averting my crisis by living large, having fun, being filled with joy, and speaking faith and favor into every circumstance. Words are death or they are life.

20130520-200820.jpgAt the Cleveland Marathon Expo practicing stretches.

 

Because of the power of words, I try not to alter my life based on the weather forecast or curse my weather channel app. I have zero control over weather, but 98.45% control over my reaction. It does in fact get HOT in Cleveland though (not complaining at all. In fact, I am rejoicing. It was a LONG winter.). Because of the stifling humidity and heat, I was out the door at 5 to beat the heat/smash an 8 mile run for day 554 of the #runstreak

I ate a banana before the run, which I hate to do so early in the morning, and brought a Gatorade with me. I have to be far more cognizant of hydrating and fueling properly in the heat than I am in the winter. I have run 10 plus miles with no breakfast or drinks with me when it’s 20 degrees out, but I deplete instantly when I’m melting. Of course, I refueled again with a blueberry Chobani after my shower. No good workout is complete without a good dose of protein infused goodness afterwards.

20130520-200804.jpgIn the stands amongst our fans after the CLE 5K

My running had a super fun insertion into it this past weekend. I have never run a 5K in my life in an official capacity. I often cover the 3.1 mile distance by my lonesome, but I have never paid a fee, got a t-shirt and gathered with thousands of my closest friends to do one. I was the weirdo that jumped from not being able to run 1 mile into running numerous Half-Marathons and then the Marathon. My friend came into town with her husband, who ran the Cleveland Full Marathon, and was inspired to do her first 5K. I found out later that she snuck in a 5 K a couple of weeks ago thereby taking away my joy of stealing her 5K virginity, but I will still be her friend. She PR’d by 4 minutes and RAN the whole thing. To my knowledge she had never covered the full distance running the whole time before. I discovered that the 5 K was a lot of fun, but since I have no hope of winning one (5K elites are speedy little demons), and since it still costs money and requires great effort, that I would just save my sheckles for the long distance runs unless it is a charity event or something to inspire my kiddos. I like to do charity runs in my area to meet people, network, and give back to the community.

We had an epic run through the streets of downtown Cleveland and finished in Cleveland Browns Stadium with our finish on the jumbotron. I’m seriously considering a career in the NFL now. I’m not going to lie. It was amazing to get a taste of the glory those guys get every Sunday. It was pretty cool running beneath the building, past the locker rooms, and out onto the field. My boys, ages 8 and 5, were so jazzed by the 5K that they are running the Cleveland event with me next year. We got a pretty cool T-shirt out of it, although I was it was a technical shirt and not cotton.

20130520-200810.jpgChillaxin with the gals at the start line

 

 

20130520-200757.jpgLiving the high life. We helped our friend (the husband whose wife did the 5K) Carbo Load for the CLE Marathon at a Mexican Restaurant. I ate at this same place the night before the Akron Marathon, so I knew it would work like magic.

 

20130521-092726.jpgNo more Pre-School this year for this boy. He’s getting his vacation on while mom works in the office. We are praying for Oklahoma and realizing once again the vapor of life & how very little possessions mean. This sweetie may be catered to a little more today as I hug him close and feel the grief of parents whose children lost their lives in the Tornado. The most important investment we can make in life is people/relationships/God’s purpose.

Do you run 5K’s? What is your favorite distance to race/run and why?

Celebration Thursday

Running is a funeral for your fat. Let sweat and tears flow freely!

Today is Thursday and there has been a lot of celebrating going on. Thursday is an oft underrated day of the week.

First, last night was a milestone. I had ice cream for the first time since Mother’s Day. My  3 whole days of strength and will power are to be commemorated.

Secondly, we tried a brand new pizza place specializing in “healthy” pizza and it was amazing. It is called Pizza BOGO and their whole business model is around hormone free, antibiotic free, and organic ingredients. They have a flax seed miracle crust and were running a special for as many large unlimited topping pizzas you want just $5. I was in vegetarian, clean eating heaven. Anytime you tell me pizza is healthy, I’m going to make you proud with the vast amounts I consume. I will definitely be revisiting Pizza BOGO frequently.

The third and final celebration related directly to me is that I ran 6 hot miles thinking I was going slow, but realized I was going quite fast and had an epic run, seemingly without effort. Day 549 of the runstreak was completed well. I also had an epiphany regarding self-image during this run. I realized I don’t care what people who look at me and watch me run think. I used to only run in the metro park because you rarely encountered cars or people. I thought others were judging my pace, sweat, or stride. Today I’ll gladly galavant anywhere soaked in sweat and salt crystals. I earned my stride. I’ve fought for my pace. I’ve also realized that most people just stare because they are truly amazed you would run so much with no one chasing you. I smell admiration off them. (On a side note I passed a PTA mom on my run with her hair perfectly coiffed, fully made up, and a cute yoga outfit on doing a little perfume scented jog in the neighborhood. I did not let that deter my salt infused, hair soaking wet, BO scented self-esteem from running proud.)

20130516-175604.jpg Gentry celebrated yet another trip to the grocery store with mom. He gets free cookies when we go to Giant Eagle and gets to drive the car. We were also celebrating my very healthy choice to take advantage of the 4 (12 packs) for $11 coke zero sale. In all honesty, my soda consumption is significantly lower than it was a year ago. I’m baby stepping away from drinking it all together. I’m not even drinking a can a day, however I do dream of it often so that is why I write about it so much.

20130516-175611.jpgToday we are celebrating Reese’s amazing participation in our LifeGroup Bible Study last night. Of his own volition, he took out a notebook and pencil and wrote down scriptures, memory verses, and took notes on the lesson. He also participated like a champ. That boy is hiding God’s word in His heart.

20130516-175623.jpgWe are celebrating Reese running faster than any other kid at the Forest Elementary School Family Fitness night.

20130516-175631.jpgWe are celebrating how much fun we had at Gentry’s end of the year picnic at his pre-school with all of his friends and the fact that I ate no desserts at the potluck and stuck with fresh fruit and salad. I really am better behaved than I let on, but it’s not as much fun to share all of my good choices. Bad choices are more intriguing.

20130516-175648.jpgAnd the biggest celebration of the week is that Gentry graduated from Pre-K like a champ. He is now a certificate holding finisher of John Knox Presbyterian pre-K and armed with all the knowledge he needs to take Kindergarten by storm.

20130516-175700.jpgCelebrating family: Mimi with her boys at Gentry’s graduation

20130516-175716.jpgCelebrating Gentry’s stellar performance skills. This kid has no fear of public speaking, singing, dancing, and poem reciting. Be on the look out for him on the front page of your favorite news website someday. This beats his former no fear of removing his pants in public. Thankfully he grew out of that stage so you aren’t reading about him for less than savory reasons.

What is worth celebrating in your life this week?– I am celebrating that tree pollen seems to be climaxing. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. (As I look through watery, red, itchy eyes glazed over by springs finest torture makers)

What is one of your favorite new “healthy” food discoveries? Seriously check out Pizza BOGO

5 Epic Failures

It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them.

Epic Failure #1

This past Friday I realized that I had made a hugely, terrible epic mistake. I had done my weekly haul at Costco (that little piece of heaven on earth where I buy all my fresh produce and super healthy items because we eat those types of things in epic proportions at my house and I would have to go to store and spend $5,678 a day if I went to an average grocery store) and I had returned home, unloaded it all, and realized I had forgotten to purchase my Chobani yogurts. This my friends was a failure of “IRS tracking tea partyer” size. Even on sale, the cheapest you can find Chobani at the local grocery store is $1.00 per container, but at Costco, even when it is not on sale and doesn’t have a coupon it only averages out to about $.85 a container. My body basically lives and thrives on that protein infused goodness, so I had to make a second trip to Costco that week where I bought not one box of 15 yogurts, but 2 to be safe. I am so lucky that I outsmarted myself on that second trip. Epic fail to Epic win in the matter of 48 hours!

Refridgerated proof of my bounty.
Refrigerated proof of my bounty.

My Tweet: Costco twice in one week because I forgot my Bought 2 boxes to play it safe.

Their Reply: Phew! Can’t risk running out.

Epic Failure #2

That second trip to Costco reminded me of another major failure I have had that also involves Costco and that is the failure to grocery shop without a fully staffed nanny firm as my entourage. My boys adore Costco and all of their glorious samples and friendly staff members. I do try to go though when I only have one boy with me instead of both, or if I have the hubby for back up. On one such trip all bets were off. I was getting into the fridge to pull out some milk and I heard a lady behind me snap at me for my kids. I turned around to see what her deal was and saw my kids climbing in the freezers and having a dance party. I definitely was mortified, however, I thought the lady was totally nasty in the way she dealt with it. Nobody was injured. Nobody died. Nobody was bothered by the incident except the lady who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Other customers got a chuckle. I was embarrassed, but what parent has gone their entire parenting career without one grocery store fiasco? I doubt there is even one on this planet. I guess you learn really quickly that turning your back for even 2.2 seconds can be an epic failure.

Epic Failure #3

Another epic failure that many women in general make is looking to romance movies to find out how to navigate real, committed, long-term relationships. A single friend of mine texted me this weekend that they were watching “Notting Hill” and crying. I texted this friend back and told him the truth. I said:

After 12 years of marriage the line “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” (So sweet and sappy )

Becomes: “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to fold laundry.”

I then had to send the obligatory LOL on the text because truth be told my marriage is still sweet, sappy, and easy to navigate 87.56% of the time. I’m blessed!

Epic Failure #4

On my 8 mile run this morning my Garmin did not work at all until after mile 1. There was extreme heavy cloud cover, so I don’t know if that contributed or not. I passed what I knew to be the 1 mile mark at minute 9 and it was saying I had only gone .2 miles. Needless to say, I stopped the watch, got a new signal, and then took off on my run happy spree. It was a great run once I resolved my technical issues. One day I’ll learn to run “naked” and just let myself go without being married to my GPS watch. I’m totally addicted to it though. I love seeing the results of my time per mile, my overall distance, and my calorie burn. I would hate to have even .1 of my run not count on my chart. I will be sharing yearly mileage goals with you very soon.

Epic Failure #5

Participating in an ugly sweater contest and allowing yourself to be inserted into photographic evidence as such. Disclaimer: My husband won, but I bought him the shirt so I should get at least 2nd place right?

20130514-150029.jpgChristmas 2012

 

20130514-145940.jpgSo Diet Dr. Pepper might not be a superfood, but you can’t be perfect all the time and it’s supergood. That makes this snack just a 50% fail but a 100% taste bud dance party.

20130514-145947.jpgThe perfect lunch. A Baked Sweet Potato with cinnamon and an egg sandwich served up all classy like on my finest plates and table decor.

Have you ever seen the “Google Chrome” Stewy commercial? It is the complete opposite of a mistake or failure. It is hard core fact. I’m thinking it is oscar worthy material. Mom. Mum. Mommy. Mother. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mum. Mum. Mommy………..

What epic mistake have you made this week?

 

 

How to Avoid Terrifying Toilets

If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse. 

(Mantra’s like this have gotten me through many tough days. Since life has no do-overs, don’t waste it with excuses!)

Many said it couldn’t be done. Today (May 7) in 1954 Rodger Banister proved them wrong by running a mile in sub-4 minutes. Impossible things happen.

I mentioned that I wanted to do a brief recap of the Capital City Half Marathon Race Expo and Race day.  The Capital City Marathon really is a great race to participate in. Everyone is nice, the crowd support is enthusiastic, the course takes you through all the main highlights of Columbus, and you get to chill with around 14,000 of your closest friends. Thankfully all three years that I have run the Cap Half have been accompanied by decent weather. This year was special though to me because, not only did I PR, but it was the first race that I have run side by side my main squeeze. He generally is a faster runner than me, so we hit all the expos together and hang out around the port a john’s, but then we split ways about 1 mile into the run. This time, he paced me through like a champ, bringing back memories of his stellar delivery room coaching skills when we had our 2 sons. Having a good looking man by my side to distract me and yell at me when needed, was just what the doctor ordered.

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The hero the day before the race. Somehow, he still manages to look this good even after a long run though. Guys are so lucky. Not a hair moves out of place.
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At about 6:15 AM on Race Day Morning, I knew the running weather Gods were smiling at us.

20130506-130256.jpg20130506-130350.jpgJonathan finding out the root of all of his problems from this nice sports medicine professional. Too bad they didn’t have a mental health professional. We would’ve been there a while! 🙂20130506-130405.jpg20130506-142200.jpgAs a side note, isn’t it funny how when I don’t have my kids with me, Jonathan becomes my object of obsession again? I guess I need someone to dote on and take copious pictures of. Love my men.

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Getting it all ready the night before. I love my spibelt by the way. No more safety pins ripping my nice technical shirts. My race day bib just hangs on to the belt and I can stash all of my essentials in it too. If I have any say in it, I will be bringing back the fanny pack. All runners know how amazing a good hip purse is.

Here are glimpses into the race day Expo. If you have never done a medium to large city race, you need to. It will most definitely provide you with the motivation that you need to keep exercising. It is so inspiring to see all of the people from all sizes, shapes, skin colors, countries, and back grounds come together to achieve a moment of personal greatness. Not everyone will win a major sports championship, but almost everyone can cross the finish line of a large race feeling like they are surrounded by adoring fans. Small town 5K’s and gimmick runs do not provide this same feeling of Olympic stardom, but they can be a good place to start. I really hope that I can inspire you to run. I have found nothing that helps balance my mind, body, and spirit for maximization like running does. (Riding my bike is a pretty close second, but running is still my go to.)

Race expos are a great place to find and purchase running gear. I got my Mother’s Day gift early, a new pair of Brook’s Adrenaline GTS-13. Jonathan finagled us an even better deal than the rock bottom price they were already offering since we were buying two pairs. The His and Her shoes are our big holiday gift to each other. Yes, we are weird and frugal.

The main expense involved in running is keeping your feet blanketed in appropriate wear. I have flat feet, bunions, and a whole host of other foot related issues, so if I didn’t spring for shoes I would be bed ridden or crippled. I try to buy my shoes at the cheapest possible prices. I have purchased them from race expos, zappos, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Nordstrom Rack depending on who has the lowest prices at the moment of my need. This requires some sleuth skills, but even with nice tennis shoes every 4-5 months (depending on the mileage I’m running), running is infinitely cheaper than risking my health. (Remember my dad was in his 30’s when his kidneys failed and he had complications of diabetes and heart disease leading to his death at 51). I must stay in shape and keep my weight down. I always tell myself this isn’t about my appearance, it is literally life or death. I guess I’m blessed in a morbid way to already have a view of the grave and my mortality at only 33 years old. After all the Bible says “Teach us to number our days and make our days count.”

20130506-142142.jpgPeeking at the finish line and getting excited for the after party. Seriously, who ordered the weather we had over the weekend? Good job!

Pre-Race Fuel:  Bagel with Grape Jelly and some Mixed Fruit and a Small amount of coffee and water

You want to be hydrated and caffeinated, but you want to avoid stopping at the potty during the race if you want to PR, and you discover that the pre-race bathroom lines are INSANE, so you only want to wait in line and go as few times as possible. I was totally shocked at my first official race by the bathroom scene. It is also common and accepted practice at these events to discuss your personal number 1’s and 2’s with total strangers. It is like being at a “Mommy and Me” meeting where women discuss ultra personal health, hygeine, and birthing stories with each other. Don’t be grossed out though. You can learn a lot about how to be a better runner by learning to fuel, hydrate, and go to the bathroom well.

During race fuel: A Mandarin Orange Flavored GU and Gatorade or Water at fuel stations as needed (Seriously you haven’t lived until you have gotten a drink at a fuel station. Watch up for cups flying into your face, friendly volunteers, and people getting tangled with each other.)

Post Race Recovery: Water, Free Panera Bread Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (heaven handed out at the finish line), Coke Zero, and Coffee

I can guarantee you that the Capital City Half marathon toilets weren’t near as scary as a toilet I used on Sunday. The bathroom was full of advertisements on getting screened for HIV and STD’s. It definitely brings comfort to your soul to know that the majority of people using these public toilets with you are living lifestyles that would urge them to get frequent tests on their bodily fluids.

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What is your worst public bathroom experience?

Any race day hydrating or fueling strategies that you would like to share?

What is your favorite recovery beverage after a long run? I always crave caffeine, so it is an ice cold soda (preferably Coke Zero even though it has ZERO nutritional value) or coffee once I’ve had my water or a sports drink with electrolytes as needed.