One Year Later, Still #BostonStrong

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Today marks the one year anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Join millions of runners and non-runners alike in remembering the bravery, perseverance, and strength of human spirit that was shown one year ago today.

Show your support by changing your Facebook profile pic to the above image, and check out Runner’s World for some amazing stories about the people who were at the race last year.

Where were you during last year’s Boston Marathon?

Running Meme Friday: Tapering

Sixteen days until the San Luis Obispo Marathon. Get ready for grumpy tapering Michelle!

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Have a running meme you want to see featured here? Click here to submit it.

What Runners Look Like – Mindy Kaling

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When I get my newest issue of Runner’s World magazine, I always flip straight to the back for the “I am a Runner” series. It’s really the closest thing I read to celebrity gossip.

And I’ll admit it, I read about Flea training for a marathon, and I think ‘He and I are kind of the same.’ We are part of the same community, and that’s awesome. It makes us kind of friends, right?

Yeah, I’m kind of friends with Flea. And Danika Patrick. And Sean Astin.

And Mindy Kaling.

I’m super excited that she “came out” as a runner, so I can say we’re kind of friends. Partly because I think she’s hilarious and would be a total blast to hang out with, and partly because of this:

I completely relate to what Mindy says here, especially, “It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman.”

Yes!

I am one of those normal/chubby women. I am also a runner – a marathoner. And Mindy and I are not the only ones. There are lots of us.

We are the normal/chubby women who work out, eat healthy, etc., and we’re not heroes for taking care of ourselves.

We’re doing what we’re supposed to do. And this is what we look like. And we look good.

Mindy gets a lot of credit/attention for dressing nice while looking normal. I give her major style points, but like she says, dressing well doesn’t make her brave. It makes her, well, a good dresser. (It also makes me wish we were actually friends so I can raid her closet.)

I’m not brave for going for a run in public wearing skin-tight pants and a figure-hugging shirt. And if I tossed the shirt and did a race in my running bra? Also, not brave.

Okay, I am way too self-conscious to race in just my running bra, so it would take some courage on my part (and it would have to be really hot out). But it would not make me a hero among women, right?

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!

Running Meme Friday: What If I Told You…

It’s true, y’all. If you run a marathon, chances are you will be running more than 26.2 miles.

matrix-marathon

Which really just means that every marathon is an ultramarathon, right?

Have a running meme you want to see featured here? Click here to submit it.

7 Things to Remember About Running in the Rain

Last Saturday, I did a 16-mile run in the pouring rain. When I say pouring, I mean buckets of water being dumped on me for the whole friggin’ run. You know how I love running in the rain, so in addition to feeling like a complete badass, I also came up with this list of 10 things to remember the next time you head out for a rainy run.

1. You’re Going to Get Wet – Accept It

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Stop trying to waterproof yourself. Water is all around you – you are going to get wet. Unless it’s acid rain, rain won’t hurt you. Wear your best wicking clothes, and keep the layers to a minimum. Wet clothes are heavier than dry clothes, and you don’t need to be carrying around the extra (water) weight.

2. Chafing is Real

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And it’s worse when your skin is slick and wet. So men, waterproof Band-Aid those nipples. And women, whatever you slick up with Body Glide normally, apply twice as much.

3. Water Makes Things Slippery

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The ground. I’m talking about the ground. It’s slippery when wet, so watch your step, and choose a less slippery path, like a concrete sidewalk. If you’re planning to run on a trail, here are a few more tips.

4. Wear Wicking Socks

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Really the only use for cotton socks.

If you don’t want to face the consequences mentioned in #2, do not, under ANY circumstances, wear cotton socks. This is the time to break out the super elite professional running socks that you paid $20 for. Yeah, your Rolex socks. Those are what you wear in the rain.

5. Dry Our Your Shoes

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Once your run is over and you’re out of the rain, remember that you – and everything on you – is still soaking wet. Prolonged exposure to moisture can damage the cushioning in your shoes, so remove the insoles and stuff your shoes with newspaper to help them dry out faster. Do NOT put your shoes on the radiator. Heat is not good for them.

6. Wear a Hat

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The one place you don’t want to be attacked with water is your eyes.

Because you need them to see in front of you.

So you don’t run into a wall.

So wear a hat.

7. Have Fun!

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Running in the rain makes you an instant badass. Trust me, I’m an expert. You are automatically cooler than everyone in the world who is not running in the rain, so embrace it.

Running Meme Friday: I Don’t Always Run Marathons

Marathoners, y’all know it’s true.

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Oh, and have I mentioned that I’m running the San Luis Obispo Marathon on April 27th? Yeah, marathon #2 is happening!

How to Run at a Conference

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The brave morning runners at the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

My job occasionally requires me to travel to various conferences. Sometimes to speak, always to soak up tons of information with days that often start early and end late.

So how do I stay on track with my training? Here are a few tricks:

(And for those of you who thought this article was about how to run a conference, hi! Also, I’m sorry, have no idea how to run a conference and am constantly in awe of the people who do.)

1. Plan Ahead

Just about every article I’ve read about having a successful conference experience involves planning ahead in terms of sessions you want to attend, vendors you want to visit, and people you want to meet.

Plan all your runs at the same time. Add them to your schedule; put them on your calendar. Be prepared to adjust your training schedule around the conference. You may only have time for short runs, and if you’re out at events until 1am every night, you may not have the energy for speedwork. I tend to do short, easy runs combined with strength training sessions that I can do in my hotel room (because, during a conference, the hotel fitness center is ALWAYS packed).

Finally, use the opportunity to explore a new city (or a new area of a city you visit every year because of this conference). Check out running paths on Map My Run, or look up your hotel on Google Maps, which highlights bike paths (a.k.a. running paths) in green.

2. Join a Group

Chances are, you’re not the only runner at the conference. Many conferences have running groups and meet ups so you can combine your training with some networking. Some of the best connections I’ve made at conferences have been while running (just be sure to bring your business cards!). Check out the discussion forums around the conference to find the logistics of these meet ups.

3. Or Make Your Own Group

At a recent conference I attended, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, there wasn’t an existing running group. So I up and created one. I posted a poll to gauge interest and find out what time worked best for everyone. Using Google Maps, I figured out that the conference hotel was right near the Rock Creek Park trails, so I set up a meeting place and promoted it in the conference forums and on Twitter with the conference hashtag.

I called the event a 5K Fun Run to make it clear that it’s open to all levels of runners and run/walkers. There was a lot of interest, but honestly, when I woke up the morning of the run and saw that it was 28°F outside, I prepared myself to run the frigid 5K alone. To my surprise, four other crazy runners showed up (see Oscar-worthy selfie above), and we had an amazing run.

Bonus: Several people approached me at the conference and asked if I was “that crazy running lady.” Yes. Yes, I am.

What tips do you have for sticking to your training while traveling for work?

Running Meme Friday: Watch Your Spit

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10 Signs You Might Be a Distance Runner

Mostly because I want to make all of you do this:

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1. You pay more attention to the miles on your shoes than the miles on your car.

2. You know that exquisite pain that comes from stepping into the shower and discovering a new chafed spot.

3. The word “Fartlek” doesn’t make you giggle.

Okay, it makes you giggle a little.

4. When you’re having a fantastic day, you want to go for a run.

muppet running

5. When you’re having a horrible day, you want to go for a run.

breaking bad run

6. This is the most terrifying thing ever:

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7. You frequently see this face on your non-runner friends when you talk about running:

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8. Or they just come right out with it.

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9. You stare at your watch and have no idea or interest in what time it is.

10. You’ve tasted the unique joy that comes with crossing a finish line after running for hours.

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What did I miss? Add to the list in the comments!

Running Meme Friday: For Every Downhill

Newtonian physics still applies to running:

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