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Running Without Racing

Some people are constantly running races. They sign up for a few 5Ks here and there just for fun and then they run a few half marathons each year and maybe even a marathon or 2. Every race they sign up for is motivation to keep training. When there is a race on the calendar you know that if you don’t get out of bed to run you will be upset when it comes to race day and your time is slow. But what about the runners who never run races? How do they stay motivated?

I happen to be one of those runners who doesn’t run many races. Don’t get me wrong I would love to run more but  there have been a few things that prevented that. I grew up in a small town, and went to college and an even smaller town, which made finding races a little difficult (5Ks were easy to find but the longer races were a bit more challenging to find). Now that I live in NJ it isn’t bout finding races any more, now it is about the race fees, which can be a little expensive especially for a college student.

So back to the question at hand, what motivates us “non- racers”? I run for many different reasons you can read about them here.  The thing is, I could get most of what I want to get out of running by running just a couple miles every couple of days at any old pace. But I am an extremely competitive and driven person. So competitive in fact that I compete with myself. That is what pushes me to run faster and farther. I love to see improvement. I am motivated by seeing a change. If I were to run the same three miles at the same pace week after week I would get bored. But if I can run  a mile further or a minuet faster each week then I feel accomplished. That is enough for me.

So although there is no national anthem at the beginning of the race, no awesome crowd with funny signs along the course, no water stations, no metals, and no amazing race atmosphere. I am still racing, I am racing myself and for now that is enough for me.

What about you?

Do you run a lot of races?

How do you stay motivated to run?

Do you get more satisfaction from increasing speed or distance?

Listening to your body

I remember when I was younger I was always amazed when people people would comment to me about how certain things effected their body. I would think how the heck do you notice the connection? Like how do you know that your back hurts right before you get a cold? Or my mom always said that my younger brother and sister got extremely moody when they were taking certain antibiotics.

I thought it was crazy that people could be that in tune with their bodies. But now that I am a few years older I notice so many things about me. Like I always get a terrible headache/ toothache the night before a big rain storm. I burn my tongue on every hot food that I eat right before I get sick and when I can’t stop yawning my blood sugar is getting low.

If you have been following my blog for a while you may know that I suffer from hypoglycemia. Sometimes after a run or a workout I feel nauseous, and have to lie down for fear of passing out. All I want to do is sleep and eating is the last thing from my mind, but the only  thing that makes me feel better is eating.

I just recently made the connection that I think my hypoglycemia may be caused (or at least worsened) by my birth control pills. I notice that I usually feel the symptoms the most during the first few days of a new pack of pills. Once I drew that connection I started to think back. I played sports all through high school and never had any problem with hypoglycemia. When I went away to college I started working out on my own and around the same time I was put on the pill. Now that I think about it this is when my symptoms first started.

So I am thinking the pill may have something to do with it. I looked around online a bit and it seems some other people have had some similar experiences but most of them report hypoglycemia in the morning, which makes scene, but I have never had a problem in the morning.

To all you women out there, have you had any issues with hypoglycemia? Do you think it was pill/ hormone related?

Does anyone else have strange connections/ warning signs that they have noticed?

Seeing Progress

I had a lot going on yesterday, but I made sure to fit a workout in. I did a HIIT workout at home as soon as I woke up. Sometimes a workout at home is more convenient and fits into my schedule so much easier. I think that home workouts can be just as effective as a good workout at the gym and in many cases no equipment is needed. I am a fan of workout videos and I have found a lot of great ones on You Tube. I have posted some of the workouts under the “workouts” page at the top of the blog. Some of my all time favorite workouts are the HIIT workouts from fitness blender. They have a bunch of workouts of different lengths and targeting different muscle groups. Yesterday I did a HIIT cardio and abs routine.

wpid-img_20140909_091657.jpgAfter my workout the rest of the day was full of school work, classes and meetings. One of my meetings was super exciting!

Remember how a couple of days ago I said I am not a patient person and I like to see results and progress? Well I have been stuck on the same chapter of my thesis for a while. There is a lot of information to include in this chapter and there have been a lot of revisions to make plus I have been working on it over the summer so I have not been working as consistently as I am used to so it was just taking forever.

Well yesterday I met with my advisor and she told me I could move ahead and look at my data and start to run some statistical analysis!!! So excited! Not because I love statistics (I don’t at all) but because it means I am getting closer to the end. May will be here before I know it!

When I got home from classes there was a super exciting package waiting for me on the front step….

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Wedding pictures. Just in time for our 1 monthiversary! I looked through some of them last night but I am excited to spend some more time looking at them and sorting them into albums today! I can’t believe it has already been a month! Time flys when you are having fun!

Burn Calories Not Gas

Yesterday started with a study session outside in the morning sunshine.

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A little vitamin D and a cold glass of iced tea make studying a bit more enjoyable. I am determined to enjoy the last few weeks of nice weather.

After my study session I ran over to the gym to meet Ben for a workout.

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Run to the gym, burn calories not gas. The run to the gym is about 4 miles it isn’t a terribly  long run but there is a pretty big hill to climb right in the middle of the run.

Yesterday was a leg day so I got to pick the exercise (Ben designs the workouts for arm days and  I am in charge on leg and ab days). Oh boy were my legs tired after the run to the gym and lifting and I am sure feeling it today.

Some people like to workout alone and some people like having a partner. I am somewhere in the middle.

I usually like to run alone. I like to be able to set my own pace and slow down and speed up without worrying about what the person I am running with wants/needs to do. I also like to have the time to myself to just relax and let my mind wander.

But when I am doing speed work or when I am lifting I enjoy having someone to work out with. I fell like working out with someone else pushes me to run faster, or lift more. I also learn new movements and techniques from others. I get bored easily when I am lifting so going to the gym with someone helps distract me and keeps me entertained.

What about you…..

Would you rather workout alone or with a partner or group?

How far is the gym from your home or work? could you run there?

Lacking patience

After the spring semester ended things got crazy with wedding planning, family vacations, trips to New York and working full time. Now that the fall semester  has started and things are back to a normal schedule I am ready to start blogging again. I really enjoy blogging and I think I needed to take a break from it to realize it. I like blogging but I was frustrated that my follower base was not growing as quickly as I would have liked. I realized now that I need to be patient (I am not a patient person). It may take a very long time to get  large follower base, but I just have to accept that and continue to enjoy blogging.

This is one of my all time favorite quotes and I think it is a perfect example of why I love blogging and why I want to keep doing it.

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So here is what you missed while I was gone

New York Bridal Shower

My mom my sister and me

My mom my sister and me

Family vacation to OBX

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Lots and lots of running

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1st place in our my childhood neighborhood’s annual 5K

And of course our beautiful wedding (more on that in another post)

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Ben and Kaitlyn Eck August

Run Like A Girl

Yesterday I went to my first Run Like a Girl event at the local Road Runner Sport store here. It was hot but I had a blast.

I knew that we were only going to get a 3 mile run in with the girls at night and i wanted to get a little more mileage in. I work up early to run it was already 80 by 6am I ran a nice easy 3 miles with a few stretch breaks at a nice slow pace.

In the evening I headed to the run. Last time I went to a run I ran to the store and home, but since it was so hot I decided to driver over.

New Balance was at the store allowing the runners to try out a pair of their shoes during the run. I tried the New Balance Fresh Foam 980.

 

I have to say they were not my favorite. They were very different from the shoes I normally run in. I like the idea of getting to try out a pair of shoes for a reasonable length of time without any pressure to buy.

The run it’s self was fun we started out very slow sticking together as a group and then we slowly spread out a little and me and 2 other women sped up a little. It was still a slow pace for me but I was OK with it because of the heat. One of them women I was running with runs her own running club called black girls run. It was great to run with her. She was wearing the same pairs of shoes as I was so we were talking about them as we ran.

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Back at the store there were a couple of massage therapists on staff to give the sweaty runners a massage when we got back. They also had towels that were one ice. They felt amazing. I have never taken advantage of a post race run because I feel bad being all sweaty and gross, but I went for it yesterday because everyone was sweaty and gross.

After a quick massage I picked up some goodies. A sweat band, an awesome towel ( I love the saying), another water bottle (Ben can have this one) and some more gel. This time I got strawberry kiwi gel. I had chocolate last time, while it tasted OK I tough fruit flavor would be better during a hot run.

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I also won a 3 pack of socks of my choice. I picked a cute blue black and gray pair. The coloring  reminds me of winter. They are very cushioned and they are different then all the other socks I own so I am excited to try them out.

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Dinner was home made pizza for me and a calzone for Ben. I loaded my pizza with spinach and zucchini and added a some cheese on top to hold it in place.

What brand of running shoes do you wear? Have you tried any other brands?

How do you handle running in the heat?

Post run massages yay or nay?

So you like a lot of sauce or a little sauce on your pizza?

- the more sauce the better in my opinion

A change of Senery and Falafel for Dinner

Yesterday’s morning run was great.I got up and out for my run before it got too hot. Just over 4.5 miles just about a 7:30 pace. I was pretty excited about that pace! After walking a little to cool down I came in to do an ab workout and to stretch.

This was my pre- run snack

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Whole Wheat Toast With Blackberry Butter

Followed by this delicious bowl of oatmeal

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Over night oats, with strawberries, chia seeds and a drizzle of honey.

 

I spent the rest of the day at Barnes and Noble working on my thesis. Sometimes I just need a change of scenery to help me concentrate.

I feel obligated to buy something if I study there so I had my first Naked Juice experience. It was pretty tasty, but there are a lot of calories in it for a drink. I didn’t really have lunch yesterday so I was OK with having this as my “main snack”.

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I was very productive so I decided to reward myself with the latest issue of runners world.

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Once I got home I got some wedding prep done while I was waiting for Ben. I wrapped the Bridesmaids gifts. I can’t say what they are because they read the blog and I do not want to ruin the surprise.

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I made something new for dinner last night. It was inspired by a recipe I saw in the July issue of better Homes and Gardens. This recipe is super easy to make, it doesn’t require the use of the oven (which is perfect for hot summer nights, and it is a nice light meal (perfect for a late dinner like we had last night).

Falafel:

1 Can garbanzo beanswpid-wp-1403015887327.jpeg

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like spicy)

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 C flour (whole wheat if possible)

Place the garbanzo beans and all of the spices in a food processor. Puree until almost completely smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally if needed. Add the flour and blend until well mixed. (I had to mix the flour in by hand because my food processor would not move the dough.) Once mixed, separate the dough into 12 equal portions and form each portion into a ball. flatten the balls slightly to form patties. cover and refrigerate the patties for at least one hour, or make ahead and refrigerate overnight. Heat up 2 tbs of oil in a large skillet. Add the patties and cook for 4-5 minuets per side.

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1C plain yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 C cucumber finely diced

Mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl. Chill before serving.

 

Ben and I both really liked this meal and we will be adding it to our list of go to meals for sure. I served it over a bead of spinach and it was delicious, but we both agreed that next time we make it we would like to have pita or something with it to make it a bit more filling. We were both very hungry last night so that could have something to do with it.

And even though dinner was late I still had an appetite for some strawberry short cake!

 

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