Women's Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com Women's Running Magazine Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:47:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 5 Runtastic Things Our Staff Loved This Week http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/shoes-gear/5-runtastic-things-staff-loved-week-10_35606 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/shoes-gear/5-runtastic-things-staff-loved-week-10_35606#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:24:29 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35606

Find out what 5 runtastic things our editors we're obsessed with this week.

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Are nails part of your pre-race routine? Try this easy to master nail art.

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Make painting your claws part of your pre-race routine to feel fierce down to your fingertips. These designs created by marathon runner and creative director of TopCoat PARRIS HODGES are perfect for shredding the course.

Bring the thunder with nails that  channel the power of an electrical storm.

YOU’LL NEED: painter’s tape; white, gold and blue nail polish; topcoat
STICKING POINT: Blue painter’s tape from the hardware store isn’t just for your walls! It works great for nail art too.

1. Paint your nails with two coats of white polish. Allow nails to dry completely.

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9 Fuels And Foods For The Gluten-Free Runner http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/9-fuels-foods-gluten-free-runner_35503 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/9-fuels-foods-gluten-free-runner_35503#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:52:10 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35503

These gluten-free snacks are perfect for runners with picky guts.

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After my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, the mission became: What are the right foods for me? With so many options popping up for sensitive diets these days, the transition from gluten-packed to gluten-free can be relatively seamless for runners catering to their stomach’s guidelines. I’ve collected my favorite go-to snacks and fuels for those people looking to satisfy their feisty insides—one of which I used during my first marathon! (Also, check out our resident elite runner-blogger Stephanie Bruce’s latest entry on navigating the gut of a celiac.)

 

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/9-fuels-foods-gluten-free-runner_35503/feed 0 Mile Posts: When Can You Consider Yourself A Runner http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/mile-posts/mile-posts-can-consider-runner_35594 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/mile-posts/mile-posts-can-consider-runner_35594#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:29:09 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35594

When can you consider yourself a runner? Whenever you decide it is right.

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Dorothy Beal - I Am A Runner cropped

When I started running, I wanted to look like a runner.

If I looked like a runner, then in my head, I was a runner.

I bought printed shorts and a handheld water bottle. I invested in moisture wicking socks and a digital watch.

I’ve often thought about when I would become a runner or when others would look at me and think, “Hey, that girl is a runner.”

Sometimes I wonder if I could have given myself that title when I started routinely jogging around my neighborhood in high school, carrying a large Walkman as I moved. I know that when I worked at a local running specialty store in college, I considered myself a new runner, but still a runner nonetheless. When was that moment when I became part of the running tribe?

Some would argue that you become a runner the moment you take your first running step. I would argue that you become a runner the moment you believe you are.

You can run and not be a runner. Hear me out…

I have friends who from time to time run. They have even run races, but they don’t call themselves a runner. In their eyes, they only occasionally run.

Could they consider themselves a runner now? Yes, but the distinction into this club is theirs to make.

If I go out tomorrow and play a game of basketball, I am not a basketball player. I am someone who once played basketball. If I go out tomorrow to play basketball because I want to become a basketball player, am I a basketball player the moment I decide to become one? Do I need to be good at basketball? No. Is there some bar that I have to reach to consider myself a basketball player? No. If I believe I am a basketball player, then I am one.

Does one need to be fast to be a runner? No. Does one even need to consider themselves relatively good at running to be a runner? No. Does one have to run races to consider themselves a runner. No.

I do know that I was probably what most would consider a runner long before I considered myself one. But that was a distinction for me to make.

I considered myself a marathoner the day I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. It didn’t matter that I had only ran 26.2 miles once. I had made the decision that I was a marathoner and not a girl who had run 26.2 miles.

Maybe this logic is flawed or maybe it’s not.

I believe we are what we want to be if we take the steps to be that or become that. The choice of the label “runner” is ours alone.

I am a runner. Are you?

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#JourneyWithSteph: Celiac Disease—Who Needs Donuts Anyway? http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/journeywithsteph-celiac-disease-needs-donuts-anyway_35579 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/journeywithsteph-celiac-disease-needs-donuts-anyway_35579#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:05:17 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35579

Celiac Disease does not interfere with Steph's ability to run fast and enjoy delicious food!

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My name is Stephanie Bruce, and I have Celiac Disease. Yes, this sounds like I’m making a confession, but truthfully sometimes explaining you have Celiac Disease feels as if it’s your fault, you brought it on yourself, and you almost feel sorry for having it when eating out with other people. When did that happen? Gluten-free became a fad, and I say that because like many fads, it rises and falls with the newest leak of info and research taking over social media. The downside about a fad is that it often doesn’t cover the entire trending topic and can lead to some false info—and even offend people during its rise. The gluten-free fad I feel does an injustice to those people who suffer from Celiac Disease. A “celiac” cannot tolerate gluten (the protein found in wheat), and if it is ingested, their body will attack its own immune system. “Gluten-free,” on the other hand, became a lifestyle choice, where people removed gluten from their diet to see if you could make them feel better or lose weight. A gluten-free diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating healthier or will lose weight. For those people in which gluten has a negative effect, they will feel better removing it from their diet. For a celiac, it is essential. There are also cases where a person might go gluten-free, and it has no effect on them.

In 2008 I ran the 10,000 meters at the Olympic Trials one year out of college and placed 12th, but I was more than 90 secs from the top 3 who make the team. I knew that year I didn’t have a shot, but I was off my game big time. The next few months I faced injury after injury, waking up nauseous, with a headache and feeling essentially “hungover” on a daily basis. I wasn’t recovering from workouts—and more importantly life. So after months of seeing various chiropractors and PTs whose work never stuck, I was led to a naturopath. After asking about my diet, which I thought, typical, everyone asks a runner about their diet, I was surprised when he mentioned food allergies. A three-week elimination diet followed, which was brutal and healing all at the same time. One month later I had my diagnosis: Celiac Disease. Here I was, 26 years old with a life-altering condition tossed my way. I had been accustomed to eating a certain way for my entire life and now had to change that in an instant. I was confused, sad, shocked, relieved, scared and hopeful. After a few last meals of croissants and pizza and a legitimate very loud scream, I accepted my new challenge and began my research.

Five years later I’d say I have a pretty good handle on my diet, but I still learn a few things every once a while. I’m savvy with ordering at restaurants and knowing which ones to walk out of when they say,  “Gluten-free? Yeah, we can do vegetarian.” I sometimes feel like a social pariah, like my friends and family have to cater meals around me, but I also realize it’s not the worst thing in the world. Finding out I was celiac saved my life and my quality of life. It helped lead me to founding my gluten- and dairy-free energy bar company, Picky Bars, alongside pro runner Lauren Fleshman and triathlete Jesse Thomas. So I can’t eat donuts, toast and Belgian Waffles—but I also have a ton of energy (sometimes), high iron levels and a gut that is healing more than it is being damaged. I still encounter friends and strangers that ask, “So can you have just a little bread? What can you eat?” Restaurants make judgements that I’m choosing to be gluten-free and assume I just don’t want to eat carbs. Well, just so we are on the same page—gluten-free foods, such as rice, potatoes and gluten-free pasta are still carbs. I simply can’t eat the protein found in wheat products. I can eat meat, potatoes, rice, veggies, fruits, nuts, chocolate, chips, bacon, avocados…and basically a ton of other food options. Cooking and eating at home is a breeze, and at times I don’t even think about having Celiac Disease. The most challenging times are traveling, dining out and attending parties or functions. The ways I’ve learned to adapt is to always be prepared, bring snacks, call places ahead of time and alert friends of your allergies. Don’t be ashamed of having food allergies; you’re not weird, and don’t let people make you feel that way. I do my best to make light of my situation, and you’ll often hear me making fun of my allergies and myself. I’m comfortable with my diet and disease, and that’s how we should all feel, regardless of what we can and can’t eat.

I was asked to share one of my favorite recipes—since this week we celebrated National Banana Bread Day, I’ll share one of my fave go-to snacks that my friend Leah Rosenfeld introduced me to. There are times I’ll make this bread every few weeks so I have a post-run snack, dessert and travel food when I’m flying. I’ll usually smear almond butter on my pieces to make them more hearty. Enjoy!

Gluten-, dairy-, egg- and soy-free banana bread:

Makes one loaf
2 1/2 cups almond meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup nuts and/or chocolate chips
2 large or 3 small bananas
1/2 cup nut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 extra banana, sliced for topping
*1-2 Tbsp. almond milk if consistency is too thick

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix well. Mash up the banana in another bowl, and add in nut butter, brown sugar, almond milk. Add to the dry bowl and scoop onto a 9×9 or 9×13 baking pan depending on how thick you desire. Put sliced bananas on top if you want. Bake for 18-22 minutes and dig in!

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T-Rex Runner: I Had No Idea http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/t-rex-runner/t-rex-runner-no-idea_35585 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/t-rex-runner/t-rex-runner-no-idea_35585#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:55:38 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35585

It's National Eating Disorder Association's Awareness Week. Do you know the symptoms of disordered eating?

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NEDAwareness_2015_Shareable_Athletes_1

This week is the National Eating Disorder Association’s (NEDA) annual Awareness Week, and the theme is “I had no idea.” As someone who spent 12 years suffering from an eating disorder, I can attest to being in denial about how dangerous my behavior was at first. Athletes are at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder than the general population, particularly when they compete in sports that are focused on aesthetics or weight – and yes, running is one of those sports.

NEDA says:
Body image problems, disordered eating and full-blown eating disorders are common among athletes. Though most athletes with eating disorders are female, male athletes are also at risk – especially those competing in sports such as wrestling, bodybuilding, gymnastics, and running, which tend to place an emphasis on the athlete’s diet, appearance, size, and weight requirements.

Eating disorders often start out innocently enough. You start becoming more invested in a healthy diet and increasing your activity level in a quest to get fit, but these behaviors can quickly be taken too far. It’s a slippery slope. One day, you’re trying to limit yourself to just one brownie after dinner (instead of the usual 3) and before you know it, you won’t eat any sugar at all…or processed foods, or dairy, or gluten, or grains or meat or anything that isn’t green. Did you know that as many as 35% of “normal dieters” will develop disordered eating habits at some point in their lives? When the quest for health becomes all encompassing and the mere thought of eating out at a restaurant or a friend’s house gives you anxiety because the foods might not fit your restrictions, that isn’t healthy or normal. When missing a workout because you’re sick, pregnant, or just completely exhausted gives you palpable anxiety and angst, that isn’t healthy or normal, either.

It’s so easy these days to convince ourselves that obsessive behavior around food and exercise is normal because, let’s face it, almost everyone wants to be healthier! I come across many runners and bloggers who have no idea they have a problem because it is easy to hide under the guise of trying to be “healthy.” As women and as athletes, we are at a particularly high risk of developing eating disorders no matter our age. I’d like to challenge you to think about your own behaviors around food and exercise, and consider how you would view those same behaviors if it was your daughter, sister, or mother that was so invested in them. Often, the best way to learn how to care for ourselves is to think of how we would care for others in the same situation, since we tend to extend others much more compassion than we extend ourselves.

Learn more about eating disorders and how you can help someone who is suffering at nedawareness.org.

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Behind the Shoot: March 2015 Age Issue http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/just-for-fun/behind-shoot-march-2015-age-issue_35557 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/just-for-fun/behind-shoot-march-2015-age-issue_35557#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:24:46 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35557

Take a look behind the scenes of our amazing March 2015 cover!

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On a chilly day in December, six runners gathered in Brooklyn, NY for our March 2015 cover shoot. These women, ranging in age from 16 to 61, had two things in common: they loved to run and most had never been featured in a magazine. The day was a thrill for the cover models, as well as for the Women’s Running staff. This marked the first time we have shot more than one person for the cover. These six women made the March issue one of our favorites.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from the day long shoot. To read more about our cover models and how to run at any age, pick up our March issue on newsstands now or download it here!

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/just-for-fun/behind-shoot-march-2015-age-issue_35557/feed 0 Marathon Maniac: Back on Her Feet http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/t-rex-runner/marathon-maniac-back-feet_35549 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/t-rex-runner/marathon-maniac-back-feet_35549#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:10:38 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35549

Our Marathon Maniac toed the line of her first 26.2-miler following back surgery, nerves and all.

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marathon maniac 1st mara

Even though she’s raced nearly 50 marathons, when our Marathon Maniac toed the line of her first 26.2-miler following back surgery, she wasn’t sure if she would even cross the finish. 

It had been a long time since I’d been nervous before the start of a marathon. As someone who has run enough 26.2-milers to be comfortable with the distance (and because I do races almost purely for fun), I normally toe the start line relaxed and happy. This time was different.

Standing in the crisp October morning air, it was hard not to let the magnitude of what  I was about to attempt weigh too heavily on my shoulders—the way I’m dramatizing this moment, you might think I was about to try to qualify for the Olympic Trials or the Boston Marathon, but no. My goal was simply to finish.

Last April, I underwent back surgery. I flew out to Colorado to be operated on by a neurosurgeon who specializes in athletes. My doctor was confident that I would run again, but with another surgery ahead of me in the future, he didn’t promise me a lifetime of unlimited races.

I’ve spent a good portion of the last three and a half years running marathons (45 of them, to be exact). I blog about it. I write about it. I eat, sleep and breathe the travel and camaraderie. To think that could be taken away from me was devastating, so on Oct. 12, I set out to take it back.

To say I was undertrained and overanxious would be huge understatements. But about a week earlier, I had an epiphany: I had done as much as I could. The race would go how it would go. There was no point in dreading it, thus making it miserable. Maybe I would finish it and maybe I wouldn’t. All I could do was try.

As I attempted to counter my doubts with realism, my thoughts during the race went something like this:

Start: Okay, here we go. Nothing to it but to do it! Ugh, I can’t do clichés for 26 more miles.
Mile 5: I love running! Running is easy! This is the best! Look at me, remembering to fuel on time!
Mile 10: We’ve run double digits! I’ve got this!
Mile 16: The farthest I ever ran in training is 16, so it’s okay if I start to feel a little tired. It’s a marathon, so feeling tired would make sense.
Mile 18: I think my heart might explode. Maybe I should have done more cardio.
Mile 20: Marathons really should stop at mile 18.
Mile 23: I’m probably going to actually punch the next person who tells me I’m “almost there.”
Mile 26.2: I did it! Holy crap!

If I were a person who cries, I would have sobbed at the finish line. This race meant more to me than my personal best. Outside of my first marathon, it meant more than any other race I’ve ever done. And maybe that’s significant. In a way, it was my first marathon—just in this new chapter of my life. I realized that our nerves aren’t always a bad thing. They’re a reminder that you’re about to do something exceptional.

CHILL OUT
Our Marathon Maniac’s best tips for keeping your cool mid-race.

Be Realistic: It’s okay to be tired and sore at mile 22, so don’t get down on yourself. You’ve run 22 miles! If you’re achy just a few miles into the race, you may want to reassess your pace.

Soak up the Atmosphere: Not every race has crowds like NYC, but there will be kids wanting a high-five, beautiful scenery or a funny sign pretty much everywhere. Take it all in.

Keep it in Perspective: It stinks when you realize you won’t make your goal, but in pretty much every case, there’s always another race to try. And hey, you still get a medal!

Danielle Cemprola lives in South Carolina with her Rottweiler, Rocket. When she’s not running, Danielle blogs at trexrunner.com.

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Alternatives To Popular Candy Are UNREAL(ly Delicious) http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/alternatives-popular-candy-unreally-delicious_35535 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/alternatives-popular-candy-unreally-delicious_35535#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:11:08 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35535

The food company plans to re-invent the world's favorite candies from a better-for-you point of view.

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The food company plans to re-invent the world’s favorite candies from a better-for-you point of view.

If you’re in the market for something sweet with fewer consequences, step away from the candy aisle. UNREAL, the “unjunked food company,” recently launched their new line of health-conscious treats, free of gluten, corn and soy and boasting much less sugar than the traditional alternatives. With new unique flavors (Hello, quinoa!) and popular oldies that never fail to satisfy (what about a dark chocolate and coconut combo?), UNREAL hopes to re-invent the idea that all of our favorite splurges are terrible terrible for us—an idea that started on junk food’s most popular night: Halloween.

“Why do our favorite foods have to be so bad for us?” asked Nicky and Kris Bronner, siblings and founders of UNREAL. After being stripped of their Halloween candy one year, the duo started researching ways to make their favorite chocolates better for your body with less chemical, sugar and waistline consequences.

“With UNREAL’s newest candy line, Nicky and Kris have proven that candy can be made without chemicals, artificial colors, corn syrup and excess sugar—and taste even better,” explains Chief Marketing Officer Amanda Reiss.

This re-invention of the world’s favorite candies follows an ongoing goal among companies to re-visit popular munchies from a healthier perspective. “We are not a candy company, we are a food company,” says Nicky Bronner. Through their careful “double shot” approach, UNREAL individualizes each step of creating the perfect peanut butter cup or piece of candy—using real flavors like beet and carrot juice to insert color on the candy-coated milk chocolate bites! For the cups, each layer of chocolate and peanut butter center is poured separately, versus the “one shot” approach of other popular brands.

“We’re constantly innovating to deliver exciting and delicious products for the natural aisle. But above all we believe in being a business that does the right thing,” explains CEO Steve Konczal. From our sustainable sourcing practices to using fair trade and organic ingredients, we’re always striving to do what’s better for people and what’s better for the planet.”

After hearing about this enticing new afternoon delight, the Women’s Running team had to try each new cup and piece of candy-coated goodness. Feedback ranged from good to better—the quinoa cups curbed the craving for salty Rice Krispies, while the other cups simply tasted like fantastic combos of our stand-alone favorites: dark chocolate, peanut butter and coconut. The candy-coated peanuts flew out the door as well—one handful was enough to keep our staff away from the double M’s in the vending machine. One tester said, “This unreal thing is the real thing!” Yes, we agree. Some of us even went for a run after eating two cups!

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My Biggest Fan: Yvonne Santiago http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/inspiration/biggest-fan-yvonne-santiago_35526 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/inspiration/biggest-fan-yvonne-santiago_35526#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:05:56 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35526

With the help of her super supportive mom, Yvonne Santiago went from struggling with obesity to finishing her 1st marathon.

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biggest fan

Dealing with obesity is not easy. When I was a teenager, an unexpected death in my family triggered a downward spiral of emotional eating. I felt insecure in the world and gaining weight made me feel safe—like a coat of fat I hid behind where nobody could hurt me.

In December of 2011, I weighed 211 pounds—more than I ever had before. Instead of feeling safe, I began to feel tired and trapped by my own body. My mom, Maria Nuñez, gently urged me to lose weight for my own health. She told me never to give up on myself. With her encouragement, I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to stop being afraid, change my eating habits and exercise more.

I started watching my caloric intake and walking on the treadmill for exercise. After six months, I had lost 50 pounds. I felt great, and wanted to try a new challenge: running. The first time I gave it a shot, I was only able to run for 10 seconds! But I started small. I would run for a few seconds, walk for 5 minutes and repeat. Within a month, I was able to run for a full 5 minutes.

I signed up for my first 5K in October of 2012 and did not stop once to walk. Since then, I have been addicted to running and have completed 15 half marathons and one marathon. I’ve also lost another 25 pounds. I’ve never felt healthier.

Of course my favorite cheerleader, my mom, has attended each one of those races, waking up early to watch me at the start line and proudly waiting for me to cross the finish.

The joy of racing must be contagious because at 69 years old my mom has also caught the running bug. Every Thursday she joins me at the local pub group run. She even placed third in her age group at a recent 5K!

Although my mom has traveled with me to many of my races, I needed her most during my fi rst marathon last year in Chicago. A few hours after the race, I felt pain in my right knee. I had trouble moving, and my mom—despite being tired and having leg cramps from walking all day to watch me run—went out to get me ice for my knee and some food.

Running has improved my life in more ways than I can describe and my mom never fails to support me. I am grateful for her, for she has made my running experiences that much better.

Who’s your biggest fan? Email your submission to editorial@womensrunning.com! Featured submissions win some sweet WR swag and a free subscription (or renewal) for you and your fan!

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We’re Obsessed: Dry Skin Cures http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/beauty/obsessed-dry-skin-cures_35524 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/beauty/obsessed-dry-skin-cures_35524#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:35:39 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35524

Chill out, dryness! We love products that keep our skin and lips feeling moisturized all winter long.

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Chill out, dryness! We love products that keep our skin and lips feeling moisturized all winter long.

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/beauty/obsessed-dry-skin-cures_35524/feed 0 NYC Running Mama: It’s Okay To Not Want To Run Every Day http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/nyc-running-mama/nyc-running-mama-okay-not-want-run-every-day_35514 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/nyc-running-mama/nyc-running-mama-okay-not-want-run-every-day_35514#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:31:49 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35514

How do you get out to run when you really don't feel like it.

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I’m just under eight weeks out from my 2nd Boston Marathon and have had a strong couple of months of training. On paper, everything looks great – I’m nailing workouts, getting my long runs in and consistently running high weekly mileage (for me). But, that’s only part of the truth.

The truth is, there are some days where I wake up not wanting to run. I would say 4-5 of the 6 days a week I run, I’m pretty quick to pop up when the alarm goes off. There is virtually no hesitation on those mornings. But it’s a fight to get me out the door on the other days. I want to go back to sleep or just sit on the floor with my children while I drink my coffee in my comfy pjs rather than deal with the below freezing temperatures outside or get on the treadmill again.

The truth is, it’s okay (and normal) to not want to run every single dayWhen you are following a training plan, there will be days where you may not want to get up and run. I used to berate myself every time I didn’t want to. Convinced myself I wasn’t serious about training or that I wasn’t a real runner. I would end up not running and feeling like crap the rest of the day. It’s silly because I was training hard.

I’m trying to becoming more accepting of these days when they happen. It makes them easier to tackle that way. Instead of focusing on why I don’t want to run, I focus my attention on how I can convince myself to get out the door.

Having some external motivation helps. So, sometimes I bribe myself. It could be the promise of a Starbucks frappaccino, a glass (or bottle) of wine or even a nice, warm bath post-run. I remind myself of the beautiful sunrise or sunset I could see— or those post-run endorphins I’ll miss out on.

And other times, internal motivation does the trick. I don’t think there’s anything worse than showing up to the start line with regret. Regret that you could’ve trained harder or shouldn’t have skipped that workout. I’ve been in that position before and it stinks. I want to race with no regret. I want to know that I did everything in my power to show up to the start line ready to race my heart out. You can’t always control how your run or race will go. But you can control whether you skip a run.

Remind myself that once I am out running, life is good. Regardless of how I am feeling or what is going on in my home or my personal life before the run, I know that 99% of the time, I will be happy that I ran by mile 2. There’s been very few runs I have regretted going on but a whole lot of runs I wish I had gone on. Getting out the door is often the biggest challenge.

Social media accountability. It’s one of the love/hate relationships with social media. I’ve kind of put myself out there with sharing my workouts on Instagram or my weekly training on my blog. I try to be pretty transparent in regards to how I am training for each race.  And while I love the communication that I have with friends on Instagram and Twitter, there is always that nagging thought that everyone will know I skipped a run. It can be that extra push I need.

But I’ve also become okay with occasionally giving in and skipping a run if I really need or want to. At the end of the day, one run is not going to make or break my performance in Boston. Sometimes the extra rest is what my body or mind need. I am not a professional runner – this is not my job or my source of income. It’s a hobby and something I love to do. So, if there is a day or two where I really can’t convince myself to get moving, I don’t. I sleep in or stay in my pjs with my coffee or stay up late and have another glass of wine.

How do you deal with those days when you need the extra push out the door? Tweet @nycrunningmama and @womensrunning to share!

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7 Fitness Videos To Get You Cross-Training http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/7-fitness-videos-get-cross-training_35377 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/7-fitness-videos-get-cross-training_35377#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:26:39 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35377

Check out these workout videos that can be completed in the comfort of your own home.

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Check out these videos when you need a break from running. Or if the weather won’t cooperate and you aren’t up for the dreadmill. Or if you simply needed a little added strength training, core work or sweat-filled fun.

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/7-fitness-videos-get-cross-training_35377/feed 0 Ask The Coach: Compression Socks and Track Workouts http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/ask-coach-compression-socks-track-workouts_35487 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/ask-coach-compression-socks-track-workouts_35487#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:00:47 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35487

Do compression socks work? What to expect during a track workout? Our coach answers!

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NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training!

Q: How do I know if I should try compression socks and if they are even working?

It doesn’t matter how much or how little you run: If your legs ever feel sore or tired and heavy after a workout, give compression socks a try. Buy a pair that fits moderately tight. There are full socks and calf sleeves—both are good options.

Wear them during or after a run—or even to bed. You might not feel a dramatic difference, but many runners find that their legs recover faster with the help of the compression, which increases blood fl ow to the legs. Compression socks are also helpful during travel. Slip them on when you are flying or on a long car trip, and your legs may not feel as sluggish when you go for your run after all that sitting around. Plus, you can find them in every color from black and white to neon pink or green.

Related: Head To Toe Reflective Gear

Q: I’ve never been to a track workout, but I hear there’s one at the local high school once a week. What should I expect, and do I need to do any prep before showing up?

Every group does things a little differently but mostly likely you can expect some kind of an interval workout on the track. This means faster repetitions with rest in between. Find out if the group does a warm-up routine together or if you already should have stretched and completed an easy jog by the time the workout starts.

There will likely be runners of many different skill levels going at various paces. If it’s your fi rst time, be sure to join a pace group that is appropriate for your fitness so you’re not over your head. Remember, you are the boss of your body! Do as many or as few repetitions as you like. Be sure to perform an easy cool-down jog after the main part of the workout, so you aren’t too sore later on. Get into the groove and have some fun!

Related: Why You Should Hit The Track

Q: Is it a bad idea to run with my dog?

Before you grab Buster’s leash and head out the door for a run together, just be sure of a couple things: Pick a route where the trails and streets are wide and not crowded with people or cars. Also, know your dog. If Buster likes to pull on the leash during a walk, running with him might not be the best idea—you wouldn’t want him to start sprinting and drag you into a neighbor’s plants or, worse, a busy street! Start out with a shorter run to test Buster’s fitness and see if he matches your pace. You might find you have a new running buddy who never complains!

Related: 4 Tips For Running With Your Dog

Light Up Your Life

Now that it’s the middle of winter, it’s extra tough to get out from under the cozy covers to go for a run in the morning. Plus it’s still so dark! Be sure that cars see you and don’t leave the house without a light. There are many different styles of running lamps that you can wear on your head, around your waist as a belt or even gloves that have little lights on the knuckles so you can stay safe AND warm.
Try: Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp, $30

Have a question for Coach Kigar? Email editorial@womensrunnning.com or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #AsktheCoach.

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Apparel Brand Oiselle Opening First Retail Store This Summer http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/apparel-brand-oiselle-opening-first-retail-store-summer_35489 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/news/apparel-brand-oiselle-opening-first-retail-store-summer_35489#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:52:55 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35489

This will be the brand's flagship brick and mortar retail store opening in University Village in Seattle.

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This will be the brand’s flagship brick and mortar retail store opening in University Village in Seattle.

Seattle-based women’s athletic apparel brand Oiselle will open its first retail store this summer in University Village, just two miles from the brand’s headquarters. Katie Woodruff, Oiselle’s new Retail Operations Director, will lead “the flock” in the process, pulling expertise from her more than fifteen years of experience as a merchant, buyer and retail manager for leading businesses like Mellow Johnny’s, BettySport and a stint at Napa Running Company in California.

“I am incredibly excited to bring the brand and story of Oiselle to life in a beautiful retail environment,” says Woodruff. “Our vision is to create a place where customers can experience the fit and feel of our product but also to be a place where our friends, family and teammates can come together…it will be a hub for viewing big meets and races, having speakers, and being a place for local groups. Involving the community is the best way to build community.”

Formerly an online-only shop with a few pieces scattered throughout various running specialty locations, Oiselle aims to bring a first-hand, in-person experience to its customer and fans, with its candid, behind-the-scenes product information as well as innovative ways for customers to share their store visits that play to Oiselle’s strength in social media. The brand, which made some noise in the professional running space after signing marathoning sweetheart and Olympian Kara Goucher in March 2014 and Women’s Running elite blogger Stephanie Bruce last October, has 30K followers on Twitter. They continue to grow as a notable brand on the elite, sub-elite and age-group running scene.

“For a young company, this is a dream come true. I believe in brands and creating an immersive experience. A store is the ultimate opportunity to do that. In addition to product, it offers so much more in terms of sharing the sport we love. Our first and most important goal is to make this store perfect, but long-term, we see that this may be a stepping stone to multiple stores in key markets,” says Oiselle founder and CEO Sally Bergesen.

The Oiselle store product is design-oriented, technical workout apparel that is signature to the brand. Favorite design pieces, such as the Lux, deemed the “runner’s cashmere,” the Flyte wicking seamless collection and its newly minted and highly successful Wazzie Wool collection, will continue to be highlights, as will new outerwear, swimwear and the ever-popular running bottoms. In addition to the brand’s seasonal collections, there will be curated brands and companies that Oiselle supports and believes in.

The store will open in early summer (exact date to be determined)—Goucher, Bruce, two-time USA champion Lauren Fleshman and top U.S. hammer thrower Britney Henry will all be present to celebrate the occasion.

 

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4 Ways to Start Burning Fat Right Now http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/4-ways-start-burning-fat-right-now_35481 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/4-ways-start-burning-fat-right-now_35481#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:45:51 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35481

These 4 tips can lead to a healthier you!

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*Content courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness

While the concept of burning fat might feel elusive, reaching your goals could be easier than you think. Boosting your metabolism plays an essential role in the process, and these techniques are all specifically linked to burning fat.

Go for the big burn: When it comes to the workout that truly blasts the most fat, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., puts it simply: “To burn more fat, burn more calories.” Your lengthy leisurely walk or restorative yoga class is a great start, but they’re not necessarily going to help you take off weight. If you’re not sure where to start, then check out these exercises that burn the most calories in 15 minutes to have an idea of what you should be looking for when choosing a new workout.

Drink green tea: Green tea does more than calm you down and prevent sickness. According to a study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking tea may have fat-fighting effects. The combination of green tea’s high content of caffeine and catechins stops the body from absorbing carbohydrates and helps burn more fat. The warm weather doesn’t suit a hot cup of tea, so enjoy green tea’s benefits in this refreshing iced green tea cooler. The addition of citrus ups the antioxidants in your cup and gives the drink a pleasant flavor.

Stand up: We’ve heard the claims that sitting is just as bad as smoking, and your 9-to-5 gig might also be hindering your body’s ability to burn fat. Scientists have determined that after an hour or more of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in the body declines by as much as 90 percent. Stand up for a stretch break, or take a brisk walk outside — do whatever you can to get up and help your body out of your chair.

Work out with intervals: Not only are intervals awesome for breaking up the monotony of a long workout, but also, a study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that women who for 20 minutes alternated cycling as fast as possible for eight seconds with 12-second rest periods dropped 9.5 percent of their belly fat, while those who cycled steadily for 40 minutes gained. But alternating between periods of pushing your body to the max with rest periods does more than burn belly fat. In another study from the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers found that periods of intense cardio can fire up certain genes that initiate the fat-burning process. Try this one-hour walk-run interval playlist for the treadmill or an outdoor run. Or if the elliptical is more your speed, then get moving with this 35-minute plan.

Related Articles:
A 5-Minute Do-Anywhere Butt Workout
These May Look Like Regular Ice Cubes, but They’re Not
5 Weird Weight-Loss Tricks That Work
A 25-Minute Treadmill Workout to Help You Become Your Strongest, Fastest Self
Cheaper Than Sleeping Pills: Drift to Sleep Naturally

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Eat Pray Run DC: What I Actually Eat http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-actually-eat_35476 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-actually-eat_35476#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:51:07 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35476

Sometimes after a race nutrition = all the food!

Courtney takes us through a day in the life of her meals and fuel!

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Sometimes after a race nutrition = all the food!

Leesburg20KCourtneyJulie

Sometimes after a race nutrition = all the food!

I have been thinking a lot about diet and nutrition lately, so I thought I’d do a fun post sharing what I eat in a typical day. I’m somewhat a creature of habit and have a number of go to recipes. I believe in eating real foods, eating a varied diet and not being afraid to treat myself. I don’t follow any particular diet or method of eating. No paleo, vegan, or whole30 for this gal. I think folks should make decisions on food based on what is right for them. So, with that being said, here’s what I’m eating on a typical day:

Breakfast: I work from home and usually start my day with a cup of hot tea, a big water bottle and either a Larabar or oatmeal. If we have fresh fruit (it goes quickly in our house), I’ll usually have some as well. If I run early in the morning, breakfast tends to be more substantial— oatmeal with fruit on the side rather than just a Larabar.

Lunch: I love lunch. I get to take a break from work. Typically I will make a sandwich on whole wheat bread— usually something with mozzarella, tomato and spinach. For my side item, I will air pop some popcorn, sprinkled with a bit of salt and pepper. I’ll often treat myself to a Coke Zero as well. (I can’t give them up and at this point, so I’ve stopped trying!) Depending on the day, I can often have leftovers from the previous nights dinner for lunch. Especially if there is only a bit of food leftover (i.e. not enough that my husband would consider it a meal).

Dinner: I try to make three different dinners throughout the week. Since I usually eat a sandwich for lunch, I’ve been trying to make dinner protein focused rather than something like pasta. I may make roasted salmon with kale and sweet potatoes or cook chicken cooked in my crockpot with a side salad. I try to keep dinner simple and delicious. I generally don’t spend more than 30 minutes cooking dinner during the week.

Snacks: I love snacks and will usually have at least one per day. My snacks range from fruit to a Larabar to popcorn to (last week) a cupcake. I may also add in a snack depending on my workout schedule. Some days I will both run and go to a Pure Barre class. On those days I usually need a bit extra fuel.

Of course, I’m not a doctor nor am I a dietitian, so please don’t take any of this as advice about what you should eat. I just do my best to make healthful meals for my family that taste great and don’t require me to spend hours in the kitchen.

What’s a typical day of eating look like for you? Tweet @eatprayrundc and @womensrunning to take us through an eating day in your life.

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Reader Run Brag Gallery 02/23/2014 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-02232014_35390 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-02232014_35390#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:02:09 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35390

From 5k's to marathons to even snow shoe runs, our readers have been racing everywhere!

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We love to celebrate the accomplishments of our Women’s Running readers. Take a look at the latest gallery of #runbrag photos from our favorite run girls – YOU!

Want to be featured in a future Women’s Running Reader Run Brag gallery? Email your weekend race photos to runbrag@womensrunning.com for a chance to be included, or tweet us @WomensRunning using  #runbrag.

*You must own all rights to submitted photos. 

CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR READER RUN BRAG GALLERIES HERE!

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-02232014_35390/feed 0 Mastering the Pullup in 4 Steps http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/mastering-pullup-4-steps_35369 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/training-tips/mastering-pullup-4-steps_35369#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:06:45 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35369

Look like a badass in the gym when you perfect your pullup!

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Exercises like pullups, pushups and planks are bucket-list worthy exercises for two reasons. First: They’re %$*&ing hard. Second: They require strength in muscle groups often weak in female runners—arms, core and back. Although these moves are tough, they’re not impossible. And like anything in life, if you put in the work, you will receive a great return. So, are you ready to accept the challenge?

We’ve covered how to master the push up and how to perfect your plank. Now we’ll share 4 steps to performing a pullup!

It is important that you don’t exhaust yourself in the gym by trying these exercises over and over again. Focus on the step-by-step training a few days a week to help you develop the appropriate amount of strength to master each stage of the pull up with good form.

Before you know it, you’ll be the badass chick at the gym busting out moves on the pullup bar.

Master The Pullup

Why? Pullups exemplify power and require extraordinary upper-body strength. Plus, they make for a sweet party trick!
Your challenge: Perform 1 unassisted pullup.

FREQUENCY
Complete these exercises every 2 to 3 days so your runs don’t suffer from full-body fatigue.

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Hungry Runner Girl: Things That Only Runners Understand http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-things-runners-understand_35364 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-things-runners-understand_35364#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:19:30 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=35364

Runners are a unique breed. Janae lists a few traits that only runners will relate with.

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janae crazy runners

Last week a non-runner asked me what I was planning to do for my 29th birthday. I replied that all I really wanted for my birthday was to go on a long run with my running friends. This non-runner questioned why sweating for a few hours while pounding out 16 miles was my idea of the perfect birthday. I told him that there is no better way to start the next year of your life than creating large amounts of endorphins, exploring your city on foot and having great conversations with your running pals.

This friend of mine reminded me once again that we runners really are an interesting group of people.

I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the things runners do that probably seem a little bit odd to most other people.

We plan our vacations around races.  Run-cations are the best.

If you are a morning runner, we choose running over more sleep without even thinking twice about it.

We post our runfies (selfie taken while running or right after a run) pictures of our shoes and Garmin all over social media. Other runners like it!

We drop $100 on a pair of running shoes that are only going to last us about 300-500 miles and we get really excited about it. Those first few runs with a new pair of shoes really feel like you are running on clouds.

We take a big cylinder of hard foam (foam rollers) and torture our muscles with it in order to help us recover quickly and prevent injuries. All so we can get back out there and run hard again.

To go along with the above foam torture, we sometimes sit in a tub of ice water after a long or hard run. Nothing like taking an ice bath after finishing our weekend long run. That has to seem a little bit odd to the general population. :)

When you get a bunch of runners together, we can talk about splits, races, workouts, training and runner’s nutrition for hours and hours.

We pay money (and sometimes a lot of money) to go run a lot of miles with a bunch of strangers in a race.

We spend time outdoors running during extreme weather conditions when we should be inside. I always wonder what people in cars are thinking when they drive by me while I am out running during a blizzard.

We sometimes run on a human hamster wheel (treadmill) in order to get in our run.

When we travel, the first thing we pack are running shoes.

We know exactly where our IT bands, piriformis, achilles and plantar fascia are located. We cross our fingers that those areas never flare up.

If we are into relays, we choose to sit in a van with a bunch of other sweaty runners over the course of a few days and miss out on a lot of sleep to switch off running miles and miles.

Towards the end of a training cycle, when we are tapering and running fewer miles for our long run, we say things like, “I am JUST running 8 miles on Saturday.” Just and 8 miles don’t belong in the same sentence if you think about it!

We spend money on Gu gels and other runner’s fuel. It’s bizarre because these packets of energy really don’t taste good (except for the Salted Caramel one).

We are frustrated and grumpy when we are forced to sleep in, take it easy and miss some of our runs because of a running injury.

Just a few miles out on the road can change our entire perspective about things, put us in a much better mood and help us to feel more gratitude.

The things we do to run may sound a little bit strange to non-runners but I’m ok with it. I really like running and runners.

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