Bad Habits

When I started running a few years ago, I didn’t read up on it or look into proper techniques. I mean, it’s just running, right? How much could really be involved? Turns out I was super wrong. While running short distances is no problem, when you get into longer runs, bad habits will really come back to bite you. I’m currently recovering from an IT Band strain and can’t run more than a few miles, as an example. I thought I’d share a few of the good habits I’ve started, so hopefully you can avoid the same mistakes I made.

1. Drink Water. I know this sounds simple, but up until a year ago, I used very little water on my runs. I didn’t even own a hand carried water bottle when I trained for my first half marathon. Granted I still don’t use one on short runs, but anything 8 miles or more? You bet I’m grabbing my water bottle (or belt!).

2. Use energy gel. Whether it’s in goo or chew form, use them. I thought it sounded ridiculous at first, but it made a huge difference. I don’t feel like I want to die when I finish a long run anymore, which is pretty great. Plus they give you that nice boost at the end to keep pushing for those last few miles.

3. Stretch! This is what led to my current injury. I never stretched or foam rolled my legs after a run, and apparently when you’re training for a marathon and running 15 miles or more every other weekend, this is really a bad idea. I’ve started foam rolling ever since, and it makes my legs feel a thousand times better. It literally takes 5 minutes, and should be done after any long run.

4. Find a training program. When I ran my first half marathon, I just winged it and ran whatever I felt like on my training runs. It wasn’t the end of the world and I did finish it, but once again, it could have been a whole lot easier. I discovered this during my second half marathon in which I used one. There are a whole bunch of training programs out there, so take your pick! I use (and enjoy!) the ones by Hal Higdon.

There you have it. Four simple things that will make your running life a lot better. If I could go back in time, I’d start doing these things from the beginning so I could avoid the current injury I’m dealing with.


Thanks to Emily for encouraging me to make these changes!

The miles only go up

For the last 7 weeks I’ve been training for my first marathon using Hal Higdon’s Marathon Novice 2 guide, and last Saturday was set as a 14 mile run. I have never run farther than a half marathon (13.1 miles) so it was a little worrisome when I first thought about it. I say ‘a little’ because after running thirteen, I couldn’t imagine one more mile being that big of a deal. The distance bothered me a lot less when I thought about in that way. I really lucked out with the weather as it was an unseasonably warm 43° and the sun was out, which made for excellent running conditions.

I’m now going to share with you the bane of my running existence: keeping a slower pace during long runs. My legs always instinctively want to run as fast as I can, and I’m terrible at remembering to slow myself down. The one thing that has truly helped in this department is the GPS watch Emily got me last year. It’s pretty sweet. It beeps every mile and displays my current pace, which I can then adjust accordingly. Granted I still end up running faster than I should at times, but at least it’s getting better.

Noteworthy items from the run:

  • I used my water belt for the first time! It was rough going at first as it kept slipping down on me, but once I got it adjusted properly, it was great!
  • People need to clean up after their dogs better. There was dog poop all over the trail. It was like running through a mine field. A really disgusting mine field.
  • My legs and knees didn’t bother me until after mile 10 which is better than normal. This is extra great as I actually got to enjoy the majority of run.
  • I used two packets of Hüma for the first time. It was odd not to be eating it at the turn around point and using them a little earlier. (Strawberry & Chocolate for the win!)
  • I entertained myself by quoting movie lines along the way. Star Trek and Star Wars were the most used by far.
  • I had to stop because of traffic about a tenth of a mile from the finish and I immediately realized I couldn’t stop for long or my legs were not going to start again. It was amusing and made me laugh.


 (Picture courtesy of previously mentioned sweet GPS watch)

Overall, I’m really pleased with with my pace and performance during the run. Add in the fact I had never run that far before, and I’m going to put in the ‘Win’ column with a gold star.

My legs have been aching a lot the last two days, but it was totally worth it. Plus the distance only increases, so I suppose I better get used to it. Either that or Emily will smother me with a pillow from all the complaining. (Haha!)

Here’s to the 15 mile run next Saturday! Cheers!


Running in a Winter-Spring Wonderland

Woke up this morning and had an early breakfast with my mom at Emilio’s, a very delicious restaurant with friendly owners I have blogged about before. Had my carbo load of pancakes and caught up on things before heading home for my run.

Emily Run - 02-07-2015

This April I will be running a half marathon and am gearing up to run my speediest half. Today was a slow, long distance run and it was a great day to do it. Weather was perfect–40°Fs and sunny. It was interesting to run when it felt like spring yet still looked like winter from our previous snow shower a few days ago. Either way, it was great to be back out running in shorts.


The boyfriend and I are watching Chuck on Netflix, a series I loved watching and one he’s never seen before. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Chuck is about a 20-something guy who is a ‘drop-out’ of Stanford college and ends up having all of the government secrets locked in his brain. When the government finds out, they have their top spies bodyguard him while dealing with their own missions. And Chuck can’t help but get involved.

This evening we’re going to continue enjoying the weather by grilling out with my dad. Bratwurst and beer… We are obviously wishing for summer to be here.Only 133 days to go.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin