Why Running Isn’t Boring

Hey friends, happy Friday!

So as I’ve mentioned this before, but I work with a lot of very active, health-conscious folks. They’re into hiking, rock-climbing, boot camp, you name it! Most of them like to run, but for the most part, they aren’t into distance running.

Why Running Isn't Boring | 2 Generations Running

The expressions I get when I tell them I’ve gone and signed up for another half or full marathon are priceless.

Eye Roll | 2 Generations Running“Ugh, why would you do that to yourself? It’s so masochistic” 

“That sounds so boring

Boring is actually the word I get a lot. Maybe that’s a function of being in the OCR industry – a lot of OCR athletes prefer obstacle course racing because they see the obstacles as breaking up the monotony of a run. And I get where they’re coming from. Just plain old running by yourself with nothing but your thoughts for hours on end? It sounds boring. But it’s not – not if you’re doing it right.

I think what has really hooked me on running is the goal to be constantly improving on my last race. And once you have that goal that you’re fixated on and training towards, there are suddenly so many variables, so many schools of thought, and so many training plans, that how can you be bored? It’s this big experiment, and you’re both scientist and lab rat. Your variables include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Nutrition (both your pre-run breakfast as well as your overall nutrition)
  • Distance
    • Training for a 5k looks very different than training for a marathon, but both can be incredibly challenging depending on your goals.
  • Training Plan (custom, Hansons, Hal Higdon, Runners World, etc…)
    • Once you have your training plan, there’s even more variables, like speedwork, hills, long runs, and tempo runs. Hopefully, a good training plan will give you direction on how to control these things.
    • Having a coach – another variable, but also a source of control over the variables of the training runs.
  • Shoes
    • Minimalist or heavy cushioning or somewhere in between?
  • Stretching
  • Foam-rolling
  • Gear! For example, there are a THOUSAND different types of GPS watches as well as many different types of compression socks/sleeves. Both types of products are designed to be used to make better runners.
  • Fuel (like GU or Honeystingers)
  • Life. Because like it or not, it sometimes gets in the way. 😉

Maybe I was a crazed scientist in another life, but a big part of me needs to keep playing with these variables until I reach my peak performance. And with this many variables, I could be experimenting for a long time. But that’s part of the thrill for me – I’m not in this for quick results, just steady improvement, however incremental that may be. It’s this mindset that has led me from a 2:12 half marathon (4 years ago) to a 1:45 half marathon and from a 4:36 marathon to a 3:57 – and I know there is SO much more I can do to get faster as long as I continue to run.

Runners World Classic Review 2016(Happy days when you score an age group win and a new pint glass!)

And if I get “bored” with marathons and half marathons, well then maybe I’ll start training for a crazy fast 5k. 🙂 That is actually what I am hoping to do once I’ve adequately recovered from Baystate in 2 weeks. See, it’s kind of hard to get bored when there are so many races to run and PRs to set!

So that’s my little rant about why running isn’t boring – I’ll get off my soapbox now. 🙂

Have you been told running is boring before?


Delaware Marathon: Reflections Part 1

Hey there, I’m back!

I had to go on a quick work trip shortly after I posted my recap, but I’m home now and I think I’ve fully digested the experience that was Delaware.

Delaware Marathon Race RecapCharissa brought up the good question of my fueling/nutrition during the race, which I had completely skimmed over (to keep the post from getting excessively long). My intended strategy for the marathon was:

  • 4 GUs at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20 (I had chocolate coconut, vanilla, espresso love, and caramel machiato flavors).
  • Drink water/Gatorade at almost every aid station (I wasn’t carrying water).
  • Hydrate well the day before (I think my mom and I did this).
  • Have a big, hearty lunch with a good balance of carbs and protein the day before and a lighter dinner that’s low on fiber.
  • My pre-race breakfast was a GF bagel with almond butter and jam and half a banana.

Everything went according to plan up until around mile 20. I had done my GU’s almost as scheduled, with a little variation to try to do them closer to water stops so that I’d be able to wash them down. Those things really stick to your mouth on a hot, dry day.

Around mile 20 was when I started feeling pretty horrible. I tend to think of myself as having an iron stomach (which is generally true), but I was feeling pretty queasy by this part of the race. I went to do my last GU and immediately felt my stomach say no no no. I held onto it for probably around a mile, hoping to try to suck it down slowly, but I just couldn’t. I tried to decide which would be worse – to do the GU and possibly throw up (seemed like a definite risk) OR to completely skip it and try to get some calories from Gatorade at the water stops. After a while, I decided to go the Gatorade route.

Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t fuel at mile 20, the spot where my glycogen reserves would have been the most depleted and where I needed it the most. Is it seriously any surprise that from mile 20 on, my splits were almost a minute slower than what I’d been averaging the rest of the race? Yes, part of that was probably the heat, but I can’t help but wonder if things might have looked a little different if my fueling had been better for that final 10k.

I think I need to experiment with this before my next marathon. I learned that doing 5 GUs in the span of 4 hours might just not be right for my body. In the future, I might try some salt tablets as well. I do tend to sweat a lot, so I think those could be helpful.

All in all, I think the race was a good reminder for me that while I’ve been running for years and am very experienced at the half marathon distance, the marathon is a whole different animal. My first marathon was 2 years ago and I really wasn’t racing that one with the competitive spirit that I approached Delaware with. There was never much of a chance that I was going to master something as difficult as a marathon on a second attempt, but that’s part of the thrill. Now, I have years and many marathons to look forward to PR-ing in. 🙂

So like the crazy runner I am – I’m happy with my 3:57 – but already thinking about how I can improve on that. 🙂 Once my toenails heal of course.


The Boston Marathon is Almost Here!!!

Yes, the Boston Marathon is on Monday and I am so excited, you’d think I was actually running it! 🙂

Run BostonI love that I’m lucky enough to live and work in the city that hosts the most iconic marathon in the whole world. Last year, I got to work and help with the planning of the expo for the Boston Marathon, as part of an internship I was doing. It was so cool experiencing things from the inside, and this year, I’m looking forward to attending the expo just for fun!

Boston Marathon ExpoI’ve seen a decent number of expos by this point, but the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo puts them all to shame. The atmosphere just crackles with love for running at this event.

I would say it was being at the expo last year that really planted the seed of someday running Boston in my mind. Before, it just seemed like an abstract concept – a race that was for people wayyy faster than I could ever hope to be. But I love that the sport of running has this race that the everyday runner can aspire to. It’s pretty unique. For most other sports, there really isn’t much to strive for if you aren’t at a professional level. Less than a millionth of a percent of people get to go to the Olympics (Seriously. I looked it up.) As impossible as the Boston qualifying standards seem sometimes, the odds are obviously way better than the a millionth of a percent. So what I’m getting at with this rambling post is that, we as runners are lucky. There are a lot of amazing things about the sport – and Boston is one of them. It’s not just a marathon. It’s a goal that thousands of people are striving for at any given time. The journey of achieving that BQ is an odyssey for every runner who sets their sights on Boston. Personally, I know I am only at the beginning of this odyssey. It could take me a long, long time and cost me toenails, blisters, and many aching muscles to ever achieve this goal (and that’s assuming I’m one of the lucky ones who actually does manage to BQ).

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Boston Marathon Expo | 2 Generations RunningBest of luck to all the runners who will be taking on Boston next Monday! Congrats on all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears you poured into your training. 

 


Songs that Are Secretly About Running (At least to Me)

Happy almost end of the week everyone!

I posted on Monday about some of the issues I’ve been having with training lately. After the weekend, I was not in a great place mentally with Delaware. I was pretty much ready to say I would never run another marathon (almost). I’m happy to report things have been going much better this week.

I’ll talk about it more later, but the biggest confidence boost for me was doing a mile repeat workout on Wednesday morning of 4 x 1 mile, for a total of 9 miles (with warm-up and cooldown). I was nervous about this workout with all the ankle/shin issues I’ve been having, but I decided to give it a try early in the morning before work (I knew I would not want to run 9 miles at the end of the day). I hit my goal splits and got the whole 9 miles done, all before 7 am. I was psyched.

In keeping with the theme of positive momentum, I thought I would share some of the songs that are favorites of mine in my marathon training playlist today. I know if you actually asked the artists of these songs what they are about, they (probably) wouldn’t say running. But I’m choosing to reinterpret for my own purposes. 🙂

Songs that Are Secretly about Running | 2 Generations Running

“Me, Myself, and I” – G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha

Oh, it’s just me, myself and I –> perfectly exemplifies the solo training run
Solo ride until I die
‘Cause I got me for life…
Oh I don’t need a hand to hold
Even when the night is cold –> SO many cold runs with marathon training through the winter!
I got that fire in my soul –> What keeps you going when it gets hard

“Monster” – Imagine Dragons

I’m only a man with a candle to guide me
I’m taking a stand to escape what’s inside me –> When you run to release that ball of stress that forms over the course of a week
A monster, a monster
I’ve turned into a monster –> A really, really fast monster.
A monster, a monster
And it keeps getting stronger –> When you have that feeling that you’re getting stronger the longer you run

“Till I Collapse” – Eminem

‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak
And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse
                                            –> I think this whole verse demonstrates Eminem must be a                                                                            marathoner.
My demons are begging me to open up my mouth
I need them, mechanically make the words come out
They fight me, vigorous and angry, watch them pounce
Ignite me, licking at the flames they bring about…
   –> There will always be demons whispering in your ear to slow down, telling you that you’re not fast enough, or that you’ll never reach your goals.
Hold me down, hold me down
Sneaking out the back door,
Make no sound
Knock me out, knock me out
Saying that I want more, this is what I live for
      –> Super dark? Yes. But there is something about running while listening to this song that      makes me feel like I’m kicking those demons’ a$$es. 
Alive – Sia
I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go –> Mile 20 of a marathon.
Where the wind don’t change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you’re taught to cry into your pillow –> Yep, there’s usually a point in the marathon where you just want to cry into a pillow.
But I survived
I’m still breathing
I’m alive.
I found solace in the strangest place
Way in the back of my mind –> That place you go in your mind when your legs start to ache and your lungs burn. 
I saw my life in a stranger’s face
And it was mine.
I just love song lyrics. I used to be really into poetry when I was younger, and I think that’s translated over into being really attentive to the words and messages of songs now. What are your go-to motivational songs (for running or just for life in general!)? What makes them special to you? Any recommendations for my marathon playlist?

The Structure of Training

Hey guys, hope you’re having a good week so far!

As I enter the 4th week of training for Delaware, I find myself marveling at just how much fun I am having with running right now. This kind of confused me for a second. After all, marathon training is tough on the body and mind. I’ve been waking up just after 5 am three days a week to get my runs in before work. My weekends have been structured around my long runs, and making sure I get to bed early enough to feel fresh for them.

Sounds like fun, right!?

Jennifer Lawrence GIF But so far, I kind of love it. I actually really look forward to my long runs. I don’t know how I’ll be feeling 12 weeks from now, but right now I’m just soaking up the adventure and the challenge of finally having a goal that’s simultaneously thrilling and terrifying.

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of what sets your soul on fire | 2 Generations Running(Love this saying.)

It’s been a really long time since I actually followed a structured training plan. After running 10+ half marathons, I kind of figured out the lazy way to train – as long as I kept up a long run of 10 or so miles on the weekends, and maybe a little mileage here and there during the week, I knew I could complete 13.1 miles. It worked pretty well for me. On a cold day with a flat course, I was even able to run a PR on that system (the Baystate Half). But it also meant, that I developed a sort of lackadaisical approach to running. If I was tired during the week or had a long day at work, I just wouldn’t run. Any runner or coach will tell you, mileage matters. So I really wasn’t doing myself any favors. I still enjoyed running, but without something to really work for, it was easy to make excuses to skip it.

I’m loving the structure of finally following a training plan again. Now, when I think about going back to sleep when my alarm goes off (because of course, it’s still tempting), I can’t do it. I want to do everything in my power to run my best race on May 8th, and if I skip a run, it’s only making my goal that much more improbable.

I don’t know what will happen on race day and there are a ton of factors outside of my control. With a race that’s 26.2 miles, there’s a lot of time for things to go wrong. But maybe, things will go right and all the training will pay off.

I’m going to keep running as if there isn’t a maybe in the equation.

 


Friday 5: My Top 5 Bucket List Races

Ah, look at me posting so diligently this week! I think the marathon training must have me just hyped up about running, blogging, and LIFE IN GENERAL! 

So Excited | 2 Generations RunningHopefully not though.

Anyways, I was thinking it was about time I got back to participating in the Friday Five Link-Up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia. As it would happen, this week is a “Free” week – so basically, I get to pick the theme! In keeping with my current mood (i.e., super jazzed about running),  I thought I would share my 5 bucket list races. I don’t know when these races are going to happen, all I know is that I NEED to race them someday (probably after I win the lottery or something and have tons of money to spend on race entry fees.)

  1. The Boston Marathon. I think this one almost goes without saying and I’ve documented my dream of running Boston someday on the blog before. It’s the biggest marathon there is in the running community and there is something almost odyssey-like about the quest to run a BQ. Top 5 Bucket List Races | 2 Generations Running
  2. The Chicago Marathon. I watched the documentary, Spirit of the Marathonright before I ran one of my very first half marathons and I was almost entranced I found it so inspiring. The movie follows the training of a group of 5 runners preparing for the Chicago Marathon – a group ranging from an elite (Deena Kastor) to a 1st time marathoner. If you are a runner and haven’t seen Spirit of the Marathon yet, you seriously need to check it out. From the moment I watched the movie, I knew Chicago was a race I would want to run (at some point).
  3. The Philadelphia Marathon (or Half Marathon). Philadelphia has always seemed like one of those super cool cities and a fantastic place to visit for a race. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful course with plenty of crowd support (just like Boston and Chicago). Maybe these big races just appeal to me because most of the races I’ve done have been on the smaller side? I don’t know, but either way Philly is on the list.
  4. California International Marathon. CIM only recently got on my radar after hearing Amanda Nurse, a guest on the Running on Om podcast talk about her successful attempt to qualify for the Olympic trials there. Amanda ran her first marathon in 3:26 but was able to carve her times down to her current 2:40 marathon PR. It was so incredible listening to her talk about her running journey on the podcast and it just made me really want to also run this race someday!
  5. Grandma’s Marathon (Duluth, MN). I figured it was probably worth including one smaller race in this list, and Grandma‘s has always seemed like an awesome race to me. I remember seeing Alison’s photos on her blog from when she ran the race and thinking it looked absolutely beautiful with much of the course along Lake Superior. I’m pretty sure I want this to be our Minnesota race when my mom and I look to cross off that state!

So there you go! A lot of miles and fun packed into those 5 races. And who knows, maybe I’ll end up crossing one of these off my list in 2016! 🙂

Friday 5 Link-Up

Make sure to check out the link-up to for other fun posts!

If you had to pick one top race to run, what would it be? Have you ever run any of these races? How were they? 


Goals for the Marathon Training Cycle

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I hope to get out of this marathon training cycle. Obviously, I have a time goal in mind for May, but that is months and months away. I also don’t want to feel like my success is 100% contingent upon achieving that specific time because I know there are factors COMPLETELY outside my control (the weather for example) that will play a huge role in whether or not I hit my fastest times. Yes, the time goal is probably my main focus, but I want there to be other criteria where I can step back and feel proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Since I am only just beginning the 16 week plan, I thought it would be good for me to lay out what those other goals are.

Goals for the Marathon Training Cycle | 2 Generations Running

  1. Run some new half marathon PRs along the way to Delaware. I was able to run my current half marathon PR at Baystate off of pretty low mileage and what can only be described as less than structured training. But I felt fantastic during that whole race. Looking back, I wonder if I felt a little too fantastic. I think I might have left a little too much gas in the tank and I’m looking forward to being even more aggressive at the Augusta Half Marathon in February. I’m also considering signing up for a local half marathon the weekend of my birthday in March as a little birthday present to myself. My plan would be to use that as a hard tempo run for Delaware (and if there’s a PR involved in that, even better).
  2. Run higher mileage (but stay healthy). I feel like I’ve beat this to death on the blog, but getting injured while training for the Rochester Marathon was horrible. While I was still able to run the race, missing so many long runs definitely had a negative impact on my performance, and it was not a pretty race. The plan I am following has me running higher mileage than I would typically be running this time of year, but I’m hoping my body will be able to handle it. I’m going to do my best to keep everything running smoothly (pun intended) by getting back to stretching and foam rolling, even if it’s only for 5 minutes when I get back from a run. I’m also really focusing on core work as part of my cross training.
  3. Improve my nutrition. Like pretty much everyone else, I probably ate a few too many cookies and desserts during the holiday season. But, I’m getting this under control again. After reading some positive reviews online, I picked up the Paleo Diet for Athletes, which I’ve really been enjoying. The recipes are pretty basic, but that’s good for me since I’m limited in the amount of time I have for cooking. I’m not going strict paleo, but I am trying to reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates I eat (i.e., pastas, bread, crackers, etc…) Instead, I’ve been eating A LOT of sweet potatoes as a way to get the carbs in that I’ll need for running.
  4. Squeeze in as many runs as I can while traveling for work. I have a lot of work trips coming up in the next few months, some for as short as 3 days at a time, some for up to a week. The hours on these trips won’t be the standard 9-5 either. Instead, I’ll be waking up very early and finishing late in the afternoon or evening. I know I will be tempted to skip runs, but I am going to do the best I can to not let these trips derail my training. If the hotels have treadmills, you can bet your a$$ I’ll be getting up at 4:30 am to get my run in. It would be too easy to use my job as an excuse for missing runs, and I care too much about the end product to let that happen.
  5. Avoid marathon burnout. Yes, I know this goal is far less concrete than the others, but I think it’s important. Right now, my motivation is literally off the charts. If there was some way I could run a marathon tomorrow, I think I would do it (though I doubt it would be advisable.) I don’t want to lose this feeling of excitement. I’m hoping by keeping up reading my favorite running blogs (and maintaining this one of course!), listening to my favorite running podcasts, and by watching the Olympic Trials (the LA marathon on February 13th) that my motivation will stay where it is, if not grow.

It’s going to be a challenging 16 weeks, but I’m ready for it. 🙂


Marathon Fever

So, I hinted in previous posts that I was wrestling with a difficult running decision lately – to run a spring marathon or not to run a spring marathon. That is the question.

Well, I think this past weekend may have been a turning point (and not just for me). Let me back up a little first though. Saturday, I decided to go out and run long again after my success running 9 miles at the Mill Cities Relay last week.

Mill Cities Relay 2015 Race ReccapI decided to aim for 9 miles again, and I threw in a few challenging hill repeats along the way. My average pace was generally around 8:30/mile, with some slower splits on the miles with the hills and on my warm-up/cool-down miles, so I was pretty pleased with the effort. I’m still slightly in shock that I’m in a place where I can run sub-9 minute miles consistently over a long run. Part of me wants to keep building on this and see just how far I can get. And then part of me says, But what about the snow/ice/freezing temps that have GOT TO BE coming eventually? So, that’s been the root of my indecision I guess – the practical part of my brain arguing with the crazy idealist in me.

After my morning run on Saturday, I went home so that I could go to our running club’s holiday brunch run the next day. It’s always a well-attended event because this is when our club awards 2 runners waivers for entry into the Boston Marathon (the BAA sends our club 2 entries as a thank you for promoting running in the New England area.) You have to apply for the waivers and my mom and I had not applied, so we knew we weren’t going to get it, but we still wanted to go and support the club. Watching the waivers being awarded got me really excited. And now, I have to admit something (even though it’s kind of terrifying) – I really want to run the Boston Marathon someday. (and I want to do it by qualifying.)

Boston Marathon My mom’s marathon time at Baystate this fall was great – she beat her previous time by 30 minutes, and now she is only 16 minutes off the BQ time needed for her age group. I KNOW with the right conditions she can get it. I’ve only run the one marathon (the Rochester Marathon), and my time there is WAY OFF where it would have to be for me to qualify for Boston.

Rochester Marathon | 2 Generations RunningBut, I really don’t think that first marathon reflects where I’m at with running now. When I ran my first marathon, I was coming off an injury and I was just not running the paces that I’ve routinely been hitting lately. If Baystate is any indication, I think I could go sub-4 in a marathon now. And maybe, (and that’s a very strong maybe) with the right course and conditions, I could qualify for Boston. I know some runners work on this goal their whole life and don’t qualify, and so it’s incredibly nerve wracking to admit that this is something I want. But I also like a challenge. I’ve never been the type of person to just enjoy coasting by. And since I’ve moved to the Boston area, it just feels like fate. How can I live in the city that hosts the world’s premiere marathon, and NOT at least try to run it?

So, I *think* my mom and I will be signing up for a spring marathon. We’ve been scouting some potential options and looking for where we can get some new states crossed off. Nothing is finalized, but I think we both caught the marathon fever this weekend. One thing’s for sure, if we do end up registering for a spring marathon, you’ll be hearing about it on the blog!

Good thing I asked for a thousand running-related gifts for Christmas.

How was your weekend? Have you ever had a HUGE goal that you didn’t know whether you would actually be able to achieve?

 

 


What I do all Day… [A Look at My Job]

First off, I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday and are just about recovered from your food comas.

Food Coma GIF | 2 Generations RunningIt happens to all of us, even cats.

Although it is not holiday-related at all, I’ve been meaning to share this post for a while now and the timing just worked out this week, so let’s take a break from talking about turkey and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and talk about me.

2 Generations RunningLOL, I hope that everyone realizes that that’s a joke… I usually feel pretty awkward talking about myself, but I figure there’s a time and a place for it.

Like now that I’ve been at my job for just about 6 months (Where does the time go???)

In case you’re in the dark about what it is that I actually do, I plan races [Just as a note, I tend to try to avoid sharing too many personal details on this blog because there are crazies out there in the world – you can never be too careful!].

Crazy PeopleBut seriously, I go to work and think about running and races, and then I come home and blog about running and races. It’s so funny for me to think back to that first half marathon my mom talked me into in 2012. It quite literally changed my life.

10 Reasons Why the Half Marathon is Where It's At | 2 Generations Running(Throwback pic to a previous post)

See, I always wanted a career where I would feel like I was helping people. The crazy idealist in me wanted to change the world, even if it was in some small way. When I was in high school, I thought I was going to be a lawyer (one of the good guys, like the lawyers that you root for on Law and Order).

Law and Order GIF Then in college, I decided to study psychology. It fascinated me and I figured I could become a psychologist and still help people with their problems. I LOVED all my psych classes in college, but the more I learned about clinical psychology, the more I realized that AGAIN, this might not be the right fit career-wise. I didn’t know what I was going to do, which stressed me out to no end, even as a sophomore with 2 years of school left (or really 1 and a half years as it turned out). Living without a plan made me very uncomfortable (maybe this was my first hint at my future career!).

I don't Know What I'm going to do with my life | 2 Generations RunningMy thoughts exactly.

And then I fell in love with races. (And I do mean races, not running. The love for running came later, but the excitement of race mornings caught me hook, line, and sinker right from the very first half marathon). There was no instant epiphany for me, but slowly I began to play with the idea that if I enjoyed running races so much, then maybe being involved in putting on races would be a career I could enjoy. And I would STILL get to help people, albeit in a very different way from an attorney or psychologist. I still remember what Dave McGillivray (race director of the Boston Marathon) said during a Q&A at the Falmouth Road Race (when describing what he said to people about his job when compared to his siblings who were doctors).

2015 New Balance Falmouth Road Race“Yes, I’m a race director. I put on events and am responsible for raising the self-esteem and confidence of thousands of people.” I’m sure I don’t have the exact words right, but the sentiment struck me and has remained with me to this day.

After volunteering at countless races and jumping at any and every resume-boosting opportunity related to running, I finally landed my internship with a company that puts on obstacle course races across the country and even globally (not saying specifically which one because again – crazy people.) And that internship turned into a job. And now, I spend way more of my time discussing toilet to participant ratios then I EVER would have imagined. 😉

But in all seriousness, working in this field has given me an incredible appreciation for all the nuances that go into putting on a great race. There are quite literally HUNDREDS of details (probably thousands depending on how you look at it). And I personally have experienced some less-than organized races and a lot of really awesome races, and I want to make sure that the events I am personally responsible for leave people as excited about running as I was from my first race. I know how impactful it can be.

Rochester Marathon | 2 Generations RunningFinishing my first marathon.

But I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I have the most perfect job in the world.

Butterflies Gif^Yeah… That’s not my world.

Yes, I feel passionately about it, but it’s not a cakewalk. Race days are STRESSFUL. And they are a THOUSAND times more stressful when you are responsible for making sure they go smoothly than they are when all you have to do is go out and run. I’ve learned that it is impossible to please everyone (people have an incredible knack for finding things to complain about), and that can be hard for me because I do take things personally, even when I shouldn’t.

Complain a lot GIF | 2 Generations RunningIt’s something that I’m working on. But the job itself is something I feel strongly about, which I know is more than a lot of people can say. So I’ll take the challenge and I’ll continue to learn about what it truly takes to put on a great race, because I know it’s worth it – for the person running their very first race to the person running their 50th. So if you’re running a turkey trot this weekend, take a moment to look around and appreciate all the work that went into putting on that event- thank the volunteers, smile, and enjoy the race!

So that’s a little background on me! Feel free to ask me any questions you might have about putting on races or what it is that I do! 

Keep enjoying the holiday weekend!


Wellness Resource Wednesday #2

Happy Wednesday and of course, a very happy Veteran’s Day!

Veterans Day Quote Zell MillerThank you to all the veterans who have served and continue to serve our country.

And because it is not only Veteran’s Day, but also Wednesday, I’m sticking to the new routine and sharing a health/wellness resource I recently discovered and absolutely LOVE.

Wellness Resource Wednesday | 2 Generations RunningI’m a big fan of podcasts. I like to put them on while I go to sleep to keep my brain from going haywire thinking about work/running/chores, etc… I also listen to them on the subway during my commute in the mornings. It makes the start of each day a little more enjoyable, and I love the random tidbits of knowledge I pick up listening to them.

Since deciding that I wanted to focus more on nutrition this Fall, I wanted to find a podcast to actually learn about what it means to have a balanced diet. Obviously, I understand the concepts of healthy eating broadly (I think pretty much everyone does. In a nutshell- eat more vegetables and fewer cupcakes.) I knew there were a lot of nuances I was probably missing though.Dishing Up Nutrition Review | 2 Generations RunningAfter browsing the internet for podcasts related to health and wellness, I came across Dishing Up Nutrition and I’m so glad I did! The podcast features several licensed nutritionists from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, a Minnesota-based company (which means cute accents that make me smile to myself). They cover a HUGE range of topics – from the mineral connection to cravings (an episode I found extremely interesting!), to gluten and Celiac’s disease to the psychology of weight loss. And that barely scratches the surface of what they cover! I love that it’s not a podcast focused around dieting and losing weight, it’s much more focused on overall health and eating in a way to make your body feel its best. And the advice they offer is practical. No insane crash diets being recommended here.

What I’ve taken away about my own diet as a result of this podcast:

  • I eat too many refined carbs. I’m a big fan of toast. As a pre-run breakfast, it’s great. It’s easy and quick and I love to eat it with a good smear of jam (more simple carbs) But as far as a balanced diet goes, I should be taking in most of my carbs in the form of complex carbs from vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, and broccoli.
  • I need to snack more frequently (and pick better snacks). With getting up for work so early each day, I’m generally hungry for lunch by about 11:30 AM. And if I don’t pack a snack for myself, this means I have to go from approximately noon time until 6:30-ish without eating. And that’s when I make bad choices, because I have low blood sugar and I’m RAVENOUS. Now, I actually do know this about myself, so I did typically pack myself a snack, usually a Greek yogurt or maybe some tortilla chips. Now, I know the Greek yogurt doesn’t sound like such a bad choice, but the thing is, it’s still not exactly balanced. I’ve learned from listening to Dishing Up Nutrition that a healthy snack that will keep you feeling full the longest should consist of protein, carbs, and fat. And no, fat is not the devil. It actually is what gives you that feeling of fullness (small quantities do the trick though – like 1 tablespoon of olive oil or a handful of nuts.)

snackFun, yes. Nutritionally balanced, no.

So what changes am I implementing?

  • I’m switching up my breakfast routine to scrambled eggs with assorted veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, squash, peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts -> I’ve found I really enjoy ALL of these in different combinations with eggs!) I’m not completely eliminating my toast, but I am going to try to reserve it for morning runs and early gym trips.
  • I started taking a zinc supplement. After listening to a podcast on the mineral connection to cravings, I realized there were several risk factors for zinc deficiency that fit me. And, low levels of zinc can lead to intense cravings for sweets after a meal (DEFINITELY me). So, I’m trying the supplement and waiting to see if it helps me get those sugar cravings under control.
  • I’m trying to be more regimented about snacking, and aiming to have a little protein, fat, and carbs in each snack. With traveling so much, I haven’t actually had time to really experiment with snacks yet, so I will have to report back on what kind of snacks I make for myself!

That’s about it for now. I want to start small and really focus on these aspects of my diet, and see how it goes from there. I’ll plan on doing a follow-up post in about a month to report back on how things are going! Hopefully, the Christmas cookie season won’t derail me. 😉