Politics and Running

Hopefully the title didn’t scare you away, for this edition of Thinking Out Loud!  This isn’t a blog about political parties, or an opinion piece trying to sway you one way or the other, no need to worry about disagreeing on policy.  Rather I thought of this blog as I have watched Presidential candidates ‘suspend’ their campaigns.


It has happened on both sides, democrat and republican, once a candidate realizes they do not have a chance at winning they throw in the towel.  After spending millions of dollars and lots of time prepping, they decide to call it quits.  The saying ‘when the going gets tough, they tough get going’.  Apparently that doesn’t apply when you are running for the most powerful office in the World.  Perhaps those that drop out aren’t that tough and we should be happy they do not stay in the race.  Some run for office knowing they are going to drop out, they do it to get name recognition to run again in the future.

By this point I am sure you are saying to yourself, this is a running blog, how does this relate to running?  Imagine if we applied the same thought processes to running.  I would venture to say most of us have to pay for our race entries and then spend lots of hours and miles training.  On race day (most recreational runners) don’t plan on winning the race.  With that presidential campaign mindset we should probably quit running after a quarter mile and ‘suspend’ our participation in the race.  Yeah, that sounds weird, it’s called quitting, whether you are running a race or for President it is quitting. (If you get injured or something happens where you can’t finish I’m not calling you a quitter)

My question then, are runners tougher than the men and women who want to be President of the free world?  My unscientific opinion is…yes!  Runners endure hours on the road/trail in preparation for a race, knowing in most cases we aren’t going to win.  We are training to do our best to set a personal record, we have goals in mind.  Even when we don’t meet those we keep on going until we cross the finish line.  We don’t quit when the going gets tough, many runners I know will run through all sorts of adversity, injuries, illness, and of course the dreaded ‘wall’.  Shouldn’t we ask the same of our Presidential candidates, go to the finish line, let all of the voters in each state decide when it is time for your to exit.

When casting your vote for President this election, maybe we should be looking at candidates who have a running background who know how to get through the tough times and come out on the other side a better person.
Perhaps we need a runners guide to Presidential candidates?  
What are your thoughts on the correlation between running races and running for President?  

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Get comfortable, being uncomfortable Part II

Last week, for thinking out loud, I talked about being uncomfortable while running and the more I thought about it that wasn’t really fair.  I should offer some solutions to ease uncomfortable issues while/before running so you can get as comfortable as possible.  Here are some things I think are important make those uncomfortable distance runs a bit more comfortable.

  1. Clothing and Shoes  Make sure you buy clothing and shoes that fit properly.  Clothes shouldn’t restrict your movement and need to be sweat wicking, even in cold weather.  Of course we still sweat.  If you have never had your stride evaluated before getting shoes do it!  It is usually free and well worth it, the proper fitting shoes keeps everything in line and you avoid pain after the run.  Clothing and shoes are two areas you shouldn’t skimp on!
  2. Socks  Yes, I know socks are a part of clothing!  Make sure for every run you wear clean socks, let’s be honest for a second, we have all worn the same running clothes for consecutive runs.  It’s okay, we’re runners which means we do a lot of laundry so we ‘cheat’ sometimes.  Clean socks mean dry feet, dry feet means a more comfortable run and fewer blisters!
    Disclaimer:  Not my socks!
    Just get better socks than these!
  3. Form  I’m not going to spend a lot of time on form, if you have read my Running 3:16 blog you know I am a big believer in everyone running the way that they feel comfortable.  Find what works for you, but most importantly make sure your stride is efficient that is key to distance running.  It took me almost a year to ‘perfect’ my form and how I run.  Watch other runners, read articles, google, and youtube and use tips that work for you!IMG_5768
  4. Breathing  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  This technique keeps you from drying out fast.  I’ve also worked to inhaled on alternate foot strikes, it takes some practice but before you know it you will be doing it without even thinking11157314_1041033655911028_1385354061_o
  5. Anti-Chaffing  It happens to everyone and in the most tender places.  Make sure you use glide!  Use it under your arms, in between your legs, bottom of your feet, and your chest!  Guys I recommend (for anything over 10 miles) some band aides to cover the really sensitive parts of your chest (if you get my drift).  

There are 5 easy things you can do to make that long uncomfortable run more comfortable!  (I’m thinking there will be a Part III in the future)

What did I leave out?  What do you do to make your runs more comfortable?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Get comfortable, being uncomfortable Part I


Get comfortable, being uncomfortable, those were my exact thoughts as I eased into my run last night.  The same thoughts I had 4 years ago when I started training for my first marathon.

Maybe I should back up a little first.  I haven’t blogged in a while, close to 3 months.  I have been busy working on some other things that have required my attention.  I am a Senior Advisor to Better Baltimore County and I have been working on the web development, media, and video production for that site.  It has taken up quite a lot of my time, if you have a chance check it out.  We will be featuring lots of great things going on in Baltimore County.


Plus I haven’t been running much.  To catch you up a bit since my last blog (Thanksgiving), which was also my last Thinking Out Loud post, I’ve only been running once or twice a week.  My body really needed the rest, plus it has gotten cold.  I know last year I ran everyday no matter the weather, but I’m glad I don’t have to this year, especially since we received 30 inches of snow last week!

Snow piled up from street removal.
Snow piled up from street removal.

Now back to my point, get comfortable being uncomfortable, yesterday I didn’t feel like running.  It was raining, cold, snow still on the ground, and I didn’t have anyone to run with but the 2016 race season is just around the corner and I need to get my training started.  I haven’t picked out a marathon yet, but I’m already signed up for 2 half marathons and some shorter distance races.  The first one is a 5k in Boston, I’m doing the B.A.A. distance medley.  My friend, Cat, is running the Boston Marathon and I’ll be cheering her on, she ran a BQ but the cutoff dropped so much this year she wasn’t selected, so she is running as a charity runner.  If you would like to support an awesome runner and a great cause please do so here!


As I ran through the puddles and tried to avoid slipping I reminded myself distance running is all about being uncomfortable and getting comfortable with that.  Each person has something that makes them uncomfortable, but in the end the perseverance of pushing through it makes the pain and discomfort seem not to matter as much.  Being uncomfortable running could really be a metaphor for life, life is a series of uncomfortable situations (in one way or another) that we get through on a daily basis, but we probably don’t breath as hard 😉

As I ended the race season last year, I wouldn’t get uncomfortable till well after 15 miles, on Monday night I was uncomfortable in the first half mile, could have been the wet shoes, patches of ices, or light rain failing.  Regardless I knew I had to push through it and I could not delay the beginning of my training any longer.  Getting comfortable being uncomfortable can get you through a lot, but the only way to get comfortable being uncomfortable is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.  Hope that makes sense!

I also hope to start blogging more frequently again as I begin my training season!  Next week I plan to elaborate on things that make me uncomfortable running and how to make them more comfortable!

What makes you uncomfortable?

-Veggie Fueled Runner