Running 3:16

I’ve actually been meaning to write this Thinking Out Loud post for a few weeks but haven’t had the time.  Perhaps a better way to put it is I haven’t made the time.  Work has been really busy, meaning lots of long days!  The past two weeks it has been hard to keep up with my mileage but I have kept my running streak alive!  Less than 3 weeks to go before I reach 1 year!

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Back to the topic, first paragraph and I was already distracted.  Looking at the title you might think this is the definitive guide to running, given the 3:16 notation, if you are looking for that I am sorry to disappoint it is not that.

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A few weeks ago during one of my runs I saw someone wearing a t-shirt that had ‘Austin 3:16’ printed on it.  That made me think about the Keith Urban song ‘John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16’ (did you just sing that in your head?  I did every time I proof read this).  That made me think about the Bible verse ‘John 3:16’.

I know that is a long path to follow but stay with with me, ‘3:16’ has become a symbol/notation for the definitive way of doing something.  Of course the Christian church was first, don’t worry this isn’t a religious lecture either.  3:16 became mainstream years ago and has been attached to a lot of things (see examples above) Steve Austin used it for his character in the WWF, yes I remember wrestling when it was still the WWF, and Keith Urban has used it for a great song in my opinion, and it has been attached to so many other catch-phrases.

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As I passed the guy wearing the ‘Austin 3:16’ shirt, ‘Running 3:16’ popped into my head.  I asked myself is there a definitive way to run?  The answer is no.  Every runner has there own stride, pace, arm swing, habits, favorite gear, running route, foot strike, etc.  You don’t have to look a certain way to be a runner, you do not need lots of equipment to be a runner, if you consider yourself a runner you are a runner!  That is what I love about the sport of running almost everyone can do it!  (If you have never ran before please consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program)  That just felt like a good place to put a legal disclaimer.

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Many times when I am out running I observed other runners and take notice of their clothing, stride, arm swing, and wonder how in the heck are they running like that, then I think if that works for them who am I to judge their run-style.  In races I’ve seen runners who have some sort of spinal disability running hunched over and they are moving at a pretty good pace.  You can be short, tall, heavy-set, skinny, able bodied, have a disability and you can still run, as long as you have the fortitude to take that first step and keep going!  Our sport does not discriminate and that is another reason why I love running!

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Often times when I speak with people they say, ‘I don’t know how you do it, I can’t even run a mile.’  My response is always it starts with that first step.  I imagine some people think I am being cliche but I’m not; you never know where that first step and the one after will lead you.  It has lead me to a great running community, that is strong, welcoming, and ready for more runners!

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Winning comes in many forms for runners.  You may never win a marathon, or a 5k, but every race you run or for that matter every step you take you have lapped those waiting to take that first step.  Running for a large majority of the running community is an individual sport, we have personal records (PRs).  We compete against ourselves, because we want to be better, we want to put our best self forward.  That is Running 3:16!  You can create your own guide to Running 3:16, and the best part is that it is definitively you but we all share in that experience when we run!

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I am Running 3:16, you are Running 3:16, and every runner you pass or passes you is Running 3:16.

We each have our own way of getting to the finish line, we do what works best for us, we take pride in our accomplishments and our individuality while taking joy in being part of the running community and the accomplishments of those runners around us.

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Tell me your Running 3:16 story!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Solid Background

4 Random Thoughts (Because 4 is also kinda sorta random)

So for those who normally read my post for Thinking Out Loud know that I usually pick one topic and share my thoughts with you.  This week I’m changing it up!  I’ve been in a good mood all day and sometimes that gets me thinking about lots of different things.  Here it goes…

1.  Lulu Lemon SeaWheeze 2016 Half Marathon

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Many of you know I am a lululemon fanatic, it is all I wear (literally).  On Tuesday I saw a Facebook post that lululemon is hosting a half marathon in Vancouver, BC so I clicked the link and started to read about it.  It has actually been going on for a while, how did I not know about this before?  All the info I could find said the race which is allowing 10,017 registrants next year sells out very fast.  I set a reminder for 5 mins before registration opened on Wednesday.  I figured it I got in great, if not no big deal.  Well I got it and I’m super excited about it!!!  The rumor is that the race sold out in 4 mins!  Wow did I get lucky.  I was actually finishing a college fair for work and ran outside to get better reception on my cell phone, so I could register.  I can’t wait to run this race!  Did anyone else get in?  I’m looking forward to meeting lots of great people!

2.  Running People

If you haven’t read my blog about the running community yet, I think it is pretty great and you should check it out!  This week I was reminded several times of how much runners have in common and just enjoy talking about running!  I went to an event on Saturday evening and almost as soon as I walked in a friend commented on my running and a person across the table chimed in she was a runner, we spent the next 45 mins talking about running.  On Wednesday I saw some colleagues I haven ‘t seen since spring and I mentioned I was running between the college fair sessions.  Next thing you know our conversation turned to running and one is running his first marathon in November and the other just PR’d in the 5k.  In between talking to students there wasn’t a dull moment sharing running stories and tips back and forth!

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3.  Give (Donate)

About 2 weeks ago the Red Cross called and asked me to donate platelets and almost right away asked when I could come in.  I’ve never done  that before, I’ve only donated whole blood.  So I had lots of questions about how it would affect my running.  They assured me it would be a quick recovery, so I agreed.  The donation (which I did last Wednesday) was really easy, the blood is taken from one arm, platelets are separated, and the blood goes back into the other arm.  The said I shouldn’t do anything strenuous for 12 hours after, but I could run in 2 hours at an easy pace.  I ran 60 mins later and felt just fine.  If you have the ability to donate platelets and the time (takes about 2.5 hrs) I would encourage you to do it!  The platelets are used to help people who have cancer, you are helping save a life.  If you can’t donate platelets donate blood!  If you can’t do either, donate something to someone or somewhere, it will probably make you feel good!

Rambo Pose after donating!
Rambo Pose after donating!

4.  Royal Farms Western Fries

Turns out Royal Farms Western Fries actually suck!  I use to think they were great, though I know they aren’t healthy for you.  I had a long day at work today, from 0900-2000 hrs.  After work I didn’t feel like making anything or stopping somewhere so I figured I would get some fries at the Royal Farms near me.  I haven’t had Royal Farms Western Fries in over a year, since I have changed my eating habits.  I just wanted something quick.  I had a few and realized my taste buds were lying to me before, they are so greasy and disgusting and lack any real flavor.  I’m glad I changed my eating habits and it’s okay to splurge, but I won’t be splurging on Royal Farms Western Fries again!

Don't judge me, I still ate some I was hungry!
Don’t judge me, I still ate some I was hungry!

That was really random!  Chime in with your own random thoughts!  

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Solid Background

Running Community

My thoughts may be a bit scattered this week for Thinking Out Loud, but hopefully they come together in a way you can understand!

I’ve had a really good running week so far, not in the actual running sense, rather in the running community!  The running community is unique, there are no membership cost, no official sign ups, if you want to be a part of it you can be.

I once saw on a meme “If you care if someone calls you a runner or a jogger, you are a runner!”  It made me laugh but it is that simple!  All you need to do is take that first step and keep on going, if you run 1 minute, 1 mile, or 100 miles you are a runner.

Sometimes I do get irritated with the running community (see Pet Peeves #1).  This week though I have been reminded repeatedly why (most) runners are great people and fun to talk to!

On Monday, I had a friend I had not heard from in 10 years send me a message on FB to ask me about running his first marathon.  I think he has been reading my blog or saw my post about training.  By no means am I an expert but it made me feel really good that he would ask me for advice, I referred him to a few websites and gave him some tips about running his first marathon.  Later in the day I called Boston Street Running to ask if they had a weekly run group, I’m looking for one after last week 😦  They currently do not but I had a really great conversation with Miguel from the store and I’m looking forward to stopping in and meeting him.  We actually talked about my blog, he put a link up to the odd mileage races on the store’s website.  That reminds me if you are looking for a race this weekend the first ever Baltimore 6-miler is Sunday.  Looks like a great course along the water!

Source: bostonstreetrunning.com
Source: bostonstreetrunning.com

Tuesday I ran with some friends, I ran a bit longer, but if gave me time to think about why I started running and all the great experiences I have had with the running community.  You never know where running with take you!  It has taken me to the Bahamas, Philidelphia, Providence, Niagara Falls, DC, and a few other places.  When you are going to a desitnation for running you meet great people who share your passion.

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People always say to me, ‘you must really love running’ I joke back saying ‘on some level I must, just not consciously’.  I do enjoy the health benefits of running and you can do it anywhere, anytime, with minimal equipment, and it is all about the effort you want to put in.

Today (Wednesday) I went to a new run group at the MAC but it was cancelled.  I decided to run in Harbor East anyway.  When I walked out of the MAC one of the Harbor security personnel commented on my shoes and we had a great conversation about running and how to get started.  I do love talking to people and hopefully motivating them to start running, you never know where it will take you!  Once I started running I ran into my friend who was running and we ran together for 5 miles.  I enjoy running with other people even if we aren’t having a constant conversation, most of the time I enjoy the company.  After running I stopped in Lululemon (of course I bought a shirt) and had a great conversation with some of the staff who I consider friends!  They asked about how my training has been going and told me about some new yoga classes for athletes I should check out.

The running community is full of all sorts of people with different personalities, backgrounds, goals, and great stories!  If you are on the fence about lacing up your running shoes or are worried you aren’t going to be fast enough I would encourage you to throw those cares away, get out, and log some miles alone or with someone!

You don’t have to be fast, you just have to put one foot in front of the other!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Re-cooping after the long run.

Goodbye City Sports-Harbor East

I had thought about writing this for Thinking Out Loud last week, but I wasn’t ready.  I thought about starting to write it earlier this week but I wasn’t ready.  Now there is no time left, so it is time to write about City Sports Harbor East closing their doors.  It is a bit sad to write about, I just ran with them for the last time before they close on Aug 23rd.  For my running friends who read this I am sure they will tell you though I put up a tough facade, I’m the ‘sappy’ one of the group…you may agree after reading 😉

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In Feb of 2013 I was going through a rough patch and running was a way to take my mind off things, I still think running is a great form of therapy.  I had run with several groups around the city but couldn’t seem to find one where I felt like it fit in.  Then one cold evening in February I tried City Sports in Harbor East.  That Wednesday night it was just Tim (the run coordinator), Theo, and myself.  We quickly struck up a conversation during the run and even though they knew each other pretty well, they made me feel included.  After the run Tim asked me if I wanted to go to Whole Foods with them and get a smoothie, I said sure then quickly realized I didn’t have my wallet.  Tim said not to worry about it, he would cover me and I could pay him back next week.  I still don’t think I’ve paid him back.  I continued going to City Sports on Wednesdays; Tim, Theo, and I became good friends and we started running together quite often and hanging out.  As the weather warmed up more people started coming to run club, it was great to meet new people.

 

City Sports Run Club growing!
City Sports Run Club growing!

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In late July or early August of 2013, the perfect storm seemed to happen though none of us knew it until afterwards.  The new residents and fellows came to Hopkins and other hospitals in the area and many were runners who started coming to City Sports Run Club.  Many of us quickly struck up a friendship when we all figured out we were training for the Baltimore Marathon.  We started running together more frequently than just Wednesday evenings and then we started doing more things together.  There were eight of us who became really great friends.  We became, as we called ourselves, the core of City Sports Run Club: Tim, Theo, Lizzie, Cat, Stefany, Rich, Camila, and myself.

Theo, Tim, Stefany, Camila, Cat, Me
Theo, Tim, Stefany, Camila, Cat, Me

 

Patapsco State Park Saturday Morning Run Theo, Tim, Rich, Camila, Kristen, Me, Cat
Patapsco State Park Saturday Morning Run
Theo, Tim, Rich, Camila, Kristen, Me, Cat

I can remember when and how I met each one of them.  We didn’t just meet and gel instantly, but it happened pretty quickly.  Over the next year we got to know each other pretty well and we weren’t in each others lives just because of running.  There are so many stories I wish I could share, but some times special things like what we had are better left in our memories.  My individual friendships with each of the other seven means so much to me and was/is unique in it’s own way.  I used ‘was’ not because we aren’t friends any more, but some have moved away because of work.  We don’t talk or see each other multiple times a week, but we still text, email, and chat from time to time.  Some of us do still run together.

Run to Remember 5k, then we ran another 12 miles Tim, Firefighter, Me, Theo, Richard, Camila
Run to Remember 5k, then we ran another 12 miles
Tim, Firefighter, Me, Theo, Rich, Camila

It was a perfect storm because I don’t think you could ever replicate how we all came together for that year.  As I said most of us ran the Baltimore Marathon that year, I had my worst finish ever (let’s just leave it at that).  I wasn’t prepared to run a marathon, but that didn’t matter, that night we had a Marathon Party at my house and it was one of the best times I’ve had with friends.  That was the first of many gatherings at my house, we would watch football games here, had a holiday party, a spring party, birthday parties, and my graduation from grad school party.  We would pretty much come up with any reason to have a party and bonfire at my house.

Marathon Party 2013 Theo, Me, Lizzie, Cat, Camila, Tim
Marathon Party 2013
Theo, Me, Lizzie, Cat, Camila, Tim

My friendships with the core eight took me all over and opened up my mind to things I had never thought about.  I traveled to Africa on a missions trip with Camila, went to Mexico for Cat’s wedding, ran a bunch of races with everyone, and Lizzie even opened my mind to vegetarianism; though she didn’t deliberately try to.  I wanted to see what it was like and couldn’t be happier with my dietary decision.

Zoo Zoom 25 degrees! Stefany, Rich, Laura, Cat, Me
Zoo Zoom 25 degrees!
Stefany, Rich, Laura, Cat, Me

 

Richard, Cat, Me, Darrell The City Sports Run Crew
Richard, Cat, Me, Darrell

Through the winter in addition to traveling and having random parties we continued to run together every Wednesday at City Sports.  Regardless of the weather we would all show up because we knew the other seven were going to be there.  We ran in the frigid cold and even in the ice, I’d say we enjoyed it on some level because we were doing it together.  After every run we would normally go to a local restaurant or bar and make plans for later in the week or catch up on what everyone had been up to. Great times!

Pretty sure it was like 8 degrees this night!
Pretty sure it was 8 degrees this night!
Teavolve after a run! Theo, Me, Stefany, Darrell
Teavolve after a run!
Theo, Me, Stefany, Darrell

As the summer of 2014 approached we knew things would be coming to an end.  Rotations at Hopkins and the other hospitals were ending and some of the Core Eight had taken jobs in other cities.  Tim had given up his position as run coordinator because he had gotten another job and didn’t have time, plus his focus was elsewhere.  Camila was the first to move, a few weeks later Rich left.  People’s schedules became more hectic and it was harder to get people together after that.

Random Saturday Run Lizzie, Theo, Stefany, Me, Cat
Random Saturday Run
Lizzie, Theo, Stefany, Me, Cat

I still see some of the Core Eight on a semi-regular basis, some more than others.  I look back and cherish that year we had together.  I left a lot out of our story, because some of it is private and personal to us.  We know what we had and we know that we will have that forever in our hearts and minds.

Saturday in the rain and 40 degrees Cat, Lizzie, Me, Phil, Camila
Saturday in the rain and 40 degrees
Cat, Lizzie, Me, Phil, Camila

Two weeks ago City Sports announced they were closing for good, due to their lease expiring and they would not be relocating in Baltimore.  Tonight (Aug 19) was the final Wednesday City Sports Run Club, it was a bit sad to walk in and see the store practically empty.  I thought about how many times I had been there on Wednesday evenings to run.  It was a small group tonight, but some familiar faces were there.  As I ran, I thought about that what City Sports Run Club had done for me since I had discovered it and all the great friends it has brought into my life.  These friends have changed my life forever, and without City Sports Run Club I would have never know them.  Tonight was a farewell to City Sports Run Club but also a fond walk down memory lane.

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My advice to you, if you’re fast, if you’re slow, it doesn’t matter find a local run club and give it a try.  You never know who you are going to meet!  Who knows you could be part of a perfect storm.

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Thank you City Sports Run Club Harbor East!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Re-cooping after the long run.

 

Running Quirks

I call them quirks, maybe you call them something else; habits, superstitions, or ‘must dos’ before or during a run.  I’m not sure if all runners have quirks or things that must be the same all the time, but I know I have some.  So I thought I would share by thinking out loud and see if you share any of them or others of your own?

1.  Puting my shoes in the same place after running

This is a quirk I have developed in the last month or two.  I rotate between a used pair of shoes and a new pair of shoes to try and extend the life of my new ones.  I write the date I ‘retired’ the used shoes on the bottom now, but I didn’t always do that.  My quirk is that when I take my new shoes off, I must untie them, loosen the laces and sit them by the back door.  My used shoes must be placed at the exact opposite end of the kitchen.  I think I started doing this so I could remember which ones are which, before I started dating them on the bottom, then it just became something I have to do.

As you can see my shoes look the same, I buy same ones every time...another quirk?
As you can see my shoes look the same, I buy same ones every time…another quirk?

2.  The way I put my socks on

This one I have been doing since I was young.  One day I was watching an episode of Mr. Rodger’s and he was teaching kids how to put their shoes on.  He remarked he said he always started with his left foot.  Since that day I always put on my left sock and my left shoe first.  When I grabbed my socks I look at them at pick out which one is going on each foot, not that they are different just another quirk.

Disclaimer:  Not my socks!
Disclaimer: Not my socks!

3.  The direction I run

When I run in an area or loop I am familiar with I always run the same way.  I know advice from the experts is to switch it up so it doesn’t get boring but I like consistency.  Just last night while doing speed work, my friend asked if we should change the direction we were running on the track, I opted for no.

One Way

4.  When my shorts get tied

My shorts aren’t falling off before I tie them, no need to worry about that.  I tie my shorts right before I start running, I do this to keep any extra pressure off of my stomach.  I don’t tie them really tight but I like to make sure everything is snug and just the way I like it prior to and during the run.

Has nothing to do with tying shorts, but when I put 'run shorts' in the search engine this came up and I thought it was funny...enjoy!
Has nothing to do with tying shorts, but when I put ‘run shorts’ in the search engine this came up and I thought it was funny…enjoy!

5.  My watch latch must be in the same hole

This is annoying even to me and I don’t always get it right.  I don’t like my Garmin 220 to tight or to loose.  There is one hole that allows my Garmin to rotate freely, but not all the way around my wrist.  I can just give it a little twist and I can see the screen.  If it is to tight I feel like I am constricted, to loose and it feels like it will fall off.  I don’t always get it right and sometimes I have to make adjustments during the run.  I have thought about counting the holes or marking the right one…

ForeRunner 220

6.  Race day attire

Prior to discovering Lululemon I ran in the same shorts for nearly 13 years.  Don’t worry I washed them and I had several pairs, they were my Air Force PT shorts.  When I transitioned to new running gear, some of that need to wear the same thing stayed with me.  On race day, I like to wear the same gear, weather permitting, for each race during the season.  No real reason behind it other than I know I’m comfortable racing in that gear and that helps to ease my mind; one less thing to worry about.

af pt shorts

7.  Diet leading up to a race

Maybe this isn’t a quirk, but I’m including it anyway it is something I do.  I don’t know why I picked the time frame I did, I don’t think there is any science behind it.  For a 5k race, I won’t have any alcohol a day or two before the race.  For a half marathon, I won’t have any alcohol 2 weeks prior.  Finally for a marathon, no alcohol for a month prior.  Not that I drink a lot, but I want to make sure my body is in the best shape it can be for race day.  I like to think of the body as a machine and you have to give it the proper fuel!

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8.  Tying my shoes

I’m thinking this one might be the most common shared by runners or I could be totally wrong.  I have to make sure my laces aren’t to tight and not to loose.  That’s not the quirk.  The quirk is when I retie one shoe I have to retie the other to make sure the pressure is the same.  Just the other day I was out on a run and within a 1/4 mile I probably retied my shoes 4 times.  There was a rock in one I couldn’t get out, finally I found it in my sock.  Having the lace pressure correct and even is a must.

New Glycerin 12 Ombres
New Glycerin 12 Ombres

9.  Pre-race arrival time

This is another quirk that harkens back to my military days.  ‘If you’re not early you’re late!’  I have to be everywhere early, I think this annoys some of my friends.  It is a habit (quirk) I can’t break.  Normally I am 15 minutes early to everything, come race day I like to be 30 minutes early or even more.  I want to make sure I have time to get comfortable, take any last minute fluids, get rid of any last minute fluids.  I’ve had the experience of being the last person to cross the start line and had to jump over the deflating arch.  I was in the Bahamas for the marathon and in the porta-potty when the race started.  Always being early is a must for me, if I’m not my nerves start to get jittery and that is not good before a race.

Time is ticking!
Time is ticking!

I think that is all of my quirks, hopefully you don’t think I’m crazy or have OCD, cause I don’t!  Wait isn’t that something a crazy or OCD person would say…no of course not!  Anyway…

What are your running quirks?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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