This week flew by for me. I imagine it had something to do with only being home 2 days, but I can’t believe Friday is already here.

We had to eat out last night because we are really low on food in the house so we went to our local Wegmans grocery store.

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Spinach, arugula, chick peas, edamame, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and a few pieces of teriyaki chicken. 

We are hanging around today. I am getting some last minute cleaning done and packing, and then we will leave probably sometime this afternoon

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem going out of town if their house isn’t spotless?  My husband thinks I am crazy when it comes to that.

Friday means another Five Things Friday post. This weeks edition is Five Ways to Be A Better Runner.

Most of these are from experience (I get it I can’t talk too much about being a great runner when I’m injured), but I have learned a few things from some of my mistakes.

1. Relax

My husband always gets on me because he says I don’t relax when I run.

I’m always focused on the pace, distance, time, or what I have to do when I am finished. I don’t just simply relax and enjoy the time running as my “me” time.

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I think this in some ways played into my injury, because I was focused too much on improving and not on the other wonderful mental benefits of running.

My goal when I get back to running is to really focus on relaxing, taking it easy, and enjoying the small joys that running brings me.

2. Listen to your body

This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do.”

I was not a good one at listening to my body. I pushed through pain I knew wasn’t normal and I kept trying to force my body to do things when it was obvious I needed rest.

Listening to your body is individual for every person. My husband can do things that I never have a chance of doing, but he still listens to what his body is telling him.

You and only you know the difference between a “normal pain” and a “abnormal pain.” You are the one who knows your body the best and listening to it is KEY.

Yesterday I set out to ride my bike alongside my husband as he finished up his last run before the marathon.

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It felt so good to get back into workout clothes!

This was a test and I knew in my head that I could have pain, but I really wasn’t prepared to feel the pain.

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In total I biked about 3 miles and stopped because I could tell too much force was being put on my leg and the pain that started wasn’t normal.

I stopped, rested, and walked back home. I knew I needed to learn from my previous mistakes and listen to my body.

3. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

I can’t stress this enough. Whether you are a new runner or someone who has run all your life you need to be properly hydrated.

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Dehydration can ruin a run and can slow down your recovery after a run.

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I drink before, during, and after my runs.  Your body is in constant need of hydration and shouldn’t just be focused on once a day – it should be a constant focus.

4. Take it easy

Even when you have a large goal you are looking to achieve with running, you have to take it easy. You can’t go hard every single day and that is a mistake I think a lot of new runners make.

You can have speed workouts and tempo workouts, but everything else needs to be EASY.

The majority of your miles need to be slower that your marathon pace, and this is okay!

It won’t hurt your fitness – easy running is needed as much as your pace and tempo workouts.

Sometimes the easy runs can be your most enjoyable too. Leave your Garmin, music, and fancy contraptions at home and just go out and enjoy the beauty of nature!

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I always try to pick country roads to run on so that I can really enjoy the beauty.

5. It’s not all about running

This is another “learn from my mistakes.”

Running is great, but to be a great runner and to avoid the injury plague you have to remember that there is more to it that just going out to run.

You have to remember to throw both strength and cross training into your weekly routine.

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A picture taken back when I was taking a running break and focused solely on strength training.

Having a strong upper body, core, and legs is vital to a healthy running career.

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Cross training can also have amazing benefits as it uses muscles you don’t when running, or it simply uses the muscles in a different way.


In case you have missed them, here are some other running tip posts:

Benefits of a Stronger Core
My Recovery Secret
Running Tricks
Dynamic Stretches
IT Band and Piriformis Stretches
Time To Make Some Changes

Now it is YOUR turn to tell me….

What is the best thing you have learned during your running career?

Best piece of advice you’ve been given? Best advice you could get a new runner? 

If you want more updates on the race and my travels while in Chicago try one of these social media outlets, as I update them much more frequently: