Five Things Friday – 10/11/2013

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:




About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!


  1. OK, the ‘muscle’ selfie made me laugh :)

    For me, along with ‘Relax’ that you mention, my main thing is ‘Follow and preserve your passion’. When I was first exercising to lose weight nearly 25 years ago I started jogging, shooting hoops at the court across the street, and doing some biking. But running became ‘my thing’. And for a long time now running has been my thing … and I don’t want that to stop.

    I would love to BQ and do at least one 100 mile ultra … but more important than either of those goals is being able to get up in the morning 10 or 20 years from now and go out for a run. Running is my passion – not a certain speed or distance, but getting up, heading out the door, listening to the sounds of nature, and enjoying the joy of running.

    Have a great weekend and good luck to Wes on Sunday :)

    • Haha I know it’s awesome isn’t it!? 😉 HA JK!! I thought that would at least make people laugh or make fun of me…whichever is OK with me!

      100 Ultra!? Wow that’s awesome! I don’t know if that is on my bucket list but of course I want to BQ!

      I love how you look at it – it makes me is so much more enjoyable that way in my opinion!

      Thank you! I think I am as nervous for him and he is!

      • Oh – and forgot to ‘second’ how important hydration is. You never really know how things will go – and like you say dehydration can play havoc with your systems and performance.

        I think I tend to dehydrate more easily than most for some reason. And I am fairly certain that played into my mid-race struggles last weekend … ugh! Oh well, every race is a chance to learn, right?

        • Definitely!! I am learning every day during this injury, or at least that is the way I am trying to look at it! :) There is something to take away from every situation – good and bad!

  2. Hi! I originally found you on twitter and I’m looking forward to following your blog!
    Thanks for all of the tips! I’m new-ish to running (short distances!) and I love cross/strength training.
    Oh, and I LOVE Wegmans!!! :)
    -Sammy @

  3. Great post lady! I need to listen to my body! I keep getting injured because of that! I need to realize that running is not all about running….there are other aspects to it!

  4. These are wonderful reminders! I love how you run on country roads, I might have to find a few around me so I can take it easy and enjoy too! Happy Friday!

  5. Great post!!! I remember in the beginning I soley focused on running. Then I fell in love with cross training and it has made the biggest difference in how I feel and my overall body.

  6. I am sooo proud of you for listening to your body so well on the bike ride! A bummer for sure, but you’re doing exactly the right things! I think the best advice I’ve gotten was to be patient – when I first started running, I wanted to see faster times on every single run, which is unrealistic and caused me to push too hard. The easy runs during the week are really supposed to be easy! It also applies to longer term – every single race won’t be a PR, so you have to celebrate the times when you DO get a PR and just appreciate the fact that you’re running during the other times.

    • Thank you!! :) It was hard but I am TRYING to do things right this time around!

      I know what you mean – I think that is part of what got me in trouble too! I pushed too hard and I wanted to go faster instead of being patient and doing it the RIGHT way I did too many things wrong. Oh well, you live and you learn :)

  7. I love this post! I’m good about hydration but the other 4 need a lot of work. I haven’t found anything that gives me the same feeling as running, so it’s hard to relax, rest, take it easy, etc. I do listen to my body, but then I usually tell it to be quiet and I keep going. Good luck to your husband this weekend! Enjoy your trip, Chicago is such an amazing city :)

    • I completely understand! Running gives me a feeling that nothing else can replace. That is what makes cross training and weight training so hard for me, I just want to run! I am just trying to convince myself that I love it just as much!

      Thank you! we are looking forward to it! I love Chicago! One of my favorite cities to visit!

  8. Great list! I also need to work on relaxing when I run. Some runs are supposed to be easy and there’s no need to worry about a million things!
    Good luck to your husband!

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