I’ve missed you, Spring Running!

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I love the in between seasons for running: Spring and Fall. If I had to pick one, I would pick Spring. Spring, with the returning birds, returning sunshine (sometimes), the flower and flowering trees — it’s just so hopeful. It’s entertaining stalking all those signs of Spring!

Shedding layers
There comes a point when you’re just so over running in #allthelayers. You feel like a bundled up kid — it’s heavy, and it restricts movement. Like a caterpillar slowly making its way out of its cocoon, the warming temps of Spring allow us to ditch all the layers.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, though, because the mornings in early Spring can be pretty darn Winter-like. It takes a while for those longer days to start warming the roads (especially if there’s still snow on the ground), so as I wrote about in Prepping for Spring here, it’s not quite time to put away all your warm running clothes.

New sights
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to find something to photograph on Winter runs. Often it’s really gray. There’s little wildlife and no pretty flowers.

As Spring begins to unfurl its leaves. there’s literally beauty everywhere around you. Even though we often seem to skip Spring and go straight into Summer, at some point the trees will have leaves, they’ll flower, and the Spring bulbs will bloom.

I have so much fun hunting down the signs of Spring, too!

Lightening the load
You could take that almost literally, as in the days are getting longer and the sun is putting in an appearance more often — both things that just put a smile on my face.

As we move further into Spring, though, I no longer need leggings with skirt. Then I can move on to capris. And one day it’s time to run in a skirt again! There is such a sense of freedom running in a skirt — not to mention not having to be on the lookout for black ice.

Sunny days. Rain. Lingering snow/ice. It’s all Spring.

Speaking of it’s not all rainbows . . .
The pretty flowers and flowering trees come at a price: for some that’s allergies, and for most of us that’s rain. Spring is often very wet, and when I lived in VT, it was known as mud season — for good reason!

I enjoy a nice run in a warm rain, but cold rain is the worst.

Can we talk about that wind? Spring comes roaring through some days — literally!

Time to race, anyone?
Spring is one of my favorite times to race. Races are sparse in Winter in these parts – but that oh so fickle weather can also get you in Spring races. Not to mention the Pandemic still chugging along.

Take stock of how you trained through the Winter. Are you really race ready, even if all you want to do is have fun? Consider building a base if you haven’t run as much during Winter. Have you kept up with strength training? Now is definitely the time to get back to it!

Consider hiring a coach to help you ease back into racing. We’ve got some great ones in these linkups!

You may also like 5 Spring Running Tips here

What’s your Spring weather like? 

Do you have RL racing opportunities? 

Enjoying (or sneezing through) the Spring flowers? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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5 Tips to Prep for Spring Running

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There is so much to love about Spring Running: more sunshine, flowers, leaves on the trees, birds chirping away. It’s not all daffodils and lilies, though! Best to be prepared for the curveballs Spring might throw you — or just prepare for Spring in general!

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Don’t run without these! |Photo by Nitin Dhumal on Pexels.com

Protect your eyes!
It’s the rare day I run without sunglasses on, no matter what the season. It happens — sometimes when it’s raining or it’s so cold they’ll just fog up. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing sunglasses — or never started — Spring is the right time to get back in the habit!

Did you know cataracts often start forming at age 40, but generally don’t start impairing vision until after age 60? My eye doctor has already told me a couple of years ago that I have cataracts, but at least then they didn’t require surgery. Pretty sure my vision hasn’t changed much since then, but still, I know that day is coming.

Wearing sunglasses is one of the ways we can hold off those cataracts from forming.

Don’t put away the Winter clothes just yet
This depends on where you live; if you’re in the South you’re probably pretty safe putting them away. We can get snow in April (often as an April Fool’s Day joke — not joking!) — even into May. When it comes to weather and dressing in Spring, you need to be prepared for just about anything.

Take an inventory of your shoes and your Spring running clothes
Is it time for some new running shoes? Do you have any idea how many miles are on your shoes? Do you have any annoying aches and pains? It might be time for a new pair — or two. I like to rotate through a couple of pairs year round, for a variety of reasons. If you get caught in a Spring downpour or run on a muddy trail, that means you’ll always have a fresh, dry pair ready to run in.

Do your Spring running clothes still fit? Or maybe last season you thought you’d find a Spring running jacket in the end of the season sales, but you didn’t. Maybe it’s time for a new bra or socks. Just take stock of what you have and start to fill in any holes!

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Get ahead of the allergies
Thankfully I don’t suffer with allergies, but I know it’s pretty debilitating. Start your allergy medicine (of course also consult with your doctor) before you’re really suffering. Starting sooner rather than later helps to calm your immune system down and keep inflammation down.

Schedule your runs for when pollen is lowest:

  • Later in the day
  • Cooler, wetter days (oh joy!)

One switch I’ve made this year was to crack a window year round. Even on the most bitterly cold days — although not at night, and not all day. Because COVID loves poor air circulation. Unfortunately, letting that fresh air in lets the pollen in too.

Be mindful of having the windows open in your car for the same reason. Not to mention those little pollen carrying quadrapeds, aka our dogs and cats who go outside. Of course they need to be outside at times, but if you let them sleep in bed with you, you may make your seasonal allergies worse. Click here for 10 tips to help you live with allergies and your pets.

Now that the weather is nicer (maybe! hopefully!), what about races?
Spring is one of my favorite times to race. Races are sparse in Winter in these parts – but that oh so fickle weather can also you get you. Not to mention the Pandemic still chugging along.

Take stock of how you trained through the Winter. Are you really race ready, even if all you want to do is have fun? Consider building a base if you haven’t run as much during Winter. Have you kept up with strength training? Now is definitely the time to get back to it!

Consider hiring a coach to help you ease back into racing. We’ve got some great ones in these linkups!

You may also like 5  Spring Running Tips here

What’s your Spring weather like? 

Do you have RL racing opportunities? 

Any tips with for the runners with allergies? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Download Your Thoughts!

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I noticed a trend a couple of  weeks ago when I wrote about my running thoughts here: a lot of us write the perfect blog post in our heads while running, and then can’t for the life of us recall that perfect wording when we’re done!

It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?

What if we could somehow download those thoughts while running?

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All my great ideas in one place!
Ever since this idea came to me, I’ve been wondering just how this could be engineered. I don’t think anyone would want to have something inserted into their head — I know I definitely wouldn’t.

What if it was a little pod, like the foot pods you use in your shoe — only it attached to a hat, visor, glasses or headband?  Press a button and it’s quietly collecting your thoughts as you run. Come home, take it off, plug it into your computer and voila! Just think how your blog posts would improve!

Or maybe it’s an app on your phone. So maybe a pod that just connects with your phone, and all those thoughts are waiting for you when you’re done with your run. No more angst about forgetting stuff.

Creepy, right?
We all need our own space, and sometimes that’s just going inside our mind. A little mental vacation if you will. It would be too easy for someone to hack an app on your phone or steal your pod.

Final “Thoughts”
Running isn’t the only thing that allows thoughts to bubble up; I often get great ideas while meditating. That’s when the idea for this post came to me. I know almost everyone thinks meditating is about not thinking — nothing could be further from the truth!

In case you thought I was serious, just joking! The idea of someone actually being able to hack into my thoughts — because you know it would happen — is super creepy!

Want Alexa in your head? 

Creeped out by the thought of someone getting into your thoughts somehow? 

Did you think I was actually serious, LOL?  Sometimes you gotta lighten up!

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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We’ve come a long way, baby!

It’s Women’s History month — what better time to take a little stroll through the long and winding road of women’s running. I think women have been running through the ages, in one way or another, but it’s humbling to remember that not so long ago running and women were rarely heard in the same sentence.

I have to admit I was pretty much blissfully unaware of most these events, or at the very least not really impacted emotionally by them: because I didn’t grow up running. I wasn’t athletic, I certainly wasn’t interested in running, and it definitely wasn’t encouraged — except, ironically, in gym class.

1954: First women runs a sub-5 minute mile
Diane Leather ran 4:59.6 on May 29, just 23 days after Roger Bannister ran his 3:59.4 mile.

1962: Women are allowed to run the 800 meters again
That is the year I was born! Women had been able to run that “long” previously: 32 years ago, in 1928, ironically the year my mother was born. Women were deemed too frail to run that distance after that first Olympic race.

1967: First woman to officially run the Boston Marathon
Pretty sure that everyone reading this blog knows that that was Katherine Switzer, and that the officials allowed her to register because she used initials — they thought she was a man. Woman had run Boston before Switzer, but they were bandits, often hanging out in bushes near the start so no one would see them and tell them they couldn’t race.

1975: Title IX Goes into effect
Although actually becoming a law in 1972, it wasn’t until 1975 that Title IX began to seep into sports. Title IX discouraged unequal federal financial aid and university support for men’s vs women’s programs.

1984: Joan Benoit Samuelson wins the first women’s Olympic Marathon
Isn’t it mind boggling that women were not allowed to run the marathon in the Olympics until I graduated from college? It is to me, anyway! Officials seriously thought women’s uteruses could fall out if they ran a marathon.

Skirt Sports lets me carry what I need with me

2004: Nicole DeBoom founds Skirt Sports
You know I had to go there, right? Nicole, who last year gave the reins of Skirt Sports (click here) over to Sarah Ratzlaff, knew the power of competing, looking cute while competing — and pockets. I am forever grateful that she had that vision and saw it through. I still can be found in Skirt Sports many days.

Do you have a favorite memory of running from long ago? 

Who would you add to this list? There are so many more, but I wanted to keep this short!

Do you consider the creation of the Jogbra to be key to women’s running? As a small chested woman — not the mention the fact I didn’t run when it was invented — it didn’t impact me that greatly. What about you?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Thoughts running around, on the run

brunningthoughtsIf I’m outside running, I can almost guarantee you that at some point I’m writing a post about running in my head. It’s probably a great post, too. If I could actually remember it by the time I get home! When it’s warmer, sometimes I’ll actually stop and make a note on my phone when I have a good idea — that’s harder to do in Winter, when all I really want to do is get home so I can put on my nice warm clothes and drink hot chocolate. But I’ll try!

You torture me by refusing to walk without me, I get to torture you with food. He did get some after I was done.

The Outside Thoughts

Oh crap! I was supposed to blog about this
One of my first thoughts was it was nice to not be thinking. Then I realized I meant to mentally keep track of my thoughts on my run for this post! The irony.

A side stitch in my last half mile? Really?There I was, creeping up on my longest run in about 6 weeks (a whole 4 miles) — when in the last half mile of the run the side stitch struck. I was like c’mon! That’s not fair! It wasn’t that bad, I just ran through it, but I was a little annoyed for sure.

Has Lloyd actually got out with Bandit yet?
I mentioned this in a post not too long ago, but Bandit often refuses to walk if I am not there. If I’m already out, he’s more likely to walk — probably because he’s looking for me.

There are many days I do my long run and have to walk with  Mr. Judy or Bandit refuses to walk. On this particular day I didn’t want to have to come home, quickly change, and walk some more. Luckily I ran into them in my last half mile (after the side stitch) so no need for extra walking.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to cool down by walking Bandit. Not as much in Winter, and I’m still rebuilding fitness so still being conservative with activity. I was just worried that I would get home, find Mr. Judy just getting ready, and know that Bandit wouldn’t get a very long walk if I didn’t go with them.

The Treadmill Thoughts

Another side stitch? Really???
It had been 2 hours since breakfast. It was on the other side. I was definitely not running fast at all! Thankfully this one passed very quickly.

She mentioned Eagles . . .
. . . which made me think about the rather large bird we saw last week. I often see hawks hanging out in the trees opposite our house, although not so much in Winter. This bird was much larger. Mr. Judy finally found something that let us get a close up look at the bird. My guess is either a young eagle or a turkey vulture; Mr. Judy thinks a very large hawk or a young eagle. We have never seen an eagle in our neighborhood, but they have been spotted by others pretty close. The bird hasn’t returned — I really do think it was a young eagle!

When will this ever end???
I’ve been doing fairly well with treadmill runs, but I realized I’d already taken this run, and while I liked it, the instructor seemed to be calling out everyone and their brother (birthdays, hitting a certain amount of runs, etc.). That gets old — let me listen to the music or just shut up already (people probably think the same thing when I teach Yoga). I gave serious consideration to cutting this run a little short but . . .

Flip the script
I realized I had let my thoughts be really negative for most of this run. In the last five minutes or so, I made a serious effort to concentrate on gratitude: for my treadmill, for my healthy, for my ability to run. I made an effort to smile. You know what? It worked! Even though it was the last few minutes of the run, it suddenly felt easier.

Do you think about different things on the treadmill vs outside? 

Do you think about the same things on most runs? 

What about short runs vs long runs? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Running Pet Peeves in a Pandemic

It’s always bpandemicpetpeevesbetter to be positive, but sometimes we just have to get things off our chests, #amiright? Running through a Pandemic definitely has not been easy! I feel blessed that I’ve never been on a lockdown that meant I couldn’t leave my home — even though I am grateful for my treadmill, I don’t want to have to run on it all the time. Which is pretty funny, like many runners I only ran on the treadmill when I first started running.

Wrong-siders
They are scarce right now. That’s people who run/walk on the wrong side of the road. It’s Winter, and while there are still people walking and running in the neighborhood, they are fewer and further between and it’s not so aggravating. No doubt that will change when Spring comes.

Running through the unmasked hordes
I understand that the chances of transmission are lower outside. I understand that even when I have to run around or even through a group, the amount of time I’m exposed to anything is actually quite small. I also understand that the reality is even a year later, no one is really quite sure how far droplets can travel.

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Where are all the races? Will there be Olympic Games? | Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Races taking a long time deciding to go virtual
This hasn’t effected me too much, I was only signed up for one race in 2020 and I totally expected it would be canceled — they also had a very generous deferral policy, which was one of the reasons I chose that particular race in the first place. I know some runners were kept on the hook for a long time, though. To train or not to train?

People who walk around with a mask in their hand . . .
. . . with absolutely no intention of ever putting said mask on.

What pet peeves haven’t I mentioned? 

What good running things have happened to you recently? 

Looking forward to some real races? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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6 Favorites of 2020

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2020 started with the death of my father, and ended (well, on Halloween) with death of Lola. There was a lot of loss for many dear friends in 2020, too. As hard as 2020 was, it definitely wasn’t all bad and I try to always look for the silver linings.

My rainbow hunt
Remember my challenge to you to look for the colors of the rainbow on the run? Since I spent a lot of time running in my own neighborhood, that was a nice distraction.

Exploring Olana Fall into Winter. Excited to see what it looks like in Spring!

My many visits to Olana
Olana is the halfway point on my trips to visit my mom, and for a long time I wasn’t allowed in her apartment, so the fact that the very clean bathrooms are open year round was a huge plus for me. I just find it a very soothing place to walk around.

The house is built atop a big hill, so it’s quite the workout to walk around there, too. I enjoyed watching the scenery change as the seasons changed — I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like in the Spring!

Finding new places to walk & run

New walking/running routes
I found some new places to run. I fell in love with short hikes at one of my old places I run. Maybe I’ll find even more places to run in 2021!

No vacations? Time to explore locally!

“Family” hikes
Both Lola and Bandit love exploring new places, and I know how much I will miss Lola as we begin to explore routes old and new — she was mostly such a happy dog. She hated car rides, but she loved going places — just like a woman! The Pandemic might just have been the nudge Mr. Judy needed to get out and about a little more.

A peaceful transfer of office
I never would have thought that that was something we would ever have to worry about in this country, but I am so grateful that there is a new administration. They have a very difficult job ahead on so many fronts, but for the first time in a long time, I am hopeful for this country’s future.

I just have to mention, too: a female vice president of color! I wasn’t crazy about Biden as a candidate — a lot had to do with his age — but now I’m coming to see that his experience and Kamala’s fresher take on things might just be the right combination we need at this point in time.

My family is healthy, knock on wood
With my sister working at Old Navy, my brother making trips back and forth to take his son to college and sometimes still working in an office, my mom living through a few COVID outbreaks where she lives — I am so happy that my family has remained healthy. That wasn’t the case for so many, and some dear friends lost loved ones — human, furkids, to COVID and other things. My heart goes out to all that have lost loved ones.

My father, a year later, is still not buried due to COVID. I don’t know when that will happen, and my mom now thinks she no longer wants to make the trip – their plot is a long drive from here, but it’s where my brother (who died before I was born) and my Dad’s parents are buried, and other relatives, too. I have promised my mother that he will get buried.

Could you come up with six favorites for 2020? I didn’t think I would be able to at first!

What was good about 2020 that surprised you? 

What is your favorite memory of 2020? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Thoughts on Running through a Pandemic

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Back in August, I wrote about the good things in a Pandemic (you can read that post here). It’s easy to find bad things, but what you focus on grows, so why not focus on the good stuff? The topic today is what did I learn about myself in the Pandemic, but I sort of covered that so I’ll share some thoughts about running through a Pandemic.

Running can be your friend
Some people are comfortable running with friends, some aren’t — and we all have different circumstances. Running can absolutely be like getting together with an old friend:

  • Running can push you
  • Running can cheer you up
  • Running rituals (warmups, foam rolling, post run drinks) can be comforting
  • Running can take you away — literally — from all the bad that surrounds you

Last but not least, running is always there for you. If you have to take a break, running will be waiting.

Virtual Races can serve a purpose/s
There are plenty of avid runners that never race. There are plenty of runners that are over virtual races. Again everyone is different; it’s a no judgement zone!

We all run for different reasons, but one of my reasons is to challenge myself. I don’t go all out training for a virtual race and I definitely don’t push as hard during. I do make sure I’m in shape for the distance and I like to push a little. It’s just good for the body and soul.

Virtual Races can also help support your favorite running groups and charities.

Running during a Pandemic can be freeing
For some of us. There are those that #runallthemiles (again, whatever floats your boat) and there are those that found it freeing to relax their running a bit. Both reactions can serve a purpose.

As much as I miss my racecations, I have also turned my thoughts to regular vacations. Maybe we’ll actually take one when we feel comfortable traveling again. I will definitely bring my running gear and I will definitely run — so fun to run in a new place! — but there is a certain amount of stress that comes with the racecation.

Right now I am embracing Winter, because you should never wish your life away, but I am definitely looking forward to warmer days and exploring new places and old favorites without fearing I’ll fall or donning a gazillion layers. I think it will still be a while before we travel. Maybe in the Fall? For our anniversary?

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Final Thoughts
My running has definitely changed during these “interesting” times. Much less of it — which can be freeing — there’s definitely more to life than running for me. Completely solo (although walks with friends when I can). Less hard running.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m pretty sure it will hold more running

What would you add to my list about ways running can be your friend?

If you ran a virtual race in 2020 — why? 

How are you embracing the now? 

You’re invited: I’m going to a lead a Facebook Live meditation on unity tomorrow, at 11 am EST. You can join in here.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Outcome vs Process Goals

Have you heard about SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound) goals? That’s usually all you hear about this time of year! Of course it’s important for your goals to be SMART, or smart, for that matter!

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What about outcome vs process goals?

Outcome Goals
Outcome goals are the end result you’re looking for. They’re proverbial marathon, not the sprint! Examples of Outcome goals:

  1. Run a PR at __________ distance
  2. Run a faster 5k
  3. Run without walking breaks

Outcome goals motivate us in a big way. The problem with outcome goals? They are usually things we don’t have total control over. We’ve all trained hard for a particular race or distance only to come up short on race day. That’s why runners say that you never know what race day will hand you. That’s why we try to train for the things we think race day will hand us, but we’ve all had races where unexpected things went wrong that no amount of training could have prepared us for.

Process Goals
This is exactly where process goals come in. These are goals that we can control.

Let’s take the outcome goal of running a particular race without taking walking breaks. The process goals are relatively simple:

  • Start with organized run/walk intervals
  • Gradually begin to increase your run interval and shorten your walk interval
  • Practice running shorter distances with no walk breaks at all when you think you’re ready
  • Gradually begin to increase your runs with no walking until you know you can run the distance without walking
  • Give yourself peace of mind by going further than the race distance (depending on how long it is, there is the law of diminishing returns, so if you’re training for a marathon, running beyond that distance opens you up to injury or illness — although there are those that swear by always running longer than the race distance)

There could be a lot of other process goals in that list: hire a coach; find a training plan that suits your desired outcome; make sure you have a solid base before training for your race; do running drills; strength train; make sure you work in rest days; make sure you leave yourself extra training time in case of injury or illness.

By now you’re probably thinking of some outcome goals for 2021, and what process goals will move you towards that outcome.

I admit I’ve struggled with enjoying the journey sometimes. I love to tick things off a list though! I look forward to exploring outcome goals vs process goals more. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Final Thoughts
We hear all the time that it’s the journey, not the destination. Of course outcomes are fantastic when we achieve them, but they can be oh-so-elusive, too.

There is a lot of satisfaction — and ease of mind! — in ticking off all your process goals. You will know that you did your very best. You will feel proud of every step you took towards your goal. You will feel a sense of accomplishment, whether or not you manage to meet your outcome goal.

ICYMI: I’ve covered Who & What in the Yin Yoga FAQ; now it’s time to explain when you should practice, which you’ll here.  If you have a question, drop it in the comments and I’ll cover it — eventually!

What outcome goals are you working on?

Have you thought about the process goals you need to complete to achieve your outcome goal? 

Or would you rather not think and just run? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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What will keep you moving in 2021?

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Motivation can be hard to come by in the North during Winter. Motivating yourself out the door when the wind is howling, the snow is flying, and often it’s bitterly cold. Then there’s all the layers — you just feel weighed down. Or is it just me?

The things that normally motivate me in Winter — the post run brunches, the handful of races, the occasional racecation around my birthday — they’re not things I can do in 2021. Or even did in 2020. So what can you do to stay motivated? I went looking for some running challenges to tackle. They are endless, and once you start searching, of course even more will pop up in your FB feed.

Here’s a few you can consider, and also search on your state. Because every state has a challenge or two.

Run Across America Winter Warmup
Choose your goal to run/walk 50km, 100km, or 250km before Daylight Savings on 3/14. Your $45 entry includes either a long sleeve tech shirt or a winter beanie. Medals are extra. It sounds like a fun challenge, although a bit pricey for what you get. They will match your donation to their charity of choice, Feeding America. Sign up here.

2021 Invincible Challenge
The 2021 Invincible Challenge was designed to keep you moving all year. This challenge is totally flexible to your abilities and goals. You can run, walk, cycle, swim, or row the miles in any combination you see fit. All exercise miles count, indoors or out. Select either MILES or KM.

I have to admit I think the tee designs are cool. I know I’m not doing 2021 miles. But 2021 KM? Reasonably priced at $32 (includes just the tee), but no charity component. Sign up here.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Winter Mile Club
All Winter Mile Club Participants will get access to a 12 week half or full marathon training plan (including mobility, stretching, strength), you’ll log miles on RunSignup to show on our leaderboard, will receive our awesome Boco Gear Winter Beanie, and receive an exclusive Customized CSWS Running Mileage Goal Sticker with your accomplished mile tier.

It’s pricey, again, $50 for a 3 month training plan — plus $7.50 shipping. But I do like a training plan (even if I’m probably not running a Spring half). Sign up here.

I Live to Run Gold Challenge
Run/Walk 500 and/or up to 2000 miles in 2021. $50 for a tee and medal, $34 for just the medal. I’m not a bling-driven runner, but it’s a cool medal. I don’t think it’s cool enough to pay $34 for, but maybe you will. Sign up here.

Race Through the States Challenge
Each month, race through a different state and get a medal representing that state. You choose the distance for each “race”. 20% of your registration goes to feeding America. You can purchase a tee separately. Sign up here.

The same company has a similar challenge with Zodiac signs here. Actually, they do have a lot of cool themed virtual races that can keep you “racing”, including their Neptune Challenge (here) which allows you to pick a running/ walking goal for 2021.

Jenny Hadfield’s Winter Warrior Challenge
This challenge aims to keep you running strong through the Winter, and includes: 3 virtual races of varying distances; nutrition, health, and training tips; access to Jenny’s training plans; a finisher’s medal; access to Jenny’s warm-up, cool down, strength, and stretching workouts. It’s $49 for the Winter Challenge or $147 for the full year. Sign up here.

Zooma Run Club
The Zooma Run Club is free, and you can pick your mileage challenge. You can also choose to pay for some swag, but you’ll get the camaraderie, the mileage trackers, and the monthly challenges for free. Sign up here.

AMR Many Happy Miles
AMR Many Happy Miles is a year long program. It includes a training journal, monthly workouts, guest coaches, expert workshops, and a lot more! It’s $185 per year. Sign up here.

Final Thoughts
There is a challenge out there for everyone! From free to inexpensive to a bit of an investment. One of the good things to come out of 2020 was all the way runners and race companies were forced to get creative. Will I sign up for one of these? Stay tuned.

I have also come up with an easy challenge for myself in 2021: walk outside every day, unless I’m injured, or am getting sick, or am actually sick — or the weather is really too dangerous to walk outside. I already do this for the most part; Bandit gets walked most days. There are days it’s too cold for him to walk outside, though — but not necessarily too cold for me (except for that dog mom guilt he always gives me when I walk out that door).

I need gentle challenges, because I tend to cling too tightly to them sometimes. I just need something that will push me to do a little more. Anyone want to join me?

Have you ever signed up for a challenge to keep you moving?

Have you participated in a state themed challenge in 2020? 

Do any of these challenges sound interesting to you? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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