The prompt for this week’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs,My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice has me thinking about, well, the way runners think: If you could go back and run/train for a race differently … what would you redo?

I’m not one to obsess over mistakes I’ve made during a run or race, so I’m not sure that I’m the right person to answer that question. Take the Run Woodstock 50K.

I could dwell on the buckets of rain that kept my four friends and I up the night before, leaving us with just a few minutes at a time of actual sleep. Instead, I choose to focus on the giggling we all did as we kept whispering “are you asleep?” to each other over and over as the wind and rain pelted my RV, ensuring no one could get any sleep.

I could blame my 10-and-a-half-hour finish time on the ridiculous amounts of mud on the trails, which made us slip and slide, and even sucked up one of my friends’ shoes. Instead, I get to remember one of my most-memorable running-related stories: the race volunteer who gave the socks off her own feet to a runner who was getting blisters.

I could complain about a number of minor irritations, including the stinky vault toilets, wet socks and swollen fingers. Instead, I choose to remember the kind and encouraging words from fellow runners, race volunteers and my friends who traveled to the race just to cheer us on.

This may mean that I’m going through life with rose-colored glasses. But it’s a quality I’ve admired in my friends who run. We may be facing health crises, family drama or job-related insanity and still get up at 4:30 on a Tuesday morning to meet up with each other to start our day with four miles.

Several of the always-optimistic runners who let me join them week after week.

Several of the always-optimistic runners who let me join them week after week.

Do the running-induced endorphins make us ridiculously positive or are already-positive (or furiously happy) people drawn to running?

Like the week’s prompt, it’s not a question I can easily answer. But I’ll just leave it here for y’all to answer because I have to go get my running gear together for our morning run.

There is very little time to do anything but run when training for a long race. Four or five runs per week, including a three or four hour long run on Saturdays means less time for … (insert just about any activity here). Now that I’m not running quite as much, I finally feel like I have a bit more time.

So after listening to my running friends’ advice, I’ve decided to do a few things:

Cross training. Yoga’s not my favorite thing, but it is a necessary one. I’ve spent some time on my Gaiam mat with Rebecca Pacheco’s videos on the Runner’s World magazine site. I like that she focuses on moves specifically for runners. I also rode my bike with el husbando last week and we plan to do so again more often. Mental note: Need to buy a more-comfortable bike seat. (Yup, old-lady seat, here I come!)

Someone thought yoga looked like fun.

Someone thought yoga looked like fun.

Core work. I keep telling myself that I would dust off the Jillian Michaels DVDs I already have, but I haven’t quite yet. I did find a 30-day plank challenge you can do in your PJs. If the personal trainer who developed the videos can do them in her pajamas, then I figured I could give the thing a try. A thunderstorm kept me inside on the treadmill for a couple of miles tonight, so I did day one on the yoga mat and didn’t die. We’ll see what my bum shoulder thinks of this tomorrow.

Plan. I’ve been poking around one of my favorite Michigan runner blogger’s sites, looking for race reviews. So far, I know I want to do the Gazelle Girl Half, Grand Island Half, Two Hearted Trail Half and the Detroit International Half. I haven’t decided whether I’ll be doing another long race, but there’s talk among my runner friends of heading back to do another Run Woodstock event. (Translation: If they jump off a cliff … I’ll be signing up for the 50K with them again.)

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I need a goal (or 12) to keep putting in the work. It’s been fun to have more time to do things like watch the Rome series with our favorite teenager, or to support my friends on their long runs because they needed company.

But I do know that I need to start signing up for some events to keep myself running through the winter months, even if I do look like the Michelin Man.

To that end, I’m considering doing at least a half marathon each month next year, including several on trails. What do y’all think? Do you have any Michigan races you think I should consider? Have you signed up for any 2017 races already?


You’ve spent a season training for your big race. You’ve put in hours and hours on the road or trail, you’ve run your race, gotten your medal and posted your accomplishment on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Now what?

First, it’s normal to have a bit of a letdown after achieving a big-deal-whoopie running goal. So much of your time and energy has been focused on getting to the start line that few of us spend much — if any — time thinking about what comes next.

What’s a runner chico or chica to do? That’s why I’m writing about the most challenging aspect of running right now for the Tuesdays on the Run link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice.

For me, it’s figuring out what to do after meeting a big audacious running goal, so I turned to my runner friends. Here’s what they said:

Kari: I’m new to running as of last October so I have some hefty goals ahead of me. With that being said, I started small and my race distances just keep growing. Is there really a limit? I truly don’t think so. Only thing that is limiting is our imagination and belief in ourselves. If a new runner sees a 100 miler in their future, I’d say “you got this” and encourage. Setting a new goal (signing up) is what has kept me motivated to succeed.

Erinn: Set another goal. A smaller goal — but still a challenge goal. Like best 5k (work on speedwork) or another fitness goal like pull ups, more paddle boarding for core strength, and all the while looking at other options. Word of mouth is the best way to ultra. If another runner tells you that “you’ll like this race,” heed their advice.

Shannon: I’ve both taken time off and just ran for health. I’ve also gone bigger and longer. Currently, I’m racing a lot, and I look forward to late November when I don’t have any more planned races. But the reality is that in November I’ll feel like I have no direction and I’ll feel lost, just like the last time I didn’t have any goal race scheduled.

Emily: I kind of just keep training for the next thing, even if it’s smaller than the big goal race, it helps keep me moving. Though, in autumn I don’t really need to extra motivation. The perfect weather is usually enough to get me moving because it’s just so beautiful.

Barb: I make a new goal after a big race. I already know what my next goal is, speed. I now know I can do the distance but now I want to get faster.

Janet: After the big goal, relax, enjoy the time and then get back to running. I run because I’ve experienced life when I couldn’t run and that sucks! So run because you can.

Corey: I’m typically depressed and irritable and eat non-stop until I sign up for the next big race. Running Grand Rapids marathon Oct. 23 which will qualify me for marathon maniacs, a goal I set for 2016. I’m looking now for my next big goal after that though, otherwise I’ll fall into winter holiday hibernation and gain 10 lbs.

Samantha: Bringing down the miles and giving our bodies a break is healthy. But … I’m scouring the Internet for upcoming races because I’m feeling crazy.

As for me, I haven’t yet decided what I’ll do next, whether I’ll be focusing on distance or speed, for example. But what I do know is that I’ll take a cue from my mentors Brandess, Janet and Shannon: I’ll be focusing on helping my friends reach their goals. Because that’s what I love the best about running: other runners.

What’s the most difficult aspect of running for you right now? Feel free to share your own blog posts below.

This week’s dinner menu

by lachicaruns on

menu ideas burger basket finalI’m back to regularly scheduled programming, running and eating better since last week’s recovery week after my friends and I ran the Woodstock 50K.

I even compiled a list of some of the best advice I’ve come across for Tuesdays on the Run.

What I haven’t done is do a good job planning our meals. Instead, I followed my own advice and pulled out a meal plan from another week. You can find previous weeks’ meal plans here, here and here. And you can always pull some new ones together.

As for this weekend, I’ve got an 18- to 20-mile run with my friend Vicki who apparently didn’t think that 50K was a good enough goal and instead also signed up for the Detroit and New York marathons.

It’s great to think that a long long-run is pretty routine. But it also reminds me that I need a plan for life after my big, audacious goal. I’ve spent close to a year leading up to Woodstock and I’m now a little rudderless. Not really sure what to do now. I’ll be sure to let you know when I decide.

Have you decided what to do after reaching a big distance goal? Did you worry about losing your hard-won mileage base?

Running advice roundup

by lachicaruns on


I’ve been very fortunate that running has brought many gifts, including a plethora of runner friends. In particular, I’ve been blessed with very experienced runner friends who’ve mentored and encouraged me.

Thanks to them, I’ve learned a bunch of lessons, often without going through the pain of making too many mistakes. As part of today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice, I am sharing some of the best running advice I’ve gathered. Be sure to click on the hyperlink to read more:

I can no longer say I’m a newbie, but I continue to need my runner tribe as I continue on this journey. Hopefully, you can learn a thing or two as I do.

What’s been some of the best running advice you’ve gotten? Feel free to share your post here if you’ve written about this topic before.