Something I have learned about running.

Every run doesn’t have to be awesome.  This mornings run was the exact same distance as Wednesday’s run but today there was a creepy eyeball with a side of a really large forehead and it was 9.5 minutes slower than my run yesterday. 

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A few years ago (okay, okay only about 1.5 years ago) I pushed myself in every run.  My goal was to either try to do the same pace every run or do it even faster.  I didn’t run as many miles each week as I do now but I got hurt all of the time (from running, not falling down the stairs like lately) because I pushed my body every time I ran.  Today I kept thinking about how great it felt to slow down and enjoy it rather than feeling the need to push myself every time I get on the treadmill.  I am almost getting too wise and mature about running.

Speaking of speed:

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I saw this workout in Runners World and I really want to try it even though speed work scares me.  I am going to try to get to the track (there is one within .2 miles of me) one of these nights that Billy is home but if not it will be done on tready.  

I finally made a lunch that wasn’t just toast and cereal.  I was feeling the need to actually ingest some nutrients so I steamed veggies, had a baked potato and grilled some chicken.  All topped with either bbq sauce or ketchup but not both because that would just be weird.  I also had an apple with peanut butter because I was still hungry.  

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Sour patch kids in the background to reward myself for eating my veggies.  

It is very cold today (I have already lost my Utah thick skin) and so this was completely necessary:

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3 tips for the best hot chocolate:

1.  Use milk instead of water (if you drink milk).

2.  Leave the marshmallow bag right next to you with easy access to the marshmallows so that you can refill often.

3.  Use a spoon so that it is easier to eat multiple marshmallows at a time.

4.  Tip I haven’t tried yet but I will tomorrow:  Fill the entire mug with marshmallows and then drizzle some hot chocolate over the marshmallows. 

Have you ever suffered from ‘I MUST go fast every run’ syndrome.  What about the ‘I MUST PR in every race I enter’ syndrome?

What was the most nutritious thing that you have eaten today?

When was your last speed workout?

Favorite vegetable to steam?

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71 comments

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I can definitely relate. I used to think every run had to be my max potential but then I realized that’s just plain silly. Some runs should be slower and more enjoyable. Just like anything in life, it’s always about balance.

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I do suffer the “I must run a PR in every race” syndrome. I need to get over that because it gets disappointing and running races is supposed to be fun!
The most nutritious thing I ate today was a salad for lunch (i ate about 6 tons of candy when I got home so I’m sure I negated the healthy lunch), my favorite steamed veggie is…..any of them. I do like steamed veggies :)

I am packing for a road trip for my second marathon this weekend and was looking for some new music. Have any really great go-to songs that push you hard the last 10k of a marathon??? Please share! :)

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(Oh and of course I’m looking for a PR)

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AHHHHHH GOOD LUCK!! Which marathon? You are going to rock it and I have a feeling get a pr especially after eating candy today! What kind of music do you like?

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Thank you! Pensacola Marathon (I’m a Florida girl) I like anything bootie shaking to get you moving! Black Eyed Peas was my go to music for a while but they haven’t come out with much new lately and I’m kind of burnt out on a lot of their stuff.

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Not so much on each and every run. But there are some races I do for fun, with friends. And others that I push for a PR.
Today I have eaten carrots.
I don’t do speed workouts on purpose.
I will eat any vegetable steamed.
The Kidless Kronicles

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Hahaha I love hot chocolate but am a bit of a snob and get secretly angry (or at least disappointed) when there are no marshmallows in it. I will also accept chocolate chips and candy canes to put in it.

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You crack me up. Love the marshmallow overload.

I like steamed Brussel sprouts. Totally out of character for me, but they are so cute, and actually tasty.

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This post is exactly what I needed to read!! Over the past 4-6 weeks I have slipped into a “push as hard as possible/PR time or distance or both” routine for every single run. I have actually felt disappointed when I didn’t reach my goal even though I am running much faster than I was three months ago. It’s all about perspective, but I don’t want to lose appreciation for more relaxed runs. Any tips?!

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ooh ooh! I have a question!! You eat baked potatoes a lot. What is your best/fave way of cooking them? I make baked sweet potatoes in the micro, but they cook faster than russets.

Nutritious was my Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

And I try to run my best every time, but that’s ok b/c I’m still at a 12:26 min/mile.

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If you want to try something really awesome, put marshmallow fluff in your hot chocolate. It is AMAZING!

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That is brilliant!!! THANK YOU!!! I can’t wait to try it.

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That’s my favorite! I even add a spoonful of peanut butter and let it melt!

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I’m glad you posted this. I just started running earlier this year, and pushed myself into a 6 week break, physical therapy and x-rays that are costing me a ton. Now that I’m back running I will remember to just enjoy the run….that’s so nice to hear. Stop pushing so hard but just let it go and have fun with it. Oh today, nothing too crazy healthy, had a small chicken pho from my favorite local Pho place close to work.

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Hey Tammy!! I am so happy that you are back running and yes, enjoy the run!

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I will thanks, and I signed up for my first 5k. Hey you gotta start somewhere right. Next month Toys for Tots and I got a few friends training for it too.

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My ideal marshmallow to hot chocolate ratio is 3:1 yum! I consider any run that I don’t keep my usual pace a fail. I have been trying to realize that not every run can be the same but its hard! Broccoli is my favorite steamed veggie but honestly I’d eat any steamed veggie and love it.

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I could not agree more with your hot chocolate ratio!

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I don’t remember what my last speedwork workout was, but my favourite is (8 x 1min on, 1 min off) x 2 with 3 min rest between the sets of 8. Such a good push through the minute and then a full minute off. You can do it anywhere and the time flies!!
I was JUST thinking on my run today how if I had run what I did even 2 months ago, I probably would have been upset. I set out for a PDR (and managed!! 25km!!) but covered the time and pace on my Garmin. I knew that I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I probably could, but I was enjoying the weather and the scenery so much, it made up for it. When I got home, I found out that I did MUCH better than I thought (1:55!!) and was happy. Had I been watching my pace, I would have been upset for not pushing harder. Not every run has to be fast, but every run has to be fun!!
Healthiest thing today was waffle with pureed spinach and banana protein powder and egg. Well, it was the healthiest until I topped it with PB, molasses, a little agave and maple syrup. ;) Rewards for eating my veggies too!

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I like tip #2 :)

Favorite steamed vegetable is cauliflower! I usually take steamed cauliflower and make them mashed!

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We break out parkas at 65F around here. So wimpy. My most nutritious thing is a banana. I almost ate a bunch of broccoli, but I got distracted by tortilla chips.

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I am such a huge fan of the constant top-up on mini ‘mellows in my hot cocoa! Mmmm… now I want to go get some! My last speed workout was today (400s!) and I loved steamed artichokes the best! YUM!

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it took me a LONG time to learn to slow down my easy days and not go to death on all of my runs. actually it more took my body rebelling, sort of like with your injuries, to hammer the point home! oh us runners, so stubborn, but eventually we learn. yay for us wiser runners, right? ;) hehe

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I am too lazy to push myself hard every run. Plus it would take all the fun out of it for the long term. I just usually go whatever pace my leggies wanna do that day. If I PR, I PR. And since I am so slow, I have no choice but to PR eventually. ;-)

Most nutritious thing I ate today? Egg whites and a sweet potato. Not at the same time.

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Hmm. I’ve been having trouble getting my veggies in lately. Maybe I’ll have to try your approach of rewarding myself with candy when I eat them – sounds perfectly reasonable :D And I’ve definitely struggled with always feeling like I have to one-up myself with every workout. It still tries to kick in every now and again, but I’ve gotten a lot better at just listening to my body and not pushing myself harder than I can handle.

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Our running group did speed work today (400s). It’s so much easier with a group- without them I was lucky to attempt speed work once a month, and it never lasted more than about 3 miles of Fartleks. I’ve actually seen noticeable improvement in my times, so I’m hoping it keeps paying off and I can break 2 hours for a half marathon on Sunday (or at least PR).
I’ve eaten pretty well today- homemade turkey chili with cornbread for lunch, and a 2 egg, 2 slices of cheese sandwich with a giant glass of chocolate milk for dinner, and I’m having a salad for dessert (weird, yes, but it seemed even stranger to eat a salad before breakfast food).
I can’t relax when I run on the treadmill- unless I cover the time/distance screen. It’s too easy to bump up the speed and push too hard, so when I want to run easy, I have to go outside.

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I am constantly thinking I am not doing enough if I’m not increasing pace, incline, doing sprints, etc on my treadmill. An easy run for me is about a 10 min mile pace and I never feel like it is enough if that is *all* I manage. But with hamstring pain, I had to force myself to do an easy 5 miles in 50 min and you know I think I just have to remember, 5 miles is 5 miles and better than 0!

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JODI!! Love your new mentality about it all… 5 miles is WAY WAY WAY better than 0. You are doing awesome and get that hamstring healed!

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If its the first time I’m running a certain distance I just try to finish, if its something I’ve done before I try to beat my previous time.

I drank some hot green tea, is that nutritious? Otherwise maybe the FMW I ate without milk for breakfast with a strawberry-kiwi water. If none of these, then my dinner with my healthy. Its loaded with a veggie and some beans.

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FMW is definitely nutritious:)

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I noticed that you run on the treadmill I just bought. Do you have the iFit card and account activated? I’m all for a cool new gadget (especially if it motivates me to run), but I can’t decide whether it is worth the money. I would love your take on this feature.

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HEY!! That is so cool, I love our treadmill. I do not use that feature and I haven’t tried it so I don’t know if it is worth it or not. Let me know if you get it and what you think about it. Have a great day!

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Its really hard for me to do a “slow” run – I’m training for my first half and I know some days you shouldnt run as fast as possible but I can’t help it! I need to feel the sweat.

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I want that hot chocolate!! Haha, and I agree with feeling the need to up myself speed wise on runs. I really try not to and just run for the sake of running, but I know I try to push myself, especially if I’m timing using my Runkeeper app. Just have to keep working at myself to not be so concerned with speed so that I don’t get hurt or lose my love of running

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I’ve definitely suffered from “I must run fast” syndrome but marathon training taught me to slow down!

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Can I just say how weird it is that we are literally exactly the same person? I drink my hot chocolate the same way as you. And baked potatoes and grilled chicken just can’t be eaten without ketchup. It should be a rule. If you ever ever make it to the east coast look me up!

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I LOVE IT!! YES, it should be a rule ha. You better believe we are hanging out when I am on the east coast.

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All of my runs are slow. I only push myself in races. Oops. Speedwork scares the heck out of me. Bleh.

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I hate that little voice in my head that tells me if a run is slower than the run before I failed, or if I don’t run as fast as I did ten years ago I am weak. The voice is evil, so I drown it out with positive messages, or, if that doesn’t work, I visit the local exorcist.

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I’m drinking homemade hot cocoa with my family right now! We got 10cms of snow today with more on the way so we r keeping warm indoors :)
Favorite veggie to steam is broccoli. I love it.

I don’t push myself like crazy in every run and although I’d love to PR every race I enter it doesn’t happen especially bc of weather and hills and so forth…my last half was on a path full of ice and snow so I threw my hopes of a PR out the window and just had fun :)

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I am just starting out running and I was wondering if you could do a post on how you first started running. I am also struggling with refueling/how much to refuel. I feel like 3-4 miles doesn’t necessitate that much refueling, but then I find myself starving later! I also have found that running somewhat numbs my appetite. How do you combat this? Thank you so much.

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Agreed! It’d be interesting to read about the “early years”. (Was Janae ever a 9 min miler once upon a time?)

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I’ve been having that problem lately with always feeling like I have to run at a fast pace. Then when I just stop caring, it reminds me why I love running and feels so right.

I’m impressed with your lunch. Mine, as well as all other snacks and meals today, have been focused on cereal and candy. It’s getting pretty ridiculous. The leftover Halloween candy just keeps calling to me.

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JANAEE thats the story of my life, i used to always always have to run harder/faster each time and would be so upset if it hurt or i couldnt do it. i am now learning its okay to slow down!! glad im not the only one.

i think its also helping bc right now im upping the days i run per week but running less each day. i used to run 3 days a week at a minimum of 10 miles each run. now i run 5 days a week doing 7 miles or so each run. this helps me to run slower bc im taking fewer rest days between runs

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I was so excited to tell you about putting fluff in your hot
Chocolate and then I saw someone already did :(
Another thing that is really good in HC is frozen cool whip. Yum.

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I have to try that!!!!!! Seriously that sounds so so so good!!!

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As a newbie runner, I’m still totally in the constant improvement/pushing mode. Trying to back off and enjoy it but as I get stronger, my easy pace keeps getting easier! I guess I’ll enjoy that until the inevitable drop off in improvement. :D

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I’ve definitely had that feeling of needing to PR in all the races I run all the time (such as the San Jose Half. I have run it four years in a row and PR’d every time). As far as running faster during training? Nahhh… I would beat myself too much over it. :P

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I do feel that way about workouts. Those days when they’re less than stellar really bum me out.

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I like the idea of a speed workout pyramind! I do some speedwork now but I really need to do more. I think I’ll try that!

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Not that I have EVER done this ;) but putting a crunched up fun size butterfinger in your hot chocolate is pretty tasty. So is heavy whipping cream :) I am pretty stoked for the cruise because I hear their hot chocolate is mighty tasty.

I usually only run 3x a week so I sometimes feel like I have to ‘make each run count’ and I go too fast and get injured. A lot. It wasn’t until my marathon training that I finally slowed my ‘easy’ and long runs down…and managed to stay injury free (who knew?!) But since I do a lot of my runs on the treadmill, I like speedwork to make the time go by faster. I have been battling a cold all week so my runs have been pretty easy. I will most definitely be trying the one you just posted though. And for you ‘not’ doing speedwork, you are still mighty fast my dear friend.

I like that you can see the steam coming off your lunch. yum! My green smoothie for breakfast was good…I also had BBQ chicken quinoa for lunch and that was tasty and healthy. I think my favorite veggie to steam is broccoli. I roast most of my veggies.

I am so stoked to be seeing you soon..and Brooke (ummm where was she in this post!!??) You better be planning on hanging out with me at least a trillion times while you are here!

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I do tend to try & push myself on my runs-just one mile extra or just a bit faster. Last week my Garmin died & I had the best runs I’ve had in awhile. No pace, no mileage, just me & my run. It was refreshing & a great reminder to slow down & enjoy!

You must check out this race series-http://www.hotchocolate15k.com/. There are several locations. It’s a 15k & you get hot chocolate & chocolate fondue at the finish. Heaven!!!! And worth every step!

Healthy food today-veggie egg white omelet. Yum!

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Now I need to have hot chocolate right now! I was just wondering what my snack should be…thank you. I just bought some Almond Joy creamer and will be adding that along with half the bag of marshmallows:)

I also feel like I need to go all out and then if I can’t I feel discouraged. I’m trying to just enjoying being able to keep running while being pregnant.

If I ever do speedwork, I like to do it on the treadmill. I have the hardest time sensing what my own pace is!

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I’ve done one day of speedwork intervals per week for the past few months and it really makes a huge difference in other workouts. As I’ve gotten faster, my feel for pacing has also gotten crazy precise. I can’t believe it’s not already a crucial part of your routine! It will take you to the next level, for sure!

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I love your hot chocolate tips but I have to add…use graham craackers to scoop mallows out of mug into mouth. Let them soak in the hot choclate for ultimate flavor : )

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This post is so timely! If I couldn’t run fast, I would just call it a day. Today was one of those days but instead of stopping, I just majorly reduced my pace…I ended up having a great (although slow) run and I still left with an endorphin high…WIN!

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I’m so glad you wrote about this! I’m feeling very under the weather at the moment but was really struggling to be OK with NOT running – especially since I feel like I found my groove again.
Rest it is, I guess!

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I have embraced the “hard/easy” principle in training, but with racing I ALWAYS want a PR. Even when I’ve planned to run a race as a training run, it’s sooo hard not to push it! Though I have to admit, the last race I did, as part of a 20 miler, was really enjoyable. I ran it at a very comfortable pace and actually got to take in the views along the course!

Totally craving hot chocolate with marshmallows now :) Good call for this chilly day!

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Love me a good hot chocolate… Your one looks great! Fave vege to steam and eat is brocolli… That was probably one of the most nutritional things i have had today… Along with the other fruit and veges I had. Yum!

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I really do poorly with the whole “slow down on your long runs” thing – they are usually at the same pace as a medium run for me!

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I suffer from “must PR at every race” and for a while it was actually true (where I just started running in April and was continuing to get better I would PR at pretty much every race). Then I did some hard trail races and I didn’t PR by a LOT. But I felt like I worked it really hard AND got 2nd in my age group both times. I’ll take that :) I used to not push my self hard enough (as in speed) during my runs I would only push myself distance wise. Now I’m learning to also push it pace wise but not every time. A speed workout is on the schedule every week but I think the last one I did was mid-October. It feels to cold to run that fast now. Maybe this weekend – it’s supposed to be “warm!”

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I did suffer from the, “My goal time must be at least a one second PR” syndrome, until I ran more than a year without a PR and finally changed my wiley ways.

The most nutritious thing that I ate yesterday (since I am reading this early in the a.m. while drinking my breakfast (eggnog, OJ, maternal tea, all in separate glasses of course) was a turkey cheese quiche. I will have to load up on the veggies today myself :)

My last speed workout…does a 5K every month even though I am pregnant and am struggling to finish in under 30 minutes count? If not I would say probably February when I was in the throes of marathon training.

Favorite vegetable to steam is definitely artichokes. Artichoke ROCK!

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unfortunately i have both “i must run fast every run” syndrome AND “i must PR in every race” syndrome. ahh! it’s crazy-making.

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Yes, definitely have had that whole PR syndrome! But after running a handful of marathons and races you learn that not every race is going to be your best, OMG most amazing run ever. I have learned the hard way to just enjoy running and races for what they are and when I relax and enjoy the ride is when I do some of my best running!

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I used to try to run fast or the same speed every run. Lately, though, I’ve been running with friends and family that are slower than I am normally and I’m really loving the easier pace. It seems way more relaxing.

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Haha I was about to ask if you had any liquid in that mug or if it was just all marshmallows!

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I find it so hard to be forgiving of ourselves when it comes to running and feeding ourselves. I’m trying to have the mindset of “one workout, one meal, one day does not define me.” Yesterday, I had such a horrendous day of eating….I know why I did what I did. But it’s a challenge not to let the mental side of not doing *more* all the time affect you. Thanks for posting this. The good news is – there is ALWAYS the opportunity to do more and do better tomorrow. <3

Last speed workout was last week….trying to get HRG and SR fast!! Woooooot!

Favorite veggie to steam: broccoli!

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I am the same way about running. I feel like if I don’t run my fastest or do my best every time then I’ve failed. Well, then I got injured so obviously it wasn’t smart. I do still hate when I have a “bad run” or a “bad race”, race more so than run, but I guess I just need to get over that!

This past Saturday I ran a 5K and I really really wanted to PR. Well, I didn’t and I was pretty upset afterwards until I thought about it and I knew not every race was going to be great and that was ok.

I ate blueberry greek yogurt and a packet of tuna for lunch!

I really need to do speed work. Honestly, I’m sort of scared because I don’t know the first thing about it or how to go about it because I’ve never done it before!

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I think I will take option #4 for the hot cocoa–never enough marshmallows for me!!

Great point on pacing–Sometimes I’m so dependent on it that I forget to FEEL!

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Oh this is so important! I’ve been trying to do the same, and just run as fast as my body feels it wants to go. I don;t plan to PR in my next race…but the one after that – it’s on.

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My husband is a dairy farmer, I just wanted to give you KUDOS for promoting milk! Especially in making hot chocolate!

So many people are watching their weight they forget about the importance of dairy for bone health, especially for runners, we need it! Sadly milk is not a top choice in beverages anymore as it should be!

Always love reading your blog, especially with that little cutie patootie you have! (I’m talking about Brooke, so there’s no confusion!)

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