A BLOG ABOUT ALL THINGS 13.1

All posts in Racing

14 Mar 2016

5 Ways to Curb Your Nerves for Your First Half Marathon

Signing up and running your first half marathon can at times be very intimidating. Here are five tips to give you the confidence you need to run your first 13.1 with excitement and ease!

  1. Sign Up with a Friend – If there’s one thing to learn from Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan’s strategy during the 2016 Olympic Time Trials, it’s that sometimes all you need is your best bud by your side to get you to the finish. Going at it with a sidekick will make the entire event more enjoyable as well as provide you with constant moral support both during training and in the race itself.
  1. Train Smart – Using a coach or a professional training plan to gear up for the race takes a lot of guess work out of training. It’ll ensure that you are more than ready for the event and take away a lot of pre-race jitters knowing that you’ve done all you can in preparation. Be sure to check out Race 13.1’s FREE training plans to help you get started!
  1. Do a Trial Run – Before the race, do your last long run in everything you plan on wearing and taking with you for the real deal. Wear the exact shoes, socks, shorts, and shirt. If you plan on carrying water or nutrition, practice eating and drinking the exact amounts that you think you might need for the race to minimize any unforeseen surprises.
  2. Don’t Set a Goal Time – If you’re someone who tends to put too much pressure on yourself, consider not setting a timed goal for your first half marathon. Yes, having a goal can be very motivating, but sometimes it’s accomplishment just to finish. Not only will it take a lot of pressure off of your performance, but not checking your watch obsessively will also give you a chance to enjoy more of the atmosphere around you.
  3. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously – Go out of your way to create great memories for your first race! Wear a costume, take selfies, give spectators high fives on the sidelines. Don’t ever take the fun out of running!

Meet Margaret: Margaret Molteni is a runner who moved to Memphis from Nashville to work as a Recreational Therapist, assisting individuals with disabilities. Outside of work, you can find her training for her next marathon, cooking, blogging, and always eating. For more healthy and delicious recipes or all things running, visit Margaret’s site at www.youngandrungry.com.

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17 Feb 2016

Run Like Meb

The 2016 Charleston Marathon was a disappointing race for me. I left the event feeling discouraged and disillusioned with running. Strangely enough, my despondency was in no way related to my running performance that day. Actually, I didn’t run at all; I was a spectator. Having run a marathon a mere week before, I was in prime spectating condition. I felt I could be of great support to the Charleston Marathoners, particularly along the course’s toughest points: the scenic wasteland at mile 9, and the dreaded traffic circle runners would enter and reenter from miles 18-23.

My BRF Rosemary and I formulated a plan that allowed us to cheer on friends running the race. Saturday night I created marginally funny signs of support. By 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, we were positioned at mile 9, just across from Waste Services and Container Salvage Co. When the leaders started coming through around 8:45, we cheered like we were crowd support at the US Olympic Marathon Trials.

Few runners glanced our way.

No nods, no tiny waves. Nonetheless, we continued holding our ridiculous signs and cheering for every runner like he was an Olympian. I thought for sure when “slower” runners like me started coming through, they would be the ones smiling, nodding, waving, and/or shouting words of thanks. Although quite a few smiled or chuckled to themselves as they turned our corner, most avoided eye contact and looked like they were trying to pretend two weirdos weren’t out alone in the cold holding stupid signs. After our friend Paul came through, we gave up with mile 9 and moved on to mile 18. Surely at this point in the race, the marathoners would need all the support they could get.

Mile 18 looked much like mile 9, though the runners were spread further apart from each other and wore more pronounced grimaces of the pain and exhaustion. Rosemary and I, now part of a small handful of spectators, continued to cheer madly and wave signs. The runners, by and large, ignored us.

I left the race feeling confused. Were these Charleston Marathoners made of sterner stuff than I? Did they need no cheering squad? Were they such bada**es they couldn’t lift a hand to wave or make eye contact to acknowledge their supporters?

My question was answered the day of the US Marathon Trials in Los Angeles. The Trials saw athletes like Des Linden round the final corner and raise her hands to arouse even more cheers from the crowd. Meb Keflezighi rounded that same turn carrying an American flag and high fiving spectators who lined the streets. Amy Hastings Cragg, who won the women’s race, stayed close to the finish line so she could watch an exhausted Shalane Flanagan cross the finish line in third. When Shalane collapsed, Cragg (who must have been exhausted herself) was the first to catch her as she fell. Linden, Keflezighi, and Cragg are some of the fastest runners in the world, and they all took the time to thank the crowd, or show their support to those who supported them.

Image used from Shalane Flanagan's Instagram account

Image used from Shalane Flanagan’s Instagram account

So runners, I challenge you to be more like Meb. In fact, I ask all of you, what are you doing to show your appreciation of those in the crowd? If the one of the fastest marathoners in the world can high five spectators at the US Marathon Trials, you can at least crack a smile or salute your fans. While spectators don’t attend a marathon expecting thanks for what they do, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it.


Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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14 Oct 2015

Why Run in Costume?

While October is prime half-marathoning season in many parts of the country, I also consider it to be the unofficial start to Running-in-Costume Season. Costumed racers begin to appear in October when people dressed like runners are chased by other runners in creepy zombie costumes. The season continues into November when Turkey Trots all across America help runners burn off those extra Thanksgiving calories while dressed as pilgrims, Pocahontas, or poultry. In my opinion, the official season concludes with all the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunges where, in terms of costumes, anything goes.

Why join others and wear a costume for your next race?

Reason #1: No Pressure

When you are running a 5k with your three best friends, and you’re each one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there’s no pressure to PR. You don’t have to worry about what your GPS watch says or whether you are running negative splits. After all, you’re only as fast as the slowest turtle.

Reason #2: Prizes

Races held during Running-in-Costume Season often offer prizes for those dressed in the best costumes. This means that even if you’re not the fastest runner, you can still obtain the glory and material goods that are often reserved for the first place finishers.

Reason #3: Comradery with Spectators

On our 10th wedding anniversary, my husband and I ran a half marathon dressed as a bride and groom. We had so many people cheer us on and ask to take pictures with us that we felt like Meb Keflezighi running the Boston Marathon. Wearing costumes unites people in a way that wearing regular running clothes cannot.

Running in Costume

Reason #4: Comradery with Friends

Unless you are five years old and a twin, it’s typically not encouraged that you intentionally match your clothing to someone else’s for large social gatherings. Running-in-Costume Season is a loophole for this societal norm. Wearing the same outfit as a running buddy, spouse, friend, or family member allows you to show your solidarity with “your people” during a race. My friend Rosemary and I already have matching Christmas sweater running shirts to wear to this year’s Reindeer Run. Wearing matching outfits will proclaim to all who see us that we are running buddies. After all, Running-in-Costume Season is a socially acceptable time of year to do so.

So go ahead, call your running buddy or rope in your unsuspecting friends and make plans to run in costume. There’s no pressure to PR, but you might get chased by a zombie or have to wear a turkey hat.

Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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14 Sep 2015

Tips to Get to Race Day Injury-Free

You sign up for a race. You put in the miles. You pass up Friday night plans so you can get in bed early in preparation for that Saturday long run. One thing that seems like you can’t control? Showing up to race day injury-free.

I’ve showed up to races injured, and I’ve skipped races because of injuries. Neither is fun. But, after 15+ years of running and countless races, I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) a few things that help keep me running strong, from training to the finish line.

1. Yoga

I’ve struggled off and on with IT band pain ever since I ran my first half marathon in 2005. In 2007, I had run multiple races with severe pain (despite a prescription for prednisone to help with the injury) and was under the care of an ortho and a PT. Despite their treatments, I was still running injured. I started yoga in 2008 and the IT band issues went away, and for the most part, have stayed away as long as I’m consistent in my practice.

Moral of the story : My doctors weren’t looking at me holistically. Yoga addressed a root issue that I didn’t know I had and my doctors didn’t address: severely tight muscles and muscle imbalances.

(second moral: find a good doctor!)

2. Not running through pain.

When I was training for my first marathon (which I ended up not running because of – surprise! – running injuries), I was very very hard on my body and mind. If I had to walk part of my 18 miler run because of pain, oh well. I needed the mileage! If it hurt, I tried to ignore it and keep running. I needed to run for X minutes, no less! Besides, no pain, no gain right?? Wrong. I feel discomfort all the time when running these days. But it’s discomfort from pushing my body to run faster at longer distances. It doesn’t always feel good to really push the pace. It’s downright hard! My muscles are screaming. But I’m not in tears from pain. If I’m feeling real pain, I stop running.

Moral of the story: There is a BIG difference between discomfort and pain. And it’s important to learn to identify each.

3 tips to get to race day injury-free (1)

3. Not running everyday.

I used to believe that a workout wasn’t a “real” workout unless it involved running. But part of overall fitness is being strong in many aspects and all workouts improve different parts of your body and mind. I have learned that when I run everyday I start to get injured. Yeah, that stinks but it’s true for me. I mix up my workouts with CrossFit and yoga — and the all-important rest day.

Moral of the story: Accepting that running everyday puts too much stress on my body has helped me enjoy other workouts and become a stronger athlete overall.

[For the record, I don’t, in general, think running everyday is bad as long as you don’t ignore other important parts of your overall health and fitness, and as long as it doesn’t hurt you like it does me!]

How do you avoid running injuries?

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any injuries you have or prevent any you may have at some point in the ever distant future. I’m simply sharing what worked for me.

About the Author: Teri, located in Winston-Salem, NC, is the blogger behind A Foodie Stays Fit, where she blogs about running, racing, getting addicted to CrossFit, eating gluten-free and spoiling her boxer dog who thinks she’s human.

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27 Jul 2015

21 Reasons to Go Virtual with Race 13.1

Need an excuse to run the Mira Coast to Coast Virtual Race 13.1? Here are 21!

1. You know you’re going to run anyway!

2. You can make two Make-A-Wish kids’ wishes come true!

3. No expensive hotel or travel costs.

4. The race medal has movable parts (the beach ball spins)!

Virtual medal proof

5. You can run on the day most convenient for you (during Race Week, August 23-29).

6. It’s free, but donations to Make-a-Wish earn you Race Bucks (credit) for future Race 13.1 events!

7. You can get 20% off Sweaty Bands just by registering.

Sweaty Band Image2

8. Running keeps you young; even Runner’s World says so.

9. Do you need more quality time with your running friends? This is the perfect opportunity.

10. You can earn two free Caveman bars just by registering. Yum!

11. It’s a good excuse to carb load.

12. Do you need something to post on Facebook? #runbrag #VirtualRace131

13. You’ll be on vacation that week? It’s great motivation to keep up your running routine!

14. There will most likely be a flushable toilet at the starting line.

15. Need a taper week?

16. You can see how your race time stacks up against runners all around the country!

17. Eat dessert guilt-free thanks to those extra calories you burned!

18. Customize your race experience by ordering only what you want: a spinning beach ball medal, an award-winning Race 13.1 event shirt, and/or other great Race 13.1 gear!

Virtual Shirt Medal Combo

19. Do you love to run with your dog, but other races won’t allow it? It’s acceptable for the virtual race!

20. Because your friends have no reason not to run it with you… It’s free, it’s for a good cause, and you and your friends can pick the day you want to run during Race Week, Aug. 23-29!

21. Because You Can & You Will.

Reasons to Run Virtual Race

Need one more reason to run the Race 13.1 virtual race? Visit Race131.com for more information!


Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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17 Jul 2015

Virtual Reality

ICYMI: Race 13.1 added one more race to the 2015 calendar! The Mira Coast to Coast Virtual Race 13.1 is now open for registration! Register by August 22, and run a half marathon, 10k, 5k or 1 mile anytime during Race Week, August 23-29! For more details, visit Race131.com!


In the late 80’s and early 90’s, the concept of virtual reality became a big deal. As a kid, I remember imagining a world where nearly comatose humans wore goggles and isolated themselves from the real world in order to fully immerse themselves in the virtual world. Though the goggle-wearing, alternate reality people imagined in the eighties isn’t quite the reality that came to pass, much of our lives are still a bit “virtual.” Thanks to Nintendo’s Wii remote, gamers enjoy playing virtual tennis, bowling, golf, and boxing.

Notice Wii Sports does not include virtual running. I suspect there’s a reason for this, and if we take a look at two common virtual terms, we may see why.

Term #1: “Virtually Done”

This term refers to the idea that one is “almost” done with a task. For example, if your boss asks you about your progress on a particular project, you can inform her that you are virtually done and will be ready to present tomorrow. There is no “virtually done” in running. I do not recall ever speaking to someone at mile 12 of a half marathon and saying, “I am virtually done with this race!” In a half marathon, you’re either done, or you’re not. There’s no finisher medal for anyone who virtually finished… only for those who finished.

Virtual medal proof

Term #2: “Virtual Tours”

Virtual tours are handy for visiting a place that, for one reason or another, is nearly impossible to get to. Running races is the opposite of a virtual tour. When runners participate in a half marathon, the 20,000 or so steps they take in a race involve the feet, lungs, and heart. For the hour or three that a runner is moving, she is immersed in the sites, smells, and sounds of a particular course. It doesn’t get any more real than this.

While the virtual world removes us from reality, running races grounds us in it. While Nintendo may be able to capture the glory of an overhand serve in tennis using their Wii remote, there is no way to recreate the experience of a runner chasing down a strong finish or the magnificence of accomplishing a goal one spent months training for.

For those of you that are still fans of the virtual world, don’t worry. There are still some virtual terms that do apply to us runners. First, running is virtually free. While not completely free, when compared to others sports, it costs are minimal. Second, running makes you feel virtually indestructible. You may be tired at mile 12 (and virtually finished, according to some people), but finishing a race and achieving what you set out to accomplish only makes you feel like you can accomplish even more. Finally there is the virtual race. If you can’t physically be present for an event dedicated to your favorite charity, or held by your favorite race organization, you can experience it virtually, Don’t worry though, it won’t involve wearing goggles and drooling on yourself in a bean bag chair. You’ll still be out breathing fresh air, running real streets, and sweating real sweat. And when you finish, you won’t get a virtual medal… you’ll get a real one in the mail.

Hop on the virtual bandwagon, and join Race 13.1 for its first virtual race! Click here for more details!

Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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20 Apr 2015

Fueling During Races

This is a guest post from Emma Moyer, an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor and an AASDN-Certified Nutrition Specialist who is training for Race 13.1 Richmond, VA on May 9.  She is also the wife of an 8-time Ironman, mom of two girls, Gentry and Sutton, and one fur ball, Macon. She coaches runners, teaches group ex classes at her local Y and advises clients of healthier lifestyles. You can read more of her posts at BeMomStrong.wordpress.com.


As Race 13.1 Richmond nears, it’s hard not to think about race day decisions.

What to eat  that morning

What to wear

IMG_1175

What songs to put on my playlist

What to eat during the race

 

I can’t help you with the music or clothing (I’m awful at both), but food, that I can do.

I see so many people at the start of races with their GU gels lined up in their runner fanny packs.  While GUs are just trying to keep you from bonking, they aren’t always needed and can actually hurt you.

Your body is perfectly capable of exercising for up to 2 hours with the storage it already has, given that you’ve properly fueled before.

So, what to eat before?

It depends (doesn’t it always?).  Find something that doesn’t upset your belly and practice using it.

Some love bagels with nut butter, others grab a protein breakfast bar, maybe a mimosa would help ease the pain?

Now, take this next advice as what I have researched and believe in.

1.  Stay away from fiber.  We all now what that does for you and as it may be good for your diet, not so much for race day

2. Stay away from artificially flavored drinks, GUs, etc.  They just aren’t clean and NOT what God put on this earth to fuel you to the best of your ability.  Enough said.

3.  Stay away from FODMAP foods.  Another post to come, but here is a quick definition of FODMAPs…

FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars) that are found in foods. Not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs. The FODMAPs in the diet are: Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc) Lactose (dairy) (source).

The big concept here is the word carbohydrates.  FODMAP carbs are those that contain wheat- AKA gluten.  So, instead of that bagel, look for non-gluten, easy to digest carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, yams, even white rice… brown will have too much fiber for a race).

You don’t really need as many carbohydrates as you think.  I’ve read forever that you need 40-65% of your diet as carbohydrates.  I’m really questioning this approach as I learn more about turning your body into a fat burning machine via eating more good fat.  Yes carbs have been toted as your body’s primary fuel source, but (and I’m working on posts detailing this) they don’t have to be.  In short, be weary of carbs with gluten, which can cause GI issues and noticeably slow you down even if you aren’t celiac.

4.  Add some healthy fats- coconut milk, nut butters, avocado.  Your body CAN burn fat as fuel just as good as carbs, it’s just a matter of teaching it to.

Inline image 2

5.  Have some protein, but not a lot.  It takes your body a lot of energy to break down proteins, and they aren’t really used as fuel unless absolutely necessary.

I ate a gluten-free bagel (easy-to-digest carb) with almond butter (fat) before the Shamrock Half.

 

Inline image 1

I’ve also eaten a gluten-free egg sandwich (easy-to-digest carb) with a smashed avocado (fat) or a banana with almond butter.


How about during a race?

If your race will be under 2 hours, you can get away with nothing food-wise.  Hydration is FAR more important.

Depending on your size, you can store roughly 1500-2000 calories of storage carbohydrate (source). That is plenty to get you through that under 2-hour performance.  When you go over that two hours, that’s when your body needs some help.  While GUs and gels are very portable, think REAL FOOD.  It takes much experimentation to find what works for you but here are some suggestions

• Handful of nuts, raisins, or other dried fruit or Health Warrior Chia Bars (although a little difficult to chew, run and breathe!)

20140416-151801.jpg

 

• A portable from The Feed Zone Diet book

• Justin’s Nut Butter (they come in a squeezable pouch)

• Honey

So much info to share, but stopping here!  Remember, if you need a running coach, or nutrition one, I’m available!  Check this out.

How do you fuel for a race?

 

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09 Mar 2015

A Good Problem to Have

If you purchased a Race 13.1 season pass, you may not realize it yet, but you have a looming problem. With 16 races on the schedule already, and more races coming soon, that’s a lot of finisher medals you’ll need to proudly display. If, like us, you are a running family, you may have two dozen finisher medals on your hands by next year.

We love our finisher medals for both their appearance and the meaning behind them. Each one symbolizes months of training and 13.1 miles of hard running. For this reason, they’re not just the kind of thing we can throw in a box and forget about. Since we became serial racers we’ve run across (pun intended) a few different ways to display our medals, and come up with a few on our own.

Option #1: The Command Hook

Command hooks can be hung anywhere, and since they don’t leave any holes in the walls or do any permanent damage, they are perfect for hanging finisher medals. We have a column in our kitchen where we use a Command hook to display the finisher medal from our most recent race.

Medal Display Option #1

Medal Display Option #1

Option #2: The Vessel

This might be the easiest way to display old finisher medals, and you can display the vessel as discreetly or as proudly as the mood may strike. This option simply involves purchasing a glass vessel that suits one’s personal taste and filling it with finisher medals. Leave it on the kitchen table or tuck it away on a bookshelf somewhere. No matter what you do, this option is a great way to consolidate a massive quantity of finisher medals (and you can always buy more vessels when you run out of space in your current one).

Medal Display Option #2

Medal Display Option #2

Option #3: The Curtain Rod

This option more prominently displays one’s finisher medals. While it may involve drilling into the wall, it is very easy to slip a new medal on a curtain rod in the location of your choice. We drilled our curtain rod onto a floating shelf which allows us to display both our finisher medals and any plaques or trophies we may earn along the way.

Option3

Medal Display Option #3

Option #4: The Dream

This might be the most beautiful and creative idea we’ve stumbled across to display finisher medals. It involves looping finisher medals around the slats of the side of an old baby crib. The original idea on thistlewoodfarms.com involved using an antique herb drying rack as opposed to baby furniture. I have dreams that I’ll stumble across an old crib on the side of the road, retrieve it for myself, and finish it in that trendy, weathered look that will go well in our house. We’ll drill it into the big, blank wall upstairs in our office and never need to worry about running out of space to put our medals.

Medal Display Option #4

Medal Display Option #4

To all the serial racers and racing families out there, display your medals with style and pride! We hope one of these options allows you to show off your hard work.


 

Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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12 Jan 2015

Confessions of a Running Shoe Hoarder

The other day I was reading the December issue of Competitor Magazine, which ended with a quick profile of a man named Burton Goldfield. Burton isn’t a professional athlete; he was named the most-admired CEO by the San Francisco Business Times in 2010. Competitor featured him because of his commitment to fitness, for both himself and his employees. There were plenty of things to like about Mr. Goldfield, but what I liked most was his response to Competitor’s last question, “Do you have a go-to running shoe?” On page 69 of the magazine, he proudly proclaimed, “I have 23 pairs. I cycle through them until they are eventually retired to a shelf in the garage. Yes, I save them all. I never want to part with a pair.”

I was comforted by this CEO’s words. I assume Burton Goldfield, being a CEO, is extremely intelligent, and a man capable of making tough decisions. If a CEO can’t part with his old running shoes, how are mere mortals like ourselves supposed to be able to do it? I took Burton’s words as permission to continue hoarding my own stash of running shoes, both old and new.

IMG_2520

These are just a few of Julie’s numerous running shoes!

When it comes to our old shoes, neither my husband nor I can bear to part with our original Adidas Energy Boost shoes, which changed the way we ran forever. The ones with threadbare soles and hundreds of miles behind them are stashed reverently in the back of our closet. While we know they can be sent somewhere and recycled into playground equipment, don’t the shoes on which we PR’ed 10 times over deserve to be gold leafed and displayed proudly in our own personal running museum?

Anyone who has fallen in love with a particular incarnation of running shoe can attest to the heartbreak that comes along with a new and “improved” model of the same shoe. After learning our lesson the hard way, we’ve started stocking up on our favorite models. My closet currently has four brand new backup pairs of running shoes and a fifth pair on the way from Adidas.

While Burton Goldfield’s garage is likely a little bit bigger than mine and can probably fit way more pairs of running shoes, I’ll continue to hoard mine no matter the consequences. Old pairs will be given the respect they deserve for carrying all 135 pounds of me over a distance that likely could get a person from Charleston to Miami. They’ll remain in the back of my closet like any good old running shoe deserves.

I’ll remain on the lookout for new pairs to hoard. If any of you spot a pair of original Adidas Energy Boosts in a women’s size 12 for sale somewhere, let me know. I’ll add them to my stash.

Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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15 Dec 2014

A New Year’s Resolution That Changed Our Lives

In November of 2012 my husband, Justin, and I ran our first half marathon. In December of 2012, Justin ran a half marathon again thanks to the encouragement of our friend Liz, a race director for one of the biggest half marathons in the Charleston area. Neither Justin nor I are really resolution makers, but that year Justin made one that changed our lives. He vowed to run one half marathon a month for twelve months.

Since he made this resolution, we’ve run about 40 races between the two of us. Not only have we grown physically stronger since the streak began, but we’ve made some surprising discoveries along the way.

Half Marathon Collage Photos1

1. Running and racing are satisfying in a way that other aspects of life might not be. We both love the fact that the amount of work we put into running directly correlates to the results we obtain. When we work hard, our times drop, and that feels good.

2. While it’s usually just the two of us traveling to races together, we’ve met some remarkable people along the way. There was the older gentleman at the Critz Tybee Run Fest who changed my running life forever when he said (at the start of the half marathon), “There’s no place I’d rather be than right here, right now, running this race.” I’ve adopted his statement as my own personal mantra. Then there was the guy in Kentucky who loved racing as much as we do, except rather than run a half marathon each month, he was running marathons. He and Justin traded race stories over craft beer after the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon.

3. We love finisher medals. While running half marathons and feeling good throughout the 13.1 miles of a race is satisfying, there is a particular sense of pride with finishing a race and having a medal draped around one’s neck. Bonus when the finisher medal has flashing lights, movable parts, or doubles as a bottle opener. Double bonus when the medal can be hung from a branch on one’s Christmas tree.

New Years Medals

4. Running races has connected us to a bigger world. Not only have we traveled to new places to run, but we’ve also enjoyed using social media to connect to runners everywhere. Getting a retweet from Runner’s World or the Half Fanatics sometimes mimics the euphoria of crossing the finish line. When people tell us that they found our blog, runningwiththebullards.com, a useful way to decide on their next race, or when we see that 21 people on Facebook liked our Race 13.1 blog post about “Parallel Running Lives,” we feel like we are part of a larger community.

Since Justin has already made what may be the greatest New Year’s resolution ever, we likely won’t be making any new ones this year. But, chances are, we will be running a Resolution Run on January 1st and planning out which half marathons we’ll be running in 2015. Race 13.1 has added events in Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wilmington, NC. We’ll be debating about which ones to run, or whether we should just run them all!

Meet the Bullards: Julie and her husband Justin are neither medical, nutrition, nor fitness professionals. Their only claim to expertise in the area of running is the frequency with which they run half marathons. Both members of the Half Fanatics, Julie and Justin average one half marathon per month, but have run as many as three in 30 days. Julie writes about the regularity of mistakes they make in their constant quest to run, and hopes that readers of this blog can learn from both their shortcomings and successes. You can follow them on Twitter @runbullardsrun.

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