THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (APA), in its annual survey on “Stress in America™” has looked at sources and effects of stress on “health and sense of well-being on Americans living in the United States” since 2006.
Until January 2017, the survey had revealed that “overall” levels decreased every year since that initial report, with the lowest level in a decade charted in August 2016.
That August survey also “revealed that social media conversations about politics and culture have had an impact on Americans’ stress’. Almost 4 of 10 adults said that these discussions caused them stress.” In fact, those whose used social media seemed to be more stressed about the 2016 election than those who did not.
Unfortunately, a change in the steady state was detected in a special additional January 2017 poll which revealed more Americans were feeling stressed. Rather than the usual issues (money, work, and the economy), people were “citing personal safety and terrorism” as concerns, possibly building upon the polled psychologists’ patients expressed anxiety about the upcoming US elections reported earlier in the year.
Part 2 of the survey was conducted to follow-up on this stress increase and find links between Americans’ use of technology and social media and their “stress, relationships and overall health and well-being”. The survey report indicates that the percentage of Americans using social media increased greatly over the past decade (7% in 2005, to 65% in 2015), with the largest increase seen in the ages 18-29 years (12% to 90%). It says 43% of Americans are “constant checkers” of emails, texts, and social media accounts.
Here’s an excerpt from that report: “For constant checkers, stress runs higher than for those who do not engage with technology as frequently. On a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress,” the average reported overall stress level of constant checkers is 5.3. For non-constant checkers, the average reported stress level is 4.4. Constant checkers also reported a higher average level of stress related to technology during the past month than their non-constant checking peers (3.0 vs. 2.5, respectively). Among employed Americans who check their work email constantly on non-workdays, their reported overall stress level is 6.0.”
Although about 65% of us feel it’s a great idea to periodically ‘unplug’ or ‘detox’ for the sake of mental health, few report doing so (roughly 28%).
What this means for runners and exercisers is that communicating and checking in with social media at or around the time of exercise could potentially cancel or diminish the health benefits of our sessions. Especially if we check-in constantly, allow interruptions, and perceive such activities as stress provoking.
Rather than totally unplugging indiscriminately for large chunks of time, prioritizing and identifying smaller critical periods to be offline may be easier. Families try to do this. Perhaps laying down some ground rules to carve out specific running/exercise times, as we do with sacred family and friend time, can preserve its positive effect on our physical and mental well-being. We, like most Americans as the report shows, probably know we should disconnect from electronic devices, but don’t.
However, it’s not as simple as it seems for highly active individuals. Many use tracking devises and GPS while running, walking, and exercising. We possibly are as addicted to physical feedback and performance measures as to social media, and may even regularly share this data on social media.
There is online advice on how to ‘disconnect’ by tech experts. Check it out if you understand the methods and don’t find tinkering with phone settings each time you train another unwelcome stress.
Another option is to return to the time-honored practice of running by feel that allows you to turn off most phone functions (switching to airplane mode is one tactic). Advocates include Coach Jay Johnson (his newsletter) and Matt Fitzgerald (his book). Coach Jenny Hadfield recently wrote an article for Runnersworld.com on the subject. She offers a step-wise approach that might be easier than going cold-turkey.
The bottom line is that time spent improving our physical selves is precious, just as the time is that’s devoted to building and preserving personal relationships. We should make the most of it when possible.
YESTERDAY'S POST provided a reminder to those following the 2017 Half Marathon with ‘Saints Days’ 5K + 10K Training Plan that hill repeats were an option. To bolster the suggestion to consider performing this workout, here’s some information on the topic. The blog of January 21, 2016 “Hill Repeats for Training, Explained” referenced an article written by Fred Fornicola in Breakingmuscle.com that, among other issues, speaks to the benefits of running intervals up hills.
There’s an article, also written in 2016, that discusses more recent scientific research on the topic and offers a starter plan. “You Should Be Doing Hill Repeats Now” written last March by Mackenzie Lobby Havey for Triathlete.com encourages runners to get busy now using indoor treadmills to get ready for the outdoor season.
She referenced several research studies and Carrie Burnett a “USAT-certified coach at Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy in Texas”.
It’s important to note that both experts Fornicola and Burnett stress form over speed, so best to get their advice on good uphill posture. Havey writes, “Barrett works with her athletes on adopting a slight forward lean that stems from the ankles rather than the hips. She also encourages a high cadence and working on striking underneath the hips as you drive up the hill.”
Get going and discover a new way to train; you can get both inspiration and plans in these articles. What a deal.
WEEK 7 HALF MARATHON with SAINTS DAYS 5k and 10K Training Plan
The month of March starts the middle of this week. That’s progress! Congratulate yourself on reaching the point at which the long run at week’s end surpasses the distance you’ll be racing in a St. Patrick’s Day 10K. If you have not been running hill repeats, consider trying this workout as the spring weather commences. It will add variety help build strength.
For the full plan, parts 1 and 2, see the RESOURCES page
LAST YEAR’S TURKEY TROT TRAINING PLAN WITH TRACK DAYS INTRODUCED the concept of using a defined distance oval for one training day’s WORKOUT. Competitor.com ran an article in 201, "Five Reasons to Run on a Track" that provided some reasons for taking on the track as a RACE venue.
This type of competition might not appeal to everyone, and there may be limited opportunities to do so in an organized event. However, using EARNED RUNS BIBS, track racing is entirely possible!
The author Brandon Laan explains that his “article is not about training on the track, however, but rather about the benefits of racing on an indoor or outdoor oval. A common misconception is that you must train on the track to race on the track. Rest assured, if you can run straight for 100 meters, turn left, then repeat, you will be fine.”
Why accept the challenge of track racing?
Here’s a summary of the reasoning presented by Laan; he says it helps with:
1) Setting a personal record
2) Getting out of a road racing rut
3) Respecting short distances
4) Gaining performance information
5) Avoiding bad weather (indoor)
REMEMBER, you can easily design a customized, personal track race using Earned Runs bibs. The only challenge may be to find a nearby track. High schools and colleges may provide convenient venues to use.
SEVENTEEN ITEMS MAKE UP A LONG LIST to commit to memory if you wish to hurry along recovery with the advice provided in the slideshow article “17 Proven Ways to Speed Recovery”. It was published by Active.com from Greatist. The piece promises to deliver a significant number of different ways to help your muscles recover from grueling workouts or too many days of workouts without sufficient time off.
Earned Runs suggests the list might be pared down from 17 separate pieces of advice to 5 GENERAL CATEGORIES of remedies, one for each finger of a hand.
1) MOST IMPORTANTLY, BUT NOT FULLY ADVOCATED IN THE ARTICLE: start with a reasonable TRAINING PLAN that REGULARLY SCHEDULES REST or active recovery days after tough training days. It should also include pre-workout dynamic stretch warm-ups and mobility routines, and post-workout passive stretches. Runners older than 40 years of age might benefit from two days of recovery between intense workouts. The article rightly suggests resting more by adding days as needed (#14).
2) ADEQUATE SLEEP is necessary for recovery whether it is entirely obtained in one overnight period (#1) or with added naps during the day (#13). Both are identified in the article. Although 7-8 hours of sleep per day is commonly suggested, athletes with tough daily schedules can add 1-2 more hours and potentially improve performance.
3) OPTIMAL AND TIMELY NUTRIENT INTAKE is required to build and maintain muscle. The article wisely suggests eating protein 4 times during the day: before going to bed (#3), in the morning (#4), and before (#11) and after (#12) workouts. Chocolate milk (#5), with a mix of carbohydrates and protein is offered up as a tasty way to boost protein intake. This beverage does increase caloric intake however, and the referenced article states that plain Greek yogurt plus a banana could provide more protein for the same calories (my personal recipe: 60z Greek yogurt + 1/2 banana + 2-3 prunes provides >2x the protein; kefir is another lower calorie/higher protein drink option).
‘Dosing’ yourself with small amounts of high quality protein throughout the day, especially near the times your muscles are worked and at night before sleep, insures the amino acid components needed to make/re-make muscle fibers are available on demand. Dairy products and powders containing whey are particularly helpful as this type of protein is readily absorbed after ingestion. In doing so you’ll also be providing yourself with small doses of calcium and vitamin D that, along with protein, are important for bone strength.
4) COUNTERACTION OF INFLAMMATION. Harmful oxidants are generated when inflammation is induced by muscle damage from intense exercise. One way to fight it is to ingest anti-oxidants derived from food. DO NOT RELY on ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATIONS. Tart cherry juice makes this list (#6) and some spices (#17). Drinking water (#7) and limiting alcohol intake (#8) can be included in this category.
Did you know that dried plums (prunes) carry one of highest ratings for anti-oxidant activity in a fruit? They rank above blueberries and pomegranates! These ‘snack-ables’ are ‘port-able’ and ‘stow-able’ as they don’t require refrigeration and keep well in the cupboard or a plastic bag in backpack, gym bag, or purse. Five prunes are about 100 calories. Eat 1-2 each time you ingest protein as a source of carbohydrates.
Ice baths (#16) are also recommended for recovery by Greatist. Some who have used this cooling method to slow blood flow to inflamed tissues, thereby decreasing swelling and the movement of inflammatory cells into the area, would recommend trying every other remedy before a full body immersion in icy liquid. I found submerging a knee tough going! Others wear by ice baths.
There is an alternate argument that blocking blood flow impedes performance; opinions can vary on the effectiveness of ice after exercise as opposed to immediately after an acute injury.
5) RELAXATION AIDS combat tissue stiffness and can be mechanical or mental/emotional. The foam roller workout (#9), which is a form of self-massage, makes the list along with traditional massage (#10). Compression garments can be of help (#15). Listening to music (#2) may assist some with relaxation.
It’s helpful to know the 17 “proven” ways to recover on this list. Many will find at least one remedy that makes going through the Active.com Greatist slideshow article entirely worth the effort.
Possibly better, being aware of the categories of methods which facilitate return to a healthy muscle state allows you to change and add new practices over time. The best approach is to avoid overuse with a smart training program AND taking steps to insure post-workout recovery.
NORTHERN ETIQUETTE™ APPAREL: DO YOU LOVE CASUAL CLOTHES WITH A PREPPY REGIONAL STYLE to wear after cleaning up from a run on the weekend? In the East, Massachusetts has Vineyard Vines™ apparel and Maine has LL Bean™. California is home to California Republic™, with Hollister™ emblematic of SoCal, and the newer Chubbies™ attempting to free the thighs of Northern California types from workday long pants. The South boasts Southern Tide™ and Country Club Prep™, as well as Southern Marsh™ garment lines. Lovers of the Pacific Northwest can don casual wear from The Great PNW™. Midwesterners can wear Flyover Living™ garb, out of Missouri. (see note below)
What about the upper tier states of the north central US that border the Great Lakes? We now have our own preppy clothing brand, courtesy of a pair of Michigan State University business students, Tyler Mehigh and Conor Jacobs. NORTHERN ETIQUETTE. The pair of entrepreneurs explain on their website that they’ve spent most of their lives “enjoying the many wonders of Michigan’s outdoors” and wish to “embody” the friendliness and values “on which we were raised” in their clothing and company.
”This apparel is for those who help put in their neighbor’s dock, wave to every boater passing by, grill enough food to share with friends, enjoy the long days on the water, and personify what it means to have Northern Etiquette.”
Like many from the Mitten State they eagerly anticipate traveling ‘up North’ to ‘cottages’ to a simpler life which includes summer evening bonfires, winter skiing, and seasonal fishing at dawn. For others this involves sunning on the beaches of a lake, camping in a state park, walking to the nearby general store for necessities, and eating local ice cream. Many major Michigan State Parks have a nearby signature lighthouse; one is prominently featured on some of the company’s clothing items and accessories.
Performance wear is not yet offered by Northern Etiquette™, but one of the purposes of this post is to encourage its founders to think about carrying a few active wear items for running, walking, cycling, or swimming. Other prep clothiers also mostly offer comfortable casual wear. The exceptions are the Tracksmith™ clothing line, which, as its name indicates is performance running wear that evokes the fashion tradition of New England track and field teams and clubs. Krass and Co.™ arose amidst the campus scene of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to provide a preppy-version of athletic shorts.
Since being active in the great outdoors is a northern tradition, runners might appreciate being able to display pride in their regional origins wherever they run. It could be along the Lakeshore Trail in Chicago, the Mall in Washington DC, the Strand in Manhattan Beach CA, or in NYC’s Central Park. The hats can serve this purpose now, but a stylish performance T-shirt would be a great way to #STAY NORTHERN
Note: There are likely other regional apparel companies that were not identified in this article, so please comment if you’d like to get another favorite mentioned, regardless of how new or small.
UPCOMING OPPORTUNITY FOR USING EARNED RUNS BIBS: DST DASH
Running a custom-designed race or event alone or with a few others on the day the clocks are set "forward" an hour is a perfect way to anticipate and celebrate the later sunrise and sunset.
if you choose to run in the morning you’ll need to arise before your usual time to get on the road before the first rays gild the sky. However, knowing that the day will be brighter longer into the evening might make up for a groggy start, An evening run would mean starting to gear up at a time you might normally be powering down, but it would definitely mark the date as the beginning of the next 8 months of light preservation.
Either way, you would begin acclimating to the new hours almost immediately.
If you choose to run this day there are a limited number of “Daylight Saving Dash” stickers available to the first few people who request bibs if the request box is checked.
March 12, 2017
“DAYLIGHT SAVING DASH”
Celebrate the start of the time change that adds daylight to the later portion of the day with a distance race or walking event of 1 mile or 5K. Your clocks should be set to “spring forward” at 2am. Run or walk your event early in the morning at the later SUNRISE time, or in the evening at the later SUNSET time
HAVE YOU ASKED YOUR OBSTETRICIAN FOR ADVICE when it comes to exercise during pregnancy? Runners, walkers, and fitness buffs of all types should be aware of guidelines to follow during each stage of pregnancy. Because gestating an infant leads to a progressive series of bodily changes that present unique challenges, it makes good sense that women CHECK WITH THEIR DOCTORS before continuing with or starting an exercise program like RUNNING. Some of you might wish to know which guidelines doctors follow when it comes to discussing the topic with patients.
Below are links to two patient-oriented sets of advice and one that seeks to help obstetricians offer guidance to patients.
WebMD has an online piece that covers easy-to-understand helpful information, “Exercising in Pregnancy” that was updated in September 2016. It explains who should not exercise, discusses types of exercise that are safe and those which should be avoided in pregnancy, the general components of an exercise session, and signs that should be a warning to stop.
The Mayo Clinic provides similar advice but with a bit different perspective, including principles behind many of the recommendations for and against certain moves and activities.
What advice do obstetricians follow? A much more clinical piece that is NOT directed at non-doctors comes from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It issued a Committee Opinion on Obstetric Practice guidelines, “Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period” in December 2015, replacing one from 2002.
The article begins with a few ‘fine print’ qualifiers, stating that this “document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the date issued.“ Because medical knowledge evolves as new information is gained, there is the caution that what’s advised in this piece “is subject to change” and that it should not be seen “dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed.”
Remember, this opinion was written FOR DOCTORS to help them counsel women during this special time of their lives. THE GOOD NEWS: it goes out of its way to promote regular physical activity, both for women who exercised prior to becoming pregnant and those who wish to make new lifestyle changes to improve their own health and that of their infants. It indicates, “Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be ENCOURAGED to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises before, during, and after pregnancy.”
Most importantly to the non-doctors reading it, the article contains four ‘back box’ warnings: 1) absolute contraindications and 2) relative contraindications to aerobic exercise in pregnancy. Women who have ANY questions about the possibility of having one of the contraindicated conditions should ask their obstetrician! 3) A third box provides helpful examples of ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ physical activities during pregnancy. 4) This fourth box clearly informs women of warning signs to STOP exercising!
Of interest to competitive runners and other athletes is that their obstetricians are advised to pay much closer attention to patients when it comes to strenuous activity. Some may find it useful to find a OB that specializes in this area.
If you have questions about the level of effort required by your job and its effect on your pregnancy, there is considerable discussion about occupational activity risks in this paper.
There are plenty of fun and safe activities that can enhance your physical and mental health during this wonderful time of life. Although it may not be safe to continue with your favorite mode of getting physical exercise, like running, all throughout this time period, especially at strenuous levels, consider trying others that will allow you to involve a partner, meet other moms-to-be in a class setting, or broaden your sport experience and ability.
COMPETITOR.COM: SUBARU OUTBACK IS “BEST” ACTIVE LEFESTYLE VEHICLE EVERYWHERE BUT THE SOUTHEAST US. The “Best of Competitor.com 2016” results by Compeitor.com was released at the end of January 2017. Annually the magazine polls readers and followers of social media to choose their favorites in multiple categories. The ‘winners’ are posted by the publication’s distribution regions: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast, South, Southwest, Mountain West, Northwest, and Pacific West.
Categories include best:
Subaru Outback kicked every vehicle’s butt in each region but one; Jeep Wrangler was the only other vehicle to be named in this category, in the Southeast.
In the Midwest region Chicago dominated the location of selected winners where a location was designated; in the South, it was Fort Worth and other Texas towns, and in the Pacific West, California spots were mostly awarded. Colorado held most honors in the Mountain West, and Seattle and other Washington state cities did this in the Northwest. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions showed greater diversity of winner locations.
It’s bit discouraging when one city or area in an entire region has garnered most votes because a high population of runners reside there. And you don’t. But if you plan to visit, the results pf the voting can act as a guide if you’re hoping to get in sport-related shopping, therapy, or activity.
Of most value to some might be names of highly regarded trainers, rehab centers, and sports medicine doctors and therapists. These types of recommendations can be difficult to find and it might be something worth the travel.
WEEK 6 HALF MARATHON with SAINTS DAYS 5k and 10K Training Plan
The upcoming weekend is probably the last on which an organized or custom race might be scheduled with a St. Valentine’s Day theme, so almost everyone will be looking ahead to the next “SAINTS DAY” 10K run at the beginning of Week 7.
St. Patrick’s Day-themed races can be found scheduled into April (Chicago’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will be held April 3 this year), although the actual holiday is March 17. For those of you not running a 5K this week, the long run is 6 miles and, going forward, you will be building endurance to allow finishing this race distance with confidence.
There have been postings about cross training options. This Earned Runs training plan does not formally include specific directions on which day to incorporate other exercise. Individuals need to determine how best to do this without adversely affecting running days.
Sundays, Wednesdays, or Fridays could handle cross-training sessions but Tuesdays and Thursdays could as well, depending on your usual level of activity. You may find that a moderately paced swimming session provides a pleasant level of tiredness, or that a short high-intensity interval cycling class invigorates your next run.
Experiment and learn what helps you perform best physically and mentally. Although this plan has 4 running days, one day could be substituted with cross-training to spare your legs; however, keep the long run and the hills’ sessions.
STARTER SWIMMING WORKOUT FOR CROSS TRAINING Swimming was one of the activities listed in the post on February 16 as an excellent cross-training exercise, which gives the legs a rest but still provides a good aerobic workout. Runners and walkers who have not been jumping into in the pool regularly might benefit from a beginner plan.
This relatively short routine suggested by US Masters Swimming for MyFitnessPal.com can provide structure to your time in the pool. You’ll see that, like a running workout, it begins with an easy warm-up and finishes with a cool-down. Sandwiched in between are some high-intensity intervals. If the lowest number of minutes for each section are added up, and the bonus set is not performed, the length of the entire workout is about 40 minutes. If the highest number of minutes per section are added up plus the bonus set, the total minimum time for completion is 65 minutes.
With the workout broken into a sequence of segments of roughly equal duration, the time may pass more quickly than a single hour of constant lap-after-lap swimming. The kick board segment is tougher than it seems, as more time is required to swim the pool’s length by leg power alone.
WANT SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR USING EARNED RUNS BIBS THIS SPRING? Check out potential Earned Runs EVENTS you can custom design for yourself, to which you might INVITE FRIENDS! Or, find an organized event to run near these dates.
February 14 - 19
“SAINTS’ DAYS” St Valentine’s Day 5K
This is a 3.1-mile distance race or walking event that can be completed on St. Valentine’s Day (2/14/17) or any day through the upcoming weekend with your free Earned Runs bibs. Those training to run a Half Marathon in May with the Earned Runs plan will have their race on the schedule.
March 12, 2017
“DAYLIGHT SAVING DASH”
Celebrate the start of the time change that adds daylight to the later portion of the day with a distance race or walking event of 1 mile or 5K. Your clocks should be set to “spring forward” at 2am. Run or walk your event early in the morning at the later SUNRISE time, or in the evening at the later SUNSET time.
March 10-19, 2017
“SAINTS’ DAYS” St. Patrick’s Day 10K
This is a 6.25-mile distance race or walking event that can be completed on St. Patrick’s Day (3/17/17) or any day through the preceding or upcoming weekend with your free Earned Runs bibs. Those training to run a Half Marathon in May with the Earned Runs plan will have this race on the schedule.
March 20, 2017
SPRINGTIME WARM-UP (5- 10 miles)
Just like the position of the sun in the sky and the increased sunshine help to warm the earth and melt the frozen ground, runners can get warmed up for the new running season with an event that’s not a short 5k or a longer distance half marathon. Pick a distance between 5 and 10 miles and plan to run it about 10-15% slower pace than you would run a half marathon. (a 10-minute mile pace in the half would mean an 11-minute mile pace in this event).
April 1, 2017
APRIL FOOL’S DAY NO FOOLING 50 (any distance)
Demonstrate that you’re no fool. Get out today and test your resolve not to be silly about health. Run a serious 50 MINUTE Fartlek.
April 2-5, 2017 (or later for first 2107 home games)
MLB OPENING DAY MASH-UP (any distance)
If you’re a runner who also loves major league baseball (hey Cubs’ fans), mark the start of the season with a personal race, run, or walk using Earned Runs Bibs. Create an annual ‘ceremony’ to solemnize your team’s run at a championship this year with your own GOOD LUCK send-off effort.
If your start time is prior to when the first pitch is thrown in a night game, you can head to the favorite local team hangout afterward. Or if it’s an afternoon game, set the distance and start time to coincide with everyone’s lunch breaks. Each person can run the distance that fits their schedule, but make a point to wear gear and meet up to watch the game.
April 7, 2017
NATIONAL WALK TO WORK DAY EFFORT
This national day was officially declared by US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy G. Thompson, in 2004. Participating in this holiday means you are willing to spend 30 minutes walking. If you tend to ‘work’ at a coffee shop on many days, that’s a great spot to finish!
April 17, 2017
CELEBRATE (USA RUNNING) TRADITION RUN (any distance)
The Boston Marathon is run annually on the day set aside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April. This race was the original marathon to be patterned after the modern Olympics contest of 1896, and was first run in 1897.
On this day in the United States, anyone can celebrate the tradition of competitive long distance running. Without necessarily covering 26.2 miles, achieving a qualifying time, or being in that location, run or walk in sprit with those in Boston with a personal custom race + Earned Runs bib. Start your race at 9:32am (elite women start time) or 10am (elite men start time).
DON’T LET INTER-CITY MARATHON RIVALRY GET IN YOUR WAY. Today needn’t be about the city of Boston itself, but about the running history which began with that event.
April 22, 2017
EARTH DAY EARNED RUN (any distance)
Feel free to name this anything you like, but since Earned Runs promotes earth-friendly running, we will make a claim to some ownership. This is one of the best excuses to gather your friends and neighbors and walk-run your way along a favorite running course, or one that sadly needs a lot of effort at beautification, cleaning up trash as you go. Make Mother Nature proud!
May 5, 2017
DAY OF 5THS FIVE (5miles or 5 K)
Of course, today is the celebration of the Cinco De Mayo holiday, but this date can also be an opportunity to be happy about the 5th day of the 5th month, and your ability to finish the 5th kilometer or the 5th mile of a personal Earned Runs race, run, or walk. Afterward, join everyone else enjoying the festivities of CDM!
May 12-14, 2017
MOTHERS CHOICE COMPETITION (5K)
Moms, since your family is often willing to do what YOU want this weekend, ask everyone to accompany you on a nature walk-run, without electronic devices. Keep the pace at slow enough to allow laughing, joking, talking together. Request that they wear Earned Runs bibs decorated like Mother’s Day cards. Estimate the money that would have been spent on cards and treat everyone to an icy dessert (slushy, ice cream cone, popsicle, etc.)or make a charity donation. Since the full weekend is yours to command, there is plenty of time to enjoy other activities as well.
May 29, 2017
MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE (mile, 5K, or 10K)
This federal holiday is for remembering the men and women who DIED while serving their country in the Armed Forces (compared with Veterans Day, in which the SERVICE of all U.S. military, veterans and active, is celebrated). It’s a solemn day. US flags and wreaths are placed at gravesites. Many remember others who have passed away in their lives, including non-military. One way to do this by running or walking at quiet times, like sunrise or sunset, when we can reflect back on their lives
Check out Facebook for these 'events'. Show friends you're interested in one or more, and get something going as the days warm and the sun's rays brighten.
Earned Runs BIB use event suggestions February through May 2017
DO YOUR CROSS-TRAINING WORKOUTS NEED A BIT OF INSPIRATION? Calorie counting can turn into an unhappy activity that sabotages healthy eating habits and takes the joy out of physical exercise. However, knowing that a specific activity is burning off calories (and potentially unwanted body fat weight) at a significant rate can boost enthusiasm for workouts performed on non-running days and help avoid burnout from boring, unchanging training routines.
Stephanie Smith wrote a slideshow piece, “8 Workouts that Burn the Most Calories” for Active.com that might put some ‘zing’ into your cross-training days. Each slide discusses a different activity and its calorie consuming potential. There’s something for everyone.
Get ready to learn more about: kick-boxing, swimming, jumping rope, cross-country skiing, Vinyasa yoga, indoor rowing, volleyball, and rock climbing.
When you return to a running or walking training day, having had a day-off may leave you mentally refreshed and eager to do what you love most.
REPEAT: "I AM AN ATHLETE" Allison Patillo writes on a theme that might be consoling to some after this Valentine’s Day. In an article for Competitor.com she discusses how running could treat a wounded heart. “Research Shows Running Can Help Cure a Broken Heart” reminds us that heartbreak isn’t limited to romantic disappointments. Sorrow can result from losses related to our jobs, health, and family. Someone dear to us can move away, a promised promotion doesn’t come through, an illness can prevent us from enjoying favorite activities.
The article discusses the science behind the effect of bodily exercise on emotional status. “Getting physical, as in running, is a healthier coping tool”, she writes, than food treats and alcohol. It stimulates “brain chemicals that fight physical pain”, which is important because she indictates, ”rejection activates the same areas of the brain as actual physical pain.”
If you’re a runner, walker, swimmer, or cyclist, or participate in another sport, you have an opportunity to burn off hurt while getting in a good workout. I’ve found it is impossible to cry and run at the same time especially if I’m muttering defensive arguments. Instead of mounting a defense, however, try an offense to counter your loss.
An empowering MANTRA can reinforce confidence-building positive thoughts and power each movement. “I AM strong”, and “I will WIN”, can replace self-doubts that creep into our psyche after a major letdown and refute recriminations (“weak, weak, weak” and “what a loser” for example, ouch!).
Outside of countering emotions stirred up by Valentine’s Day, resolve to create personal phrase to repeat regularly in exercise when fighting a crushing disappointment. Differentiate it from one that gets you to the finish line, like “pass one more” or “make it or break it”. As you come to ‘own’ that phrase, it can be used for self-rescue when negativity from any source threatens to diminish confidence.
If you cannot come up with one immediately try, “I AM AN ATHLETE!” One definition says an athlete “is a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina or strength”. Affirming these qualities in yourself should be uplifting!
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE! Although the history of Valentine’s Day (originally St. Valentine’s Day) is fairly fuzzy with regard to how this day came to be named to honor romantic love, it is often different things to different people. For young couples, it may be mostly about love and romance. For school children, it can be about sending and receiving paper cards at classroom parties. It’s a big day for marriage engagements. Sadly, it can be a day of high expectations in which some more sharply feel unloved (haven’t we all experienced this?).
In the world of running and walking, it’s day to mark a special workout on a training plan, schedule a preparatory effort for a future more challenging competition, or enjoy a themed race. THERE’S NO ROOM to feel left out here!
Pin on an Earned Runs or other bib, get your shoes on, and LOVE THE RUN!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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