Not so obvious Running Resolutions

Sundays Workout-16.6 miles on the First State Landing Trails averaging 7:33 pace, ending with the last 3-4 miles at sub 7 minute pace.

(So what’s crazier? The fact that during the above run Andrew and I ran into a group of guys running a workout of 10 times 5K on the trail or the fact that I was like “Oh here, let me write down my email so you can invite me next time!” to a bunch of people I had only met once before?! Runners are weird. Don’t worry I won’t be meeting strangers in the woods.)

Even before I started this little blog of mine I was a fan of dozens of running blogs. One of my favorite topics would be the “Running Resolutions” that would often start turning up in January or late summer at the start of a Fall marathon build. Usually they contain suggestions like “Stretch 3 times a week”, “More Core Work”, and the vague “Eat Healthier”. Yes, I resolve to do those things but this post is about the not so obvious details.

1.) Lay off the Self-deprecation. If you’ve read my blog more than once you know I do this. I grew up in a sarcastic family. I married a sarcastic man. If you are sarcastic, I’ll find you incredibly charming. I look back at my blog posts though and it’s clear to me how often I write somewhat negative statements or under value myself. My intention is to be modest or humble ( Vanity ties with picks their nose as one of my least favorite qualities in people) but it’s also an easy way out for me when training gets hard or a race doesn’t go as planned. Notice I said lay off, not eliminate. A little bit of sarcastic humor is perfectly fun, just no more doing it at the track or starting line which is nothing more than self-defeating.

2.)Wear proper footwear.I’m not talking about while running. I’m talking about when I’m at home. We have hard wood floors and tile. A few months back I had some terrible foot pain and talked about it in this blog post. My friend, a podiatrist, told me to quit walking around in my bare feet all the time. Also, quit wearing my cheap Victoria’s Secret slippers that come with the matching pajamas (I bet you own them too!). Start wearing quality footwear around the house. I’m always standing. After my foot injury I became acutely aware of how often I’m abusing my feet and how tired they get, which leads me to stand awkwardly at the hips, which stretches my IT Band, and so on and so on. I hate wearing shoes, I hate even wearing socks. I love walking around at home in my bare feet but I promise you I notice a difference when I wear super soft slippers with a firmer bottom.

3.) Just Keep Swimming I landed upon this one accidentally and I realize that it’s not one everyone can do daily or one that I can even do when Fall comes (when the local pool closes) but it’s been a big help for me lately. I’ve been running almost daily at 5 am (that was hard to get used too) then after breakfast I take the kids to the pool. I would notice a huge difference in how my legs felt for my second run or the following morning after a hard workout on the days I casually swam with the kids at the pool. I never swim laps or swim far. Our pool is actually more of a small kids water park so swimming laps are not an option but the water does help to shake things out a bit. I’m going to try to keep this one up 5-6 times a week.

4.) Ban Slogging This is a tough one for me. We all know the hard days hard, easy days easy routine. I believe in that. Problem is I’ve been “slogging” which is my word for slow jogging. For those who care, the proper definition of slogging is: To progress with a slow heavy pace. See, perfect word for slow jogging. I don’t care if I run in the slower end of my range but if you are honest with yourself, you know the difference. There have been many times where I’ve let Mark Hadley know “I ran 8:45 pace for this easy run…is that too slow?” and he has numerously and politely replied “You should run between 7:15-8:00 pace on your easy runs.” Quality needs to be there…daily. Stop dragging your feet and get it done.

5.) Hating it is important. This is my favorite. I stole that line. An author whos work I adore (James Smythe) wrote about writing and the passion that goes into it. He said he poured his heart into it, loved it, hated it, and then he wrote “..hating it was important”. Those words resonated with me as they apply to marathon training (or any area of life that you personally devote your self too)When you absolutely throw yourself into something physically and emotionally, it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. When I am (hopefully) grinding out 100 mile weeks in late September there will be moments where I cannot even stand the idea of lacing up a pair of running shoes and heading out for a few miles. That means I’m doing it right. Remember that and remember it WILL pass quickly with proper sleep, recovery, and extra calories. Running sucks sometimes but I don’t want to be my average self, I want to be my best self and that’s how you get there. It will all be worth it. The dedication and hating it is as important as the loving it.

If you’ve stuck with me for this long, thanks for reading my thoughts. I have a watch-less, time machine-less Saucony Predict Your Time 4 Miler coming up Tuesday night that I will recap soon and I also promise to finally post my favorite shoes with review in the next week or so. To all my favorite bloggers who post daily or more than once a week. I love that you do that, but I just can’t keep up 🙂 Have a great week everyone!


31 thoughts on “Not so obvious Running Resolutions

  1. I ❤ this post! Thanks for the reality check regarding the "slogging." It's easy to pull one of those moves when the weather is hot & humid, too. I believe in easy recovery days, but… within limits.

    And thank you, thank you for #5. I recently quit reading a few blogs because it's like each post is a run report about how every little detail was just perfectly awesome. I'm like, "Um, no, sometimes you just have to embrace the suck." They either are not running enough or lying. Good luck on the 4 mile race! I know you'll do awesome.


    • Thanks Rebecca! The runs where I am guilty of slogging are usually the “extra” 3 miles. I can toughen those out instead of stomping my feet.

      As far as the “perfectly awesome” reports, I think I do a good job of staying honest and sharing the bad with the good. The ones where the bad is never displayed are usually low on my priority read list. I just cannot relate to that.


  2. I totally agree with #1 — I find that I often use sarcasm when I feel vulnerable, to make a joke out of something that could be potentially hurtful. I’ve been trying to step away from that in the last few years. As for being barefoot – I’m surprised to hear about your issues, as I would think that being barefoot would contribute to foot strength? But I can see your point about standing the wrong way – I do the same with my left hip and it’s either a sign of or a result of imbalance issues. Anyway, good luck with your resolutions!


  3. Good stuff here, and I am totally with you on better footwear. I am coming off an Achilles strain because I was wearing cute Puma ballet flats instead of actually sneakers to teach in five to six hours a day. Lesson learned. But I’m with you–I HATE wearing shoes (and socks are even worse). So proud of you!


  4. #1 and #5 really hit home for me, especially after yesterday’s race. I know I’m not alone in possessing the ability to give myself a much harder time than is necessary when something doesn’t go the way I want it to. Maybe I should make a list of my running resolutions through the rest of this year too 🙂 You’re smart, my friend!


    • I’d love if you did that. The mental side is huge but that weather was so bad for you guys yesterday that there is not much you could have done. Just a little bump in the road to an amazing time at Grand Rapids!


  5. I love your post, and yes, THANK YOU, hating it is important! I love running… that does not mean I always “like” running and yes, sometimes I do hate it. It’s hard, and we don’t like things that are hard sometimes but that’s life- you just have to know and remember that other runs and times will make up for the bad ones and keep that kind of faith.

    There is a 10 X 5K race coming up here. It’s basically 10 hours, and on the hour every hour you do a 5K. I’d much rather run a 50K and I don’t even want to do that… maybe those guys were training for something similar? Who knows… sounds like an interesting site!

    Oh… and 8:45 sounds like a great pace to me and not slogging… but I know what you mean- that’s all relative. You are right though, I do think sometimes you can run a little “too” easy.


    • I’m so glad you liked it. Yes, that actually is the same thing these guys were doing so maybe they were training for that?! I had never heard of that before in my life. Seems completely crazy to have a 10 hour event. They were even drinking beer during the recovery time. I’m with you, I’d rather run a straight out 50K.


  6. Pingback: Get Out Of Your Running Comfort Zone

  7. Hi Kris, Great post! As a fellow Hadley-ite, I really like following the progress of other runners in the USMTP. I am so impressed with how hard you are working and how well you’re doing. I know that you’ll get your qualifier.

    I did want to comment on a couple of things that relate to your post. The first is about going barefoot. There is a lot of conflicting info out there on this and recently more and more supporting going barefoot, particularly on hard surfaces, to improve the strength of all the little muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet. I have always walked around barefoot and didn’t really know anything else until someone told me I needed to stop doing this because I would become injured. I found that I was more prone to foot and lower leg pain (arches, heels and achilles) when I wore shoes and appropriate footwear all the time. The reason, I am told, is that my feet were losing their conditioning. If they’re all bundled up all the time and fully supported, they do less work and become lazy. Well, that’s probably not technically the way it happens, but that’s how I explain it. I have also found that foot and lower leg issues for me are generally caused by something weird happening higher up in the chain, particularly in the hips. So, I always see any foor and calf issues as a bellwether for more attention on hip mobility.

    And on the slogging…I’m not sure that Coach Hadley was telling you to run your easy runs faster. I slog regularly and have even been told to slow down my recovery run days. My experience has been that true recovery runs like the second run of the day and/or the first run after a hard run should be run as slowly as you want. If you don’t respect your body’s need for recovery, overtraining will appear in your future. Trying to stick to a set pace range for what’s meant to be a run that recharges your battery is not a good idea. The fatigue just continues to accumulate. What I have found is that my easy runs are typically faster when my training is less intense, but as I start adding volume and intensity to my marathon training, I have to back off the pace on my easy runs or I get injured or overtrained. This is a universal rule that elite athletes throughout the world follow. You can hear anecdote after anecdote of non-elites who are surprised with how slowly elite runners run their recovery runs.

    My favorite personal example of this was after the US 1/2 marathon championships in Duluth in 2012. We cooled down with Mary Akor, an amazing elite athlete, and she was complaining about how fast some of the girls were going. She intentionally backed off the pace, running about 8:30-9:00, and let the “girls” run ahead. I stayed with Mary:)

    Hope this is useful,



    • Thank you for that advice Jaymee. The foot all wrapped up getting weaker makes perfect sense. I think I may have been balancing that fine line of wearing shoes half and bare feet the other half. The last thing I want to do is weaken my feet so I will need to be on the lookout for that. I appreciate that heads up.

      I have always agreed with running slow when your body needs it. I spend 90% of my runs in the slow range. I’m specifically only trying to talk about the days I’m being a bit lazy. I can’t run way slower than I should 5-6 times a week and expect improvement. I start feeling like those really are junk miles when I do that.


  8. I wish I could get this tattooed on myself.

    “Running sucks sometimes but I don’t want to be my average self, I want to be my best self and that’s how you get there. It will all be worth it. The dedication and hating it is as important as the loving it.”

    Or maybe just repeat it a million times on hard runs. Great post!! I am so glad I found your blog.


  9. Just found you via Mile-Posts … *great* post, and very true! The slogging it is definitely something I deal with!

    It was after running my first 5K just over a year ago that I realized how much faster I could be … and I have never returned! In fact, I won’t accept an average pace even where I ran that 5K!

    That realization jump-started my running – I had been a solo, ‘for weight-loss only’ runner doing ~15 miles a week since a year after college when I was my heaviest. That was more than 24 years ago, I and ‘slogged it’ for 23 years!

    Now I have run several short races, two half-marathons (knocking >15 minutes off my PR between them!) and am about to run my 3rd marathon this weekend. And as I said my first race was last year, and my first marathon … was last fall at 46!

    But while I wear my GPS to constantly track my time and distance to prevent slacking, I also acknowledge that when the humidity is ‘soup’, and if I go for a hot evening run, my pace will suffer. That is OK so long as I am not ‘slogging’.

    As for the ‘hating it’ part, that is also true – I have been traveling a lot for work to a company location out of state (in Kentucky, we’re from upstate NY), so getting proper marathon mileage has meant doubles in the heat and humidity recently. L last week I did 6 miles in 97 humid degrees in the evening while the sun was still blazing …. I brought a frozen liter of electrolyte water, and it was *warm* by the end! It is a hard discipline, but I earned that dripping shirt by the end!


    • I bet you have so many hills there too, right? Always okay to let that pace slack a bit in the heat & humidity. I’m only referring to that pace where you are basically shuffling along. I’m so guilty of that 😉 Thanks for commenting and I followed your blog so I am excited to read about your training progress, start updating us! 😀


      • Kentucky is really humid (I visit the Corning plant in Harrodsburg, they make TV screens and Gorilla Glass for phones), but the hills are fairly small. In NY we live south of the Finger Lakes (near Corning) and have some pretty massive hills!

        Oh – I messed up and my default link is to an inactive blog. I’m an editor for Gear Diary and do a weekly health/fitness/running post in addition to other tech stuff! Check it out.


  10. Such good words about slogging and something I am so guilty of! I just found your blog through another running blog and really enjoyed reading. I’m also from VB, so it’s fun to read about another runner on the trails of First Landing.


    • I just checked out your blog and I have to tell you, it is gorgeous!! Those are some amazing photos you have. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad to meet another Virginia Beach girl. See you on the trails!


    • I think the important thing is to be mindful and consistent with your footwear choices. I was wearing old crap running shoes (at least 10 years old) and they were bugging my feet, but now I am running minimal-ish so I have started wearing Merrell Vapor Gloves as ‘slippers’ and it feels much better.


      • Honestly just try what works for you. When the doctor gave me the advice to wear something all the time, I was thrilled because I already knew barefoot was not working out for me. I KNOW that when I stand on the tile in my kitchen cooking for 45 minutes my feet hurt. Others swear it makes them stronger but I’ve never had that impression for myself. Trust your body.


        • I look at it this way – OSHA requires manufacturers to have padded areas where people will be standing for extended time periods because of exactly what your podiatrist said. We are often the most lax about safety in our own homes (I do make my boys wear gloves and safety glasses doing the lawn), but this stuff exists for a reason. 🙂


  11. Nice! I particularly like the first one because I have found that improving your self image can really lead to better performance. I personally think slogging has a place if you are trying to get in the miles but feeling really beat up from a previous workout.


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