A Friday Fitness Feature: Run Girl, Run!

Today is a guest post by one of my favorite blogger gals, the lovely Kate Lainey from With a Heart Full of Daisies. I’ve been reading Kate’s blog since I first started blogging, and even though we have slightly different blogging styles I feel like I can really connect with her because she always speaks from the heart. Her blog is full of gorgeous photos and ideas centered around home decorating, fashion, healthy eating and lifestyle, fitness and life’s moments. She just got married this summer (congrats again girlie!) and has lots of fun posts on wedding planning tidbits. Her blog always puts a big smile on my face and I encourage you to head over and check out Kate’s little corner of blog land when you get a chance.

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Hello Green Food, Green Thumb, High Heels Readers! I’m Kate from With a Heart Full of Daisies.
Lindsay was kind enough to ask me to write up a post about one of my favorite passions… running! Over the course of my running career I’ve been asked a variety of questions about running and my personal experiences with it. Here are some of the top questions that most people seem to have!

What kind of pre-race routine do you have, if any?
My training isn’t always the most rigid of routines, but when it comes to pre-race mornings… oh boy. I tend to get really pumped and do not want anything to go awry. Here is a typical pre-race morning for me:
 
-Wake up, grab a half cup of coffee or none at all, and eat breakfast. Note that you should not eat a heavy breakfast before you run! A bagel/toast with peanut butter and a banana is one of my favorites. I do not ever drink milk, but if you normally do… DON’T before you run. You will not like the results. :) 
-Get dressed, making sure I have any race bib, numbers, or chips already on. This way you won’t forget them or scramble to get them on before the race. 
-Pack a bag (if you haven’t the night before) of essentials you’ll need for before/after the race. Depending on weather, I usually bring an extra shirt/shorts/shoes to change into in case I get super sweaty or cold. Remember a water bottle and nutrition for the run if the race doesn’t provide this for during or afterwards. I also bring my ipod and my husband for motivation and support.
-Make sure you leave well enough in advance to get to the race, find parking, and warm up properly.  I make sure I’m at a race at least 45 minutes before it starts so I can gather my bearings, warm up, stretch, and not feel rushed. 
-Once there, find a place for your belongings and go out for a nice slow jog. Depending on how far your race is, most people do not need to go for longer than 15-20 minutes. Find a nice spot to stretch and think about how well this race will go. No negative thoughts! Put on some jams and jump around if you need to get fired up!  
-Before the race, take a swig of water and always make sure to hit up the bathroom before the line gets too long! 
 
After the race, as much as you don’t want too, try to do some sort of cool down and re-hydrate yourself. Make sure to reward yourself in some way. You just finished a race, you deserve it!!! 
 
How can I make running fun? Every time I go out for a run, I always end up hating it.
First off, know that you are not alone when it comes to feeling this way about running. I know a lot of people who just do not like it, and that is okay.There are definitely days when I want to stop, turn around, and call it a day during my run. There are lots of ways to make running more enjoyable. Here are just a few things that make my runs easier for me:
 
-Listening to music or podcast on my ipod. 
-Sign up for a race so you have a goal to obtain. 
-Run with a great friend or a training group! 
-Make a game out of your run! Sometimes Zach and I will go exploring or try to search for the perfect house on our runs. 
-Have a destination in mind and a reward for getting there. 
-Use your running time as a way to clear your mind or ponder about issues that need to be worked out. 
-Buy a new running outfit or shoes… these are seriously great motivators! :) 
 
I’m sure there are tons of other ways runners make running more exciting. Anyone have their own special tricks of the trade? 
 
Please remember, If none of these things seem to work for you, don’t force yourself to run if you still hate it.  There is no sense in making yourself unhappy just because you think you should run. Do it only if you love it… or at least like the benefits of it. 

So, how can running be enjoyable, even if it’s not competitive? I don’t want to actually race! 
Many of my friends are not naturally competitive people, and they rarely run in any races because of that, but they still enjoy the sport. You definitely do not need to be competitive or run just solely to compete to make running enjoyable.  I think this comes down to what type of person you are.  I tend to be pretty competitive in most aspects of my life, so naturally in college I wanted to be the best and this fueled my training.  For those who don’t feel this way, the social aspects, physical, and mental aspects are what can make running enjoyable. Once I got our of the collegiate field, the competitiveness declined and other aspects of increased.  Running is such a stress reliever for me at times, making me feel better about my stressors once I’m done.  If you know yourself well enough, find out what aspects you’d like to focus on to help make your runs more enjoyable. 
  
What have you gained from your running lifestyle?
I think that the most important benefit I’ve gained from a running lifestyle are the close friends. I believe runners are a different breed of folks; we are quirky in our own ways, but the friendships from my running friends are very personable and long lasting.  It is through my running career that I found a great support system, my husband, and my current job. The way I feel after running and the way it keeps my body fit are just icing on the cake. It’s all about the people! :) 
 
So what about you? Do you enjoy running or some other form of exercise? I’d love to hear your personal experiences with running and how it has changed your life! 
 
Thanks Lindsay for letting me guest post over on your blog! I hope you enjoyed my little running post and if you have any other questions about running or just want to chat, you can find me over at With a Heart Full of Daisies or on Twitter!
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Thank you so much Kate for guest posting. I’m currently spending all afternoon in airports, traveling back to sunny FL, (so I set this guest post up in advance) to keep my blog up and running this weekend :) You all probably know my take on running. I want to run, I want to enjoy running… but I still struggle. And I’m okay with that. I’m currently taking baby steps on improving my running skills, and I love reading running and fitness blogs with great tips on running motivation and inspiration, because that’s what pumps me up to want it more!!

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