Whether you’re catering for a crowd of hungry vegans or determined to wow your meat-eating family members with delicious plant-based food, the holidays are a time to go all-out with your cooking. When it comes to designing a festive vegan menu, there are no limits to how creative you can be. Continue reading Vegan Holiday Feast
A friend of mine recently posted a funny article they found in Runner’s World about the crazy things runners think about after running a marathon. This made me think of some things that have gone through my head both during and after a race; so I decided to create my own list 😉
Running a marathon is an incredible feeling and an awesome sense of accomplishment, but while you’re running it, you don’t always recognize in that moment how truly amazing it is and how strong you are because you’re battling some crazy thoughts that are going on in your head.
According to Running USA, the average male’s finishing time is 4:19:27 (9:54/mile pace), and the women’s was 4:44:19 (10:51/mile pace). That is a long time to be in your own head. As you run, you’ll notice many thoughts that pop up, some good and some not so good. For this week’s blog, I’ve decided to share some of my own. This is by no means meant to discourage you from running a marathon (because I think everyone should run at least one in their lifetime), it’s more of an insight into what runners, myself in particular, think about during a race. The most recent marathon I ran was the NYC marathon in November. Here are a few of the things that I thought about. I started by breaking it down according to my miles of the race and then how I felt after. Enjoy!
Here’s what goes down during and after a marathon:
- At the beginning of the race you’re so excited. You’ve been training for several months and now the day is finally here. You’re overjoyed and ready to run.
- Miles 1-3: What’s my pace? Am I going too fast? Should I slow down? Remember the warnings… don’t go out fast, stay back, you’ll pay for it at the end.
- Mile 3-6: Ok, I am getting into a groove. Love this Eminem song, I am crushing this. I feel like I am on top of the world, only 20 miles to go.
- Miles 6-9: Make sure you’re fueling, look a water station, drink up, are we at the ½ yet?
- Miles 9-12: Still not halfway, ok I am on pace, trying to be under the 4:00 mark. Only one more mile to the half, keep your chest up, shoulders down, and remember to breathe.
- Miles 12-15: Finally, the first half is done, you’ve got this, try to speed up for the second half, skip to the next song, yay Beyonce, smile- there’s a photographer, pretend this is fun.
- Miles 15-18: I think my foot hurts, I’m thirsty, is that a banana? Where’s my husband? Wait I think I see him. Can I lift my hand high enough to give him a high-five?
- Miles 18-21: Why did I sign up for this? Why do I think running is fun? Shit, I slowed down, can I still hit my goal? Why aren’t my legs moving? MOVE legs- whats wrong with you? Shit a hill! What’s that smell? Is that me or the person next to me? I’ve run 20 miles, only 6 more… stop doing math.
- Mile 21-23: Ok, not too much longer. Is this what hitting the wall feels like? When will this be over? I can’t believe I paid for this. When is the next water stop? Hold your pace, that person’s walking and it looks so good, should I walk? If I get through this alive, I am never running another marathon.
- Mile 23-26.2: You are almost there, pull yourself together, you can do this-you can do anything, one foot in front of the other, is that the finish line ahead, pass the women in the orange shorts, let’s go, last little push, let’s get to that line, smile when you cross.
- Yes, I did it!! Glad that’s done! That was great, I think! Where’s my damn medal?
- Should I sit, nah keep walking to the family meeting area. Wow my feet hurt, I am not sure they ever hurt so bad, oh no a curb how am I going to step down, find your family, find food, find a drink, find a shower.
- Find a shower, stand there for 20 minutes then ask your husband to help dry you off and get you dressed.
- Eat everything in site.
- Allow your head to hit the pillow, Good night!
Running a marathon is one of the most challenging and rewarding events that any of us will ever experience. The human body imposes natural limitations on the distance we can run easily. Twenty miles is about the furthest we can go comfortably. After 20 miles, we begin to run out of fuel and our muscles begin to hurt. Therefore, the marathon distance is designed to take us beyond our comfort zone, to a place in which we confront the limitations of our bodies and our minds. I could not think of a better place to be, to learn, and to grow.
I firmly believe that anyone with the right training, preparation, and mental discipline can complete a marathon. However, you need to know that there are no shortcuts or easy ways out. Marathon training can be tough, but you need to remember, so are you! After you’ve run your first one, there is no better feeling in the world. Knowing your hard work has paid off and what you’ve accomplished as a result of finishing is something that no one can take away from you.
It is so worth it in the end. If you’re someone who’s debated about doing one for a while, now’s your chance (no time like the present). Join me in signing up for the NJ marathon and get yourself ready for a challenge that will take you into an unknown zone, where you can confront your true self and discover your inner strengths and limits. But, be careful, running a marathon can become an addiction. After it’s done, you can’t wait to sign up for the next one.
This marathon will mark my 10th and I could not be more excited nor could I think of a better place to run!
26 Reasons why you should run the NJ Marathon:
- Its close to home! The point-to-point marathon course starts in Oceanport at Monmouth Park and ends on the oceanfront Promenade just north of Pier Village and opposite the stage on The Great Lawn. And if it’s not close to your home, it’s definitely an awesome place to visit and great excuse to head to the Jersey Shore.
- The course is virtually flat. It has a few gentle rolling stretches and bridge crossings, but overall, it’s fast and flat.
- Flat and fast = many participants will obtain new PRs!
- Great Boston Qualifying course!
- You get to run through the diverse neighborhoods and business districts of Oceanport, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbour, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.
- You can achieve a life-long goal. Many people have “run a marathon” on their bucket list, but few actually follow through with it.
- Training for a marathon helps keep you motivated to run! You can’t get away with not training with a marathon, so having training runs marked on your calendar will keep you motivated and force you to stick to your schedule.
- Running keeps you healthy and strong! Running regularly strengthens your heart and also helps keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels. It also improves your immune system.
- Get into better shape! By the time you’re done training you may possibly be in the best shape of your life.
- You’ll get a medal, cool shirt, and an awesome finishing photo as a recognition of your achievement.
- You’ll meet new people. Joining a running group is a great way to make new friends. The friends you meet and the bonds you form are like none other.
- You’ll sleep better. Marathon training can be tiring on your body, so you’ll definitely find yourself getting to bed earlier and sleeping a lot more soundly.
- You’ll have a lifetime of bragging rights. Once you become a marathon finisher, you’re always a marathon finisher. No one can ever take that away from you!
- You’ll have a great excuse to buy new running clothes. You’ll be running a lot, so you need quite a few outfits. Picking up some new running clothes and gear is a great way to reward yourself for sticking to your training.
- You’ll be a great role model and be setting a great example for your friends and family. It’s hard not to respect someone who is dedicated and determined to complete a large goal like running a marathon.
- People will make signs for you. A marathon is definitely a sign-worthy endeavor and friends and family always love to come up with creative signs to show their support. It’s so fun to read the signs along the course on race day!
- Running is a good stress reliever. Running helps take your mind off your troubles and get lost in the run.
- Running can be euphoric. You’ll get to experience the runner’s high that everyone talks about.
- You’ll gain confidence you never knew you had. After you’ve logged a 20-miler, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.
- You’ll find new places to run. Since you’ll be running a lot more, you may get bored with the same routes. Check out MapMyRun.com to create new routes. You can also find runners in your area on FB or visit your local running store (i.e. Pacers) to ask for suggestions on where to run.
- You will most definitely be inspired along the way. Whether it’s the double-amputee wheelchair racer, the 75-year-old grandmother running, the person completing their 50th or 100th marathon, people running in honor of loved ones who’ve passed, the charity runners, or the kids holding the signs that say “We Love You, Mom/Dad!”, there are inspirations everywhere.
- You can indulge a little after your long runs. During your very long runs, you’ll be burning thousands of calories, so it’s OK to be a little indulgent after. You can run hard, and celebrate hard.
- You’ll better understand runners’ lingo and find yourself talking more about running.
- You have an excuse to get a massage. While training, you may find that you have tight muscles, so regular massages can help you feel comfortable and stay injury-free. Treat yourself to a massage or two during your training to help relieve some of that tightness.
- You’ll have an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Although you’ll experience rough patches during marathon training and during the race, it’s all worth it once you cross that finish line. You’ll feel proud knowing that you set a goal of finishing a marathon and you followed through with it.
- The experience will change you. You’ll forever know that you have the mental and physical strength to persevere, even during times when you think you can’t and won’t succeed.
Let’s get ready to run!!
What are you grateful for? Have you thought about it? Do you show gratitude in your daily life?
At times, I often feel that we take so much for granted and forget about all the good that is present in our lives. Instead, we think about all the things our lives are lacking. However, when we stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing and we have so much to be grateful for.
In an effort to remind myself and others of all the things we should be grateful for, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to the idea of gratitude! Enjoy 🙂 Continue reading Cultivating Gratitude