Category Archives: Run

Your body…

Your body is your most priceless possession; you’ve got to take care of it! -Jack Lalanne

It's your body..  Use it!

It’s your body.. Use it!

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Must-Have Flat-Tummy Foods for Your Grocery List by Darlene Horn

Do you leave the gym drenched in sweat, sore from another round of intense cardio and countless crunches? Exercise is just one way to flatten your abs. What you put inside of your body is just as important.

When you indulge in low-sodium meals, lean protein and water, you help reduce unwanted bloating around the midsection, making your efforts in the gym more noticeable. Here are the flat-tummy foods you need to kick-start your fight against flab and help you win the flat-ab battle.

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Breakfast

The first meal of the day is the most important. What you eat will set the course for every snack and meal to follow. For a tight midsection, munch on:

– Fresh fruit—banana, orange or cup of berries—with Greek yogurt
– One egg (hardboiled or scrambled in a little olive oil) with a slice of whole grain bread

Lunch

When noon hits, enjoy a lunch of mixed greens, vegetable soup or whole grain bread stuffed with lean meats and veggies. These meals will keep you full until your afternoon snack or dinnertime. For protein, choose tofu, boneless chicken or tuna—they’re all quick and easy to prep. Cook your tofu the night before to make it even easier. Pair the protein with any variety of vegetables.

Snack

When the snacking hour comes, it hits hard. Take a deep breath and sip a glass of water or unsweetened green tea. If you can’t shake that hungry feeling, nosh on:

– A handful of almonds
– A piece of fruit
– Air-popped popcorn
– A small piece of dark chocolate.

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Dinner

Cap off your day with a dinner of lean grilled meats and veggies, a hearty salad such as the goat cheese and beet salad on page two, or a satisfying soup. Sodium can come back to haunt you. Try to keep your salt in check if you’re heating up a can of soup.

75 Thoughts Every Runner Has While Out For A Run “I don’t even like running.”

 

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1. What a beautiful day for a run!
2. This sucks.
3. Well, five miles is only two and half miles each way, which is basically two miles each way, so I’m really only running four miles. That’s not too far.
4. It’s starting to feel far.
5. How long have I been running? A year?
6. SIX MINUTES?!
7. I can barely remember what my life was like before I started this run.
8. OK, concentrate. There are still four-plus miles to go.
9. But who counts the first and last mile? This is pretty much an easy three miler.
10. Oh, shit! A fellow jogger!
11. Should I wave?
12. I’m totally gonna wave.
13. OOOK, they didn’t wave back. Never doing that again.
14. Just keep running, no one saw. Except that old guy who may or may not be averting his eyes.
15. Man, I think I’m hitting that “second wind” thing my gym coach was talking about.
16. Wait, never mind. I’ve been running down a decline.
17. If I leap to avoid dog shit, does that make me a CrossFit athlete?
18. What the heck is CrossFit anyway?
19. Mental reminder: Google CrossFit when I get home.
20. If I ever get home.
21. If I had a heart attack right now, I wonder who would find my body.
22. OMG, I hope I never find a dead body. Joggers always find dead bodies.
23. Bodies. Body. Bod-ay. Runnin’ all day, no one can catch … may.
24. OK, I must be halfway done by now.
25. What?! Only two miles in?
26. Alright, stay focused. What am I going to eat when I get home?
27. I’m running five miles so I should probably eat five slices of pizza.
28. Or I could buy one pizza and ask them to cut it into five slices.
29. I should probably get a side salad too.
30. …
31. Fuck the salad actually.
32. Man, what are these people doing in front of me? Walking?!
33. Is this a contest to see who’s the worst at walking? Because you are both champions in my heart.
34. Maybe if I pound my feet on the ground they’ll hear me coming and let me pass.
35. Oh, God. They didn’t turn around and now I’m right behind them. They’re going to think they’re getting mugged by the world’s sweatiest criminal.
36. You know what? Now seems like a good time to run in the street.
37. * Jumps off curb * Parkour!
38. Hi hi hi please don’t hit me with your car.
39. Pedestrian pedestrianizing over here, let me cross.
40. Thank you, Mr. Blue Honda. I’m trying to smile at you but it probably looks like I’m having a stroke.
41. Actually, I wonder what I look like right now.
42. * Checks out reflection in shop window * Yeesh.
43. Is that what I look like when I run? What am I, a newborn deer with a drinking problem?
44. Whatever, I must be almost done by now.
45. Heck yes. Three miles down, two to go. It’s all downhill from here.
46. Except for that very real uphill in front of me. God damnit.
47. Wait, is that… Is that…
48. A DOG!
49. Hi dog! You are so cute. You are now my mascot. I will finish this run for you, pup.
50. And — hello — what do we have here? Your human is pretty cute too.
51. Hope you like drunk fawns, Cute Human.
52. Watch my bambi ass prance up this hill.
53. Holy shit, prancing is exhausting. I am exhausted.
54. Honestly, I don’t even like running.
55. Why do I even run?
56. Why does anyone even run?
57. Why are we even alive?
58. OK, let’s not go down that road.
59. Focus. Focus on that sweet, delicious ‘za waiting at the finish line, calling your name with its cheesy breath.
60. Wait, less than one mile to go? I am KILLING this run.
61. I AM THE SWIFTEST GOD OF ALL TWO-LEGGED CREATURES.
62. YES, including ostriches.
63. Honestly, I should sign up for a marathon.

Lolo
64. What is it, like 30 miles?
65. That’s just 15 miles each way, which is practically 10, and 10 is twice five, and I can run five miles EASY.
66. That’s it, I’m doing it. Thirty miles.
67. Thirty-mile marathon…30-mile marathon…30 Rock marathon.
68. On second thought, I’ll probably just binge-watch every episode of 30 Rock. That takes a lot of dedication and I will be winded from laughing so hard.
69. But I could probably do a marathon IF I wanted.
70. OK, almost home. Should I shower first and order pizza or order pizza and shower before it shows up?
71. Yep, definitely ordering first. I earned that shit.
72. Oh, no. Oh god no. Another runner. Should I wave?
73. No, be strong! Do not get burned again.
74. OMG, SHE waved first! Hello! Yes! We are both runners! Look at us run!
75. I guess running’s not so bad.

The Gluten-Free Triathlete: Part II

In this second installment of our three-part series on gluten, top pros share why they decided to go gluten-free and the benefits they’ve experienced.

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By Ian Stokell (Read Part I here.)

While the need to be gluten-free if you have celiac disease, or are gluten or wheat intolerant is obvious, benefits for those without negative reactions to gluten are less concrete, even for pro triathletes.

For current XTERRA world champion Lesley Paterson and multiple IRONMAN 70.3 champion Timothy O’Donnell, —both gluten intolerant, and multiple IRONMAN and 70.3 champion Heather Wurtele—who has a wheat allergy, the results of going gluten free have been striking.

“I basically feel very fatigued,” Paterson says of gluten’s effect on her body. “It’s almost like I have flu symptoms with achy muscles, headaches, chills, heat and cold sensitivity.”

It’s a similar situation for O’Donnell. “My gluten intolerance struck me on many levels,” he says. “It caused nausea, bloating, digestive issues, acid reflux and vomiting during races. It also caused general lethargy.”

Wurtele experienced digestive problems connected to her wheat allergy. “Before going gluten free I found that painful gas and cramping was an almost daily occurrence,” she says. “I just sort of accepted that a sore stomach was my thing. I would almost always have to dive into the bushes for any run over an hour. My digestive system was just irritated.”

For other pro triathletes that don’t have specific gluten or wheat conditions, such as Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield and multiple IRONMAN champion Luke McKenzie, the decision to go gluten free was less obvious.

Whitfield, for example, just wanted to see if it made a difference. Though not as strict anymore, he says he still avoids pasta and over-indulging in bread. “I’m surprised by the ‘gluten defenders,’” adds Whitfield. “It’s almost like a ‘gluten mafia,’ protecting bread and bragging about how much gluten they eat. I don’t really care. I noticed a difference for me.”

“I’m not 100 percent gluten free and have never been diagnosed as a celiac,” says McKenzie. “I just went gluten free as a suggestion to losing a little body weight and to generally feel better, which I did. I try keep my diet as gluten free as possible, but I treat myself from time to time which I feel hasn’t done me much harm.”

Dr. Alexander Shikhman, rheumatologist and founder of the Institute for Specialized Medicine and Gluten-Free Remedies says that the beneficial effects of eliminating gluten on physical performance are not incidental. He explains that when gluten protein is digested, something called exorphins are produced. When exorphins penetrate the blood-brain barrier, they interact with brain nerve cells and behave much like narcotics. This can lead to attention deficit, fatigue, mood swings and miscommunication between your brain and muscles. He says because of this, anyone can improve his or her performance by avoiding gluten.

Going gluten free isn’t easy. Paterson avoids anything containing gluten or soy. “I’m religious about it, so eating out with me is no fun,” she adds. O’Donnell says he avoids all gluten as much as he can, steering clear of breads, pastas, and beer.

Finding gluten-free foods is becoming easier, thanks to the popularization of the diet and the availability of products. Many grocery stores now include entire aisle sections of gluten-free foods, and most mainstream products feature gluten-free alternatives for their high profile brands.

Paterson says she eats lots of rice, as well as gluten-free bagels, bars, and cereal from Udis. Proteins (other than soy), veggies, fruit, and dairy are all allowed. “There are lots of choices really,” she says. “I mainly eat meats, fruits, nuts, and yogurt,” O’Donnell adds. “I eat a lot of gluten-free specific products too, such as granola and other treats.” Whitfield has his own list that includes chia seeds, yams, bacon, Greek yogurt, and steak.

For professional triathletes and middle-of-the-pack age-groupers alike, there seems to be a pattern to the benefits of going gluten free. “The best way to describe it is that I feel free and clear,” Patterson says. “I can access my energy and feel excited about life.”

O’Donnell says that since adopting the diet, all of his physical symptoms are gone. “My GI system works much better in races, and after taking Zantac for over a decade for acid reflux, I no longer need to take it. I feel clear-headed and motivated to train and race.”

Digestion is key for Wurtele, who says she has a “generally happier digestive system, and less painful gas and stomach cramps.” She says it’s also easier to maintain a better body composition.

Whitfield, even though he’s not totally gluten-free, says he’s noticed better sleeping habits, less bloating on runs, and a proclivity to make better food choices in general. McKenzie reports less bloating and gas, and an easier time maintaining a body weight 2-3 kilograms lower.

For those who suffer from celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergies, avoiding gluten is a necessity. But there is considerable anecdotal evidence from non-sufferers as well, many of whom are quick to list the diet’s benefits. Perhaps the best way to find out if a gluten-free diet will benefit you is to try it.

Next month, part three of this gluten-free series looks at diagnosis, testing, and the process of going gluten-free. (Read Part I here.)

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Ian Stokell holds a MA in Physical Education from Chico State University, with an emphasis on coaching. He has coached a variety of sports from running to volleyball to soccer, where he holds national certifications. Currently, he is directing his efforts toward motivating and coaching triathletes.

KONA Multisport is the leader in providing only the worlds top Triathlon Supplies, Gear, Equipment, Apparel and Tri Bikes conveniently available at http://www.swimbikerun.com. Shop us for your SBR Tri Shop needs.

My First Triathlon: 15 Things I Learned By Fara Rosenzweig

DoubtersAfter discovering some mishaps along my journey to the finish line, I share with you what I learned at my first triathlon.

1. Face Your Fears: Swimming Swimming is a big fear of mine. So I decided to hire a swim coach. Not just any swim coach, a child’s swim coach. I needed a few lessons onbasic swimming techniques to just get comfortable in the water.

2.  Get the Right Gear Pick up a really good pair of goggles, a swim cap and a swimsuit. Know that swimsuit sizes for women run differently than your typical swimwear. Also, I purchased two pairs of goggles—one that had a really good dark tint for my sunny-day workouts and a clear pair for early morning or evening swims.

3.  Focus on Your Weakness, But Not Too Much Since swimming was my weakness, I thought I needed to spend every second in the pool. But a friend said, “During my sprint, my swim portion took me 12 minutes.”  A light bulb went off. I realized if I just got decent at swimming, I could pick up my pace during the run (since running was my strength). So, I rearranged my training to swim for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week and really push myself hard during my run and bike workouts.

4.  Practice Your Transitions Many newbies overlook this. I did too. A couple of days before your event, spend about 20 minutes practicing. Run to your bike, run with your bike, and practice getting on it. Ride your bike for a few minutes and then practice getting off of it and running your bike back to your transition spot. Also, practice putting on your socks, shoes, sunglasses and bib. It’s amazing how many seconds you can shed with practice

5.  It’s Okay to Panic If you’re scared of swimming, like me, go out in open water a couple weeks before your race. Make sure to bring a friend or coach to support you. The first time I went out in the water, I had a panic attack.Things were touching my legs, fish swam by my legs and salty water tasted awful. All the unknowns and unfamiliarity got to me. But, I was able to get that out of my system. By race day, I felt confident going into the water.

6.  Garbage Bags and Cooking Spray The first time I tried to squeeze myself into my wetsuit, it took me almost and hour. Tip number one; don’t try to do it in your house when it’s warm. Pro triathlete Sarah Haskins and her husband, handed me two garbage bags. Apparently plastic bags help suits glide on. So I stuck each leg into a garbage bag. Her husband then sprayed my legs and arms with cooking oil. What took and hour at one point, took five seconds. I never leave home without garbage bags and cooking oil.

7.  Lay Everything Out and Take Your Time As simple as this sounds, do it. Lay out your shoes, socks, sunglasses, bobby pins, helmet, goggles and swim cap on a towel. Everything has a place. Organizing your gear will help you seem less frazzled when going through transitions. When you’re switching items, it’s okay to talk to yourself to help you stay focused. It helped me remember to take off my helmet before starting my run.

8.  Crumple Your Race Bib Why crumple your race bib? To keep it from flaring around when you bike and run. Crumple it up into a ball, and then uncrumple it. Itwon’t look pretty, but it will help it to stay put. Plus, all the pros do it, so again, you’ll look like you know what you’re doing.

9.  Start to Unzip Your Wetsuit Back to the dreaded wetsuit. If you lather yourself up with body glide or cooking oil, taking it off shouldn’t be too difficult. As you run out of the water towards the transition area, start to take off your wetsuit. By the time you make it to your transition spot your wetsuit should be half off. All you have to do is slip your legs out. You’ll save tons of time.

10. People Will Touch You in the Water Know that during your swim portion there will be people that didn’t practice swimming in open water prior to race day. Understand that thosepeople might panic, grab your legs, or accidentally swim into you. Try to swim on the outside of everyone, or stay back in the wave to give yourself room so you can avoid random people grabbing you. If it does happen, know that people are probably doing it by mistake; they’re not trying to take you down.

11. Say “Left” During the bike portion you need to stay three bike lengths behind the biker in front of you. If you think you have the speed and power to pass them, yell left and pass on the left. You have 15 seconds to pass and get ahead of the rider. They should then back off to give you the appropriate space. Sometimes this doesn’t happen as it should, but you should be the bigger person and follow the rules.

12. Heavy Running Legs When you get off your bike and start your run portion, know that your legs will feel like a ton of bricks. It will feel like there is super glue on the bottom of your feet. Nothing is wrong with you; it will just take a little bit of time for your body to adjust. It’s a weird feeling at first, but if you’re mentally prepared for it, you won’t panic. Just work through it and continue on your merry tri.

13. How to Hold Your Bike If you watch YouTube videos of the pros, you’ll see them holding their bike seat with their hands as they run through the transitions. As a newbie, don’t do this! That is a very hard skill to master and it’s easy to lose control of your bike. To keep control of your bike, place your hands on the handle bars. When it’s time to get on your bike at the appropriate spot, keep your head looking forward as you swing your leg over your seat and reach for the pedal.

14. Follow Signs and High Five Spectators Whether it’s your first tri or hundredth, there are people out there cheering you on (whether you know them or not). Give them some love too and high five someone. It will give you a little boost of energy and help you go the distance.

15. Cross the Finish Line Like a Champ If you’ve read all the slides and take these tips into consideration for your event, then you’ll look like a pro at your race. It’s our secret. So if you look like a pro, and you race like a pro, it only makes sense to finish like a pro. When you see that finish line in the short distance, pick up the pace and charge. Finish strong, throw your hands up like Rocky Balboa and celebrate… you just completed a triathlon. You now have bragging rights.

4 Ways To Recover Right By Sarah Wassner Flynn

These are the best ways to recover from a workout and the best ways to prevent injury.
The following article outlines the most effective ways to recover from workouts and prevent injuries while training for your next race.  Rub it, Drink it, Freeze it, Work it

Don’t let winter training take its toll on your body—4 things to do after every workout so you’re ready to take on your next tough effort.Rub It

As if you needed another excuse to get a massage, here’s one more:  Experts say that rubbing down muscles after exercise is as effective in preventing soreness than aspirin or other pain medicine. In a recent report in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., write that massage slows production of chemicals in the body linked to swelling, soreness and inflammation. Not only that, a good rub down increases blood flow and promotes the formation of mitochondira—which our body needs to create energy. So go ahead, book some time on the table after your next hard effort (or just grab your foam roller and self-massage). Your muscles will thank you.
Drink ItNew marketing has launched coconut water into to the mainstream, but it’s actually been around for ages as a way to rehydrate rapidly. “In World War II, they used coconut water instead when they ran out of IV fluids,” says Alan Kipping-Ruane, a USAT coach and official. Reaching for this thirst-quencher post-workout can restore electrolytes, potassium, and sodium lost through sweating. Zico Coconut water—which packs more potassium than a banana in every  bottle; 15 times more than the average sports drink—has recently started sponsoring triathletes including Greg Bennett, and Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner. Not crazy about coconuts? Chocolate milk is another idea recovery drink.
Freeze ItDipping yourself into a tub full of frigid water may be the last thing you want to do after a chilly run or ride, but an ice bath is a proven method of preventing injury. In fact, one new study says cold therapy can reduce soreness by up to 20 percent when compared with passive post-exercise rest. Just can’t do the dip? Have hope: The cryosauna may be coming soon to a spa or PT office near you. Currently used by elite athletes like distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein, this is a chamber that works to reduce the skin’s surface temperature to 30°F in just seconds, which then sends a message to the brain to increase blood and oxygen flow to your core. When you step back into normal temperatures, blood vessels expand, resulting in an instant energy boost, skin rejuvenation and quick muscle recovery—without the pain of an ice bath.
Work ItActive recovery is as important as your hard workouts. So even if you wake up completely spent from that interval session the day before, peel yourself off the couch and hit the gym. “I’ll do some very light movement to help speed recovery,” says pro triathlete Ryan Bates. “A five-minute spin on the bike, or a few laps of breast-stroke in the pool just to get the joints moving.” Agrees Kipping-Ruane, “I recommend doing a spinning workout or walking on a treadmill at a high incline (like 15 percent grade at 3-4 mph) for 10 to 20 minuteese. It’s tough, but it gets the legs going.”

Rekindle Your Love of Running By Mark Remy • Runner’s World

It’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect day to rekindle your love of running or even start a brand new love of running!
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day why not combine the day of love and what we love to do.  The following article will help you rekindle your love of running if you have been feeling it start to wane.  If that isn’t the case then this article will just help you keep the love alive!  Either way today is a great day to love the people around you and to love running!

KONA Multisport home of swimbikerun.com has all the essentials to keep you going while you train for triathlons, swim meets, bike races, and running events

At first, you couldn’t get enough of each other. The grass was greener, the sky was bluer, there was a bounce in your step. You were running on air.

But as the weeks turned into months, and the months dragged into years, things changed. One day, it hits you: You’ve lost that spark. You’re going through the motions. The thrill, as they say, is gone.

So where did things go wrong? And more important, can you rekindle the flame?

Of course you can. And in this Valentine’s Day month, we have dozens of great ways to help you put the sizzle back in your running.

Remember: Relationships go wrong for lots of reasons. Happens all the time. The good news is: With a smidgen of effort, you can get things back on track. You can fall in love with running all over again, and you can keep the flame burning for years to come.

The ABC’s of Love

Most passionate relationships follow a predictable arc, and your relationship with running is no exception. “One model is the ABCDE-you start with Attraction, then Building the relationship, then Continuation,” says Linda De Villers, Ph.D., author of Love Skills. “D and E are the ones we try to avoid: Deterioration and Ending.”

Cathy Hastings, Ph.D., agrees. “It’s a good analogy, because most people who begin running fall in love with it,” says Hastings, a longtime runner and marriage therapist in Lancaster, Pa. “You’re on a high, and it’s really similar to the beginning stages of a personal relationship.”

Then reality sets in. “You feel aches and pains in running just like you do in a relationship,” Hastings says. “There comes a time when people either choose to bail out, or realize that their relationship will take work, so they have to stand back and take stock. You need to decide whether the positives outweigh the negatives.”

Of course, those who see running as strictly a physical thing-who were never interested in a serious relationship at all-will likely bail out. For them, running is just one in a long series of dalliances that started with Little League and will probably end with croquet or shuffleboard. In contrast, we’ll assume that you, as a Runner’s World reader, are interested in commitment. Your challenge, then, is keeping your running fresh.

It’ll take some work, but what long-term relationship doesn’t? Whether you’re talking about running or romance, here’s what you need to keep your love alive:

Communication

In any relationship, problems rarely arise without warning. Learn to listen-really listen-to what your body has to say, and you may prevent a full-scale blowup. Watch out for these early indications that trouble is brewing:

  • You’re feeling pain that goes beyond the normal aches. If so, don’t ignore it or mask it with painkillers; and for Pete’s sake, don’t try to “run through it.” Instead, ease up on your running and maybe take off a day or two. Or even a week.
  • You’re always pooped. This clearly means you’re overdoing it. “A healthy relationship leaves you energized,” says De Villers. “An unhealthy relationship leaves you drained.” Maybe the two of you just need some time apart.
  • You find yourself making excuses not to run. Face it: If someone offered you $100 to run every day, you’d definitely find the time. Rather than hiding behind excuses, ask yourself, Why am I really avoiding running?, and figure out your problem from there.

Respect

Running is wonderful, but if you don’t respect its power, it can lash out in painful ways. Acknowledge the rigors of the sport, as well as your own limits. Translation: Don’t over-reach. If the farthest you’ve ever run is 8 miles, don’t attempt a half-marathon tomorrow. If you’re accustomed to running every other day, don’t go daily all at once. If a bunch of Kenyans move in next door, don’t join them for an “easy 20-miler.” Show running the respect it deserves, and it will treat you right.

Spontaneity

Familiarity doesn’t have to breed contempt. “You must be creative enough to break out of ruts,” says De Villers. “If a relationship has become too predictable, that’s where the contempt comes in.” You know all those vacation days you’ve amassed? Why not use one some random weekday, and go for a long, relaxed run? Sleep in a bit and hit your favorite trail or route while everybody else is stuck at work.

Romance

If your running has gone blasé, what you need is a little spice. Whisk yourself away for a short running vacation. Or just take a few minutes during the day to fantasize about the run you’ve lined up after work-what you’ll wear, how you’ll look, and how good it will feel.

Quality Time

Too many runners heap on the miles, setting themselves up to see running as nothing more than a number in the logbook. No wonder they fall out of love; what kind of relationship is that? Three “mindful” miles-spent deeply breathing in the sweet spring air, watching a flock of geese winging overhead, marveling at the sheer physics of human locomotion-beats 6 miles of head-down slogging any day.

Flexibility

We don’t mean the touch-your-toes variety. We’re talking here about the give-and-take that’s necessary for any relationship to survive. Ifyour expectations are rigid, sooner or later something will break-most likely your spirit. Not only that, but adhering to your training schedule too obsessively may leave your priorities all out of whack.

Running should bend to accommodate your life-not vice versa. If you’re feeling crummy, be flexible enough to allow yourself a day without running, advises sports psychologist Jerry Lynch, Ph.D., author of Running Within. “If you take that day off, you’ll come back with more enthusiasm and more joy for the next run,” he says.

Appreciation

Sheila Stanley-McIntosh, 40, of Atlanta, had been running for 8 years when she slowly lost interest. (Not quite a 7-year itch, but close enough.) “My canine running partner began to lose her enthusiasm for running, so I shortened my distances for her. Then my weekend group fell apart. Then we bought an old house and had it renovated, so I was managing two homes,” says Stanley-McIntosh. When she tried to run again, she was plagued by a series of injuries. Four months later, healthy and with a new training partner, Stanley-McIntosh finally resumed her running. “Now, when someone asks me why I run,” she says, “I reply, ‘Because I can.'”

Spread the Love

As those great British philosophers Lennon and McCartney once said, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Every relationship is a two-way street, and the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out.

There are plenty of ways to “give something back” to the running community, from volunteering at a local race, to assisting your local high school cross-country coach, to encouraging a sedentary friend to join you for a short weekly jog. You’ll feel better about yourself, and being around new runners will rejuvenate your own love for the sport.

Even an activity as simple as cheering at a race counts. Remember the boost you get from the screaming spectators in the final miles of your races? Here’s your chance to reciprocate. And just try watching a major marathon, such as New York City’s, up close without aching to train for a race of your own.

Speaking of racing: It pays to love your competitors, too. (Well, not literally… that would be another article altogether.) Trouble is, many of us see other runners as adversaries, enemies we must destroy in our dash to the finish line-a mind-set that takes a real psychic toll, says Lynch.

Instead, embrace the competition. See competitors as friends who will help you run your best. “The word compete comes from the Latin word competere, to seek together,” says Lynch, a former top masters racer. “When I competed, I noticed that if I showed up at a race and thought, ‘Wow, look who’s here-he’s such a great runner,’ I did better.”

So what are we left with? The initial thrill of the beginning runner inevitably fades. You can’t stay gaga forever. The good news is that beneath the infatuation is something even better, more mature, and ultimately more rewarding-a love that will sustain you for years to come.

Lynch gives the example of the hungry young runner living from one PR to the next. That’s fine, Lynch says, except that PRs are pretty ephemeral things. You can’t rely on them forever to keep you motivated.

“You earn a PR and you’re excited-but it lasts about 2 weeks, and that’s it,” Lynch says. “The joy of the process, on the other hand, lasts forever.

“By age 45, I was burned out on competition. I was afraid I was going to stop running. But when I made a switch to non-racing, it was just the opposite: My running became even more enjoyable, because the rewards were much more internal.

“Today when I go out for my run, the reward is right there. It’s immediate.”

What a lovely thought.

 

Ask Dr. Love

Expert advice for the lovelorn runner.Q: I’ve been with the same shoe model for years. Lately I’ve caught myself flirting with a new, flashier shoe. I make up excuses to go to the shoe store just to see it. I haven’t even tried it on, but still I feel terrible. What should I do?

A: There’s nothing wrong with looking. You’re only human, after all. But there must be a reason you’ve stuck with one model all this time. It sounds like a rewarding relationship so far. Ask yourself, “Am I really looking for a new shoe? Or am I looking for something more?”

Q: I fantasize about spending the weekend with my bicycle, but could I live with the guilt?

A: Go ahead-and don’t feel guilty! Cross-training is a great way to stay motivated and to develop muscles that running may neglect. Cycling in particular is a terrific low-impact activity. Plus, a bike makes it easy to scout out new running routes.

Q: How will I know when I’ve found the right shoe for me?

A: Trust us, you just will. It’ll feel like the two of you were made for each other. Your heel will fit snugly, your forefoot won’t feel pinched, and your longest toe will lie about a thumb’s width from the tip of the shoe.

 

Love Between the Covers

Nothing will stir your passion for the sport like a good running book. Here are some of our favorites at Runner’s World:

The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life, by Amby Burfoot

Breaking Through the Wall: A Marathoner’s Story, by Dolores E. Cross

Cold Clear Day: The Athletic Biography of Buddy Edelen, by Frank J. Murphy

Once a Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr.

Running & Being: The Total Experience, by George A. Sheehan, M.D.

The Quotable Runner, by Mark Will-Weber

Here are six spots guaranteed to get you in the mood. For running, that is:

1. Burlington, Vermont

This cozy town, home of the University of Vermont, is filled with outdoorsy types and pleasant eccentricities. Quiet back roads are a stone’s throw away, as are the Green Mountains. The Adirondack Mountains frame dazzling sunsets behind Lake Champlain, which itself boasts miles of lakeside running trails. And of course, if you visit in the fall, the foliage is amazing. For more info, visit www.burlingtonvt.com or contact the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce at (802) 863-3489.

2. Marin County, Caliornia

Hundreds of miles of trails are set against a backdrop of thick forests, sand dunes, and coastal hills. “It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place to run,” says Runner’s World On the Road columnist Doug Rennie, who has run in a lot of beautiful places. For more info, check out www.visitormags.com/marin or contact the Tamalpa Runners (www.tamalparunners.org, or 415-721-3791).

3. San Luis Obispo, California

Another of Rennie’s faves. Surrounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains, this “serene and totally isolated” college town offers easy access to beach and trail running galore. Contact the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce (805-781-2777 or www.visitslo.com) for a visitors kit.

4. Victoria, British Columbia

With scads of runs starting from the heart of downtown and both mountain and ocean views, this tidy city of 76,000 is a runner’s dream. And its blend of historic English charm and raw, Pacific Northwest beauty is unbeatable. Call (250) 953-2033 for a Greater Victoria Official Vacation Planner kit.

5. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Cars aren’t allowed on this Lake Huron island, which may explain why the air smells so sweet. (Then again, maybe it’s the island’s famous fudge shops.) Tucked between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, Mackinac is 80 percent state park. For more information, visit http://www.mackinac.com; or contact the Chamber of Commerce at www.mackinacisland.org or (800) 454-5227.

6. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This town isn’t just for skiers. Host to one of the most scenic marathons around, Steamboat Springs offers jaw-dropping beauty year-round-and a race series that runs from May through September. “Trail running and watching the sun rise behind Mt. Werner is nothing short of a spiritual journey,” says Emily Conjura, a local race director. For more info, visit www.steamboat-chamber.com or call (970) 879-0880.

 

Are You Addicted to Love?

Even the sweetest relationship can go sour if you overdo it. Time apart, after all, is just as important as time together. Trouble is, we often don’t realize we’re overdoing it until it’s too late.

“There are positive addictions and there are negative addictions,” says Steve Edwards, Ph.D., professor of sports psychology at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. “Running for the sake of its health benefits is good, but if it becomes so compelling that you can’t get away from it, it’s not healthy anymore.”

Some signs your relationship may be heading south:

  • You run when you’re hurt or tired.
  • You run to avoid dealing with a problem at work or at home.
  • Your running interferes with your ability to perform regular daily activities.
  • Someone close to you-a family member, for example-thinks your running is becoming a problem.

“The trick,” says Edwards, “is to avoid these extremes and create a balance with your running.”