RunJunkEes® Run Club – What’s with the “Find the Magic in the Misery”?

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“What’s with the “Find the Magic in the Misery”?
Many non runners find the act of running to be a miserable experience.  However, becoming a runner can be one of the most magical, rewarding and life changing experiences.  Our motto is intended to speak to the non-running community.  We are on a mission to help you Find the Magic in the Misery. You don’t have to be a “serious” runner to represent our club, you only have to seriously love running. 🙂

Merriam-Webster defines Junkie as  a person who gets an unusual amount of pleasure from or has an unusual amount of interest in something.
We’ve changed the i to an E because here Everyone matters.  RunJunkEes® is the worlds largest FREE running club. RunJunkEes is also about much more than just being a hardcore runner.  This is a home for avid runners and aspiring runners alike. We hope to share enough knowledge, motivation and inspiration to keep you coming back for more.”

Join Your Local Chapter Today!

ps… we also have a bike club!

Wise words from Kara Groucher

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“Well, here we stand.

On the starting line nonetheless. Maybe you’re facing your first 5k. Maybe it’s a ten. Maybe a half, or a marathon, or an ultra. Maybe you’re even running Boston.

Waiting on that starting line, you’re beginning to feel it. The anticipation, the doubt, the excitement, the energy. The definitiveness of what’s behind. The uncertainty of what’s ahead.

It hasn’t been easy. There have been workouts that tanked. Weeks with missed mileage. Tired legs. Hard sessions. The daily dance of life vs. the plan.

But there have been great moments too. The decision to race. The dedication to train. Miles where you felt like you could run forever. Even the bravery of this morning, where you put on your singlet, fought the crowds, and met your fate at the starting line.

And now it’s here. It is time. No more countdowns. No more workouts to nail. No more wondering, “Am I fit enough? Strong enough? Prepared for what’s ahead?”

This is what you have been waiting for. No doubt you are nervous, but know that you are ready. You earned this opportunity. And you were born to fly.

So, take a deep breath, look around you, and soak it all in. Relish where you are. Realize how far you’ve come.

You are ready. You are powerful. And you belong.

Now, go get it.

Head Up, Wings Out. “

Kara Groucher

RunJunkEes® Run Club – What’s with the “Find the Magic in the Misery”?

redIAM
“What’s with the “Find the Magic in the Misery”?
Many non runners find the act of running to be a miserable experience.  However, becoming a runner can be one of the most magical, rewarding and life changing experiences.  Our motto is intended to speak to the non-running community.  We are on a mission to help you Find the Magic in the Misery. You don’t have to be a “serious” runner to represent our club, you only have to seriously love running. 🙂

Merriam-Webster defines Junkie as  a person who gets an unusual amount of pleasure from or has an unusual amount of interest in something.
We’ve changed the i to an E because here Everyone matters.  RunJunkEes® is the worlds largest FREE running club. RunJunkEes is also about much more than just being a hardcore runner.  This is a home for avid runners and aspiring runners alike. We hope to share enough knowledge, motivation and inspiration to keep you coming back for more.”

Join Your Local Chapter Today!

ps… we also have a bike club!

To Race Or Not To Race

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There are many many reasons TO run races. They can be really very motivational and being surrounded by so many amazing and supportive fellow runners can be a great experience and very inspirational. But during my mini hiatus from running I considered the race I have coming up and the pressure that can put on me. I signed up for that race long before my injury or my dog passing and all the other stresses life’s thrown at me and us over the last few months. And it’s a length I’ve never even tried before, a half marathon. I’ve done one 10-miler before but usually I do 5K’s, maybe a couple 7 or 8K’s thrown in through the year. But not even in training have I ever done a half marathon. The last time I even walked something that distance was likely the slow walk we did through our Disney excursions. So a half marathon is a little intimidating.

 

course_muertitoTo Race

There is something to be said to be in the crowd waiting for the horns or whistles to start a race. There is an energy that can be addictive. It has nothing to do with competing. It’s the vibe of all these athletes (yes you are an athlete if you are in a race, or even running for that matter) who have trained, prepared, anticipated and usually woke very early to line up with everyone in the wee hours of morning. It’s a camaraderie. And it gets your adrenaline pumping.

That preparation you do before a race is a huge motivator for many. For me it’s been both a source of inspiration and specific time to focus on improving my pace and form. It’s the thing that makes you lace up your shoes on days you’d just like to stay in bed with the covers over your eyes. Those cold mornings can be rough, and the hot afternoon sun mid summer is brutal. But still, you have that date ingrained in your head and you gotta keep pushing.

Most races your entry fee is for a charity and that for me is a big reason to do races. I think I do races more for that reason than any other. It’s such a win win. You help a charity with your entry fee and yet you get a shirt, a medal, a piece of fruit, or more (hot chocolate races are awesome from what I hear) AND you get to race yourself, test yourself and your capabilities.

LIVE music! Or at least radio stations playing music. What a rush that is for me. Music is a big motivator for me. I only wish that the Rock & Roll was done more towards the winter months. Great music, but sooooo humid usually. And I don’t take the humidity well. So instead I usually volunteer for that one, and many others in the dead of summer heat. I am not a summer runner!

Some people actually thrive on running neck and neck with another in a race. For a few it really is competitive, especially when you become one of the fastest in an area, or a specific race. But still, it’s usually that competition with self. But running alongside others can be a push for you, especially when you start to drag. Usually I always keep someone who stands out who is going just a little faster than my pace, and I make myself keep up with them. And if I pass them, I focus on another who stands out. It all helps with focus, especially when I start to hit a wall and my legs just want me to stop. I look for that person and it becomes tunnel vision until I get over that hump.

Camaraderie! When you run with a team you don’t all necessarily run “together”. But you do have team members spread around the course who are out there giving you support and keeping an eye on you. Plus before and after the race, getting together with your team makes for a double the fun of the day! Some teams train together. The RWB runs together, and does cross-training together. Some times we do rock wall climbing or yoga too. Many bigger races have training teams for half marathons and marathons.

I love race expo’s! Packet pick up day is a fun time. Especially if you like shopping or trying out new gear. Often you can grab a great deal and learn about new advancements in gear and tech.

 

 

 

course_muertitoOr Not To Race

Some people shouldn’t run races. Plain and simple. For some it’s added pressure that takes away from the shear joy of the run. And the spontaneity of place and distance. Many runners and I’m one of those, especially when on a trail like to stop and take in nature, snap some pictures, enjoy the experience of feeling the air around me and the sights before me.

For others signing up for a race, no matter how much you know you’re only in competition with yourself, let the pressure of others running along with them dull the experience of the run. Then what’s the point of even running? You have to find joy. Or as RunJunkEes® say, “Find The magic In The Misery”. If it’s not fun, you’re just going to stop, so don’t do what makes you unhappy with your run.

I’ve talked to a few who just don’t like the crowds or the noise that events bring with them. While others feed off the rush of all that energy around them. I am a huge fan of the music. I like music when I walk or run. No chatting, just me, nature and music. Usually races like half marathons require a training schedule of some kind and some people just enjoy their runs to be more spur of the moment and unplanned. A free spirit approach, letting the run flow where it will free of constraint.

Weather can be iffy for some people living in certain areas making training for races difficult. Some see this as opportunity to toughen up and face the flurries or downpours. Not to mention some areas get pretty humid in the summer months. If I lived in Florida I would only run at night. But some see these weather obstacles as difficult to try and juggle specific training plans.

Not every charity is one you may want to donate to. I have one I will not run (no names will be mentioned here) because I personally don’t like how their monies are allocated through the charity. So I never run that race, ever. I don’t even volunteer for it.

And finally, my big pet peeve with races. I am not a morning person, not one bit. And getting up early for anything other than my job is always a constant mental battle with me. Most races you have to be out there before the sun even comes up. And on the weekend some times, that is just not sounding fun to me.

 

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So seriously, do what makes you happy and what makes you love your run and find excitement in your training. Running or race walking is trial and error. To run pavement or trails, races or no races, method of run training, etc… It’s all about makes you enjoy what you do. Running is not a competition and it’s not something that should be scary or torturous. It should be challenging yet fun. So get some good quality shoes fitted for you and lace up and get out there. Every step you take is another accomplishment and better health. Adding years to your life and life to your years. Above all else…

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personal opinion from personal experience – Not advice from an expert 👍🏼

Hitting the pavement (or trails)

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1. Start Small
Maybe you’ve never run a day in your life. Or maybe you’ve taken a big hiatus from the pavement for whatever reason. Or injury has kept you sidelined. Regardless, you need to start or start back small. The most exuberant first time mountain climber isn’t gonna go out and tackle Mt. Everest his first climb. It would be foolish but also self deflating. You need to set yourself up for success, strength gaining and endurance building.
Heck you don’t even have to “run”. If you don’t feel a run, then walk. Or if your conditioning won’t yet allow running, then walk. Walk as slow as you need to. The point is letting your feet touch the pavement, the trail or the treadmill ( I highly suggest one or both of the first two. Treadmills are great for intervals or really bad weather conditions but being in the open air is just in general better for your health).
Commit to a 15 to 20-minute short walks or runs, or intervals (run/walk/run), three times for one week. Sure, you may want to do more, but just stick to short sessions. After three or four weeks of regular training, aim to increase your workload and running mileage.

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2. One Goal
Goals help you to focus. That eye on the prize mentality. Something that would make you feel inspired or accomplished in your training. Sit down and come up with the ONE goal you want to achieve. Do you want to run a 5K, a 5K in under 30 minutes, or are you trying to get back into marathon running? Choose a race allowing yourself enough time to reach that goal. Be very very realistic. Check and see what the time limit is for the race and then set your training accordingly, but make sure it’s doable!!

 

 

3. Find Inspiration
That can be from other people who are runners or race walkers. Join a club, or some bigger races even have training groups. Many small running stores have group runs. I’m part of the RWB who gets together not only for races, but training runs, strength training , hill work, yoga and cross-fit.
Follow blogs that inspire you and your training. Find an inspirational quote every day that you focus on. Make it your mantra for the day and focus on that when you train.

 

 

4. Commit Your intentions out loud to someone or to many
You can blog it, tell members of that new group what your training plan encompasses, or tell your family members around the dinner table. There are many forums you can find about running, or Facebook groups. Even Reddit has running threads you can follow and share with.
You will also need to hold yourself accountable—long term—for your actions. Don’t just commit once and it’s over, but hold yourself accountable for the long term by providing everyone on your accountability list with regular progress updates every week or so.
So far I’ve told my blog readers my intention and also how I’ve been slacking. My hubby knows, as well as knowing details on my training schedule so he can kick me in the butt when needed.

 

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5. Change up your training routine
Especially when you feel you’re getting bored or losing excitement in your walk or run. This can especially happen when training for longer and longer distances. So small changes help immensely. It can be changing up your play list, or your running route (which you should do for safety anyway), as well as time of day. If you are a road (pavement) runner, find some smooth trails that aren’t to challenging (where you would need to buy trail shoes for), or accept the challenge. Hey that means you can shop for some new shoes ladies 👠
This is the good time to throw in some treadmill intervals where you can change up the speed and incline. If you google treadmill intervals you will find all kinds of routines to do. Or head outside for the hills, I said hills, not mountains, for some hill work. This will help strengthen your legs.

 

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6. Befriend Runners

As I said above, find some fellow runners or walkers. Check what you are doing minute per mile and then go seek like minded (ability) people. I also belong to group on Facebook called the Running Turtles. They are local in my area but they have everyone from 20 min mile walkers to 6 min mile runners. It could even be your spouse or a friend who has similar goals. But if you do that, just make sure you are positive for one another. You don’t want someone who can easily talk you out of walking or running for the day to go to the donuts shop instead!
Also just befriending runners in online groups even if it’s a national group like the RunJunkEes® Run Club is for me. We do have a small local group that meets. But many in RunJunkEes® are online just for the support, tips and motivation they get.

Also small local running stores often hold runs and running workshops. Some are often directed at showing off a new shoes style. But that’s a benefit because sometimes you get to try the shoes too! And besides, you need to get fitted properly if you’re just starting out anyway. Too often people buy running shoes in the size they normally wear in non running shoes, and guess what, most of the time that’s not the right running shoes size you need. Plus there are shoes depending on your pronation (heel goes to the left or right when you come down on it) and you can get shoes to help because that is a discomfort when running.

 

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Or walking

7. Celebrate your Successes

And try not to do it too much with food if you don’t have a healthy relationship with food. Much better choices are ways to pamper or gear yourself.

  • Massages are a welcome relief
  • Manicure and Pedicure will make you feel awesome and usually you get a bit of a foot and calf massage added into it!
  • A new haircut or color is a great way to celebrate you getting healthier and stronger
  • New shoes (any new shoes đź‘ź)
  • New running clothes! I adore INKnBURN as I guess you know by now and for me the fact that these are special limited edition runs makes my self esteem stronger when I run in them. They are special for my training and they help me to not give up!!

 

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8. Starting for the first time

Depending on your skill level and athletic ability there are good training plans out there that are all just a little different and that makes it easier for you to find the right fit.
Couch to 5K training plan you can find on the internet and apps for your phone

  • Get fitted for the proper running shoes
  • Start with run/walks
  • Let your body be the boss. Your brain may think “but I’ve only gone 10 minutes, I have to push further”, but if your body is hurting badly, your limping along, or you are fatigued, pushing to hard will damage you for your next outing.
  • HYDRATION – yes capital letters. You may not feel thirsty at all, but your muscles need that hydration, or they will quit on you. HYDRATE well before your run (give enough time to head to the bathroom before your run).
  • Plan a safe route. A route you know, where the neighborhood is safe, time of day is safest and where you know the actual layout of the pavement or trail. Yes, walk it out first and know where there is and isn’t sidewalk. And where there is cracked up sidewalk. Where there are badly managed trail areas. It’s great if you can find a school that allows you to use their track, but check with them first so you don’t get arrested for trespassing. This is another area knowing local runners or running stores can help you out.
  • Take breaks when you need to, you are training your body. Training translates to, your body doesn’t know how to do this yet.
  • Make sure you’ve eaten a small but healthy meal about an hour before your run. Your body needs fuel. Especially when you are asking it to do more. There are many books on runners nutrition out there, just google.
  • Be patient with yourself and if you don’t succeed with your planned time or planned miles, don’t stress it. Just lace back up the next training day and go out and get it!

 

 

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True Story!!

9. Some suggested help for you from me…

Zombies, Run Phone App.

RunJunkEes® Run Club

Team RWB

INKnBURN

Jeff Galloway Training Excellent place for walkers to start. Jeff has training plans to take you from walking into running.

Hal Higdon For those already able to do some running.

ResqWalk ResQwalk is a FREE mobile app that enables you to raise money and resources for animal welfare organizations, simply by walking.

Charity Miles Choose a charity and walk or run for it.

Garmin 

Fitbit

Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes

I’m not listing shoes because every foot is different. I have used three different brands since I started. But I was fitted for the brands.

There are other phone apps out there such as Zombie 5K, Map My Walk, Map My Run, Get Running, Runkeeper, Couch to 5K, C25K, Runtastic, and Edumondo. I have used all of these and they all, like most apps have high points and low points. You just have to give them a test run and see what fits your needs best.

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When You’re Just Not Feelin’ It

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Seeking inspiration these days I stumbled upon some simple yet profound logic as get back in the game and out of my own head space. Maybe if you are stuck in a mental jam this will help you too. And this isn’t just a short distance, 5k runners tip. Matt wrote this after a 50-miler. As I’ve said, running is so much more a mental battle than a physical one. As humans we are capable of so much more than we realize at times. Like me, some just need to get out of their own way! Read on my friends…

 

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8 Ways to Start Running Again When You’re Just Not Feelin’ It. By : Matt Frazier

TV GutWhen you’re on fire, you know it.

Running is all you can think about. Your workouts are hard, but they’re the best part of your day.

After each one, you feel unstoppable, and you can’t wait until tomorrow, so you can do it all again.

But when running is hard, it’s really hard. It feels forced, and you know deep down that even if it looks like you’re running, you’re really just going through the motions.

And though you give yourself a pat on the back after you get out there and grind out a workout, you can’t help but remember all the times when you didn’t need to play cheerleader — when you ran because running was all you wanted to do.

8 Ways to Break Out of the Funk

RunJunkEes® Tip Of The Week

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Be a RunjunkEe®

RunJunkEes® Tip Of The Week

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Diet and Nutrition for Runners  By:Christine Luff

As a runner, your diet and nutrition are important not only for maintaining good health, but also to promote peak performance. Proper nutrition and hydration can make or break a workout or race, and also greatly affects how runners feel, work and think.

A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these essentials: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some basic guidelines for a nutritious, healthy balance:

Carbohydrates – The Runner’s Best Energy Source

As a runner, carbohydrates should make up about 60 – 65% of your total calorie intake. Without a doubt, carbs are the best source of energy for athletes. Research has shown that for both quick and long-lasting energy, our bodies work more efficiently with carbs than they do with proteins or fats. Whole grain pasta, steamed or boiled rice, potatoes, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grain bread are good carb sources. More…