Monday, November 25, 2013

Why Do You Run For?


     A little while ago, I happened to stumble across this video in my search results called "What do you run for?" It seemed interesting enough, so I watched it. I was actually really surprised. Here I was, just an average everyday high school student running, and I never really asked myself why. Why does anybody run? To stay in shape I suppose. But there are some people out there who truly wanna make a difference on this world.

     There are countless cases where some poor kid is told that he'll "never be good enough," and that child grows thinking he actually won't be good enough for anything. But the amazing part, is that others try to prove that person wrong and end up succeeding . Michael Jordan is probably the most famous example of this. It really is so inspiring to see that with a lot of hard work and dedication, everything is possible. People with life-long injuries run all the time, and a lot of them are amazing at it.

     I think the thing that really makes me keep going is the fact that there will always be those runners that run simply for another person. There was a really interesting story I read once about a Dad who raced hundreds of times all while carrying his son in a wheelchair. This man was an amazing runner and own countless races, all the while carrying his son along with him. And when asked if he'd ever run on his own, he said no. 

     I always find myself thinking, why do I run? I could be doing so much homework, hanging out woth friends, watching TV, but I chose to run. I like winning. I'm sure everybody does. But others run with no intention of winning. I may not be the best runner out there, but I am blessed with the ability to run. Some kids just like me, don't have that option. No matter how hard they try, they will never be able to run on their own. They'll never get to experience running quite the way I do. And I'm really lucky to have that.

     So now, I'm asking you. What do you run for?

Song of the Week:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Running Attire

     As my previous one blog post stated, the weather is indeed getting colder. For those of your newbies joining any winter running programs to keep in shape, I'm here to supply you with some pretty valuable information.

     I'll be honest here, I haven't actually been in a winter running program before. But I have ran in colder weather and snow many times before so I've come to figure out what some of the best things you could wear are, in my opinion of course. As with everything, what you have to and don't have to wear depends a lot of body factors. I am cold all the time. I actually shiver and my teeth start chattering when I'm in school. Cold weather is just not my thing. But hey, if I can do it, so can you!

     Let's be serious here, running clothes can get expensive... especially running clothes designed to keep you warm. The good thing though is that if you invest in some high quality clothing, you'll end up getting a ton of use out of it all and you'll be glad you didn't settle for the cheaper, less effective versions of different sportswear.

     The main basics for running clothing are sweaters. I like wearing the type of long-sleeve shirts you would get at cross country meets. These are great because they're usually very light weight and you can layer them easily. Hoodies or sweatpants aren't really recommended
to wear because they weigh you down A LOT. You're definitely gonna notice the extra weight once you start running.

     The first thing I HIGHLY recommend anyone running in the cold to get is an under armour. My personal under armour cost me about fifty dollars. I'm sure you could find some for cheaper and even pricier but mine keeps me quite warm. A bunch of different brands sell these sweater-type things but I always feel that the material is much thinner and doesn't trap your body heat as well as under armour does. Also, if you are planning on being on a team of some sort I recommend you buy a basic color like black or white that you could wear under your uniform. There are always a bunch of fun colored ones too but it's better to be safe than sorry in this cold weather.

     The second must-have for the winter running season is running tights. So far, I haven't found a pair that legitimately keeps your legs warm, but there is a pair from Nike that has fleece inside it that I really want! My friend owns these, and she says they work great. from where I've seen, they go for around fifty dollars as well, maybe a little more. If you don't want to pay that much for tights, I suggest going to TJ Max. I can almost always find a nice pair of simple or really crazy designed tights there from Nike to Reebok.

     You're probably gonna find that  you can't feel your toes this winter season. You may or may not know that I am a HUGE fuzzy-sock fanatic. If I could wear fuzzy socks as shoes, I would. These socks can cost three to six dollars! You can get them anywhere from Target to Costco. I actually haven't ran in fuzzy socks just yet, but I predict doing so in the near future. If you're too cool to wear fuzzy socks in public, I have a pair of regular Saucony running socks that are actually really thick and keep your feet nice and toasty. I suggest wearing the latter option, but hey do whatever you want.

     As the season goes on, I'm almost sure that I'll be posting a second winter running clothing post, so stay tuned!

Photos from:
Snowy gif is from tumblr, all others from their brand websites.

Song of the Week:

Mile Time Trials

     In the past couple of weeks, I have done two Mile Time Trials and I'm here to tell you a few tips about them.

     Although I'm obviously not a great mile runner, I did reach my goal of under six minutes! I scraped by just getting 5:59 at the finish and I was a little bit too happy. Considering it was FREEZING that day and I was running in short sleeves and knee-tights, I was pretty proud of myself. I ended up being the twenty first person from our cross country team to finish the mile under six minutes - a new record for our school!

     I'm not sure exactly how others school's tracks are like, but my school has a 400 track, and 4 laps make a mile. I'd ask a coach or gym teacher if you're not sure about the length of your school's track, but if you don't have access to a track, my team sometimes does the time trial at our local forest preserve. You can mostly see the mile markers on the trails and if you can't, odds are that there will be some sort of map of the whole preserve.

     As for actually running the mile, it's pretty damn difficult. People tease me for being nervous about the mile, but they're obviously not in cross country. Although it's definitely not the toughest workout, it can get pretty crazy. For one, you're basically going 100% the whole way, apart for the places where you're going 110%. 

     Starting off, you really want to get yourself out there. The first two hundred to four hundred meters are your chance to find a group that you could run with. Make sure to not overshoot it and find that you're gonna die halfway through the mile. The first half of the race is pretty easy mentally, at least for me, but the third lap is KILLER. I always always always always seem to slow down there! Don't be like me! I've been trying to really push through my mentality at this stage of the mile. You have to remind yourself that you're more than halfway done! This is the part that makes or crushes you! Keep a steady pace, and DO NOT let go of it.

     The last four hundred is where you really just go all out. Especially right when it's about one hundred meters to go you wanna kick it and sprint as fast as your legs will let you, making sure not to ease up. You wanna lengthen your stride and really just try your hardest on this last stretch. It's the difference between a six minute mile and an under six minute mile.

     Since these time trials, aren't that long, eating one of those Gatorade chews or something that helps you get pumped isn't a bad idea. I always forget to pick them up at the store, but I have heard various good things about them!

     Good luck if you're ever planning on running a mile time trial in your lifetime!
Song of the Week:

Monday, November 11, 2013


     One of the things that I always struggle with is choosing proper snacks to eat before or after I run. No matter how much I wish to just pig out and eat tubs of ice cream, I know this is probably the wrong choice. I also have to refrain from eating pounds of food at lunch, because that greasy cookie might come back when I run.

     First of all, there is a certain time frame when you should eat before running. You don't want to eat too far or close to when you'll go running because you obviously don't want the food to completely digest or not digest at all. A good time to eat is around an hour to an hour and a half prior to going running. Especially when you have early morning practice, you might have to get up earlier if you really need that extra food in the morning. I've never had a problem with eating at this time, so I highly recommend it. However, one of my friends absolutely can't eat less than three hours before a run or she will get sick. So you have to make sure you know how your own body functions.

     As for after you run, I don't think you should wait a certain amount of time, but definitely limit how fast you eat, and how much you eat. Sometimes I find my stomach hurting because I just inhaled half my fridge, and that my friends, is never a good feeling after you run.

     But the question is, what are you supposed to eat? Bananas and any fruits are a good choice. It's also believed that bananas help relieve cramps. However, I don't suggest eating grapes because for some reason they just don't sit well in my stomach when I go for a run. Any bread-type food like waffles, pancakes, or french toast work for me! Whole grain of course, is the best choice! I also love having Greek yogurt before I run. I think it's safe to say that's my favorite snack. You don't want to run with eggs in your stomach, because the sulfur just doesn't do well for you. I also don't advise having milk right before a run.

     As for after you run, you can eat most everything. I'll forever be a salad addict. I love salads with avocados, tomatoes, croutons, organic lettuce, and you could even put chia seeds in there. Veggies or wheat crackers with hummus is also a great snack! Having eggs is fine after a run because they're very high in protein. Apples with peanut butter are also amazing to have, they're absolutely delicious. I absolutely am in love with fruit strips, or as some people like to call them, fruit leather. They are absolutely delicious and I could honestly eat them forever.

     These were only a few suggestions on what to eat before or after a run, and I'll probably get around to posting another for "on-the-go" snacks!

Photos taken from:,,,,

Song of the Week: