I know that every runner has a set of rules that he/she follows. Some are well-known throughout the running community, like never changing your routine on race day, and others are more personalized, even quirky. Here are my 10 running commandments that help prepare me for a long run or distance race.
1. Thou shall eat Chipotle. Twist my arm! I SWEAR by a burrito bowl with white and brown rice, chicken, black beans, tomatoes, corn salsa, and cheese. It’s the perfect combination of carbs, protein, and deliciousness. And for as much as I eat, I think my local Chipotle should sponsor me (hint, hint, Elyria!!!).
2. Thou shall wear a supportive sports bra. We have all seen those unfortunately souls who fall prey to this disaster, and if you are like me, you are thinking, “Dear God, is she going to lose an eye?!” Ladies, if you are serious about running or any other high impact sport, pony up the money and treat yourself to a sports bra that holds the girls in. Trust me, they will thank you! My latest and greatest is The Standout from Victoria’s Secret, and I am in love with it. Besides the fact it is super cute (can’t beat hot pink and black), it does the job better than any other one I have owned, Under Armour included!
3. Thou shall Body Glide. Before I lost some weight, I made sure that the legs were greased up before stepping foot out the door or on the treadmill, because, frankly, chafing sucks. Once it starts, there is no going back, and showering will hurt for at least a week. I don’t really have to use it now for that problem, but I love using the Skin Glide, a liquefied powder by Body Glide, on my feet to prevent blisters.
4. Thou shall wear black shorts. This is one of my quirks with a legit reason. I won’t run any significant distance in anything but black shorts. Why, you ask? You try birthing four children and tell me how fabulous your bladder is. I know I’m not the only person with this problem.
5. Thou shall decrease fruits, veggies, and fiber. Two to three days before my run I cut back on these things because nothing kills a run more than having to go to the bathroom. While those items are delicious and healthy, they also get everything moving in my system. Great for health and regularity, bad for running. My diet for those few days before is mainly simple carbs and protein. I know others who can eat the complex carbs and not have issues, but I have run enough bad races to know they aren’t for me. I stick to what works, like pancakes…yum.
6. Thou shall drink only water. I’m not a sports drink girl when it comes to hydrating. Tried it one time, and it was a disaster. I stick to plain water, which I unfortunately hate, and green tea. Both of those get my body ready to run long distance. I change this rule a little, however, during a race by taking the sports drinks at every other water stop.
7. Thou shall wear Sparkly Soul. Just because I need to knock out some serious miles doesn’t mean I can’t look cute doing it! A little sparkle makes everything better. Plus these bands hold my hair like no other! With Sparkly Soul, my hair doesn’t look much different after a race than it did before. Check them out if you haven’t already. They also run sales frequently, so if you’re not ready to buy one to try at full price, take advantage of the deal. I guarantee you will become an addict, just like me.
8. Thou shall refuel every 4-5 miles. This is ideal for me during a run because I never feel like I’m crashing. It’s more of a feeling of sustained energy, which helps carry me through. As far as refueling goes, I am trying to get a better handle on that. I used to swear by gels, but they are getting harder and harder to stomach. I pretty much only like the vanilla and sometimes will do a chocolate one. However, the PowerBar Energy Blasts in Raspberry are the absolute best! I’m also a big fan of the glorified baby food in the pouches.
9. Thou shall have music. I have done runs without music before with success, but there is no way I will run a race without it, especially a race where I want to run well. Music is motivation and helps carry me through when I feel like I have nothing left. It is amazing how a song can transform your legs from Jell-O to beast mode.
10. Thou shall own the run. You either own the run, or it owns you. With trying to squeeze training in with working full-time and being a mom, I am not afforded the luxury of running when it feels right. I have a set time and date, and that is when I need to make it happen. Getting my head in the right place and having confidence in myself and my running abilities does wonders, even when I feel I might be lacking some motivation, because I am stronger than I give myself credit for. The difference between a good run and a bad one is attitude.