Leap Day Running Quotes

downloadWe have one extra day this year and this morning on Facebook, everyone was posting to make the most of today–make the most of this extra 24 hours we’ve been given. With that in mind, I decided to fill my day with inspirational quotes for running (quoted where I have the source). This post is a little different, but I hope it brightens up your day.

1. Don’t ask yourself why I run. Ask yourself why I don’t.

2. Running is more than a series of arguments between the part of the brain that wants to stop and the part of the brain that doesn’t.

3. Remember the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting the couch doing nothing.

4. Good things come slowly, especially with distance running.

5. I know every mile will be worth my effort.

6. Distance doesn’t matter. It’s the sport of running that does. -Katrina Ricci

7. Running never takes more than it gives back.

8. It never gets easier. It just gets harder.

9. The real purpose of running isn’t to win. It’s to test the human heart.

10. No one ever drowned in sweat.

11. Distance running makes the heart grow fonder.

12. Running will never make you more free. -Kenny Loggins

13. Be yourself. Unless you can be a runner. Then always be a runner.

14. When life throws you lemons, grab your running shoes.

15. A run begins the moment you forget you are running.

16. Just run. Pain is nothing compared to how you feel if you quit.

And my personal favorite:

I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those you can’t run, what they would give for this simple gift I take for granted. And then I run harder for them.



I Love My Running Shoes

In honor of Valentine’s Day yesterday, here is a love piece dedicated to my running shoes:
I love running and I love my running shoes. My running shoes have accompanied me through many miles of my life, and provide constant support. In wintertime when the alarm clock goes off before the sun rises, my shoes are the first to greet me.
They joined me on runs through colorful fall foliage and dance on their own as they step on the crackling leaves. In the springtime, they like to stop in front of flower gardens and fresh fruit stands and enjoy running through mud after a rainy day.
Throughout my adult years, my running got more intense, and my shoes carried me through marathons in the white tundra of Antarctica, along the coastlines of Australia, around the cobblestone streets of Europe and through other races in exotic destinations across the globe. They were there to support at the start line, the finish line and every mile in between—again, more than I can say for any man in my life.
When I began competing in triathlons, I would battle it out in the water with thousands of blood-thirsty athletes and fear for my life on the bike while silently chanting “no flat tires, no flat tires.” But every time in every triathlon, as soon as I got to the run, my tired feet brighten up when I quickly slipped on my running shoes.
Each night after a day’s work and I come home to an empty house, I eagerly rip off my heels and lovingly say to my running shoes, “Honey, I’m home.” We’re the perfect match.
If you only get one true love in life, then I must be the luckiest girl in the world because I found two: my pair of running shoes.

Running Can Help You Learn

imagesRunning can help you learn

We all love the effects of running: more energy, better bodies and its meditative qualities. Good news: running may offer even more positive attributes. It may offer clear-cut effects on brain structure and function.

The study

In a study conducted at the University of Jyväskylä in the Department of Psychology and Department of Biology of Physical Activity, researchers studied the effects of sustained running exercise, high-intensity interval training and resistance training on adult male rats. The training period lasted six to eight weeks in  those three categories. Researchers had a control group in which the rats remained sedentary in their home cage.

Rat lines developed by collaborators at the University of Michigan were also used: Rats with a genetically high response to aerobic training (HRT) and those with a low response to aerobic training (LRT).

The results

Results showed that the highest number of new neurons located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain–which are used in learning temporally and/or spatially complex tasks–were found in rats that ran long distances.

HRT rats that ran on a running wheel had two to three times more new temporal lobe neurons at the end of the experiment. Resistance training had no such effect. Also the effects of HIT were relatively small.

Why does this matter? 

This study shows that aerobic exercise may increase the conditions you need to learn.


Food Labels to Know

As runners, we know what goes into the body plays a significant role of how we perform during our training runs. We must fuel our bodies with the proper ingredients to turn it into energy to run faster and stronger. It’s always best to consume food in their more natural form: raw fruits and vegetables and clean proteins. But it’s not always possible. How do you know what you’re eating is good for you, especially with the long list of ingredients on labels? Here are a few truths on six common food labels:

Any ingredients cannot contain artificial ingredients or preservatives. Everything must be minimally processed and are generally healthier. Adding fat and processed foods makes food last longer on the shelves–foods with “natural” ingredients have a limited shelf life and are better for you.

These foods must include at least 95 percent of organic ingredients and the other five percent must come from the National List by the USDA. The products cannot include pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics.

Free Range
You see this referring to protein products generally, such as free range chicken. Free range pertains to food created from animals  not allowed to be contained in any way (also known as cage free), and must be allowed to move freely over open areas of land.

The term local refers to food grown close to where it is sold. It is becoming more popular to buy local and support farms rather than larger organizations selling to grocery stores.

This terms refers to economic qualities and not nutritional qualities of food, as so many people think. The most sustainable food producers are local farmers.

Gluten Free
This became a popular term in recent history, as popular fad diets tout not adding gluten into your diet. But what does it do? Foods containing gluten will trigger antibodies in people with what is known as Celiac’s Disease, which will attack the small intestine.

Hopefully these definitions help you make an informed decision next time you head to the grocery store.