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How to be an Instagram Runner

How to be an Instagram Runner
Step One: You have an Instagram.
Step Two (maybe?): You run.

In that order

In the last few years, social media has taken off. Before instagram, there was blogging and before blogging there was myspace and xanga. Who logged a workout on those?

Now social media is here to stay because who doesn’t want to take photos of themselves and promote their running. If there is anything I’ve learned, people love to talk about themselves (myself included).

So Now You’ve Thought: “Being an Instagram Runner is for me”…

how to be an instagram runner

Here are a Few Easy Techniques to Become an InstaRunner:

Step One: Create a (FREE) Instagram:

You need Instagram to be an Instagram runner. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to run. (Fake it until you make it!) You just need an Instagram.

Step Two: Run (Maybe):

Here is the thing about being an Instagram runner. You don’t actually have to run; you just need to say you did! I always advise honesty but don’t feel pressured to run just because you are an Instagram runner now.

A Few Posts You Should Include on your Feed:

The Watch Pose:

Stand with your watch on your wrist with your workout done. Snap photo to maybe include shoes. Decorate your wrist with pieces of jewelry to enhance the wrist. Bracelets, charms, whatever. Just add your own artistic flair.

Tips:

  • Try to find pretty grass to stand on. The bathroom or dirty floor is not desirable.
  • Clean your watch face.  It’s your watches time to shine!
  • If your workout did not go as planned and you would like to look faster, just end early. Want to look like you ran 13.1 miles in 62 minutes, just end early and log the 62 minutes. You could even write (in paintshop) 13.1 on your watch for better authenticity.

The Run Shot:

This can be the hardest to master so don’t get discouraged. Some instarunners actually have professional photographers to follow them around every workout! Talk about glamorous.

Tips:

  • Buy a high-end camera. You have to pay to play! $800+!
  • Don’t choose a rainy day, that makes photos blurry.
  • Jog in place. That way you can get higher quality photos.
  • If you don’t have at least 1 fight with your significant other about taking the shot, you are doing it wrong!
  • Use video mode and just grab a shot that way.

The Motivational Shot:

Now, this is usually a recycled photo and that’s okay. Got a favorite picture of yourself from the 1980s with a big perm?  Perfect. The point of this photo is not the photo; it’s the caption.

Tips:

  • You should have a minimum caption length of 400 words. This is generally what is accepted to be “motivational.”
  • It should provide some sort of motivation. Hard to get out the door that day? Struggle from lack of sleep? Pants just don’t fit right? Struggle to balance everything? Those are just some starters, but any old motivation will do. Remember, you are your biggest fan.

Post-Run Selfie:

This can get confusing because you don’t need to run, just post a selfie saying you did.

Tips:

  • Make sure to download a photo app that allows you to make your skin as smooth as porcelain. Runners don’t sweat or have any lumps and bumps.
  • Just selfie. Work your best angle from myspace angle to straight forward. Do you have a signature pose? Mine’s winking!

The Runner Flatlay:

Once you’ve found a few brands you like, this is your time to make them shine.  Before a race take a photo of every piece of gear you plan to wear (don’t forget underwear!).  Arrange neatly so your fans can see your plan. They might want to track or recognize you on the course (thank your new found celebrity runner status!).

Tips:

  • Include everything, even things you might think you would want but will never use. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this shot.
  • Make sure to find a beautiful backdrop. Don’t use the bathroom. Perhaps go to a fancy hotel with a 50,000 dollar rug. The hotel bought that rug for you to take the shot on!

These are just the basics to help you become what you’ve always dreamed, an Instagram runner!

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Question for you: What other Instagram runner techniques do you use?

 

 

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How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

The week before last I had a bad race at the Phillies 5k. While yes, you can argue it was windy, my disappointing race wasn’t because of that.  Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen.  While it stinks, I race so frequently there is no point to let one bad race ruin my day.

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

So What Can You Do After a Bad Race?

Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…

Find the Positives:

When I finished the Phillies 5k, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful. Then I quickly remembered I’m injury free.  The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great, but I finished healthy.

After cooling down, I caught up with one of my closest friends and still hung out. I saw many locals and chatted for a while. They asked how the race went, and I said: “awful it wasn’t my day for running, but it’s just running”.

Running isn’t my job; it’s a hobby.  If a hobby stresses you out or causes you misery, it’s time to find a new one. Sure, I won’t always “love running” but instead of dwelling on a bad race, look for the good.

It’s important to look at the positives of your race:

Did you finish healthy and injury free?  Could you smile afterward and have a good day?

Next, Reflect and Figure out Why:

Immediately after the 5k, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”.

Now that I’ve sat back and reflected, I know there are plenty of reasons the 5k was not a great race for me.

My body was still tired from the weekend prior. I haven’t eaten or slept well, and I’ve increased speed and racing. Plus, I ran a half marathon the weekend prior. I’ve done it a dozen times, but I’ve always been more fit.

None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well.  Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t.”

It gives you ways and reasons to improve.  You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition, or sleep patterns.

Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:

After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover.  Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax.  Then set your sights on a new race or goal.

Maybe a marathon burned you out…

Or maybe you want to run longer races…

Find something to get excited and refocused about! 

For me personally, I have many races over the next two months. While I’m not looking for magical redemption, I’m looking forward to chipping away my time and getting back into better fitness.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

How do you get over a bad race?

What has been your least enjoyable race?

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

This was my 8th year running Shamrock. Many long term readers know but I grew up in the greater VA Beach area. 1:29.52 is neither my fastest nor my slowest Shamrock. It’s on the slower side, but that’s okay.

Last year I had an incredible experience that would be hard to beat and ran a 1:23. This year the goal was just to finish healthy. My training over the winter was nothing to write home about, and I’ve come to terms that this Spring might be a rebuilding season for me (something I personally seem to need after every marathon?).

Anyway, I arrived at the start around 6 am. The weather was ideal. It was low 40s, some wind but not much. Most importantly, it wasn’t raining. Two years ago,it poured rain and was low 30s.

Before the race, I met up with my good friend Jen. We haven’t seen each other since we both lived in NYS. We’ve both since moved, but it was nice to catch up. She ultimately ran a 1:18 and placed 3rd.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

After that, I tooled around and got to the start about 5 minutes early. I talked with rabbit teammate, Nick, and by the time I knew it, we were off.

Since the half and full start together now, it was crowded. Right off the bat, I felt decent. Plus unlike the day prior, I remembered to start my watch. I plugged along and cruised the first mile in 6:44. I felt good and realized a sub 90 minute half was doable if I continued to feel okay through the race — a great goal to make a mile 1.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

At mile 2, I saw my dad’s friend and waved. I started getting into a rhythm.  The next three miles were relatively boring. I logged 6:44, 6:44, 6:40 (mile 4 on the gradual uphill was my fastest), 6:44. At mile 5, I was feeling good. I thought wow, this is much faster than I anticipated (I didn’t have a goal prerace, but didn’t anticipate being that fast either).

Then we entered Fort Story, and it all changed. Fort Story is a lonely part of the race. Unless you have a military ID, spectators can’t get on the base. It’s right along the water so extremely windy. In fact, one year there was a layer of sand across the entire course.

Miles 7-9 broke me both mentally and physically. I didn’t feel good, and I was running alone. There was some wind but nothing terrible. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good because I had raced the day before, I just mentally felt disconnected and my legs felt stale. I told myself, make it to mile 10, and you’ll be heading directly home. I ran a 6:55, 6:59, 6:50, and kept it barely under 7 minutes.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I knew the 90-minute pace group was probably catching me soon.  Around mile 10, a man started talking to me about “my form”.  I wasn’t feeling the greatest and not in the mood to chat. We kept plugging along.

Mile 11 went down with nothing major. I ran a 6:55 and we had some wind at our backs. At mile 12, the 90-minute/3 hour marathon pace group engulfed me. I thought, wow I really did slow down. I also felt my shoe beginning to come untied, and it just felt like the wheels had come off.

The group engulfed and went around me and it stung. I hit mile 12 just over 1:22 and I knew I was still at 1:30 pace. Now I was just much closer than the start of the race. It made me feel a little better the group was ahead of their goal pace.

The last mile goes to directly into the wind. When you’re close to a time goal, running into the wind the last mile is the last thing you want to do.  You can see the tent and King Neptune and it just never feels like it’s getting closer.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Then at mile 13, I saw it click 1:29:10.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I tried to sprint as hard as I could to the finish. I didn’t have much gas left but it was enough to get right under 1:30.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Thoughts:

I’m pleased with the race but know I have a long way to go fitness wise. In all, another good Shamrock. It’s one of my favorite races of the year and I always enjoy seeing local friends as well as others that come from far.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach

Chilling on the beach with Nick

Questions for you:

Have you run a race for several years in a row?

What is your favorite race? 

 

Adrenaline 5k (19:26)

On Saturday I ran the Adrenaline Run 5k. The Adrenaline Run is one of the most competitive 5ks in the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area. It sells out every year and the typically the first 150 finishers all run under 20 minutes. This year I ran 19:26 and was around 130th place.

I’m biased by RunningCo. Always does a great job putting the race together and it’s always a lot of fun. Anyway, after an exhausting and busy week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wouldn’t be running 18:29 like last year, but I was hoping to be faster than the last 5k I ran.

I warmed up a few miles and got to the start line around 10 minutes early. Since I knew quite a few people there, (I would think about 1/3rd), I talked and caught up with several people. Before I knew it, we were off.

The start is jam-packed. Since I knew I would be nowhere near the front, I didn’t line up in the front. As we began running, I realized around .5 I had forgotten to start my watch. In a 5k, I thought it seemed silly to start it then, so I just didn’t. I’ve run races with GPS before, and while it’s nice to know your splits, your legs still move without a watch. I could have run 22 minutes or 18 minutes, and I would have had no clue.

The first mile was crowded. It was hard to get any rhythm. We ran straight into a headwind. It was one of the windier days and so we were just running into a headwind down Kings Highway. I saw my co-workers and friends in front of the store which is always motivating.

We rounded the corner near Saxbys and went straight into the neighborhoods. It’s a long flat, windy stretch. If it wasn’t windy, it’s easy to build speed there.

Just after mile 1, we turned the corner, went down a small downhill and hit the water stop. It was nice not to be in the wind anymore. We went up a few inclines. My husband, who hasn’t been running much, passed me around mile 2. I was happy for him and just focused on the last mile.

The last mile went straight back Kings Highway and headed towards the finish. It’s flat and fast, and this year with the tailwind it was even faster. (A perk of the headwind going out). If I were to guess, my bet is my last mile was somewhere around 6:0X because of the tailwind. With the long stretch, you can see the finish line for over a half mile away.

me running adrenaline run

I saw the clock go over 19 and I knew somewhere where I was speed wise. I had no clue until that point. I powered as much as I could and crossed in 19:26. I’m happy with my effort for where I am, fitness wise. It’s always tough not to compare yourself to a faster year, but it’s my fastest 5k in several months so I can’t complain about that.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite 5k?

Have you ever raced without a watch? I’ve done many. At my first marathon, NYCM, my watch stopped working at the start (and it never worked again).

9 Years ago I Began Running

9 Years ago I Began Running

For last the 9 years, the time around St. Patrick’s day has held a more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green and pots of gold.

Although if you would like to send me a pot of gold that is fine too!  Nine years ago I ran a 5k in college that would change the path and direction of my life. I started this blog the summer after which means the blog is coming up on 9 years too. Wow, where did my 20s go?

You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.

When I was a college sophomore, I saw a sign at the gym stating if you completed the annual campus 5k you would get a free long sleeve t-shirt.  As a college student, you can never have enough things to stuff in your dorm room.  My roommate appreciated my hoarding I guess.

I had plenty of short sleeve shirts but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do was sign up for a 5k and complete it?

Okay sign me up.  Sign me up and I didn’t run an ounce beforehand.

My running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster. I swam competitively through high school and most of college. I failed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…or passed by a couple of seconds (passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12). Since 10th-grade gym class I had avoided running like the plague.

I ran twice in the first two years of college. Both times were to “impress” upperclassman on the swim team. It wasn’t impressive and I made a fool out of myself.

During the offseason from swimming, I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights.  It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming.  I didn’t run during the offseason at all. The elliptical and I were friends. Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself into running the 5k, but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.

The race itself is pretty much a blur.  I don’t remember much other than I didn’t really hate it.

I finished the 5k is around 24 minutes.  I don’t remember the exact time but I remember not dying, texting my shocked dad that I had run a 5k and picked up my free long sleeve shirt.

Of course, I didn’t tell my parents I was running this 5k…I didn’t want them to ask if I didn’t finish… My dad has been running far longer than I have. In fact, he had a big marathon the next week (The Shamrock Marathon). I didn’t want the embarrassment that his daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.

I wore that t-shirt all around the following day.  I was going to wear my badge of honor.

After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed in running.  I wasn’t “hooked”. I did realize it wasn’t all that bad and I ran occasionally when it was nice out.  I ran 10-20 miles a week depending on the weather. When it was sunny I would run the same 5k loop around campus.  When it wasn’t nice out, I wouldn’t run.  I would just go to the gym.

I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because after that point I considered myself someone who didn’t hate running anymore.  When you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school, it’s hard to like it.

I began to consider myself a runner:

I didn’t run every day.

I didn’t run fast.

I didn’t log my mileage.

I didn’t run when it was cold, windy or not perfect weather.

I had no desires to run with anyone or at a certain time…

I didn’t run any more races until July.

But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it. 

Crazy to think that was almost a decade ago!

Questions for you:

When did you get your (workout) start?

What are you up to this St. Patrick’s Day?

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