Tag Archives: Running

5 Ways to Be the Best Race Spectator

how to be a fun race spectator  happyfitmama.com

Not running sucks.

It’s a fact. You know it. I know it. Damn, do I ever know it.

You would think I would want nothing to do with racing right now since I’m injured. While it may kill me to see so many people doing exactly what I love, I really do enjoy spectating a race.

Watching a race may seem boring to some. Standing on the side of the road watching people run by.

B-o-r-i-n-g.

That’s the problem. You are watching, not spectating. What is boring about spectating athletes of every size, shape, age and walk of life, race by with hope, grit, athleticism and determination? Absolutely nothing.

Honolulu Marathon mile 25 | happyfitmama.com

Go watch a race and I can guarantee you’ll be inspired.

For a runner, having spectators on the course to support you is huge. There is nothing like the sound of cheering and clapping to keep you going. Crowd support can be a game changer when your mind is screaming “You CAN’T do this!” But then a simple, “You’ve got this!” or “Looking strong!” from a spectator can be enough to keep your legs moving.

They convince you that you CAN do this. It’s a marvelous thing.

In some ways, spectating a race is just as hard as actually running the race. Spectating involves cheering for everyone you see, traveling from point to point to watch your runners and if you do it right, acting like a fool. There’s logistics, strategy and planning. Cheering, clapping and of course, MORE COWBELL, are all good ways to support the athletes. But why not have some fun with it? Those athletes are deep in the pain cave. You job is to make them forget it, even if it’s for 10 seconds. You want to be the best athletic supporter there is out on the course.

spirit5k2crop | HappyFitMama.com

5 Fun Ways to Be the Best Race Spectator

1. Be a Sugar Mama/Daddy.

What makes everyone happy? Candy! Gummy bears, jelly beans, licorice or anything easily digestible and sweet. Another option is orange slices or pretzels. The athletes will flock to you. During the Honolulu Marathon I was craving salt around mile 21 or so. An awesome spectator had a bowl full of the best damn pretzels I’ve ever tasted.

2. Make it rain.

If you are spectating a race in the heat, bring along squirt guns or Super Soakers to cool the runners down. If the race just so happens to run by your house, hook up a sprinkler for the athletes to run through. That’s sure to bring a smile to the runner’s face.

3. Play dress up.

Get crazy with feather boas, wigs, hats and glasses. Wear a banana costume. How can you not smile at someone wearing a banana costume?

4. Bring in ‘da noise. Bring in ‘da funk.

Hook your iPod up to speakers and blast some tunes. The Rocky theme is always good if you are spectating on a killer hill. Bonus if you choreograph a routine to the song.

5. Signs, signs, everywhere signs.

Signs are a sure fire way to distract a runner from the pain cave. Motivation and inspiring words are great but funny signs are way better. Laughter really is the best medicine.

What sight during a race gets you out of the pain cave?

Remembering I Can

Stonyfield Boston Marathon Jersey | happyfitmama.com

Last weekend as I was digging in my workout clothes drawer for a shirt to wear on my bike ride, I came across a shirt I hadn’t seen in 3 months.

My Stonyfield jersey from Boston.

Instantly, the memories of that day and what was supposed to be came flooding back.

I hesitated about wearing it. I haven’t been able to wear my Boston jacket or anything else that I got to celebrate such an awesome race. There’s just too much baggage with it. Did I really want to go there?

But I put it on anyway.

As I pedaled on my ride, my mind was all over the place thinking about the events of the day. I even teared up a bit. Three months ago I was full of hope, excitement and overjoyed with the possibilities of where my running was headed. So much has changed in 3 months. Gone are all those feelings. I’m left with just a big question mark.

The one thing that hasn’t changed in 3 months (to the day actually)?

I’m still not running.

When I was first injured, I thought 6-8 weeks, tops, would be the length of time I spent not running. I’d still have plenty of time to soak in all of summer running’s glory – runrises, long runs at the beach, trail runs – and not to mention all of the summer and fall races.

Sunrise Run | HappyFitMama.com

But here I am, 3 months later, not running at all. And the bigger question if I’ll be able to run any races at all for the rest of 2015 is floating in my brain. I already dropped out of Zooma Cape Cod, will Reach the Beach be next?  And who knows about Chicago. I pretty much know I won’t be able to run the race with Marina.

Last week, my foot was feeling better. I’ve have been able to walk longer with no pain and it doesn’t ache after being on my feet all day at work. One morning while out for a walk, I thought I’d try a little jog. At first it didn’t feel too bad, although my stride was not anywhere close to my normal. That lasted all of 30 seconds before the familiar pain was back. Yup. Not ready.

I mentioned it to my PT the next day during my appointment. She had me try to hop on my left foot. I did one hop and had shooting pain that did not go away as soon as I stopped hopping. Not good. Not good at all.

We agreed I needed to see the orthopedic doctor again. She thought I’d be back to running by at least 10 weeks and if I’m still having pain, there’s something still going on in my foot. It could still be the posterior tib tendon or something else. She didn’t think it was a fracture (and neither did the ortho) but maybe a tear or another tendon that’s injured.

On Friday, I had an MRI. I don’t find out the results till Thursday this week when I’ll discuss the plan of action with my orthopedic doctor.

Not running sucks. I don’t even feel like myself. My body feels different physically and mentally. I’ve been feeling frumpy, foggy, drained, sad and just plain antsy. Cycling, walking, the elliptical, yoga, lifting weights – there’s no comparison to the runner’s high.

Fix my ponytail and find my strong | happyfitmama.com

I’ve been trying to down play my feelings about my injury. I don’t like to complain and I don’t like to whine (but I do like wine). I know this is temporary, but it’s been the longest I’ve gone without running in the past 5 years. Me running is the only way I can tolerate my kids. Kidding. Sort of.

A few days ago, I was digging through a cabinet and found an article that I tore out of Runner’s World Magazine about injuries. I stopped to reread it and one part stood out to me –

When injured, stop focusing on what you can’t do and focus on what you CAN do. Use all the energy and focus that you put into training for a race into your rehab exercises.

As simple as the statement is, it was my AHA! moment.

So I’m going to fix my ponytail and try to focus on the CAN rather than the CAN’T. I’m sure I’m still going to wallow as I scroll through my Instagram feed and see all the wonderful runners celebrating the love of the run. I’m sure I’m going to feel pangs of jealousy as I hear my friends tell stories of long run escapades or complaints about running in the heat and humidity. I’m sure I’m going to whine about if only I could just go for a run. If I didn’t have these feelings, I wouldn’t be a runner.

And I am still a runner.

High Five Friday

5 from instagram 71715  happyfitmama.comHappy High Five Friday!

I share more pictures on Instagram. Are you following me? Please do!

1. A beautiful sunrise is always worth the early morning wake up.

2. Still working on my handstand and getting comfortable being upside down.

3. My little guy isn’t so little anymore. <3

4. I lift things up and put them down.

5. My new favorite summer salad.

5 Things

1. At long last…The snow pile has melted. – While I’m happy that the snow pile has finally gone away in Boston, I’m kind of disgusted what’s left behind. That’s just wrong!

2. Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail Record – What an amazing journey! Further proof that the human body can do some incredible stuff if you put your mind to it.

3. Hold the record lightly – Jennifer Pharr Davis held FKT Appalachian Trail record before Scott Jurek. I love that the record is not what she cherished most from that time but instead it was the “a deeper love for my husband, an increased appreciation for my support network, and a better understanding of the sacrifice it takes to accomplish something very difficult. And, like every hike, I finished the journey with a deeper sense of awe for the spirit and significance of the wilderness, and a stronger desire to give back to the trail community.” #Truth

4. One word can challenge your credibility – I read this and realized I use this word. A lot. Since then I’ve consciously tried to eliminate it as much as possible. The verdict is still out on if my credibility has gone up.

5. Halfway Through a Year Time for Reflection – I’ve said this a million times, but I’ll say it again – I love anything Kristin Armstrong writes. It made me think about my intentions/goals for the year that I made back in January. Am I on pace? Hardly, since my foot injury has had me sidelined. Rather than throw my hands up and say “Screw my goals for this year!”, I’m making new goals for the 2nd half. I’m hoping to get some answers today as I head in for an MRI of my foot…more to come on that next week.

What would you like to high 5 today?