1. This sucks and I just started.
The run was a 4 mile loop repeated 13 times. The first couple loops I realized my back was stiff and my muscles were tight. I hadn't run very much in about a month before this race and my body was struggling to get into it.
And isn't that one of those lessons learned in life? We fall off the wagon and it gets incredibly difficult to get back on. A project for work we're procrastinating seems impossible to start. A weight loss goal we keep forgetting about every time we have to enter the gas station...
Don't give up friends. It is so worth the fight. One "foot" in front of the other. Small goals to achieve big things.
2. If ya ain't first you're probably better off
No way on God's green earth am I going to finish first...but maybe if I went a little faster? Slow down you idiot. You've never even run this distance before. Going too hard too fast can screw you up in the long run. For many of us, this is one of those life lessons learned the hard way.A lot of us tend to want to be the best. We race in life and end up feeling burnt out more often than not. I am so guilty of this. I have to remember not to exhaust all my energy on one lap of the race, one day in life, one project... Don't use up all your willpower on just one thing.
It's best to leave the racing to professionals. (Although shout out to my girl Lori who did end up winning the overall 50 miler! Wow! Professional butt-kicking inspiration!!)
3. Walkin' ain't so bad
My third loop I walked the whole thing. I realized early that I had a very long day ahead of me and should conserve my energy. It was my slowest lap overall but I know it helped carry me to the finish.
Feeling like you need a break and it's only 9am? Well do it! It may not sound like a very inspirational life lesson but...Slow down, put your phone out of reach, and breathe. Even a 2 minute break from life will help you reboot. Walk your third lap, my friend. Liz Wilcox does it.
4. Everybody likes a pat on the back
I always run alone. I haven't done a race with someone since 2013 (oh wait, that 5k with my husband!) and I like it that way. How can I hope to hear the "life lessons" the universe is trying to give me if I have a partner that is jabbering all the time? Running is ME time. I don't have to think or worry about any of life's responsibilities. It's pretty much the cheapest form of therapy, if I'm being honest here.
However, I love to cheer on other runners. Any time I pass someone or they pass me, I say great job! Way to work it! Wow, look at you! I don't leave this exclusively for race day either.
Everyone likes to be complimented, especially on their hard work. Next time you see someone working their toosh off, let 'em know!
Gas station clerk slinging those upsales? Right on man! Walmart cashier smiling despite the rage from someone standing in her line when the light is clearly off? I see you and I appreciate you! Mother of 3 outside in public? Wow, your kids are amazing and so are you!
Complimenting others is just about the most fun you'll have with life lessons. Just try it and see what a great time you have!
5. I'm actually doing this!! I never thought I could but I am!
My husband ran the last two laps with me which means he saw the craziest side of me there is. At the end of a race or hard project or bad day, I talk to myself. I say all sorts of inspirational stuff to myself. The Bear Bait 50 Miler was no exception.
"Wow! I'm really going to finish! I'm tired and cranky but I feel so alive. Be proud, Liz! Holy crap, I am almost done. Can you believe it? C'mon Liz. You can do it. You ARE doing it. Let's go!"
This is verbatim, I kid you not. Don't be afraid to give yourself a pep talk. If you aren't going to motivate yourself, who will? Look inside yourself and trust there is an amazing, accomplished WARRIOR in there and you can release it with a little bit of willpower and belief! Prove those Doubting Toms in your head wrong and work hard to get what you want! This may be the most important life lessons you learn!
I honestly never thought I'd be able to run 50 miles. Not even on race day. Not even 3 hours in on race day. But I did, because I just kept telling myself I could. There isn't anything in me that is different than you. I simply have learned to engage the power of positivity.
6. I don't really push myself to run anymore, I'm pulled.
Again, 50 miles. Never in a million years did I think I'd be running 50 miles.
I've always had an on again off again love affair with running. I look back at the last 12 months or so and feel gratitude that I was able to rekindle my love for it. I've run more in that time than I probably have in the last ten years.
A year ago I was just beginning to use running as a means back to happiness and now running has propelled me into pure joy. I am no longer pushing myself to run; running is pulling me towards the road day in and day out, and as you know, pulling is a much stronger action than pushing .
I hope all of you are able to find your pull. Whether it be running or something else, don't be afraid to fall so deeply in love with something JUST FOR YOU that it literally pulls you out of bed in the morning. I am so grateful for my pull.
Love these life lessons?
Comment to let me know what lessons in life you've learned! And don't forget to share with your friends!
By Matthew Rutledge, Ultra Runner RunJunkEes Ambassador
Gear review – 66 Audio BTS Sport
Disclaimer 1: Using music while you run can distract you from your surroundings and become a safety issue. Be an adult and be responsible for your own actions.
Disclaimer 2: I am not an audiophile. I do not often use music when I run.
That being said, sometimes, I do indeed like to jam out a bit (while running or otherwise). I’ve been using in the ear ear-buds for much longer than I should admit. But I think I remember having one of the early pairs that came with a Sony Walkman. We’ll just leave it there. The arrival of my test set of 66 Audio BTS Sport headphones was timed perfectly. I had just taken a good fall trail running and had destroyed my iPhone 5. The replacement was an iPhone 7. That’s right, the one without the headphone jack.
(Official site here: http://www.66audio.com/bts-bluetooth-sports-headphones )
What I got was a case, a USB cable to charge, and the headphones themselves. Having a reasonable understanding of the way things worked, I elected to try and pair things on my own with no guidance. It worked the first try and has been flawless since. I slapped them on my ears and hit the trail.
First impressions were really good. The ear pieces were comfortable. The over the ear design didn’t bother me at all. It fit well with my trucker hat, and didn’t interfere with my sunglasses. The first run was short – 3-ish miles because that’s what I had time for. I made a point to come back sort of along the road to check some things out. I could hear the music while the cars came by, AND I could hear the cars. I think that’s a good thing. You know, just in case. Complaints – 0.
Remember when I said I wasn’t an audiophile? This is where I start talking about music quality. Please don’t laugh. My playlist is a bit… eclectic. The classical songs sounded great. I could hear all the important parts just fine. The acoustic jams were also great, as were the rock jams. The hip-hop… Well, the bass isn’t *quite* what I have come to expect. I think this is inherent to the design. It isn’t bad, just different. I can clearly hear the vocal bass of Uptown Funk. I can hear, but not feel, the bass when Fort Minor is rapping about Remember the Name. I was surprised how good the bass sounded when Snoop was telling me to drop it like it’s hot. The bass track to the intro of Big Boi’s The Way You Move was difficult to discern while running, but acceptable in the house. But if we’re honest, that intro really only sounds good with some good subs pumping. So it isn’t bad, just not as good as some of the in-the-ear models. Overall, a good first impression.
The second run was a good trail 10k that ends with a solid 2 miles of gentle, fast downhill. The slog up produced lots of sweat. I was expecting the ear pieces to get slimy and slide all over my ear on the descent. Guess what? It never happened. They were solidly in place even as I bombed/jumped down the last technical drop. What a great surprise!
If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably noticed that I almost always run with some sort of glasses on my face – either prescription or sunglasses. When wearing my prescription glasses, there is some initial interference between the glasses and the over-the-ear component. The first time I tried this combo, I was a bit dejected. But it really only took a couple seconds of wiggling things around to get them to settle. As a bonus, the 66 Audio BTS actually seems to lock my glasses in place a bit and they don’t bounce or slip as much as usual. Total win! After wearing the 66 Audio BTS for a bit I have only one suggestion for improvement: The connector behind the neck rides pretty low. This makes it difficult to look up, especially when wearing glasses. I think this design is part of the reason the headphones are so solid on my head – when you put them on, they twist a bit to lock onto the ear. It’s an interesting engineering challenge for sure. It isn’t all that often I have to look up at the sky when I’m running, so I can make this work.
The 66audio.com website claims the battery life on a single charge is about 25 hours. I forgot to actually time how many hours I’ve used these things, but between running in them and wearing them around the house for the better part of two weeks, I haven’t had to charge them yet. Most the other wireless units I’ve looked at had a battery life in the 4-8 hour range. So far, I’m very impressed.
The 66 Audio BTS supports connecting to two Bluetooth devices at one time. Say, you wanted to stream music from your iPad, and use the headphones as wireless devices for your iPhone. The pairing works, much as you think it should, with the addition of needing to manually connect one of the devices. (I think this is an apple/IOS thing, but I’m not sure.) If you know it’s there, it isn’t difficult at all to get working. I had some trouble answering calls in this configuration, but that’s likely because, as my kids say, I’m old. Honestly, I don’t get many calls, so I didn’t have much chance to get that figured out, but I’m pretty sure it’s user error. (And honestly, it’s kind of a weird feature. I’m not sure how often I would use it.)
The on-ear controls are a great touch. The ear-bud models I’ve used in the past have all had that single button microphone that I could never really get to work right. The 66 Audio BTS has some pretty clear buttons on the right ear that allow you to adjust volume and skip around the tracks. The controls are pretty easy to remember and operate – volume up: top front, skip track: bottom front, volume down: top back, Previous/restart track: bottom front. I’m not coordinated enough to manage these buttons while bombing down trails, but that’s because I’m me, not because of the design.
Call quality of Bluetooth devices has always been a bit sketchy. The call quality here seemed to be good quality. The phone operation is pretty basic – one touch answer/drop, and then the volume controls still work for the headphones. I didn’t know the 66 Audio BTS had a microphone for the phone function until I read the documentation. I was thinking it would be a nice touch. Seems the engineers thought of that too.
Overall conclusion - With the 25-hour battery life, the overall comfort, the lack of bounce and movement, and the ease of use, I’ll add these to a list of “must buy” gear.
My name is Kiowana Phillips and I am 29 years old. Running is my life. I am a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army and I have been serving for over 12 years. I am a wife and mom of 2 boys. I am also a Certified Personal Trainer and a Heath and Fitness Coach.
When I'm not doing that, I am running or training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu where I compete all over the United States. When I'm not doing that, I'm either studying (earning a PhD in Human Behavior) or writing another book. My 1st book is called "The Boy Who Smiles with His Heart".
Our oldest son Khaleb was diagnosed with Moebius Syndrome which is a paralysis of the face where he cannot smile. I wrote this book to spread awareness and give everyone insight on everything from birth until 9 years old. My husband Michael is also a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army. He I my biggest motivator and supporter. I love running with my husband. Even though I prefer to run alone, I'm happy when I run with him. I started running cross country in high school and since then, I have ran hundreds of races. I feel so alive when I run. It sets me free from life and I have a different view on every run. Running allows you to see things that you can't if you’re driving. I run a lot (maybe 25-60 miles a week), lift weights with my husband (in our home gym), and do Beachbody programs. My family is my priority. I am always thinking of different things for us to do.
This year our son Khaleb ran his 1st race despite having his feet broken twice. We were so proud of him. I follow you all on FB also. My advice to anyone wanting to start running is to just go out and do it. Start and take the first step. We can talk all day long about wanting to become a better person but until we make that first step, it's only a thought
Follow Kiowana's journey at https://www.facebook.com/teamphillipsfit
Nothing about my life has ever been easy going. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home left with memories of every kind of abuse known to man. Including hard drugs. These memories hunted me for so long. Until the day I put my foot down. Enough was enough. I knew the only way to stop allowing my horrible past to consume me, was to do something about it.
So I started little by little. First with going back to school and continuing my education. I needed to surround myself happiness and love. When it came right down to it, I discovered my passion. Today I am super proud to say I've earned my career degree in wedding planning and I continue to further my education in my field.
Along the way I also threw away my cigarettes. It's crazy just to reminisce with new and better memories. A little over 3 months ago I was almost a chain smoker. And with that success, I began to run again.
I haven't taken any recent pics yet of my progress as of late July / early August but here is a pic of my most recent accomplishments. My goal is perhaps to someday run a marathon. Nothing crazy but, once I rebuilt my health...I'm going to keep challenging myself. Instead of hiding from my past, I'm running towards my future. And I believe I'm just getting started.
I am not a blogger or writer but here goes: 37 Random thoughts from 37 years of Boston Marathon
1)Ran my first in 1978 as a senior at Merrimack College. I qualified before the hoop season, played the entire season and then ran it in the spring.
2) I watched my first in 1977 bc Dave McGillivrey (college XC teammate) was running. I said that I would never watch it again
3)The old finish line in front of the Prudential Center funneled you into a parking garage where you got a bowl of beef stew and your bags were in a chicken wire "area"
4)I finished right behind Rosie Ruiz in 1980 (google he if you were born after) She was wearing a MCI softball shirt and gym shorts hmmm
5)The qualifying time started out at 3 hours and later dropped to 2:50 for years. It has been relaxed in later years.
6)In 1982, I paced Julie Isphording for about 17 miles. She ended up 7th women but got blisters and fell back, She made the 1984 olympic team.
7)In 1984, we had a monsoon rain. I ran the first 6 miles with a 30 gallon trash bag . I got 5 gallons to the mile.
8)I was getting a coffee in the hotel lobby that same year and a man was smoking a cigarette, A runner asked hmi to put it out, He apologized and did put it out. That man was Sparky ANderson and he managed the Tigers to the World Series title
9)I still make the sign of the cross after every mile (Catholic)
10)In 1986, the restraining rope was not "pulled" before the runners took off. I passed Rob Decastella who wa on the ground saying some bad words. He won the race.
11)There was little crowd control until 1986. The crowd would open and retract like an accordion as you went by, especially if you were in the top 500
12) In 1987, someone handed me a cup of water at mile 25. I drank it. It was vodka
13)The Red Sox have a winning record in my 37 years with one rain out (1984)
14)I ran in a pair of Nike nylon cortez my first year. These later became famous in the Forrest Gump movie,
15)I wore an Air Florida shirt in 1982 as part of a promotion. If you were one of the first 50 people wearing one that finished , you won a trip anywhere in the United States. I won one. They folded 6 months later
16) I was sick in 2003 and walked the entire race in 5:19. I was ssicker after
17)Many celebrities have run over the years. I have met one ( Jag)
18) My average time for 37 years is 3:23. I am running slower now so I can make my average time. Makes sense eh?
19) Dave McGillivrey was and still is a huge inspiration. College teammate and now race director. He has run 41 in a row
20) My daughet Melanie ( age 19) has gone to the last two with me. Her first was the bomb year. She is going back this year too smile emoticon
21)I have worn a shirt the last 5 years that says "I love Wellsley College" I am treated like a rock star there (google the college if you have no idea)
22) The last two years I have changed my shirt to "I love Boston College" at mile 20 . BC is at mile 21.7
23)In 1991 I tripped on a random kick ball at mile 17. I split my elbow open and had to get stitches when I finished.
24)I have 969.4 Boston MArathon miles
25) Out of 37 years, I was a business owner for 16 and a teacher for 21. The schools I have taught at have been very gracious
26)The race used to start at Noon and changed to 10 AM in 2007.
27) 2007, wind rain, snow , sleet, I saw a port o john blow over on heartbreak hill
28) I guy dressed as the Old North Church passed me in 1979 going under 6 minutes a mile
29)Women have emerged tremendously in the last 37 years which I think is awesome!!!
30)Results in 1978 were sent to you on a postcard about a week later. We are spoiled with instant gratification now.
31)There was no chip timing for many years and you were allowed a "time allowance" based on your number seeding.
32)I used yo run through Wellsley College looking at my watch. Not any more!!!
33)I have worn Nike shoes 32 out of 37 years. I wore Converse the other 5 bc I ran for them
34)I have run 12 sub 3 hour Bostons. The rest have been over 3. I have run 1 over 5 and 4 ovr 4 hours
35) I think the hardest hill is mile 16 going over the highway.
36)I hope that the streak keeps going but that is in God's hands
37)The marathon is special to me bc I can share it with my daughter. I can also give the glory to the Good Lord. I hope that you enjoyed. Let me know if there are any questions or favorite stories
If someone had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be an ultra marathoner, I would have accused them of being into some fairly serious drugs. I've only been running for 4 years, and my first half marathon was in January of 2012. I attempted to train for my first marathon which was scheduled for January 2013, but I gave up after chronic injuries left me in constant pain.
When I backed out of my marathon experience, I realized that I really wasn't all that sad. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that I didn't really want to be a marathoner. Sure, it would have been nice to put in the training and get it done, but I wasn't doing it because I wanted to do it, but rather because it felt like the only logical step after completing countless half marathons already.
I'm a back of the packer. I'm overweight. I struggle with health issues. Sure, I wanted to take my running to the next level while overcoming great obstacles, but deep down, I knew that marathoning wasn't for me. Friends would ask me all the time when I planned to take that leap, but after that failed attempt at training for a marathon, the answer was always the same: I just don't want to. Maybe you want to, but I don't.
And then something crazy happened.
I spent the weekend at a race with my dear friend Mel, and he paced me through a 15k, a 5k and a half marathon. And he kept talking about this crazy event he would be doing on Easter Sunday in Jacksonville: a 50K Ultra Trail race called the Run Til You're Boared. I thought he was insane, but I wanted to check out the website. He told me repeatedly that this was the perfect race for me to take my running up a notch without the pressure that is normally associated with a full marathon.
But I was so untrained...
By the time my interest was piqued enough to pull the trigger on registration and get airfare to Jacksonville, I only had 5 weeks to train. And training wouldn't be easy. I had never logged over 14 miles at a time, and never logged over 18 miles in a day... somehow I had to get my head around how this was all going to work. I messaged Bobby Green (the race director) a few times to ask about terrain, I talked to a couple of established ultra runners for their advice, and I told a couple of very select friends. I was afraid that if I told everyone before the event, that they would think I was a failure if I didn't cross the finish-line.
On the day of the race, crossing the finish-line seemed like the easiest thing in the world. The real struggle for me was crossing the start-line. From the moment we pulled into the park, I was nauseous and overcome with an intense feeling of dread. 10 seconds before the start of the race I burst into tears and started to hyperventilate. But my friend Mel was right there by my side, as were other veteran ultra runners who turned to me and gave me encouraging smiles and words
Even after the gun went off and we started our VERY long day of running, the attitude of other runners never changed. People were absolutely exhausted, some were downright miserable in their own socks and shoes, but they were each out there doing their own version of epicness... and they were supportive of each and everyone else on the course.
We were taking liberal bathroom breaks, breaks to change and refuel, and enjoying the opportunity to be in such a gorgeous setting, and this reflected in our time. For the most part, the course was fairly straightforward. 5 loops of 6.2 miles, all relatively flat, mostly in dirt roads through the wildlife preserve. But there were a few tricky areas of the course where we were routed through burn-breaks (where the course significantly narrowed and the footing was through deep loosely packed dirt and sand).
But although the course was tricky at times, the support more than made up for it. There were 3 aid stations on the course, and the race director did an excellent job of anticipating everyone's needs. My stomach was so upset during the race that I had to survive almost entirely off of pepsi (for sugar) and pickle juice (for salt), but there were options for both vegetarians and carnivores alike... with food ranging from gummy bears and marshmallow peeps, to bananas and oranges, to pb&j and bacon. Because the field of runners was so small, the volunteers at the aid station quickly learned what each runner preferred and made certain that it was immediately available to them when they came through. In retrospect, the only thing that I think the aid stations should have had at the very front of their tables was sunscreen... the weather was perfect, but it was overcast... so although I applied sunscreen, it clearly wasn't enough... note to self: next time be more careful.
Anyway, There were a few moments where I worried that I wouldn't be able to finish the race in the prescribed 10 hour time limit, but not once did I allow my mind to go to the negative side of questioning whether a finish was possible or not. Which I think leads me to the most important revelation of the day...
Anything is possible with the right attitude and mindset.
With an eye on the finish, you can do anything you put your mind to... as long as you really put your mind to it, failure is not an option. Barring any unforeseen injuries (which are always possible), your mind gives out long before your body ever will. If you enter a situation with the right attitude, the power of positive thinking will get you far. This is obviously not just a lesson for running, but sometimes it takes a crazy experience like an ultra to bring something like this into perspective.
My name is Amy, and I'm an ultra runner!
Check out more at Amy's blog.
At a family gathering I was talking to someone about some success I was having with my Facebook page. “I got 80 new likes overnight!” I was exclaiming to them.
“But are these REAL people?” Someone else asked me. “I mean, who is “liking” you?”
It’s an interesting question in a virtual world. Who ARE all these people? Why are they liking my page and what do they want from me? They have to be malicious. They HAVE to have some sort of personal agenda in everything they do, correct? What do all of these people WANT!
I am an active virtual runner. I have a facebook page and instagram account dedicated solely to talking about running. I am very actively involved in quite a few running groups online (as well as in real life) Some days I consider myself a better runner because I have these communities to support me in my journey, and somedays I feel just a little more sane because of them.
Have you ever had a day where you just did NOT want to wake up super early, crawl away from your comfy bed and wonderfully snoring kids and go out in the darkness of the morning to complete a 3 hour long run, all alone. You sit on the couch and think why am I doing this? No one is paying me to get out there. I’m not going to win any medals or money in the end. This is just a hobby so I can do whatever I want!
After the internal battle ensues you grab a cup of coffee and sit down to be ever so productive and start browsing facebook. You look through your newsfeeds and see your friends posts from the night before. At the bar, out to dinner, dancing and drinking and up until all hours of the morning. No one has posted anything yet for the morning because, oh yeah it’s 5:30am and you're the only crazy one up obviously.
So you hop on over to the running group you are a part of just to kill a little more time and you see a post. A selfie, of course, of a lady with her running gear on. “About to head out in the dark for a 15 mile run. Wish me luck!” The caption reads. Well, theres two of you at least. Then you see a status. “Up and attem! Excited and nervous for my longest run to date! #marathontraining #geterdone” Ok, theres a few you think.
As you keep scolling you see more, posted from this morning. Motivational images of in shape people running, statuses of people heading out for a run or from a run.
Over and over you see all of these people who are apparently just as crazy as you. Going to bed early on a Friday night, waking up before anyone else on a Saturday morning, setting goals for ‘no reason’ and getting them done without any reward. But they are so happy doing it all and you suddenly wish that you were like them, happy and running and having people think you’re crazy for doing so. And then you remember... that that IS you. That’s exactly how you feel lacing up early and being done by the time most of your ‘friends’ on facebook are just logging on.
You hit that “STATUS” button on the top of the page and write “Thanks for the motivation everyone! I needed that this morning! Good luck on all your runs, headed out the door now!” and hit post as you shutdown your computer and grab your headphones, heading out the door to a new run and a new day.
So whether or not these people are your real friends or even really people, in a world where we, runners, are considered different within our usual circles we may lack the support system to help us get through our times of doubt and fear. We are lucky to live in a world where we have the option to have these support systems of others that share our passion. To ask questions to, to seek motivation from, to vent to openly yet anonymously in times where you just need a little encouragement and perspective.
And sometimes its all worth it to just feel like you're not alone
Dream Big. Inspire Others. Run Long.
Follow Katie and all her running adventures on
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ChoicesRacing
Instagram - http://instagram.com/dream_inspire_run_
10 Commandments of running that I have learned to live by over my many years. They are not in a stone tablet, but I tend to live by them. Scroll over if you want
1)Thou shall not categorize other runners based on pace, gender, age, race, looks, background or wardrobe.
2)Thou shall wave to other runners as they run or walk by
3)Thou shall not beat yourself up for what you termed a subpar run or race. You get 24 hours, thats it, move on.
4)Thou shall not run when injured, it only gets worse
5) Thou shall not stress about running, rather allow it to be a stress relief
6) Thou shall encourage the beginner or struggling athlete and talk about "their accomplishments"
7)Thou shall appreciate those who make your running life possible, nobody does it alone.
8)Thou shall realize that this is a lifetime activity, you have a lifetime to improve.
9)Thou shall be thankful for the mere fact that you can walk, run , jog, or move, each and everyday
10)Thou shall not say negative comments about the first 9. Amen
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Light weight, adjustable, felt secure, fits most bottle, comfortable, website tutorials, & price.
Areas to Improve:
No way to keep water cool/cold in warm temperatures
Small or large hands do not fit easily, small hands slip and large hands get too tight
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To see what our Sponsored Athletes had to say click here
A random collection from the world of RunJunkEes