the last long run.

  I am most confident in a pair of running sneakers.  I feel my best when I am sweaty and tired and moving.

 Calm.  Centered.  Focused.

My weekend long run was such a mental feat for me today.  I knew it would be as soon as I woke up, feeling as if I had already ran the 12 miles.  Twelve miles?  Pshh…Try one.

Yes.  A serious mental feat.  In fact, I almost didn’t go.

But of course, with the half marathon being but two weeks away, I had a good dose of motivation to get out and run.  I told myself that if I still didn’t feel good by the 6th mile, I could shorten the running loop.

After the first mile, I felt on top of the world–-light as a feather.  This carried me through until somewhere between mile 6 and mile 7.  Which is when I had to muster up every last inch of strength that I could possibly find.  My legs and breathing were near perfect but my mind was a million miles away.  And then Negative Nancy paid me a visit.

“You can’t do this, you know.”

What are you thinking???”

You’re not a runner, silly!”

With each step, I pretended I was squashing each negative thought.  Staying positive is crucial for carrying me through these longer runs!!

When I came home, I slipped on my comfiest flats and headed back out into the sunshine for a little stroll around the yard.  Stretching out felt absolutely delicious on the legs!

Half marathon: I think I am ready.  I’ll see you in two weeks! :D

QUESTION: What was the highlight of your Saturday?

one, two, three…

ONE

The number of “new” breakfasts eaten this week.

(this will change tomorrow, and that’s all I’m saying)

TWO

The number of quotes that made me smile and/or reflect today.

Quote Number #1: “I love hot water.  I should have been born a tea bag.”
Nicole @ Loving Simple Moments

Quote Number #2: “We are always getting ready to live but never living.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

THREE

The number of months since my last hair cut.  And the last time I checked, the shag wasn’t really in style.

I really should get on that.

Four

The time that my alarm clock went off this morning.

Yes.  It hurt.


FIVE

The number of pre-dinner walks that I’ve gone over this past week.

Delicious.  Absolutely delicious.

SIX

The number of banana bran muffins consumed.

SEVEN

The number of larger-than-life salads consumed.

EIGHT

The current time.

Time to pull on some fuzzy socks and unwind with a good book. ;)

QUESTION: What are some NUMBERS from your past week? Three mile run?  Hanging out with your two best friends?  A one dollar jar of peanut butter?

clinical staff relief

At the end of the dietetic internship’s clinical rotation, there is something known as the “3 week staff relief.”  What this means, basically, is that the intern takes over all responsibilities of the dietitian.  She takes on the role and the pager.  The duties, obligations, frustrations, and limitless questions, faxes, requests.

Yes.  It is a little insane.

Yesterday, I had the entire hospital to myself.

Becoming the sole “dietitian” of the day might sound like a good thing, but if we’re going to be completely honest here, it’s actually kind of frightening.  Patients need renal diet education.  A woman just got placed on level 3 of the dysphagia diet and has no idea what to do when she goes home.  A man just found out he has diabetes.  Notes need to be written before a certain time.

Go, go, go!!

And then, of course, there’s the whole issue of having confidence or lack thereof.  My clinical rotation has brought out a whole new level of self confidence that I never even knew I had.  But then, at the same time, I feel this strange lack of confidence because I know there are so many things that I still don’t know.  So many things to learn and understand.  Counseling skills that need developing.

You know, it’s true what they say.  The biggest road block in life is oftentimes ourselves.

The hard part is trying to convince ourselves that we DO know what we know and speaking with absolute confidence.  Of course, nobody knows everything. But whatever it is that we don’t know, should never be thought of as a fault.  It is simply a learning opportunity.

Perhaps one of the greatest life lessons that I’ve learned came from a professor who told me never to be afraid to admit when I don’t know something.  “Look it up, Sarah.  Learn more about it.  Never stop learning.”

As you can imagine, most days of clinical staff relief have been a little insane.  There really hasn’t been much time spent in the kitchen, but (sigh) that is okay for now.  Because sometime, very soon, I will be back in the kitchen with full force and gusto and my little yellow apron.  Yes.  There is a whole lot of food in my near future (i.e., this weekend.)  Maybe I’ll try something new that I’ve always been afraid of.  Maybe I’ll even make a souffle.

Because it’s okay to admit that you don’t know how to do something.   But it’s never okay to be afraid to try.

QUESTION: What is one thing that you KNOW you’re good at? Don’t be afraid to brag a little. ;)

enjoying the journey

I can’t even begin to tell you how frightened I was of this morning’s long run.

For starters, I was flying completely solo.  Dad had to go into work (therefore, running his mileage later in the day.)  And as much as I love running by myself, it scared me silly to think that I wouldn’t have our usual conversations to distract me when I needed it the most.  Somehow, talking to myself never feels quite the same. ;)

Secondly, I haven’t run 9.5 miles in over a year.  A year!  And the last time I did, I had some major knee issues.  Speaking of knee issues, my third reason for being scared out of my mind was that my knee has been acting up over this past week.  Needless to say, my inner runner’s confidence was feeling a little shaky.

It was morning.  It was 7:30.  It was now or never.  (Never was never an option.)  I grabbed my water, a clif shot (which I had picked up for free from last week’s 5k,) and began my fearful trot.

Mile one and two were the toughest.  But from that point on, I sort of just melded into this lovely groove.  “Settle down, Sarah.  You’re fine.  Relax.  One step at a time.  Enjoy this run.”

(See?  I do talk to myself. )

Once my mind quieted down, I found myself quite enjoying the sounds of crunchy sand beneath my feet.  I enjoyed the sounds of morning doves cooing to each other.  I enjoyed the smells of muffins and coffee whirling up to my nose as I passed by the local bakery.  I even enjoyed the raspberry clif shot and being scared half to death by one quite large, almost unrealistically over-sized goat.

Running wise, I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time.  Probably going back to my pre-injury days!  It was such a delicious feeling. :D

As always, I immediately refueled (and rehydrated!) myself post-run.

Sweet and Salty Garden Salad
Serve with homemade bread ‘n’ butter, crackers with cheese, or whatever suits your fancy.

  • Mesculin Greens
  • Cucumber and tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Snap peas
  • Green bell pepper
  • Raisins
  • dressing: sprinkle of sea salt, olive oil and a drizzle of honey

There was a little more refueling later on after dad completed his 9.5 miles.  We both found ourselves in the mood for something cold, creamy and delicious.  The choice was Ben & Jerry’s.  Obviously.

Chunky Monkey = my favorite

Time to relax and unwind with a good book.  It’s been forever since I read last, and tonight it just feels like the right thing to do.  Hope you’re all having a happy Saturday! :D

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles (Feelin’ Good!!)

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY

QUESTION: Favorite ice-cream flavor?

i need to run

Reason #1,000,003 Why I Run

February, 2011: My abstract on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was accepted to be presented in poster form during the statewide Dietetic Conference.

Today @ 3:00: I felt pretty happy.  Pretty complete.   In fact, I felt 100% satisfied with all of my hard work.

Today @ 3:04: I looked closer.  Closer.  I noticed something awry.  Something strangely…how should I say it?…off.

And then I saw it.

Oh yes.  I did.  Thousands of proof reads.  Too much time over-obsessing every single inch of detail.  And yet, somehow, I failed to notice the most obvious of issues.  I used the wrong word at the beginning of the very first paragraph.

First thought that came to mind: *GASP*  Somebody shoot me!!

Second thought that came to mind: I need to run.

And so I did.  I ran and I ran and I ran.

I let every worry and care roll off my shoulders like the droplets of rain that splattered breathlessly against my face.

And then I realized the same thing that I realize after every run.  You can’t cry over spilled milk. You just can’t.  A misspelled word is nothing to get hung up over.

(hopefully, it’s nothing that a little marker job can’t fix either!)

Attitude is everything.  Running helps.

And cooking too.  To be continued…

Question: Have you ever made a big (silly!) mistake with your job or in school?

We. Did. It!

WE. DID. IT!!!

My dad is my most favorite running partner.  Most of the time, I hate running with other people.  I usually feel guilty for slowing them down!

But my dad runs his own pace and he tells me to do the same.  He turns around when he gets too far ahead and sometimes he even lets me choose the pace.  AND, best of all, he’s just as crazy as I am when it comes to going out for an eight mile run in icy conditions. ;)

Because, it really was super icy.  It even began to ice rain at some points.  And we were chased by a silly yellow lab.  Legs began to ache.  BUT? We. Did. It!

Pre-eight mile run:

Post eight-mile run:

(don’t let that smile fool you…I was in PAIN!)

Overall, it was a really good run.  I felt strong for the first 4-5 miles or so.  I began to tire right after that, and my entire body began to ache on the last mile stretch towards home.

And then I came home and collapsed in the snow.

“Eating For Your Long Run”

There’s a lot of thought that goes into running long miles, especially when it comes to food.  I haven’t yet reached the point where I need to bring fuel on a run, but there is a lot of pre-run fuel and post-run fuel going on.  There’s no absolute, pure science behind all of my choices, but they work for me.  The secret, I think, is to experiment a little and see what works for you!

The Night Before

Eat a light snack the night before, if you plan on running in the morning.  Cereal is my personal snack of choice.  It’s light on the stomach and it helps me sleep better.  Don’t forget to stay hydrated too!

The Morning Of

This is one of those times when I throw variety out the window and stick with what I know will work.  For me, that happens to be either (a) a bowl of oatmeal or (b) a couple of whole wheat toasts smeared with almond butter, fruit and a glass of milk.

I also drink a small cup of coffee for the caffeine boost.

And, of course, water, water, water!

Post Run

Milk has the perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates, making it the ideal way to refuel after a long run.  Drink up!  Preferably within 30 minutes of running.

Post Run

More refueling is in order if your long runs are beginning to exceed 5-6 miles.  A cup of milk won’t exactly cut it.

Today I was craving a big ol’ salad with lots of greens and flavah!  Today’s toppings:

  • kidney beans
  • goat cheese
  • salty sunflower seeds
  • avocado
  • snap peas
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

I am absolutely obsessed with these Terra Sweets and Beets chips.  They’re addicting!

A little while later, I broke out some yogurt with wheat germ and a whole wheat blueberry muffin.  I am a bottomless pit on the weekends after a long run; I’ve learned to just roll with it. ;)

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY!

QUESTION: Does your appetite go up on the days that you exercise?  Or does it hit you like a ton of bricks later on? My appetite definitely skyrockets on the days that I exercise.  I listen up and eat when I’m hungry so that I’m back to normal by the next day. ;)

a list of to-do’s

The Ever-Growing To-Do List
  1. Finish major clinical case study and put together presentation.
  2. Finish three mini clinical case studies.
  3. Finish budget case study and present it to the panel.
  4. Finish abstract and present at the upcoming MDA conference.
  5. Finish poster for the hospital’s cafeteria.

Tell me this.  Is there any better feeling than crossing off an item from a to-do list?  Sigh.

The Dietitian that I’m working with during my clinical rotation part of the internship asked me to put together a poster for the upcoming National Nutrition Month (March!)  The theme this year is “Color Your Plate,” so I—of course—focused on including lots and lots of color.

I tried to keep it simple by focusing mostly on a few flavorful, healthy options that anyone and everyone can add to their basic, daily routines.

It was fun to put together (although it really did leave me feeling kind of hungry. ;) )

By the time I finished the project, it was already 4 o’clock, and I realized that I had barely had any fresh air all day.

Time to stretch the legs with a brisk walk before dinner!

The sun was absolutely glowing, transforming everything within its path into a bright, fluorescent orange.  So beautiful.

And despite the 15 degrees, I actually felt warm.  The sun felt so, so, so nice on my face.

What a deliciously invigorating walk.

I couldn’t decide on any one dinner tonight.  Which is why I didn’t.  Because every once in a while, a hodgepodge collection of random things is exactly what satisfies me the most.

A little of this.  A little of that.  Different flavors, textures, and moods.  I like to think that it’s a little like eating a three course entree. ;)

(1) Spinach and Egg Scramble

(2) Homemade Baked Beans, pulled from the freezer

(3) Zucchini and Summer Squash, sauteed with diced tomatoes, garlic, italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar

(this tasted like summer!)

One item crossed off my to do list.  Poster complete!

One refreshing pre-dinner walk.

Three course meal.  Not at all fancy.  Completely delicious.

Two hours left to read and relax before bed.

Spinach and Egg Scramble

Serves 1

This scramble pairs particularly well with feta, goat or even (especially?) ricotta cheese.  If you have extra veggies on hand, you could also throw in some tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.

There’s nothing at all fancy about this scramble.  In fact, it practically screams simple. But that’s what makes it so appealing after a long, hard day at work or school.  Enjoy with a slice of toasted whole wheat bread and your favorite side veggie for a quick, satisfying meal. :D

  • A few large handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 an onion, chopped fine
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white
  • splash of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat a medium, nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender but firm.  Add spinach and continue cooking until spinach has wilted and onions are tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour on top of spinach mixture.  Occasionally scrape down the eggs from the side, letting the runny part run underneath.
  3. Once the eggs have come together, chop the eggs and spinach a little with the spatula and cook until done.  Transfer to plate and ENJOY! :D

Question: Do you keep daily/weekly/yearly to-do lists?  Are you usually pretty good about checking things off? I keep monthly to-do lists, and they’re usually complicated things that take forever to actually check off.  Which is why I usually throw in some simple, easy things as well, just to give me the pleasure of crossing an item off. ;)

a walk in the woods (and a taste of bruschetta)

 

I drive my car through slippery ice.  I shovel dense, heavy snow off of the porch.  I plow myself through the slush and snow, on my daily runs and walks.  And the cars are dirty.  All. Of. The. Time.

But winter is not the problem.  Winter is not to blame.

The problem is that I don’t do anything to enjoy the snow.  The fault is my own.

 

 

Yesterday, I decided to change all of that and took my workout into the woods.

Al la snowshoes.

 

 

(Yes.  This is a lawn chair.  In the middle of the woods.  Buried in the snow.)

 

 

??? 

You just never know what you’ll run into. ;)

 

 

 Snowshoeing is such a fabulous workout.  I kept my heart rate up the entire time, simply by walking through deep layers of snow.

And the best part?  It didn’t once feel like a workout.

Going…

 

…Going…

 

 

…”Kind” of still going…

 

 

completely gone. Ha!

 

 

The secret to surviving winter:  finding a fresh new way to enjoy it!

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Honestly, I’ve never been much of a football fan.  But the Super Bowl involves lots of food.  And friends and family. 

I really, really enjoy the Super Bowl. :D

 

 

For the party, everyone brought something to the table, which made for a deliciously wide variety of flavors.

 

 

I brought the bruschetta!

 

 

Good food.  Good friends.

(And the additional perk of having everyone cheering for the winning team.  Perfect.  Day.)

 

 

A Simple Bruschetta

Bruschetta may look all fancy and gourmet, but it’s actually one of the easiest appetizers you will ever put together.  If you would like to make a light lunch or dinner out of it, top the bread slices with fresh mozzarella cheese and serve with a side salad. 

For the best flavors and texture, choose a crusty bread that has aged a few days.  Enjoy! :D

  • 1 whole grain baguette, sliced about 3/4 inch thick
  • 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil or more
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • parmesan, grated
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
  1. Set oven to low broil.  Combine olive oil, parmesan and garlic together in a bowl.
  2. Place bread slices on a baking sheet.  Brush oil mixture onto bread and place under broiler.  Cook until golden brown and crispy.  Flip over, spread with more of the oil mixture and continue cooking until browned. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and basil together.  Top the cooked bread slices with the tomato mixture and serve immediately.  ENJOY! :D

Question: What is your favorite winter time activity? 

a plate of cabbage and kale

We are officially snowed in!!!

In case you were wondering, yoga in the living room was my workout choice this morning, vs. going out for a walk.  I decided that listening to the radio while doing downward dogs and sun salutations in my pajamas sounded just about right for such a morning. ;)

But I still pulled on my boots and went outside to enjoy a bit of snow.  Which, by the way, is already up to my knees—and still climbing.  There’s at least 18 inches out there.  Maybe more! 

All I can say is, thank goodness today was my day off.

And thank goodness Dad didn’t mind going out and snowblowing the driveway in order to bury us out of the driveway for tomorrow’s commute (thanks dad!)

Yoga + shoveling + plowing my way through snow = fabulous workout.

I decided that today was a good day to clean out the fridge, while putting any and all of those lingering ingredients to good use. 

I bought a head of organic purple kale last week at the supermarket, just because I thought it looked too pretty to turn down.  It’s absolutely brimming with antioxidants and nutrients.  I couldn’t bare to walk past it, and so it ended up in my cart.  And in my fridge.  Until today, of course.

Also in the fridge, I had a couple of carrots and some onions (there are always onions!), along with a thick slab of tofu and a lemon.  Off to the side—on the kitchen counter—there were some tomatoes.  I’m pretty sure that if kitchens could talk, mine would have been screaming—demanding?—at me to make a warm kale salad. 

It was very much meant to be.

I’m pretty sure that people get the wrong idea when it comes to things like kale and tofu.  If it sounds a little hippy—a little too “far out” for both your mind and your kitchen—then you simply must rethink these things and move on.  Daring to try something new.

Kale, when it’s made just right, is earthy and sweet.  Tender but firm.  It will take on a whole new dimension, as it soaks up the olive oil that is lightly drizzled on top.  And in the end, it will practically beg you to add just a splash or two of lemon juice.  Finally—at last—the warmed kale salad will reward your tastebuds with a delicious flavor that’s both simple and complex, making you forget all of those silly little things that you ever had to say about kale.

Tofu is another thing altogether.

Thankfully, just like kale, tofu has the possibility of rewarding you with a depth of flavor and a delightful texture as well. 

The preparation of tofu is key, I think.  More specifically, the pressing

Getting rid of every last bit of liquid that you possibly can, so that the texture becomes nice and firm.  So that it can soak up every bit of sauce or liquid that you decide to add to it.  So that it can brown and crisp at the touch of a hot nonstick pan.  Yes.  The art of tofu is in the pressing.

Side Dish: Roasted Cabbage

A delightfully warm meal to warm up with after trudging through the snow. :D

I hope you’re all staying warm and safe today!!!

Warm Kale Salad

This makes for a delightful side dish to any entree, but it can also serve as a main dish in and of itself.  Pine nuts, walnuts, and beans would make for a nice addition as well.  This dish is simple but satisfying, perfect for a chilly winter afternoon. 

  • 1 head of kale
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • garlic powder
  • lemon juice
  1. In a medium sized pan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add kale, stir, and lower heat to medium low.  Continue cooking until kale is tender but still slightly firm.  Add tomatoes, carrot, garlic powder to taste, and a few liberal splashes of lemon juice.  Lower heat to low and continue cooking until heated thorough.
  3. ENJOY! :D

Simply Pan Fried Tofu

This is as simple as simple gets.  You can use any sauce that suits your fancy.  I’ve used peanut sauces, bbq sauce, and homemade thai sauces as well.  I’ve got to say though, soy sauce and garlic are one of my most favorite of combinations.  Sometimes you can’t mess with simple.

  • 1/4 a block of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed well
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Blot tofu well with paper towels to remove any lingering liquids. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  Place tofu in bowl, flip over and let it sit in fridge at least 1 hr.
  3. Heat a nonstick cooking pan over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray, place tofu in pan, and cook until browned and crisp.  Flip and continue cooking until browned on other side as well.
  4. Serve and ENJOY! :D

Roasted Cabbage

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare any and all of my vegetables.  Cabbage is no exception.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 a head of cabbage
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425. 
  2. Spray baking sheet with spray and set aside.  Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch slices and place in single layers on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.  ENJOY!

Question: Do you eat anything now that you never in a million years would have thought you would *ever* enjoy?

sixteen weeks

A Running Injury Flash Back

February, 2010: Plantar Fasciitis

March, 2010: Runner’s Knee

Last year, I had plans to achieve my dreams of running a Half Marathon.  My body apparently thought differently.

But just as I’ll never let a crumbly piece of cake ruin my day, I also refuse to let a few injuries set me back from my ultimate goal.  I will run a Half Marathon.  And I will stay healthy and injury free in the process.

Today, I finally decided to take the plunge, as I filled up my calendar with key dates and weekly long runs.  This all feels so delightfully official. :mrgreen:

One devoted and supportive running partner.  Sixteen weeks of training.  And one determined attitude.

It all begins on January 29th!!

In an attempt to do all that I can to avoid any lingering, pesky injuries, I’m also adding a regular yoga/strength training routine to each week.  A wise runner once told me that running only works certain muscles.  This can create a muscle imbalance, so it’s crucial to keep the arms, abs and legs strong for pumping up those hills while keeping a proper form, even as the body grows tired.  

Know what else is important?

Sleep.  Never understimate the power of a regular sleeping schedule. ;)

Question: Have you ever set a major goal for yourself?  What were some challenges you faced and what made you successful in the end?