One of my favorite aspects of running is the opportunity to really challenge myself. To push beyond what I think are my limits. To break through the threshold of discomfort and pain and discover that I am indeed stronger on the other side. You can't help but feel alive!
Of course, getting to that point is stressful. In the days leading up to a race, I always find myself questioning why I need to subject myself to the torture that lies ahead. Why do I have to be so competitive? Why can't I just live by my favorite saying "Run Happy" and enjoy easy, social runs with friends and family?
While Mother Nature hasn’t put her snow globe away yet, the spring distance racing season is upon us. Boston, Traprock, Cherry Blossom, Nashville Rock & Roll, Ragnar, Providence, Burlington. All those races that seemed so far away (and such a good idea) when we signed-up last year are now quickly approaching. The time to put our training to the test nears.
If you are like me, your stomach gets butterflies just thinking about race day. Did I train hard enough? Can I go the distance? Can I race the distance? What if I fail to even finish?
The great Roman Emperor and philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, wisely said “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.”
When you race long distances there are a lot of things you can’t control: the weather, course conditions, crowds, your legs deciding to cramp or your stomach revolting. Let all of that go. Instead, focus on what you can control, namely your attitude and your ability to embrace some discomfort. Indeed, much of racing and conquering long distances is a mind game.
Set yourself up for success mentally by repeating positive words and phrases. Meb Kflegzhi chanted “Meb Strong. Boston Strong” when he won the Boston Marathon the year after the marathon bombing. My favorite race day mantra is borrowed from Olympic volleyball player, Kerri Walsh’s coach. It’s simple, yet powerful: Breathe. Believe. Battle.
Breathe. The fastest way to get in trouble when running is to get out of breath (side stitch!) Instead, settle in and breathe rhythmically. Find your happy pace. Once there, shift your focus to the second part of the mantra:
Believe. Trust in your training and believe that you can do it. Sometimes I think running is more of a mental game than a physical one. Don't get caught up in negative thoughts. You did the work. You are well prepared. Success will be yours!
Battle. When you know you have what it takes to finish, you are unstoppable. Find the strength to ratchet-up your effort and be the very best you can be. Chances are good that you will impress even yourself!
And then there are the days when your body just doesn’t have it. If that happens, go easy on yourself. Laugh. Slow your pace. Enjoy the experience and embrace the gift of being able to go.
SAUCONY KINVARA 9
The Kinvara is a well-known and well-loved staple in Saucony’s line up. It’s remained a reliable favorite update after update. And the 9th generation is no exception. In fact, this time, according to testers, it’s even better. Learn more.
NEW BALANCE 880
A neutral running shoe engineered to withstand the distance. The new 880v8 from New Balance delivers a dynamic fusion of cushioning, responsiveness and durability. Lace up this dependable running partner for long mile days.
Only available in store.
HOKA ONE ONE FLY
The new FLY collection takes the knowledge, techniques and materials that put Hoka on the map to produce faster, even lighter and more responsive shoes for a broader range of runners. Our fav is the new Mach – so light, you’ll feel like you’re flying. See more here.
BROOKS ADRENALINE 18
The perfect balance of soft cushion and support to see you through three miles, 26.2 or beyond. We’ve got a great selection of colors available for men and women – including the beautiful new ebony/rose gold colorway for women.
COME TRAIN WITH US:
FFRC MEET-UPS (FREE):
Wed evenings (6:30pm) &
Sat morning (8:30am)
Join Kevin & the FFRC pacers for a run from the store. Wed runs are 3-5 miles; Sat runs feature two routes of 4-6 miles & 7-10 miles. Join the e-mail list here.
FREE INJURY ASSESSMENT: Saturday's @ 9:30-11am
Injured? Don't know whether you can run/play sports or if you should really see a doctor? Select PT hosts a FREE Injury Assessment Clinic every Saturday. No RSVP necessary.
KARI TRAA LADIES LOPE II
April 4 @ 6:30pm
Kari Traa is one of the hottest brands in Europe…and at FF! We love their fabrics, styles & reasonable prices. To celebrate their Spring collection, we will be hosting a Norwegian fun run ("lope") - all ladies in attendance will get a FREE gift from KT!
TRAPROCK TRAIL RUN
Sat, April 7 @ 8:30am
Trail run field trip to beautiful Penwood State Park. Choose from two-guided runs: 3.5mile beginner loop or 17k Traprock Ultra loop for more experienced runners. Nathan Sports will have demo hydration packs & prizes.
Come dressed in purple and join us for a few miles as we raise money for Project Purple. Post-run we’ll have snacks and an awesome raffle with prizes like free shoes, compression socks & a guaranteed entry to a sold out marathon on most every runner's bucket list! Details Here.
EAST FARMS SPRING AHEAD 5k RUN/WALK
April 22 @ 1pm
Lace up your running shoes to support education at this 5K Run/Walk hosted by the East Farms Elementary School PTO in Farmington. Details HERE.
FOOT PAIN SEMINAR
April 25 @ 6:30pm
The docs from West Hartford Podiatry will lead an informative seminar on new treatments, like EPAT, for pain caused by plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and bone burses. FREE
KING & QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
May 19 @ 9:30am
Join us for another exciting fitness challenge - this time we're racing up (and back down) Mount Southington after a workout!Details here.
JOIN US FOR THE BIG RUN
Once again we'll be celebrating Global Running Day with a fun 5k. After "a bit" of flooding on the course last year, we're moving to higher ground: beautiful Auer Farm in Bloomfield, CT!
In addition to the 5k run/walk through some of the farm's 120 gorgeous acres, there will be music, food, medals, shirts and awesome prizes like Brooks shoes and treats from the farm.
ALL proceeds from the race will be donated to Auer Farm to help keep this working farm a wonderful community resource open to all!
You know spring is here when fresh asparagus is readily available at the grocery. This salad is packed with flavors and an easy to make lemon dressing. It feels fancy, but the effort involved is just right for a busy work week too.
With the advent of 3D printers and foot-scanner, what does the future of insoles look like? We talked to industry leaders to find out more. Here's what they had to say. Read more.
Q&A with Elite Ultrarunner Magdalena Lewy-Boulet.
She grew up a swimmer in Poland, but it wasn’t until she started running that she found her stride as a competitive athlete. And even then, it took her awhile to get there. Read her interview here.
The WHsquared mobile app is a great way to keep up-to date on Fleet Feet events and promotions and other things happening around town. This month we are partnering with WHsquared for in-store events, giveaways and prizes!
Make sure to download the mobile app here to be in-the-know about all sorts of cool events taking place in West Hartford – especially at Fleet Feet WeHa!