Understanding Runners for Dummies- Chapter 3 “Running Circles in parking lots, and other odd behaviors”

Here’s the best-selling guide to taking care of your runner.

Do you have a runner in your life? This fun, friendly guide to runners prepares you for this tough but terrific time. From the basics – housebreaking, feeding, training – to the latest on runner care, supporting your runner, and the new designer breeds of runners. You get everything you need to understanding their odd behaviors.

This is Chapter 3 of a series, be sure to check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2!

Chapter 3-Running circles in parking lots, and other odd runner behaviors

Runners are a bit odd, they are just wired differently.  Seriously, they get up stupid early and run, and they like it! So, don’t be worried if you see your runner participating in some seriously, weird behaviors.  This may just be normal runner stuff going on.  Here are some common, runner behaviors.

  • Running in circle in parking lots– No, your runners has not gone completely nuts. Runners just like numbers to be even.  It’s not uncommon to see your runner making small circles or running back in forth in order to reach the next mile or kilometer on their GPS watch.   Does this have any impact on their training? Nope.  Your runner knows this, they just can’t help it.  Also, a run doesn’t count unless it’s on our Garmin, so it better be charged or your going to have problems.
  • Getting unusually excited when they spot a Porta Potty When nature calls, runners need to answer it. Running so many miles can create some awkward bathroom moments. I have been completely saved before when a new construction site was added to my regular route and a magic bathroom opportunity was added.  It may have been a gift from heaven that day.
  • Putting Band-Aids over their nipples – Don’t worry, your runner isn’t adopting some weird pervy fashion trend. This is for comfort.  While running long distances, rubbing and sweating can create some very uncomfortable situations.  Placing Band-Aids on the nipples can reduce chaffing.  Providing your runner with Body Glide or other similar products can help reduce this discomfort.
  • Hoarding shoes – Runners often have a bit of a shoe fetish, like I may have more running shoes than a fashion blogger has heels. The excitement of getting a new pair of shoes for runners, cannot be contained.  This excitement is known as a shoegasm, and it is real.  I have a bond with each pair. I have no idea why, but it’s difficult letting go of a pair of shoes, and it’s not unusual to find a pile of new unopened shoes stacked up in my closet.
  • Performing snot rockets- This has almost become an art form for some runners and another avenue for competition. Runners do not want to stop running.  A stuffy nose is not going to slow your runner down.  Instead, your runner will most likely plug one side and purge the remaining side with a forceful blow of air to clear things up.
  • Dressing like they are headed to a highlighter party –If your runner begins to shop in color pallets that look like they are headed to a rave after their run, don’t worry this is actually a safety thing. Visibility is important, and dressing in brightly colored clothes helps keep you runner safe.  Plus, the brighter more obnoxious your clothing is, the faster you must be.
  • Become anxious or crabby when they miss a run-Runners are junkies, and missing their running fix will send them into a stressed out, anxious mess. The number of runs needed per week, depends on the individual runner.  If you runner doesn’t get the needed runs or miles they will become unpleasant.  Tapering is an especially difficult time in your runners life.
  • Begin to tell you exact distance between two points-Your runner has an odd knowledge of the exact distance from you home to most places with in a 5-20 mile radius. Getting stuck in traffic may cause outburst such as, “it’s only 1.7 miles, I could run there by now!”
  • Jump into a bathtub full of ice- That sounds horrible doesn’t it. Like another version of the “ice bucket challenge.”  To your runner it is sweet, well- earned relief after a solid workout.  A routine that includes ice baths and Epsom salt soaks will go a long way in keeping your runner injury free. 
  • Begin to hide snacks everywhere- In the previous chapter; “Don’t Honk at the runners, and other ways to keep your runner happy” we discussed a temporary condition called hangry. This is a real issue for many runners.  Our bodies are in constant need of refueling and stashing snacks everywhere allows your runner to keep calm and act like a somewhat normal person through his or her day.

Having a Runner in your life is great. Having a better understanding of some of their odd behavior will allow you to worry less and truly enjoy them.

I hope you are enjoying our best-selling blog book. If you missed a chapter you can click on the links below.

  • Chapter 1-Types of Runners
  • Chapter 2– Don’t honk at the Runners! Plus, other tips to keepignyour runner happy

Be sure to check back tomorrow for chapter 4!

Interested in working with a Running Coach?

I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 14 years of coaching experience! Having worked with young beginners in the middle school level, and high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships. I have designed training plans for runners who are just starting, reaching for new distances, Boston Qualifiers and those looking to earn a spot at the Marathon Olympic trials.

Completely customized plans that are developed at your current fitness level to get you to your goals.   For more information click here


Understanding Runners for Dummies-Chapter 2 ” Don’t Honk at the Runners! Plus, other tips to keeping your runner happy”

Here’s the best-selling guide to taking care of your runner.

Do you have a runner in your life? This fun, friendly guide to runners prepares you for this tough but terrific time. From the basics – housebreaking, feeding, training – to the latest on runner care, supporting your runner, and the new designer breeds of runners. You get everything you need to understanding their odd behaviors.

This is the second chapter of the best selling book. If you missed it, check out Chapter 1, Types of Runners

*Please note, these articles are meant to find humor in the silly behaviors of runners.  

Chapter 2-Don’t honk at the runners! Plus, other tips to keeping your runner happy

Runners are a strange breed of human.  You can find them in packs or solo participating in some odd behaviors, which you don’t understand.   Do you have a runner in your life?  Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for runners.


  • Don’t honk at the runners. I think most people honk to be nice, or encouraging.  Unfortunately, it’s usually startling to a runner.  The runner doesn’t know its coming and they aren’t sure if they are in dangers way. So please, don’t honk at the runners.
  • Don’t call a 5k a marathon. This is not a put down on 5ks, at all.  Racing a 5k is miserable, the entire way.  I am not down playing 5ks.  I get asked about all of my marathons, a lot.  “Did you run another marathon this weekend?” No, I raced a super difficult 5k, but I did not run a marathon.  They are different races. So if you aren’t sure about the distances, just ask about the race.
  • Don’t tell them running is bad for their knees. Seriously, have you studied up on this? Probably not.  Some studies have shown that running will actually decrease our risk for arthritis and other knee problems.
  • Don’t Cat-call Cat-Calling is not okay, period! Cat-calling at a woman who is running by herself can quickly turn an enjoyable run, into fearing for her own safety.  At the very least, it makes women uncomfortable.
  • Don’t shout, “You’re almost done!” This is another well-meaning thing that our nonrunner friends and family do. Sure, mathematically 1 mile out of 26.2 doesn’t seem so bad.  To a tired, fatigued runner, it can sound like another marathon.  Instead, tell them how strong they look, or how proud of them you are.
  • Don’t tell them they run too much. Really, who are you to decide?  If they aren’t making you join them for all of the miles, then you don’t get an opinion on how much, is too much.
  • Don’t discuss weight. I don’t know why, but people seem to think talking about running is an open door to talking about weight. In my case, I get told how I don’t weigh enough.  Constantly, told running makes me look unhealthy.  On the flip side, I have heard people make comments to runners who carry more weight, too.  They will say unthinkable things such as, “You don’t look like a runner,” or “all that running you’d think you’d be skinny.”  That is not okay!
  • Don’t say, “I only run when someone is chasing me.” Or any other not-that-catchy over used answer. Most of the time, this response isn’t even following an invitation to run.  People find out you’re are a runner and want to tell you about the invention of cars or other lame reasons they don’t run.
  • Don’t refer to runners as “real runners”- Before I completed my first marathon, people would tell me about their “real” runner friends. It doesn’t matter how fast or far someone is going. If they get out the door and run, they can call themselves a runner.  Don’t put down or belittle their efforts. “Real runners” don’t do this to each other, it’s usually nonrunners.
  • Don’t ask if they are fast-This is just really awkward question to try an answer. “Fast” is a very subjective term.  If the runner is fast, they either have to down play their speed and act all modest or risk sound like an arrogant snob if they say yes.  If they aren’t all that fast, and they say “no.”  They still run!  They still have goals that are important to them.  You can ask about their times, and ask about upcoming goals and races but avoids the arbitrary “are you fast.”
  • Don’t ask them to skip a run-Runners who are in training have to make sacrifices and some days it’s down-right tough to get motivated. Try not to be the negative influence that deters someone from reaching their goals. Its worse when it’s a close friend or family member nagging you’re about skipping a run.
  • Don’t give excuses, about why you can’t run. This is usually a response, again, that wasn’t following an invitation to run.  “I would love to run, but I don’t have enough time.”  Sure you do, you just don’t make it a priority. Looking at my running crew, I am surrounded by doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers and other busy jobs. Most of them have kids and other things going on in their life. It’s a balance and they make running a priority because they enjoy it.  You have time, you choose not to prioritize it.  That’s okay, but don’t make excuses.  People also love to give a medical report to runners as an excuse.   Most of the time, running would help the person, or at least another type of physical activity to promote a healthier lifestyle.  If you don’t want to run or like to run, fine.  Stop with the excuses though, especially when you weren’t asked.


  • Do make signs/Cheer them on at races-Racing is tough, you are putting a lot of strain on your body. A cheer station or sign can have an amazing uplifting impact on a runner.  It means more than you know.  Even knowing I have a friend or family up ahead, on the course, can lift my spirits as I get closer.  For the minute or so I have them in sight, it distracts me from the pain I am pushing through.
  • Do feed them, and often. Running burns a lot of calories, so if you have runner friends. Join them for food, and coffee.  Snacks will always earn you brownie points.  When a runner hasn’t fed in a while, they begin to enter a strange state known as “hangry.”  This is an uncontrollable angry state that the runner enters and the only cure is food.
  • Do ask them about their running (if you genuinely are interested.) Runners work hard, and they love to talk about their running journeys. So if you are interested, ask.  But beware, this can become quite a lengthy conversation.  Ha ha
  • Do acknowledge their dedication and be supportive of their sacrifices. Running takes time, dedication and sacrifices.  There will be good days and bad.  May runners go to bed early on Fridays so they can get up at zero-dark-thirty to get their long run in on Saturday. It’s physically demanding and mentally exhausting.  Keeping positive along the journey can mean so much to a runner.
  • Do offer them massages. Okay, okay we will leave this one for significant others, unless you want to purchase massages as gifts.  Running is hard and there are aches and pains.  A back, leg or foot rub is a wonderful way to show your running spouse you love them.

Be sure to subscribe, so you can continue to learn more about your runner. Be sure to follow! Tomorrow we will introduce Chapter 3!

Incase you missed it, here is Chapter 1, ” Types of Runnners”

Interested in working with a Running Coach?

I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 14 years of coaching experience! Having worked with young beginners in the middle school level, and high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships. I have designed training plans for runners who are just starting, reaching for new distances, Boston Qualifiers and those looking to earn a spot at the Marathon Olympic trials.

Completely customized plans that are developed at your current fitness level to get you to your goals.   For more information click here

Understanding Runners for Dummies- Chapter 1, Types of Runners

Here’s the best-selling guide to taking care of your runner!

Do you have a runner in your life? This fun, friendly guide to runners prepares you for this tough but terrific time. From the basics – housebreaking, feeding, training – to the latest on runner care, supporting your runner, and the new designer breeds of runners. You get everything you need to understanding their odd behaviors.

*Please note, these articles are meant to find humor in the silly behaviors of runners.  I fit in many of these categories myself.  

Chapter 1- Different types of runners.

All runners are not the same. There are a variety of breeds of runners. These breed take on different traits and characteristics. You won’t find many purebreds either. Most runners are mixed or hybrids. 

Here is a list below of our different breeds and common behaviors.

  • Road Runners- Road runners are often found in snazzy matching outfits. Looking for speed and PR race courses.  Your road runners can be a bit obsessed with splits and elevation charts.  Looking for the flat and fast courses.
  • Trail runners- Typically a close nit, group. They run with the motto, “no man left behind.” They are usually in it for the journey not the clock. Adverse weather conditions and mud make them really excited. Be careful, many trail runners are not potty-trained and will drop trow in the middle of the woods when the mood strikes.
  • Mileage Junkie- Obsessed with running all the miles! To increase their weekly miles they are often running multiple times a day. Often times these runners will sacrifice quality for quantity. Running all of this mileage takes up a lot of time and creates a lot of laundry. Be prepared to for larger grocery bill with this breed.
  • Gold Digger-These runners appear fairly normal. However, they are obsessed with BLING! They choose their races based on the medals and swag they receive at each race.  The bigger the better! Can we say “Flava-Flave.”
  • Speedsters- This breed of runner likes to run fast. Seriously, every single run is run way too fast.  They don’t understand the idea behind active recovery and the importance of training zones.  Unfortunately, this can put many of this breed on the fast track to injuries.  Be ready to nurse this breed back to health.  This breed can also be very stubborn.  Telling them to slow down, will not be enough.
  • Competitive Jerks- This group of runners does not back down. Everything can be a competition.  They will do ridiculous stuff, just for bragging rights.  Don’t be alarmed when they are wanting to compete in a beer mile or eggnog miles “for fun.” These runners can come off a tad arrogant but are always down for friendly competition and great time.
  • Hobby Joggers-This is probably the most enjoyable of runners. They are laid back and enjoy getting in shape. They are often found in packs at the coffee house after.  If you are considering getting a runner, this breed of runner is the least maintenance.
  • Gear Junkies-These runners complete every single run holding or wearing every accessory or running tech they own. They can’t complete their run without the latest watches, heart rate monitors, wireless headphones and more. Having a gear junky can get quite expensive.
  • Purist- These runners are the opposite of gear junkies. You may find them with an old school Timex watch but that’s it.  You won’t catch them jamming out with headphones on a run.  They believe in running the old school natural way. Some of them will begin to run without shoes.  They are happiest getting lost in the woods for hours, disconnected from the tech world. They often have very clean and pure diets to match their running style.

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. Be sure to check back tommorrow for our next chapter!

Interested in working with a Running Coach?

I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 14 years of coaching experience! Having worked with young beginners in the middle school level, and high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships. I have designed training plans for runners who are just starting, reaching for new distances, Boston Qualifiers and those looking to earn a spot at the Marathon Olympic trials.

Completely customized plans that are developed at your current fitness level to get you to your goals.   For more information click here

RUNspiration: Motivating your run

I am 7 month post baby and the hardest part to getting restarted is motivation. If you have had similar, getting started issues.  Use the tips below and lets get back out on the road (or treadmill, or track or trails!)

Making the most of the 15 minute rule

You know the feeling. Its 5 am and the alarm is going off.  Time for your morning run, yawn. You may be getting off a long day at work and didn’t get much sleep, the house is a mess and you still need to get your run in today.  UGH! We all have that feeling.  Even the most dedicated runner has that feeling sometimes.

Many runners use the 15 minute rule (sometimes called the one mile rule).  If you are struggling for motivation, promise yourself to at least get in 15 minutes (or one mile).  After that point, if you are still struggling you can call it quits.  However, after 15 minutes you feel fine you have hit your groove and you’re ready to tackle your run.  It’s a simple mind trick.

I like to take the 15 minute rule a step further.  I am deliberate in the thoughts I allow myself to have, as I go on this “15 minute run.”  I think of the people in the running community, who inspire me.  Sure, it’s easy to think of my secret cross town nemesis. I bet SHE isn’t taking it easy today and doesn’t get into running ruts.  It’s too easy to start comparing myself, and too easy to forget that my training is about my goals.  Instead, I think of people I see in the running community everyday, who embody the running community spirit, and give me a positive lift in my own running. These runners can be found in all running communities.  They may go by different names, but the spirit is the same. These are some of my “runspiration.”

  1. The come-back kid

The comeback kid works so hard to continue to run.  Due to reoccurring injuries and bad luck, she understands how lucky she is to be a runner.  She makes me remember. I don’t have to run, I get to. When you see your friend work so hard to do something she loves.  She falls down and gets back up, time and time again.  That is the true runner’s spirit.  We are all hoping when mile 25 of that marathon comes around, the monkey is on your back that we will find one more push.  One more reason to get back up.  To me that inspiration comes from the come-back kid.

  1. The doctors

When I think of people that represent our running community, these two are always at the top of the list. The first ones to agree to meet you at stupid o’clock in the morning with their headlamps on and coffee after.  Hardworking, goal oriented women. They have offered advice to so many runners along the way. They are always one of the first ones to congratulate a fellow runner who has reached their goal.  Most importantly, they enjoy it.  They enjoy getting up and joining the group runs, they enjoy helping others, they enjoy cheering and sharing others success.  I look up to them, I want to impact runners like their spirit has lifted me.

  1. Positively Radiant Friend

My friend is amazing.  She is one of the main reasons I decided to run.  She was training for the Chicago marathon and sharing her journey. My initial thought was, “A marathon? Gross, who is crazy enough to run that far!?”  She kept posting and making it look like such an adventure.  When it finally came race day, I know she was a ball of nerves. She completed her marathon and you could see the excitement all over her face.  The sense of accomplishment was clear to anyone looking at her picture.  Really, my friend inspires me daily. The way she approaches life is awesome.  She has a way of always being so positive and in the moment.  She has a magical way of appreciating the world.  She approaches everything with a quiet confidence that is so peaceful and Zen-like.  She manages this through everything, even when the world seems to turn her life upside down.

There are so many others in our running community that lift me up daily.  Find your motivation.  Get up and get out on your run, because you never know who YOU are inspiring today.  Who motivates you?

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How a Running Coach can help you make 2022 the BEST year of running YET!

It’s that time of year again, when everyone seems to be making New Year’s resolutions and setting their running goals. Lots of runners will choose a time based goal or work to hit a specific mileage. With the best intentions starting out, many will fizzle out and not reach those goals. Working with a coach increases the likelihood that you will reach those goals. Staying healthy and consistent along the way. Read about how working with a Running Coach can help you break the cycle and hit new training and racing goals like you haven’t before!

That amazing moment when you realize all of your hardwork is about to pay off! Jessica came in with the goal to BQ, and we decided to aim for 3:25 to give her a 5 minute buffer and help ensure she reached the cut off. Through traiing she was consistent and it was evident she was capable of more. Aiming for a sub 3:20 on race day Jessica finished with a a time of 3:18 smashing her goal.

“Janell listened to my goal and created a training program that help me to not only succeed but smash it. She will help you make adjustments as needed and is encouraging along the way. I just started my second season with her!“-Jessica

Who should work with a Running Coach?

It’s not that many runners don’t want a running coach, they feel like the don’t fit a certain mold for the type of runner who could benefit from one.  On one end of the spectrum you get runners who feel like they are too new, too slow or just in it for fun. They are motivated, goal oriented runners who feel like they don’t meet some higher tier that is required to work with a running coach.  This, my friends, is not the qualifying standard for working with a coach.  Motivated, goal-oriented runners of ALL abilities and backgrounds are the IDEAL athletes a coach looks for.

Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum.  The stubborn runners.  These are the runners that NEED the outside influence of a coach to protect them from, well themselves.  They have a case of the triple too’s. Too many miles, too soon, too fast.  Your competitive runners can get caught up in this frequently.  New runners who see quick gains (that was me).  Just because other runners in my speed range were doing it, didn’t mean my body could handle it.  There are a lot of hardworking runners who are not improving, who are working harder than necessary and not seeing the benefits of that hard work. I have been there, it is super frustrating.  

“Janell perfectly balanced a tough, results oriented coach with being flexible. Her expertise was quickly seen through creative and challenging workouts. With her help, I shaved over 6 minutes off my half marathon PR and plan to use her again. Thanks, Janell!”

So how can a run coach help you?

  1. Get over a plateau and add variety to your training  This was one of the reasons I first reached out to a running coach.  In hind site, I waited to long.  A running coach can  be a great tool to help add variety to your training and getting over a plateau faster.
  2. Help you make the most of your time training- Are you a professional athlete?  If so, thanks for reading! However, I am guessing most of us are not and we have the balance of our regular jobs, families and probably a dozen other things that limit our training time. So when you do find/make the time for running, you want to know that what you are doing is going to get you the results you are looking for.
  3. Minimize your risk for injury or help you safely return from an injury  Running injuries suck and most of the time, they are completely avoidable.  A generic plan in a book or online does not take into consideration your current fitness levels, training history and prior injuries.
  4. Add consistency, direction and structure to you training plan  Adding a coach builds consistency in so many ways.  You are paying for a product, so you are more likely to follow through.  The coach can give you a nudge when you need and let you know when its okay to pull back. They will build cohesive plan with your individual needs and abilities in mind.
  5. Accountability, reassurance and objectivity Coaches become confidants in running. A sound board for goals, aspirations and then they work WITH you to build a road map.  Getting you from where you are now to where you wanna go, as at team.  When something goes wrong, they can make the appropriate adjustments without the emotional freak out.  Don’t even get me started on the taper madness that I’ve seen too many runner go through. Completely destroying their hard work and growth at the end of a training cycle.
  6. Teach you about proper training and the components that go along It really are the little things that make a big difference.  Running coaches go beyond singular track workouts.  The strides, hill sprints, recovery, nutrition, cross training, strength training and so much more.
  7. Keep you positive throughout the training cycle. Why do you run? Every single run may not be the best ever, no matter what the #runnersofinstagram want you to believe.  A good running coach will keep you strong and positive through the training cycle.
  8. They do the work! Allowing you to enjoy running more. This really ties into so many of the previous points.   The time it takes to efficiently plan and a adjust a complete training cycle.  The emotional roller coaster many runners go through as we are personally invested in the goals we have set for ourselves.  The coach takes a big chunk of that off your plate.  They do the leg work, they make the adjustments.
  9. See growth and reach your potential faster – While I don’t believe there is a magical, one size fits all plan.  There are training principals that can and will help you achieve your goals faster without increasing your risk for injury.

RunCanvas Greg is the definition of grit. Pushing though tough workouts and focusing on his goals When race day came and temps here in the 90s he gutted through a tough conditions and came up a touch shy of his time goal. We worked on finding a secondary race and try again a few weeks later with better conditions. He destroyed his goal, hitting a 9 minute half marathon PR!

My tagline ” Balancing the science of running, with the art of coaching” is so much more than a gimmicky phrase.  I truly believe in it.  Working with a coach goes beyond, knowledge of the sport.   Kipchoge works with Patrick Sang, Flanagan works alongside coach Jerry Schumaker.  Do you think these top level athletes don’t understand the training principals? Coaching is so much more then Xs and Os, more then repeats and drills.    Here are two examples of VDOT Coaches who have partnered with other coaches to reach new levels of training.  These coaches recognize the greater value a coach brings beyond planing workouts. 

A collaborative effort

Coaches need coaches too

Just like everything.  Not all coaches are created equal and they are not one size fits all.   There are important factors to consider when finding a coach that meets your needs and will get you where you want to go.  Follow up tomorrow! Make sure you subscribe for more great info!

“Janell is an absolute pro in running and coaching. Five stars are not enough for her. I did not expect distance training to bring such results. Janell conducts various trainings. It is never boring. I was inspired by the fact that I noticed that my pace is growing, HR is falling, and VoMax is growing. I couldn’t believe the results would be visible so quickly. Running has become a part of everyday pleasure. Janell controls the training load and the feeling that I am not running alone. And this is encouraging. I highly recommend Janelle as a coach. Light legs to everyone.”

Dmitry Kuznetsov

“I thought Janelle was great. Any questions I had she answered fast same day and with a lot of thought and input. I had a goal I set for myself to run a 3:35:00 marathon and I was able to achieve a 3:29:46. She got me to where I wanted to be and them some. She gave me time that I should aim for for each mile that worked for me and what I am capable of. I am very happy with my results. Thanks!”

_Megan Giguere 

Do you currently work with a running coach? Why or why not?

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 13 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships. I have designed plans for runners who are just starting, reaching for new distances, have the dream to run a Boston Qualifier and earn a spot at the Marathon Olympic trials.

Completely customized plans that are developed at your current fitness level to get you to your goals.   For more information click here

Happy New Year! 2022

New Years can be a great time to reflect and set new goals for runners. It fits well into most training cycles as most major fall races and even early winter racing has finished and runners are gearing up for spring.   I want to hear from you!


Thinking back over 2021 what do you think went well and what would you like to improve on? What goals were you able to reach and what did you leave on the table? Where there circumstances within your control that left you unable to reach those goals and were there circumstances outside of your control to impeded progress?

Looking Ahead

Time to take that reflection of the past year and begin to set you up for success. The key to creating and reaching your goals is to set up realistic, cohesive goals. Goals that include smaller obtainable milestones and action steps that work towards your larger goal. Start with the end and working backwards, what is you big goal for 2022? What are smaller goals that you will need to reach to get there? What do you need to be doing to reach those steps?

  1. Make your goal “SMART”
  2. Write 3-5 smaller goals that will help you reach your big goal
    1. .
    2. .
    3. .
    4. .
    5. .
  3. What action steps can you (or your coach) do to help you get there
    1. .
    2. .
    3. .
    4. .
    5. .

Example, my personal 2022 goals.

After almost then entire year of 2021 off of training due to pregnancy limitations and post-partum recovery. I am ready to set my sights on 2022.  I would love to hit some huge PRs and return to the world of competitive running, but realistically that would be a very aggressive goal that I would be unlikely to reach as other priorities such as work and family will take precedent over. Instead, I am looking forward to a healthy, injury free return to running with the goal to run a marathon and qualify for Boston before the 2023 registration window closes.  Smaller goals/milestones to reach along the way include, running a sub 20 min 5k and 1:30 half marathon. Averaging 50+ miles per week through the summer. To achieve this goal, I plan to run 5 days a week starting smaller and allowing my body to adjust to increasing mileage. I plan to include 2 days of strength training to help me build a strong more injury resilient body. I want to include 3 days of mobility and pre-hab as well. Once I have safely rebuilt my base and been consistent in training, I will reincorporate speed/quality sessions 2 times a week.

Planning for obstacles and overcoming challenges

So, now you have your goals and in a perfect world you would go out and crush them with no problems. We all know that challenges are going ot arise. We need to accept what we can not control and adapt to in ways we can.  Taking time to reflect on previous personal challenges, and forsee possible issues that may arise will allow you to better navigate them.  Some common issues I see with runners I work with

  • Overtraining- Too much, too soon, too fast. Often runners with lofty goals start out with a bang early in the year and quickly fizzle out. Starting our focusing on your current training and slowly making the needed adjustments and building consistency is much more effective. Overtraining is also the leading cause for injuries in runners.
  • Over racing- Racing is a skill and needs to be practiced. So lead up racing through the training cycle are a great idea. However, too much racing can hinder proper training and recovery.
  • Unfocused- Runners want to reach all the goals at all of the distances. Hitting gup their 5k PR while also tackling their first ultra and bumping up to and chasing a new PR in the triathlon. Individually these are great goals but in a single training cycle you aren’t focusing on anything, and everything ends up being mediocre. There is a way to lay out these goals through out the year with emphasis in different phases and laying them our in a manner that compliment each other

When challenges arise, how will you address them. Don’t be afraid to reassess and rest your goals based on what is happening in your life.  Working with a coach in your corner can give you a sounding board and ideas on how to better navigate these issues. Do not hesitate to reach out so we can make this year a huge success.

As always consistency is the biggest key to success with endurance training.

What NEW for RUNCANVAS in 2022?

After a year away, you will begin to see lots of new training tips and informal on the RunCanvas website. With weekly blog posts, race discounts and running deals.  Social media is getting revamped and updated daily.  Be sure to follow along!

Let’s make 2022 an awesome year for runners!

Product Review- BUFF® DryFlx+ Collection

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF® DryFlx+ neck warmer and headband as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Hello, todays product review seems so perfectly timed.  Here in KC we are waking up to super cold temperatures, a light dusting of snow and ice on the roads.  I know a lot of runners will he hitting the treadmills or skipping their runs. Today, I was excited to really put my Buff DryFlx neck warmer to the test. Running in the cold and wintery conditions comes with its own set of challenges. However, if you take the proper steps and dress correctly it can be such a beautiful and enjoyable run.

The solution

When running (or working out of any kind) in cold conditions you have to address two keep issues, staying warm and staying dry.  I have headed out to runs with clothes piled on because I wanted to be bundled up and warm, only to sweat midway through the run and end up freezing my tushy off.  Sometimes, less can be more.  The quality of the material you wear becomes so super important.

Enter, Buff DryFlx+

I was given the opportunity to try the Buff DryFlx+ neckwarmer and headband.  I jumped at this opportunity because I have so many “sports” headbands that just don’t work for me.  They are either too thin and do nothing for warmth or they are super warm and I sweat like crazy. Like the story, the Goldilocks, this DryFlx+ headband was just right.

The Buff DryFlx+ products are made out of a synthetic blend that is super fast at wicking the moisture away as you log your miles in cooler temperatures.  The materials is also super soft and stretchy giving it a really snug but comfortable fit. Another bonus is that the material has reflective material woven into the design.  Which helps with keeping you visible but also keeps the design looking good.  My only complaint is that there isn’t a purple and/or gold options so I can grab a pair for my XC team to rock out!




I tried out the headband over 3 weeks of running, which included a variety of temperatures. I get earaches pretty easily on moderately cooler days that have a bit of wind.  This headband was a life saver in those in between 40-50 degree days because of the fast moisture wicking performance. I also got to get in some freezing temps and the headband kept me warm despite being thinner than many of my other headbands.  The product would perform best in temps 25-50 degrees.  If it wear to get a bit colder I would consider the DryFlx+ hat.

For the neck warmer, it also performed really well.  I didn’t wear it for quite the same range of temperatures as I don’t typically start adding neckwarmers until we hit freezing temperatures.  The neck warmer is multifunctional as I was able to pull it up over my face when it was cold.  It fit snug on my face and was very breathable.  As I warmed up I pulled it down and kept it on my neck.   Again, because of the fast wicking material I didn’t over heat when I started to warm up and was able to stay sweat free.

Overall, this is a must have set for runners who want to get outside and run comfortably in colder weather. Paired with the correct apparent choices you can run outside all winter long.

I hope this review is helpful! If you’re interested in BUFF® products, feel free to go to https://buffusa.com/bibrave: Sign up for BUFF® newsletter & get 15% OFF.







Join my 2021 Accountability Group on Facebook. It will be all about sharing and supporting group members goals in 2021. 




Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 12 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here



Check out what other BibRave Pros are saying about Buff DryFlx+


Randy- https://runeatralph.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/product-review-buff-dryflx-you-best-protect-ya-neck/?preview=true

Anxiety stole a year of running from me, but I am fighting my way back!

Anxiety is a normal response to stress, something everyone deals with it at some point. Someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder, however, manages persistent overwhelming feelings. Often during everyday situations.

I think I have always been a “worrier” but there was a definite shift for me when the worry became a constant feeling of dread and inadequacy that I struggled with almost daily. This was compounded by a sense of guilt I had. I was happy, I had the best husband and an amazing little girl and a rewarding job as a teacher and recently landed the coaching job I have been dreaming of. Managing these negative feelings left me feeling guilty and ungrateful. I also felt underserving of having so many positives in my life. I guess it could also be characterized as sort of imposter syndrome.

Benefits of Running on Anxiety

Research has shown that running is a great remedy for managing anxiety. Some studies show the benefits of running to be nearly equal to some medication treatments, such as SSRIs like Lexapro and Fluoxetine (Prozac). Along with the physical health benefits, running can help manage your mental wellness.

Running can give you a mental break from the negative spiraling thinking that comes with anxiety. Exercising also encourages the body to release chemicals that help you feel good, endorphins. Many people who struggle with anxiety disorders have troubles with healthy sleep patterns. The physical exertion can help calm the body and allow for better sleep.

Exercise induced Anxiety

So with all of these wonderful mental and physical health benefits it’s easy to see how my enjoyment for running grew into a passion. Well, until it became a trigger and I felt like I had lost my strongest coping mechanism.

When I am anxious my mind races and I can not sit still, I sweat and my heart races well above what would be normal for the situation. When I am really struggling I have panic attacks that can leave me physically sick. The physical symptoms far outweigh the mental struggles I manage. Symptoms including, light-headed dizzy feelings, nauseas, heart rate sky rocketing, sweating, chills and all over body shakes. Sometimes when it was the absolute worst I would have black out vision and begin to loose function in my hands and feet.

The problem, many of the basic “symptoms” of a good workout so closely mimic the symptoms of my anxiety attacks that even when I mentally knew what was happening it was as if my body couldn’t tell the difference. They began to occur frequently and at the worst possible times. Being miles from my car or home and having these panic attacks became down right terrifying.

Overcoming my anxiety

I had to start by getting my body and mind back to zero. I could not move forward without first working on my anxiety issues as it impacted parts of my life that were of much greater importance then running. I took time to first take care of myself and family. I used a combination of talk therapy and medication to help me move past some the biggest hurdles. I feel like I have been relatively successful at recognizing when I am struggling and possible triggers and being proactive about taking steps to minimize symptoms.  

One of the greatest gifts running as ever given me is the life long friendships I have created running. Those friendships have blossomed into an amazing support group when I needed it the most. I continue to talk about how amazing the running community is, and this was another example. To better manage my exercise induced anxiety attacks I take few steps to work on breaking the cycle.  As I am able to overcome hurdles the related anxiety lessons.  Running with friends and keeping my mind distracted is a huge part of that.  Focusing on enjoying the run and the friendship can take always my body analyzing each triggering symptoms.  

What else have I done to help add running back into my life?

  • I run loops and break longer runs up currently. The opportunity to stop if the run becomes overwhelming paired with being a safe distance from my starting point offers a great mental relief and I am able to take those less frequently then when I started. 
  • I have changed my goals to reflect action steps verse outcome based. Which is funny because I am actually seeing quicker results from focusing on the process verse the outcome.  Mentally, I am enjoying the process so much more and I take time each day to journal the positive moments so I can see just how far I have come. 

I need some accountability!   My goal (resolution) is to be consistent in my running and prioritize my mental health. I will share my successes and struggles weekly and would love for you to join me.   For 2021 I am reclaiming my running journey and I want to hear about yours.  What have been your biggest roadblocks in fitness/running in 2020 and what are you doing to overcome them?


Join my 2021 Accountability Group on Facebook. It will be all about sharing and supporting group members goals in 2021.  






RunCanvas 4 year celebration

Wow, I can not believe it has been 4 years since I started this blogging adventure. I started this as an opportunity to share my running journey and connect with other runners. I am just so obsessed with the running community and constantly looking for ways to connect with my “tribe” like minded people.

A lot has changed over the last 4 years and I plan to build on that growth into the new year. Over the last 4 years I have chased goals, over came injuries and built a Coaching business through this blog. I am looking forward to what the next 4 years and many more has ahead. Because 2020 can just go away already, right?!

Boston Marathon was a huge force behind my blogging adventure. I can’t wait for things to return to a somewhat relative normal and take on the Boston Course again.

Looking toward the future RunCanvas will see a new look in the next week, new products and a new line up of content I have been working on for months.

  • New products- including more comprehensive training plans that will continue to be fully customized with added components of a full strength program and injury prevention regiment
  • New content to reach a whole new group of readers and bring back those I have loved over the years. Content will be posted on a weekly schedule. This will allow some accountability on my end and the predictability for followers to find the information they are looking for.
  • New look, will be released after Christmas, hoping to clean up the look and make the site more user friendly.
  • Onsite purchases, we will continue to work through the VDOT marketplace while also allowing followers to purchase products with in the RunCanvas site.
  • Video content and Subscribers only content will be unlocked for all RunCanvas athletes.

I am so excited to reconnect with the online running community at a deeper level for 2021. What kind of stuff do you like to read about?

I have rejoined as a BIbRave Pro this year. I am excited to share new products and discounts. Be sure to check out the discount page!

Got a running related blog? Share you link below so I can follow and connect!

Running Base Training weekly recap- week 1

Woah, so much has happened and it almost feels like the world has been turned upside down. After a long year and some personal struggles with anxiety and depression. It is weird to be facing a pandemic with more clarity and happiness than I have had in a long time. Getting back to what I love about running has been a big step to healing. With things being a bit unpredictable, now is a great time to turn a negative into a positive and focus on building a strong endurance base and include other training components that will elevate my training when races start becoming more predictable.

My short term goals include rebuilding my endurance base over the next 6-8 weeks. Beyond just mileage, I also want to be better about including dynamic warm ups, form drills, strides, hill reps and strength training. After the eight week base building, I will have a better idea of my fitness and can plan the next stage of training. Long term, I am thinking I would like to return to Boston Marathon 2021. The extended qualifying window, means I do not have to find a late summer qualifier which is a huge plus.

Monday– Double Dip!

AM-5.02 miles

PM- 5 miles

Tuesday– 7.01 Miles

Wednesday-Double Dip!

AM- 5.00 miles

PM-3.07 Miles

Thursday-6.10 Miles

Friday-3.00 Miles

Saturday- 12.00 Miles

Sunday-4.00 Miles

Total Mileage-50.2 miles

Along with mileage I completed a complete dynamic warm up each day, strides 2x and ab/core work 2x. This week my focus will be on including more ancillary training to compliment the running I am doing and I will be going back to the weight room.

So how are you using this time to train? Are you training differently now, compared to pre-covid training?

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 12 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here

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