Gone for a Long Run! Back Soon!!

Gone for a Long Run

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Run Fast Eat Slow: The Best Cookbooks for Runners

Best Runner CookBooks BlogI’m always looking for new recipes that I can make for my two runners. The older they get, the more foods they are willing to try (thank goodness!) so when I found the Run Fast East Slow cookbook by Olympic Marathoner Shalane Flanagan and her former teammate and chef Elyse Kopecky, I grabbed a copy. When the sequel, Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow came out, I snatched up a copy of that one too!

Each of these cookbooks is full of great recipes, nutritional information, easy prep ideas and running tips! The recipes are based on cooking with whole foods and each book has sample meal plans and a thorough discussion of the basic ingredients that you will find over and over in the cookbooks. One of the aspects of these cookbooks that I like best is that you can easily adapt them to suit your own family. The Run Fast Eat Slow and Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow cookbooks are broken up into several sections including beverages, starters, breakfasts, salads, entrees, side dishes, desserts and condiments.

The cookbooks have a variety of proteins and carbs with a great mix of grains, fruits and vegetables. My kids and I have really enjoyed all of the recipes that we have tried from both of the cookbooks. Some of our favorite recipes are:

From Run Fast East Slow:

Superhero Muffins
Sweet Potato Cookies
Burst Cherry Tomato Linguine with Shrimp
Fig and Pig Quiche (LOVE this recipe!)
Pasta Primavera
Gimme Veggies Fried Rice
Berry Crumble

From Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow:

Bonk Burgers
Apple Cheddar Scones
Superhero Muffins (this book has several more varieties to try!)
Turkey Trot Meatballs
Homemade Pizza Dough and Sauce

Because of these cookbooks, my kids and I have tried several new grains and flours and they actually enjoy our dinners at home. I love the fact that you can make a lot of the components of the main dishes ahead of time, possibly over the weekend when you have more time and store them for later in the week. I make large batches of the Superhero Muffins and Breakfast Cookies then warm them for breakfast on the way to school.

You can learn more about the Run Fast Eat Slow and Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow cookbooks at your favorite retailers using the following links. These links list the eBook versions but the hardback is also available.

Run Fast Eat Slow:

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I’ve Been Running, Swimming & Ice Gardening!?!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure at the bottom of the page for more information*

Ice Gardening, They Run I RunThe long running joke in my family is that I absolutely suck at gardening. No matter how much I want to have a nice landscape with flowers, container gardens and indoor plants, there are very few plants that I can actually own and keep alive.

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Rules are there for a Reason in High School Running

HS RulesHigh School athletics come with a variety rules in South Carolina, and I suspect other states as well. There are rules for different part of a season such as open season, closed season, and in-season. There are rules for eligibility for athletes and coaches alike. While they can seem complicated, I believe that they are in place for a good reason. They keep the coaching and competitions fair for all student-athletes.

There was a recent announcement in our town that a well-known youth team coach was hired by a local private high school but will continue to coach the youth team as well. Since several of the athletes from this high school typically also participate on the youth team, this violates the rule that says that a private high school coach cannot coach an outside team if that high school has three or more athletes on the outside team. This rule of limiting coaches from coaching outside teams if a specific number of their athletes participate also exists for the public schools in South Carolina.

As part of full disclosure, I know this coach and my children used to participate on the youth team. While I respect this coach for her hard work over the years, I don

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I’m What Age for Track and Field?!

How Old Track SeasonTrack season is kicking off here is South Carolina and with a new year, come new age groups for many kids. My kids run USATF meets. Running has different age rules compared to come other sports like swimming. In swimming, kids age up on their birthday so if the day they turn 11 they swim 11-12. For running, you are considered the age you will be on December 31st of the current calendar year.

For most kids, the age is pretty close to their actual age. My daughter turns 14 in June so she will be 13-14 all year for both track and cross-country. Her teammate, who is currently 16, turns 17 on November 30th so he will be 17-18 for track and field season even though he will actually be 16 for months after the season ends.

You can find the breakdown of age groups and birth years on this website: USATF Youth Age Divisions. Many teams will take 5 and 6 year-olds, but while they can compete in local meets, kids have to be 7 years-old to complete at the national level. Also, kids like my son, who will be 17-18 for three years can compete as long as they do no turn 19 years old before the national meet in July.

Some kids love to have January birthdays so they are competing in their actual age all year long. But if you have a child with a fall birthday and they are stuck in an upper age group, remind them that older kids will push them to run faster. Also, as you progress to older age groups there are more events available for you to compete in so you have more options for races and more time to develop your skills in those events.

I know two kids who have birthdays on December 31st. While they both hated their birthdays for track and cross-country running, they both did great running against the older kids which gave them a lot of confidence as they moved through the age groups. So, tell your kids to embrace their new age group this season and have a great run.


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Top 3 Reasons Your Kids Should Run an Indoor Track Meet

Indoor Track MeetThis spring will be my son

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My Version of Farklets on the Track

Track FarkletsFarklets are a common distance running workout. Typically, runners will do their routine warm up and then for the main set, will run a set distance while rotating through a series of hard sprints followed by easier sections. Some runners run patterns for their sprint section and other choose random times or distances.

I like more of a pattern to my workout. Ok, maybe I just like knowing when I can walk a little bit. I don’t really run fast enough to go slow and fast so I use walk and as fast as I can, instead. I like to go to the track and do my warm-up which consists of one or two laps around the track and then dynamic stretches. (My kids taught me the routine.) Then, I do 30 minutes where I run the straight sections of the track and speed walk the curves. Each time I do this workout, I try to run just a little further than the previous time in the same 30 minutes.

The first time I tried the workout, I made it 2.25 miles in 30 minutes. Not too bad considering how much I was speed walking. I’ve worked my way up to 2.50 miles on a good day. I really like this workout, especially on really hot and/or humid days, which seem to be about 10 months out of the year here in South Carolina.

Do you like to run a version of a farklet workout? What is your favorite method?

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Cross Country Team Scoring Explained

Cross Country Scoring ExplainedCross country meets have a different method of scoring that traditional sports. In most cases, the high score wins. But not in cross country. In cross country, the lowest score wins. At each meet, a team is composed of seven or eight runners, depending on the meet rules. Runners not on a team compete as an individual. For each team, the top five finishers among the declared runners will score. Teams with less than five runners so not score points.

Points are assigned as a runner finishes. The winner is assigned one point, the second place runner is assigned two points. This method continues until all runners are assigned a point value. The top five runners on each team combine their points to get an overall team score.

Following is an example of cross country scoring:

Cross Country Scoring Table

As you can see by this example, Track Team A team scored 28 points (1st place), Track Team B scored 43 points (2nd place) Track Team D scored 56 points (3rd place) and Track Team F scored 97 points (4th place). In the overall results, the runners who did not score points (far right column) were not part of a team.

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Cross Country Meet Procedures

Cross country meet proceduresCross Country season is upon us and that means shorter meets and hopefully, cooler temperatures. If this is your first time having a cross country runner in the family you are in for a wild ride. Here are a few things that you need to know about cross country meets that are different from track and field.

Time Frame
Cross country meets are generally short. You and your athlete will likely need to be at the meet for less than four hours. Many meets offer a course walk-through before the first race. This is more common at youth events than high school meets. The meet information sheet will list a time for the walk-through. If you choose to take part in the walk-through, please arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled walk-through time to give yourself time to park and find the coaches. You are not required to attend the walk-through, but it can be helpful if your athlete has never run the course before.

Meet Schedules
The cross country meet schedule will list the race time for each age group. Sometimes, the meet directors will allow the races to run 15 to 30 minutes early. You should plan to arrive 1.0 to 1.5 hours before your race time to warm-up and stretch. Make sure to talk to you coach about arrival times to make sure that you have ample time to get your bib, gather with your teammates and talk to your coaches before you run.

Some cross country meets will require the athletes to check-in with race officials at the start line before the race begins. If check-in is required, information regarding check-in procedures will be provided by the coaches and/or meet information sheet. Check-in is typically required at State, Regional and National meets.

Race Distances
Cross country meets for youth and high school have different race distances depending on a runners age. These are:

2K (2ooo meters) 8 & under runners
3K (3000 meters) 9-12 year old runners
4K (4000 meters) 13-14 year old runners
5K (5000 meters) 15-18 year old runners and all high school runners

What to Bring
One nice thing about cross country meets is that you do not need much stuff. Since you will only be there for a few hours, drinks for you and your runner, pre- and post-race snacks and your running shoes. Yes, parents will need to jog from spot to spot on the course if you want to see your runners go by.

I hope this helps new parents get ready for their first meet. If you are a seasoned parent, drop by the comments and let us now your favorite tips for getting ready for the first cross country meet of the season.



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Cross-Training Days for Runners Can Be Fun

Pool Cross TrainToday, I jumped back in the pool for my first swim in a long time. It’s easy to forget that cross-training can help your running but picking a few days each week to try something different is great for your running as well as your mind. If you’ve read some of my posts, you know that I was not a runner growing up. I was a swimmer and never started running until my kids wanted to run cross-country for the local youth track club. I went to their first meet and asked one of the seasoned Mom’s how you cheer and she

If you’ve read some of my posts, you know that I was not a runner growing up. I was a swimmer and never started running until my kids wanted to run cross-country for the local youth track club. I went to their first meet and asked one of the seasoned Mom’s how you cheer and she said “follow me!” Those few minutes of huffing and puffing made me realize that if my kids were going to keep this up, I needed to learn how to run.

Ever since that first cross-country meet, I’ve been running and try to get some cross-training and weight lifting in there too. I got out of the pool for a while and decided that now was a good time to start again. Just like with running, the first few minutes are the worst. If you haven’t been a pool in a while and decided to jump in for a quick 2000 yard swim, see how long it takes your shoulders to let you know that you should have never stopped! It took mine about five minutes today. 🙂

What do you do to cross-train? If you are in the Charleston area, let me know and one day we’ll go for a great cross-training day or run sometime!




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