Category Archives: Friday Fives

Friday Fives: Stocking Stuffers For The Runner In Your Life

It’s that time of year again! Stressing over making sure you have a little something to give to your friends, family, coworkers, etc. It can be tough! But worry not my friends, you’re friendly neighborhood runner is here to give you some stocking stuffer ideas for the runner in your life. 🙂

1. Their Favorite On The Run Fuel 

I’m always up for trying new things, so personally I don’t mind getting something that’s not my favorite or that I’ve never tried before, but if your runner is a little bit more picky you might have to ask if you don’t already know. But some really popular brands are GU, Jelly Belly Sport’s Beans, and Honey Stinger.

Anyway, I know I never mind getting on the run fuel! It’s something that I could always use, and it’s relatively inexpensive to buy one or two gels, or waffles, or whatever, and you can usually find them at any local sporting good’s store.

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Honey Stinger waffles are my personal favorite. 🙂

2. Gloves 

If there’s one piece of running gear that I could consistently use more of, it would probably be cheap, throwaway gloves. Now, there are some fancier gloves out there; touch screen gloves, wind resistant gloves, moisture wicking gloves, etc. And those are all super neat! But honestly I’d rather receive a pair of gloves I could ditch at the starting line of a Turkey Trot, Santa Shuffle, or a Hangover Half Marathon (don’t let me lie to you, the only holiday themed running event I’ve ever done was a “run with Santa 5k” in my town haha. But I’d like to participate in others eventually. 😉 ). Also, I have a bad habit of blowing my nose into my hand (and I know I’m not the only runner who does this!!) and I don’t think I’d want to do that into a pair of $40 gloves haha.

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3. Custom Race Bib Ornament 

Did your runner crush a new PR, finish a big goal race, or just has a race bib that they particularly like? I think these race bib ornaments are super neat and a great way to remember a big race!! Also, shout out to my family and friends who might be reading this, looking for gift ideas for me. I think these are super duper neat and I don’t have one hahahaha. 😉 😉 😉

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Goneforarun.com actually has a bunch of cool custom race bib stuff, I just think the ornaments are particularly neat. 🙂

4. Runner Nation Coffee Mug

Fact; runners love coffee. Also fact; I’m not entirely sure how true that first “fact” is hahaha. 😉 But for real though, in my experience, a lot of runners do enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Especially on a day when they have to wake up particularly early or before a long run when a little bit of caffeine is definitely appreciated. And here’s another “fact” for ya, coffee tastes better when it’s in a neat mug. 😉

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5. A StrideBox Gift Subscription

Now a-days there’s a subscription box for everyone and everything, right? Well running is no exception!! StrideBox is a subscription box that comes full of lots of fun goodies for before, during, and after a run!!

So I’m not gonna lie, I was always a bit hesitant about subscription boxes because I was worried that after a few months the products that come in the box would get kinda lame after a while, but that hasn’t been my experience with StrideBox! It always comes full of all sorts of neat stuff to try! And good news!! If you use the code RunningRebel10, which is good until 12/24/17, you can get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription for the runner in your life! Or for yourself, because you deserve a gift too, and I swear the day StrideBox comes in the mail is basically like Christmas morning. 😉

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Again, you can use the code RunningRebel10 to get 10% off of a 3 or 6 month gift subscription!! 🙂 Good until 12/14/17.

So there you have it! Some nifty gift ideas for the runner in your life! Or at least I think they are. Fellow runners, what are some gift ideas that you’d like to receive or give during this holiday season? 🙂

 

 

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Friday Fives: Things I’m Thankful For

I hope  everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I sure did! Luke and I drove to Colorado to hang out with my parents and brother (unfortunately my sisters couldn’t be there…). My dad and I did a 5k around the lake near his apartment, we all hung out, played with the dogs, cooked, and ate a bunch of yummy food. 🙂 It was great. I hope you all had lots of fun as well and didn’t have any issues traveling anywhere. Traffic is always insane this time of year and I’m sure the airports are pretty crazy as well. Anyways, lets talk about some stuff I’m thankful for!

1. My Family

My family is pretty awesome. My dad is the coolest, smartest, most hard working person I know. I’m so lucky and so eternally grateful that we have very similar personalities and that we get along so well. My mom is kind, sweet, and very fun. She did her best to take care of me and my two sisters back when we were all really little and my dad was a long haul truck driver. My sisters (who are twins!) are so smart, adventurous, and always up to try new things. We got into a lot of trouble together while we were growing up, by doing things like dragging each other around off of the back of the four wheeler, or jumping off of the roof onto the trampoline. Good times!! And we still always have fun together. My brother is the baby of the family and 7 years younger than me, but we still get along really well. He’s basically an expert in all things guns and knifes which is pretty cool (his shirt in this photo says “Got Ammo?”). 😉 We listen to a lot of the same music which I think is pretty cool considering our age difference. He’s also a freaking animal whisperer and I’ve literally never seen an animal who doesn’t like him! Even my cat bubbles does and she hates everyone. 

So yeah, my family is awesome. 🙂 It sucks that we all live so far apart now though so we don’t get to see each other as often anymore. I think this photo was taken the last time we were all together, which was for my dad’s 50th birthday in 2016.

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2. Luke

Luke is my favorite (which is what I tell him all the time). 😉 We met each other in 8th grade and have pretty much been partner’s in crime ever since. He works very hard to take care of me, his siblings, his friends, and all of our critters. He’s also super supportive of all of my crazy running ventures and will wake up super early to go stand in the cold just to watch me cross a start/finish line.

We’ve been on lots of crazy adventures in the 10 years we’ve been together and I’m sure we’ve got plenty more to come! So yeah, he’s pretty cool. 🙂

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3. My Border Collies

I can’t imagine my life without these furry monsters. They’re just so much fun and definitely make life interesting! Plus nothing compares to the unconditional love that dogs give. Dogs are great and people don’t deserve them, but oh man am I glad that we have them.

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4. Running

Life would be really boring without running. I mean, without running I wouldn’t have a reason to wake up at 5 am in the summer and watch the sun rise. Or be the only person out and about while it’s snowing. I get to connect a little bit more with nature which is something that’s really important to me. I wouldn’t get to test my physical and mental limits in the way that running has tested me. I’ve met and had some great conversations with some really amazing people and have experienced and kind of comradery with complete strangers that I’ve never felt before. Running has given me a chance to learn, explore, and endure in ways that I never have before. Honestly I don’t know what I’d do without it.

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5. This Blog, My Instagram Account, All Of My Awesome Internet Friends, and the Online Running Community In General. 

Thanks to this blog and Instagram, I’ve found a crazy awesome community of amazing people. Every day I get to share my story, be inspired by other people’s stories, talk to people, and share ups, downs, horror stories, PR’s, family stories, tips, tricks, and everything in between. I’m so incredibly thankful that the online running community and runners in general tend to be super inclusive and supportive and all around awesome. Very rarely do I see a runner putting a fellow runner down. For the most part we all celebrate each other’s successes, lift each other up when things don’t go the way we had liked, and support each other in any kind of crazy endeavor we set out on.

I’m not sure if that’s entirely unique in the crazy online world. But I do think it’s special and I’m so glad that I’ve found it. 🙂

 

Friday Fives: Current Favorite Running Songs

It’s been a while since I’ve talked music, which is kinda crazy because it’s one of my all time favorite things to talk about haha. Anyways, I do most of my running with music because I think it makes running more enjoyable. I know there’s like, a whole debate about whether or not you should run with music and that some people take a really hard stance on one side or the other, but obviously I’m not one of those people. 😉 Can I run without music? Absolutely! I even opt to do it sometimes!! But I do most of my running with music because I think it’s more fun. So here are 5 of my current favorite songs to run to!

1. If There Was Ever A Time – Armstrongs 

Ok but for real, if Tim Armstrong (from Rancid) and Billie Joe Armstrong (from Green Day) could just do a whole album together, that’d be great! That’s probably not going to happen though. Sad face…haha but at least we have this song. I love it. And I think anything by Rancid or Green Day is great to run to, and this song is no exception. 🙂

2. The Sky Is A Neighborhood – Foo Fighters 

Holy cow! This song! This song is AMAZING!!!

Not gonna lie, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Foo Fighters. I mean, I’ve never disliked them or anything, but I’ve always just kinda been “meh” about them. I think this song has kinda changed my mind though. Every time I listen to it I tell myself I need to listen to the whole album all the way through and maybe one day I actually will! Anyway, I really like the place this song takes me whenever I run. It’s like a dreamy rhythm zone thing and it’s great!

3. Fabuless – Stone Sour

I’ve been listening to this song a lot ever since Luke and I saw Stone Sour in September. Actually, I’ve been listening to several Stone Sour songs since Luke and I saw them. But I think this one is my favorite! I especially like it for running because it’s nice and angry  haha. Angry songs are pretty fun to run to, in my opinion. Especially for intervals or hill work.

4. Police On My Back – The Clash

This is one of my all time favorite running songs!! I think the rhythm is perfect for running and it’s a lot of fun to sing along to. Plus I mean, it’s The Clash! What’s not to like?!?!

5. Somewhere Now – Green Day 

This song instantly became one of my favorites the first time I listened to it last October. And holy cow can we just talk about how crazy it is that Revolution Radio came out a year ago?! Anyway, I listen to this whole album a whole lot during the time I spend running and I tend to repeat Somewhere now once or twice because I just love it so much haha.

So there you have it! 5 of my current favorite running songs! What are some of you’re favorite songs to run to? I’m always looking for new to me music, so I’d absolutely love to hear what you like to listen to!!!

Anyways, that’s all for this Friday Fives. I hope you have a fantastic Friday!

~Ashley

Friday Fives: OMG Tomorrow Is Race Day Thoughts and Feelings

Tomorrow’s the day I’ve been waiting for/dreading for a while now and I’m trying to gather my thoughts a little bit, because they’ve just been all over the place this week. I’m pretty excited, because races are fun! I mean, you get to hang out with a bunch of other runners, have roads closed off and the police out making sure you’re safe from traffic, there are volunteers handing you water and Gatorade, and a bunch of people cheering you on, some of whom have fun signs, and hi-fives aplenty. What’s not to like?! You know, aside from the fact that I feel very unprepared for this half marathon. I got injured over the summer, got sick a week before the race, and am already a super slow runner, so being even slower because of those things really really sucks.

So I suppose that basically sums up how I feel, but in the spirit of “Friday Fives” here are 5 thoughts and feelings I have about the Longview half marathon tomorrow;

1. It’s Gonna Be A Total Suckfest…

Mostly because of the hills that I did not train for. So that’s probably just going to be loads of fun. But I’m fully aware of how sucky it’s going to be (running this course twice before helps with that) and I’m ready to embrace it. There have been a couple times in this training cycle that I said I wanted to hurt, and I guess I’m finally going to get my wish tomorrow! And I guess at this point I’ve just kinda hyped myself up so much for it that I’m just like “Yes! Bring on the pain!!!”. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not though. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. 😉

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At least the course is pretty, being around a lake and all. 😉

2. It’s Going To Be Another Warm Year. 

Ok, so the weather isn’t going to be that bad. As of yesterday they’re calling for a high of 46 degrees a low of 41 and it’s supposed to be cloudy with a chance of rain (which is great for me!). But this race is held on the second weekend of November. I’ve signed up for this race 3 years in a row now hoping that it would be nice and cold out. But 3 years in a row, the high has been around 50 degrees. I’m about 2 seconds away from turning this into a climate change thing, but that wasn’t my original intent for this post, so I’m gonna stop there. Just know that I’ve been kinda disappointed that the weather has yet to be as cold as I’d wish it would be during this race.

But fun fact! The very first year they held this race, the only year I have not run it so far, race day fell on my birthday and they got some snow flurries. So yeah, I wish I would have done it that year, but I was not ready for a half marathon at that point of my life and I had no idea that this race or the KC Running Company even existed back then, so there’s that hahaha.

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3. I’ve Still Got A Few Things I Need To Get Done.

So usually I’m super on top of preparing for big events like this, but I’ve been very lax about it all this year. I mean, I’ve gotten my gear and fuel plan all figured out so at least there’s that. But I still need to make a playlist (because I like running with music damn it!! 😉 ), figure out where I’m going to keep my fuel (why does running gear have so few pockets???), pick up a throwaway jacket and gloves, bananas, chap stick. I’ve also got to go to packet pick up at some point this afternoon. I should theoretically get all of that done today though. And maybe it would be a good idea for me to come up with some kind of race plan? But meh. I’m not too worried about it honestly. As long as I keep moving forward I’ll make it to the finish line and that’s really my only goal. 🙂

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But hey, at least I know what I’m gonna wear! 😉 

4. I’m Excited! 

I know I’ve been a bit of a negative Nancy about things going wrong during this training cycle, and I do think this half marathon is gonna be super hard and suck and be painful but I’m still excited for it! I’m excited to line up at the starting line, thank all of the volunteers and police officers (seriously, if you wanna take your mind off of running for a little bit, start thanking all of the people out there making the race possible for you. It helps and everyone volunteering definitely deserves A LOT of recognition for what they’re doing), talk to other runners, hi five spectators, and crossing the finish line. I’m also excited to be ridiculous and laugh with the race photographer at mile 11, have a volunteer tell me I really made sure that my timing chip was secured to my shoe (because so far someone has said something about it at EVERY. SINGLE. RACE. I’ve done hahaha), get my medal, and partake in whatever food that will be at the finish line this year. Last year it was chili, which I didn’t think was a great choice…and this year they did not specify anything in the participant’s guide, so I guess I’ll just find out what it is when I get there! 😉

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5. I Get A Sweet Hoodie, Nifty Medal, and My Streak With This Race Continues! So Totally Worth It. 

I think this might actually be more than one point, but I’m just gonna roll with it. 😉 So first off, the participation shirt for this race has just gotten better every year! This year it’s a pretty sweet hoodie, and I’m actually going to go pick that up along with my bib number later today! I’m pretty stoked about that. 🙂 And the finisher’s medal is pretty nifty too! Although I think I liked last years better, but still, not too shabby! Along with some neat finisher’s stuff, I get the pride of crossing another finish line and of completing this race 3 years in a row. And that’s a streak I’d like to keep going for as long as I possibly can!

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Friday Fives: Things I’m Excited For in November!

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November is one of my favorite months of the year!! I kind of already talked about that, along with some thing’s I’m excited about here, but hey, I figured I could go into a little bit more detail about what they are and why I’m excited about them again! 🙂

1. The Longview Half Marathon 

Not gonna lie, I’m partly dreading this one haha. This training cycle has not gone well for me. I spend almost two months over the summer injured and unable to run and then I got sick on Tuesday and was unable to do much running this week. That coupled with a lot of life stuff that’s been going on and I’ve been dealing with, I just don’t think I’ve done enough work to be able to run this half without doing a whole lot of suffering. If my most recent long runs are any indication, well then this thing is gonna be absolutely miserable.

I’m still excited for it though! This is going to be my 3rd half marathon and the 3rd year in a row that I’ve run this specific race (and since the KC Running Company has only been putting on this race for 4 years now, I think that’s really neat!). This race is becoming my November tradition and I want to run it as many years in a row as I can, so I definitely can’t back out on it now, when I’m so early into this little streak I’ve created for myself!

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2. My Birthday! 

Yay! I’m gonna be 26 years on on the 15th of this month!!

I think I might be getting to that age when some people (especially women) start getting a little bit self conscious about their age and don’t exactly want to celebrate birthdays anymore. I say that because I see a bunch of people I went to high school with post on Facebook complaining about how their getting “old”. I’m not entirely sure if they mean it or not though. Either way, I don’t think that at 25 going on 26 years old that I have enough life experience to be self conscious of my age. And honestly I don’t think I’m ever going to be the kind of person who is. It’s just a number, right? And besides, birthdays are fun! I mean, people spend the day acknowledging the fact that they’re glad you were born and celebrating the fact that you’ve traveled around the sun, well, 26 times in my case, but obviously that varies depending on how old you are. How neat is that?! 🙂

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3. Traveling to Colorado for Thanksgiving! 

Obviously Thanksgiving is usually a lot of fun in and of itself. You get to spend the day (hopefully) surrounded by family, stuffing your face full of turkey, pie, and all sorts of goodies, while thinking about all of the things you’re thankful for. But this year should be even more exciting because Luke and I are going to be spending Thanksgiving day with my mom, dad, and brother in Colorado. I don’t exactly get to see my family very often now that they live 10 hours away, so I’m excited to see them! I mean, neither of my sisters will be there. One has to work and the other’s husband just got home from being deployed in Europe so they want to spend some time alone, but at least I’ll get to see my parents and brother! I actually got to see my mom and brother over the summer, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen my dad, so I’m super stoked about that!!

 

4. The Coming of Colder Weather! 

We’ve had some pretty nice days in October, and even a few pretty cold days, but November usually brings much colder weather and I can’t wait! Cold weather running is sooo much better and so much more fun than warm weather running.

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5. Christmas Season!! 

For me, Christmas season starts in November. Now, I’m not one of those people who start decorating and playing Christmas music and what not the second the clock strikes midnight on November first. But in my family it was basically a tradition to start decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving day. I wont be able to do that this year, since we’ll be in Colorado on Thanksgiving (well, unless my mom and dad want to decorate their apartment that is), but I will the second I get home! Plus Christmas season is such a fun, magical time of year, so I’m gonna celebrate as long as possible, dammit! 😉

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What are some things that you’re excited for this month? 🙂

Happy Friday and November, everyone!

~Ashley

Friday Fives: Birthday Wishlist

Yay! My birthday is next month!! I’m gonna be a whole 26 years old. Fun times! 🙂 Haha so I figured why not share 5 things from my birthday wishlist, because not gonna lie, I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to write about for this “Friday Fives” post hahaha.

So pay attention family and friends who might be reading this! I know I’m pretty terrible at giving you guys gift ideas (I’ve been told this several times by many different people hahaha). So here you go! 5 specific things that I want/could use. 🙂

1. Thick Socks

First off, I love getting socks as gifts! My feet are always super cold in the winter and I’m really good at wearing holes into socks, so I always need new ones. But I like the super, crazy, super thick and warm ones for the winter months! They keep my piggies nice and cozy and prevent them from freezing off on our hardwood floors.

Also, yes, I do prefer men’s socks. They’re usually thinker and last a lot longer (not sure why that is). And I know that spending $12 on a single pair of socks might seem a bit crazy (the socks that are pictured below are my favorite brand and run around $12 at Bass Pro Shop) but trust me, it’s worth it!!

2. A New Hoodie 

Since my new one was ruined in a conflict between my dog and some other dog who’s asshole owner was letting it run loose. Also preferably a men’s hoodie. I don’t like women’s hoodies. They are always too short and ride up and it’s super annoying…

Anyway, this Green Day one is a good one! Albeit kind of expensive.

3. All Of The Cute Headbands/Bows/Hair Clips 

My hair is currently at a super awkward length. Headbands/bows/hair clips help. 😉 Hottopic has some pretty good ones.

4. Sleeping Beauties

Stephen King and his son Owen King co-authored this book together. I MUST READ IT!!! And I mean, Stephen Kind is my all time favorite author anyway, so either way I was gonna have to read it. 😉

5. Honey Stinger Waffles 

A strange thing for one to ask for for their birthday? Perhaps. But these are my go-to running fuel and I could always use them!! 🙂

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Alright, I am aware and fully acknowledge that that was a super lame “Friday Fives” but hey, they can’t all be winners haha. 😉 Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Friday and a fantastic weekend!

~Ashley

 

Friday Fives: You Might Be A Runner If…

Haha yeah, I’m taking a page out of Jeff Foxworhty’s book, what of it? 😉

But I’m always amused and intrigued about what makes us runners so different from all of the non-runners out there. Because lets be honest, people who do run are most definitely different than the people who don’t. And that’s not a bad thing! being different is a great thing if you ask me! It’s just funny to think about all of the stuff that runners find normal or things that are just a regular part of their everyday life, that maybe someone who doesn’t run (or doesn’t live with a runner, at this point my husband is very used to all of my weird runner habbits 😉 ) would find to be strange.

I personally think there are a lot of things runners do that would probably be considered strange to anyone else, including myself several years ago before I started running. But since it’s Friday, we’re gonna stick with five for now. 🙂

1. You tuck your headphones into your shirt, even when it’s not exactly necessary. 

Ok first off, if you don’t keep your headphone wire under your shirt you totally should (if you run with headphones that is)! It will literally change your life! Haha it sure changed mine! And I know I can’t be the only one who gets super duper annoyed by that wire swinging all over the place.

So maybe this isn’t necessarily all that strange, but now every time I see someone else with they’re headphones tucked under their shirt I wonder if they’re a runner/some other kind of athlete. Because at this point I do it out of habit every single time I put in my headphones haha.

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So you can kinda see my headphones in this photo haha. But as per usual they’re under my shirt, even though it was totally unnecessary to have them there.  


2. You think Poop, snot rockets, gross feet, the color of your pee, pretty much any subject involving bodily functions is not off limits. Especially when talking to other runners. 

In my experience runners tend to be much more comfortable about talking about their bodies and bodily functions. I mean, we all know how necessary the pre race poop is, how snot rockets are actually an art form, wear every blister, callus, and black toe nail as a badge of honor, and that the color of your pee can provide you with some pretty useful information! Haha and we aren’t afraid to talk about it either!! At my last half marathon I overheard two people who, as far as I could tell, were complete strangers talking about having the nervous poops before the race. And no one was at all put off by their conversation! Hell, other people were joining in too, it was great! I think it’s pretty great that we can talk about those kinds of things without it being weird. I think everyone should be more open about normal bodily functions because it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

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Haha this actually wasn’t a running related injury, but it is the only photo of a black toenail that I have. 😉 

3. You NEED to bring a water bottle with you wherever you go because hydration is important!!! 

Speaking of the color of your pee, keeping it at that nice light yellow color (think the color of lemon juice, if it’s the color of apple juice you might want to drink some more water. 😉 ) can be a lot of work. So whenever you’re out and about it’s usually a good idea to bring water with you. So I guess you could also say you might be a runner if you’re really good at finding bathrooms, because staying hydrated requires frequent bathroom breaks.

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I rarely go anywhere without a water bottle haha. 

4. You’re the first to leave the party, go home, or go to bed. 

Because hey, more likely than not you’ve got a long run, or race, or hard workout scheduled for the next day and you want to be well rested for it. Or you may just need to wake up early to get it done for whatever reason. Either way, you gotta admit that it takes some hardcore dedication to say no to one more beer, one more game, one more hour, one more chapter, you get my point, and get into bed at a reasonable hour. 😉 But 9 times out of 10 its totally worth it!

5. You Consider Waking Up At 8 am “Sleeping In”

Obviously that kind of depends on an individual’s work/school scheduled, but it’s been my experience that a lot of runners would rather get their workouts done first thing in the morning. And sometimes that means waking up at 6, 5, or even 4 in the morning. So when you’re consistently getting up that early every day sleeping until 7 or 8 am can feel likes sleeping in late. And bonus points if you get a weird look from your friend, family member, or coworker when you tell them you totally slept in late and felt like half of your day was wasted because you slept in until 8. 😉 Honestly one of my favorite things about being a runner is that I often wake up, eat, run, eat again, and shower, all before most people have even gotten out of bed.

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Runners do weird stuff. But that’s part of the reason why being a runner is so freaking awesome! 🙂