Running Update 7.4.17

Hello! Good Morning. Happy July 4th…Happy Birthday America. It’s going to be a fun-sunshiney-day!

It’s 8am and I am currently devouring a Starbucks Bacon Gouda breakfast sandwich and Venti Iced Americano. My go-to Starbucks order. You can shake your head at the sandwich but I LIKE CARBS OK? Plus, nourishment was needed after an amazing 5 mile trail run this morning with my good friend Katie!

Running update #1: trail running kicks ass. I always forget how much fun it is to run the trails. It’s cooler, shadier, and you get varying terrains making street running seem easier (that could be all in my head). It also seems to go by faster (that could also be all in my head).

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Morning smiles after 5 miles

The trail run today felt so good. We did a little over 5 miles in 41:53. There were uphills, downhills, obstacle roots, cornfields, and lots of trees. It felt fast and it felt SO FUCKING FUN.

Running update #2: Running in 80 degree heat at noon is the dumbest thing you can ever do to yourself. My hubby and I were at a cabin all weekend and of course right when we returned Sunday at noon, brains McGhee here (that’s me) decided to go for a run. Setting my sights on 10 miles, I shortly realized “DUH, you know you’re not supposed to run in the mid-day heat.” 10 miles quickly turned into 5. Considering the conditions, the pace hoovered around 8:30 which I was happy with. I did struggle towards the end and walked the last block though.

As soon as I got home, I chugged a Gatorade (Lime Cucumber anyone?), hopped in a salt bath, then proceeded to feel like crap the remainder of the day. On the bright side, I haven’t had to stop a run short due to explosive poops in about 3 weeks. #winning.

Running update #3: Squatting makes you faster. One thing I might love more that running…squatting. It makes you feel strong, badass, and overall better. My legs have never felt this strong before and I believe a lot of that has to do with hitting the squat rack twice weekly (right now, in 2 weeks I will probably only squat once a week). My core also feels stronger and more suited to keep me upright allowing me to use my arms more (if that’s a thing).

Yesterday I hit a new personal best in the back squat at 150 for my 5 rep max and that felt great. What didn’t feel so great? Trying an extra tall box jump, hitting the side of the box, and getting a nice bloody gash on my shin. The second dumb thing I’ve done in the past couple days.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Bloody shins

So there you have it. How things have been going this week, how I’m feeling, hi’s, lo’s, and the in-between’s.

Cheersing you with an imaginary beergarita in hand (because 8AM is too early to have an alcoholic beverage…or is it).

Happy day!



Running for PR’s

Hello! Can you believe it’s already almost July? THIS IS INSANE. Time, slow your roll.

So, a few things have probably changed since last post. I haven’t eaten one donut since, and my running crew (shoutout Kit, Dre, and Bri) and I ran the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth a couple weekends ago. Extra special shout out to my hubby and his bff Ryan who ran the full! YOU GO BOYS.

So the half went swimmingly. However, my commute to the race was like the most stressful thing ever. I’ve done this race plenty of times and usually go up the Wednesday or Thursday before on account of my sister lives in Duluth. This time, I had to go up Friday after work since I just started a new job and do not have any vacay time yet. The trip that normally takes 2 ish hours took just about 4. It was exhausting. To make matters more stressful, I drove over a lift bridge as the bridge was getting ready to raise and almost shit myself. My phone also died and I lost the address to where I was meeting the run crew for family dinner. That was it for terrible experiences though…the fam dinner was phenomenal and after a walk along the beach, it was time for bed.

Fast forward to 3:50 AM the next morning and it was time to wake. You see, the half starts at 6:15  which is pretty fricken early for a run. “Run with the sun” as I like to say. Anywho, we got to the start line, peed, and waited. I was feeling a little tired but ready to roll.

Fast forward 1:47 minutes later and I crossed the finish line with a new personal record. My goal was to keep an 8 minute mile which I didn’t actually do but the PR was exciting. Next up, the Erie Marathon in Sept. Really kicking it in gear and hoping for a Boston qualifying time (more to come on this later).

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Sam’s medal and my medal!

After the half I was freakishly sore for about 5 days. My hips, ankles, and hamstrings were like wtf Haley. So I took it easier last week and only ran Thursday and Saturday. Saturday marked the start of Marathon Training and I ran 13 easy miles that felt like shit. I felt tired, sluggish, and my calves locked up about 5 miles in. But I got in the miles and took a nap about 2 hours after getting home.

I also decided on said run that I am going to share my training experience with you all. The high’s, the low’s, the poop your pants moments, the snacks…a journal of my training program. If you’re thinking, “man, that sounds boring,” well, I’m not forcing you to read it. If you do read it, I love and appreciate you.

So, moving on from running-last Sunday I forced my dog Ruthie to wake up at 5am and go on a lovely hike at the state park in my hometown. I wanted to get there when it opened to miss the crowds.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Climbed a big hill for this view

This is one of my most favorite hikes and there’s nothing like being the only people/animals on the trail when the sun is rising. I would do this every morning if I lived closer to the park…someday 🙂

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Ruthie and I at the waterfall
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Just a baby in nature

That’s it for now-stay tuned for some running posts coming at ya in the next few weeks.



Chilled or Lazy?

Couple things. I’m typing this from a chair in my backyard (I’m thirsty because my dog just spilled my BLL during a hyper spell but I’m also too lazy to get up and get another RN) and the double u on my keyboard is broken thus making it really hard to use (insert double u)ords that start (insert double u)ith this letter.  Please bear (double u)ith me.

So-a lot has probably changed since the last post eh? I accepted a position back at a large corporate Bank and man has it been different. Said position started Monday. I’ve been getting home at 3:30 PM every day since and it’s very strange. I feel like I have so much time on my hands which is nice but also odd.

Coming from a gal (double u)ho’s usually moving around or doing something active it’s been (oh, guess my cue is broken too) (cue)uite an adjustment. Actually, I spent a majority of my time driving to and from my parents house just so I could go on hikes at the local State Park (double u)ith them and my pup. I could take a stroll around my neighborhood but it’s flat and doesn’t have a waterfall running through it. Like (double u) TF Haley. Chill the eff out.

Hiking pals

Sam said something tonight that really struck me. “Enjoy your time-relax…(double u)rite a blog post CHILL.” He’s absolutely right (I rarely say that hehe).

One thing I kno(double u) about myself is that it’s very hard to just sit in the moment and not do anything. I feel lazy, useless, bored (am I really bored or do I just tell myself this?)…Instead of focusing on all the active things I could be doing (hiking, biking, baking, cleaning, running, roller blading…) I need to focus on (double u)hat I am doing. Maybe I am just going to sit outside and drink a margarita for a night. Maybe I am going to take the dog for one stroll around the neighborhood instead of 3. So (double u)hat if I feel like viewing a TV sho(double u) one night…there’ll be plenty of time to be active.

I just think it’s crazy ho(double u) the mind can put so many ideas into the brain. I already got a workout in this morning but my brain is like oh, you’ve been sitting for an hour, you suck. Go do something lazy girl (sadness).

Guess I’ve been active since childhood 🙂

Am I going to be able to fix this overnight? Ha-probably not. It’s something I’ve struggled (double u)ith since High School. It’s something that makes me me. I’m constantly trying to (double u)ork on this-to tell myself that I am worth the break…That it’s okay to not do anything for a hot minute.  But there’s al(double u)ays that part of me that says no, you need to do something.

Do I need to find a hobby? Should I join some sort of club? Start painting? Start a journal (isn’t this my journal?). IDK. Maybe I just need to play more candy crush 🙂 Do you find yourself thinking the same things? Lets share ideas, shut that rude voice off, and let ourselves be enough because (double u)e totally are.



Running in the Rain


It’s been raining for days and that got me thinking…Do you ever run in the rain? Or do you stick to treadmills on the rainy days?

I usually don’t like being wet, unless it’s when running. The drip drop pattern of rain calms me. My mind strays from focusing on how far I’m going, how far I’ve gone…to navigating the darkness of the morning.

I just finished reading a book called “Racing in the Rain.” While it wasn’t about running, it talked about how in the rain you have to drive/race differently. Turn the wheel with care, find your grip, be confident, and trust you’ve prepared yourself.

Can’t we use that mindset in running too? Trust that you’ve trained the right way. Be confident in your form, your breath, your stride. Believe that you are meant to be in this position at this time. Move your legs with care, pick up speed, round the corners, dig in on the straight-a-ways.

Let the rain calm you. Relax your shoulders. Keep going when you want to stop. Zone in on the finish line. Race in the rain.


So here’s to running in the rain- jumping puddles, keeping your balance, and finishing the race with confidence.



Sup. It’s Monday and it’s raining…how friggin fitting. I’m not being sarcastic. I actually find it peaceful when it rains on Mondays.

This past weekend was a wonderful time. We had our first community run of 2017 with the gym I work at (If you’re in MPLS, come!), did some really fun workouts with some really cool people, took my dog to the dogpark for the first time with Sam, and ate a really tasty Reese’s Blizzard. Oh, and tried a Parlour Burger (Shoutout to Dr. Andy for at Well Adjusted MPLS). Like WOW. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything better. Besides the Reese’s Blizzard…maybe.

Anywho back to the community run. We did 5 miles at an 8 min pace and I about shit myself with excitement at this. I have never held a solid 8 min mile pace (I think my PR for 3 miles is an 8:07) so this was great stuff. You might not think much of a 7 second difference but you see, I’m trying to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon with my friends (they’ve already qualified cuz they’re super heros) so 7 seconds is a lot for me.

18209334_10208586870581371_872987215096987449_oNow let me tell you-running this was not easy. My lungs burned, my legs wanted to stop. But then I thought of that one goal and said SHUT UP HALEY JUST RUN. Sometimes my mind gets so dramatic but it’s like, just stop, you got this.

This running season I am really focusing more on taking care of my body because…well…without it, I wouldn’t be running. Haven’t you heard…your body is a temple…treat it right and it will treat you right.

In the past I was not good about recovery. Or even running. I’d run, workout, go for a hike…all in the same day. And the next day I’d feel like crap but I’d do it all again. This time around I’m setting some tough goals and am going to need all the recovery I can get.

I’ll be keeping a journal about runs, how I felt, what the weather was like, what I ate, how I slept…my times…etc. I’ll also be taking 2 rest days. 1 full sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-netflix-day and 1 active rest day (think biking or hiking). I’m also working on fueling my body for performance…so yes, I’ll still eat freaking donuts but instead of 2, maybe I’ll aim for 1 donut and a plate of eggs/bacon…maybe.

Here’s what I enjoy doing for recovery…follow it or don’t…it doesn’t really matter to me. But after a decade of running, I’ve found this is what works for me.

  1. ICE BATH after long runs. SALT BATH the rest of the days. The ice bath really keeps me from getting sore. The salt bath feels so good on my muscles and joints. I recently ordered some new salt and it smells amazing and relaxes me right away. I like to take about 30 minutes to enjoy a soak, do a face mask, play candy crush, and drink Chocolate Milk. Yes, I’m a child.Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
  2. FOAM ROLL. It hurts like a mother but is so good. I especially enjoy rolling out my IT bands and butt. #bootylikebeyonce I like to take a good 30 minutes to roll then another 10-15 to work on my ankles and hammies with a lacrosse ball. #ballerProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset
  3. See a Chiropractor. I started this last summer and it seriously changed the way I recover. I go to Well Adjusted in Minneapolis and wouldn’t go anywhere else. I’ve gotten work done on my IT bands, ankles, and hamstrings and it makes all the difference.
  4. Be smart about your non-run days. Do some strength work, stretch out, play more candy crush, take a hike, SWIM (I’d love to do more swimming), take a bath (salt)…the options are endless.

I get so hungry during marathon training season so I also make sure I always have snacks…proteins and fats (deli ham and avocado…hard boiled eggs).

What are some of your fave ways to recover?

Here’s to a speedy season of running and many PR’s.



Today, I ran…Without a Watch.

Today, I ran without a watch. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. You see, normally I strap Tommy the Tom Tom on and trust him every step of the way. Trust that he’s tracking my miles, my pace…how many calories I burn. Usually without him, I run with my phone to track the same stats.

Today was different. I woke up to the birds chirping, a sun-filled window, and a steaming cup of coffee…and said fuck it, I’m gonna run without Tommy today (I actually couldn’t if I wanted to because he has been misplaced for the time being…mom, is he at your house?).

Tommy-always keeping track of me

So I’m a little OCD when it comes to running. I have to run in even #’s. What I mean by that is I can never end on a .odd (1.99, 2.05). I must always get to that even distance. I also always try to run over the .0 (2.0, 5.0). Just in case my watch would be off I want to make sure I’m going far enough to what I set my sights on for that day. I told Sam that the other night and he looked at me like I was insanE (what a capital E).

Here’s what I learned from ditching Tommy.

  1. Running sans technology is freeing. 

Bye to tracking distance (and those silly even numbers). Hello to running on how I feel. I was more in tune with my body, my breath, my legs, and felt a lot more relaxed. I could just go. If I didn’t hit that full mile, whatevs bevs because I didn’t even know.

2. You don’t have to pause your watch if you stop.

You know I took it slow past the dog park to see what kinds of pups were playing. Normally I’d have to pause my watch or I’d skip slowing down all together and miss out on seeing those precious creatures. Not today. Whatdup lil doggies.

3. You can still get in a good run (maybe faster/farther than anticipated).

Who knows how far I went. I went based off feel and that felt friggin fantastic. When my legs got tired, I stopped and walked it in (to the tune of…”bring em out”…except it was “walk it in”). And you know what-I feel refreshed, happy, determined, and satisfied.

4. I will still run with my watch BUT will  make an effort to try one watch-less run a week.

Because you can still feel like a badass and pretend you’re Pocahontas running through the woods (she for sure didn’t have a GPS watch).

How I feel about running without Tommy

Join me on this watch-less revolution wouldja? Try one run without it. Free yourself for fifty minutes. Focus on your breath. Listen to your body (not the beep of your GPS). Just go.



Think Like A Dog


I’ve been really into egg pancakes lately. You see, the donuts, ice cream, pizza…it’s all been great but sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes I like a less sugary filled meal. Here’s how you make an egg pancake:

Take 2 eggs + 2 egg whites + 1/3 cup oats + cinnamon. Mix all that up and pour into a heated pan on the stovetop. Flip after about 2 minutes. It’ll get nice and puffy. Top with your fave toppers (mine are currently shredded coconut and apple butter). Ya welcome.

I’ve been extra hungry lately and I’m not sure why…PMsing? Running more (shoutout to my husband Sam-after 6 years together, we’ve started running together and it’s the most fun). Squatting heavier? Or maybe I’m growing? Is it possible to have a growth spurt as an adult? Well let me tell you, I’ve been a bottomless pit lately and CAN’T STOP thefeeling EATING.

Feed me and run with me

Now that foods on my mind, let me grab a snack…brb….3 minutes later…

Okay, hello again. Yesterday was a day. I did like 3 loads of laundry (wife of the year), made the bed, took a shower AND a bath (Earth Day’s not til tomorrow), got an oil change, and even got in a run/walk with my dog.

Now, if you’ve never met Ruthie, here’s one thing you need to know. She is a horrible runner. She can go about 1 mile then she gets run drunk. She starts swerving so that I have to jump over her. Then she’ll come to a screetching halt for a snack of grass and dirt. It used to make me sad because I wanted a dog that could run for days, but I’ve accepted the fact that Ruthie is a really great walking mate.

Looks more like a Star Wars character than a runner.

So we ran a mile then walked 3 more. We walked through this super lovely wooded park by our house which always whisks me away to my thoughts.  Yesterday’s thoughts: Fearless Dogs.

I was watching Ruthie walk along without a care in the world. She poops in the grass, rolls in the dirt (like ew-us humans would NEVER), listens to her body and runs until she doesn’t want to anymore, stares down geese without instantly thinking they might attack her…the list goes one.

While this is all normal activity for a dog…it got me thinking. Maybe I need to change my attitude to think like a dog. No I don’t mean taking huge shits in people’s yards or on the sidewalk (picture that). I mean living fearlessly. Not caring what other’s think about me. Wearing the shirt that says “PIT BUL LVR” if I want. Running when I want for as long as I want. Meeting new people and not instantly thinking they’re judging me. Trying new things (I totes need to work on this).

It all makes sense…dogs do what they want without a care in the world. They meet new friends everyday, sniff each other’s butts, then carry on. So next time you want to introduce yourself to someone channel your inner dog and sniff their butt…just kidding you’d probably go to jail for that. But really-DO SOMETHING without fear.

Zero Shits Given

Here’s to dogs-may we know them, may we love them, may we live fearlessly like them.




Running on Donuts (And Pie and Wine)

Hello-this post is brought to you from the floor of my living room. My dog is currently curled up in a ball hogging all the sun but whatever…she leads a tough life and deserves it.

So, I was out of town last week and like most humans do when they travel, I posted a shit ton of pictures to Instagrammmm. Someone (not going to name names) messaged me and asked “What do you eat? Goodness grief I’m jealous of your diet.”

Only picture not of food…hey

Looking back through my posts, almost all of them contained a donut, cookie, or beverage of some sort. Some might call it #foodporn others might call it #carbloading4life.  I prefer “living.”

The title of this blog is Real Running, so lets be real. I run so I can eat all the treats (not the only reason but a big slice of the pie).

Before consuming a lunch of fresh/local ham and cheese sandwich and the best damn french fries, I went for a 4 mile run through hilly Duluth after a morning walk with my sister and her dog.

Told ya it’s hilly

Yes I probably ate more calories than I burned but who cares? The run made my heart happy, the meal made my belly happy.

I will most likely never turn down the opportunity to drink a bloody mary on Saturday morning with a side of fresh-deep-fried-pickles-that-make-you-want-to-dance-with-joy or a glass of red reserve wine from a local winery.

You see, much like going out for drinks and dinner, running is a social thing. You run past people on the street and say hello. You run with thousands of other athletes in a marathon and feel like a badass. So really, I’m not crazy and eating donuts and running really makes perfect sense. Like deep fried picks and bloody marys make sense.

It’s like my dad always says…everything in moderation. No, I don’t eat 5 donuts every day. No I don’t run every day. Because if we did everything every day, not only would those things become extremely boring, but we’d lose passion for them. And I do not want to live in a world where I do not crave chocolate covered-honey-filled donuts. I do not want to live in a world where running isn’t fun anymore.

So listen to your heart and your belly. If you’re craving a donut, eat the damn donut. If you want to go for a 2 mile run along the beach or up a hill, let your legs take you away.




Friday’s are my favorite. They usually start off with a sweet breakfast…maybe eggs and bacon, maybe a donut if I’m extra excited. I like to browse the New Music Friday playlist on Spotify for some new hot tracks. I also like snuggling with my super sleepy yet cuddly little monkeyofadog Ruthie (did you think I would miss an opportunity to post a pic of her…absolutely not).


Friday’s usually bring about some time by myself where I can sit back, re-evaluate the week, and plan for the next. I enjoy this time but sometimes it stresses me out. Looking ahead to a future full of busy-ness. What meals should I prep this weekend, how far do I have to run Saturday morning? When will I wash my hair? Crap, the dog needs food…now I have to go to Chuck and Don’s. Oh maybe she needs a new toy…or 5. The list usually continues to grow and eventually I’ll say “fuck it” and go get a bloody mary instead.

So, how do you find balance between tasks, fun, socializing, fitness, eating, and sleeping? I usually prioritize by exercising first (hello endorphin’s/energy) and then shittiest item to most fun.

My morning list would look something like this:

  1. Run/Workout
  2. Breakfast (becuase no one likes a Hangry Haley)
  3. Laundry, dishes, house chores
  4. Grocery Shop
  5. Walk the dog
  6. Meal Prep
  7. Drink more coffee
  8. Take a salt bath

It’s like man, by that time I am ready for a nap! Lately I’ve been a fan of the 15-20 minute power nap. Anything longer than that and I wake up feeling hungover. Gimme dat nap then it’s time to roll on with the day.

Eventually 5pm rolls around and I’m like “where’s the wine?” Wine time = social time in my book. Whether it’s sipping it at home on the couch with Sam and Ruthie watching This Is Us, or standing in the dance corridor with my running pals, wine always brings on the best conversations, the best of nights.


So take a salt bath, grab a glass of wine, prioritize your life lists, and get shit done.

Catch ya later!


Running out of a Rut


Coming back to a week of real life after a weekend away (tucked away in the mountains of the UP) is quite crappy…sort of. On vacation, there are no alarms. You can play board games with your family for 5 hours, drink 2 bottles of wine, and eat all the gingersnap cookies in the world. You can ski all day, sleep in until 9, and laugh until you pee your pants…but then Sunday comes around and you have to say goodbye to your brother and sister, mom and dad, and it’s crappy.

But then you return home, hug your dog, go to work (best place in the universe!), and get back into a routine. You wake up to your alarm, exchange wine for coffee, wash your hair (maybe), and snag a donut for breakfast.

Know what else makes coming back from vacay easier? Running. Oh, and planning another vacation.

The weather in MN has been legit…50’s and sunny…so it’s like why not go for a run outside? When in training mode, I like to stay on a strict schedule-usually Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. In non-training/sort-of training season, I like to stay on a lax schedule. I’ll take class at Alchemy 5-6 times a week and run 2-3 times a week, trying to get one hill day/sprint day, and one longer run day. Oh and did I mention I usually eat a donut post run? If you don’t like donuts, I don’t like you (JUST KIDDING…kind of).

I’m not the perfect runner-sometimes I miss a run and I’m learning that’s OK (like this past weekend on vacay) . Life would be boring and stagnant if we followed the same schedule every single day right? Sometimes I feel like I’m going to shit myself on a run due to drinking too much coffee or eating something stupid beforehand…again, not perfect.

Then there’s those day’s where I feel like Usain Bolt.


Like holy hell how did I get so fast? My legs aren’t tired, my breathing is on point, even my sweat looks magical (hehe…totally kidding). See, that’s the thing about running. It’s unpredictable. It’ not perfect. You have your good days. You have your bad days. But you always know it will be there. Just like family on vacation (see what I did there?).

So, if you’re coming back from a trip-may it be 2 days, 5 days, 10 days-and need to get out of a sad, depressed rut…just run. Pull your hair back, put on your favorite shorts, and let yourself go. I promise you will come back ready to take on the world.