Here is the real story behind the name of my blog. No, I do not actually stand on the side of the road with that sign, but yes, I do put in some extra mileage for food. This is actually a great way to trick yourself into doing a longer run; two of my longer runs this year resulted from this strategy and I barely even noticed! It is also a great way to break up the monotony that running or working out everyday can sometimes bring. Ready?
Step #1: What is your favorite food? Could you run after eating it? If not, reassess…
Step #2: Consult Yelp. Type this treat into Yelp and look at your options (always look at reviews too! There is nothing more disappointing than looking forward to something and having it be subpar). What is a reasonable distance that you would run? I usually look for things that are 4-7 miles away.
Step #3: GoogleMaps. Find your route. If you’re not familiar with the area, I would suggest bringing your phone with you if you don’t already. I never run with music, but I usually bring my phone with me on these adventures just in case I get lost. And for photographs.
Step #4: Stuff your credit card or some money in your pocket/sports bra/shorts, lace up your shoes, and go!
My destination of choice is always frozen yogurt. Luckily, I can run after I eat pretty much anything in small enough quantities, and fro yo is the perfect snack. Last weekend, after lamenting the fact that I was home from California and frozen yogurt places were no longer present on every corner, I looked at Yelp just to see what was in the area. Astonishingly, there were multiple places I hadn’t tried yet! One of them, called Twisted, was 6.1 miles away. I had already biked that morning and wasn’t really planning on working out again, but the thought of a new frozen yogurt place was so tempting that I had to go. I also don’t run 12 miles on a regular basis, and the times I do run that far, I usually plan it in advance (and even then, I usually get bored after about 9 miles and sometimes end it early :/… happens to the best of us). But with this goal in mind and broken up into two 6-mile segments, it seemed easy!
On the way there, I barely gave thought to anything except the few turns I had to make. Forty-two minutes later, I was there, a bit faster than I might have expected. After standing outside trying to (unsuccessfully) cool off for a bit, I ventured inside. It had definitely been worth the run. A good variety of flavors and toppings, whipped cream, and my favorite—cones! Chocolate dipped waffle ones to be exact. I will definitely be coming back sometime! I sampled a few flavors, made my creation (earned a few compliments on it as well), enjoyed it immensely, and jogged back home. Not quite as fast as I ran there, but at the end of the day, it was twelve more miles than I might have done otherwise!
Earlier this year, I ran the equivalent of a half marathon twice to frozen yogurt and back. There were also multiple times that I just didn’t feel like putting in an extra workout, but with the goal of fro yo in mind, I pushed myself out the door. There is another undiscovered frozen yogurt place 11 miles away, so maybe that will be next on my list. I’ll have to work on convincing someone to meet me there with a car… Or maybe it will be my first attempt at a 20+ mile day.
I wouldn’t recommend employing this strategy with McDonald’s or a Mexican restaurant, but otherwise, pick your favorite treat and run to get it! You can trick yourself into doing longer, faster, and more running that you might have imagined. Another added bonus: your metabolism is fastest right after you work out, so if you indulge a bit, you will burn the calories away more quickly. And the fact that you have to run back afterwards hopefully reminds you not to go too crazy.