Archive for the ‘Lauren Dieterich’ Category

Surviving the Sauna – One Sprinkler at a Time

I’ve been running for 18 years. I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life, minus a 1.5 year stint in New Orleans (the birthplace of humidity).

In short… I should know better.

But for some reason, every winter gives me amnesia, and come late spring the high temps and humidity leave me feeling really confused and flustered. And sweaty. And really, really thirsty. Where are all the sprinklers when I need to run through them?! Why I leave common sense and experience behind and neglect to prepare properly for running in this weather is nothing short of asinine. Every year it takes me a good month to remember how to be smart about dealing with our lovely Atlanta summer.

For survival sake, is it too much to ask for people to line my normal running routes with fire hoses and various other cooling devices to assist me in this matter? At least I don’t think people mind that I frolick through the sprinklers in their yards mid-run to cool off (wasn’t that lady waving her arms and yelling to …

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Social Masochism

Monday and Tuesday officially kicked my butt at work. Finally saying goodbye to the urban rat race of reality at 5pm yesterday meant two things – 1) freedom from a couple of high stress days, and 2) it was time to get my butt to the track.

Said butt was officially kicked again last night… on said track.

I joined up with a local running group – Christian Runners – at their weekly track workout at Holy Innocents School in Atlanta. As a first timer, I’d heard good things about the group’s Tuesday speed workouts, but wasn’t really sure what I was in for. We did a wildcard draw of sorts – various times/distances were listed on cards of which people would pick one and thus seal our fate for the next 2-6 minutes. We covered 4 x 30 secs, 2 x 2min, and 4 x 1min, and more… emphasis on the more say my jello legs. Solid, but intense.

Stacey, a USA Track and Field certified coach, leads the group each week and is really great about pushing, supporting and educating the whole time. It was …

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Back on Track

“I am not a ‘good runner’ because I am me.  I am a good ‘me’ because I am a runner.”  
-Kristin Armstrong

Everything seems to be right with the world once again. At least in the ways of training. The Braves split their series with the Dodgers and Crystal Bowersox still isn’t the American Idol winner. But, hey… we can’t have it all.

As you all know I was struggling on the homefront last week. Life throws a lot at all of us, but I’ve learned to survive with the best cheap therapy there is – running – and a simple pearl of wisdom from childhood… “Goonies never say die.”

With this in mind, I turned my slackerdom upside down this weekend and managed to get myself back on track. Nothing too extraordinary, but after much unnecessary time off, I decided I deserved a little punishment. After a few hours each day of some grueling tasks, I’m greeting this Monday morning tired and sore… but feeling much better. Sometimes all it takes is a swift kick in the arse to get myself back on …

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Confessions of a Training Slacker

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy… It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.

- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ


We all have our moments of weakness.

Cue a week that includes working late on job #1, nights with job #2, errands to catch up on, being a little too preoccupied with the 1st place (!!!) Braves, and an inability to get up before 7am.

(Admission is step one, right?)

I, Lauren, have not exercised in 4 straight days. In the middle of prime training time. And I am using some fairly lame excuses for the duration. Ugh. Coming home to a bottle of Shiraz instead of a run last night didn’t help (something I am unabashedly capable of consuming by my lonesome).

Sometimes I just lack that normal mental tenacity that keeps me on track. It’s strange – I know I’ve been busy, but seriously – what the heck have I …

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A Labor of Love

“Unless we think of others and do something for them, we miss one of the greatest sources of happiness.”    …Ray Lyman Wilbur

We’ve talked a lot about getting to the finish line on race morning – whether slow or fast, up near the front or way back in the rear. But we’ve neglected one critical piece of the puzzle – the true reason we are able to get from Buckhead to Piedmont Park – the volunteers of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

The volunteers of this esteemed event (along with the race management staff of the ATC) are truly what makes this race possible. They corral and organize us at the start. They hydrate, encourage and assist us along the way. They feed, clothe and celebrate us at the finish. They take time out of their holiday to help us accomplish our goal – a real labor of love!

As mentioned before, I began my tenure with the Peachtree as a volunteer at a water station just past mile four. My mom’s close friend Susan Montgomery, a Coke employee at the time, got us …

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Experience the Extraordinary

I’m a little behind the eight ball today – a sure sign of enjoying the long weekend. I slept in (past 9am) for the first time in who knows how long. When in training, I find extra sleep to be a true luxury.

On Saturday, with the long weekend ahead, I drove up to Tennessee to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains. Surrounded by endless miles of singletrack and nice weather, my running shoes were itching to be used, and my body was developing a nervous tick only remedied by covering some training time.

Mile 3 - Making my way to Clingman's Dome along the AT.

Mile 3 – Making my way to Clingman's Dome along the AT.

I decided to do something a bit different – a run/hike along the Appalachian Trail from Newfound Gap to Clingman’s Dome and back – 16 miles roundtrip of some rolling but mostly technical terrain. Somewhat of a lofty goal with a 4.5 hr (self-imposed) time limit and almost 2000 ft of climbing elevation (Clingman’s Dome is the highest point on the entire AT). But I think we all need a little adventure every now and then, …

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Running Charm School – Etiquette 101

Happy Memorial Weekend!

As a granddaughter of veterans and sister of military personnel, it gives me great joy to celebrate this occasion – where we honor those who gave their all for our freedoms and pursuit of happiness. Not to mention… I get a 3-day weekend… heck yes!

I plan to spend as much of my long weekend outdoors as scattered thunderstorms allow. While we’re all outside celebrating with runs and walks (and don’t forget pools, burgers, brats and beers) there will surely be a lot of other people out and about. I figure now’s a perfect time for a lesson in sharing our pathways and enjoying each other’s company, yes yes?

Whether with fellow runners or other pedestrians, we inevitably need to share our running terrain. Many times we get lost in our music, or are trying so hard to focus on our own run that we forget about others. Neither struggling, nor being a rockstar athlete makes us more important or gives us more right to be on any given pathway than anyone else. We …

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Enter the Tin Man


“The runner need not break four minutes in the mile or four hours in the marathon. It is only neccessary that he runs and runs and sometimes suffers. Then one day he will wake up and discover that somewhere along the the way he has begun to see the order and law and love and truth that makes men free.”   [George Sheehan]


I’ve talked of long miles and speed work! Biking and swimming! Weights and stretching! My training is going great! I feel great! Blahblah… blah… blah.

Let us take pause from my annoyingly excited and upbeat attitude and listen to the lactic acid pool.

There is a great quote by Gene Thibeault that says, “If you start to feel good during a [race], don’t worry – you’ll get over it.” I believe this also rings true for any good training period. If you are truly pushing yourself to improve – whether that means running 5 miles when before 3 miles was your best, or fighting for a 40 minute PR – there will come a point, or multiple points, in training where you’re …

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Weekend Warrior With a Case of the Mondays

“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or hump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.”  [Sir Roger Bannister]


Fitting in training around working two jobs and family obligations often means my life is completely planned out hour for hour during the week. Though weekends are busy too, I am master of my own scheduling – meaning I can tackle longer exercise sessions.

woodsrunWaking up early on Saturdays becomes a joy when it means I can replace makeup, heels and driving to the office with a sportswatch, running shoes and driving to trails for a blissful unscheduled and unlimited run. Saturday morning with coffee and powerbar in hand, I headed to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park for a 10 miler.

I’ve been focusing on shorter …

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Running Lingo 101

Do you ever get tired of people incessantly blabbering lingo in what seems like their own special language? Everytime I take up a new hobby or take on a project in a new industry at work, I’m faced with understanding an entirely new dictionary just to keep up. It can be really frustrating, not to mention make me feel like an ignorant outsider.  

Now for the self-deprecating portion of this blog: I’m afraid I’ve been doing just this to all our new (or recently returned after many years) runners out there.  

I mean come on… what the $&@# is a fartlek anyway?!fartlek

Where is Rosetta Stone when you need it?! Don’t feel bad if you feel clueless. I won’t even tell you how disappointed my brother was to find out that my BQ quest had less to do with beers and burgers on the grill, and moreso grueling training to break 3:40 in the marathon and qualify for Boston.

Runners are just as guilty of hoarding our own weird collection of words.  There are words about training and racing, shoes and …

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