Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Be Your Own Hero: 6 Strategies to Help You Run Your Best Race



Do you have a hero? Is there someone you look up to for inspiration? Who motivates you to run?

Runners are fortunate to have some really good role models--we've got current elite runners, like Shalane Flanagan, Dean Karnazes, and Meb Keflezighi. There are also legends like Kathrine Switzer, Frank Shorter, and Bart Yasso.

But what about everyday heroes? Maybe it's your running partner that inspires you. Maybe you follow a popular Facebook page--there are quite a few runners who are page admins that have very large followings!

What about yourself? Is it possible to be your own hero? How can you inspire yourself to do great things on the road?



It's good to draw inspiration from others, but the best motivation comes from within. Heroes have qualities that we can all draw on: integrity, courage, positivity, perseverance, and self-awareness. Heroes set goals and by drawing on these qualities, are able to achieve those goals.

How can you be your own hero? I've listed 6 tips to help you on your quest to crushing your next running goal, but these tips can be applied to any situation in life.

1- Set your goal. Maybe you want to run a marathon. Be brave. Choose your race and pay for it. Commit to your goal as soon as you set it. Put it on the calendar and share your goal with others to help keep you accountable.

2- Choose a mantra that will remind you of your goal when you feel your motivation fading. Mantras are simple phrases that you can repeat to yourself whenever you need a little push. For every marathon I've run, I've chosen a mantra. Examples of mantras I've used include: I Can and I Will, Never Give Up, Positive Energy, I Got This, and Relentless Forward Motion. I wear them on my wrist as a constant reminder that I am my own hero.

3- Visualize yourself achieving your goal. I like to read race recaps of races I've signed up for so I can have an idea what I've gotten myself into. Review the route. A lot of races have time-lapsed videos of the race course and watching that can be helpful.

4- Avoid negative self-talk and stay away from naysayers. I'm an expert at negative self-talk. In fact, if there was a degree in negativity, I would have it. This is the one area where I have worked the hardest. Don't get me wrong, I still get down, but it's amazing how much better I do when I think positive thoughts. Hang out with positive people too.

5- Don't let a bad run cause you to give up on your goal. I found a great quote: Never let a stumble in the road be the end of a journey. Evaluate what happened, learn from it, and move on. Setbacks are inevitable. If you expect to achieve your goal, you will.

6- Set mini-goals throughout your training and reward yourself when you accomplish those goals. Maybe it's your longest of your long runs or a certain mileage. Of course, I like to reward myself with running clothes, but it could be anything you want. You could also give yourself mini-rewards after you train.

One reward that I like after a training run is to eat something tasty that will help me refuel my body. Protein is essential for recovery after a hard run to help speed muscle repair. If your body can't repair itself, the muscle breakdown will continue. I have to say that I do feel better if I fuel post run with high protein foods. I'm always on a quest for a tasty post-workout treat and recently I was able to try Quest Nutrition's new Hero Protein bars!


I went to my local Vitamin Shoppe to purchase my bars. I had never been to the Vitamin Shoppe and was so pleased to see how well organized and well stocked it was! I easily found the Quest Hero Protein bars and went to the register to pay. The cashier asked me how I liked them, telling me that the bars just came in. When I told him I was reviewing them for my blog, he asked me for the link.

Quest Hero Protein Bars come in 3 flavors: Chocolate Caramel Pecan, Blueberry Cobbler, and Vanilla Caramel. The protein content in the bars is 15-17gm with only 4 net grams of carbs. Quest Hero bars contain allulose, which is a rare sugar found in figs and raisins. Each Quest Bar has a sweet chocolatey coating, a delicious gooey filling, and a satisfying protein core. Tastes good and calorie free!


I found the Quest Hero Protein Bars perfect to grab when I was depleted after a long run and needed some quick, tasty replenishment! It's always great to have one on hand, especially when you're on the go! I like to run in the morning before work, and sometimes I don't have time to eat. These bars are just the thing to get me powered up after a tough workout to push me through my morning.

Don't take my word for it! Try the bars yourself. They're brand new but you can find Quest Hero Protein Bars at Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, GNC, Wegmans, and other local nutrition shops. I also found them online at Amazon.com and iHerb.com.  You can also get them at the Quest website. Give them a try!

And be your own hero.

What's your go-to for post-race nutrition? Have you tried these bars? Would you like chocolate or fruit?

I'm linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run and Debbie, Susie, Rachel, and Lora for Coaches' Corner!










60 comments :

  1. Love these bars! My favorite depends on my mood.

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    1. I think these will be the perfect pick me up during a busy morning at work!

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  2. I have not tried the bars but chocolate pecan caramel sounds delightful!
    I like your never stumble quote ...perfect for me this morning after I took a tumble.

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    1. Yes, I'm the queen of stumbles! LOL!

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  3. I have tried quest bars but not these particular ones!

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  4. I'm really looking forward to picking up these Quest Bars at my local GNC because the flavors sound delicious!

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    1. Oh my gosh, they are so good! What a pleasant surprise!

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  5. I've been saved from hangry travel moments by Quest Protein Bars, but I haven't tried these. Who knew some airports have a GNC in them?

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    1. I'm always surprised at what stores I find in airports!

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  6. I think the answer of which flavor I'd like is obvious. ;)

    Usually post run is something I've made & it varies. I like to time my runs so post run is a meal (rarely the long runs), but even not working it's still can be hard to do. But I'm more like to eat something nutritious rather than a treat then.

    I always search for race reviews before deciding on a half!

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    1. And I will tell you that the chocolate chunk bar was amazing.

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  7. I have never tried these but they look good.

    I do have a Wonder Women costume too! LOL

    Great advice.

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  8. Omg yes quite often I need a food/drink reward after a run. It's the only thing that gets me through it! I have such a hard time waking up early to run in the mornings so I promised myself a Starbucks if I did it, and I did, so Starbucks it is!

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    1. I do love Starbucks, but the lines around here are so long! I can't believe how popular SB is.

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  9. Ha- Go Wonder Woman! I love the Superhero theme, obviously! I'd have to jump on that chocolate after a race; sounds like it would hit the spot!

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    1. I loved the chocolate flavor--no surprise!

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  10. I love #5 - It's so easy to get discouraged the second something goes wrong. One quote I always remind myself of: don't stumble over something behind you.

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    1. I'm the worst at not letting a failure get to me. I have to draw on my successes to remind me of what I can do.

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  11. Chocolate, caramel and pecan-3 of my favorite things in the world!! I HAVE to give these a try! I have so many heros and many of them are kids that I met while involved with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. A lot of these kids were going through cancer treatments when I met them and I thought they were amazing and strong then, but after going through cancer myself, I am even more in awe of their strength!

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    1. Yes, I would agree with you on those kids with cancer! I see a few of them in my practice and they are pretty amazing!

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  12. These sound great! I love having a protein-filled snack thats easy to grab after a run or race.

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    1. I like them for work too--when I'm dragging in the middle of the day, it's great to have a tasty pick me up!

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  13. I'm slightly addicted to the blueberry cobbler bar. O.M.G.

    And I've been thinking a lot about heroes lately. This is a great post.

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    1. I love anything chocolate, and I'm equally obsessed with caramel. What is happening to me?

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  14. Oh my gosh I love that picture!
    Also, we both did the same post today and both choose the number 6 - hehehe.

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  15. Love the outfit! YOU are my hero woman - for all you have overcome and endured this year - seriously, you deserve it as much as any runner. And I'm always down to try a new Quest bar...off to Amazon...

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    1. I liked these bars a lot-- and I"m not just saying that because I'm a paid reviewer! Or should I say, Wonder Woman liked the bars...

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  16. I've really been noticing the impact of negative self-talk -- or self doubt. I have to focus on convincing myself that I've got this!

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    1. I'm a pro at negativity, so I've got it down. It's the positive self talk that is a work in progress for me!

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  17. I have been really working on negative self talk & making improvements. I love that quote about bumps in the road. You do have to be your own hero. You have certainly done that lately! I have a wonder woman costume I like to pull out a few times a year it's fun huh

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    1. It's so interesting that I've been working on mental toughness the last couple of years--I've sure had to put it to use lately. Who knew?

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  18. I love this post (and your photo)! Great tips for runners! I would love to try the bars, but I'm still waiting for the plant based version. ��

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  19. Great review. I've always enjoyed the Quest bars, I'll have to give these new ones a try. You say calorie free?

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  20. Great tips and I love your outfit!!

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  21. Love the tips! Quest nutrition bars are so delicious!

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  22. I haven't seen the Hero ones but enjoy a good Quest bar now and then! It's true- setting realistic running goals is an awesome way to surprise yourself and nail them. That sense of accomplishment keeps me coming back to running.

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    1. I'm particularly enjoying the sense of accomplishment right now. I don't know how long my body will let me do this, so it's really sweet!

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  23. Definitely my favorite is the chocolate caramel pecan! For sure!

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  24. My breakfast doesn't happen until I get to work, and then it's usually oatmeal at my desk (in between my various job duties). I have an arsenal of "healthy snacks" in one of my drawers...I might have to try these ;-)

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  25. I love that Wonder Woman top! So cute, especially with the new movie out!

    These are great tips for race day goals. Negative self-talk is the one that always get me and I really need to be better about keeping it out.

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    1. It's hard to shut it out the negativity when you're having a tough run or race. It's funny though, if you can push past it, there is such a sense of accomplishment! You can do hard things!

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  26. Great post. Im going to remember these tips as I navigate my way through grad school. That is the most important "race" I am running right now. I've never tried Quest bars, I find these kind of bars usually taste kind of chemically or metallic in a way. And they can be more expensive than actual food. Did you find that to be the case? Your costume is awesome! It's a great look for you.

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    1. I've tried a lot of bars--I thought these were good!

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  27. I might need to try these! I've been scared of the original Quest bars, but these sound not so bad!
    Love your outfit :D

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  28. Bad runs happen. We can't perform our best every single day, but we can't let the occasional bad run convince us that we can't meet our goals. If we do, then we'll never be able to see success.

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  29. These are such great tips! I'm trying to get back into it, and I needed this read

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    1. I'm all about positive thinking and motivation these days!

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  30. These sound interesting. I've had other Quest bars and didn't love them, but these sound like they might be more to my liking.

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  31. I am always in need of a healthy snack during the day but haven't tried the Quest bars. These look really good, especially the blueberry! Keep on being a hero :)

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