Author Archives: nesplin

About nesplin

Elon University Communications Fellow double major in Journalism and Business/Marketing, Elon University Track and Cross Country team member

Running for the thrill of it

By:  Nicole Esplin

Whether you run 3 or 13 miles this week, dedicate your run to the legendary ultra-runner Micah True ("Caballo Blanco"), who was found dead Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Denver Westward Blogs.

There is a joke among my teammates that has become more and more distinguished throughout the past two years.  The joke has to do with the relationship between talking on a run and the pace of the run, and the joke is on me.

One of my teammates told me I should talk while I race, because it seems the more I talk, the faster I push the pace.  Though this seems backwards to talk more as your pace quickens and your breath becomes more rapid, my teammate had a point.

I am not a science major, but I do know from running that endorphins released while exercising have an effect on the body and mind that no other sensation can compete with.

This “runner’s high” causes me to keep pushing, keep talking, keep running even in the harshest conditions, and to enjoy every minute of every run (or at least the majority of runs).

There is a story I have been following via Runner’s World on twitter, about Micah True, a legendary ultra-runner nicknamed “Caballo Blanco,” and featured in Christopher McDougall’s book “Born To Run.”

Caballo Blanco (since this is a running blog, it only seems right to refer to him by his famous name in the running world) went missing on Wednesday morning after he didn’t return from a 12-mile trail run.  Around 6 p.m. Saturday night, his body was found in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

The Caballo Blanco was known for ultra-long distances just for the love of the sport.  A Runner’s World article quoted Caballo’s friend Ray Molina, who found Caballo’s body.

“He was laying down peacefully. No trauma, no injuries. He had half a bottle of water next to him,” Molina said.

It seems only logical that Caballo Blanco died while running, and I can only hope he has since reached his ultimate runner’s high.

Whether you have read Born to Run or not, dedicate your runner’s high this week to Caballo Blanco, and give thanks for the runners you share your highs and lows with.

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Don’t fear the bathing suit season (we have you covered!)

Spring break is 18 days away.  Homework is piling up as teachers prepare for a week of no classes (ugh!).  With all the work, it may be difficult to find time to exercise and focus on eating healthy, but if you put in a little extra work now, you will be grateful when your favorite jean shorts and bikini from last summer fit just as well as they did last summer (if not better!) this spring break.

Take advantage of the following Campus Recreation programs this spring to have fun while shaping up for a much needed spring break!

  1. Swim To Florida–   Swimming strengthens your core, arms and legs, and is one of the best cardio workouts, as the average swimmer burns around 500 cal/hour.  Grab your cap, goggles and towel and talk to one of the lifeguards about signing up for Swim to Florida.  One lap=one mile, and t-shirts are given to everyone who completes their goal of 592 laps to Citrus Springs, 655 laps to Groveland or 792 laps to Jupiter Florida.
  2. Rock Climb with Elon OutdoorsJoin the Elon Outdoors on their March 10 trip to Pilot Mountain, where you will get the opportunity to rock climb outside.  Rock climbing for one hour can burn up to 650 calories, and strengthens your shoulder muscles, perfect for that halter bikini top or tank top!
  3. Rasta Yoga Prepare your mind for the beach by taking this class on Friday March 2.  The class is focused on relaxation, fun and strengthening the mind, body and spirit.   Rasta yoga burns around 150 calories per hour, and helps keep the body stretched and in balance for cardio activities.
  4. Hire a Personal Trainer Did you know that Elon offers personal trainers for $55 for 3 single-sessions or $120 for 6 sessions?  Get motivated with a certified trainer, and hit the gym for a guaranteed great workout!  And plan on being sore the next day!  The fitness center also offers group training sessions for two people, for $270/10 sessions, which comes up to just over $13 per person per session.

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High-Altitude Training Tips

By:  Nicole Esplin

Thin air, giant hills, and cold weather.  A winter trip to the Rocky Mountains can bring all three to your workout.  It can be frustrating to maintain speed and endurance while in the mountains, but the benefits from high altitude training will pay off once back at sea level.

Later today, I leave for Utah for a week to travel to the Sundance Film Festival with a class.  My family goes to Colorado every winter to ski, and I always run to benefit from the high altitude training.  While the benefits are enormous once back at sea level, it can be difficult to run at altitude, so mental and physical precautions must be taken (I learned most of these the hard way!).

Here is a list of ways to benefit the most from a trip to the mountains, and avoid dreaded altitude sickness: Continue reading

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Race into the new year to stay fit

By:  Nicole Esplin           

It’s time to sign up for a road race.  Whether you’ve trained all year and you’re ready to test your fitness in a race setting or you want to sign up for a race to motivate yourself to reach a new level of fitness, sign up for a race now to ensure a spot and receive early bird discounts.

So which race should you do?  The fall and spring are big times for road races, and depending on how far you want to drive, you could probably find a road race to fill nearly every weekend in the year.  Racing every weekend would be economically and physically taxing, so I created a list of my 5 favorite races happening this spring in North Carolina. Continue reading

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So you want to go for a run around campus…

The freshmen are beginning to find their way around campus, the upperclassmen are adjusting to their off-campus apartments and houses, and it finally feels like you can breathe again (without the thick humidity and hectic frenzy of the first few weeks of school).

With this extra time and sense of direction, its the perfect time to start running regularly.  Where to?

The Elon University Cross Country course (also known as the intramural fields) has miles of grassy cut-throughs and trails that can easily turn a boring neighborhood jog into a challenging all-terrain run.  Just past the railroad tracks, the course offers rolling hills and a softer surface than hard cement and asphalt.

When you wear the course out, there are plenty of relatively safe neighborhoods, and parks around Elon.  For those mileage perfectionists who count every tenth of a mile (guilty one right here…), there are great websites where you can track every turn of your run before-or after- you go out.

Personally, I use walkjogrun.net to map out all my runs, but mapmyrun.com is also a great site where you can track miles.

Both sites have search engines where you can type in your location (Elon, NC), and browse through routes mapped out by different users.  Happy Trails! (And roads!)

MapMyRun

WalkJogRun

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Tone up in 10

Nicole Esplin

School starts in less than two weeks for Elon students.  Whether you’re a casual or a competitive athlete, you probably want to begin school in shape and looking fit after summer.  Over the summer working at cross country camp, one of my friends showed me this quick, full body workout that strengthens and tightens your arms, abs, and legs…and takes less than 10 minutes!

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Kickin’ It

Nicole Esplin

Strides can be a pain for many runners.  The last thing most runners what to do after they finish a run in the summer heat is to run repeats at an even faster pace for at least 100 meters.  But they’re necessary.  In high school, I didn’t worry about strides when my coach wasn’t breathing down my neck and making me do them, and I paid for it in races.  It’s similar to doing abs-you don’t realize how much you benefit from something pretty easy and quick until you start doing them.  Once I started doing strides, my kick at the end of races improved, and instead of losing 5 places in the last 400 meters of a 5k, I found that I could even increase my place.

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