Running has always been one of those things for me that I thought I couldn’t do. Ever since I was kid, I wanted to run and to be a ‘good’ runner, but I was always terrible and thought I just couldn’t do it. From track and field days in elementary school to joining cross country and track and field in middle school it’s always been this thing for me.
But I was always so bad. I was slow. I had no stamina. I just told myself over and over that I wasn’t a runner after being not good at it. I came up with the idea that people were built to be runners and that I just wasn’t.
Boy, what a lie that is. Even into my adult life I believed this. 5 miles was this magic number in my head that would be huge to achieve. But I never believed I could and never put in the work to do it.
Somewhere around the time I quit my job as a controller I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. I made the decision that in 2020 I would run this half marathon. I went on a few runs with the boys in the stroller early in the year, but only a couple of miles. As we entered quarantine I started to run more. At the end of March I hit that 5 miles. And it took me 59 minutes.
From that point I was hooked. I printed out a training plan online and starting going for that half marathon. It hasn’t been easy, but I am currently at 10 miles. And I really feel like I could have done the 13.1 that day.
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Some tips and things I’ve learned about Running
Running is mostly mental. If you can get out of your head and just do it you can do it. Tell yourself you can, and you can. This is also one of the things I love the most about it. It’s not just a physical workout, but a mental one as well. One that forces your mind and body to work together.
Good shoes definitely help. I started out wearing shoes that were not made for running and also a few years old. Then I got running shoes and it made a huge difference.
Diet is also a big one. You need the right fuel. I honestly did not work out that much while I was pregnant with Isaiah, and it’s been spotty since then as well, but I feel like our plant based diet has made it so much easier to pick it back up. I am so much stronger and have so much more endurance now than I ever did before this diet change. I am still always in such awe of how much better I feel.
Water and fuel are necessary on long runs. When I started I just kind of went out and ran. Then I was getting so tired afterwards and couldn’t figure out why. Well, it was because I was not fueling my body. I got this water carrying belt that also has a pocket for your phone, and I started taking water with me. I also started taking these Gu energy gels on my long runs and they seemed to help a lot! I take one before I run and then another around halfway( or every 45 minutes or so). I have only tried the birthday cake flavor so far, but they aren’t bad!
Start slow, but start! Add 10% to your mileage each week, whatever that may be. If it’s something you want to do you have to just go for it. Stop thinking so much and just do it. Yes, it will be hard. But if you get out there and don’t quit it will get easier, I promise!
The first mile or 2 are the hardest! I don’t know why this is, but I am always dying the first couple of miles and then somewhere around mile 3 I feel like I settle in and it weirdly gets easier!
Plan your runs and track your runs! Seeing your progress is such a great motivator to keep you going on the days you don’t feel like it or days that it’s hard. I look back at my earlier runs and remember how hard 5 miles felt when I just did 8. Or how much faster my times have gotten. I use the Adidas app, and it works great. Daniel uses the Nike app, and I feel like that one has a few more features, but I haven’t made the switch.
Also I use Map My Run to plan out my runs. You can pick your route on a map and it will tell you the mileage so you know your route ahead of time. They also have a run tracker that I think will sync your planned route!
Cute running clothes help but aren’t necessary! Just find what works for you. I ran 10 miles in a sports bra that is somewhere between 5 and 10 years old. I wouldn’t recommend this, but if it’s what you’ve got run with it!
I recently tried out Fabletics and love them so far! You can read more about that here.
Okay, I know this was a long one, but running has done so much for me! It has been so beneficial to me in so many ways! I am happy to answer any other questions I didn’t include in this post!
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