Thursday, June 14, 2012

12 Things I've Learned About Running

*I am so so excited about all of the emails I've received from those of you who want to help with Project Hope. I can't even begin to tell you what it means to me to know that others can see my heart for this and want to join us. I am working on returning emails and you should be hearing from me in the next couple of days!* 


I started running a little over 2 months ago. My first run was on April 10th and I've been going about 4 times a week since then. I still don't consider myself a pro by any means. But, since I started sharing about my running journey here for accountability, and also to help inspire others who wanted to start running,  I thought it'd be fun to share some things I've learned in these last couple of months.

Remember I literally started at running like not at all. Even when I did run in years past, before kids, I never full on ran. I would walk/run. Which don't get me wrong is still hard, but it's not what my personal goal was. I wanted to be the girl who put on her running shoes, and just ran for miles.

I didn't go about "training" in the typical way. But my personality is not a patient kind. So something like the couch to 5k wasn't for me. I wanted to go a little faster than that, but that might not be right for everyone. You have to find whats right for you.

I reached my 3 mile goal, in 3 weeks, by starting at 1 mile the first week and upping it another each week. Once I got to 3 miles my goal was to better my time and get comfortable there. Which I have done in these last few weeks. I am to the point now where 3 miles, is easily done and now I'm challenging myself to go further each time. I am averaging 3 1/2 miles right now and aiming to get to 4 soon. I'd like to be doing 4-5 miles when training for the half marathon starts in August.

All that to say, I truly believe anyone can be a runner. Everyone says {including myself at one point} that they wish they could be a runner, but it's just not "in them." I don't believe that. It just takes determination, hard work, and will. If you have that, then you can be a runner too! 

Here are 12 Things I've learned about running and how to improve as one. 

1. Drink lots of water. Either the day before, if you are a morning runner, or through out the day if you are an evening runner like myself. Hydration is important.

2. Take it easy. Don't just take off running like you "got this." Start out slow and steady to warm up and at a quarter mile, I speed up. Not sprinting. Just a good pace where I'm challenged but not exhausting myself to where I can't finish my goal. I made that mistake on my first week and quickly learned it's pointless.

3. Pay attention to how you are running. If you aren't running properly, you will get soar neck, arms, shin splints and possibly injure yourself. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I had to say it.


4. Get yourself some running clothes. Take it from the girl who went from yoga capris to nike running shorts. Your life will never be the same. And get the shorts that have the built in briefs... One last thing to think about is all I'm sayin. Target and Old Navy have some cute running shorts also. Feeling cute while you run is not a bad thing, I actually think it motivates me more. I also just got some Nike Lunarswift 3's, and last night was my first run with them. I really liked them, but just remember you will never feel 100% comfortable while running. Your feet, calves, abs, butt--might hurt. But thats a good thing! It means your body is working, not that you aren't wearing the right shoes. However, if you are having pain in your arch, or getting shin splints then you might need to be professionally fitted for some shoes.

5. Get over feeling insecure about how you look running. Put your music on and focus on your run. Not the people watering their grass or the girl running like a gazelle next to you. The sooner you can get past your insecurities the sooner you will reach your goals. As soon as you hit that goal of running for a mile straight, or 3 miles straight, or you cut your time by a minute--whatever it is... All those insecurities will get kicked to the curb. Promise. Be proud of yourself, be confident, focus and just run.
One of my biggest insecurities has always been my legs. But running has helped boost my confidence in them and even though they are far from where I'd like them to be, I love that they are becoming stronger because of running.

6. Don't stop. Put your goal in your mind and don't stop. Don't even let your mind go there. I don't let myself walk, but thats just me. I had to learn early on that I couldn't even give myself the option. Like "oh I will just stop for a second, or walk for a second" because as soon as those thoughts entered my brain, I lost focus and most likely did stop. I am big on focus. I have to stay in the zone. Do whatever you have to do to stay there and don't let your mind take a break, cause soon your body will follow.  Trust me when I say that when you stop and go again, it is harder on you. Mentally and physically. So don't. I mean don't faint or anything, know your limits people. But also know you are stronger than you think you are.

7. Find your right time of day. For me I love to go in the evenings. I like to go just before the sun goes down. It is a beautiful time of the day to me.  I love it. But you might be a morning person, go for it. But try out different times and see when it's best for you. Don't try noon when it's 100degress out. that would just be plain crazy, trust me.

8. Use this time. This ties into #6 and focusing your thoughts. Being the mom of 3, I don't have too many chance to just let my mind wander. Unless I'm in the shower, and even then it's questionable that I won't get interrupted. So let this be that time. Sometimes I make my to-do lists in my head, or I like to "write" in my head too. I know that sounds strange, but I write in my head a lot.
Also, you know how at night, you lay in bed processing through the day and thinking about what you have to do the next day? Use your running time to do that. I promise it will leave you more relaxed and at peace. I like to pray and reflect and just process...let my mind wander. And instead of laying in bed awake, tossing and turning, I fall right to sleep now.

                                                                                                Source:  via Laura on Pinterest

9. Make sure you are fueling yourself properly. Don't think you can eat chikfila chicken nuggets and french fries 30minutes before you go. Eat moderately healthy, don't obsess. Think of eating as a way to fuel your body to be healthy and perform well. Don't diet. Please don't diet. I hate the word diet. Just eat in moderation.  I love a lot of healthy food that is good for me, and I don't look at eating healthy as a "must" but a "want." It helps to change your perspective about it. And shoot give yourself some ice cream if you want it. Don't deprive, and don't obsess. That's my two cents. I have lost 6 lbs since I started running, and I would like to lose 5-7 more, but it is not my focus. My focus is improving my runs and giving myself the tools to do well.

I like to eat a banana 30 minutes before I go and I drink this gatorade prime drink. It's got carbs and b12 vitamins and you drink it 15 minutes before you head out. I love it.

10. Try new routes. Don't do the same 'ol run every time you go because you will get bored fast. I started running further away from my house so that I *had* to run back to get home. This helps you up your mileage if/when you are trying to start going further. For example if your goal is 3 miles, then run 1.5 miles in one direction and then run back when you reach that point.
11. Get yourself an app on your phone, or some other snazzy watch that tells you how far you have gone and what your pace is. There is a couple, but I use the nike gps app and love it.

 Never say never ya'll

12. Get some good music. I have found two pandora stations I like.  Depending on my mood, I like to switch between Justin Beiber's {don't knock it till you try it!} because it's got all of the latest fun songs with a ton of different artists. {HOWEVER be warned that I have had to skip a few songs just cause they were, as Asher would say "inappropriate.'} And I also like Elevation Worship station.

Again, I still don't have it all figured out but these are just some things I've learned so far. 
Do you have anything to add? What works for you?


  1. I REALLY want to get back into running. LIKE REALLY. I just need to make time. These next 2 weeks are going to be crazy. We're moving...but after that...I'm doing it. New apartment sits in a beautiful area I can run outside, or they have excuse!

    So proud of you for doing this! It's so good for you!!!!!!!!!

    Keep up the good work!

    1. I'm sure when you jump back in, it'll be like you never stopped. You did great at your 5k!

      Thanks so much-- I really am loving it!

  2. I just started running again. I was training for a marathon and then found out I was pregnant. So, here I am again starting all over. I am an interval gal. I run for a certain amount of minutes and then walk a minute (increasing my running minutes each week). I have a Garmin that beeps at me when to walk and run. It worked for me before having a baby, so I am trying that again. My hardest thing now is peeling myself away from my little man. I work all day and then I need to work out or run at night to lose this weight. Any tips on being able to leave the little ones??
    THANKS! Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy! I have heard great things about interval training! I know it is really good for your metabolism and calorie burn also!
      I would like to get a garmin soon, do you like it?
      And, I am a stay at home mom so once it's time for me to go out on my run, my husband is here to stay with kids {they usually play outside while I run} I always feel so good when I get back though, so I say give yourself that 30 or so'll be happy you did!

    2. Hi Laura!

      I love my garmin! It was a good purchase for the interval running. You can also get an attachment for your heart rate. You can create all different programs on the computer and then it uploads it to the garmin. Very nice. :)
      Thanks for the tip! I just need to run for myself and I will be a better mommy and wife. Easier said then done right now...I pray I can get better. Thanks! Love your blog!

  3. OH, and great job on your running and training! I just started reading your blog and am really enjoying it.:)

  4. i started running 2 years ago so that i could lose weight and get pregnant. i am now more fit than i was in highschool! {i'm 27} your tips here are great. and you should totally check out this smoothie recipe - - i found it on pinterest and it changed my life. love your blog!

    1. That smoothie looks DELICIOUS!! I will definitely be trying it!

  5. love this NEEDED this. there are a few things that i can already tell will totally help me. you have no idea how much i wish we could run together!!!

  6. This is exactly what I needed. I've been wanting to start running. I'm a walk/runner and really look up to those that can straight on run. This posts reminds me I can. All it takes is having confidence in myself and drive. I can do it! So excited to start. Eeek!

    1. Yes you CAN! So glad this was encouraging for you!!

  7. running has never been my fav. thing, but i bought a nike shirt today that says "catch me" {on the front and "if you can" {on the back}, but it totally make me wish it were true. i like the idea of running.

    but, your tips were good. start slow, small attainable goals....


  8. I am loving your blog. I just read "My Story" and you are a strong woman. You inspire me. I had a miscarriage earlier this year and it has really been tough but I haven't lost my faith. I would love for you to visit my blog

    Dreams Do Come True

  9. I just found your blog and I love it! I jsut finished a 3 mile run tonight and feel such a sense of accomplishment...I love all the tips you gave...especially about the cute running clothes...I agree, they make everything better!
    I am now your newest follower! Come by and say hello sometime!


  10. Nike running shorts are the BEST! Yeah for built in underwear!!!

    1. where've they been all my life?! They should build them into everything ;)

  11. loved loved all your running tips!
    i love to run i just wish i was better at it.
    as a mom of 3, it's my 'alone time'...
    and justin beiber?? yes, please.
    i love running to his music (i'm so glad to have found out you like him too!) :)

    question: do you ever get side aches? oh, they just kill me.

    1. Flor!! I've missed you!! So glad to "see" you back :)
      Running is a commitment for sure and with 3 kids it aint easy! I know! But even on days I do less that I set out to do, I always say it was better than staying at home, you know?

      Seriously never thought I would get stuck on JB but his music is catchy, I must admit ;)

      Yes I do get side aches. I ignore them, and they seem to go away. Do yours last a while?

  12. loving those shoes girl!
    i thought i had the same ones - they look the same from the top - but i have the nike frees.

    and nike running shorts are life changing. it took me a while to get used to them, but they are now my fav.
    i get the obsession.

    i have been running off and on for about 2 years. and finding new routes.
    i JUST started doing that this month. um. hello.
    it TOTALLY makes a HUGE difference on the boredom front. :)

    awesome tips.

    and love that you have matchies with your shoes. :)

  13. Yay!! Thank you for this!! I'm going to start, I know I need to conquer the fear!
    And I literally laughed out loud at the gazelle comment...hahaha!! Love it :)
    Thanks again for the tips!!!

  14. Thanks so much for the tips and motivation! I used to run 3-4 mi a day before children, and then due to complications in my first pregnancy, I had to quit. I started back yesterday after a five year break. I am so sore today, but it is a wonderful feeling!

    Speaking of taking different routes, my brother in law is a marathon runner, and once while staying at our house, he went out for a run. He got lost and had to flag down a lady on the road for a ride. He was 15 miles away from the house. Ha!

  15. AHH I have always dreamed of being a runner. Thanks for the tips, so so helpful! I really am ready to be consistent at it. And my husband and I attend Elevation Church and LOVE that Pandora station. Good stuff! Thanks girl!

  16. This is such a fun post! I've been halfway run/jog/walking with the stroller lately and toying around with the idea of signing up for a 10k to get motivated :) This was really encouraging!

  17. Great job on picking up the sport of running. I never ran a day in my life (except away from my little brother!) and then started running 3 years ago. I love it and love planning ahead for 5K's for my reboot to get me excited about running again.

  18. Great tips!! I'm on the third week on the Couch to 5K and am loving it...i'm one of those "slow" people. ;D

    I will definitely keep these suggestions tucked away....:)


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