Good Morning Fellow New Runners!!

**Yes, I am aware I “borrowed” my headline from the amazing ladies at Another Mother Runner.  Click on the link to see what you are missing…it is a website chock full of great stories, tips and links to their hilarious and amazing books. 

Well, I did it.  My first ever 13.1 mile training run.  It took longer than I wanted and I certainly ached more than I expected during it, but I can no longer ask myself “if” I can complete a half marathon.  Now I know I can.  

4:30am wake up call on Saturday?  Must be a runner!

4:30am wake up call on Saturday? Must be a runner!

VERY early (5:15am) last Saturday morning,  I met up with my running partner and we headed off on long run.  Neither of us had a good running week the prior week.  We were both battling sickness, me a nasty head cold/chest congestion/sore throat thing and she a stomach virus.  So neither of us completed our weekday training runs like we should have.  But, like the troupers all us runners are, we set off on Saturday morning determined to at least get some miles in.

The first couple of miles weren’t hard, but it was darn hot out so we stopped for water breaks almost every mile.  My running partner had more stomach issues during the run so we kept walking for longer than either of us wanted.  With the walk breaks, our legs and feet started aching.  However, that eternal struggle that all distance runners know made us keep going.  We had to get back to where we parked our cars.  So, the last 3 miles we put our headphones in and trudged through.  I kept going until my Garmin read 13.10.  Man oh man was I excited to see that!  Even though my running partner has completed quite a few half marathons and is currently training for a marathon, this was her first 13.1 training run as well.  

We had to get to our cars to take us the food!!

We had to get to our cars to take us home…to the food!!

Source: Runners World

Once we got back to our cars, the aches and pains subsided into joyous elation that we had done it!  We downed a bottle of water each (we had both gone through the 4 8oz water bottles on our hydration belts during our run, summer running in Florida is fun!) and headed home, she munching on a banana, me on my protein shake.  What a way to start the day.

Enjoy the Run!



New Running Lessons..from a New Runner

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!


I’ve seen so many people post about their “run-a-versary” but honestly I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone when I started running.  Even still, I feel as though I’ve learned a lot within the past year and I wanted to pass along my top 5 mistakes lessons I’ve learned in my first year of running:

So, you’ve decided you want to try this whole “running” thing. You’ve laced up your shoes and took your first steps. Way to Go!  As you get into running more and more you will realize there is lots to learn! 

  1. The “I am not a REAL runner” mantra: You know…only those people who are training for a marathon are the “real runners”.  Those people who can run really fast or who can go really far are the real runners.  Not me.  Excuse me…do you run more than you walk?  Do you go a little bit farther every time?  Then you are a runner.  End of discussion. runner
  1. Not wearing proper shoes.  Make sure you go to a running store (Floridians..FitNiche is simply amazing) and get a proper fit.  Ensure you know their return policy in case you need it.  You will most likely increase your mileage as you get into your new passion and your shoes will make all the difference.

                            2A. For my fellow ladies. Get fitted for and invest in a really good sports bra. Trust me on this.

Saucony's rock!

Saucony’s rock!

  1. Hydration and good nutrition everyday are key.  Believe me, no one was more bummed than I was to learn that sweets and beer do not count as “carb loading”.  Your runs will be easier when you take care of your body and what fuels it. Also, hydration is so important, especially if you are running in the summer.  At least 10 glasses of water every day, and I would argue that at least one of those glasses should have an electrolyte replenishing drink if you are going for a long run the next day or just came from one. 
    Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.

    Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.

  1. EAT/DRINK PROTEIN SOON AFTER A RUN.  This seems logical, but let me explain.  I would get debilitating, pounding headaches after long runs.  I would drink water like crazy, but I was never really hungry so I would wait a few hours after my run to eat something.  Big mistake.  If you are going for a long run, have something to eat very soon after.  Go for something with a nice mix of carbs and protein.  Once I started having a protein drink 10 minutes after my long run, my headaches completely vanished. 
    Any excuse to have chocolate is alright in my book.

    Any excuse to have chocolate is all right in my book.

  1. Find a running buddy.  Usually I run alone, happily listening to music, a podcast or just the thoughts in my head. However this can get lonely!  The best runs I’ve had are the ones with other runners.  The time goes by faster because you are chatting and, if you run with someone just a bit faster than you, your pace will ultimately improve.  Plus you can ask all sorts of running questions because if there is one thing other runners love to talk about, it is running.
    running partner

    Yep, she counts as a running buddy, our conversations are hilarious!


    Did I miss anything?  Please give me one piece of advice you’d give a new runner!!

Enjoy the Run!


No Long Run Saturday

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

Admittedly, I sometimes slack off change up my weekly running routine.  Some weeks I’ll run 4 days, varying distances and speeds.  Other weeks I’ll only run twice and the same distance each time.  Depends on my mood, the time I have and yes, even the weather.  The one run I rarely miss or mess with is my Saturday long run.  My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturday and the clothes are always laid out.  Generally the lengths vary from six to ten miles, but never less than that.

My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturdays!

My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturdays!  Source

This past Saturday I missed my long run.  Yep, didn’t even try to get it done.  You know what?  I’m OK with that.  Let me explain:

Due to my recent uptick in running (coming back from my medical leave, I jumped back in full force) I am dealing with Runner’s Knee in both knees.  One hurts when I run, the other hurts only when I am not running.

I worked all day Friday on, literally, 2 hours of sleep from the night before.

While I am technically in training for the Tower of Terror, my “all hands on deck” training for my Space Coast half marathon doesn’t start until August.

So when my daughter came crashing to my room at 7am on Saturday and actually woke me up, I felt a twinge of sadness and guilt for not running.  However that all vanished when I stood up and my knees still hurt and when I realized I was still exhausted from my lack of sleep on Thursday.  As my brain switched on, I decided would rather take the necessary breaks NOW vs. being sidelined in the throes of training for both races and even closer to the actual runs.

Sometimes we amateur runners need to remind ourselves that missing a run here and there is not the end of the world.  Life gets in the way of our runs and not only is that OK, it is a good thing!  There is more to life than just running!  Shocking…I know!  As we get closer to my big races I already know that my training will become a higher priority, but for right now, I am allowing other parts of life to consume me more.

The best part of missing that run on Saturday?  Saturday night my daughter asked if we could go for a run Sunday morning.  So we did.  It was the most fun I’ve had on a run I dare say, ever.  The run was effortless, the conversation fun and funny and once we were back on our street she climbed out of the stroller and wanted to run herself.  Stopping to pick up the occasional leaf and to say hello to the slugs and bugs she saw, this actually became an interval session.  It was a blast!  If I had gone on my long run on Saturday I know I would have told her a run on Sunday was not possible.  That mommy needed to rest.  I would have missed out on this super fun, memory making run.

The munchkin & I on our Sunday run, with our "matching" Garmins

The munchkin & I on our Sunday run, with our “matching” Garmins

Enjoy the Run!



Can a Morning Person become an Evening Runner?

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

Confession time: I am a morning person.  My internal clock is set for 6am and I wake up ready to go.  The morning is when I am most energized and ready to attack the day.  It is the time of day when most of the items on my to do list are checked off.  Morning is absolutely when I run.

This isn't quite how I look when I wake up, but close..

This isn’t quite how I look when I wake up, but close..

So what is a morning girl to do when she can’t run in the mornings?  My husband recently got a new schedule at work, one that requires him to be at work in the middle of the night and stay there until the early afternoon.  With a 2 year old at home, my morning runs went from a given to a luxury.

Yep, we love it!

Yep, we love it!

Sure I can put her in the jogging stroller, but by the time we grab her breakfast, the 30 different toys she swears she needs for a 30 minute outing and we go potty 5 times I’m already exhausted and I haven’t even gotten out the door.

I can go for a run when my husband gets home from work.  Except that I live in Florida and as of noon today it is already 90 degrees…in the shade.

Really the only good time for me to run is my least likely time of the day to get anything accomplished…evening.  Most evenings I’m too exhausted to even turn on the computer, let alone go for a run.  However one day last week, I decided I would give it a try.

This isn't me (I don't need to wear pants to run in the Florida summer heat!)

This isn’t me (I don’t need to wear pants to run in the Florida summer heat!)

After my daughter went to bed and my husband fell asleep, around 8pm, I left the house.  It was still warm but with the sun setting it wasn’t too bad.  The first few steps were awkward and yep, the first people I saw I said “Good Morning” (force of habit). But you know what, it was pretty darn fun!  It was great to see so many neighbors out and about.  It was fun to see kids playing and see how pretty the neighborhood looks in the light.  Once I got home, I had a glorious 30 minutes of alone time to stretch and cool down and after a shower and my usual evening tea, I was actually ready for bed!  It was awesome!

In short, this morning girl really loved her evening run.  Even though I’ll miss my morning runs (I still plan on doing my long runs in the morning) it was a really fun way to wind down and end the day.  I highly recommend trying to run at a different time of the day than you usually do.  You might really love it!

Enjoy the Run!


When it comes together-a GREAT run!

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!


After going through some of my past posts, I realized so many of my writings are about bad runs.  Whether it is going slower than other runners, not being able to run as far or just having a bad run for me, it seems like the hard runs seem to be outweighing the good runs lately.

However, this past Saturday changed all of that.  I had a GREAT run!  I am working on not only adding miles, but adding speed.  My goal is to run under 11 minutes per mile for the two races I have in February.  Why am I so concerned about speed suddenly?  One of these two races will be my proof of time for the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October, that’s why!  I hope to be running with friends during that race and would like to be in the same (or at least not too far behind) corral.  I have been working on my speed, but for quite some time now nothing I have been doing seemed to have helped.

On Saturday I started out and made sure to keep an eye on my Garmin for my pace.  As an added incentive I had carpooled to the park with a fellow runner, who runs much faster than I, and who was only planning on going a mile farther than me.  He had to leave by a specific time so I had to make sure I was done quickly.  The first few miles were pretty good going, I even got behind someone running my target pace and followed her for a little bit.  I eventually caught up to her and started a little conversation.  Running with someone to talk to really does make the miles go by much faster!

However, around the half way point, I had to turn around and run by myself.  This is where I always slow down, those later miles just get me.  Continuing to monitor my Garmin, my pace did vary a bit but the minute I saw it was too slow, I sped up.  I kept telling myself I would not stop, I refused to slow or walk.  I had to prove to myself I could do it!

It was not always easy, but I kept visualizing the finish line at various races, visualizing me accomplishing those goals.  Before I knew it mile 7 was upon me.  My first thought, when my friend never passed me heading back to the car, was darn, “I could have done 8”! Next Saturday, I will.  At my goal speed.  And it will be Awesome!!

Enjoy the Run!


Snails Pace

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

On Saturday mornings I run in a park where there are lots of other runners, bicyclists and even walkers.  Aside from the natural beauty of the park, running where there are more people is much safer, especially at 6:30 in the morning.  It is a nice camaraderie; people pass by and say “Hello” or a friendly “Good Morning”.  Sometimes I am really lucky and I get a word of encouragement “looking strong” or some other sentiment.  It is really nice!

Today though I got a bit discouraged.  Large groups of people passed me, all chatting about Christmas and their plans.  I tried so hard to keep up, but there was just no way.  Another woman passed, she looked like she could one of those athletic models.  Two men passed and I honestly had to look down to make sure my legs were still moving, as compared to their speed I felt as though I was standing still!  I thought “I am so slow, I am never going to improve” and “Maybe running really isn’t my thing”.

After my run a fellow runner was telling me about a friend who started running at a 12 minute mile.  She was the slowest of her group and when people passed her, she never got discouraged.  Instead she would say “I’m going to keep going, I am going to get better”.  Guess what…she runs a blistering 6 minute mile now.

As new runners it is so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others.  Everyone is faster than you, everyone can go farther than you.  It can be discouraging.  However, we cannot let those thoughts derail our runs!  Do you think the CEO of a major company started as the CEO?  Nope, he or she had to start low and work their way up.  It is the same in running.  It takes a while to build up endurance and speed.  Most people flying past you have probably been running for years and years!

So give yourself a break (I’m going to give myself one!) and remember in running, as in life, it is all about running YOUR race.  You are trying to beat the person you were last week, not a random stranger.  So don’t give up, keep trying.  Watch, you WILL get better!

Enjoy the Run!


Flashback Friday-Well, that was terrible!

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

Yes, we’ve all had them…the God awful, just plain terrible, run.  The run that makes you think “maybe I’m not a runner”.  I remember my first one.  It was hot (well, it was summer in Florida), I was hungry and thirsty, I kept getting tired, I didn’t like any of the music on my phone….you get the idea.

It was horrendous.  I came back from that run completely deflated.  All of the forward momentum I had before that run was completely lost.  I showered and drowned my sorrows in a nice bowl of ice cream.

That night, I did what every new runner does, I read about running.  This time, I went to some of my favorite blogs and you will never guess what I found.  EVERYONE has terrible runs.  No matter how good you are, how long you’ve been running, everyone has a terrible run once in a while.   Granted, their “terrible runs” are way different than a new runner’s.  Where as we may struggle to simply make a mile, they are struggling to make 8 miles.  However, a struggle is a struggle and no matter what, when you have high hopes of accomplishing a goal and fall short, it stings.

The key to getting over a horrible run?  Put it out of your mind and move on.  Go for that run on your next scheduled day.  Don’t put on your shoes and think “well, that last run was so bad, hope this one isn’t like it”.  Nope, put your shoes on and think “I am going to reach that pesky goal today for sure!”.  The next run will be better!

Enjoy the Run!