Archive for running

Our New Norman Director!

Sara R NormanJune 16, 2016
BREAKING NEWS:

We are happy to announce that Sara Riester has agreed to be the Director of the runhers Norman organization. Sara has been a part of the team for a few years.

Sara lives in Norman with her husband and two children. She began running four years ago to help manage the stress of motherhood and hasn’t stopped since. She credits the ladies of runhers Norman for giving her the inspiration and support to embark upon training for her first half marathon three years ago and her first full marathon last spring in OKC and hopes to extend that inspiration and support for other ladies in the Norman and surrounding communities whatever their personal goals may be. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in music education at OU.

Sara states, “I am excited to build on the foundation that’s been set here, and connect more women to our project. We want to be a great resource for the Norman community, and the surrounding area.” She continues, “We want lots of new women to come out for a run or walk with us, and see firsthand how inclusive and fun the environment is.”

And one of Sara’s favorite quotes, “We rise by lifting others.” ~ Robert Ingersoll

Now, let’s have some summer fun!

let’s talk street harassment. on twitter.

Have you ever been cat called while out running or in other public places?  Let’s chat about it.  Join us on February 5th at 12pm EST with Runner’s World Chief Running Officer and the Mayor of Running Bart Yasso; Runner’s World’s Zelle; Stop Street Harrassment’s Holly Kearl; along with freelance journalist and author of the upcoming book Running: A Love Story Jen A. Miller, whose article “Wearing Her #Whorepants” took social media by storm.

Most of you are familiar with Twitter Chats. If not, the way, here’s how it works: we will tweet the questions, and you can give us your stories, perspectives, thoughts and ideas on how we can all work together to address these important issues of street harassment, cat calling and other harassment and violence in public places. The hashtag we will Tweet with is #RWsafety

We’ve designed two Twitter chats on women’s safety and street harassment in the past year.  We’ve been blessed with wicked smart people who have supported and helped us in our work producing the document Designing a Safer Woman (http://runhers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DSW_Final_V1_Sept_2013.pdf) – and yes, we should come up with a better name for the project. It was our working project name for Version 1.  Maybe you can help retitle it for Version 2? 

We came across Holly Kearl in our research on street harassment, and she has been an inspiration and a passionate leader addressing these issues here in the U.S., and internationally.  Holly has her own story about being harassed while out running.  She has been instrumental in providing clarity and thought for our research at the hers projects.   You can learn more about Holly at www.hollykearl.com, and you can also learn about her cutting edge work with Stop Street Harassment, which is helping women across the globe, at http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/ .It’s loaded with everything from definitions to research to projects and plenty of compelling articles and stories. 

Here is a link to Jen’s story “Wearing Her #Whorepants”: http://zelle.runnersworld.com/style/wearing-her-whorepants.  Jen A. Miller has been a freelance journalist for the last 10 years, sticking with the work from home lifestyle because she likes running before lunch and working with her Jack Russell Terrier by her side. She’s a frequent contributor to Runner’s World, Running Times, Zelle, The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer and her memoir, Running: A Love Story will be published by Seal Press in early 2016.

Please share this with men, women and any organizations you think have an interest.  We will compile all of the chat, and write a summary and action plan based on the information shared. 

#runhers #hersprojects

12 week advanced half marathon training

Let’s Begin!

If you are considering the advanced half marathon training – you should have a good history and base if running behind you.  This training cycle incorporates speed work into the cycle, thereby preparing you to run and sustain a faster pace over time.  You should be logging mile splits – which will be very helpful for learning race pace techniques.  The consistency of knowing your splits over a given distance, in training, is key data to provide when talking to talking to your coach about adjusting training strategy, and getting faster.    

Before Starting

Before starting a half marathon training program, you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training.  The half marathon training should not be taken lightly.  Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!  You should be able to run comfortably for at least 45 minutes before beginning a half marathon 12 week training plan.

Advanced Half Marathon Training Program

Tips & Terms

The following is the running terminology used for training – obviously, the more experience you have – the more training options and speed/track workouts you will use for form, technique and conditioning.

Easy Runs

This means running totally comfortable and controlled.  When running alone, or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. Here’s some incentive to take it easy: You’ll still burn about 100 calories for every mile that you run.

Rest days

Rest gives your body time to repair and recover, which every person who is training needs.  And getting enough sleep is very important at all times.  Sleep is not a passive state of rest, but an active state of rebuilding, repair, reorganization and regeneration. Always try to get the right amount for you.

Active Rest or Cross Train (AR/CT)

Active rest day is meant to be a light or easy day where you’re still moving, but not at the intensity you normally move.  It promotes recovery without the intensity of regular training. Light swimming, or easy cycling are examples of active rest.  Cross training can include biking, core workouts, upper body workouts, yoga, pilates, stretching, or any number of other types of workouts.

Long Runs and/or LSD (Long, Slow Distance)

These are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner around your pace and ability for this one.   You’ll have time to chat about anything that comes up.

Speedwork

Speed training.  Something you may hear often, but may not completely know how to execute or add to their running schedule.

As with many things, when you start anything new, it is important to take ‘speed work’ cautiously and start with smaller, shorter workouts and work your way up. There are different levels and periodization to consider with speed training, it’s a building block, and you have to work your way to the top.

Before we get into the levels of running, I want to get you familiar with the term Conversation Pace. It is a word that you will hear and see quite often when it comes to a training plan. Conversation Pace(CP) is performed at an easy, gentle pace where you can easily hold a conversation while running and heart rate is maintained at approximately 110-140bpm. The goal of CP is to train the cardio respiratory system and muscular system to efficiently use oxygen for a longer distance.

Speedwork, broken down!

Strides

Strides lay the foundation of speed training. A stride is a short burst of running for 80-150 meters. You start at a conversation pace, build speed for 40-100 meters, and then slow back down to finish the distance. It promotes efficient running form, great for short distance running, works fast twitch muscles.

For beginners, strides can be added in as speed work to replace, or in addition to, a short conversation pace run. Start at 6 strides per workout and increase your way up to 10 as endurance improves (1-2 weeks).

Strides can be used as a complete workout for new runners by repeating 6-10 times with a 1-2 minute rest, in addition to an easy run or as a warm up and cool down for more advanced runners 2-3 days per week.

Tempo Run

A tempo is a steady, controlled run performed at a pace faster than a half marathon pace, at or slightly under a 10k pace.  It improves endurance and lactate threshold, teaches patience, and to run outside the normal comfort zone.

For middle distance training, tempo runs are generally 20-30 minutes and up to 60 minutes for marathon plus distances. It should be preceded by a 10-15 minute warm up and followed by a 10-15 minute cool down.  A runner can transition to a tempo run by breaking it into 10 minute segments with a 2-5 minute jog between the tempo pace.

Fartlek

Also commonly known as “speed play” – is structured or unstructured fast bouts of running with a mix of speeds for an unspecified period of time. Each run can vary in paces, distances, and terrains.

The goal is to run a sub-maximally pace, along with short spurts of maximal pace, 70-90% effort level.  This type of running trains your cardiorespiratory system and muscular systems to work efficiently, and use oxygen with minimal muscle stress. Fartlek runs are great for all levels, teaches the body to run uncomfortably, and to gain patience and mental strength.

The length and distance can be a shorter distance/time than other runs (20-30 minutes) because of the effort level, but requires a longer (10-15 minute) warm up and cool down.  An example of executing this type of run: while running in a neighborhood or trail use landmarks as starting and stopping points. You can increase your distance each run, pyramid the distance, or any combination. The purpose of the run is to run faster than your comfort zone for a distance that your body can sustain for a period of time with minimal rest (1 minute) in between sprints.

Hill Running

Hill repeats are performed with a continual brisk run uphill with a relaxed conversation pace downhill or flat surface. Hills are used to increase running strength and mental toughness, decrease risk of injury,  and to prepare for a specific type of race course.

Pace and number of repeats is dependent on the type of hill grade and goals; however, you should aim for a submaximal pace with bouts at maximal pace. When adding in hill runs into your training, ideally you want start with a grade around 5-7% over a 200-600m distance, at or faster than conversation pace.  As your running advances, you can increase the grade level and distance.  After a 10-15 minute warm up, perform 5-8 repetitions followed by 1-3 minutes of rest by jogging or walking in between repeats.  For smaller grade hills, aim for a faster 5k pace and decrease to 10k or slower as grade increases.

Note on form when running hills: obtain a forward lean without hunching or curling upper body, shorten and increase your arm cadence.

Hill runs are beneficial and can be created for all levels of runners, but always need to be treated with respect. Due to the intensity of the run, it is crucial to warm up, cool down and stretch accordingly. Over training and disregard to rest can lead to stress on joints and muscles.

If hills are not accessible in your area, be creative, have fun with it, add stairs in your run, parking garage ramps(caution!), use cross training equipment at high levels (stairmaster, elliptical etc.).

INTERVALS

Intervals are at the top of the running pyramid; to be performed at the peak of your fitness level.  They are a structured run with a specific amount of repeats, distance, pace and recovery. Most commonly performed at a track. This type of running improves fast twitch muscle ability, promotes efficient running form, teaches patience and mental toughness, and to run at a low grade of discomfort for longer periods of time. Due to the intensity, runners should complete all levels of the pyramid, run more than 20 miles per week regularly and have a base of 500 miles built before moving to the interval phase.

There are many different types of intervals, repeats, ladders, pyramids, and mixed paces. For athletes running a middle distance race (half marathon), an example of a starting interval would consist of a 10-15 minute warm up, 5 x 400m faster than conversation pace, 90 seconds- 120 seconds below conversation pace or walk recovery, 10-15 minute cool down. For marathon+ distances a distance of 800m+ should be performed.

The number of intervals should only be increased in 2-3 week increments, performed no more than once a week for novice runners and followed by a rest day or easy recovery run.  The goal of intervals, are to be performed at 95-100% effort level.

Speed work is not meant to be easy, but when incorporating anything new into your training schedule, it is crucial to take it slow, build up properly and respect what your body is capable of at that level. Someone who is new to running shouldn’t jump right into speed training without having a solid running base.  Listen to your body and be smart with your training, if you successfully completed 5x400s last week and are feeling great this week, that doesn’t mean you can jump right into 7-8 400s this week. Stick to your plan and know there is a reason behind periodization; you have to give your body time to adapt.

Be smart with your running and most importantly have fun with it!

 

 

 

 

12 week beginner half marathon training

Let’s Begin!

If you are considering a half marathon – you probably already know that a running workout is a great calorie crusher, mood enhancer, and disease fighter. Stepping up to a half marathon is awesome for women, so awesome in fact that nationally women represent about 60% or more of the participants! The most important thing is to have fun with it, make friends, and incorporate it into your lifestyle!  So, let’s begin!

Before Starting

Before starting a half marathon training program, you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training.  The half marathon training should not be taken lightly.  Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!  You should be able to run comfortably for at least 45 minutes before beginning a half marathon 12 week training plan. 

Beginner Half Marathon Training Program

 

* Saturday and Sunday “long runs” may be either day – with the other day being a rest or cross training day. 

** XT is cross training which can include biking, core workouts, upper body workouts, yoga, pilates, stretching, etc.

Tips & Terms

The following is the running terminology used for training – obviously, the more experience you have – the more training options and speed/track workouts you will use for form, technique and conditioning.

Easy Runs

This means running totally comfortable and controlled.  When running alone, or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. Here’s some incentive to take it easy: You’ll still burn about 100 calories for every mile that you run.

Walking & Taking Breaks

If you feel the need to walk or take a break in your long run or during any of your training runs, by all means do so.  Since you are just beginning the half marathon, with finishing as your goal, just listen to what your body is telling you.  

Long Runs and/or LSD (Long, Slow Distance)

These are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner around your pace and ability for this one.   You’ll have time to chat about anything that comes up.

Speedwork

 This means bursts of running shorter than race distance, some at your race goal pace, some faster. This improves cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, running economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands.

Race Day Rules

Run slower than you feel like you should be running over the first 6 – 7 miles. Look around; chat a bit with those around you. And walk if you need to through the aid stations, drink fluids, take a little break, then slowly resume your running.

 

 

the 15th annual run to remember

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  168 people died and thousands of lives were changed that historic day in Oklahoma City, and across our nation.  What we learned in the face of terror, was that this community had amazing resiliency and courage. That good, indeed, did overcome evil.   And as we mark years, many of those who will participate in the Run to Remember this year we’re not even born yet.  And still, some will be painfully reminded of the lives lost, and of the scars, physical and emotional – some healed, some not. 

So, we will train and run in the spirit and honor of all the people affected.  We will run to honor their memories, celebrate life, reach for the future and united the world in hope.  And so it goes.  Life always goes on, and we must embrace our journeys, living each day fully, reminded that it could all be gone in an instant.  So, we will celebrate life and embrace the journey!

So, with that being said, we kick off half marathon (and shorter distances) training for the April 26th event.  We have a couple of half marathon programs, a 12 and a 16 week training cycle.  You more experienced runners/walkers may opt for the 12 week cycle, since you may already be running regularly. For first time half marathoners and those who are just beginning again, the 16 week cycle offers a more gradual acclimation to building a solid base of time on your feet. 

The 16 week half marathon cycle’s first group run is Saturday, January 10th.


The 12 week half marathon cycle’s first group run is Saturday, February 7th.


We will be posting all locations for the group runs on our Facebook pages in OKC, Norman and Lawton.  If you are not in an area where you can run with us, you can remotely train and keep up with the motivational messages as well.  We are also on Twitter @runhers – so, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!  As they say, every journey begins with a single step, so take that small step outside your comfort zone, and join our community.  We connect with all ages and abilities, so, you’ll always find support and community here at runhers!  Let’s do this!  

happy 2015

A new year brings new goals, and high ambitions to tackle all those race goals. There are many opportunities for you to do just that this spring. As you can see we are working with several different races with multiple distance options.  This is a great time to join in all of our running fun and take advantage of our group trainings. However, with multiple options it can be difficult to make the decision of which race(s) and distances to pick.

One very important thing that I cannot emphasis enough, is not getting caught up in the advertising hype, and taking on too much, too soon. It can be tempting to dive right in and run all of them, but you can also greatly increase your risk for injury.  You may see more seasoned runners who are able to run back to back races in a short period of time; however that does not mean that is appropriate for everyone. Take your running fitness level and base mileage into consideration – and determine what the best option is for you over the long term. Overtraining can be just as harmful as under training so I encourage you to think about what your overall goal is, and what race is your top priority and adjust your training accordingly. I am happy to talk to you individually on that.

For instance, if you are new to racing but want to run your first half marathon this year, and don’t have the mileage built up yet for Go Girl Run (March 22), the best option for you may be the OKC Memorial Marathon on April 26th.  You can start with the Go Girl 5k, continue with your longer distance training, and then use the Red Bud 10k for more experience. Then, you can complete your goal with OKC Memorial Half Marathon.  Or if you want to run the Go Girl half but don’t want to miss out on our other race events, make that your priority. Follow our 12 week training for that, run a strong race then consider running the5k/ 10k at Red Bud and the 5k or relay at Memorial. And for those who do have more race experience, and want to run both Half Marathons for a new challenge, I say “ROCK ON”, just be smart with your training and listen to your body!  Let me know if you need extra help with increasing speed or racing strategy.

It is going to be an amazing spring racing season with many opportunities to do great things! runhers is a wonderful, supportive community of women – who will cheer and push you all along the way. My goal is to keep you healthy and strong, so that running/walking is a long term lifestyle that you are still doing many years down the road. Remember, there will always be more races and WE WILL be there! Make the best decisions now, in the short term, so you are able to see that through to the end!  If you ever have questions about your training and “how to fit it all in”, never hesitate to ask, I am happy to help and want to see you perform at your best!  Those small daily decisions add up, so, here’s to a great 2015!

~Coach Sara

Director of Training Programs (and Energy)

 

let’s go girl!

runhers is official training partner for the 2015 OKC Go Girl Run

We are happy to announce we are partnering with Ultramax Sports to be the Official Training Group for the 2015 Go Girl Run slated for March 22nd, 2015.  The event start and finish area is set at the spectacular OKC Myriad Gardens.  The race is a women’s only half marathon and 5K.  We are providing both half marathon and 5K training for free in OKC and Norman groups.  We have a $10 off registration discount code (runhers10) – and you can register at: http://ultramaxsports.com/gogirlrun//oklahomacity/home.html

Our 12 week training plan kicks off this Monday, December 29th and the first group run will be Saturday, January 3rd. We will be updating on Facebook pages, Twitter feed (@runhers) and via Constant Contact e-mail if you opt in.  We will provide location, time and any other training tips for the week. 

This training group is for all ages and abilities, and we gladly welcome new walkers and runners! Each Saturday, we will map a safe training route, provide water along the route, and at the start/finish.  We will also teach some warm ups, running drills, etc. and  have some other mini clinics along the way.  Mostly though, we want you to have fun!  Yes, we’ll work – but we’re all in this together, and we want to help you any way we can to achieve your goal.  Oh, and one last thing … what’s said on the run, stays on the run!  ; )

Some of the highlights are below:

Go Girl Run OKC Event Highlights:

  • All Half Marathon participants will receive a New Balance women’s cut technical t-shirt.
  • 5K participants will receive a women’s cut cotton t-shirt.
    • **All 5K participants will have the option to upgrade to the New Balance Technical Shirt for $10 when they register.
  • Boutique Expo with women-specific vendors.
  • New 5K Couples Competition – Grab your significant other and race together!
  • Ultramax Sports Pace Teams
  • Go Girl On-Demand apparel available at Packet Pickup and on Race Day.
  • Custom Go-Girl Finisher Medals for both the Half and the 5K!
  • Custom-etched wine glasses for all finishers.
  • Champagne served at the finish line.
  • Extended finish time limit for walkers.
  • Overall & Age Group Awards – We go four-deep in every age group!
  • Live Results Station
  • Free Race Photos
  • USATF Sanctioned Race

how to have a better attitude at the pool (or on the run)

Editor’s Note:  Running and swimming have a lot in common, with the main thing that both are “lifetime” sports.  You can do either at a very young age, through adult life and on through the golden years.  Running, like swimming, you can do just for fun, or to compete.  As far as burning off stress and staying fit, both are excellent choices. So with that, here’s an article that we found on a swimming site, that serves its purpose just as well with running!  Enjoy!

by: Olivier Poirier-Leroy – via swimswam.com

It’s crazy how much of an impact our attitude has when it comes to the way we perform in the pool.

On days when we are riding high, with life seemingly bending to our will, even the toughest of workouts is met with an optimistic and determined front. And yet, when we feel bummed out, or pessimistic, the tough stuff in the pool becomes even tougher.

“Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

Being positive-minded when you are going through those heavy bouts of training, where exams and assignments are piling up, can help make the challenging stuff easier to handle. When we are optimistic we are able to better brace ourselves for the difficult chapters in our swimming career, and perhaps most importantly for the team, you contribute to developing an environment where everyone – and especially you – are primed for success.

1. Get better at failing. If you look at the way you take and handle setbacks as a skill, something you can actively work on, than you are light years ahead of those swimmers that take every failure – large and small – as an indictment on their abilities. Look, setbacks are gonna happen. From the age grouper, to the multi-Olympic, multi-gold medal winning athlete. What separates those from who allow failure to define why they quit and those who choose to make failure a re-direction in their journey is the outlook they have. Decide to work on improving the way you handle failing.

 2. Journal some gratitude. By now there is no doubt that at least one of your friends on Facebook (perhaps even you) have taken some form of the gratitude challenge. (For the uninitiated, you write out 3-5 things you are grateful for on Facebook each day for a few weeks.) Research has shown that this actually works, and that redirecting your thoughts to the good stuff in your life that you have in your life increases happiness and decreases stress. You certainly don’t need to post it online for the world to see,   spending a few minutes at home logging it into a notebook or log book works just as well.

 3. Celebrate the victories. Especially the small ones. If you are like me, you tend to undervalue the impact of your small wins. Because they aren’t the big, life-altering victories that cause massive change, we gloss them over, ignore them and bypass them. Which is too bad. Although having three really good practices in a row, or doing bilateral breathing for the full workout, or doing every meter with awesome technique isn’t a world record or gold medal, it’s still worth recognizing and celebrating.

 4. Be solutions oriented. It’s easy to point out the faults and shortcomings of not only ourselves, but of those around us. When things aren’t going our way the quickest route is to latch on to the problem and dwell on it. Rather than piling on to yourself (or others) seek a solution, a path forward and offer constructive criticism. When we seek solutions we are moving forward, making progress. Making excuses and offering criticism without guidance keeps us stuck in place.

 5. Remember that attitude is a choice. We make a metric ton of choices on a daily basis. What we are going to eat for breakfast. Whether or not we are going to pay attention in class. Whether or not to unfollow or fully unfriend the chronic meme-poster friend on Facebook. The mental approach we take on, the attitude we carry around with us, is dictated by us as well. Simply thinking about having a better attitude can often be just the thing to have it improve. Being conscious of the fact that our chosen attitude is our prerogative is better than allowing our attitude to be influenced by others and left up to chance.

 6. Don’t let the negativity of others infect you. This one is a little more sneaky. We don’t often notice how the people around us influence us until much later. Hang out with a complainer for the course of a day and you can’t help but latch on to some of that negative energy, catching yourself complaining by the end of the day. Hang out with positive-minded people, however, and you will find their optimism to be infectious. If, according the law of averages, we are the average of the five people we spend the majority of our time with, what does that make you?

 7. In the words of Ghandi, be the change. When you are positive with others around you, supporting their goals, making for a more positively charged training environment, caring about your teammates, you cannot help be become more positive with yourself. Seeing the positive within you comes with seeing the positive in others. The effects of this may seem simple, but they are profound. When you choose to be the catalyst for creating a positive environment in training, and when you and your teammates encourage one another and foster an environment that pushes everyone to succeed, everybody wins.

NYC Shakeout Run with Ryan and Sara Hall…and Meb

By: Laura Mullins, director, Norman runhers
 
While most runners slept in on the cold, rainy Saturday morning before the NYC Marathon, my Norman RunHers crew got up early for a very special event. We had been invited to attend an intimate “Meet and Greet” with husband and wife Ryan and Sara Hall, followed by a shakeout run in Central Park. Unsure of what to expect at this event, we packed lightly, dressed in our rainy weather running gear and hopped on the subway to Midtown. I was told the event was limited to 100 people and we were thrilled just to be in the mix and have the opportunity to share a room with these running sensations. But upon arriving, we discovered only about 30 people battled the cold, wet weather and turned up for breakfast with two of America’s top distance runners.

As my group of seven runners grazed the delicious continental breakfast, we were nervous about how much to eat. We really wanted to run with the Halls, but we had no idea how fast they would go and if we could even keep up. Determined to enjoy the moment, we grabbed some coffee and bagels and introduced ourselves to a few other runners who were also waiting anxiously for the guests of honor to arrive.

We were all enjoying a friendly banter when the lovely couple quietly glided through the door and right into the middle of our breakfast. They were kind, humble and soft-spoken. They patiently fielded all of our running related questions about nutrition, training as well as specific advice for the NYC Marathon that was less than 24 hours away. The weather forecast was not looking good for race day with highs in the upper 30s and winds between 20-30 mph. Ryan offered great advice that I truly took to heart. “It’s up to you when you wake up in the morning to decide how you’re going to deal with the conditions. Make the decision to embrace the challenge and focus your energy on being thankful for the opportunity to race.” So true. No amount of cursing the weather was going to change it. It was up to me to accept it and save my energy for running, not ranting.

Later, the Halls graciously chatted with us as we ran a few miles through a rainy Central Park. The crew of men surrounded Ryan while us girls vied for Sara’s attention. I enjoyed two amazing miles chatting about faith, life and running with Sara (all between my gasps for air as I tried to keep up with her “easy” pace). Despite the fact that Sara is a professional runner and I am merely a recreational super-fan, I found that we both were learning how to focus more on the pure love and passion for running rather than only the race results. In the past, I let my insecurities get the best of me and allowed my self-esteem to be dictated on the results I did NOT produce. Does it make me less of a marathoner if I don’t break 4 hours or ever qualify for Boston? If I am feeling this kind of pressure as a weekend warrior, I can’t even begin to fathom what elite athletes like Sara and Ryan must feel when they don’t meet a certain expectation! Running with joy truly is a goal every runner strives to achieve.

After an exhausting week that filled my head with self-doubt about my ability to run the NYC Marathon on Sunday, the Halls’ encouragement lifted my spirits and helped me find my gratefulness for the amazing opportunity before me to participate in the world’s largest marathon. I thanked Sara for running with me, because her short time with me truly impacted my heart when I needed it most. I appreciated her sincerity and her genuine nature. Those with less integrity would not have even bothered to ask my name. I felt so empowered after spending time with both Ryan and Sara that I could have not run the race and been completely fine with it. There was no way my day could get any better.

But then it did. As I helped myself to a second cup of coffee, I heard the organizer ask the runners to move to one part of the room because he had a surprise for us. Cool. Maybe a free shirt or a water bottle?  Well, the surprise turned out to be a whole lot better than any gear I could have imagined.

In. Walked. Meb.

Every runner in the room shared a collective gasp “Ohmygod!” “No way!” “Are you serious?!?”, followed by a hushed silence as the 2014 Boston Marathon champion raised his hands up to speak. What words of wisdom would Meb bestow upon us mere running mortals?

“It’s going to tough out there for all of us tomorrow. Be prepared to run 10-15 seconds slower per mile than you had planned. And enjoy every mile.”

Us? Did he just say us, as if he and I and this small group of super fans are somehow similar?!? Yes. He did say us because, as he explained, “We are all running the same race and sharing the same miles.” Well, the course may be the same, but as most runners know, the race is different for each and every runner. Keep running your own race, my friends, and I will see you at the finish.

Best shakeout run ever.

how to fall in love with running in 5 steps

by: Marie Wreath Editor’s note:  We’re happy to have guest author Marie Wreath let us repost her article.  Whether you run (or walk) a mile, or thirty miles, there are some great perspectives in here to think about! Like so many things in life, it’s about your own personal health and happiness, so take what you need.  Enjoy the article!  

How to fall in love with one of the most beneficial things that you, all by yourself, can do in this life.

    • Give it a fair shake. Brand new to running and already convinced you hate it? Please wait. Do not sell yourself short by struggling through one awkward, wheezing mile then declare running just isn’t for you. You know the millions of physical and mental benefits, right? Why did you start? Don’t you believe people who say that running makes them happier overall? Just get past the weird beginnings, trust me. My beginnings were extremely weird. And still I often need three miles to warm up for a five mile run. Even well-seasoned ultra-runners are known to say “Never judge a run by the first three miles.”Three miles. That is about half an hour of warm up, and it is SO worth it! If you are even a little bit interested in this amazing new chapter of life, then please give it a fair shake. Nibble at it. Seek support. Try different methods. Get the long view and grow a funny bone, because you will make yourself laugh … a lot.
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    • Find your own running buttons and push them.Everyone is different. Running may seem painfully routine looking in from the outside, but there is a deep inner world there, a vast ocean of thought and feeling that you get to explore every time you lace up. (Maybe that’s why so many writers are also runners … huh.)And there are a hundred thousand variations for runners to discover. Do you listen to music, or keep the rhythmic silence? Run alone or with friends? Trail, track, or treadmill? Cold weather or hot? Morning, noon, or night? Try lots of different combinations until you discover your sweet spot, then max out! Enjoy yourself. Then shake things up again, enjoy some variety. Then go back to your reliable routines again. My favorite running blogger The Monican has lots of fun ideas to offer but always goes back to this smart mantra: You do YOU. Amen.
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    • Stock up on inspiration for a rainy day. Even deep into your own running obsession, far past your first big runner’s high, you’ll have dry days. You’ll have mornings when you had planned to run but WOW something else sounds better. Or you question the benefits. Or you just need new ideas. Be ready for those days by making little collections of motivational words, images, and info-graphics.
    • Ever heard of Pinterest? I have like three boards that revolve around fitness, but one in particular serves running alone. I refer to it when I can feel my feet dragging or my thoughts going negative. Maybe you’d rather have an old-fashioned vision board, complete with cork and push pins and glossy magazine pages! Know thyself, and motivate thyself.


     

  • Set a fun goal (or two or three) and make them known to loved ones. This is pretty standard advice offered for all kinds of new endeavors, and it almost sounds cheesy, but cheesy stuff tends to work! My advice for new runners who want to build enthusiasm? Look for a snazzy 5-K or a half marathon and register. Pay the money so you’re committed. Then on your calendar count the necessary training weeks backwards from the event date and pencil in your workout plan for every week. (Hal Higdon is a great source of advice for training.) And record what miles you run against that plan. Get consistent. Blab about it to your friends to the point they are mildly annoyed.Last March I was close to burnout for different reasons, and had I not made my goal of “running my first full marathon at forty” so public to people who really love me, I might have backed out. I am SO GLAD I didn’t back out. What a sad thing that would have been. Concrete goals made public are effective!
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  • Always go one more. One more mile, one more song, one more lap, one more day. However you’re measuring your frustration at any given point, try going just one more past where you want to. Remember that running is largely in your head, maybe more so than in your body; so take every opportunity to strengthen your mind. It will improve your life in so many ways. Do more than what you think you can do. Over and over, bit by bit, you will be amazed.  So that’s my advice if you are thinking of a wonderful new running obsession but need the final nudge. If you do these five things: Give it a fair shake, find a groove, stay inspired, set goals publicly, and go beyond your own expectations… I am pretty sure you will fall in love with running. And running will always love you back. And then we can grab some miles together sometime! Now you tell me. If you’re a runner already, what advice would you give a newbie? If you need some nudging, what’s on your mind? What’s holding you back from starting, or what’s slowing you down?Run while you can.~ Marie XOXOXOXO Marie Wreath’s blog can be found at “The (Not Always) Lazy W” here: http://lazywmarie.com/hi-im-marie-welcome-to-the-lazy-w/ and on Twitter @thelazyw