It’s been a VERY busy last couple of days with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend I went to with Runner’s World but it was an amazing weekend. I ran the half-marathon (race recap to come later) and hit a HUGE PR! The race gave me the confidence to go forward with the 2013 run resolution a little sooner than I planned (again, post to follow) but I’m feeling good about it and can’t wait to start. Meanwhile, a little Monday Motivation is always good and I saw this graphic on Pinterest and had to share it. Run strong this week!
This is an important reminder for winter running. While it might feel better to sleep in and snuggle in your bed on a cold Saturday morning, you’ll feel much better when you come home after a nice long run. You can always warm up with a warm cup of hot chocolate for the rest of the day! Happy running this week!
Today I ran 12 miles to play out 2012. That’s 12 miles more than I could run less than a year ago. Honestly, it’s 12 miles more than I ever could have imagined running before last March. To say this year has transformed me would be the understatement of the century. 2012 did not start out as the easiest year for me, in fact, it may have been the roughest start of any year of my life, but I’m leaving this year stronger and more confident in myself than I’ve ever felt before.
I took my first running steps in the middle of last March. I was not in a good place emotionally at the time and needed to focus on something bigger. Little did I know within 10 months it would become my passion and play a huge role in my life.
As I write this, I’m still having a hard time putting to words how much running has changed my life this year. To non-runners this probably all sounds cliché- how could exercising make you a better person, find yourself even? Well, to my runner friends, they know more than anyone that running is one of those things that strips you down to your core. Makes you figure out what you’re truly made of. That’s true for most of my running friends and it has been true to me this whole year.
I started with a Couch-to-5K run/walk program last March and it took me weeks to get off the treadmill and out on the road. Slowly but surely, my confidence began to build and I felt comfortable on the road. Then I got runner’s knee and felt completely defeated. Just when I was starting to feel comfortable, I’m sidelined by injury? Well, that’s the thing about running. My dad always said running builds you up so high one minute and the next minute it can all be taken away. But I guess that’s part of the thrill and it’s what keeps us all coming back for more.
After my runner’s knee healed, I wanted more and decided to train for a half-marathon. Training was going flawlessly and my mileage continued to increase and then a month before the half-marathon I was struck with a terrible case of IT Band Syndrome. I remember the day in August like it was yesterday when I couldn’t even run a mile on the treadmill. I pressed the big red stop button fell to the ground and basically started crying.
After a week off, and complaining on Twitter, a fellow runner, Ryan Knapp, reached out to me and offered to help with my form because he said that was probably the root of the ITBS problem. He was 100 percent right and with three quick changes I was back on the road, running stronger and faster than ever and finished my first half-marathon at the Hampton Rockfest Half-Marathon in September.
That is another thing about running- the running community is so tight-knit, supportive and just plain awesome! I’ve met so many amazing people just through running and I haven’t even met many of them in person! It sounds weird to the non-running blogger but I’ve met some really amazing people through #runchat and other amazing networks and I can honestly call them my friends. I was also honored to be chosen as a Greatist and FitFluential ambassador, my blog was highlighted on the RunChat website during August for Running Blog Month and even nominated for a RunChat blogging award for best new running blog! The running community had supported me through injuries and congratulated me on running accomplishments and I’ve done the same for them. It is their support and motivation that keeps me going and inspires me to achieve more.
Running also did an amazing thing for me this year by landing me an unbelievable job at Runner’s World magazine as an editor. This is something I couldn’t have imagined in a million years but the experience of graduating from college, getting a job as a reporter and then only a few months later landing an editor job is unfathomable in and of itself. But, the fact that I get to write about running, something I’m so passionate about, is just icing on the cake!
This leads me to my final point and the thing that has brought me the most joy this year from running and that’s been connecting with other runners and helping them out. While I am definitely not an expert, I’m a self-proclaimed novice, I only hoped that my running escapades could help other people and now people are asking ME for advice! Some people start running or a new fitness routine to get in better shape. I started running to change my life and find myself and I’ve gotten that and so much more out of it. While my 2012 only consisted of 10 months of running I’m looking forward to what 2013 will bring. I don’t think this post does my year justice but it’s something I’ll continue to reflect on. I wish everyone the best in 2013 and Happy New Year!
Setting goals is always scary, especially when you tell people about them. It takes courage to set goals because if you try to achieve them but miss the mark, it’s disappointing, not just to you but to other people. But it’s important to be confident in yourself and even when you might miss your goal, take comfort in knowing you tried your best and gave it your all. I have some big goals for 2013 and they scare me but that’s okay because I believe I can do them and that’s what matters. Don’t be afraid to dream big!
Living in the northeast the weather come winter gets cold, dreary and very snowy. For some people, this is their favorite time of year. For others, it’s the worst. If you’re like me, you love the snow and holiday cheer in the beginning of the season but come January 1, I’m done!
It’s also hard to get through the winter if you are trying to stick to a relatively strict training program- especially if it involves running outdoors. But don’t fret! It’s not impossible. All you have to do is set some goals and guidelines to follow and you’ll cruise through the winter months with no problems!
- Set a short term AND long term goal- For me, my short term goal is to get faster. How am I going to accomplish this? Well I started a sub-50 10K training plan with a goal race at the beginning of February. This way, I’ll have a plan to follow throughout most of the winter months and I’ll also be working toward something I want for myself. My bigger picture long term goal is to run a full marathon in 2013!! (Ahhh!) To do so, I need to stay focused this winter and maintain my long runs.
- Buy some new gear- nothing gets me more motivated than scoring some flashy new running gear (like this Saucony top I bought on Black Friday!). Hit up your favorite local running store and buy yourself something nice. Think of it as a pre-reward for all the snowy, cold long runs you’ll need it for!
- Add in your favorite cross training you can’t do when you’re really training hard during racing season (i.e. Spring, Summer and Fall)- This week I added in a boot camp session instead of cross training on the elliptical and it was great! It’s good to switch it up a bit to exercise all muscles, not just the ones you need for running. So, go take a yoga class or maybe try CrossFit? Whatever it is, now is the time to do it!
- Register for a winter race- Winter races are really fun (even though they are VERY cold) and everyone is supportive because you’re all just as crazy as the next person!
- Run with friends- If you like running with a partner or a group, winter is the perfect time to take full advantage of this support. Running with a group or a friend will help to keep you motivated, especially on those mornings when you really, really, really want to stay in bed.
- Help someone else learn to run- I have to admit, I can become a bit self-centered during racing season, but I think that’s just because I am focusing on goals for myself. Winter is a great time to motivate a non-runner friend to run, especially if you’re not busy with a training plan or race schedule. Try to get a friend out with you at least once a week. Start off slow and make sure you run at whatever pace is most comfortable for them.
- Don’t be afraid to indulge a little- Winter is holiday season and it’s a time for great company of family and of course, delicious food, so don’t be the weirdo who skips out on the yummy cookies your Grandma makes every year. You run, you’ll burn it off! Also, be sure to spend time with your family as well. If you’re like me, my parents and sister (and my BFF Sydney!) are the ones who take the time to come to my races and support me, so it’s just that much more important to take the time during the holidays to enjoy their company. If that means cutting my long run short, so be it!
What are your favorite tips for staying motivated during the holidays?
Sometimes we forget that running is actually really fun! I was reminded of this when I had an utterly fantastic long run last Saturday. I felt so happy as I was running and I felt like I could go on forever. It was the best feeling I’ve had in a long time. Then I saw this graphic on Pinterest and I couldn’t help but share it. I remember running around outside when I was a little kid and there was nothing better. Especially in the fall, my little sister and I would run around our back yard through the leaves and we were just in complete bliss. It’s important to remember that running really is fun. Although we may train and really push ourselves to our limits, never forget why you fell in love with running in the first place. Run happy!
Yesterday as I was browsing through Twitter I came across a bunch of tweets about a virtual 5K and 10K dubbed the Race for Recovery to raise money for relief efforts for the destruction in NY and NJ caused by the monstrous storm, Hurricane Sandy.
As I started to read more about the virtual race, hosted by Michele, author of the running blog NYC Running Mama, I knew I had to take part. I have been looking for a way to get involved with some of the volunteer efforts but because I don’t live in New York or New Jersey, the only option was to simply donate money. While that’s a really good option, I wanted to do something a little more proactive to show my support.
I also felt a need to support Michele in her efforts. She decided last weekend to begin organizing this amazing effort and has been able to raise almost $5,000 already. Michele reached out to different running brands and running companies, including my amazing place of employment, Runner’s World, to donate prizes for race participants.
As soon as I finished reading her post, I was on her Crowdrise page before I knew it. Michelle has set it up so all of the money donated will go towards the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, a foundation focusing on clean-up efforts on the NYC, Long Island and New Jersey coastlines- the areas most severely affected by Sandy.
All you have to do to register for the virtual race is as follows:
1. Make a donation here!
- Make a minimum donation (your race entry fee) of $20 on Michele’s Crowdrise page.
- This money will also be your entry into the more than 40 different giveaways.
2. Register for the virtual race here!
- Date- Saturday, Dec. 8 (Can’t run that day? No problem. Run whenever you want!)
- Where- Anywhere!
- Distance- Michele is asking people to run, walk, bike a 5K, 10K or both!
3. Download your race bib here!
- Oh yeah, this virtual race even has race bibs! Download yours and where it on your run to let everyone know you’re supporting the Race for Recovery
4. Complete a 5K and/or 10K- also don’t forget to snap a pic and tweet it to Michele (@NYCRunningMama)
5. Enter your race results here!
- Michele will use the results to randomly select winners of the giveaways.
- Finish time is not important. This is about raising money for a good cause and having a little fun while we’re at it!
6. Have fun!
Oh yeah and I forgot to mention, the grand prize is a dream visit to our very own Runner’s World headquarters in PA! We’ll give you a tour, go on a run, bring you to our test closet filled with goodies and so much more! According to Michele’s website, the grand prize will be awarded to whomever raises the most money. So, if you’re planning on running on Saturday, Dec. 8, or really any other time, why not do it for good? It’s only $20 (a lot less than many “formal” races) and you’ll be helping out countless people affected by Sandy.
I know I’ll be out there on December 8th running a 5K and a 10K, along with some other RW staffers and maybe a few folks from Men’s Health. If you need more details please visit www.nycrunningmama.com.
Have you ever done a virtual race? Will you do this one? (Pretty please!)
Today is a big day for me because it is my first day as associate editor of multimedia at Runner’s World magazine. I had a great introduction to the magazine this past weekend with the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival and am really excited to begin this next journey. While I know this week is going to be extremely busy, I cannot wait to tackle it!
Also my tendonitis seems to be feeling a little better after running an impromptu 5K Saturday night so things are looking up! I hope everyone has great runs this week. Run happy!
I love this graphic because for me, my goals, whether for running or just life in general, usually scare me before I try to attempt them. But really, like this graphic says:
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try
So this week, I dare you to go after those scary goals. What’s the worst that could happen? Happy running!