Monday Motivation: Success…

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!

Monday motivation: if it scares you…

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!

Monday Motivation: me and running

This is a little later than usual today, but better late than never! I’ve been so busy lately as I prepare for my next journey that it’s been really hard to keep up with the blog but I will promise you, there will be some really great things happening on here this week! One thing I haven’t lost track of is running, I’m all over that. I really liked this graphic that I found on Pinterest because it’s always important to remember that even if a run isn’t great, or your body is telling you it’s time to rest, every run is a chance to grow stronger. Whether that means listening to your body and resting, or pushing your limits, every day is a chance to learn something new. Happy running this week!

(via Pinterest)

Monday Motivation: the courage to start

I posted this photo to my blog back in March when I first started a couch to 5k program. I had never been a runner but at that point in my life, needed something to focus on, so I started running. Now, less than eight months later, I’ve not only run many 5ks but yesterday finished my first ever half marathon. I thought it would be appropriate to re-post this photo for this week’s Monday Motivation because if I hadn’t had the courage to start that couch to 5k program back in March, I would never be where I am today. I hope you all have a great week of running and you have the courage to start a new running goal. Happy running! (I’ll have a full race recap up of the half marathon sometime this week!)

Monday Motivation: keep running

I’ve always said my running goal has no finish line because my goal is to be a runner for life. Sometimes this is hard to remember when I get really excited about registering for a new race or when I get hurt while training. But I’ve found that the most important thing to remember is to have balance and listen to my body. If this means I have to take a day off for whatever reason so be it but in the long run I just want to keep running. Have a great week of running everybody and check back later on for my big announcement!

Monday Motivation: Dream big

I’m usually not the biggest fan of semi-cliche sayings like “Dream Big” but lately, it’s constantly running through my mind. As I look back to March, when I couldn’t even run a mile, and now I’m getting ready to run a half-marathon, I really can’t believe it. I also can’t believe how much running has literally changed my life. Things I never thought would happen for me are finally happening and I’m just so proud of how far I’ve come. I also am a believer in the fact that big dreams should be a little scary but if you have enough confidence in yourself, they aren’t impossible. So as the saying goes “Dream big” because as big as you can dream you can achieve greatness. Happy Monday and good luck with your training runs this week!

What are your big dreams for the week? Share them in the comments section!

Monday Motivation: It takes a team

Training isn’t always easy. In fact, I’d like to argue it’s never easy. But isn’t that why we do it? To push our limits and challenge ourselves? I think so at least. But sometimes when injuries happen or you have a bad run, it can be hard to keep going. Self confidence can get low and doubt can rear it’s ugly face but if you have surrounded yourself with a support team, a team that believes in you no matter what, you can push through the doubt and continue going.

I have been lucky enough through my training to have a massive support team in the form of family, friends, fellow run bloggers and complete strangers. After overcoming (fingers crossed!) some IT Band issues, I have never been more grateful for the amazing people in my life who believed in me and dragged me through my own stint of self doubt.

Sometimes we don’t do as well as we had hoped but at the end of the day, if there’s someone cheering for you at the finish line, or dragging you across it, you know you’ve accomplished something. Happy running this week!

Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan were the definition of team at the finish line of the London 2012 Olympic marathon.

Monday Motivation: I’ve got to run

After having some serious IT band flare ups on a run last Tuesday I decided to make the smart decision to rest my knee to avoid hurting myself even more. Besides getting off of my marathon training plan, the whole not running thing was killing me! Especially when the weekend came and I had to spend it with someone I hadn’t seen in a long time and we didn’t exactly end on great terms. For me, running is my outlet, my stress reliever, my therapy, and after this weekend all I could think about was getting out on the road, clearing my head and finding peace again. Then this morning happened and I had a fantastic, easy 3-mile run, my knee felt pretty great and my mind was cleared of all negative thoughts. I’m still taking it easy on my knee but it felt so amazing to get back out there. I hope everyone’s training is going well and I wish you the best of luck this week!

How I found my heart through running

(via Lululemon)

I wrote this post as a guest blog for ViewSPORT’s blog. I hope you enjoy!

Most runner’s stories start off the same- “If you told me a year ago I’d be training for a marathon I’d think you were crazy…” and “I was never a runner but then…” or “I absolutely hated running until…” While this could seem like a formulaic response meant to inspire non-runners that they too can fall in love with running, it’s not. There’s a reason every runner has a story that begins like this and well, mine is pretty much the same.

I have always been into fitness and working out but I was never the best athlete. In high school I was on the varsity tennis team, but played second doubles when I was even picked to play in a match. I was captain of the lacrosse team my senior year but only because I was one of the oldest girls on the team. More than anything (hear comes the cliché response) I hated running. I made up excuses like, “it hurts my knees” or “I can’t breathe when I run,” just to get out of it. I always envied runners and wished I could share that gift but every time I tried going for a run, I’d get frustrated with my breathing and quit. I was a quitter.

In my senior year of college I had a change of heart and was really into working out. I went to the gym almost every day and attended a cardio kickboxing class four or five times a week. I LOVED kickboxing. It was a high intensity cardio class that started me on my journey to being in the best shape of my life. I was feeling great until the end of February came along and the stress of graduation and other events in my personal life left me feeling unmotivated, depressed and lacking in self confidence. After weeks of feeling useless and sorry for myself I decided I needed to do something bigger than myself, set a goal, reach it and regain my confidence.

So I started a couch to 5k program. It doesn’t sound like much but this was a huge deal for me. I started the program, registered for a 5k and started running. It took awhile for me to get into it but I remember the day I fell in love with running. I went to the gym with my friend and I was supposed to run for 30 minutes on the treadmill which would work out to 3.1 miles. My friend was working out somewhere else in the gym and wasn’t ready to leave when I had reached 30 minutes. But I felt fine so I decided to keep running. That day I ran 4.5 miles, a huge accomplishment for me because that was the most I’d ever run in my life.

All of this was less than six months ago and now I’ve PRed with a 5k time of 26:58, I’m gearing up for a half-marathon at the end of September and have begun training for a marathon in November. A lot of non-runners think runners are just plain crazy. I mean who would want to voluntarily run an endless amount of miles, suffer from blisters, tight muscles and other injuries and for what, to reach the finish line? Well most runners I know, including myself, would tell you it’s so much more than that. Running gave me clarity. It gave me something I could achieve on my own. Something I was finally good at. But more than the peace that I found while running, running helped me find my heart and my passion. Now I run not for time or to get a new PR but I run with heart.

What I learned at Healthy Living Summit 2012

HLS12 runners and walkers before the 5k

I think I’m still digesting everything I learned over the weekend at the Healthy Living Summit but words honestly cannot describe the wealth of information I took away from the conference and not to mention the amazing bloggers I met along the way.

First off it was great to meet some of the bloggers and people I follow on Twitter in person finally! Meeting them and hearing them talk about their passion for blogging and health and fitness made their blogs even more real for me. I could finally really see their personality in their blogs. I was able to hear all of their stories about how they started their blog, why they wanted to share their experiences with other people and where they want to take their blog.

I attended sessions on Saturday and learned about how to create a virtual challenge from Amanda Brooks of Run to the Finish, blogging with brands, questions from other newbie bloggers and an incredible amount of information about social media. While I could go into extensive detail about everything I learned during these sessions, I rather write about what I took away from them.

It’s going to sound cliche but the theme I heard reverberating throughout the summit was “stay true to yourself.” Whether you’re looking at brands to partner with, doing a review of a product, hosting a virtual challenge, or just connecting with local businesses, don’t do anything you are uncomfortable with or don’t believe in 100 percent. As a relatively new blogger (I’ve been blogging since March) it’s easy to get distracted by brands reaching out to you or wanting to do a virtual challenge so bad that you loose track of your core mission. But connecting with brands you truly support and support you back is a surefire way to expand your reach and impact more people.

I also learned it takes time for a blog to grow into something bigger. While many bloggers have full time jobs like myself, it can be hard to quiet that excited dreamer inside of you with all the ideas but I’ve learned to be patient. Many of the bloggers who were on panels or led sessions at HLS12 had been blogging for at least three or four years. It takes time to grow and I think if you give your blog enough time to develop it can turn into something amazing.

Most of all I realized just how supportive the healthy living blogging community is. It was refreshing to be in a ballroom full of people who totally “get it.” While many of my friends and family know about my blog, I think a lot of them think it’s something I just like to do for fun (I think my Dad called it my online diary once), but to me it’s so much more and the girls (and a few guys) at HLS12 felt the same way I do. It was great to be in a conference session where everyone has their computer, phone or iPad out, live-tweeting everything the presenter is saying. This is the world we live in and it was amazing to be surrounded by people who feel the same way. Also, I honestly think friendships were formed over the very short but amazing weekend. It was only two and a half days but the bonds and knowledge that were shared will last longer.

All I know is I will definitely be going to Healthy Living Summit 2013 and hope to see all of the amazing bloggers I met this year again soon! If you went to HLS12 share your thoughts in the comment section!