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!

Twitter chat: Morning or night runner?

The more I continue to run and train for distance races the more I am realizing what kind of runner I am and when I run the best. For me it seems my legs are freshest in the morning but everyone is different. So I asked my Twitter runner friends what they prefer. Here are their answers!

  1. Some runners (like myself) feel best running in the morning like these guys.
  2. GirlsGotSole
    @FitHappyGirl Morning runner for sure. I like to get it done first thing.#runchat

    Wed, Sep 05 2012 16:12:11
  3. cwpowell
    @FitHappyGirl def. morning for me. Plus it gets my mind right for the rest of the day.

    Wed, Sep 05 2012 16:28:16
  4. nfdcanman
    @FitHappyGirl ohhh gotcha my bad – morning run any condition – gets the day going!

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 09:59:33
  5. McGeeCoor
    @FitHappyGirl mostly morning. Get it out of the way. feel so much more productIve. Leaves evenings open for other stuff.

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 09:51:50
  6. McGeeCoor
    @FitHappyGirl I’m usually up by 415 out of house by 445/450. about 20-25 min drive depending what I’m doing. So, yes! Die by 930@night. Ha

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 10:32:39
  7. moefaherty
    @FitHappyGirl First thing in the morning! Especially in summer when it’s cooler. Less chance of conflict, plus great start to my day :)

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 10:51:17
  8. merunfast
    @FitHappyGirl A morning runner! I like that the roads are empty & gives me more energy during the day. Downside? Early to bed is not easy!

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 10:56:59
  9. sarahfaith
    @FitHappyGirl morning. I love the cool air and the sun rising.

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 11:04:01
  10. Some runners prefer to run at night.
  11. notquitePre
    @FitHappyGirl Night – just feels calmer, cleaner and more natural to me!

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 09:50:50
  12. megankwagner
    @FitHappyGirl night because mornings are from the devil (disclaimer: watched The Waterboy last night).

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 10:08:51
  13. SkinnySometimes
    @FitHappyGirl I prefer to run in the evenings because I am the most hydrated. I get headaches in the morning.

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 11:28:15
  14. FitGirlPW
    @FitHappyGirl I’m usually an evening girl during the week (not an early riser), and mornings on the weekend #runchat

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 13:18:45
  15. For other runners, it depends on the day and what they’re feeling like.
  16. CeliacRunner
    @FitHappyGirl For me, depends on the season, I love afternoon runs in winter when it’s warm/inviting, morning runs in spring. #runchat

    Wed, Sep 05 2012 16:37:38
  17. nycrunninggirl
    @FitHappyGirl both! I prefer evenings but do mornings when I have something after work

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 09:52:12
  18. angelinasimms
    @FitHappyGirl In NY it was whenever. In TX I have to strategically plan my runs according to the temps. Don’t how the locals do it!#runchat

    Thu, Sep 06 2012 12:21:31

I’m trying to host a Question of the Week Twitter chat every week. It’s simple, I ask the question and you answer. To get involved simply follow me on Twitter at @FitHappyGirl and be on the lookout for my question!

Also, if you didn’t participate this week feel free to post your answer in the comments section below. Are you a morning runner or night runner? Either way, run happy!

Fit Girl Happy Girl as seen on #RunChat

I just wanted to again extend a huge thank you to the folks over at #RunChat for featuring my blog on their website last month in honor of Running Blogs Month. Throughout the month of August they featured running bloggers from all over the country (and some from across the pond!) on their website as a way to celebrate and connect people in the running community through blogs. As a token of their appreciation of us, last night they sent out these nifty “As seen on #RunChat” badges to add to our sites. I can say I’m very proud to be involved in #RunChat and will display this badge prominently on my site. Thanks again David (@RunningBecause) and Scott (@iRunnerBlog)!

Interested in participating in the next Twitter #RunChat? Simply log on to Twitter and follow the hashtag #runchat, answer the questions and there you go! The next #RunChat will be on Sept. 9 at 8:00 p.m.

Fit Girl Happy Girl featured on #RunChat

For the month of August, #RunChat, a twice a month Twitter chat for runners, is celebrating Running Blogs Month. Every day of the month they feature different running blogs on their website and today they are featuring Fit Girl Happy Girl! I’m so excited my blog was chosen to be featured and would love for all of you to stop by #RunChat to check it out!

#RunChat aims to connect runners and chat about running tips, advice, training tricks and anything and everything running. The next #RunChat is on Aug. 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST and usually lasts for about an hour. Follow the hashtag #RunChat to follow along with the conversation. Through #RunChat I’ve met so many amazing runners and have gotten great running advice from them. It’s such a great way to connect and share your running experience and we can always learn more.

To check out my feature visit their website! Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @FitHappyGirl and them at @therunchat.

Training for the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon!

It’s true folks, I’m beginning to train for the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon!! I think it’s also true that I’ve officially become obsessed with running. But on Monday, my cousin, who has been training for the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon with me, e-mailed me about training for the Philly Marathon. At first, I thought she was crazy because we’ve yet to run our first half-marathon and now we’re going to start training for a FULL marathon! What?! But then I was intrigued and I started to look into it. We have 15-weeks until race day and after looking at a bunch of training plans, many of them range from 14-18 weeks. Also, since we’ve already been training for the half marathon, our long run mileage is up to 12-miles. Not too shabby. I also found out that the Philly Marathon is a perfect starter marathon because of the flat terrain. So, after very little coaxing from my cousin, we made the decision to start training.

I realize this is overly ambitious but I’m up for the challenge. I think training for the half marathon has already taught me so much about my body and how to train for long distances. I know I need to stick to the training plan because I tend to get overly excited and run more days than I’m supposed to. Oops. This time around I will only run on run days and actually rest on rest days to avoid injury.

I also really, really want to focus on my nutrition because after last night’s long run I realized I’m not eating enough for the amount of calories I’m burning. I eat super healthy but need to add more protein and carbs to my diet. I also am starting to explore the mysterious world of protein shakes, something I always thought was for gym juiceheads. But apparently, tons of runners have post-run protein shakes to build up muscle, so I will too!

I am still mulling through some training plans but have found a pretty good one from the Runner’s World Smart Coach. Since I’ve already done my long run this week I’m going to focus on strengthening and maybe a short run this weekend. I’m pretty excited about this not only because it’s a huge deal but I’ve come so far since I started running in March! The support I’ve received from family, friends and especially my wonderful readers and fellow fitness bloggers, has really made me realize I can do this. Thank you for your support and here goes nothing! 26.2 miles of nothing!

Fit Girl Happy Girl on social media

As I continue blogging and documenting my journey to fit (and running obsession) I want y’all to stay connected. I want to know about your journey to fit. I want to hear your stories, your triumphs, PRs and everything else. The best way for me to learn your stories and for you to stay up-to-date with mine is to follow me on social media.

I love connecting with other runners so please connect with me. Also, if you ever need to contact me my e-mail is fitgirlhappygirl@gmail.com.

How to relieve a side stitch when running

Are side stitches cramping your running style? They were for me last week when I began training for the half-marathon. But after a little research I learned that you can actually overcome them with a few basic tricks.

Medically speaking, a side stitch is a spasm or cramp of the diaphragm muscle. There are many reasons a side stitch can occur including dehydration, bad running form or just general fatigue. For me I think it could be dehydration but according to many of the blogs and message boards I’ve read, side stitches tend to occur early on in a runner’s career. I’ve only been really running since March so that could also be the reason.

Whatever the cause, there are easy cures for side stitches. The For Beginners Only blog on the website for Runner’s World suggests massaging the area in pain. As always with a side stitch, you should stop running first, then:

“… press your first two fingers in and slightly upward directly where it hurts and hold for about 10 seconds. While pressing in and up, take more deep breaths. You can continue this process of pressing in and up, all around the edge of your ribs up to your sternum.”

Another technique I used last week that worked was to slow my pace, or come to a walking pace, and stretch my right arm over my head to stretch out the right side of my abdomen. If the stitch is on your left side, use your left arm. This worked well and helped relieve the pain so I could continue running.

The best news about side stitches is that with continued exercise and running, they should go away altogether. So, stay hydrated, stretch before a run and hit the pavement!