Thursday, May 10, 2012

How Not to Quit Running | Running for beginners

1. Be reasonable
You just started. You aren't that lean, mean running machine on the treadmill next to you making a 7.0 look effortless. You're new. You're you. And just getting your shoes on & yourself to the track may be a triumph at this point.  Start off slowly, but not too slow that it doesn't hurt a bit. There's a reason running feels daunting: it's freakin' hard! The struggle is worth it. Find yourself a plan for beginners or just start out with a warm up, run a bit, walk a bit then each time add a bit more running than walking until you're running the whole time. That's what I did.
2. Be practical
I'm talking about when & where you run. For me, it's in a gym because they have childcare & I have a baby & 3 y/o at home with me all day. The treadmill is boring & you don't get the mental satisfaction of distance conquered. As beautiful as a run through Colonial Williamsburg would be, I'd rarely get around to it because I'd have to wait til my husband got home for childcare, because my 3 y/o wont stay in the jogging stroller. Choose which time & place is least likely to be sabotaged. Minimize excuses.
3. "Turn up some great music & run your butt off!"
This is the advice I got from a friend that had achieved recent success running. Besides being physically challenging, running was so dang boring to me! I wanted tips on making it less agonizing. Choose music with enough bpm (beats per minute) that will get & keep your body moving.
Try my playlist (check it out here) 
Other top recommendations: watching a favorite show while on the treadmill makes time pass. Running outside is visually gratifying-you're actually going somewhere and see how much is left ahead as well as getting a change of scenery along the way.

4. Be accountable 
I made my foray into running public via Facebook &
There's something about every friend knowing you're working toward this goal that makes it difficult to give up. A running buddy may work for you in the same way.
Also, sign up & pay for a race. Signing up for a 10K, knowing I'd have to cross the finish line on race day motivated me to prepare. Paying $30 to register furthered the investment. After that race, I signed up for another which impels me to maintain my routine.
5. Be comfortable.
When I first started, I wore a pair of cute running shorts like these. Ouch!  My inner-thighs were burning from the chaffing. And I found myself pulling on them the whole run.
Bottom line: if you're adjusting your clothing through the run, you're more likely to stop short of your goal. Make sure your shirt is long enough and your shoes aren't blistering your heels. (Liquid bandage helps run through blisters, by the way. I also had success with breaking in a new pair of sneakers using vaseline & bandages) I prefer to run in what you see the girls wearing in the photo above.

6. Stay hydrated (coffee helps too) 7. Potty first 8. Don't run on an empty stomach. Half a banana or a spoonful of peanut butter does the trick for me. 9. Try a running app like Nike Running which tracks your run, pipes in your selected playlist, and alerts you along the way. 10. Believe there will be after pics!
Have something to add??? 
I'm happy to hear what works for you!
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Running playlist | Warm up/Cool down playlist

Tomorrow morning I'm crossing something off of the I'll-probably-never-do-this-so-I-won't-even-put-it-on-the-list of things I want to accomplish in my life list.

The last time I remember being this intimidated was on the drive over to meet my blind date, who became my husband.
I've still never run outside so the race will be my first time. eeek!
I did my very best on the treadmill and I had to walk more than I had hoped.
I'm counting on what everyone seems to say: that the crowd & the live bands will move me farther, faster than I go on the treadmill alone in the gym.

Here's my tried & true running playlist.
You can listen to it on Spotify here.
*Disclosure: not the best lyrics, but the best beats for getting (& keeping) my booty moving.

Waka Waka is so fun; it's hard not to sing out loud.
(Have you ever heard anyone sing out loud at the gym?) God, I'd just love if everyone broke into a routine; I pictured it often when I first started. Hey, treadmill running is booooring.
And Stronger is a sure-fire "push me when I want to stop" pick.

You can listen to my warm up/cool down playlist here on Spotify. I use it for walking at any pace & stretching so it's quite a tempo mix. I'm going to trust you not to warm up with Fix You.

I was hoping to find a movie with a female runner girl to inspire me tonight, but I haven't thought of a good one. Think: The Devil Wears Prada, swap running for fashion.
The most notable running scene I've seen lately is George Clooney running in boat shoes in The Descendants. Perfectly hilarious & pathetic all at the same time. He talks about how it came to be here.

Inspire me: 
how did you push yourself past your comfort zone
 & are now so glad you did?

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Here's to crossing off the list!

The proverbial list. You know the "Gosh, I hope one day I'll...." list.
I've accomplished plenty of things that were never on that list. Happy things like having 3 kids, making the perfect roast chicken, seeing the cherry blossoms in DC, etc.

I think the things I really wanted to accomplish never even made the list because I couldn't bare the fact that realizing them is simply unimaginable.
1. Being happy with my weight and size. Yea. Never. Gonna. Happen.

But then I started crossing things off like: 
2. Clearing up my face with the right face wash & moisturizer & foundation for my skin

3. Stop biting nails (seemingly impossible for this lifelong nail biter here). Besides willpower, this polish made it possible. 9 months & they're long & strong. (& far too oval for my taste, but there's a language barrier.) Regular gel manicures keep them in tip top shape & last all month.

Then frustrated with my plateau doing Zumba & eating no carbs for months, I decided to take a swing at running. I truly figured it would be a one or two time try & quit. I have asthma. I find the treadmill incredibly boring. I'm short & curvy, not long & lean like the "runner girls" I've always envied admired.

It's been three months. I started out being able to run 1/2 a mile. I run nearly every other day on a treadmill. Honestly, 3 miles is my max.  I finish a 5K in 34 min only if I take my inhaler beforehand, have the perfect mix of music, the right pair of pants, and band aids on my blistered heels.

 Today, I signed up for a 10K.

The race is named one of USA Today's top in the country, saying:
The Monument Avenue 10K
Richmond, Va.
This 6.21-mile race, to be held next on March 27, 2010, takes runners down tree-lined Monument Avenue, which is dotted with historic statues and surrounded by beautiful Southern homes. "You get the sense that Richmond really was the capital of the south," says Yasso, who explains it's also a very festive race. There are bands that play along the course and a costume contest. "It's a big party,"says Yasso.

Dan ran last year along with my (8m pregnant) friend & her family. Also pregnant, I couldn't imagine running it then or ever but the excitement in the air got me wishing I could. The vibe down there was contagious: healthy & fun. My kids loved the dancers from UVA. This year Dan & the kids will wait for me at the finish line and hopefully it won't be dark by the time I arrive. (The race starts in the morning)
Wish me luck folks. At this point, I've never, ever, ever run outside.

Maybe I can cross "go to Italy" off my list next!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

being mom; impossibly & irreplaceably mom

This week I nearly wrote a post titled: 
'Let's have kids': what a misconception!
Because, let's be honest, the woman has kids.
The man is asked to watch them from time to time while mom takes leave, he is thanked when he bathes them, praised when he combs their hair & gets them in pjs without request.  
Typically, I don't bemoan this inequality, rather I embrace it as best for all; thank the man! Praise him for his marvelous deeds! Why not?
If you want him to stop helping, add something like "I haven't gone to the bathroom on my own in 5 years!" or "welcome to my life, babe."

The longer I've been a mom, the more accustomed I've become to the selflessness required of me. Through the exercise of naming the moments that bring joy & jotting them down I enjoy the long days. I have taken ownership of motherhood as my job and pride in investing my abilities to enrich our family life.
But, this week I am feeling every bit of the weight of motherhood.

The post I've been formulating wouldn't have been diplomatic. I would not have added: "Yes, I choose to be a stay-at-home-mom, counting it a privilege in today's economy."
Not this week. I haven't slept through the night in weeks. I'm too raw to be prudent.

It started when the baby came down with a fever 2 weeks ago and currently all three of our kids are sick.

All three kids have gone with me to walk-in clinics and drug stores. I've been stared at, judged, embarrassed and every bit of my patience has been tested.
We've crammed into waiting room bathrooms because an accident would be worse. While consoling a crying infant, correcting an old-enough-to-know-better kid for superfluous foaming soap & pleading with everyone not to touch a bloody thing, our name is called. 
Perhaps I just need someone to be mad at and it can't be the kids, but I think of my husband in these impossible moments.
He would never do this. And if he did, he certainly wouldn't remember to call for a referral beforehand or bring a bottle along. My husband wouldn't have the coupon with him to use at the pharmacy & remember to grab the supplies for the kindergarten project that can be completed while Carter's home sick from school.
I had to go to an appointment this morning alone because children aren't welcome for x-rays. Alone. Alone!
Driving home I was drafting this post I'd been creating in my head all week.
But then,
I walked in the house and saw my husband holding the baby while unloading the dishwasher.

In a moment: clarity.

I chucked the ideas for the post & decided my time would be better spent searching for a contest in which to enter him so alas, he can be awarded for his domesticity. He's a certifiable gem.
And in the end, who doesn't love being irreplaceable?

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