Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Get and Stay Motivated to Run

How to get and stay motivated to run:
    1.     Know your reason for running:  Everyone has a reason as to why they run.  Whether it be to run to lose weight, in honor/remembrance of someone, raise awareness/funds for an organization, stress relief, or just because you can.  Other reasons to run...  

The reason I run...
It's my way of carrying my cross daily.

Whatever your reason, know it and own it!  You’re much more likely to start and keep running if you have a reason to run.

   2.     Set Goals:  If you’re just starting out start with a small goal.  You want something achievable in a reasonable time frame so that you don’t burn out quickly.  If you’ve never run before maybe set your goal at a mile or 5k.  It’s ok to have long-term goals but make sure you have some short-term goals too.  My first year of running:  my short-term goal was to run regularly for 90 days and long term was to complete a half marathon.  After completing 5 half marathons my new long-term goal for this year is to survive a full marathon.

Staying Motivated:

  3.     Sign up for a race:  Sign up for a race shortly after you start running.  It’ll give you something to work towards.  I know when I don’t have a race on the horizon I start to lose motivation for running.  Races give me something fun to train for :)

  4.     Track your runs: I probably wouldn’t still be running today if I didn’t track my runs.  I like to see my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly stats.  Tracking my runs helps me see my progress and set goals.  There are several free apps and social networks out there to help you do this.  Here are a few that I use:

  •   Daily Milewww.dailymile.com  I sync my nikeplus to this but you can also manually enter in runs.  It is excellent for keeping up with weekly, monthly, and yearly mileage.  You can also easily track the mileage on your shoes and keep track of your race dates with this app.  I personally like to look at the lifetime stats to see the total miles I’ve run and the number of donuts burned haha  I share these results on twitter and my blog

  •   Nikeplus—I use this app on my phone to track my runs 8 mile or less while running.  I love the maps and how it keeps track of my PRs.  It motivates me to move faster.  For my longer runs I still use Nikeplus but manually enter my runs using http://funplus.oliverzheng.com/.  This helps me preserve the battery life on my phone.  The only thing that stinks about manually entering runs is that it doesn’t track calories or convert my run to Nikefuel. This app is nice for tracking mileage on multiple pairs of shoes.  I share my Nikeplus runs on facebook. 

  • EveryMove-- https://everymove.org/ This site converts all of your physical activities into points.  These points can be used for prizes (discounts, raise money for organizations).  Who doesn’t like prizes?

  •  Walgreens Balance Rewardshttps://www.walgreens.com/steps/stepslanding.jsp If you frequently shop at this drug store and are familiar with their rewards card, you can now earn points for running.  You get 20 points for every mile you log.  5000 points equals a $5 reward :) You can also earn additional points for logging your weight.  All you need to get started is a Walgreens Balance Rewards card.

These are just the apps/sites I use.  There are a lot more out there.  So find the one the works for you and track your mileage :)

I post the majority of my stuff to facebook and twitter.  I'm not worried about annoying people on your newsfeed.  Here is how I think about it. hahaha

And last but not least...
5. Change it up:  Change up your running course.  Running the same route everyday can get tiresome and boring.  I prefer to run loops instead of out and backs so that I’m not running by the same things twice during the same run.  I have 2 5K loops, 2 10K loops, and an eleven mile loop that I interchange for my runs depending on the distance I want to go.  I have a 16 mile loop in mind for when I start training for my full marathon (and it conveniently has a cupcake shop at the half way point. Score!)

Ok and now for the fun part of this post...

The 2nd Annual Disney Ticket Giveaway!!! 
Just comment below on what motivates you to run and follow me on twitter.  Extra entries are given to those who tweet about this post. **** (This contest is open to everyone so if you haven’t started running yet no worries—I hope this post will provide some inspiration to you. In the meantime, simply show some love with a comment and/or follow on twitter)

This Giveaway is in perfect time for all of those runners out there looking for a ticket to Disneyland for the Dumbo Dare Challenge or any other runDisney event this year or spring of 2014. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Details:  The ticket expires 6/08/14 so it must be used before then!  Please only enter the contest if you’re certain you’ll be able to use the ticket by that date.  Also, please do NOT sale it for any reason.  If you can’t use the ticket, give it back to me :)  Mickey Mouse gives tickets to me for free so I’m not selling them and I don’t want you to either.  

There will be (2) winners.  Each will receive 1 Disney ticket that can be used at any of the following parks… Walt Disney World, Disneyland, CA, Hong Kong Disney, and Disneyland Paris.

Contest goes until June 4, 2013.  Winner will be announced on National Running Day June 5, 2013 so be sure to come back and check my blog then.  The winner will have 48 hrs to claim the ticket before it is forfeited.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Exciting News--Fit2Run

Last night I went for a fun run with the Gainesville Fit2Run running store.  It was a fun 3 mile trail run.  I’m loving the trail runs this spring/summer as it provides some much needed shade.  Thank God for trees and shade!  The only thing that makes me nervous about running on unfamiliar trails is that I’m afraid of getting lost.  The trails I ran last night were new to me so I wanted to stick with the pack.  I ran side by side with someone else for 2 miles until I decided to run at my own pace.   Before the run started I was told it was pretty much a straight shot once we hit the trails so I felt ok splitting up.  Of course as soon as I decide to separate I come to a fork in the trail.  There was no straight! Haha It was pick right or left.  The right path looked very narrow so I chose left. I ran for a bit and decided I must be going the wrong way as I wasn’t running into anyone. So,  I turned around and ran back until I ran into an Air Force guy—asked him if he knew the trails, he didn’t so we chose a path together.  We chose left.  We made it back  ;)  After talking with some of the other runners evidently left wasn’t the intended path.  We were supposed to choose right but we still made it back just with a bit of extra mileage hahah.  Exploring on trails is fun.

Now, time for some exciting news!  Last night I also officially became an Ambassador for Fit2Run.  I’m excited for the year ahead as an Ambassador.   This opportunity allows me to network with others who share my love of running and to help promote the running lifestyle.  As I’ve said before, running is so much more than a hobby.  It truly is a lifestyle—you overall live healthier.  Running has effected my physical fitness, my mood, what I eat, how I prioritize my time and budget.  All of these changes have been for the better.  As a Fit2Run ambassador I’d like to encourage more people to live a healthier lifestyle and to at least TRY running or run/walking.  Honestly, the most difficult part of running is just getting started.  I started out just wanting to run consistently for 90 days (no specific amount—in the beginning I barely completed a mile a day).  At some point during that time frame I started to fall in love with running.  I know you can too!

As a Fit2Run Ambassador I’m going to be running some of my races in this sweet new singlet!  So keep your eye out for me on the courses :)  I love the neon colors!

My Race Schedule as a Fit2Run Ambassador: (Results and recaps will be posted)

35th Annual Melon Run 5K—July 4
2nd Annual Cross Country 10K the rock trails—August 23
Tower of Terror 10 miler— October 5
Wine and Dine Half Marathon—November 9
Space Coast Marathon— December 1
WDW 10K—January 10
WDW Marathon—January 12
Tinkerbell Half Marathon—January 19
Princess 10K—February 22
Princess Half Marathon—February 23
(More Races to come!)


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Race Recaps

Man how time flies!  The past 6 months have been super busy and I’ve totally neglected you all.  I apologize :(  I’m finally on a vacation and have some time to write.  I’ve been meaning to write a recap of all of my races but time has really caught up with me and I just haven’t had the chance so I’ll briefly say a few things about each of the races I’ve done in the past few months (there hasn’t been that many).

1. Five Points of Life Gainesville Half—It was 2/16/13 and REALLY cold.  29 degrees at the start.  For florida that might as well read -3.  I hadn’t trained in that cold of weather and felt a bit unprepared.  However, I did just fine.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I layered in long sleeve running shirts and was just fine for the half.  I didn’t get too warm and didn’t feel the need to peel layers either.  It was just right.  I wanted to do this race slow because I was running  the Princess half the very next weekend (which I did).  I think I did 3min/2 min walk/run intervals with Kelsey.  We ended up finishing a lot quicker than planned with a time of 2:29:58.  This was Kelsey’s first half and she did amazing!  I’m so glad she let me talk her into it.  It’s my goal to convince at least one person a year to run a half marathon.  I already have a few people in mind for this next year :)  **Alyssa W. and Jamie Y.**  When we finished we grabbed a quick shower and went straight to church.  Our pastor was super impressed as several people from our church ran the same race and we were the only ones that made it.  It was a bit uncomfortable to sit still during the service after running so long—at one point I looked over at Kelsey and noticed that we were both sitting in our chairs and massaging our legs haha I’m not sure if anyone noticed but if they did they probably gave us odd looks.

2. Princess Half—I ran this race on tired legs.  I really should have went slower for the five points half seeings how this was the first time I’ve done 2 long runs back to back.  I should have trained for that…oops.  Princess half was a bit tough for me as it was really humid and my legs weren’t having it.  I tried to do intervals but ended up just running and walking when I felt like it.  I still had a lot of fun because 1. Dressed up like a princess (I mean who doesn’t like to run in a tutu?) and 2.  This was the first Disney race I stopped to take pictures with almost all of the characters (I needed the breaks from running).  I finished in 2:39.  My slowest half yet but I felt accomplished for completing 2 half marathons only a week apart.  The best part of the Princess half was starting in corral A.  My 10K time bumped me from B to A :) Because it is a women’s focused race all of the guys have to start in corral C so my race time wasn’t competing with theirs.  I felt really slow when the guys started passing me hahah but I really enjoyed seeing them out there running and supporting all of us women.  Their princess costumes were also entertaining and kept my mind off of the exhaustion I was experiencing.

3. Iron Girl Half (half marathon #5 for me!)—This half was a last minute decision.  One of my running friends talked me into it.  She’s a much stronger runner than I am and said she wanted to help pace me for a PR.  The goal was to run a 2:15 half.  I signed up a few weeks before the race with enough time to work up to 1 long run before race day.  I went 10 miles at a 10 minute pace.  I was well on track for a sub 2:15 PR.  However, all of you who run know you can’t really predict how you’re going to do race day.  There are just too many factors that play a role.  Jenn was an awesome pacer but I just felt like crap the entire race.  I mean I felt nauseous before the race even started and by mile 8 I was ready to quit.  I didn’t but thank God Jenn was there or I might have seriously walked the rest of the way.  There were 2 huge bridges (hills) that we had to run over twice and I was not prepared.  We did 1min/30 sec run/walk intervals for the most part and I finished in 2:19.  It was still a PR :) but didn’t meet the 2:15 goal :(  I kind of felt like I let Jenn down as a pacer, but I just wasn’t feeling well.  Thankfully, Jenn is an awesome friend and didn’t give me too hard of a time about it.  I think I’ll be back to run this race again to try and beat my time.  I loved that it was on the beach and so much pink everywhere :)

We're Iron Girls!

I also ran a 10K in there somewhere.  It was a local race and st. pattys themed.  It wasn’t a PR but a nice good race for me.  It had a 3mile trail portion which was a first for me.  That same morning I also ran a 5k for 2 races in a day.  You know you’re a runner when you won’t limit yourself to 1 race a day lol.

Ok that’s it for the race recaps.  This one is getting a bit long so I’m going to do a separate post on my reflection of 1yr of running and what I’m doing to celebrate.  My 1 yr running anniversary is tomorrow!!!  Yaya! :D  That’ll come in a few days because of the lack of internet.  So excited for tomorrow!