10 Ways That Running Has Changed Me

Happy Thursday! We are only one day from the weekend again and getting so close to the end of 2017! I hope this year brought you many laughs, adventures, friends, opportunities to grow, and if not- there is always next year. I wanted to share with you 10 ways that running has influenced and made me a better person, in ways that I never thought it would. I thought this was a great end-of-the-year post because many people may be looking to add something new to their routine in 2018 or wanting to add more running/fitness goals into their life!


1. Running has given me opportunities to explore places I never thought I would visit.


2. Running has given me so much CONFIDENCE in every single facet of my life. 

3. Running has provided me with goals for each year and a reason to work-out (besides "wanting to be fit/in-shape")


4. Running has provided me with challenges and also the opportunity to overcome those challenges.

5. Running has given me patience. Getting better/coming back from injuries is TOUGH and it definitely is a work-in-progress.


6. Running has given me an outlet to laugh, smile, cry, overcome my anger, solve problems (or come to realization that they cannot be solved so easily), celebrate, and mourn.

7. Running has taught me so much about myself, things that I'm not sure I would have ever known without it. 


8. Running has given me the opportunity to join support groups and fight for causes that I am beyond passionate about. 


9. Running has given me an excuse to enjoy a donut (or two) after accomplishing something. 

10. Running has made me realize that I'm enough of myself and that I should never take it for granted.


What has running taught you?

What are your 2018 goals? Fitness or non-fitness related?

How have you improved from a hobby you enjoy doing?

Back from Vacation & Thoughts on June Mileage!

Phew! We are FINALLY back from vacation after 13 days away! I had the full intention of continuing to do posts while away, but we only had about ~5 days where we had internet and believe it or not, we were actually really busy the entire time. I thought vacations were supposed to be relaxing?!?

Currently working on my vacation posts, but I'll recap my back from vacation mode now and put up the vacation recaps shortly!

Getting back on track after vacations are REALLY hard. All my body wants to do is sleep for eternity, but after not having much structure with my workouts for 3 weeks (including 2 weeks of vacation and 1 week of post-marathon goodness) I was seriously craving some good sweat sessions.

Endorphins from working out is definitely a thing because even though I'm still sleep-deprived my body is happier with being back into the work-out routine! We got back home Tuesday evening at 8pm (and still stuck on East Coast time, so it felt like 10pm) and unpacked the majority of our things and went straight to bed. I got up at 5 and still managed to get in an easy 4 miles and 30 minutes of a full body strength training. The rest of the day was spent at work catching up on everything I missed and teaching two skating lessons yesterday afternoon! Our internet has still been down since we arrived back (I swear this ALWAYS happens to us!), so we cooked up some chicken and topped our baby spinach salads with it (along with cucumbers, chopped carrots, and a bit of Parmesan). Super happy to be eating healthy again! 

This morning I was surpisingly pretty sore from my workout yesterday, so tried to take it a bit easier on my run. I did 5 miles, but probably should've slowed down my pace even more- live and learn, am i right?!

I tallied up my June mileage and was pretty disappointed with it. I ran a total of 81.7 miles, which doesn't seem like much, but June was a pretty scattered running month for me! It included 1.5 weeks of taper for the marathon, 26.2 miles for the race, a week totally off of running, and then 2 weeks of short runs (while on vacation). So all in all, I'm pretty happy that I even got over 80 miles this month- plus I got a shiny new PR for the marathon, so that counts for quite a bit!

This thought pattern also just brings me back to the thought of why are we so concerned with all the numbers and comparing ourselves to others? What's a high number for one person may not be considered high for another. This is SO true not just to running, but to others weights, how many races you've run, what your race PR is, how far you have or have not traveled, etc. 

We are all individuals and that is what makes us UNIQUE- be true to yourself and proud of your accomplishments because the person next to you probably thinks you're a ROCKSTAR (and you should probably think the same thing about yourself ((and them too))). 

I came across this quote last week and fell in love with it. Isn't love all that matters in the world?! 

Maybe I'm just being sentimental or all mushy from my stress-free vacation, but this really stuck with me and I'm going to try to center my thoughts more towards love and peace, rather than focusing on others. 

So enough of the mushy stuff! How's your dreaming beyond your comfort zone going?!

I'm still a work in progress on this (aren't we all?), but continuing to work towards improving myself and breaking down the barriers that I put up for myself. 

Three things that I am thankful for today:

  • My Health
  • My Family
  • Green Tea with Honey <- currently fueling me through the afternoon slump!

How did you spend your Fourth of July?

Getting back to training/running/work-outs after a vacation- any tips?

Easy ways to add running into your life

So maybe you ARE already a runner or maybe you've only ever thought about running or maybe you've never thought about running but someone you know is totally in love with running, these few tips will help you add running into your life!

I could list off all the amazing benefits that running does for your mind and body, but I'll leave that to you to figure out once you begin!

1. Try a run/walk ratio. I did this when I came back from an Achilles Tendinitis injury and it really helped me ease back into running and not re-injure myself. I also did a similar technique when I was training for my first half-marathon. I would choose a telephone pole ahead of where I was right then and say to myself to 'just run until I get there' then I can walk/ take a break/ stop the work-out all together. This really helped build-up my confidence too as I soon found that I was able to go longer (most of the time) without stopping and could build up to running a farther distance/time, while reaping more benefits from running!

2. Set a goal. Whether that goal is to run a 5k, 10k, marathon, be able to run a mile without stopping, become healthier, lose a few pounds etc. I've found that working towards a goal helps me stay motivated and accomplished when I reach it. I began running on the treadmill (which I really loved) to simply get into shape and lose a few pounds that I had put on when I was injured with a torn meniscus. Once I felt myself starting to get in shape (and convinced by a friend who had recently started running), I signed up for my first half-marathon (a bucketlist thing) and since then, I've kinda always enjoyed training for something and participating in a training cycle too!

3. Buy some new fun running gear. Whether it's new running shoes, shirt, pants, iphone holder to play your music, watch, etc. A new piece of gear that you really REALLY want to try out can help motivate you to begin running (even if it is just a day or two per week). I can't explain how excited I was to begin using my new Garmin watch when I got it- I had to test it out (even when it was almost hurricane-like weather out).

4. Make a plan to fit your run in that works for you. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to do your run at the exact same time every day, but it does mean to hold yourself accountable to your runs (at least when you are getting started). Creating a habit out of something like running takes a few weeks and until it becomes more than just a chore/task you need to make sure to fit it in your schedule. Whether that means planning to run during your lunchbreak and not letting anything come up to deter you from that lunchtime run or strapping on your sneakers as soon as you get home to do your run before you get sucked into anything else at home. Make time and hold yourself accountable. 

So there you have it! A few easy ways to add some running into your life. While starting a new schedule is hard and keeping yourself injury-free is easier said than done, but listen to your body- if it feels like you're doing too much or running feels too hard, slow-down, take some walk breaks and be patient. The best things come to those who wait :) 

How do you add running into your life?

Any tips/tricks to begin running or work towards a big goal?

Happy Global Running Day & Valuable Lessons that Running has Taught me!

Happy Global Running day! I figured I would take this fantastic holiday that is dedicated to US- ALL of us that run (whether you walk, run, jog, spring, very occasionally take a few running steps a day) and list some of the most valuable lessons that running has taught me!

  • It has increased my appreciation of the outdoors. I have always loved being outside (besides those few years in College where I tried to "fit-in" and claim that I "hated" camping/hiking/bugs etc. I think that there is almost nothing that comes close to the refreshing feeling you get when the weather is beautiful and temperatures are perfect. The air feels fantastic, you're able to explore nature when you run outside, and sometimes you can even enjoy the time outside with your furry friend!
  • It has provided me an outlet to work through anything. I originally took up running to get into shape during college and really only ran on the treadmill (because I was convinced running outside was just too hard for me). I used running/working out (sometimes to an extreme at times through college) as a way to cope with my parents divorce, grandfathers attempted suicide, hardships with friends, dealing with homesickness, getting rejected from medical school, loneliness, heartbreak. BUT I also used it as a way to celebrate all the positives in my life: getting accepted to graduate school and the peace corps, securing my first 'real world' job, falling in love, making new friends, meeting a new goal in my personal life, finishing a great book, the first day of spring, Thanksgiving, etc. Running really has been there for me. It may not have solved all my problems or fixed anything, but it provided me a clear mind to think through things and oftentimes brought about a new perspective that I didn't see earlier. If there ever comes a day when I cannot run, I think I will still utilize walking/just being outdoors as a way to celebrate both the good and bad things in life. 
  • It has given me so much confidence. Do I need to be running all the time to have confidence? No. But has it helped rebuild my confidence after tough times? Absolutely. Even when I was injured with Achilles Tendinitis and in a boot for 3 weeks, I didn't lose my confidence completely (it was a little hurt because I was unable to run, but I utilized that to push me more once I became healthy and actually came out stronger on the other side) because I knew I was still considered a 'runner' even if I wasn't running right at this very small period in my life. I had such strong confidence in High School, then College and the few years post-college slightly damaged me. I never completely lost all confidence, but I did kind-of lose yourself. It's funny because many will exclaim that they 'found themselves' in College, but I found it did the complete opposite for me. I had a lot going on in my personal life and it destroyed me. It was until several years after graduating college that I found myself and my confidence again (although sometimes I will still go through shaky 'unknown' times). Running played a major role in that. Running my first marathon was a HUGE confidence booster, then running my second marathon and completing it (while not feeling completely destroyed) changed me. It was one of those pillar moments where I finally believed that I was actually a runner (sure my race times still weren't considered 'great' by any standard), but crossing that finish line twice was special. I was no longer ashamed to tell people that I ran or boast about my race times because you know what? Only 0.5% of Americans have run a marathon and I was one of that VERY small statistic (found here). It didn't even matter what my time was. 
  • It's helped me grow up and mature. There's nothing like an early morning run (or maybe late run for you night owls) and getting up early every morning forces you to grow up really quickly. You know what else makes you grow up? Those early Saturday or Sunday morning long runs. Going out drinking and partying before a long run the next morning for a half-marathon goal race does not mix well (trust me, I did it in college and definitely do NOT recommend). Running has forced me to become (and appreciate) the magical time of day that is the early AM.  Even when I'm not planning to run, I love to get up early and just enjoy my cup of coffee on the deck. Especially when training for marathons, you have to become a good planner and mature quickly. There's no way you're able to fit in training runs and a full-time career (and/or other responsibilities) if you are scattered and not have a pretty set schedule (with some flexibility obviously).  


There you have it! A few things that running has given me. I am continuing to grow, mature, learn more, and experience new places because of running. Now, go out for a run! Unless you're in the same boat as me and are tapering and today is a scheduled rest day- I'll be running with you in spirit!

ALSO don't forget to sign up to be a Brooks Endorsed Athlete here . You get some inside recipes, training plans, deals, and even sign a sweet contract! All about those deals!

What are some lessons that running has brought to you or your loved one?

Are you running today?

Do you do anything special on Global Running Day?

How I Built Up Enough Running Confidence to Tackle the Track

This marathon training cycle is the first one where I've actually tackled speed workouts on my own. For Goofy training I did some interval work on the treadmill through the CoreRunning class offered at Steamboat Pilates & Fitness, but this was honestly the first time I had ANY interval work at all. Well, I guess I did some mile repeats last year for the Revel Rockies Marathon, but I never seriously committed myself to them and never had any concept of time for them. I also had never heard of the concept of "easy" run days prior to this training cycle. My, how far I've come! 

For this training cycle, I've either resorted to doing my speed interval workouts in my 'safety net' AKA the treadmill, through a CoreRunning class, or I've taken the last few outside on the road, but never on a track. The track always intimated me (although no one else was there at 6am)-

I have always associated tracks with fast runners and I have never even been close to being fast. I was always that girl in gym class that would get picked last and would struggle through running a mile. 

Even now as an adult, I still thought of myself as a 'kind-of runner' and absolutely never FAST! But you know what I've always thought of recently, I am a 3-time marathoner and have finished a half-marathon under 2 hours. Maybe I'm not 'fast' in some peoples eyes, but my accomplishments are something that I once thought was impossible! 

So, I put on my 'big girl pants' armed with my running accomplishments and decided to tackle my last double-digit Yasso 800 workout not on the treadmill, in class, or on a road, but ON THE TRACK. 

Yasso 800s (which were once a completely foreign workout to me) are an extremely important workout in any training cycle and also helps for you to predict your race-readiness. So, before setting out on my workout this morning I decided to do a bit more research behind Yasso 800s. According to Runners World, the overall times are accurate depictions to what you can expect as a finish time for a marathon (Bart Yasso found that the 800s he did for several years leading up to marathons were a very close prediction to what his race time was). 

My training plan called for 8 x Yasso 800s in 4:00 minutes (with 400 recovery jog in-between), along with a 2 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool-down (800 is two-laps around a standard track; 10 miles total) . While the traditional predictor is for 10 x Yasso 800s, I'm confident that my overall fitness could easily have taken me over the last two 800s (I honestly didn't even feel THAT exhausted after the workout). 

My splits were:

3:57, 4:06, 3:56, 3:54, 3:51, 4:00, 3:53, 3:52 - averaged race time predictor: 3:55:30

SO, was the track as 'scary' as I made it out to be? Absolutely not. Did I have any reason to be 'ashamed' of my pace? Nope. I rocked it and feel awesome. I got in 10 miles total and have never felt stronger. 

It was actually kind of fun. 

Like I've said in past posts, maybe we just need to embrace the scary to build our confidence. Maybe we should start building ourselves up rather than breaking ourselves down. Acknowledge what your body has accomplished and don't let anyone (including yourself) make them smaller than what they are. 

Be proud of how far you've come and go rock that track. xo