Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marathon training

As many of you are aware, I am a runner.  I started two years ago and  this Spring (my third year running), I have decided to run a marathon.  Yes, that 26.2 miles.  Am I crazy was my first thought? Can I do this? (my second thought)  I was contacted  a race ambassador by a running company and they wanted to follow me as a train and run my first marathon.

I am terrified of this distance. All of my running friends have told me that if I can run a half marathon (13.1 miles), I can run a full marathon. Why should this frighten me? I'm not sure but I think it's more the distance and the time involved in training. So, I have decided to try to remember what running has taught me in the last couple of years. Here are my top ten things that running has taught me:

1. I've learned to embrace early mornings. Since I work full-time, mornings are the best and sometimes only time for me to run.

2. I've learned when to listen to my body, and when to tell it to shut up and keep moving. I tell myself that when I'm hurt to not train as hard. However, most of the time, my body just doesn't want to do what I want it to do so I just say “shut up” and keep moving. I normally feel great after a run like this too.

3. Running has taught me discipline, humility, and confidence. I have learned to follow routines, learn from my mistakes and be kind to others and myself while feeling a sense of accomplishment.

4. Running is honest. Running leaves me filled with adrenaline rushes and pure emotion. Sometimes I feel great, other times not. I've learned that I need to savor the highs and remember that the lows are temporary.

5. Running is 90% mental. Yes, I have come to realize this. My mantra; “Mind leads, body follows”.

6. Running with a friend will test your relationship. Running/training partners are wonderful in keeping you accountable, being company while keeping you motivated. They can really help you but if you don't do your training, they will you know. However, I like to run by myself the majority of the time because it is hard to run for me to train with someone.

7. Nutrition and hydration are incredibly important and difficult. I am still trying to figure out this balance however I feel more confident in my ability to keep hydrated and eat well. I purchased Runner's World cookbook which is great with quick, easy recipes designed for runners.

8. Training does not mean you will lose weight. I learned this the hard way. It took me almost two years before I saw any weight loss which was why I started running in the first place. I have lost inches and feel great.

9. It doesn't get any easier; you just get better. I remember when I couldn't even run a mile, now I run 13.1 and don't really think about it. Sometimes, I remember that person and still feel like it's a struggle however the difference is that I know that I can do it now.

10. I am an athlete and a runner. This is a surprise for me. I was never an athlete and hated anything physical. I'm a girly girl but I love running. I love how I feel after a run, how I feel when my feet hit the ground, the sights and sounds I hear when I run and the feeling of accomplishment after a run or a race. I love the running community which is very supportive. I love my running friends and seeing them at races, congratulating sweaty hugs and tears and especially the medals. I still struggle with my self-doubt with running but I'm finally beginning to believe it.

So, where do I begin on this journey? I start my training in January 2015 (five months before) my marathon in May 2015. Wish me luck as I venture on this new journey with my running.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stress-free holidays

As we approach the holiday season, many of us experience extra stress in our lives. Some of our stress is due to the hectic schedules that we endure, family situations, staying healthy and eating well, or traveling. So, what can you do to lessen your stress and enjoy the holidays this year?
For stressful family situations, I recommend Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin and A is for Attitude by Patricia Russell-McCloud.
happier home a is for attitude

If staying fit and eating well are bothering you, check out: Breaking the Food Seduction by Dr. Neal Barnard, 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers, Psy.D., Crave by Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., and Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition.
breaking food seduction50 ways to soothe yourself without foodcraveeating well for optimum health

If travel is a concern (or while you’re waiting at the airport), try some of our new services at Zinio is great for reading magazines, while Hoopla has music, audiobooks, television, and movies available. What a stress-free way to enjoy those long hours at the airport or while riding in a car! I love getting my favorite magazine through Zinio to read on my tablet.

Lastly, try journaling. Journaling is a wonderful way to relieve stress. I keep a gratitude journal beside my bed. Every night, I write five things in my journal that I am grateful for that day. I found that it helps me to sleep better at night, reduces my stress while making me more gracious for many of life’s blessings that I experience every day.

Remember, enjoy the upcoming season while building those memories to cherish with friends, family, and loved ones. Remember to eat and sleep well, exercise (for me it's always running) and don't worry about the little things.  Happy Holidays and happy trails!

#RIOTS Week Six and Seven

It's weeks six and seven for the #RIOTS.  I got a week behind as I had a lot of personal things going on these last two weeks. I ha...