Tackling The Road: Running for Beginners

One of the first things people will learn about me is that I love to run. That’s right, I just did use the words ‘love’ and ‘run’ in the same sentence. There are people that absolutely detest running and don’t quite understand why runners choose this form of cardio. I could go on and on about the reasons why I love to run (in fact I even wrote a post about it, which you can find here) but I won’t in this post. Like the title of this post, my main purpose is to provide a beginner’s guide in adopting running as a lifestyle.

In the past, I’ve had some friends genuinely interested in taking up running as a lifestyle change and come to me for advice. First of all, it makes me so happy when my friends seriously give running a try because it’s one more aspect we can bond over. Second, it is extremely humbling when people go to me for advice because it shows that they trust my opinion. Before I continue with my guide, I’d like to disclose that I am not a certified Personal Trainer, coach, or licensed Physical Therapist (yet!), I am simply speaking from personal experience! Whether you have been regularly exercising and want to add running to your routine OR if you are totally new to the wonderful world of running, my guide is universal to both situations of the spectrum. Now without further ado, here is my Beginner’s Guide to Tackling the World of Running:

  1. Start walking: Yep you got that right! Run walking that is! As tempting as it may seem to go out and start pounding the pavement at full speed for as long as you can, the risk for injury and pain increases with this approach. Instead, adopt a walk/run workout of 2:1. For example, add 1 minute of running to every two minutes of walking. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend running so that it will eventually double the time spent walking. If you are consistent with this method, you will eventually be able to run a mile no problem.
  2. Get fitted for shoes: With the many GPS watches and various running gadgets out in the market, running shoes will forever hold the title for most important. Running in worn out shoes is a huge call for injury, it is best to get fitted at a running specialty store. When shopping for shoes, shop for function and not aesthetic. By this I mean, really pay attention to your feet’s needs; Are you flat footed or do you have a high arch? Will you be running on trails or mostly pavement? Are you a pronator or a supinator? These things matter and can serve as a guideline to what types of shoes you purchase. Just because your friend looks really cool in those new Nike Frees does not mean you should run in them too! Happy feet equals a happy run, so don’t disrupt the balance! The miles will be comfortable and your body will thank you!
  3. Relax and Run Tall: When I ran cross country in high school, my coach made it a point to teach us how to run properly. Oh yes, there is a proper way to run. I was skeptical at first when he said long distance runners are notorious for having bad running form but that quickly changed when he videotaped me running across the track. My video playback showed my arms crossing at the front of my chest, my shoulders shrugged up towards my ears, and worst of all, the dreaded heel strike. From then on, my coach made us do exercises that you help us change our running form. One exercise we had to do was to sit cross legged on the ground with a relaxed upright posture (shoulders down and relaxed). We had to bend our elbows at 90 degrees and do arm swings for 30 seconds. “Hands relaxed! Feed the bird!” he barked at us. By feeding the bird, he had us imagine that we had an imaginary bird sitting atop our shoulders and to feed it whenever our hands came up. In doing this, you don’t expend as as much energy swinging your arms forward as opposed to swing them across your body. Heel striking is bad because it places the shin bone (tibia) in a position to absorb most of the shock and force with each step that makes contact with the ground. This can lead to injuries like shin splints. In order to combat this, we worked on a forward leaning posture will running. By leaning forward you are in a better position to ‘catch’ yourself from falling by landing on your midfoot. Midfoot striking displaces the force absorption to your calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) instead of the tibia.
  4. Slowly ease into it and warm up properly: Start out small, like running a mile everyday or every other day, depending on your fitness level. If a mile sounds too daunting, run half a mile every other day. Adjust the mileage to what you are comfortable with and capable of. Then each week, slowly add more miles. Learn to warm up the right way! Since I am studying health, exercise, and sport science, I have learned that the correct way to warmup is to do dynamic stretching before your workout/run and static stretching post workout/run. Dynamic stretching involves momentum and active effort used to stretch the muscle; there is no hold position. Examples of this would be leg swings, jumping jacks, butt kickers, high knees, etc. These allow more blood flow to the muscles, warming them up and giving them oxygen. In contrast, static stretching is what is typically thought of as stretching; it is basically a stretch and hold. Static stretching is best done after a run if you are still feeling sore or tight. Static stretching before a workout may potentially make you at risk for injury or even slow you down. Think of your muscles like a rubber band, if you stretch it out before exercise it won’t have as much resistance, making it looser.
  5. Maintain a healthy diet and hydrate properly: Clean up your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables! If there is anything I learned this semester in my Exercise Metabolism class, it is that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are a wonderful source of complex carbohydrates. Green leafy vegetables are your best bet when it comes to getting enough Vitamin A and E. Limit the amount of processed foods you consume. Try to buy goods around the perimeter of a grocery store the next time you shop; the majority of processed foods are located towards the middle of the store. Instead of soda and/or juice, drink water instead. Since I have a water bottle on me most of the time, I am reminded to stay hydrated. In regards to water and exercise, make sure to drink early and often. If you drink large amounts of water in a short period of time, you increase your chances of getting water poisoning.
  6. Set small, achievable goals: In my experience, setting big goals such as running 35 miles a week can be daunting especially if you are a new runner or an experienced runner coming back from a hiatus. Small, achievable goals like running 10 minutes each day or even running with a friend on a certain day each week are good motivators in staying active each day. When you surpass a goal, you start to create slightly harder ones to work towards. Soon enough you’ll be signing up for your first 5K! This is honestly how my dad progressed his fitness journey. When he started running, he couldn’t even run a mile without stopping but eventually he ran a little bit each day and was soon racing his first 5k. Then, as his ability to run longer distances got better, he worked up to a 10k, a 10 mile race, a half marathon, and even a full marathon. The great joy (and perhaps curse) of running is that you really get out what you put in.
  7. Be consistent! Stick to a schedule! My current fitness routine has me running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings before my classes start and strength training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Write your schedule done on a sheet of paper and hang it on your wall, that way you’ll see it and be motivated to workout. Working out with a friend is also helpful in keeping yourself accountable. Also, don’t forget to rest as well. With adequate sleep and gradual increase in mileage, you are slowly easing your muscles into the physical stress running adds and allowing them to recover. Over time,  as the miles become easier, your muscles get stronger, your lungs get more efficient in gas exchange, allowing you to handle increased mileage, speed, and overall endurance.
  8. Be patient! Whether you are running for weight loss or running to train, it is important that the physical changes you might expect to happen will not occur fast (and especially not overnight). Instead of focusing on a certain number of a scale, focus on how running or just general exercise makes you feel. Don’t ever compare your fitness journey to anyone else because everyone is different. There are a lot of factors that go into physical changes and effects of exercise, so be mindful of that.

So that is that is my guide on how to adopt running into your life! Again, I want to reiterate that these tips have come from personal experience and in no way are a substitute for the many running guides that currently exist. In fact, if you want a more in depth guide to running, Runner’s World has a great guide, which can be found here. For the runners out there, what else would you add to my guide? What are your tips for taking up running? For the newbies to running, if you have any questions, please ask! Let me know in the comments!

Happy running!

Samantha

Running While Female: The Brutally Honest Truth

“Run Forest, Run!”, “Hey girl, slow down!”, and “Hey girl, I’ll give you a workout!” are some phrases, along with obnoxious wolf whistles, hollers and glaring stares, that have been barked at me ever since I started running. In general, these degrading actions fly past me and I ignore them. While I have been fortunate enough not to experience physical assault during a run, I have friends that have gone through it and it infuriates me to the core. Running is supposed to be a relaxed outlet to relieve stress and advocate health and body positivity, not as a means to shame and criticize people to invoke fear and insecurity. No longer will I stay silent about the passerby that decides to make a runner paranoid with their words or the car that sits a little too long at a stop sign to check a runner out.

The double standard sadly exists within running, as accounts of sexual harassment are more prominent among women than men. For example, while running under the scorching sun, men do not have to think twice about running without a shirt, while women have to think about running with just a sports bra. “It’s too hot to run with a shirt, but I don’t want to get stared or hollered at today” is a sadly common dilemma that women face. Even if we choose to keep our shirts on (God, forbid we show our belly buttons on our run), that still doesn’t ensure that the harassing comments won’t come our way. One time, I went on a four mile run by myself and I was feeling pretty good. My pace was great and my calves weren’t sore. However, this pleasant feeling of accomplishment was rudely interrupted by a driver that yelled, “Hey, nice tits!” as he drove past. I was indeed wearing a shirt so that comment was unwarranted as it was unnecessary. I responded by keeping my eyes forward and ignoring him. Believe me, I wanted to give him a piece of my mind, but I value my safety more than getting the satisfaction of telling him off and potentially getting harmed in the process.

The first time I truly felt uncomfortable during a run, it was during cross country practice during high school. I was running with my varsity team and we were coming back to campus from an intense 800m repeat workout. It was around 105℉ that day and sometime around the end of the fourth 800m, my teammates and I slide off our sweaty shirts and finished the workout running in our sports bras. As we were on our way back, we stopped in front of a random house in the residential area. My teammates and I stood and stretched in a circle. A few minutes later, my teammate yelled “Hey, what the f*ck are you doing?!” causing my teammates and I to turn around, only to see a man sitting in his parked car with his phone pointed towards us. We had no idea how long he was there sleazily recording or taking pictures of us. Even after he heard my teammate, he continued to do what he was doing. We proceeded to sprint back to the school and no one ever spoke about the incident again.

“So why don’t I respond back and stand up for myself?” Because I also need to think about the social implications that come with standing up for myself and explicitly rejecting unwanted advances. In layman’s terms, I don’t want to get physically harmed for defending myself. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to exert my my authority by speaking my mind, but current societal norms have taught me otherwise. In a society where me and millions of girls in the country have been conditioned to “not cause any more trouble” in situations where harm (either physical or emotional) is inflicted upon us, have boys been taught to not holler at other girls and women? No, at least not directly because society defines masculinity as being “dominant, powerful, and aggressive”. In a society where women are shamed for speaking her mind, men are rewarded for exerting their “power” by any means necessary. Whether men honk and holler at runners to exercise authority or explicitly announce their presence, it is unjustified and it is still sexual harassment. Please stop.

Like my fellow female runners in the running community, I do take certain precautions to be safe while I am running alone, such as changing my running routes and clenching my house key between my fingers like a pocket knife. Even then, I can never fully prepare to avoid the snide comments and unsettling stares, because these are just inevitable. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. In a world where sexual harassment is often overlooked, we need to end this perpetuating cycle and lead by example. We must teach not just our children, but people around us to treat each other with respect. We must also stop justifying men’s behavior by using the excuse “boys will be boys” and “some guys are just jerks”. We must stop shaming women (whether consciously or unconsciously) for their decisions in what they wear. Women do have control over control our bodies, but the way other people react to our appearance is beyond our control. It is honestly not hard at all to remain silent while passing by a runner. To the people guilty of hollering at runners, instead of perpetuating harassment, use running as motivation to exercise that anger out because Lord knows that you’ll need it.

Featured photo from Runners World 

Original article can be found here

Halfway to #13Point1Before21: A Training Update

Hola! I am officially over the half way point in my half marathon training! I came to this realization last Friday morning when I was double checking the training chart to see how much I had to run that day. Nothing is worse than realizing that you did the wrong workout after you had just done a workout! So yes, according to my training plan, I am currently on week 6, which means that after this week, I only have 3 weeks to go before race day! Eeeeep! The first thing that crossed my mind upon this awareness was “Holy sh*t Sam, you only have 3 weeks to go!” This has got me feeling a lot of different, polar-opposite emotions right now, so let me break it down for you!

The main feeling I have is one of anxiousness because of the timing. As of now, my training plan is increasing in mileage and the amount of speed work I have to do is a lot more demanding than when I had first started. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re in the big leagues now! Add this to the fact that exams and presentations are coming up in the next few weeks, you have a pretty good idea of how busy my schedule is. The last registration cycle for next spring is just around the corner, as I need to start finalizing my last semester of my undergraduate career. The timing is not the greatest, but I’m gonna take the optimistic approach and see it as a sign that I need to continue to manage my time well and hope that everything will work out!

Being aware that I have completed half of my half marathon training will I am in school and am working part time gives me a sense of immense sense of pride. It is honestly not my intention to sound self boasting, but I do think that it’s healthy to give yourself credit where it is due. As busy as I am this semester and as academically demanding as my classes are, I feel that training for the half marathon gives my life structure and focus. I almost feel like I am running on a cross country team again, except of the fact that I am my coach and team simultaneously. One positive change I realized since I started training was that I am a lot less stressed out and more calm whenever I am faced with a problem or issue. I didn’t realize this until I missed my first morning run. I had slept in and didn’t have enough time to go run for 4 miles and ended switching training days. That day I didn’t run, I noticed that I was a lot more sluggish and cranky. I guess you can saw that running is my form of therapy and my energy source.

The last feeling I have is slight fear and apprehensiveness. So far in my training, I have been pretty consistent in my 400s. One main thing I haven’t been the most consistent in the Sunday long runs. I’ll admit that I do have to stop once or twice during those long runs to stretch and what not and it’s making me doubt my ability to complete the half marathon in under 2 hours. I know that I have to run at a 9:09 min/mile pace in order to complete that goal. I ran my first half marathon in 2:11 and I remember feeling just so proud of myself for even finishing. I think that because I know I can run a half marathon, this upcoming race is more about running faster rather than just finishing. For here on out, I’ll just use that feeling of intimidation as self motivation to train even harder. I will also have to be aware of when to give myself and my body a break; I do not want to get sick especially now that it’s flu season!

The question of “What if I can’t finish in under two hours?” is always in the back in my mind. But what if I can? What if I can finish in under two hours and set a new PR in the process? Then I’ll be the happiest girl alive and take pride in the sweat and blisters that I put in to earn that time. All that negativity and uncertainty will be replaced by fierceness and appreciation. Ultimately, I am definitely excited to race on November 6 and leave my work on the pavement to prove itself!

Run happy,

Samantha

 

10 Unexpected Lessons Running XC Has Taught Me

“Run XC, it’ll be fun!” a former classmate of mine said to me in our geometry class. Little did I know that cross country  would be the toughest and most exhilarating sport I’ve ever been a part of.  From learning about the importance of proper running form to finding out that compression shorts are a runner’s best friend (I learned the hard way, ’tis a story for another time), here are the ten lessons running cross country has taught me:

  1. Your body is capable of more than you give it credit for: As my former varsity coach once said “Running is 80% mental and only 20% physical”, I am here to tell you that his words are very true. From my experience, the mind has the ultimate say in deciding how fast to sprint and in setting the mental atmosphere on race day. If I’m feeling down or am anxious about a certain race, I will write my mantra “Fear no distance” on the inside of my wrist. Glancing at this during the race does help motivate me to hang in there and not give up. If this doesn’t help, the thought of “The faster you get this done, the sooner you can eat” never fails to keep my mind in check.
  2. Rest days are just as important as long run days: Don’t ever let your coach take your rest days from you. Rest is actually how your body gets stronger. Each time you pound the pavement, the muscle fibers in our quadriceps and calf muscles break. Taking the day off and letting your body rest allows those muscle fibers to recover and repair, resulting in stronger muscles.
  3. Your body knows when too much is actually too muchThis often happens at the worst of times such as the end of the season, right when the most important races are booked. Training may be going great and hitting PR’s right and left may even be the new normal, but if your body physically prevents you from performing at your best, stop, take some time off, and even see your doctor or physical therapist if the pain is too much to bear. Although current sport culture says to “Push through the pain” DON’T. This may even make your injury worse, lengthening your recovery time. As difficult as this may seem, it’s healthier in the long run (no pun intended). I know for myself, I would rather run a championship race at 100% than at 50%. Your body and mind will thank you.
  4. The most intimate relationship you’ll have is with your foam roller: This is especially true after running on a particularly hilly course. My foam roller has really become my best friend, as it can soothe my calf and glute muscle aches in ways that no one else can. Take care your your foam roller and it will take care of you.
  5. Changing into running clothes anywhere, whilst maintaining some modesty, is a skill: Since bus schedules and race times are never consistent, you often have to get race ready earlier than expected. There have been times were I had to change on the bus, with all my teammates present. Was I embarrassed? No, because I already had my compression shorts and sports bra on. Plus, I was too focused on changing quickly to care about anything else.
  6. Mapping out your run based on bathroom availability is necessary: Its basically a necessity since the trots give no warning. Make sure you know where all the bathroom stops are our that last part of your run will be clenching!
  7. The existent love-hate relationship with Fartleks (80% hate, 20% indifference): This includes mile repeats, 1000s, 800s, or any kind of crazy speed work that your coach makes you do. Although I would rather go on a nine mile long run than do mile repeats, I am aware that speedwork does what its namesake suggests, make you faster. Refer back to #1 for fartlek motivation.
  8. You will develop an affinity to a certain shoe brand: Logging in 35+ miles a week during XC season will open your eyes to the world of the plethora of running shoe brands. All throughout my high school running career, I have only run in Brooks (both training shoes and racing flats). Call me a running shoe snob, but those PureConnects literally got my through grueling practices.
  9. Your ability to eat (in season) will be unmatched in your friend group: Also very true! I remember going to eat dinner with my non-XC friends at a local Japanese restaurant during my senior year of high school. While everyone else settled for sushi rolls, I ordered a special sushi roll and a bento box of chicken teriyaki. I devoured both and still had room for dessert. It’s also worth noting that this monstrous appetite will never truly leave even after cross country ends. This can be very dangerous health-wise if you don’t exercise and can make the dreaded ‘Freshman 15’ a sad reality. So just keep on running and you should be fine!
  10.  The running community is unrivaled, so is your bond with your teammates: The running community is so diverse in all aspects. What makes running truly great is that it brings people of different backgrounds together in a positive and fun environment. My teammates have truly seen me at my best and at my worst. Running cross country means that you spend 40+ hours a week with your teammates. Your teammates are the ones that you can talk to about boys, vent your school stress, and swap bowel movement stories about. I have yet to find a person (that isn’t a former teammate) that I can talk about these things comfortably in a judge free zone. Your teammates are also the ones that keep you in check race, school, and life-wise. They shout, scream, and cheer for you in each and every race. They believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.

These are the ten lessons I learned from running cross country. To be completely honest, most of these lessons have transferred to my daily life. I am still learning about this crazy, intense, sweet passion of mine! A friend recently shared a quote with me and it seems like the perfect way to conclude: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. So to my former teammates and coaches, thank you from the bottom of my heart. My passion for running would not be as strong as it is today if it weren’t for your guidance, patience, and constant support!

XO,

Samantha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Running Update

This summer I have reacquainted myself with an old friend, running. To be honest, my running schedule has practically been nonexistent due to my rigorous course load during the spring semester. As I am writing this, it’s worth noting that I have just gone on a short run to the park (about a mile away from my house).  This short run was the struggle, I couldn’t help but feel slow.  During the first 100m, I was feeling pretty confident, thinking “Wow, I still got it! Muscle memory is real!” but then those positive thoughts turned negative real quick. I barely made it to the park when my calves started feeling sore, sweat dripping down from my face and my breath panting heavily. Despite the fact that my quads and calves felt the burn, I am happy to feel like a runner again. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you reach a certain place or number of miles.

I didn’t follow through with my previous plan running another half marathon this past May due to prioritizing my academic responsibilities first. I often wonder how I managed to find the balance between running and academics when I was in high school and have come to the conclusion that being a part of a team helped tremendously in keeping me motivated and accountable. Since I am not competing at the collegiate level, maintaining this balance is a lot harder to achieve because I don’t have a coach that hounds me to run at a certain pace or come to practice at a certain time. Now and in the years to come, I am my own coach. In order to keep my passion for running alive, I must constantly think of new ways to make running fun again. I recently started using the app, Charity Miles, and have brought my phone with my on my runs. Charity Miles is an app that promotes both health and philanthropic purpose by donating 25 cents each quarter of a mile you run, walk, or bike indoors or outdoors to one of the 30+ charities listed on the app; you get to choose! I have written a quick review on this app (which you can find here) and love using the app so far.

What also encouraged me to return to running again was watching the Rio Olympics, more specifically watching the long distance track events. Watching many athletes on Team USA medal in most of the long distance events was really inspiring for me. Although I may not be the fastest, witnessing them achieve their accomplishments motivates me even more to go out and do the same. Among my favorite runners to watch is Desiree Linden, one of the three women to represent USA in the women’s marathon. When my dad ran the Boston Marathon in 2012, he brought me back a signed poster from Desiree from the convention. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic when he returned and gifted me the poster. It meant a lot to me when I first got it (since I had just been placed on the varsity team at my high school) and it still means a lot to me. Waking up and seeing all of my racing bibs on my wall and the Boston poster is my ultimate motivator to keep on running.

So that’s really what I have to update on the running front. I may even sign up for another half marathon! When I signed up for my first marathon three years ago, I had just started college and made it a goal to complete the race before I turned 18. Now I have the sudden need to run my second half marathon before I turn 21 and finish in under 2 hours. Call me crazy, but I feel like this is the perfect way to celebrate my senior year of college! Be on the lookout for more updates and ‘Run Happy’!

xo

Samantha 

 

My Running Story

Every runner has a unique story. We all have varying reasons as to why we choose this crazy, beautiful, maddening, awe-inspiring way of life. Some of us have used weight loss or making a healthy lifestyle change as a reason. Some of us were positively peer pressured by family and/or friends to start running. Despite these different modes of motivation, runners all have one thing in common: we love to run. We love the feeling of lacing on a pair of new shoes and logging on that first run. We love being in the ‘zone’ and entering runner’s high. While we might not love the feeling of getting runner’s trots or feeling the sun beating down on us as we do mile repeats, NOTHING beats the feeling of absolute accomplishment when we beat a record and set a new PR. It may be a struggle times, but this love-hate relationship I have with running has taught me so much about myself and about other people. Running has been a big part of my life for seven years (and counting). Here’s my story:

Growing up, I’ve always been athletically inclined; I’ve been exposed to dance and sports. This was the strategy that my parents used to keep me and my two brothers off of the couch and outside. Through my local YMCA, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in softball, soccer, and basketball. Even though I had experiences in different sports, I’ve never really stuck with one. It wasn’t until 8th grade that I had a sudden inclination towards running. The many mile tests and running exercises that happened during my P.E class helped me discover that I was a decent runner. It was also around this time that my father had started running seriously. My father was a former couch potato that ate McDonald’s BigMacs. When I was in middle school, my father signed up for a local mile run. At the end of his run, he was so disappointed in himself and his inability to complete that run without walking. This realization motivated him to go on runs around our neighborhood after he came home from work. As he became stronger, my father signed up for 5K races. Eventually these races turned into 10Ks and soon after, half marathons.

When I entered high school, I decided to join my high school cross country team. it was also around this time that my father desired to run his first marathon, in the hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Although this first marathon did not qualify him for Boston, it was this raw hunger that motivated him to accomplish his dream. In short, my father has raced in places like Lake Tahoe and the Grand Canyon. His running streak would eventually allow him to run the Boston Marathon in 2012 and 2013.

My high school experience was mostly centered around cross country. Being apart of a cross country team (or any sport) allows you to interact and become friends with people from diverse backgrounds. I went through everything with my teammates; from venting during long runs, complaining together during speed workouts, and occasionally hiding to skip a workout (sorry Coach Lease!). As runners, there is literally nothing that phases us. One of my fondest memories of high school XC was either talking about our bowel movements or making it a competition of how much sweat our bodies would produce after a particularly hard workout (sorry Mom, I know this isn’t very ladylike). Cross country has also given me some great badass moments. My most badass running moment had to be when my teammates and I chased down a guy that mugged a student and stole the guy’s iPod. Everything was fine; the police came and the guy got his iPod back. Chasing down one of our rival school’s runners in the last 100m AND beating her in her home course during a championship meet comes in as a close second in badassery.

When I entered college, I made a the hard decision to not run collegiate level, at the time I was experiencing burnout and just wanted to rest my body. As classes started, I started to miss running and the camaraderie it brings. So at my father’s suggestion, I signed up for a local half marathon to motivate myself back into running. This race happened to be hosted at my college and 18 days before my 18th birthday. I took this as a sign from the universe and started training on my own. Soon after, my whole family signed up for the event; my father, brother and I would be running the half marathon and my mother and my youngest brother would run the 5K. During my training I decided to make two bucket list goals: the first was to run a half-marathon before I turn 18 and the second was to run the half marathon in under 2 hours. I did finish my first half marathon before I turned 18 however, I did not finish it in under 2 hours. At the time I blamed it on not training hard enough, this may still be the case, but now I think it was just a mental thing. Mile 10 is what got in my head and told me to stop and walk because my body was so exhausted. Nonetheless, I am still proud of myself because I finished with a strong kick and I got a finisher’s medal!

It has been almost 2 years since my first half marathon. This little thing called life got in the way and I drifted from running; I still did the Turkey Trot but running hasn’t been a serious priority. I have started to run consistently lately and am contemplating on whether to register to the same half marathon and actually finish it in under 2 hours…

So that’s my running story so far. I would like to end my story with a Bonnie Pfiester quote I recently found on Pinterest, “I don’t run because I love the feeling of running. I run because it makes me love the feeling of living.” I hope I didn’t bore you with my running spiel! For my readers that run, why do you run? Have you ever experienced burnout? What continues to motivate you to run? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

The man. The legend. Mi padre.
The man. The legend. Mi padre.
Lincoln XC
Lincoln XC
Finish action shot. Please excuse my face haha
Finish action shot. Please excuse my face and my heel strike haha