Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For the Love of Running

I am a runner.  Do not be impressed, because, I struggle through it on these hot summer days!  I DO want to encourage you that you can start exercising for your health and, whether you choose to run, walk or bike...exercising is great for you!  

I wrote, "do not be impressed" because I don't consider myself a natural athlete.  Every single time I reach for my running feels like a struggle.  However, once I take my first step, I am always so glad!  Taking a run always refreshes me.  Most of the time, I take my iPod Nano and, listen to praise music.  I also spend a lot of time praying for different people and situations while I run.  There are always things to pray about: my children, our home, my husband...people who are ill....on and on!  After running, my soul feels peaceful and, I often find that I am more patient as a mom, and just overall.

I started running on a regular basis about nine years ago.  I enjoy it because it is such an individual sport.  What do I mean by this?  You can compete against yourself and, strive to get faster, one mile at a time.  

You can do it!  I promise, you will feel like you truly accomplished something after you start!  No matter what your age, any body can run or walk! 

*Here are 10 tips on how to start/keep running:  (This works well for a walking program too!) 

1)  Start out trying to run for 5 minutes without stopping. *Do not be discouraged if you need to stop and walk during this time.  I PROMISE, the next time you run, it gets easier!  Build up each time, adding 1 minute each session.  Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up! 

2)  Do not compare yourself to someone else.  I have several great friends who are much faster than I am...that is okay....we all run at different paces.  The important thing is that you just GET GOING!

3)  Find a running partner or a running group.  The accountability of meeting people to run has been a HUGE help to me over the years.  Huge! 

4)  Get fitted for good running shoes.  Take the time and find a running store.  Allow the professionals to get you in a good shoe.  This makes ALL the difference!  I have worn the Brooks Adrenaline GTS for the past 9 years truly feels like I am running in house awesome shoe! 

5)  Eat healthy and stay hydrated.  So important!  Eat healthy carbs and drink plenty of water as you are on a running schedule.  I have made the mistake of going out to run without having eaten properly and, it only leads to running out of a hurry! *Of not run on a full stomach, but, make sure you are properly nourished for best results. 

6)  Keep yourself inspired.  I have been an avid subscriber to Runner's World for many years.  This publication is full of awesome articles about runners who have beaten the odds and achieved all sorts of goals.  I can pick this magazine up, read it, and, instantly feel like putting on my running shoes.  * You can also click on their website and, read there too. 

7)  Purchase the right running clothes.  I buy a lot of my running shorts and tops on sale at TJ MAXX.  My favorite brand is NIKE.  Nike makes very comfortable moisture wicking running clothes.  Comfortable running clothes are a MUST! 

8) Set a goal.  Goal setting for running is very motivational.  Sign up for a local 5k (a little over 3.0 miles) or, even a half marathon (13.1 miles).  You can do it!  My favorite running training program is by Hal Higdon.  An amazing training plan!  I have run 4 marathons using his "tried and true" plan.  Really does work! 

9) Be patient with yourself.  All runners have good running days and, then, bad ones.  All runners!  Listen to your body.  Some days, you may only be able to go 2.0 miles.....the next day, you might run 5.0 and, feel like you could keep going, with no problem.  This is the beautiful thing about running, there are ups and downs and, it is never boring. 

10) Keep in mind that you are running to keep yourself in shape and, you will LOVE (truly LOVE!) the results, but, it takes consistent dedication and time.  I said it before, but, I will say it not give up!  You will start to feel your buttocks tighten and, your legs take shape...I promise, once this starts to will be 'hooked' for life!

Lastly, I really believe in having a few 'fun' and key products when I go out to run:   I purchased my Garmin Forerunner 205 on eBay a few months ago and, it has really made my runs more enjoyable.  I can track everything from my pace/mile to my heart rate...what will they think of next?  My iPod Nano is a must for my runs....I try to keep the music upbeat (Pop 40 and Praise & Worship)...I change it up on a regular basis in order to keep it fresh.  
LOVE my nike running hat (above) can even see a few stains on it because of how often I have worn it.  

GET GOING!  What a perfect time to start ....right at the beginning of fall, as the weather becomes so nice and cool.  

Thank you, as always, for reading my don't know how MUCH it means to me!

Hugs to You,

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