Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update

At the end of August I did something crazy: I signed up for a half marathon. Why is this so crazy? Well, because it’s 13.1 miles. That’s a long way and I hate running. No, seriously, I hate it. Even more than five months into training later, I hate still it. I’m still only able to run a little over a mile before I need to walk for a minute.

image1 (1)This training has taught me a lot, though. I’ve learned more about myself and my physical capabilities than I ever before. I’ve learned time and time again that my body is strong. It’s stronger than I knew. My original goal was just to finish the half marathon. Now, I can maintain a pace and set a time goal. Continue reading “Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update”

6 Tips for Beginning Runners

I am not built to be a runner. I don’t have long legs and a great stride. I make running look hard. The truth is, it is hard. At least for me. I know a lot of people who it is not hard for. People who have been pounding the pavement for years like they were born to do it. I bet you know some of those people too. And I bet they intimidate you.

I used to be like that. I used to see people running as I drove past and thought, “I could never do that. I can’t run.” I was wrong though. I can run. I made a choice to try. I decided to put in the effort and work it took to become a runner. I still can’t run long distances, but I can walk/run/jog for a lot of miles.

One of the hardest things for me was getting started. It was deciding to go from a walk to a run. But thinking back over it, there are some tips I have for people who want to start running.

Tips for Beginning Runners

life is a

Before you go:

Fun Gear. Fun and comfortable clothes you want to put on are key. Make yourself believe you are going to have fun. Or at least you are going to look good while you try. If you get the clothes on and lace up your shoes, you have won half battle. Now you are dressed and ready to look good!

Fun Music. Whether it is upbeat pop music, hip hop, rap, hard rock, country, classical, any kind of music that gets you going and makes you want to go, listen to it. There are many apps you can use, like Pandora or iTunes radio, or you can make your own fun playlist.

Stretch and Walk. Before you leave stretch! Look up stretches online if you need some suggestions. And do a warm up walk. Don’t just run, walk for a few minutes to get your body all warmed up and ready to move.

Pick a Program or Schedule. If you are looking for an easy starter program to help you get to running, try a Couch to 5k program. These type of programs will tell you when to walk and run to build up to doing a 5k (3.1 miles). Personally, I prefer programs that tell me just how many miles I should do to train for a race. For example I am now using a training schedule to get me prepped for a 10-mile race. It gives me three running days with the miles I should do and two cross training days each week. It’s a personal preference on what type of program you like. You can always experiment and see what you like.

Do Not Compare Yourself. One thing I did in the beginning was look at other runners and think “I can’t run as far or as fast as them, I must be doing something wrong.” But the truth is, my ability and fitness level is different than everyone else’s. You cannot compare yourself to anyone else. Just go out and do what you can do. And if that means you can only run two blocks and then have to walk, great. But keep going. In the beginning I could literally only run one block, then walk one block, and I would just rotate those. Now I can still only run about a mile, then have to walk for a little bit, and can run again. But I get my miles in. I do my training and I keep going.

Find a Partner. Like any exercise program, having a partner or someone to keep you accountable can be a benefit. If you need someone to say “Hey, get your butt up and do this!” then find someone to help you out and get your butt out the door.

If you want to be a runner you can do it. It is going to take commitment and effort, but if you want to do it, you will. And here’s a secret, those people you see running who look like they have been doing it forever, they are nice people. And they are encouraging. I have never met a runner that said, “you need to go faster” or, “you aren’t trying hard enough!” I have met so many who are encouraging and will motivate you to no end.

So give a try. Lace up your running shoes and get out there. What do you really have to lose?

5 Ways to STAY Committed to Your Fitness Goals

Raise your hand if you’ve said to yourself, “I’m going to exercise, eat better, lose weight and be healthy.” I would wager that the vast majority of you reading this right now would raise your hand.

“You have to be healthy, slim, beautiful, fast, swift, chiseled, ripped or toned to be beautiful and happy” is the uncontested message global (that’s right, not just American) media propagates to the world. “If you’re not just like this model, you have a lot of work to do.” Who’s been there? I have.

Marathons are all smiles when you're no longer running them.
Marathons are all smiles when you’re no longer running them.

I would bet even MORE money that those of you who initially raised your hand would also raise our hand if I asked, “Who among you has QUIT a fitness/health program?” It’s sad, but true. Statistics show that more than half the people who begin a fitness program will quit within the first three months. There are many reasons why they quit. They:

  • Don’t see results
  • Go too hard, too fast and burn out
  • Set unrealistic goals or expectations
  • Restrict too heavily and become ill
  • Aren’t interested in/excited by what they’re doing
  • Don’t celebrate small wins

Continue reading “5 Ways to STAY Committed to Your Fitness Goals”

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

I am a rules person. Rules make sense to me. I have a fond appreciation for order and organization. I think these reasons are why I enjoy math.

Math has a ton of rules and it has answers that are concrete. For me, it just makes things easier. When I started training for this half marathon, I decided to come up with some “rules” for myself – to make things easier.

Some may seem silly, but they motivate me and help keep me on target. I am two and a half months into training and so far, it seems that the rules are working!

So what are these rules? They are simple and short, but helpful. They are as follows:

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

Running #selfie: let's do this!
Running #selfie: let’s do this!

Continue reading “My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training”

A new challenge!!

Hi! I am Megan and I am so excited to be a new contributor to the Anchor Drop Blog! So I want to start by giving you a little background on myself. I am stay at home mom and Navy wife in sunny San Diego. Steven and I have been married 6 years and have 3 kids. Mady is 4, Brynn is 3 and Hank is 10 months. I am from Indiana and Steven is from South Carolina, so we live far from our family, but have been extremely fortunate to make amazing friends both through the Navy and through church.

Okay so those are some basics. But I want to tell you about a new challenge I am taking on….Half Marathon training. So I feel I owe you a little back story on this. About 2.5 years ago I decided it was finally time to take control of my life and shed some weight. I had been overweight and obese for most of my life and at the time weighed 280lbs. Over the course of 13 months I was able to lose 115lbs. I went with a very basic and effective route to weight loss. Eat fewer calories, but better for you food and workout. Thankfully I was able to keep this up when I got pregnant with our third child. I worked out almost right to the end and while I gained 35lbs, I was able to shed most of it quickly after having Hank. Unfortunately I admit to having fallen back into some bad habits I had before losing weight. Too many sweets and not enough fruits and veggies. So I put about 10lbs back on. I realized I needed motivation, I needed a goal.

I began jogging on and off before I got pregnant and have done some jogging since then as well. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I am not fast. I get tired very quickly. It seems to just keep going and going. But it is so wonderful to get out. And I feel extremely accomplished after a run. So a friend of mine posted about the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in May 2015. I couldn’t resist looking into it. I kept feeling pulled toward it, despite the fact it is 13.1 miles. So I decided I would ask my dad and if he was up for it, I would be too. And he said yes!! So here I am searching training plans and trying to figure out how I am going to run for so long!!

I am excited for this new challenge and seeing where this takes me. Maybe I’ll become a real runner. Probably not, but maybe…

image

I hate running…. wait I’m not supposed to say tha

I hate running…  wait, I’m a personal trainer I’m not supposed to say that….

Let’s try this again…

I hate running… rather.. my body hates running. I’m a nurse so I’m going to write a blog that for some may be a little bit of TMI, but I have a reason to share this. I have exercise induced asthma, and the thing my asthma hates most is running. I can however get my asthma under control. The part of my body that hates running even more? My intestines. If I do not carefully monitor my food and my pace I will end up in a ball on the ground in completely pain from my intestines spasming. I can teach a whole boot camp for an hour and have every dripping in sweat and people yelling at me “you’re a monster”, but running has never been easy for me even when I am in the best shape.

Yet here I am again, attempting running… why? Because it helps me in many ways and when I can run even a mile without some part of my very difficult body rebelling, I know I’m in a good spot. But what is the biggest reason when spring rolls around that I go back to running? My spiritual health. There is something so soothing to my soul that as I pound the pavement I can finally process things. I don’t run with music and I don’t like to run where a lot of other people are present… I like it where my thoughts can scream as loud as they need with no other distraction.

So… why do I run? I run because at the end of the day it makes a healthier whole me. I will go years without running, using other forms of exercise, but every time I come back to it… I’m reminded that exercise in general helps me to be a healthier me.

I will still always much more enjoy other types of activity… and let me encourage you if you cannot stand running one bit that there are PLENTY of ways outside of running to be active. So what is the type of activity that always gets you moving? A class? a sport? Walking? I’d like to hear what it is that helps you to be a healthier you!

2014: Eyes on the Prize

“Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines… or other new beginnings.” – Amby Burfoot
With the start of the new year, many of you have your sights set on a new & improved you. Maybe you are starting your first ever fitness routine, trying to bump your current fitness skills up a notch or finally breaking off that long (but loving) relationship with your Chinese delivery man. Yet, maybe you know it’s time to dust off those gym shoes but not sure exactly how to start. Why not give running a try?
Don’t be intimidated by veteran runners with high-tech hydration gear, short shorts and gazelle-like paces – everyone had to start as a beginner and get the experience to become a master racer. Running is the simplest form of exercise as all you need are a stable, fitted pair of shoes, some water, and you’re off! Below are a few tips to help you get started before the start line!

1. Create an inspiration board – Visually seeing your goal will continually reinforce how badly you want to cross that finish line & receive your first race medal. When life gets stressful, the sidewalks to

the gym are covered in a foot of snow or you “just don’t feel like it”, having a visual reminder like a run inspiration board will keep YOU going because YOU says what goes on the board and what uplifts you to keep going when the going gets tough. Plus, it’s a great way to utilize those left over Women’s Health & Shape magazines sitting in the corner.

2. Take your time – Many new runners either injure themselves, get down on themselves or get burnt out because they try to do too much right away. The worst mistake a runner can make is to compare themselves TO THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU. It doesn’t matter if the runner on the treadmill next to you is running at a pace 3x faster than you or you missed two days so you’ll makeup by running those miles in one day…STOP! Your body can only handle so much, so make sure you listen to what you body is saying, stretch and hydrate yourself. You won’t be able to cross the finish line if your sidelined from an injury.

3. Team Up – Why not make that finish line count!? There are numerous of charity teams you can join to not only get coaching tips and training plans, but also meet other runners, connect with the running community and make a difference for a great cause. Likewise, you’ll have a team to celebrate that first time finish with!

4. Run out of the ordinary – With the growing popularity of Color Runs, Mud Races and themed 5ks, make your first race memorable! These runs provide more than just the usual on-course water and post-run banana and sport drink. You get the chance to either create a costume for races such as the 80’s run or (Mike) Ditka Dash or wear white and watch yourself be transformed throughout the run. Plus, many themed races are a 5k (3.1 Mile) distance – a perfect distance for first time runners!

5. Be One with RUNNING – So you are just starting out? That doesn’t make you inferior to the veteran runner next to you who is on his 38th marathon or your running friend who wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to get 8 miles in each morning. Every runner has their own pace, training schedule, running preferences and more. When people ask you what you do for fun, tell them you run! Mention your training, your goal and start calling yourself a runner. Once you accept yourself as a runner, you’ll soon be joining your friend for those 4:30 a.m. runs.

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