Category Archives: Running

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

10 Things I wish I knew before I started running  happyfitmama.com

1. Running is hard. We’ve all seen the magical runner gliding down the street making it look effortless. Running isn’t easy. It’s down right hard work. But once you get started, find a flow, it does get easier. In the beginning, the thought of running one continuous mile seemed impossible. Conditioning of the body and the mind will happen if you stick with it.

2. Running is not a cheap sport. When you start running, you think all I need is shoes, bottoms, tops, and a sports bra (for the ladies) to run. While that’s very true, you will find yourself at some point wanting more. A GPS watch, more shoes, more gear for every possible weather event, hydration systems, fuel belts, mid run fuel, running magazine subscriptions and let’s not forget race entries. Running is not cheap.

3. Never say never when it comes to running a marathon or an ultramarathon. I don’t know how many friends I have heard say they will NEVER run a marathon or further. And then guess what? They do. Marathons were always at the back of my mind but ultras…I’m not sure I can go there. But you never know.

VCM Marathon - happyfitmama.com

4. Running with others will make you a stronger runner. When I first started running, I ran mostly by myself. But then I decided to run with a group for occasional training runs. They motivated me to get out of my comfort zone. I learned that I could actually run faster than I thought I could.

5. Your digestive system may go crazy once you start logging more miles. When I started upping my mileage training for my first half marathon, I found that my tummy was unhappy a lot mid run or post run. But as time went on, my digestive system, along with everything else, got conditioned to the mileage.

6. What works for your friend will not necessarily work for you. Just because a certain type of shoe or mid run fuel works for your friend, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Get properly fitted for a shoe. Do the work in finding a fuel that works just for you. One size does not fit all.

7. Running is way more mental than muscle. Of course you need to train your muscles to successfully run but training your brain is just as important. I don’t know how many times my brain has run out of energy before my body while running.

8. Don’t just run. Variety is what will keep you running longer. I love running but I can not run 7 days a week. I need to do other forms of exercise to counter balance my running muscles otherwise I’m on the injured reserve list. Yoga, cycling, weights, CrossFit, swimming, Barre, whatever it is that you enjoy, do it in addition to running to keep you body balanced and hopefully injury free.

Wild Thing Pose - happyfitmama.com

9. There will be some runs that suck and make you want to quit running. Everyone has horrible running days. If you know someone who doesn’t, they are lying. When it happens, all you can do is shake it off and move on to the next run. It will get better.

10. Running is way more than just exercise. At some point running switched over from being a way to stay in shape to just being a part of who I am.

What is something you wish someone would have told you before you started running?

52

Fall running | happyfitmama.com

Last week I hit a milestone in running.

52 miles.

The highest weekly amount of running I’ve ever done.

I’d love to say that it was an all around stellar week but it seems like my marathon training is more like a roller coaster these days.

I have really high peaks of nailing my workouts and feeling awesome. Then there’s heart dropping low points where it seems everything hurts and I’m questioning,

“Why am I doing this?”

I went into this week coming off a strong weekend of running. With my impromptu 16 miler on Friday, I followed up with a 9 miler on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday was an easy 8 miler.

Wednesday was a 10 mile tempo. I don’t know why but tempos make me super nervous. Way more so than speed work. With speed work, I feel like I “only” have to run a certain distance and then I get a break. With a tempo, there’s no break till you’re done with your mileage. Plus, when I see the prescribed pace, it always makes me think, “There’s no way I can hold onto that pace for X miles!”

But you know what?

Those fears seem to vanish as soon as I start to run. I start to see, “I can do this!”

When I finished the tempo, I was flying high. I nailed it except for falling off pace a little for a hillier section.

The bad part of that run was afterwards. I had to scurry home, shower, eat and get ready for attending an education class for 7 hours instead of my usual work day. It was a good class but sitting for 7 hours after running 10 miles does horrible things to the body.

I’ve never been so stiff. My hips. My quads. My calves.

I don’t know how people with office jobs can stand sitting all day!

After Wednesday, I focused on rolling and stretching everything out. Despite my efforts, I was still pretty tight by Sunday’s long run. Which btw – best decision EVER to delay it one day. I usually do my long run on Saturday but it was freakin’ crazy humid and hot. Sunday turned out to be in the 60s and zero humidity. Perfect!

Anyway, going into my long run, I was doubting myself big time. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go with my legs and just mentally.

Thankfully, Mariette had 20 miles to run too. Misery Marathon runners love company! The first 10 were great. We cruised right along. You would think we’d feel a second wind at the turn around point but for some reason we both started to fade. The last 10 were when we had to dig in. My legs were tired and stiff. I was hungry even though I’d been eating.

I had hoped to finish the last 3 at a fast pace but the universe (and my body) didn’t want it. I wanted to walk more than run. And I did at one point after having to stop for a moving truck blocking the road. That threw me off totally. My legs didn’t want to start up again. But they did albeit it felt like I was crawling.

20 miles | happyfitmama.com

Not 02 miles but 20 MILES! (I’m blaming my fatigued body for not noticing this when I posted this pic to Instagram).

I’m glad I made it this time. I don’t think I could handle another horrible run like 2 weeks ago.

And so I hit my mileage milestone.

52 miles total for one week.

To some, that’s nothing.

But to me, it’s a lot and I’m proud of myself for getting there.

It’s given my confidence a little boost. A boost that’s been marvelous.(Thanks for the link up Katie).  And one that was really needed.

This week it’s a cut back week but also Reach the Beach on Friday and Saturday. My biggest fear with it is getting too stiff in between runs. After Wednesday’s experience, I know I need to be diligent with stretching and rolling when not running.

I don’t want to be knotty again!

Did you run over the weekend? How was it?

Relay veterans – any van rolling/stretching tips?