Tag Archives: Running

So You Want to Be a Runner

So You Want to Be a Runner? It's hard work but follow these 8 tips and you'll be running before you know it. | happyfitmama.com

I’d love to be a runner but I hate running.

I’d love to be a runner, but I don’t have time.

I’d love to be a runner, but it’s boring.

I’d love to be a runner, but I don’t like to sweat.

I’d love to be a runner, but it’s too hard.

If you are a runner, you’ve probably heard this line a million times from others who want to run.

So you want to be a runner.

The truth is, running is hard work. There’s no doubt about it. But just like anything, the more you do it, your body gets accustomed to the impact, the straining and the hard work. It does become easier BUT still hard all at the same time. It doesn’t make sense but trust me, you’ll understand once you get to that point. It becomes a different kind of hard.

I’d love to say that every single run I’ve ever done was pure bliss. Hardly. I’ve had some serious suck-tastic runs where I wanted to throw away my running shoes and say “I’m never running again. EVER!”

But I haven’t. And I won’t because I love it. Even the suck-tastic runs are good. You have to enjoy running to do it regularly and you have to run regularly to be fit enough to enjoy running. So the key is sticking with it.

Make it enjoyable.Go for a run in a place that makes you happy. Love the water? Run by it. Love the trails? Get dirty! Love to watch trashy TV? Catch up on it while you are on the treadmill. Find something that makes running more enjoyable to you.

Hawaii Run | happyfitmama.com

Go at your own pace

You may not be able to run continuously when you first get started. That’s ok! Try a run/walk combo for either time like 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking. Repeat it for a period of time that feels comfortable to you. As you build your endurance, extend your run time and reduce your walk time. Eventually you will be running without breaks.


One of the hardest thing to get down when you first start running is how to breathe. Your lungs will burn. You may get side stitches because you are taking too much air in. If you do get a side stitch, take a walk break or slow your pace. Make sure you are taking deep, controlled breaths rather than shallow, fast breaths.

trail running | happyfitmama.com

Find your motivation

Want to lose weight? Want to run a 10K? Want to break 4 hours in a marathon? Working on stress relief? Find what motivates you to push through.

Cross train

A well rounded runner does more than run. Find an activity that can give your running muscles a break a few days a week AND one that strengthens and balances those precious muscles to keep you running. Cycling, swimming, gym machines such as the elliptical, yoga, and of course, strength and balance training.


Dress the part starting at your feet up

Start with shoes and work your way up. For me, shoes are the key to having an enjoyable run. If your shoes aren’t working for you, then you’ll be uncomfortable, in pain or worse yet, injured. Once you’ve got that covered, then you can get the good tech gear that will wick away sweat and keep you (hopefully) chafe free.

Running shoes | happyfitmama.com

Never trust a run based on the first mile (or two or three)

The first 10 minutes of any run are going to feel tough. You’ll likely feel stiff, achy, tired and ticked off. Some days it feels like everything is loose in my skull and it’s bouncing around. That’s completely normal and part of transitioning from being sedentary to being in motion. If you keep pushing your body forward — even if you’re walking — your weariness will soon evolve into “Ok, I can do this”. I promise. Just commit to 10 minutes of movement.  You can do anything for 10 minutes. But more often than not, your muscles will feel warmed up, your heart rate will be elevated and you’ll start to feel energized, even excited to run.

Snowy trail run | happyfitmama.com

You don’t have to run a half marathon, marathon or even race

Not all runners, race. My dad has always been a runner but has never done one single race. It’s not his thing. And if it’s not your thing, don’t do it because you think you’ll get kicked out of the Runner’s Club. If you run, you are a runner. Plain and simple.

 If you are a runner, what are your tips for sticking with it?

Running Q & A

So I had this whole wonderful post typed up for you guys about gratitude and nature and getting out and enjoying all that you can.

And then FireFox decided to crash on me and delete the whole freakin’ post BUT the title. Thank god the title was saved!

Gratitude is the furthest thing from my mind at the moment. So rather than spending another 30 minutes typing out the whole post again, I’m sharing a fun Running Q & A that I spied on Kate’s blog quite awhile ago. I’ve had it bookmarked for moments like this when I want to share something, but then technology ruins the moment and I’m over it. Plus, it’s almost 10 p.m. and I promised myself I’d be in bed by 9:30. Don’t worry, you’ll get to read about gratitude and nature one day. Just not today.

Here we go…

Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail? 

The beach (or really any place near water) is my most favorite place to be. I have a need to do more trail running, but until I find a running buddy with the same schedule as me, that will have to be a close second.

Seacoast running | HappyFitMama.com

If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

None? I’m not a huge fan of Gatorade, but if I absolutely had to have it, Lemon-Lime would be the one I’d choose. That’s what I drank in high school. Do they still even make it?

If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

If I only had $100 to spend, shoes would be out of the question, right? If that’s the case, then it would definitely be my favorite pair of shorts and capris – the Saucony Bullet. They are the best for stashing everything and anything in the pockets. And there’s no bounce.

Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

I love a training plan. It takes the thinking away from me and I just go.

Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

Uphill and end with downhill. I’d much prefer to run uphill with fresh legs rather than at the end when my legs are trashed. And races that end on a uphill? Suck.

When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

Oh so you mean what I’m capable of doing now that I can’t run? Let’s see – cycling, walking , yoga, weights. Sigh.

Reverse Warrior | happyfitmama.com

What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

Out and back bores me. Point to point – too many logistics to cover like transportation. Loop runs are my fav because of the variety yet there’s no worry about how you’ll get home.

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be —>

Shoes. Find the shoe that works for you based on your foot. Just like fueling, everyone is different and has different needs and preferences.

Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

I’ve seen turkeys (human and animal), a bear, deer, woodchuck, beaver and a fox. Not all at the same time thankfully.

Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Never. But I have overestimated how far away from home I was and ended up running 22 miles rather than 20.

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

First of all, I’d love if I was actually running for the next 30 days. If that was the case, then pizza. Definitely pizza.

Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

Shorts. I much prefer to have my legs bare if the temp is above 40 (or so) degrees. If it’s below that, then the capris come out. And tights don’t come out till it’s at least the low 30s.

sprinkler run | happyfitmama.com

At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

I’m not fully ready till at least two or three miles in.

What do you do with your key when you run?

I clip it to my RoadID bracelet with a small carabiner.

If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

Boston. Not because I want to relive one of the shittiest days of my life, but so I could actually finish the race and not be injured.

Boston Marathon Finish LIne | happyfitmama.com

It’s your turn to play along and answer any of the questions in the comments. I want to know more about you!

5 Ways to Be the Best Race Spectator

how to be a fun race spectator  happyfitmama.com

Not running sucks.

It’s a fact. You know it. I know it. Damn, do I ever know it.

You would think I would want nothing to do with racing right now since I’m injured. While it may kill me to see so many people doing exactly what I love, I really do enjoy spectating a race.

Watching a race may seem boring to some. Standing on the side of the road watching people run by.


That’s the problem. You are watching, not spectating. What is boring about spectating athletes of every size, shape, age and walk of life, race by with hope, grit, athleticism and determination? Absolutely nothing.

Honolulu Marathon mile 25 | happyfitmama.com

Go watch a race and I can guarantee you’ll be inspired.

For a runner, having spectators on the course to support you is huge. There is nothing like the sound of cheering and clapping to keep you going. Crowd support can be a game changer when your mind is screaming “You CAN’T do this!” But then a simple, “You’ve got this!” or “Looking strong!” from a spectator can be enough to keep your legs moving.

They convince you that you CAN do this. It’s a marvelous thing.

In some ways, spectating a race is just as hard as actually running the race. Spectating involves cheering for everyone you see, traveling from point to point to watch your runners and if you do it right, acting like a fool. There’s logistics, strategy and planning. Cheering, clapping and of course, MORE COWBELL, are all good ways to support the athletes. But why not have some fun with it? Those athletes are deep in the pain cave. You job is to make them forget it, even if it’s for 10 seconds. You want to be the best athletic supporter there is out on the course.

spirit5k2crop | HappyFitMama.com

5 Fun Ways to Be the Best Race Spectator

1. Be a Sugar Mama/Daddy.

What makes everyone happy? Candy! Gummy bears, jelly beans, licorice or anything easily digestible and sweet. Another option is orange slices or pretzels. The athletes will flock to you. During the Honolulu Marathon I was craving salt around mile 21 or so. An awesome spectator had a bowl full of the best damn pretzels I’ve ever tasted.

2. Make it rain.

If you are spectating a race in the heat, bring along squirt guns or Super Soakers to cool the runners down. If the race just so happens to run by your house, hook up a sprinkler for the athletes to run through. That’s sure to bring a smile to the runner’s face.

3. Play dress up.

Get crazy with feather boas, wigs, hats and glasses. Wear a banana costume. How can you not smile at someone wearing a banana costume?

4. Bring in ‘da noise. Bring in ‘da funk.

Hook your iPod up to speakers and blast some tunes. The Rocky theme is always good if you are spectating on a killer hill. Bonus if you choreograph a routine to the song.

5. Signs, signs, everywhere signs.

Signs are a sure fire way to distract a runner from the pain cave. Motivation and inspiring words are great but funny signs are way better. Laughter really is the best medicine.

What sight during a race gets you out of the pain cave?