This morning, Will headed into work early to finish up some drawings (he’s an architect in training)…he’s so dedicated, and he sure loves his job! Our little Scout just got spayed a few days ago, so I stayed in bed with her until about 8 (love having an excuse to sleep in a little haha!) while she rested. I made some jet fuel coffee, and sat on the patio with the dogs and enjoyed the cool morning breeze. As I scrolled through instagram on my phone, I noticed that two of my favorite bloggers had already been up and out on a morning run. They’re in Texas, which is an hour ahead of my time, but it still made me want to kick my lazy Sunday buns into gear (don’t you love digital accountability?!).
I ran over 4 miles today, and only walked up one (long and steep) hill!!! I run slowly, but darn it, my feet are moving underneath me, and that’s faster than sitting on the couch (or porch in this case haha!). Today’s run was the best one I’ve had in as long as I can remember. Will and I have been running together just to get our bodies moving for a little over a month now, and (for the most part), I’m loving it. It makes me feel good. In my personal experience, running for a heavy, out of shape person can be really tough, more physically painful, and it takes a lot of mental grit to keep pushing yourself to finish. But I’m quickly learning that I CAN DO IT, and that feels awesome, too.🙂 Anyway, here are a few things that are helping make running easier for me and that made my run today so great!
1. FUEL. First person I texted before I hit the pavement was one of my best friends, Monique. She’s SO dang smart and will be earning her PhD in exercise science/kinesiology in the coming months. She’s my go to fitness gal (look for a guest post from her soon!). I’m not a huge breakfast eater, but I knew I’d need fuel for a longer run. For running performance, she suggested peanut butter on toast or a bagel. The quick release carbs give you immediate energy, and the peanut butter keeps giving you energy throughout the run. After the run, fruits (or something with natural sugar) and protein. Here’s what I had:
2. A GOOD SPORTS BRA. Hallelujah! I’ve found it!!! After lots and lots of research and many failed attempts at finding a sports bra that will actually hold my 36D knockers in place, I FOUND ONE. You guys, it’s worth $40 (on sale at Zappos!) 10 times over. The Moving Comfort Juno Bra is where it’s at. I have to step into it (it’s a real chore to put on haha), but it is by no means uncomfortable in any way once it’s on. It doesn’t feel restrictive or too tight, it doesn’t rub, and the straps are adjustable. Did you read that right? THE STRAPS ADJUST! In the front! You don’t have to go find a friend to help you get dressed anymore! LOL. So, whether you like your bra super snug or a bit looser (or if you change your mind mid-workout), you can make it do whatever is comfortable for you. My chest does NOT move in this baby. It’s miraculous. This was one of the more painful parts of running and other aerobic exercises for me in the past, but not anymore. Big chested ladies, GO BUY THIS BRA! Sorry for the awkward picture and boob sweat, I was too tired and hot after this run to sit up and take a real one. But SEE, they’re held right where they should be, even laying down!😀 [note: if this one is too spendy, I actually think these Old Navy bras are right up there as far as support goes…and I got mine on sale for $7 each! Score!]
3. SHOES. This has made, by far, the biggest difference for me. Everyone is different, so PLEASE go to your local running store (not a big box store) and get fitted. I am a heavy runner, a moderate overpronator, a mid-foot striker, and I plan to run 30+ minutes each run. Neat! All things I didn’t realize contributed so heavily to what kind of shoe I needed to wear. I used to be a die hard Asics fans, which was a major carry over from my volleyball days! My mom bought me a pair of Brooks Glycerin runners a few years ago, and I fell in love. I wasn’t doing heavy or consistent running in them, but they were great for the occasional workout and for running around town. Those are what I started running in. Overall, I was okay. But I did have some pretty intense shin splints in my right leg and some curious pain and clicking in my left knee. I found out from the running store that my shoes were too old and had lost their support and cushion (seems like an obvious ‘duh’), and that my over pronation (done that my whole life haha) in an improper shoecould be contributing significantly to my troubles. I took the plunge and purchased the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14. They’re designed for a heavier runner, who moderately overpronates and wants a mix of cushion and stability. Magic! My knee still clicked and was very mildly painful (something to keep an eye on), but my shin splints were virtually gone. Also, I really felt like I’d been wearing these for months. It was brave (read: crazy?) to wear them for the first time on a 4 mile run, but I had zero issues, blisters, hot spots, or anything. I am so grateful for a new, supportive shoe that makes my life easier and my workouts so much better!
3. DIGITAL MOTIVATION. I like to keep track of my progress, and even shaving one or two seconds off of my mile pace or another tenth of a mile on a run makes me feel significantly more accomplished! You won’t always see what you want on the screen, but I think it’s so important to track, and to be proud of yourself that you’re even out there trying!
- I use Runmeter on my phone to track my pace, route, speed, distance, elevation gain/loss, calories burned, weather, etc. It’s pretty amazing, and doesn’t drain my battery too quickly if I lock my phone. There are so many great run/exercise tracking apps out there…research and find one that works for you!
- My Garmin heart rate monitor watch (obviously) tracks my heart rate, but also shows me a more accurate calories burned count, and tells me distance as well.
- I also have a Fitbit One that I wear all day every day, and on runs, to track my distance and steps. It challenges me when I’m at work all day, and ‘competing’ with friends for steps is always fun.
- Hands down one of my favorite apps I have is Rock My Run. It’s a playlist compilation app, and they have SO many great running playlists. You can search by genre, BPM, playlist length, and lyrics–then, you can download the playlist (in the app), and it will play without using any data. If you’re not using a GPS app on your phone (like me), you can turn it to airplane mode and conserve some serious battery on your run! I tend to be SUPER motivated by music–if my playlist isn’t great, I simply don’t do as well. Since I’ve found this app, my times are improving, and running is absolutely more fun for me! The premium upgrade ($4/month) is worth it for me–I spend that on 2 coffees in a week. I can give up some morning sunshine for a good music app😉
- My friend Melissa recommended Smashrun.com. It’s another great place to challenge your friends and see your progress. It gives you detailed reports of how you’re doing, etc., and it’s easy to export the data from Runmeter to the website to keep me on track.
- Take progress pictures, and write things down…if you’re on the road to weight loss, your hard work doesn’t always show on the scale (you’re also doing really cool things like build muscle and drink more water!)…look for those awesome NSVs (non scale victories)! Does your shirt feel like it fits better today? Do you have saggy butt jeans now? Did you only have a few bites of dessert today? Did you meet your calorie goal? Did a friend tell you you looked strong and beautiful? Do you feel good?! Every one of those things count big time! Don’t rely only on the numbers…it’s so much more than that!
4. HUMAN MOTIVATION. Be proud of yourself. Tell your spouse, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your siblings, your friends, your coworkers…heck, tell a stranger! But tell them what you’re doing, what your goals are, what you need their help with, share roadblocks and ‘I know I can do better that that’s…they’re your biggest support–allow them to share in your journey and be proud of you, too!
Don’t ever feel bad that you’re run/walking a 15 minute mile or that you did 2.5 miles today instead of three…IT’S OKAY!!! YOU are DOING THIS! For you! For your kids, for your family…whatever it is that motivates you…find that little spark inside of you that says ‘get up, get going, YOU’VE GOT THIS!’ I’m proud of me, and I’m proud of you–all of you marathon runners, you trampoline jumpers, you ’round the block walkers, you city league softball players, you injury rehabbers, you water drinkers, you jumping-up-and-down-at-your favorite-concert-ers, you donut-decliners, you ‘I’m starting this today-ers’…every one of you is on your own journey, and we only have this one body, our whole lives…so let’s make the best of it and work to be the best version of ourselves, whatever that means to you. I’m proud of you! Now, put your phone down or hop up from your chair and get movin’!😉
I’ll see if I can get these two hooligans moving, as well. ha!