Tag Archives: jen the marathon mom

Virtual Recap…Can I Become a Runner?

virtual races

As you can see from the picture above, I’ve run or walked a few virtual races in the past month.  Except for the the March Against ALS/Shamrocks for Shannon race.  That one is for next month, but I wanted to share a pic of the medal since it already came in the mail.

Last weekend my son and I did the virtual run for Kyle’s Krusade together.  When I told him Kyle’s story and why we were running for him he asked if we could do an extra mile for him.  I just love my kid.  I think it is important for us as adults/parents to teach our children to be humanitarians early on.  I want my son to think about others, their situations, and what he can do to help them rather than waiting for someone else to do it.  My grandparents taught me to help others at an early age, and it has stuck with me thoughout my life.  My son also wants to find more races for kids with cancer, so he can help them in some way.  We have the St. Baldricks Virtual Race race coming up in March to help children with cancer.

In the past few weeks I have also completed the Sandy Hook Memorial 5K , Chilly Cheeks Virtual 5K , and the Northern Lights 5K.  Now, I’m feeling a bit guilty about these “races”, because I didn’t really train or put my “all” into them.  I almost want to put them aside until I can really “run” them and be proud of my times.  I know this sounds pathetic, but I’m not happy with my running time for these races, and I want a redo.  Plus I have quite a few more virtual races this month and the next few months.

Actually, I’m not happy with my running period.  I’m frustrated that I can teach multiple Spinning classes a day totaling over 40 miles, and not be able to run a decent 3 miles.  I know part of it comes from having to run on a treadmill and not outside, but I still need to get my butt into gear.  Maybe I should pay some Girl Scouts to chase me with cookies.  That might motivate me a bit more.

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Since, I’m determined to run my first half marathon this year, and I need help, motivation, and someone to help me figure out my training schedule that will work with all the Spinning classes I teach, I have gotten myself a running coach/trainer.  Jen aka The Marathon Mom is my new running coach!  The poor woman has her work cut out with me.  We begin my quest to become a “happy” distance runner on March 1st.  I won’t lie to you…I’m nervous.  Mostly, I don’t want to let her down, and I don’t want to discover that somewhere along the line I stopped enjoying running (right now it is a chore).  Wish me luck!  I’m gonna need it.

Do you find that running becomes more “mental” than physical for you at times?

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY I have going on for an autographed copy of the New York Times Best Seller, The Fault in our Stars by John Green! Today is the last day to enter.  I could not put this book down once I started it!!  Honestly, it was such an amazing story!

For the Beginner Runner–Guest Post by Jen, The Marathon Mom

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Today’s post comes from Jen, The Marathon Mom.  Jen is a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon.  If you have never thought about a running coach or trainer, I highly suggest you do!  Jen is a wealth of knowledge, and she can get you where you want to be in the running game! 

Jen

I think I am asked at least daily for running advice whether it be from those wanting to start running or those wanting to improve. Recently I’ve had many questions from friends and family training for their first races. I love sharing my passion for running and hope I can pass this on to others too. I thought about the most frequent questions I am asked and decided to put together a list,

When do I start to like running? I think this is the most frequent question and I always hate to say “there are some days I still hate running!” For me the key is to take it easy some days and push myself other days, enjoy the surroundings while out and savor the victories whether this is running that 1st mile or a PR. Like anything new it takes work and does get easier, I still remember when 3 miles was a chore and now I can’t remember the last time I wanted to stop after 3 miles.

Along the same lines: When does it get easier? Everyone is different, but you need to listen to your body and not feel that you need to push right away or on every run. Like I said above it is something new and will get better. Remember it took us more than 1 step to learn to walk.

How do I motivate myself? Sign up for a race to have a goal and soak in the excitement of the race atmosphere. Find friends or a group to run with, making that commitment to others is motivation to get started and it is always nice to have company in tough times to push us further, then go out for coffee afterwards. Listen to music, buy new running clothes and enjoy the fact that you will feel better and have more energy.

What happens when I skip a run? Listen to your body and if you aren’t feeling it, having pain or need a short break then don’t run. Missing one run of the training will not hurt you, do not make this a routine but don’t be afraid to rest a sore leg, sleep in when you are sick or shorten a run. If something doesn’t feel right and your stride changes then don’t run through it, do something else (swim, bike, elliptical) and see how it feels later.

And finally don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Compete and push yourself to improve while accepting that things happen, life gets in the way and we all have bad days. Learn from these and work through them. Remember we are all different and can’t compare ourselves to someone with different talents and abilities. Work to improve on what you can do and have done, not what others can do.

How do you find time to run as a mom? Before I was a mom I was told so many times “just wait you will stop running.” That didn’t happen and I knew it wouldn’t. It takes time management and some compromise. I often workout early in the morning (4am during the week), take advantage of nap time and hit the treadmill at home or the gym childcare is a great benefit. Take the kid with you running, for us it was the only way I was guaranteed a nap the 1st year! But now we look at animals, stop at the park and I get a complete workout. We schedule long runs, sometimes splitting days and other times splitting BOB duty. I might sacrifice an extra hour of sleep or time to read or clean the house for a run, but it makes me a better mother and everyone is much happier.

What are the best shoes? Don’t buy what is cute or the brand your friend has. Go to a running store for a proper shoe fitting and don’t be afraid to take them back if they don’t work after a run (most stores around here are fine if they are slightly worn). Please don’t wear that pair of shoes you bought 5 years ago for step class. Most complaints I hear from new runners is that their legs, knees, feet hurt and then I find out they are wearing bad shoes, such a simple solution to prevent frustration.

I have been running about 10 years and was instantly hooked. I have come a long way from those first steps and my first marathon (Disney 2003) where I finished 5:20 to consistently running 3:30 marathons and running competitively. I learned to love the sport and train right. I have coached runners of all abilities for the past 5 years and love it! I am a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon.

Check out my running, food, and parenting adventures at:

Strong Legs for Workout Wednesday

Before we get to the meat of this post, I was hoping you would take a minute and send thoughts and/or prayers for my friend Kim tonight or tomorrow morning.  She will be having surgery on her knee Thursday morning.  Thank you!

I am dedicating each week this month to healthier living (as if I don’t already do that), but with a focus on different areas of health each week.  This week I have dedicated to running for beginners and for those who have been running forever.  Next week is clean eating with a guest blog post from The Clean Eating Geek!

Jen

Tomorrow’s post will be from Jen The Marathon Mom.  Jen is a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon, and she has a great post for us beginning runners and experienced runners tomorrow.  Obviously, I’ve had a sneak peek at her post, and I’m taking every bit of information and applying it to my running.  I know it will help me a ton.  By the way, I know I’m being a total snot for baiting you like this Smile with tongue out.

Workout Wednesday

Today’s workout is designed to give you strong running legs, or just strong legs in general.  I have taken the exercises Jill Conyers gave us on Monday and put them into a workout along with some other great leg strengthening exercises.  For this workout you will be doing supersets.  Each superset consists of 2 exercises. Do 3 sets of each super set before moving on to the next (each superset is in a white rectangle). In between each superset is an optional short core exercise section. Remember to stretch after your workout!
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