Saturday, December 24, 2016

Five Ways To Gain Confidence In Your Running

We are runners.

We love to run. It fuels us and brings joy into our lives.

To achieve your best in anything, you have to be confident. Your mind needs to possess a calm, positive disposition so that you can strive to reach your goals. For different people it means various things - some runners work hard to achieve a particular time goal, other runners want to run certain mileage or days per week. Yet another runner just wants to get off the couch and start running for the very first time (you can do it!).

No matter which category you fall into, these steps will help you to feel confident each time you lace up those (super fancy!) running shoes.

1. Set a goal and go for it.

Once you set a goal, don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Surround yourself with people who are going to support you. Have a friend who raises their eyebrows when you say you are going to start running five days a week? You can still be friends, but that is not the person you want to share your running goals with. Once the seed of doubt is planted, it begins to grow and soon you'll be convincing yourself that there is NO WAY you can run five days a week with all that you have going on in your life.
Positivity, optimism and glass half full are the words you need in your vocabulary. To achieve goals in running (and in life) you need to speak it, think it and work at it every day. Share your goals with a family member or friend who is going to lift you up and cheer for you. 

2. Flexibility is okay, but no excuses.

Yes, you have a busy life and sometimes life gets in the way. It's okay and perfectly normal to maintain some flexibility in your running, but get rid of the excuses. If you have to move your hard workout to another day during the week - do it, but don't skip it altogther unless you have a very solid reason (i.e. you are sick and can't run).
Excuses just set you up for skipping the work, which ultimately moves you further away from achieving your goals = lack of confidence.

3. Be Your Biggest Cheerleader

This is a big problem for so many runners.  We have to take the time to cheer on our small successes along the way toward the big goals. You went from the couch to running two times a week? That is huge and you should really cheer for that. The five days a week will come soon enough, but at least you aren't sitting on the couch anymore.
The one minute PR you ran in your half marathon? I know, I know - it's not the six minute PR you (freakin) trained for, but give yourself a break - you grabbed a PR!

4. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

It's so easy to run those comfortable nine mile runs on that same route that you love and that is great. However... if you want to improve - how about running the route with the three hills that intimidate you and picking up the pace on those hills? Or how about instead of six steady miles, you run two of those miles at half marathon pace? Do more runs and workouts that scare you and the payoff will be huge in the end. Bonus? You will feel pretty darn badass at the end of those workouts!

5. Keep a journal

One of the best ways to gain confidence in your running is the ability to look back at your progress over time. When you keep a log or journal (it doesn't have to be complicated or elaborate), it allows you to see just how strong you've become over time.

As we end yet another year and embark onto a new one, remember and remind yourself:

You. Are. A. Winner.

Happiness Is Running Life.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

If People Don't Call You Crazy, Then You Aren't Dreaming Big Enough + 19 Weeks Till Boston?

"If people don't call you crazy, then you aren't dreaming big enough"
                                                                - Jerold Mitchell

My husband's response to me the other day, when I asked him if people think I'm crazy.

Meaning, I run into people - people in our town, people at our kid's school, just PEOPLE. And they always say "We saw you running yesterday!" 

It's become a bit funny, an almost "Where in the world did we see Nat running today" type of craziness.

Sometimes people ask me if I was running in a location where I truly wasn't running... "Were you running on such and such street today?" Nope, it wasn't me :)

I am also asked: "How do you balance it all with three kids?" 

Carefully. Strategically. Non perfectly.

Believe me, it's SO far from perfect. Every day is different, based on how I am feeling and the needs of my family. My kids come first - school events, school parties, projects, homework, cooking for them, shuttling to sports and playdates.

Running fits it's way around all of that, with still being at the top of my list. I won't miss a workout - but I am flexible about when and where it gets done. I will say that when I am running, I block out (mostly) everything else for that hour to ninety minutes and focus on the running.

Core and strength is a total free for all. Most of the time my 3 year old is on the mat with me, trying to do a push up too. Bicycle crunches are interrupted by my six year old asking how to sound out a new word (she loves her new found reading skills) It's messy and chaotic, but it works.

By the way, this puts everything into perspective...

Sunday's 13 mile run was a hot mess. Ugh. I seriously wanted to quit at least five times. I felt off, I was cold, I felt super slow... So, you can look at those images on Instagram, and think it's all wonderful, glorious running - most of the time it sort of is (?), because it's an escape and therapy - but sometimes it's just a crappy run. I didn't even bother to look at my pace, there wasn't a beautiful fast finish - I was just happy to get the time on my feet and move on.

Those runs can mess with your head. I started thinking for a moment "What in the world am I doing? Why is this important - why don't I just quit?"

I thought about it later (much later when I was warm and dry) and I realized that it's those type of runs that prepare us for the dark cave of pain in the marathon. Those miles where we question "WHY are we doing this?", but yet you still keep going. 

Don't give up. Ever.

Last week was super fun - I had a birthday on Thursday...

SO much love and laughter with the kids, a great run (really it was - I had a good workout!) and we had a date night! Dinner at Patina (really an amazing experience. LA people ----> GO) followed by a beautiful concert performed by the LA Philharmonic orchestra. We had a repeat of last year's birthday and I loved every minute.

Oh and THIS happened!

Seriously. Sarah Jessica Parker shared this pic of me in her dress (I loved the dress, bought it for my birthday) on her company Insta page! Let's back up... first I took a picture and shared it on my Insta. A few, short minutes later she replied with a very sweet note. I was honored (and shocked). Fast forward to the next day and THIS. Boom!! Day made, birthday present in full effect. (Thank you Paria for sending a DM to me about it!! I totally did not see this until I got a note from her).

Is it really 19 weeks till Boston? That is crazy. Still at the base building phase and plenty of time left for marathon specific workouts.

Here is what the last week of November looked like:

Nov. 28th - REST

Nov. 29th - 5 miles

Nov. 30th - REST

Dec. 1st - 2 mile warm up, 10 x 2:00 min on at 6:45 pace, 1:30 off, 2 mile cool down. 8 total birthday miles = let's start the year right.

Dec. 2nd - 5 miles

Dec. 3rd - 5 miles 

Dec. 4th - 13 miles

Total miles: 36

We got our tree on Sunday. It wasn't perfect - Josh wasn't happy about the tree that all of us agreed on. I think he'll change his mind when it's decorated...

And that should about catch us up on life lately and training!

Enjoy the start of the week!

Happiness Is Running Life.