Inspired Running

Since my trip to Mauritius, I have really cut back on my running. I thought that my fainting episode and getting stung by a wasp was a little reminder that I needed to give my body a break. On top of that, I have been having a little nagging pain in my left hip flexor that makes me nervous. The final cherry on top is that Chicago’s winter weather is hectic and apparently I’m a delicate flower. 
Sounds like excuses, right? 
Although these are valid concerns, they are a little bit of a coping mechanism. When it comes down to it, I want to run a marathon and I’m scared. I’m scared of the training, I’m scared of being hungry all the time, I’m scared of injury, and I’m scared of crossing the finish line at a time that I find disappointing.  Womp, womp…
All this going back and forth, excuses and self-doubt has been exhausting and I’ve been dealing with it by ignoring my running. I’ve found other ways to get my endorphin fix (hello spinning!) and I’ve been doing 1-2 shorter runs a week. 
I recently shared my experience with The Magic and one of the very first exercises is committing to what you REALLY WANT and stating it in the present tense. Under the category of “Health & Fitness”, I wrote I ran a marathon in 2013. Yep….I really want it. 
Now that I’ve made the commitment with my mind, it’s about time I sign up and start training, right?  Still scared. Yep, scared as ever. 
I don’t expect the power of my mind to attract a magical fairy that is going to carry me effortlessly to the finish line without putting in the work, but I do expect for resources and inspiration to help me along the way. 
Guess who received a little magic? This head case. 
About 2 weeks ago, I received an email from Ryan Robert, the author of The Ultimate Beginner’s Running Guide offering me a free version of his book to review. At first I didn’t really think much of it, but now I’m half way through and I realized this is EXACTLY what I need. This book has been blowing my mind. I feel like I missed a huge part of my development as a runner because I had a pretty good fitness level and just decided to start running longer and longer on the treadmill. No form, no guidance, no inspiration, no advice. I initially ran for fitness, burning calories, and getting the most “bang for my buck” in terms of a workout, but somewhere along the journey, it became a love affair. 
I vividly remember how much I loved training for my first half marathon. I was so committed and proud. One of my longest runs was during a fabulous weekend away at an upscale hotel and I diligently pounded out 1 hour and 45 minutes in the fitness center on the day we were flying home. My clothes were so sweaty that I had to wrap them in a towel from the hotel to pack them in my luggage. I felt like an athletic superstar with my stash of sweaty running clothes.  
I want to have that level of commitment and fall in love with the process all over again. 
first half marathon, Feb 2011

So…I’ve had a profound breakthrough. I need to go back to basics. Ryan’s book has been incredible in speaking exactly to my excuses, shortcomings, and mental blocks. I need to do it right if I’m going to tackle it. I need to warm up, I need to do easy miles, I need to stretch, I need to ice, I need to foam roll, I need to refuel with wholesome foods, I need to cross-train, and I need to find that inspiration that allows me to keep my level of commitment and excitement for the journey.

Today it started. I warmed up, I ran, I cooled down, I stretched, I drank water post run, I iced, and I’ve been taking a couple minutes of foam rolling couple hours. Guess what? My run was awesome and it left me wanting more. 
What’s next? 
  • I’m finishing the book (slowly because I savor it)
  • Finding a training plan 
  • Signing up for a marathon
  • Putting aside my weird self-conscious issues surrounding running tights and buying some so I can run outside
  • Getting new running shoes (I’m fairly certain mine have over 600 miles) 
  • Doing work. 
I will do a complete review of the book once I’m finished, but I can confidently say it’s amazing so far. I loved this: 
“amazing and wonderful ways”….those words couldn’t be more true (I should really write another post about what running has done for my mind and body) 
Speaking of running inspiration…. 
Janae wrote a fantastic post titled “10 Things I wish I knew as a New Runner”  I can totally relate to #1, #6, #9, and #10. I am still learning these things…
Liz wrote a post that got me all hot and bothered for the Chicago Marathon. Originally, I thought I was in a wedding in California that weekend, but it happens that the wedding is the weekend before, so that post is mighty tempting.

Why do you run? What inspires you during the rough times? 

  • kelsey

    I am SO happy you are gonna do it!!! You’ve only been talking about it for months now….so I’m so excited!!!
    And already thinking of signs to make you…..

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    That’s great that you found this book, hopefully it will make training much more enjoyable and injury free! And I HIGHLY recommend Chicago. The amount of runners wasn’t a problem for me, they did a great job of spacing us out, but it was the crowd that was so amazing!!! Seriously. The only places the whole race where there weren’t spectators was when we were crossing over the highway. So like a half mile. They really keep you distracted and motivated. Plus it’s an incredibly well-organized race and it was so fun to run all over the city. AH NOW I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!

  • ilaxstudio

    Yay! I am excited you are stating you are running a full this year and getting committed! There will definitely be ups and downs in training, but the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel will far outweigh the tough parts!

    I run because I truly love it. During a rough time I look to my friends for inspiration :)

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    YAY! I’m excited to hopefully get to cheer you on for said marathon!!! You are a braver person than I – I wish I could say I want to do it. But I just don’t crave it at all. However, I do love and appreciate the work that you ladies put into them. And I love to cheerlead. :)

    I’m a delicate flower, too. So my runs have been happening on the treadmill and it’s been super hard, especially during my morning workouts to get excited about anything over 2 miles (then I hope onto another machine of sorts). Training for the Allstate 13.1 Chicago starts in March for me and I’m trying to keep that in the back of my mind because I’d really like to destroy it!

    My inspriation comes in various ways, but I love the feeling post-run. And it doesn’t hurt when I have a bf who’s crazy and up as early as I am who gives me a bit of congrats after I’m done. :)

  • Lindsay

    I think I’m going to run Chicago so you should obviously run it too!

  • Pete B

    Congrats on committing to running a marathon. My two marathons a year are always the two highlights of my year. The training is also addictive and every successive marathon I feel I am in the best shape of my life. Anyway, I’m about 90% sure I want to run the Chicago again. It’s pretty awesome.

  • Bethany

    I was talking to someone the other day who plans to run across the U.S. starting in April, and that person kept mentioning fear as something that kept them from registering for their first marathon. Once they let go of that fear, though, they were able to do so many things — ran a marathon, then ran an ultramarathon, and now have plans to run across the entire country. All of those things are crazy and so overwhelming to think about, but when you break it down and take things piece by piece, day by day, it’s a totally attainable goal. I have every intention of running Chicago this year as my first marathon, so you should too! Haha.

    Also, if you think having crowd support will help you, Liz is off on the spectator estimate by about 1.5 million. There are about 1.7 million spectators at Chicago, which I think Katie’s comment attests to.

  • Leonor

    I have trained for 4 marathons and just ran my 3rd marathon in Miami. It is an experience you will never forget, and it changes you. Not to mention it makes you question your sanity! I would love to run Chicago. We have tons of family there.

  • Paula

    At first marathon training sounds really intimidating but when you’re in it, it soooo isn’t intimating. You get a big sense of accomplishment from getting those personal distance records along the way. It’s awesome! Come marathon day, you already KNOW you can do it.
    My crossfit trainer asked me why I ran and dude…I could not think of why. It took me awhile. But then I realized it’s the only sport in which I complete against myself. I’m not much of a competitor against other people, so completing to beat MY best times is right up my alley.

  • Kristen L

    This is so exciting! I just ran y first marathon in December, and like you I was SO nervous to commit to running it! It feels like such a huge leap from doing a half to full marathon…but once you get down to it, it isn’t horrible. I LOVED marathon training, and I hope you do too! Good luck as you get going.

  • Kim

    YOU CAN DO THIS! I’m so excited for you. Good luck training. I’ll be around to entertain you while you are going through it.

  • meghan

    You can do it! I ran my first half in October 2011 and just finished my first full at Disney a few weeks ago. I was scared too, but I also knew that I wanted to. I signed up, stuck to the training plan (and was actually a lot happier about it than I thought I would be), and finished! Though I didn’t finish in my goal time (many told me not to have one), I’m still proud. But yes, that ‘womp womp’ happened a little, but it didn’t supersede my excitement that I can now call myself a marathoner. And it just made me want to do it all over again! I’m going to run Chicago in the fall as a redemption run to hit some of the goals I set! I’m excited to follow along. I also love the writing style that the writer seems to use. How readable that must make the book!

  • Livehalffull

    I totally get this. I’m pretty much back to square one with running because I took time off for wedding planning and then this winter has been rough on me. So I’m getting back on it this spring/summer! I cannot wait!

  • Nicole

    I ran Chicago five years in a row – injury free. I highly recommend Hal Higdon’s training plan. It works!

  • Christina

    Im so excited for you! You can totally run a marathon. Yay! :) I want to get this book now because it looks really interesting. Also, invest in a good pair of running tights. They do not flatter any one but they are so warm and worth it!

  • Michelle

    I love this post! The same thoughts went through my mind when I was debating on doing it. I don’t want to regret not doing it and if I hate it I don’t have to do it again! I’m also signing up for the Chicago Marathon after I emailed Katie (peace love & oats) about it.

  • SkinnyRunner

    I think Chicago opens something like Feb 19 and sells out quickly.

  • Erica Agran

    I have done 35 marathons. The first one was on a dare. I was young and stupid, but I was not scared! My advice sign up for a fall marathon and join a CARA training group. I did Boston Bound with Fleet Feet and CARA groups when I moved to Chicago. I made a ton a friends and passed along a lot of my successes and failures to newer runners. It is a GREAT way to train and build confidence. Seriously! You won’t be sorry