if you have been following house of h for awhile, by now you know two things about me for certain: 1) I love chocolate cake, and 2) I hate running.
these aren't exactly the fine qualities you'd expect to hear about someone who is supposedly running a half marathon in august. and yet, here I am! one of my friends recently ran a marathon and ever since, I've been really motivated to get better at running (despite my hatred).
since this revelation, I have been "training" for my half marathon for almost 2 months now. I have good days and bad days and some days when I don't run at all. I'm not following any sort of training schedule (oops), but instead am just going at it with the attitude of I'll do the most that I can and the best that I can today, and that will be enough.
I could lie and tell you that I don't hate running anymore and that in these 2 months I've become this amazing olympic runner, but, I won't. (I doubt I could fool any of you anyways) running is still really hard and during most of my runs I'm secretly cursing my friend who
but! the good news is, i'm making progress. *running update: I've gone from barely being able to run 1/4 of a mile without keeling over to being able to run up to 6 miles without stopping! getting there, slowly but surely.
so, while I'm really not qualified to be doling out advice, here are some tips that have helped me along the way:
1. keep track of your success!
I use the Nike Running+ app on my phone to keep track of all my runs. it really is the best running app out there, if you ask me. it records of all your runs (including distance, time, calories, speed, etc.) so you can keep track of your progress. at the end of each run it tells you how much farther/faster you went than your last run, so you can actually see yourself improving! the best part is, at the end of each run, some professional athlete tells you how fabulous you are. (for instance, at the end of my run today I was congratulated by Serena Williams. "hey, this is Serena Williams. your last 5k never stood a chance. keep running!")
2. find music that motivates you.
nothing slows me down more than being able to hear myself breathe while I'm running. once I start focusing on my breath, it's game over. the best way to distract myself from hearing myself gasping for air is turning up the volume on my running playlist. music is absolutely key to keeping me motivated during a run.
3. look up!
I realized that while I'm running, I tend to focus on the road. staring down at the path tricks me into thinking that I haven't gone very far because the scenery isn't changing! focusing on the ground isn't helpful. look up! whether it be a nearby skyline or even just the sky, find something to focus on other than your feet. this keeps things interesting (because after awhile running can be pretty boring!) and helps you to know that you really have covered a significant distance.
4. talk to someone who runs.
if I hadn't talked to my marathon-running-friend, I would absolutely never have been motivated to start running on a regular basis. magazines and blogs can only help you so much. talking to someone that you actually know really makes a difference. being able to look at my friend and realize that she had been able to conquer something as monumental as a marathon made me think, "if she can do it, why can't I?" find support in your friends and family, but find extra support in fellow runners!
5. keep going.
nothing is worse than having to get back into shape. when I took a little vacation Seattle, I didn't run at all. ("this is vacation! i don't have to exercise! ha!") by the time I got home, it was like starting from square one with my runs. i had to build up my endurance all over again - it was the worst! so. even if it just means going for a jog around your block, try as best you can to do something every day. in the long run (no pun intended), you'll thank yourself!