Half Marathon

  • A Runner's Personal Running Motivations

    The good Lord and running.

    The two go together more than you might think.

    For one, there are tons of Bible verses that have helped me through hard practices and victorious races.

    One of the more popular verses that athletes live and die by is Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    For two, do you know how many times I have cursed while running? Whether it’s the pain I feel in my lungs or the feeling of not being good enough, running has broken me down several times. But that’s the thing about running; it can also build you back up.

    Biblical Half Marathon Motivation

    So here is a verse for every mile of a half marathon.

    Mile 1: Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of age. Matthew 28:20

    Mile 2: Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

    Mile 3: He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. Psalm 91:11

    Mile 4: Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7

    Mile 5: The Lord will work out his plans for my life. Psalm 138:8

    Mile 6: Whatever you do, do well. Ecclesiastes 9:10

    Mile 7: You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20

    Mile 8: I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize. Philippians 3:13

    Mile 9: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we van imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 

    Mile 10: Anything is possible if a person believes. Mark 9:23

    Mile 11: I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

    Mile 12: The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38

    Mile 13: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

    So next time you have a great race or are struggling during a daily run, remember these verses and keep run hard.

    Happy running, Meghann

  • What I Love to Read: Runner's World

    I love magazines. First off, let me say that I love to read in general. A newspaper, poems, magazine articles, tweets­ -- I love it all.

    So when I heard that my favorite running magazine, Runner’s World was getting a makeover (for the first time SIX years) I was pretty pumped.

    This magazine is the holy grail of running reading material. It covers everything from how to improve your race times, how to stretch, healthy and unique recipes for granola bars to history of the beer mile.

    It has it all.

    So now after months of speculating about the new redesign the October issue showed a new look to my favorite magazine.

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    Editor in Chief David Willey said, “We decided it was time to change because everything around us in running and in media is changing. There are more people running and racing than ever before, for reasons and with points of view that are more varied than ever before. The running community is larger and more fragmented, but, thanks to social media, also smaller-seeming and more connected. It's a challenge to balance it all, but we think we’ve taken big steps forward.”

    For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge newspaper nerd. I love all aspects of magazines and newspaper, so graphic design and layout is something I love to research on Pinterest or in physical copies of magazines.

    Also, can I just point out that the cover girl on the front of the October issue is NOT A PROFESSIONAL RUNNER. She is street runner like you and me. She holds no world records, runs in cut-off T-shirts and has a job and a kid. So props to RW for showing someone on the cover who is more like you and me.

    RW cover

    Here is a quote from the RW Editor in Chief about the magazine:

    Most important: Regardless of why or how far or how fast you run, this magazine is for you. It is for all runners—even those who don’t dare apply that label to themselves because they think they’re not…something enough. If history is any guide, there will be no shortage of opinions on how brilliant/idiotic these changes are, and I look forward to hearing them all. We've come a long way but are always striving to do more.

    Happy reading! Meghann

  • A Runner's Guide To Buying The Right Kind of Shoe

    Runners are supposed to replace their shoes every 300-500 miles. So ever since high school cross country, I’ve gotten a new pair of running shoes roughly every six months.

    I usually swap out shoes depending on my outfit. (Yes, I’m THAT girl who likes to match her running outfit and shoes). But in all reality, it’s a good practice to have. Running in worn-down shoes are bad for your feet, ankles, and shins. Depending on where you run (roads, trails, treadmill) will determine how often you need to replace your running shoes.

    1a

    Before you get started running, I would suggest going to a specialty running shoe store to get properly fitted. Just because there are some super cute Nikes in your size, doesn’t mean they are the best for marathon training. Be sure to check out other brands like Asics, Brooks, and Mizuno.

    2a

    Make sure you take the time to break in your new shoes. There is nothing worse than getting blisters from your new shoes rubbing you the wrong way (literally).

    Also, DO NOT run a race in a new shoes. The old rule is true: do not run a race in anything new! Run in what you know will not chafe, rub, or irritate. Running in shorts that are too short, or a shirt that is too tight will know help you run the best you can. Running is not about looking good; it’s about busting butt and making a goal.

    RUNNING IS NOT A PRETTY SPORT.

    Accept that, and move on. Yes, you can match your outfit, but in the end you should still be covered in sweat.

    So here it is: an excuse to buy new shoes! Buy some cute (but supportive) running shoes and hit the pavement!

    Run happy, Meghann.

  • A Runner's Favorite Yoga Poses

    So over here in my corner of the world, things have been CRAZY. Between trying to plan a wedding, moving (back) to Kentucky and job hunting, my head has been spinning.

    So aside from running, I’ve been trying out some yoga poses to take a break from this crazy thing we call life. After a quick Pinterest search here are some of the best examples of yoga poses that I’ve been practicing.

    The actual definition of yoga is: a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

    My definition of yoga is: lots of stretching, looking awkward, falling over and cute pants from Victoria’s Secret.

    Obviously not the same thing.

    But I’m trying. And that’s what matters.

    Everyday I get closer to accomplishing a new pose, or at least somewhat looking like the yoga girls on Pinterest.

    So even if all I have time for is a quick 15 minute run and 15 minutes of yoga, then my body at least feels more alive and ready to conquer the day than if I were to sleep in for 30 more minutes.

    I know rolling out of bed and throwing on clothes is the easy thing to do, but I promise these endorphins are the best! Working out is the best way to wake up.

    I will leave you with an easy, at-home yoga workout video.

    It’s 14 minutes of stretching and flexibility that will help you start or end your day perfectly!

    So hopefully things settle down and I can get into some more training, speed work and recipe posts!

    Stretch happy! Meghann

  • The Internet & Working Out - More Related Than You Think

    Like most girls in America, I love Pinterest. I have boards for my dream wedding, my actual wedding, my millionaire’s closet and DIY projects that will more than likely never happen.

    Pinterest 1

    I also have boards filled with workouts and smoothie recipes. Unlike the other pins, that I never look at more than once, the workout pins and smoothie recipes get several clicks a week.

    Pinterest 2

    Just like the human body, the Internet is an amazing thing. Weird comparison, I know. But hear (read) me out. We have all of the resources literally at our fingertips. Recipes for healthy eating, workout videos to motivate us for living room workouts and Facebook and Twitter for when we get bored.

    But while we are sitting on our coach, eating Cheez Its and scrolling through thousands of pins, we need to remember that looking at workout video and reading healthy living blogs is not going to make you lose weight and gain muscle. You actually have to get off the couch, put down the snacks and go for a run, do some crunches and eat an apple instead of ice cream.

    Need some ideas? Go to Pinterest! There are literally thousands of healthy recipes that easy and simple to make. Think of it as a challenge. Find something that you like to eat that is also healthy for you.

    From everything I’ve been told by health teachers and running coaches is abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. Eating a healthy diet is what helps you lose weight. You cannot out run a bad diet.

    So mix in some vegetables with running, give it four weeks and I promise you will see changes.

    It’s taking the high road. It’s going the extra mile. It’s watching what you eat because you want to be the best and healthiest version of you. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have cheat days -- just do so in moderation. Don’t eat a whole pizza and a tub of ice cream in one day. It won’t kill you but it definitely won’t make you feel good.

    Try each day to better yourself, even if it does not pertain to your health. Make it your goal each day to do something that will improve who you are. Something good will come from it.

    Run (& eat) happy, Meghann

  • A Runner's Inner Monologue

    Want to know some of the thoughts runners have during their daily workout? Every day is different, just like every run is different. But usually my thoughts during my runs are about the same. They range anywhere from hating every step of the journey to prancing along while singing Frozen songs in my head.

    So here is my inner monologue while out for a run. (Usually.)

    Oh wow, I actually matched my shoes with my outfit. Score one for Meghann.

    Okay, let’s stretch. Ugh, when did my toes get to far away? I think my arms shrunk.

    Maybe I should start doing yoga. I mean, I did pin like 10 new workouts this week on Pinterest.

    Okay, let’s do this. 5 miles. Easy-peasy.

    Well, 14 steps in and I already sound like I’m dying.

    Not dying. Just can’t breathe normal.

    How long have I been running for? I probably already have like 2 miles in. 8 MINUTES. WHAT THE….

    I am dying over here.

    Oh look! A puppy.

    Okay, I found my stride, the rest of the run should be easy now.

    NOPE. Side stitch. OUCCCCCH.

    Breathe in two steps, out two steps.

    Don’t swing your arms.

    *Plays Rocky theme song in head*

    Crap, I have to pee and I still have 3 miles to go.

    I totally deserve a pizza after this run. Or some chicken nuggets.

    4.5 miles. Almost done. Run faster so it will be over faster.

    I am dying. 4.8 is close enough to 5 miles.

    CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP.

    It’s over. Thank the Lord.

    I FEEL AWESOME.

    Let’s do it again tomorrow.

     

    Sound familiar?

    Run happy, Meghann

  • Recording Your Workouts

    Planners, agenda, diaries, whatever you call it, I love having a book to record my thoughts or whatever ramblings are in my head for that day.

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    When I ran in high school, my cross country coach gave all of us a journal and wanted to record our progress throughout the season, from then on I was hooked on writing down info from my runs.

    My times, the weather, how I felt, what I saw, it all went in this journal. At the end of the season, it was fun to go back and look at how I progressed as a runner, and a person throughout the season.

    Last year for Christmas, Ryan (my fiance) got me a 365 day running journal. And every day since January 1 I have recorded my miles, my weight, where I ran and how I felt. I love tracking my progress. I like being able to keep a schedule of my workouts and measure my distance from week to week.

    2PicMonkey Collage

    So. I already told y’all that I like recording my runs and whatnot. Wellll. I also kind of love stats. And while I’m not a math person (at all), I do like percents and things of nature (just don’t ask me to figure them for you). So along with journals and whatnot, I use Fitbit to keep track of my weekly progress. The Fitbit (that I reviewed here) emails you weekly updates on how far you walked, your total minutes active, calories burned, sleep patterns, etc. I love it.

    My suggestion to everyone is start recording your daily activity. Whether it's a five mile run, 20 minute walk around your neighborhood or playing soccer with your brother, I want people to become passionate about being active. While I love some McDonald's chicken nuggets, I also know that I can't eat those everyday and not workout at all. I don’t have the metabolism of a five year old and I would like to not clog my arteries.

    This is the only body you are going to have. You might as well keep it in shape. 

    While I am also all about body confidence and loving the skin in your in, I also want people to be healthy! Find whatever it is you are passionate about and do it! Mine is obviously running, but I also love to play soccer, go hiking and (throwback) play Dance Dance Revolution with my best friend.

    And if recording your daily activity is not your thing, that’s fine! Do whatever works for you. Post inspirational notes on your bathroom mirror, tell Facebook you're going to run a 5k and let your friends hold you accountable, or practice something new and surprise your family with your new talent.

    So tell me: What do you love to do? Is there something you wish you could try? If I had the money and the time, I would LOVE to try gymnastics; stereotypical girl answer and I don’t care. It looks like SO much fun.

    Have a great week, everyone!

    Run happy, Meghann

  • The Importance Of Running? It Changes Your Life

    The practice. The pain. The ice baths. The 3 a.m. wake up calls and the 4 hour four bus rides.

    The Friday night team dinners. The early bed times and limited social life. The accomplishment of dropping a pant size.

    The Importance of Running

    The warmup. The stretching. The same prayer every Saturday morning. The tape on my spikes and the rubberband in my hair.

    The Importance of Running

    The lineup. The nerves. The butterflies. The gun. We’re off.

    The dew on the grass. The sweat on my face. The pain in my lungs and the weight of my arms.

    The pep talk. The song stuck in your head. The girl you have to beat.

    The fight to the finish line. The race volunteers with water. The new PR. The support of your teammates and family.

    The Importance of Running

    The feeling of accomplishment. The feeling of death and the feeling of being so unbelievably alive.

    That’s what cross country was to me. That’s what running still is to me today. I run to better myself. To beat the clock. To challenge everything I thought I knew about myself.

    “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” John Bingham, American marathon runner.

    What's the importance of running? Running can change your life. I dare you train for a half marathon, marathon, or any other race and it not change your life. Your mindset changes. You become more aware of what the human body is capable of. You watch what you eat, you monitor your sleep; it becomes an obsession.

    Make running fun. Make workouts hard. Rest, eat, and repeat.

    Run happy and run hard. Meghann

  • Why We Love Community Running

    One of the perks of running is you get to meet all kinds of people from all over the country. I’ve run races with only 50 people and I’ve run races with hundreds of people crammed between the sidewalks.

    There is something about preparing to run any length of distance that brings people together.

    Some people run races to beat a specific time, some run to beat that voice in their head that says they are too fat or too slow to run against others, some run for fun and some run for health. But that’s the thing; everyone out there has a goal. That’s one way you’re all similar.

    Some of my best friends came from running cross country in high school. Day in and day out, we would run the roads by our high school and talk about everything from the race on Saturday to cute boys in our history class. Had it not been for cross country and track, I would not have some of these friendships. Running is what brought, and kept, us together.

    Community Running

    The end of my senior, I ran in the Kentucky Senior Challenge -- a race for selected high school cross country seniors in Kentucky. I was put on a team with three other girls from my high school and about eight other girls. We didn't know each other and the only time we had to talk was during our warm up and stretching.

    But we all had a bond; we loved to run.

    By the end of the day after the race was over, we had our medals and was ready to depart we all laughed and hugged each other like we had been friends for years. That’s what the bond of running can do. It’s makes strangers instant friends.

    Community RunningMy dad started running 5ks after I got the running bug and he met people who were like him: not fast, determined to finish and outside running to enjoy the day. I got to share something I love with someone I love. That’s what is great about running -- once someone catches the running bug, it spreads like wildfire.

    This is why community races are so great. They are usually cheap, low-key, and you get to meet all kinds of new people who you at least have one thing in common -- running. Plus, small town 5ks are usually small enough where there is a good chance you will place in your age group.

    Community Running 4

    I'm in a sorority (Kappa Delta), and my twin loves to run. Talking about 10-milers and half marathons was our first connection and from there we became instant best friends. Talking about blisters, hydration, tripping on trail runs to personal bests, our friendship was based on the foundation of running. We ran 5ks to support fraternities on campus and half marathons for fun. Running was our connection.

    Community Running 2

    So if you have never run in a small community race, I encourage you to do so. They are full of friendly people, free food, and awesome t-shirts. Plus, community races are usually a lot cheaper than races in bigger cities (hint: the shorter the distance, the cheaper the race)

    So check out a local color run, or 10-miler and see what you think.

    What are your favorite races to run? Costume or theme races? Intense half marathons? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

    Run happy! Meghann

  • Why You Should Get A Fitbit Flex (If You're A Marathoner Or Not)

    Guess who is the new owner of a Fitbit?!

    Fitbit 4

    Last weekend I had some extra cash and Ryan, my fiancé, and I had already spent too much money and time in Best Buy getting a new TV, so I figured what the heck. I’ve wanted one anyways, so might as well jump ship and give in.

    And it is awesome.

    I know it sounds like a glorified pedometer, but it's so much more than that.
    So here goes my official review of the Fitbit Flex!

    First off, they have several colors to choose from, but the default colors are black, blue, and green. If you want a different color such as red, pink, purple, teal, etc., then you have to purchase those bands separately. I chose black so it would match almost anything. I also like how it’s not big and clunky so no one knows I am wearing a piece of a technology.

    Fitbit Flex

    But to start with, the Fitbit is super simple to setup. You click here fitbit.com/setup and it gives you step by step instructions on how to charge it, how to track, and how to change your daily goals like steps taken, water intake, etc.

    Fitbit Flex Review

    It has lights to show you how close to your goal you are. So at anytime throughout the day, all I have to do is double tap the band and it shows me how close to my goal I am.

    My main goal has been to reach 12,000 steps a day. The Fitbit Flex starts you off with 10,000 steps since that's the recommended amount from the American Heart Association, but I wanted to try for something a little harder.

    The band is also waterproof and Fitbit users are encouraged to wear it in the shower, out for a run in the rain and all over the place.

    I was also curious to see how my numbers stacked up with me having an 8-5 office job where I am at a computer for most of the day.

    My first full day of using the fitbit, I didn't reach my goal of 12,000. I was barely over 10,000. So not too bad, but definitely not where I needed to be.

    I love getting periodic updates on my activity level throughout the day. While it’s discouraging to see how much I don’t move at work, it gives me more motivation to make sure I do something active when I get off. I’ve also tried to incorporate laps around the office or a quick walk around the block during the day to increase my steps.

    On days where I don't workout or do something active for at least 30 minutes, I don't even come close to my goals. Days where I make sure to run, play tennis or walk in the park, I hit my goal easily.

    The Fitbit Flex also tracks your sleep pattern. You can start a sleep mode when go to bed and wake it up when you do. It monitors how long it takes you to fall asleep, the periods of restlessness and actual sleep time.

    Fitbit Flex Review

    I’m all about some statistics, so I love that I can track all of my data and get weekly reports on my overall progress. There is also an app for my phone, so I don’t have to be near my actual laptop to see my progress.

    So if you've been debating on whether or not to buy a Fitbit, I would encourage you to do so. If it is something to help motivate you to get moving, then I’m all for it.

    So that’s what is new in my world! (well you know, other than a job, house, state, etc.)

    What are you guys up to? Have you tried the Fitbit or other similar products? Let me know what you think!

    Run Happy! Meghann

     

    All of these opinions are my own. 

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