Can you believe it’s almost AUGUST? You guys, that can’t be true, right?!?! Where does the time go? Speaking of time flying, my 10 mile race is in less than ONE month. And with a vacation coming up (!!!), I know I have to be very intentional about what my training will look like for August.
Here’s the deal. In May, as some of you know and many of you don’t, I decided to get off my butt and go running. My mom offered to fly me up to Michigan in August to run The Crim (a 10 mile race in Flint) with my family. If you’d like to read about my physical UNfitness and more on that decision, click HERE. But essentially, I’d been a couch potato for 5 years.
Fast forward to this past weekend. I have now gone from being winded and ready to give up at ¼ of a mile, to running EIGHT miles.
As I am now a total fitness guru (KIDDING!), I wanted to give you some strategies to set yourself up for success, whether you take up running or another form of exercise.
Working Out TIP #1: Set a Schedule You Can STICK To
So what’s my week look like as far as running? Well, I tend to run Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays may change around, depending on when the kids need baths, if someone is sick, if it’s raining, if the kids are just being all around miserable creatures… . 😉 But assuming all is well on the home front and skies are sunny and blue, you’ll find me running 3 miles on Tuesdays, 4 miles on Thursdays, and my long run on Saturdays. Two Saturdays ago, “long” was 7, this past was 8, and this upcoming Saturday will be 9. I get up an out of the house around 6 AM on Saturdays to fit in that kind of mileage. B holds down the fort at home and handles morning routines ☺
Working Out TIP #2: Talk (Positively) to Yourself
When I started, I thought I’d use some of my running/alone time for prayer, but can I just be honest here? That does NOT work for me. I spend so much time giving myself pep talks that I can’t really focus on much else. I’m out there all alone, so it’d be super easy for me to tell myself I can’t do it, I’m too tired, who would even KNOW if I just rested? But I choose to tell myself things like, “In ONE more mile, you’ll be half way done!” or “You’ve made it 6 miles! You are sooo far past half way!!” or, “Meg…you have a half mile left. You can SEE your house. DO NOT GIVE UP NOW! You’ll actually prolong this agony if you slow down at this point!!”
Working Out TIP #3: Give Yourself Grace (to a point)
Ok, so kind of continuing on from #2, there is a time you have to give yourself grace. At the beginning of my training, my grace to myself was allowing myself to walk if I had to. But after my first few runs, I had to change what giving myself a pass meant, or I’d never progress. So, I decided that I am NOT allowed to walk, but I CAN slow down as much as I need to…as long as I am still running. Another thing I’m giving myself grace on is my time. I am NOT fast. My sister and my sister in law are runners. They are running this race too. I know there is NO WAY I can keep up with them…they’ve been running for years at this point. So while they go run these 10 miles in the 9 or so minute pace, I know that I’ll be running my miles at 11:30/mile pace. It’s just where I am at right now, and my overall goal is to run this race…and as long as I do that, I’ll have accomplished what I set out to do.
Working Out TIP #4: Find Music/Podcasts
I think it’s easier to run when I have something to listen to. I usually listen to music (anything, really…sometimes Britney even pops up!). But on Thursdays I listen to Rachel and Dave Hollis’ couples Podcast, Rise Together. I am looking for other Podcast recommendations, specifically anything for moms, or faith-related, so please tell me what I need to be listening to!!!!
Working Out TIP #5: Find Inspiration/Accountability
If you have a workout buddy, that is SO great!! I’m really jealous if you do. But maybe you are like me, and you’re learning to work out solo. Here’s what I do to make sure I stay on target.
- Post to social media. Sometimes, I post to my personal FB page, other times it’s in the InstaStories, and sometimes, I make a whole IG Post about running. But I do post to social media (NOT every run or even every week…and definitely more on my Stories than anywhere else), to hold myself accountable (and maybe even inspire someone else who doesn’t think they can start working out). Sometimes, I even motivate myself during my run by telling myself I give up and go too slow then I won’t be able to post. It works. 😉 I keep going.
- Text anyone who cares. Guys, listen up. I will seriously text my mom, sister, sister and brother in law, a friend…anyone who might care even a little bit. I love to screen shot my completed run. Again, when you don’t have anyone next to you during your workout, this is a totally legit accountability strategy!
- And this one…okay…don’t make fun of me! BUT. When I’m out running, I use the total strangers I encounter as motivation. I’m like, oh look! Another runner. I can’t look ridiculous in front of them; better make sure my running game is strong. Someone coming by walking their dog? I want them to be like, wow she looks like a serious runner! Get it, girl! Yep. Embarrassing but true.
As my final thought, here’s something super important to tell you: IT IS NOT EASY FOR ME. If you want to do any sort of fitness or exercise, it won’t be easy. At the 5.5 mile mark, my body gets so sore I don’t know how I will make it the rest of the way. I spend Saturdays trying so hard not to be world’s worst mom because my body is just destroyed. I take all the Tylenol and still have to really TRY to parent, or play, or clean, or anything. I feel nauseated when I come home at 7:30 AM. I can’t pick up my kids when I see them at first because I actually might pass out. But it’s still WORTH IT. Because you know what my family sees? Someone who set a goal, and will do anything to achieve it. Someone who gets up before the rest of the house to go get it done. Someone who, on weeknights wants to sit home and relax after a long day of work, but puts on a sports bra and tennis shoes at 5 PM instead of pajamas (which is what I really want to do). I hope that as my kids grow, they see this as a part of who I am, not just with running/fitness, but as a core part of Mommy that can be looked up to.
I hope something in this post has helped you, inspired you, given you a little push to start moving!
Be sure to tell me in the comments what fitness goal you’ve been working on or if you have tips for me!