Category Archives: My Lists

5 Thoughts for Newbie Runners

If I could go back to when I was learning how to run, these are the bits of knowledge that I would emphasize to the newbie runner in me.

1. Make motivation signs/boards and post them! Harness the power of your motivation by making it visual. If you’re running for your health, post a picture of yourself and your loved ones where you can see it everyday to reinforce why you want to run.

2. Log your run. Tracking the time of your run, distance, and your mood is  a quantitative/qualitative way to see your progress, however small that progress is. While it may feel tedious, it’s a proven way to assess your running and figure out how you can prepare for your next run.

3. Don’t walk in your running shoes. Yikes! What I mean is, once you’ve found a pair of shoes that work well for your runs, don’t use those shoes for casual wear. Walking around in them while you’re doing errands will shorten the life of your shoe and lose the fit that you need when you’re actually running in them. It might save you from any aches and pains which could hamper your run.

4. Form a mantra and say it often. “Never quit.” “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” “Easy and fast.” Your mantra is your armor against the creepy quitting thoughts that will march into your head. Although you might not believe in your mantra at first, use it often and it will protect you.

5. Don’t forget to breathe. Unless you’re running next to a sewer plant (why would you do that?), inhale the air around you and let it reinvigorate you. Take in the scenery along your path and feel your body shuffle forward. Don’t obsess over how fast you are (or aren’t) or how uncomfortable you feel. Allow your body to find its running groove by starting with the air you need.

And a bonus thought – Run with a smile on your face. You’re not crazy, you’re having fun!

As for me, I’m confident the Army made me run enough miles to circle the globe at least once, but sadly, I have no verifiable proof. This year, I started a run log on an excel sheet in addition to my Daily Mile account so that I can see how many miles I accumulated.

My personal mantra for running is Be Brave, Have Courage. It’s not a super gung-ho mantra, but it works for me since I’m not a super gung-ho person. Whenever I start to drag, I pull this out of my reserves and repeat it a couple of times.

So for all of my newbie runners out there, I hope you find these tips to be useful.

For help finding your mantra, check out this Runner’s World article.

And if you’re on Daily Mile, add me as your friend, I’d love to be your cheerleader. If you’re not on Daily Mile, check it out. It might be the tech tool you need to keep on (or start) running!

Stay motivated!


11 Random Things About Me

I’m starting off my Monday with two things:
  1. Thank you to the New York Giants on their Super Bowl win! I don’t have to run miles for Patriots fans  this week and I get my husband back on Sundays! 🙂
  2. I have 11 random things to share with you since I was tagged by Michele at nycrunningmama last week plus 11 unsolicited random things per the rules. You may have seen these in the blogosphere already, but just in case, here are the rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.
Let the randomness begin:
  1. I’m left-handed, but I use scissors with my right hand.
  2. I have a long-lasting love for Hello Kitty. She makes me smile.
  3. I used to camp out with my stuffed animals under the dining table and a bed sheet.
  4. I used to collect stamps and Starbucks’ city mugs. Now I collect potholders from cities I visit.
  5. I can’t speak Tagalog (Filipino language) fluently and I studied Arabic and Spanish in school.  I’m far from fluent in those languages too.
  6. I know how to play the piano and I was a first chair clarinet in middle school – band geeks unite!
  7. I have a birthmark on my inner right thigh that I used to hide with longer shorts until I bought my first pair of Nike Tempo shorts a couple of months ago.
  8. Due to the movie Titanic, I absolutely refuse to get on a cruise ship.
  9. I only wear polarized sunglasses. I wore glasses and contact lenses until the Army gave me laser correction surgery (which I was so grateful for!).
  10. I constantly daydream about my perfect kitchen, bathroom, and home office. In that order.
  11. I always buy magazines in March so I can read my birthday horoscope.
Whew! Got through that, it’s hard thinking up different random things! Here are my answers for Michele’s questions.

1. What was the first race signed up for?  When was it? Where was it?  How did you do? My first race was the In God’s Love We Deliver Race to Deliver on November 18, 2001. It’s a 4 mile race around the smaller loop in Central Park, New York City and I completed it in 31:49. I remember feeling in awe of the diversity of runners specifically the older (60+) runners and how they were still running after so many years. 

2. What is your favorite color? My mood for life right now has me favoring green although I like wearing grey and purple.

3. Do you prefer to read stories and the training of elite runners or every day runners? Why? I like everyday runners because I can relate to them more and their stories are more accessible. I’m completely new to learning more about elite runners other than hearing about what race they’ve won.

4. Treadmill or dreadmill? Dreadmill… as long as there’s no lightning, I like to stay outside!

5. Gear junkie or Run Naked? I’ve become a gear junkie as of late… Spibelt filled with Gu, a new Garmin Forerunner, my iPhone and its remote controlled earbuds. 

6. Is there an era of music that you prefer? Oldies? Classic Rock? 90s? In my everyday routine, when I’m cooking or putzing around the house, I love listening to 60’s Soul or soul-inspired artists. I like it when you can feel the heartache in a singer’s voice because I feel it translates into the amount of love that person has. 

7. Coffee or Tea? Both! I will always love iced coffee, but am making a more focused effort to drink green tea whenever I can because I don’t need the coffee caffeine buzz right now.

8. What is a childhood secret you never told your mom? That my girlfriends and I weren’t  at the movie theater on my 18th birthday. We were at the tattoo parlor so I could get my belly button pierced. (I took it out a long time ago, Mom!)

9. Favorite Olympic Summer sport to watch? I always love watching volleyball, swimming, and the track and field events. I’ll definitely be excited to watch the marathon event now!

10. Favorite movie of all time? Ooh, it’s a toss-up between Steel Magnolias (a story about 5 women in Louisiana), The Joy Luck Club ( a story about 4 Chinese women and their American born daughters), and Forrest Gump (a story about Forrest, Forrest Gump).

11. Cake or Pie? I love me some cake. I rarely pass on a piece of cake. 🙂

I hope you got to know a little bit more about me! Here are my 11 questions for Fit Chick Diaries, Tough and Tiny, HerMoves, {All Things New}, Snaps of Our Life, The Wine{a}be, Placebo Bee, The {mis}Adventures and Random Encounters of KJo, katieRUNSthis, and southernrunnergal. Not quite 11, but I’m new to the blog game, so I chose blogs I’m following and see if they want to take part!

1. What is your favorite kitchen utensil/appliance?
2. What fitness activity have you always wanted to try?
3. Where did you take your best or worst vacation?
4. What’s your favorite season?
5. Tap water or filtered water?
6. You have no distractions or obligations, how would you like to spend your day?
7. How many bones in your body have you broken?
8. Who is your fitness inspiration?
9. Do you have a sweet tooth or a salty tooth?
10. What’s your favorite shoe style?
11. What are you most looking forward to doing when the weather warms up?

I can’t wait to hear your answers! Now let me work on this week’s training plan! Stay motivated!

10 things I’ve learned on long runs.

In no particular order:

1. It’s never too late to join the blister-free movement with Body Glide!

2. Powerbar Energy Blasts give me gelatinous burps.

3. Born to Run, the audiobook, really started to motivate me around chapter 15. Until then, it was just something I listened to, but did not feel.

4. The moment right before the sun rises and the sky is a peachy blue is pretty amazing and refreshing.

5. Somewhere along mile 5, there’s a bewildered voice inside me that says, “Are you crazy?! Stop right now!”

6. I use each step to run away from that bewildered voice.

7. Long runs are a perfect excuse to try out an array of energy gels and jellybeans.

8. If am elated after finishing 12 miles, I just might be an emotional mess after 26.2.

9.  I pray a lot more for family, friends, and strangers while on the pavement.

10. Walk breaks are as necessary as getting in the miles. It’s okay.