- You can do it. You. Yes. You can. I ran my first marathon in May 2014. The spring I graduated college. The spring I did the most soul-searching. It transformed me. I had spent a lot of years not believing myself and that fire that 26.2 miles lit (yes, it was over 95 degrees but I’m talking about a fire within) changed me. After I ran my first marathon, I ran another just to see if I could do it again. Your body gives up first, way before your mind. Running teaches me every day that I am strong and capable of so much more.
- It’s for you, not anyone else. I’ve had one true running buddy through the years. (Miss you, Bease!) Otherwise, running is for me. I love running with my husband and I’d love to be a part of a running group someday but deep down, I feel like my time spent on long runs is time that belongs to no one else. I don’t have to worry about to-do lists, or work, or not being good enough. It’s just me, myself, and I. One of my favorite running quotes is: “If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.” Christopher McDougall
- Listen to your body. I love my planner and I love a good training schedule but I’ve learned to listen to my body. There are some days everything hurts for no reason. Rest is important. I try to listen to my body on the days it’s screaming “yoga pleeeeeease” and even on the days it wants to run longer than “planned”. I’ve been known to stay home from work because I just needed a long run. My own special kind of mental health day, shhh.
- Be proud. It’s okay to celebrate your accomplishments and remember that you are a badass, because you are.
- Be patient. It takes time to achieve goals. It takes time to hit high mileage weeks. Be patient with yourself and your body. Don’t stop.
- Dream. My dream is still to make it to Boston someday. I was afraid to dream that dream for the first few years I was running. I struggled to even see myself as a “runner”. If you run, you are a runner. Don’t stop dreaming and don’t stop reaching higher.
- Eat. Running changed my body image and my entire mindset on how I see food. I workout and run because I love my body, not because I hate it. I eat food for fuel. When I don’t eat enough, I can feel it in my workouts. I enjoy a cheeseburger and french fries now and then. Fro yo is still my favorite thing ever. I worry more about the quality of calories that I am putting into my body, and less about the quantity. Some days, I’m just hungry. Run or no run, my body some days just needs more food. I’m learning to be okay with that as I get stronger. It isn’t always about how much you’re eating, but what you’re choosing to eat.
- Share. Be proud. Seek out support groups. Find a running tribe to surround yourself with. I have found that the community I have found in running has meant more than anything else. We’d love for you to join us!
I am currently reading: You Are A Badass (thanks, Alice!) and am vowing to live my life as a more badass version of myself. If you haven’t picked up a copy of this book yet – do it today! Get it ordered because you are going to want to read this. It came highly recommend from my friend Amanda, who loves it so much she changed her Instagram bio to include a quote from the book:
“Never apologize for who you are – it lets the whole world down”. Love it.
My marathon is coming up in 4 weeks. I’ve trained harder than I ever have but I’m still filled with thoughts of self-doubt. They come and go. I try to push them away.
After a less than stellar run yesterday morning, I was feeling bummed. I felt slow and sluggish and didn’t want to be out there. I shared on our Running Tribe** Facebook page that something was up – maybe I’m coming down with something? maybe I’m overtraining? maybe I’m just bored? Help!
A woman on the page suggested that I go out and run a mile as fast as I can. “It’ll make you feel like a badass”, she said. Badass. How fitting. I had just started this book this weekend. I decided to give it a try. I hadn’t showered yet from my failed run earlier that morning.
BAM! THE FLASH WAS UNLEASHED. A badass flash.
I ran a mile in 6:56 – something I never thought I was capable of. I haven’t ever run a single mile in less than 8:15, but then again, I’ve also never really tried. WOW. Makes me think about how much more we are all really capable of, amiright?!
I am a badass.
Being comfortable saying to myself, and out loud “I am a badass” is more about self confidence than anything else. It’s about a belief that what you have to offer the world is valuable, and the world can take it or leave it. I’ve been journaling about this in my Passion Planner. When I think of myself, “badass” is generally the last word that comes to mind. What if I started to live my days like I was a badass, confidently going about the world sharing my gifts, talents, and greatness. Wow, what a way to live.
Anyways, I’ll update you on the progress of my own badass-ary but for now, I’m just trying to be comfortable with the fact that I am indeed, a badass.
**Side note: If you’re into running, or want to be, we’d love for you to join our Running Tribe. This group started as a way for us to stay motivated during the summer Runner’s World run streak but it has evolved to becoming my running family. These ladies range from brand new beginner runners to women who go out and run crazy mileage weeks. We all need breaks. We all need to be supported and lifted up. We talk about chafing and sports bras. We talk about food and weight loss. Some have even met up and run together in person!
I set a lofty summer goal of running 500 miles from May 1-Sept 1. I realized quickly into the month of May that hitting those miles was going to be tricky if I didn’t build some miles into my work day. I decided last week, to run to work each day and see if this would be a way that I could get more miles in this summer.
I learned a lot about how to commute by foot and I hope that I can learn from some of you who walk/bike/run to work. I am fortunate with my office situation. It is pretty close to ideal for running to work. My office is a little 3 bedroom house, with 2 full baths. It has a full kitchen and we have plenty of room in the fridge. I only share the space with 2 other women (…one of whom who just got married! Congrats Rachel & John!). I live 4 miles away and can choose 2 different ways to get to work: Main Street or Constitution Trail. Both ways take me right by coffee shops in the morning where I can stop if I chose to and walk the last 5 minutes to my office. It really is an ideal situation. Your situation might look a lot different and that is okay.
Something I learned pretty quickly was how much unnecessary “stuff” I carry around. When planning your runs to work, lighten your load as much as possible. Example: on day 3 I realized I was carrying with me while running my entire work key ring. It has 6 keys on it and I only know what 1 does (gets me into my office). Why not leave the other keys at work and only carry the 1 that I need to get in? Another thing: I missed my planner a lot. It had to stay at my office during the week because I couldn’t carry it back and forth with me each day. I’m attached to my planner and it was sad to be without it each evening.
Below are some of my essentials. I make sure that I have these at my office because they make getting ready after a run a little easier for me. Burt’s Bees makes these awesome Facial Cleansing Towelettes. Super refreshing! I love the Pink Grapefruit ones but there are other scents as well. I get them at Walgreens. Instead of carrying my entire wallet back and forth every day I switched to a smaller coin-purse that easily fits in my running fanny pack or even my pocket. I keep a chapstick, my ID, my keys, and my debit card in there. My Chloe + Isabel jewelry roll holds all of my accessories for the week – that I plan out with each outfit. I packed it up on Sunday evening along with with outfits and dropped it off at my office so it would already be there for me. I also dropped off food for the week as well as all of my clothes/makeup. Since I wouldn’t have a car to leave for lunch, this was probably the trickiest part. This week I plan to do a better job grocery shopping for lunch items for my office. (Ordering Jimmy John’s is too tempting!) The Bb grooming cream helps my hair to air dry smoother. I run it through my wet hair and it just keeps everything calmed down. The mini perfume was a sample that I keep at work. Finally, I’m a huge fan of dry shampoo and it is an essential for the days that I don’t wash my hair but it needs a little freshening. What are your #runtowork essentials? Anything that I should add?
I do plan to keep this #runtowork thing up. I learned that 5 days a week might be a bit much. 8 miles a day for me isn’t sustainable long-term. My goal for the summer is to run to and from work 3-4 days a week and mix some biking to work in there as well. Like I mentioned before, your situation might not look like this but I hope you can think creatively about how you might be able to make #runtowork a possibility for you. Maybe just on Fridays? Maybe during lunch works better for you? Comment below or email me and we can brainstorm other ways to make it easier for you! I’d love to hear from you! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m trying to make #RunToWork a thing, so join me and share if you do decided to run to work! I’m on Instagram and Twitter @mandijstewart. Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait to hear about and follow all of your #runtowork adventures! XOXO
P.S. The Summer 2015 #RWRunStreak starts up tomorrow – Memorial Day. Anyone participating?
Shape. Women’s Health. Fitness. Self. Health. Runners World. Women’s Running. Yoga. Cosmopolitan. Glamour. Oprah. Seventeen.
At one point in my life I was a subscriber to all of these magazines. At the same time. Mostly during college when I think I just liked getting mail. I’m also a sucker for a good deal and magazine subscriptions always seem like such a good deal! Most of my favorite magazines were health and fitness related but I was also getting Oprah and Seventeen. I was all over the place. Monthly these magazines would show up and rarely did I find the time to get even a quarter of them.
In graduate school, I couldn’t even get through that many so one by one I started canceling or not renewing subscriptions. I had stacks of magazines from past months to read so it was unnecessary to keep getting more. I would be playing magazine catch up for years. Then it dawned on me, they all say the same things. Weight loss, beauty tips, the new fitness move that is going to get you ripped. Recipes. Detoxes. Quick fixes. It wasn’t healthy for me to be reading all of these month after month even if they were “healthy” magazines. They were all telling me to be something different and I could not stop reading about all of the things that I needed to change.
I now choose to read real blogs. Stories from real women about what works for them. You can find amazing healthy recipes on those blogs too. I am also working on trusting what I already know. Years of reading all of those magazines has filled me up with quite a lot of information – some good, some not-so-good.
Also, I read books! This one, that I am currently
reading devouring is an inspirational story about women runners over 50. I am loving it and find it so motivating!
Colin reminds me often that healthy eating and exercise is a lifestyle commitment. Not a diet, not a quick fix like a lot of the magazines out there portray. My mom and I have a habit of taking pictures of the most obscure magazine weight-loss headlines out there and sending them to each other. It makes for a good laugh and helps us both remember not to get sucked in by things the media tells us. Being healthy is simple when you boil it down: eat good, real, food, and move your body.
Today I am only subscribed to one magazine: Runner’s World. I love when it arrives in our mailbox and appreciate the real-ness of the magazine. They highlight all types of runners and it is full of great reminders for me about rest, strength, training, etc. I will still buy an occasional magazine now and again. I love the stories in Oprah’s magazine and the step-by-step yoga poses in Yoga. And obviously, I still buy any magazine that has Taylor on the cover…
Happy September to all! Hopefully the hot and humid heat wave of the last few weeks is behind us and we can start to get excited for the fresh fall air coming our way!
Here are my goals for the month of September. I’m really excited about them!
Hit 10,000 steps every day.
Too many days lately I’ve ended the day at 8,000 or 9,000 steps. So close! I am going to challenge myself this month to hit my goal of 10,000 every day! And I hope to hit 40,000 one day this month – that will be a new record to beat! This is a post I recently wrote about step-counting.
Pretty self-explanatory. No sweets for me this month. More fruits & veggies!
Run 100 miles.
I tried for 100 miles in July but fell short by about 12 miles (taking almost an entire week off of running while in Hawaii really set me back – well worth it!) so this month I am determined to hit 100! With marathon training at its peak, I don’t think this should be too hard! Two 20-milers scheduled for this month! Eeek!
You can read more about this challenge here. I am so excited about participating!
What are your goals for the month?