Ultimate Non-Runners Guide to Running

This week I hit Day 250 of my current running streak and the OCD part of me likes this milestone because it just seems like a nice, even, number…it’s half-way to 500 or a quarter-way to 1000 and it means I only have a few more than 100 days left until I hit the one-year mark (what?!?) One of the questions I’ve been asked most often during my running streak is, “How do I start running?” So I did some research, asked my running friends, and reflected on my journey to bring to you The Ultimate Non-Runners Guide to Start Running! This list of resources is designed to be a guide to running for beginners.

Running for Beginners: Getting Started

I think getting off the couch for the first time (or for the first time in a long time) can be the most difficult steps of your running journey! Once you’re up and going it’s a whole lot easier to take the next step on your run than it was to take the first step of your run.

GIRL ON THE MOVE (GOTM) TIP: Find a plan and a buddy! For brand new runners I recommend a program like C25k (Couch to 5K) because it gives you a plan to go from not running to running a 5k in 9 weeks.  And then find a buddy who will do the program with you…because almost everything is better together! My mom did both of these things and last weekend she ran her first 5k…the Wipeout Run!

Tips from my running friends:

Overcome Excuses from Run to the Finish

Motivational Quotes from He And She Eat Clean

Motivational Tips from No Thanks to Cake

Dear Slow Runners from Strength and Sunshine

Orange County Wipeout Run 2015 with running tips for non-runners

Running for Beginners: The Equipment

As a new runner, how in the world are you supposed to pick running shoes and clothes and do you need any other equipment like special water bottles or fancy headbands?!? If you follow any runners on social media you’ll see them in a variety of running shoes so how are you supposed to know which one is the best? The truth is, it varies from person to person. The brand of running shoes that is the best fit for my feet, may not be the best for you.

GOTM TIP: Don’t be frugal about your running shoes! And when you’re getting your first pair, if you can get fitted in a running store, go get fitted! They’ll help you figure out what is best for you based on your foot structure, stride, etc. I am all about wearing workout tops from Costco (they’re cheap y’all) but I do not try to scrimp and save when it comes to my running shoes! My body is too important to be supported mile after mile by poor quality running shoes.

Tips from my running friends:

Lacing Your Running Shoes from He and She Eat Clean

Rotate Your Running Shoes from Run to the Finish

Lacing up your first pair of running shoes doesn't need to be intimidating with this list of resources on running for beginners.

Running for Beginners: General Tips

Since running is a solo, mostly equipment free sport I think people wonder if it should be simple or if there is more to it. And I think the answer is both! The great thing about running is you don’t need other people, you don’t need to learn a whole set of rules (although if you sign up for a race it wouldn’t hurt to do a google search for race etiquette), and you don’t need a whole bag of equipment. But there is a lot you can learn to improve your runs like breathing techniques, pacing, speed workouts, cross training, improving your stride, etc. So as you get started on your running journey take some time to read these general tips…just know you can get started without knowing everything!

GOTM TIP: Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. If you want to begin running in 2016 don’t sign up for a marathon in May or decide to run 4 miles a day every day for the whole year! Set small goals and then celebrate each accomplishment and then set out on a new running goal. And find a buddy (I can’t stress this one enough!!!)

Tips from my running friends:

How to Start Running from This Runner’s Recipes

Tips for Newbies from Parade

Tips for New Runners from MCM Mama Runs

Becoming a Runner from Running with SD Mom

How to Train for your First 5K from Maybe I Will

Breathing Patterns for Runners from Running with Perseverance

I’d love to hear from you!  If you’re a runner, what are your tips for newbies?  If you’re new to running, what is motivating you to run?

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Wipeout 5k Run

Five years ago my sister competed on a Wipeout: Blind Date episode…if you’ve been a fan of the show for years you might remember her as the cougar!  She did really well…her partner, affectionately referred to as the cub, not so much…so they did not make it past the second round.

But now it’s time for redemption!

Wipeout 5k Run Orange County

That’s right, we’re participating in the Wipeout 5k Run on November 7 at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre…and I want you to join us!  If you’ve ever watched the show Wipeout and thought you can do better, this is your chance!  Join me for this crashtastic 5k run in Orange County.

Tweet: Join me at the Wipeout 5k Run in Orange County this November! http://bit.ly/1SR2grp #wipeout #SoCal

Let me know in the comments below if you’re going to join me at this awesome 5k run because I want to meet up with you for pictures and fun!  And if you don’t live in Southern California you can check out their site to find your local race!

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Be Inspired: Devin

If we’re connected on social media then you probably know I’ve been working on a running streak.  This weekend I hit 120 consecutive days of running and throughout this journey I’ve looked to other runners for inspiration.  So I was absolutely delighted to “meet” Devin a couple of weeks ago after I saw her Instagram post where she shared her, “big, hairy, audacious goal,” of running ten half-marathons during the 2015-2016 school year.  Since y’all know how much I love big, scary dreams/goals I need I had to interview Devin for the Be Inspired series!  I can relate to the dream she’s currently pursuing because I taught middle school for seven years after college…and my first was crazy difficult!

You can connect with Devin on her blog or on Twitter.

It is my hope that you leave this blog feeling inspired.  Whether you spend 2 minutes reading the blog every month or check the blog on a daily basis, it is my hope that when you click away from my site you leave inspired.  Inspired to try something new.  Inspired to step out of your comfort zone.  Inspired to embrace a new challenge.  Inspired to make a difference.  Inspired to dream big and chase those dreams.  Inspired to live life a little bit different.  Inspired to be the best you possible.  This series introduces you to people and stories that inspire me and it is my hope that they will inspire you as well.

Meet Devin…

Be Inspired by Devin from Ohm & Split Pea
Be Inspired by Devin from Ohm & Split Pea

What dream are you currently pursuing?
Teaching! All my life I knew I was meant to be a teacher. I’m not going to lie, my first year of teaching was rough. To the point that I completely gave up and called it quits and set out to find a new life purpose. However, after some soul searching I realized I’m meant to be in a classroom. I took a leap of faith in myself and moved to a new school in a new city and started fresh. It was the best decision I have ever made!
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to inspire other people to implement mindful practices into their lives. Practicing mindfulness daily has completely transformed me, allowed me to create a life filled with joy and happiness. I recently created a curriculum that aligns mindfulness with leadership skills in my classroom. I’ve loved watching my students grow into mindful, little leaders. Ultimately, a big goal of mine is to travel and empower other teachers to introduce this approach in their classrooms as well. Perhaps write a book to go with the journey!
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
I am surrounded by gratitude for SO much. However, I’d have to say I feel most accomplished when I reflect on overcoming an eating disorder. I battled with disorder eating habits for 10+ years. I was a compulsive exerciser to the point that I dropped down to 90-something pounds. Practicing mindfulness allowed for me to develop a strong sense of self respect, which in turn empowered me to create new, healthful habits. I saw my body in a new light, as my temple. Rather than exercise to control my body, I now exercise to honor my body.
Who has been an inspiration to you and how have they inspired you?
My parents have been my biggest inspiration. Growing up, my mom battled many health issues. Watching her and my dad overcome multiple life obstacles together, with love, was a prime example of perseverance. Not only did they empower each other with compassion, but they showed unconditional love and support for all their children. It allowed for me to build that trust in myself, in my journey.
How do you handle obstacles that arise as you pursue your dreams?
I’ve learned to always, always go back to my breath. I can’t control the obstacle that will be thrown my way. But, I can control my reaction. So, I choose to allow my breath to keep me calm and accept the obstacles that are present. Then, I reflect on where to go next. What’s a journey without a few bumps in the road, anyway?!
Can you share five interesting facts about yourself?
1. My favorite date spot is Barnes and Nobles. Adam and I can spend hours in a good book store.
2. On the side of teaching I’m a CrossFit coach. CrossFit was a big stepping stone in my journey to overcoming my eating disorder, so I love empowering others to strengthen their bodies and minds through this sport.
3. I have a boxer mix named Pood who fills my heart with so much joy. He’s the only dog I’ve ever met who actually grins when me and his dad enter the room.
4. I have a fabulous relationship with my yoga mat, Split Pea. I step on my mat daily, whether its to stretch, workout or meditate. My mat helps me stay grounded and present.
5. I’ve recently rebuilt a healthy relationship with running and am SO excited to be striving for a big goal this year: I’ll be running 10 half marathons…one each month of the school year! Each race will be dedicated to a group of students. I’ll be sharing my journey with my class to inspire and guide them in goal setting and perseverance.

What is one big, hairy, audacious goal you have?


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Run Streak

First of all, if you are a blogger, make sure sure you check out the Blog Staycation I’m co-hosting later this month…it’s going to be amazing!

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday and for me, birthdays are more about fresh starts than even New Years!  For me, my birthday represents a chance to look ahead to the new year and start fresh.  So this year I decided I wanted to try and so how many consecutive days I could go for a run…my very own RunStreak.  The beauty of going on this running streak is that I can set the “rules” and so I’m keeping them pretty simple…

-A run counts for the day if I run at least a mile (some days I do more but on days when I do Body Pump I don’t run much more than 1-2 miles)

Yup, those are all of my rules!  So far I’m at four days…and here is to many more!  And if you want to encourage me along the way, I sure would appreciate it because I’m sure days will come when I just don’t feel like running!

BangBands are the perfect headband for all of your workouts

And now I have the perfect accessory for all of my runs!  Here’s the thing I love about this BangBandsByLinny headband…it’s incredibly functional (a necessity if you’re heading out for a run or to hit the gym!) but it’s also super cute!  Another bonus is that this headband doesn’t slip around when you’re working out so I don’t have to expend all of my workout energy on trying to keep the headband on my head…it just stays there!  And it’s reversible so I can wear it two different ways!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a headband to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I know not everyone is a runner, but is there anything else in your life you want to try and do in a streak?  Maybe give up sweets, take a walk, spend 15 minutes reading, or so many other options!

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A Letter to my Fitness Community

My first fitness love is running, but in the last few months I have fallen in love with my Body Pump class.  I love that in just one hour I can do strength training for my whole body.  On average there are 12-15 people in the class until this week…when there were 30!  As I was waiting for class to begin I overhead a couple of the regulars quietly wondering how long the class was going to stay this full.  And that’s when it hit me…that was entirely the wrong response!  And so I wrote this letter to my fitness community to address our gyms suddenly teeming with “New Year’s Resolution-ers”

A Letter to my Fitness Community
Dear Health and Fitness Enthusiasts,

If your gym is anything like mine it has been more crowded than usual the last week or so.  While you might usually be able to find a treadmill when you stop by the gym after work it may have been more difficult than usual the last few days.  In years past this has really annoyed me and I’ve often thought, “Don’t come and take up space at my gym for a weeks at the beginning of every year!”  As I scrambled to try and find the equipment I wanted to use I would just remind myself that I would only need to put up with this busyness for a weeks…a couple months at most.  By the time my birthday rolled around in March they gym would be back to its usual level of busyness.

But this year I realized something…

What if we were more welcoming?

It takes a lot of courage to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new and I can’t imagine how it feels to try something new only to then be met with glares and stares.  If you have limited experience at the gym it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out how to work some of the machines, how much weight to use and understanding gym etiquette.

So instead of muttering under our breath about how crowded the gym is this time of year and remarking about how long we think these new people will stick it out, let’s smile and help them feel welcomed to our fitness community!

Here’s to having a gym still filled with people in April!


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Be Inspired: Tina

It is my hope that you leave this blog feeling inspired.  Whether you spend 2 minutes reading the blog every month or check the blog on a daily basis, it is my hope that when you click away from my site you leave inspired.  Inspired to try something new.  Inspired to step out of your comfort zone.  Inspired to embrace a new challenge.  Inspired to make a difference.  Inspired to dream big and chase those dreams.  Inspired to live life a little bit different.  Inspired to be the best you possible.  This series introduces you to people and stories that inspire me and it is my hope that they will inspire you as well.

I met Tina through the world of blogging and I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly how we met (and neither can she!) but I do know I’m glad we did!  I can not even imagine running a mile at the same pace as Tina but I do know that her running inspires me to be a better runner.  Last week she raced as an elite in the Chicago Marathon and I loved reading the recap of her experience and look forward to continuing to follow her running journey.  You can follow Tina on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Tina Muir

What dream are you currently pursuing?

I am greedy, and have a few of them: representing Great Britain in an International competition, running a 2:30 marathon (but first I have to get the shorter term goal of getting under 2:40), and successfully running my own healthy meals-on-the-go business.

What is your biggest dream?

The dream that gets me out the door every day for my runs is that someday I will represent Great Britain in an International Competition. Ideally, this would be in the marathon, but I would be happy with a shorter distance too. I have had this dream since I first started running at age 14, and I am not going to stop until I get there!

I would also say that the dream of opening a business is also very real for me. I am not in a position where I can right now, but I hope over the next few years I can set it up, and ride the wave as more Americans realize how important eating the right foods, is for their future.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?

Finishing 3rd in the 10k at the 2012 Olympic Trials was probably one of the greatest moments in my running career, especially being asked for autographs after the race. That was very special knowing you are having an impact on young children’s lives. I never thought I would win a medal at a race like that, but it just goes to show that hard work does pay off! Tina Muir 2

Who has been an inspiration to you and how have they inspired you?

Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder in the marathon was always my hero as she was so fearless, breaking barriers in the women’s marathon that no one else in the world has come close to since. I loved watching her run by me when I watched her in London, and she inspired me to become the best I could be.

How do you handle obstacles that arise as you pursue your dreams?

Even though it can be difficult as it is happening, I try to keep in mind that setbacks always make you stronger. Those challenges we face always give us an extra level of grit to be able to dig down deep when you are given the opportunity to compete. I usually run the best after a setback, as I know there is no way I will give up after all I have been through! I also like to trust in the process, that things will happen as they were always meant to, and as long as you work hard and stay positive, you will get there, when your body is ready.

Can you share five interesting facts about yourself?

-Hmmm, well readers of my blog will know I am a sugar addict, nothing is too sweet for me! Therefore my favorite snack would be anything sugary, although peanut butter m&ms are my biggest weakness.
-I know how to surf, I learned when I was living in California from 2006-2007
-My favorite color is yellow
-My favorite running shoe is the Saucony Kinvara; I train and race in them
-My favorite thing to do when I go home to England is to go to a restaurant called The Waffle house…..no, not the American Waffle house, this is a hole-in-the-wall place in my hometown that serves all kinds of sweet and savory waffles. My favorite is the bannoffee (banana, toffee sauce, chocolate shavings, and ice cream) waffle. I miss that place a lot!

Who is your fitness inspiration?

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