Wednesday, April 18, 2012

running 30 for 30::more than you ever wanted to know

 A few of you have asked about my April goal....which is, to run every day for 30 days.

I am almost 2/3 done.  It feels pretty good to type that.  I am almost 2/3 done.  I am almost 2/3 done.

I run 2 miles a day.  I am pretty sure any longer would make it impossible.

I run outside, the same path every day and usually around sunset.

If you are thinking of taking on a running goal, here is what I've learned so far.

You CAN run...
Some of you have commented to me that you would never be able to do this because you aren't a "runner".  You CAN do this.  I assure you.  If I can do this, ANYONE can.  I started running in January and I would alternate running and walking.  I used to have to stop and walk 6 times during the 2 mile stretch that I now run every day. {6 times!!!}  And that was only a couple months ago...and let me remind you that every runner was once "not a runner"...

Every day...
The reason that I decided to go every day was because I have heard that it's easier to build a new habit if it's something that you do every single day.  I know that a lot of "real" runners frown on this because you can get hurt.  Your body works better if you have a break.  But, since I only go a short distance, I felt like it would be okay.  I know myself well enough to know that 1 day off turns into 2 turns into 5 turns up.  In May, I plan to start an every other day routine and alternate running with a core workout.

The most important things...

Distraction.  I wear an ipod and I also keep my mind distracted by thinking about upcoming projects, payroll, taxes, my list of to do's....basically anything but running.  If I think about the running or the cramp or the pain in my chest, it's so much harder.

Stay cold.  I hate being cold.  The first two weeks I ran in capri sweatpants and a sweatshirt.  But then I realized I was getting hot really fast, and being too hot makes me tired and slow.  I wear shorts and a t shirt.  I'm cold, but being cold makes me run faster because I want to warm up!

Drink water.  I used to dread drinking water.  I would so much rather have soda or coffee...but since I started running I crave it.  I drink a lot more water than I used to and I know it helps.

Have a buddy.  If you can get someone else to join you, it's so much harder to quit.  Mark decided to join  me and he is super encouraging when I come back from a run plus we talk about it, how we're doing, what we're noticing, etc.  It's nice to have a sounding board and the support and encouragement and it's even nicer it's coming from my husband.  He understands that I need to do this for me and I understand that he needs to do it for him.  It makes us a stronger team.  

Time yourself.  I set my stopwatch and since I run the same path every day, I can easily track my progress with my time.  My goal is to be faster every day.  Even if it's just a few seconds.  When I know the stop watch is going, it's easier to push myself.  I want to see that number go down.

Just go.  Leo wrote a post about running awhile back and said that the main thing is to just get your shoes on and get out the door.  When it's cold and I'm tired and I don't feel like it, that is what I tell myself.  Just get your shoes on.  Just get out the door.  Once you have your shoes on and your outside the rest will take care of itself.

Go alone.  I enjoy running with Mark, but the truth is he is WAY faster than me.  I need to be able to go at my own pace and so does he.  We run together a few times a week, but the majority of the time we run alone, and I think at this stage, that's better.

Imagine your goals.  When I'm running and I want to stop I imagine my legs looking like this:

I'm gonna wear those shorts too.  The ones in the middle.  Mmmhmm. it working? Here are the benefits...or at least here is what I've noticed so far:

I'm happier, because I'm proud of myself.  I'm proud of my commitment and I'm proud that I'm making it a priority to invest in myself.

I'm calmer, more centered. 

I'm more toned.  I'm not sure if I've lost weight, but my glutes, thighs, abs and calves are definitely benefitting.  I may or may not check out my back side every morning in the full length mirror...Mark caught me checking myself out the other day.  It was just a little bit embarrassing.

I don't get out of breath as easily.  I can chase Grant around or run up the stairs and not be winded.

Here is my big takeaway...are you ready??

A little bit done faithfully every day is better than the big heroic act done once.

Here is what I'm saying.  I could get a lot more glory running a marathon.  I run a measly 2 miles a day.  It's not much.  But, by the end of April, I will have run over 2 marathons!

It applies to every aspect of life.  Do a little bit each day, and you can accomplish anything.

I'm still learning about this whole running thing, but I'm getting better every day.


  1. You inspire me! Way to go Amber!

  2. Loved reading this! I'm "starting over" after having my second baby and it's hard. Hard not being fast anymore, hard not being able to pump out the miles, hard to find the time...but SO WORTH IT! Well done, you!

  3. Way to go! I started running in Feb. with a friend and we aren't always consistent but we have been doing it. I've decided I need to run alone though. When I run with her, I'm more likely to slow down and walk so that we can chat and it's a good excuse to kind of wimp out as well. She's doing great and running a 5K this weekend but I think I'm going to stick with just keeping it going day by day! Thanks for your post! It's very inspiring!
    Oh and my friend had a great idea. She puts a poker chip or something in a jar for every mile she runs and when it's full she gets to go celebrate!

  4. you go girl! YOu are awesome!:)

  5. Thank you for posting this....just what I needed. I think I can, I think I can..!

  6. I love my wife. She is inspiring me to do things i thought i would never do. I love that we lean on each other for support. Your husband

  7. Good for you! And you have every right to check yourself out in the mirror- you're working hard for those toned legs! :)

  8. What an inspiration! It is easy to forget how easy something small can be. And getting out the door is the hardest part - I find a million excuses! Two miles - I can do that. I might try this challenge myself.
    Thanks for the push!!! :))

  9. Amber! I loved this. What a good writer you are. So proud of you!


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