How To Get Your Running Mojo Back

Oh hey there running. We’re totally in a relationship again.

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This is actually a very real depiction of what I looked like at the gym on Monday.

It hasn’t been easy getting back to this place. It’s actually been a weird 6 months. I would see people running and feel wistful and nostalgic – and wish I was joining them. But when I actually went for a run it was horrible and I didn’t want to be there. It was as if I was going through puberty again. Running puberty.

But, the magic is back bitches!

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Sure, it’s not all rainbows, puppies, and unicorns — but I feel like I’m back in my happy place, hanging out with my happy little endorphins — and we all know that endorphins are what it’s ALL about.

So, how did I get my mojo back? Here are a few simple steps that I followed.

1. Stop running and drink a lot of wine.

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2. Gain 10 pounds.

Did you know you can gain weight when you stop exercising and drink a lot of wine?

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3. Whine about not running, even though you dislike running.

Have you read my blog posts for the past 6 months? Then I don’t need to walk you through this step.

4. Repeat Step 3.

5. Attempt to regain mojo by running races.

Best Damn Race 2015

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Nice dice, even though the races themselves were great.

6. Complain about not running to your friends and coworkers who are not able to run because they are injured.

I’m kind of an a-hole.

7. Sign up for a race.

8. Sign up to be a Race Ambassador.

9. Get your ass of bed and just run.

It sucked, but hey – something kind of… clicked.

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I heard that everyone really loves this picture of my feet. Feet are awesome!

10. Be your super awkward self and join a new group.

So, I attempted to join the East Orlando Mom Runs This Town (MRTT) group a few months after E was born, but the timing wasn’t right. There weren’t any groups that met at a convenient time. Most met while I was at work or on Saturdays (when Dan had to work). So, I was dropped from the group and I didn’t really make an effort to rejoin. UNTIL I saw a group of women meeting outside my Y on Tuesday morning and THEN I saw an Instagram post about a speedwork run they had done. Then I stalked that poor Instagram friend and found people to run with — I’m still in the super awkward phase of getting to know people (Dear God, please let it pass quickly!), but I feel excited about running again.

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I’m taking it slow though. And no marathons for a long time. Those things freaking kill me.

Hello mojo! I have missed you. Now let’s go find your cousin… speed.

Shoe Review – New Balance Foam Fresh Zante

A long, LONG time ago (I’m talking when I was in college) — I tried to run/work out in New Balance shoes. I loved how they looked, my friends raved about them, and they got great reviews, but they were always too wide for my skinny/high arched feet – even the narrows didn’t fit right. It bummed me out and apparently shaped my shoe shopping habits for years to come.

Despite the fact that shoe styles change EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I have avoided New Balance shoes because of this. My brain equates New Balance to Wide Shoes. UNTIL NOW.

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I probably would have kept living in ignorance if I wasn’t given the opportunity to review the shoes. And now my life is much more fulfilled. And I’m pretty sure I have a new running shoe.

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Look! I ran! Really! Also – this was safe.

So enough about me…

The Zante shoe is a new addition to the New Balance family. Here are some of the features:

  • Breathable air mesh upper increases airflow during long runs
  • TPU tongue weld improves lockdown support <–I thought the tongue was weird at first, but it works.
  • Sock-like fit hugs the arch to allow toes to spread during movement <– THE BEST!
  • Fresh Foam midsole features a one-piece construction to delivers ultra-plush cushioning
  • Full ground contact outsole improves traction and flexibility

And it’s Specs:

  • Shoe type: Neutral
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm
  • Weight: Women: 6.3oz, Men: 7.5 oz <– Holy cow, this shoe is so light!!
  • Price: $99.99

Running Competitor voted this the Best Road Shoe of 2015 — and I can definitely see why.

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I am the best photographer ever. Also – why is that vein in my wrist so big?

I DID have to buy a Men’s shoe because they didn’t have size 11s in the store (just another perk of having gigantic feet!) BUT that didn’t change my perspective of the shoe AT ALL (Bonus: I wanted black anyways).

When I first put the shoes on I actually thought – “Wow, that’s a tight fit.” I actually had to check that it was truly New Balance. After about a quarter of a mile in them though – they loosened up slightly. They really DO have a sock-like fit, bit it didn’t feel as stiff and constricting. That said, if you have normal-to-wide feet though, I recommend looking into a different width.

The foam part of the shoe felt weird to me at first. It makes the shoe SO light, it’s almost scary. However, they manipulated the shoe to include incredible arch coverage, so it doesn’t necessarily feel like you are running on foam. Now, I don’t know if I could run a full marathon in this shoe (not that I’ll be doing THAT any time soon), but I could definitely run in these for a half.

So…HELLO new running shoes!


Have I mentioned that I have gigantic feet?

The ONLY tough part about this shoe was that it was RIDICULOUSLY hard for me to find! I checked out Academy of Sports and Sport Authority before ONLY finding the Men’s shoe at Dick’s. However, Amazon, Road Runner Sports, and Running Warehouse all have them online — and bonus they have them in really fun colors. I’m pretty sure I need this pair:

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Have you worn the Zante? What did you think?

What color would you pick?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my very own! If the shoes sucked, I promise I would let you know.

Chicago Marathon – Running for Team RMHC

I’m not running the Chicago Marathon this year (*sniff*), but if I was going to do it (I’m not gonna lie — I’m SO TEMPTED!) I would without a single doubt run for Ronald McDonald House Charities once again.

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Why Team RMHC?

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Because the obvious – why not? I’ll give you a few reasons:

* The money you raise goes where you want it to go. It’s not spend on someone’s salary or unnecessary costs – it’s spent on the millions of families that RMHC supports.

* They are organized, supportive, and foster an amazing community always willing to provide support, offer motivation, and are a wealth of knowledge for race day. They have an amazing Facebook group where perfect strangers cheer each other on daily.

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*They offer free virtual training and (at least they did last year) paid for my bib.

* They treat YOU and your family like rockstars. They literally roll out the red carpet when you finish – and you get a high-five from Ronald McDonald, himself. They fed me AND my family twice (and my kids can eat A LOT) — and the after party was just amazing.

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* You are never alone. I got cheers from endless runners and supporters during last year’s marathon and I always knew a teammate was close by. Maybe it was the adrenaline high, but this was by fast my favorite part of the entire race weekend and something I’ll never forget.

 

So happy I met Angie through RMHC!

In all honesty, I would run for this charity without all of the perks because ultimately it was run by great people doing amazing things. The intrinsic motivation alone and knowing that I was raising money to help a family JUST LIKE MINE helped me wake up at 4am to get my booty out the door.

Why am I telling you this?

Because as of today, registration for Team RMHC for the Chicago Marathon is open — and last year I searched for a post like this to tell me I was making the right decision and picking the right charity (short answer: YES!).

Is it killing me a little that I’m not signing up? Yes. Will I be back, eventually (hopefully in 2016). YOU KNOW IT. I loved every minute (or most minutes – maybe not mile 24) of the Chicago Marathon – and I cannot wait to get back to that city and run again (running endorphins are strong yo!). And also, I’m super excited about hang out with Ronald again…

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Please, please, PLEASE let me know if you signed up to run for Team RMHC – I would love to donate.

<3

It’s Hard To Get Faster… When You Don’t Run

Ugh.

Remember when I proclaimed my big, bad, 1:50 half marathon PR dream?

This is how I’m feeling about it right now…

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johnhamm yeah right

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Yeah, my training is going well.

I could offer you a million excuses (and there are TONS) – but I’m calling bullshit on all of them. Yes, I am EXTREMELY busy at work, superbly busy at home, and it’s cold season (I am about to rip my sinuses out of my face), but I’ve trained in similar circumstances with great results. I think it just comes down to this… I’m burned out.

And I’ll say it, as hard as it is to say, I’m not really into running right now. Which is kind of a bummer because this is best time of year to be into running! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

Instead, I’m really enjoying short(er), intense workouts — especially kettlebells. I’m also enjoying sitting on the couch drinking wine. I heard that’s the new workout?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running – but it’s maybe three times a week (max) or maybe just once a week (more likely) and it’s never fast like it should be to obtain these dream PRs.

I’m actually trying to figure out why these PR thoughts even came out of my brain in the first place?

And guess what? There’s a secret to ALLLLLLL of this…. If I want to run faster — you know what I NEED to do?? Well, for starters I actually need to run – but I also need to push myself to run FASTER. I know. The logic is so shocking.

Then there’s this…

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Probably not happening any time soon.

So in summary these are the things currently going on in my life right now:

  • I’m a whining like a little bitch,
  • I’m tired
  • I’m slightly stressed
  • I’m always worrying
  • I’m possibly attempting my own medical procedure to rip my sinuses out of my face
  • I’m putting my PR dream is on hold right now

I’m still running Best Damn Race at the end of the month, but the pressure is off to be awesome. It’s totally ON to be mediocre. I feel like I need to get my ducks in a row, or my panties out of their bunch, or something productive like that.

Speaking of productive, I AM growing my bangs out, so that’s something…. right?

I’m Alive! 2014 Space Coast Marathon Recap and Other Ramblings

Hey there – remember me?? I’m still alive! Barely. Life has been insane — between endless events, the holidays, and being busy beyond belief at work, blogging has obviously taken a backseat. I thought about quitting this blog about 20 times, but then realized that I missed it and here I am.

Let’s get this out of the way… I survived the Bad Idea Marathon. Obviously. It wasn’t easy and I wanted to quit about 800 times, but I got it done — and I’m SO HAPPY IT’S OVER!

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Worth it.

I also surpassed my goal (which was officially “Don’t quit/die.”) and I also beat my 1st marathon time, which I have to admit surprises me immensely. It really just goes to show that my conditioning/training for Chicago was so much more effective than it was for Savannah.

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Looks like someone else is happy I’m done.

I finished in 4:20:07. The most impressive (to me) part is that I ran/walked the last 5 miles because my heel hurt SO badly. Kinda makes me wonder what I COULD have done if I wasn’t haven’t plantar fasciitis issues. Damn heel.

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Looking entirely too happy – bonking at mile 21.

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Pretty much the view the entire time. Not horrible.

I would do a full recap of this marathon, but to be honest, I have mentally blocked the misery out of my mind. I will say that I enjoyed the first half much more than the second half and that I will never do Space Coast as a marathon again (I haven’t ruled out the half though!). I’ve also decided that I DO want to run more marathons, but one a year is sufficient. Half marathons are more my thing.

Also, I am incredibly proud of both of my running buddies – Paula and Tyler.

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Paula was in the same boat as me — she just did NOT want to be running this race and kicked ass anyway.

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At one point we lost Tyler and took selfies.

As for Tyler — he was aiming for sub-4, which I KNEW he could do as long as he didn’t go out too fast. Not only did he sub-4, but he came in 3:54!!

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Tyler just loooooves this picture. 

I’m going to guess that he trained with someone even faster (not me!), that he would be able to many, many minutes off of that time. I’m not ready for him to quit me yet though. I have some serious spring half marathon PR goals and I need him to push me! #selfish

Oh, and another person I’m INCREDIBLY proud of? Victoria. She’s speedy.

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As for what’s next — well, my heel is STILL bothering me, despite taking a month off from running. It’s definitely better than it was, but I need to get back into higher mileage (or any mileage) very slowly.

I AM running ZOOMA Florida (you should join me — use my code to save!) in January – probably the 12K (insta-PR!), and I have Best Damn Race Orlando February 28th where I have a major A+ goal — a 1:50 half. In order to hit that goal though I need my heel to be better AND I need to do some serious speedwork training. Ugh, I’m already dreading it. 

I have zero intentions run a marathon in 2015, BUT it’s still early. I could be talked into it. Maybe.

I do need to find some more half marathons to run in the next few months. Taking this month off of running has been great for my mojo, I definitely MISS it.

So here’s to 2015 – a year of running and other fun challenges, little injury (*fingers crossed*), and lots of fun. And maybe a little blogging.

Also… From my family to yours… Happy Holidays!

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