Monday, August 1, 2016

Motivation Monday...How I Ran 101 Miles in 30 Days

August 1st is here. July miles are in the books. It's always sad to see my mileage start back at zero, but I can celebrate that July was my highest running mileage month to date! Here's my month in numbers:

The view from one of my morning runs. Another perk of getting outside is taking in God's creation. #breathtaking
Here are a few things that kept me motivated to have my best running month ever (even in the heat)!

one. 30 Day Running Challenge.
My friend, Becca, and I decided to challenge ourselves to a 30 Day Running Challenge. The overall goal of this challenge was to run, at least 1 mile, every day for 30 days. This challenge was good for a couple of reasons. First, it didn't allow for laziness. Yes, you know those mornings you wake up, and would rather hit snooze on your alarm, than pop up out of bed. Even if I didn't feel like getting outside and pounding the pavement, it never failed, at least 1 mile in, I was loving my run. ("I wish I hadn't run today," said no one ever)!

Accountability was key. I strongly suggest that you grab a friend, and keep each other accountable. As each day passed, I made sure to get a run in, because I knew every few days Becca was going to be asking me if I had missed a run. I was even sick one day, and dragged myself onto my treadmill (and when I was done with my 3 mile run, I felt the best I had all day.  Go figure)! The second half of the challenge was both easier and harder. Does that even make sense? Let me explain, it was easier because the miles are starting to rack up, and if you are like me, that is a huge motivator. It was harder because you haven't had a rest day in weeks. Rest days are crucial to runners, so make sure to have an easy run thrown in every few days. After an 8 mile run, I made sure to only run 2 miles the following day. All in all, I'm glad I challenged myself to try something new and it worked. I feel stronger and improved my endurance and time this month.

two. My Spark Water.
Another thing that keeps me motivated when I am out on my run is Advocare Spark Water. Sometimes, I will drink a bottle of water with Spark before a run (before a long run of 10 miles or more). But, for me, I love to have my Spark when I get home, it is something that keeps me going that last mile. It contains over 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Spark is sugar free, and contains an effective amount of caffeine to give you the quick boost you are looking for. Sine I have 4 boys, a quick boost of energy to keep up with my brood is key. I love my Spark water!

three. A great running app and playlist.
I use the Nike App on my iPhone , which I love. It keeps track of my runs, pace, and much more. I also utilize the Coach feature of the app, it's great for training. You plug in your race distance, race date, and then choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced. It gives you a 12 week training plan, right in the palm of your hand. It reminds you of the run you have coming up the next day, and keeps track of your run (miles, time, pace, weather, route, and even the number of miles you have run with your current shoe).

A good playlist is also key to keep you motivated! Everyone has a favorite song or two, and when it comes on it just makes you get excited, run faster, and work harder. I love Spotify, and when one of those songs comes on for me, I save it to my playlist. Right now, I have about 19 songs that I love to listen to while I am out running. I love that there are so many songs at my fingertips, and when I get bored of my playlist, I find new songs. I love that the selection is never ending!

four. My treadmill. I'll be honest, the treadmill is not my favorite. My hubby was out of town, on a mission trip, for 7 days, so the treadmill was my only option (that or running with a double jogger with a 3 and almost 2 year old, while the big boys biked beside thanks). That was during week 2 of the challenge, so a week off was not an option. To make it more exciting I did sprints on the treadmill. 30 seconds of all out sprint, followed by a 60-90 second recovery. The time ended up flying by and I was less bored than a regular treadmill workout. My first outside run after my hubby returned, my time was faster, despite the warmer temperatures. My speed work had paid off. So, when it's too hot to run outside, the treadmill can be your friend, and is a great option to mix up your workouts.

Here's a summer running tip for you. The last thing that kept me motivated to run in July, sprinklers. If you are running and there is a sprinkler on, hitting the sidewalk, run right on through. I'm so thankful, during the dog days of summer, when I encounter a sprinkler or two (or 10) on my running route. You're welcome ;-)

The miles will add up for you too, just get out there and get started. Most of my runs were 3 miles, I knew I had a long month ahead, so I didn't kill myself with daily mileage (my average was 3.36 miles per day). I feel stronger and excited about entering the next phase of training for my race in October. Upping my mileage this month was a great first step in trying to shatter my old PR in the KC Marathon. So, grab a friend, set a goal, and get moving! You won't regret it.

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