How I'm Trying to Be a Runner

View from my run to Gasworks

Every time I try to get into running, I'm pretty good about it for a week or two (because I tend to get obsessive about things), but then something happens to force me out of the habit. I'll get a bad cold, sprain my ankle, take a softball to the knee, etc. After that, it's hard to start up again. In March, I wrote this post about my grand ambitions of starting to run again, but it didn't go as planned. That's not to say I didn't run, but I wasn't consistent about it. I'd do well for a week, and then take two to four weeks off. I'd do one run before a race, and then stop again after that. Now, I'm hoping I'll be able to make this work, and I'm doing what I can to stay motivated.

Getting races scheduled!

For starters, I'm registered for two races: the Seattle Marathon 10k on August 22 and Beat the Blerch 10k on September 12. I think the 10k distance is just about perfect for me. A 5k can seem too quick and, on the other end, I'm just not a distance runner. It would be awesome if I can finish one of these races in under 54 minutes, though more likely the second one. I'm also considering a few additional races for next year. My mom is walking the Arizona Rock 'n' Roll half marathon, and she thinks I should run it. We'll see, since it's not the best timing with deadlines at work. Lynn and I were thinking of maybe doing the Del Sol Ragnar in February, also in Arizona, but we haven't decided anything yet. If we don't, I might go to Tampa for one or two of the Gasparilla races. Other than those, I'll probably fit in a 5k or 10k here and there, but fingers crossed that it's a dry fall and winter, because I'm not a big fan of running in the rain.

Joining Oiselle Volée!

Lynn has been running with the Oiselle Volée team for a while, and at the end of July, they briefly opened up more spots, so I snagged one. Last week I received the "flight manual," and loved some of their principles:

  • Build the Sister Hood: We are only as strong as the bonds we build. We work hard to raise the bar in terms of how women support other women, fostering strength and leadership—not just through healthy competition, but in daily actions big and small.
  • Fly with the Winners: We are only as strong as the company we keep. Choose wisely. Choose people who create positivity. Get serious about ousting the ones who don't. Choose people who bring out your greatness. We are who we repeatedly listen to; we are what we repeatedly do.

Oiselle is headquartered here in Seattle, and it sounds like they do a lot of meetups and group runs in the area. I'm excited to meet some more local runners, since it seems like a fun, inclusive community. And hopefully I'll receive my Oiselle singlet soon, so I can start repping them on the course!

A few other tips and tricks I've found helpful during my on-and-off running trend this year:

  • Drink Nuun before and after any run. Literally as soon as I added Nuun to my pre-run routine, my average pace dropped. I don't necessarily know if the two are related, but I'm not willing to chance it. Sometimes I'll drop a Nuun in a glass before I leave, so that it's ready when I get back.
  • Sleep in running clothes. When my alarm goes off in the morning and running is the last thing I want to do, it's a lot easier to get up if I'm already practically ready. (I realize this sounds weird, but it has worked for me the few times I've tried.)
  • Keep running clothes visible. If they're hidden from me in a drawer (or, honestly, in my dryer for three weeks), I'm less likely to think about running. I recently hung an organizer in my closet and it's literally the first thing I see when I open the door, taunting me with running tops, shorts, shoes, socks, etc. 
  • Run what you have time for. I don't always have a spare hour or more, but it's generally pretty easy to fit in a quick 1.5 to 2 miles at the end of the day, especially during the summer when it stays light so late. And that's better than nothing, right?
  • Track runs with a GPS app or watch. For me, if I don't track it, it doesn't count. I am a data junkie, and love seeing how my runs stack up over time. I don't have a fancy Garmin watch, so I use my iPhone. I prefer Strava to the other apps I've tried (MapMyRun, Nike Plus, Runkeeper), but as long as you're getting useful information, that's what matters. There's this one segment that I run fairly regularly, and Strava shows me visually how much I've improved on it. Instantly rewarding and motivating. (If you join Strava, follow me!)

Now, let's see how long this lasts...