Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting Started with Jaqueline

While I am constantly inspired by people who can go run a sub-4 hour marathon like it was nothing weekend after weekend (hello skinnyrunner), what motivates me even more is seeing people get started. Whether it is running or crossfit or working out in general, getting started is definitely the hardest part. Seeing Jacqueline start the Couch to 5k and then run a 4-miler before even finishing reminded me how much fun it can be to get started, even though it is also sometimes the hardest part. Let Jacqueline motivate you to start, keep going, or reach a goal. She has some really awesome tips, and she is doing such an amazing job!
Hello lovely Little Girl in the Big World readers! I’m Jacqueline from According to Jax

I am so excited to be guest posting for Meghan, especially since she has been a huge inspiration to me.
You see, I’ve always been one of those people who always “wished” I was a runner and “wished” I was in better shape. I would sit on the couch with my bag of chips while pinning pictures of fit athletes, “wishing” I had those arms, those legs, that strength, that power!
(sorry for the potty mouth on your blog, Meghan!)
After reading several posts about Meghan starting her journey with running, then weeks later seeing pictures of her crossing the finish line to a half marathon.  I was truly inspired and decided it was time to put down the chips and get back into running. And I did.
Want to start running?
Here are 5 things that helped me start running:
1. Couch to 5K Program: It’s an 8 week running program that gradually works you up to running a 5k. I love the iPhone app because it tells you when to run/walk and you can stream music while the app is running.
2. MapMyRun App: I have this app running at the same time too. This app documents the distance of your workout, and keeps track of your calories and pace. It’s definitely helpful to know how far you just ran, and see your pace per mile. (And so motivating when you see the pace decreasing!) 

3. Pandora Music: Find something that you like to run to. For me, it’s Pandora-Black Eyed Peas Radio. The funky beats keep me “workin on my fitness”! And good ear buds help too, there’s nothing more annoying than having to stop running because your ear buds fell out.

4. Partner: The first five weeks of training, I ran alone. I didn’t want anyone holding me back, or worse, being faster than me where I would feel defeated.  Then, I decided to try running with a partner…and it made all the difference.  It is so motivating having someone next to me, keeping me going, not letting me quit. And let’s face it; the chatting helps the time fly by. I still run by myself all the time, but on the days where I need extra push, I know who to call

5. Goals: When I first started the C25K program, I set a goal to complete a 4 mile race in 8 weeks. That’s right; I was training for a 3.1 miler yet aiming for a 4 miler. Sometimes I have wishful thinking. Well, 8 weeks went by really fast. So fast that by the time the race arrived, I was only on week 6 of my training program!!  I was completely unprepared, but I didn’t want that to hold me back from completing my goal.
I finished the 4 mile race in 46 minutes, averaging a 12 minute pace! I couldn’t believe it!
Six weeks ago I could barely run 60 seconds straight (It’s true, I couldn’t breathe, my legs were heavy and tired, my face was beet red), and now I’m completing races!
Just remember: “You are not going to die from running. Your legs will not fall off, you will not hyperventilate, and your body will not give up unless your brain tells it to. So KEEP RUNNING.” I said this to myself 10 times on my first day. Obviously my body is not built to run a marathon yet, but I know what it can do, so when I’m running and my mind is telling me that I’m tired and I should take a break, I have to remind myself to keep going, and that I’m not dying.
I kept going, and hey, I’m still alive!
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