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TSFM Social Running

Running is often considered a solitary sport. Sure, there are great running groups you can join, but inevitably, at one point or another you will be out running alone. You might be an evening runner, an early morning runner or a lunchtime runner. Whatever time you prefer, or can fit into your busy schedule, it can be hard to find someone to run with you every time you go out.

It can be very difficult to motivate yourself to put in that five miler at 4 AM or log a ten miler after work. Who is going to know if you skip this one run? No one is waiting on you. Your run club doesn’t meet for two more days. Why not take an early rest day? I admit it. These thoughts have all gone through my head and at times I have surrendered to them. I’ll hit snooze and snuggle back under my warm sheets or just turn on the TV and sit down after work. It’s hard to go out and run when no one is watching or waiting for you.

A few years ago I set about to change this and my top way of staying accountable when no one in my community is watching is to reach out on social media. I have a tight knit group of running friends from social media that motivate me every day. Some I have met in person and some I have simply met in the digital world, hailing from New York, Montana, Texas, Canada, England, and Australia, to name a few. I can always look to these runners for some motivation at any time of day.

When I am in need of a push out the […]

By |February 6th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Miles With Mom: My Reason to Run the San Francisco Marathon

It’s rare that I’ll be truly inspired by an athlete. I can appreciate the awesome feat that he or she might have completed, but it’s rare that I will look at him or her and say “wow, you make me want to do this.” Mirinda Carfrae, Mia Hamm, and Natalie Coughlin are three who have, at one point or another in my life, inspired me to take myself a step further—to realize that within me is a far greater strength than, perhaps, I knew I had. This fourth athlete, though, inspired me on a much deeper level. She showed me that, if not for anything else, hereditarily, I have within me an amazing strength and ability to accomplish something. Now, she will probably hate me for referring to her as an athlete in this article, but Mom, you are, whether you like it or not.

Let me start with the (embarrassing) details. About a year and a half ago my mom realized she needed to change her lifestyle. What’s so inspiring about my mom is, of course, that she spent absolutely no time hesitating. True to form, she started researching athletic trainers, feverishly. As the token athlete in the family, I, of course pointed her in the direction of the trainer whose middle-aged-mothers-of-five trainees were kicking my, nineteen-year-old-with-no-excuse’s, you-know-what: Jenny Schatzle. And so, with the help of the spitfire coach, my mom began a regiment unlike any other. She stopped snacking, she stopped drinking, she stopped every terrible habit she had before. Cold turkey.

Of course, she also started some exercising. Jenny doesn’t mess around. Inside that gym is business. I, a tender, young, fit, triathlete, twenty year old have found myself near tears doing squats […]

By |February 5th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||1 Comment

How a Runner is Born

“I didn’t plan on running today, but those cops came out of nowhere!”

And just like that, a runner is born.  Everyone’s story is different – some are born to run, some are born out of necessity.  I started my journey out of necessity 16 years ago.  I had embarked on my weight-loss journey in January 1997 by joining my local YMCA and immersing myself in their group exercises classes.  By April 1998, I had lost 35 lbs and had become a full-fledged group exercise addict, attending class every single day of the week.  When I decided to take a week-long vacation that year, I realized to my horror that I couldn’t take my fitness instructor with me.  What do you mean you can’t go with me on vacation so I can still work out?  I had to improvise so that first day of vacation in June 1998, I hopped on the treadmill at the hotel gym and a runner was born.  Born out of necessity to stay on track even while on vacation.

Looking back at those early years, I limited myself mentally and physically on what I could achieve.  For those first 5 years, my running was confined to the treadmill (except for a few short road races).  And the most I would run was a 10K distance.  I was afraid of what would happen if I tried going farther.…maybe my legs would fall off, maybe I’d faint.  Never did it cross my mind that I could actually succeed.  Fast-forward to April 2005, now a mother of two, a toddler and a newborn, and going through a divorce.  It was an emotionally draining time for me and I was looking for outlet to escape, […]

By |February 4th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||2 Comments

How Running Changed My Life

In 2011, I weighed 260 pounds … realizing I was only 28 and still young and still had a long life to live, I didn’t want live it being unhealthy.  I wanted to try something new, something that I could challenge myself with. I had a few friends who were runners and told me that running a half marathon should be my goal and that anyone could do it if they trained for one.  Initially I thought running 13.1 miles was crazy, but I had to start with baby steps first if I wanted to start running.

I signed up for a local 5k in 2/2012.  I knew that if I had not signed up for one, I would just lay on the couch eating junk food and further prolonging my unhealthy lifestyle.  After running my first 5k, I ran several other 5k’s and 10’s as well.  Running with 260 pounds of weight working against gravity was not easy.  But in a few months I’ve had lost a little over 15 pounds which was a good enough reason for me to continue and the feeling of crossing the finish line never got old.

June of 2012 – I decided that since I was turning the big 3-0 at the end of the year, I would sign up for my first half-marathon.  The half-marathon took place in Las Vegas on December 2, 2012 — the day before I actually turned 30.  This made it more special for me because I had wanted to do something before I enter into my 30’s.

I was able to finish the half marathon in Las Vegas — I crossed the finish line full of tears and overcame with disbelief because I had […]

By |February 3rd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||3 Comments

Lessons From the Mid-Pack

I freely and openly admit it. And I am pretty proud of it. I am a mid-pack girl.   For as hard as I have trained I have never been the one that will be up front in any race. I will be the be the gal that is slow and steady, but gets to the finish line with her head held high. I have have had countless people ask me the question; “Why do I run, if I know I will never compete?” My answer is always almost the same, its not about the competition (though I like getting faster than my last time), but it has been about the things I have learned along the way have been well worth the training, the pain, the blood (yes, I say blood), sweat and tears.

By |January 31st, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||9 Comments

Ultra Running for the Everyday Runner

Ultra running…a daunting, challenging, and very rewarding distance.

What is an ultra marathon? It’s a distance that exceeds the standard 26.2 mile marathon. It can range from 31+ miles to the century distance of 100 miles.

To many people, the distance seems impossible. From 31+ miles to a 100 miles, all at once? Before you dismiss the idea of an ultra, let me tell you, from my own experience, that we can all lace up and take on the challenge of an ultra.

Let me tell you, that I am not an expert when it comes to ultras. I am not born with some super genetics and I don’t have all the answers. But I can give some insight on my experience preparing for my ultras and what I did that was good and what didn’t work so well.

Preparing for an ultra is not very different from preparing for a marathon. You need to commit, maintain consistent training, have proper equipment, and keep your eye on the prize. Here are some things that I did that helped me prepare. THESE THINGS WORKED FOR ME….I HOPE THAT THESE HELP YOU. Remember, what works for me may not work for you. Find your niche and run on!

1. Committing to running an ultra. First thing is first, you need to commit to an ultra. I looked for a run that was close to home, provided ample support, and let me have support crew close. Once I searched for a while, I finally said YES and registered. A good website that has many ultras is www.ultrasignup.com.

2. Once I found a run that worked for me, I did my research on what type of run it would be. Ultras range from complete […]

By |January 30th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||1 Comment

Going After Your Crazy-Ass Goals

Runners are a funny group of people– funny, in the sense that people will quickly label us crazy, inspiring, driven, motivated, stubborn, type A, and maybe even selfish all in one breath. That’s quite a list, but I honestly think it’s to our advantage that we have all of these, or even some of these, characteristics: and especially when it comes to improving ourselves as runners, on our individual quests to get fitter, faster, and stronger over time.

For many of us, we began running, in general, or marathoning, more specifically, because there was a goal of some sort involved. For some, it’s just to complete the damn race vertically, not horizontally—my run club in Chicago went for the “beer tent, not med tent” at races—and eventually, that “just complete the race” sentiment might change into “compete in the race,” as we runners decide to go after a certain time, a PR (personal record, the fastest time you’ve posted for that distance), a BQ (Boston Qualifier, a marathon time that qualifies you to run one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons), or a particular AG (age group) or OA (overall) placement, relative to the other participants in the race that day.

Running and goals, or goal-setting, go hand-in-hand. While running just for the sake of running can be really invigorating and a good way to hit a mental ‘reset’ button, having a goal is a good way of making sure that you get yourself out there day in and day out, do all the ancillary stuff that is so pivotal to your success, and even be more attentive to the other aspects of your day-to-day existence, like sleep habits and nutrition, that are also […]

By |January 29th, 2014|Categories: Latest News||2 Comments

Finding Your Happy Distance

When I tell people that I like to run, most people usually ask, “what’s your distance?” While this seems like a simple question, it took me a while to find what I call my “happy distance.” For me, this means a distance where I feel like I am pushing and challenging myself, but where I still enjoy the act of running the race. It is a distance where completing it is not an easy task, but where I do not feel like I am dying a slow death when I finish. And isn’t it important to love the distance that you are running? Despite being an SF Marathon Ambassador, I can tell you that the marathon is not my happy distance. I feel my best when I am running a half marathon; that is my happy distance.

It took me a while to find my happy distance. I first signed up to run the San Francisco Marathon when I was in my first year of law school, when a classmate encouraged me to join with her. I signed up for a training group, and spent my days and weekends training and running. During an 18 mile run, I remember thinking that my entire body was in pain, but I assumed that I would feel differently when I ran the actual marathon. Shortly after that training run, I injured my IT band, and then came down with a head cold that would not quit. I continued training, and the morning of the race showed up ready to run no matter what happened. And, no surprises, I felt terrible throughout the race. When I hit the half marathon turn off I started crying (and did not stop […]

By |January 28th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||2 Comments

Staying Motivated

I love running. Most days I’m happy to get out and run. But heck, let’s face it. Running can be hard, and some days it sucks. All you think about is your warm bed, your achy legs, the bad weather, etc. The excuses stack up fast and suddenly you have missed your run for the day.

I definitely have those days and I wanted to share some of the ways I stay motivated.

 

Having a Schedule

I have posted about this before on my personal blog and the TSFM blog. Creating a schedule for my runs is one the most powerful ways I make sure that my run happens. I block out time on my calendar for my run in the same way that I reserve time for appointments, meetings, etc. Not only does this mean that I have made a commitment for myself, it also means I know the best time of the day on any given day that is best for my run (i.e. no excuse that I had no time!).

 

Running with Friends

For social butterflies, running with friends is the best. Joining a running group was one of the best decisions I ever made! Most days or weeks, my runs are also my time catch up with friends. Often when I’m not feeling a run, I send a text to one of my “running wives” to see if anyone can join me. Most of the time, someone shows up and gets me into my running shoes.

 

 

Using Music/Podcast/Books on Tape

For those of us, who don’t love running with others or value our solo runs sometimes we need a little extra push. I often don’t run with music, but sometimes the iPod is the trick to make […]

By |January 27th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Training with Run365

It’s July 29, 2012. I am proudly holding up my medal for completing the San Francisco Marathon (picture credit goes to Erin Sheehy, previous director of the San Francisco Marathon Training Program, also known as Run365).

The San Francisco Marathon (TSFM) might have been my second full marathon, but it definitely felt like running my first one again (in a very good way). It was the culmination of training for 26 weeks with Run365. I was happy to have met my goal of running a full marathon again, after over a year of not running one. However, I felt sad that our training season had ended, as I have made a lot of friends in the program, and I wasn’t sure whether I would see them again or not (spoiler alert: I’m still friends with a lot of them, and made even more friends with the following year’s program).

Run365 is the official training program for the San Francisco Marathon. I learned about it when I was looking to run another marathon. I thought something local would be better as I had to fly on a plane on my last one just a few hours after doing it (I wasn’t able to take a day off due to a new job). I saw that TSFM was offering a training program to go along with the race registration, so I thought it was perfect for me. I previously trained with another group for my first marathon, but since I had moved back to the Bay Area from Central California, I needed to look for another one. I know some groups out there that are good with training, but I wasn’t particularly good with the fundraising aspect of […]

By |January 26th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors|Tags: |3 Comments