Things My Mom Taught Me

My mom passed away last year in the early morning hours of April 24, 2014. I won’t ever forget the day she quietly stepped out of this world as it was also my daughters 16th birthday.

I miss her.

I miss her sometimes in ways that crush my chest and leave me feeling breathless. There are moments I still can’t believe she isn’t with me. Grief is a weird animal and yet, another blog I have yet to write on. I think perhaps, in a way, I’m still kind of afraid to sit down and write about it. I don’t like pain but I also understand there is healing in pain too.

Ah well dear reader in another moment I will feel up to tackling that topic because I know there isn’t a person on this big planet who won’t walk through the avenue of grief at some point in time.

But for now… for this post… I’m reflecting on things my Mom taught me. Maybe in a way, some type of tribute to her for what she invested into me and my life.

20140428_151052
Circa…. mid teen’s…….

Her first born and only daughter ( my brother would come along 15 months later) we shared a close bond and enjoyed many similar things. She was always proud of me and supported me in everything I did. I can’t tell you the times I’d show up at the hospital and some member of the hospital staff  (whom I’d never met) would see me and say… “you’re that marathon runner, aren’t you?” My mom had pics of me running hanging in her room and she took every opportunity to tell a new victim  person about my activities.

Marathon running ( and training) of course requires a tremendous amount of strength, physically and mentally. I learned a lot about being strong from my mom.  I am grateful in the last few months of her life I was able to recognize that strength in her in a new way and see how I had been blessed to have that as a part of my makeup. I don’t mean strong physically, although I am, I mean the deep strength of a woman who goes through difficulties and can stand under them. One who learns to move through the storm and grow in the process. A woman who chooses to keep seeing good and joy even in the face of hardship and difficulties.

A woman who makes a choice to fight back and not curl up and die. Strength. My mom embodied that and I’m grateful to be molded in a similar way.

Moving into fall and the approaching holidays makes me miss her more acutely ( I encountered this last year) the changing of seasons and upcoming festivities reminds me how much she loved and embraced all activities from now through New Years.

I’ve missed her enthusiasm and planning of dinners and activities. The plotting of menus. The brainstorming over gift ideas. She approached the “holiday season” with a childlike enthusiasm.

So I’ll start with this… she put a love in me for all things holiday. With the first crisp of fall air pumpkins, scarecrows and her homemade pumpkin bread showed up. Thanksgiving was always accompanied with some new recipe she wanted to try and her “gifting” was to deliver pies to suit every tastes for each person who would be there.  When I say they dragged like, 12 homemade pies over to my home, I’m not exaggerating. Last year her gifting was sorely missed. I bake but don’t put the spread of pies out like she loved to do.

Christmas? Oh my goodness. It was a time to bless not only her family, but anyone in need she could find. Christmas was (is) about giving, sharing and family. She baked goodies to share with everyone she had connections with. Our home was always decked out ( no wonder I’ve grown up and my home is always all dressed up. Imagine my shock when I learned not everyone went through such effort to celebrate)

Special cookies. Stockings gently used from years of being hung with care. The anticipation of Santa’s arrival.  Putting cookies out. Late night Christmas eve service. The picking of just the “perfect” tree. ( to this day… I want a big one. I have 12ft ceilings so why not ??) The lights. Evergreen. The Nativity set carefully arranged honoring Christ’s birth. The old cardboard village with the ( lead!)  Barclay Santa and skaters nestled around it (this is my FAVORITE Christmas display which I’ll share in another post) Every area with something tucked into it.

20150927_192826
Mom and I our last Christmas together December 2013

My kids have grown up loving it and their friends have viewed it as going to a Christmas shop at times 😉 It makes the work all worth while. There’s something magical…. and that is the thing I guess my mom ( and grandmother) gave to me and I’m glad to give it to others.

I do so many similar things… traditions. Traditions that now my grown children want to do… there is something satisfying in that. Traditions involve family and a sharing of events that have been passed along from each generation.

She taught me how to invest into my family, my husband, to cook, bake, sew, keep a home, artfully arrange flowers, and make beautiful things. To be a cheerleader and encourager. I learned a Mom keeps things spinning.

20140428_150911
My wedding, 31 years ago. Can I mention, she made my amazing dress? And did my flowers ?

Random things were meant to be celebrated. A good report card? It was Friday? Nailed a new job ? Successful on a test or something challenging? Whatever… there were simple moments that were worth something celebratory.

She modeled loving sacrificially in marriage. She went through many difficult things with my dad, one of the biggest was his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She would share some things with me about dealing with him but as a mom, I know, sheltered me. Since I’ve had the responsibility of caring for him in this last year I see some of what she dealt with and feel bad I didn’t really understand to offer her more support in the difficulty of what she dealt with.

She taught me as a mom, that a mothers love is bottomless and that no matter what she was always there. Even in her last days she was concerned about some difficulties I was currently going through and insisted I talk about it. I miss being able to share those things with her.

She taught me how to love and be loving. How to give freely and from whatever I have.  To be generous and selfless. To be kind to others.  I learned to be content with what I have because if you aren’t content, then you are ungrateful for all you do have. I learned about working hard for what you want and not having an attitude of expecting to have things handed to you.

She told me about God and faithfully took me to church. She put me in a place that in the years to come would allow me to move into my own relationship with Him. She taught me how to love and trust Him.

She taught me to embrace life and that every single day we are given is a pure, sweet gift. She encouraged me to see the beauty of the world around me and always pointed me to the fact we had a Creator who had fashioned all we see.

On being a woman… she taught me things that I value so much now….

How to be a lady. To act classy. To stand up straight ( in my …younger years… I hadn’t embraced or become confident in my 6’0 frame and sometimes tended to…slouch) I’m grateful I learned how to carry myself with confidence thanks to her “encouragement” 😉

She taught me to be proud of myself and my accomplishments and to always keep trying no matter what.

I was raised to be polite, courteous, and respectful.  On the flip side, I was also taught to stand up for myself and take nothing off of anyone.

I learned how to use makeup so I enhanced my looks without ( in her words) “looking like a clown”. I was schooled in the wearing of high heels so I didn’t “clop along like a girl who fell off a tractor” haha (My mom always had some lovely visual illustration to use)

let me tell you… today….I can rock a pair of high heels like no ones business… thanks mom…..

She often reminded me that being a woman, wife, and mother required some time to step away for myself and that was an ok thing to do.

20140428_213809
A Sunday afternoon hanging out. Me most definitely pre-transformation days…

My mom was an amazing,strong, passionate, loving, generous and giving woman. I’m so blessed to have had her and her influence for almost 50 years of my life.

I do miss her tremendously. However, if somehow, I can carry on and share the things she taught me, her life will continue to live on as well.

And hey… if you still have your mom.. right now… call and tell her you love her and thank her for what she’s taught you.

Advertisements

Blogging, Words, And All Things Writing

words

I read in an article a month or so back how women use more words in their day than men. There were varying “tests” done,  but overall showing females did use more words in a day than the guys.

Ok, I might buy into that, after all, I rarely find myself without words 😛

In fact one day I decided I’d try and text and talk like a guy… using less words… did I say a day ? I barely made it through a couple hours haha

Words. I love words.

They abound in my head, ideas leaping around and thoughts clamoring for attention and to be set free. Sometimes those words and ideas bug me during the night. Other times I’m out doing my daily schlepping through life and I get this great idea and I’m digging for something to throw it down on lest I forget later ( hey, I’m older! My brain is often scratched out on a legal note pad 😉 what’s worse is if I’m out running… I almost turn the idea into a chant to keep it in my head. Truly, it’s when I do some of my best thinking.

I get inspired from so much of the world I operate in.

People. Situations. Observations. My own thoughts ( scary, I know) Sometimes, even laughing at myself 😛

Words paint wonderful pictures. I love how you can take an idea in your head and shape it into something that people can see and “get”.  Or when you have something you feel passionately about, write it, and it resonates with the people who read it.

Nothing…is more satisfying.

So imagine my frustration? Perplexity ? Shock ? When I contemplated a few weeks ago what I was going to write on and…..

Silence. Crickets chirping. Nothing. It was hard to even come up with ideas. I didn’t come up with ideas.

Well, let’s not overlook my son was getting married (that happened Sept 12 and you’ll be hearing about that 😉 and really my mind was on that constantly. Not to mention juggling some family things and life well, I guess it just left me feeling, blank.

I was semi-horrified. How does this happen?

I’m a woman. I’m loaded with words. A plethora of words on any given day. What. the. heck.

So I did what any smart woman would do. I hit up a friend of mine who is a published author ( her third book just released… look her up… Jolene Navarro)

Anyway, I asked her as an author if she ever got “empty” “wordless” left holding the bag basically. She laughed and assured me she was currently 5,000 words behind in her writing.

Ah, sympathy. Just what I needed.

I told her I loved writing on health, fitness and of course all things running, but I had all these other ideas tripping through my head and those words had stories to tell, because they’re the stories of …. life……

She nicely reminded me that my life is what makes me real and 3-D ( I kinda like that illustration) and not just flat and focused on one area. Sharing life and things that happen make me real and people can relate to that.

Ok… that all sounded good.

She then put me on mission to write a “100 idea” list of all kinds of things about me… likes, interests, thoughts, passions, whatever.

I knocked out 50 at one sitting. I tackled more today. It’s getting harder… much harder.

Almost like… “hey, I’m Cathie, I like peanut butter” haha I’m not giving up though…..

The idea being if I hit a spell where nothing is firing in my head, I go to my list to (hopefully) propel  insanity  creativity 😉

So I guess I’m telling you all of this to say I will be bringing you “life” things from time to time. Sometimes hard topics. Others whimsical or funny. Maybe thought provoking. If I’m successful, entertaining or inspiring.

Not for one second is my focus of bringing you health, fitness and all things running on the backburner, I just want you to experience ALL of life with me.

word cloud

It’s a heck of a journey.

Get on with me and let’s go for a crazy ride.

Calories For The Athlete

Hey boys and girls!

So if you read my last post, I talked about counting calories, or for me, the fact I don’t.  I say that until last year when I was in the heaviest training I’ve done since I started getting all athletic(y).

When you’re pushing your body hard most days of the week it comes into focus that your nutrition and caloric needs need to be brought up to speed too.

I was eating healthy but quickly realized on some days my caloric needs were going to be greater than other days. It meant  taking a look at my caloric output for the day (roughly) and adjusting my needs accordingly.

No, I didn’t start counting but knew I had to realistically eat more food. The tricky part for me as a distance runner is that it usually shoots my appetite. After a long run I often drank/ate  because I knew my body needed it for recovery versus true hunger ( ha that often came hours later 🙂

If you have days of high intensity workouts, you need to make adjustments to your overall intake. Obviously, a day I’d run 20-23 miles my needs were greater than a day I only ran say, 4 miles.

I was recently asked how many calories I took in on those high mileage days. Technically, for my personal age and size, after a 23 mile run it was pushing 3,000 calories…. of which I can tell you I didn’t tap into. I ate as my body was hungry and feed it good food when I did.

Although, I have to say there were times when I felt like a bottomless pit haha

It’s very helpful that you understand what your BMR is. This is the number of calories you need to maintain your body doing pretty much nothing all day. I did a blog on this before or you can google up the harris- benedict calculator to find out your exact caloric needs. It then helps you figure what you need with your daily work and purposeful exercise.

I know my BMR is roughly 1500 calories ( can you see why I never managed to exist on diets that let me eat that…all day long ?? It’s not enough food!) quick figuring also showed me based on my day and my physical active level I could take in about 2,400 calories… yes!

A quick assessment if I knew my day was much more physically demanding than the “norm”  told me I’d take in about 2,900 calories.  I will say, I really don’t consume them all, but on some days maybe I should. It’s just hard for me to eat when I’m not hungry, even understanding at that point, food is fuel to help my body recover from the demands I put on it that day.

The beauty of this is understanding and adjusting your needs based on your exercise level. I really am addressing high intensity and duration workouts here ( long cycling or running) usually lasting over an hour or more.

By understanding this, you can feed your body adequately on hard work days, and cut back on easier days.

I found two books to be extremely helpful in the past year as I’ve plowed through my training.

20150924_175442Whereas I found this book helpful athletically, it’s also written and is good for the rest of the world too. Solid, sound nutritional advice can guide an individual to successful  weight loss.

If I could pull one chapter out and make everyone read it that would be Chapter 15… “How to lose weight without starving”  Nancy Clark offers sustainable and realistic nutritional advice and expertise. It’s a book well worth having in your personal library.

Of course she covers meals and nutrition for the athlete, the importance of good fueling for success, snack ideas and lots more.

endurance bookThis book I picked up training for my marathon and 50K. It gets into the science of nutrition for endurance athletes, the need for good fuel, ways to understand and know your fuel needs, how and what to eat for training and everyday life. Areas covered are running, cycling, triathlons, mountain biking, swimming and rowing. If you’re an endurance athlete I highly recommend it.  There is a new edition out, but the one I’m showing I got on half.com for .75 plus shipping… what a deal!

Ok… I’m done plugging books haha 😉 I only plug ones I think are super helpful and beneficial.

You don’t need to count calories as an athlete, but being educated and understanding your nutritional needs is key to success in whatever activity you pursue.

If you do endurance activities, do you follow a certain plan ? Do you adjust your days nutritionally depending on your training ?

To Count Or Not Count Calories

In the ways of health and fitness stuff there are some common questions that I get frequently.

One being… “Do you count calories?”

Short answer. No. I find it to be a total drag.

Nowwww… if you’re a happy calorie counter don’t get upset here 😉 it does and can have it’s place in helping you understand your calorie intake. It just doesn’t need to be a life long thing you must do. With all the apps out there today keeping track of your intake has never been easier. (just make sure you’re brutally honest about exact amounts of everything you eat) AND understand exactly how many calories you need to lose weight and sustain your activities.

When I started my health and fitness journey ( 8 years next month!) one of the things I set out for myself was to not have to follow a certain set of restrictive rules.

By that I honestly mean, I got rebellious with those rules every time I decided to knock a few pounds off. I didn’t like being boxed into what worked for someone else.
I didn’t want to be told what to do when or what I “had” to eat.

Consequently, I dropped it like a bad habit after a couple weeks of dieting/calorie counting/ eat this meal thing.

You know what worked and what I developed over time ?

I built new habits.

Slowly, steadily, one day at a time plodding along. If I had a day that bombed ( and trust me, I did) I didn’t throw in the towel, I just kept on going.

My new habits meant listening to my body’s God given signals for hunger and being satisfied. When you sit down and are truly hungry food tastes amazing in a different kinda way. I ate enough to satisfy my hunger and stopped.

I learned if I wasn’t hungry at the next meal I wasn’t obligated to eat just ’cause the chow bell dinged.

I didn’t restrict foods or label any as “bad” or eat only salad and rice cakes.

Moderation became my motto. I ate what I wanted but listened to my body’s signals.

I didn’t need to clean my plate…. when I was comfortable I stopped… not when I felt stuffed or heavy feeling… gosh I hate how that feels and rarely let myself go there now days.
Unfortunately, most of the world loves to continue to feed their mouth long after the tummy is satisfied. The outcome? excess pounds.

So in building some new habits of eating when I was truly hungry, and stopping when I was satisfied, and training myself to eat natural and healthy foods the majority of the time I lost weight but wasn’t dependent on calorie counting. I was listening to my body and it’s specific needs.

You can do the same thing. It takes daily discipline and a tenacious, stubborn spirit to not give up, but I tell you it’s complete freedom when you nail down these new habits. Complete freedom.

After almost 8 years… I think it’s working 🙂

Tell me… do you count calories? Do you find it helpful? Or feel it’s something you must do? And if so, do you ever feel enslaved to having to do it ? Or do you know your needs and listen to your body and go by that as your guide?

The Scale Experiment

It’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of “the scale”.  In fact, I’ve already written a blog on it (which you can read later called, “That Stupid Scale)

No, I won’t be repeating myself here. And no, I don’t have issues with the scale ’cause I don’t think it offers up numbers I want.

I don’t like how it can be a random object that can be controlling of so many lives.

Let’s establish this truth. It’s a tool. A TOOL.

When I was actively trying to lose weight, I used that tool, maybe once a week to check my pounds lost progress. If you are actively trying to lose weight, I’d encourage you to use it only once a week as well, note your numbers and move on with life.

What I knew and understood, and you need to understand too, that tool isn’t a measuring line to your overall health. It can’t measure how good you feel after your workouts, how many inches you may have lost, the confidence and empowerment building in you as you take on new things, your improving lab work or all the good food choices you’ve learned to make and a long list of other things.

For me it meant knowing those numbers didn’t define how fast I could run, how many miles I can cycle, how many pounds I can lift over my head, how long I can hold a plank, or how many push ups I can do.

Because so many seem to be a “slave” to this tool, I thought I’d do a little experiment. My experiment involved me weighing myself from morning and through out day at various times, up till bedtime.

I hope you appreciate my guinea pig status in doing this. I haven’t weighed myself this much in the past couple years, and I don’t exaggerate that.

I think I’m on a scale maybe twice a year.

The point of my experiment ? To show how our weight can fluctuate through out an entire day and look at what “changes” actually occur.

Seriously, how many times have you hopped on all excited, and instantly get deflated by what you see ? Or on the flip side, if the numbers are what you want, the day just went all major sunshine on you.

A tool controlling your happiness …no… just no.

So what follows is my experiment and what I noted through out an entire day of charting my numbers.

6:30 a.m. morning weigh in. This weight is accurate based on a visit with sports doc last month.

8:45 a.m. After workout weigh in. Down 2 pounds.

No, I didn’t get all happy and proclaim I had “lost 2 lbs!” More like, I knew I needed to consume 32 ozs of water to replace the fluid I had sweated out ( 16oz for each pound lost) THEN continue drinking to stay hydrated.

9:45 a.m. After an hour and plenty of water my weight is now back to what I started morning off at. This tells  me I’ve replenished what I lost through sweating.

12:45 p.m. After lunch. Add a half a pound.

3 p.m. After spending over an hour in the sun mowing grass, I checked in with the scale. I was almost down to my weight from my morning workout. 1 1/2 pounds “lost”. Time to replenish fluids again from sweat.

5 p.m. Still down a half pound from my first morning weigh in.

7 p.m.  After dinner, I’m up 2 lbs, but only 1 lb over from my morning weigh in.

10:00 p.m. Before shower weigh in. Back to my morning start weight.

Do you see the “ups and downs” in my day ? I lost no fat. My losses in my day were fluid. It’s important to replace fluid lost through heavy sweat and exercise.

Do you see how if I were looking at the scale for validation for “losing weight” how my moods could have been on a wide swing ? I want you to see how our weight can literally bounce all over the place in a single day so weighing in for the purpose of weight loss is best captured on a weekly basis. Take that number and don’t be worried if your numbers bounce in a couple pounds in either direction through out your day.

Measure your fitness and health success by more than just numbers on the scale =)

Weekend Adventures

20150815_083450-1
That’s a wrap…. 15 miles on my maiden voyage into the big town haha 😉

I love new adventures. Let’s just blame it on the free spirit in me, but I do, and no apologies for it.  Particularly I love adventures that push me, once again, out of my comfort zone. Those my friends, are the best kind. Challenging myself with new athletic endeavors that demand new things from my body, mind and spirit.

It’s no secret as I’ve been recovering with a running injury that I’ve been well, actively, recovering. And by that I mean spending a lot more time on my bike than I typically had been. I got a cheapy little road bike for my birthday in July and took it to the bike shop and let him tweak it to the best of the best he could make it.

Oh my… I will say… there was a big change when I got it back so that’s a good thing =)

I live in the rolling hill country so I have been burning miles up all over the place and doubling back on roads to get some distance with each ride. I have great terrain to train on whether I’m running or on a bike.

Flat roads, small rolling hills, inclines, and well, monster hills that are really paved over mountains.

I plot out where I run/bike based on the workout I want… I consider it the best of both worlds. However, in doing this, I have to encounter very few cars as the roads are fairly quiet and most are dead end.

I had decided this past Saturday would be my maiden voyage into town on the main road ( meaning a lot more cars and having to be a part of the “traffic”) when I run I of course run against traffic and that feels a bit safer to me… I can see what’s coming… as you know a bike moves with it…. so this was a whole new, and semi-heart stopping thought for me.

I plotted everything out Friday and that night I ran everything through my head just like a do the night before a big run….ah…it’s hard to settle in for sleep!

I was up and on the road by 7…. all was quiet…. and I quickly remembered how much I loved being out for these early athletic activities. Passing houses where people were still asleep, hearing nothing but the sound of my tires swish down the road, watching the sun coming up, feeling the wind in my face flying down the road…. awesome… seriously… it makes leaving your bed ALL worth it.

The miles flew by a lot faster than running them and I had covered ground quickly so it didn’t take long to get to the main road that led into town. I already knew from running this distance that the hardest miles were still in front of me…. lots of constant never ending inclines that were challenging to put it mildly.

However, my happy little bike and I, churned through those inclines and only once did I really feel like an out of shape sea walrus haha 😉

The fun part was the big hill I knew I would get to sail down close to town… seriously… my bike speed said 40… it was so crazy….

Cars and big trucks had passed me at several points on my journey, but thankfully, cut wide around me.

I felt strong and invigorated when I sped into the parking lot where I had parked. 15 miles under me and it had been a successful voyage, leaving me feeling like the kid who’s been on a fun ride wanting to know when they can go again 😉

You know, riding a bike is something most of us learn as a kid. Yet today,cycling has become this big, pricey, almost intimidating thing to take on. I had to remind myself when I started running… I was doing it in non-name brand athletic shoes and cheap Wal-mart cotton shorts and t’s with no tech gear whatsoever… but I was out there running and learning along the way. It looks like I’ll handle cycling in the same way… just get out there and ride and learn the other stuff along the way.

I do have some future plans for riding… and running….. and well… maybe anything else that comes along too 😉

What about you? Did you have any fun, new weekend adventures ?

Beginner Basics For Running

240007_179433087_XLarge
On course and pushing to the finish line of last years Rock n Roll Marathon. After 26 miles, why does the last “.2” seem to take forever to get to the finish line ??

Running.

A word that sends shudders through the vast majority of the population, and yet, wildly and enthusiastically embraced by the other small percent.

When we’re children, running is a part of our lives. It’s what we do at school with friends or in sports after school. It’s a part of our play.

Then something happens along the way… we stop doing it… we grow up and (for many) it’s then viewed as “work” “to hard” or something other people can only do.  Running definitely takes effort and honestly that’s an effort many prefer to abstain from.

Yet… a few of us grow up.. and wander back to running. Sometimes quite by accident. We’re fortunate to find it later on, still waiting for us. Our abilities to run still very much intact, although often long dormant.

So one day, we take those first tentative steps, and venture out . At first not far and not long and certainly no impressive speed. But we go. And if one stays with it long enough, a fire is kindled and a new romance is born.

Like many others, I came to running later in my life. It’s one of the biggest things I’ve ever done that has empowered me and given me a “I can take on the world” mentality.  It’s not only the most mind clearing activity I can do, it’s also the most physically demanding that yields some powerful results. If you’re looking for good cardio calorie burn, 100 calories a mile is pretty good.

So maybe you’re sitting out there thinking… ” I’d like to run again. I have no physical limitations to keep me from trying.. why not ? But… where do I start? How? Don’t a I need a bunch of things?”

Running is one of the easiest ( haha well I use that term loosely here) forms of exercise to get out your door and do. I’ll offer up some “Beginner 101 Tips” for you. I am not an expert… but I have learned a few things along the way =)

Consider this first of all. According to Runners World, almost 50% of new runners get injured in the first year because their bones, ligaments, and muscles aren’t used to the stress of running.

(Basically, running stresses your body, in a good way 😉 these adaptations do take some time though.

Ok you ready… beginning running 101…..

  • Shoes. If there is anything essential to running it’s a good pair of shoes. No, you can’t dust off those 10 year old ones you’ve used for lawn work. Go to a sports store and get fitted for a pair. A good pair of shoes will protect you from injury and keep you comfy on the road. Your feet absorb two to four times your body weight with each step… that’s extreme!  I joke my running shoes are the most expensive shoe in my closet …and it’s true.
  • Start slowly. If you are a walker already it’s a natural progression to put short mixes of running into your walk. If you are hitting the road with no experience walking (I believe) is the best thing to start for a week or so to let your muscles get used to that movement before starting with some running. If you are having a hard time talking or can’t carry a comfortable conversation…. drop into a walk break. Walk breaks also allow you to stay out longer building cardiovascular stamina as your bones and muscles adapt.  In time, you’ll need shorter breaks.
  • Try running by time and not distance. Add 5-10 minutes of running per week. Back off slightly every fourth week to let your musculo-skeletal system develop. If you do miles, increase each week no more than 10%.
  • Make a commitment, get an accountability partner to encourage or help you.
  • Food. Eat nutritious healthy foods to support your exercise. Don’t overdo on your eating. Yes, running burns calories, but keep in mind again, it’s about 100 calories per mile, running. It doesn’t take much to negate your calorie burn.
  • Finally, set a realistic running goal. A 5K is often a good first race for beginning runners. It’s easy to train for and a fun event.

Are there other things you need? Should have? For the longest time when I first started running, I ran in cheapy Wal-mart cotton shorts and tanks. Then one day I encountered Nike dri wick shirts… bought one… and fell in love. The fabric wicks moisture away from you, hopefully so you don’t have a soggy shirt hanging off you.

I learned about shorts. Everyone has preferences. I got rid of those windbreaker loose leg ones mainly ’cause that fabric tended to just get bunched up in annoying ways. When I stumbled on Nikes tight fit boy shorts, I never looked back. Sleek, minimal and easy to wear they are perfect for me. The bottom line ? Find what works best for…you. You don’t want to be bothered by your clothing, shoes or any other gear during your run.

GPS watches etc…. I ran for years without one. I drove out every mile I ran and knew everything in my head by miles. I’d lay in bed the night before a run and plot out which roads I needed to run to get my miles in. Don’t get me wrong, when I got my Nike+ watch a few years ago, I was a pretty happy camper. By then though, I also considered myself a pretty serious runner and knew I’d use it.

Ipod… or other musical devices. Again, I ran for years without music. One day I just bought a cheapy Ipod shuffle on E-bay… and boom… somehow… it kicked my pace down some. I like the shuffle cause it’s super tiny and I never know it’s on me.

I consider myself kind of a minimalist runner. I love running because it makes me feel free. I don’t want to be dragging a whole bunch of junk along.

So… yes… there are all kinds of things you can use for running. Running has lots of high tech stuff you can use now days. It comes down to total personal preferences.

Only a couple are really required to enjoy this sport…

Good shoes and a willing heart =) don’t get bogged down with things… just get out there…and as Nike says…. “Just Do It”

Happy running boys and girls!