If you want to be a runner…

Friday started out with something new and exciting for me…oats in a jar! I don’t like overnight oats (yet) so I went with HOT oats (a little peer pressure swayed me this way too!). I loved it.

My oats in a jar virginity is gone...and it was hot!

I had ambitions to study this morning, but I checked out the weather network and realized my plans needed adjusting: rather than pack up after an afternoon of studying, I decided it would be better to head out while it was still light out so I packed this morning!

I had a quick granola bar (in the car) on the way to spin, which was perfect today! The music was good, the class was full, and my tight legs appreciated the spin.

Afterwards, I snarfed this salad so fast I gave myself a tummy ache. Reminder: chew.


spinach, maple dressing, pork chop, pecans, and sweet potato!

While I studied I had a vanilla rooibos tea ADN a chocolatey americano with sugar free mocha syrup (decaf, of course) and some trail mix (I just ate the raisins, cashews, and almonds) followed by an apple!



I met with Brandon,  a running inspiration of mine, today. He is an ambassador for lululemon Masonville and part of the genius that is RunnersFeed!

We talked website, blogs, etc. and then got down to the good stuff. I needed advice. As you all remember, I want to run Around the Bay in March, but I am CLUELESS as to whether or not I can be a runner. Sure, I’ve done some 10ks and even my first half marathon this year, but I always seem to get side railed by stupid little things or by my own mind telling me I am not doing enough non-running workouts, or WHATEVER.

No more.

What’s the best way to get inspired?

Talk to someone who is:

  • ridiculously passionate
  • inspirational (i.e. Brandon won the Goodlife Toronto Marathon — 2:23)
  • helpful
  • smart and willing to teach
I think a lot of what Brandon had to say I already know, but he drew out some stuff for me that I think I can really take and apply. It comes down to this: I need to run MORE if I want to feel good. I need to focus on a base phase, which means more volume and less intensity.
This means I probably won’t be doing so many random aerobics classes, won’t be doing so many spin classes, and won’t be in the weight room quite as much. At first I was scared because it seemed like I was losing something, but then I realized ED was scared (you knew I couldn’t get through a post without some reference right now, right?). I WANT to be a runner. Runners are healthy, fit, and I LIKE running (especially with people–anyone interested in a running buddy?).
The part of me that’s antsy about following a training plan is SCARED–of all the times I’ve read that you gain weight training for marathons, of how I could “lose my muscle” or of all the other myths I know aren’t true! Thoughts about “but I have to teach spin three times a week” or “but my bootcamps will suck cuz I won’t be into them” are really stupid. The best bootcamps I’ve been to or taught are when the instructor pays attention to the participants, NOT to their own workout.
Guess what? I’m going to do this in spite of those fears.
To get back on track, some of the other advice Brandon offered was:
  • prioritize: get the mileage in, even if it means splitting it up during a day
  • keep a log: keeping track not JUST of workouts/how I felt but to categorize things on a daily basis (i.e. nutrition, sleep, training, cross training, etc.) and to look at it at the end of the week (seems like it’s going to fit just perfectly with a blog, doesn’t it?!) to see how I feel
  • add a pre-run and post-run routine (check out the Drills section and the Injury Prevention section at RunnersFeed.com
  • always add some intensity (strides) at the end of a workout, no matter where you are in your training
  • focus on getting my volume up at a low intensity, THEN add intensity (right now I’m somewhere in the middle with both factors, and this is not somewhere you want to hang out)
…he made it sound much more concise than that, but I did my best. Maybe it makes sense to you, or maybe it doesn’t but what you can get from it is pretty clear and is my summary:
If you want to be a runner, RUN!
Look forward to hearing all about my running learning curve? Cuz I’ve got a lot to learn. Currently I do not stretch, I have no warmup routine, and I don’t really bother with any foam rolling unless I really don’t want to study am feeling motivated. But I think I just realized I WANT this and having the goal means I’ve got to set myself up for success! Luckily it’s almost freedom from exams and I have some time to figure it all out!
To finish up the recap, tonight after I got to Sarnia I got a buttload of healthy groceries and then had a quick dinner of ezekiel toast and PC Blue Menu black bean soup. I’m hungry again…which means it’s into the kitchen (which is a minefield of chocolate, because my mother, unlike me, is NOT a chocolate monster and keeps all kinds of goodies around) to find something to satisfy me. I want to wake up feeling happy (NOT OLD).
Wish me luck!

6 responses to “If you want to be a runner…

  1. YEAHHHHHH this post makes me so happy!!!!! It’s funny, I recently had two friends approach me about starting to run – they want to be “runners” but don’t know how. And I pretty much gave them all those same tips (though having done a HM, you are already leaps and bounds above the beginner level)! And you’re right, all those “fears” are all myths. The only people who gain weight during marathon training are the ones who overestimate how many calories training requires (i.e. oh I ran for 2 hours so I can have a giant sbux muffin and 2 plates of bacon and eggs for breakfast and then a big latte…you know). I personally have a lot of trouble keeping weight ON while I’m training for a long race! And you won’t lose muscle tone – IMO being a “runner” requires doing regular strength training so that you can retain good form while you’re running and thus get injured less often. So you don’t need to give up the weights alltogether. And running does BUILD muscle in some places too – after years of being a runner, I have trouble buying pants because my quad muscles are disproportionately large (not in a bad way – they’re just bigger than most non-running girls who are otherwise my size!). Running will make you leaner and maybe smaller, but your cardiovascular fitness will SKYROCKET. And I think the more you run the more you’ll love it and the more your fears will dissapate!! This is actually funny – you run more, I want to cycle more. hahaha.

    • 🙂

      If you need any biking tips, I am SO your girl. Watch out for your quads though! People always ask me if they’ll get “big legs” from cycling and I honestly tell them not likely, but they might notice that they change…in a good way, and you might notice your calves especially change. I always had cankles, til I met my bike! Helllllllo gastrocs!

      Thank you for the encouragement and voice of experience! Where’d you come up with your training approach? I don’t know exactly how to fit in strength training, etc. without compromising my running? I think keeping up with my core training, focusing more on UB, and then doing muscle imbalance/lighter stuff with my legs might make sense at least when I’m training, and then in the offseason I guess doing more muscle building, etc? I’m thinking of using Kara Goucher’s suggestion: http://www.tipsonhealthyliving.com/diet-and-fi tness/the-best-strength-training-program-for-runners . ❤ her!

  2. You’ve done a half marathon and you don’t consider yourself a runner? I think you can most definitely call yourself a runner, Cheryl! Give yourself a little more credit. 🙂

    I know exactly how you feel in this post though. I *want* to be a more hardcore runner, but at the same time I like the variety of doing spin and swimming (err, well, not lately. It’s too cold!) and strength training. It sucks how you can’t really do it all. 😦 I think I’ll stick with my current routine until the spring, then switch gears to running.

    I’m excited to read about your training and such leading up to the race! 😀

    • I think you’ve got a good plan! I figure I am more likely to run/enjoy being a runner during the winter when I can use it as a way to get out and get some vitamin D (or feel comforted by the fact that the treadmill is a backup option). On my shopping list today: warm running gear! I think after Around the Bay, it will be getting warm enough for me to ride my bike more, so I can shift into more of my cycling and I’ve not decided if I’ll be doing tris/dus next summer…it depends. I might be in grad school or moving or who knows!

      Well rounded programs are the best…variety is the spice of life, right?

      Your comment made me think of a quote by who else but Oprah: ‘You can have it all. Just not all at once.’

      Then: ‘The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.’


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