You know those people that always have a smile and a kind word? You’re about to get to know another one of them.
Retta is just the greatest. Full of energy, creativity, and she takes the most wicked Instagram photos. I so so proud of what she has accomplished with running and I look forward to cheering her on at the Asheville Half Marathon next month!
Say hi to my sweet friend Retta!
I honestly never thought I could be a runner. I was convinced that I didn’t have the body type for it and it would always be too hard but I would hear others talking about how much they enjoyed it and they couldn’t wait to get out there again and I wanted to know what that felt like. I started the couch to 5k program in November 2011 as basically a last-ditch effort to see if I could ever actually be a runner and things started clicking for me. The first time I ran for five minutes without walking was the best feeling and then when I finished the program, by running for 30 minutes without walking, I was pretty much hooked. I felt like I conquered so much more than my perceived physical limitations, I realized that I could set goals and with training could do just about anything I set my heart on. It was very empowering. Just as a note, it took me a little longer than eight weeks to finish Couch to 5k so don’t get discouraged if you are doing it for the first time and have to repeat some of the harder weeks a few times before it happens. It will happen!I also want to mention that I discovered that I suffer from exercise induced asthma at the beginning of this year and many of the times that I felt like running wasn’t getting easier was because I was dealing with this and had no idea. I now have an inhaler that I use about 30 minutes to an hour before I run and it has made all of the difference. I didn’t know this existed until I mentioned it to my doctor.
What keeps you motivated?
First and foremost it is the amazing people I have met online through twitter and facebook. Krissie and the LexRunLadies and dudes encourage me every single day. I like seeing all the different people at different stages of their own running experience and knowing that if I keep training and pushing ahead I will get better and keep surprising myself. I also like looking at my running stats and seeing them improving over time. Data is a powerful motivator for me.
I’m currently training for my first half marathon, the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon. I hear it is a rough one and I’m honestly intimidated but I’m sticking to my training. I feel pretty good about it. I’m not in it to get record breaking times. It is another milestone that I want to achieve and I will be happy with finishing. Plus, Asheville is one of my favorite cities ever and it feels right that it will be my first half. I’m using the Hal Higdon, Novice Half training. I like the plan and have easily been able to adjust it to better fit my schedule.
The Bluegrass 10K is my longest distance race so far and it was probably the first where I felt like I had trained enough to give it my best. I’m having a lot of firsts right now which is exciting to me. My favorite fun run has to be The Color Run in Louisville though. A big happy colorful mess of a good time.
I run a lot at Shillito Park because it is close to me and it has a great track but I loved running in Midway on the IronHorse Half Marathon course and look forward to running there more. The rolling hills and horse farms of Central Kentucky can’t be beat.
Getting Injured. Do. not. want.
I do. I was using Runmeter at first but felt that I wanted to be more accurate recently when I had several inaccurate results so I splurged for a new GPS watch. I’m glad I did and feel better about my half training now that I know exactly where I am and can trust the data. I have always tracked my runs. Yep, I’m kinda a data geek.
Other than the occasional sore knees and a some shin splints when I first started running, I have been really lucky. (knock on wood and all that jazz!)
My favorite cross-training exercise is yoga but I haven’t been doing it as often as I should. I have to add it back in soon, especially as I add distance to my runs. I like yoga because of the core and base strength that it builds but also because it helps to quiet my mind and deal with stress. I use a lot of the techniques I have learned in yoga, like posture and breathing, when running. They are great companions.
I love my new Garmin Forerunner 410 and my Merrell Barefoot running shoes. Those two are the essentials. I recently added a fuel belt when I started my longer distances and am glad I did.
Better running clothes and sports bras. Sports bras are expensive and I need good support. I have a couple that work ok but I’m still looking for the one.
I added in energy gels and clif shot bloks for the long distance runs but I go easy on them. I don’t want to make myself sick so I err on the side of caution. I drink tons of water though and electrolyte drink mixes.
One of my favs is Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap. I have many though.
I haven’t yet. I like being aware of my body while I run so I’m constantly checking in with posture and breathing and my heart rate. I think an audiobook or podcast would put my awareness somewhere else. I may give it a try sometime though.
I like using Dailymile to track everything.
I’m a book snacker which means I’m usually reading no less than 3 or 4 books at a time. Right now it is The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer.
I stopped drinking soda several years ago but I love a good cherry coke from time to time, the ones from the fountain with the cherry syrup squirted in separately. MmmmHmmm.
My favorite restaurant ever is Mellow Mushroom. They have an amazing vegan pizza that rocks my socks. Although, I’m currently doing Weight Watchers and counting points so on my long run days I come home, shower, and head to Chipotle for some Veggie Tacos since I bank some serious activity points on those runs.