• How I Started Running

    January 18, 2012

    Good morning!

    Check out last night’s Workout of the Day:


    Hmm… Surprise WOD? I should have known then that it was going to be a killer workout! (Our coaches didn’t post the WOD because they thought people wouldn’t come if they saw it ahead of time! Ha!)


    When I arrived at CrossFit last night, I noticed that the gym floor had 4 lines of white tape on it, equally spaced from wall to wall. As soon as I saw them, I knew exactly what the WOD was going to be: SUICIDES!!! Do you remember these things from high school sports? If not, here’s how they work: you begin at the starting line and then sprint to the first line. Without stopping, you turn around and sprint back to the starting line. Then, you sprint from the starting line to the second line and back again. You do this for the third and forth lines. It’s tough!

    For the WOD, we were instructed to touch each line with our hand before changing direction. We also raced against another member for each suicide (we did 8 in total), which made this workout even more of a challenge. My partner was a tad bit faster than me, so I was constantly pushing myself to try to beat her. (I never did!)

    Doing suicides last night at CrossFit reminded me of high school soccer practices, which then reminded me of the position that I played: center midfield. If you know anything about soccer, this position runs a lot throughout the game, which I now realize was my first real experience with long distance running. I was constantly moving around the field to assist the offense and the defense, so there weren’t many opportunities to rest. Most games, I’d run for a solid 60 minutes with only a break at half time.


    When readers ask me how I first started running, I never really know what to say. There wasn’t a specific point in my life that I decided to take up running. I started playing soccer as an 8-year-old, so running (as part of the game) has almost always been part of my life.

    I stopped playing soccer when I entered college, so I started running as a way to stay fit (and relieve stress). Running became a form of exercise that I could count on (just throw on your sneakers and go!), so for the next decade, I ran two to four times every week. Most of my runs were 3 to 4 miles, and I never ran more than 5 or 6 miles at a time.

    When I rang in the New Year in 2009, I decided to set a few goals for myself for the upcoming year, including running a half-marathon. I found a training program online, started following it, and ran my little heart out. I ran my first half marathon on May 24, 2009, and the rest is history! I’ve been running and racing long distances ever since.

    If you’re just starting out or want to get more into running, here are some posts I’ve written over the years:

    How to Start Running: Tips for Beginners
    Running is great exercise and an effective way to tone muscles, but it can be daunting to take the first step! Here are some tips to make it less intimidating.

    Tips for Increasing Your Distance
    Training for a marathon taught me a lot about how to increase my distance. Here are the tips and tricks that have helped me build my mileage from one to 26.2!

    What I Learned from Running Marathons
    I’ve only run two marathons, so I don’t have a ton of expertise in this area, but I can tell you what I’ve learned from training and completing those two marathons. Here are some lessons I learned about myself from running marathons!

    How I Prepare for Race Day
    I thought it would be helpful to share my race day routine since it can be equally exciting as it is nerve-wracking. Here’s how I maximize the enjoyment of race day without stressing out over too many of the details. Additionally, here’s a great Q & A with Mark Remy of Runner’s World’s with some tips and advice for preparing for race day.


    Last night’s dinner was one of those quick and easy ones: roasted Brussels sprouts with olive oil and truffle salt and chicken salad on Paleo Bread.

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    Paleo bread? Oh, yes, and it’s awesome!

    Made with almond flour, coconut flour, and ground flaxseed meal, this bread is light and fluffy with a nutty and slightly sweet (from honey) flavor. I haven’t done much baking with almond or coconut flour, so I was a little worried about how the bread would turn out, but it ended up tasting so good. It even got Mal’s approval on it. He’s really picky about bread (even the store bought stuff), but he loved this one.

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    After dinner, I ate another small piece of Paleo Bread with White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter spread on top. Amazing.

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    Question of the Day

    Do you remember how you started running? Did high school sports play a part in how you stay fit now?

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    { 28 comments… read them below or add one }

    Alyssa (The Other One) January 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    That bread looks DELISH! I may have to try it soon.


    Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Oohh, suicides are awful! When I played badminton during high school we would end every practice with suicides. They really get your heart pumping!


    Claire January 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I used to hate suicides, but I did them because I loved playing soccer. I ran on and off in high school to stay in shape for sports, but I only really started running this past summer. Now I’m addicted! Thanks for posting the links to your running posts! They’re really helpful!


    Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free January 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I remember doing suicides in middle school for basketball, they were the worst! Also, so glad to hear you like the paleo bread, I have been meaning to make it for awhile – definitely going to make it soon!


    Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Paleo bread? It’s amazing how quickly this diet is becoming popular!


    Ellie@Fit for the Soul January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Ohhh I remember suicides from when I was on a girls football team for Turkeybowl! The guys made us do them and would laugh at us. So cruel! haha. It’s so awesome you were in a soccer team! I always look up to soccer players, b/c it’s just such a grueling sport, and probably the one that requires the BEST fitness. (in my opinion)


    Ari @ Ari's Menu January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I went to an arts high school with no sports at all. I was finding myself really bored with my work outs at the gym and at a plateau in terms of weight loss. I needed something to re-motivate me and a new goal to work for. I never expected to fall in love with it as much as I have!


    Sarah January 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Oh definitely! I played sports my whole life and once I got to college I had to stay in shape somehow! Now, I’m in love with running!


    Lu January 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I played soccer in high school, too. I never stopped to think about how much I ran though. I guess that’s why it seems like running is what was missing from my life. I’m totally trying out that paleo bread. You’re inspiring me to go “lean and green”.


    Jessica January 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Holy nutrient dense bread! 23g of healthy fat per slice of bread:) Did it keep you full longer than usual?


    Tina January 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

    @Jessica: Yes! It was very satisfying!


    Anne P. January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Oh man… I remember suicides. We used to do those all the time at tennis practice in high school! Brutal.


    Jessica January 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    My best friend FORCED me to start running to get in shape for my wedding (she was on track & played soccer in high school). I was nowhere near athletic throughout high school so I could barely run a mile when we started. But after a couple months of conditioning, I was able to run 10 miles without stopping, & I’ve been running ever since. Now, I loveeee me some marathons! 🙂


    Shaun @ snackasaurusrex January 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    YES…I played tennis in high school and dropped it during college…needless to say I gained about 50 lbs or so. I started playing again after I graduated college and I LOVE it!


    Michelle (Better with Berries) January 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I started running when my dad got a treadmill in our basement. At the time it seemed almost like a fun toy 🙂


    Luv What You Do January 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    My mom sent me to the first day of junior high with a bag of running clothes and told me I was doing Cross Country. The rest…is history!

    The Paleo bread looks good. Is it easy to make???


    Tina January 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

    @Luv What You Do: Yep! Very easy! 🙂


    Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee January 19, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I started running at age 8 for this program called Marathon Kids where you track your miles until you get to 26.2. 🙂


    Tina January 19, 2012 at 8:30 am

    @Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee: That sounds like such a cool program!


    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Mmmmm that bread sounds paleo-wonderful!


    kayleigh January 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    this may be a stupid question, but how did you roast your brussel sprouts???


    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    That bread sounds so cool 🙂


    Whitney @ The Adventures of Now January 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Suicides frightened me in sports during high school! I started running my senior year of high school during PT for an injury between soccer & lacrosse. That’s when I realized my inner motivation rather than doing it for the team / not wanting to be the weakest player.


    Samantha January 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    My favorite way to exercise is with my kiddos! I want them to see me exercising and know that it can be part of everyday living. My 4 year old does yoga, pilates, and random exercise videos, as well as running around the neighborhood with me.


    Alaina January 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I started running in July of ’06. When I first met my (now) husband, we went on a running date. I only made it 3/4 of a mile. 🙂 Since then I’ve ran with David and my dad, and now my mom is into running. We love running races together!


    Mandi January 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I started running while in college. Gained the sophomore 30 (after the freshman 15). I’ve been running for 4+ years now and haven’t looked back!


    Grace January 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    That bread looks so awesome Tina!


    Laura @ LauraLivesLife January 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Love this post – I still consider myself to be a running beginner, and signed up for my first marathon in May! I posted a beginning list of my running rules today, and it’s great to see your perspective!


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