Category Archives: Fitness


Tips for Training & Completing a Marathon + What I Would do Differently

October 13, 2015


I can hardly believe that I finished my second marathon a few days ago. This second one was so much harder than my first, for a few main reasons:

For my first marathon last year, it was all new and exciting. I stuck to my training pretty well and the race day conditions were ideal-mid 50s and sunny.

This year, I was more lax with my training. I did my longer weekend runs but had less motivation to get in my shorter runs during the week. Also, the weather for race day was less than ideal. Hot and super sunny. I left with a major sunburn.

With two of these under my belt I thought I would share some tips I’ve learned along the way, as well as a few things I’d do differently if I ever do one of these silly things again.unnamed-1


+Treat your training days like the actual marathon. During your training, you will have 16, 18 and 20 mile runs. On these long runs, treat them with the same importance that you would for actual race day. If you have the same mindset for long training runs that you do for the actual race they will be so much easier. I promise you, a 20 mile run by yourself is SO MUCH HARDER than 26.2 miles with thousands of other people. So wake up early, have energy chews, water and a bangin’ playlist. Also, I played around on Snapchat a lot while doing my longer runs. This made it more fun and felt like I was interacting with people like I would be during the actual marathon. I posted my progress on My Story and received so many encouraging photos from friends in return. The proud, smiling friends sending photos from their cozy beds help after 14 miles at 9 am.

+vice-versa, treat the marathon like you did on your long runs during training. Mostly I mean that you should eat and drink the same things that you did while running your 18 and 20 mile runs during training. If you ate organic honey chews and shot blocks (like I did) during training, eat those things during the actual race. If you have never had a banana halfway through a long race, I don’t think that race day is the time to experiment. You don’t know how your body will respond and this is not that time to see if a banana will actually upset your stomach.

+Run home from work. While training for my first marathon, I would bring my running clothes to work with me and I would run home from the office. It made my weekday runs so much easier. This year, I live ten minutes from where I work. So I walk home form work, change into my running clothes and then get on my way. But let me tell you, once you’re home it’s SO hard to get motivated to go back out for a workout. I would find ANY excuse to stay at home. “Oh, the bed is unmade, I can’t possibly go on a run, I need to clean this entire bedroom!” Running straight from work eliminates that problem all together. Invest in a small running backpack and run home from work if you live a reasonable distance away.

+Use an app like Map My Run. This is (maybe) obvious, but Map My Run is my running app of choice. It helps me keep track of my pace and logs my routes for me.

+Play that funky music, and maybe a podcast. Good music is so important for me to enjoy my runs. I use Spotify and basically spend all training season building an epic playlist. Everything from angry 90s chick music (‘sup Alanis) to inappropriate rap to sing-along pop. Also, during training, having a podcast lined up to listen to is really helpful, but be aware that your pace will probably be slower than it is while running to a beat. For me, it was worth it a few times to have words to listen to to distract me, even if my mile times were slower.

+Have a rockin’ support system. I am so lucky that my boyfriend and best friends are so supportive and encouraging throughout my training and on race day. They always checked in on how my training was going and how I felt about the upcoming marathon. During race day, they chased me all over the city and spotted me at five different spots. FIVE! Sasha even ran with me for three miles AND they made a huge blowup of my face (haha!) They are truly the best, and it would be so hard to run without their support.unnamed-2


+ Create a schedule, and stick to it as best as possible. This is a pretty obvious one, but still worth mentioning. As soon as you register for your marathon and make the commitment to run, create a schedule. Print out the schedule, put it on your fridge, wtite it in your planner, put it in your phone calendar. Put. It. Everywhere. Be consistently reminded of the miles you have to do each day. My favorite resource for creating a schedule is through Hal Higdon. His Novice 1 & 2 programs are 18 weeks long and I used it for both marathons and half marathons that I’ve ran.

+ SMILE! On race day, smile so much and so big! It helps. Interact with the wonderful people cheering you on at the sidelines. Even though you don’t know them, they are there to support you. Read their funny and inspirational signs. Smile at them when they clap for you. This is one of the best parts about the entire day. It’s incredibly emotional to have thousands of complete strangers showing how proud they are of you. Take it all in, it’s one of the most helpful things to get you to the finish line.unnamed-3


+ Listen to your body and see a doctor. I will do basically anything to avoid seeing a doctor. I hate going, I’m slightly afraid and I find it to be such a hassle. But I really should have gone to a chiropractor or physical therapist during my training this year. About three weeks before the race my right hip started hurting and I should have gone to get it checked out, but I didn’t. About halfway through the marathon it flared up and hurt so badLY, which really hindered my finish time.

+ Sunscreen! and vaseline! Put on sweat-proof, water-proof, high SPF sunscreen on long runs and on race day. The weather was so warm and sunny for the marathon and my chest, shoulders, back and face were tomato-red by the end of the race. Applying sunscreen might be obvious for some people, but if I forgot, then I’m sure there’s someone else out there who could use a reminder too. Similarly, use vaseline to avoid chafing. I have never experienced chafing like I did for the marathon. My underarms were in so much pain! Put some vaseline on in the morning of the race and take the vaseline that they offer at the aid stations throughout the course. unnamed

+join a run club. Personally, I am so much more motivated when other people are counting on me to complete something. I wish I had joined a run club so I could hold myself more accountable. If people are expecting me to show up and run 10 miles with them, I’m much more likely to stick to it then if I’m only holding myself accountable. It would also make runs much more fun and a great way to meet new people. A few good resources for run clubs throughout different cities are Lulu Lemon (ask your local store) and Meetup.

+ Don’t compare yourself to others & to your past. For my first race, this was really simple because I had no PR or past experiences running a marathon, I was creating my PR that day! But for the second time around, I had this number lingering in my head that I kept thinking about. A number that would be really satisfying to beat. I kept saying that I just wanted to finish, that was my goal, but in the back of my head I had this number there. And guess what, I didn’t beat it. Not even close. I actually took about 15 extra minutes finishing my second race than my first one. For a number of reasons: the weather, my hip, my training. When I crossed the finish line, along with the excitement was also a layer of disappointment, and I wish I could take back that feeling, because HELLO I just ran 26.2 miles and I should feel nothing but proud! Did you know that only .5% of Americans have run a marathon? You did something that 99.5% of the US population couldn’t do!! Something to think about when you feel disappointed with your results. Along with this (and also, pretty obvious) is not to compare yourself to other people. There will always be someone faster than you, who followed their training more closely than you did, but you’re not running for them.. you’re running for yourself and comparison is truly the thief of joy when it comes to marathons (and most things, honestly).

So there you have it.. my tips for successful training and marathon completion. I am certainly no expert, but I hope the knowledge I’ve gained from running two marathons so far is helpful to someone.

Happy running!



Workout Motivation

August 19, 2015

Nothing motivates me more than cute workout clothes. The marathon is only 52 days away and the milage for my weekend runs are getting higher and higher (I’m scheduled to run 16 this weekend.. gasp!). But I am so much more excited to spend multiple hours running at one time if I have my favorite Lulu Lemon shorts paired with my hot pink tank. It just feels good! I can’t explain it any more than that. If you’re like me and need an extra boost to get your running shoes on and your butt out the door, here are some cute running clothes I’m currently lusting over. Happy running!
Cure Running Workout ClothesBras: onetwothree   Shorts: onetwothree   Tops: onetwothree




Running Motivation

July 22, 2015

I am on the running struggle bus so hard lately guys. I feel like I’m scrapping the barrel of running motivation these day. Last week, I actually said to Sam “I’m so mad at myself for signing up for the marathon.” Yeah, the struggle is REAL over here. I have endless “excuses” that I make to skip my runs each day. It’s hot out. I’m bored of my usual running route. I have so many other things I NEED to do. I’ve made all the excuses since starting my training back in June. But I’ve gotten to a point where I know I need to stop, because I know it’s good for me, I know that I will be so happy once I’m actually running the marathon and I know I can do it.

I’ve realized something that would really help me to stay motivated. Writing a post each week about my progress! You see, when there is something that I’m accountable for that I know other people have access to, I am so much more motivated to complete each milestone. If I commit to writing about my running and healthy eating habits on Sweet Endeavors, I’ll be much more likely to actually do it in real life. Make sense? I think so! Now, I know not everyone out there will be really into running/workout/healthy eating type posts. But I have a good feeling that a lot of people are. I mean, 45,000 people run the Chicago Marathon. I can’t be the only one struggling to find motivation. (tell me I’m not the only one!!)

There are currently 81 days until the Chicago Marathon. I’m almost halfway through my training and if I were to estimate, I think I’ve stuck to 65% of my training schedule. Not great. But I’m here to make it better!

Here is what this week’s runs look like:

running schedule_7.21Saturday is going to be a doozy. But I’m really excited to have a plan to come back here next week and tell you all about it. So far this week has been good. I rested SO well on Monday 😉 and ran not 3, but 3.5 miles on Tuesday. Horray for little victories!

Here are some little things that are motivating me this week. Not matter how silly or small, they still help!

Workout_7.21How cute are those shorts?! You can find them here. I just ordered them, and cannot wait to run in them.

Larabars have been saving me lately. I feel like I always get hungry around 3 p.m. and having these at my desk has been a lifesaver. I know this isn’t specifically “running” related, but eating well throughout the day and drinking lots of water makes SUCH a difference when I go on my runs in the evening. The Peanut Butter Cookie flavor is unreal and it’s made only with dates and peanuts. Magic.

YouTube workout videos are my JAM. It’s like having a free personal trainer come to your home. Lately I’ve been loving this 10 minute ab routine. I’ll do this a few times a week, either after my run, or on my cross training day.

I hope this motivates some of you to get up and stick to your workout plan. What do you do to motivate yourselves on days when you realllyyy don’t want to workout?

xo, E



Chicago Marathon

October 15, 2014

Well my friends, the day has finally come and gone. The day I had been anxiously (and terrifyingly) waiting for since March.
October 12th, 2014: The Chicago Marathon
Since I survived the 26.2 miles in nearly one piece, I thought I would share a recap of how race day went overall. Here it goes..
5:30 a.m. I wake up and Immediately get out of bed because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll reconsider this ridiculous thing and sleep through the entire day.
5:40 a.m. I force myself to drink 20 oz of unflavored coconut water. Which was a painfully gross way to start my day. Unfortunately I’ve convinced myself that this is what’s necessary to become hydrated before races, and if I don’t drink the coconut water I’ll be dehydrated and will die of exhaustion.
5:45 a.m. In between gags of coconut water, I eat a peanut butter cliff bar. Another pre-race ritual. Thankfully one that’s more enjoyable.
6:00 a.m. I leave my warm apartment and walk the cold, dark ten minutes to the train. My three-foot long plastic gear-check bag in tow. 
6:10 a.m. A police officer sitting in his car outside of the train stop hollers through his window at me, asking what all the big, plastic bags were for. I tell him about the marathon and he wished me good luck. Which made me smile.. impressive for the 6 o’clock hour.
6:20 a.m. The El arrives and it’s packed with heavy eyed, anxious runners.
6:45 a.m. I overhear a woman talking about training in Salt Lake City and I can’t ask her fast enough if she’s from the great Beehive State, We bond and talk about skiing for the remainder of the ride. Which was a helpful way to ease my pre-race jitters for a few minutes. 
7:00 a.m. I arrive at Grant Park along with the 41,000 other crazies.
7:15 a.m. I get the lay of the land, check my gear-check and do some nervous leg stretches. 
7:30 a.m. The horn for the elite runners goes off… the people who will finish the race before I make it to mile ten. My stomach turns.
7:45 a.m. I go to my start corral and shuffle in with the thousands of people who expect to finish the run in the same time as me (between 4:40 and 4:55)

7:50 a.m. I realize my Spotfiy app isn’t working and the playlist that I worked so hard on might not be heard. I realize I have some Adele, Taylor Swift and Destiny’s Child on my phone and listen to that instead.
8:00 a.m. The horn goes off for Wave 2 and people start throwing their sweatshirts that they bought for $2 at Good Will days before in the air to the sidelines. No longer needing to keep warm.
8:05 a.m. The slow walk to the start line begins. Trying not to trip on the unwanted clothing items, banana peels and water bottles that scattered the pavement.
8:09 a.m. The walking continues.
8:12 a.m. Still walking.
8:16 a.m. I finally cross the start line. My stomach is turning, but I have a huge smile on my face.
8:30 a.m. – Mile 3 I realize that I have listened to the seven songs on my phone two times through. I check to see if my Spotify is working and miraculously it is. I feel like crying from happiness. 
9:05 a.m.  – Mile 5 I see my support group, equipped with a Hello Kitty helium balloon (the one Sasha and I picked the day before so I could spot her from the side lines), a backpack filled with things for me (tissues, water, energy chews, etc) and a whiteboard sign reading “Erica is our Hero”.. although I was so overwhelmed I didn’t realize it said this until I saw the photo later that day. I take my vest and my long sleeve off and throw it to Sasha and continue on. We make a plan to meet at mile ten.

9:30 a.m. – Mile 7 I pass my apartment and for a quick moment I think about quitting and going back to bed. I continue running instead and enter into Boy’s Town, which was filled with sparkly signs with inappropriate messages. 
The signs along the course were so motivating, funny, and ridiculous, Here are some that stuck out the most:
“You are the Opposite of a Basic Bitch”
“Run Faster, I Farted”
“With the Power of Jesus Christ You Can do Anything. KEEP RUNNING!”
“I Hope You Don’t Need to Poop”
“I don’t Pull Out so Neither can You” (gross)
“I Don’t Know You, But I’m Proud of You”
“You’ve Done Smarter things DRUNK”
“Run Quick, There’s a Cute Guy In front of You and a Creepy Guy Behind You”
“This is the Worst Parade Over”
10:00 a.m. – Mile 10 I see my loves again and quickly stop so Sasha can feed me energy chews. Yes, I’m a diva and yes she’s the best friend. They say they’ll see me at mile 13. which will be hard for them to get to in 30 minutes, but I’m hopeful I’ll see them.
10:31 a.m. – 13.1 HALF WAY I pass the half way point and start looking for my people. They are no where to be found. My side starts to cramp, but I realize I’m still breathing in and out through my nose and I’m not really that tired. I keep going.
11:10 a.m. – Mile 16  I enter probably the most boring part of the course. It’s pretty industrial and there aren’t many people, but I see mine and as soon as I do I run to them and hug them with all of my weight. Mostly because I’m tired of standing. I’m sure they enjoyed this since I’m incredibly sweating and smelly.

11:30 a.m. – Mile 18 My legs start cramping and I realize I’m smiling FAR LESS than I was at the nice spectators with funny poop signs. 
11:55 a.m. – Mile 20 I feel a tap on my back shoulder and turn around and see my sweet friend Nikki, who has been trying to find me for over a mile and finally caught up with me. She runs with me and is so motivating. 
12:05 p.m. – Mile 21 Nikki and I see Sasha and company and Sasha jumps in with us. Sasha is taking Snapchats and I have enough energy to roll my eyes at Sasha and tell her not to post those anywhere because I look like my dying. Seriously. I did.
12:55 p.m. – Mile 25 Sasha and Nikki stop running with me and tell me that they’ll see me at the finish!
1:08 p.m. Mile 26.2 I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE!!! As soon as I did I started to tear up. Which is so cheesy and embarrassing but the feeling is so difficult to describe. I’m immediately given a foil sheet (is there an official name for these?) to keep warm, a medal and a beer, which I had three sips of before realizing that this is NOT what my body needs. I hand it off to Sasha and she happily drinks it. 

So there you have it my friends. The crazy adventure that I had on Sunday morning. the Chicago Marathon!
My official finish time was 4 hours, 52 minutes and 22 seconds. Which I am happy with! So many people asked me before the race what my time-goal was and I kept telling everyone that I didn’t have one. That I just wanted to finish the run and was trying not to focus on the time. Which is partially true. But deep down I wanted to finish in under 5, and I did! 

I have also been asked a lot if I will run another marathon. Here are what my responses have been:
Immediately after the run:  “No.”
Hours after: “Umm, probably not.”
1 day post-race: “Maybe!”
2 days post-race: “Yeah, I think so!”
So, yeah. We’ll see if another marathon is in my future.
Thanks so much for reading. 
xo, E
Follow along on Bloglovin’, Instagram and Twitter

Fitness / music

Chicago Marathon Playlist

October 9, 2014

I don’t know how we’ve already gotten to mid-October, but here we are.

The Chicago Marathon is literally days away and I keep receiving reminders from my handy Countdown app about how many hours I have left before the race. Why I thought a countdown was a good idea, I’m not sure. At this very moment there are 2 days, 16 hours, 50 minutes and 27.. 26… 25 seconds left until the marathon.

My stomach has been turning uncontrollably for the past week and I’m honestly excited for race day to be here, and be over with. I’m sure once I’m in it, and I’m at the starting line with everyone and I hear people cheering I’ll feel much more at ease.. but this build-up.. everyone asking how I’m feeling and if I’ve prepared enough. OY VEY. It’s too much.

There are things that one should do the days leading up to a marathon, like hydrating and stretching your legs and warming up your muscles with some quick runs. But the most important thing in my opinion is getting your marathon playlist in order. I wouldn’t run if I didn’t have music, so a phenomenal playlist was definitely my number one priority. I’ve spent the last few weeks adding and subtracting songs to this bad boy, but I think I finally have the perfect combination of 90’s hits, top 40, motivational tear-jerkers and obscene rap to last me the entire 26.2 miles.

I have 82 songs here, which equals just over 5 hours. Now, I’m very hopeful that the race won’t take me that long, but just in case, I’ve added some buffer.

So here you have it, My Chicago Marathon Playlist:

  1. Phoenix – 1901
  2. JAY Z – Empire State Of Mind
  3. Destiny’s Child – Independent Women Part I
  4. Kanye West – Jesus Walks
  5. Blackstreet – No Diggity (Re-Recorded / Remastered)
  6. Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious
  7. Sixpence None The Richer – There She Goes
  8. Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
  9. Barenaked Ladies – One Week
  10. Robyn – Dancing On My Own
  11. Lorde – Royals
  12. Destiny’s Child – Soldier
  13. Marina and The Diamonds – Primadonna
  14. Avicii – Wake Me Up
  15. Destiny’s Child – Survivor
  16. Ramones – Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
  17. Cake – The Distance
  18. Destiny’s Child – Say My Name
  19. Eminem – Lose Yourself
  20. Becky G – Shower
  21. Daryl Hall & John Oates – You Make My Dreams
  22. The Killers – Somebody Told Me
  23. Joe Budden – Pump It Up
  24. No Doubt – Just A Girl
  25. Foster The People – Pumped up Kicks
  26. Destiny’s Child – Jumpin’, Jumpin’
  27. Jennifer Lopez – Jenny From The Block – Track Masters Remix featuring Styles & Jadakiss
  28. Kate Nash – Foundations – Full Version
  29. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
  30. Destiny’s Child – Bills, Bills, Bills
  31. Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back
  32. TLC – Creep
  33. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass 
  34. Maroon 5 – Maps
  35. Sam Smith – Stay With Me
  36. Magic! – Rude
  37. Jessie J – Bang Bang
  38. Meghan Trainor – Dear Future Husband
  39. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass 
  40. Matt Pond PA – Champagne Supernova
  41. Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong
  42. Vance Joy – Riptide
  43. Matt and Kim – Let’s Go
  44. Matt and Kim – Daylight
  45. Aloe Blacc – The Man
  46. Foals – My Number
  47. Moon Taxi – Morocco
  48. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Ten Thousand Hours
  49. Earth, Wind & Fire – September
  50. Disclosure – Latch
  51. Pharrell Williams – Come Get It Bae
  52. Pharrell Williams – Hunter
  53. Bastille – Pompeii
  54. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
  55. Iggy Azalea – Black Widow
  56. Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)
  57. Ariana Grande – Problem
  58. Ed Sheeran – Don’t
  59. Echosmith – Cool Kids
  60. Calvin Harris – Summer
  61. Charli XCX – Boom Clap
  62. Milky Chance – Stolen Dance
  63. Nicki Minaj – Anaconda
  64. Iggy Azalea – Fancy
  65. Jason Derulo – Wiggle (feat. Snoop Dogg)
  66. Charli XCX – Break The Rules
  67. American Authors – Best Day Of My Life
  68. NONONO – Pumpin Blood
  69. Echosmith – Cool Kids
  70. Mystikal – Shake Ya Ass
  71. Bad Boys 2 The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Shake Ya Tailfeather
  72. Kendrick Lamar – i
  73. Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)
  74. The Black Eyed Peas – Imma Be
  75. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
  76. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
  77. C & C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
  78. Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine
  79. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
  80. Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend
  81. Wiz Khalifa – Black And Yellow
  82. Daft Punk – One More Time
What do y’all think? Are there any essential tunes that I haven’t included that I NEED to have?? Let me know and I’ll be sure to add them.
Also, if you want to use my awesome playlist for your own running adventures, you can find it on Spotify HERE.
Thanks for reading and for your music recommendations!
xo, E
Follow along on Bloglovin’, Instagram and Twitter


10 Tips for your First Half Marathon

September 2, 2014

This past weekend I ran The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s Half Marathon (man oh man, that’s a mouthful). With six weeks left until the Chicago Marathon in October, I thought this was the perfect point in my training to run a half. Besides the ideal timing of this race, there were a few other reasons why I chose to run in this particular half:

Most importantly, I think it’s incredibly cool and empowering to be surrounded by so many strong women, all working towards the same goal. It was amazing to be at the start line with 2,500 other ladies, anxiously awaiting for the race to start. Everyone was so encouraging and motivational. It was really cool to be a part of.
Also, the course for this race was really neat. This was the first time that a race of any kind has taken place on the iconic Michigan Avenue (which in all honesty, I didn’t know until minutes before the race started). Besides Michigan Ave, most of the course was on the lakefront, so the views were beautiful and thankfully flat!
This was my third half that I’ve participated in, so with a few under my belt, I thought I would share some tips I have if you are thinking about running your first 13.1 miles:
1) Choose the right half marathon for you. Like I said above, this half marathon stuck out to me because it was all women, which I knew would be so fun and the course looked ideal. When deciding what race to run, think about choosing a fun city, or a half that supports a cause you are passionate about. If a half marathon has a quality about it that makes it extra special for you, you will be much more motivated to spend time training and to keep going during the actual race. Finding half marathons is so easy, there are tons out there. This site is a good resource, it lists out all the half marathons happening in every state.
2) Choose the right training schedule for you. If this is your first half, pick a training schedule that is geared towards first timers. My favorite resource for training schedules is Hal Higdon. He breaks his training schedules into Novice 1, Novice 2, Intermediate, Advanced and walking, so there’s a schedule for everybody. Most of Hal Higdon’s schedules are broken down by milage. If you prefer, you can also find training schedules that are put together by minutes rather than miles. This is a good option if you think that would be easier for you.
3) If possible, train with somebody. Having a running buddy is so much better than running on your own. Trust me. I’ve done both, and I would much rather have someone to not only run with, but to turn to when I need encouragement and motivation. Even if you don’t plan to run the entire race together, knowing that you have a friend going through the same thing is really great. On days when you don’t feel like running, text that person and have them motivate you. It helps so much! I am currently training for the Chicago Marathon on my own, and it’s so tough to find the desire to run on days when all of my friends are eating brunch and going to the beach. If you have a friend who also needs to run for an hour before doing other activities it makes a world of difference. So when signing up for a race, recruit your friends! If none of your friends are up for it, join a running group. You can find these either through the race’s website, or athletic stores host them too. I know Lulu Lemon often hosts them.
4) Create a goal for yourself. It can be a time goal, it can be a goal to run the entire race without walking, it can even be a goal to have a positive attitude while running. Just make one! It’s much more motivational if you have a goal your working towards.
5) Take advantage of apps and websites for easier training. My favorite running app is MapMyRun. Every mile, the app tells you how far you’ve ran, how long you’ve been running for, how long the last mile took you and what your average mile pace is. It’s really helpful when training! It also maps your course (hence the name), so if you find a training route you really enjoy you can replicate it on your next run. It also tells you how many calories you’ve burned, if that is something you want to keep track of. There are so many resources for running and most of them are completely free. Use them!
6) Have a fun, motivational playlist. Music is one of my favorite pieces of running. Having fun, upbeat music is so encouraging and makes the training process 100 times more enjoyable. For race day, make sure that you have enough music on your playlist and make sure you have songs that you won’t want to skip over. You can refer to this post if you want to see what my half marathon playlist looks like. Also, something that I really loved during the race was having songs that reminded me of specific people. I have a few songs in my playlist that make me think of friends and when those songs started playing, I instantly thought of those friends and it was really motivating! It was like that person was cheering me on, and it was really cool and helped me to keep going!
7) Drink water at every water station. Seriously. Even if you think you aren’t thirsty, take a water cup! Even if you only take one sip, do it! You need to stay hydrated and skipping a water station could be really detrimental. They are usually located every half mile or so along the course, and I use them as a motivator while running. I think to myself, “just get to the next water station.” Then I take a ten second break, drink my water and get on with the run. It’s really important. Also, most races will offer you water and Gatorade at the the stations. My advice would be, if you trained only with drinking water and you don’t usually drink Gatorade, don’t drink it during the race. If you don’t usually drink it, you don’t know how your body will react to it, the sugar may hurt your stomach, etc.. Don’t use race day to test out how your body will react to it. Either drink Gatorade while you train and understand what it will do for your body, or stick to only water during the race. Also, drink a lot of water before the race! I always drink coconut water before long runs because it’s extra hydrating. I usually drink Vita Coco and eat a cliff bar about an hour before the race starts. This is enough for me, but make sure you test out different foods and drinks while training.
8) Use other runners to pace yourself. Recognize the people around you and try to keep up with them! If you realize that you’re faster and can pass them, or if you are feeling tired and falling behind, find another person to keep pace with. It really encourages you to keep going. The race will also have official pacers, usually for every ten minute mark. If you have a goal for completing the half in exactly 2 hours, 2 hours and ten minutes, etc., use the pacers as a guide.
9) Smile! Remember to have fun! You signed up for this and you made this a goal for yourself, so enjoy it! And smile! Physically smile while running. It will give you that extra bit of energy to keep moving when your mind tells you to slow down. Also, if you need it, say encouraging things to yourself. Around mile 11 I was loosing steam, so I whispered phrases to myself like, “you can do this”, “you’ve trained for this”, “you’re strong” etc. It really helps! Also, people will be cheering you along on the course, smile back at them, slap their hands, wave! It helps.
10) Reward yourself! Be proud of yourself! You set out to accomplish something and you did it! Enjoy a brownie, a cocktail, whatever. You deserve it!
I hope these tips and tricks are helpful and motivating! If you have any questions about training or running, feel free to leave a comment.
xo, E
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