My best friend Shannon has this frustratingly positive effect on me. Following her lead, I’ve adopted some annoying and time consuming habits over the years – flossing nightly, wearing SPF bazillion sunscreen even indoors and worst of all…running. In fact, she tricked me into running both a full, and then another half, marathon in 2008 when I could barely eek out a mile without wheels on. She’s lucky I keep her around.
Since then, I managed to survive a few years run-free and turned to other, more enlightening activities like wine tasting, cupcake baking, and couch potatoing. But just last month, Shannon used her healthy ESP to convince me to run another race. So in January, I shall be one of thousands of women donning a lime green fairy getup at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland (insert magical tinkling noise here).
But on the inside, I’m just a girl who loves to watch TV, drink wine, eat chocolate-laced goodies, sleep late and do absolutely anything else that doesn’t require thirteen miles of sweaty panting. So if you’re like me and can grasp the merits of running a marathon in theory but have no intention of trading in your Cabernet for Gatorade, here are some potentially inspirational tidbits that helped me make the leap:
Wine is recommended: There are many milestones involved in marathon training – the first time you complete a long run without stopping, the first time you clock your fastest mile, the first time you get a chafing rash on your inner thighs – these moments must be celebrated. Rule of thumb: your ounces of wine per week should directly correlate to your mileage.
You get to play with toys: It was essential that I buy myself a new iPod, Garmin heart rate monitor and a Fitbit in order to properly train – just like the cavemen used to do.
You’ll get lots of pedicures: Long running stints equal swollen feet, calluses, and bruised toenails. Your feet will need lots of love. Tip well.
Snacks are now called “fuel”: You’re burning about 100 calories per mile (80ish after you account for the wine). This deficit can be used for all kinds of fun things. My running group swears that gummy bears, peanut butter filled pretzels, cookies and granola bars are all appropriate training “fuel” and have them waiting at the end of every long run.
Laziness is required: Every Friday my little running schedule says “rest day.” I take this day very seriously. This is a day for elevators, pizza delivery, and twist off wine bottles.
It’s for a cause: Whether or not you can get your race mojo going, running for others is always inspiring. I’m running with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Pick a cause that matters to you so when you’re exhausted after an eight-miler, your toenails are black, and someone just ate the last gummy bear, you’re still on a runner’s high.
I’d love to hear any tips you have to stay motivated!