15 June 2011

Ryan started running for sport in 2009.

Wait - that sounds misleading. Ry's been running all his life. He played ice hockey from ages 8 to 17 (he was REALLY good!) and soccer from age 4 into college. He ran then too obviously, but for now I'm talking about strapping on a pair of shoes and hitting the pavement with no other goals but sweat and mileage.

He actually ran his first 5K on a whim in 2009 and then shortly after Hazel was born he ran his first half marathon. I was pregnant for the first race and postpartum for the second, so I wasn't able to jump in and join the fun he was having getting fit and tackling big goals.

Well, it's finally my turn.

We've had a hard time figuring out motivation (most of all) and scheduling. We'd love to run together but it's not practical with two children. We can't hire a babysitter every other night and neither of us has any interest in pushing two kids (one of them weighing almost 40 pounds) in a jogging stroller. Personal preference. Not happening.

This Spring we were fed up with the fact that neither of us was running because we didn't want to do gym childcare (or pay for a membership for that matter!) and we didn't want to leave the other alone in the evenings and miss out on the fun family part of the night. But we were serious about running, so we made a plan.


Our two hang-ups were motivation (who hears me?) and finding time. We found great solutions for both that work well for us:

Finding time: we take turns! Every other night is my running night. It's up to me whether I run or not, but if Ryan ran the night before, then tonight is my night to take off and hit the road while he cleans up supper and plays with the kids. (I don't want to run in the dark, so I run earlier in the evening. He doesn't mind running at night so he usually goes after the kids are in bed since he doesn't get to see them in the daytime like me.) This works really well for us.

Motivation: I think this is such an individual thing. Some people are motivated by posting photos of themselves on the refrigerator door or even by running with a buddy. I have found four specific things that get me moving (and the first two just involve making it approachable) :
  1. Pacing - The running shoes I bought this Spring are made by Nike and they have a removable Nike+ chip in the sole of the shoe that communicates with my iPod touch while I run. I can monitor my pace, check my distance and keep track of my time. One of my biggest problems with running is that I always start out in a sprint without realizing it. Now that I'm trying to run longer distances I try to keep a 9-10 minute pace while I go so I'm not exhausted by the time I get out of my subdivision.
  2. I'm easy on myself - I'm still new to running and what I don't want is to hate it. So, I make mini, attainable goals and that really helps me. One of the things Ryan told me when I first laced up my sneakers was, "Rae, take it easy. Run at a good pace for 4 minutes, then walk (also at a good pace) for 1 minute." This one thing is probably the biggest help to me when I run. At any given moment when I'm feeling miserable and check my iPod for some good news, I am - at the very most - either just two minutes into running again or 2 minutes away from getting to walk again! Love those walking parts!
  3. A little competition never hurts - since Ryan and I both use Nike+ to run, we are able to upload our runs to the Nike website. We always have a challenge going and it's fun to get to talk smack to the person you love to keep them motivated to upload more miles. Our first challenge was "first to fifteen". Believe it or not, I'm proud to say that I won that one! Right now we're just competing to see who can log the most miles in the month of June and I'll confess that he is currently schooling me. Maybe I'll hire some thugs to take a baton to his legs a la Tonya Harding so I can catch up. Shortsighted? Yeah, you're probably right.
  4. Take me out and leave me - the final motivator for me is something I have learned about myself this month. I have my best runs when we go out somewhere with the kids and instead of riding home in the car with the family, I pack my running shoes and run home. I have my worst runs when it's up to me to run away from home knowing that however far I run out I will have to also run that back. It's a bad idea to leave the distance decision up to me when I'm in the moment. I will always come up with a reason to head back early. But, when I'm left to run home, I have no choice! It's great! Ryan thinks my method it a little funny but it totally works for me. I know that I'll just keep running until I get home!
(Me with my cute friend Amanda who visited a couple weeks ago and was brave enough to jog with a probably overly-chipper and excessively-chatty me. Come and run again, Mandy! I promise I won't make you run so hard next time!)

And that is how Raechel started running in 2011.

And THIS is where y'all come in!

I promised last week that there would be a fun announcement and I totally failed. So here it is: (and obviously the announcement is not that I'm expecting because then this post wouldn't exist!) :)

I know I have got to have some running readers out there! (I know for a fact that some of you are!) Whether you've only run a 5K or you are already running marathons or even if you don't own a pair of good running shoes, this does apply to you!

A lot of bloggers plan fun meet-ups with their readers so that they can get to know each other. I want to do that - but with a couple of specific purposes in mind.

December 3, 2011 is the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN.

Don't get scared, I'm not asking anyone to run a marathon! Buuuuut... my big dream is to organize a team of blog readers and friends to run the 1/2 marathon together.

Now, before you go any further or think any more thoughts, can I ask you to just stop and watch this video so we can all be on the same page?


Okay, I know a bunch of you don't live anywhere near Memphis. I can only ask so much, so if you can't travel that far you're excused. But if you're within a couple hour radius (I think we're about 3.5 hours away ourselves) it would be so fun to do this together!

Also, if you will be pregnant or postpartum at the time of the race, I will graciously excuse you too. (I know that geography and populating the Earth alone may cancel out 80% of you, but I'm still going for the remaining 20%!)

(Also, it may help you to know that the furthest distance I've ever run at one time is just a little over 3.5 miles. I'm basically starting from scratch myself!)

The three things that make this Meet-Up great:
1. I get the chance to meet some of y'all face to face! Sweet! It would be fun to get together for a meal or something the day before or after too!

2. We're doing something great for our bodies as we go! And, the 80-year-old ladies that crossed the finish line at last year's Country Music Half are proof that it's never too late to get fit. :) And since we're still almost 6 months from race day, there's plenty of time to begin a training program that will have you race-ready by December. (I'll be glad to help you find a good training program!)

3. This is the best part! I chose the St. Jude Marathon because I love the cause. Danny Thomas (the founder of the hospital) believed that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” As many of you know, I have a special place in my heart for sick littles and the thought of running for a cause like that makes me want to run another mile right now just because I can!

I have a lot of friends who have run that race in years past and they have all said that one of the best parts is near the end when you run through the hospital campus. As many kids as are able come out in their wheelchairs and even hospital beds to cheer you on for your final mile. If that won't make you push through the pain (or maybe cry as you run) I don't know what will!

Okay, so I'm totally stepping out of on faith here. I've taken the first step: I've registered for the race.

I've also started a team page.

Friends, it would be my dream to get at least 10 runners but I'll take as many as will join me! (And heck, if you happen to run with Nike+ I'd love some training/accountability buddies too!)

So, who will do it? Who wants to meet up for a great cause?


And for those of you who are limited by geography, you can support the Finding My Feet team both in spirit and by helping us raise money for the children of St. Jude financially. Please donate!

If you are up for the challenge and want to meet up with me at the starting line, you can email me, leave a comment, or go here to register and join the Finding My Feet team.

Ready, set, GO!


Sockrma18 said...

I'm 10 hours away so probably won't be headed down for the half marathon with "y'all" (ha! I used a southern word!), BUT I will support you from here! I am running my third marathon on October 16, 2011 in San Francisco (Nike Womens Marathon as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training Program)! AND...the kicker...I'll be running that race just 3 short weeks after I turn 40! What a way to run right over that hill! Dealing with painful shins and cramps in my calves BUT I am pushing through!

Anyway, just wanted you to know that I also have my husband leave me somewhere and then I run home or to the next location. It's sooo much better mentally than an out and back. Too many options to quit early!

I wish you luck and look forward to following your journey. If you want to follow mine, just click on this link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/ia/nikesf11/bramseyruc


Courtney said...

Awesome that you are organizing this! I would totally join you all if I could but I will watch from a distance as I train for my half marathon in October!!

Raechel said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm so impressed that you're running the full! Good for you! Ryan (my husband) is planning to tackle the Chicago full in October. That will be his first.

Also glad to know I have a kindred spirit in the out-and-back avoidance. And Ry will be glad to know he's not the only husband doing drop-offs! :

Raechel said...

Courtney - Good for you for running too! Are you doing Chicago or SanFrancisco or something else?

keight dukes said...

i knew it! hooray! i am so pumped for you. i have been praying about doing the same thing for a women's ministry in haiti in october or november here in atlanta with our half marathons here. memphis is a beast away from us, but if there's anything that would make me drive 7 hours to run for a few more its you AND a great cause! get it girl! so i a definite maybs.

Sandy said...

Hey! I just ran my FIRST 5k this past weekend! I'm still on week 8 of couch to 5k, but a lot of friends were running it, and they talked me into it. (Note: I took the COUCH part of couch to 5k VERY literally - since I was pretty sick for 2 years...long story, but big blog post coming up). Now, I've got my eye on a September run. I can't wear Nike's! I have horrible feet, and Nike's are the worst fitting - for me. I stick to Asics.

Way to go running, Raechel! Hopefully, someday, I'll see you at a finish line. :) Wanna run next time your in Michigan?

nic said...

it would be sweet indeed to run this mini with you, but i don't think it will be happening this year. :( i hope you have an awesome time!

i'm an early-morning runner myself...if i don't get out first thing, it's liable not to happen. and i tend to run the same route every day, no excuses or deviations, to keep me from cheating...but my senior pastor used to utilize your trick and have his wife drop him eight miles out on a country road in the dead of winter. he ran FAST.

Holly said...

Hey Raechel! How fun! I would totally love to run this with you but we are expecting a wee one in December! Something about traveling/running 9 months preggo doesn't sound appealing haha! Anyway, congrats what a fun thing and maybe I'll get to run one with you one day! My brother and I ran the CHicago marathon in college it was crazy and fun and I swore I'd never run a full again haha but have been wanting to run a half now for a while! Maybe after this babe is born as we think it will be our final! Good luck! Great job running!

Micaela said...

This would be a huge trek for me but it's really good timing and I just joined a gym and need some extra motivation.
So, I'm thinking about it!

Raechel said...

Oh, Micaela! Your 'maybe' has just made my day!!! I've been so nervous about this since I know my target market is so, so narrow.

Yours makes two official 'maybes'! Hurrah!

Olivia Pennington said...

Rae, I am a definite maybe also. We will see how my knee takes our 10k then ill definitely know :) proud of you!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful challenge! I am in Seattle so basically as far away as one could get. I am walking my first half next month and I giggled about you running home cause that is how I have been training (except y'know... walking). Too funny.

Sarah said...

I've recently been intrigued by the idea of doing a 5K (walking, because my hips may not take the pounding of running). But I haven't found the right motivation to train for it. So good luck to you, you're a brave woman. I have no idea where I'll be in December. The closest place I could be is in NC about 4 hours away. But I would love to come support you if I could.

Raechel said...

Sarah - come and cheer us on! Or, better yet, I think there is also a 5K that weekend. Check the website and run in that! :)

Tracy said...

I wish it was farther post baby girl for me. I don't think there's enough training time between October and December for me. boo. (or, if it was a 5 K. I could totally rock that by December.)

Shelby Zacharias said...

I'm in Oregon, but looking for an October-December marathon that I can get excited about. It'll be my first and the fulfillment of a goal I made years ago. So I'm definitely considering it . . .

Raechel said...

Yay, Shelby!!! Glad to have your consideration!

And Sarah - oh, join us please! Maybe consider doing the 5K that weekend?

Rebecca said...

Darling, it's no problem. I will run with you. But I will also beat you, just like I beat your husband.

MomentsRemembered said...

So I am currently training for my first marathon in October with my sisters (last year we ran our first 1/2 marathon together) but I forwarded your blog to them and I am hoping we will be able to join you for such a great cause!!!

Chelsea said...

I think David and I are going to do it! Question about registering... I register as an individual and then enter in "Finding My Feet" as the team name on my registration page, right? Woo woo, go team!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be a part of this! I am going to email you because my story is too long to write out here! My only issue is that my husband will be deployed, but if I can get my dad to come down to help me out I will be there!!!!

We were just in Memphis this past weekend for the FedEx/St. Jude Golf Classic!!!!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to leave my name for the comment above!


Bailey said...

I've never even done a 5K but I've always wanted to do the St. Jude half marathon! This is very motivating! Do you think I'd have enough time to train from basically couch to half-marathon from now to December??

Raechel said...

Chelsea - yes, just register as an individual, then when it asks you if you want to be a Hero say yes. It should ask you if you want to start a team or join a team - just choose join a team and type in "Finding My Feet". I think that should do it! Once we kind of get our team formed I think I'll maybe do some newsletters or something so we can get to know each other, get a general training plan and talk about ways to raise support.

Bailey - the Jeff Galloway half marathon training program (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/half_marathon.html) requires 17 weeks to train for the marathon. Since there are over 24 weeks between now and then, it give you time to start slowly so that you can jump right in on official training once we're 17 weeks out. You can do it!

Katie said...

I'm so excited! Memphis is only about 2 hours away from where I go to school, and I actually have several friends planning to run it! Let's be forreal, if my choices are running with friends (who I see all the time) or YOU! (who I read about all the time and haven't ever met), I am totally running with you. I am so excited about this!! Thanks for inviting us to join you :)

Amanda said...

Ok first of all I think this is the first time I've ever left a comment, but I've been reading your blog for several months now. I love reading about your sweet family!
I live in Memphis and have always wanted to train for the St. Jude marathon. But considering I'm not a runner and have never even run a 5K, I always talk myself out of it. I've recently been desiring to run more, so this might just be the motivation I need! I'm still a maybe, but just wanted to let you know. Sorry I've been such a quiet follower until now :)

stephanie joy said...

wow, i am JEAL-OUS! really! i wish i lived closer. however, it's probably like a 20 hour drive for me, so it ain't gonna happen. :(
too bad!
but i can give you some tips...
i'm going to run my 2nd 1/2 marathon THIS sunday, on father's day.
my first half was done last september.
this is the training schedule i did:
with three kids it was definitely doable and not overwhelming.
you basically only run 4 x's a week.
that was the clincher for me.
i didn't have to totally change my life to train.
and it was gradual so i could adapt easily.
last year i did the full 12 week training schedule but this year i've only done from about week 7-12 and i think i'm more than ready.
i think as long as you have some sort of base, which you have right now, you'll do great! :)
for what it's worth, it says it's for a novice but i still finished under 2:00:00.
so i was pretty pumped by that.
anyhow, would love to do this half with your team but i'll have to pass for now.
maybe in the future!
can't wait to hear all about it though.
please post more about your runs.
love to hear how others are doing!!
good luck!! :)

Raechel said...

Katie - YAY!!!!!

Amanda - yes, join us! I'll be so glad to hook you up with a good, reasonable, do-able training plan and you will rock this! Email me and I'll send you a plan to look over.

Raechel said...

stephanie joy - thanks for the encouragement, I love it! And good for you for rocking your second 1/2! Good luck on your run Sunday and we'll definitely be updating as we train.

Ashley said...

First off, thank you for the encouragement/ideas on being a running couple with kids. My husband and I have been saying that we NEED to run but just never have time or a schedule like you do. I have never run anything more than a 5k but completing a marathon is on my bucket list. Second, I want to do this so badly I could cry. Not just the actual race (which would be amazing) but being able to meet up with fellow bloggers (YOU) would be incredible. However, according to Google Maps, Boston to Memphis = 21 hour drive. BOOOO! I am seriously going to chat with my husband about it though. Maybe we could take a little weekend family getaway and fly down. It would be so great to have a huge goal like this and have the motivation be not only to meet you and some of the wonderful people in this little community, but to raise money for a great cause as well. I will email you if anything unfolds. Maybe next year Team Finding My Feet could tackle the BOSTON marathon?! Heehee!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Mrs. Meyers! This is killing me! I have followed your blog for several months now... I love to see what you'll come up with next =)
I started running at the beginning of the year. I've already completed two 5ks and but my goal has been to complete a 1/2 marathon before the year is up. I am almost 14 so I know there is no need to rush things and train improperly but because I younger, it's harder to train. I am homeschooled so joining a cross country team (Which I've wanted to do) is out of the question. There is a tiny park near my house so I am often running there alone. And that is where I lose my motivation. I've been praying (Since the beginning of the year) for a running buddy but so far, no one wants to run! So I don't ever really feel motivated to run as I am running in circles by myself =P I also don't have an ipod nor anyway to listen to music when I run so sadly, I'm starting to dislike running and I don't want to, but I don't know how to feel motivated! Ugh! Sorry, I'm like, dumping all this on you. Although your idea of having your husband drop you off somewhere and you run home sounds like a great plan! Way to be creative =) Anyway, although I can't join the team, I hope you guys have fun!
Maybe I'll just join you in spirit =)


Melissa Vines said...

Go Raechel! I just started running a little bit too. It's more like fast walking since I'm pushing the stroller with both the kids in it but it's a start. I thought about starting a team for Hope Clinic's 5K in October and I'd love to do St. Jude's but not sure if I'll be ready this year or not! I love the idea of running home. That would motivate me too!

Raechel said...

Anonymous Melissa: Hello! Thanks for saying hi! Good for you for loving running. I hope that can stick with you your entire life! Even if you can't run with us in person, having your encouragement as we train would be fabulous! Many happy miles to you, sweet friend!

Raechel said...

Melissa Vines - Hey girl! I was wondering when I'd hear from you on this. :) Almost called you out on Twitter yesterday but I thought I'd wait to see.

A few of us locals are planning to put together a mini team to run the Franklin Classic in September. It's a 5K or 10K. I think we're going to try to do the 10K (a little over 6 miles) as a step toward the 13.1. Why don't you aim for that with us in September and see how you feel from there?

I know running with a stroller is less than ideal so I'm totally impressed that you're doing it. Good girl!

Let me know if you want to run with us in September! (you know I'm going to try to talk you into the half though, right?) :)


Jessica said...

I'm out due to both your clauses - we're in AZ and I'll be 7 months pregnant! Is there any way to chip in even if we can't make the run?

Raechel said...

Jessica - sorry you can't join us (but big congrats on the baby on the way!!!)

To answer your question: YES!!! You can sponsor our team (our goal is to raise $1000 for St. Jude by December) by following this link: https://waystohelp.stjude.org:443/sjVPortal/public/search/displayEBUserSearchPage.do?sectionStyle=subMenuTwo&eventId=166948&programId=401

You can either sponsor a specific participant (I'm currently the only one actually registered for our team) or our team as a whole (just search "finding my feet").

Thanks for asking!

Michelle said...

So awesome! Good luck to you and your team.

I am going to start training for my first half-marathon this month.

I love your idea of being dropped off somewhere and running home. I would've never thought of it.

I also use mapmyrun.com and plan my routes in advance so I can't wimp out mid-run. I do better with a running partner or group to hold me accountable and a training plan so I do what is expected of me. When I do run alone I have to have my ipod and I just blast my music and go.

I love running!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, quick question!
So even though I can't actually participate in the run, I can still donate, right??


Raechel said...

Anonymous Melissa - Ha! Yes, you can definitely still donate! It's a great way for everyone who can't run to still participate!

Jenny said...

Okay, I admit I didn't read all of the other comments so I'm sorry if someone already mentioned this, but I downloaded Robert Ullrey's podcasts for running and even though the music is corny, it at least has a good tempo for the intervals. It's a couch to 5K and I think there's a bridge to 10K. I started a month ago and I NEVER thought I'd be running outside in Texas in June (100F!!) but I am!

Good luck with the half, I'd love to do it but certainly won't be anywhere near Tennessee in December :(

Raechel said...

Thanks, Jenny! I've heard of him - I'll check it out!