Monday, February 22

thoughts on running:

In 2 weeks, I will be running my first half marathon.

{the gorgeous Red Rock}

When I started training (6 weeks ago) I really didn't know how to run. I dabbled in running, but had no idea what it took to run and actually enjoy it. The trail that I would usually run before I trained was a 6 mile trail (3 miles both ways). I would run it and stop, take breaks, and give up, get cramps and I always put too many days between my runs so it was almost like I was starting from scratch each time. I wasn't consistent. I've had a few people ask me recently what the secret is to running, and I have a few tib bits that I've learned from the awesome girls who have trained me! (LOVE you girls!)

1- I couldn't have trained for this marathon if I didn't have support. I have 4 girls who have rallied beside me, pushed me, encouraged me, helped me set goals, have seen me through frustrating runs, and seen me through tearful celebratory runs. I could never have done this without them. At least twice a week for my long runs, I run with one of the 4 girls and it has been incredible. I feel like everything I know about running, I've learned from them.

{This was a basket filled with healthy treats that was left on my door step with a little note that read
"Only 6 weeks left! You ca do this!" Little words of encouragement can go a long way to
help you stick to the goal and not give up!}

2- What you eat determines how you run. It's almost the most important thing. What you put into your body is what you will get out of it. This has been something that has taught me great discipline knowing that I'm sacrificing the pleasure of enjoying junk, so my body has the right fuel it needs to run. (before a long run, I eat a cup of raw oat meal with fresh blue berries, and drink a cup of green tea. I eat 2 hours before I run. I usually run on a relatively empty stomach.) And don't forget to eat enough.

3- Rest. This has also been an area where I've had to learn discipline to go to bed at a normal hour. This also means not running long runs back to back. (I ran 8 miles on Saturday and the very next day ran 6 miles (which was bad!) Your body needs rest! I planned to only run 3 miles that day, but felt good so I kept going! I ended up passed out on the couch the whole rest of the day because I didn't rest my muscles and I was literally unable to move.) This is when following my running schedule comes into play!

4- Stop saying "I'm just not a runner." Candice really taught that just as soccer is a sport, running is a sport, and you have to practice if you want to get good at it. The more you run, the better you will get at it, and the better you will get at dealing with cramps, and working through exhaustion and fatigue. I about died the first time we all ran together. After the 3rd mile, I was almost in tears. I hadn't pushed my body up a hill since high school and these girls were doing it with such grace and ease. It was so frustrating! But now, I know how to run! Every week I'm getting better because I'm practicing. I'm training my body to get used to how it feels to run up hills, something I couldn't do 6 months ago.

5- It's mental. Jessica and I were running a few weekends back and she had an awful cramp and we still had 3 miles to go of the 8 we did that day until we were done. I kept telling her to push the pain out of her head and ignore it, to breath through. We've all had to give each other pep talks through hard runs. I've had to repeat phrases to myself like "You're strong," & "it will get easier." If you dwell on how bad your run is sucking, you'll give up easier. Don't focus on the pain.

6- Don't compare yourself. I usually stay a good distance behind the girls. They've been "practicing" longer than I have, and they have faster paces. If I tried to push myself to run alongside Candice, Jessica or Amy who have like 7 minute a mile paces, I would lose my gas right a way. Don't compare yourself to others and be comfortable at your current pace until you've had more "practice."

7- Get the right gear. Go to a running store, get fitted for the right shoes, and get some advice. I was shocked to realize that you're supposed to get new shoes every 200 miles. I couldn't understand why my big toe kept feeling like there was a nail in it every time i ran, until I went to a running store and realized my shoes (that looked perfectly new and cost my mom more money than I want to admit) were falling apart. Get the right shoes. Anytime I run further than 4 miles, my right arch hurts so bad I can barely go on. So I went to the running store and got an awesome insole for my right foot and it makes a world of difference.

8- Don't listen to the nay sayers- YOU are capable of much more than you think. EVERYONE told me Red Rock was terribly difficult, but I'm beginning to think that maybe it was horribly difficult because they didn't actually train on it, which made their experience horrible.

I was really scared of running Red Rock in the beginning, I even psyched myself out a few times and tried to back out (but my support team wouldn't let me!) The key that has given me the confidence to know that I can run this course is that by the time race day comes, I will have already trained on the course 3 times. I'm not going to be shocked by the hills and I will know exactly where the most difficult parts are. Training on the course has taken so much of the anxiety away that I formerly felt. I was told by several people how difficult the course was, so I told myself I wasn't "fit" or "good enough" or was too "wimpy" to run it when in actuality, it's not that scary at all.

I will say though that the first time i ran Red Rock, I got to mile 2 and was contemplating turning my butt right back around and sitting in the car until everyone was done. The first time I ran it I was hating life, Grant wanted to put a bullet through his knee, and Jessica cried. We all had a rough time the first time. But when you have an awesome run, the feeling you get afterwards is like nothing else on earth. We ran 8 miles on a beautiful trail close to Boulder City on day (this was the best run of my life). It was raining the whole run, cloudy, beautiful and I felt like I could just go on forever. I remember thinking "I hope heaven is like this." It was incredible and such a joy to run that day. Theres nothing like a good run.

I've learned so much in the last few months about conditioning my body. Working towards this goal has giving me such a feeling of accomplishment. The biggest thing that I am taking away in all of my training is the friendships I've made. That is the most beautiful part of the whole thing.

I can't wait to conquer Red Rock! I'm sooo excited!


  1. You are awesome! I am sure it will feel so very wonderful to finish the race strong in 2 weeks:)

  2. I will be praying for you in your marathon preparation! It is SO encouraging to know you'll be praying for me. That is so sweet of you! Oh you're a true doll.

  3. you are the woman. i am so impressed, i could never ever so what youre doing. hha. you go kick some butt love!

  4. love it Chels! Totally encouraging and some great advice that I am going to take to heart! Austin has some really awesome races that you might just have to come down for :)

  5. Chelsea I just got teary eyed reading this blog. You are truly amazing and I love you to pieces. I don't know if you realize how beauitful you are inside and out but I do! You're definitely a finisher and I love you so much!!

  6. Chels you are awesome, and I wish I was more like you girls! Hopefully after this pregnancy I can join you guys and push myself the way that you have. I understand everything you said about running, and I feel the same way. Good for you, and good luck on your first marathon! What a great accomplishment!

  7. this is awesome!! and so inspiring! way to go!

  8. running is so amazing once you get it down, I remember when I first started running in the 4th grade, I HATED it! I sucked and was very discouraged after my first race, but with practice I got SO much better and ran all the way through HS(minus senior yr) I cant wait to start training again and racing again!! Hope to be racing in Vegas SOON!!! Good luck and you will do just fine, don't psych yourself out. ANYTHING is POSSIBLE!!

  9. Amazing! I just started running a couple months ago and I'm loving it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into... running really is a lifestyle and I love having this new lifestyle. This was a really inspiring post. I'm running my first half marathon in 6 weeks. I can't wait!

  10. thanks girls! Amy, I really do mean it. The biggest thing i'm taking away from this is the love I've gained for you girls. Your friendships mean so much to me. AND we all need to get signed up for San Diego PRONTO! I'm so excited to do an "easy" beach run! That will be amazing.

    Brit- I would LOVE to run with you after you have your baby boy! I know how hard it is to get out there with your post-pregnancy body! Brittney brady and I have a common mommy bond in that aspect because we both know all about the post pregnancy body and can sympathize with each other. Can't wait to see that little guy!

    Thanks for all the comments and love! Like I said, running is a sport and the more you do it the better you'll get. SO don't say you're not a runner and just get out there and start practicing! <3

  11. omg deanne, It would be so awesome if we could run together! When you're in town we'll have to get some lunch and let me kiss those beautiful babies of yours! I remember you running all throughout high school- you were the stuff back then girl-and you always seem to bounce back after you have babies! You'll be racing in no time! You're a pro!

    I always look back and wished I had the love for running back then that I do today.

    Erin, you're going to have to post some pics from your race! I'm so excited for you. You'll do great!

  12. This blog kinda makes me want to become a runner :) and that is saying a lot as I really hate running!

  13. def. we will get together would be so much fun! I wish I had really tried in HS I would have been so much better!! Thank you for the compliment about bouncing back!! I hope we move back and we can run together!!!
    It is funny how people that did not run back in HS now run all the time! It is such a good workout, and fun (at least it always has been for me..maybe bc its the only sport I could do well!!!)

  14. You should become a writer Chelsea. The way you share your feelings and the feelings that you have are amazing. I seriously cried and laughed reading this and you made me truly realize how much running has brought us all together. It's beautiful and so are you. Thank you for posting this, it makes me realize how many memories have already been made. You are a runner!!! Let's tear this sucker apart!

  15. Chelsea, I know you'll conquer this marathon just like you conquer evrything you put your mind and body to----And you've certainly gotten back your muscular strong body after pregnancy really well---- I have all the faith in your ability to do this; and cannot wait to see you at finish line Sweetie! I Love You, Mom

  16. oh man i am so not a runner but good luck!!

  17. i am sooo proud of you and so thankful you are in my life... your comment today on facebook meant alot.. i want to see you asap but preferably when i'm not so close to death ;) love you!

  18. You girls are insanely inspirational.I'm so jealous that I don't live in Henderson...I could definitely use a support team. Any who...thanks for being a great example to me. I love you!!!