Put me in, coach.

 Running for Carbs blog just turned one! A year has flown by so quickly and it slipped my mind that I’ve had this blog for an entire year. At the start of 2015 I made it a personal goal to start a running blog and try and post at least once a month. Some months it’s easier and some months it’s harder but with the ongoing love and support it’s kept me motivated to keep writing. With that said, I will be celebrating by fundraising $2,500 for the charity Water For People and running the New York Marathon in November!!! To celebrate Running for Carbs one year anniversary it was only obvious that I would try to achieve a goal I thought would be impossible. That’s the beauty about running, it allows us to reach the impossible and motivate ourselves to reach for new goals.

Team Water For People will be running all of NYC’s 5 boroughs to support Water For People and mirror what millions of people around the world do everyday–walk long distances to collect clean water for their families. Not Everyone runs a marathon, but Water For People believes that everyone should have access to clean water and proper sanitation Forever.

Your donations go directly to Water For People to finance their water and sanitation programs in Africa, India, Central America and South America–programs that grow out of their belief that Everyone should have access to clean water and proper sanitation Forever.

Water For People is an international nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to creating reliable, safe drinking water resources, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in the developing world; it currently operates in 10 countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, India, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia & Peru. The organization’s unique business-oriented approach works to establish partnerships between local and national government institutions, nongovernment organizations, private enterprise, and entrepreneurs to enable local communities, districts, and municipalities to plan, build, finance, maintain, and operate their own safe water and sanitation services. Water For People puts long-lasting solutions and 100% coverage of a region with safe water access for everyone at the forefront of its strategy. It fosters innovative solutions to water and sanitation problems that are adaptable worldwide, and through monitoring and evaluation of its program impact for at least 10 years post-implementation, Water For People ensures that its work is sustained by local partners.

I am asking all of you to please donate $26.2 dollars to help me achieve my $2,500 goal. If you are unable to donate 26.2 please donate whatever amount you are able to afford. Any donation will be helpful I achieving my goal. On top of working full time (40 hours a week), being a student, and training for marathons, I have taken on a second job to help me pay for the expenses of my trip to New York. I truly believe in this cause and will do everything in my power to meet my goal. Thank you for your support!

#RunningforCarbs #TeamWaterforPeople

 

 

You CAN’T do it.

I’ve decided to write a blog about the man at packet pick-up that really upset me. Here is some background information about our conversation.

Last weekend we picked up my race packet for The Buffalo Stampede ten mile race. Dan waited in the car while I quickly ran in. Or so I thought I would have. Packet pick-up is always exciting and usually takes a few minutes. I picked up my bib and headed to the shirt table where I was greeted by an older gentleman who asked me, “Is this your first time running the Buffalo Stampede? What is your time goal for the race?” I explained to him it was my first time running this race and I was using it as a training run with some people from the CIM (California International Marathon) training group.

I went on to tell him our training plan had us scheduled to run 12 miles that day so the goal was to complete the race and continue on for another two miles as a cool down. I told him that I joined this program with the hopes of qualifying for Boston at this years CIM. As I tried to make small talk and pick-up my items I was asked a few more questions. We then started discussing marathon training. He asked me if it was my first marathon and when I explained it wasn’t he asked me what time I had finished last year. As a runner I don’t like to share race times with people whether it’s my best race or my worst race, unless of course we have the type of relationship where you understand my running goals. To me, it’s just part of an unwritten, unstated runner code. When I said my last marathon time “was nothing to talk about” he insisted I tell him my time. Finally I did which was 4:55. I knew what his immediate response would be and was in disbelief by his feedback. He told me it was a really big time gap to try and qualify this year and that it more then likely was not going to happen. When I tried to explain that I am mentally much stronger and determined to work hard to qualify this year, he continued to name off the amount of Boston Marathons he’s ran and what his amazing times were, as well as the hundreds of marathons he’s completed in his lifetime. I didn’t ask but I politely smiled and responded with “That’s really admirable!”  Even the man handing out race bibs yelled over, “She’ll be fine.” Finally, someone lined up behind me and I had an excuse to politely leave the conversation. When I got to the car I told Dan about my conversation with this man and that it really bothered me.  Dan’s response was a typical husband response and was, “Who cares? Don’t worry about him!” I tried to brush it off and enjoy the rest of my day.

Later that night instead of being really excited about the race the next morning I felt myself making excuses as to why I would not run it. I didn’t leave out my running clothes the night before, and I didn’t set my coffee timer as I normally do the night before a race. All night I thought of simply not racing and taking the day off. I came up with a few valid excuses: my calves were tight, I was tired, I had way too much stuff to do Sunday.  In the morning, even though I had not done any of my pre-race rituals, I decided to join my friends and make the best of it.

Race morning I wasn’t the normal, cheerful self I am before a race. What that man said to me really bothered me and it started to mentally influence me. Once the race started I tried just focus on the 12 miles I needed to complete that morning. The first two miles I tried to keep up with my friends at a 7:50-8:00 min/mile pace. I decided by mile two that it was too fast for me and my calves were feeling really tight. I slowed down to a comfortable pace and ran two miles on my own. Mentally, I was giving up at mile four. I wanted to stop. I contemplated stopping and “ubering” my way back to my car. I even started looking for a police officer who could possibly drive me back. I text Dan “in pain might stop.”

 Since I was running and texting it actually was spelt “I bad pain night stop.”  To which Dan replied with a question mark.  At that moment I heard my friend Emily yell out and ask if I was okay. I also saw my friend Andrea and decided to run with her. She was just the motivation and energy I needed to stay focused and finish the race. We ran together at a comfortable pace until about mile eight. Without her I would have never finished. By mile eight I felt great and decided to push myself to run the last two miles of the race at a much faster pace. I literally said to myself out loud, “You’ve got this! You can do it!” I pushed through and finished strong. I even completed the two extra miles that I told myself I wasn’t going to do at mile four.


  
To my surprise I ended up finishing the race 2nd in my age group. I was shocked. My friend called me on the drive home to tell me to turn around. I had seen the results posted on the wall on my way to my car but didn’t bother to look at them because I was sure I wasn’t on there. To my surprise I actually placed. I doubted myself the entire time and was so bothered by that man’s negative comments. During the first half of the race I was in my head telling myself: that I would never qualify for Boston and everyone around me was thinking the same thing. That it was just too much time to shave off my first marathon and that ultimately, he was right, I was never going to be strong enough or fast enough to run 26.2 miles at an 8:12 pace. It was impossible.

This isn’t the first time someone has discouraged me from meeting my goals and it won’t be the last time but it was the first time I let it get the best of  me.  Since starting the CIM training group I have grown to be a stronger and more consistent runner. It is giving me the confidence and support I need to achieve my goal.

To the man at the shirt table that told me I could not reach my goal: thank you. I’m taking your negative comments and using it to my advantage. What I didn’t explain to you because I didn’t feel it was necessary to explain to a complete stranger was that last year my goal was to simply complete my first marathon-whether I walked or CRAWLED across the finish line. THAT was my goal. To finish. Which I did and I did with pride. Last year I didn’t train anywhere near as much as the level of training I am doing this year but after finishing my first marathon I knew that nothing was impossible. It saddens me that I let you get the best of me. Luckily, the runners I have met and choose to surround myself by are some of the most motivating and positive people you can have in life.  I love being a part of the running community because we support each other through the good and the bad. Although you may not have meant for your words to hurt my feelings, they did, but not for long. I hope you will take this as a lesson learned to be mindful of the words you choose and learn to encourage others. I am proud of you for accomplishing so many achievements in your lifetime and I hope to one day be the same way. Until then I hope to help others stay positive and achieve their goals. I understand the journey to meeting my goal may seem impossible to you and even if I don’t qualify for  Boston this year as long as I work my hardest I’ll walk away with a sense of pride knowing that I did my best. The beautiful thing about running a marathon is that it makes the impossible possible and I will not let  you or anyone take that away from me. Thank you for the motivation to put my all into achieving the impossible.

Sincerely,

Tiffany James, Running (slowly but surely) for Carbs

#ByeFelicia

Running is a lot like marriage.

ICYMI:  Here is the article I wrote for RunHaven.com on “Running is a lot like marriage”.  To read the entire article click here: Running is a lot like marriage.

Even though marriage and running can seems worlds apart, they are in fact similar.

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#RunningforCarbs #ByeGirl

Race day recap: Shamrock Half Marathon

Some races aren’t PR days and that’s okay.

On Sunday, March 15, I ran my seventh half marathon! Way to go me! As happy as I should have been to complete another half, I was initially disappointed. The day before the race I did everything I would normally do to prepare. I was overly careful about not eating spicy foods (my weakness) and made sure to hydrate during the day. For dinner I cooked the same meal I make every night before a race: ground turkey meat, whole wheat spaghetti, marinara sauce, and garlic bread. For dessert I ate a juicy fuji apple and a piece of Cadbury’s dark chocolate. I left my husband the rest of the chocolate bar in hopes he would save me some. Wishful thinking…

Race morning: I woke up before my alarm and had this uncontrollable hunger feeling. I wasn’t sure if maybe I was nervous about the race or if I was just really hungry. Then it happened. I rushed to the bathroom and threw up. “What the hell is going on? NOT ON RACE DAY!” I tried to get myself together and eat some breakfast. I was literally laying on the floor, forcing myself eat a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter. I was feeling nauseated and overwhelmingly stressed about having to run 13.1 miles. By the time we got to the race I was feeling better. I even ate a banana.

Then…it happened. Shit happened. I figured I might as well try to go to the bathroom again like I do five million times before we start, but this time, it was different. It felt like my stomach had taken on its own personality and started going zombie apocalypse inside. Of course I was standing in what appeared to be the women’s restroom line but was really the men’s. That meant there were six stalls, one without a door and about 15 women ahead of me. I started sweating and didn’t know if I was going to make it. Luckily I did and rushed to the start line.

During the race: I felt much better and felt like I had started the race strong. I was at a 9:00 minute pace and was starting to think it was going to be a PR day. My best half marathon time is 1:55 and I was secretly trying to finish at 1:50. The first few miles felt great and I was happy with my pace. Then I hit my wall. Around mile six, I started slowing down significantly. I told myself around mile nine that if I felt good I would speed up and power through those last few miles. Well, that didn’t happen. During my training runs, I ran at a nine minute per mile pace and trained to speed up on the last few miles during a long distance run. For some reason this morning was different. I felt really hungry by mile eight and had no energy to push myself. By mile 12 I realized a personal record wasn’t going to happen and I made a conscious effort to “just” enjoy the rest of the race. I waived to people and I smiled as I finished along the course.

13.1 miles later: Cheering me on at the finish line were my parents and husband. They later told me they were worried about me because of course I told them to be there way too early. It didn’t help that we started in waves either-so although the “race” officially started at 7:45, my wave wasn’t due to start until 8:00. After the race I felt sick and really wanted to go home. We didn’t stick around afterwards with the other runners. I even passed on my complimentary beer treat! I sulked in the car. My husband parked miles away and during our walk I was complaining about how “bad” I had done. I had ran six half marathons before and every time I achieved a PR.

This was a hard pill to swallow. After really thinking about it and eating a large burger, fries and a milk shake, I decided it was ridiculous to be so upset.

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I’ve had to learn with racing that I am not racing against anyone but myself. As a runner, sometimes I feel I’ve become far too competitive with myself and set my expectations too high. It’s nice to have goals but sometimes goals cannot be met right away. I appreciate  this race now and use it as my guide to train harder and stay more consistent with cross training. Like a lot of things in life, running has its good days and its bad days. Learning to appreciate and grow from the bad only makes you a stronger more skilled runner. So, I thank you 2015 Shamrock’n half for motivating me to push myself more!

image2Check out my cool new watch the Garmin Forerunner 15. Too bad I had no idea how to use it during the race. I kept confusing myself if I was looking at my pace or the time. Lesson learned I need to play with my watch before using it!

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Here’s a photo with my friends before the race! These ladies are amazing! We typically do our long runs together on the weekends and it’s always a great time to catch up.

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#RunningforCarbs #ByeGirl

Spotlight on running friends: Amanda

Running with friends makes you accountable and faster.

Every month I will post about one of my running friends. My first post is a very special post about my best friend and sister Amanda. Amanda has been running since 2011 and participated in many 10ks and half marathons. She is one of my favorite people to run with because she pushes me to be faster.

Her running story is truly inspiring. She began running with our family and continued running before and after the birth of her daughter Rosie (my god daughter). Throughout her pregnancy she was consistently walking and even walked the day before she gave birth. She may be small but she is one tough cookie.

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I wasn’t able to run this particular race because I had just had surgery but Rosie and I walked the 5k and cheered her mom from the sidelines. Rosie was proudly sporting her medal and was pretty nervous waiting for her mom to finish.

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Running with a friend helps push me to be a faster runner. There is something about running with someone who has the same goals as you and will actually wake up early on a weekend just to run. Amanda has a pretty busy schedule and anytime she can fit me into it for a run is a nice treat. I love running with her because she pushes me to be the best runner I can be. When I feel I can’t do something she always encourages me and holds me accountable to the goals I set.

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This is the race Rosie earned her first half marathon medal! Amanda and my cousin Aaron took turns pushing her throughout the course. The pic below is Rosie after the race. It’s tough being pushed throughout San Francisco and she was refueling her carbs. Just like her auntie, she clearly loves bread. Even Rosie runs for carbs. IMG_1221

Watching my sister pass the finish line for this half marathon was emotional. I was really happy for her because she made it a goal to complete this half with her daughter and she did it!

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Another race we both did together was the Davis Moonlight half marathon. This was one of the most difficult races because it was over ninety degrees throughout the entire race.  Amanda and I decided for our post race meal we wanted In-n-Out burger which we deserved after sweating our booties off. We even opted to go inside to pick up our order so everyone could see our new medals because-hello we needed to show off! “Yes we did just run 13.1 miles, thank you!” We didn’t stop there. We then decided to get hats and take pictures with the nicest employee! Oh the things you do on a post-run high…

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Embrace running friends and appreciate that others are as crazy as you. I used to be a solo runner but sharing my time with friends who run, my life has drastically changed for the better. I can only hope that I give all of my running friends the same encouragement as they give me. It’s not every day that you meet people with the same hobby and goals. So, go give your running friends a big high five and a piece of chocolate, they will love you for it.

#Byegirl #RunningforCarbs

When you can’t run, hike. 

My husband Dan and I love going on hikes. It’s an affordable way for us to spend quality time together and work out at the same time. We hadn’t been on a hike for a while since both of our schedules lately have been really busy. I saw a post on the Sacramento Bee’s Facebook page about a hike which is only about 40 minutes away from where we live. We decided we would give it a try. We are always up for trying out new routes. Personally, I will hike anywhere. Dan on the other hand prefers hikes closer to the ocean with cooler temperatures.

It was early morning on Sunday and we headed out to grab our usual pre-hike meal: Starbucks lol. I always order the oatmeal with fresh blueberries and Dan gets the turkey bacon breakfast sandwich (both really delicious). I usually pack a variety of snacks for our hikes. This time we didn’t make a stop at the grocery store before because we had a good variety already. I packed us crisp green grapes, water, almonds, and pretzels.  Our first stop was the Western States hike trail. I’m used to hiking in places with marked signs and typically a good number of other hikers. This trail was really secluded and made us follow colored gates, rocks, and unmarked dirt paths instead. To add to my hesitation, three dogs approached us at the start and one was barking at us because we were in its territory. It also peed on my car. Not cool. We made our way through the unmarked route where we found ourselves looking at each other like “do you feel comfortable doing this?”

It was a completely deserted trail and seemed as though if we didn’t return our disappearance would go unnoticed. The older I get the more weary I am of certain situations-clearly I’ve been watching too much Dateline. It doesn’t help that Dan is terrified of snakes and thinks they will go out of their way to attack him and eat him. I give him a pass at how ridiculous this sounds because he’s from England. We decided to head back to our car and find a hike with more people and at a location where our bodies could be found.       Because old running shoes are always cool but also kinda creepy. Like, did they walk barefoot all the way home?Midday we made our way to a safer trail. This is one of my favorite places to  hike in Auburn. You can choose from several different trails. There are easier ones for beginners and families, while we enjoy challenging ourselves more with an uphill hike mixed with squats. Most of the time we combine about 2-3 different trails in one day to total approximately 8-10 miles.    I love coming down to this rock taking a few minutes to reflect. It is truly a beautiful area to count your blessings and oh of course take muscle photos. Here is the uphill trail we followed. It was really tough but felt great. Not to mention it was really, really hot and we had to take our tops off. After making our way uphill we decided to head back down and hang out by the water while snacking.  Here are my cheap Asics from the Kohl’s clearance department that cost me about $30. I hate ruining my nice running shoes and always opt for a pair of old shoes. I need  better support but I’m also pretty cheap when it comes to some stuff. We always pack a pair of flip-flops in the car. Nothing feels better than taking off sweaty socks and letting your feet breathe.    Hiking is always a great way to spend time with friends and family-not to mention, it’s FREE. Even if you can’t get through as many miles as us it’s always great to see other people out there trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Check out these trails in Auburn and enjoy the summer!

#RunningforCarbs #ByeGirl

Gotta keep up!

On Sunday, April 19th, I ran the Zoo Zoom 10k which helps fund the Sacramento Zoo. I decided to sign up at the last minute and since my cousin Aaron was in town from San Francisco, he joined me. I was a little nervous about this run because I over indulged the Friday and Saturday before the race. When I say over indulged I mean, I went kinda crazy.

I’m not much of a drinker (because I drank ridiculous amounts in college) and for some reason decided to drink Friday night when I went out with our family. Poor decision #1.  Around midnight that night, I also thought it would be a good idea to head to a local restaurant called Petra’s for a chicken pita, fries, and a soda. Poor decision #2. Petra is delicious but drinking and late night eating are never a good combination. Saturday morning instead of going on a run as planned, I walked over to Hot Italian for their breakfast pizza. Poor decision #3.  Now, I’m not saying that any of these things are poor decisions on any regular weekend. Enjoying a few drinks here and there along with delicious late-night eats is always fun. However, the weekend of a race-not so fun. My poor decisions one, two, and three, left me wondering if I should rename my blog “Running for Junk” instead.

On Sunday morning, I made sure we got to the race super early since Aaron hadn’t registered yet. I hate being late and not having enough time to visit the porta potties multiple times. The weather was perfect and we made it early enough to watch the animal costume contest as well as the start of the 5k race.

The picture above cracks me up because Aaron suggested I tilt my head back since I was wearing a hat-clearly, I didn’t get it. And what’s with my odd little grin?

On our way to the car to drop off some of our personal items, we saw my running buddy Abby! She was running the 5k with her daughter Stella (who is in the stroller and was not feelin’ our photo op). Abby and I run together almost every weekend and it’s always a treat to see her, unexpectedly, at races.I have a pretty good idea of how fast my cousin runs since we’ve completed several races together (two half marathons in San Francisco and a Thanksgiving Day 10k). I really had no specific expectations for this race-I hadn’t set a goal. I just thought it would be a beautiful day, to spend time with my cousin, doing something we both love. We started the race together and I soon noticed we were running at a 7:50 min/mile pace.  I was really just trying to keep up with him. I think he was going at a “slower” pace to take it easy on me. Meanwhile, my little legs were working hard. I told Aaron with excitement (and shock) that if I stayed with him I may set a personal record. At that point, Aaron wanted to help keep me on track and continued to lead the way. He stayed about two steps ahead of me which kept me motivated. It was pretty funny that I decided not to wear my earphones because Aaron didn’t have a pair but we quickly realized that we were not really in the “talking and running” mood. We were FOCUSED!

I typically run with music but this day I focused on my breathing and soaking in every minute of the beauty that surrounded me. Running for me is a great time to reflect on my blessings. Many times while running I name all of the things/people I am thankful for and feel inspired to keep moving.

 Overall the race was terrific! I got a PR for both my 5k and 10k.  Aaron and I couldn’t stop smiling and I literally could not thank him enough for motivating me. It’s a very rewarding feeling to finish a race strong. It made me realize that I run better and faster when I go into a run with zero expectations. After my last half marathon, I felt disappointed because I had not finished “fast enough”-which is silly I know, since I STILL completed 13.1 miles. I’m convinced that not setting any expectations for the ZooZoom and feeling relaxed and grateful, is why I was able to set personal records in both distances.

   To my surprise I ended up placing 4th in my age group. I was shocked when I saw this! I started singing and dancing to Dan while we were driving. I’m in a tough age group: 25-29. It has really fast women and for once I was a part of that group. It felt good knowing that my hard work day in and day out is paying off. I wasn’t the fastest and know about a dozen people who can beat my time but I was still proud that I was able to achieve top 5 at a race.

 

  Later that evening, Dan and I went to a food trucks event for dinner-as a treat for my run. I ended up back at William Land Park where Sacto MoFo was hosting a food truck night. There was live music, bounce houses, picnic areas, and of course FOOD. I couldn’t decide what to eat-everything looked and sounded delicious!  We walked around in circles until I finally let my belly do all the talking and we decided on sea food. I ended up ordering a lobster roll. Back in my flight attendant days, everyone would rant and rave about lobster rolls (specifically the ones from Boston) and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Sadly, I was disappointed. Our meal cost about $35 and we were both still really hungry afterwards. Dan ordered cajun shrimp tacos. Poor guy was sadly disappointed as well. Even though our food truck experience wasn’t great we still had a good time chatting on the grass and enjoying the beautiful weather. I hope the lobster rolls in Boston are much better than the one I had.

I do a lot of self-reflecting on days when I run. Before the race, Aaron and I sat in the car and talked about what it felt like completing a marathon. We both agreed that it was the hardest thing we’ve ever done and our legs hurt in places we never knew could feel pain. Our conversation ended something like this:
Aaron: “I just feel like if I can do this…”
Me: “You can do anything?”
Aaron: “Exactly!”
Me: “Me too.”

I’m fortunate to have family and close friends who share my love for running. This feeling, both Aaron and I shared of accomplishment, will forever be embedded in my heart. I can apply it to any aspect of life and that’s one of the magical things about running. And ultimately, if I can do it, you can do it too.

#RunningforCarbs #ByeGirl

   

Easy steps to becoming a runner

Becoming a runner can sometimes seem intimidating, but following these few steps will help you ease into it. I always remind myself and my friends that if you run, you’re a runner. Whether you run 1 mile, 5 miles, 26.2 miles-if you run, you’re a runner! It’s simple. So how do we as runners get started? The steps I’ve outlined below are what helped me. I hope you find them useful.

1. Sign up for a race!

I’ve always noticed I am more consistent with running when I have something to work towards-a goal. Signing up for a race is easy and a great experience. The camaraderie between runners, the adrenaline in the air, the motivation all around you-it’s like nothing else. Start small and sign up for a 5K (3.10 miles), then eventually a 10K (6.2 miles), and next thing you know, you’ll be training for your first half marathon (13.1 miles).  Below are links to find races in California for 2015.  If you are interested in running a race in Sacramento through Sacramento Running Association as a host, you can use promo code “SRA46” for a discount.

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http://www.halfmarathons.net/california-race-calendar/

http://www.active.com/running/5k

http://www.roadracerunner.com/Races/RunningCalendar.aspx?state=ca

2. Use a free app to track your runs.

When I first started running, I didn’t track my runs which meant I had no idea how far or fast/slow I was actually going. Using an app like Nike Plus Running (my app of choice) or RunKeeper, will help you stay consistent and keep track of your progress. These apps are free and keep a log of your daily miles, pace and calories burned. They even allow you to upload photos which show the distance you ran. Celebrate your achievements and let the world know you ran!

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3. Make a running playlist. 

I love, love, LOVE making running playlists. I use Spotify because it has a great variety of music I can pull from. I’m very meticulous about my playlist. It starts off slower to keep my first few miles at a more comfortable pace and then builds up to faster music. If I keep up with the faster beats, I know I’m running at my desired pace. A lot of my songs bring happy memories and the positive thoughts keep me motivated. My playlist is available under my name, Tiffany James, and is called “Run Gurl” if you are interested in a combination of electro music, throwbacks, and some Latin spice.

4. Set one attainable goal a week…..build mileage.

Set goals for yourself weekly-something feasible you can work towards. For example, on your first week of running you can set a goal of completing one mile. Start at home, go out 0.5 miles…and then you really have no choice but to turn around and go home! I mean, unless you call someone to go get you…but don’t do that. Do that every other day until you can run that mile without stopping or walking. Next you can try to run from home, out 3/4 of a mile, and back-BAM! You’ve then completed 1.25 miles. Try not to create limitations or excuses. It will get easier if you just give yourself time.

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5. Don’t compare yourself to others and have fun!

Try not to compare yourself to anyone else. This is definitely easier said than done-for me anyway. I force myself to remember that everyone is different and what may be easy for some will not be easy for others. Most runners will tell you they stick to running because they are passionate about it and truly love it. Take time during your run to reflect and appreciate your life, your experience, and where you’re at with your running.

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6. Breathe. 

A big part of becoming a stronger runner for me was learning how to breathe-sounds pretty simple right? WRONG! You can’t disregard your breathing because if you do, before you know it, by half a mile, you’ll be panting like you’re dying. Figuring out how to breathe well during your run will help you get less side stitches and improve your posture. I’ve included a link from Runner’s World that will help your breathing technique. The sooner you can control your breathing, the sooner you can increase your speed and/or distance.

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http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/lung-power?page=single

7. Get fitted for running shoes.

If you enjoy running and it feels like something you may want to stick with, I suggest getting fitted for proper running shoes. This may cost anywhere from $100-200 depending on the shoe type, but the investment is well worth it. Your feet and body will thank you later. Proper running shoes will help your body stay injury free and provide the adequate support for running. If you live in the Sacramento area Fleet Feet of Sacramento is a great place to buy your first pair of running shoes. The staff is terrific and attentive. They will take their time to watch you run and recommend the best shoes for YOU.

These are just a few tips that helped me when I first started running. Please remember to go at your own pace. Enjoy every minute of it and just keep running! You’ve got this!

#ByeGirl #RunningforCarbs

Competing with your husband.

When you marry someone who is just as competitive as you are.

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My husband Daniel has always been an athletic person. He’s been a soccer player since he could walk and continues to have a love for futbol that I will never understand. He’s also been a personal trainer and is a certified soccer coach. To anyone else, it would sound like I have the perfect, free personal trainer/running coach. However, that is definitely not the case. Although I admire his athletic ability, I still can’t help but want to beat him every time we run. When we first started running together, Dan was faster than me. It was extremely frustrating. I remember during one training run, I let this frustration get the best of me and I became so upset that I stopped running and cursed out loud. I basically threw a “bitch fit”. Meanwhile, Dan just laughed at me which made matters worse. Anytime we would run I felt myself getting upset with him and tried to find any reason to give up.

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Dan has that type of athletic ability that allows him to get away with doing things that most of us can’t do. For example, running the Clarksburg 20 mile race without training and drinking alcohol with his buddies the night before. True story (insert eye roll here). He woke up the morning of that race and simply decided he’d run with me! I was furious and immediately told him that running was my thing. “How would you like it if I just showed up at the soccer field and coached your team?” I felt like he was taking away something I was very passionate about.  Anyone who is in a relationship or married may be able to understand where I am coming from.

As a runner, I know what I need to do to become a faster and better. I found myself making excuses as to why I “couldn’t” train: I was too tired, I didn’t have time, training schedules are too difficult to stick to, it was too hot, the next day it was too cold, it was too windy, my toe hurt. ANY possible excuse. Until one day Dan came right out and said to me, “I don’t think you could ever run a full marathon.” I love this man dearly but boy did this piss me off. Anyone, especially HIM, telling me I can’t do something makes me want to do that particular something even more! That was the fuel that I needed to start training for my first full marathon-The California International Marathon. I let go of the excuses, I found a training schedule that I was able to follow, and was determined to cross that finish line-even if it meant crawling across it-just to prove to him that yes, I could run a full marathon!

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Race day came and of course, I was nervous. I had trained up to 22 miles and physically felt great but was definitely doubting my ability to finish the race. When he dropped me off at the start of the course, I didn’t expect to see or hear from him again until HOURS later when I crossed the finish line…”IF” I crossed the finish line. Throughout the race however, I came to the realization that Dan was not my biggest competitor, but my biggest fan. He text me to see how I was doing and showed up unexpectedly at different points during the race to cheer me on. A few times he even ran with me! By mile 21 I text him that I felt like giving up. I had hit my wall and there was no recovering. He immediately found me and lifted my spirits. He knew I had worked hard to complete this marathon and wasn’t going to let me give up. He ran the last few miles with me and made me laugh even though I really wanted to cry. Without him I don’t know if I would have finished.

Throughout life, I hope to remember to be as much of a cheerleader for him as he was for me on that day. Our competitive spirit is something I have learned to cherish-it can be a good thing! To motivate each other to become better versions of ourselves. And once again, this also makes me remember that I’m my own biggest competitor.

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#ByeGirl #RunningForCarbs