best running advice

10 Reasons Why I Run

Early in my marriage my husband and I would long after our own exercise equipment. He wanted his weight stuff and I wanted a treadmill. I don’t really have any rhyme or reason why but I did. After my third son was born I joined a gym and used their treadmill but they had this ridiculous rule and set time limits for how long you could use the cardio equipment. Seriously, it was like 15 minute turns. Adding in the gas to drive across town and a baby that constantly getting sick in the gym day care I stopped going to the gym. It just wasn’t worth it. Eventually though my husband bought me my own treadmill and I used it everyday. Then I got pregnant with number 4. I still used it, well until the morning sickness started. Then my dear treadmill became somewhere to hang clothing. After all isn’t that the real use of a treadmill? It wasn’t until after my daughter was over a year old that I ran again and this time it wasn’t on the treadmill. I signed up my Army son for the Navy kid’s run (yes, I asked to make sure he was allowed) and at the same time signed myself up for my first 5k. It was free so why not. I had no clue what I was doing.  My son won that Navy kid’s run.  A fact those Navy parents hated… umm sorry, not sorry?  Since he won I knew I had to do my race and I did and I was bitten by the running bug at age 30. The day after I turned 35 I ran my first half marathon and survived. I think i’ve gone crazy because the idea of a marathon keeps popping in my head. It would be fitting when I turn 40.

There are so many reasons to run out there. In those early days I just wanted to lose the baby weight but for me running has become so much more. These are my 10 Reasons why I run:

10 Reasons Why I Run | Country Girl Gourmet

10. Running gets you outside. So much of our lives are spent indoors today. We are stuck on our computers working and doing who knows what. There are so many positives to getting outside and soaking in some Vitamin D. Plus anyways don’t you want an awesome runners tan?

9. It’s my me time! Running is meditative… when I run I think. I think about things going on in my life to what I am going to blog about. I might not remember it all but it is my time to be alone with my thoughts.

8. Builds confidence.  When you run and keep up with it you will soon begin to amaze yourself with your progress. I remember when I started I never thought I would do a half marathon so looking back on that is a huge whoa, I did that moment. Then there are the cars who honk at you while your running. They have to be honking because you are awesome. It’s either that or your rocking pink headband.

7. Running helps you look and feel better. So when you exercise it does things to your body, good things. You lose weight, you tone up, you have this awesome glow to yourself and you just look good. Losing weight and toning up you have more energy too. Who wouldn’t want that?

6.It gives you goals to work toward. Races are expensive (seriously, would you like to support my addiction?) but I try to run some every year but in between races I am always pushing myself to beat my previous time. I am slow and steady but my I have gotten faster over the years! Getting my half marathon time under 3 hours was a huge accomplishment for me!

5. It’s good for my overall health. Running improves your cardiovascular health, improves lung health, improves your cholesterol levels, boosts your immune system and more! I have beautifully low blood pressure, my bloodwork is a thing doctors dream all their patients had, knock on wood i’m rarely sick (Ok i’m a bit of a germ freak too)… running does a body good!

4. To be a model, a role model. Yeah, i’m not model material but I can be a role model especially for my kids. Showing them that hey, mommy is out there doing this is a good way to teach them that they can do it too! 2 of my kid’s are runners. I like to think that was in some part because of me.

3. It is good for your mental health! When you run your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are magic chemicals that your body makes that have the ability to make you feel good! They are the things that allow for that runners high and help keep depression and anxiety at bay. Running is also and awesome street reliever! All I have to do is head outside and almost instantly my stress disappears.

2. It boosts your metabolism. I have had a complete hysterectomy and got thrown into menopause early and let me tell you. I use to think they were kidding when they said your metabolism slow downs when you hit menopause . Well, it’s no joke.  I like to eat and can’t eat like I use to anymore. As long as I can run I kinda can. Ice cream is a necessity in my life.

1. Because I can. Once upon a time I was told I would never run again. I didn’t like that so I pushed myself and I did a half marathon and cried as I was running down a mountain. For me I had a doctor who was a quack but there are so many people out there who for whatever the reason may be, will not run again. I run for them.

So there they are, my 10 reasons I run. They are simple and common sense but they are my reasons. Do you run? What do you think? Why do you run?

Runner Problems #1

As I head back into training for my next half marathon, I thought I would share some runner problems. You know those pesky typically first world problems that runners have. Here’s my first one…

Runner Problems |Country Girl Gourmet

What do you think? What are some of your runner problems?

Mommy Guilt

I started running when my youngest was a year old. It was easy. Once her brothers were in school into the jogging stroller she went and we would go. Her brothers were all in school including an extended school year program so my breaks from running were maybe a week or two at a time. I had no issues taking these short breaks as we were always on the go. Fast forward a few years to now to a time when one would think it would be easier to just get and go run I have found the opposite. Since school let out for summer many days I find myself struggling with mommy guilt.

Mommy Guilt |Country Girl Gourmet


Mommy guilt isn’t anything new for many mothers. You simply feel guilty for not spending time with your kid’s/family. You are going out and doing something for yourself. Something that keeps you healthy, both mentally and physically. The problem is though while you know things will be ok while you go out there is often times something that comes up that gets you to skip your workout. Then you are stuck in mommy guilt land. It is a place where you work out and then feel guilty because your kid’s missed you or wanted to do something with you or when you spend time with your kids you feel guilty missing your workout.

There are plenty of websites out there that tell you to prioritize your needs and not worry your child will be fine. They make it appear that everyone else is dealing with things just fine. This kind of thing only makes things worse for those of us who are type A’s. How can they be handling things so perfectly? What am I not doing right? Maybe just some effective time management is all that is needed. I really don’t think so though. In my opinion what it really boils down to is a balancing act and we need to quit beating ourselves up when things do not go as planned.   Yes, effective time management is helpful but life happens and even the best laid plans and good intentions get pushed aside for a variety of reasons. It can be something big or small, trivial or important, the list of possibilities is endless but in the big scheme of life it really doesn’t matter.

It is wonderful showing your kids that mommy is fit and healthy. Kids need that positive role model. It works too! My daughter was 3 years old and told me that when she grows up she wants to run fast like mommy. She does run now and she is faster than mommy! She has run USATF track and field and cross country since she was 5 years old. My oldest is a runner also and is beginning his first year on high school cross country at the moment. My middle two don’t have the same zest for running but will get outside. So I use this to my advantage. I need to get out and exercise and my kids want to do something so we do something together. We ride our mountain bikes on nearby trails or in our neighborhood. We go for a hike on a nearby trail. My kids even lift weights and work out in our garage with us.

Getting out and doing things with my kids with my kids may not be that same type of workout I would have done by myself but it is killing 2 birds with one stone. I am working out and getting my exercise in while at the same time we are spending time together. The spending time together is a bit more of a priority for me. That is what I want my kid’s to remember. They can one day look back on their childhood and remember how mom was always busy training or they can remember going on a bike ride where their water bottle bounced out of their bikes basket among other seemingly trivial things.

Mommy Guilt | Country Girl Gourmet


Maybe it is about prioritizing things in your life after all? Summer is short and here in a few weeks my kid’s will be back in school. Things will go back to our normal routines and I can get back on track. Until then I will be happy creating memories with my kids.

Mommy Guilt | Country Girl Gourmet


 How have you had mommy guilt while your kid’s have been out for summer break? How did you deal with it?

My Best Running Advice

Back in 2007 I started running, for fun, for fitness and overall good health. I had signed my oldest son up for a race on the Navy base we lived on and at the same time I signed myself up for my first 5k. That was the moment it all began. My son went on to win his race as well as being an Army child winning the Navy kid run. Myself, yeah I didn’t win but I finished and I wasn’t dead last so that was good for me. I went on to run in more of the free 5k’s that the Navy base held, PR’ing every single time. I read all sorts of advice that of course was the best running advice to see what I needed to do to improve my running.

My Best Running Advice | Country Girl Gourmet

There are so many things that I have learned over the years but there are a few pieces of advice that I can give to anyone who is  wanting to start running.

My Best Running Advice

1. Every person is different and what may work for one person may not work for you. You have to figure out what works best for you.

The moment I figured this gem out my world of running changed for the better.

Being a runner does not depend on what you look like. Runners come in all shapes and sizes.

Being a runner does not matter how fast or slow you go or even if you walk some of the time.
 If you walk it doesn’t make you any less of a runner. There are great programs out there that incorporate walking like couch to 5k or the Galloway program. Just remember everyone starts somewhere.

The clothes you wear do not make you a runner. You need clothes that fit YOU well, not clothes that someone else says are the best. It may take trial and error but you will figure it out. Something to look out for in clothes is if it is going to make you chafe. Anti-chafing sticks like Body Glide or simple petroleum jelly can help out if you do. Another factor is dressing for the weather. What you need to wear on a cold day may not be the same as the next person. Like I hate it when my ears are cold and depending on the temp I will wear a hat or a headband. At the same time though I have gone out when it was 25 degrees in a cold weather top and a hoodie and I was too warm. That is me though you may want more or less.

Same thing goes for shoes. While I highly suggest going to a running shoe store and getting properly fitted. Every person out there has a different foot and what works well for me may not for you. There is variation in the different shoes for your type as well. Find what feels good for you not because the shoe is a certain brand. I learned my lesson the hard way. I picked a popular stability shoe  and ended up with Plantar Fasciitis. Personally, I now wear minimals and they have helped me tons but again they are not for everyone.

Hydration is important in running but how you hydrate is up to you. Some people carry water and other hydration drinks and others don’t. Some only carry if they are going a certain distance. Some think it is ridiculous to wear a fuel belt in certain races but it doesn’t matter.  You have to do what is right for your needs. I use to always carried water while I ran, it was easy. I pushed my daughter in my BOB stroller and just brought a bottle even if I was only doing a couple miles. As she grew and I no longer pushed her in a stroller I tried out hand held water bottles but they annoyed me so I started running without water and did fine until one day. It was a nice cool day and I was going out for 10 miles but I severely cramped at 9 miles and was stuck sitting on the side of the road waiting for my husband to rescue me. I now have a fuel belt that I always wear on runs that are 4-5 miles and longer. I carry a bottle of water and a bottle of Nunn or Skratch Labs, sometimes I drink it sometimes I don’t.

When it comes to gels, chews, beans and things of that nature everyone has a favorite. Gel’s bother some people and they eat raisins, gummy candy like swedish fish and even pretzels. The point is to help replenish your bodies glycogen levels and calories burned during your run. There isn’t a one fits all solution though because timing and frequency to avoid bonking depend on the individual using them and how their body processes it.

My Best Running Advice | Country Girl Gourmet

 Some people run with music while others do not. Those who run with music all have different opinions about what the best music to listen to is. I know my favorite running music differs greatly from my husbands. Just as some run with both earbuds in and others just one.

Some use a heart rate monitor and others do not. Just as some use a Garmin or other GPS tracker. That in itself is a huge debate. Who has the best running app? Is it Nike+, Runkeeper, MapmyRun, Garmin. I know with the apps I had my favorites and had friends who had completely opposite opinions. Then there are those that use the different GPS watches.

With running it is very individualized to each person’s needs. There is no clear cut answer to what is best. What is best is what works for you.

2. Running is mostly in your head.

Yes, you read that right, Running is mostly in your head. It is a battle with your brain. Some days it will be easy while others it will be hard. On those hard days doing a mile will be difficult but you just have to tell yourself that you can do it and push yourself. Just remember it will be worth it. Don’t give up, you can do it, dig deep, you are a rock star!

3. Listen to your body

You need to listen to your body and what it is trying to tell you. If it is telling you to rest then rest. If you are in pain then take a break. If the pain doesn’t get better after a couple days see your doctor. It isn’t better to take a few days off instead of making a possible injury worse and needing to take a month or longer off. Again, I learned this the hard way.

My Best Running Advice  Country Girl Gourmet

As I prepare for my second half marathon this month this running advice I can safely say has been the best things to keep in mind when I run. Running isn’t all about form. It is about running your own run and enjoying it. Running is easily the cheapest therapy out there. It allows you to go out and be alone with your thoughts. It is about being grateful for the opportunity  and the ability to run when there are those who cannot. It’s about pushing boundaries and seeing what your body can do and being amazed with yourself. Running is simply a variety of so many different amazing things.

My Best Running Advice | Country Girl Gourmet

“I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.” 
―Dean Karnazes