Monday, November 7, 2011

Motivation Monday * - Information & Inspiration

   * Notes from a knitter who is attempting to run her first marathon.

One of the views I enjoy on my runs on the Sacramento River Trail  

When I decided to run the Redding Marathon, I wasn't exactly a couch potato, but no one was accusing me of being a runner either.  In fact, at first I was only jogging at a 15 minute-per-mile pace.  When I tried to enter these slow workouts into MyFitnessPal, I couldn't find a 15 min. pace under the heading of "Running".  After more searching I felt both amused and dismayed to see that this pace was actually called "Walking" in MyFitnessPal!

Clearly I needed information and inspiration in order to take it up a notch.  As usual, I turned to books for both.  First a visit to the library turned up The Essential Marathoner:  A Concise Guide to the Race of Your Life.  This book is a great source of practical information on training for a marathon for the first time.  I used their guidelines to come up with a basic training schedule which I can stick to and which I hope will allow me to get ready for the big day injury-free.

After perusing a few more running instruction manuals, I was ready for something more inspirational.  Right on time, my running partner loaned me a copy of Born to Run:  A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.  The description from the back cover reads: "An epic adventure that began with one simple question:  Why does my foot hurt?"  The author, Christopher McDougall, seeks the answer to his question in an incredible adventure that ends with him racing successfully with other ultra-runners in a 50 mile race up and down the Copper Canyons in Mexico.   This was such an enjoyable read, especially for an armchair traveller like me.  Though I'm still not convinced that I was "born to run", I felt inspired by the sheer joy of running that oozes off the pages of this book.  If nothing else, reading about ultra-runners pushing their bodies in 50, 100, and even 150 mile races makes running 26.2 miles seem not quite so crazy!

More inspiration from the River Trail -
this graffiti gave me a little happiness boost as I ran by.
Back to knitting:
Lastly, my current read, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben, is inspiring me to fit knitting back into my schedule along with the running.  As my dear readers know, I let the knitting and blogging fall by the wayside lately, and in missing it, I realized that knitting is part of what keeps me a happy camper!  One of Ruben's Secrets to Adulthood is "By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished."  I've gone back to keeping a knitting project handy, and knitting a little bit even if I only have 15 minutes free.  So I'm excited to be working on some knit gifts.  I'm almost done with my MIL's Emily cardigan and I've begun sorting patterns and yarn for Christmas presents!


  1. Good luck with your run. I am definitely not born to run, I am more born to sit and knit, and maybe meander a little bit ;)

    Little bits each day seems like an excellent philosophy to me.

  2. Wow! You are an inspiration, Shannon. I have entertained the idea of running a half-marathon for a while. This could just be the push I need to give it a go. Thanks for the post!

  3. a couple of years ago, I took up running in earnest and loved it immensely. Then last year, I started slacking off...boy did my hips notice that!!!...and am now at the point of being able to find absolutely anything else to do but run. I miss it. You are motivating me to return to the run, my hips thank you.

  4. Dearest DOL,
    Thank you Thank you Thank you
    for encouraging Robino and Riley to get out on the trails!!!!
    I love you!!!