Monday Motivation- Cross Train When You’re Struggling

I ran today!

I ran today!

(Original Post Date 7-21-14.  Reposted not just because its Monday, but because I went back into training mode again today.  That means running, working out, eating right and staying away from the bad stuff.. well maybe a little wine because it has resveratrol (omg I think I was calling it rohypnol, lol, big diff n maybe I should rethink the wine) Well ANYWAYS reading it today helped motivate me to go out into the freezing cold this morning and run and I feel great because I did.  Happy Monday Motivation! You can get right back on the horse too!)

Me cheering on two of my best gf's- after their first 10K!  They rocked it, of course.

Me cheering on two of my best gf’s- after their first 10K! They rocked it, of course.

When I first started learning running it took many months just to be able to run long periods without stopping – and to learn to breathe properly.  I started by running 20 seconds at a time (I’d count, in my head) while running with my dog Max. Then I’d feel like my heart was gonna explode!  It was actually all about exercising him (if I never mentioned that before), since we have a tiny yard and no dog run.  Gradually, seconds became minutes, minutes became a half hour, etc.  For the first year all I did was count seconds, omg… I got up to ohh thousands (the insanity of that –I look back on now).  Hey, I didn’t have an MP3 player yet- and my Discman (omg haven’t seen that word in a while), while great for skates was a bit bulky for running.  Anyways, for a long time, it was “fake it till I make it”. You just keep pushing through the crap days and weeks.. and then one day, the breathing kicked in, the body was strong and I got that high, that distance and felt what running was all about.

December 2011- my first run, the "Polar Dash."  I had been running for 9 mths at this point.

January, 2012 – my first run, a 10K- the “Polar Dash.”      

Then, the very next day I’d lose it.. lol.. that perfect run…somewhere.  Maybe on the trail, lol. Maybe back at home.. where did it go??  How come I couldn’t breathe right when I did it yesterday? That perfect run…Idk.  However, through patience and time it would come back- and the right shoes (and inserts) and eventually, I was running like a pro.  I could run 10 miles a day, 6 days a week.  Ya.  For months and months.  Then I ran a half, and then I ran a marathon.

Chicago Allstate Half Marathon and my first half.. finished 2.21.00.  August, 2012

Chicago Allstate Half -my first half.. finished 2.21.00.  August, 2012

Morning of Chicago Marathon with my soul sister Danielle.  Aside from raising two boys, this was the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Morning of Chicago Marathon with my soul sister Danielle. –  5.07.00.  October, 2013


Running?  What's that?  Please, continue on with the party!

Running.. what’s that? Please, continue on with the party!  Oh Max… just chill.










Then I took a long vacation.  Bye bye breathing.  Bye bye distance.  Bye bye focus. Even after all that. YUP.  Happens.

This time, instead of just going through the grueling agony of fighting that day after day until I snapped back… I decided to rollerblade and not fight it, and at least build up my muscles and get some exercise.  What I didn’t expect to happen was that I would be back running normally and breathing better faster than I’d ever done before.


Blade therapy

Taking in the view from the Lake St. Bridge..

Taking in the view from the Lake St. bridge..

Little Nightskater

Little Nightskater

In less than a week I was able to run normally and longer.  It was almost an instantaneous effect on my running.

Some of my friends of various running levels will ask us “veterans” for advice, and  I’m thinking of one of them “Mud Pies,” who has asked me about this before and still has her struggles to get past that point.


“The Mud Pies” a continually growing group of wonderful women who inspire and encourage each other.  New members always welcome!

I say to her now, and to all of you, start doing something else immediately. Whatever cardio activity that’s not running (or whatever you’re doing right now that you’ve hit that wall and can’t get over), like rollerblading, biking, climbing, swimming, basketball..  if you can do it for a long period, and do it 4-5 times a week, you will see improvement in your running (or other sport) almost immediately.  Just get the body up there and feel that burn in another way and see what happens when you run.  Don’t stop running, and if you’re doing poorly anyways, lets be honest here, lol-  you won’t run long enough to really wear yourself out so don’t think you can’t do both!


9 miles, me and the pupino, this last Sunday. Legs are strong, marathon is back in site.

I’d love to hear how and if it works for you… feel free to comment and share your story!

#running #nikeplus #run #rockinrun #newbeginnings #inspiration #motivation #100happydays #hotgrandmas #gilfs #runnerdog #rollerblading #struggling #patienceandtime

4 thoughts on “Monday Motivation- Cross Train When You’re Struggling

  1. Juli says:

    Good advice GF! As you know I struggle greatly with my breathing while I run. I started doing the early morning spin classes and low and behold, my last 2 mornings running I have improved my time….and breathing! Will be adding other classes soon (yoga and kickboxing) all with the same intention……improve my running 🙂


    • Juli I’m so glad to hear that!! (I’ve never tried a spin class, lol, if you can believe it). It did take me forever to real be able to run long distances, over a year at least– but I stuck with it and did finally see results. LOL as far as speed… still working on that. But know it actually will get easier for you, and, knowing you, you’ll be outrunning all of us one day, for the medals, LOL! Thanks so much for commenting and inspiring me :)))


    • That’s quite a compliment, from you, and I totally rock out to your tunes while running! Hey feel free to spread the word, since you have such a large platform~~ and thanks so much for commenting.


Any questions, perspective, and comments are warmly welcomed.. I swear! Good and bad, its about growing and learning and getting better. I'd love to hear your thoughts, anytime. ;)

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