Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Let's Share: Megan's Story

This week, I'm posting from an old friend from high school, Megan Porter (used to be Megan Mendenhall).  She lives, what I consider, a life of adventure.  She is a marathon runner and her story is wonderful and I wanted to share it with you guys.  She also give us a few tips that she's learned along the way.  She's is amazing to me and I want to thank her for sharing!

I really never had the desire to be a runner nor did I enjoy it 6 years ago. Then in 2009, Joe (My hubby), signed us both up for the ING New York City Marathon. I hadn't been running at all and knew that I had to start somewhere. According to my marathon training schedule, my first run was scheduled for 3 miles. I remember very clearly running that first 3 miles which just about killed me. I would have to run a mile and then walk, then run another mile and then walk and finally finished the 3 miles in just under 40 minutes. I remember feeling defeated and thinking there is NO WAY I can run this marathon. The next day was a new day and I decided to get back up again and run another 3 miles but only to find it was easier the second day which gave me hope! From that day on I kept running and each day I would find myself wanting to run and looked forward to my nightly runs. After just a few weeks I finally was feeling like a true "runner" and I knew from there that I was hooked. I finished my first marathon and have never felt a felt so proud of myself and beyond happy when crossing that finish, I couldn't wait for my next race. Since then I've ran three 1/2 marathons, 2 full marathons, a triathlon and several 10k or longer races.  I LOVE TO RUN!
1- PACE. Do NOT sprint as soon as your shoes hit the pavement. Everyone has their own pace and it pays off to stick with it. As a beginner start out slow maybe a 10.5 to 11 minute mile pace for the first 3 miles or more. As time goes on it's amazing how strong your body will get and how fast it will adjust as you push a little harder each day. It's incredible how much stronger and longer you can go if you keep your pace and do not sprint out of the gate. I usually check my pace with my shoes, I know it sounds crazy but with every other step I count 1 - 2, 1 -2, 1- 2 and if my foot hits the pavement before I can get to 2, I know I am running past my pace.

Megan is the one on the left at the NYC Marathon.

2- One of my favorite parts of running is taking in my surroundings. The trees, the road the sounds whatever is around me I try to enjoy it. I always start my run for the first 5-10 minutes with NO music just clearing my head and thinking about my life. Sometimes I dedicate that time to someone in my life. You kind of set your tone for your run and then all of the sudden your in your groove you have cleared your mind and your on your way to a great run. After you've taken in the sounds around you, then go ahead and put in your favorite tunes and really finish your run strong with your favorite beat!
3- Shoes do make a difference: Make sure the shoes you have are right for you. Don't go for the most pretty looking shoes or the best brand but instead go for comfort and your foot style. Some people have higher arches, some have no arch at all. You decide.
4- Clothes do matter: Make sure you not only have comfy clothes on that aren't going to rub but you also need to feel great and confident in your clothes. Running in big sweats and a huge T-shirt is going to hold you back. Put on something that is a bit tighter and show off what you have as you run with confidence!! :-):-)
5- It's "ok" to have a bad run: It was funny to me how one day I could feel incredible and then the next day I could go and run the same distance and feel like I have never ran goes along the same thing as "everyone has a bad day" shake it off and know that tomorrow you will have a better run.

Megan shared many more tips for running, but I want to save those for another post later on.  I like Megan's story because she went from someone who didn't run to a marathon runner and a triathlon contender.  If that's not inspiration, I don't know what is!  What I take away from Megan's story is that you can count on getting stronger everyday.  That's a 100% satisifaction guaranteed promise if you become a runner.  How else can you go from being someone who never thought they could be a runner, to being a marathoner? 
Thanks again, Megan!


Jake and Jana said...

Hey! I went from not exercising at all, to running 1 mile everyday the first week. I'm now on my second week and am running 1.5 miles a day. I can't believe I was only sore the first 3 days of running! Some days I feel better than others, but in general I am shocked at how fast my body has gotten used to this! I have a long ways to go before its "easy," but I feel like it shouldn't be much longer. A 5k sounds pretty difficult! But, I wanted to know when a 5k race would be in Idaho Falls in July or August. By the way, something I'm looking into doing is the Check it out and tell me what you think! It looks like fun/ you could get an injury pretty easily if you aren't careful!

Anna said...

The Battle of Nobility looks like it would be a lot of fun, more so if you don't even think about trying to win it. In the FAQ section is says that if you feel an obstacle is too dangerous for you, you can go around it. I wouldn't do it alone though. I would want someone else to come with me. As far as races in July or August in Idaho Falls, there is a 4th of July race at Tauphaus Park. It's called the Firecracker run. Here is a link:

You could also participate in Iona Fun Days. Iona is practically Idaho Falls anyway. Click on my link in the sidebar under Races I'm Going to Run. There is also a race in Ammon on August 12th and 13th called Nite Lights. It's an interesting race ran at night. I'll let you know if I find more races. If you're up for it, you can still register for the Scenic River Classic on Saturday. That link is also on my sidebar. Good luck and way to go on increasing your distance! You go, girl!