Digital Gathering of Running Apps

Apps that make running more fun! Including safety, music, tracking and nutrition.I usually run with my phone when I head out not only for safety reasons but also to track my run and to listen to music. I wanted to do a round up of a few of my favorite running apps, or ones that I think might be beneficial to those who are just starting running!

A great app to use while running to track your mileage - RunKeeperI track every run with Run Keeper. I previously used Map My Run, but it’s mileage tracker was usually off and when running longer distances it started to matter how far off it became. When I track my run, it’s all about having it for my own personal records. Personally, I don’t want to compete with others or share it on social media. I know that Strava and a few other apps have that option which is cool if that’s what you’re looking for. I can see how it can be motivating but I just want to track my run for myself. RunKeeper has great features too like tracking elevation, pace and it also has a web based portal which is nice because I don’t have to access everything from my phone all the time.

Umano - an app for listening to spoken news stories. Rock My Run - An app that has music categorized by beat per minute, perfect for runners.Apps for RunnersFor music, which I usually listen to while running, I switch between Pandora, my downloaded music on my iPhone, Rock My Run or Umano. I’m just becoming familiar with Rock My Run and I like it a lot! It offers interesting mixes at certain Beats Per Minute to keep you going the same pace and it’s great when you know how long your run is going to be because you can make a choice based on time as well. I really do well with more upbeat songs so having them at a certain beat per minute helps me out a lot. Umano is interesting because it curates news articles for you that you may be interested in and reads them to you. It actually helps because sometimes there are a few news stories I do want to read but I just don’t have the time so it’s great to ‘favorite’ them and then listen to them out while I’m running. It’s much different listening to stories or spoken word while I’m out running because I am so used to music, but it is nice on a longer run or when I’m not feeling the music that is playing.

Couple AppRoadID Tracking App - great for family members to track their runner while they are out running.As for safety, usually I’m running at practice with the team, but when I go out solo, I always make sure B knows where I am and where my planned route is and approximately how long I will be gone for. We also have an app called Couple, which I really like and it allows me to share my location with him. I also like using the RoadID app, which is another way he can track me and see where I am running at and you can customize the lock screen of the phone to have an easy access to call whoever you would like. I haven’t had any issues yet, but I’d much rather be proactive with safety while out running.

Keeping nutrition on track with My Net DiaryFor food tracking and nutrition, when I’m actually trying really hard to work out and watch what I’m eating, I use MyNetDiary. It has a lot of foods stored in it when I try to enter them as ‘eaten’ and shows my calories for the day and my targeted calories for my goals. Again, I’m sure you could possibly share it online and use it with other people, but I’d rather just keep it to myself.

If you’re just starting out, try out one of the free Couch to 5K programs. They keep you on track and give you specific workouts to do each day to get you to your 5K goal. I know a lot of people who have done their first 5K with it and really like it! Hope these apps help you out!


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Heading to Boston!

Boston Marathon Acceptance Day - Getting into the Boston MarathonWednesday was a very big day! I finally found out if my qualifying time was fast enough to earn a spot at the Boston Marathon Start Line come April 20th. Last week I registered and never really thought that much about the option of not getting in until they announced that the cap was filled and they wouldn’t be re-opening registration. I started freaking out about how far my cushion of time I had to get in, 2:03, and really wondered if it would be enough. The obsession of checking my email and bank statement began around Tuesday mid-day and I couldn’t stop. Every 10 minutes I was checking both and there was NO announcement besides the fact the email was coming on Wednesday.

Boston Marathon Squeaker Mouse - Getting into the Boston MarathonDuring this obsessive time, I came to the realization that there is a whole plethora of people who were in my same boat and they have a name of Boston Marathon Squeakers. There’s even an official squeaker mouse, of those who ‘squeaked in’. I never thought about not making it in once I qualified and all of a sudden it was all I could think about. I didn’t want to think negatively, or that I wouldn’t make it in, but it did cross my mind how incredibly disappointed I would be and I knew what a hard day the Boston Marathon 2015 would be if I wasn’t able to run in it because I didn’t finish faster getting my qualifying time.  (Photo)

Finally, Wednesday came and I continued to check the facebook page for any type of update and the nerves really took over as I read a status with over 250 comments ALL from squeakers and those who were ‘hoping to get in with a 3-5 minute cushion.’ I really started to freak out then because I had less time to get in. Finally at 11:25, I got the email notification and hesitantly went over to see what it said… CONFIRMED! You are ACCEPTED!

Boston Marathon Acceptance Letter - Getting into The Boston Marathon!

I double checked the entry list and yup! There was my name listed! I never have been so excited to run as I was this afternoon. My eyes got a tad misty and my heart literally felt like it was soaring in my chest. I WAS IN!

I wore my Boston shirt that B got me after I qualified to practice this afternoon because I was so excited. I’m so glad that the news was good and that I made it in. It made my run that much sweeter even though it was 88 degrees. Now, to get through The City Of Oaks Marathon first and then heal up the heel and then it’s time I get to start working towards the Finish Line on Boylston Street!


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Registering for Boston

I want to document my ‘journey’ to Boston this Spring and today is a big day, Registration Day! At 7 am, I entered my information in hopes to have run fast enough to get in for next year’s race.

My Journey to the Boston Marathon - Registration Day! I’ve been running longer distances since 2008 and that’s when I first heard about the Boston Marathon. I remember the first time I looked up what my qualifying time and thinking how impossible it seemed, knowing how hard I would have to work to get there and how it seemed unimaginable to run that fast for that long. I was also dealing with stomach issues while training and was in the thick of trying to figure that whole situation out and didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel with that whole problem.

Toward the end of 2009, I had an incredible ‘breakthrough race‘ and broke four hours in the marathon and was so happy. I still think about that day and it brings a huge smile to my face. It was my “Boston Moment” at the time. Since then, I never had the desire to qualify, which I believe that you have to truly want it to train hard to qualify. I broke four hours, but was a far 20 minutes away from my then qualifying time of 3:40 and I really ran as hard as I could that race. I never imagined I would be able to run harder.

Then, qualifying times went up because the race was becoming more popular and I remember seeing mine going to 3:35 and thinking it was never going to happen. I told myself, when I’m older, after kids, later in life. I joked often maybe I’d go when I was 90 so I could have a slower qualifying time.

My Journey to the Boston Marathon - Registration Day!I remember last year seeing the Boston Jacket at a track meet and thinking I want to to do it. I want to train hard and I want to qualify. I told the kids I coached to push themselves and go for their big goals, but I wasn’t doing it myself. I had the loose plan to try to qualify at Long Beach this October because I knew the race, I train well in the Summer, and that was my ‘magic’ race before. When I was having a great day at Mountains 2 Beach back in May, I realized I needed to go for it then and push myself as hard as I could. I really left it all out there that day and I’m so incredibly excited to register for Boston today. I can’t believe that I did it and now I hopefully get to train to run Boston in the Spring.

My Journey to the Boston Marathon - Registration Day!I also remember this time every year, when all the Boston Qualifiers would be so excited about registering, training, heading to the race. There was always a small pang of jealousy I felt when I read their stories and saw their photos at the finish line and throughout the city, because I felt like I really didn’t know if I could ever make it there. It’s tough to be on that side where it’s something you want but you don’t know how to get there yet, or if you can really do it. Keep with it! You can get there. It takes hard work and it’s not easy, but the moment of crossing the finish line and knowing you qualified is such an amazing feeling, I still remember the tears blurring my view of the finish line as I ran toward it.

My qualifying finish time is 3:32:57 – so I’m 2 minutes ahead of my age division qualifying time of 3:35:00. I wish I could have run faster at Mountains to Beach at the end, but I just had nothing left in the tank. I’m hopeful I will get in and will be at the start line on April 20 next year!


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Beginner Marathon Training Plan Month 3

This month, Andi is starting to up her mileage and she has 2 months left until Race Day! She is progressing well and ran her first half marathon the other day in training, which was so exciting for me to hear about and for her to do. Putting those early miles in and reaching new milestones makes training so fun and exciting. We’re starting to get into some heavier mileage this month and I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes. (Click here to see Month 1 & 2 of her training plan)

Beginner Marathon Training Plan - Month 3

The big things she’s struggled with thus far is getting used to eating while running. I do agree that it’s a fairly weird concept and figuring out how to do it takes some time and experimenting. Luckily for her, gus seem to be working and she’s able to keep them down, so that’s a good thing. It seems to be more about getting used to their consistency, what flavor she likes and finding out the best time to take them. That was a very difficult part of training for me and it took me a really long time to figure out what the heck I was going to do with such an upset stomach.

She also had a cold this past week, and my mentality when it comes to colds and illness is let it happen, and come back when you’re ready. If you push yourself to get back out there too soon, the illness will linger and you’ll stay sick longer. Even though when I’m sick I always feel like I’ve lost so much fitness, it comes back quickly.

I can’t believe the race is only 2 months away. I’m going to mostly be following her plan because I have decided to only do the half at Long Beach. I just have so many commitments this fall and our team is going up to a cross country meet the day before up in Northern California. I don’t want to push myself or my body too hard and end up being injured, too tired or sick. I really am working hard to stay healthy for next April and that is my goal. To have be able to train well and enjoy the race in Boston.

We booked our tickets to Charlotte yesterday for the week and I can’t wait to actually be able to run with Andi and her family! So many people are going to be out running the half that she knows which I think will make the first part fly by. I keep looking at the City of Oaks Course and it looks so pretty, I know it will be a great race for her and can’t wait to watch her cross the finish line!


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Cross Country is BAAAACK

It’s almost one of my favorite seasons. I love the fall for many reasons, my birthday, crunchy leaves, eating chili, running in cooler temperatures, and one of my most favorite times of the year is because of the sport that comes with it. Cross Country!

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In high school it was always my favorite sport and now that I have the opportunity to coach it, it is still my favorite sport. Things have changed since I started running but the races are all still the same. It’s a simple test of how hard you can push your body for 3 miles. There’s something so invigorating about waking up on the morning of a meet and feeling the jittery excitement. I still get so nervous and I don’t even have to race!

I love the fact that Cross Country is an individual sport, yet a team sport. You can push yourself against the other runners and if you’re lucky, you have a great team that runs as a pack and scores well against other schools. I was on a team with only about 7 other girls, so we never did all that well in the larger meets, but I enjoyed it because if I finished well, I could still get a medal.

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I love the training, the different workouts, seeing our athletes succeed and the changing of the colors as we run through local parks and paths. There is something that just takes me right back to my days in high school and I love remembering those times. It was really hard at the time, but looking back I could have run harder, pushed myself to go faster. Even though I could have done better, I’m so glad I learned the sport of running and now I can continue to enjoy it on my own and am able to coach as well.

Coaching Cross Country is something that brought me back to running too. It’s what made me realize I missed running when I felt like I couldn’t run anymore after my mom died. It’s not an easy sport in any measurement, nor glamorous or even really recognized at some schools, but it’s something that I’m so passionate about and I love so much. I’m so grateful for another year to coach and give back at Lakewood, to hopefully teach the kids that running can be a lifelong sport and that you can love to run. Just like I can hear my high school coach in the back of my mind sometimes when I run, I hope they can hear me encouraging them and that they will have the same memories I have every time fall comes around.


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