Running Coach? Yes please and You’re Welcome

So I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working with a running coach lately. To be completely honest, I never thought I’d get a coach but I’m darn happy I did! Here’s my pre getting a coach thoughts vs. post getting a running coach:

Pre: “I’m not a proper runner, why would I need a coach?”

No matter who you are or where you are I’m sure you have at least one goal (or so you should) – to be healthy and happy. I happened to fall in love with running inspired by my dad, and had a pretty good time getting out there doing my runs more and more frequently. I quickly noticed changes for the better both in my mental and physical health, I felt leaner, stronger, faster and happier. And then injury happened.. While I was missing running and going completely insane without my dear running during those months without running, as I slowly started running again something had happened. I was afraid of running, afraid of pushing too hard/too little, out of shape and wanted so badly to just get back for real. At this time Mark contacted me and we started working together. He set up a training plan for me and with that plus his support I found my way back to running unafraid, to pushing without pushing too hard. Just push enough. It turns out was a GREAT decision to work with a coach!

Pre: “I’m in such bad shape it would be embarrassing to have a coach check in on me and look at my running statistics.”

Well, it is really easy to start comparing yourself to others, I’m sure I’m not the only one doing it more or less. But when it comes down to it, running is so relative to each and every one of us and with that realization I started to feel comfortable sharing my splits, distances and thoughts with my coach. He (and pretty much everybody else out there in the running community) is there to help me, not laugh at me behind my back or demand undoable things of me. He sees my performance and give me tools to move forward from where I am at right now.

Pre: “I’ll just google some training plans and workout suggestions instead.”

This works. I know it because I’ve seen it happen. And that’s great! But I find a training plan pulled from internet less motivating and I actually started on one of those before my injury happened, but I just didn’t really like it. Sure, it might have been a too easy and “plain” training plan, but my biggest thing was that I just felt so.. Trapped. The training plan I have now courtesy of Mark is varying from week to week, not just with mileage but also different strides, hill repeats/sprints etc – the things that weren’t mentioned in that training plan I took from google (it might have been a given, just that I didn’t know better?).

Since I got back from my injury in March I’ve gone from being able to only run 2mi at the most without stopping, and that with an average pace of 11-something minutes per mile, to being able to run 5mi with an average pace of 10:10 last Saturday. I know that this might sound slow (I think so myself, because I KNOW I can do better. I have done way better), but this is where I’m at right now, while working my way back to that shape I was in in December/January. My passion for running is stronger than ever (this means it’s ridiculously strong by now) and I’ve found extreme satisfaction in doing the hill repeats on the training plan and so on. I get excited looking at my training plan and I get all itchy knowing that I get to run, almost every day.

I think that most people could become runners. And actually not just runners, but good runners from what they have to work with. A beginner could have huge success getting into shape, losing weight, finding motivation and staying motivated while being supported by a coach instead of struggling to do it all on their own – overdoing it, losing motivation, giving up because it feels too hard (or easy), having a hard time finding the right guidelines when it comes to distance, speed, nutrition and all other things that comes with trying to be healthier and happier. I was lucky enough to fall in love with running right away, but that might not be the case for everyone out there. I know though, that if the desire to change is somewhat present, some help on the way could take you longways.

Training Plan

I’m very thankful for the possibility to have a coach helping me develop as a runner. To become not just faster and stronger as a runner and a person, but to feel more confident in what I’m doing and stay motivated AND have support on the way there! Perfect!

If you are thinking that a coach might be something for you, or if you just want to know more about what a coach could do for you, I’d like to inform you that Mark is giving you the opportunity to try his coaching service free of charge by scheduling a free consultationHead on over to Teach To Run and sign up for a consultation (by phone, email, Skype – whatever suits you) with Mark, where you talk about ways to get you where you want to go! He’s a great, supportive and very motivating person and he knows what he is doing when it comes to running! He can definitely help you get going towards your goals, whatever they might be (getting started with running, weight loss, diet, PR’s, new race distances etc).

Q: Have you ever worked with a running coach? Or have you thought of working with a coach? If not, I say go for it! It takes running to a whole different level (at least it does for me).. 


The Story About Evelin, Her Dad And a Marathon – Part 1

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I haven’t been running for a very long time, still I really do feel like I am a runner, which is a pretty amazing feeling! Especially knowing who I was just a few years ago. It’s probably easy to tell that running means a lot to me? It really does. It is my medicine, my joy, my way of finding my own strengths and it is my number one hobby. A hobby which takes up a lot of time and energy – if I’m not running, I’m definitely talking or thinking about running. Googling running related things or just looking at/dreaming about some running gear/apparel..

After a brief interaction with one of my followers I realized that I could actually run a marathon. I mean, I’ve known that I could if I aimed for it and went for it, but he made me realize that all I really need to do is.. Register. It all starts there, right?!

So with this new perspective I’ve started to set up goals for the future. Since I became a runner there is one thing, one dream, I keep coming back to.. And it is that I want to run a marathon with my dad.

My dear dad. The man who inspired and motivated be to play and coach basketball. The man who YEARS later got me into running and with that gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever had – I now run, and through my running I have learned so much about myself, about the physical and mental strength I possess, and I’ve found ways to channel stress, anxiety etc.

This marathon with my dad will happen, I just need to plan it with him. Are we doing it in Sweden? In the US? During winter or summer? The future will tell. But it will happen.


Training Plan

Since i started running again after my injury I’ve felt kind of lost. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be running again. In fact, I love every second of it (even those rough moments when I’m totally out of breath and just feel like quitting)! But I missed out on my main goal race for the year and the running have been rough due to lost stamina after 7 weeks with barely any cardio at all. Then Boston happened and my love for running grew (how can it even be possible?!) stronger. The fact that I can run is a blessing and something I’ve decided to not take for granted. I also found more motivation through being a part of such an amazing community.. I can’t even start to put into words what all runners out there mean to me. What running means to me. Twitter and this blog has connected me with amazing inspiring people and I’m so very thankful for this! Thank you all, you’re all truly amazing!

That time will change.

I got contacted by Mark from Teach To Run a few weeks ago and today we finally got to chat about my running and he set up a running plan for me. Seeing the plan I am stoked. This will give me structured and guided way to use all my love and motivation in my running, to move forward. That time for the 5k’s I did for the Jelly Bean Virtual Race is NOT OK, it needs to get down to where it was before the injury!

I’m starting tomorrow and I’m so excited! While I know that this will be challenging, as I’m not used to following a training plan (I’ve mostly just been going with my daily feeling and urges for easy runs/speed/hills etc before), but I’m up for it! I’ll make sure to keep you updated on how I’m doing and what I’m doing.

From now on I’ll switch from kilometres to miles, it’ll just make it so much easier – after all I’m in the US now. Maybe it’s about time I get accustomed to the miles? The numbers just feel odd to me, still, but I’ll get used to it. Promise!


The Half That Didn’t Happen


As I write this I’m laying in bed under the blanket, I just finished a Lärabar (yeah, it’s my lunch, at 3.40pm) and I actually just stopped crying. Almost.

The start of this year didn’t end up being the way I imagined and pushed for it to be.  January 3rd I was forced to stop running due to my foot injury. And not only did the injury stop me from doing something I love to do, but it also took a lot of energy away from me. You know how running can turn a whole day around? You wake up feeling kind of crappy, but you get out there to run and once you’re done running (probably even during the run) everything just feels better. It feels like I’ve had one of those mornings for months now. I just feel off, and I haven’t been able to run enough to shake that feeling off.


Tomorrow is March 17th. That magical date I had in mind for my first Half Marathon. In Hilo, the closest town to where we live. Since I ran my first race in August that half has been on my mind. The thought of finishing my first half have had me SO motivated and made me fall in love running even more (didn’t think it was possible). But yeah, March 17th 2013 is no longer the date.

I know that I keep saying that I stay positive. I remind others of doing it too, but both you and I know that even though you fight really freaking hard to stay positive there’s going to be days when it just doesn’t work. When you give it your all, but it’s still not good enough. I’ve been doing good. I really have. Even though I wish I could’ve just been running this whole time I feel proud of the fact that I was able to focus on other things during the time I spent injured and banned from running. I did good.

But no, it just doesn’t help much today. I really wish today was a day full of pre race jitters, of preparations and lots of focusing on other things not to go nuts because of the nerves. I wanted this day, March 16th 2013, to be the day before the big day. And I wanted it so bad!

Today is a day of emotions spread all over the place. I am sad. Disappointed. And I can’t shake it off, it’s just the way it’s going to be. I didn’t plan on getting injured, who does? And it sucks that it happened. It really does. But of course I’m going to survive! I’m going to cry this out and then move on. I’m lacing on my running shoes at least 3-4 times a week from now on, I’m not running far right now, but I will. I will work hard, re-focus and go get that half!


Nothing, no injury, nothing else either, can take the love of running away from me! And that is what matters in the end. I might have lost 2 months of running, I might have lost some stamina and put on some weight but I haven’t lost my love. I’ll be back. Be warned, whatever Half coming my way… I will get you!


How to stay sane while injured?

I know I’m not the only one who love to run. I also know I’m not the only runner who gets injured. And even more so I know I’m not the only one who goes slightly insane on rest days, none the less while having to take time off running due to injury. 


These are my personal tips when it comes to staying sane while being forced to NOT run for days, weeks or months:

1. Stay positive

I know, it’s easier said then done. I spent my first 3 weeks of my time injured wanting to cry. As soon as I though of running or talked about running (and yes, this is most of my awake time) I felt hopeless.. “Will I ever be able to run again? And if I will, will I be able to enjoy it?”.. That’s just one of the thoughts that occupied my time. After those 3 weeks I realized that all that worrying and hopelessness wouldn’t take me closer to being back running. I decided to stay positive. Or at least try. I starts to read about other runners injuries and told myself that if they could come back to running like normal again I could too.

The positive thoughts might have started as complete bullshit, or made up affirmations, but very soon they turned into reality – I WILL be able to run again! No matter how long it would take to get to the point where I could run again (days, weeks, months?), it would be worth the wait. That day when I first get to run somewhat pain free again will be a HAPPY day!


2. Stretch/Strengthen

Figure out what parts of your body are still ok to use and focus on building strength and flexibility while you can’t get out running. Chances are you’re going to feel stronger and better in general when it’s time to start running again. It’s also a great way to get the sweat going (even though it might not feel as good as running sweat does?!) and feel good about yourself for staying active.


3. Re-focus and set new goals if necessary

If it looks like you are, like me, missing out on that race you had in mind. That goal that was set up a while ago.. Try not to focus too much on it. Focus on future races instead, maybe there’s a fall race to plan on doing instead of that spring one? It sucks having to start over with training programs and so on, but the reality is that there’s always going to be other races to be run (I know, it took me quite a while to actually feel this way)! I’ve also focused on setting up non-running related goals to take the focus from that one missed race and all those missed beloved training runs. Example: for me the Abs By April challenge brought some new energy and something to work for and really focus on.


4. Motivate yourself (and others)

Put that energy you normally would use for running into gaining new knowledge and motivation. It’s also a great opportunity to look around you and give support and motivation to people who might need it. It feels good being supportive of other runners, wether they are injured or not, and it will come back to you! Yes, I do believe in some kind of karma.


5. Eat well

What happened for me when I got injured was that just a week or so after my last run I got hungry. And by hungry i mean CRAZY hungry! I tweeted about this and got an explaining answer mentioning how running releases hormones that makes you feel less hungry, as mentioned in this article written by Greatist Laura Schwecherl: ..for individuals at a healthy weight, aerobic and anaerobic exercise may suppress appetite by altering the hormones ghrelin and peptide YY.

My 7 weeks off running gave me 6lbs extra weight. I’m not by any means overweight but it has definitely made me “softer” and I’m not too stoked about it. Not at all! So I realized that this is something to keep in mind. I started eating better and focusing hard on eating smaller servings, eat on set times and snack on good things (such as almonds, greek yoghurt or similar instead of bread and… uhm.. whatever I could find at the moment). Regular and controlled eating is the thing (for me) when I’m not able to run as usual. You might not even notice this of course, but I know I had to deal with it both physically and mentally..

It will happen again.


Q: Do you have other tips for staying sane while injured? What did you do to get by?

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How Am I Doing with My 2013 Goals?

March is already here and I wanted to do a little recap of the start of the year and how I’m doing with my goals for 2013.

1. Run 1300k in 2013

As I’ve been injured and resting from running for more than 7 weeks this year has obviously not started in a good way when it comes to any of my running goals. I’ve only been able to run … times this year and two of them was while being injured and not ready to start running again. I ran the first time post injury Feb 18th (1.4 “glorious” miles which you can read about here) and have been getting a few more short and easy runs after that. My foot is better, and even though I feel it when running I feel positive about me coming back to running again. In a month from now I’m hoping to get some more miles in and be able to start looking forward to and train for some races.

2. Finish my first Half Marathon

Didn’t happen as planned. March 17th is out of the question. But I’ll get another Half done, hopefully during the summer and at least before 2013 is over.

3. Get a Drivers License

I didn’t study much at all before I hit the written test on a whim. And I passed! So now I have my Learners Permit and is good to go when it comes to practicing driving. My husband is a great teacher and I’m going to work hard to get that real license in my hand during the spring.


4. Drink more water

We bought some awesome Contigo water bottles at Costco and since then I’ve been doing really well with my water drinking. I usually drink around 70 to 85 oz per day which is A LOT better than I did during 2012. Actually, pretty much the only things I drink now is water and coffee. If there’s fancy drink offered to dinner or so I go for the water. 9.5 times out of 10. I’m pretty proud and amazed by myself actually!


5. Work my physical strength up

I started out the year with getting going on some serious strength training at home (we lived and still live pretty far from a gym, so I’m happy with working out at home), and I’m still going hard on it. I try to get in between 3-5 workouts per week and because of the no-running situation I’ve had tons of energy to use when it comes to this. I also jumped on the #AbsByApril Challenge started by Megan and this definitely helps me stay motivated and going strong. Unfortunately my abs are pretty much invisible so far, not being running have me hungry. And I mean HUNGRY. Someone told me it makes perfect sense that I’m feeling more hungry when not running at all, and wether it’s true or not I can’t tell you I’m stoked about the few extra lbs I’m carrying. Anyways, I’m stronger! I do way more reps and sets now than I did when I first started working on this. And I love the burning muscles post workout!



6. Get better with staying in contact with family and friends

I’ve been trying, but this is a little hard… As much as I want to talk to m family and friends, it just makes me sooo homesick and I tend to escape from calling them all (which of course makes me feel bad anyways). But I have been Skypeing and texted through Viber with grandparents, parents and brothers. Love them! And really CAN NOT wait until I get to see them again.






7. Eat better

This turned out to be easier than I though. As we moved to a new place and have a better kitchen (more space, both for cooking and storing food) I’ve been eating healthier and more regular. I’m thinking of going towards a clean diet but I know myself well enough to realize that it probably won’t last very long. Especially if I can’t convince my husband to do it with me, I tend to get jealous of whatever he’s eating and say “what the hell, one pizza won’t hurt!” or something like that.. We’ll see what happens! I am happy with my eating habits, but am always struggling with a little bit of a.. Problem belly.



8. Choose JOY

When I got injured I was worried about my mood and I made the decision to really do my best to stay positive and NOT let this setback hit me too hard. I managed to stay happy, smile and find energy even though the running didn’t happen as I wanted to. I’ve been doing good. Of course, I’ve had some bad days (don’t we all?!) but I’ve been letting them go, recharged and started over with new energy and focus the next day. Choose joy is one of my main goals in life in general, simply because that darkness I’ve dealt with earlier in my life is not welcome back.



9. Run as many races as possible

On hold until I’m back to normal with my running. I just signed up for Run with Jess‘ Virtual Race The Jelly Bean 5k. I thought it would be a good way to start getting back into doing races post injury.



10. Read books in English

Success! I might just have read one book so far, but I did it good. And such a good first book I chose. “Born to run” by Christopher McDougall. I enjoyed this book so much I cruised on through it and even had some sessions when I read out loud to my husband. Interesting book! Brought on some smiles, tears and a lot of AHA!’s and new knowledge. I’m going to keep on going on the running theme when it comes to coming books to read. I already started with Haruki Murakami’s book “What I Talk About When I talk About Running”.



Q: How are you doing with your 2013 goals? Are you happy with the first couple of months of the year?


Half Marathon Training is Off

As you might have read a few times by now, I’ve been off running for a while due to a foot injury. It’s been tough not being able to run for over three weeks now, but I know that I’m doing myself and my body a favor. The foot is much better, although it seems like I’m still a little ways away from actually getting back to running. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go for an easy run/walk Monday morning, but as I woke up with pain today I really don’t know if it’s time to start pushing it or not.

I only just started my Half Marathon Training Program before this foot injury happened and now, as time pass by, I’m pretty sure there will be no Half done in March. I’m afraid of getting back to running and because of the time limit push too hard and only make it worse in the long run. So, as for now (if I’m not getting back to running this coming week and it feels GREAT) Half training is OFF.

It sure feels like a TOTAL bummer, I was looking forward to that Half so much, but I know that there’s a bunch of other races I can do. Shorter ones during the spring AND other Half Marathons in the summer. There’s the Kona Half Marathon and the Rain Forest Runs 13.1 (the race in which I ran my very first race) in August.

I will get through this injury and I’m aiming at doing it smart (even though my body and mind most of the times tells me to “PUSH IT, RUN, NOW”) to make sure running and I will stay happily in love for a long long time.

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