10 Tips for Beginning Runners by Jac

I was a runner growing up and was able to continue until about 2010, when I ran into some health issues. Since then, I’ve really been reluctant to get back into it! I asked my friend Jac to cover some tips on getting back into running, because I figured there may be others like me who have been meaning to do it. To me, Fall is the perfect season to begin the journey. I hope you learn as much as I did!



Running isn’t easy, but everyone can do it. It’s just you against yourself!!

Here are my top 10 tips to help you get started:

Tip #1. Consult Your Physician. This is very important! Do your own research as well. Know your target along with training and maximum heart rate before starting any running program. Safety first!

Tip #2. Invest in a Quality Running Shoe and Sports Bra. I cannot stress this one enough for the ambitious long distance runner. Find a local running shoe store that will properly examine your running style and recommend the best shoe brands for you. My favorite running shoes are Brooke and Mizuno. As for sports bras for the ladies, seek high impact styles that hold each breast in a separate cup. Search sites like Amazon.com for discounts on both!

Tip #3. Define Your Why? The nation’s obesity statistics are heartbreaking. More than one third of U.S. adults are overweight. It’s obvious that health and fitness goals are good reasons to run, but maybe there is a BIGGER why! Maybe its relieving stress, connecting with other people or supporting a local charity. Whatever your “why” is, just make sure its big enough to keep you motivated.

Tip #4. Track your progress. I wholeheartedly believe in S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based) goals even with leisure activities. Consider using apps like Run Keeper and My Fitness Pal to gain motivation as you progress as a runner. I started out running at an eleven minute per mile pace. Currently, I’m running nine minute miles. Just this month, I placed 2nd in my age division in a national race! Remember, it’s just YOU against yourself!

Tip #5. Join a Running Group. Get your family and friends involved as well. It’s so important to stay engaged with other runners! Special Thanks to Black Girls Run in Atlanta, GA, Donna’s Divas in Chattanooga, TN, Crescent City Cuties in New Orleans, LA and my family’s health and wellness group, Magnolia Fire! They have all inspired me to run, but more importantly to stay ACTIVE!

Tip #6. Pace Yourself! I have only been running consistently for the past two and a half years. My progress was gradual because I wanted to avoid injuries as much as possible. Listen to your body! Run/walk intervals are a great start.

Tip #7. Adopt a Consistent Workout Regimen and Healthy Eating. You cannot completely enjoy running without a well balanced diet and strength training program. I focus on muscle strengthening at least 3 days a week in addition to running. Push ups are great for a long distance runner’s posture. As for healthy eating, peanut butter sandwiches and fresh vegetable and fruit juice are two of my favorite pre/post running snacks!

Tip #8. Consider Devotional Running. Spending time with God is something many runners do without even realizing it. I’m a huge advocate for meditation and quiet time. So often the hustle pace of life gets in the way of our intentions to spend that much needed time in silence. Completing a devotional run has become one of my favorite ways to gain peace and clarity.

Tip #9. Have Fun! Get creative with your running gear. Switch up your music playlist. Participate in an organized race and support a national or local cause. Make it meaningful!

Tip #10. Don’t Believe The MYTHS About Running! You may be telling yourself running isn’t for you because you’re over weight, too old, have heavy breasts, or bad knees. But consider the above tips, especially #1, before ruling it out all together. I have witnessed runners of all ages and sizes. Running is for everybody!

You can follow Jac on Instagram at @firstladyjc (for running) and @thejuicekrewe (healthy juicing and food).

Blogstar Moms | Not So Soccer Mom

I first met Jill via Twitter through a mutual friend, and funny enough I was actually looking to interview her back then as well. I admired her work, and as a graduate student and budding entrepreneur– I wanted to gather as much information as possible before really launching The Divine Hostess. I was surprised that Jill could make any time to talk being married, a mother of 4 children ages 4 to 15, and a radio host who seems to always be in motion. She found the time for me, though and has in many ways been a mentor and great example to me more than she realizes. I hope you enjoy Jill’s interview and will support her wonderful site!


 Q1: You have such a unique job and it seems to suit you as a mom of 4 busy children. How did your job come about?Photo on 2013-03-15 at 19.53 #3  A1: Thank you. I guess that’s the way my mom parented me. She was never un-interested, but we had to be responsible and make our own choices and be independent thinkers. As a result, my parents definitely lived a life that was focused on having their own life– not just staring at kids once they had them and wondering “what next?”   As for my job, when my husband and children and I moved to Connecticut in 2005 after living in Little Rock for 9 years, I felt alone and started writing a ‘blog’ — which was just an email to friends because i didn’t know how to set up a real blog– which grew. It then got a name (NotSoSoccermom) which describes the vibe perfectly and became a dotcom and led to my radio show and book (which I am currently editing).
 Q2: You and your husband are so fit! What motivates you to stay active?38172_1531161165930_3580907_nA2: I never was thin growing up.  I made cheerleading in high school, but was definitely the most ‘zaftig’ girl on the squad (it was the 80’s after all– even Cindy Crawford was a 4-6 back then and she’s a 0-2 now).  Same with the collegiate dance team… When I graduated from college and was selling advertising at the radio station, I gained some weight and it was time to make (I designed and had custom made) my wedding dress.  I thought, I need to have that dress be a little smaller so I went for a walk that night (I remember this vividly because my walking path was right by Kickapoo High School, Brad Pitt’s alma mater) and I’ve worked out every day since.  I started walking. For a few years, when I officed from home, I ran (2x’s a day).  Then it turned to a gym membership when I hurt my tailbone and couldn’t run or walk. From there, it was cross trainers, etc.  I never did group fitness until one day in 2009 I had to film a Zumba class for a fellow online host who was doing a vlog.  I started being a Zumba regular and became certified shortly thereafter.
My husband has done 19 marathons. He was just in Boston on the tragic day and is safe as are our running friends, but we’re of course heartbroken. He started running when our oldest were 2 and 3 when he realized things like dinner hour and family time had to happen in the evenings. So he chose running to keep fit— actually to keep from being TOO thin as he has a bizarre metabolism.  Ever since, he’s chosen to get up at 5am to get his run in.  It’s his peace. Our kids know that sometime throughout the course of everyday, we’ll be getting a workout in.   It’s not IF, it’s when. It’s easier to keep constant than go through huge phases and up and down fitness swings.  Since my husband is in pretty incredible shape, I once was asked, “Do you workout all the time so your husband doesn’t get mad at you? Ya know, because he’s really fit.”  My answer- NOPE. I’m all self-motivated. We both know that it helps our psyches, our pride in ourselves and each other and sets a great example for our kids.
He’s motivated by his next race and staying outstanding. I’m motivated by my jeans fitting and my quiet time (or not so quite time–music!) on the treadmill or at class or swinging a kettlebell. I have no problem running around town sweaty or borrowing someone’s machine if the gym is closed on a snow day. I once hauled a half-doped up 7 year old in to the gym from a dental apt and set her on a gym towel while I hit the machine. Some say that’s crazy and there’s no way to schedule going every day. I say it’s my priority and it’s my fun.    And I know now it’s paid off, because my teenagers (girls 15 & 14)  are proud– do we think they’d ever admit it? Lol!
 Q3: How do you find time to give each of your children and husband attention?

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A3: It’s easy to give my husband attention because he’s with me all day everyday. We’re starting our own company (a staffing franchise) and we work side by side. He and I and our son (age 4) are at the house working from the desk all day Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.   Plus giving my husband attention is key to who I am, and really– the gist of the Not So Soccer Mom ‘brand’. We’ve always had to make our own way as far as social outings, never had family in any town we’ve lived. So finding babysitters was key. I’m not a real good sitter-arounder and I had faith my kids would not crumble if we — gasp– left their sides for a few hours and focused on each other.  Over about 9 years my husband won 23 or so award trips.  Never missed one. I always say, “I’ll find a sitter. I’ll find a competent caregiver.”

Our marriage is, I feel, bizarrely strong and I attribute that to us making a focus on each other.

Of course our kids are key, too. To spend time with each is quite easy because they all have different ‘moments’. My two big kids are going to be in 10th and 9th grade in the fall, thus they’re hyper-scheduled. But they know time with siblings is key to us and really don’t beg to ‘go out’ on Fridays. As a matter of fact they LOVE when we go out for date night on Fridays and all four (girls 15,14 &11 and the boy 4) kick it around the house.  They all hang together, no matter what ages or gender.   My younger two are physically closer because of their schedules and age.   We’re a pretty close family.
Thank you for showing interest in my family and me, Fifi.  As you know I’m a big fan of everything YOU do and am honored to be a fellow blogger/ fitness fan and friend of yours!
 How can my readers keep in touch with you?  My writing is at www.NotSoSoccerMom.com

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