Shape Your Grape

Rachel Rodriguez  •  Body

Rachel Rodriguez  •  Body

New Year New Challenge

Waking up and putting on running shoes can be a challenge. Pushing yourself to compete in a half marathon can be an accomplishment.

New challenge- accomplish a half marathon

I’ve been thinking about this year in a different way and that included my workouts and exercise. I wanted to do something different for myself.

The thought started, implanted in my brain and it kept coming up to the point where I needed to pay attention. I run with my dog 1-2x per week, and it started to become easier and not as fun. During the colder days in California, I don't run and will switch to indoor exercise.

This year, I needed something more, a lot has changed over these last few years for myself and my family. This was only the beginning. 


female runner

Running as a kid

I started running when I was young, before high school from what I remember. I didn’t run long distances, never trained or competed in programs. Instead, I would escape in my own head, put on earphones, a new CD in my playset, and would run. The CD of choice, Korn or Electronic Dance.

There was a park not too far from where I used to live that I would run to and then around it. It was nicely kept, and safe. I loved how I felt while running and especially afterward.

In high school, I used to play basketball and volleyball. Running became part of who I was and easier during those seasons because we did so much of it. However, I would run on my own whenever I felt like it.

Over the years and as I got older, the routine stayed with me. Especially once we got our dog, Cooper. It was good for him to run and burn off his energy. Once he was able to keep up with me, it became part of our routine. Running was also part of my recovery after delivering my son, and part of my why for maintaining my health.

Why sign up for a Half Marathon?

Why run a half marathon you might be thinking if you’ve never ran one before? It’s 13.1 miles, long enough to put a training program together, shape my workouts and recovery, including my nutrition to gain optimal performance.

Why else- what’s the point you might be thinking? 

I’ll tell you exactly why I signed up, I wanted to feel accomplished

The day that I signed up I went for a walk with my dog and I processed my decision. This is usually where I let my mind wander and process business, family, and life.

Walking with my dog outdoors is relaxing for me, especially first thing in the morning when everyone is sleeping. It’s “me time” to do something for myself.

By grouping, the following: me time, my effort, and training - this will help me reach a goal I’ve never done before. This gives me so much personal growth and fulfillment.

Signing up and running a half marathon I visualized crossing the finish line and I asked myself what would I want to feel and how would I feel after crossing. Accomplished!

Running Benefits

According to the American College of Cardiology living an active lifestyle is key to optimal health.

This is something that you probably already know, yet the active movement of exercise has taken a decline. With more people working from home, sitting has become the norm. There are so many benefits that naturally come from running including: 

  • reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, and other conditions
  • strengthen your bones and muscles
  • feel good given the surge in mood-lifting endorphins
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

As I coach my clients, running comes up in conversations where I find that a lot of people don't like it. It reminds me of one client that I had, he hated it. Over time, and through our coaching sessions he saw the benefits of what running provided for him. He worked in finance, sat down for long hours, and ended up having lower back issues.

We first started with walking on a treadmill that he purchased, then we progressed to running. There was a moment with a lot of pushback, which came out as friction within himself. We were able to uncover a moment that shaped his lifestyle because he was able to look past running, and saw what it gave him. He experienced less pain in his low back, felt relaxed, and gained more energy during his long hours and year-end schedule.

If you're a beginner and want a guide to help increase your metabolism and fitness level, check this FREE download out Shape Your Fitness: Metabolism.

New Year New Me: Challenge Accepted

Training Guide

Now that restrictions are being lifted there are numerous marathons to choose from. I researched and found one that met my expectations.

The OC Marathon consists of a 5K- half marathon- and a full marathon. I've done a 5K before for fun and already do those on the weekend for fun. 

Stepping up my game to a half marathon, now that's the challenge I want! I read that website from top to bottom.

I downloaded this training guide click here to download it as well. Since I’ve never trained before I got in research mode and started gathering as many guides as I could find to create my own training program.

Guides are simply that, they provide a guide to create a foundation that works for yourself. Each of them provided insight about proper training, days to schedule runs, and incorporating cross-training days.

I integrated my fitness level and the workouts that I already do. Then I catered it to my liking and would tweak my training based on how I felt and my performance.  

After my experience and crossing the finish line I’ll have my own guide available for other runners and those wanting to gain experience in marathons.

Mindset Shift

Recovery after having my son was very hard for me. I had an emergency C-section and I lost all of my muscle tone. Beginning a workout routine was very difficult, no different than after an injury or naturally after major surgery. You can read more about that blog called How a 7-Layer Bean Dip Can Shape Your Habits.

People often forget that a C-section is considered major surgery. My mindset needed to shift which only contributed to making this decision to run a half marathon.

My goals in life have shifted over these past few years, and my outlook for the marathon run can be summed up in a few words: train, run, feel accomplished.

I love trying new things so discovering a new challenge for myself is nothing new. Researching and creating a new training program was fun for me and it’ll continue to evolve as the weeks go by.

Next, run my heart out, learn my body and see what more I’m capable of doing. Lastly, on run day, I want to feel accomplished for crossing the finish line, completing something I’ve never done before, and giving myself that gift this year! No other expectations I have for myself at this time.

Smash Your Grape

As a world, we’ve gone through a pandemic, a lockdown, and were cooped up like chickens for far too long. I say pick something that challenges you too!

I’ve had changes within my life, this decision was inevitable knowing myself.

I’m different now, I’m becoming someone better than I expected and why not throw something else to feel something different. I started researching marathons and the different miles and meanings behind them.

Marathons have always intrigued my curiosity, it's a challenge and something that I can do for myself. Give me a gift of feeling accomplished! What a great way to start off the year. 

Have A Grapefull Day!