On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game! (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).
Q. I run frequently for short distances on the treadmills at the gym, but I am horrible at running outside. I feel like it is a HUGE difference running on a treadmill compared to outside, and outside is SOOO much harder for me. I run about 3 miles on the treadmill, but I can barely do 1.5 miles outside. I don't know if this is because of the technique I am using or if I can't keep a steady pace outside, but have you experienced this problem or know what i am referring to? Any tips would be great because I would love to start training outside and increase my pace/distance so I can do some races!
|My fastest treadmill 5K run|
A. This is actually a really common experience. You know I have a sub-26:00 5K goal; well, I met that goal on a treadmill, but I'm having a hell of a time trying to meet it outside. I find it much easier to run faster on a treadmill than outside.
Running on a treadmill is generally easier because the belt on the treadmill is moving (obviously) and you don't have to propel yourself forward. Imagine jumping straight up outside--when you land, you would be in the same spot. But on a treadmill, if you jumped, you would land "ahead" of where you were when you jumped. On a treadmill, you also don't have any wind resistance--as minimal as the wind may be outside, there is still some resistance there.
|Fastest outdoor 5K run|
To better mimic an outdoor run on a treadmill, you can up the incline to 1-2%. Your legs will feel heavier that way and it will require more effort. But the best way to get faster outside is to run outside. You can also try running more slowly outside, which will allow you build up more distance. It's best not to compare the two--let your treadmill runs be separate from your outdoor runs, so you don't get discouraged. Keep at it, you'll be running 3 miles outside soon!
Q. How did you start your blog? (quick refresher) and how did you start earning money from the blog? I read your blog and know the general info: "start writing and place ads," but how did you make it happen? What sources gave you the best advice that worked for you? Do you have a strategic plan for growing that income in the future?
A. Starting the blog was actually the easy part for me, because I'd been "blogging" for 11 years. I wrote on a site called Open Diary, and I actually paid to use it (you can use it for free, but if you pay for it, then there aren't any visible ads). I had NO IDEA that people could earn money from blogging! Once I hit my goal weight, I kind of wanted to start a fresh chapter of my life; and I decided I wanted to make a new blog. I removed my old blog from Open Diary, and started this one with Blogger. I just picked up where I left off, but with a new agenda: to write about maintenance and running instead of losing weight.
|Where I spend waaay too much time ;)|
At that point, I still didn't know anything about ads or earning money, so I just blogged because I love it. I have no idea how my blog grew so large so quickly; on Open Diary, I had a handful of readers--maybe 15? after 11 years of writing. I was surprised and humbled by the large following I got so quickly. Once I decided to go ahead with skin removal surgery, I knew I need to earn some money. Getting a new job wasn't practical for me because I would have to take so much time off from the surgery itself. Some of my readers suggested earning money from ads, which I hadn't even considered.
I assumed that ads would earn me just pennies a month, so I wasn't expecting much, but I started with Google Adsense. That didn't work out--they canceled my account without telling me why, and I never got paid for the ads that were on the blog for two months. I tried a few other ad companies that I had Googled, but they weren't working out either--trashy ads or literally a penny a day. I became an Amazon affiliate, which means if people click through to Amazon from the links on my page and purchase something, I will earn a small percentage as a referral. I also applied for (and was accepted into) the BlogHer ad network, which I love. The ads aren't trashy, I get paid per pageview (rather than per click on each ad), and I really like the BlogHer network in general.
I had no sources to figure all this out--I just did a lot of online research, read tons of reviews of ad networks, and did some trial and error. Right now, I'm happy with how it's going. I don't make a ton of money, but I make enough that I can pay a little extra on my debt each month, which was my goal. If the blog grows, my income will grow, but I honestly love blogging so much that I would continue to do it even if I couldn't get paid for it. But earning some cash is a big bonus for me :)
Q. Why do you love your Brooks running shoes? Also, did you get fitted for them or did you try different pairs? I really want to get some good running shoes but for some reason dread going to the running store to get fitted. I have looked online and did multiple running shoes test, I did the one on runner's world and it only gave me one shoe to choose from. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on this.
A. I cannot stress enough how important it is to go to a running store to get fitted for shoes--whether you plan on walking or running, they can help you pick the best shoe for YOU. I love my Brooks because they've never given me any trouble--I've never gotten a blister, I've never lost a toenail, and I've never had problems with my feet.
|My Adrenalines aren't pretty, but they get the job done|
I know how hard it is to go into a running store (especially if you are overweight). I went to the store when I was 253 pounds, and I felt like and elephant in a
china shop running store. I worried that the man who was doing my fitting was judging me, and I just kept telling myself it would be over soon. (Now I realize that I was just very insecure--and there is no reason to feel that way!) I told him my goals (I said I wanted to walk a half marathon) and he gave me a few pairs to try on, and watched me walk around in them. Then I bought the shoes that he recommended. It's important to get the best fit rather than the prettiest or cutest shoe you can find ;) I know it's tempting to pick the one that looks the most appealing, but it's more important to get a good fit.
I wouldn't do the online tests--I would definitely go to a running store and go through the fitting. Just be honest with the employee about your goals, and listen to their advice. If you are in the process of losing weight, you will need to get refitted when it's time for new shoes (400ish miles on your shoes). Your feet may get smaller, and/or you may walk/run differently as you lose weight.
Now a question for all of you...
What is your very favorite way to spend roughly 200 calories? (healthy or not... just your favorite!)
Mine would have to be something with chocolate and peanut butter, of course ;) A graham cracker spread with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter and topped with 1/2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips always hits the spot.