The Top 5 Marathon Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Marathon MistakesAh, the marathon. Twenty six point two miles of wonder, joy, and things waiting to go wrong. It’s hard to have a perfect race, but there are some things (aside from following your training plan) that you can do to make your experience as successful as possible. Start by avoiding these common marathon mistakes (that even the pros sometimes make).

1. Skipping Aid Stations

It was October 1999, in St. George, Utah. I was running the St. George Marathon. I was in great shape. I had trained all summer for this race. The race starts at an elevation about of about 5,000, it has a net elevation loss of 2,500 feet, which is misleading because much of the first 20 miles of the race are full of rolling hills, and what seems like plenty of elevation gain. It didn’t matter though. I felt fantastic. I was rolling along, at about a 7:15 pace. I felt so good that I didn’t want to mess with my stomach by taking in any gels or other sustenance (I had a history of extreme nausea during the second half of marathons).

This strategy worked fine until mile 20, and what should have been a final downhill cruise back into town. I hit the wall. Hard. I slowed down, struggled not to walk, and couldn’t even find a final kick as I approached the finish line.  What should have been a 3:10 marathon PR, ended up 3:16, still a PR, but not as easy to celebrate after losing over a minute a mile in that last 6.2.

I learned a hard lesson though. Start fueling yourself early and continue throughout the race. Practice during training so that your body adapts, and, either find out what they will be handing out in your marathon, or bring your own. Another tip when running through aid stations: Skip the first table or two, grab a cup from a volunteer, thank them, then pull out of the slow lane by the table (without blocking those that are bypassing the station). Try pinching the top of your cup. It will make it easier to swallow without spilling most of it down your front. If you’re using a gel, take it before your fluid.

2. Not Tapering Correctly

Tapering is hard. Who want to stop, at the peak of their training, and gradually do less for the last two or three weeks before their important marathon? It seems counter-intuitive. Won’t I lose too much fitness? Many a runner, from beginner to pro, has given into that temptation to run “just one more long run.”

Don’t do it. This is science people. After months of hard training, your body needs some recovery time so that it is rested and raring to go. Follow your training plan, which will probably allow some type of speed training up until the last week of your taper. Eat properly, drink plenty of fluids, and rest. Your well trained body will reward you with a good race. Find more information about tapering here:

Taper 14

Click on the photo for the full article.

3. Trying Something New

Whether it’s that adorable outfit you picked up at the expo, or the fuel that they are handing out at the race (if you didn’t plan ahead and use it during training), trying something new during your marathon is generally not a good idea, and could be a recipe for disaster. Many a runner has regretted choosing to run in those cool shoes that they picked up for such a great price, only to be plagued with blisters, knee pain, or other problems, midway through the race.

Everything that you will be using during your race should have been tried out during training. Even if you have a new pair of the same model shoe, test drive it for a few runs before your event. Plan your fuel, your race day outfit, your morning breakfast, ahead of time, based on what you have been doing during your training.

Marathon Quote

4. Starting Too Fast

This is probably the most common mistake among marathon runners of all levels, even the elites. When my husband Alan ran his first Boston Marathon in 1992, he had qualified, at the age of 43, with a sub-3:00 hour marathon. So, there he was, on the start line alongside the likes of Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter. Even as his jaw dropped to see those marathon legends next to him, a wise runner near him said, “Watch out. Don’t get caught up with these guys, or you’ll pay the price.” Then the gun went off. Alan tells me he hit the 10 mile mark in an hour. He managed to recover from those 6:00 minute miles (which would be a 2:37 marathon), by finally catching himself, slowing way down, and managing his race.

What is it about running that tells us, after training for months for, say, a 4:00 hour marathon, that once we get started and find ourselves running 8:00 minute miles, that some little imp inside our head says, “Yes! This is your day! You can run an half hour faster that you planned!”

Don’t listen to that imp. He lies. Stick to your running plan, and run at your goal pace, or even a little slower, as your start. Work through those nerves, don’t worry about what the other runners are doing, and run your own race. You’ll thank yourself. Remember, there is no such thing as “money in the bank” in marathon racing. It just doesn’t work that way.

5. Judging Yourself Too Harshly

So you’ve been training hard. You have hit all your targets, stuck to your plan. You followed all of the advice above, raced smart, fueled correctly, all of it. You know you’re on pace for that elusive PR. And then…it doesn’t happen. You fail.

Marathon Quote 3

Whoa. Back up! Erase that last word. You did all of the things above. You finished 26.2 miles with pride and strength. There is no failure in that. So many things go into the perfect race. Things over which you have no control. The weather. The race route. Road conditions, hills, turns. Sometimes things don’t fall into place. The stars don’t align.

Instead of beating yourself up, analyze what happened. What went wrong. Was it just a bad day? Were you ill? Take a look at the big picture. Then, pick yourself up, and try again. (After an appropriate recovery of course.)

On April 23, I will be running my 37th marathon, the SLO Marathon. Believe me, I have made all of the above mistakes over the last 18 years of running marathons. Hopefully I’ve learned from them. Although I will not be trying for a PR in San Luis Obispo (those are long behind me), I plan to run strong and smart. If you’d like to join me, you can save $10 when you register by using the code WOODAMB.

While this post is about marathon mistakes, many of them apply to races of any distance, especially the half marathon. What would you add to the list? What is the biggest mistake you made at a race of any distance?

Honolulu Marathon, Blog School, and More!

I have a few (kind of random) things that I want to share with you. From the educational (Blog School), to the (for me) exciting (Honolulu Marathon), to the mundane (health insurance), I decided to just jam it all in one post.

Going Back to Blog School

Blog Genie’s Blog School is back and if you’re a blogger, you really should think about signing up. Rita Berry kicks off school season on February 2 with a free, three part “Road Map” to blogging.

Blog-School-Screenshot

The Blog School Traffic Roadmap, 3 part training is totally free and will give you the tools and strategy you need to start building your traffic, whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for years.

  • The 2 critical components you must get right before you build your traffic
  • Why promotion is the last thing you do to build your traffic and why most people try it first (and why they get frustrated)
  • The most valuable blogging exercise you’ll ever do, it’s what I still do every time I start a new blog or product
  • How to blog less for more traffic
  • Why the way we think about blog traffic is backwards and how correcting our mindset makes traffic so much easier to generate
  • The difference between high and low quality traffic and why you can create a better and more successful blog with less pageviews than you might think

I was a student in the first session of Blog School, so while this is affiliate link, I speak from experience that it is totally worth the investment.

Honolulu Marathon

In case you missed my Instagram post:

(I thought it was kind of cool that @HonoluluMarathon reposted this!)

Yes indeed, I signed Alan and myself up for the Honolulu Marathon! It seems like spur of the moment, but it really wasn’t. We’d hoped to go last year, but the stars did not align, so when a friend tagged me on a link to the early registration (only $55!), I took the plunge.

In case you didn’t know (or didn’t read the Instagram comment above), Honolulu was my first marathon. I wrote about it here. I’ve done the race six times, but I haven’t been back since 2003. Eleven years, but our plans will be the same. Fly over to Oahu on Friday before the race. After the race on Sunday, catch an island hopper over to Kauai, our favorite island, and spend four or five days in Hanalei. It’s a great place to relax after a marathon. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually want 2015 to fly by because the 2015 Honolulu Marathon is on December 13.

Medical Insurance

It sounds kind of silly to get so excited about something I took for granted while I was employed at my former job, but my new medical insurance starts on February 1! Yes, I have been uninsured since I was fired last summer. All that time, in spite of being really healthy, I’ve been worried about getting sick. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened (or won’t happen in the next 10 days, knock on wood). Thank you ObamaCare. Before my last job, I was denied affordable health insurance because I had a pre-existing condition: exercise induced asthma (I mean, come on, how ridiculous is that?). I will sleep much better now.

Fascial Stretch Therapy

I don’t talk about it very often, but I have been dealing with chronic lower back pain for several years now. I’ve tried a few things, including a chiropractor, stretching, and medication, but it has continued to be an issue for me. I’m sure some if has to do with what I’m doing right now, sitting here typing for a couple hours at a time. I think that finally I have found something that will make a difference.

Although Stretch to Win and Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) have been around over 20 years, most people haven’t heard of this undulating stretching technique that focuses on fascial continuities, rather than isolated muscles. Fascia is the connective tissue that that form sheets or bands beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs. FST is a special and specific technique that addresses the nervous system and joint capsules to help our muscles, which are surrounded by fascia, to function better, relieve pain, and correct minor structural issues of the body.

It is very popular at my fitness center right now, and I hope in the future to get certified myself, but last Saturday I became a true believer. We had a fitness event and I, sick as I was, manned the personal trainer booth, doing fitness and body composition assessments. We also had some lectures, vitamin B-12 shots, free chair massage, and other informational booths.

We also did free 10 minute FST sessions, which were the most popular item on the agenda. I finally had a chance to take a turn at the end of the event, and I got a little extra time (about 30 minutes). The therapist worked on my lower body, since that was my main issue. Afterwards I felt fine, but nothing super special. Of course at that point I just needed to go home and go to bed.

The next morning I woke up, and for the first time in months, maybe years, my back didn’t hurt. That was Sunday. Today is Wednesday and I am still pain free. As I said, I am a believer. FST is becoming popular among professional athletes as a way to correct imbalances in the body and improve athletic performance. I really suggest that if you have chronic pain that you look into FST. You can find certified therapists in your area here.

Have you ever tried (or heard of) Fascial Stretch Therapy? Want to join me in Honolulu on December 13?

 

The Best Laid (Running) Plans…

Monday is usually my day to check in with my recent week of training. After finally sharing my revised training plan for the SLO Marathon, and having a really good start to the week, I was really excited about reporting how great week two of the plan went.

Well, the best laid (running) plans…

Oh, Monday was awesome. I ran according to plan, 6.1 miles with four at half marathon pace. Done, and it felt great! Then things started to go wrong.

Best Laid Plans 3

First, my Wednesday clients changed their training time. That meant I had to shorten my workout, which wasn’t too bad. It was my first interval workout in months, so I didn’t mind have it to shorten it to four-half mile repeats instead of six. I finished with just under four miles, but that was okay too.

Then it got worse.

As I was driving home from work on Thursday afternoon, I started to feel that little tickle feeling at the back of my throat that says that maybe you’re coming down with something. I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been surrounded by sick co-workers for over a month, so it was more surprising that I took so long to get sick. I took an extra dose of Vitamin C before bed and crossed my fingers.

Best Laid Plans 2As I posted on Instagram, I had good company while I was sick.

To no avail. Not only did I wake up with a full-fledged cold, I also had a migraine. It started about 11 pm on Thursday night and lasted until I went to bed the next night (though it had improved a lot by then). I had to call in sick to work and just lay pathetically in bed most of the day. Obviously, no running got done.

Saturday morning I woke up without a headache, but my cold was horrible. Unfortunately I had to work. We were having our January “Fitness Fling,” one of our busiest days of the year and I was needed. The four easy miles on the plan did not get done. I could just barely hold myself up, and when I finally go home I fell into bed.

Sunday was scheduled to be my 12 mile long run. That did NOT happen. Though I felt better in the morning, I had a terrible cough, runny nose, and just felt tired. I felt proud of the mile long walk I managed with the dogs.

Best Laid Plans

The upcoming week isn’t looking much better either. On the plan is seven miles with 6-half mile LT intervals. Yeah, right. I might have been able to get a few easy miles in, but that clients switched her appointment to 7:00 am on Monday and Wednesday, so I will need to make accommodations for the rest of the week too, even as I feel better. On Wednesday I have an hour between clients in the morning, so I can head out the door of the fitness center, warm up and do some hill repeats right outside the front door. The club where I work is on the incline up toward the Santa Rosa Mountains, so there are great inclines within the gates.

Of course that’s presuming my cold is gone. Or I can run a few easy miles.

So basically, by the time this all plays out I will lose about a week of my training plan. Not too bad since it is early on, but I really want to build the mileage up, especially on my long run. I’m not worried about the speed work. There is still plenty of time to reap the benefits, even if I miss a couple weeks.

It’s just annoying. And I didn’t feel very brave.

Brave

How was your training week? I hope it was better than mine!

3 Smoothies and a Juice plus my Revised Marathon Plan

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I won a Blendtec Blender in a giveaway on the Fitfluential blog. Well, it arrived last week and I have been busy creating smoothies and juices since then. Here are a few of my favorite blends.

Three Smoothies and a Juice

Rader Farms Fresh Start Morning Vitality Fusion Smoothie (Fresh Start Vitality Smoothie for short).

I had a chance through Influenster to sample Rader Farms Morning Vitality Fusion frozen fruit and vegetable blend. This Fresh Start blend contained nectarine, mango, sweet potato and carrot,  and is picked and frozen at the height of freshness. I have so say that it is an easy way to get delicious and healthy ingredients into your smoothie (or juice, or whatever you choose). The Morning Vitality Fusion is and excellent source of Vitamin A and C and is loaded with fiber.

Fresh Start Vitality Smoothie

Silk-alicious Smoothie

I recently had a chance to try the new Silk non-dairy Yogurt Alternative. Of course I had to make a smoothie!

Silk alicious Smoothie

Berry Avocado Smoothie

Adding avocado to a smoothie is a great way to add healthy fat to your diet. While I love the taste of avocado, it isn’t my go-to flavor for a smoothie. No worries. You don’t taste the avocado, but you do get a creamy richness in your smoothie.

Berry Avocado Smoothie

And Finally! Ultimate Green Juice

One of the reasons I was excited to win the Blendtec was to make juice. Even though I’m a vegan, I’m not a huge veggie eater (yeah, I know, irony). Juice is a great way to get your vegetables, and when made in a blender you get all the goodness and fiber. This was my first juice, improvised following a couple recipes and adding my own flair (the cilantro and arugula). While I loved it, Alan wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. He thought it had too much celery. Working on it.

Ultimate Green Juice

My Revised Training Schedule

Training Plan 3

When I first put my schedule for the SLO Marathon together, it did it rather quickly (blog deadline, you know). On reflection, I’ve changed it up at bit. I said that I wanted to rock this marathon, so I added a second speed workout during the week. That is the main change. My Monday run will serve as a second longest run, plus a longer, slower speed training day (like half marathon pace, marathon pace, etc.), while Wednesday will be a little higher intensity, long intervals and hills.

Date Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total Mileage
1/5-1/11/15 7.5 miles Rest 5 miles Half Marathon Pace (HMP) Rest Rest 10 miles 3 miles 25.5
1/12-1/18/15 6 miles 4 @ HMP Rest 5 miles ½ mile intervals 3 miles or Rest Rest 4 miles 12 miles 30
1/19-1/26/15 7 miles6 x ½ mile LT intervals with ¼ mile recovery Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 13 miles 5 miles 34
1/27-2/1/15 6 miles Marathon Pace (MP) Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 15 miles 5 miles 35
2/2-2/8/15 7 miles
5 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
½ mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 6 miles PS Half 34.1
2/9-2/15/15 4 miles Recovery Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles 6 miles 35
2/16-2/22/15 7 miles
5 @ HMP
Rest 6 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles 6 miles 38
2/23-3/1/15 8 miles
MP
Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 18 miles 6 miles 41
3/2-3/8/15 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 6 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 6 miles Redlands Half 36.1
3/9-3/15/15 4 miles Recovery Rest 6 miles
4 @ LT Pace
3milesor Rest Rest 20 miles 5 miles 38
3/16-3/22/15 8 miles
MP
Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 16 miles Neg Split Run 6 miles 41
3/23-3/29/15 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
1 mile intervals
3 miles or Rest Rest 20 miles 6 miles 42
3/30-4/5/15 8 miles
1 mile LT intervals w/2 minute rest
Rest 6 miles
4 @ HMP
3 miles or Rest Rest 22 miles 6 miles 45
4/6-4/12/15 8 miles MP Rest 6 miles Hills 3 miles or Rest Rest 15 miles Neg Split Run 5 miles 37
4/13-4/19/25 8 miles
6 @ HMP
Rest 5 miles
½ mile intervals
Rest Rest 10 miles 5 miles 28
4/20-4/26/15 6 miles Rest 5 miles MP 3 miles Rest 2 miles SLO Marathon 16 + 26.2

This week I ran 25.5 miles. I’m a little behind where I wanted to be on my total mileage, but I’m happy with that. It will be increasing soon! I did not make to yoga at all this week, but I’ve got a class on my schedule for today. I really don’t want to let that go now that I’ve started back. Here’s my recap:

Monday: I ran 7.5 miles on the road. I was making up for missing a longer run the previous Saturday. It was cold, but I didn’t have a client in the morning, so I could start a little later.
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: After a one mile warm up, I ran three miles at half marathon pace. My goal was about 9 minutes miles, but I actually ran 8:53, 8:49, and 8:45, so I was really happy with that. And surprised! I took one break, at the halfway point, just walked for about 30 seconds.
Thursday/Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles on the road. The hardest part, because Alan is a little behind me on his schedule and was only running 8, was to add that extra 2 miles. It was important though, not so much for the extra mileage as for the mental aspect of pushing through.
Sunday: Doggy run (and recovery) day! Two miles with Penny and Johnny, one miles with Lily, Olivia, and Coco.

Not bad. Now that I have my schedule I am getting more excited for the marathon. You still have time to join me if you want! Remember you get a $10 discount with the code WOODAMB.

SLO Marathon

Do you make a lot of smoothies? Do you have a favorite recipe for a smoothie or juice that you’d like share? Link it up if you’d like!

Create Your Own Marathon Training Plan

Seven steps to making your own 16 week training program.

Marathon Training Plan

Are you planning to run a spring or summer marathon? Well, good for you! Do you have a training plan yet? It’s never to early to start planning your training, building a base, and mentally starting to prepare. While many of us can’t afford a coach (though it may not be as expensive as you think), a generic internet training plan doesn’t have to be the only option.

Believe it or not, you can create your own effective and safe training plan whether you are a beginner, looking to improve your times in your second or third marathon, or an experienced runner who wants to run at a high level. Just follow the steps below to create a 16 week marathon plan. Beginners, follow just the first five steps. If you have longer than 16 weeks until your marathon, use that time to build your base mileage. By the time you start the training plan, you should be able to run 10-12 miles for your long run, and about 25 miles per week.

Getting Started

Before you create your marathon training plan there are a few things you need to think about. First, you need a goal time. This can be based on a previous marathon or races of other distances (check here for a useful chart of time calculations). This time will be used for several purposes, including marathon pace runs, determining your long run pace, and giving you a guideline while you’re actually running your race.

It would also be helpful to know your race paces in the half marathon and 5k. If you don’t have those, that’s okay, you can gauge your training pace by effort level. Use a recent time, not your PR from two years ago.

Then sit down and figure out what days you can run. Think of your work and family schedule, then write down the days of the week that you can use for your training plan. Be honest with yourself. If you think you want to squeeze in a run on a weekday afternoon, but you know that you hate to run after work, don’t write it down.  Ideally you will plan to run a minimum of four to six days. You will need at least one day for a long run, so make note of that day. You will eventually need three to four hours for that workout.

Finally, make a chart that extends all the way to your marathon date. An Excel or Word table works just fine, or you can use a real calendar. See below for my revised SLO Marathon training plan. Label it Monday-Sunday, and date it through to your race. If you have any planned races, write them in. Now you’re ready to make your plan.

1. Long Run. The first step is to take a look at your long run. Working back from your marathon date, give yourself three weeks to taper. That will be your longest run. I would recommend at least 20-22 miles. For the first long run, write in your current long distance. Now, working back and forth, increase that mileage 1-3 miles per week. Every third week or so, give your body a break and cut back the long distance run by about 25%. Try to work in at least two runs of 20 miles or more.

Long runs should be run at an easy, slow pace, a minute or more below your goal race pace. During the second half of your training, plan to run about 5 or 6 miles of your long run at Marathon Pace, somewhere in the second half of your run. This will give you an idea of what race pace feels like, especially when your legs are already tired.

2. Recovery run. Ideally, the day after your long run will be a short recovery run or complete rest. A recovery run should be around 3-4 miles.

3. Speed Training. The second run to schedule in is your speed training run (more advanced runners will have a second hard run, see #6). Schedule this run so that you have at least one recovery day between it and your long run. Two is even better for beginners. The total mileage will be about 4-8 miles and you can choose from any of these workouts:

a. Hill Repeats
b. Tempo Workout: The link has directions on how to find your tempo workout pace and effort level.
c. Half Marathon Pace run: Warm up for about 10 minutes. Run 20-40 minutes at your current half marathon pace. Cool down for 5-10 minutes.
d. Interval Training: Longer intervals of 800-1600 meters, at a pace about 15 seconds per mile slower than your 5k pace.

Try to vary these workouts. If you know that your marathon has a lot of hills, you might want to schedule more hill workouts.

Note: If this is your first marathon and you “just want to finish” I still recommend this workout. It will help you feel stronger throughout your race.

4. Easy/Moderate runs. The other two or three days can be easy to moderate runs. Cross training is an option, especially for beginners. On one of those days, build your mileage a mile at a time to about 8 to 10. Just like the long run, drop the mileage by about 25% every third week to give your body some recovery time.

5. Taper time. Starting after your last long run, three weeks out from your marathon, you will start to taper your distance and intensity down. The first week, drop the long run by about 30%. That is the only change. Two weeks out from your race, drop your long run again, to about 40-50% of your longest distance. About 10 days out from the race, you will also start to drop the mileage of your other runs.

The last week of your marathon cut your mileage way back. Take an extra rest day. No speed work during this final week, though you might want to try a three mile marathon pace run several days out (that is exactly what it sounds like. Warm up for a mile, run two to three miles at your goal pace, then recover for a final mile.). Running the day before the marathon is optional. Called a “shakeout run,” it can help loosen up muscles (and shed some nerves), but it is up to you. Keep it short, and try to stay off your feet for the most part the rest of the day.

6. Second Speed Workout. If you have run a marathon or two (or three or four), and want to improve your time, add a second speed workout during the week. You can pick another option from above or try one of these:

SLO Marathon 4Don’t schedule your high intensity runs back to back. This includes your long run. Insert an easy or rest day in between your hard runs.

7. Run More. If you really want to set a PR or even qualify for Boston, you need to run more. Run at least 5 days a week, and 6 is optimal. That doesn’t mean to run through injury, or to disregard your body’s signals that you are overtraining. Be smart, rest if you need to, but to really run at a high level, you need to put miles on your legs.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to create a personalized marathon training plan that will be perfect for you! It will fit into your schedule, progress at your pace, and get you where you want to go. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments or email me at debbie [at] livefromlaquinta.com. And if creating your own plan isn’t your thing, I can create a program for you that will be designed to get you to your goal.

Disclaimer: I am a coach, but I’m not your coach. Marathon training is challenging and you need to be in general good health (see a doctor if you’re not sure!) and have a solid running base to attempt it. Rest is very important, and if you notice any minor running aches and pains, or other injuries, take appropriate action to resolve the issue. Injury prevention is not addressed in this article, but it is a risk during marathon training.

Have you made your own training program before? What is your current training goal (running or otherwise)?

Reaching 2015 Goals with Help from Walmart Family Mobile

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyNewMe #CollectiveBias

As I promised in my 2015 Running and Fitness Goals, this is a week of running. And writing about running. From how to stay healthy and uninjured, how to train, and now, how to stay motivated during marathon training.

Walmart Family Plan 6

Marathon training is pretty hard, especially when you’re, ahem, 57 and trying to set a high standard for your race. Day after day of running, increasing mileage, adding speed training, and of course, those beloved long runs of 18-22 miles. I better stop thinking about it before I really begin questioning myself!

Even though my husband is going to run the SLO Marathon with me, much of my training is on my own. When I’m out on the road I need a few things: safety, motivation, distraction, and diversion. Fortunately, Walmart Family Mobile and my new LG L90 Smartphone have me covered.

I recently headed to Walmart in Indio to sign up for Walmart Family Mobile and purchase my LG L90 Smartphone (I was looking specifically for that phone, so I had to go a little farther from home). I was happy that I did, as the Walmart in Indio is brand new, huge, and wasn’t very crowded. A perfect combination!

Walmart Family Plan 2

I was really happy to learn about the Walmart Family Mobile plan. For only $34.88 a month ($29.88 for additional lines) you get unlimited talk, text, and web, and 5GB of 3G data. With the skyrocketing cost of mobile phone plans, it is nice to know that here is a family-friendly, budget-friendly option available.

I purchased the LG L90 Smartphone. It has everything I can need in a smartphone, with an Android based system (running 4.4 KitKat for you techies out there). Since this phone is designated as my “Run Phone,” I immediately downloaded all the apps that I could think of that would help me reach my goals. This included music and audiobook apps, GPS tracking apps, running logs, and of course, Instagram and Twitter (still gotta share those milestones, right?).

Walmart Family Plan 3

Of course, since I love my social media, photos are important, and the LG L90 has a good camera.

Walmart Family Plan 7

I think the most important thing is that I have a good phone, with a strong 3G connection, that is convenient to carry with me while I’m running. You just never know when you will need to call for help and it really gives me a feeling of security to know I’m carrying this phone while I run. It fits easily in my Flipbelt or an armband, and is so light weight I barely notice that I’m carrying it.

Walmart Family Plan

I have it pulled out to show off the phone, but the LG L90 fits easily in the media pocket of my top.

We all need a little help with our goals from time to time. I love the motivation I get from this phone. It will help get me out the door, keep me safe and engaged while I’m out there, and record and track my training (and share it too!).

What motivates you to reach for your goals?