It is finally that season where I want to take off my warm cozy slippers, lace up my running shoes and run…and just keep running! Is that normal? Does anyone else’s family think they’re nuts for liking to run?  Ah well, let’s be nuts together! 

Summer is my running season. I’m able to stay motivated just enough the rest of the year not to get too out of shape that I can’t run to the mailbox, but summer is go time for me. 

I don’t mean to sound like a health expert, because I am not one. I can eat unhealthily. I go through carb binges. I go weeks without exercising, and these are the weeks I am most stressed and need exercise the most.

There are days I only have one glass of water because I don’t remember, or I’m just not thirsty, or I choose a beer instead after a long day working in the garden. 

Putting these human things aside, I simply want to share with you what I have found to help me be successful in the midst of these weaknesses.

Signing Up for a Race Motivates You to Run  

Back in December, I was going through a difficult time spiritually and emotionally due to all the stresses that were coming from my job at the time. I knew I needed something healthy and motivating in my life. Something just for me.

It needed to be something I would look forward to, beyond the difficult time I was experiencing. It needed to be something I enjoyed and in a place, I really enjoyed and had good memories of (think summer, lakes, sunshine, and friends). It needed to be a challenging but achievable goal and something physical.

I thought I will run a half-marathon! I knew I could do it because I had run a half-marathon a few years back (ok, it’s been thirteen years!). I thought, what if I run a half marathon in every place I’ve lived? So, I made a list.

I ran the Columbus Half Marathon in 2007. I thought, I will run the Fargo Half Marathon in 2020! And I’ll check the others off in the next 10 years.

I put the race on my calendar and created a schedule with cross-training included. 

First time runner? Check out my Prayer + 5K Running Plan here!

With the race ahead of me, it has motivated me to make the time and to show up…for myself and the person, God is calling me to be personally and for others!

Remember, this all started because I wanted to do something healthy and for myself in a season when I was struggling. It has given me a goal and has required me to keep showing up and to be true to the commitment I made.

Putting that date on the calendar and clicking register works for me, and I think it will work for you too. 

Purchasing the Necessary Gear Helps You Stick to Your Plan 

It’s never enjoyable spending money. But, when it goes to an achievable goal, your health and well-being, I think it’s worth it! 

When I begin training for a race, the first thing I do after registering is head on over to my local running store. In Ohio, that store for me is Front Runner in Upper Arlington, and in Colorado that store is Colorado Running Company in Colorado Springs. 

Why do I go to these stores? Because as part of the fitting process, they have 3D scanning technology that take precise measurements of your feet. The scanner captures the length, width and arch height of your feet.

This helps the store representative give you shoe and insole recommendations that work best for your feet. The shoes I have purchased range from $150-185. This does not include insoles. 

If you want to get fitted with the help of the 3D scanning technology, I suggest you Google your city and running company in the same search and you will find a quality store. Give them a call in advance to confirm the scanning is available.  

Use This as An Opportunity to Lose Your Winter Weight 

Am I the only one who gains weight in the winter? I sometimes feel like a grizzly bear with her honey pot and my favorite baggy sweater when I cuddle up on those frigid days.

That honey pot causes me to get a little uncomfortable with my body as April appears though. So, I use the summer running season as a time to slim down, especially since I don’t put in as much effort as I should during the winter months. 

We all know that if we eat healthy foods and drink a little less, it will help us have more successful workouts. However, what I didn’t know until a couple of years ago, thanks to my physical trainer at the time, is that we shouldn’t drink alcohol in the evenings before running or the evening before workouts.

She told me that it dehydrates you, causes lethargy (less endurance and strength), muscle cramping, passing out, and you don’t perform as well. After all, alcohol puts quite a strain on our cardiovascular systems. 

So, less drinking alcohol and more drinking water— but don’t have a miserable summer. You can still have fun when eating and drinking in moderation. Avoid alcohol, though, if you’re looking to run and cross train that day or the evening before. 

You may not want to hear this (I know I don’t) but wake up early! 

I’ve been told that if you don’t wake up early, you won’t get prayer time in or your exercise for that day. As much as I don’t want to believe that’s true, often it’s true for me. Dang it! Waking up 30-40 minutes earlier to get your run in for the day is how you’re going to crush your running goals this summer.

There are many benefits to this that go beyond the physical and into the spiritual and emotional. Some of these benefits may include getting to watch the sunrise, having you and God time first thing before the chaos of the day unfolds, fresh air first thing, water as your first liquid for the day, and you might just get to have the bathroom to yourself as you get ready for the day!

Set that alarm for 6:00 AM. You won’t be alone. Me and your sisters reading this will be pounding out miles, gulping water, and listening to those great tunes too!  

The Music that You Listen to is the Best Part of the Run 

Personally, I think the music you listen to on your run can make or break the run. I’m serious. If you have dull tunes, you lose your jive. If you have an upbeat and motivating playlist, you can push yourself past the goal you had set for yourself.

Did you know there’s a psychology to this? Music increases stimulation so it motivates our body to move! With this in mind, I created a FREE upbeat summer shuffle just for you to have as you head to the track or trails in these next weeks. 

You, Will, Achieve Your Goals This Summer

You want to run this summer. You have a reason you want to run, whether that’s to get healthy, fit into your wedding dress, feel comfortable around the love of your life, have the energy to play with your kids, or something else. I want these things for you too, and I know you can and will achieve your goals this summer! 


I'm a farm girl from Ohio with an intense love for Christ and His Church. Because I know your relationship with God is holy ground, one of the greatest privileges of this ministry (and my life) is to speak Christ's own words, "Be not afraid," into your beautiful feminine heart. Thank you for being here. 

Before you dive in more deeply... Hello! I'm Amanda Zurface! 

I'm a Certified Spiritual Director, and I have such a deep awareness of your goodness and worth that it both aches and lights me up (it's OK; it's a good ache). 

Forget the junk mail, I’ll send you life-giving encouragement, and resources for ongoing growth, all rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Consider every email as a page in your very own spiritual direction manual.

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