To celebrate 10 incredible years of the More® Magazine/Fitness® Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon, we’re honoring Women who Run the World—fearless game-changers who’ve paved the way for women over the last decade. These leaders will no doubt inspire you to run faster, train harder and work smarter.
From a U.S. Congressman to the CEO of Girl Scouts USA to a co-host from “The View,” these women are changing the face of business, education, women’s health, sports, and more. We’re thrilled to welcome these leaders to the biggest women’s-only half-marathon in the country!
As you train for your 13.1 mile journey, we want to know: Who inspires you to “run the world”? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook, or through Twitter. (Please us the hashtag #womenruntheworld.)
After having her first child, Nicole Sullivan struggled with her weight to the point that it was “torture,” she says. So when she was a few months away from giving birth to her second, Sullivan made herself a pact: “I was not going to spend the first year-and-a-half (or more) of my child’s life hating myself.”
She decided to call Jenny Craig to help get her pre-baby body back and to teach her how to find a healthier lifestyle. Thirty-five pounds later, the actress who most recently appeared on Cougartown, has discovered her inner athlete. She even crossed the finish line at the MORE/FITNESS Half-Marathon last month!
Just in time for Mother’s Day, we caught up with the funny mom for her top five tips about shaping up and setting a fit example for your kids.
- Don’t let the haters get you down. “L.A. is a great city, but it can be cruel if you’re overweight. I learned that my body will never be like Jessica Biel’s body…or even close! My only obligation is to be the best me I can be. For many actresses, they strive for (and achieve) being a size 0. For me, a size 4 means I’m rockin’ it. It’s all about making realistic goals.”
- Run your town. “The other day we were driving by a park filled with joggers, and my oldest son said, ‘Mom, you should go jogging here. You’d love it!’ How cute! My sons will never know the mom who didn’t run, who didn’t take walks or who didn’t compete in 10Ks and half-marathons. That’s a great lesson, I hope. Activity will always be in our lives. Before I lost weight, it almost never was.”
- Find some motivation. “The people on The Biggest Loser absolutely inspire me. If they can work out for four hours carrying around all that weight, certainly I can jump on the treadmill for 45 minutes. And I love that Reese Witherspoon still jogged even after she got hit by a car. That would have sent me back to my couch. But not her. Plus, she’s adorable and has great calves!”
- Crank up the cardio. “Once I lost the weight I did something I never thought I would do. I started jogging! I hated jogging. I hated joggers. I thought the whole thing was silly and cruel. But part of me always wanted to be the person that said, ‘Bye guys—I’m going out for a jog.’ So I started with 20 seconds at first, then a minute, then five minutes, then a mile. Last year I ran my first half-marathon and now I’m training for my fourth half-marathon this July. It’s crazy!”
- Start the day (and snack) smart. “I love my Jenny food. Their breakfasts are so good and so filling and I’m a big breakfast eater! My favorite is their egg breakfast sandwich. During the day, I grab Jenny cheese popcorn or mustard pretzel sticks and bring them in the car with me. They’re yummy and guilt free! Also, sugar-free Jello is good way to handle a sweet craving (I usually have 2).”
Moms tell us: How do you stay fit and how have you started your kids on the same healthy path?
Yesterday in Central Park, nearly 10,000 women laced up their sneakers for the MORE/FITNESS Half-Marathon. The weather was wonderful and the cheering crowds were inspiring, but sometimes you need just a little additional help to push you through those last challenging few miles. Download these songs, which helped us pick up the pace during the last stretch of the race, and add them to your next workout playlist! Nothing feels better than finishing strong.
- “Brokenhearted,” Karmin
- “Wavin’ Flag,” K’naan
- “Indestructible,” Robyn
- “I’m a Machine,” David Guetta, featuring Crystal Nicole
- “My Body,” Young the Giant
- “Get Yourself Back Home,” Gym Class Heroes
- “Lights (Bassnectar Remix),” Ellie Goulding
- “Countdown,” Beyonce
- “All I Need,” Natasha Bedingfield, featuring Kevin Rudolf
Now tell us: What motivates you to give it your all at the end of a workout?
In our March issue, you’ll find four inspiring half-marathon stories from readers who went from couch to 13.1, from jogger to racer and more. For the remaining Wednesdays in February here on The Fit Stop, we’re sharing more personal stories from women who tested our half-marathon training plan.
Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern
Colleen Schwartz considered herself to be a “casual runner,” but after training for and completing her first half-marathon, she is officially a racer! Although the initial thoughts of running competitively scared her, Colleen was determined to rock the race. After crossing the finish line at 2:03, Colleen has caught the racing bug. “I love getting a runner’s high,” she says. “I wish I could bottle it!”
We caught up with Colleen to find out how she squeezed in extra gym time and what convinced her she really could go the distance.
Although 13.1 miles is a tough distance to tackle, the run wasn’t what worried Schwartz most come race day. “What happens if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the race?” If you’re a runner, you know exactly what she’s talking about. Our advice? Go to the bathroom before heading to the race (leave early!), then make a pit stop at the port o’ potties once you’re there. Often not the prettiest loo you’ll visit, but it’ll be worth it when you see runners darting off course to handle their um, business, while you fly by.
We all know music can be a huge motivator and Schwartz used it to the max during long training runs. “Thank God for Rihanna and Beyonce,” she says. “These runs would be torturous without them. I probably spent more time planning my mix than I would spend running to it, but I had every song I could possibly want in the palm of my hand!” When you catch yourself feeling lackluster about hitting the pavement, try creating a new playlist or downloading throwback tunes that bring up happy memories.
And don’t be afraid to use negativity to kick-start your sweat sessions. We all have bad days, and sometimes “a really bad day at work leads to a surprisingly easy five mile run,” Schwartz says.