On May 5, 2019, Stephanie Bruce won the women’s race at the USA Track & Field Half Marathon Championships in Pittsburgh, securing the second national title of her career and earning a new personal best with a time of 1:10:44.
The following day, she tweeted: “Won a national title yesterday. Today my son yelled from the hallway ‘mom I pooped in my underwear!’ So back to real life.”
Why am I starting off with with that particular anecdote? Well, for starters it’s hilarious. But more importantly, it’s a refreshing reminder as we head into the hectic months of summer.
During the making of the July/August 2019 issue—my first as editor-in-chief—I moved out of my New York City apartment (where I lived for nine years); went to my little brother’s college graduation in Ohio; took a family vacation to Hilton Head; bought a car; and when we shipped the issue to the printer, I still hadn’t officially made it to my new home in Colorado. Over the course of those five weeks, I could count the number of runs I completed on two hands—and probably have a finger or two to spare.
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Life has been pretty hectic lately. Starting a new job, moving out of an apartment, keeping up with countless appointments and an inexhaustible to-do list–it’s all good, it’s just a lot. . When days and weeks like these come around, I really struggle to make time for myself. I push off sleep that I need and workouts that I crave because everything else feels like a bigger priority. I can find myself falling into an all-too common headspace: “Well if I can’t get out for an hour run, or a trip to the gym, what’s the point?” I catch myself waiting for the “perfect time” to get in a really solid, quality workout session–and unsurprisingly, that magical free time never seems to appear. . Today I was mentally in the mood to run. I wasn’t sure my body felt the same, but rather than overthinking it, I just went. I didn’t have a lot of time, but again rather than overthinking it, I just went. It was the shortest, slowest, least-impressive run I’ve done in a long time. I could easily feel frustrated or defeated by that. But while it sort of felt awful, it also sort of felt amazing. Squeezing in a few breezy, sunny miles was exactly what I needed today–and more importantly, a reminder that it doesn’t have to be far, or fast, or even your very best effort, for it to be totally, completely worth it. ☀️😎☀️ . . . #fitnessfix #progressnotperfection #irunthisbody #workoutwednesday #lunchrun #runhappy #betterforit #womensrunning #teamwr
I didn’t enjoy the dip in consistency, but I didn’t bemoan my lack of mileage either. I could pause and appreciate the stage I was in—one filled with meaningful transitions, sentimental celebrations, and exciting new chapters.
The point is this: Even for Stephanie (an elite runner at the top of her game)—or myself (someone who just accepted a dream job as editor-in-chief of Women’s Running)—running isn’t life. It’s a part of life.
In that spirit, we packed the pages of the July/August 2019 issue with practical tips to get the most out of your miles, while also maximizing your summer fun outside the runs. Here are just a few of my favorite highlights that you’ll find inside:
- An Exclusive 16-week Marathon Training Plan: Eyeing a fall race? Designed with first-timers in mind, our plan will give you all the structure you need to really commit and trust your training. (Not a first-timer? There are a few smart differences in our plan if you’re looking to outperform your last 26.2.)
- A Complete Summer Hydration Guide: Starting any run less-than-hydrated puts you at an immediate disadvantage. This package dives into the new rules of fueling (particularly how summer heat and sweat affect us as women), plus the season’s best water bottles, belts, and vests to bring with you on the run.
- Easy, Healthy Recipes for Your Next Cookout: At Women’s Running, we believe healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming, and we’re committed to bringing you delicious, doable recipes each and every issue. This time around, we’re focusing on grilling. From turkey burgers with chipotle berry sauce to mango scallop kebabs, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
There will be some of you who are training for an ambitious marathon PR this summer and some who are still dreaming of finishing your first 5K. There will be some of you who are sidelined by injury, and some who feel their best running days are behind you. My hope is that no matter what stage you’re in or what this season brings your way, you will find solidarity within these pages—and motivation, support, and encouragement within this community.
Wishing you all plenty of happy miles this summer, but more importantly, a season spent doing all the things you love.
— Jen Ator
The Future of Women’s Running
We’re just getting warmed up over here! There are so many exciting plans in store for this brand, and I want you all to feel a part of the evolution. So just like trusted running colleagues that I lean on for advice and support during a big training block, I welcome your thoughtful feedback and suggestions on how Women’s Running can keep getting stronger. What training advice are you looking for? What athletes would you love to see profiled? Are you still searching for the perfect sports bra? Find me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and let me know.
Where to Find Us
You can pick up the July/August 2019 issue of Women’s Running at most Barnes and Noble locations, or sign up for a subscription here. You’ll notice there are three subscription options available: print, print + digital, and digital only. What’s the digital option? That means you’ll receive a downloadable PDF of each issue via Zinio. (You can also purchase single-issue copies through Zinio here.)