Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Inspirational Workout Space for Runners

It wasn't long ago when we brought her home to live with us.  We didn't have much space but  managed to find a perfect spot where we would all be happy. She was beautiful and had that new smell and fresh look.  I knew from the moment I saw her that we would have some incredible experiences together.  At the time, in our small Portland home of three bedrooms, her room would have to be the garage.

Not the worst place for a treadmill.

I remember how excited I was to get a treadmill to call my own. I admit, running on a treadmill isn't my top preference these days when it comes to running but it was what made marathon training possible a few years ago. In a sense, I actually preferred the treadmill to the road back then.  I know, I know, that almost feels wrong to write.  I can hear the outcry of runners everywhere who avoid the treadmill or dreadmill at all costs.

Whether I liked the treadmill or not, it was what worked for me during certain seasons of my life.  As a mother of three young kids, I didn't find much time to run outside in the winter unless I pulled myself out of bed before the sun came out (yuck), or ran at dark once my husband came home from work.  Living in Portland, Oregon meant that sometimes there were weeks on end where we didn't see the sun or a dry day.  Running in the cold AND dark is for the birds!  So, I did the majority of  marathon training on treadmills.  In fact, even before having kids, I hit up the treadmill at the gym after long teaching days to avoid the winter rain and dark.

Before I even tested out my new treadmill, my brain was working on ways to create inspirational space in my garage.  If I was going to spend so much time out there logging miles and dreaming of my goals, I wanted to be surrounded by things that motivated and inspired me.  I did the best I could with the space I had. The first thing that came out was my box of running bibs (those that I actually saved) and racing medals.  I found an old bulletin board and pinned up some of the things that inspired me the most:  Boston Marathon bib from 2004, winning age group award from my first marathon, notes from my kids telling me they loved me and believed in me, my time goals for specific races, notes of encouragement from friends and blog readers, and several other things.

 My workout space wasn't anything to showcase by any means but it sure did make running mile after mile in that garage much more enjoyable.  It was MY space.  My space to train and dream big.  And even though it was just in a dusty old garage, it was MY dusty old workout space.  Many a run in that garage.  Many a dream.  Thoughts of crushing my goals and racing strong.  There were even workouts that brought discouragement and doubt.  However, no matter what kind of workout I had out there on that treadmill, having a place to call my own, sparked motivation and helped me keep my dreams alive.

As we get ready to move to our new house in Bend, Oregon, I anticipate that most of my runs will be on the Deschutes River Trail that runs right next to our home.  In fact, we are only a block from the river trail access.  This sounds like a dream, and no doubts, it will feel like one too.  However, I'm also aware that the winter weather in Bend will mean that some days are inside runs. This is especially true if I continue to train through the winters for spring marathons.

In seeing Jenn's picture of her finished treadmill room, I realized what a difference it can make to have this inspirational space to call our own.  Creating space that inspires us can do wonders for our mind...as athletes, artists, writers, etc.  As many of us know without a doubt, the mind is one powerful player in creating and achieving our best!  So, bring on the inspirational space.

One perk to having more space in our new house is having the space to give my treadmill a place inside  the house instead of in a dusty, cluttered and cold garage.  Jenn's workout space inspires me and I'm so  excited to plan my indoor workout space!  In fact, I think I'll start now by framing my Boston Marathon posters from 2013 and 2014 before they get ruined in the move to Bend.  Once we unpack, you bet I'll be pulling out old medals and racing bibs to frame and make visible from my treadmill.  I'm sure there are many things in my old running boxes that would be  perfect for my inspirational running space.  It will be fun to look through them.

Some ideas to include in a home workout space for runners:

  1. A bulletin board or wall filled with race bibs from past races. 
  2. Framed race bibs from races that are particularly special for one reason or another.  If I can find them, I will frame the bib from my first marathon and my four Boston Marathons.  
  3. A medal hanger to display your racing bling.  You can find these at almost any of the big marathon expos or online.  Some of you might even have a friend that makes them.
  4. Your goal times written down where you can see them from your treadmill.
  5. Framed posters from special races.  Again, I will be framing my Boston 2013 and 2014 posters.  I don't think I saved any from 2004 and 2012.
  6. Notes of encouragement from our children, spouses, friends, etc.  
  7. Photos.  I'm sure many of us have photos from some of our favorite running memories:  On the bus to the starting corral, running a race, posing with runners that inspire us, receiving a medal, that moment where we just finished our first race, etc.  I haven't included photos in my workout space but I have some great ideas for pictures I might frame if I ever get around to that.
  8. Words.  I love words!  You bet, I'll plan on putting up powerful quotes, mantras and even just words by themselves that inspire me in one way or another.   Do you have an inspirational space or workout room in your house?  What does it look like?  Do you have old race bibs and medals up?  Pictures?  


Instagram:  http://instagram.com/runninghood


  1. I'm not ashamed to admit that the treadmill is always my go-to choice for running - I can multi task and watch mindless reality TV guilt free!!!

  2. Thanks friend:) I had so much fun making this space. I've had these things sitting in drawers or in places out of sight for so long. Minnesota winters SUCK. Although I hope to use this treadmill minimally this summer, I will definitely be close friends with my TM this winter!!

    I used an old window frame with the glass (or screen) taken out and then used a staple gun to crisscross twine across the back. This works perfect to hang bibs or even inspirational notes or cards of words of encouragement with little office clips! I have some medal hangers but I let Reese use them in her room and opted to just mount a curtain rod to the wall here and use that. It worked well!! I'll continue to add little things and switch things up but I love having a place to display things that I EARNED and that are really special to me!!!

    Next project is taking my running magazines and ripping pieces all over a piece of canvas and then putting some vinyl letters of simple words or quotes overtop and painting over it all. I'll sand it down to distress it a bit and peel the letters and the magazine print will show through. A cool quote or even simple inspiring words!

    Excited for you to have your house in Bend and to have all these fun projects to do to truly make it your own!!! And, I can't wait to visit:) Love you!

  3. You're moving back to Oregon?! That's great news...right?! My son is in Portland and will never leave...I'm happy for you and your kiddos!
    I know you'll have just the right space for "her" and will continue to treasure "her" for many years to come. You'll have to post pictures of "her" new room :) ! BIG HUGS!

  4. What a good idea! I just have a filthy yoga mat from a Botox rep on the floor next to my Walmart weights. Not very inspiring.

  5. I have my medals on my medal rack that says will run for a beer (given to me for my birthday). I have only my first marathon bib on there and my wine half marathon bib (with zombie blood from another race) from March.

  6. Love your medal display! Your workout room looks great. I would definitely feel the motivation! Oh, and as for the book you asked about--run, don't walk, to the library and pick up a copy of The Fault in Our Stars! It's one of my all time favorite books--but don't forget to keep the kleenex close!

  7. it's funny you checked in with my blog, this past Sat. I checked in on you and a few others to catch up. I hope the move goes well and you have many fun running trails ahead.

    I admire people who can do a lot of training on the mill. I think it's an excellent mind workout, but I haven't developed the mind for it yet.

  8. I have a little chunk of wall in our master bath that I can put medals and bibs and maps on. You can see it when you look it from the entrance (it's on a wall facing away) but it reminds me of how far I've come every day ;)

    Enjoy Bend!