Win a FREE entry to the Madison Mini-Marathon

Yeah. You read that right.

But more on that in a bit.

In searching for  races to fill my training calendar this summer, I came across the Madison Mini-Marathon. Many of my friends have done this race in years past, and I’ve only heard positive things about the race. So last week, I put Madison Mini-Marathon on my “Maybe” list. One thing that intrigued me was the M2 Challenge, presented in connection with the Summerfest Rock ‘n’ Sole Half Marathon.

What’s the M2 Challenge? Basically, if you run both the Madison Mini-Marathon AND the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Half Marathon, you get a special two-event medal! I’m not one to turn down an extra medal. Plus, it’s free as long as you complete both races! EEK!

So guess what? I’m now registered for both races!!! I figure that the Madison Mini-Marathon will be a killer training run for the Lakefront Marathon, plus I have a bunch of friends running the race. It’s a win-win!

Oh yeah. About that giveaway.

I am so excited to announce that the organizers of the Madison Mini-Marathon have given me A FREE ENTRY TO THE RACE to giveaway here on my blog! How awesome is that? I know. Pretty damn awesome.

What do you have to do to win?

Well, as my long-time readers know, I am basically an open book. I’ve posted about losing my pants while running at the gym, asked you if you fart while exercising and have even written about what underwear to wear when working out.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to force you to share your most embarrassing workout moment (although that would be AWESOME. And please do share. I love those stories). What I want to know is:

What is the greatest piece of exercise/health/weight loss/running/fitness advice you’ve ever heard?

Submit your answer in a comment to this post by 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, 2012. I will pick a winner at random and reveal the winner on my blog on March 8th!

Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary entry to the Madison Mini-Marathon. I rule. Don’t hate.

This contest closed on 3/7/12 at 8 p.m. Thanks!

60 Replies to “Win a FREE entry to the Madison Mini-Marathon”

  1. Greatest advice is that you are your greatest opponent. I remember a story my high school cross country coach told of the hardest race mentally he ever ran, and beating his biggest competition. Two weeks later my coach raced the same opponent and the race wasn’t close, coach won by a long shot. Coach thought for sure his time would be SO much slower…it was the exact same time as the race two weeks prior. Mental toughness, that’s what gets us runners to do what we do! (know matter how crazy we may look doing it!)

    *Hope I’m the random winner!!!

  2. Greatest piece of advice for all of the above that I have received is “start now.” Basically, there is no time like the present. Don’t put off the: eating right, working out (more), sleeping more, etc. until next week, because that will turn into next month, or after the holidays, or next year. You get the picture. Also, somewhat related to that- in order to get motivated to do your workout, start putting on your workout gear. Especially in the winter, once you have the gear on, sometimes it always seems like more work just to get it all off again, so it’s better to go for that run.

  3. Great race in a great city.

    Advice? Hills. Yeah, they suck. They’re hard and they seem like they’ll never end. But you know what? Running those hills? It pays off in the end. Speedwork in disguise. And after incorporating a hilly route or hill repeats on that blasted treadmill into a training program for a few weeks, they get easier. And runs get easier. Faster too. So the best piece of advice I’ve picked up is yes, you can hate the hills, but learn to love them, because they’ll pay off come race day. Especially on race day at the Madison Mini – you’ll be going up those hills in the Arb and passing folks who are struggling. Great feeling.

  4. Get your workout stuff ready the night before so you don’t have waste time preparing in the morning. I would SO love to win a free race entry!

  5. run your own race, don’t worry about what other people are doing. You don’t know how they trained, so don’t copy them on race day

  6. Greatest advice? Just move – keep moving forward, no matter how slow and how long it takes you, there is stil someone at home, on the couch, who hasn’t moved a bit.

  7. Greatest advice: keep moving and enjoy the scenery.
    I sure would like to see the scenery in your neck of the woods!

  8. Best advice I ever got…START! Seriously. But, I didn’t listen because I didn’t think I could do it. Then, someone told me that I should go get fitted for running shoes. They told me that if I was wearing the right shoes, my feet, legs, knees, hips…basically everything would feel better. I believed them and went to get fitted for running shoes. Then, after I dropped $100+ on the ‘right’ shoes, I felt like I had to start using them. So…I did. And now, I love it. No looking back. And I really hope that I get to run the Mini this year.

  9. sounds cliche but when i first started running and eventually completed my first 26.2 in about a years time, the “Just Do It” is spot on. there are days you dont feel like it but all you have to do is start and then it feels great.

  10. I love this race. I’ve run it every year since it started and plan to run it every year forever and ever.

    You have to find what works for you, and train at your own pace. For years I ran 5-6 days a week. This was fine when I was running 3 miles at a time. But once I started training for half marathons and increasing my mileage, I was plagued with exhuasted legs and overuse injuries no matter how I tried to slowly increase my mileage. Eventually I started every other day running. And I haven’t looked back. I’ve run 9 half marathons, three using the every other day mentality and finally pr’d with my goal of breaking 2 hours (i smashed it) after making the official switchover. I’d been chasing that goal for 4 years.

    I’m now training for my first marathon and only run three days a week. I’ve found I have the energy to run on my running days, and enjoy my cross training on the other days. It’s a little hard for me to see all my other friends rack up their mileage each and every day, but you have to know what is good for your body and what works for you. Find it, and stick with it.

  11. This is fun, Amy. I got linked over here by the Mini’s facebook feed – nice to ‘meet’ you!

    My favorite piece of fitness advice – do what you love. If you love to run, then run but if you don’t then find something else! Cycling, swimming, fitness classes, yoga, walking… there is so much out there to try. I think of being active as a necessity, but I don’t want to feel like I have to do it. So I do what is fun. Lucky for me I find almost everything fun (even early morning running). 🙂

    What is the greatest piece of exercise/health/weight loss/running/fitness advice you’ve ever heard?

  12. I am currently training for my first full marathon.
    I think the best advice I ever got was to remember that you didn’t gain that weight overnight, you can’t expect to lose it overnight.
    Progress takes time, but if you stick to a plan you will see results!

  13. Such a fun race! I did the mini one year and the 5K another.

    The greatest piece of advice I’ve heard is that you’ll never regret a run/workout, but you’ll almost always regret skipping it. So even if you feel like hitting the snooze one more time, tell yourself to get out there and give it a try. 🙂

  14. Running is hard. Everyone knows that. And life can certainly be hard at times too. But I have realized in my short running career that running strong out on the trails often corresponds to being strong in life. And it comforts me that the most worth-while things in life are never easy. So for me, the greatest piece of advice is this: If it is important to you, you will find a way; if it is not, you will find an excuse. You need to be strong in order to demand enough of yourself on those days when you want to give in or give up because you are scared you don’t have what it takes. On those days, it’s not how many miles you run or how fast you go; it’s not if you pr or even how you feel. Rather, the most important thing on those days, and on all days, is that you find a way to push through all the obstacles, pain and setbacks and find a way to move forward. Then, you’ll start to see in life that every day is the perfect day to go for a run, or for that matter, to do whatever you set your mind to. If you have the will power, the rest will sort itself out. That’s how I see it.

    Last summer, after battling a knee injury, I completed the Madison Mini Marathon–my first half marathon! I will be returning this summer from a year teaching abroad in Spain and I would love to test my will power again in the Madison Mini come August!

  15. Think of those that wish they could do what you are doing, and be grateful for your opportunities. A bad run to me could be someone else’s greatest wish – never take for granted what your body is capable of 🙂

  16. I hope it is ok if I “cheat” a bit and combine a couple bits of advice, since they go together so well. First of all, have a goal. You know, something to shoot for and give you direction and focus. But the second piece is so important too – let everyone around you know what you want so they can support and/or challenge you. Let’s be honest, if you are normal, you will doubt yourself from time to time; and it is priceless to have those true friends to pick you up and help get you back on your path towards success. (Thanks, friends – I couldn’t have done that without you!)

    By the way, I must say you are a hoot! Thanks for your sense of humor and honesty – you aren’t afraid to ask what some others are.

  17. After a difficult first pregnancy and birth, I was determined to get back into shape. My advice to myself was, “You have no time or money for a gym membership, so sign up for a marathon.” I’d never run more than six miles previous to that. I ended up losing 25 pounds, finishing the Madison Marathon in just over 4 hours, and then running the Madison Mini pregnant with our second child. Since I decided to “run right through” this second pregnancy, I’ve avoided all the nausea and ickiness I experienced the first time around. I’m at 8 months and just competed in my last 5-mile race before due date (April 8). I’m looking forward to the Madison Mini this year as my “comeback race!”

  18. “The first 10 minutes are the hardest.” Getting out there is half the battle, and if you can remember how great you feel afterwards before you start, you’re golden.

  19. “If you’re not doing anything, then you’re not working.” Basically, just do SOMETHING. Get off the couch. Even if all you do is walk the dog around the block, at least you’ve done something.

  20. Oh man! Tough question!
    “Just keep moving!”
    Short – not always so sweet – but a phrase that I try to live by! Another favorite though is…
    DLF < DNF < DNS (Dead Last Finish < Did Not Finish < Did Not Start)

    In response to the other things set forth…
    Whoa… I haven't lost my pants at the gym… yet!
    Yes! (ooops… I mean No…. must've been that guy next to me!)
    I'm gonna have to go back and check out that underwear post – I swear that's a constant battle!!!

    Love your blog!!! 🙂

  21. When running long, focus on setting goals of short distances, like “okay, I’ll run to the red mailbox.” Breaking down a 26.2 into short increments makes the race seem less daunting! Plus, you’ve completed many little goals instead of just one big goal.

  22. The hardest part is getting to the gym/trail. Once you are there, make the most of it.

    In a close second…..listen to your body. You’ll prevent injury.

    Whoo Hoo for free entry!!!

  23. Since January 2011 I have lost 184lbs and ran my first half marathon in October 2011. I stressed out for 12 weeks of training and even during the race about “times.” After the race I was mentally drained and did not run for a few weeks until a friend gave me a valuable piece of advice, “Don’t worry about times”. I got back to running by Thanksgiving and am signed up for a half and full this spring/summer. My training is stronger than ever and I am having fun just running and not sweating my pace. I am hoping to hit my goal weight loss of 200 total lbs lost by my 30th (5/5). Glad I found your blog.

    Best, -Mike

  24. The best piece of advice that I’ve ever received was printed on a t-shirt – It read something to the effect of ‘Buck Furpees’. Get it? 🙂 Okay, so that really wasn’t the best advice, but it still makes me chuckle. One of my favorite motivational quotes – It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch!

  25. The best fitness advice that I ever received was to “just do it.” Now I am not trying to quote Nike – although they picked a great tag line! It is truly the best advice.
    I was the type to put off my fitness goals and activities because I didn’t think that I knew what I was doing. That’s bogus. All we need to do is get moving!
    Just Do It means to stop waiting for all the following things to happen: the right time, the right clothes, the right partner, the right treadmill, the right workout DVD, the right program, and etceteras. I could go on and on about the things that held me back. Once I realized that there is not one tried and true method to this, I got moving and just did it!! Everyone can do it.

  26. The best advice I have heard was never diet. A diet is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Rather make a lifestyle change, something that works for you, so you continue to do it, and that is focused on a permanent solution, not a quick fix.

  27. “Do your best, and forget the rest” from the P90X series. When I first started the series I wouldn’t do some of the DVD’s because they were too hard. Then I decided to actually take that advice. I would just do 20 minutes of the hard workout. Then it was 25. After a month I could do the whole thing. I carried that into my running. I’m going to run the Madison Mini. I haven’t signed up yet but I will. It will be my first half. I was hesitent, since I am nervous about my first 10k in May, but like Tony Horton says, “do your best, and forget the rest”. If I walk some of it, who cares. It will still be fun.

  28. The best running advice I got was “Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

  29. While mopping at a summer job at the age of 15, the head janitorial guy saw my sloppy work and told me, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”. I corrected my sloppy work, but didn’t really put much thought into what he said until many years later when I realized I was not invincible and the time we have is finite. These words have since been echoing in my head. If you want to lose weight and it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing right with no cheating. Same applies to fitness programs. If you go into a particular training regine with the resolve that it’s worth doing, chances are you will want to do it right.

  30. The greatest piece of advice I have heard is to not give up the bad foods. If you eat just a little bit of the bad foods every now and then it will satisfy your hunger for them, and your husband won’t find you sprawled out on the kitchen floor at midnight eating Turtles candies.

  31. This is one of the best supported runs you will find! Kat and the crew take great care of you before, during and after the run! The route is great and the scenery even better……..It was my first half marathon two years ago and since, I have done at least 5 half’s and the Chicago Marathon….this is the best!!!

  32. The best advice I ever got was simply just to start. Once I started the advice changed to just stay with it. The advice worked cause now I’m 70 lbs lighter and in better shape than I was in high school!

  33. Best advice I heard was this….it’s not your finishing time that’s important but the kind of time you have finishing!! So go out and have a good time! And every race I complete I go out and have a blast!

  34. The best advice I’ve been given as I was getting back into shape after going through chemotherapy treatment wasn’t actually told to me, but I found it in a quotation: “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” (Walter Bagehot). Pre-cancer I was extremely fit and in shape, but treatment made it hard for me to get back on my feet and moving. At this point I was finishing high school and going to college where I had been planning to swim, but people weren’t sure I would be able to swim competitively again, let alone get back to the same place I had been athletically. Four years later, I’m not swimming, BUT I am continuing to work hard to gain strength and stamina and now I am a varsity cross country and track runner for my college! It truly is such a pleasure to prove to yourself and others that you can achieve your goals!

  35. “the pain you feel today is nothing compared to the pride you will have for a lifetime” I read this sign climbing a terrible hill in the Wisconsin Ironman in 2006…instant motivation!

  36. The best advice I ever got, which resonates with me daily, is from my trainer Nickie who told me that I am stronger than I think I am. I can do anything I set my mind to. I nailed the exercise commitment and with her support I came to realize the next piece was nutrition and eating clean. Once I got on board with that I lost a stubborn 10 pounds and I owe it to Nickie for her daily encouragement.

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