So here’s the thing. I’ve been active all my life, but not really. I played sports, but never any that really needed much endurance. Bowling, gymnastics and softball. I never ran. When we had to run a mile in gym class in high school it took me forever! I couldn’t even make it a quarter of a mile without walking.
It wasn’t until my hubby signed up to run the Columbus Marathon in 2007 that I took up running. He started training for the marathon and took me under his wing in order to get me to sign up, too. So we started running together. That first day out he wanted me to run for 5 minutes straight and I about died! I had no idea how this was going to happen!
Having someone there to push me helped, but it was really just a mental game. Yes, it was hard to breathe. Yes, my legs were tired, but I needed to tell that voice in my head that kept reminding me of those things to shut it!
The plan was simple. Alternate running and walking and every week up the running time.
So this is how I started out. I had a stop watch and running shoes and I was out the door. I ran 3 times per week following this schedule and before I knew it I was running for 30 minutes straight! I couldn’t believe it!
I signed up for the half marathon. I trained all summer and in the fall of October 2007 I ran the Columbus Half Marathon. I developed a heck of a blister on the side of my foot, I had to walk for a bit after about 7 miles, I took water when it was offered, and I crossed the finish line. I didn’t break any records, but I didn’t finish last either. All that mattered was that I finished the race.
And then I vowed to never run a half marathon again.
And with winter approaching I gave up running all together.
I became a seasonal runner. When spring came around I had to start all over again. I couldn’t even run 1 mile. Luckily I knew how to start again.
I also had to stop and start again with pregnancies. My hips wouldn’t allow me to run after about 12 weeks or so. After Pumpkin was born it took me a while to start up again since the cold weather was upon us once I got the OK to start exercising again.
After starting up again last spring, though, I haven’t stopped. I ran through the winter. And this was one of the coldest/snowiest winters we have seen. I actually kind of liked winter running. Of course it wasn’t stroller friendly running, so I didn’t get out as much as I would have liked, but I’m happy with the miles I did get in and I’m happy where I am today.
Last night I set out after the girls were in bed. Thank goodness for the little bit of extra light in the evening these days! It was a race against the sunset. I set out with a plan of 5 miles or running until it got dark. I was pretty excited when the 5 miles won.
I have no race plans in the near future. I’m not sure I’ll ever run another half-marathon, though one of my girlfriends keeps suggesting we run the Disney marathon when she’s done having babies. We’ll see. For now it’s just something I do because I can. Because I want to. Because I want to live an active life and be a positive example for my daughters. Heck, my consistency has even motivated hubby to get back into running recently.
If you’ve thought about taking up running I would really encourage you to give it a go (with your doctor’s OK, of course). It’s great exercise. It’s free (aside from the shoes). It’s the perfect time to be alone with your thoughts (or your music). You’ll get to experience the runner’s high.
There are all sorts of smartphone apps out there you can download to help get you going such as an interval timer app to start you out with your training plan. I really like Map My Run for recording my runs. And of course you’ll want to load up on the music or use an app such as Pandora for some tunes.
Having a few good pieces of running gear helps, too. You really want a good running shoe. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a $200 pair of shoes, but they should be for running and they should feel comfortable. I like to buy a half a size up just to give my toes a little extra room. And I’m a big fan of running tights. Specifically these C9 by Champion Running Knee Tights now that the weather is warming up. And I loved these Champion Absolute Tights in chillier weather. And don’t forget a good sports bra!
So, do you run?
*I am not a doctor or a trainer or anyone qualified to tell you it’s OK to run. Please consult with a medical professional before starting up a new fitness program.
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