How I started running …

So … continuing {or starting} my story of how I started running …

A few months, maybe 6, after my son was born I decided to take him for a little jog/run. Now mind you I had NEVER ran, but prior to getting pregnant and up until I went into preterm labor, I was very active and worked out 3-4x/week doing cardio/weight training at the gym. But for whatever reason I decided I’d just go run. Bad idea. Not only was 1 mile SO very hard, but I didn’t have good shoes and I ended up bruising BOTH of my big toenails so badly that I lost them both a month later {this was the beginning of my gnarly ‘runner’s feet’}.

I stopped running.

Fast forward to the spring before I turned 30. My girlfriend and I decided to try the ‘Couch to 5K’ program and we planned our training to finish up right before a BIG 5K race. We helped to hold each other accountable and did our training. Amazingly I was starting to run. And I liked it … well I liked it after I was done ;). Slowly the ‘jog/run’ time got longer and longer just as my lungs and muscles got stronger and stronger. September 2007 I ran my first 5K with a time of 31:49.

** I am not an expert. I can still barely use the term ‘runner’ to describe myself. This is just me telling you what worked for me and how I started to run. **

Training::

Couch-to-5K~
I can not say enough about the ‘Couch to 5K {3.1 miles}’ training program. I was not a ‘couch potato’ by any means prior to starting the program, but my lungs and legs were not in shape to go run 1 mile, let alone 3 miles. I love how this program eases you into running with interval training. I also loved that it was only a 3x/week commitment. I am a classic type-A follow the rules and be successful or throw in the towel kind of girl. If this plan had made me work out 5-6x/week from the start, I would have quilt week 1. I’m all about developing realistic habits. 3x/week was realistic for me.

Recruit a Friend~
Having someone who is training along with you is such a motivator. My girlfriend Bethany and I not only wanted to finish this for ourselves, but for each other. We didn’t want to leave each other hanging come race day. Plus it’s always nice to be able to cheer, celebrate, gripe and boo-hoo with someone who gets what you’re going through, yes?

Sign up for a Race~
Try to find a local race that will be right around the time you are going to finish the program. This is another HUGE motivator to keep you on track and not allow you ‘take a week off’ because you’re not feeling it. You’ve committed money and as small amount as it may be, it seems to work. And if you think these races are silly, well you’re wrong {remember this is just my opinion, LOL}. I LOVE showing up to a race with so many like minded women {and men} that are there to run for fun. It gets you pumped up and really does help you run faster.

Clothing/Gear~
One of the best things about running is that aside from some sneakers and sweats you don’t need much else to run. I started off in a $40 pair of Adidas from Kohl’s {I am not even kidding} … in fact, I think they were ‘cross trainers’ not even running shoes. My point is, they worked … up until a point. I also never wear sweats {that’s a pet peeve to share another time} but I didn’t buy any new clothes to run, I just grabbed some knit shorts and t’s or tanks that I would normally work out in. Again, that worked up until a point. I did ‘splurge’ on a refurbished iPod Nano & Nike+ sensor. I *have* to have music to run. Okay, so I’m sure I could run without it, but I love it and I’m not giving it up anytime soon. I loved the Nike+ because it gave me a great feeling of satisfaction being able to look back and see my workouts and kept me motivated to keep working at it. Had I not purchased these two ‘extras’ I would have spent almost no $$ to get me to and through my first 5K.

Next time I’ll share more about my running story after my first 5K …

Comments

  1. i loved reading this. having small kids and it getting dark soo early has put a cramp in my running. i don’t like it.

  2. Oh how I envy you, I am a runner, I love to run, I am down with a back injury and am not supposed to run until I heal and it sucks. Awesome to get your girlfriend to help you out, wtg.
    You are considered a runner, all it takes is one step!

  3. Julie T. says:

    You have sure inspired me for the last 2 years. I’m so thankful for your example and encouragement to me in the adventure of becoming a “runner”! I still can’t believe it myself.

  4. I love reading about your running because it’s so very similar to my story. People still point out that my shoes are not “running” shoes and I’m training for a 10K now, it’s so funny how people can be kinda snooty about those things. But, who cares, I enjoy running. kinda. =) Good job!

  5. You are awesome and I enjoyed reading your story! I agree with you 100% on the awesomeness of the Couch Potato to 5k.

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