Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days: My Running Journey

This summer I started on a journey. A running journey.

I go go go for my family and make sure they're taken care of everyday. I finally hit a wall and realized while I was busy taking care of everyone else I was neglecting me. I'm not one to always want "me" time. I'm a girl who loves relationships. I love the relationship I have with my husband, girls, family and friends. Because I'm like this, it took me quite a while to relize I needed to do something for myself.

In comes running.

About 15 weeks ago I tried to get back into a workout routing. I was struggling with consistency. What's new with that though? I then looked into running. You have to understand that I'm 70 ish pounds overweight, have plantar fasciitis in both feet and have a bad left knee (high school basketball injury). Running didn't seem possible to me. It never has.

My sister and I were out one night having dinner and she mentioned she liked my watch (the $10 Wal-Mart special). I told her I bought it to be my stopwatch because I wanted to start running. I had done some research and had a running program in mind (this one) and she told me she'd like to help me. I was pumped. My sister is super woman when it comes to working out, in my opinion at least. :) Not only was she a Varsity athlete in high school, she played college basketball. She's run numerous 5k's, a half marathon and training for her second now, goes to kickboxing class and now has a personal trainer two days a week to help with her weight training. See, I told you! Anyways, the thought of going and running by myself didn't sound appealing even though I knew I needed to do something. And I knew I needed to get out of the house, without my girls and do something for me. Daniel leaves for work at 6 a.m. which means I had to either get up at 5 a.m. or wait until after he got home. Since we started running in July running at night didn't make sense because of the high heat and high humidity. Running before the sun started coming up seemed better for a first time runner like myself.

We started running about 10 days later. This gave me time to focus on what I wanted to get out of running and my other goals. So Monday morning 5 a.m. comes around. Y'all, I love to sleep. I love my bed. My parents lovingly gave me the name "The Bog" (bed hog) years ago and I like to live up to that. :) Five in the morning was. not. easy! But I did it. And I still do it. Three days a week we get up and go run together. We don't run if it's raining, the road is wet (I don't want to fall and get hurt) or we're sick. My only goals were to complete the program and run in the 5k. So off we went...

Week one was tough. Thankfully, it involved a lot of walking. The sixty seconds of jogging wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I was glad. For someone who hasn't done anything consistently for 10 years this was the right program for me. I repeated week 1 of the program to help get me stronger. I didn't want to push it and wear myself out. I'm glad I repeated weeks where I needed to. It's been helpful in the long run. I ran week 2 of the program (week 3 of running for my me) and my knees were killing me. My calves were tight and I walked around with bags of ice on me most of the day. I started taking glucosamine pills and a week later my knees started feeling better. I know the pills helped but I also know my body was adjusting to my running. And losing weight didn't hurt either. And people, 90 seconds of running is way harder than 60 seconds of running. You wouldn't think so but it is. I'm glad I repeated week 1 before moving to week 2.

On and on the weeks have gone with running. I repeated weeks 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8. We have missed a few days but get back on track the next week, if not the next running day. We run Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I like this schedule so I have 2 days to recover over the weekend.

To date I have completed 13 weeks of running and week 8 of the program. The last couple of weeks haven't been great, but it's all me. I've been inconsistent because I'm ready to run the race. I knew from the get-go I'd run my first 5k on November 3rd and now it's so close! I just want to see how I do and go from there. I have just a couple more weeks before I run and I'm getting excited. I have no goals of time or pace. I just want to run the whole time with no walking and finish. Yes, that's it. I've come to realize that setting goals is important to help me stay focused but setting lofty goals isn't helpful. Too many times I've set the bar very high for myself and came crashing down just 4-6 weeks later and then it's months before I do anything else. That's not what I want to do this time around.

Well, that's my running journey. My goals after this race are to keep running. I want to run Monday's and Thursday's. I also want to do pilates 2 days a week and maybe 1 day of weight training. I'll see how my race goes and decide what I want to do. I don't want to burn myself out but find consistency. I know I will pick another race and train toward it otherwise I'll be running just to run and I'm not sure how much I'd like doing that. But we'll see.

I bought these about 4 weeks after I started running.
 I knew I needed a real pair of running shoes. These have been my trusty kicks. :)

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