My Running Journey…

Ok…so I promised my cousin that I would write about how I got started with running…

Before I begin telling you about my running journey, I want to preface this by saying that everyone’s fitness journey is different and you have to do what is best for you, your body, and your life.  You need to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  If your body doesn’t like something…it will tell you and there is a difference between challenging yourself and hurting yourself…so listen.

To begin your journey you will need:

1. A good pair of sneakers (running shoes, gym shoes…whatever you feel like calling them). When I started over year ago, I went to the Inside Track store in Mechanicsburg, PA where Jim (Shout-out to JIM!! Whoop! 🙂 ), who is extremely knowledgeable about fits of shoes for different foot needs and activities, helped me find the perfect shoes for my feet! (I have weird wide-toe-box-narrow-high-arch-feet and a neuroma in my right foot…so finding the right shoe is often difficult.) He explained to me that if I was looking for fashion, I came to the wrong place…to go with what feels right…instead of what is attractive. So a year later I went back and bought my second pair!

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2. Good Music, Audiobooks, Radio….something to listen to. I find that what helps me keep my mind distracted from constantly looking at the BIG clock on the treadmill is something good to listen to. Often I listen on my TuneIn Radio app to my favorite radio station from back home (SHOUTOUT to 92.5 WXTU!! Whoop!! 🙂 )!! But I also find that a good audiobook or playlist on my iPod does the trick.  The past few days I’ve just had ONE song looped on my iPod because I love the upbeat rhythm, the beat is good, and the lyrics and voice aren’t too bad to listen to either (Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”)!! If I’m distracted, before I know it I’ve run 40 minutes! 

3. A little bit of time EVERYDAY.  Schedule yourself 30 minutes to a hour everyday to exercise.  This is your time to do what is right for your body.  If you can’t run, throw on your sneakers and get a good 30 minute walk in, or do a 30 minute DVD in your living room with your husband or kids. I hit the treadmill 5 days a week for about an hour, but on the weekends I try to find active things that my husband and I can do together.  We walk our local river trail, or walk to the local park, or do a circuit workout together in our living room, or find a new town to explore on foot. If you plan, you will succeed.

4. Inspiration and goals.  Really, a healthy YOU should be your inspiration. But whatever it may be, your kids, your family, etc. think about that and use it to challenge yourself to reach your goal.  I set a goal over a year ago to lose 30 pounds and even though I’ve had a few set-backs, I’m almost there.  We all can’t be RGIII or Heidi Klum and whatever your goal may be it won’t happen overnight, but keep your inspiration and goals in the front of your mind and you will succeed.

 

So now that I’ve prefaced my running journey, here is my story…

I am going to say something I’m sure many people will say about themselves….

I NEVER liked running. Not as a kid and certainly not as I’ve gotten older.  

In fact, I hated it

I hated it because I knew I wasn’t any good at it. I wasn’t fast. I wasn’t even kind of fast.

Let’s face it….I was slow. Like a turtle. (I like turtles!) 🙂

So through middle school, high school, and college I told myself I wasn’t a runner.

In one of my earlier posts I talked about how I got started with my “healthy new me” about a year ago (see here).  I started my exercises with walking…that’s it. Plain ol’ walking.

Then I was introduced to Leslie. She inspired me to get moving a little harder. 

I got moving and feeling GREAT!

Until I sprained my ankle…and now I have to finally come clean about HOW I sprained my ankle.  I like to tell people that I was “jogging” or “jogging around the neighborhood” because it’s less embarrassing.  BUT the truth is that I was about halfway through a Leslie DVD, in my parent’s CARPETED basement, JOGGING IN PLACE!! 

It’s embarrassing….I know! 

So, after my 2 months of physical therapy…I got back into my exercise routine by starting with Leslie again. Slowly at first, as I was a little afraid that I would have a mishap again.

Then we moved to Michigan.

Since I have lots of time I decided to get up every morning and get my sweat on with Leslie….well, that’s not so easy in a second floor apartment. :-\

We have a free fitness center in our complex so I ventured over one day to see what equipment was available and guess what I found….

Some inspiration….and a treadmill! 🙂

Sooo…I turned to Pinterest (that’s where we all turn when we need help figuring something out, right??)!! 🙂

I’m sure those of you who pin-away daily have seen some of these fitness ideas and maybe have even pinned a few of them….

Couch to 5k Running

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Rainy Day Runner’s Workout

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Color Runner Beginner 5k Plan

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So with all of this “Pinspiration,” I decided to hit the treadmill running….(haha..get it? RUNNING!) 🙂

I actually started by WALKING….yes, walking…on the treadmill. I did this to get myself used to the way the treadmill feels, and how the controls work. (I was told by my physical therapist that you shouldn’t hold on when on the treadmill because you won’t walk/run naturally…so I needed to get used to the way this treadmill worked and felt.)

Slow and Steady…right? (It’s that turtle thing again…) 

I would walk 5 minutes at 4.0 (brisk) and then boost it up to 4.5 (very brisk) for 5 minutes. I would alternate 5 minutes at each speed for about 30 minutes total. (**Note: these are speeds that work for my body…go with speeds that work for YOUR body!)

Once I was comfortable with the treadmill and controls (after a day or two), I decided to try adding some running.  Again, I alternated between 5 minutes of walking (at speed 4.0) and 5 minutes of running (at speed 5.2-which is a comfortable jog/run speed for ME).

After I felt comfortable with this routine, I decided to challenge myself a little bit.

I would run longer and shorten my walks between runs.  Eventually, I could run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute between….

Then one day…I thought to myself during the last minute of my 10 minute run…

“Hey…I think I could go 5 more minutes!” 

AND so I did! 🙂

Each day I continued to challenge myself to run “5 more minutes” and now I can run a 5k distance in 35:53 and I usually run a total of 40 minutes with a 10 minute cool-down walk.

My goal is to run an actual 5k somewhere, outdoors, with a start/finish line, and hundreds of other people. But for now, I will keep working on my running and LISTENING to my body. 

Again, this is MY running journey….and I hope you find some inspiration here, but remember to do what is right for your body and always Listen to it….it’s a pretty brilliant machine.

I’d love to hear about your inspiration, goals, and fitness journey, so feel free to share! 🙂

Happy fitness!

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