So, what’s the 411 since my last post? Well, I read the blog of a woman who also participated in the Baltimore Women’s Classic (my last 5K) and found myself motivated. See, for me, this was my second race and for her, the first. She finished with a time of about 45 minutes and I had finished my first a bit after 30 minutes. In no way am I comparing myself to this woman, I don’t even know her. She wrote about her new interest in running and that she had signed up to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) What?! I’ve just been looking for my next 5K and here is this stranger who has run one race and already signed up for a half marathon. I pondered on this for a while. I checked out the race she was going to-the Disney Princess half marathon. I looked at the website and the blog of a woman who had already done this race more than once. Hmmm, could I do this? It’s not for another seven months, I wonder if I could train in time and be ready for this race. They also have a 5K and a kids fun run. My mom could do the 5K and my son the fun run. And to top things off, we stay and go to Disney World the following week. I sat on the idea for about two weeks and really thought hard about it.
I had gone into the gym one evening (I usually go in the a.m.) and hopped on the treadmill. My intention was to run 3 miles. I decided to follow a half marathon training program that I receive via email, just to kind of see if I could do it or where I really stand running wise. I had gone out the night before and had a few drinks, I ate badly that day, and my body was just worn down. Since changing my lifestyle, any time I have a few drinks or eat foods of poor nutritional value, my body notices right away and sends me signals all over the place telling me not to do that again! It’s so strange, I used to eat junk day in and out without a thought of what was going in my mouth, and never noticed any effect it had on my body.
A few minutes into the run, I felt exhausted. I decided to keep going until I hit my first mile and I did, plus more. I started walking, drank some water, and shuffled through my ipod until I found the music that gets me motivated. After a few minutes, I picked up my run again and made the decision to run no matter what, straight through my three miles. Now I had “motivational music” in my ears, and was ready to go. I felt a renewed sense of energy and was on the move. I ran and ran, I increased my speed and before I knew it, I hit my three-mile marker. I wasn’t ready to stop though, my legs were on the go and I increased my speed to 7.5 which is less than a 9 minute mile. I had started out with a pace of about 5.7-over a 10 minute mile. I ran at 7.5 for another mile and stopped around 4.1 miles. I have never run this far or this fast before!
I asked a fellow runner what he thought of my interest in the half marathon. He told me about the first 5K and has helped me out along the way with questions and encouragement. He seems to think that it’s not far-fetched, and since I ran my first 4-miler, he thinks I am ready for a 10K (6.2 miles) in the near future. He told me I could jump right into week four of training, so I did. I am on week 5 now and had to run another 4 miles. Again, I struggled a bit. But unlike the past, I’m not going to over do it on my training, or feel bad about myself if I need to stop for a few minutes. I will just keep on going. My intention is to finish the half marathon and not go for time, but to just complete the race. If I need to walk, I will. In the meantime, I will run a variety of 5Ks and get a few 10Ks under my belt.
Here is the link he gave me for training.
For those of you just starting on your running journey, here are a few things I have learned along the way…..
Find some music that really gets you going. Something that will push you when you think you can’t go any further, music that picks you up when your down and makes you feel strong. For me, it’s Lady Gaga. Her music has great rhythm to it, it’s fast and makes you want to go fast. The lyrics are amazing and make a woman feel empowered. Some of my favs are Judas, Born this Way, Alejandro and Americano is by far the best!! At the end she says “Don’t ya try to catch me, don’t ya try to catch me, no, no, no” It really makes my feet want to fly off the ground. If you haven’t heard it, check it out. Her music may not be for you, but definitely find some that is! Then put all the songs together in one spot on your iPod and have it ready for your run. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find it and lose your groove.
ALWAY stretch before and after, especially your legs. There are a ton of different stretches here. I learned the hard way how important stretching is, so please be good to your body and don’t injure yourself!
Push yourself, but cut yourself some slack, what?! Don’t give up on yourself too easily, you can do it! Believe in yourself and push through it. Pain is temporary. I’m talking about “oh, I have a cramp” pain, not a serious injury or pulled muscle. Speaking of cramps, if you get a side cramp, it’s because you are going to fast. Slow it down a notch and it should go away, you can pick up the pace later if you want. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to stop or your time isn’t what you wanted it to be, just finish! And be proud of your accomplishments!
Eat well!!! Nourish and hydrate your body. A car can’t run without gas, can it? Give your body the fuel it needs.
Burning calories from cardio is great, but get in some strength training as well. You’ve got to keep those muscles strong if you are going to be burning so much energy and running long distances!
I would love to hear some feedback on how your runs are going! Wish me luck on my next long run….4.5 miles!