Sunday, July 28, 2013

Running: My New Found Love

Well, there's something I never thought I'd say. I never had a desire to run. Even in high school, I would come up with every conceivable reason why I couldn't run that day. I'd cheat my way through runs, cutting through neighborhoods to get out of it. And yes, even cutting class. Not only that, but I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma at some point in high school and although I was still active and an avid swimmer, I was told I'd never be able to run or anything like that (even with the use of my inhaler).

Fast forward to now: 28 years old, three kiddos.
Adrienne says to me one day at church: "I want to get a team togetheBix!" (a 7 mile race)
running before and after!
r to run the
"You're going to make me run the Bix, aren't you?"
And here it begins. I started the Couch to 5K program in a pair of yoga pants, a cotton t-shirt and some old Asics. I had tried to do C25K pre-number-two (I think? Now I can't remember) because my little sister had just started running and was really enjoying it. It was determined (by me) that I can't run. I no longer had an inhaler, didn't want to go to the doctor, and truly hated running. So, I quit. This time around, I told myself, would be different. I just vowed (sort of) to run a 7 mile race!

I signed up for a 5K that was scheduled for the exact end of the 8 week Couch to 5K program to give myself some motivation (hey, I spent money on this, I'd better do it!). It started out not too difficult, mostly walking. Of course, as the weeks go on, the walking decreases and the running increases. I had some asthma-ish symptoms, but I worked on my breathing and they went away. I also had some diaphragm pain, but again, I worked on my breathing and powered through. I felt so accomplished with each week! Physically, I felt amazing, too! I always ran at night, which brought it's own challenges. Over the course of my 8 weeks I happened upon raccoons (no shocker there), a deer, a coyote, and an opossum. I'm pretty sure I jumped at each one an equal amount. There's just no prepping you for rounding the corner to some beady eyed bugger. I also passed people walking, of course, and one other C25K'er, which was exciting. All in all, pretty uneventful which I'm thankful for.

Then my first 5K came: Hennepin Hustle. It's a flat course along the Hennepin Canal, very scenic, very awesome. The morning of, I realized this would be my first time running in daylight, which is a little odd. Never the less, I overcame and Adrienne and I ran it and ran it well! We did walk a tad, which discouraged me, but my time was 35:23! I was pretty excited about it! And felt great!

So then the Bix training started. I tried to continue to run, but with out actual goals it was difficult. I had also started a P90X Challenge which was getting in the way. There's a training day each week for the Bix every Thursday called the Bix at 6. So Adrienne and I decided we should probably run it so we can get a feel for the course. We ran with the babes in jogging strollers - Lydia, 11 months and Cadriel, 3 months. Holy bad idea, Batman!! It was particularly warm, jogging with strollers is particularly difficult. Also, they wanted to nurse about half way through, which was fine, but then they didn't want to sit in their joggers again. Read: we carried them the last 2 miles. Ouch. This did not prep me as much as make me nervous! I ran a few more times in preparation, sans babe, which helped.

The Bix came. Generally speaking, the Bix is known for being on a super hot, super humid Saturday. This Bix, though, was in the 50s and breezy! Perfect running weather! Adrienne and I didn't particularly have a time goal, but decided we would allow ourselves to run a tiny bit every mile. We waited and waited to start, sort of freezing the whole time! Finally, it was time to go. The course is super hilly, winding through a beautiful neighborhood. You turn around at 3.5 miles and go right back to the start for the finish. But so fun because there are a ton of people running and a ton of people watching and cheering you on. Everyone is having blast! The first hill is a seriously steep one and is right at the beginning. We made it up in good time and rounded the corner down the first street and found our friends and family cheering us on (but also freezing!).
We ran on and quickly passed the first runners already coming back! The winner's time was 32:14, which is just insane. We ran on. As it turned out, we really didn't need to walk every mile! We were feeling good, grabbing drinks as the volunteers handed them out. We found the turn around surprisingly fast and headed back. At every mile marker, there would be a person with a stop watch and mega phone, reading off the numbers as they changed. I cannot imagine doing that for 2+ hours, yikes. I can't recall what the numbers were at mile 5, but at that point we decided we would run this 7 miles in 90 minutes or less. We found our family and friends again and knew it was only a matter of time. Running back down that first giant hill was so easy and wonderful; a volunteer handed out popsicles as we passed. Mile marker 6 led us to believe we might not make it in the 90 minutes and our pace suddenly picked up. We rounded the corner and could see the finish line. Adrienne said something about sprinting and somehow, without question, that's what happened! We did it! We finished the Bix unofficially at 1:29:14 according to my phone, officially 1:28:41!! It was awesome, definitely something I'll never forget!

Onward, I'm excited to continue running and continue taking care of my body. Over the course of the C25K Program I lost 10 pounds and feel better than ever! I'm mapping out my next races and hoping to continue running at least one 5K for the rest of the year. I even found one in December that I'm planning on running with my sister!

Want to get into running but not sure where to start? 
  • I definitely recommend the C25K program. You can find an app, too, which is what I did. I used the Zen Labs one, but there are lots to choose from.
  • Get a partner. Running with someone is not only fun, it also helps you set a good pace: if you can't chat a bit while you run, you're probably running too fast.
  • Set a goal. Knowing I was signed up for a 5K at the very finish of my C25K was a constant in my mind, very encouraging.
  • Get you food in check. I'm sure there are people that eat absolute crap and continue to run. To me, that doesn't make sense. Making sure you're eating well (especially in the protein area) and staying hydrated are so important!
  • Another awesome app I just found is MapMyRun which will time you, find your pace and show your route. It also saves your runs so you can look back and see whats up. And it's free!
I'll leave you with this photo, as proof that running is fun if you want it to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment