Wednesday, January 27, 2010


"You could run for your life but not really for any other reason"

So announced an orthopedic surgeon in 1995.  I had had 2 ankle surgeries and was training for the Danskin triathlon with my sister in law.  I was in terrible pain.  He gave me a cortizone shot and sent me on my way.  I didn't enter the triathlon.  I went to California instead.  My sister in law competed and rocked it.

Fast forward to summer 2009.  I was training for the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk.  It's a walk, I can do that.  But walking all that time is boooorrrriiiinnnnggg.  (the actual walk was not boring, just training for it by myself)  I started thinking about running again.  I had also completed the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  I was feeling strong.  I could do anything.

My sister in law, Laura, has always been a runner.  As long as I've known her, she's run.  But in the fall of 2008 she took it up a notch.  She trained to run a half marathon.  This sounded close to impossible to me.  But, once again, she rocked it.  She was so committed to it.  She transformed her body and her life.  I was (and still am) so proud of her.  She inspires me in a lot of ways.  But she's really my inspiration to run.  This is us at the 3 Day Walk.

So, while we are walking in the 3 Day, I pop off.  "After this I'd like to do a 5k."  That's when I found out about the iPhone app - Couch to 5K.  My friend Monica had used it and really liked it.   I decided I would buy it as soon as I was rested up from the 3 Day.  Well, the 3 Day didn't go exactly as planned (huge asthma attack and month long fall out).  But, I did buy the app and started the program on December 14, 2009.

The C24K program is 9 weeks.  I wanted to stay on track so I picked out a goal run that was in exactly 9 weeks.  Then I told my husband, sister in law and brother in law.  Now people knew.  I had to follow through.  

At first, I looked like this.  
Not fast but all hunched forward.  I felt stupid and like I would fall over at any moment.
I talked to my husband about it and he helped me sit back into my run.  Now I feel more that Rocky.  Ya know the scene when he runs and punches?  That's me.  Slow and steady.

I can not say enough about the C25K program.  It eases you into running.  You warm up.  You walk. You run. Repeat.  Cool down.  It prompts you "You are half way through"  "5 minutes left".  Your running time gradually increases.  I highly recommend.  You can learn more about it here.

I'm enjoying it.  My ankles are holding up well.  I read this article today that I think explains why.  I don't think I could have run so effectively without getting into shape first.  The 30 Day Shred whipped me into shape, strengthened my core and legs.

My race is on Saturday, February 13.  My goal is simply to not die.  Just kidding (kinda), I think it will go well.  My actual goal is to run a 5K a month.

Here are some random thoughts on starting to run:
  • if you are on Twitter, hook into a group like #momsrunning.  I've met great ladies there who really encourage me (thanks @timeoutmom and @fitcheerldr)
  • find someone to hold you accountable and to encourage you.  I run by myself but I text and/or Twitter about my runs.  People want you to succeed.  Well, normal people do anyway. 
  • I run in the early morning so I let my husband know how long I'll be gone and my route.  That way he knows when to worry
  • I didn't load up on gear.  I run in the shoes that I did the 3 Day in.  And I had cold weather gear from the 3 Day (thank you Buffy).  But I did buy a thing that straps my iPhone to my arm.
  • read all you can about running and cross training.  It will help keep you motivated and improve your training. 
  • load your iPod or other MP3 player with music that will get you moving.  Think of all the 'trash' no one wants to listen to but you.  I have rap music from college,  Broadway show tunes, and teen pop princesses.  And I have it on shuffle so I never know what's coming next.
  • I've found that chewing gum helped me learn to breath through my nose and not pant like a dog.
  • I'm a dancer by nature so somethings I swing my arms or do arm dancing routines for a change of pace.

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