Ok. So here's my running history from beginning to end.
Birth - Age 12
Run away from parents when in trouble, run away from brother when he's aiming a ball at your head, run away from bullies at school, run to the ice cream truck
Age 13- Age 16
Run the mile for gym class and die of embarrassment being one of the last to finish, run for sports and cheerleader training
Age 13- Age 27
Run to chase after children I'm babysitting, run when playing ultimate frisbee or tag football, run from my car to the door of any building in the middle of the freezing cold winter, run to chase after my own children
Start running because it's free exercise
Run a two mile race
Run a 5k with 5 year old daughter
Start training for 1/2 marathon
There you have it folks. Not very glamorous, is it?
When I started running last spring, it was my own version of the couch to 5k program. I just went outside, ran as long as I could, then when I felt like I was going to cough up my lungs and pass out (after about 30 seconds) I stopped and walked. Then when I felt like I might actually survive I would pick up the pace and run again. Repeat.
The first few weeks I was only doing 1-2 miles of this. Then I started training for my 2 mile race and was able to run the whole 2 miles without stopping. To me, this was basically the most amazing feat imaginable. The fact that I was running voluntarily (and not chasing after little people or the ice cream truck) was a miracle in and of itself.
One good thing about running is that for the most part, I set my own pace and my own goals. Unless I'm running with a friend, no one is there to see how slow I am, or how out of breath I am after just one mile! There's no one to laugh or comment on my time. (Except for the fishermen that hang out by the bridge down my road and hear me huffing and puffing. Their comment, "Tough run, eh?" really deflated my already withering ego.)
When I ran the 2 mile and 5k races I had a blast being part of a big group! There were people faster than me and slower than me. I felt like I was lost in a sea of people and no one was particularly watching me. So that gave me the courage to pursue the next step. A 1/2 marathon in August.
I am going to slowly train for it in the next coming months by using a few different training programs I found online. I joined a few facebook running groups for support and advice, and that has motivated me immensely! I am up to running 4 miles at a time now and it doesn't feel like I'm going to die. I can't believe I actually just typed that... 4 MILES! ME! The slowest runner in school back in the day. It doesn't matter to me that I am slow (still). I am just plain happy to finish and accomplish my goals.
As a rookie runner, the items I've found most helpful to bring on a run are:
* Good quality running shoes (I got fitted for them at the Running Room - a store in Minneapolis)
* Quality running clothes (Layers work best for me in case I get hot on a run!)
* Running socks (I know. I know. Crazy, right?! Seriously though, they are awesome.)
* My phone and the RunKeeper app to track my runs, along with the Pandora app to play music (my favorite running music is anything by Group 1 Crew, Lecrae, Britt Nicole, Mandisa, and Toby Mac)
* A running fanny-pack thing (from the Running Room) that holds my water bottle, chapstick, and other random little items (like a key to unlock the universe.... just kidding...)
* A bandanna tied around my fanny-pack to blow my nose and wipe sweat
* Water bottle (it came with the fanny-pack - it squirts water easily into my mouth without dripping)
* Chapstick (I haaaaaaaaate chapped lips. Even more than Napolean Dynamite. And yes I would call my Uncle Rico on a run to bring it to me if I forgot mine. If only I had an Uncle Rico....)
*And please stop laughing at me that I wear a fanny-pack. I'm so bringing it back in style
The days that I don't run I either rest, or do Zumba. It's not good to run every single day when training (or so I'm reading). I'm having lots of fun figuring this stuff out :)
I hope I can get a few friends to join me on race day! I don't expect to be as fast as the majority of the racers, but I am okay with that. Just finishing will be enough for me. I'm sure I will walk some of it too.
I love accomplishing goals. Love love love it. I get some kind of rush from finishing something I set out to do. I hate not finishing things and it is one of my pet peeves in life. So setting this goal for myself is very motivational and exciting.
Now that I am running 3 times a week, I crave running on the off days! It's crazy town I'm tellin' ya. My body LOVES it. It also helps me de-stress. I am in charge of like, a million things on a constant basis. When you are in charge of a million things the load can weigh heavy (like a dripping faucet- it just never stops). Even if things are going well, I still carry the burden of "being in charge". Running has helped me with my stress BIG TIME. It's like I can let off a bunch of steam and my body feels relaxed and rejuvenated when I'm done. (I definitely don't feel relaxed while I'm running. There are times when I feel like I might die at any given moment...)
So, there you have it folks. I'll keep you updated as my training progresses. Until then, I'll continue being scared outta my mind but excited as all get-out ;)