Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Beginner's Guide to Running - The Motivational Pep Talk

You guys.  ANYONE can run.  I promise you!  I started out trudging back in the spring of 2007, not knowing ANYTHING about *how* to run.  I mean, I played soccer and ran track in high school and had the toothpick legs to prove it back then (Can we please have a moment of silence for my 1989 thighs that didn't rub together?), but my body is CERTAINLY NOT even remotely CLOSE to the same as it was back then. 

So when I first began my running routine, I never let myself run less than 30 minutes.  Even if it was a slow, painful limpity shuffle.  I did NOT walk for those 30 (sometimes excruciating) minutes.  And you know what?  Each day it got easier.  And soon enough (like by that summer, I mean.  Not like, after the first week), the 30 minutes sometimes turned into 35.  And then 40.  And then 45.  Which turned into a 10-mile race.  Which led to a half-marathon.  Completing that half-marathon was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

*I'd like to get in shape enough in 2010 to run another one.*

So I have been running again.  Slowly, but steadily.  30 minutes here, 40 minutes there.  Sometimes even 45 minutes straight.  (I'm keeping track of my mileage on my right sidebar to hold myself accountable.)

Surprisingly, the urge to run becomes addicting.  Sometimes I sit at work literally twitching, anxious to get home to change my clothes and get out there.

Just know though, I am by no means hard core.  I am just like you.  A woman with not enough hours in the day.  A woman who struggles with her body weight and body image.  Someone who isn't consistent.  Someone who is easily lured away from exercising by bad reality TV and Oreos. 

But when I completed that half-marathon?  I felt STRONG.  Not fat or frumpy.  STRONG.  It's a good feeling to have about your body.  I'm itching to get that feeling back.  Plus, running burns more calories than walking. (30 minutes of running is equivalent to about 50 minutes of walking.)

And if I can do it?  So can you.
So stay tuned, because next I'm going to talk about what I recommend you should wear, from head to toe, if you are going to start running.

24 comments:

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I just recently started going to the gym a couple of months ago and I am scared to run. I walk at a very fast pace on the treadmill and I can handle the elliptical and any other type of cardio. But running scares me. I know I just need to suck it up and do it, but I haven't yet. Soon I hope!

SugarBritches said...

Awesome post Sarah! If you're going to do a series then that is even more awesome. I've been running for about 6 months right now. I've got my 3.2 miles down to 28 minutes which for me is a major accomplishment. I'm having a really difficult time making myself go any longer than 30 minutes though. It's like a mental block.

Here's to breaking that block this summer and for you doing another half!

Cheri said...

I wish I could. With my nerve damage, numb feet and numb legs, it is WAY unsafe. I can't even walk alone as one little blip in the pavement will knock me down and one more fall and I could be D.O.N.E. As in wheelchair time.

But prior to this 5 years ago, my mom's family has horrible knees and at age 55, she had both hers replaced. All her siblings are lining up to get theirs done. Is there such a thing as hereditary bad knees?

From day 1 of our 23 year marriage, my husband cringes when I walk up stairs (back when I could) and my knees creek and crack and sound horrendous. Just an awful, "you can hear it across the room" crackling noise. And that was when I was in my 20's and has just gotten worse.

I'm so glad you have something you love doing!! For now, I'm just thankful I can still walk with assistance (without a cane or walker anymore - an improvement!) I'm a young 43 and never thought anything like this would happen to me. Dang nerve damage! lol

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

Please keep us posted.I seriously want exact details, since I'm thinking about running. Not because I enjoy running, but I feel like if I had a race looming on the horizon, I would actually be consistent with working out. Does that make sense to anyone but me?

Natalie said...

I would love to be a runner. I even have a treadmill in my bedroom. I've attempted. I started the couch to 5k, but never made it past week 4. My running improved, but I could never get past running 2 minutes at a time.

Brigid said...

I'll take this as a swift kick in the a$$ to get moving again. I started the Couch to 5K and was actually enjoying it, and then the month of illness took over our house and my routine went straight out the window. Anyway, I look forward to more info from you since the only time I have ever run in my life was around the bases of the softball field.

3 Bundles for Me said...

I've been running this year, and I am not a runner. But slowly I am getting there. I did 5K last night in 46 minutes, bad time, but I'll take it.

I've also been running short distances and then doing strength training in combination with it.

This is a great series - keep it going!

Serenityville said...

Yaaaaaaaaayyyy!! So happy for you!

Draft Queen said...

Running is SO addictive. I had been "away" from running for quite some time due to injuries and subsequent PT but I decided about a month ago I needed to run again. I'm actually hoping to force myself into a triathlon this summer. I've been doing 5k at least 3x a week plus biking on the off days. 3 weeks into it, I feel freaking amazing. I have more energy, I can't wait to run every day (have to force myself to bike instead some days so as to avoid injuring myself) AND I quit coffee. As in, I don't drink coffee every morning anymore.

Good luck to you in your half marathon hopes!

Claire said...

Okay, I'm only posting this to reiterate your point that ANYONE can run. 3 weeks ago I completed my 3rd half-marathon. Ran my first in 2005, my second (two babies later) in 2009, and this one in February. I am expecting baby #3 in June, so I was just over 23 weeks pregnant for this last one. People said I was crazy, but I felt fantastic. My time was 2:28 - great for a preggo. I am healthier and happier this pregnancy because I've continued to run. And yes, I was already training for this one when I found out I was pregnant and have been under doctor's care the whole time.

But I am not a "runner." I'm a size 14 when I'm skinny, I work full time as a teacher, and I have two toddlers at home. Running has been my only "me" time for the last 4 years, and I can only keep it up if I have something to train for. During this pregnancy, I've been training using the Gallaway method (running with walking interspersed at regular intervals) which is a great beginner's method.

Sorry for the long-windedness, but I am totally with you on this post. I get it, the need for running.

dusty earth mother said...

Bless your heart, Sarah, for saying anyone can run! I totally agree! I just ran my very first half-marathon last year at age 45 (had been wanting to do it since I was 20). Keep up the good work!

Rebecca said...

Oh God!!! I wish I could run...I've never really tried b/c I have horrible shin splints. My best friend runs. My husband runs. They're running a race together in June...I'm all left out!

If only you runners would look happier when you were running...I may feel more inclined. Keep up the good work!

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

When Curtis went to Air Force Basic Training, I started running two miles a day so I wouldn't be all schlumpy and out of shape when he got home. And when he was in Tech School and still had to run with the troops as part of his PT regimen, I actually got special permission to run with them.

But that was like 24 million years ago. And I haven't run since. :(

Monnik said...

I needed this today... I run now and then, and I vary from having spurts of running enthusiasm to periods of complete couch potatoness.

Your post is a reminder that I can get back into it. And even if I only run a mile at a time, it's a start.

So thanks!

Marinka said...

AND! you can run to your favorite restaurant, right?

Surrounded By Boys said...

I love it! I started running for the first time in my life in spring of 2008 and ran all that summer - not fast, but for at least 30 minutes at a time. I CRAVED it in the morning, esp with the sun rising over the fields and the birds chirping. Getting pregnant last year put my running on hold but I plan on getting back into it very soon, so will be interested to see future posts on your blog for inspiration.

Amy said...

I want to try, but I don't even know when I would run.

I did some hiking over spring break and I could feel the difference. I know running would be great.

Jenny said...

I totally agree with you, if I can do it anyone can!! One extra benefit I don't think you mentioned, you sleep like a rock! I also use it as social time, I have 2 great friends I run with, we talk, the time flies--I also think it helps the cardio fitness.

For the commenter with shin splints, I was told to suck it up and run through them (ice after) that worked for me.

Mel said...

April is my year anniversary of running 5K's. I think I've done 6 formal ones and then quite a few just for evening runs. I NEVER RAN in my life and honestly when I said I was going to complete the C25K program I think people thought I had lost my mind. But I did it and proudly call myself a runner. I recently have been contemplating a half marathon for later this year. I think I have officially lost my mind. Reading this post came at a perfect time. It has inspired me! I want to feel strong too! I'll be linking up on my Sunday Stars post for next week.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I just did Run #3 this morning and made it to 25 minutes! It feels SO GOOD to do it, even if my goal is *just* a 5K. I love 5K's for the variety of people there---from hard-core speed demons to people older than my mom to walkers. Would love to find something for us New England Mamas (and Christine Koh as honorary!) to run all together this spring!

angelpeach838 said...

I also love to run! Good for you :) I've pretty much resigned myself to 5K's for some reason, but who knows? :)

Jennifer Eremeeva said...

I liked this post a great deal: you've inspired me to move ahead with trying to do more running. I wish I could get the point where I could run and share that with my husband....when he's here.

Aniki said...

Nice post - actually the whole series. :) I have just started on a getting-fit-and-loosing-weight training, and I'm doing some light running. And I know about those excuses.... My training time is early morning and it's a struggle to get up every day. I forget every time that I feel so good afterwards. Frustrating! :)

PalmettoStateSaver said...

Started running a while after I started reading your blog. The whole "don't stop for 30 minutes" thing worked for me. Just completed my first 5k yesterday and I can't wait until the next one!

Hopefully I will be running faster than the 92 year old who passed me yesterday....gahhhh.

Thanks for being real!

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