Saturday, December 14, 2013

Becoming a Runner



Running was a sport that looked like fun but I could never get started. 

One determined day, I laced up my shoes and headed out the door. Today was the day I would become a runner! But after 30 seconds of running, I was so winded and tired. I thought I was crazy to try to start running and I better head back inside before anyone witnessed my failed attempt at running. 

After I was married, I was determined again! I was working at Starbucks and my awesome manager, Josh was a runner. We also had a lot of regulars who were runners and I wanted to be a part of the elite club! So again, I laced up my shoes and went with my handsome guy out for a run. 

James was being a good motivator and tried to push me to run further and longer than I wanted to. It was good for me! We would run about 1.5 miles. But after a few weeks of running, I would slowly quit. It was too hard! 



Then in February 2012, we received the most exciting news- we were expecting! In my second trimester, I wanted to start some light exercise. I thought I could power walk for a mile. I could do that- it's not running but it's better than walking, right? Yet again, I laced up those tennis shoes, and headed out the door. Little did I know, I was about to run my first of many many miles, a journey of no return! 

There I was power walking in Rogersville, Missouri, (home of my awesome sister, Heather!). But after about a minute of brisk walking, I was bored. This was taking too long. So I decided I would run for a little bit to help speed up the process. I ran for about 30 seconds and then walked. After I caught my breath, I ran again. I did this for the whole mile. And once I finished, I was so excited! I RAN 1 MILE! Haha 

I wanted to work up to the point where I was running the entire mile and not walking. And I did! It took me awhile to work up to it but I did it. I remember being able to keep up with James the next time we ran together, it was a huge accomplishment for me! 

Throughout my entire pregnancy (up to two days before I went into labor) I ran 1-2 miles, five days a week. When I was tired or sore from running, I would make sure to go the next day. This helped stretch my legs and made me feel much better. At this time, I wasn't doing distance so I didn't need to rest days in between. But if you need a day of rest then take it! Don't burn yourself out but don't take the easy road either. :) It's okay to push yourself a little bit at a time! Only you know your body so listen to it! 

Running while pregnant isn't for everyone. I know many women have health conditions that don't allow it but the majority can exercise moderately! They say to never start something new while pregnant. But if it's light moderate exercise it's okay. Don't train for your first marathon or anything crazy like that but one mile a day is safe. Just make sure it's okay with your doctor or midwife. Running for me was great for my pregnancy. It helped with all the aches and pains and with delivery! 

Don't use being pregnant as an excuse to not exercise. Rather use it as a motivation to start! Do it for that sweet growing babe inside of you. Or if God has already blessed you with children, do it for them! You owe it to them and yourself to be healthy! I promise you won't regret it. 

For those of you who are interested in starting your running career, simply start. Every runner started off somewhere. I started pregnant and traveling on deputation! Nobody woke up one day, rolled out of bed and ran a marathon. Okay I'm sure there's someone but he's crazy and I'm sure never did that again. Or if your like my courageous sister in law, Hannah, you sign up for your first marathon after only running for a week and have only five months to train. But she will tell you more on that in a future post! She's awesome!

It takes time to build up to it. Start small and work your way up. Download an app and get started. I've heard a lot of beginners like Couch to 5K for a starting plan. Also download a running app to keep track of your progress. I love the Nike Plus running app. It keeps track of miles, calories burned, and you can write notes about your run (which is great if you're training for a marathon of half marathon.) it tells you your average pace and you can review all your miles in your run to see fastest and slower times. Currently, I've run 1,266 miles since Jacob was born, 211 runs and an average pace of 9:26. 

For those who have already begun your running journey, stay consistent! Consistency is key. Exercising one day a week won't result in much results if any. And challenge yourself! If you've never ran in a race sign up for a 5K! If you only walk 5K's work up to running the entire race. Sign up for a half marathon if you're comfortable running 3 miles. Most training plans are very doable. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish if you try! 

My next running posts will be on How to Stay Motivated and How I got started in Running Distance. I hope to write a running post at least every other week. And also have guest posts from other runners- their best advice and their journey into running. Stay tuned!