I've got this list. Of stuff I want to get done before I turn 35. And I'm not getting any younger. On that list I have some fitness/race goals, specifically a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon. After much procrastination, one day this past April, I decided it was time to get off the couch and run. So I did. I ran three miles. Not a run/walk. Not a jog. A run. And I didn't feel like I was going to die and that was pretty awesome. (I firmly believe that my bootcamp training for 4 months prior to running is what helped me run so easily right off the bat.)
So I kept running. And in June I ran my first 5K with a finish time of 26:51 (pace: 8:39/mile). And that was it. Not only had I crossed off number 19 on my list, but I also had caught the racing bug. I immediately (yes really, that week) signed up for marathon training with USA Fit Charlotte.
And from that week on, every week I've run farther than I ever ran before and I've been getting faster, too. In August, I finished my second 5K with a time of 25:59 (pace: 8:22/mile) and this past weekend, I finished my first 10K (that's number 20 crossed off the list) with a time of 54:22 (pace: 8:45/mile). And I'm not done yet. In two weeks, I'll run my first half marathon (crossing 21 off the list) and on November 17 (just two short months from today), I'll be running Charlotte's Thunder Road Full Marathon.
I've learned a few things along the way,, most of them trite things that you don't really truly realize until your ankles are screaming or you have a raging migraine after a 12 mile run, but I'm reiterating nonetheless:
- Shoes matter. Get fitted for good ones. Your entire body will thank you. And if you've never been fitted for shoes, chances are, you're wearing the wrong size.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Take some Chomps. And hydrate again. This keeps those nasty long-run migraines at bay.
- There is really no suitable method for carrying an iPhone on a run. Seriously, has anyone found one? I've tried Race Ready shorts. They're nice, but after a few miles of the phone bouncing on my butt and pulling my pants down, I've had enough. I've tried the Amphipod Micropack Smartview. Similar bouncing problem experienced. I ordered an Amphipod Hydraform Handheld In-Touch the other day and should have it in time for my long run on Saturday. I feel like this one might the answer for me because I don't mind holding a water bottle on long runs. I do mind things around my waist and around my arm, though.
- Not every run is a good run. Especially if you made the unfortunate choice to eat Chinese leftovers before running a 6 mile tempo run.
So that's it. The humble beginning of what I hope is a my long running journey. It's changed my life. Truly.
And so, I'll leave you with one final thought. If you're thinking about running, or you've always wanted to try but think you can't:
Or run/walk or jog if you have to. The only way to get started running is to start running. That's it. There are no shortcuts and sometimes it sucks, but there will come a day when you actually see the pain pay off. Really. One day you'll run faster, you'll run farther, or you'll reach a goal. And you'll be hooked.