This week, I want to share some of the tips I learned, back when I was a beginning runner. When I first started, I found the idea of running really intimidating. I didn’t see myself as a “runner” and I felt like that because I wasn’t a “runner” that I couldn’t do it. A mile seemed like forever and I viewed running as the actual worst way I could spend my time. A lot has changed since then and while I still don’t really consider myself a “runner”, I actually considering running as (obviously, from the title of this blog series) part of my self-care routine.
Please note that I am by no means a fitness expert. These are just general things I learned from my own experience with running. They may or may not work for you. Here are some tips and insights from my first summer running, back in 2013:
1. Take it slow. When I first first started running (Actually, back from my first attempt at running back in 2011.) I did not have any endurance. Like, none. I needed small goals to keep myself motivated. What I told myself is that if I could run from one stop sign in my neighborhood to the next, I could then walk from that stop sign to the next. Repeat. I did this all over my neighborhood, for WEEKS, until I was able to run through two stop signs and so on. I didn’t get too much further before winter came, and then life and another baby happened, and I didn’t try running again until summer of 2013. Then, my goals got a little bigger.
2. Focus on time, not speed or distance. When I started running again, I didn’t have a set goal in the way that most people do where they decide to set a pace goal or a distance that they want to run. Nope, I just made a basic goal for myself to KEEP. RUNNING. That was it. I wanted to be able to keep running, no walking breaks, for 30 minutes. I think I averaged a pace of 13 minutes a mile, but once I was able to do that without feeling like I was going to die, then I set a goal of being able to do a 5k.
3. Get a running partner. Maybe it’s your friend, maybe it’s your significant other, but running with someone else is much more fun. They keep your mind off things, they provide motivation, it’s great! I will say though, that choose your partner wisely. Make sure their motivational techniques match up with yours. For example, that summer, I learned that my husband goes into drill sergeant mode when trying to motivate people to run; a technique which does not go well with my desire to curl up in a fetal position and cry when my legs start hurting.
4. Push yourself. This is the hard part. I preferred to wait until everything was super easy before moving on to the next level of whatever I was working on. While this will work, it takes forever to make progress. Instead, I suggest moving onto the next skill level (Whether that’s adding another half mile or running faster for 10 minutes) when things get kind of easier. Pushing yourself isn’t supposed to be easy. Otherwise it’s not really pushing, is it?
5. Prepare for the HATE. Maybe this is just me, but as I kept pushing myself, I was filled with so much anger. And swear words, surprisingly. I hated my husband for making me run, I hated myself for letting me get this bad, I hated the state of South Carolina for being so freaking hot all of the time, just hate hate hate. It was intense. It was impossible for me to enjoy my runs. Everything hurt. I was sweaty. I hate being sweaty. There it is again, hate. So yeah, prepare for the hate.
So there you have it. 5 tips/things to consider if you’re thinking about running. Now, onto my weekly fitness recap:
This week was better than last week. Monday was awesome; I was literally singing along and dancing a little during my run because it made my daughter giggle. Wednesday was really tough for me though. I’m not sure what it is about the hump in the middle of the week, but I am not a fan. That being said, it was my first time really running just to run. Halfway through, I switched the Pandora station from No Doubt to Spice Girls, which seemed to calm my daughter down, and once she stopped fussing, I just kept running. I ran until I didn’t feel like it anymore. When I got home and checked my phone, I saw that I had run four miles without realizing it. That was a bit of a mood boost, I’ll tell you what. Friday was super busy and I had to bump the run to this morning, and keep it short, but my speed increased. So, while I may have had a bit of a roller coaster week, it seems to have worked for me.
Stats: 2.7 miles (M) @ 12.08 per mile | 4 miles (W) @ 12.11 per mile | 2.1 miles (S) @ 11.04 per mile
Pandora Stations: No Doubt and Spice Girls
Charities Donated to: Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanities, National Park Foundation (via Charity Miles app)
This week was a lot better for me in yogaland. While I can still tell that my hips are super weak, I think I am starting to see a difference in my arms, which is cool. I’m still not able to do more than two push ups, but I can at least do those two. I’ll take improvement when I can. Soon enough, I’m sure that my transitions to cobra pose will be super graceful, haha. This week had some serious balance-requiring poses, which I struggled with. I’ll have to look up specific exercises to strengthen the hips. Every time I have a baby, those suckers get really messed up and it’s starting to make me feel really old. I find myself complaining about my hips all the time. I was hoping that yoga would be enough to help me strengthen them, but I’m starting to think I might need something more. We’ll see!