It’s 5:45 a.m. and the alarm won’t shut up. For that matter I can’t even find it to ask nicely. It’s time for my morning run and for the life of me I can’t remember why I decided this was a good idea. At 5:45 a.m.
20 minutes later and a mile down the road it comes to me.
The breeze is gentle, the houses are quiet, the birds are my only companions. No children with their noses and knees and needs. No email. No carpool line. No bills.
Ah yes, there I am. Now I remember.
By now you non runners have either a) written me off as one of those crazy types or b) scanned the post for a giveaway and, seeing none, are about to click on to the next blog.
BUT WAIT! DON’T DO IT!
See, I’m actually highly unqualified to write this post. I inhale massive amounts of refined sugar on a daily basis (even stooping so low as to take a spoon to the icing tub I have secretly stashed in my refrigerator), I have no previous athletic prowess unless you count the state championship volleyball team that I spent three years of high school sitting the bench for, and prior to the birth of my second child my idea of running was through the house to find the aforementioned tub of icing. I am not an athlete.
Lover of run-on sentences? Yes. Athlete? No.
But this running thing? Turns out I dig it.
It started as a means to lose my baby weight back in 2007 after I gained, oh, (cough, cough) 50+ pounds growing my son. That Couch to 5K thing really works people! After a painful 8 or so weeks I could run for 30 minutes without stopping. But still, it was a means to an end. I was running with an old pair of shoes and an earbud in each ear, wishing every minute of it would just go away. I was sporadic at best and while, yes, I lost the baby weight I most definitely didn’t have the bug.
It wasn’t until I started setting goals for myself that I really found enjoyment in the sport. I started with a 5k and when I finished it you would have thought I had completed a marathon in under 3 hours. I was exceedingly proud of my sugar-shoving, bench-warming self. Earlier this year I decided to set my sights on a 10k and googled until I found a training plan that I thought would work for me. After a particularly enjoyable run one morning I decided to search for half marathon training plans. I was delighted/terrified to find one that seemed to be a logical extension of the 10k training I was already doing. And I started it.
I ditched the earbuds, bought a new pair of shoes, put the 10k in my rearview mirror and started running.
It’s November 13th and I’m shaking in my shoes. I’m not an athlete, remember?
But as it turns out, I just may be a runner.
If you’re wondering how to incorporate running/fitness into your life here are some things that have worked for me:
- Set goals. Start small to allow for success. Lofty goals are easy to break and baby steps are easy to achieve.
- Sit down with your partner to figure out your fitness regimen together. Having someone on your side who respects your desire to reach a goal will not only motivate you but also validate your need for healthy “me” time.
- Choose the time of day that works best for your personality. If you lose steam by 4:00 don’t plan to exercise in the evenings. Likewise if mornings give you the willies opt for an evening workout time.
- Plan ahead to avoid excuses. I lay my clothes and shoes out the morning before my run so I don’t get exasperated and give up at 5:45 when I’m pawing in the dark for my gear.
- If you choose to run, use a site like mapmyrun.com to help plan your routes ahead of time.
I’d love to hear the ways that you motivate yourself to stay on track with your fitness plan. And advice for first time 5k/10k/half marathoners is of course VERY welcome!