Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And we are off

    About 2 weeks ago I decided that i should start running.  Now this was no light decision, I have never really been an athlete, nor has anyone ever thought of me as such. I was not a very athletic child growing up. I was a slow runner, a non-runner really and always at least a little over weight.  I can remember a time in the 4th grade when doing laps around the field when the gym teacher made all the other kids (seriously the entire class) do an extra lap for making fun of me being a lap behind everyone.  In high school I was on the flag team and I remember the coach making the rest of the girls do laps at my pace because I was soo slow.  he wanted us to run together as a team building activity and trust me it was not the most supportive group of teenage girls I was running with.   These 2 stories are just a few out of many that happened to me in the past.  Both incidents as well as many others were really embarrassing even though the gym teacher and coach had the best intentions.  As soon as I graduated high school and escaped gym class, my official stance on running was "I don't run"  Recently I have been working to loose weight, be more active and healthy (successfully).  I set a goal for the Disney princess half marathon.  I figure if I schedule a very expensive vacation around running a race i cant afford to let myself get behind in my goals.  I am not a "runner" I was never a "runner", but I have decided that I will be a "runner."  I don't even call myself a runner yet because I am just starting out and am in the process of building up my cardiovascular endurance.   I want to be healthy and I want to run this half marathon for myself.  I know when I approach the finish line of that first half marathon I will be remembering all the times I was picked on, made fun of or singled out because I was a slow runner, but I am pretty sure that when I cross that finish line it will be the last thing on my mind for a very long time.
     I am planing on running in the 2013 Disney Princess half marathon.  I would love to be able to run in the 2012 race this up coming February, as it is the 5th year of the event, but many things keep me from being able to do that.  The most prevalent reason is that I can't afford it this year.  Many things such as student loans and the need for a new car have to come first.  I know that in the approximately 8 months until the 2012 event I could be in shape and conditioned enough to run the event without being pulled out for going behind pace, but I would be more comfortable having a full 3 seasons (spring summer fall) of actual road running under my belt.  I plan to run in the winter, but New England winters have a reputation for a very good reason.  My friend Juli, a Disney fanatic, is planing on running the race with me and it everything works out that way it should be a lot of fun.   If for unforeseen circumstances I end up running alone, I will at least have a few official Amy fans at the finish line.
     I have a tendency to jump head first into things, however I always do my research before I dive in.  Running for non-runners seems a fairly simple concept: put on sneakers and just go run.  That is apparently why non-runners generally stay non-runners.   Running is a much more complicated activity to get into than it seems.   I did some Internet research, but it was all quite muddled together.  The 2 main points I got everywhere were that i would have to start off slow, and descriptions of what my urine is supposed to look like if I am properly hydrated (seriously, that last one is in just about every other article on running.)  So I purchased a book on running for beginners and downloaded it to my nook.  The beginning Runner's Handbook is actually a pretty good over all book for beginners, and it's written by Canadians and Canadians are pretty cool.  It covers just about all the basic information on running that 99% of beginning runners need to know before starting to run.   I was most impressed on the information  it gave concerning pregnant women and running.   Its not information I need, but its also a group that i doubt gets a lot of information on running.  The book was sprinkled with 'Runner's Profiles' that helped bring the information the Authors were trying to get across in such a way that the reader could relate.  Anyone wanting to start running, I would recommend this book to you.  In the back of the book it gives a 13 week walk-to-run program, which they refer to through out the entire text.  Run-to-walk programs are very common and apparently work well.  They vary in length of time, and specifics but they are all basically the same.  they start off with alternating short periods of running and longer periods of walking  with 3 sessions per week.  over time the time running increases and walking decreases until eventually you are just running and running for anywhere from 30-60 min in the last week.  The book also had 2-3 other training programs varying in length that focus on just walking, running faster, running longer and various training activities common for runners.
     The Canadian Book (as I will no be referring to it as) as well as 100% of the Internet sources on the topic, recommend being fit professionally for running shoes.  I did this and it went very well.  I have a history of having my toes go numb in sneakers with almost any level of activity, including walking, and that has not been a problem with these shoes.  If you can find a Running specific store that would be the best as I am sure the knowledge of the shoe dept staff at many large sporting goods stores can vary from associate to associate as well as store to store.   I ended up with a pair of Saucony which turns out to be the brand my grandmother used to wear.   They must have stopping making her shoes around 2005 when she passed because I can't find a picture of them on their website.  I will have to look for a picture of her wearing them.
    My next post will be about my 1st official week training with my walk-to-run program.  I am up to date on my training, but behind on my posting.
Keep Running!

No comments:

Post a Comment