Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Becoming a Runner

I have attempted being a runner several times in my life. During university I trained with the triathlon club and ran several times a week and hated it several times a week LOL. After a year of training with them I ran my first ever 5K race in 26 minutes. I stopped training with the club and didn't do much running on my own that I can remember.

6 years later I started losing some of my post university weight and started doing some running bits in my walking. Attempted the couch 2 5k program a few times. Then I got pregnant, had spotting early on and was restricted from exercise until 3 months in. And by then walking was a pretty good workout and all I was willing to risk until I knew the baby was good and ok.

2 months after my daughter was born I started the couch 2 5k program again and stuck with it. 4 months after beginning the program I ran the race for the cure in 36 minutes. One month after that we were preparing to move, winter arrived and I stopped running.

6 months later I got a gym membership and would do 1 to 3 miles a few times a week but not with any consistency and never faster than 5mph, usually there were plenty walking breaks tossed in. I didn't consider myself a runner, I just ran in a vain attempt to lose weight without altering my food intake at all.

In January of this year my sister and I decided to run a marathon to celebrate my 30th birthday. I set up a realistic training program and got to it. 5mph was my standard pace and it seemed difficult, brutal on some days. Trying to go higher than that was a guarantee of quitting before my miles were up. Unfortunately several months in I started having knee pain, my doctor sent me to physiotherapy and they strongly recommended I seriously cut back both my mileage and my speed. So the marathon was put on the backburner and I plodded along at 4.7 mph for a few months.

My knee started feeling better. I joined WW and began dropping some weight. I started BLBE and set some goals for my running. I wanted to be able to run 3 miles in 33 minutes by Christmas; 30 minutes by the summer. It seemed like a reasonable but challenging goal as I seemed to be struggling to hit 36 minutes most runs. But I started pushing myself.

I changed my workout mindset from having to finish 3 miles to running for 30 minutes. I started doing some intervals. 5.2 for 2 min, 5.4 for 2 min, 5.6 for 2 min, 5.8 for 2 min, 6.0 for 2min and then over again. That was pretty doable but a pain in the butt to keep looking at the clock. LOL. So I did 5.5 for 5min and 6.0 for 5 min for the 30 min. When I realized that I was pretty close to 3 miles at the end of 30 minutes I kept going to see how long it took to hit 3 miles. And it was just under 33 minutes.

I've been doing this run for the past 6 runs, never taking longer than 33 minutes to finish my 3 miles. And I've come to the conclusion that it wasn't my physical ability holding me back from running faster but my mental ability. The marathon we were supposed to run is this coming weekend and while there is a tinge of disappointment that I am not running this year mostly I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn that I can enjoy running. And now I'm thinking I could do a 30 minute 5k by Christmas and perhaps beat my 26 minute 5k by the summer........

6 comments:

Hydro said...

Good luck with the running schedule! I've been a runner several times before and it seems that the weight just falls off. That would be my weight loss plan again but I have HORRIBLE shin splints... I'm hoping they'll go away or not hurt as bad when I lose weight. But good luck becoming a full blown runner. I bet you'll never have to worry about weight again! How nice would that be?

Ice Cream Lover said...

I love running. In high school I would never run because of my breast, but like you, I started running in college to lose the freshman 15. I run about 4 miles three times a week. I am going to start a personal goal of completing 26.4 miles a week starting in November to balance the holiday temptations. I also want to lose the last 8-10 lbs to officially be in the lower 120's.

Ice Cream Lover said...

I love running. In high school I would never run because of my breast, but like you, I started running in college to lose the freshman 15. I run about 4 miles three times a week. I am going to start a personal goal of completing 26.4 miles a week starting in November to balance the holiday temptations. I also want to lose the last 8-10 lbs to officially be in the lower 120's.

Amy said...

Way to go!!

Why the need to run fast though?
Why not just enjoy it for what it is... I was all crazy about trying to get fast, but I realized the running slow makes you an all over faster runner... if that makes sense!?

Leigh Anne said...

Amy - I was focusing on running more miles for a long time and eventually would love to run that marathon. But when 5 miles takes over an hour I can't even imagine how much of my life would be consumed when training runs hit 12-15 miles LOL. I'm not looking to run a 4 minute mile or anything. Just wanting to feel like a run doesn't fill my whole evening

countryjacket said...

Awesome post. I ran my first 5k in June. Since then I have found excuse after excuse not to run again. You've inspired me to try again.....