09 June 2011

[running: Five Things Running Has Taught Me]

It was about this time last year when I decided that I would lace up my running shoes and give running a try.  I remember the first run I ever did ... and how I literally ran a block and a half and had to stop ... running 1.5km was the limit for me.

Then - I started doing 3 and 1s (run 3minutes, walk 1minute), to 5 and 1s to 10 and 1s.  I went from 1.5km to 3km to 5km.  I dreamed of doing 10km as my long run ... and now, I just run; ... although I was talking to a runner friend last night and she advised that after 12km to do the 10 and 1s to give my body the necessary recovery time.  I told her, " ... but when cars drive by I'll want to yell, 'I've already gone 12km - I'm not walking, I'm pushing myself,'"   I'm such a competitive freak *grin*.

So ... what have I learned in the last year of running?

1.  Being accountable makes all the difference for me.  Not everyone works this way, but posting my runs/times/distances/goals on FB and on my blog have really helped me.  People are watching ... some are maybe even seeing if I'll fail.  This motivates me ... again ... I'm a competitive freak *grin*.

2.  My body is a machine.  And I can't believe how it can do so much with some effort - and by the same token, how much it can disappoint me when I don't put in the effort.  I only cheat myself when I don't give it my all ... 

3.  Good shoes.  Yeah, I love my bright orange runners ... but more than how they look, I LOVE how they have prevented me from injuries.  I want to be super careful ... an injury can really knock a runner right out of the game ...  So - I don't pay monthly gym memberships, BUT I do buy runners fairly often - like every 5 or 6 months ... it's worked for me.

4.  Calibrating ... didn't even know what this word MEANT until I ran (what I thought) was 17km, and soon realized it wasn't.  The chip in my runner had to be calibrated - that is - I needed to run a distance that I KNEW what it was exactly, and tell the chip THAT distance.  Once I did that - my runs have all been very accurate.  And I check them now too ... I don't just assume the numbers are correct.  Satellite transmission can cut in an out - and make for wonky times and distances.

5. Changing it up ... running a 5km as a speed run, and then a 10km seawall run, and a 12km hill run ... doing Jillian DVDs for strength training in between, making sure that I have 15minutes of stretching at the end of the day ... it's all helped.  My body is NOT where I want it to be, mainly because of my crazy love for sugar (it is my worst enemy) ... 

I look back over the last year, and am happy with how far I've come.  I've lost inches ... and although I still have a "baby-tire" around my waist, my legs and butt are strong.  My cardio is crazy ... I don't get tired (unless it's 30min on the tramp ... THAT still kills me).  All in all - I think I've done well.

So ... that's what I've learned.


So will I run today?  Honestly?  Probably not ... even after writing this, I feel completely unmotivated *grin*.  How's THAT for honesty??  Truth is - the weather takes a beating on me ... I opened my eyes this morning, and my muscles ached and my head was pounding.  I knew the weather had changed suddenly ... my body is a barometer.  I ran over 8km yesterday in the glorious sun ... and having to run in the grey misery of today ... boo.  I'd rather have Jillian yell at me.

Hopefully I'll snap out of it ... and maybe this weather will burn off.  I have an engagement shoot tonight to look forward to, and ... there's Jon and Patti's Part III on my RedHanded Photography blog HERE.

Have a great one!!  

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