Running is the New Black

In recent weeks I have found myself motivated by the athletic challenges my friends have undertaken. Meghan just finished her second half marathon (after just learning to run over the last 18 months…dang girl!). Mandi signed up for a half marathon that will not only get her into great shape but also help her raise funds for a good cause. Nicole is a running goddess whose Facebook page tells me she does 5+ miles every morning “just cuz”. Finally, Erin is doing a race that requires running through a field of live wires! (Ok, that’s too much…)

If they can do it, I can do it, right?! Right! Randy and I had already signed up for the Warrior Dash this fall, but hearing about what my friends are doing spurred us to also sign up for the Rock N’ Sole 10K in July. Seeing as I have yet to run a full 5k, this will be quite the challenge. My hope is I can not only do that, but get ready for the Hot Chocolate 15k this fall. That race sounds like a great challenge…anything ending with an endless supply of chocolate and a weekend in Chicago is right up my alley!

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with running for the past two years or so. Sometimes it’s the legs; sometimes it’s the (lack of) lung capacity, but I just can’t seem to do it. I had a major break-thru two Fridays ago when on a whim (and with the help of a pop culture podcast, Paula Deen making desserts on tv, and a wall of windows watching traffic…ah, the simplicity) I ran for 20 minutes straight! Woo hoo, 20 minutes! Now this may not sound that amazing to my marathoning friends, but for a girl who had been doing five minutes run, one minute walk…this was fantastic.

This was also on a treadmill. I went outside yesterday and struggled the whole way. My legs felt heavy. My lungs couldn’t get a deep breath. And then I realized…it’s all in my head. I played tricks with myself the whole way… (oh, look at how fast the river is flowing…boy, I sure don’t agree with this podcast on the pretentiousness of all foodies…wow, I’ve gone far, surely I can make it to that tree…) I made it about 1.2 miles before I took my first 30 second break. It took 2 more really short breaks to get to 2.1 miles.

Slow, but steady progress. That’s what I need to work on. Randy gave me my own Garmin as a birthday present, so I’ll have all the facts and figures behind my workouts now. I can’t wait to analyze and see improvements. I’m going to do a modified version of Hal Higdon’s training programs to prepare for the actual race day, but I really hope to get to the place Nicole is at-I want to run because it’s fun.

I’d love your suggestions for items for the iPod, motivational web sites or anything else that will help me get through this. Stay tuned for progress (and let’s be honest…probably lots and lots of grumbling) along the way.

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One thought on “Running is the New Black

  1. Mandi says:

    Hooray for running!

    I sometimes try audiobooks, but get distracted by scenery to pay attention. On my runs I usually like to look at the lovely Tosa houses and landscaping and dream about what my future house will look like.

    And I know what you mean about the treadmill v. outside. I can run an hour on a treadmill (okay, I did it once. I was watching Storytellers: Green Day) but outside, I can run, like, 5 blocks straight before I start huffing and puffing.

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