I can remember it like it was yesterday… The first day I tried to run….. I am NOT exaggerating when I tell you I literally tried to run for 1/4 mile and made it less than 3 minutes and I was done for the day. REALLY. I’m not kidding!
Have you been there? Are you there?
I had a friend take up running a couple of years ago, and I asked her how she was doing it and she said something like, “You just run a little and walk a little and build it up gradually… If I can do it you can too!”… And I thought to myself, RIGHT… I am NOT a runner.
Almost a year later, my walking buddy said something along the lines of, “I think we should run a little. It just takes SO long to go 5 miles… What if we could go 5 miles in less time and earn more activity points too?” I thought to myself, RIGHT… I am NOT a runner.
But, to make her happy, I demonstrated for her…. She wanted to go 1/4 mile, which seemed SO far to me…. I told her I’d go as far as I could…. And we took off…… About 2:45 minutes later I was D.O.N.E. Done. And I told her something along the lines of….. I told you, I am NOT a runner.
But, she really got me thinking… My free time had gotten so small to the point that many days I didn’t even go for my walk because I had to be out the door so early…. Maybe I DID need to try to run, because I was not earning enough activity points and I was still eating them LOL…
I’ve told the story before about how I found a program that eased in to running even slower than C25K and committed to 3 weeks. I made a deal with myself that if I still couldn’t do it at the end of that program I would quit.
And….. I made it through the program….. So, I went to the next program and before I knew it, I RAN my first 5K! Many people said to me, now you need to do a 1/2 Marathon! I thought to myself, RIGHT… I am NOT a runner.
Wait…. WHAT? Where did that voice come from???? What am I talking about??? Why is that reel still playing in my head???
Have you been there? Are you there now??
Still it plays in my head…. Then after I ran my first 5K, I felt TERRIBLE… It was starting to heat up in Houston, and the heat had gotten to me. I had not hydrated well enough and I was paying. I was finding in my regular runs too, that the heat was affecting me more than I expected it to. I am a person who NEVER gets hot, I wear a sweater all summer because it’s so blessed cold in every building…. But when running, the heat really affects me. I live in Houston, so heat is a big part of our lives… I considered stopping running altogether… But, I was already committed to an organized even a month, so I went to the June race and gave myself permission to have walk breaks. I didn’t want to get overheated again. And I finished fine…. Slow, but fine….
Then I heard about the Hot Mama Virtual Half Marathon. I have NO idea WHY, but I was intrigued… LOL… I guess it’s because it had options- you could complete the distance over the course of the month, as a relay, or all at once. And, it came with a MEDAL. Ok, it was the MEDAL LOL…. I wanted a medal… There, I said it… LOL And, it was only $11. So, I decided that would be my July race. I signed up for the medal division (you could do it for free if you didn’t care about the medal)… And got to thinking… If I’m going to get a medal, I want it to mean something…. So I decided I had to do the 1/2 at one time….. And then,
because I’m completely crazy to help myself stay committed, I asked some friends if they were interested in doing it with me. And a few said yes…. Darn.. Oh yeah! This is going to be fun… Then I thought to myself, RIGHT… I am NOT a runner.
Here comes that stupid voice again…
But, I’m a person who, if I commit to something I do it. So, I decided I better find a training program and start training. A friend had told me about Jeff Galloway, and his run/walk method. I bought his book, Marathon: You Can Do It!. I really like his thought process that running should be fun. And if you need to go slow to make it fun, then go slow! He also talks a LOT about the heat and how it affects our ability to run, and that we should NOT try for PR’s in the summer months. THANK YOU. I now had validation that it was OK that suddenly when it turned to summer I was almost back to square one with my running…. I decided that I would do interval training at least through the summer months and work on continuous training again when it cools off.
So, yesterday I had a training run of SEVEN MILES… Do you know how far SEVEN MILES is???? LOL!! It’s FAR! LOL… But, I mapped out the first part of our race course for the Hot Mama… So, I accomplished that and my longest run EVER all in one day. I really didn’t know if I would make it. But I just told myself, I will do 3/1 intervals and walk more if I have to. I will not stop until I’ve gone 7 miles, no matter how long it takes, but running will make it faster LOL… And, I kept a slow pace on the running parts too. I had to remind myself over and over and over and over… The goal is DISTANCE.. Not pace… And I wanted to finish strong, so I’m not afraid of the next training run LOL… My pace was slow… between 12:45/13:15 the whole way. I could have almost walked that speed, but I was running. And, at the end of the seven miles I felt GOOD! I felt like I could go the 8 on the next long run. And, I felt accomplished because I maintained the 3/1 interval the entire time. I just did 1 3 minute segment at a time…
I write this because I know there are other people out there who are slow and feel inferior because of it. Don’t.
I write this because I know there are other people out there who can’t run continuously for long periods of time and feel inferior because of it. Don’t.
I write this because I know there are other people out there who think to themselves, RIGHT… I am NOT a runner. Don’t.
Time to Reprogram your brain:
"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get.
You just run."