Sunday, December 9, 2012

Running Ups and Downs

As you may know, in September I signed up to do a half-marathon in February with some of my coworkers and a 10k for Thanksgiving. I've never been much of a runner, but I figured this would get me going.  I'm pretty stubborn and competitive, so I figured setting a big goal like this would motivate me.  And so far it has!  My goal is to run the races with no walking.

But my running has definitely been very up and down so far.  As background, you should know that as of the beginning of October, I couldn't run a mile without stopping.  This has been a huge source of embarrassment for me, because I grew up being very athletic and I still think of myself as a fit person in my head.  But here's how it has been going since:

It took me about 3 weeks of walk/running, but I finally ran a mile straight in late October!  And soon after I was building to 2 miles!

For some reason, I couldn't seem to make it to 2 miles.  My legs hurt like I've never felt.  It was shin splints and it sucked.  I did a 5k with my coworkers (the Color Run) and it was pretty rough- I had to walk.  I really felt like I had failed.

I got new shoes and insoles and running became enjoyable again!  I ran 2 miles straight, then 3, then 4!

I was a little nervous going into the 10k Turkey Trot, but I felt great during the race and made it the whole way!  I felt so accomplished and proud of myself.

After Thanksgiving, I caught a cold and took the next week and a half off from running.  My first time back was the first long training run for the half-marathon with my coworkers.  It was 5 miles and it was painful.  I made it about 3.3 miles before I told the coworker who I was running with to go ahead- I had to walk.  The rest of the group was great and kept making efforts for me to catch up (waiting at street corners, or whenever we were turning in the course), but it was a bit embarrassing and I was beating myself up about it which made it even harder to run.  I walked/ran the rest of it and made it the 5 miles, but it was definitely not a great start to my training. I had to keep reminding myself that I was sick and that it would get easier when I was healthy again.  I think the group is, sadly, a little fast for me as well.  I need to slow down from the beginning to make these longer runs.

I ran 3 miles, 2 miles, and then 3 miles this week.  I wanted to do 3, 3, 3, but I'm trying to listen to my body, and on Wednesday my body said no thank you to 3 miles.  So I stuck with 2 and felt pretty good about it.  And yesterday I ran 6 miles!  It was our second long run, and I made it without walking.  I kept a consistent 11:15 mile pace and I think that was the difference (slow and steady wins finishes the race, right?)

Here's what December has in store:

I'm a little worried about the holidays, but I figure I can move a couple of runs around if I need to.  And for cross training, I'd like to try and start swimming again, but I don't belong to a pool and don't want to pay a lot of money.  I'm thinking about incorporating some weight training as well, but I don't know if that will be too much.  We shall see!

PS.  You have until the end of the tonight to enter the contest! Do it! Do it!

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