I have no idea if this will last. I've been gone from the blogging world for quite a while and subsequently lost all of my followers…all 3 of them. This might be a good thing as I don't really intend to blog about knitting anymore (my previous obsession) mostly because I don't really knit too much nowadays. But I do run now, which I have never done before. And it struck me that it might be a good thing to have some kind of journal or log about my running adventures, if only for me so I can look back on it and enjoy what has happened.
So...running. I was never, ever, ever a runner. I faked my way out of every gym class that involved running of any kind, generally using some kind of clichéd excuse that I'm sure Mr. Boger and COBO got really sick of by the end of the year. There isn't a doubt in my mind that I was not the only one to do this. In fact, I think there was a little gang of us rebellious types in high school that made it a point to not deal with gym. I also was quite the drama/choir nerd and had a pretty limited social life. I started developing some pretty unhealthy habits which lead, eventually, to me in my 30's, overweight (obese, really) and with a very bad back due to arthritis and excess weight.
Numerous attempts at weight loss have failed in the past, and only in the past two years have I managed to lose weight healthily and successfully, using Weight Watchers. So far I've lost almost 50 pounds with 30 pounds to go. I had always known that exercise would help with weight loss, but never did it consistently. Just couldn't stand the sweating and the energy it took and it didn't help that I had convinced myself that anyone who saw me exercising would mock me endlessly for being so silly looking. Inspiration to run came from my cousin who successfully lost weight and who runs half marathons for fun, and from a blog (http://www.sherylyvette.com/) that just really struck me. It kind of felt like Sheryl was describing me in some of her early entries about exercise. Anyway, these people and of course my family influenced me to give it a shot.
When I do something, I go all out. That's always been true. So when I decided to run, I researched lots of beginner programs (I settled on Couch to 5K), registered for a 5K immediately so I would have a goal to work on, and went out and bought a ton of running crap. The store must have salivated when they saw me coming..."Hello! Please make me a runner." I dropped a fortune there on the first day but I've actually used everything I bought...and used it a lot. This time, there would be no going nuts starting a hobby and then letting it all die off (*cough, cross-stitching, quilting, and yes...even knitting, a little bit).
My first run was in March. The C25K program is great in how it eases you into running...you run/walk for short distances and gradually build up to running continuously. To be honest, I use run/walking now even though I have graduated from that program, because I do better that way. There is a school of thought that this is a more efficient way to run, and I actually tend to have faster times when I incorporate planned walk breaks. I think it's because I don't poop out as quickly, leaving something in the tank for the end. Right now I tend to use 2:1 ratios, meaning I run two minutes and walk BRISKLY (that briskly is the key…) one minute. My goal with the walk breaks is to catch my breath, and I keep an eye on my heart rate at the same time. I try to keep my heart rate in the same zone once it is up to my goal rate, and generally I can keep it there through the walk breaks. Now, I will sometimes walk for longer times if my heart rate is too high (I don’t like it to be in the 170s for too long right now…that may change as I become more heart healthy. My resting heart rate tends to be quite low now, around 55 compared to 80 before I lost weight).
At this point, November, I have been running steadily with the exception of two long periods (a planned surgery and an injury at a race). I’ve done four races from 5K to 5 miles, and am planning on doing half-marathons next year with an eye to a possible full marathon in 2013. I have also have developed an unhealthy running gear addiction that I need to get a handle on. Future blogs that I want to do include race recaps, gear reviews, and just my own observations…but all of this is predicated on whether I will keep this blog up. I’m really writing it for myself at this point though, so I’m the only one out there to disappoint if I don’t keep it up.
Maryland Zoo Zoom 8K 11/20/2011
Celtic Solstice 5 Miler 12/17/2011
Disney World Half Marathon 1/7/2012
Yuengling Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon 3/18/2012
Hmm...I need a local race in February.