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Run Like The Wind!

February 23, 2010

As I have stated to many people over the years, I hate running. I am out of shape, so I am bad at it. It’s uncomfortable. There’s no motivation (I’m not running to or from anything). And I never know what to do with my hands! Do I keep them closed? (Sweaty palms). Do I keep them open? I don’t know!

Needless to say, running and I have never gotten along. In fact, most exercise and I don’t get along, although I have found some relief in ballet and the elliptical machine. But over the past few weeks, I have been reading more and more blogs about ladies who run and a friend of mine from college has also gotten into the running game and posts on Facebook how far she runs and her time everyday. Which of course makes me feel very lazy.

So, I have decided to start running too. Because I am a sheep. But at least I’ll be a skinny sheep.

I know, right? Amazing! Awe-inspiring! My jaw dropped too.

I was surfing around iPhone applications the other night in the Health & Fitness category and I stumbled upon the C25K (Couch to 5K) application, which in theory is supposed to help you go from not running at all to running a 5K in 10 weeks. It starts out slowly, doing alternating walks and runs at about a minute each, with a long thorough warm-up and cooldown at beginning and end. Tonight was my first night doing said program, and the results are… embarrassing. I’m not even going to bother posting them because they suck so badly (I might post them when my results improve and I feel better about myself but right now, I want to crawl under the covers with a Milky Way bar and cry myself to sleep). Julie actually used the program and reading her post makes me feel a little bit better about the whole thing.

I have also decided to invest in a good pair of sneakers. Now, one of my problems is that I have flat feet and slight overpronation (means my ankles go inward instead of just staying put like they are supposed to). It’s bad. It makes it hard to work out and I’m sure it’s affecting like 87 joints in my body. I bought a new pair of Asics, the Gel-1150, which according to Zappos is built specially for people who overpronate (like me!). I am hoping that the new addition to my workout will help improve things a bit, and make things a little less painful while my body adjusts to running. I contemplated by a nicer pair of sneakers, like the ones Amber has, but since I am not thoroughly convinced of my running prowess, I wasn’t sure investing an additional $60 was really going to help. I think these $85 sneakers are motivation enough right now. Plus, they are purple, my favorite color. So there’s that.

Anyway, C25K has this three workouts per week routine, but I’m not really sure what my routine will be. I want to make sure I stay consistent, but it gives you 10 weeks to get to the 5K, 45-minute run, so I don’t feel like there is too much pressure on me to hurry up and get going. In fact, that’s actually the number one piece of advice that “people” give to beginning runners: don’t do too much too soon. I’m all for that!

Do you run? How did you get started? Any advice for this novice?

  1. February 23, 2010 10:16 AM

    Sadly, I don’t run unless something really big and scary is chasing me. 🙂
    But, you have great determination. I want to hear how it goes. 🙂

  2. February 23, 2010 10:22 AM

    I used to run, and I hated it. But I had been an athlete, and once I wasn’t on a team anymore, I felt like I had to run…because that’s what athletes do. Plus, when I was playing rec soccer, I kept getting winded. So I ran so I wouldn’t keel over on the field. A bunch of injuries and two Minnesota winters later, I’m only allowed swimming and yoga. After my back going out on me a few weeks ago, it’s only swimming.

    After all that, the lesson: do what you can and don’t push it. It’s not worth the consequences later to overdo it now. I really hope you get excited about your workouts and make your goal of the 5K. I know I was really proud of myself when I used to do those on a regular basis. Plus, it sounds like you’re being smart (getting the right shoes is so important). Good luck and keep us posted!

  3. tmana permalink
    February 23, 2010 11:08 AM

    I’m rubbish on the streets (except when late to catch a train or bus). When I’ve been regular to the gym, I work on the treadmill, but can’t manage 5k more than once or twice a week without totally killing myself.

    Good footwear is really, really, really important no matter what the activity or occasion. (I grew up having to wear orthopaedic shoes, and had this drilled into me from the time my peers were old enough to start making fun of said shoes.)

    I learned the difference between sneakers and proper athletic shoes back in uni when I found my Keds useless to the point of pain for fencing. My team captain recommended the then-popular Adidas cross-country shoes (“Country Girl”) which were much better, but not as good as the proper (Adidas) fencing shoes I eventually purchased.

    My genre preference for all-around walking/hiking/running/gym shoes is “trail running” shoes — they give me complete support regardless of terrain (there are a lot of no-sidewalk and poorly-maintained-sidewalk areas around here). My favorites are the Saucony Grid TR series and the Nike Air Max Assail series. They are great for walking and running, but they are NOT good for aerobics classes or any activity that requires lateral foot motion. (They’re also not good for cycling if you use clips and straps — one reason I upgraded to cycling shoes and cleats.)

  4. February 23, 2010 11:29 AM

    You go girl! I can’t run to save my life… so I am a walker. I average about 1 mile per day, 5 days a week. Everyone is different… just find what works for you! And the right shoes are SO important – especially for our sensitive feet. I had to go and get custom fitted at a walking/running store. Good luck, let us know how it goes! 🙂

  5. February 23, 2010 11:53 AM

    I definitely agree with the don’t do too much too soon BUT at the same time, don’t do not enough.

    I would do two workouts a week, minimum! One run per week probably isn’t enough to really build up your endurance etc.

    The couch to 5k program is GREAT! I’ve heard such good things about it even though I never did it specifically myself but I really like it’s philosophy of taking walking breaks. Walk breaks are SO IMPORTANT!

    My biggest piece of advice is stick with it. You’re not going to love it right away, it takes TIME to love it but you’ll grow to love it if you stick with it! Good luck, keep us updated 🙂

    • February 23, 2010 1:15 PM

      The C25K program has you do 3 workouts a week, for 9 weeks, and then a 30 minute run and a 45 minute run before the program is over. I definitely plan on doing at least that much, plus any other regular workouts during the week to keep up my fitness.

  6. February 23, 2010 12:14 PM

    I feel the same about running. Not a fan at all. I keep saying I will start the C25K but have yet to do so. Besides, I am the queen of overdoing a physical activity when I first start. Keep us posted on how it goes. Perhaps your accomplishments will get me off my butt…

    • February 23, 2010 1:14 PM

      I was surprised at how good I felt afterward. My shins hurt a little, but I was like “Wow, I did it without crying!” That to me is an accomplishment.

  7. February 23, 2010 12:37 PM

    I do run. Almost against my will, but I got roped into it last year and just keep going. I have never done anything like it before.

    I didn’t really lose any weight as much as I gained fitness – which in the end is more awesome to me. I’ve been suffering with the cold weather and a couple of colds, and look forward to starting again in a week or two.

    Correct RUNNING shoes are extremely important if you are really running. (According to the podiatrist I had to see because of plantar fasciitis and shin splints.) Not walking, not cross-trainers, not anything else. RUNNING shoes. Next time you need a pair you can go to the new Asics store on 42nd St and do the diagnostic thing they have – I ended up with a recommendation for a different shoe than I had chosen and it’s made a difference!

    And we can encourage each other to keep running. 🙂 Go, Allison, Go!

    • February 23, 2010 1:13 PM

      I can definitely tell running shoes are important. I have regular, cheap-o workout shoes right now and they are no good! I cannot wait for my Asics to come so I can try them out. I just didn’t want to be pressured to spend more money than I need to because I’m the kind of girl who caves to sales pressure!

  8. February 23, 2010 12:53 PM

    Congrats on getting your running game on! Couch to 5K is a great program, and don’t be afraid to repeat weeks as needed, but DO keep getting out there. Running is not easy, and certainly has it’s challenges for us pancreatically challenged folks, but it is very rewarding. Endorphins are amazing little critters! Are you going to sign up for a 5K? It’s a great way to stay motivated as you build the habit. I still don’t really feel like a “runner”, but started running in my late 30’s, and have since completed lotsa 5K’s, a couple of 10K’s, a half marathon (soon to be 2 as of this weekend), and my first triathlon last year. The events are fun, but the journey to them is even better. I hope you will grow to love running. Check out some of the running forums or websites for motivation if you are so inclined. Look for beginner threads, and don’t be intimidated by some of the faster folks. Runners love to help other runners. (there is even a group for us “D” folks there)

    • February 23, 2010 1:12 PM

      Thanks for the resources! I will definitely check them out.

      I have not yet signed up for a 5K though there are many in NYC, so it wouldn’t be too hard. Maybe I’ll take a look and see what is coming up.

  9. Suryn Longbotham permalink
    February 23, 2010 1:00 PM

    I tried the couch to 5k, and love it! I used to not be able to run 50 feet without getting winded, and now I feel like I’ve been running my whole life. I’m doing it a bit slower than the program suggests because I seriously could not run to save my life, but it still works and I’m still getting faster.

    A trick I used at the beginning was to listen to stand-up while I ran because I find it a bit more entertaining than music. It kept my mind distracted, and made my workout fun so I kept going back for more.

    Another thing I did for the first time was to take the whole weight thing out of the equation. When I had tried running in the past, I would always push myself harder than I should have because I wanted to burn calories. But this time I really had to force myself not to think about my weight, and just run for the sake of running because I didn’t want to be tempted to do push myself too hard and burn out.

    Good Luck!

  10. February 23, 2010 2:12 PM

    I also was not a runner. Like my senior year of high school, I did cross country to get in shape for swimming ( I am a swimmer) and i was always one of the last runners in the 5k.

    but i know running is good for you, so i tried to get into it…the first time, i could barely run 20 minutes (and i walked A LOT of it). but i kept pushing myself…i remember the first day i ran 20 minutes straight (at a 5 mph pace) i almost cried from joy…

    now, i can run 3 miles straight without stopping and it feels SO good…and i still ask myself “how the hell did this happen????”

    and the answer is…i just didn’t stop running….

  11. February 23, 2010 4:43 PM

    Like everyone else has said, I think one of the most important things you need are good running shoes! I started running 8 months ago in regular tennis shoes, but when I got a good pair of running shoes the whole experience was completely different and a lot more enjoyable. I’m a new runner, too, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past 8 months, it’s the importance of not giving up, and not pushing yourself too hard- because you will get discouraged. If you have to take a break and walk, walk. I was never, ever an athletic person, and when I started running I could barely get around the block once without getting out of breath and wanting to give up the endeavor altogether. But less than a year later, I’ve lost 25 pounds, I’m planning to run a half marathon in two months and just yesterday I got through a 6 mile run without stopping once and I felt amazing. Like imerika, I “just didn’t stop running” and I think that’s the secret. Don’t give up when the going gets rough, and in the end you’ll be amazed at how truly strong you can be.

  12. February 23, 2010 10:50 PM

    Yea girl!

    Thanks so much for linking me – I appreciate it! Do NOT feel bad about doing “poorly” or whatever you mean. I don’t see how you could do poorly! You are getting out there and trying which is much more than most people can say. If you’re referring to speed, don’t worry about that now (I definitely don’t – I’m slow and own it). Speed will come as you become more comfortable with yourself running.

    I’m so happy you’re doing it! If you have questions please let me know (although, I’m no expert!) haha 🙂

  13. February 24, 2010 12:14 PM

    I feel you. I want to be able to run (and enjoy it, and stick to it) but I hate it. Maybe we could start doing the C25K together, and hold each other accountable?

    • February 24, 2010 12:38 PM

      We should totally do that! I’ve only done day 1 and am doing day 2 tonight. You should totally join me! 🙂

  14. February 24, 2010 4:33 PM

    I got back in to running in a big way last year, after years off following my foot-separated-from-leg-by-everything-but-some-skin-and-muscle injury! I’m entered for my second half marathon in a few weeks and need to try and get in a 10K before that. I love it mainly because I hate the gym. I prefer to actually get somewehre and see scenery – I’m seriously jealous that your have Central Park on your doorstep to run around!

    I was a successful competitive sprinter up to the age of about 15 and used to hate the longer distances. But one thing I learned to love when I switched to running for fun was that the only person you’re competing against is yourself. I always want to knock down my time or push up my distance. I never did a program like C25K, but I tend to focus more on time spent running than distance. I set myself a goal time to run for, and try to push how far I go in that time a bit further each time, but without ever specifically measuring it. I find this easier than constantly trying to reach a set distance, which can sometimes be a bit demotivating. It’s also a great feeling when you can increase the time you can run without taking a break, because you know that you’re fitness level is improving.

    Anyway, good luck with the new venture!

  15. March 5, 2010 12:16 PM

    I know you started this a couple weeks ago, but…..CONGRATS! (I’m reading your blog as I take mini-breaks from entering patient data into a database at work……so expect lots of comments from me. 😛 ) I really became a runner in my freshman year of college, when I signed up for a jogging gym class. I agree with everyone here– take it slow. You need to push in order to get better, but if you push too much you’ll just kill your body!

    For me, one of the biggest motivations in running (wow, I typed that as “funning” first….positive Freudian slip??) is being able to CONQUER something. It is such an incredible feeling to think “Ugh, this is going to be tough”…and then power through it anyways. All the times when I go farther or faster than I had before? I feel like a GODDESS. And at the starting line of my first half marathon, I was in tears. Three years before, I could barely kick out one mile, and now I was doing thirteen– and even with the training and the crazy blood sugars and hard work all around, I was going to go forth and kick this race’s ass! (Which I did.)

    So when you need motivation, I suggest that you envision your future self, striding like a gazelle across the finish line, thinking to yourself, “HA! Remember when this was impossible? When this terrified me? And now I’m doing it! Look how far I’ve come!”

    (PS. As a Bruce Springsteen fanatic, I also know that pumping “Born to Run” never, EVER fails.)

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