Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Running Journey & Future Plans

I feel like these days 5k's & races are so popular.  I'm not sure if its because I read a lot of healthy living and fitness blogs or because I see people document so much on facebook and instagram. But I think its great!  

I always said I wanted to be a runner.  I wanted the chiseled legs of a runner.  See, I've never once considered myself or thought of myself as big.  But my thighs... I think they're big.  I've wanted to shrink them for so long!  I wanted to feel comfortable in short shorts and bathing suits.  But I never stuck to anything long enough (fitness-wise) to see results.  I have a very close friend, Heidi, who I meet up with usually at least once a week to walk/run around the college campus we went to.  I can remember telling ourselves ok, we're going to run to that stop sign and then walk.  And it would only be a few feet but it felt like forever.  We always wanted to run, but never really pushed ourselves very far.  But then her mother, who lost her sister to breast cancer last year, decided she wanted to run the Komen Race in Lafayette, LA in honor of her sister.  So she walked out the door every day and pushed herself a little bit further and started running.  She then signed Heidi up for the race too, and they completed it together in honor of Heidi's nanny!

Heidi told me how amazing the race was and how great she felt afterwards.  So then she signed me up for a race that the company she worked for was sponsoring in March of this year.  I was so freaking scared to try to run this 3 mile race.  I didn't sleep the night before. I considered not even going.  But I did.  And I want to say I ran the first like .25 of the 5k then walked/run the rest.  Its so silly but when I got to the end it was such an awesome feeling knowing I accomplished it, even if I didn't run the whole thing.  At that moment I made myself a promise that I would run a full 5k at some point.
after my first 5k
So I told some of my other friends about how awesome it felt at the end and suggested we do one together.  So we all signed up for the Run Forest Run in NOLA in April.  I worked so hard getting up at 5 am to train for this race.  I wanted to run the whole thing so bad.  But I hurt my knee right before the race and had to stop running for a couple of weeks.  So needless to say I didn't run much of that one. 
the girls & Forest
me and my husband right behind me in the grey
So then I signed up for 1 in Baton Rouge and it was miserable and hilly and hot.  I barely ran at all. 
And after each race I remember thinking.... You could've done better.  Why did you stop to walk so soon?  So I've done 3 5k races so far, and I have yet to run one all the way. 
But it was about 3 months ago that I decided I wanted to get serious about running.  So I started setting my alarm for 5 am and running before work.  It worked out so much better for me that way because it is freaking hot in Louisiana!  So even though the heat and humidity were still really bad early in the morning it was nothing compared to the 90+degrees after work.  So every other morning I would run around my neighborhood aiming for 2-3 miles depending on how much time I had.  I remember the first time I got to 2 full miles without stopping.  I had a huge smile on my face in the dark alone at 5:30 am.  It was the best feeling EVER!  So I just kept pushing myself.  And then not that long ago- maybe a month ago- I pushed myself to run the full 3.1 miles without stopping.  Then a couple of Saturdays ago I decided to go 4 miles without stopping.  And I did it!  Once again, I had this big goofy smile on my face while I was dripping in sweat.
I figured out that I loved that feeling of accomplishing something.  I've never really pushed myself physically before.  I've always been a pretty healthy eater, but I hated exercise.  I find myself wanting to run because I want to see if I can do better.  Its like a mini-competition with myself because I can always improve.  I have been focusing on adding mileage and not getting faster.  I'm pretty slow.  I run an average of 11 minutes/mile.  But I'm ok with that.  I can remember doing the C25K and panting, barely breathing, while trying to run a minute or 2... And now I can freaking run for 45 minutes!
So on Monday I signed up for the New Orleans Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  I'm scared shitless.  I wanted to die after my 4 mile run, and I will need to be able to do that times 3 plus some... But thats ok.  I'm gonna do this shit.  And I don't care if I have to walk most of it, or if I am the last freaking person.  Dammit, I will run that half marathon!

So I have roughly  19 weeks, I think.... But I'm starting my training next week.  I have a really weak knee that gives me problems a lot.  So I want to plan in case of an injury or something.  Below is the link to the training program I am going to use.  I am just going to start from the very beginning in hopes of improving my time just a little. 
Self Magazine Race Training

Any advice anyone can recommend for a first-timer would be greatly appreciated!  Oh, and I might need some words of encouragement along the way too...  There's so much info out there about training and log-runs and gels and sports beans and sodium... I don't even know where to begin.  But I've got to start somewhere, right?!




  1. You can totally do it Heather! I've done one race, a 10k, and walked the majority of it. My goal is to do a half in 2013 because it will be so cool to say I finished it and that I did my first 13.1 in 2013 :) When is your race? I'd love to help encouarge you and hold you accountable to your training in whatever way I can, and I'd love for you to do the same for me. Best of luck and you CAN do it!

  2. Wow - powerful story! You can definitely run the marathon if you just set your mind to it! Mind over matter! Push your body! I just signed up for my fest 5K on thanksgiving and I've started training using the C25K app and I love it! It's tough, but I think I can do it!

    Good luck girl, keep us updated on your training and results!

  3. you'll do great heather! i'll be there to cheer yall on :)


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