Have you seen the meme that reads, “Run like Ryan Gosling is waiting for you at the finish line with a puppy.”? Well, first of all, Ryan Gosling = current favorite male celebrity with Jennifer Lawrence solidly holding down favorite female celebrity. She schooled a journalist who asked her questions about her weight, big props to her. Second, that meme describes me to a T. Until recently, unless there was either Ryan Gosling or a puppy at the end of the finish line, I could not be expected to be anywhere near it, unless of course said finish line was near a lovely establishment with strawberry margaritas and nachos with homemade tortilla chips.
But today was a big day. I ran a mile straight today for the first time since my sophomore year of high school. That was over a decade ago folks, which is a truly terrifying thought. I am very glad to be out of high school, but the thought that ten years can go by so quickly is outrageous. So, yes, I ran a mile today. It may have taken me 14:01 minutes, but I did it!
Several months ago, after watching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition where a young woman around my age beat all the odds and became a runner, I decided if she could do it, I could do it. I figured I’d start with a 5k, because they are oh so popular at the moment, and downloaded the free Couch Potato to 5k app on my iPhone. I was actually following it pretty closely for a while and staying on track, then hot summer nights began to take a toll, as did a strong desire to track down strawberry margaritas, so I stopped following the program. But, today is a new day! I am planning on running my first 5k on Saturday, October 12th which is less than 6 weeks away. My plan is to pay the registration fee asap so I can’t back down…
This time around, I’m use the free Map My Walk App. You can set it to the type of exercise you’re doing (i.e. walking, running, etc.) and it tracks how far you’ve gone in how much time and what route you took. So today I ran a mile, hopefully by this time next week I’ll be able to run a mile and a half. I have sports-induced asthma (which I used to think was a medical term for “out-of-shape”) but it’s actually a real thing, and now I have an inhaler to help me regulate my breathing. I ran today without my inhaler as a little experiment to see if using the inhaler tomorrow will increase my lung capacity enough that I can run farther, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
As part of my newfound interest in running, I spent some time researching the art of running and found 101 Greatest Running Tips on the Women’s Health Magazine website. Click here for the full list and see below for my top 10 tips from the list…
1.) Shoot for this (at least) “Running 8 to 15 miles per week significantly increases your aerobic capacity, and positively effects many of the coronary risk factors.” -Dr. Kenneth Cooper, aerobics pioneer
2.) Be a minuteman “The biggest mistake that new runners make is that they tend to think in mile increments-1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. Beginning runners need to think in minutes, not miles.” -Budd Coates, four-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier/coach
3.) Think big (and wide) “Buy all shoes, both street and running, slightly longer and wider than your bigger foot. Also, avoid pointed shoes. You’ll save yourself needless foot pain.” -Ted Corbitt, ultrarunner and 1952 Olympic marathoner
4.) Take what you can get “So-called ‘junk miles’-those slow miles done on easy days or during warmups-do count. They burn calories as effectively as fast miles; it just takes longer. Regardless of pace, each mile you run burns about 100 calories.” -Hal Higdon, runner/writer/coach
5.) Listen to your body (yes, again!) “Your body is always trying to tell you where you are. Beware when you become tired and listless, when you lose interest in workouts and approach them as a chore rather than a pleasure.” Dr. George Sheehan
6.) Don’t always watch the watch “I don’t wear a watch during my long runs. That way I’m not tempted to compare my time from week to week.” -Lynn Jennings, three-time World Cross-Country champion
7.) Join the resistance “Hills are the only beneficial type of resistance training for a runner.” -Arthur Lydiard, Olympic coach from New Zealand
8.) Stay in control “Run your own race at an even pace. Consider the course, the temperature, the weather, and most importantly, your current level of fitness.” -Marty Liquori
9.) Step back a bit “Build up your mileage in gradual increments, but every third or fourth week, drop back in mileage to recover. This will help you avoid your breaking point.” -Lee Fidler, coach and two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon qualifier
10.) Take baby steps “You can’t climb up to the second floor without a ladder. When you set your goal too high and don’t fulfill it, your enthusiasm turns to bitterness. Try for a goal that’s reasonable, and then gradually raise it.” -Emil Zatopek, four-time Olympic gold medalist from Czechoslavakia
Please, please, please share any thoughts or advice you may have for those of us who are novice runners!
Last thought of the night is below…everything always comes back to cake with me…