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I Am a Runner

Sunday, August 11, 2013

As a part of my Health Journey, I've been adding more exercise to my life. I started with walking at lunch. There is nothing as relaxing as a nice loop around the complex, earbuds in ear, listening to my audiobook and finishing out my walk with a nice cold Americano at a coffee shop.

But sometimes I didn't have the chance to walk at lunch. Fortunately, my apartment complex has a nice fitness center with treadmills and an elliptical machine and a bike. So, in the evenings, when I'm stressed, it's nice to head on over and pound out some miles on the treadmill. Or if it's too busy, my sister and I will walk around the neighborhood. (Another great thing about this apartment is that it is in a great area for walking.)

I can't say I remember how long I've wanted to try to be a runner. It definitely has been longer than a year. In fact, back when I was heavier, I did try to do a modified "Couch to 5K" training regiment, but like with many good intentions, I slowly lost interest/made excuses and stopped training.

With losing 100+ pounds, I knew that now was the perfect time to train again. And so these last few weeks I have - slowly and surely, I have gone to the fitness center 2X - 3X a week to run/walk.

At first, it was painful. I would only be able to run for maybe 6 minutes in a 40 minute segment (and 5 of those 40 minutes would be cool down). I panted and heaved and sweated like you wouldn't believe.

But I kept coming back and trying harder. Slowly, I was running more (I define running as anything over 5mph). I would warm up with 3 minutes of fast walking then alternate running and walking (2 minutes each). Before I knew it, around 16 minutes of my workout was running.

This last week has brought a lot of accomplishments. For the first time, I ran for 4 minutes straight (5.2mph) with 2 minute fast walking (4mph) breaks. I ran a whopping 22 minutes in a 40 minute segment - best yet!

I was super proud of myself, but I was finding myself quite tired for the day afterward. A quick internet search showed me I might be pushing myself too hard. So Thursday and Friday I took a break from running to recuperate.

And then the biggest accomplishment yet: 10 minutes of solid running with a 2 minute break to amount to a whopping 28 minutes of running out of a 40 minute segment!!

It wasn't anything special; I just said, "I'm going to do four minutes". Then when I got to four minutes of running, I said, "I can do another minute...and another...and another..." until I had 10 minutes of solid running!

Now, this has all been on the treadmill, which is easier, so I'm told, than running on pavement. But what I've learned from this is something special:

I love running! I love feeling my feet pound that treadmill, the sweat pouring down my back, getting that rhythm, feeling like I'm pushing myself to new heights. It's an incredible rush to accomplish a session and be tired and yet invigorated.

I would never have thought I would like running; I thought I'd be a biking girl. But riding my bike has never given me the rush and exhilaration I feel when running.

I still have plenty ways to go as a runner. I want to be able to run for a solid 30 minutes. I need to start running on pavement and I want to sign up for a 5K event. But I have found something I love to do that doesn't involve ingesting calories.

I am a Runner. I love to run!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Congrats on your amazing success and discovering your inner runner! I personally love my treadmill, but try to do at least one run a week outside. While it burns a few more calories and uses some different muscles due to the changing terrain, I don't fell a huge difference between the treadmill and pavement. I bet you'll be amazed how far you can run when you hit the pavement. Way to go!
    1740 days ago
    YAY! You rock so much, keep it up!!
    1741 days ago
    1741 days ago
    Woohoo!!!! I remember the first time i ran a mile straight! I was sooo excited. Now I can run 5ks! Keep up the great work!!!
    1742 days ago
    I'm very impressed. Ten minutes. Today I did 2 minute running intervals. But I've done it before so I'm confident I will slowly work up. Go Carolyn! You're my hero!!
    1742 days ago
    I love it, too! That's how I started: 4.5 minutes walking, 30seconds running, repeat. Ten minutes straight running was a great accomplishment, followed by a whole mile running! I am a runner.
    It hasn't been absolutely consistent progress. I haven't run since last Monday due to an injury, but maybe tomorrow....

    P.S. Outdoor running and treadmill running are just different. You'll find the pros and cons of each.
    1743 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1743 days ago
  • TONYAB2000
    emoticon That is great!! I'm so happy you've found something you love to do. I love to run, too. I'm not great at training right now, though. Hopefully, I'll get back into the swing of things soon. Keep up the great work!
    1743 days ago
    WOW!!! I am so impressed!! Running is not something I have ever been good at even when I was a kid. I get all panty (is that a word in the non-undergarment sense?) and feel like I am going to die! Well the last time I tried that is how I felt. I have wondered lately if I should give it a chance again in small increments now that I am at a lower weight. You are making me think I should go for it. I don't have a treadmill or access to one without joining a gym or buying one ($$$$ yikes) but maybe I can try for a little jogging around my neighborhood after dark (harder to see me lumbering along pathetically in the dark!) until I get better at it... Hmmm

    You are so inspiring!!! emoticon emoticon
    1743 days ago
    You continue to amaze me. It's always a joy to read your latest accomplishments. emoticon
    1743 days ago
    I totally understand your feeling. I HATED running when I was younger, but once I lost weight and needed a way to stay in shape, I took up running. I still have a love/hate relationship with running, depending on the day. There is one thing that remains the same, I LOVE how I feel when I'm done.

    I have done a 5K and a 10K. I'm shooting for a 1/2 marathon next spring. (I still can't believe that I'm a runner!)

    Be very careful and not overdo it. I had to stop running because I pushed myself too hard and ended up with an injury. Time off for healing and now I'm back running.

    It may be helpful to google some of the sites on how to train for a 5K. It's a great base to help you "learn" to run, too.

    emoticon job and keep on running! emoticon
    1743 days ago
    emoticon How wonderful that you found an activity that you love!
    1743 days ago
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