Friday, March 16, 2012

Beginning to Feel Like a Runner

Perhaps I should say jogger, because I don't really think I run...but really who cares. The point is something has changed for me. On Monday (3/12/12) I jogged for 30 minutes nonstop! I just went out and said I am going to do this. I warmed up for 5 minutes jogged for 30 and had a super super slow walking cool down. I was really excited! Then on Wednesday (3/14/12) I wanted to prove to myself that Monday wasn't some freak accident. First, nerves got the best of me. I kept thinking what if I can't do it again, which almost made me stay home. Then I realized my ipod was in my mom's car (she live 20 minutes away from me). Then I went to the place I normally jog and there was a couple of dogs loose. Technically, they were with their owners chasing something, but they were not on a leash and I'm afraid of dogs. At this point I got back in my car and left. Then I turned around and said I'm going to do it anyway. I'm so glad I did. I did my normal 5 minute warmup and told myself that I would not look at my watch. I just kept jogging. When I did look at my watch it said 33 minutes. At that point I thought well, I would like to be able to jog a 5k in under 40 minutes, so let's just see if I can jog for 40 minutes and where I'll be at that point. I'm happy to say I jogged 2.9 miles in 40 minutes. Whoo Hoo!

When I finished my legs felt funny. Have you ever been on the treadmill or the elliptical FOREVER and when you finally get off it feels weird to walk on the non moving ground? This is how my legs felt after the 40 minute jog. I was tired, but not wiped out. For the first time I thought, "Wow, I'm a runner." I know different people have different ideas of what constitutes a runner, but in my mind if I say I'm a runner then I am one lol! I don't have the fastest pace in the world, but I can remember when I was struggling to jog 30 seconds. So, this is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I have a 5k towards the end of April (Mayor's Cup). I'm really confident now that if I continue jogging 3 days a week I can finish in under 40 minutes. Today was my rest day, so I'm going to shoot for 40 minutes again Saturday.

It is amazing to me how my thought process has shifted. When I first began trying to jog I hated it. I hated it mostly because my shins hurt all the time, and I would become so disappointed with the very short time span I could actually jog. I had no confidence and I thought I looked like a complete idiot. I was embarrassed to run in public. Eventually, I just had to suck it up. Over time my shins stopped hurting and it felt great getting to know people who are at the park around the same time. I began to get a thumbs up, a smile, or a great job from familiar faces as they passed by. I started to get to know the guys who work at the local running store and they get just as excited as I do when I talk about a new distance. I began to reward myself with running stuff for a job well done (I got new, really cute Sweaty Bands for finally reaching 30 minutes). I began to realize that the only person judging me when I jogged was me. Everyone else just wanted to support me. Now I love it. I love being outdoors and admiring everything around me as I jog. I still have major issues with the treadmill. If the treadmill is my only option I am likely to skip running and do something else (I hate the treadmill that much). I guess the point of all this is that I feel like a new person. I'm so happy I stuck with jogging.

I started with the couch to 5k plan on After a point I stopped using it though. I would get really upset with myself if I had to repeat a week or if the next week was too hard. So, I just decided to do what I could do everyday. I know this isn't a real plan, but it's honestly what I did. I would set my watch and go. By not worrying so much about the plan I was doing that day I was able to just go out and enjoy my jog. By no means am I knocking the couch to 5k plan. It got me up to the 20 minute jog. So, I think it's great. I just had to do something different because of my all or nothing attitude. Anyway, running is great and for the first time I feel like I really can accomplish a half marathon this year. It was on my list of goals for the year, but I did not honestly believe I could do it until now. I am super pleased with myself right now.

On a side note, I have a dry erase board on the door of one of my rooms. I use it for motivation. My sister visited me earlier in the week and this is what she left on my motivation board while I was at work.

Haha! She's so funny. It really made my day, and I'm going to keep it up for awhile. I hope you all have a fantastic day! Remember to reach for the stars, because the only person setting limitations on what you can do is you!

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