I’m one of those people who wants and even talks about becoming an avid runner. In the past I’ve even set goals to do so. However, it’s always easier said than done, and those two weeks of training usually become another phase. That’s right, I’m one of those people.
The idea of running is great, and there are so many ways to benefit. Not to mention weight loss and heart health, but it does wonders for the mind. It’s calming and is, quite frankly, enjoyable. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “this girl is out of her mind.” I don’t blame you. While my sanity is questionable, it doesn’t negate what I have to say.
Two months ago, I was inspired by a friend to sign up for a half marathon this October. WHAT?! There’s no way I can survive a half marathon. Or can I? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Needless to say, I’m inspired. The event I am signed up for is called the Missouri Cowbell Half Marathon and 5K. It’s a 13.1 miles around the historic downtown St. Charles area and is apparently known as a beginner level course. What a better way to start an already challenging goal?!
After some digging through the Web Site I found a training program geared towards beginners for this half marathon.
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I started the training July 15th and tomorrow I will begin Week Five. Week Five!! I’ve never made it this long in running. And my long run day, Sunday’s, is a six mile run this week. This alone is reason enough for me to continue. I guess they say anything beyond week three, it becomes a habit. Running is no longer something that I have to drag myself to do. It is now just another habit. Until now, the farthest I’ve ever run was three miles.
Like most, Weeks One and Two were terrible. Not only were my legs in a constant state of achiness, but I felt like my lungs were going to explode just after one mile. I definitely considered quitting several times. Let’s just say, it wasn’t easy getting through that phase. That is the phase most people give up on, but trust me, if you push through you will reap the many great benefits. The key for me in getting through these awful two weeks was; talking about it. Tell your friends and family what you’re doing. Believe it or not, that alone will push you to keep going. People are curious about others trying to achieve insane goals. The first time I started talking about doing a half marathon everyone looked at me like I was nuts, but they were also impressed. As I continued training, those around me started asking about my progress, like most I have a sense of pride; and at this point would be too embarrassed to tell people that I quit. This drives me to keep going. I want those around me to see a person who doesn’t give up, who perseveres and overcomes any obstacles in their way. My determination inspired my husband, Dan, to join in on the fun. So now he is running the half marathon with me.
As Week Three approached I started to feel stronger and faster. My times were improving. While my legs continued to ache and so did my lungs, I kept pushing because I was driven by the progress I was already making. During Week Three, Dan and I decided that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it in style and with the appropriate gear. We bought some good running clothes, new running shoes, and the nike+ sensor for our iPod’s.
With the new running gear, I was on track to completing my goal. Now, my lungs have grown stronger and I no longer struggle with breathing. I still get the achiness in my legs, but I can go faster and further than before.
Check back often and learn with me through my running experiences.