Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Different Kind of Debut

As an unpublished writer, I dream of the day when I can announce my literary debut. Until then I'll keep working on my WiP little by little until I'm finished.

But that doesn't mean I can't have a different kind of debut.

All of my kids are runners of varying degree. My girls are involved with track and/or cross country. My son ran in high school and continues to do so for the love and fitness. While on break from college last summer, I witnessed his dedication to training, often in 90 degree weather after working 7 hours. This past fall, he flew home on his semester break, ran a local marathon (coming in first for his age group) with a time of 2:56:52 qualifying him to run the 2015 Boston Marathon if he so chooses. /bragging mom

I was so impressed with my daughters' dedication and my son's accomplishment that I secretly decided that I would start running myself in 2014. There was no way I was going to start out in the fall with winter ahead of me, so I announced that "maybe I would start running" after the winter when it got a little warmer. I got a lot of snickers and "that's nice" pats on the head. Nobody really believed I would start. But I did. You know what my first realization was after I bought new sneakers, charged up my iPod, and started jogging around the track?

Running is hard!

And the thing was, it wasn't the breathing that was hard, it was how my calves felt like lead balloons as I ran. In the beginning, I started at the track and decided I would run/walk for 1 mile (4 times around times = 1 mile). The first day, I ran around once and nearly collapsed, walking the rest of the mile. Once I built up to running a continuous (no walking in between) mile I was ready to tackle road running. My route is three miles of which I jog and walk when I have to. I've found that running on the street has been harder on my calves and knees because of the inclines, the harder surface, and uneven sidewalks. Not to mention avoiding puddles and trash cans! And so my recent strategy has been to alternate between running at the track (which can get monotonous) and on the street.

After about 2 months, I am able to run 2 miles straight now. I love that I'm making progress and more importantly that I'm strengthening my heart. Nobody is making fun of me now.

I have no marathon aspirations. My short term goal was to be able to run a mile and I reached it. My next goal, run in a 5K race. Long term? If I stick with this and my legs can handle it, maybe a half marathon in the future. We'll see. As much as I love writing, the progress I've made has been slow. I really needed something else in my life that I could feel successful at short term. Something to get me away from my computer, from the busyness of everyday life, something just for me.

Any runners out there? What advice would you give a running newbie?