I have always thought that running was something you did only when a zombie or axe murderer was chasing you. Even then, getting caught might be better than the actual running, at least in my mind. The only time in my life that I had ever done any running other than in sports was in high school when they made me run for a grade.
So four months ago when I announced to my husband that I was going to start running, I don't think he really took me seriously. As a part of my road to better health I decided that I needed to exercise and I really didn't want to join a gym... again. I decided that running was something that I could do virtually anywhere and it was pretty cheap, but mostly I just wanted to see if I could do it. Actually run. For exercise. And maybe even like it.
Being the tech-junkie that I am, I figured my iPhone had "an app for that" and I was not disappointed. I used an app called 5K Runner by Heavy Duty apps, which basically is designed to take an out-of-shape lazy gal and train her to run 5k over the course of 8 weeks. I was a little skeptical, but there is a free version to give it a try, so I did. The full version is $2.99, which I did end up buying. *Note: there is also a 10K Runner app for $3.99 and if you think you might want to do 10K, it's worth paying the extra buck getting that one instead, as it's exactly the same except it goes to 10K instead of 5K. Luckily the app starts out with just 1 minute runs followed by a 1.5 minute walk, because that was a lot in the beginning. I remember every time the run times would increase, I thought I would never make it, but with a little willpower, I did it. It's a blessing that this app will run simultaneously with the music player on my iPhone (as well as with a GPS distance-tracker app... but I'll get into that on a later post). Good tunes really helped!
About 2 weeks in, I got posterior shin splits and took a couple weeks off to heal -- ouch! A trip to Fleet Feet fixed me up; they watched me run and recommended shoes accordingly. With new stability running shoes I was back at it with no further problems. They were a little pricy, but I have since learned that good running shoes for your particular stride and feet are key! I kept doing my three runs a week like clockwork, excited to see my endurance increasing each week. Although I don't know if you could say that I enjoyed the running, I was proud of my myself for doing it and felt great when I was done. I actually started looking forward to it!
Never thought I would actually be able to do it, but I completed my first 5K run a week before moving from Coeur d'Alene. With that under my belt, I got a start on the 10K Runner app but since moving to Colorado I've had to take it a little easier as my body adjusts to the altitude! Despite that, I'm still running three days a week albeit with a few more breaks to catch my breath. I'm most definitely in better shape now than I have been since college. Once I'm a bit more acclimated, I would like to run an actual 5K race.
Let this be an inspiration to all my lazy friends out there, because I am the queen of them all. If I can do it, I know you can too! I never thought I would ever, ever say these words, but I actually like to run now. It just takes making your body do what your brain tells it to.