Becoming A Runner
Tara and I are runners. She has always been a runner. I have not. When I was pregnant with my 4th child, Jake began training for and participating in triathlons. I went to his races and cheered him on and something inside me began to really, really want to do it too. It looked painful and hard and for some reason, super satisfying at the end!
In addition to my desire to race with Jake, another motivating factor (and probably my biggest) was post-pregnancy fitness. I wanted to get my body back and I wanted to do it fast. And the thought of being able to run, free as a bird, without carrying along 30 extra pounds of weight sounded fabulous! Knowing that this was most likely my last pregnancy and that I would be turning 30 in less than a year added an extra allure to begin my next stage of life in shape. So as soon as I was given the all-clear from my doctor after the birth of my fourth son in May 2010, I got to work!
Jake made me a 4-month, couch-to-5K running schedule (Click Here for a copy). To say that I was not a runner is an under-statement. My visions of "free as a bird" were hardly a reality for awhile. I have always been fit and enjoyed participating in sports, running just wasn't one of them. I began on Week 2 of the training schedule and my first day required me to run for 3 minutes in a 30 minute walk. I thought I was going to die. Looking back, I can not believe that I could barely run for 3 minutes, but it was tough!
However, I had faith in the training plan and to my astonishment, it worked! In 4 months, I had become (dare I say it?) a runner! I have been a regular runner since then and have participated in The Cactus Cha Cha 3-mile Trail Run, The Litchfield Kiwanis 10K, The Litchfield Kiwanis Sprint Tri in the Park, The Color Run (Tempe, AZ), and The Arizona Half Marathon (Goodyear, AZ). Tara and I trained for and ran the 1/2 marathon together and came in at our goal time, right at 2 hours.
May I add here that training with a friend is awesome? So much easier to get through those long Saturday runs with someone to talk to and laugh with. And when you trip on the sidewalk and land in a bush because you are running at 5a.m. and it is super dark outside and you can't see a darned thing, there is someone there to help peel you off the ground and dust you off. Not that that has ever happened to me... (Thanks again, Tara!)
The moral of my story: If you have always had a secret wish to run, but felt that you just "are not a runner", think again. Running, like most sports, is all about the training. Find a good training plan for you and give it a try! You'll be surprised at the results if you stick with it and remain dedicated.
Tara and I are still running together 2-3 times a week. We are currently on the hunt for a good race to participate in this fall (because as we all know, Arizona is NOT a fun place to partcipate in a run during the summer). We'll keep you updated when we find one and share our next training plan (and the ups and downs that go with it)!