New Goals

Well, I haven’t given a recent update. And to be honest, I haven’t been running much lately either. There are a couple reasons for this, or you could call them excuses. First, I’ve been a lot busier than usual because my Mom came for a visit, (So fun! Love you Mom!) and I’ve had extra school work to do. Second, I’ve been discouraged because our financial situation is getting restricting and I didn’t know if I could justify spending the money to buy all the running materials and pay for the races! Well, the first reason has passed, but the second reason is persisting. However, I have decided to continue with my running.

I don’t need an organized race to prove to myself that I can run a certain distance! And I don’t need fancy clothes and shoes to get out there and improve every time! It doesn’t have to cost money to run! I mean, for goodness sakes, all you really need is your body, and that’s sort of stuck to you no matter what. You could even run barefoot if you wanted to but I would recommend watching out for sharp rocks, broken glass, and bumpy sidewalks (a stubbed toe could really kill your momentum)! You could also run naked, but if you choose to do that I kindly suggest that you go somewhere no one will ever see you, such as on a treadmill inside your house with all the windows covered.

So, I’m going to lace up my not-fancy sneakers again and get back out there! My old goal was to run a 5k race this month in 30 minutes or less. My new goal is just slightly changed: By the end of August I will run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in 30 minutes or less. By myself. On the sidewalk. Crosswalks and all.

I still have a lot of improving to do before I meet this goal. I am currently doing 2 miles in about 33 minutes but I’m not running as often as I should and I’m not pushing myself very hard. I hope I can do it… I know I can do it!

Days to Marathon: 309

How is your running going? Have you set any new goals for yourself lately?

One Week Down

Well I’ve finished week one and so far I am very pleased with my progress.

An interesting fact: This week I bought some pepper spray.

My husband and I happened to be at the mall Friday night and we passed by Sports Authority and they were having their clearance event so we decided to go in. I knew the store sold pepper spray so I thought I’d see if they had any on clearance. They didn’t, but I bought some anyway. You can also get it at Walmart and other online stores. Amazon.com has a great deal right now on mace. It’s almost exactly the same as what I bought at the store except it’s pink instead of red. I paid $13 for mine and on Amazon it’s only $5.05 (originally $18.95)! I definitely wish I would have shopped around a little more before buying it! Click the link below to buy it.


When shopping for pepper spray, It’s hard to know what will be the most effective kind of pepper spray to buy and what will be easiest to use. It’s not like you can test them out in the store! I found this video comparing several different kinds of pepper spray. It’s kind of long, but worth the watch before buying something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMpZCbM3lKQ

I definitely feel much safer running with my pepper spray, especially when I run after dark. I actually hold it in my hand while running so that if there ever is an emergency it’s ready to go and I don’t have to fumble around in my pocket for anything. Remember to be safe while running!

Days to Marathon: 321

Already Easier

I have to say this workout went so much better than the first one! It is very encouraging to know that things get so much easier so quickly! (However, keep in mind that other factors such as age and weight may make it more difficult for you.) After my first workout I was interested in finding ways to make running easier so I could run faster and longer. I found this great video online and used it as a reference from which to improve my form. Let me tell you, it makes it SO MUCH EASIER! I wish I had watched this before my first workout!

Here is another good reference about running form. It summarizes some of the concepts from the video.


It’s amazing how a few small changes in posture can transform your run from a painful struggle to an invigorating exercise!

Aside from the changes in posture, I think the biggest change I made that helped the most was my change in pace. I decided to take it nice and slow this time and I found that I was still able to cover the same distance, but this time when I was finished my breathing was steady and I didn’t have much pain to deal with. Also, I wasn’t nearly as sore the next day! After the first workout my shins were so sore! I think it was because my feet were hitting the ground too hard (which is a result of poor form). And the icing on top of everything was how great I felt afterward! It was awesome! Now this is the sort of thing I can keep up!

Food: Frozen Pizza (We all do it)

Music: Domino – Jessie J (Great running song!)

Time: 19 mins

Distance: 1.2 Miles

First Workout

Guys, that first workout is going to be hard. It just is. But it gets much easier.

For my first work out I knew I needed to start small. If I try and go run 26 miles on the first night I’m probably going to either give up or get picked up by an ambulance, neither of which is very encouraging. So I did a search on Pinterest for “beginner running”. I found this lovely pin that I am using as a guideline. This is a great guide for anyone like me who is starting from ground zero because it gives a VERY do-able starting point and works your way up over time using baby steps. However, you don’t have to follow it exactly, you can alter it based on what you think you are capable of, but remember to be realistic and go slow. You’re not going to be able to run an entire mile on the first day!


I decided to alter that first week one to make it a little more challenging, so for the first week I decided to walk fast 4 mins, + run 1 min, repeat 4x = 20 minute workout.

Before my run in some typical workout clothes. You do not need to wear spandex booty shorts and a sports bra to run!


Before I started my workout I did a few minutes of stretches to loosen up. Then I set my ipod for a fun song and I was out the door! I was doing ok until I got to the part where I had to run. Haha! After about thirty seconds of running, sure enough, I was breathing heavy and it was starting to hurt. I told myself I could do it for the full minute, so I did, but afterward I was still hurting. It’s crazy that running for just one minute can be so hard! I completed the work out but my running spurts were shorter after that first one. When I got home I was still breathing hard, my throat was burning, I was nauseous, and my legs felt like Jell-o. I stretched some more when I was done and the collapsed on the couch and drank a ton of water.

What I learned:

  • Stay Safe. For this run I was running after dark. At first I thought it would be cool to run through a nearby park, but as I turned off the main road to get to the park, the street was a lot darker than I thought it would be and for some reason I felt uneasy and unsafe. I turned around and went back to the main road and then I felt safe again. Listen to your instincts. If you ever feel unsafe where you are running, change your course and go somewhere safer. And for the record, parks after dark are probably not generally a safe place to run.
  • Pace Yourself. I think a big reason why it hurt so bad to run is because I tried to run faster than my body was ready to go. I need to remember to go very slow in the beginning. Baby steps.

Food: A few hours before my run I ate a Chimichanga from a local restaurant. I would NOT recommend eating this type of food before a run! I thought I was going to throw it all up by the time the run was over! Eat something light if you must, but not a Chimichanga.

Music:
Brighter Than The Sun – Colbie Calliat – love this song so much!

Distance: 1.2 Miles

Time: 19 Mins

Days to Marathon: 331

Ground Zero

Before I start describing my workouts I want to illustrate just where I am starting from. I want to send the message to me readers that anyone can do it! If you can understand exactly how far I am from my goal maybe you will believe me when I reach it!

My family background doesn’t have much history of running so I’m not exactly predisposed to the skill. No one in my immediate family has ever run an organized race and the only type of exercise we did as a family was hiking. Growing up we kept active in our own ways, for the girls it was dance and marching band. For my brother it was skateboarding. My Dad did jog regularly for a while but it was usually by himself early in the morning so we never saw it. I played tennis for a year in school but I was very bad at it and haven’t played for over 8 years. I am also pretty short (About 5′ 2″) so my little legs don’t carry me very far when I run.

I would say that I have never run a day in my life, except that’s not exactly true. However, I can probably count the number of times I have run in the past 2 years on one hand. (One of them was when I was pregnant and a few days before my due date. We were getting impatient and wanted to naturally induce labor so my husband had me chase him a short distance on our way home from a church activity – and it worked! Haha!) The few times I do run I start breathing very heavily after only a short distance and I get painful stitches in my side. No wonder I hate running. The most exercise I have gotten in the past year is a few months of aerobics once a week and that ended 4 months ago.

On a scale from persistent-vegetative-state to competitive-marathon-runner, I am probably a couch-potato.

 

couch potato


I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m starting at ground zero.

Days to Marathon: 332

Day One

I’m going to run a marathon. No really, I am. Don’t believe me? You have every right to be skeptical, after all, I’ve never run any significant distance in my life! My workouts of choice (if any) are usually some form of dance, and any time I ever hear the word “running” directed at me it’s usually followed by a groan and “I hate running!” I am certainly not an athlete, I have never really wanted to be an athlete, and I don’t look like an athlete. So why would I suddenly decide to run a marathon? Am I crazy?

 

This is me, just a normal jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.


My desire to run a marathon started after reading this blog post (it’s a fabulous blog by the way, I suggest every woman follow it closely). After reading I thought about how a journey to such a goal could be so empowering. I thought about how my life lately had been sort of stagnant, with very few major goals that were very important to me. I also knew I needed to increase my activity level to be healthy. I wanted to challenge myself and accomplish something amazing and feel that high you get when you know you’re doing something you never thought you could do. So, why not run a marathon?

Now before I go on I just want to clarify – this challenge is not a diet or weight loss program. I believe that health has very little to do with a number on a scale or the tag of your jeans/dress. This challenge is to discover how amazing my body is and how much I am capable of accomplishing. This challenge is to empower me to have more confidence, joy, and health in my life.

Goals:

On June 8th 2013, complete the Utah Valley Marathon

  • Steps toward my goal:
    • Train at least 3x a week
    • Complete a 5k race
    • Complete a 10k race
    • Complete a half marathon

My pledge to my readers

  • I pledge to give frequent updates on my progress toward my goal.
  • I pledge to be completely honest about my experience, including all physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges I face.
  • I pledge never to make this about getting skinny, losing weight, or shedding inches but to focus on overall physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
  • I pledge to do my best to make this blog fun and easy to read!
  • I pledge to do my best to empower my readers to discover their own power and capabilities. You are amazing!

Thanks for reading! Now share this blog on facebook, twitter, pinterest, whatever! Because let’s be honest, I’d like to make a buck or two off this blog to pay for my races!

Days to Marathon: 333