Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Want to learn how to run??

Obviously, if you have read any of my previous posts, you know I like to run. I hesitate in calling myself a runner since I am slow, but I will go ahead and say... I am a runner. I haven't always enjoyed running and I think I've even said, I am never going to run farther than 3 miles, but as I began running 5k races, I started to enjoy it's rewards and wanted to challenge myself.  I felt proud of my accomplishment, especially as I started running longer distances. I started "training" in November of 2009 (by training, I mean, I didn't just casually go out and run for 30 minutes once a week, I actually had a plan of action) and did my first 10 mile race in February. After that race, I did a half marathon trail run, a 10k and a half marathon road race within 2 months. I accomplished some major goals of mine in less than 6 months and I was really proud of myself.

During that time, I went through a lot of emotions about running. I wanted to be further along than I was. I was upset with myself for not running a 9 minute mile, or a 28 minute 5k, etc. Sometimes, I would run at night and I would hate every minute of it. I started to get shin splints and my right hip flexor would ache. My foot would go numb and I couldn't finish 3 miles. It was a tumultuous relationship I had with running, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. After I finished the half in April, I took a break. The break made me realize what I had accomplished. I ran 2 half marathons, a 10 mile, and a 10k race all within 3 months. I had never run longer than a 5k. To have completed 3 major running milestones in such a short time was a big deal. My finishing time didn't matter, or shouldn't matter, because I was a newby. How can I expect to run as fast as my friends when they had all been running for years, many of them being marathon runners? I always do that. I always expect to be the best immediately and if I'm not, it's somehow a reflection of my value as a person. Oh, I suck at running because I'm not naturally fast. I am not good at endurance sports because I can't even win a 5k. All of those thoughts run through my head and I beat myself up for not being Kara Goucher day 1.

When I began running again in August, I was going to do it right. I started doing the 5k program with iRun on saturday mornings. I recruited a couple of people, mainly my mom, and got involved. Holly Di Giovine
 and Melissa Adrian  are two trainers that helped put this program together and make it was it is today. I think it is based on the couch to 5k program, but it consists of running 3 days a week and then mixing in cross training. It was nice because it helped me get back into running mode which in turn inspired me to run another half. My only goal in doing that is to finish the race in at least 2 1/2 hours and not hurt. Last time, I couldn't walk, this time, my goal is to be able to walk :)

My inspiration for this entry is to promote iRun and get people to come out and join our group (it's free). This program is a really a great way to ease into running, it's simple and fairly painless. You only have to run 3 days a week and that's all I would do initially. After you feel comfortable and want more of a challenge, add in some cross training, biking, swimming, spin class, the elliptical, anything. iRun is fun because you're working out, yes, but you're also hanging out with fellow athletes (of all levels) and you can find some running buddies.

We are going to be continuing the 5k program, offering a marathon training group, a trail running group, etc. I just registered for the lottery for the NYC Marathon at the end of 2011. I may not get in, but if I do... I'll be marathon training!! So please, come and join us, even if you've never worked out before. It's a great way to get into working out, running, and it's a very supportive environment!!