“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The human spirit is indomitable.” ~Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile
Welcome to Hotlanta, where the peaches are sweet, the kudzu grows, sweet tea is a natural resource and boiled peanuts are the way to go. It is truly living up to its name. I’m afraid that with all the humidity, I might actually grow gills soon. Truthfully though, those actually might come in quite handy while running.
Speaking of running…I am happy to report I put my first run in after a month and a half off due to a pain in the a$$ injury. Literally. I took the time I needed to to let the muscle relax, stretch it out and get ready to gear up again. Truth be told, I probably could’ve started running two weeks ago but with leaving my job, packing, moving, the Boy’s grad party, starting a new job and not being in the same state for more than a day or two until now. I just didn’t want to make starting up again any harder than it had to be so I decided to wait…you know, till it was 90 degrees outside 😉
So, I decided that this week was my D-day. Time to get back in shape. As much as I dreaded the coming two weeks where running would not be fun, ok, it would be flat-out dreadful…I missed running. Training for the marathon made me a junkie. I craved it. I couldn’t help myself. I missed how great I felt during and after a hard run after a long day. I missed conquering miles and each time going longer than I had before. As hard as it is, you get past the tough part and then running is relaxing and enjoyable.
Tuesday was my first day of work and afterwards I was beat. I got out of the car at home and couldn’t imagine running. As I was debating in my head about what to do (I mean, today was the first day back, I couldn’t just skip it!??) my dad asked if I wanted to run with him. Perfect. I warned him that I hadn’t run for over a month and he might have to drag me. He told me not to worry about it cause he ran slow so it would be a nice easy run.
We set out for a 2.5 mile run. It’s hard when you first start not to talk yourself into going longer, my last run was my 20 mile training run so 2.5 seemed piddly at first but boy am I glad I didn’t up it. It’s so important when you first start running to listen to your body. If you set an unrealistic goal you’ll never be able to meet, you just set yourself up for failure. Be smart when planning your mileage especially when you start out. I have learned this lesson the hard way. It’s just not worth being a stubborn runner then being discouraged because you can’t meet your goal.
Alright, so back to the 2.5. First of all, how is it still 87 degrees at 5:30 in Atlanta. I walked outside and started sweating. Ugh. I just keep telling myself this will help me get in shape faster. So we set out and I was bracing myself for my piriformis to hurt but it didn’t. I was running pain-free! I was ecstatic! I went out slow, much slower than my regular pace but I was running! The hills and heat got to me around 1.5 and I had to stop for a second with my dad but then he started two seconds later and I followed suit.
I know so many people have commented on this blog while I was training for the marathon about how they wanted to get out and get running but just couldn’t get past that nasty two weeks. So, I am going to share the good, the bad and the ugly about me gearing back up in hopes that people see that yes, it does hurt and it’s not pleasant at first but if you stick with it, you WILL get through it and find that yes, running can be enjoyable!
I am so glad my dad went with me and encouraged me to get out there. As hard as it was to put one foot in front of the other, it was easier knowing someone was leading the way and way more fun (ps…he’s not slow 😉 I think he was only being nice to me ha). So here’s what I’ve learned so far about starting to run:
1. Don’t plan to go too far, start with something you can do.
2. Start out slow. (Why is this always the hardest rule for runners to follow)
3. Find someone to run with or hold you accountable. It was great running with my dad and of course knowing I need to keep in shape so that when I get back to Nashville, I can run with the Nasties is keeping me on track. And of course, even though she’s not right beside me, my TPFL is keeping me accountable every step of the way 🙂
4. Give yourself a pat on the back when you’re done. The first steps are the hardest but be confident in your plan and you’ll get past the tough part in no time.
What would your suggestions be all my runner friends to those starting out?
Oh and even though it’s a day late, happy National Running Day! What did you do to celebrate? Go for a run? Decide to start running?