|Before running a New Year's 5k this morning :)|
Happy New Year! I love the New Year, because it's a chance to reflect on the last year, and think about where we'll be a year from now. I even like New Year's Resolutions, because how cool is it really that there's a time of year when it's a cultural tradition to look at our lives, reflect on how we can make them and ourselves better, and chitchat with others about our goals in casual conversation. It's awesome. I think it'd be neat to have a New Year's Checkpoint in June where it's tradition to ask everyone around us how they're doing with their New Year's Resolutions.
Anyway, 2012 was the year I started running, and if I have a New Year's Resolution for 2013, it's to keep going. I began the Couch to 5k program in July, which means I've now been running for 6 months! I still remember being out in the heat of July with Will in the running stroller, trying my best to keep going and catch my breath as I ran for 90 seconds, walked for 60, and ran for 90 seconds again. Now I'm running two or three miles about three times a week. I'm still a very slow runner, and I've got some goals for this year to run faster and longer. Most importantly, I'm having fun, I'm reaping the health and emotional benefits, and I'm back in my pre-pregnancy jeans. Life is good.
|Me running my second 5k on my 29th Birthday :)|
Since I'm very new to running, and this is the time of year when so many people start running, I thought it might be fun to write down some of my thoughts on being a new runner.
Mile 1 (Starting)
- Find a walk/run program, cheat when you need to. I loved the Couch to 5K program, but the most important thing when starting is to work hard enough to feel it but not so hard that it's demoralizing and you're miserable and you injure yourself or just are too unhappy to keep going. It's o.k. to catch your breath for a little bit and then run some more. Even on race day.
- Sign up for a race. Nothing like a goal to work towards to keep you going!
- If you have young children, a jogging stroller is awesome, borrow one or find one second hand!
Mile 2 (Keep yourself going)
- Run outside if you can, not just on a treadmill. Find new places to explore and run, enjoy being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. It might seem harder in the winter, but it's even more worthwhile, too, because when else are you outside in 25 degree weather feeling warm without five hundred layers? The best feeling is when you're running on a sunny January day and you stop, and just feel how it feels to be outside and not be cold. It's amazing.
- Have realistic goals, and keep track of your running on a calendar so you feel accomplished when you hit a certain number of miles in a week.
- Listen to music, or podcasts, or books on tape, or, if you have small children, nothing, while you run. Mix it up.
Mile 3 (Race day!)
- Pick super awesome music to run to, or just enjoy the rush of being part of something
- Watch people of all ages, shapes and sizes running ahead of you and think about how awesome it is that you, too, can become a better runner. You're not too old, you don't have too many kids, and you're not too short or too round to run and enjoy running and run faster than people who look younger and better than you in a few years or maybe even a few races. (They will still look younger and better than you, but you will be faster.)
- Push hard, but not so hard that you can't wave at anyone and you're not having any fun. That puts you at risk of throwing up before the finish line (not me) or having a photo taken of yourself looking like a nauseous, chinless zombie (totally happened to me). I ran today's race hard enough to be within forty seconds of my best time, but not too hard, and it was way more fun.
|My nauseous, chinless zombie photo. PR and my first 5k under 30 minutes though! |
Can you tell I had to work for it?!
- Think up funny (to you) slogans that you wish were on the back of your race day shirt at any given moment. Some of mine from today's race: "I run because it feels so good when I stop", "My fast pace is your slow pace", "I just got passed by a woman in a tutu", "Why are all these people chasing me?!", "Is that an eight year old?", "I just got passed by an eight year old", "I had bacon and waffles for breakfast".
- When you're running, and you feel like stopping, don't ask yourself if you can make it to the end. Ask yourself, "can I do this for another ten seconds?" Focus on the ten seconds ahead of you, and if you can keep going, (I usually can) go. Don't let the distance demoralize you, focus on the now. If you're breathing all right now, and you can keep going just a few more seconds, keep going.
- Put the best songs on your playlist in the middle of your run to keep you going, because I honestly can't focus on the music enough to be motivated by the last half mile, and the finish line is enough incentive! A little Maroon 5 halfway through goes a long way.
My Running Goals for 2013:
- Run a 5k in under 30 minutes with Will and Andrew in the double jogging stroller
- Run a 10k
- Not look like a nauseous chinless zombie in future running photos
Good luck to any new runners like me! Run fun :)
|New Year's 5k, mile three!|