A Journey of a thousand miles…
I love this very simple, but profound sentence! It rings so true to me because I began not one, but 2 journeys last year. One was my vegan journey and the other was that I began running again after 30 plus years. Mind you, I am active, I exercise, but something was calling me…I wanted to run again.
WHY you ask? Well, I was inspired watching my husband run a 1/2 marathon. He is a tri-athlete and competes in many sporting events and I’ve cheered him on at many of his events. So at this particular marathon event, I waited for him at the finish line and got the chills as he and many others courageously crossed the finish line. After I snapped a few pictures for Facebook, I began to think…I would love to compete in a race someday! So, I began running the beginning of July 2013. Not the smartest month to start, but that’s when I had time to begin my running journey. I bought myself a new pair of kicks, powered up my iPod and I was off! In October of 2013, I completed in my first race, a 5K.
Here’s how I did it (with a little advice mixed in)!
Plan your journey: I planned to run at least 3 times per week and I stuck to the plan. I would run for about 1/2 hour-40 minutes at a time. Since it was July, I ran early in the morning when it was cooler. My runs were really run/walk intervals at first until I built up my endurance. I found it took me longer than expected to build endurance. Running was hard for me, but I didn’t give up. It wasnt until late August early September that I was able to run 3.1 miles without stopping. I was so psyched that day and very proud of myself. That was the day I knew I was ready to do a 5K!
Go Slow: I was 50 when I started to run again. I knew I had to take it slow. If you know me, sometimes I can become impatient with things if they don’t come quickly. This was one journey I knew would take some time. So my advice is to take it easy with yourself and listen to your body. If you need to stop, then stop. Don’t push yourself. If you are consistent and run at least 3 times per week, your endurance will build.
Be Safe: When I told my doctor I was running, her response was “Great, but be careful”. She was right. There are so may variables when running on the road. Cars, pot holes, bicycles, dogs, you name it…danger lurks! So here is some safety advice. Don’t turn up the iPod too high because you need to be able to hear sirens and approaching cars. Always run facing traffic so you can see what is coming at you. Wear sunscreen! Also, wear bright reflective clothing while you run. I recently bought a reflective vest from Job Lot for about 3 dollars. It looks a bit odd, but I want to be seen.
Clothing: Buy yourself comfortable running shoes and clothing. Go to Marshalls or TJ Maxx and get some spiffy outfits. That way, if you have some new running attire, you’ll not only look fabulous while starting your new journey, you’ll feel great too. Wear a visor or a hat to cut down on glare from the sun, or in my case, keep stray hair out of my eyes!
Last but not least…Have fun with your running and don’t take yourself too seriously. Just keep at it and don’t give up. YOU CAN DO IT!
Here is an action photo my daughter took of my first 5K.