Thursday, June 3, 2010

I am (not) a runner

That seems like a pretty accurate title. I really am not a runner. I’m not sure if I can even call myself that after the half marathon. Maybe after I run a few more? Maybe after I do a marathon?

new running shoes

I wanted to write out my running story, for anyone that thinks they can’t run. I never thought I could run more than 2 minutes.

For as long as I can remember (ok, since I was about 17) I’ve wanted to run 3miles in 30minutes. That doesn’t seem like that large of a goal, but that was my goal. Pretty simple. So I tried numerous times, and failed. I would be consistent for about 2 weeks, then stop. Running is hard.

I moved to Dallas after graduation, and conveniently moved about 2 blocks from the Katy Trail, a great greenway in the middle of Dallas. I didn’t know many people, and I was bored most evenings, so I decided to start walking on the trail. I even attempted to run a few times, but the summer heat of Dallas wasn’t helping the cause.

I think my mom mentioned that she had heard of a running program called Couch to 5k. I read about it on the internet, and the program seemed easy enough.

So that’s what I did. I wrote out the program and I followed it. I would do it after work, 3 times a week. It was easy enough for me to stick with it, and I really liked having the structure. But I remember fearing week 5 when you do your first run with no walk breaks. 20 minutes. Without stopping. I ended up repeating week 4 because I was too scared to move onto week 5.

Eventually I made it that 20 minutes, but it doesn’t stop there, you then are expected to run 25 minutes. So I went back and repeated week 5 and did the 20 minute run again, and the next week I attempted the 25minute run, then repeated that week, and finally moved on to the 28 minute and finally the 30 minute run.

During this time I found a 5k race (Jan 2009) and really wanted to run. The race fell on my birthday, and I was able to recruit two friends, Emily and Mike to run it with me (see I did eventually make friends). It was nice to do it with friends, because I really didn’t know what to expect, and I tend to have really bad anxiety in new situations.

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The 5k was a blast and I couldn’t wait to do another. I kept up with running and was able to convince Emily and Mike to run another 5k (March 2009).

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After the two 5ks I continued with running and was really content that I had accomplished my goal of running 3 miles in 30 minutes.

A lot of changes happened in the summer of 2009, mainly moving from Texas to Philly, but I kept running as much as possible. I was unemployed all summer and would go run in the mornings, as a way to get out of the house and explore the city. Eventually I worked up to 4 miles, then 5, then 6.

So that brings up to sort of present day. Last fall I decided to sign up for the Broad Street Run. It was nice to have a goal, and I wrote out a very detailed training plan, and accounted for times when I wouldn’t be able to run (like when we went to Austin). I also looked for any races that would fall during my training and found the 10k that Eric and I ran.

northeast roadrunner's 10k

A few weeks before Broad Street I received an email about the ODDyssey Half Marathon. I had already planned to run a half this fall, but they completely suckered me in. I am really happy I did the half, and it gives me a lot of confidence for my future with running.

Broad Street Run

I still don’t consider myself a runner. I still think I am going to come in last in every single race. But I really like running, and it’s one of the only things I do for me. All for me. I’m never going to be the fastest, but it doesn’t matter because it all about realizing what I can do.

number 1 spectator

6 comments:

Sara Elizabeth said...

Great post, Lauren! I needed to read this today!

I just signed up for my first 5k.

I'm not a runner, either. But, it works... :)

I'm impressed with your accomplishments!

Lauren said...

Thanks Sara!
Congrats on signing up for your first 5k! They are so much fun.

Righteous Runner said...

Hi! I'm closet healthy-living/running blog reader/stalker person and I wanted to say that I enjoyed your post. I'm also a not a runner runner and am more than happy to be mid-packing, slow-moving, race-loving, crazy person.

Congrats on your first half!

Bianca said...

That's so inspiring! I've always thought I could never, ever run despite the fact that I've worked out 5 days a week at my gym for years. Every time I'd try, I'd start wheezing and I was convinced my body wasn't made for it.

But in December, inspired by a few runner/bloggers, I decided that I wouldn't just sit back and accept that I couldn't run. So I started a training program that a friend sent me. It sounds similar to yours, but I'm taking it way more slowly...actually devoting several weeks to each step. Right now, I'm on the step where I run 7 minutes and walk for 3 — over and over — for 30 minutes. That's more than I ever imagined I could do.

I have a goal of running a 5K this year (and by running, I mean running part of it and walking part of it). Judging from your story, I can tell that actually meeting that goal will feel awesome.

Congrats to you on achieving an awesome goal! Sorry for the long-ass comment!

Leslie said...

love this post! you are totally a runner! when can we do our next race???

Jackie said...

Ha I actually thought about entering a 5k tomorrow. I'm passing since I'll be working till 6 in da morning.