Thursday, June 7, 2012

30 by 30 #7 – Try (and hopefully enjoy) Running

This is one of those tasks that has no finish line so to speak. But, since my goal was simply to try running, now is as good a time as any to post about it.

I did my first "run" sometime last summer. I had just had Kai and he was wonderful, but he was a baby and spent a lot of time crying inconsolably. On the bad days, I was counting down the minutes until AJ got home so I could at least have someone to share my difficulties with.

On one particularly tough day, AJ came home to a very frustrated wife. I handed him the baby and said "I'm going for a run." (he graciously and wisely told me to take as long as I needed) I felt all wound up and needed to release some frustration. Kickboxing would have been my first choice, but running would do.

I changed, grabbed my iPod and headed out the door. Turning the music up as loud as I could bear it, I just started to run (probably more like a jog) and kept going until I felt like I wasn't going to explode. I think I went about 2km before I turned around to come home.

By the time I got back, I felt refreshed (mentally-physically I was sweaty and gross and feeling it in my shins). I made it through the rest of the night.

I may have gone for a run a couple more times, but nothing serious until last month. Kai is no longer nursing and my metabolism has slowed back down, so it was time to be more proactive with exercise. I got my handy iPhone and downloaded a few running apps, landing on RunKeeper as my favourite. It has pre-set workouts along with the ability to create your own.

AJ goes to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, so I have to be home in the mornings while Kai is sleeping. So I thought I would make Tuesdays and Thursdays my running mornings. Now, I am not a morning person, but I also know that after work I just want to spend time with Kai and AJ. I also learned from Jon Acuff that if you want to do something for yourself, you take it out of your own time, not your family's. So mornings it is.

I don't know what it is about Tuesdays, but I can almost never drag myself out of bed. I'm exhausted. However, I've been up and at 'em every Thursday morning, so that's something. Getting out of bed is definitely the worst. Once I'm out on the road with my iPhone running buddy and my favourite playlist, I really enjoy myself. I'm doing kind of a couch to 5k thing, so right now I'm running 1 minute, walking 1:30, repeating that pattern for 20 minutes. This is one of the app's pre-sets and it's been great. 20 minutes in the morning feels do-able and I don't have to get up quite as outrageously early.

In the month since I've been doing it, I've already noticed a difference in my technique. I don't get shin splints anymore, I can run a bit faster during the "steady pace" phases and I'm not as winded.

The goal is to go more consistently and work my way up to being able to run for longer durations. Maybe do a 5k one day?


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