Monday, February 23, 2009

I AM a runner

I run to loose weight. Pretty straight-forward. However, there are plenty of other ways to loose weight. Why run?

Here are my reasons:

  • Running forces me to focus on simply breathing. Because I'm very analytical, I have such a hard time with getting my mind to simply stop. Running helps me to just breathe.

  • Running is hard. So when I make any progress, it feels amazing! It's a real boost to my self-confidence. I'm confident but I'm also critical of myself. When I see progress in my running, it gives me the boost I need to keep going and not let the bad days get to me.

  • Something about my feet pounding down against the surface. It feels good.

  • I love that after a run, bad or good, my body pulsates. My face is red and I can literally feel my blood pumping through my arms and legs. It's a sort of high. Maybe runner's high? I don't know but it feels incredible. In that moment, there is nothing I can't do!! ... except take another step ;-)
  • I love that seasoned runners look and move like well oiled machines. They look unstoppable. I aspire to look and move like that one day.

I am only getting started in this sport so I really didn't consider myself a runner. I think you can call yourself a runner the day you realize you can't go too long without lacing up. Well, I realized this today. I AM a runner. My knee feels better and I'm eager to lace up again.

I have been wanting to go for a run all week but couldn't. In these past two weeks, I've been paying for my rookie runner mistake: Training too hard too fast.

I had been pushing myself so far beyond my comfort level that I hurt my knee on my last run. I've had muscle soreness since I started training but I thought that it would pass and I would soon feel stronger. However, I noticed to my horror that instead of making progress I was getting weaker! I had no energy and I could barely do half a mile several days after my weekly long run. I was getting very frustrated!

Last week, I was limping through Barnes and Nobles and came across this book:
Runner' World - Complete Book of Woman's Running, The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance

As I read through it, I realized I was approaching all this backwards. My 'All or Nothing' mentality was putting me in a very bad situation. I was doing everything they suggest not to do to prevent injury.My favorite quote from this book so far: "One of life's little paradoxes is that sometimes when we strain hard, we accomplish less. This is certainly true in running."

Since, I decided to start over with my training but a little wiser this time. I will be doing their suggested 8 week plan for beginners. I really don't want to hurt myself.

Those of us with an 'All or Nothing' mentality, we often take on more than we should and grind through it instead of admitting we're in over our heads. This is me.

I have learned the hard way that it's better to readjust my goals at the expense of my ego than to grind through it and cause real physical injury. I did this with kickboxing a few years back. I LOVED kickboxing and trained 6 days a week for several months...until I just couldn't do it anymore. All those intense workouts with no real rest in between took it's toll on my knees.

I had a sharp pain behind my knees weeks after I had stopped. My knees finally healed but it took so long that I worried I might have done permanent damage.

Hurting my knee last week was the reality check I needed. I don't want to make that same mistake again. This rookie is a runner... in the making.


  1. YAY you!

    I use to work at a gym and trained for my first 10K a few years ago.
    they brought someone in from the "running room" an amazing store here in Vancouver.

    They taught us the basics and went over everything you just mentioned.

    in the end, I ran/walk the 10K in just over an hour.

    What they did not tell us, was not to wear cotton socks!! Please go out and invest in running socks. They make a huge difference in blisters and losing baby toe nails.

    Congrats, I have no doubt you'll be a huge success this time 'round.

  2. Hi there! Just found your blog through Tina's, and I know I'm gonna be a lurker big time so fair warning :) I am NOT a runner by any stretch of the means. My body type and physical stamina are all wrong for running, but I ran my first Chicago Marathon in 2001 and ran five more (six if you count the 2007 Chicago Marathon that got called because of the heat). Anyway, I think what you're doing is great.