Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Answering Your Questions

Recently I've been getting a lot of questions of how I started out running and how I've gotten to where I am now.  So the lazy butt I am I thought I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone!  I'm awesome, I know! 

Did/Do I follow any kind of training program?
 No I did not, but I wish I would have.  A great one is the Couch to 5k training program.  I've heard lots of people use this to start and they have had a lot of great success with it.  There is even a cool app you can buy for a couple of bucks that will tell you exactly when to switch from walking to running!  I swear I love me some technology some times! 

Couch 2 5k app...download it...it's awesome!

Why do I wish I had followed a program?  Well because I think it would have helped me build up my endurance more.  I like how this program focuses on running for a certain amount of time and not so much distance.  I think starting out, focusing on how long (as in time wise) you can run is better than distance but I really think it depends on the person.  In my opinion...distance comes with time, but that's just me.  I know for me, I really wanted to be able to run 3 miles, so distance was my focus, but now it's flipped to time goals, kind of backwards if you ask me.  I'm a loser, what am I say?  :) 

How did I work up to running 3 miles?
Well, I started out walking 3 miles every single day and they weren't just your leaser walk, it was a hard core, break out a sweat, your arms are flying so much you look like your going to take off soon, kind of walk.  Get the picture??  My shins killed me but I walked through them.  Next thing I know, the shin splits were gone!  One day I was walking and just kind of felt like I should try running and I did!  And I was surprised how good I felt while running and I thought "I can actually do this!" 

Now I could only do 1-2 blocks at a time at first but I worked my way up from there.  Each week or every couple of days I'd try to go further and see how I felt.  Setting small goals helped...Get to that mailbox or that house, or the end of this block and then I'll see how I feel. 

I really paid attention to how my body felt.  I learned to "check-in" with my body and see how it was really doing.  Start from my feet and move up my body.  Do my feet feel ok?  Yup they feel pretty good.  Do my ankles hurt?  Nope ankles don't hurt.  Do your shins/calves hurt?  Yup there's pain there, but it's not bad pain...keep pushing.  etc etc.  I learned what was normal discomfort and what wasn't. 

I iced regularly my shins and my knees and feet (because I have Plantar Fasciitis).  That helps a lot with just working through the soreness! 

I also learned once I started running further distances that I couldn't run every single day and that was ok.  If I wanted to get a good run in on my "run days" my body needed a rest day and so I let it have it.  On my rest days though, I took my walks again.  Rest doesn't mean do nothing always, sometimes it does but not always. 

Next thing I knew I felt good when I started to run and literally next thing I knew I could run a mile!  It happened just like that over a little over a month and then it was 1.5 miles and then 2 miles and so on. 

Learn early that your MIND is your worst enemy.  It will tell you, that you are tired WAAAAAY before you are actually tired.  This is where it becomes important to start checking in with your body to really see how you are feeling. Best tip anyone ever shared with me when getting through my mind battles!  I've gone on runs and literally was almost having a fight with myself that I COULD go longer and I pushed through it! 

What's helped you stay motivated and have fun with running?
Having a running buddy helps a ton!  Find a friend or join a local running group (for you locals check out Up and Running they have running groups and training workshops they hold).  For me running with my BFF or my sister helped a ton and they made it easier!  Don't be afraid to ask them to run with you.  My sister was my biggest fear to ask her to run with me because she IS a runner and has been since high school and I knew I'd be a lot slower than her and I hated the fact that I'd slow her down.  ASK ANYWAYS!  They don't care and she said I, yeah me!?, motivated her to get out and run because she wasn't feeling very motivated yet.  She didn't care we went slower, it was still better than nothing for her.  SO ASK! 

Set running dates with people.  I run Saturday mornings with my BFF and it holds us accountable.  And seriously, running with someone is so much easier than running without someone.  No idea why...so frustrating let me tell you but it is what it is! 

How I have had fun with running is I've not taken it to seriously and I've set reasonable goals.  My goal in April was to be able to run a 5k by this fall and I definitely beat that!  It took me longer than mosts probably because I couldn't run every day and never knew when I would be able to run but I did it due to being a single parent and never knowing Miss H's would get on her bike for me or how long she'd let me go.  But no matter what that didn't stop me, anything was better than nothing!

I signed up for races pretty early on.  Could I run the whole thing, nope.  Did I care...nope!  I pushed myself pretty hard and I was happy with where I was at those 2 races.  Now I'm itching to sign for another or 3 of them! 

Has running helped you lose weight?
Yes it definitely has but you will never lose weight with running alone.  What you put in your mouth will make a huge difference!  My friend Brian always reminds me of a great point (and he's lost 50lbs!) is when you want that snickers bar or ice cream you have to think of how long those calories would take you to burn off.  Putting it in those terms makes you realize it's probably not worth the 300calories you will consume in a couple of minutes that will take you 30-60 minutes to burn off.   That's definitely made me question what gets put in my mouth.  

How have you not lost motivation when you've gained or not lost any weight in a week?
This is where I think when you decide to really go for your goal of weight loss or getting physically fit, you have to be honest with yourself.  I knew starting out that this was going to take me at least a year to lose all the weight that I wanted to lose, if not longer.  I knew I would have moments where I would slip up or gain weight.  It's just not realistic and I think, telling yourself that it won't happen is just setting yourself up for disappointment.  It has taken me 10 years to put this weight on, it comng off in a year or so I would say is pretty dang good (which is my goal)!   And so what if you slip up, tomorrow is a new day and you have another chance to start.  I also think it helps to exercize daily because when you get your sweat on, it really makes you question what you do.  I know after I've done a work out I feel amazing and don't want to undo what I just did. 

If you have more questions or commets, please feel free to email me at MamaSarah26(at)gmail(dot)com or leave one in the commets! 

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