I’m not a runner. I never have been either. I swam, so when you put me on land to do that kind of steady, continuous movement I become a fish out of water; flopping around and senselessly moving forward. I assure you, it’s not pretty. My boyfriend has always said my running is terrible and I need serious help.

So I don’t run. I can do cardio in the pool or on a bike, in a spin class or cramming it into 15 minute HIIT workouts that don’t require me to hold proper form for more than 30 seconds at a time.

A month ago I seemingly lost my mind. After watching several friends post about their SeaWheeze half marathon accomplishments, I made a decision. I want to do that.

So I am going to. Part of the draw is of course the fact that it is lululemon hosting it. I freaking love lululemon, who doesn’t? Registration comes with a pair of shorts, evening yoga, special event shopping, an after-party, all hosted by lululemon!

There is also a MEDAL. I haven’t had a medal since I was 14 when I quit swimming. I want one, so I’m going to get one. I want to be able to say YUP, look at this baby, I just ran for 21.1km and I have a sweet piece of metal around my neck to prove it.

The last and most important factor? It’s something that challenges me, and forces me out of my comfort zone. It’s something that will enhance all my exercise abilities, increases my cardio, and overall going to make be stronger at the end of it.

So since my running abilities are essentially non-existent, I signed up for a Learn to Run clinic at the Running Room…and I quit it. Full disclosure, I found at the one I signed up for there was no focus on the actual how to run. What I expected to get was education on stride, foot strike, breathing, body position, posture, etc. The biomechanics of running. I very well could have misunderstood the course, but to go learn about products and clothing, then just go out and run really wasn’t what I was looking for. As a swim instructor in the past, it’s so important to me to understand the fundamental movements, and how to do them correctly, before you can expect someone to successfully swim, and in this case, run.

So instead, I stopped going to the clinic, but I did not stop running. I’ve gotten tips from my physiotherapist, massage therapist, my boyfriend (who was a runner in high school), and input from other friends who are runners. I utilize the internet, without getting too deep in there since that is just overload and I try my best. I have learned over the last year of continuous working out that I can usually tell if I am doing something wrong because of the way my body feels. I listen to it, and figure out the problem as quickly as possible.

I go out to run every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I still follow the structure the running room set out, increasing the number of minutes I run each week by one, but typically sticking to 20-25 minute each time while I build up my ability. The pyramid I am working on is as follows:

Week 1: run 1 minute; walk 2 minutes, repeat 7 times

Week 2: run 1 minute; walk 1 minute, repeat 10 times

Week 3: run 2 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 7 times

Week 4: run 3 minute; walk 1 minute, repeat 6 times

Week 5: run 4 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times

Week 6: run 5 minute; walk 1 minute, repeat 4 times

Week 7: run 6 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 3 times

Week 8: run 8 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 2 times

Week 9: run 10 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 2 times

Week 10: run 10 minutes; walk 1 minute, repeat 2 times

I still don’t love it. I just finished the third run of week 3’s set up and have to head out to run 3 minutes at a time tonight and I am not excited. This runner’s high I keep hearing about it, I haven’t found it yet. This is what goes through MY head when I run, not some crazy feeling of euphoria:

  • ok, left, right, left, right, not too quick
  • right, I am supposed to engage my glutes, squeeze that butt
  • left, right, left, right, not too quick
  • crap! I am leaning forward again, chest up, butt down
  • left, right, left, right
  • ok, shoulders, they’re supposed to be relaxed and well they are up by my ears, ok shake them out and drop them
  • left, right, left, right, not too quick
  • oh FACK a hill, how did I find this street again when I always try to avoid it?!
  • breathe, breathe, stop holding your breath you crazy woman
  • left, right, left, right
  • ok timer, really? I swear you should have gone off by now
  • oh THANK GOD A WALKING BREAK
  • what the hell!? That was not a minute. That was 10 seconds!!
  • FINE left, right, left, right
  • Why am I clenching my teeth and fists, am I about to get in a fight!? Does my body know something I don’t? STOP IT.
  • Annnnnd repeat. For the entire time

Doesn’t that make running sound SO FUN?! But. Running is SO good for you. There are a lot of reasons, but these are the first 10 I have discovered in my first 3 weeks:

  1. it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  2. strengthens bones better than aerobic activities
  3. increases concentration
  4. it tones your legs
  5. it. burns. calories. A LOT of them.
  6. more calories burnt means I get to eat more food. I love food.
  7. it makes your whole body work – I thought it would just be legs but it is far from
  8. it’s mental. It forces me to examine your entire body at all times, and for me it’s a lot of “just do it” being repeated every 3 seconds.
  9. it’s challenging. I can do squats until the cows come home, I can’t run 2 minute without being pushed to my limits. This is GOOD for me. Once things become easy, they stop being rewarding and exciting.
  10. it gets me outside (at least until the snow shows up) and gives me some natural vitamin D and fresh air in my lungs

So, as much as I hate it, I will lace up my shoes and continue on. Nothing bad can come from it, and each week is one step closer to my half marathon goal.

run

Financial compensation was not received for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.

 

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