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I'm not sure that RunsWithWhales ever reads this, but I felt compelled to post. After Blue made the post of the running high, I printed it at work. I teach 6th grade so my kids were asking me about it, as I have it posted on my chalkboard. This led to a discussion about goals, and I explained my goal was to be able to run three miles by September. In a very honest moment, some days I feel foolish. I'm a 40 year old mother who hasn't been able to run a mile in her entire life to this point. (But I have always wanted to be able to run.....) Every other day for the past two weeks around 9:00 pm after my boys are in bed, I head out my door wondering if people gawk at my attempt to run. What I found is I don't care what they think, because I feel wonderful at the end of those 30 to 45 minute sessions. I'm sure I'm not very pretty while I'm doing it, not even cool, just a middle age woman trying to accomplish a dream. I don't need a trophy, a medal, just the stamina to cross the finish line of 3.1 miles. The encouraging words of an avid runner certainly meant a lot to me. Thank you for taking the time to post!!
Blue, tdk554, Lanity, meryl27, hneal, mfssl, snipey, Anij34, guybrush, RachRob, unfitbit, Flikker, rcsparky, IrishDancerMom, obxgrl, carly85, Hadababyitsaboy, mattmikesmom, Chasing2boys, gabyR..... and anybody else I may have missed.
Yes, I have read your thread from the point were Blue linked my post at the runango forum.Thanks for the kind words, I'm truly touched, especially that matsmikemom would post it in the classroom. I didn't write that as some sort of motivational speech, but merely as a way to voice the overwhelming feeling of Joy that particular run brought to me. Yes, there have been other inspiring runs, from running in 50 MPH winds, to running in sleet and hail storms in just shorts and a t-shirt, to running on deserted beaches where I was (literally) the only human being for miles around. Each has it's own special place in my runner's heart, just as each new hill that breaks me down into a trembling mass of Jell-O teaches me humility all over again.
We all start from a single step forward. It's very easy to get discouraged at first, and sometimes progress seems to take more steps backwards than forwards. It's also a time to be very careful to NOT overextend yourself. Your bodies are going through many changes as they adapt to running, and different parts of your body adapt faster than others. Muscles that are suddenly capable for running twice the distance they could just a week before are still connected to tendons and ligaments that have not even begun to adapt to the additional stresses you are putting on them. Your bones can take up to 6 months to build up the extra calcium needed to avoid stress fractures. I can not stress this enough... at this point in your running, go for more time, or more distances, but DO NOT go for more speed. Speed breeds injuries.
Listen to your bodies. Learn the difference between a sore muscle and an injury. As you build time and distance, speed will build of it's own accord. And NEVER race against another person. That person is not you, he or she may be younger, stronger, trained longer, or simply be genetically gifted in ways you are not. Race against yourself, and revel in your own personal successes. And most of all, be patient. It took a lifetime to get your bodies into the shape they are in today, it will take more than a couple days/weeks/months to become the runner you want to be.
But stick with it. The results
both mental and physical are worth it. I didn't start running until my forties. At almost 50 years of age, I could now run my thirty-something body into the ground, and never even come close to my max heart rate doing so. But I'm just a working stiff who likes to run to stay in shape. I'm no hero, I'm just the guy next door.
I salute each and every one of you beginners. You've already taken the first step. Where you go from here is entirely up to you. Good luck, and good running!
RunsWithWhales, thanks so much for your posts! You have a true gift with words. I am able to get a picture of what I am hoping to achieve.
W3D1 is over and done! Seems like there should have been a finish line or something. Last week I posted that I was going to repeat Week 2, but I decided to keep moving forward. I made it through it! Since I have a three mile loop now, I have a few blocks to walk after my runs. After my five minute recovery on the way back, I opted to do the 60/90's from Week 1 on the way home. It just nice to feel the improvements! Congratulations to all the Witnesses, taking one run at a time!
Wish I would have read RunswithWhales post BEFORE I ran. I would have approached it differently. Today was very, very hard for me. Had two days off and my body felt sluggish and awkward AGAIN today. There was no groove, only waiting for the 90 seconds to be "over with" for each of my runs. I did notice my breathing was great today - I was able to continue to talk the whole time during all the runs. The tendon on the back of my left ankle hurt the entire time. I was actually limping while I ran. So I backed waayyyy off my pace (back to my snail jog) and I was very very careful to pay attention to how I stepped.
I did lots of stretching when I got home, and altnough I was planning on getting back on the M/W/F schedule, I am indeed going to take a rest day on Monday and give my body a break.
The only "improvement" this week is my breathing is easier. I feel like I made no progress, and that I am completely unprepared for the increase in difficulty. I also think that a lot of the reason my breathing was better was because I was really jogging more slowly.
But, reading all your posts have been so encouraging, I realize that this is not a contest, and I don't have to be perfect at this. I only need to be consistent. I had toyed around with the idea of repeating W2 next week, but I am going to keep on plan and try W3D1 on Tuesday. And I am going to get out of my head the need to "improve" with each run. I am going to pay more attention to my body next week and scale back my pace a little if it starts to feel too tough.
I too struggle with how I must look to "fit" people who are reciting War and Peace as they fly by me at a pace that is three times as fast as mine. It's hard to look "think" while jogging. But you know what,I am committed. I just hope my silly tendon on the back of my L ankle doesn't get worse, because the last thing I want to do is be forced to take time off to rest it other than the "rest" days!
Hang in there, ladies!
I never thought that running and talking about running would move me to tears. God continues to humble me in so many ways. I have no doubt this group is part of a huge journey for me not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
RunsWithWhales posts (and many others) apply to my life on so many levels. As a mother, a wife, a caretaker, a daughter... I get caught up in how things "should" be done and I begin to "race" for things and people that don't matter. It's a valuable lesson to me to remember to take one step at a time and remember this is a journey. I'll leave it at that.
As a 38 year old Mother Warrior, I amb still learning life's challenges are also the blessings. Thank you all for encouraging me to meet the challenges head on and accept the blessings for what they are.
Ok, I didn't get any running in while camping *BUT* we walked more miles than I could count! Honestly we were somewhere near 10 miles just from Fri night to Sun morning so I don't feel any guilt about not running. I'm trying to get my schedule for the week figured out so I can plan my runs. Looking forward to getting things done this week.
We had tons of fun camping and wish we didn't have to come back!
Isn't RunsWithWhales awesome?
I've been watching you guys post all weekend long but apparently, I can only view threads on my blackberry, not post to them so this one had to wait until tonight. Dave, I'm so happy you took the time to "check out the neighborhood" and make a post or 2. You're right -- this is a great group of people, just sluggin' it out, trying to get to that 3.1 mile finish line. We've all had our many WTF?!?! moments while doing this and I just know we'll have many more before the 9 weeks are up. I, for one, thought about how easy it would be to just throw up the White Flag of Surrender and quit. Instead, I log on here (and on runango) and read, trying to find motivation and encouragement from something. Anything. Someone to look at in awe and say "Wow! Maybe I could be like him someday!" That's why it was so important to me to have everyone read your Runner's High post. An experience like that feels light years away to most of us; having someone like yourself drop in to say 'ATTA BOY! and YOU GO GIRL! means more to us then you know.
You may not like the word "hero", but you certainly can't argue with "inspiration".
Please don't be a stranger; come check on us every now and then and post. Help us to not forget the potential we all have. I'll see you over on runango.
"How bad do you want it?" --RunsWithWhales
W1D3 done! I also want to thank RunswithWhales for the inspiring comments and encouragement. This challenge is fantastic. I am looking forward to week 2. I was able to run a full 3 minutes straight at the end of each day's run and I am very pleased with myself. I love the podcasts and that I even figured out how to download it onto my blackberry. I bought beautiful new running shoes at the sports store which fit like a glove and have a slightly higher heel. Looking forward to Tuesday.
Thanks a lot RunsWithWhales. Just like BlueDaisy says, your inspiration is exactly what newbie runners like us need to keep us on our feet.
I'm sorry to say I haven't really done justice to Week 2 :(. Went on a trip last weekend and then had a friend leaving town so spent the last 2 days with him. But I"m ready to pick myself up and continue with this. So I'm going out now to complete my W2D2 right now. Will need to squeeze in another day's run next week, but I really really do want to keep up with you guys and not get left behind.
W2D3 -- done.
It went much easier today. Maybe that's because as I was running, I kept thinking of the posts from RunsWithWhales. I swear, if I ever get to his caliber I'm going to track him down and run with him. Someday.
guybrush, please listen to what RunsWithWhales said and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Don't push it just for the sake of "keeping up". What if we lose you to injury? Even if you're a day or a week behind us, it doesn't matter. We're not going anywhere. We'll all keep posting until you and every other Witness completes W9D3. We're a team.
That's a promise.
"How bad do you want it?" --RunsWithWhales
Did W3D1 this evening. It was AWESOME! I totally thought 3 minute runs were gonna kick my ***, but I felt GREAT!! I actually found myself smiling through the running intervals. I did feel very stiff during my first interval, the first 90 seconds was harder for me than the 3 minutes!!! But it felt great and I'm feeling more and more like a runner every time. I felt like the workout went very fast, probably because it's really only 4 intervals of running.
My back has been feeling VERY stiff, especially when I first wake up. I am a nurse and I know that's a lot of back strain, but I feel like it's been pretty bad. Does anyone know any good back stretches they can recommend??
Thanks to everyone for all your support, inspiration and enthusiasm!
Love is just like breathing when it's true.
Just completed W2D2 and it wasn't bad inspite of the fact that I"ve been rather irregular lately. Always feels good after completing a run.
Thanks a lot Blue. I promise I won't push myself any more than my body can take. Nevertheless I would still like to try to keep up with everyone.Right now I feel great and feel I can squeeze in 1 extra day in the next week, but if for some reason I can't, I'll push back and not punish my body. I appreciate your concern and I'm so glad I joined this group.
@Carly: Before each run I do a basic warm-up with some neck rotations, arm & shoulder rotations. For the back I keep my feet close, bend forward, touch my toes for about 10 seconds and then put my hands on my waist and try to look backwards while squeezing my back. I do this back exercise about 3 times before doing the stretches.
After the run and the cooling down walk, I keep my feet about shoulder width apart and bend forward while swinging my hands like a couple of pendulums in opposite directions crossing each other. After doing that for 10 seconds, I squeeze my back again like before with my hands on my waist and try to look backwards. I do this exercise about 2 times after the run.
It's very basic, but it's something I learnt from a fitness instructor who would make us exercise at work about a year ago. Don't have time for that nowadays :). You could give this a shot, but please do take extreme care when doing them. The back could be very sensitive and any injury to the back could cause a great deal of problems. If you feel it's hurting you, please stop and ask your doctor to suggest some basic exercises to strengthen your back.
New and a little lost in the forums. I posted this Thursday last week:
Completed week 1, day 2 today and it was easier than day 1. Granted, I was pushing the double Bob stroller with two toddlers on day 1, so that may have had something to do with it. Today I ran late afternoon on the barkdust running trail rather than the concrete bike path, and that felt much better on my joints. I used "Lestyn's Podcast: No Music" and for now, it was just right: I liked having the reminders and the quiet in between to listen to my breathing (er, sucking wind a little) and to get kind of meditative about the intervals. I think I should be stepping up the pace a little on the walking side. I kept to a comfortable running pace until the last part of the last running interval, where I nudged just a little past what was comfortable and almost felt like stopping, but I made it. And for a never-could-really-run runner like me, that felt awesome.
And last night, I finished week 1, day 3, pushing babies in the Bob under a beautiful half-moon evening. The minute-long running intervals felt good, but it was taxing my powers of coordination to run, push the stroller, have a little breathless conversation with my two-year-old and listen for the change cues. I really can't believe I did this for even a week, but I am stoked.
carly85, here's a link to a question I posted on runango re: Running Form and Back Pain. I am truly the Queen of Dorkdom when I run on the dreadmill and I think because it is so awkward for me, it's screwing with my back. Several people responded with various suggestions. You can find it here: Question on Running Form and Back Pain.
guybrush, now that you promised not to push it, you have no excuses! I don't want to see you on the Injured List!! Speaking of injuries, I feel like we're missing quite a few people. Can that many people really be hurt?
Anyway, please keep your eyes open for the new Week 3 thread tomorrow morning. And have a great night!!
"How bad do you want it?" --RunsWithWhales