Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Running: From Thinking About It To Actually Doing It!

The Thinker sculptureLately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about running.

My background in running involved a very short stint as a long-distance runner on the track team. I dropped out due to my hatred of long-distance running. I wanted to run the 100- 200- and 400-meter dashes. But alas, I didn't make the cut.

I kept thinking about how much running all the contestants on The Biggest Loser do. Though they work out with weights and do body-weight exercises - for the most part, they do a lot of running. In fact, the moment their fat-butts hit the ground of The Biggest Loser campus, they are running. Seeing them run always inspires me because it takes away all of my excuses.

And I've been thinking about my dad, who is a runner. He's been running for about 15 years - and guess what? Ever since he started running, he's never had a weight problem. Amazing, huh? Come to think of it... how many overweight runners do you know? I sure don't know of any. If they are overweight, they won't be for long!

Speaking of which - a coworker of mine quit the company last year and he was obese at the time. He was recently hired back on with the company, looking slim and trim. In fact, everyone did double-takes wondering if it was the same guy! I asked him what he did to lose the weight and guess what he said? He started running! He said he runs 3 days per week. I don't remember the number of miles he said he runs each week, but I do remember how good he looked. After seeing him and being inspired by him, I kept thinking about starting a running program of my own.

a lady runningUnfortunately, even though my 'want to' was there, my plantar fasciitis was holding me back. While at the Ideal Feet store, last Monday, the foot specialist told me that with their arch supports, I could start running whenever I wanted to. I was shocked (but thrilled) to hear that because I thought I'd have to wait until my plantar fascitiis went away.

Excitedly, I decided to get started. I called my dad this morning (he's currently at the Kerrville Folk Festival chillin' out with fellow singer/songwriters) to get his advice about how to start a running program.

Dad gave me lots of good pointers such as:
  • Run at the McGee Center. They have a padded track, which he said would help my feet. Also, since it's an indoor facility, weather can never be used as an excuse not to run.

  • Do some basic stretching before starting.

  • Run 3 days per week (he said that's all he's ever done). He said if I want to, I can do 30-minute walks on my 'off' days.

  • Start out slow and easy. Walk a little, jog a little, until you reach 30 minutes. He told me to run at a slow and relaxed pace... easy does it. He said the last thing you want to do is get injured because then your running program is over before it has started. Keep track of how long/far you run so you can measure your progress from day-to-day. Eventually, you'll be running the entire 30 minutes.
After I hung up with Dad, I googled "beginner running programs" to see if there were other tips that would help me get started and I landed on Cool Running's site. I clicked on their Couch-to-5K Running Plan and got a good idea of how many minutes I should try to jog/walk. Their plan recommends starting out by first doing a 5-minute warm-up walk, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking, until you reach 20 minutes total.

So, after I got home from work, I changed my clothes and the whole family headed out to the McGee Center. My daughter, Rachael, and I ran/walked together while my husband-Paul, my son-Dylan, and toddler-Brady, played basketball.

National Running DayThe funny part is that I got confused and thought I was supposed to alternate 60 seconds of walking with 90 seconds of jogging. Anyway, turns out it didn't matter because neither of us could run for 60 seconds - much less 90 seconds! Hehehehe! The most we could do was 45 seconds of jogging at a time. I know... pretty lame. But before you know it, I'll be saying, "I can run for 30 minutes without stopping!"

I can't tell you how good it felt to be able to walk - much less run - without heel pain. These Ideal Feet arch supports are great!

While googling, I found out that today was also the first annual National Running Day. Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks for reading!


Related Posts:

3 Things I Learned About Heel Pain

Biggest Loser Final 4 (Running a Marathon)

Cathy Skell Is Not The Biggest Loser (Running a Half-Marathon)

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Sandee said...

I'm just not a runner. I love my treadmill though and do 30 minutes everyday at a pretty good clip. Works for me. I say do what you love. That way you will stick with it.

Have a terrific day. :) said...

I'm a runner but I can't stand to run on paved surfaces. My favorite way to run is in my bare feet on the beach - it feels wonderful!

Dawn @ Me And Craig said...

I've been a walker for awhile now, and have recently started running. I'm loving it ...
Even though I thought I would probably hate it.
In fact, it's kind of addicting!
I say do it!
Do it just for you ... no body else!
Give the gift of that time, just for you!
Good luck :-)

Stephen said...

I have just started running more this year, and tomorrow and running my first 5K ever! I tell you, running is a great addiction. One of the best things you can do, once you have the cash saved up, is to buy a heart rate monitor to keep you in your ideal heart rate zone, so that you don't overdo it.

Laura said...

Sandee - I think that's cool that you like working out on your treadmill. I've done a lot of walking on treadmills in the past but I'm not a member of a gym right now and don't own one. I think they're great! Unfortunately, doing what I love won't get me in shape so I'll have to do what is necessary to get there. Perhaps like others I know, I will fall in love with running in time. - I love the way sand feels under my feet! I plan on doing some running on the beach in a couple of weeks! You are blessed to be able to run on the beach whenever you want to!

Dawn @ Me and Craig - Cool! I'm SO hoping running becomes an addiction for me too! :)

Stephen - Wow! Congrats on running a 5k! I signed up to run a half-marathon the end of October. I sure hope I'm ready in time. The good news is that some of the participants walk the race so I guess if I'm somewhere in between, I can line up behind the runners and in front of the walkers! :)

The Fitness Diva said...

Run, Laura, run!

BK said...

A journey of a thousand miles begin with the first step. It is a good start as long as you start and as your dad said,"Start out slow and easy." You'll get better each day. I am doing my best to keep up with the 3 days/week jog. :)

Nicole Feliciano said...

I adore running. But my knees don't--so I only run 1-2x per week. Swimming fills in the rest.

Laura said...

Fitness Diva - I'm doing it! :)

BK - Yeah, I'm just doing everything at my own pace. I'll eventually get there!

Nicole - I know knee-pain is very common. It's great that you swim though. I've heard it is the best overall exercise because you work out so many body parts at once. I know swimming sure exhausts me! My boss lost all his excess weight by swimming 30 min-3x per week so I know it works too.

Brian said...

I started running in February to train for an FBI fitness test. Running has changed my life.

Whether or not I make the FBI, the running regimen has helped me drop more than 20 pounds. I'm seeing muscles I never thought I'd see. I'd already dropped about 20 or more pounds by working in the gym and eating right, but the weight I'm at today is way beyond my most ambitious goals before.

By making goals to run faster and farther, I took my focus off of weight and waistline.

Laura said...

Brian - Congrats on the weight loss! I think it's awesome that running has changed your life and made you focus on fitness rather than your weight. I've read where that one change has helped many people reach their weight loss goals. I hope you make it into the FBI.

Jennifer said...

I glad you can start running again. I'm not a fan of distance running either but I've just started trying it out again with me friend who wanted me to go with her.

Laura said...

Jennifer - I think it's great you've got a running partner. I'm sure glad to have my daughter as an exercise partner!

James Reno said...

I don't particularly like running either, so I run 2 or 3 miles about twice per week. However, I don't mind walking. Living in a big City, it is more of a pain to find parking than just walk to run errands, so I walk everyday, probably average about 2 or 3 miles per day. Throw in 3 or 4 other days with different exercises such as jumping, or weight training and no weight problem at all.

To Your Health!
James Reno (editor)

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