Friday, November 14, 2008

Thinking About Running

I'm thinking longingly about running today, since I've got a mild flu-type thing going on and had to--gasp--cancel today's run. How did this happen? I was the girl who had never in her life been able to run a mile. Oh, the humiliation of the Presidential Fitness Tests in junior high! I was good for maybe two of the four laps, then it was walking time.

I started out so slowly at the beginning of the year, and remember my first agonizing attempt *quite* clearly. It was a bitter, bitter cold afternoon with icy wind. Underdressed, out of shape, hating every minute of it, the girls and I alternated walking and running quarters for a mile and a half.

And honestly, although things got warmer, the running really never felt any better until The Day I Slowed Down. Prior to The Day, my longest run was 3 1/2 miles, all of which were trying to kill me. I could do it, but I was ready to die at the end. Then, on that hot morning on vacation in Florida, lost in a strange neighborhood, I Slowed Down. And ran over four miles, and felt sort of okay when I finally found the house again.

Cue the banners being flung down from heaven! Slow running is fun and it doesn't hurt! It makes you feel strong; it makes you skinny!

My long run now is 8 miles, which I do before church on Sunday morning. It does leave me feeling pregnant the next day (that is, hungry and needing a nap), but I look forward to it all week. Then I take Monday off (and do a quick weight-lifting routine instead). Tuesdays and Thursdays I run 2.7 miles on our road (hills!), Wednesdays I run fast intervals with Carol at the trail (3 miles total), and Fridays are my tempo run (3 miles at close to race pace). So.

Listen, ladies, if I can do it, you can too!

33 comments:

Claire said...

Woohoo! I've been a runner since I was a teenager, I love it. Slow Down is the best advice - it is better to run everything at the same steady pace, than to hare off and be walking after half a mile!

Congratulations on doing so well! But what I am dying to know about is your running style - fashion style that is! Your dresses are so lovely, I'm sure you must have great running gear! Do share some pictures if you can!

Polly said...

The long, slow distance run was always my favorite, too. I particularly remember one--about 10-11 miles--on a cold, blustery morning in Savonlinna, Finland--I had to go it alone, and my husband stayed back at the hotel. I ran from island to island as the weather changed from dreary and rainy to painfully gorgeous, with lake waters sparkling, sauna houses shining, the leaves on the trees so distinct. Runner's high! And even had excellent conversation with God on a footbridge (the nice thing about being a slow runner is that I stopped to just marvel at gorgeousness that day, not worried about time) during which time I was given a promise about the next phase of my life (motherhood). The long run can be so contemplative, so fulfilling!

Your schedule sounds perfect!

judy said...

Okay, I guess I can do it. My husband wants me to do a half marathon with him and I have never ran more than 1 1/2 miles. You have gotten me thinking that I can.

Sarah said...

I was like you were--I hated running and thought I couldn't do it, until I started a 10 week plan to work up to 3 miles, and somewhere along the way, I turned into a runner.

Since we've moved, I haven't run much at all, but I miss it--and so do my jeans :)

Tracy said...

I started running and cycling earlier this year too. Oh, you are so right about needing to slow down. My first run was uphill about half a mile and I could feel my heart jumping out of my chest most of the way. Now, I love it and I don't even have to go so slowly. I also love that I am doing something that has such health benefits and makes you skinny.

Michele said...

I am so inspired! I used to be in cross-country in high school~and was consistently the last runner in. I'd love to try again. My twice pregnant, over 30 body would appreciate it, too. But I'd love to know what you do with your little one when you run~jogging stroller? sibling care? And what incredibly early time do you begin your day?!

Lady Heather said...

I've actually started running. I'm doing an 8 week training to get there. I'm near the end of my 2nd week, and pouring rain ruined a few days for me, so I just stayed in and did a work out video that does intervels..to get you out of breath, which what running does. So far so good!

Debra said...

Anna, thanks for sharing this. We started walking 2 months ago. it is more like hiking as we live in the desert. We walk through soft sand, hard sand, asphalt, gravel.. When I started I couldn't go more than 1 mile- around the block- so I did it twice a day. Now we hike 5 miles every morning. We talk about getting to the point that we can run it. or at least jog. The hike takes 1.5 hours- so it would be nice to cut the time down by running it.
I have lost 30 lbs with not much change in diet. other than watching calories but I don't deprive myself anything. only 100 lbs to go.

lady jane said...

I opt for a bike as I'd have to run using a cane. Somehow that just doesn't compute. ;o)

I'm tired just reading about your ability - but inspired!

Sally said...

I could walk till the cows come home, but run? Once in a while I will jog to the next corner. My dogs love that. Maybe I will do it twice on my next walk.....

My neighbor and my daughter have had similar experiences to yours, and they are hooked.

Loblolly said...

I was on the track teams in jr. high and high school. . . only because they didn't cut anyone who tried. Then I tried cross country one season because if my sis could do it, I could do it too, right? I didn't enjoy it. But once I was alone without a coach barking at me, able to "slow down", I learned to love running as solo exercise. (I'm postpartum now and can't wait to get back to it next year.)

I like reading about your running and hope you will share more of your running adventures. Wishing you better health!

Anonymous said...

Please tell your routine? Do you do this in the morning? After or before devotions? After or before school? I am having trouble fitting everything in...
I am inspired to do better...
Blessings,
Kim

laura said...

Yesterday I ran 2 full miles (at a slow jog) without stopping. I never knew I could do that! My sister and I are going to run a 5K on Thanksgiving (first organized race we've ever done) and I want to be able to do it at a decent pace. I've never been a runner but now I know there is potential...

Chad and Sandy said...

Oh, to be skinny again.....

Linda said...

Well, I'm proud of you Anna. It does sound very "doable" broken down like that. However, at my age I think I would be wise to stick to walking and bike riding. They seem to do the trick for me. At this point, just moving is a good thing!

Tracy said...

I am inspired and yet dubious. You make it sound so do-able and yet I've never been able to run...even when I was young and carried no more weight than bones and skin.

The last time I tried to run I set my goal for the corner ahead, went slow...the corner was about four or five houses away. I wished I'd done that closer to home. I took me the rest of the 10 minutes to walk home to recover.

How do you work up to 3m?

Mrs. MK said...

Thanks so much for sharing your runner's journey, and what got you there!

Hannah said...

congrats! I'd love to be able to run, I've thought about starting the couch to 5k program.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling how you started to run. I have been wanting to run since walking is becoming boring, but I feel like goofy old woman. I'm going to give you plan a try. Thanks for sharing and for your encouraging words.

Margo said...

oh man I hate running. I like to bike and walk.
But you are so encouraging that maybe I will think about trying. Impressive accomplishment, Anna!

laurel said...

Do you find that now that you run longer distances, that when you do run short distances, you are able to do them faster? Or do you run at the same speed regardless of the distance?
I am reading The Non Runners Marathon Trainer and it has really, really helped me with my running. I highly recommend it, even for people who aren't interested in doing a marathon.

Anonymous said...

Well now what is my excuse is going to be? I am a runner/triathlete and also like to sew. As I longingly looked at your finished sewing projects, I smuggly would state, "Easy for her to get that sewing/crafting/knitting done when she doesn't run." Now I have no excuse. Happy running... Sara

Caroline said...

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on running -- I was also that kid in school who absolutely hated P.E. Since starting college, I have tried to pick up running a couple of times with various degrees of success (and knee pain). I think I will take your "slow down" advice to heart as I've just started up again.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

You had me at "Presidential Fitness Tests." Until now I had successfully repressed those from my memory.

Oh, well, with a family wedding 3 months postpartum, I can use all the inspiration I can get!

Anonymous said...

Like Kim, I would love to hear a little about your routine. I ran a 1/2 marathon over the summer, but now with homeschooling (my first year), devotions, and housekeeping, I can't seem to fit the runs in, even though I get out of bed at 6. You are such an inspiration to me. Thanks!
-Sloan (With a Cleaner House Now That She Owns One of Anna's Aprons)

Bell said...

This is so encouraging to me. I have been thinking about starting a "learner's" running program. I was very much that same way in school days. Hated P.E. classes. I'm glad to hear that it can happen. This gives me hope and inspiration.

Have a lovely day!

Susie said...

You should check out my sis-in-laws blogg. She has recently been running and completed her first half marathon last month in something like 2 and a half hours. She is at http://runningaroundtown.blogspot.com/

JennaG said...

Wow, I thought I was doing good running 1 mile (at 5 mph) twice a week--plus 45 more minutes of walking. I walk at 10% incline for 30 min. and walk brikly for 30 minutes the other days of the week. (I take Sundays off.) I do like the "skinny" benefit. You are impressive--I was the non-running type of girl as well.

Mrs. U said...

"Oh, the humiliation of the Presidential Fitness Tests in junior high! I was good for maybe two of the four laps, then it was walking time."

HAHA!! I've been reading your blog for a while now and just decided that we MUST be the same age!! LOL!! The Presidential Fitness test doesn't take place in my state anymore (GA) and I always get a good laugh discussing with others who had to endure it! Remember the flexed arm hang? OH MY!!!!

His,
Mrs. U

Klazane said...

Thanks for this post, it was really encouraging, and I think I just might be able to run, I just need to get started! I'm currently in my sophomore year of high school, and so the Presidential Fitness Tests are still fresh in my mind. I was lucky to make the mile in 11 min and hated it, but now I think I might be able to do it! :)

sarah said...

For anyone thinking about running, there is a free program online that you can google called Couch to 5K. It starts you off with a run walk program....very do-able. I started there having never been a runner/athelete. Now I log about 25 miles (running) per week, I do 11 on saturdays alone. Anyone can run.

annacoumos said...

Thank you so much for this encouragement. I used to run for 3 minutes and feel like my lungs were collapsing. I finally decided to try again, and doing the walk/run in turns. I am now able to do a walk-run for 21 minutes after just 3 weeks (3 times a week). Mostly running. I am pushing the running part more each time, and I can now run 6 minutes straight inbetween! I am so loving this, and feel so good.

TammyJ said...

I have just started running and a lovely online friend commented on my post and directed me here. I started to think about the steady slow pace this morning as I covered a longer time interval running in a half hearted way and feeling OK at the end of a time period longer than I had run for before. I'm only a week into this and it feels good.

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