Today I have a special guest post for you through a blog swap arranged by I’m Fit Possible, the community of wellness and fitness enthusiasts that I belong to. Enjoy this post about running (because as you all know, I’m not a runner!) from Andrea over at Mommy Got Fit and head over there to check out my post on how I’m making more time in my gym schedule to go “adventuring” with my kids. Andrea is a social worker-turned stay-at-home mom of four and believes in health and happiness versus being obsessed with skinny.
Hello all! I am Andrea from over at Mommy Got Fit. I am super excited to be part of this blog swap. I love to “meet” new people. I would love to share probably one of the biggest things that has changed my life (ok besides my kids and hubby)–running. To non runners this sounds absolutely crazy. I totally get it. I was not what you would call athletic in high school. In fact, I hated gym class. I felt so self conscious and just awkward. Fast forward two kids. I started to dabble in running. I entered a local 5k with a friend and trained “super hard”. I actually only trained up to two miles because three miles was crazy far. After that I ran every now and then, very inconsistently. Then I had two more kids–yes I have four kids. Yes, I am a bit crazy! All of a sudden I saw my weight creep up, as is the way of women in my family. So I started to run to lose weight.
Something clicked one day. I don’t even know exactly when or what it was. I just started to need my runs; I needed to see what I could do. I went from barely running two miles to running five non stop. If I could go from two to five miles, what else could I do? I ran my first half marathon 3 months postpartum while still nursing my youngest son (who will be three this weekend!!). This was the first thing in my life I had ever planned out and trained for. I walked some and ran some. It was deadly hot (100 degrees), but I finished! Not only did I finish, but I received a finishers medal reserved only for the first 25 men and 25 women. I may have cried a bit. That got me thinking again–if I could do that, what else could I do?
I have now run two marathons (more to come this year), many half marathons, two sprint triathlons, and tons of 5ks. Not only do I run them, but I often place in my age group. Now, I am not trying to brag here, not at all. It’s not all about winning. My point here is that I had no idea that I could actually run that far, let alone place! I was never athletic, EVER! My point here is that anyone, anyone can do anything with a little bit of work and dedication.
Now I crave my long runs and I surround myself with positive active people. I pay it forward by helping coach a local marathon-in-training running group. I believe in myself like never before. My kids are inspired to be healthy and active. Since I have been running, the weight has come off a bit, but it’s still a struggle at times (thank you, genetics). My weight is no longer my focus. I focus on the strength of my legs, and how much farther and faster I can run.
So, where can you start if you want to start running? You can start wherever you are at any fitness level. Just throw on some running shoes and get out that door. Start with walking if you need to. Around the block. Pick up the speed as you become more comfortable with walking. Start walking and running further. Walk less, run more. Then run faster with less walking, or run slower without walking.
The key is to find what works for your body. Listen to it. Push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone without hurting yourself. There are many couch-to-5k programs online if you want to follow a plan. Just know that you will have days when you will be sore from using muscles in ways they aren’t used to. Be proud of that! Find a local running club or call a local running store to see if they have group runs.
Once you are able to run longer distances, you can add more speed work in. The awesome thing about running is that it is completely individualized. Go at your own rate and push yourself where you need to. You will find that your level of stress drops and your confidence level raises.
Now is the perfect time to take up running. It’s getting warmer, hopefully, so get outside and run!! If you would like any more information or have questions, please feel free to stop by and say hi! Thanks, Laura, for having me!
P.S. Last day to enter the Dang Toasted Coconut Chips giveaway! Winner will be announced tomorrow!