Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FitCity: Am I A Runner?

Today, I posted over at Fit City. It's about my adventures in becoming a runner- a label I certainly never dreamed I'd have!!

So please come and visit me over at Fit City Indy and leave me some comment love- I've turned off comments here because I really really really really really want you to leave a comment over there!


If you had asked me that question 4 weeks ago, I would have split my side laughing.  When I attend my lunch hour boot camp at my gym and we are sent to log time or mileage on the treadmill and encouraged to run, my legs lock up, my ankles freeze, my feet cramp- and that’s before the treadmill is even in sight! 

But something changed.  I’m doing something I never dreamed I would do in my lifetime.  This has never been a serious goal.  

I have signed up for the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure in Indianapolis on April 17.  My very first ever 5K.  Because of personal connections to people involved, I won’t be competitively running it.  I will walk with friends for a bit and then jog part of it.  This 5K is less about the healthiness of the runners.  This 5K is about the cause.  It’s about supporting those who have survived breast cancer, are fighting breast cancer, supporting family members who have lost a loved one to breast cancer.  On that note, please do your monthly breast exams

I have signed up for the Fishers Freedom Festival 5K on June 26.  It is a run/walk and I assume there will be people who do walk the 5K.  I really believe that I will be able to fully run 3 miles by that time and hope to finish with at least some of the other runners. 

I am currently in Week 4 of the Couch to 5K interval training program that is designed to get non-runners slowly building distance and time until the 5K goal is reached.  The longest time that I’ve been able to run so far is 5 minutes on the treadmill.  That is a huge change from struggling through 30 seconds, in pain, gasping for air, stitch in my side.  

I’ve learned a lot about running in the past month.  

I’ve learned about my step.  I went to The Running Company and got fitted for running shoes.  I was put on a treadmill and they did a quick video analysis of my step.  That helped determine the best type of shoe for me- I need Support because I tend to push off with my instep after turning my foot outward when my foot lands.  I also purchased microfiber pants, shirt, bra, and socks.  

See? Don’t I look like a runner? 
I’ve learned about chaffing.  Even with all my “right” clothing, there are still sensitive areas that can rub to the point of bleeding when running.  Petroleum jelly is a runner’s best friend.  

I’ve learned that there is a big difference between running indoors and running outdoors.  I’ve learned that it’s a good idea to do my treadmill work on a 1% incline to mimic outdoor conditions.  I’m still learning how to adapt my breathing when I’m outdoors.  I’m also still learning how to control my pace when I’m outdoors. 

I’ve learned that when my time becomes limited and I miss my regular workouts, my body aches to move.  I need to get out and do my running workout.  I need to sweat and stretch and even hurt a little bit. 

I’ve learned about fueling my body and how what I choose to eat can impact my running performance the next day, the next hour. 

I’ve learned that my family is proud of me and that my kids are looking to me as a role model for making healthy choices.  

My dad has expressed interest in coming to the finish line for one of my first races; it feels good that he is proud of me. 

Am I a runner?  I don’t run a mile.  I don’t run more than 3 or 5 minutes on the treadmill.  I don’t run a 3 minute stretch outdoors.  I don’t run without pain.  

Am I a runner?  I run more now than I ever dreamed I would.  When I do my workout outside, other runners give me a little wave.  It’s like they recognize me as part of their club- even though I don’t feel like a full fledged member.  

What will it take for me to say that I Am A Runner? 

I want to be able to head out for a warm up walk and then run a mile.  

I want to run, even at my slow pace, a 5K. 

I want to be able to have a goal to shave time off my mile. 

But for now, as I place one foot in front of the other; as I work on my posture, my gait, my hands, my head; as I learn more about indoor vs outdoor running and breathing and pacing; as I slowly gain strength and stamina, I think I can say that I am becoming a runner.