Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I'm feeling pretty good about life these last few days. Monday morning I ran 2 miles!! Yay me...I did have to walk for about 45 seconds after the first mile and a half though, but I picked it right back up and finished the 2 miles. Yesterday was a rest day, just went on a long walk with my sister. This morning I got up very early, headed over to the best friends house, and ran a 2.2 mile loop around her neighborhood. I DID NOT have to stop and walk and we made it up a very steep, very long hill.
Last Friday I tried to run this same route and only made it 1.4 miles--the hill stopped me. Today, I really didn't think I was going to make it up the hill, but I kept my head down and tried to concentrate on something other than wanting to die. I wasn't thinking of anything beyond getting past this hill until I actually got to the top. Once we (finally!) reached the top, I made the decision to keep going until the red light. I ended up being SO GLAD that I did this, because by the time I made it from the hill to the light (about a tenth of a mile), something amazing happened! My breathing regulated itself, my leg muscles stopped screaming at me, and I realized that I could continue on the next half of a mile to our destination, Heather's house. I made it all the way, and that feels...beyond words.
Here are some things that are helping me increase my distance:
*Running with Heather. I cannot stress what a difference that makes from running alone...Having your best friend along to push you really helps a person to keep going. The whole time I was going up the hill, I took comfort in the fact that she was there to call an ambulance in case I passed out. I also did not want to have to stop running before she did.
*Running using a good breathing pattern. I breathe in for 3 steps and out for 2 steps. That is the golden ticket to being able to propel forward and avoid getting stitches and cramps. It also helps me from getting winded too easily. I got this from an awesome book, The Complete Book of Running for Women. This is a GREAT read, and the author gives a lot of useful tips and mental "hugs"! Great for motivation.
*LOSING MY RUNNING SHOES. I am totally aware that this goes against almost everything you read. All I know is that when I was using my shoes, I got hurt all the time. Not just the big knee injury, but I was always in pain. Now I am able to increase my distance so much easier because my joints aren't hurting all the time. My legs are allowing me to run further and build up more stamina to run even further! My body is amazing me.
*Stretching after running. Even minus the running shoes, my muscles still hurt, but after a proper stretch they feel fine again.
These are some things I really need to work on more:
*Getting enough rest
*Strength training. I love running, and running is what I want to do, NOT strength exercises. I don't know a whole lot, and I've never enjoyed them in the first place, but I know that strength training is important and I really need to buckle down and do it.
If you are still here, thank you for staying with me throughout this long, rambling post. I promise to keep the next one shorter!