THAT IS WHAT MY E-MAIL SAYS!! I GOT IN! My first SF Women’s Nike Half Marathon. To me this is the holy grail half marathon. I wanted this one from the very beginning. I am so excited to experience it this October! Woo Hoo.. I had to share immediately! 🙂 xoxoxoxoxox
As I mentioned earlier its getting darker earlier and with work, and raising a 4 year old I have to squeeze in running when I can, and that is at the gym until the weekend when I can get outside. I ran on the treadmill, which I don’t mind for about 3 or 4 miles, but then it gets very boring. I need different things all the time to keep me motivated, whether it’s a new song to add to my playlist, or friendly competition. I run using the Nike App, also, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I have since found a facebook page that allows runners from all over the world a forum to post about anything running, and many use the Nike running app as well. I have about 40 people on my list which has been great motivation to keep me going. Many are way out of my league in that they run far more miles a week, or faster times, etc. But, there is always going to be that in anything I do. It’s nice to see how others are doing. There are challenges you can send to people on your list if you want to compete with someone, etc.
Through using that app I slowly have begun to know some of the people on my list. There are a few who are close to my time, or run approximately the same distance as I throughout the week. It’s great when you see you are so close to passing someone! It gives me the extra incentive I need to push through an extra mile, or go for one more run this week. Which leads me to my next milestone.
I ran my first 10K. I have never run further than 5 miles. I knew I had to run at least 5 miles in order to stay on par with a few people on my app that I was aiming to beat. So, when I ran 5 miles on the treadmill I thought to myself- I have come this far, how can I not run that extra mile to say I finally ran 10K! So, I did. I ran 6.35 miles in an hour and 2 minutes. Which is so awesome for me. I was running 10 minute miles! That is all I have ever wanted to do. In my opinion that is a respectable pace. I am still overweight, and I am in my mid 40’s. I only started running 6 months ago. I know its going to take me at least a year of consistent running to get in the shape I need to be in to feel good out there running more than 6-7 miles. It was such a great feeling anyhow, and yes, it was on the treadmill, which is WAY easier I know. But, I have to start somewhere with adding my distance.
Today I ran outside. I beat my best outside 5K time without really even pushing myself. My goal was to just run and see what the time would be so I can gauge the improvement. I finished in 37 minutes, which again is better than last month. I am steadily improving with each month, about a minute. It’s hard work for me, but again that is what I like about it. No one can run it for you. I have to run it myself. There are no shortcuts, and with steady work, maybe running more than a 10K won’t be as far out of reach as it seems right now. I love it enough to stick with it, and I LOVE following and reading other dedicated bloggers and their journey running. There are different levels of dedication, of course. I tend to like reading the more serious blogs and the Ultra Marathoner’s blogs. It absolutely amazes me there are people with that kind of strength and will. It’s simply inspiring.
Its finished! I went into this with pretty realistic expectations knowing I would be happy with a 41 minute finish time- as its the quickest time I’ve been able to finish this course in, and that was once. It’s 70% hill, so anything under 35 minutes is really only realistic on this course if you’re pretty fit. I am on my way, but knew that wasn’t really going to happen, unless its a flat 5K. I did what I was told and drank plenty of water for the next 2 days, stayed away from junk food and stretched.
My husband thinks I am working too hard on this, but what he isn’t grasping is this ISN’T EASY for me! I HAVE to work at it. I have never been a runner, hence, why I get so damn excited with little milestones. It’s hard work for me. I knew though, no matter what… I can do this! I have practiced it enough. When I got there I was a little nervous. But, it was well organized. I lined myself up in the back of the pack- I don’t want to hold anyone back.. ha ha. When the gun went off I resisted the urge to bolt out with the crowd and took it slow. The first mile should be the slowest. I did the first mile in around 13 minutes. The second mile about the same. The third mile I did an 11 minute mile! That was a first for me! I kid you not, I was keeping pace with a 6 year old.
She was the cutest thing ever, high fiving spectators, not complaining or giving her dad a hard time about running. My little one would be giving out the whole way. Sure, she would walk for a few minutes, but then here she would come from behind to pass me up. I told her as we were running, “Good Job! You are beating me!” Humbling. But, it was so awesome to see her out there.
When I approached the corner that leads to finish line I heard in my ear buds 38 minutes! I thought, Oh my god! I can maybe do this in under 40 minutes. I picked it up and started sprinting to the finish line. I could see the timer counting down.. and, ‘I ran like the wind, Bullseye” (reference from Toy Story). I almost made it. I completed in 40.13 minutes. According to my Nike running app I finished in 39.39.. I am just sayin’…. But, in any case I finished in the best time ever. I was so overcome with emotion when I finished I cried (just a little, not sobbing). I looked around for someone, anyone… Finally, I saw my husband and daughter. This was my first running event. I never thought I would ever do one. It was my baby step. Now, I am ready to take on my next challenge. I am looking for a 10K.
I realize everyone is different, and I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I can share what I have found to be helpful.
As I mentioned in my first post, running on the treadmill, in my opinion, works well in the beginning. It was great to work on my stamina. It also allowed me to build confidence and establish I could actually run a mile. It was hard in the beginning (it still is) and being able to concentrate and watch my progress was great. However, once you can run a mile on the treadmill I recommend getting outside and running.
Next, I was in search of finding good shoes. I had always turned to Nike, as they were the only shoes I ever really wore for exercise. I tried Avia’s in the past, also. But, I was finding my feet were killing me after running just a mile on the treadmill. I decided I needed another pair, possibly a different style? I went to Nike again. I tried on a few types and bought shoes that said they were specifically for running. My feet were aching worse than the first pair! I took them back that night. I then tried another pair of Nike’s that felt pretty cushiony and again it wasn’t enough. I thought… if I just buy some gel inserts they will work. Nope. No joy. I then began searching the web and found a few posts by heavier framed men and some women with a common complaint that Nike’s don’t seem to work well for heavier framed people. I felt so validated! It wasn’t only me! I then decided to visit an actual, individually owned store that sold running shoes. I didn’t hit the chain store. I talked to the person working there and found out he was an actual runner! Score! He can help me. He recommended I try a pair of Asics. I tried on the Kayano gel Asics. What a dream shoe! I think these shoes are amazing. He informed me they were the most cushioned running shoe on the market. I didn’t care the price tag. If my feet hurt I won’t run. So, I paid the $150.00. I tried them outside and I increased my mileage from the first run in them. My feet didn’t ache and I was not focusing on the pain anymore. That was a HUGE hurdle.
Next, running or exercise bra’s. I am a DDD bra size. I use to wear 2 jogging bras, and sometimes with a regular bra underneath. I felt suffocated, but that is what I had been reduced to. Not only are we hard on ourselves for not having possibly the “ideal” shape according to the media (thankfully that is beginning to change!) But, try finding exercise clothes that actually are functional when one is larger than a C cup, and if you didn’t already feel discouraged that will do it. It’s ridiculous. Fear no more.. I have found Champion exercise bra’s come in DDD and up 44, I believe. They have three sturdy metal hooks in the back. Wide shoulder straps to hold securely, and super supportive. I can wear just one jogging bra now! If anyone has found other great exercise bra’s feel free to share. I would love to try others.
In my opinion those are some of the key elements that can make or break a person with a larger body type from continuing to run. Had I not wanted to run bad enough, and refused to give up- I might not have realized that with a few tweaks of a great pair of running shoes, and running clothing that allowed me to feel comfortable enough to just run it made a tremendous difference in my experience. I hope these suggestions might just be the key you need to not give up and stay motivated to get out there!
This is a really good article discussing how to use the Nike Running app that I use, and highly recommend as well!
Currently I am using a very good mobile app, Nike Plus Running. This application software is free to download and works on your android smart phone or iPone. The GPS system of your phone will measure your activity. You need to keep the aap running in the background when you can use other phone features side by side. Here I am uploading my three weeks activity with Nike Plus Running Aap and it is amazing that how I am calculating my fitness!
First sign up with http://nikeplus.nike.com/ you will be taken inside your activity window. Now there are several features that will tell your story. You will also get the same data on your mobile screen. Switch the aap, complete a run, pause it, then scroll the end button to fetch the data. The details will be saved on your account.
What is Nike Fuel? How much you can earn?
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I am completely new to blogging, and have always loved to write. But, until lately– I haven’t been inspired to write about much–which in itself is a shame. Growing up I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I wrote about everything. Writing was how I coped, expressed myself and how I thought I would eventually make my living. So, to find something that has inspired me to want to write again … well, that is just another positive benefit from running I can add to my list. I have always been pretty active. I was water skiing at 8–up on a single ski easily by 9 years of age. I would swim, ride my bike, Spin, do aerobic classes, etc. But, I never ran. I was the girl who would walk the mile test in P.E. class. It always impressed me to see people who could run 5, 10, 20 miles. It just seemed unbelievable to me. How can anyone run for more than 5 minutes and not want to stop? I have tried a few times in the past to run on the treadmill and I could get to a mile, which I thought at the time was tremendous. And it IS when you have never run before. It’s an accomplishment and does give you the confidence to go further. But, I still had a hard time increasing my distance. This last time, about 7 months ago, I decided I really wanted to try and do this. I found when I listened to a certain style of music (electronic, and a DJ by the name of Carl Cox, specifically) I was able to stay on tempo and make it past my threshold of my usual mile. I was running 30 minutes continuously and I LOVED how I felt afterwards! I felt like superwoman. My endorphins were dancing, and I found I wanted to run everyday!
After about 4 months of doing the treadmill I found I was getting bored. It became a struggle to get to my two miles. My music was getting old. Everyone I knew that ran would tell me.. run outside. I resisted. I again.. didn’t think I could do it. I thought I was only good enough for the treadmill. Running outside would be too hard for me, after all… I am not really a runner. I am a big girl trying to lose weight!
Feeling somewhat more confident though with my 2 mile runs under my belt, I started following another runner on twitter and reading magazines, etc. I ended up having a few conversations on twitter with this runner, who was also a writer doing an article on another runner we both followed. He suggested I download the Nike App and we could run and inspire each other and others on our friend list to keep running. I was thrilled. So, I downloaded the Nike running App and added him as a friend. I think that was when I decided I was going to try running outside.
This app keeps track of my miles, speed, statistics, etc. I can’t lie or cheat my way through it. I have to run it. And I work so hard to keep it real. So, I did it! I started slowly. I decided I would run to a bridge near my house (which I found out afterwards is about half a mile) and run back (another half mile). I did it and was sweating profusely afterwards. I realized it was so much harder outside physically, but mentally it was so much easier! I did this a few times and started increasing my distance. I remember the first time I felt pretty relaxed and ready to venture past my bridge run. I was listening to a variety of music, it no longer had to be a special long song so I don’t lose focus and find myself needing to stop. I was running along the street by the park and I was looking around. My breathing wasn’t labored and it was like an out of body experience. It was as if I was out of my body looking at myself- running. I literally said, “I am doing this”. It’s a very vivid memory and turning point. I was really doing it! That was the moment I KNEW I can run, and I CAN do this. It’s all in our minds. We decide what we can and can’t do sometimes before we even try.