Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top 10 list: Getting back into running

I started running a couple of years ago on a whim.  The first several weeks I kept saying "I don't want to run any races!  I just want to run!"  I had some slow runner emotional baggage from high school I still needed to deal with.  It wasn't long before I was encouraged by the wonderful people of First Flight to sign up for a 5K.  I was incredibly nervous before that first race, but I finished just fine.  A few months later Jordan and I did a 10K, and I was thinking about going for a half marathon next, but then roller derby came along and it was an even bigger adventure.

I stopped running for a long time, for several reasons which I could have overcome but didn't.  I meant to start back up but needed a little nudge.  Then the other day my URGE teammate Torch invited us to join her in training for a half marathon!  Challenge accepted!  I ran yesterday for about 32 minutes and tonight for about 35.  I'm not sure of the distance.  It works better for me to work on continuously running a certain length of time first and then worry about distance a little later.  Maybe by the end of the week I'll try several miles on a measured track and see what my pace is like.  Anyway, here's my top ten list of reasons to run plus some little things that sweeten the deal for me.

10)  Running magically makes me eat better.  The days when I haven't left the house, nothing has gone well, and I am feeling stressed are days when I eat lots of candy and maybe also some naughty cereal.  (How can Reese's Puffs be so delicious?)  Crunchy chocolate calms me down.  But guess what--running does too!  Somehow when I come back from a run I don't even want to touch a candy bar.

9)  My clothes are going to fit again!  It's such an amazing feeling to slide into jeans that haven't fit very well in a long time.  Or haven't fit at all in a long time.

8)  Especially these shorts.  There is only one pair of bottoms that I really like wearing for derby and these are it.  (I'm on the right in the blue helmet, doing a booty bump 180 drill with Torch.)  These shorts were my yellow polka dot bikini, and when they started to not fit, it hurt my feelings.  My ordinary black running skirt just doesn't say "derby" to me.  But the shorts will fit again!  In fact, I don't know how much I weigh right now and I don't want to know.  I'm just going to let my derby shorts be my guide because the shorts don't lie.

Photo Credit:  Megabeth of the URGE

7)  A new challenge keeps me going.  But for me, it has to be about something more than just weight and size.  I can never predict how much weight I'll lose, and even when I've been in the best shape of my life and felt wonderful, I still found myself disappointed in the number on the scale.  Likewise, I was once rail thin but not really all that healthy.  Strong is the new skinny!  Having a half marathon somewhere on my horizon is an excellent motivator.

6)  Running is such good stress relief for me.  I'm kind of high-strung!

5)  I want to be able to walk up hills, chase my kids, and do other everyday things without getting winded.  It's an awesome benefit that I enjoyed before I took my long break from running and it tapered off.

4)  I want to step up my game for next season, and running is a big part of that.  I also want to work on my understanding of derby rules and strategy, core strength, and upper body strength (lots of work to do there for sure).  Attending practices and scrimmaging as much as possible are a given, of course.

3)  Music is what gets me out the door to run most of the time.  I can't stand listening to myself huff and puff while I run.  How does anyone run in silence?  Or worse, run while trying to talk to a chatterbox friend?  Gotta have the playlist!  My "Kick Asphalt" playlist, named for a race Jordan and I ran, is the perfect running companion.  Sometimes I run just to be alone with my playlist.  Is that bad?

2)  I love doing something as part of a team, or a group, or even just with a buddy.  It feels so much better than doing something alone!  And with roller derby, our team will reap the benefits together too.  Next season.

1)  Running allows me to zone out.  It's the only exercise I've found that does, and I think my affinity for running will always come back to that.  As an introverted, creative person who is also overstimulated daily and easily distracted, zone-out time is a necessity.  I figure out solutions to problems and come up with good ideas while running.

I'll try to post as many running updates as possible here, to keep myself on track.  Feeling good so far!

Do you run?  What would be on your top ten list?

1 comment:

  1. That's funny because the only thing that can get me out the door for a run is someone to do it with :-) I like chatting while I run....and when I run races I never use music (even when I did the marathon...I took the iPod but never put the earbuds in or turned it on!) Good luck with the half training! That's my favorite distance!