Friday, January 16, 2015

Diary of a New Runner

I recently started running, and by recently I mean I just completed my 6th run today, which completes my second week of running 3 times per week. This is a pretty big deal for me for 3 reasons. The first being I hate running, second, when you are homeschooling 3 kids there is little time to enjoy a leisure run 3 times a week, and lastly running is physically exhausting (for me). That being said, another of my goals for this year was to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle, and specifically to work out no less than 3 times a week. Over the past 6 years I have worked out on and off but never committed to routine for longer than 2 months. That was the point I would usually get back into decent shape and say, "ok, I look pretty good, I'll stop now! OOhhh, I think I will treat myself to some strawberry cheesecake Hagen Daz ice cream to celebrate my success!" Yeah Ummmm looking good doesn't really last with that thought process. Consistency is the key obviously but oh so hard. Let's be realistic we moms are sooooooo tired! My relative who was staying with us, who is also an endurance athlete, would tell me to "MAN UP!" So that's what I am trying to do. To be completely honest I have no idea if this new routine will stick, or how long it will last, but for some reason there is something that has kept me going until now. I cant quite put my finger on it. Perhaps this will be just another attempt at a hobby that I cannot maintain. (I hear the baby crying.....her nap lasted all of right back.) Ok, I'm back. So what I want to do now is just discuss overall how I have felt the last two weeks running.

The first week I started by running 1 mile 3 times. 1 mile was the goal but I ended up running more like 1.4 miles each time mainly because I hadn't mapped any routes I would just record my run using an IPhone App and then check in to see how far I had gone. The first run was pretty hard because I was panting and out of breath. I consciously tried to control my breathing and run at a pace that I was comfortable with. I remembered one of my drill sergeants in the army saying that it was good for a runner to chew gum to control breathing, so I would just pretend like I was chewing gum. Oh yeah this is usually the point where people say, "WHAT YOU WERE IN THE ARMY?!" And I answer, "Yes, I enlisted in the army when I was 17, an impulsive move.....long story."  Perhaps I will share the story another time. Another piece of breathing advice my female drill sergeant would give us is to breathe twice through your nose and once out the mouth. Its funny I never ever used those techniques while I was in boot camp( I was terrible at running then), but I am conjuring up all these old memories now.  Whoooooa, baby just had a poop explosion in her Bumbo, excuse me be back in a jiff....knock at the door, family is home. Ok, now I'm back to writing, where was I? Ah yes, so my second run was better, I was still feeling a bit sore from my first run and still panting, but it was better.

After the first week I decided I was ready for a longer run and decided to run the 2.6 mile loop that my brother-in-law had discovered on his runs around my compound. On my first try I did it at night and with no problems, I definitely felt tired by the second mile but just had to slow down my pace a bit, but was able to continue without stopping. It was a HUGE accomplishment for me and I felt pretty great about it, I had become better at controlling my breathing and my pace and was able to keep it consistent throughout. My second time doing that loop was harder, I did it in the morning without eating and had a sinus cold. I was parched and tired but still managed to push through without stopping. Today was my final run of week 2 and I was able to run 2.7 miles pushing my 5month old in the jogging stroller. It was another morning run, but this time I had a half cup of coffee and a piece of wheat toast with cream cheese (fuel).  I'm not fond of running with kids because it adds extra exertion and makes me go a bit slower (excuses, excuses), but as homeschooler, my kids are the reality of daily life. As you can see that's me writing with little Aleena next to me in her Bumbo. They will always be with me. And if this is something I am serious about continuing, then I have to at least try to include them. I definitely wouldn't be the first to do this. The tricky part will be when I attempt a run with all three kids.  I will save that experience for another post.

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