Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: My Running Story

One month from today I'm running my first marathon!  Here is a look back into how I started running. I started running my Senior year of college as part of my final project for a health class. I was not an athlete in high school. I danced for years but stopped once I moved to college. The health class senior year was one of my elective classes and really sparked my interest in health and fitness.  For on final project, we had to do research on any health topic covered in our class. I had already lost a few pounds from watching my diet and thought focusing on running would be a fun way to sneak in cardio while completing my assignment. Prior to this class, my two favorite forms of running were doing the elliptical for 30 minutes with no resistance and walking. For my project, I walked on the treadmill and gradually incorporated running. After each session, I  measured my heart rate. The goal was to use intervals to increase my cardiovascular endurance which was measured by my heart rate. Pretty nerdy stuff. By the end of the semester I was running around 3 miles and loving how it made me feel.

Freshman year- Exercising consisted of waking the loop at Wrightsville Beach

That spring I entered my first 5k. I did not shatter any records but since it was such a small race I ended up placing 3rd in my age group (out of 4 people). I remember being so nervous for race day. Making sure I had just the right outfit and my favorite tunes on my ipod.  

My first 5k

After that I stated reading several running blogs including Meals and Miles, Healthy Tipping Point & Skinny Runner. As I read I became intrigued by long distance running. I remember reading about their training plans and wondering if it was something I could do. Honestly, one of the biggest things that peaked my interest was the post long run meals or treats. I remember thinking that I could run 13 miles if there was candy and lots of carbs involved. That's when I decided to train for my first half-marathon.

Battleship Half Marathon

 I was hooked. I not only loved the experience of the race but the endless training miles that led up to the race. I have taken several breaks from running over the years due to injury, time commitment and weather. However, I always seem to go back to it. I am not a competitive person but love the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.

Jingle Bell 5k 

Ramblin' Rose Half Marathon

Flashback 10K

I am not a natural born runner. Long distance running has been a huge mental battle for me. I can conquer 3- 5 miles no problem after that my mind starts to wander and things get uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is not something I enjoy most days. But to get better and change you have to get uncomfortable. Honestly, marathon training is very uncomfortable for me. I downplay it a lot because I still can't believe next month I will be running 26.2 miles. I know I have the physical ability to complete the race it's my mental strength that I question. Training is a lot of pounding the pavement with just your thoughts and music. It takes about 3 miles for me to get in the groove and feel comfortable. On some runs I feel like I could conquer the world. Other runs I just count down the miles until it is over. I despise running fast and it is something I want to work on for future races. Right now I am focused on getting in my miles for the marathon and taking it one run at a time.


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