I have run 2 half marathons which for anyone who doesn’t run is 13.1 miles. I didn’t start running when I was in my 20’s but rather waited until I was in my 50’s to begin. When I first started my journey to get healthy 5 years ago I proclaimed loudly my antipathy of running. 3 years ago I met these people. They had a program called No Boundaries. It was a program to help you prepare to run a 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k (6.2 miles). I picked the 5k but did not run the race due to prior commitments. That year I did run three 5k races and found out something – I liked running! I then the next year decided to do the Half Marathon. I signed up for the training program again through Fleet Feet. Again I had fun. This past year I again signed up to run and signed up for the training again but the training program did not turn out as well . It had nothing to do with the program but rather many personal obstacles such as water leaks, oversleeping and illness to name a few. I did learn that I could do it and ended up cutting almost 20 minutes off my time from my first half marathon.
There is also another aspect to running and that is your reason for running. For someone who thought she loathed running, I certainly found many positive reasons to do it
- You can meet great people. During my group runs I met many new people and gained a great group of friends. Runners are encouraging people. I can remember running and seeing people outside our group but the smiles and good mornings was always abounding. There is an unspoken camaraderie.
- Running can make a bad day good. Have a bad day -go pound it out on the pavement. Put your headphones in and just put one foot in front of the other. The problems may not resolve but you will certainly gain some ideas for coping and solutions to problems. Running does not require concentration so you can think or escape while gaining miles-that is up to you
- There is the “runners high”. The endorphins released after a run can carry you through the next day.
- You get to explore your city or area in a unique way. You can drive through an area and miss many things. When you run you are able to look and see that house you never noticed, explore an area or landmark you never knew existed.
Unfortunately after my last half marathon I had to take a break. My knees were in a great deal of pain. Sometimes it is very difficult to admit that you cannot run the long distances. I knew that this past May could be my last half. I pushed myself and did accomplish my goal of beating my previous time. I have run a few times this summer but did not do it consistently. The consequences of not running were more mental than physical. I could throw on the DVD or do some kickboxing but nothing gave me the same escape as running. Fear of hurting my knees super-ceded the positive effects of running. This week something changed-I was up for the challenge. I started a couch to 10k program-there are dozens of free apps out there. Tonight I also upped the ante – I signed up for 2 races. One is at the end of August-the Steeler 5k and the other is the Mario Lemieux Foundation 6.6 run. For the first time since May I am excited. I have come to the realization I probably will not be doing 13 miles but 3 go 6 miles are manageable. This is one habit I am happy to have return.