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If I Can, You Can.

March 22, 2012

Goooood morning! I think it’s waking up to open windows and the feeling of summer, but I woke up in a good and optimistic mood this morning! How about you?

I just ran up to my rooftop to see if I could get a better view of the sunrise for you all (I have the best view from my apartment, but the screen in my window ruins the photo. I should go up to our roof more often, it’s so nice up there!

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This past week I wrote a guest post for Annette about my running story and how if I can become a runner, then you can! I’ve gotten a few e-mails about running, so I thought I would post this, and I’ll follow up with a couple more posts next week about things I’ve done and learned. I’m no expert (I probably send a text or e-mail to my cousin twice a week asking for help!) but I sure have learned a lot and would love to share, as well as see your stories and suggestions in the comments!

My Running Story:

This past weekend I went to a friend’s wedding in South Carolina. I did my undergrad at the College of Charleston, but moved to Chicago a year and a half ago for law school. I hadn’t seen some of my friends since then, so it was great to catch up!

Several of them have checked out my blog (gotta love Facebook) and asked me about how I got started with running, because many of them wanted to get into it too! Trust me, I was more than happy to oblige!

A lot of people think, “I’m just not a runner,” or “I’m not made for running.” Well you know what? That’s not true. Yes, some people can be more injury prone, or others just have the perfect biomechanics to run 3 hour marathons, but anyone CAN run. How do I know this? Because I was one of those “I’m not made for running” people for most of my life!

me SGK 1

I’m always shocked nowadays when people say that I look like a runner (HA!) or that they don’t believe that I’ve not always been in-shape or athletic. It’s so odd to me because I didn’t get into running until I left for law school, only a YEAR AND A HALF AGO! And I didn’t even start taking running seriously until this past August! And guess what? I’ve run up to 13 miles and have my first half marathon race in a couple weeks!

When I was growing up, I was never necessarily overweight, but I was always bigger than my friends, and not very athletic. I played every sport because that’s just what my friends all did, and it was fun to play with them. However, I was AWFUL. Let’s just say I played basketball for 6 years and never scored once… never.

So how in the world did this un-athletic girl who’d never run more than 4 (PAINFUL) miles in her life get to running half marathons? It was pretty simple:

START.

/

When I moved to Chicago and started law school, I was completely thrown out of my element. I decided I needed a goal outside of school to keep me sane, so I signed up for a 10K. 6.2 miles seemed unachievable to me, but I knew I had to try!

I used Hal Higdon’s 10 K training plan and got started. It was rough and very slow moving, but eventually I managed to run those 6.2 miles and finished the race! I stopped running after that because those 6.2 miles were the hardest I’d ever run in my life. I decided I was just “not meant” to run that far.

A year later I started running again, just 3 miles as my max, but I realized how much I missed it and wanted to get back into running! I was at a barbeque and overheard a girl say she’d run 10 miles that morning.

My jaw fell to the floor. 10 miles!?!?! She was not what I would consider a “runner” and I couldn’t believe it! If someone average who was just like me could run that far, maybe I could!? I decided to sign up for the same 10 K that year, as well as a 10 miler in November.

Again, I started off slow, with 3 miles as my long run, then going up to 3.5 the next week, then 4 and so on. Eventually I got to 6 miles before the 10K and felt awesome, way better than I had the year before! I realized that taking more time with building up my mileage really helped and adding in sprints and speed work on the treadmill helped with my pace!

I finished that 10K in 52:15. I was so proud!

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(My cousin Allie and I before the race)

After that, I was hooked! I kept up my slow increase up until my 10 miler and rocked that too!

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(My brother’s dog, Molly, and I after the race! She came to watch!)

And now here I am doing 12 and 13 mile long runs, gearing up for a half marathon race, and even registered for the Chicago Marathon!

If you want to get into running (don’t worry, not everyone needs to sign up for a marathon!) here are my tips:

Tips on How to Start Running:

  • Start slow with 1 mile, then add on each week or two weeks as you get comfortable with the distance.
  • Walking is fine! If you need to take a quick walking break, then DO IT!
  • Pick a race and register for motivation. Start with a fun 5K! Be sure to give yourself enough time to train.
  • Run with a friend, having someone else to keep you accountable can keep you from giving up
  • STRETCH. Stretching is so important to make sure that you keep yourself from getting any injuries!
  • Strength train! Running uses a lot of muscles and to keep yourself from getting injured it’s important to strengthen those muscles! Add in 2 days of weights each week.
  • Build in “pull back” weeks. Either in the middle of training, or right after a race, take a break! Do some cross training, like spinning or aerobics class, to keep yourself from getting burnt out and sick of running.

Running for me is a time when I burn off excess energy and anxiety and I just relax and have time with my own thoughts. I also love the accomplished feeling I get after a run, no matter how rough it was!

:)

 

What’s your running story?

Do you get a good view of the sunrise in the mornings?

 

If you have any running questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me here in the comments sections or send me an e-mail at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2012 7:49 am

    I can relate a lot to your story. Funny how I used to be afraid of running 3 miles and now a 10 miler doesn’t seem so bad! Good luck in the marathon!

  2. March 22, 2012 7:51 am

    Aww I love your running story and your sunrise pic is so awesome! I ran the chicago marathon last year and it was honestly the BEST experience of my life. I’m not running it this year but still plan on coming up to cheer all of the runners on! I can’t wait to see how your training plays out! Good luck!

  3. March 22, 2012 7:58 am

    I loved your running story! Keep up the fantastic work!

  4. March 22, 2012 8:33 am

    i love your story!! you should be so proud. 🙂

  5. March 22, 2012 8:47 am

    1) Your rooftop is pheNOMenal. Why you don’t just move up there I don’t know.

    2) To check out my running story, visit http://www.fitphilanthropist.blogspot.com 🙂
    The abridged version: I ran cross country in high school and was awful. It’s a wonder I kept up with it for all 4 years. In college, I avoided exercise for the most part, and it started to show. I reconnected with running while studying abroad in Spain during college. Upon return I trained for 5 months for my first half marathon and finished in 1:46:29.

    • March 22, 2012 8:52 am

      Haha it might get a little chilly up there. And I’ll have to read your story. P.S. your time is insane, haha, my goal for this one is under 1:50:59 to make a corral for the marathon but we’ll see!

  6. Anonymous permalink
    March 22, 2012 9:11 am

    love it all!

  7. March 22, 2012 10:07 am

    I didn’t start running until I graduated from high school and I started so slowly running 1 or 2 miles every other day. I got hooked pretty quickly though and ran my first half a year later 🙂

    Your view is beautiful! I don’t get a good view of the sunrise or sunset but I do overlook the river!

  8. Melissa E permalink
    March 22, 2012 11:19 am

    Which 10 mile race did you do?? I live in Chicago too and would definitely love to do one that is not the Soldier Field 10 Miler (too expensive!)

    • March 22, 2012 12:19 pm

      Yea I was going to do the Solider Field 10 Miler but couldn’t believe how much it was! I ran Chicago’s Perfect 10, which is in November and it was a bit cheaper since it was the race’s first year.

  9. March 22, 2012 11:54 am

    SO true–just START 🙂 Our bodies were meant to move and most people enjoy a good run (no matter how short). Usually we just think it’ll be hard so we don’t start….. Nice post!

  10. March 22, 2012 2:15 pm

    I love that view that is so gorgeous! I am so jealous!

    And I LOVED your story thanks for sharing! Truly inspiring! 🙂

  11. March 22, 2012 2:38 pm

    That’s an amazing 10k time!! I love running – sometimes I question WHY, but it’s like an addiction!

  12. Annie permalink
    March 22, 2012 2:42 pm

    Aww, love your story! Mine is similar. Forget ANY sport that involves a ball – I will almost always end up with a bruise somewhere on my body.

    Then came running at age 26.

    I may not be the fastest runner and somewhat prone to injuries, but darn it – I have the ability to push my body to take the longer distances. And at 32, I’m darn proud of it! Others may have the ability to hit home runs or kick balls into whatever goal, but I have the will to push mile after mile in heat and humidity in spite of aches and soreness. I have HEART.

    As for sunrise runs, love them – that is, until DST took them away from me. (stifles need to rant) Now my runs start *and* end in darkness. Looking at the positive side though, I do enjoy the smug feeling I get when announcing on facebook how many miles I pounded before dawn. Muaaahaaahaaa.

    • March 22, 2012 2:57 pm

      Haha yes, I love morning runs when I get so much accomplished before most people are awake or at work!

  13. March 22, 2012 3:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! And your rooftop view. I’m moving to a new place in May and we’ll have a pretty awesome rooftop view but a not-so-awesome balcony view. Oh well!

    I started running in 2007 because I saw a lot of my online friends taking it up and I thought if they can do it so can I! I joined a Beginning Women’s Running Group and trained to run my first 5K. And then I was hooked!

  14. March 22, 2012 4:00 pm

    Great story, mine is very similar! I still don’t think I’m a natural runner but anyone can run if they want to! Such a great form of exercise for the sense of achievement you get 🙂

  15. March 22, 2012 5:47 pm

    I started out small, too – that’s the number one key! Except it took me way longer to work up to “long” runs 🙂

    Right now, I usually see the sunrise as I’m driving to work. But come summer, I should be able to watch them mid-run. That’s my favorite time to run!

    • March 22, 2012 7:13 pm

      That is a great time! I had to run during the sunrise my first year of law school and it was so pretty over the lakefront!

  16. March 22, 2012 7:02 pm

    That view is awesome!! I ❤ Chicago 🙂

    • March 22, 2012 7:13 pm

      Sometimes I wish I lived out in the country but sometimes I see the skyline and remember how pretty it is here too!

  17. March 22, 2012 9:05 pm

    I love your running story! I felt like I was reading my own story! I also claim to be the most un-athletic girl on the face of the earth, but got into running and love it. Happy training!

  18. March 22, 2012 9:13 pm

    Katie, I am SO proud of you. I ran for several years in Boston because my friend you met in Chicago -RPW(Bob)- ran marathons at the time and he helped me run. I got away from it and now feel like I cannot do it. I do love to walk though. Congratulations on accomplishing your goals!! That is what really counts.

  19. March 27, 2012 8:07 pm

    Thank you for these tips. I had started the Couch to 5K but am finding it too difficult to keep up with (making time for it, that is). I like the idea of just running a mile 3-4x/week and slowly building the distance. Cute blog by the way :o) I’ll have to start following!

    • March 27, 2012 9:46 pm

      Thanks! and definitely keep up with running, but at your own pace! Just be sure to push and add a little distance every week or two!

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