Sunday, September 2, 2012

Starting My Journey

I've never been a runner, I've actually despised the thought of running.  Every time I've tried running in the past I would end up injuring my knees, out of breath, and in fear of my asthma.  Recently I've begun paying attention to the stories of people who overcome these obstacles and go on to be successful runners.  That's when I decided if they can do it, I can do it too.

I have great trails less than a half mile from my house that I see runners and bikers on all the time.  I've decided to start using these to get in shape and learn how to run.  This summer was a hot one, so I didn't start getting out there until this past August.  Previous to that I was using a gym and spending time walking on the treadmill, using the strength training machines, and using the elliptical machine.  These were all great, but I was finding less and less time to get to the gym.  I decided to suspend my gym membership until winter and use the trails that are close to my home.

My running journey started in August 2012, where I actually started walking the trails.  I have to say I'm impressed with how I've improved since I started.  I use an app, Map My Fitness to track my distance, time, and pace.  I'm still not able to run straight through, but the combination of walking and running has shown great improvement.  When I started on August 7th I walked 1.14 miles at a pace of 19:33 min/mi.  From there I've just improved:

8/12 - 4.4 miles, 17:55 min/mi
8/14 - 3.7 miles, 17:21 min/mi
8/18 - 3.7 miles, 17:22 min/mi
8/19 - 3.7 miles, 16:32 min/mi
8/20 - 3.7 miles, 17:22 min/mi
8/25 - 2 miles, 18:15 min/mi
8/17 - 2 miles, 17:43 min/mi
9/1 - 3.3 miles, 16:45 min/mi
9/2 - 2.2 miles, 16:15 min/mi

In the middle my knee had started hurting, and I went back to walking.  I'm sure it's because I could stand to lose some weight, as well as my body isn't used to this sort of impact exercise.  After doing some research I decided that my knees need more support to avoid injury.  I ordered some knee straps that go under my knee cap, which haven't arrived yet, so in the meantime I purchased some supportive athletic tape, which helped greatly.  I even improved my time by 30 seconds from yesterday to today!

My asthma was the other thing I had to overcome when I started running.  I had a scare with my asthma earlier this year, which has made me nervous anytime it's acted up.  I keep my inhaler on me when I run as well as I use it right before I go for my run, which helps prevent any issues.

I'm planning to continue my journey and am excited for the weather to cool down more consistently.  I've purchased some fall workout gear that I can't wait to use.  Hopefully by continuing to practice and listen to my body I will be able to soon call myself a runner.

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