I love running. I love the feeling I get before, during and after a good run. And a “good” run doesn’t mean it’s long or fast. A good run means it’s just me and the road. Running gives me focus, time to think, time to plan, time to dream. And as moms, how often do we really get the chance to do any of those? If you have ever thought about running for fun, to lose weight or another reason, think about running as a way to unwind (Okay, you can quit laughing or rolling your eyes at me).
I started running to lose weight 13 years ago, at the age of 28, after my third child was born ( I had 3 kids in 3.5 years so the baby weight never really came off between pregnancies). At first, I could only run 1/2 way around the track at the North YMCA. That was about 3-4 minutes. From there, I added several minutes a day. After a few months, I could run one mile. After I could run 20 minutes, I felt like I was a “runner.” Fast forward several years, and I have 8 half marathons and 1 full marathon under my belt. I beat my full marathon goal of under 4 hours (3:54) and I can now check that off my “bucket list”.
I’m not saying you have to run an organized race (Wichita has several AMAZING races, if you are interested). But, it is a fun way to push yourself and connect with others who love to run. There are various levels of runners at these races, so don’t feel intimidated. You will NOT be the slowest runner out there… I promise! You can even grab some friends and dress in costume to make it like a running party!
For those ready to begin, here are some things I wish I had known when I started running:
Tip #1 – Get good running shoes! Go to First Gear in Old Town or GO Run/Fleet Feet (they have east and west locations) and have someone help you find a shoe that fits your running style. Example: someone who runs on the inside of their foot needs a different type of shoe than someone who runs on the outside of their foot. Find what type of runner you are. Good shoes will help prevent injury and help you reach your running goal.
Tip #2 (goes with #1) – You need to get a shoe that is 1.5 times bigger than your normal shoes size. Example: I am 8.5 but my running shoe is 10. Why? Because after you run a while, your foot actually swells! And, don’t tie your shoes too tight for the same reason.
Tip #3 – Set small goals. Don’t set out to run 15 miles if you’ve never run more than 3. Take it SLOW! Injuries happen to all athletes and running is especially hard on joints. A Couch to 5k program is an easy way to build your endurance!
Tip #4 – If you do get injured (I have many “war stories” and a few scars from running), take the needed time off. You can do weight training, elliptical, swimming (my favorite) or other cross-training to get you back to the road.
Tip #5 – HAVE FUN!! Running is like life… “it’s not how fast you get there, it’s the journey!” So enjoy!!
See you on the road…