Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.
This week my knees are happy again, so I'm back to testing some running. I've been reading a lot about form, and the difference between old school "heel striking" and mid-foot or forefoot striking. I'm pretty convinced that my first few times out, running the clunky way I've always done it, is what caused my knees to protest. I was banging the heck out of them. I did some research on "running without hurting your knees," and found a lot of information. I decided to try changing my stride, and although it's hard to get used to, it really feels a lot better, not only on my knees, but my whole body. If you're interested in what I'm talking about, here's a short video showing the difference in running techniques.
It takes a lot of concentration, but that's not a bad thing. I want to pay attention to what I'm doing out there, and I want to do it as well as I can. I read somewhere that running should be more of a "practice" than a sport. That fits with my way of doing things nicely, and practicing is exactly what I'm doing. I realized the other day that I'm not really even in training yet. I'm in training for training. Kind of like engaged to be engaged. The commitment is implied, but there's no big diamond yet.
I went back to the sore I bought my running shoes from, because I'm having trouble not heel striking. I was considering some more "minimalist" footwear, but they talked me out of it, at least for now, and put some "posts" in my shoes - slivers of cork under the insole to adjust the way I stand and move. The best part was testing several different shoes on the treadmill. I had never been on a treadmill before, so I was a little nervous. I only fell off once. Pretty funny, and nobody was hurt. I just hope the shoes work. I don't want to keep throwing money at this, especially if it's really something I just need to learn to do properly.
I'm going easy on myself, and pushing too. Little by little, I can feel changes. I'm better than I was three weeks ago, and I'm just as motivated as when I started. Yesterday, running/walking an easy 1 1/2 miles, I ran more than before, and a couple of times I felt a glimpse of good form and sweet, easy running. It made me grin from ear to ear, and it gave me something to keep running after. I know I can do it. I just know I can.
The more you do it, the easier it gets...
The first day in a week that I made time to run. Now I know a couple posts ago I wrote about commitment vs. interest. I am still committed, but I got comfortable in my decision to not be “officially “ in training for the half marathon until April, and training for my 5k was becoming easier. Last week I was not making excuses to not run, it just so happened that other life commitments were more important, or so I thought. So Monday, the first day in seven days I put this commitment before all others, and it was freezing!
I can’t really complain because my mother deals with far worse weather conditions on a daily basis. She gets snow and wind and below zero temperatures. I get almost freezing and a gorgeous lake to run around, not the worst conditions I could be in. But because I am a wimp with cold weather and because I hadn’t been running in a week, I struggled. My brain was telling me I could push harder and go farther, but my body was telling me to stop and grab my blankie. It was contradicting and frustrating. I swore at the end of those three miles that I would never go a week without a workout, ever.
Tuesday was a “Lack of Luster” sort of day. Work was blah, personal life was blah; Facebook had little to interest me, I just wasn’t really digging what the world was putting out there for me. Then I remembered I was going to go for a run, and it was going to be all the sparkle I needed to perk up my spirit.
I decided on the gym instead of braving the almost freezing temperatures for the second day back at it. I hopped on my treadmill, put on my music and started going. This felt great! I ran the first two kilometers without feeling any sort of exhaustion, so I picked up the pace. It felt good, the endorphins made me want to keep going, I was on a whole other level of happiness. Wahoo! Then out of nowhere I started feeling crappy, my knee was killing me and my stomach was in all sorts of knots, but I couldn’t bring myself to slow down. Shortly after, I came to my senses and slowed down, no point in getting injured this early in the game. I was not super jazzed about finishing out my 5k workout with a power walk; I wanted to feel good, I wanted to end on a positive “I kicked that workouts butt” sort of high; I wanted to look in the mirror and justify all the junk I have been eating, and then… the icing on the cake. Strategically placed in the same time slot on three of the four TVs surrounding me was a Victoria’s Secret commercial… Were they mocking me?
Long story short, I was over confident in my abilities as a new runner. By not doing any type of workout for one week I lost a lot of momentum. And even though I can’t just pick up where I left off, and this is going to be an incredibly hard journey, I am still really excited about it.