What’s so special about running? That was the question I used to ask myself. Was someone chasing me, was I running late, or was it just running the bases in softball. But to run for fun, NO WAY!! But to just run for miles and even hours had no appeal to me, just being honest. When I joined a gym, I loved the weightlifting part, but had no interest in running or any type of cardio. I had tried running before but hated it. My feet hurt, I was running on the treadmill, or the dreadmill as I like to call it, and just thought it was boring. UNTIL I joined my weigh loss group. And then I was in a group that consisted of runners & triathletes, who talked about running all the time. I heard their stories of their races, accomplishments & saw their medals, or as we like to call it “BLING”.
Then I saw that a friend had signed up to the Double Bridge Run in Pensacola, FL. Which is a 15k consisting of running over the 3 mile bridge & the Pensacola Beach Bridge, and thought if Erika can do it, so can I. So I signed up, ummmm, only problem was I wasn’t a runner. Then that’s when the panic set in, every time I would drive over those bridges, I would have minor panic attacks, thinking what in the world did I get myself into.
So I made a decision, I need to train for this run. If you’re from Pensacola you’ve probably heard about Running Wild, it’s where all the runners get shoes and all things running. I was told they had a 5K training program that I needed to do. So I joined with a friend and let me tell you it was the best money I’ve ever spent. The training included shoes, race entry, shirt, 3 clinics and the best training with amazing coaches. I went into it with one goal in mind, I wanted to be able to run the 5k without stopping. When I started out I was lucky if I could run 2 minutes straight and was running a 15-16 minute mile. The training was rough, there were days that I wanted to quit. But I pressed on and little by little found myself falling in love with running. It was my time to escape from the craziness of the day and get into zone. So 12 weeks after my training started I ran my 1st 5k, I finished in 32 minutes, I had averaged a 10-minute mile. I was so excited, I almost cried. That was in back in November, since then I’ve ran another 5k and a 10k. In a few short weeks in February is my Double Bridge Run. Eeekkk.
If you’re a new runner just starting out or a seasoned runner here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
• It’s all about the shoes – I never realized how important shoes were until I went to Running Wild, they watched me walk and evaluated me. They put me in a pair of shoes that was the perfect fit for me. I love my Newtons.
• Accountability is Key – Find people who love running and run with them. I run better and faster when I run with people who will push me to do more than I think I am capable of.
• Body Glide is your best friend – Let’s get personal here for a second and talk about chafing, it’s not fun. Then someone told me about this gem called Body Glide and it was a game changer for me
• Wear shorts in the summer & compression pants in the winter – Maybe it’s a mental thing but I think shorts make me run faster.
• Trigger Point – This is the area I still struggle with, hidden meaning I don’t do it much. It’s something that needs to be done weekly, foam rolling your leg muscles. I have problems with cramps in my calves and it helps release the tension.
Whether you live in Pensacola or somewhere else, I highly encourage you to find a place like Running Wild. The staff is amazing and are there to help. Go check them out at www.werunwild.com. Find running groups in your area and join them. I also joined Running Wilds girls only club called PHAT GIRLZ, it’s the best group of women around. Whether you’re the fastest or the slowest, it doesn’t matter, you’re a runner. When I joined the running community, I walked into a HUGE family. And I can’t wait to cross that finish line in a few weeks & have my 1st Bling put around my neck!!
Always, Angie B