Run baby, run!

I don’t even remember how everything started, but one day I just said: “I want to run”.


If you are looking for a technical article about running, please save your time. I do not know anything about it. I just recently found out I enjoy it, and I committed to finish my first 10k race. That’s all.

So, this is just a post of a beginner “runner” talking about her experience of running and her motivation.

As I said, I do not remember how I found my drive, but it might be watching – please do not laugh – The Biggest Loser! (I’m not overweight but I love that show).
I remember watching the last episode when the final four participants run a marathon (50 k), and I couldn’t believe they actually got to the finish line.
“If they can do it – I must have  thought – I can do it too”. Now I am training to run my first 10k race.

Starting to run wasn’t easy, but I find it even harder to actually find the time to train. I know it would be better for me to do it in the morning, but that means getting up at 6am, and I do not see that happening any time soon. However I notice I have my best performance in the evening, so I train after work, even if sometimes it gets pretty late.

It’s been only two months, and since it’s winter – not just winter actually, Canadian winter – I’m running on the treadmill, but I’m willing to start running outside as soon as I can (which will save me from losing focus on people leaving the gym and forgetting the TV on, or running on the treadmill not wearing sneakers, or running holding on the front of the treadmill with both arms like if they are ready to faint and then leaving without wiping the machine. Gross!)

Consistency is the number one factor in training: no matter how shitty I feel, I do not skip a day – I train 2-3 days a week. I am just a beginner, and I don’t really know what I’m doing, and if I’m doing it right, but if I’m feeling my heart getting stronger and my legs being able to run longer, maybe I’m doing something right.

As I mentioned, focusing is still a problem for me. I feel more confident when nobody else is at the gym, and even a wrong song in my running playlist can bother me. I am also very time and distance conscious (too much), at the point where I have to cover the display of the treadmill with the towel to better focus on running. It’s amazing how better I can run without checking the time every few minutes, and without worry if I’m going to slow or if I reached the time where I usually hit my wall mid-workout.

Lately I have found a very nice app for my phone (miCoach): it’s basically a running coach. You can pick your plan based on your goal, the race you want to run, the time you have available, etc. If you run with your music it’s fine, because you can select you playlist, and the only difference you will notice is the trainer’s voice telling you to increase or decrease your paste, guiding you in every aspect of your run. At the end, it will calculate your average speed, calories, burned, and you have the possibility to add notes, indicate how you felt about it.
I find it very helpful since I have not clue of how to properly get ready for a race.

Beside running, I pay a lot of attention to breathing, stretching and flexibility, trying to use yoga poses and exercises to improve my performance and avoid injures.

I also love talking about my training with my husband. He’s really  helpful and keeps my motivation alive. He’s been into his sport routine for years now, and even if he asks me often to go running together I want to build my confidence and strength before doing that, because I know I am not strong enough right now to go running with him.

I’m enjoying my adventure so far, getting interested about different aspects, finding out about mental tricks for runners and other cool stuff.

Do you run? I would love to hear your story.

Read more posts about running.

Have you read My natural 2011 resolution?

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33 responses to “Run baby, run!”

  1. bagnidilucca says :

    I am not a runner, and I will never be a runner. I walk and I swim, which may come in handy soon as Brisbane is about to go underwater.

  2. Single Malt Monkey says :

    Hi Elena, well done. I’ve been a 2 or 3 times a week runner all my life and really love it in the summer when you can get out and see things you don’t see from the car. I’m proud of the fact that I’m 57 and pretty fit. Do some work on your running position too. It’s only in the last couple of years that I discovered that I was running incorrectly (apparently you can !)and with a little practice(though it felt wierd to begin with) my bodyweight is now further forward and sometimes it feels like I’m running on air. Somebody had to discover this thing. Whatever you do, don’t stop …it’s exercise you can do anywhere.Enjoy !

  3. run4theshirt says :

    Hi Elena. Looks like you’re on track. Getting started is the hardest part. I just started running last year just to keep my wife company and never thought at 46 that I would get addicted. I ended the year with 3 half marathons under my belt. Self motivation is definitely the key for me. It’s easy to talk yourself out of running. Small races (3k, 5k, 10k) are great ways to keep you on target while training. Blogging is a great also. I recently set up a blog to document my running journey. Check me out @ http://run4theshirt.wordpress.com.
    ~Brian

  4. Steph says :

    Congratulations on discovering running! :) Even though you argue that you don’t know anything about running, you really seem to know what you’re doing, and you have some great goals! Keep up the training, and the only advice I have to offer is if you get bored with your workouts you could add in some fartleks – where you vary your pace throughout the run (for example, 1 minute “hard” effort followed by 3 minutes “easy”, repeated for the duration of your run — this could also be done on a treadmill, and it helps to break the run into manageable chunks). Along with your yoga and stretching, some core strengthening exercises can help you perfect your running form and efficiency (like the ones here: http://www.runningplanet.com/training/core-strength.html ). But it sounds like you’re doing a great job with your training already. Good luck!!

  5. Greyt Vegan Life says :

    MOTIVATE ME!!!! Ha ha! I always envied runners but I never ran myself, although I was a gym rat (I went every day on my lunch hour and most Saturdays, too.) Then, one Saturday morning almost 10 years ago I just rolled out of bed and put on my running shoes and I just ran out the door. Every day I went a little bit farther until my Saturday run was up to 7 miles. I ran every day on my lunch hour and most Saturdays or Sundays, too. Then I was sidelined by a serious illness and I have had 10 surgeries in the last 5 years. As soon as I received the ‘go-ahead’ from a doctor to run, I had another surgery looming. And I lost the drive and I have not been able to get it back. And I MISS it! I am going to check out your links and I will happily keep reading your “non-technical” blog about running, so thanks for that! My latest post-surgery (and hopefully the last) running ban ends a week from Friday so can you get me stoked about running by then?! :)

    • ElenaSC says :

      Thank you so much for your comment, you have a pretty amazing story, and I really hope you feel better! I mean for running and for everything else! Keep me posted!

  6. Glenn Peison says :

    This is inspiring stuff. Nothing makes me happier then hearing stories of new runners picking up the sport. It’s the best thing you can do for your life and will have far reaching benefits that go well beyond the obvious physical ones. Running will have a positive impact on every single aspect of your life. It will leave you a stronger, more positive and confident person. Running is simple and relatable. You put one foot in front of the other and keep on doing that until you reach your goal. Everyone can participate and it’s relatively inexpensive. Just the act of making forward progress and reaching clearly defined goals, such as your 10k, can have a such a tremendous impact on your life.

    Don’t worry about your confidence level, that will increase with time. Bare in mind that what you’re doing, many people will never do in a life time. However, you don’t need to compare yourself with anyone. Running I’d about you. You define success, and progress. Put your blinders on. Focus on you, and above all, enjoy it! Running shouldn’t be painful, quite the contrary, it should be enjoyable. I promise you that it will get to that point. Your body will start to crave it like a drug. You’ll truly arrive when you get to that point. You’ll be a full on addict. No better thing to be addicted to though.

    Since you’re just starting out, I can offer a few suggestions. The most important aspects to running is your posture, alignment/gait, and your footware. There’s alot of advice and methodology out there, it can be overwhelming trying to follow the “right one”. My advice is listen to everyone and follow no one. I would also ask what kind of shoes and socks your wearing. Going to a good running shop would be well worth it. The good stores will have knowledgeable staff that will examine your feet and watch you running, and make a shoe recommendation based off of that. Of course there are loads of shoes so shop around. Good running socks will change your life. I wear Balega.

    Check out these books for more advice and inspiration. Chi running, ultra marathon man, 50/50, and Brain Training for Runners.

    I could go on and on, clearly, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Remember, don’t stress, stay loose, and try turning the music off every now and then.

    • ElenaSC says :

      Like a drug, eh?! Wow, I’m almost looking forward to it!
      Also thanks for all your advices. I wouldn’t ever imagine they can examine my feet, watch my running, and make a shoe recommendation based off of that! Maybe it’s a little early for me to do that or do you think I should do it anyway?

  7. becelisa says :

    sounds like you’re off to a great start! i started running about four years ago and quickly found myself addicted. i’ve since run four full marathons, a handful of half marathons and a bunch of shorter races. i think i was a lot like you in the beginning. more comfortable when no one watching. easily distracted. concerned i was doing it all wrong. so if i could give you one piece of advice it’s keep reaching out to fellow runners like you are doing here. no question is too stupid or taboo. and as long as he’s willing to go at your pace, i’d take your husband up on that offer to run together. or even find a running partner or a running group. because nothing makes you a more confident runner than finding the camaraderie and bond between runners.

  8. Lisa says :

    Yup, I do run! Thanks for the great comments you left on my blog as I try to decide whether to tackle a marathon this year. Good luck training for your 10K. I think it’s awesome that you’ve decided to start training for it and that you enjoy running!!

    I still think of myself as a novice runner who is always learning, but I will definitely try to answer any questions you have.

    • ElenaSC says :

      For example, anybody that can tell me if this training app are good? As I said I find it helpful, but it’s actually going to get my ready for my first race???

      Thanks!

      • Lisa says :

        I’ve never used the miCoach, but I’m guessing it will probably help. A plan is always a good thing. The voice coaching you could either be encouraging or annoying, but you won’t know until you try I guess :-)

        Whenever I pick a race training plan, I actually like to look up several and combine then. (I also change things around as I go based on how I’m feeling.)
        One of the places I’ve used to help with race plans is the “Smart Coach” tool on the Runner’s World Website.

        http://www.runnersworld.com/channel/0,,s6-238-0-0-0,00.html

        You have to create a user name and password to use it, but it’s free and pretty easy. (You can pay to upgrade your smart coach plan if you want, but I’ve always just used the free one.) You could look at a sample training plan for 10K on Smart Coach and maybe compare it to your app and work on creating a plan from the two. You can also just google “10K training plan” and see where that leads you.

        Anyhow, sorry for the long and maybe confusing answer! I’ll try to remember to check back and see if you’ve got questions, or you can always go to my blog and contact me through there or via email.
        Happy training!

  9. Jessica says :

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Like you, I just recently started running. Well, I ran on a treadmill on and off for about 2years, but recently discovered outdoor running, and now I’m hooked!

    I completed my first 5k last month, and am now training for a 10k in February and a half marathon (!) in April. I’ve found that having a race to train for, and putting together a training plan, has been great motivation for me.

    I also struggle with finidng time to train. I’m not a morning person, which has meant that I run in the evenings after work. It can be hard to get myself together to go run when I’m tired after a long day, but I try to remind myself how good I feel after a run.

    Good luck with your 10k training!!

  10. ycaster says :

    Hi Elena,

    Thanks for visiting my blog, dogoodersdiary.wordpress.com

    If you’re finding motivation a problem, why not sign up for a charity run? That way when you don’t feel like training you have your sponsors and the charity to motivate you.

    You can get more ideas on possible charities you might want to support at my blog or my twitter site, do_good_diary. I know, for example, that Oxfam still has spaces for the London marathon, but there are also plenty of 10k and half marathon charity runs if that’s a bit much.

    Best of luck with your training :-)

    Y Caster

  11. Fragolina says :

    It’s a great thing to go back to exercices. I went back to gym this past week, and my body hurts, ‘coz it’s been lazy for quite some time now… but it feels great, I feel alive again, healthy (following a healthy diet, cutting down on sweets, alittle) not tired, specially when you have an 8-hour sitting job infront of a computer(Oh God, I can’t wait that to change!! ) Have a good run Elena.

  12. Modern American Man says :

    Hey Elena. I was a cross country runner in my high school days. I loved the experience and the natural high I gained from it. I also loved the fact I had more energy and slept better at night. Congrats on delving into these discoveries yourself, and good luck in the 10K.

  13. Alex says :

    Ciao Elena,
    I found your blog by chance and I’ve found it nice. Since I’m Italian too (currently living in Milan) and since I’ve been living abroad for some years (3 in France, Paris, and 1 in Germany, Stuttgart), I liked to read some articles and I’ve found them nice.

    Coming to this post, I also love to run. It has always been my way to feel better, to relax, to improve myself.
    I recently discovered the adidas-micoach application. I use it with satisfaction. I think it should be improved in some ways, but it’s ok.
    I’d like to partecipate to a half-marathon but due to a stop in my training activities (I just re-started to run), I think it can be not before autumn of this year. But I’m not in a hurry.

    Keep it strong, both in your running activities, both in your life.
    Keep in touch.

    Alex

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