I've shared my journey getting back into running since having kids. Not that I was a huge runner before. But I "jogged." At best, I was doing 2, maybe 3, miles during a run, 2-3 times a week. It was a long way from my nonathletic childhood, and I was pleased with the progress. Having kids set me back, as it took me a long time for my body to feel normal after each pregnancy/birth (and even longer to become physically active again).
I'd become serious once again this past summer, making great strides (pun intended) as I entered the Fall. I did my second 5k in the beginning of September and was signed up for my 3rd at the end of September when I fell down the steps holding Bug and sustained a knee injury. The knee injury healed quick and I was able to run my 5k (personal best, actually!), but exacerbated the injury wearing ungodly heels the following day at a wedding.
Well, long story short, when I started running again, I went to hard to quickly, and gave myself shin splints, which lead to achilles tendonitis.
Yes. I was a mess. October and November were slim for running, and I only started feeling better in December. This time, I eased back into running slowly, only going 10 minutes at a time, a few times a week. That quickly progressed into running 2 miles, then I was back up to running 3 again. Feeling confident that I was "back in the game," I signed up for the #20in2013 Challenge: 13 races in 2013. Woot!
I'm not ambitious with running, and always feel stuck at a 3-3.25 miles distance. Not long ago, I was at a local blogger meet up. There, I was discussing running with Colleen (from Classy Mommy). Colleen is a long-time seasoned runner, and she had some great tips for me. The one I was intimidated by the most but vowed to institute was:
Add 1 Long Run A Week
Adding a longer run challenges your body, as well as building stamina and strength. For me, "long" would be 5 or so miles. That night, I felt like that was an impossible dream. Me? Running 5 miles? If not more? PUH-lese. I can barely accomplish the 3.2 for a 5k! But Colleen's advice was solid. And I kept in it in the back of my mind.
Fast forward to the following week. I had agreed to start running with a few of Hubby's rockstar co-workers, Meghan and Jamie, after the school day. I've been meeting them at school and we do runs around town. Jamie is currently training for a long-distace race later this Spring, so she has a few longer distance runs in her schedule. The first few times we ran, we stuck to a comfortable 3 mile run. But the one day I was feeling good, and decided to join Jamie in her longer run. I definitely had to push, but I survived! And at the end I found out it was 5.3 miles!
A long run.
Literally, the longest run of my life.
And it was awesome!
That run gave me the confidence I needed to commit to adding one long run a week. This will be my third week adding a 5+ mile run, and I've noticed that my shorter runs are improving. I never thought I would have met this goal so quickly, but it motivates me to continue slowly building distance over the course of the Spring.
My new goal is to possibly attempt a 10 mile run this year. Possibly before Summer, but at the very least by the end of the year. But I now know that incorporating at least one long run in my week will help me get there!
I'd love to hear from you:
What is your best running advice/encouragement?
Leave a comment and inspire me!
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