Tip of the Week

Roll with the punches! Life is gonna smack you right in the face when you don't expect it. If you're head's on straight, you're certainly gonna handle it just fine. Roll with it. Complain a little bit, and let it go.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday Success Story: January 2, 2010

Today is a running story. I love these running stories. Know why? Because I absolutely do not consider myself a runner. But everyone does it differently, and the differences can be enjoyable. So learn about Amy. Maybe you'll learn something about yourself.

Amy's Story

My dad has been a runner his whole life. He has run about ten marathons, and he was the one who taught me about running. Not everyone is born a natural runner, and a lot of people don't like running. They only know running as, "Try to run as fast as you can for as long as you can." Well, that is miserable. The one thing that I learned from my dad is to take it slow. You have to start slow and build up. Run at a pace that you feel you can hang on to, and take walk breaks. Run at a pace that is comfortable, and move forward from there.

I started running my sophomore year in college, and I wasn't a good runner at all. I would basically walk one block and then run one block. Then the next day I would run two blocks and walk two blocks, then three blocks, then a year later I was running six miles.

I definitely don't think that I am an amazing natural runner. I don't have the body type for it, and I am not very fast. For me it is less about the speed and more about the distance, the discipline and the goal. I work hard at it, and I do the best I can, and I feel good that I can go long distances and run marathons.

I chose the Long Beach Marathon for my first marathon because it was a nice, flat path down by the beach. I didn't care at all about my time. I didn't care if I walked the whole thing. I just wanted to get it done and cross the finish line - that was my main goal.

Training for marathons is a grueling and tedious task, but I am such a goal-oriented person that knowing that two, three, or four months down the road I have got a race to do really keeps me going. It is important to give yourself time to train for a marathon; you can't rush it. Every week on Saturdays I do a long run, and it gets longer and longer each week as I get closer to the marathon. I know for six months I am not going to have any plans on Friday nights except to run.

For the first hour after an 18-mile run, I feel like death and need a shower and eat everything I can find. But two hours afterwards, I feel like a model and I feel like the coolest, most amazing person alive because I just did an 18-mile run. I think it has to do with the sense of accomplishment, but also physically your body feels good. It's all worth it.

The health benefits of running have been amazing. When I first started I probably lost 20 pounds. I haven't had a cold or gotten sick in what feels like years. Running is one way you can take care of your body. Physically it has kept me strong and my cardiovascular system is strong, but emotionally it also has all kinds of benefits.

Running is an incredible emotional release. A few minutes into a run, my mind just starts wandering and I forget that I am running. I start sorting through issues I have had at work or stuff going on in my personal life. It is such a great way for me to work through things. It is like a therapy session, something I really look forward to.


Beck said...

i'm really inspired by this story. i haven't run in a while because it became so tedious and unenjoyable.

i hope to start again tomorrow! thanks for the motivation.

Allyson said...

Hey, let me tell you something!
I went to the gym yesterday to RUN. Did I run? Nope. I absolutely did about 1.5 minutes of serious running, and then slowed my speed between 4.5 and 5.8, speed walking, bouncing, and jogging.
It felt more comfortable for my body, especially since I haven't been in a gym in six months.
And I'm really sore today! This is proof that I'm starting in a really great area for my body--one that allows me to feel comfortable with the work, and also have some place else to go.

Let me know how your running goes! You just kicked my butt into gear for another walk/bounce/jog today!