Tuesday, April 29, 2008

154.4 - Running Rockstar

I ran only 2 miles yesterday during Sophie's swim class, but I made them tough (avg pace = 10:20). At one point, I was running at 7.0 mph. That's 8:34 min/mile, people. I ran for two tenths at that pace and felt like a freaking rockstar.

I slowed it down and walked, then kept increasing my walking pace until I was walking at 5.0 mph. That's the speed I started running at just over a year ago. I finished my two miles at 7.0 mph, running one more tenth at that speed. And it felt amazing.

Here's an excerpt from my exercise log from April 20, 2007, the day I ran my first full mile:

date: 4/20/2007
exercise type: walk/run
total time: 45 minutes
distance: 3.11 miles
running distance: 1 mile
weight: 190
comments: 1 mile run straight @ 5.0 mph

Makes me wonder what I'll be able to accomplish next year.

I'm no running expert, by any stretch of the imagination. But I feel like I'm a semi-expert at how to start running. A couple of you have commented that you'd like to start running, or you feel like you want to do more than walk. Here's my 2 cents:

I was never a runner, ever, until I turned 36. Then I started running the summer of 2006, just a little bit, and got some New Balance motion control running shoes (they were like mini tanks on my feet, they were so big). I weighed 200 pounds and hadn't started losing weight yet. I was using the Couch to 5K Program, but didn't stick with it. I pulled a quadricep really badly and it took a couple months to heal, and I stopped running and doing anything to lose weight completely, until February of 2007.

That's when I started LA Weight Loss, and the only reason I picked up running again was because I needed to burn a lot of calories in as short amount of time as possible. Running was the way to go. So I got my C25K plan back out, and started checking off dates and miles as I cruised along (I ran for time, btw). You don't start running. You start by walking, then running for 60 seconds at a slow pace, then walking for a few minutes, then more seconds of running. The first time I ran for 20 minutes straight I thought I was gonna die.

But I did it. And I did it slowly. First came distance and time, then slowly slowly, came some increase in speed. I'm still pretty stinking slow, but heck, I'm almost 40 years old and still "overweight" according to the BMI tables. So ten minute miles are a miracle for me.

So try it, if you have even the slightest tug at your soul that you want to run. For months and months last year, running was the main reason I lost weight. I wanted to drop pounds so I could run faster. That's one hell of a motivation. I even have a note in my kitchen now that says "Don't eat that! You'll run faster." I want to lose 10 or 15 more pounds not so I'll look great in a bathing suit, but so I can cut time off my pace. If Lance Armstrong can run faster because he's 15 pounds lighter (which they talked about in Runner's World a couple issues back, but I can't find a link to it online), then so can I.

One more thing. Get good running shoes. Chances are, if you start running at a heavier weight like I did, you need motion control shoes. But go to a running store or a specialty shoe store to get them, and have someone fit you and determine your foot type and your stride type. There's more to running shoes than how cushiony they feel. I tried a Ladies Footlocker when I first started running, and they only had stability shoes and frankly didn't know what to do with me. And, get a good pair of running socks. They are just as important as your shoes. I bought two pairs of $10 socks, and they are totally worth the investment.

And if you have big boobs, get a supportive bra (Enell makes a great one) and don't be afraid to wear more than one sports bra at the same time. I still wear a 2nd over my Enell because I like the extra support.

I'll leave you with my new favorite running slogan, that I found on Erin's blog:
My sport is your sport's punishment.


Vickie said...

fabulous post

Jill said...

I tried the C25K and I thinkI tried to do too much too soon. I put it away and (as you know) have been walking. I can now walk at the pace I was running at, and pretty soon I think I'm going to try to pick up the running again. I want to get to the point where walking just isn't enough, but I'm not quite there yet. I think in a couple more months I'll tackle C25K again.

Marcy said...

It's it insane? Look at how far you've come ;D ;D ;D

Grumpy Chair said...

I know I remember I had to run at 4 mph (way back when) but then after walking and walking I could walk 4.0 mph with ease. Now that I am starting back, 4.0 is something I can't walk but have to jog - but I know eventually, if I keep it up, I will be able to walk it.

You have come so far in your running. I'm so proud of you.

L.G. said...

Laura, I remember you running back in 2006 when we all first "met" on Frances' blog. I was always proud of you and amazed (in my mind) that you were doing that. I still am amazed at you and the progress you've made since I've known you. I know it hasn't been easy for you and I'm just so tickled with what you're doing.

I doubt I will ever be a runner but you're absolutely right about the shoes and the socks. In fact, my little financial goal for this month is to buy 3 more pairs of good socks at the running store for the gym. (Good pedicures or toenail trimming probably also is a big deal too.)

Keep up the good work! You, Helen, Vickie and Alicia are all working out and being super good examples.

P.O.M. said...

Your running is sooooo inspirational. Look how far you've come!

Pokey said...

That is my favorite running quote EVER!

You are such an inspiration Laura!

Harry said...

I was wondering for a perfect running shoes for me, finally I got a pair of Nike running shoes last month. You can't believe, I loose 8 pounds body weight in a month.