As I mentioned in my novel-length last post on the subject, I've basically lost about forty pounds in the last year, mostly through eating right and by starting to run. And run. And run. I started tracking my running/jogging/fitness walking on an app called MapMyWalk, and have tracked over 150 miles in the last six months. Which may not be a lot for a runner, but for me, it was huge. I was ready for a 5k by mid-June, and ran my first non-stop 3.1 mile run on June 19. I picked a fairly flat course around my neighborhood that did have some hills, and completed it in 34:20. A time I haven't yet beat (though, I haven't really worked on speed, I'm still working on endurance).
I'm not a big runner in general, I'd rather switch up my activity every few minutes, but a few things that have made running more interesting for me are:
1. Interesting surroundings: There are so many different communities in my immediate vicinity that I can try out different routes every run. I spent a lot of time in the spring checking out the different landscaping ideas I would run across, and simply admiring the architecture in the houses I would pass.
2. Music: I have to run with music. It makes it go so much faster for me. I have never been on iTunes person, but I had some music already on amazon so I put their music player on my phone and used that to create playlists from. I mainly run to the same country list over and over again heavy on the female artists. My summer playlist is below. I think I'm ready to change it up a bit now that the colder months are coming... I'm open to song ideas.
3. Goals: Setting goals definitely keeps me motivated. What may have started out as being able to run for 5 minutes continuously, grew into competing in a 5k race. And maybe eventually a 10k. We'll have to see. I finally ran my first actual 5k race two weekends ago and was pretty proud of myself (even though I was coming off a week of illness and worried about a tweaked ankle). My official time was 35:09. I did have to walk a few 10 second stretches on the hills, but that just gives me a goal to run my next race without stopping (regardless of the terrain).
See the hills!
*Note: I am not a costume person, at-all. It was painful to dress-up for me, but I wanted to be 100% in the spirit of the race, and I was glad I did. I did not run with my wings though.*
4. Gear: I like to pair my goals with some rewards, mostly in the form of gear. I started running in an old pair of shoes, but eventually bought some real running shoes when I reached a goal. Simply getting a new pair of socks or running pants can motivate me to get out there and run when I get a little lazy. I need to decide on a big goal to reward myself with a watch. I really, really want one of the Polar fitness watches.
5. Data: And, as I've mentioned, I'm a big data person so I just love getting home and checking out the statistics of my runs-mileage, how much the elevation changed, and of course, how my times corresponded with these changes. As I mentioned above, I use the mapmywalk app currently, and hope to start tracking heart rate as well.
6. Camaraderie: I've joined an online group of mother runners, and they are very encouraging, motivating, and helpful.
7. The Rush: And even though it's not a lot of fun to keep moving during the run, the rush of adrenaline afterwards and the desire to develop more perseverance keeps me in it. Now, Theodore has caught the bug and wants to do a run with me. We've been training for a turkey trot, and he's definitely motivating me to keep running.
Look for a future post on my new hobby: fitness classes....