Let me just start off by saying I’m not a runner and definitely not an athlete. In fact, when I told my sister I was considering running the 4 miler she laughed. I enjoy weightlifting but cardio has not been my forte. However, I’ve always believed in self-improvement and I have A LOT of room for improvement. So I’m taking on 10 weeks to the 4 miler and I would love you to join me in my journey! I have a long road to go (pun intended) to get through this race but week one is almost behind us. This is what I’ve learned and experienced so far:
I’m SLOW! In high school my fastest mile was around 8 minutes. Now my treadmill mile averages 16:30!!! However with every run I’m get a little faster.
That first mile is a killer! Even if I’ve warmed up and stretched in advance that first mile is hard! I often get a stitch in my side. I think I need to pay more attention to breathing. One website mentioned that runners should focus on breathing to the point your belly extends. So if I look like a fish out of water while running it’s just because I’m trying to breathe diaphragmatically!
You need good sneakers for the job and maybe inserts too! In the world of sneakers there is a lot to consider, arch support, inserts and of course fit. My foot is big and wide, often making it hard to fit comfortably into some name brand tennis shoes. I headed out to Riverside Runners and found a pair that feel like slippers on. The sales associate suggested I go up a half size and it makes me wonder if I shouldn’t have done this with other shoes in the past. I almost had the perfect Cinderella sneaks but after hitting the treadmill for a while I noticed my arch would start to cramp. I went back to the store and got arch supports and they’ve made a world of difference.
Don’t compare yourself to others…yet! As a newbie, I cannot compete against some of those cheetahs on the treadmills. When I do try… total ego killer!
You have to eat right to work out well. I definitely need more advice about eating right! I had a nutritionist suggest eating nuts before a work out. Sometimes I feel burpy (I know TMI) so I’m assuming that I should stay away from the soda before a run! Is there a magic formula for what to eat in advance? Also, is it like swimming, do I wait an hour after eating before running? Plus, how do you best stay hydrated during a run outdoors? Is there a beer hat that I can rig with water bottles or should I find a fanny pack to store my water bottle in?
Runner’s high is not a myth! Those mile runs I endured in high school are just the tip of the iceberg. When I get beyond that mile I start to feel better and better and surprisingly, I’m bummed when my run is over. Whoever would of thought? However, I haven’t gotten outside much yet, so who knows what the real road is like?
Now that week one is almost over my game plan for the next nine weeks is jam packed. I want to focus on running form, increasing my speed, feel the burn in a good way (not a crippling way), balance my schedule so I can actually run, work on nutrition and hydration. I’m open to advice so please share what works for you! My goal at this point is to finish the 4 miler. Hopefully with a time that doesn’t get me laughed off the course but right now I will just go with finishing! I would love you to run with me too! If you’re a pro, feel free to run right past or if you’re new like me, we can persevere together! You can register for the Virginia 4 Miler right now by clicking here! See you next week!
Emily Robinson is an ABC 13 talk show host, award winning producer, health nut,
sci-fi nerd, pop culture fan, life-long student, California girl, wife, mommy
and a potential athlete that needs a lot of training.