Who would have thought that I’d be a “runner.” I put that in quotes because I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself a runner, even if I complete marathons (which I won’t. believe me.).
I’ve been tracking all of my runs here on the blog since I signed up for the half marathon back in July. There have been some really great runs (like my recent seven miles) and some really tough ones (like when I didn’t run at all during August because of my shin splints and the fact that I was sick).
But I thought I’d take a different look at running today and talk a little bit about how I’m doing with all these runs and what it’s doing to my body since I really had no idea what to expect when I started all of this.
Myth (sortof): It’s All Mental
I’m the first person to admit that running has such a mental component to it. I mean, trying to convince yourself after running four miles to run another four is seriously tough. But sometimes there really is bad physical pain. I kept trying to tell myself in July and August that the shin pain I was experiencing was just a mental block, but it just kept getting worse. I probably should have stopped running before I did, because I’d imagine my recovery would have been a lot shorter, but I tried to tell myself the pain was mental and I could push through. I definitely learned something there!
Fact: You Won’t Lose Weight During Training
When I started running regularly (3x per week) back in July, I expected to step in the scale and see weight loss. Uh, wrong.
I should clarify that I didn’t sign up for the half to lose weight. Losing weight was never my intention during training, but I just assumed it would happen as I was exercising way more often than before.
I don’t know if it’s muscle or the fact that I find myself hungrier now that I’m burning all of those extra calories, but training for a half marathon definitely does not make you skinny. If anything, I’ve gained a couple of pounds. Learn something new every day.
Fact: The Desire to Run is Real
Before signing up for the half marathon, I used to dread running and exercise in general. But now that I have gotten my body in to shape, I actually really like it. I find myself looking forward to my runs. (WHO AM I?)
Fact: If I Can, Anyone Can
The biggest advice I can give anyone is to start slow. I started training for this half marathon by running for 1 minute and walking for 3. No joke. The Couch to 5K is how I started. Once I got to the point where I could run a 5K with no problem after following that app’s program, I added miles on top of that. I just kept building on that base. Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Myth: You Don’t Need Real Running Gear
When someone told me to get real running shoes, I thought they were lying. I started running in my $60 Nike’s that I got at Shoe Carnival. But I invested in a pair of real running shoes that were professionally fitted at a running store, and now I’ll never run in anything else (boy that sounds snotty, but it’s true!).
I also invested in a pair of compression sleeves for my legs that help my legs recover from long runs. I bought a foam roller recently, which is my favorite piece of equipment to date. Oh, and I only wear a specific set of running socks and they make the world of difference. Goodbye, blisters.