Per my request (/begging) last Friday, one of my glorious readers volunteered to guest-blog. Yes! I mean, she's not just a total rando - she's is a friend from home who emailed me back in November to ask for a little running advice.
"My year has been all about stumbling, flailing and semi-running forward since september :)And as you all know, I love running. And I love getting other people to love running. So without any further ado, I would like to introduce...drumroll...dum da da dummmmmmmm The Newbie!!!
i'm totally with you on the reading and eating part of things and now...on to the running... i need a little help! what would be a simple and general training plan i could follow (or recommendations for a good book on it) to train? i've been running on and off since the summer, and i can run for up to 1.5hrs...distance-wise somewhere around 7mi has been my longest. i'm a little nervous especially about winter weather training so any and all tips would be mucho appreciated!!"
I am one of those who grew up always saying that I "hated" running, and was always incredulously asking avid runners, "Doesn't it hurt? Your knees! Your ankles!" like some kind of arthritic grandma. Swimming was my passion and I was a competitive age-group swimmer for about 10yrs. Therefore activities on land were confusing and made me feel clumsy (Where's the resistance?! Where's the buoyancy!?).
Over the years I've tried to keep up with my swimming, but after moving to NYC post college it became harder and harder to make the time for decent workouts between all the dinners & drinks out, endless lesson planning to be done and much-needed time to veg out by myself after long weeks of crazy commutes to teach middle schoolers in the Bronx. In college it's so easy to get your workouts in because your schedule is flexible. I definitely let myself go a little post-college and decided this past summer to rededicate myself to my health.
Hence....le running. After a summer of getting back into shape, I felt so much healthier and happier come fall. As I was heading back into a new school year I started to get anxious about my dedication to sticking to my new goals: exercise regularly and eat better. Serendipitously a good friend and I were talking and she casually asked me if I'd like to run the NYC 1/2 Marathon.
While I'm not sure if I will get into the race through the lottery, I am going to stick with my running plan which, your gracious creator and writer of with her this spring.Eat, Run, Read is monitoring and coaching me on :)
So far I am about 6 weeks in and am enjoying the running more and more. I look forward to my 5mi long run days because it's a chance to clear my head, plus I'm enjoying the challenges of pacing myself. I also have the trippiest day dreams while running with my music...puts a whole 'nother spin on "runner's high." I usually run in the evenings post-work or in the mornings on the weekends, fitting runs into my schedule can be hard but it's definitely part of the lifestyle change---to stop the excuses!
I'm developing insane calves (yeah!) and I find that after each workout, I have more motivation for the next one. It's also helping me be well, *nicer*. I find that letting out whatever has been going on in life through some pavement (err, track) pounding is great for my mental and emotional health as well. Especially when you work in a tough and stressful environment. I am so excited to be learning how to run and hope you will enjoy hearing more about my progress as well!
Much love and happy running,