Guest Post- Get Started

A few weeks ago, you may remember this little post of mine. I NEED to be working out and eating healthier, and I figure there are others trying to do the same, so why not help each other?

I’m hoping to get some more posts or figure out ways to share other helpful exercise tips and healthy recipes, so if you have some, feel free to e-mail me.

Well, here is the first installment of that. D.A.R from Midwest Paradise said she would help. She is an avid runner and she said she would be willing to do a couple posts of how she started, some tips she has and how she overcame the obstacles to keep running. I think this is great for starters like myself to find a reason to get running. Who couldn’t use a little more “me” time?

Enjoy and visit her blog. It’s wonderful!

*******************************

On July 27, 2008, I made a decision that changed my life. I got off of the couch and went for a run.

Despite my lethargic tendencies in the more recent years, I have always been athletic. I played several sports until middle school when I decided to devote myself full time to swimming. I earned a full ride scholarship to college and got to see the country {and England!} via airports, Embassy Suites and swimming pools. With my body fat hovering somewhere under 10%, I ate like a frat boy and lost weight accidentally.
Then on December 14, 2004, I was given a death sentence. At least, a swimming career death sentence. At the time, they felt like the same thing. I was shivering on the exam table in the orthopedic surgeon’s office when I heard “no more, you are done”. With my fifth knee surgery scheduled, I had to hang up my goggles.For nearly four years, I did nothing. I was bitter, I was angry and I sure as hell was not going to work out.
But in July of 2008, I needed to. I attribute much of it to needing an outlet for my stress and an excuse to get out of my house as my husband’s deployment to Iraq in September 2008 was looming all too close. But I think a tiny part of my sudden urge to lace up my {ill fitting and not at all designed for running} shoes and hit the pavement was to reclaim my life. I missed “athletic”, “in shape” and “healthy” being part of my identity. Thankfully, mother nature kept me slender, but I knew that my metabolism wouldn’t be around forever.
So, run I did. At least, to the end of the street. Approximately four driveways down. And then I was out of breath, sweaty, dizzy and wanted to die. I sat down on the curb while my husband debated whether or not to call an ambulance. After a few minutes, I got up and “jogged” another 100 or so yards. And then stopped to stretch. This repeated for twenty minutes, at which time, I am fairly confident I completed exactly 1 mile.
Over the next two months, this little exercise in humiliation, sweat and nausea repeated itself until I could run five miles. It was not fast, and it was not pretty, but I was a RUNNER!
Despite a few set backs and a running hiatus here and there, I have been running for two years now. I have finished two 5ks, two 10ks, a 10 mile trail race and two half-marathons. I have horrible runs. I have boring runs. I have runs that I can barely pry myself out of my bed to complete. But I have also had some magical runs. Runs that make me feel like I am a little kid again, full of energy and life. Now I have my husband hooked on racing and we are looking forward to a long life together…running, racing, maybe even sitting on the curb down the street. And it feels great.
It isn’t always a fun road, but it is always worth it. Some of the best things I have learned in the last two years as I have gone from couch potato to half-marathoner/running addict:
1. Get rid of the guilt. Yes, you will have crappy runs. Yes, you will be slower than other people. Yes, you may have to take walk breaks {or sit on the curb!}. But you are out there moving. Don’t feel guilty for what you aren’t doing, be excited about what you are doing!
2. Celebrate the little accomplishments. Did you just run 10 minutes straight for the first time? Conquer a crazy hill near your house? Finish your first race? Celebrate!

3. Bribe Yourself. For me, knowing that there is a reward {other than the obvious like the number on the scale or on your timex at the end of a run} helps me stay motivated. Even now, two years later! Since I have trouble “sticking with” things, I know that I will have a closet full of cute running gear if I just buy it all at once. So, I let myself splurge a little every now and then after hitting a goal.

4. Make it Fun. Find the fun in it! Remember when you were little and could play for hours and it only felt like a few minutes? Well, a similar principle applies here: if you are having fun, it won’t be quite so agonizing. So, whether you enjoy people watching at the gym, watching your favorite shows while on the treadmill or joining a class, find something you enjoy!

5. Find a Friend. Whether it is a pal across the country that you email about your latest workouts, your husband who drags you out of bed in the morning, a buddy to meet at the gym or the park, find someone to conquer your goals with. Not only will it make it more fun, but it will help you be accountable on those days when your bed or the couch sound like much better choices.

d.a.r.

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4 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, Wannabe former couch potato

4 responses to “Guest Post- Get Started

  1. Ah you are too nice! Glad you thought it was okay!

  2. Notes from the Fatty File

    Great post! I grew up being really, really terrible at organized sports (picked last in gym, couldn’t catch/throw/hit a ball, etc.) but hopped on the Couch to 5K bandwagon a few years ago. I finished the program, ran two 5K races and then just let myself go. I re-started the program this year (like, I started from scratch) and ran a 5k last weekend and am running another one this coming weekend. I just signed up for a 5-mile race in September. I really like what you said about having crappy runs some days and great, magical runs on other days. Sometimes I feel like death after running; other times it’s all puppies and rainbows. I totally agree with you on the positive peer pressure, too. Checking in with friends about running goals has been SO motivating for me. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. After much thinking I think your title “guest post get started new teacher. {finally} new wife.…” analysis is sweet like honey and easy to understand than any I have seen so far.

  4. This could be one of the most important post I ever encountered in a long time, I’m talking about this section of your post “… healthy recipes, so if you have some, feel free to e-mail me.Well, here is the first installment of that. D.A.R from …” it also made me think about the day I met my wife.

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