5K to Half: How I stayed Motivated to Get Here
I ran my first 5K September 6th 2014, and almost one year later I’ll be running my first half marathon! What did I do to stay motivated to continue running? I will share with you what worked for me and some tools I used. But first a little background…..
I have always wanted to be a runner, but didn’t think I was capable, in good enough shape or mentally could do it. One day I decided enough is enough, I was going to start, or at least try, so I bought some running shoes, got my playlist ready, left the house and began running. I don’t think I made it 1/4 of a mile before I was out of breath and had a side stitch. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was doing. This pattern went on for a week or so before I wanted to give up. I was having lower back pain, knee pain and just hurting all over (mind you, I was running on the sidewalk). I started to believe I wasn’t capable, but I was still determined.
The Tools I Use and Love
I reached out to friends who were runners, and ladies I had met on Instagram that follow the same exercise and nutrition plan. They recommended a great running/walking interval app, called Couch To 5K (C25K) by Zen Labs. I immediately downloaded it. I also did research on socks and found Balega’s which I absolutely love. I then switched from road running to trail running thinking that would be better on my body and it all seemed to work!
Once I began the C25K program I immediately could see the progress I was making. As the running increased and the walking interval lessened, it was hard, but I stuck with it and before I knew it I could run a mile without stopping. As the miles increased I wanted to quit at times as I wasn’t used to pushing myself, but I would repeat, “you couldn’t run 1 mile without stopping and now you can! This too will one day be easy, so keep going.”
After running my first 5K I wanted to switch to road races as trail races were more limited and honestly my shoes got dirty (we all have our preferences). I immediately signed up for my first 10K and to avoid having a repeat of my first experience running on the road, I went to a great running store and had them recommend the best shoe for me based on how I was running and gave me tips on adjustments I should make in my stride. I went with the Brooks Pure Cadence 3 running shoes and my feet loved them. While I did experience a little ankle pain half way through my 10K training, I was able to make an adjustment and switch the running path I was on and it worked. (too many incline/declines) To help with my stride I downloaded the Rock My Run music app as you can adjust the BPM. I was able to shorten my stride, was running a bit faster and this along with my shoes, helped me stop heel striking.
Always Have a Goal. This is my motto for myself. I always need to be working towards a goal, no matter how big or small. Whether it’s beating my previous race time, going a month with no wine or cheat meals, I always have a goal.
After running my first 5K I was on a high I had never experienced before. The rush of adrenaline as I approached and crossed the finish line, the sense of accomplishment knowing. I did something I’ve never done and the feeling of pride knowing I didn’t give up on myself or the goal I set was enough to get me hooked. Before that rush diminished I signed up for my first 10K to be held a few months later. I have continued this same pattern of signing up for various 5K and 10K’s to either beat my previous times or run a fun race with my family, like the Hot Chocolate Run and the Kiss Me Dirty Race.
After seeing my sister, Brother In Law and about 6 friends run the Disneyland Half last year, I knew that would be my goal for 2015, so my sister and I signed up and we’ll be running it this Labor Day weekend. I will be using my Zen Labs Half Marathon Trainer and of course had to upgrade the shoes to the Brooks Pure Cadence 4, ahhh so comfy!!
As I look back on the last 9 months I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m reminded of the person I was two years ago and she would have never imagined I would be where I am now. I’m still learning and growing, but I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and all thanks goes to the support of my family, friends, the Instagram community and awesome businesses like RACEPLACE and Lorna Jane!
Follow @thefreckledfitgirl for fun videos and constant motivational posts!