First off, my goals:
-Most important is that I want to be healthy. After putting on a big amount of weight very suddenly while pregnant (which I know is normal and fine), I realized that I do NOT like the way I feel when I'm carrying extra weight. Everything hurts, everything is hard, it's miserable. So I want to stay at a healthy weight. Which is not to say that I want to be skinny. I"m perfectly fine being just healthy.
-I want to run a half marathon. A full one just seems crazy, and hard. TOO hard. I have no desire to go through that. At least not at this point in my life. But a half? I could do that. Not this year though... This year I want to try for a 20k. Why? Well it's only about a half mile difference, but the 20k is NOT a half marathon. So I will leave that goal unaccomplished this year, meaning I will have to keep working on it for next year. Hopefully this will keep me running over the winter. That's the plan anyway.
-Put on my shoes and move for 30 mins, 3 times a week. That's my expectation for my "runs." It takes a lot of pressure off of me if I don't have outrageous expectations before I even start something. And usually what ends up happening is this "Man, I'm tired today, but I know I have time to get on the treadmill right now, so I will. I'll probably just walk though, which is fine, because that's better than nothing. [gets running gear on and starts treadmill] Well, since I'm here I may as well use this time efficiently and do a little running... oh you know what I feel pretty good, maybe I'll run a little harder." And I do.
-Slow and steady. I have no desire to be fast at this point. I just want to be able to run for a long time without walking. So slow and steady it is. If I feel good I'll pick up my pace for as long as I can, if I feel tired I drop it down until I recover. No judgement.
-Think about what I'm doing. Boredom is an issue for running, especially on the treadmill. But I have YEARS of experience with trying to perfect small muscle movements over intense practice periods (hello 3 hours piano practice sessions). So I just do the same thing while i run. Think about my stride, how my feet are hitting, are my shoulders tense (always), how's my pace, maybe if I adjust this muscle things will feel better, now try this, or maybe I need to relax my neck, go through all the things I can think of and when I'm done, start over again.
-Very small pushes when I am capable. If I feel good, I run a little longer, or harder and fast. I tell myself "dig deep and push harder." I think of how good I'll feel when I reach my small goal. The other day I ran with the treadmill set to 7.0 miles per hour for 30 seconds at the very end of my run (instead of slowing down). It was hard, but I felt great.
-Runners in general. After Dylan was born, I started running to lose baby weight (despite nursing for a year, apparently that doesn't cause weight to just fall off for everyone) and now I'm in the same boat after having Aaron. The reason I picked running... well, have you every seen runners? They are skinny. I figured it must be because running helps you lose weight, and lots of it. Also, I didn't need to join on a gym, or be in a class at a particular time, or invest in a crazy amount of equipment.
-My dad. He runs more than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone I know knows. He does ultra distances, which is plain CRAZY. SO whenever I get tired or think "how can I possibly run 5 miles?" I think of my dad, and the fact that he doesn't run marathons because they are "too short." If my dad can run for 24 hours straight, surely I can manage a pathetic 30 minutes. Also, he makes me feel okay for being slow. As long as I just keep running. And he gives me lots of tips about running in general.
-My friend Melissa. She had her second baby 6 months after Aaron was born. And she's running a half next month (wait, this month?) If she can find time to train and run while her baby is 6 months younger than mine, then I should definitely be able to. Right?
-This blog. I went to college with her. Now I stalk her on her running blog (Hi Katie!). She is my current running idol because she gives me hope that maybe I can one day be a fast runner like that if I just keep chipping away at this thing. Well, maybe not just like her, but something close.
And that is how I am slowly turning myself into a runner.