Do you remember that day when you became “a runner”?

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, really the variety is endless. And after running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, this idea, became true to me more than ever.

Do you remember the day when you became “a runner”?

Running has always been a part of my life, because my Dad is a marathon runner. Every year he would run Marine Corps Marathon, and we would go along the race course to cheer him on. We made our traditional sign, that said, “Go Papa, GO!” It was a simple poster board, taped to a yard stick ruler.

Growing up, I played tons of sports. I pretty much tried them all, but wasn’t necessarily good at all of them. In high school, I played tennis on my school’s team. As a tennis player, the only running we did, were “suicides” on the court. This consisted of sprinting to and from the different lines on the court. The idea was to quicken our step and improve our footwork. And although, I played tennis all year, I tried track during the winter, thinking it would be a good sport to keep me conditioned during my off season. I went to one practice, and decided running wasn’t for me – boy was I wrong.

I began working out at the YMCA when I was a junior in high school. My older sister, E Рwho is 2 years older than me, came home from college and inspired me to hit the gym with her. My gym sessions consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. She on the other hand, chose to run on the treadmill. A couple times of week, I would do additional cardio on the stationary bike, and sometimes together we would venture out and do a couple of the weight machines. It is funny how people grow and change.  (Now I am a marathon runner, in love with lifting heavy preferably free weights.)

Meanwhile my little sister would swim in the pool or play some basketball at the indoor basketball court. My dad, who was a serious marathon runner, had taken on training for triathlons so he too would be lifting weights, or swimming laps. The YMCA became a family outing, that happened several times a week, even my mom lifted weights occasionally.

In 2007, my sister, E, decided to sign up for her first half marathon, the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon. She would train during the brutally hot summer, with her friend Jen, and they would run it on Labor Day weekend. It was then that she became a “real” runner. She retired her sneakers, for real running shoes, that were fitted for her at a local running store. She realized that Soffe gym shorts and cotton t-shirts made her chafe and the wrong socks gave her blisters. She discovered body glide, and jelly belly sports beans. And she taught me all of this.

Soon I became intrigued. I on the other hand, had switched gyms from the good old YMCA to Washington Sports Club. While enrolling for my membership I got a personal trainer for 5 sessions. She switched me from the elliptical machine to the treadmill.

The treadmill, for me was much harder than the elliptical. I began by warming up for 5 minutes. Then I would do the walk/run method. I would run a mile, and then walk for two minutes, run a mile, walk for two minutes, until I completed a 5K. As time progressed, so did I. Soon I realized I could run 2 miles straight, and no longer needed to walk. Then I cut my warm up time shorter. Then I brought my speed up, so I would be running faster. Soon I was running for the full amount of time. I would bring the incline up to keep my body guessing, and make it feel as much like running outside as I could.

I didn’t last long at Washington Sports Club. A new Golds Gym was opening up across the street and it had a more affordable membership, so I switched. Again I would hit the treadmill. The t-mills at this gym faced the windows so I had a clear view of outside. One day I was on the t-mill looking out the windows, on a beautiful spring day. It dawned on me, “Why am I inside right now, when I could be out there.” That is when I decided, I would never run again on the t-mill, unless it was an extreme weather condition, or I was doing HIIT, (High Intensity Interval Training.) It is actually hard for me to even consider my treadmill runs… real runs.

At this point, E, had been bragging to me about how amazing her half marathon experience was. It was then that I decided, if she can run a half marathon, then I can too. I immediately signed up for Cherry Blossom 10 miler and then the Zooma Half Marathon. Both races went so well, that I couldn’t wait to sign up for my next race. More half marathons, led to a trail half marathon, and then 2 full marathons.

Take time to click on the photos. They are really funny, and full of emotions!

As I ran more races, I began to realize each race definitely has it’s own energy. I find it so interesting how the vibe from one race can be so different from another race’s. It took me running three races around the same lengths, (two 10 milers, and one half marathon), in April to fully understand this.

I use to always get nervous before a race, but now races have become a fun way for me to set a goal, and train hard.  They are the ultimate reason why I can call myself a runner Рa marathon runner, who prefers to run long and far.

What kind of runner are you?

© 2013 sweatdaily

10 mile Run with Em and Honey Stinger

Last week two exciting things happened.

  1. On Saturday, I ran a 10 mile run with my sister, Emily.
  2. And I also finally typed up my Blog Award post. If you have any desire to get to know me better, you should read the post, because it is super personal.

Anyway, in my Blog Award post I was asked what was the last movie I had watched. I answered with, The Fighter. One thing that I love about the movie, The Fighter, is the bond the two brothers, Mickey and Dicky have. I am very close with my family, so I can totally relate to this.

Dicky is the older brother, who has a star shining boxing moment back in the day. He still wants to be involved in boxing so he coaches his younger brother Mickey. Drug abuse ends up becoming an uncontrollable obstacle that alters Dicky’s ability to coach. Although, Dicky’s quality of life suffers, the brotherly bond never breaks.

Of corse there is no drug history among the relationship I share with my sister. I can relate to this because in life, your sister, is the one person, you can be totally honest with, and who will push you to your fullest potential (especially in sports.)

And that is exactly what happened during my 10 miler.

My sister pushed me to my fullest potential.

Here is what went down…

I met my sister at her apartment. Before we left we looked up this Half Marathon Pace Chart. I am no longer just going out there to run. I learned from Hal Higdon, if you want to run fast, you have to train fast several times a week. So we decided to practice our 10 miler by running at a pace similar to the one we are planning to run race day.

We decided to hit the MVT, but to get there we had to run down hill for two miles, stopping at some street lights. Once we got to the trail, we ran three pretty flat miles and then turned back. The last two miles were off the MVT and up hill. We wanted to add two miles up hill because Annapolis is super hilly, so we are expecting a lot of hills race day.

Honestly, I don’t know what happened during this 10 miler. Normally my sister and I run at a similar pace, and sometimes I am a little bit faster. But during this run my sister was much more speedy.

There is a quote from the book, Born to Run, it goes like this, ‚ÄúBut you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.‚Ä̬†¬†Even though, it may seem like an excuse to you, it is the truth. During this run, I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t find my running rhythm.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 10.00 miles

Time: 1:37:31

Average Pace: 9:45 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:51 min/mi

Calories: 814 C

Run Cadence: 96

HONEY STINGER

One thing that did help me when I felt a little bit low in energy was my Honey Stinger. This is the first time I have ever tried this product. I actually had never heard of this product until the blogger from All Seasons Cyclist suggested I give them a try. ¬†I am really thankful I did. I love the fact that this product is more natural and free of chemicals. They also tasted really good, and didn’t cause any stomach problems. The Honey Waffle was a fantastic post run snack. For a more detailed review check out the blog All Seasons Cyclist or click here.

 
Tomorrow, I am scheduled to do an 11 mile run with L. So stay tuned…
Questions for You
  1. Have you tried Honey Stingers?
  2. How did your long run go this week?

© 2012 sweatdaily