Yesterday, I ran my first 10K as part of my training plan for Run Disney’s Glass Slipper Challenge in February. Not only was it the furthest I have run thus far, it was my fastest 5K to date. I feel stronger, faster, and more confident overall as a runner. Through pounding the pavement over the past few years, I have learned a thing or two that I hope will help you during your next run.
Dress the part
When I started training for my very first half marathon several years ago, I left the house in a pair of tennis shoes I had owned since college. Needless to say, that first mile (and the only one I ran that day) was brutal. The absolute most important part of becoming a runner is wearing the right shoes. Take this from a girl who knows a thing or two about shoes. Go somewhere and get fitted for the right type of shoes. Let them watch you run and determine what style and fit will work best for you.
While I was running that first mile in the college shoes, (and, I use the term running loosely) I was wearing a cotton t-shirt and shorts. The further I ran, the bigger and longer the t-shirt got until, properly accessorized, it could have been a dress. That doesn’t make for a comfortable run. Wearing the appropriate moisture wicking fabric, whether for those humid summer runs or frosty winter miles, will make all the difference.
Slow your roll
The very first mile I ran as an adult training for a half marathon (think college tennis shoes) was at approximately 16 minutes per mile. I have gotten much faster since then and am always proud when I get more comfortable at a faster pace. One of my biggest problems as a runner is starting out too fast right out of the gate. I may feel great at a fast pace right when I begin the run, but I know realistically what pace I can sustain throughout my run, no matter the miles. This is especially an issue when running longer distances.
I started running with a Garmin Forerunner 10 recently and it does everything I need to slow my roll on long distance runs. My husband/trainer has the fancy version that tells you everything including what you want for breakfast that morning, but the Forerunner 10 does just what I need it to do to slow me down, tell me how far I’ve gone, how long it has taken me to go that far, and how many glorious calories I have burned.
Get it over with
There is nothing more I love to do than hit snooze. I am a super productive person during the day, but there is just something about getting out of the bed each morning that I absolutely hate to do. When it comes to running, getting out of the bed when the alarm goes off is key to my success. My best runs happen first thing in the morning, when it is just me, God, and the road.
I know I am committed to training for a race when I am able to get out of the bed in the morning and run. This race has been on my bucket list for so long that I am uber-motivated to get up and go each day, maybe it is because I will get to run through Cinderella’s castle dressed as a princess, but definitely because I am using this opportunity to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I am half way to my goal of raising $2,000 and every little bit counts, so please help me help the kids of St. Jude by donating here.
A lifetime’s worth of thoughts go through your mind when you’re out for a run, and these are just a few of those thoughts that flitted through my head Saturday morning.