Running has been my nemesis for LIFE.  Ever since I was a kid I’ve hated it. Probably because I was always the fat kid, hence the slowest and the one most out of breath which only exacerbated the fact that I was the fat kid…something, to which, I did NOT try to draw attention.  I always felt like a normal kid with plenty of friends who totally fit in… except in PE.  Unless it was square dancing week I pretty much hated every second of that stupid class…especially in middle school when we had to run a mile every Friday.

Today, as you may have heard, I’m training for a race…or 13 as it would actually be.  I just signed up to take on a 13 in 13 challenge.  That’s 13 races in 2013 and although I never in a million years would have thought this (until recently) I am SUPER MOTHER EFFIN’ EXCITED ABOUT ALL THIRTEEN OF THEM!

That being said, I have really had to suck it up and learn how to run.

“Learn?”  You might ask.  Yes, learn.

The first thing I learned was how to breath. My coach told me a couple of months ago that I needed to breath from my diaphragm. For some reason I hadn’t thought about that, even though I’m a singer, AKA trained breather, I hadn’t applied that to running.  As soon as I implemented proper breathing it was like night at day. Next came pacing.  I used to try to run-run straight out of the gate. I mean I wasn’t actually fast, but I was going MY max speed and wore myself out instantly.  After 100 meters I could barely breath and had to walk so I didn’t die. These days I accept my slowness and pace myself. One foot in front of the other with out worrying about how fast anyone else is going. I run slow but I’m able to run MUCH longer than I could before. 30 seconds used to feel like torture now four minutes is easy.

FOUR MINUTES?!  That’s not very long!

Yeah, I know but those four minutes are easy! Did you catch that part?  And FOUR MINUTES is 800% more than I could BARELY run before.  So yeah, I’m super happy about that.  The longest I’ve actually run at one time is 12 minutes- I’m sure I could do it again, I just haven’t tried.

Anyway, now I’m working on my gait. Making sure my foot placement is correct.  Rather than the heal-toe motion that I use when I walk, I’m working on flat-foot (mid-foot) placement.  Actually I’m already pretty good at it.  The only time I start to go back to the H-T placement is when I try to go too fast by increasing my stride.  I’ve also gotten pretty good at keeping my upper body relaxed.  I don’t know if this is a “thing” but I’ve noticed that when I keep my shoulders relaxed and my hands limp I tire less quickly— probably has something to do with that whole breathing thing.

So today I ran 2 miles keeping my stride short and my feet right and my breathing good and my pace slow.  One minute walk, four minute run, intervals. I could have easily run longer but I’m trying to stick to the couch to 5k plan.  I feel certain that they know what they’re talking about!

Most of all, I’m changing my attitude.  I decided last week that I am not going to talk bad about running.  Just because I have no desire to be a distance runner does not mean that I can’t be a runner-runner. In-fact…I AM a runner because I AM DOING IT!

The coolest part about today’s run is that I ran a trail that I haven’t been on since I was over 300lbs. As I ran by the park bench where I had to stop to rest 2 years ago and as I RAN up the hill that took my breath away just walking 125lbs ago, I was reminded again of how far I’ve come.

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