Friday, October 07, 2005

Questions Answered

A very good friend of mine, a Non-Runner, is interested in running but has some nagging questions that she needs answered. I thought I would take the opportunity to answer them here in case anyone else was interested but cautious.

First let me set the stage for you. I did not just wake up one morning and decide that I was going to be a runner and then walk out the door and run 3 miles. I took a couple of months to increase my cardiovascular system. I started out in June by hitting the bike at the gym for merely 20 minutes at a time. Then I started adding some walking on the trail and then some walking mixed with running. My only goal at this point was to be able to run 30 minutes straight.

I was finally at my initial goal, though barely, when I received a book for my birthday that completely changed my outlook, The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide. As luck would have it, to start their training regimen you should be able to run 30 minutes non stop. I was there, so I started. If you are a non-runner, but are interested in running I would definitely recommend the book to you as it does have a pre-training regimen to get you to the point where you can run 30 minutes straight over a 9 week period. I can also recommend the Couch to 5k program, which also has a 9 week program aimed at getting you to run 30 minutes.

Questions Answered

to me 8 is impossibly long. i wanna know.....are your lungs screaming?

A few weeks ago, 8 miles was my long run of the week. Now I run an 8 mile run every week until the marathon. It's funny how your perspective changes as you progress. Are my lungs screaming? No ... if they were I would not be doing this. I'm not one of those who would stick around for pain. In fact, I started on a mini running program two years ago that I quit because I pushed myself too hard ONE day and I couldn't make myself do it again.

were they in the beginning?

No! It was a harder workout in the beginning then it is now cardiovascularly ... but I never pushed myself.

are your legs noodles?

No, they are just legs. Sorry, bad humor I know. It is true that now that I've gotten this far into my training program it is no longer the cardiovascular system that is keeping me in check, but the tiredness in my legs. Mostly when I'm running the legs are just moving and I don't notice anything. It isn't until I have to stop at a crosswalk or a water fountain and then start running again that I notice it. It takes a good several steps to get that numb running feeling back again.

w/o your mp3 do you run?

I can run without my mp3 player. I ran my 12 miles without my mp3 player, in a torrential downpour I might add. I'm trying to make sure that I run all of my long runs without my mp3 player because it is not allowed in the Philadelphia Marathon.

what keeps you motivated w/o the mp3?

First of all, there is the goal that I set for myself. Without setting that goal and making it a priority to me, this would not be happening. My wonderful husband has been right here by my side the whole time encouraging me, motivating me and at times literally pushing me out the door. I have many wonderful friends encouraging me and pushing me on. And ironically, a very good motivator for me is the fact that I am actually inspiring and motivating others.

do you let your mind wander or do you think of the pain or not funness or are you having FUN?

My favorite runs are the ones where I let my mind wander and before I know it I'm done. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a lot of pain when you are running. Well at least once you are a few weeks into the training program. I had some pretty excruciating shin splints at first but that was because I needed new shoes. You do get to a point though where you get the little kinks worked out. When I do have pain, I'm worried about it progressing and thinking about what I should be doing to alleviate it so that it doesn't come back next time. For example, last week I had a bit of knee pain, not constant, more like sharp jabs. Frozen peas work great for aches and pains and I'm happy to report that yesterday's run was pain free. During the run, I'm not really thinking gee this is not fun. I'm also not thinking wow, this is the best. But when I'm done ... now that is the best. Imagine running 8 miles ... can you imagine it? Now imagine for the rest of the day you get to say, I ran 8 miles today. Now that is fun!!!

so you really gotta describe to a non runner what the long runs are like

I will admit that I still get a little bit panicky walking out the door for a long run. The first three miles are the toughest, which any runner would agree with. A good friend of mine explains it as it takes that long for all my body parts to bounce around enough to get numb. I mentally divide the long run in half. The first half is all about getting to the half way point. The second half I'm almost done and I'm running home. At no point do I think, I only have such and such time left. This is like being on a tall bridge and looking down.

If anyone else has any questions, I would be more then happy to answer them. I remember quizzing my marathoner friend Christie just a few short months ago, asking her these exact same questions.

By the way, my friends Christie and Hope will be running the Portland Marathon this Sunday. They are going to do awesome, but it would be great if you would keep them in your prayers!


kt said...

LOVE this q&a post! you are great!glad 2 know yore knee pain abated. i 2 worry when i get a niggling pain...wonder if i'll be able to continue...fear of having 2 stop & never starting again! i have a sneaking suspicion that the ??asker might B someone i know? eh? em? some of the ?? look like her writing. =)
whining, screaming, fighting kids R callin' my name!
today is rest day for me & i slept in luxuriously. 2 bad i also have cramps. hav'cramps,will travel....tomorrow, medium run...cramps abate w/ exercise. yeahoo. my gyn tole me 2 take a bazillion ibuprofen a day,even B4 onset of period. but i haf2 say,i've felt gross w/all that in me. so 2day i took 2 midol instead. that w/, i'm about 2 barf. feel much better after a run. (more info than needed?) love ya, love yer blog...kt
ps: here's a ?? for ya, how to set one up?

Sarah Elaine said...

Great blog! Very inspirational! Keep writing. I'll keep visiting.

Em said...

Thanks Amber for all the answers! Very interesting. I too love your BLOG. Even if I never become a runner you are inspiring me. :o) I knew my sis would recognize my questions! Hah! Love ya!