Sunday, May 15, 2011

When You're Not a Natural Athlete...

It's hard to fake it sometimes. I can't hide my tomato-red face when I'm done running or my dorky iPhone arm band. I run in pants unless it's 80 or warmer and I have absolutely no idea how many ounces my shoes weigh. But...if there is one thing I share with "real athletes" it's the desire to be better and stronger. The desire to run faster and longer. And best of all, the desire to set big goals and reach them. My cousin Suzy and my friend Amy both ran 1/2 Marathons this weekend and that is just incredible to me. Right now, the idea of running 13.1 miles seems impossible. But...less than a year ago I thought the idea of running 3.1 miles was impossible.

When I first started the Couch to 5K program last summer, I wasn't able to run longer than a minute without having to walk. I actually posted about my little jogging experiment here and decided that was the day to start my adventures in running. And then 3 months later, I ran my first 5K with a time of 31:16 (10:05 pace per mile).

Since then, I have completed two more 5Ks and an 8K. I wish I could say that I set a new Personal Record for myself in one of those races, but I haven't. I can only guess that my 4 month running break over the holidays (and the extra 5 pounds I gained) is to blame for that. But complaining about my lack of motivation isn't going to get those 5 pounds off my thighs or another minute off my pace. I just need a new goal and a new plan. If I can go from running .1 miles to 3.1 in a summer, surely I can get to 6.2 miles this summer and be able to run my first 10K before the season is over. I would also LOVE to set a new PR for myself (you a 5K under 30 minutes?!!). And then someday...waaaaaaayyyy down the road...maybe I can plan for a 1/2 marathon of my own. Yikes!

So...The Plan. For starters, I am going to start fresh just like I did when I started the Couch to 5K by getting a new pair of running shoes. Believe it or not, I have logged the 300 miles necessary to deem me ready for a new pair. Like everything else in my life, I have researched the shit out women's running shoes and I don't believe I am any closer to finding the "perfect" pair. But considering my underpronation and need for cushion (according to the guru at the running store), I am down to two options:

The shoes I have been running in the past year are Nikes and I have had no problems with them, which kind of makes me want to stick with the brand. Plus, I use the Nike chip with my iPhone and I love that it just fits right under the sole of the shoe. BUT...there are so many amazing reviews for the GEL-Nimbus 13s that I am wondering if it wouldn't hurt to try something new. Any advice from you lady runners out there??

In addition to searching for new running shoes, I also started my new program this weekend. I decided to do the Bridge to 10K since I already had the app downloaded from when I tried to start it this winter (haha). I am also going to follow along with another 10K training program that incorporates cross-training with pliates and walking. I like the idea of just going out for a nice long walk every so often, especially since I can drag my mom, dad or Dana with me :-) I completed Day 1, Week 1 yesterday and it felt really good! Hopefully I will still feel that way after my next two runs this week :-)

I am sure it gets old reading about running shoes and fitness goals on my blog all the time, but I desperately need this for motivation. So for those of you that read this entire post, I heart you. Thanks for the support. And for those of you that didn't make it through...well...thanks for nothing. Haha!

Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. I read it through! Goals are good! I wish I could do it with you but this old body is lucky it can WALK that far, much less run!

  2. I am not a natural athelete either. When I told one of my friends I wanted to join the cross country team in high school, he laughed in my face. But if you keep the logging the miles, you become a runner and it sounds like you have! My shoe advice (which by no means is the gospel) is "If what you've got works- stick with it." I'm about to buy my third pair in a row of the same running shoes.

  3. Oooh, Gel. Have you ever stood on a gel mat? Heavenly. I want my entire kitchen floor in gel!

  4. Don't let the chip keep you from buying the Asics. I bought Asics and I like them. I just bought this thing that attaches to the front of my shoe so I can still use the nike thing. No big deal. I am going to RESTART my couch to 5k TONIGHT! I mean, I can't wait? Good luck girl!

  5. I love love love Aasics. I have a pair of Nikes, but I have always run in aasics. Ever since I was running track in HS. Have you ever been fitted for running shoes? We have stores here in OH that 'fit' you for shoes... they watch you run on a treadmill and tell you what type of shoe would be best for you.

    Good luck!! :)

  6. PS. I think I just spelled Asics wrong. :P

  7. I read it the entire way through! I find your posts about running motivating for me...once I get this last baby cooked and delivered! :) Then I'm jumping on the fitness bandwagon and getting this body close to where it used to be. :)

  8. thanks for nothin! Ha! Love it.

    Tough call on the shoes... I love Asics - I've owned several pairs! Personally love the colors of these & think they're more attractive overall BUT I know you have a narrower foot than I do and if you do really like your Nikes I'm not sure there's a great reason to change??? I ended up w/Nikes when I was fitted but MENS! Ha! Good point from Kate that you can still use your chip.

    I'm so proud of you for getting back into something that has improved your life! I am looking forward to starting back at square one and just hoping to FINISH c25k! You know I will be looking to you for motivation!!! :o)

  9. Thanks for the help everyone! I am still so torn about the shoes, but I think I am going to go into a store and try them both on before I pull the trigger. You guys are the best!


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