Running to be healthy! NOT SKINNY! Repost 7.31.13

Running to be healthy! NOT SKINNY!

As the rain hindered my me from participating in my morning run.  I was reminded of how far I have come with this running thing.  I had to hit the treadmill and it was not the same.  However, it got the job done.  So, here is to my second blog post!Sooo many people ask me why I run and workout! The answer is simple.  I run for a healthier me. A lot of the time the misconception is that people only run or workout when they want to lose weight.  This misconception is especially true in Black culture where being “thick” is considered sexy.  Calm down, I don’t have anything against “thick” guys or girls.  My point here is that physical activity leads to a healthier YOU.  Now, if you lose weight in the process then fine… You will be FINE!  I run to be healthy.  Anyone that knows me knows I have been SKINNY ALL MY LIFE!I started running a few years ago.  I wasn’t consistent at first.  The first couple of times was out of boredom.  No, I didn’t have an epiphany or anything like that.  But after a few times of consistency I realized I enjoyed it.  I actually started out running on the treadmill.  I was bored after standing around waiting for weight machines to become available.  I definitely was not into free weights at the time.  Anywho, I was the most out of shape skinny girl in America.  I’m pretty sure of that.  The treadmill kicked my butt.  After a few months on the treadmill, I decided to give outdoor running a try.  Oh, this is a completely different type of running. I failed the first several times. It wasn’t a pretty sight.  However, I set small milestones for myself.  I started out by saying I’m going to run X time without stopping.  The distance scared the hell out of me. So, I stuck with time for a while.  I avoided inclines at all cost <– bad idea. LOL!  Eventually, I realized I was getting stronger and avoiding inclines in Georgia was impossible.  I embraced the inclines.  Outdoor running was not easy but it was a stress reliever.  I always felt so good after running.  It eventually became a part of my physical activity routine.  I would run three to four times a week.  Then I started thinking in terms of distance.

I ran my first 5K (3.1 miles) last March in 33:41.  Then I ran a 10K (6.2 miles) in 69:50 in September.  As part of my birthday celebration, I participated in a 5K and completed it in less than 28 minutes. I’m getting stronger.  As I train for my first half marathon, I look back at how far I have come with running.  The beginning was ugly and hard but worth it.  I have participated in four 5Ks, and one 10K.  I’m getting ready to sign up for a couple more 5Ks and a 10K.  But I’m training for my first half marathon.  I’m no longer afraid of distance.  Well, I say that but I’ll check in periodically to let you know how my training is going.  I’m in Week Four!  In the meantime, here are a few tips I can offer to any beginner runner <– just know that it isn’t all inclusive.  I’m not an expert but I can speak from experience.

~You have to start somewhere.  Don’t expect to be Flo Jo
~Set milestones! (If you haven’t been getting cardio don’t expect to be able to run a mile nonstop right off)
~Listen to your body! (Avoid injuries)
~Be consistent, extended breaks are not good! (Too much time off will make you feel like you are constantly starting all over)
~Good running shoes are a must! (They are your foundation)
~Do your research! (There are a lot of good running groups that provide valuable information on stride and breathing techniques)
~Think of running as a hobby and not a task! (Change your mindset and be positive)
~Join a group if you need the extra motivation or accountability!
~STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH!!!!! (It’s so important to stretch before and after your run)
~You will ache and be sore BUT you should NOT be in PAIN!
~Sign up for an organized race.  Crossing the finish line is an amazing feeling of accomplishment and it will motivate you to train!

Running is free therapy.  When I run I leave all the BS, frustration, irritation, stress, life’s problems and all other foolishness on the pavement. I get in my zone and run.  You will feel better.  Before I started running, I dealt with stress by spending money (that I didn’t have most of the time).  I would shop for clothes and shoes but now I run.  My bank account and closet appreciate the changes I’ve made.  I run to be healthy! NOT SKINNY! Try it…It is rewarding!!!

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