A Year of Running

I feel like this past year, all I talk about to anybody anymore is running.  They ask me what my plans for the night or the weekend are- running.  What have I been up to lately- running. How have you lost so much weight? What diet are you on- RUNNING.

I clearly need to get some more hobbies or at least start making stuff up so I don't sound so boring to people. BUT- today I am going to talk about my running.  I was just going to finally write a post about the half marathon I ran last week, but I think it's important that I fill you in on how I got to that point. I've had a lot of people ask me about it anyway, so it might be easier to just send them a link where I've got it all written down.

I get asked these questions a lot so I'm just going to bust 'em out right now:

How much weight have I lost?  Since I started? Roughly 65 lbs.  I KNOW I KNOW- that's insane.  Pick your jaw up off the floor cause we're just getting started.

What kind of diet am I on? I attribute most of the initial weight loss to the high protein-low carb diet I was on last year.  But the last 20-25 lbs I've lost has been all thanks to running.  Because I eat basically whatever I want, just in moderation and then I let the cardio do the rest.  That's not the greatest answer, I know.  I'm working on eating cleaner, but I don't turn down a cookie if it's offered and I'm in a very loving relationship with a bag of kettle corn Landon bought at Costco last week.

How did I get into running? Well, this question opens many doors to a lot of answers that I don't really want to talk about at the moment.  BASICALLY- last Spring I was in a place in my life where I felt stuck.  I felt like I wasn't going anywhere in life, I felt like there were problems in my life that were out of my control, I was anxious, moody and quietly terrified.  I needed to find something that I could have; something I could control that no one could take away from me.  And that thing turned out to be running.

How did I start/continue running? I can't even tell you how many times in the last decade I tried to become a runner.  I'd go to the gym and run on the treadmill for 10 minutes and give up because the life had been sucked out of me.  I was always so discouraged by my lack of endurance that I'd quit after a few days.  But this time I downloaded the 5k Runner app.  It's one of those apps that trains you for a 5k through intervals of running and walking.  And over a course of 8 weeks I was conditioned to run for 30 minutes straight.  The interval training made ALL the difference.  AND as an added bonus to helping build endurance, interval training burns fat like crazy.

After I finished the program, I just kept running longer and longer distances.  Funny though, I didn't ever actually run a 5k.  I was going to run a half back in November but I ended up getting shin splints so bad that I had to take a few weeks off.  I spent December and January running more intense H.I.I.T. programs on the treadmill since it was so cold outside and midway through February I started a 10 week program to train for a half.

Do I just LOVE running now? I still laugh when I get asked this question because honestly- I don't really love it.  Occasionally, I'll find myself in the midst of a runner's high where I'm like, "I'm never going to stop running!! And I want to give EVERYONE on the planet a hug!!"  But, for the majority of the time, I'm just trying to focus on my breathing and constantly calculating how many more minutes it will be until I've ran the full six miles.  I will tell you what I DO love though- I love how I feel after a run.  Long or short the endorphins never fail me.  I love that I can run and play longer than I used to.  I love how well I sleep at night.  I love how well my pants fit.  I love adding new music to my running playlist and the feeling when my pace matches the tempo of the song perfectly.  All those things put together make it easy for me to strap on my running shoes after a long day of work.

What advice would I give to someone who wants to start running?  I have had a few people ask me this and it's funny because I'm definitely NOT an expert on any matter in running.  I just do it.  BUT- what has proved to be most important to me is SHOES.  I got these really great Nikes last summer.  Super comfy, and fantastically neon, but what I didn't know is that Nike has the highest injury rate of any running shoe (according to the man at the Runner's Corner) and I would be no exception.  Like I said, I had planned on running a half on Thanksgiving but had to bow out due to the worst shin splints I'd ever experienced.  I'd battled them the entire summer, but I credited it to running too much.  Which probably was true also, but then the bottoms of my feet started to hurt to the point that I was walking on my toes a lot.  Landon took me to the Runner's Corner (a small shoe store for strictly running) for my Christmas present where he bought me a pair of Sauconys and I LITERALLY haven't had a shin splint since.  And I run more than I did last summer.  I'll never buy Nike shoes to run in ever again.  I'll buy them to wear around town and stuff, but not for working out it.

ALSO- I learned A TON about shoes at that store.  If you can get to a store like that where the employees are highly knowledgeable in finding the best shoe for how you run and how you disperse your weight on your feet?  Go there.  The guy who helped me showed me how to tie my laces so they don't cross this tendon on the top of my foot because you aren't supposed to have pressure on it.  Seriously- we were there for nearly two hours because he was teaching me so much.  Shoes are SO important. Don't cheat yourself in that area. Just don't.

Would I run another half marathon? Or even a full? The last few weeks of my training, I told Landon I probably would never run another half marathon again because my knees were hurting around mile 8.  I didn't (and still don't) want to become one of those people who can't run at 30 because their knees can't take it.  But after I ran the half marathon I may have changed my mind because it was SO COOL.  I clearly need to do some research on how to take care of my knees and ankles and stuff, but I don't want to say I'm never doing another one because even though it was super hard, I had a lot of fun.  Though I truly don't think I'll be able to run a full marathon.  I wish I could, I know I could build up the endurance mentally, but physically? I have to listen to my body and know when to say, "That's enough."

UGH.  How much fun was all of that, huh? haha sorry if that was super boring, but I wanted to get it written down.  And I still want to tell you about the Tulip Festival Half Marathon!!  However, I have a stack of books I just checked out of the library about Yoga that I want to flip through before I inevitably fall asleep on the couch.  So, we'll tackle that beast in another post.  But if you're wondering what difference a year of running can make- here it is:

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hide in a hole after posting that.

10 comments:

  1. Seriously?! No freakin way?! I have always been the person to say "you will never see me running" and whose side starts hurting after 5 minutes of running, but you just sparked a (small) fire in me to WANT to run. I never knew where to start, so I will definitely have to check out that app!

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  2. I'M GUILTY OF ASKING YOU 1,000 QUESTIONS ON THIS TOPIC.

    You're slaying it, Whitney- you really are! Such an inspiration, truly. YOU LOOK SO GOOD!

    Now if you can do a Q&A re: your hair, I'd be all set.

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  3. I've always wanted to WANT to run. Because you can do it anywhere, at relatively any time, and for the most part, it's free. You're AMAZING and I'm so proud of you for finding something you love that works for you and sticking to it!!! xoxoxo

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  4. You look FANTASTIC!!! Proud of you!

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  5. You are AMAZING!!!! I love your running snaps too. I took up running last year for about 6 months, then fell off the wagon. I actually started the program again last week. I don't really LOVE running, but I do love continuously getting better and better at something. I pinned this so I don't forget it! You rock!

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  6. you look so great!!!!! congrats!!

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  7. i commend you. you look so good girl!

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  8. I suffered shin splints for almost 10 years. It was so painful experience. You need appropriate exercise program for this kind of problem. If you want you can find useful information at http://never-never-never-give-up.com Good luck !

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  9. We should spend 10 hours talking about running. It would be the funnest. Also, don't give up on half marathons - my IT band flared like crazy at mile 8 in my first 2, but after that, half marathons have become AWESOME. Sometimes our bodies just need a couple of go arounds with long training cycles to get used to the wear and tear, as well as the miles. But I am SO PROUD OF YOU! You running diva, you.

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