Monday, February 7, 2011

The Big Comfy Couch

I am running a 5k race this spring in May for Mother's Day along with my sister and cousin.  I haven't ran a race since grade eight track meet against the Brooks Junior High School.  I was wearing a fluorescent yellow track suit, not sure why my mother let me leave the house, and I had signed up for the 400 meter race.  I curled my hair that day because I wanted to impress the boy that I was crushing on and put on some makeup just in case he caught a glimpse of my face as I was whizzing by in the 400 meter race.  I signed up for the this race blindly the day before  because I needed one more event in the track meet besides long jump and wheel barrow racing .  I didn't even give it any kind of thought because how hard could it really be! I took my position beside my competitors, looked for the finish line and thought (gee that's far away), and BANG went the gun.! I took off like a shot and was running like the wind. No one could catch one was trying to catch me.  They were WAY back behind me and I thought (jeez I'm winning this thing)! I began to celebrate and also began to huff and puff.  I was getting tired and was no where near the finish line.  I looked back and they were gaining on me.  I tried to pick up the pace but they started passing me one by one until I was left in the dust.  They became distant and I could hear a faint cheer.  They were cheering my name.. Alicia....Alicia...I wanted to DIE!  I could barely finish the last 50 meter stretch but I did....dead last. 

If I had known what I was doing back then I could have saved myself the humiliation of that day.  I have always heard that running is great for your heart and a terrific way to lose weight.  I not only wanted to take the weight off I had gained with my pregnancy but to get in good shape for good health.  I started a program that takes people that have never ran a day in their life to running 30 minutes straight with no problem.  An adorable little friend of mine, Danielle Mccall-Arthur, found success with this program and introduced it to me!  The program is called Couch to 5K .  I didn't think I could do it but I lost over thirty pounds with this program and am going to run my first race!! I have asked Danielle to share her experience in learning to run and tips and trick to becoming successful as a runner.  Thank you so much Danielle for being my first guest blogger!!

Danielle Mccall-Arthur  

I have always enjoyed running, but I failed to be very successful due to the fact that I was never able to run as long as I wanted, as fast as I wanted.  In December 2009, I signed up for my first half marathon.   I set a finish time in my head, and went to work on the treadmill.  I hated it.  I didn't want to sacrifice my entry fee, but I really questioned my ability to run.  I started googling training plans and found the easiest one to follow.  I continued at the speed I wanted to finish in and still hated it.  Then I researched some more, and found out that to train for a half marathon, you should be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping first.  So I changed my speed and ran so I could run for thirty minutes without stopping.  I continued to follow the plan, that I originally started with and I fell in love.  I did finish that run 17 minutes faster than I wanted.  I learned a lot along the way.  Mostly that I get cranky when I do not run or can't for more than two days at a time.
I was lucky enough to have a marathon running uncle who gave me a tonne of advice.  I was able to try it out and figure out what worked for me.  Some tips include:
1)wear wick away clothing for everything.
3)in the winter, wear a lot of layers 
4)stay hydrated
5)stretching, there are two kinds, before is more of easy exercises that stretch, warm and wake up your muscles, and the good old kind of stretching after
6)If it hurts, change your form, runners world has a lot of info on this subject
7)I am the kind of person who needs a goal to stay motivated, signing up for a race, helped, as well as finding a plan that worked for me.  I learned there are a lot of plans out there and really wished I had found the couch to 5K program before I started training for a half marathon, but I was able to tell others about it because I thought it looked great.  I kind of started my early running, with a start stop style and I think this would have been a lot more efficient.  Because I fell in love with running I want everyone else to. 

Try the Couch to 5K  here and take a chance! If you are interested in running the Mother's Day race in Calgary check out this link and register!

Follow me and all I say at grOundBlogdaY.  See you Wednesday for three tasty recipes!!


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