Ready to Run: Back to Running after a Year Hiatus
Confession: It’s been a year since I ran my last race (Harpoon 5 miler).
Background: I am by no means any sort of speed of light running goddess, but I do enjoy a good race. I love trying to beat my previous time and I love the energy of all the other pumped up runners. The longest race I’ve done is a half marathon (Dallas Half Marathon). I enjoy a fun themed 5K (Taco Run) and I like the challenge of a 10K (not body numbing like a half). I like to say I’ll never run another half marathon, but I reserve the right to change my mind at any time for an amazing opportunity (Disney, Napa Valley, anything in a foreign country). I also have asthma and when I was a child all the doctors told me never to run.
Regardless of my background or yours I think we can all agree that when you stop doing something your ability to do that something decreases as time goes by. So when an email at work announced our company would be joining the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston, I marked my calendar with the registration date and time. Somehow I got in because it sold out within minutes. Welcome to Boston where a race sells out quicker than a Taylor Swift concert*.
Time to train: I now had 6 weeks to get ready for the 3.5 mile race. I thought it had been a year since I did any type of running, never mind a race, but thank goodness for Nike Plus for reminding me I ran 2 times right after New Years (a resolution that not only didn’t stick, I didn’t even remember it).
Run 1: Let’s see what I can do. I should clarify that it’s not that I hadn’t been working out at all. I have been focusing on strength training and yoga, but not doing much in terms of cardio. My plan was to attempt a 2 mile run. I didn’t think I could do it, but I figured it would be about ~20 minutes of exercise and clearly I was capable of that.
The good news is that I did run the whole 2 miles. I loved being outside and I loved feeling free. My lungs however were not loving any of it. Note to self: must remember to take inhaler before next run. Time: 24:46. Distance 2.01 miles
Run 2: For my next run I decided to attempt the same 2 miles. This time I remembered to take my inhaler. I shaved 30 seconds off my time. Time: 24:16. Distance: 2.02 miles.
Run 3: Feeling a bit more confident and hopeful that the decreased pace would continue I set off for another 2 mile run. I forgot my inhaler this time but I still felt stronger and faster during this run and shaved another 50 seconds off my run! Time: 23:34. Distance: 2.02 miles.
Now I know I can’t keep running 2 miles everyday. I plan to develop a training schedule this week which I will of course share here. It will include the 3 weekly must haves: a long run, fartleks, and hills, yes hills. Stay tuned for more!
PS - If you're interested in following my training in more detail follow me on Instagram: @heidiswymer
*This is not a confirmed fact and not meant to be harmful to T or offensive to her fans.