Things I’ve learned from running…so far.
- Set everything out the night before. Everything. I find it amazing that my children survived their infancy with sleep deprivation that mother’s go through. I don’t work well in the dark, or within the first 10 minutes of waking up. So, to find my socks, shoes, and – oh yeah – underwear, in the dark without trying to wake up my husband at 6:30 a.m. takes preparation. LAY EVERYTHING OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE. EVERYTHING. You’d be surprised how hard it is for a Floridian to find socks in the dark.
- Learn how your iPod works – and the armband you just bought to go with it. Seriously — I write f***ing books on technology… and I almost got run over trying to get the right app, playlist, and armband adjusted while walking out of the condo and looking like a doofus. If it wasn’t for the GPS app I use to make sure I don’t cheat every day, I would have run the damn thing over myself.
- I have fat thighs. They keep in touch more than old friends on Facebook. No, this is not a derogatory statement towards myself, I am not full of much self-loathing these days. These thighs – and this body as well – has seen 39 mostly happy years and produced two wonderful children. Really, this comment means “dress appropriately”. The worst day of trying to keep this running routine was the day that I wore my cute little workout shorts. Ouch, dammit. How on earth does so LITTLE fabric bunch up UP THERE SO QUICKLY? Really?? This question should be on an AP Physics final exam. Instead, I am happy to report that I love my RunningFunky shorts and pants. Worth every penny, and I love the looks I get when my giant flamingo-laden thighs come bouncing your way.
- Read a Runner’s World magazine – AND THEN THROW IT AWAY. I bought one of these – with a cute girl running on the cover, and a “preparing for your first half marathon” special edition. Let me quote…”When should you consider training for your first half marathon? After at least six months of running at least 4-5 times per week.” Are you effing kidding me?? You have to do that before training? This article must have been written by my high school gym teacher who let me believe for the last 20 years that if you can’t run a 5K without walking a little, then you should stay on the bench. I’m not saying that if you are completely out of shape you should go for a long distance, but come on. You elitist running Nazis are the reasons that most people don’t bother to try. And for this, I have to thank the Hashers. Where else could a 5 mile trail be set by the B.U.F.F. (Big Ugly Fat F*ckers) Brothers and everyone who finishes – in whatever order, at whatever time, is celebrated? ON ON, damn right.
- Find a pace that is right for you. The one good thing I did pick out of the running magazine is that it’s ok to find a running paradigm that works for you. Instead of running until you are exhausted (for me, right around the 1st mile mark) they suggest running for 2 minutes and walking for one minute. Others have suggested run for a block, walk for a block. Since I’m a musician, and never without my headphones and trusty playlist, here is my solution: start running at the beginning of each song and run until the bridge, then walk – starting over at the next song. For most songs this works well: Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, guitar solo, bridge, double chorus, outro. Over the course of the last 2 weeks, I have found which artists break that pattern more than others (ever realize that most Bob Marley songs start with a chorus?). But for the most part, it is effective for me. And that’s all that matters.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress. I still have more than 12 weeks to go.