Beautiful day for a run!

It was just over 60 degrees when I stepped outside this morning…perfect day to go for a jog!

I am new to this whole running thing.  I grew up swimming and just never really engaged those muscles.  Running one block was difficult for me.  At the gym, I stuck with the elliptical machine.  But this summer, I decided it was time for a new challenge.  I was going to learn to run.

I used the Couch to 5k program.  It is a nine-week training program that mixes in intervals of walking and jogging, and is designed to gradually build you up to 30 minutes of continuous running.  I completed it in July and I must say it feels great to accomplish something that I always had thought impossible for me.

For me, running is challenging, but what keeps me motivated is the feeling I get when I’m done. I feel energized, motivated, and like I accomplished something that day.  I also love the feeling of being outdoors in the early mornings, listening to the birds and connecting with the world around me.  It is a very peaceful and meditative time.

This morning was my first run after some time off nursing  IT band stress.  I have started a more rigorous strength conditioning program, which is important to ensure you are maintaining proper form and avoiding injury.

As a swimmer, injury was kind of a foreign concept to me.  Yes, it can be hard on your shoulders, but over my 13 years of swimming competitively, I knew very few people who were sidelined for long periods of time.  I suppose I took that for granted and pushed harder than I should have.  When running as a beginner, it is extremely important that you gradually and patiently add mileage and speed, as I have learned!

In October, I will be running my first 5k race, and I’ll be sure to update on my progress toward that goal.  Until then, I’m hoping for an injury-free seven weeks!

-R

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