I love reading about how runners got started. Was it early in life? Late in life? For weight loss or just because?
Have they always been that fast? Do they care about getting faster? Do they really enjoy it? Why do they run?
I think if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you could probably answer most of those questions, but if you’re new then you might not know, and I’ll admit that this blog isn’t the easiest of blogs to navigate… and another crappy problem about this blog is that the majority of the posts in the archives are missing pictures due to the great blog debacle of 2012…. AKA “jena doesn’t know what she’s doing, so when she switched blogs she lost a ton of pictures.” oops.
so I thought I’d just tell you a little about how I got started & how I’ve gotten a little bit faster over the last three years. I guess I’m feeling a little sentimental about running this month: My 3 year running anniversary is coming up in October. I started “training” for my first 5k in October 2009.
I think it is important to note the last few sentences, “Today Stacey and I jogged 3 miles. i jogged the majority of the 3 miles. Had to do a few walking parts, but i was pretty proud of myself.”
Everyone starts somewhere. everyone.
When I first started running I used my car garmin to tell me how far I was running … uhm yep. I would hold that stupid thing in my hand while I ran down every sidewalk in Davenport. (I was obsessed with pace & distance even as a new runner – that can’t be good.) I wore a simple stop watch and would figure out my pace based on how far my gps said I had gone…. looking back, this makes me laugh. I tried mapmyrun, but Davenport is so small I had to make a billion turns and it was almost impossible for me to remember what route I took. Garmin Nuvi for the win!
That’s the part of Davenport I could run in – that’s “downtown.” Other than this area there are no sidewalks, and no where to run safely.
I ran my first 5k at the end of October 2009 with a time of 31:07, I was ecstatic! I was predicting a 35 minute finish time, so 31:07 was solid gold! Eventually as I started to get more comfortable with the distance my 5k times started to drop.
One of the biggest questions I see amongst new runners is, “how can I get faster?” I’m obviously not a professional, but my biggest piece of advice is to just give yourself some time. As you become more comfortable with the distance, it is likely that you’ll gain some speed. You can’t worry about running fast when you struggle to complete the distance.
After I ran the October 5k I was hooked. I signed up for the Bartow Turkey Chase and I was ready to race. Turkey Chase time was 26:30.. 1 month, 4 minutes off my time.
I continued to increase my distance at whatever pace I could manage – at this time I wasn’t THAT worried about pace. I wanted to run faster, but speed workouts weren’t on my radar. I wanted to be able to comfortably complete distances. Each time I hit a new PDR I was excited! Being a new runner was fun, lots of firsts.. (there are still firsts as a 3yr runner, but more firsts as a new runner). The first time I ran 9 miles; it was hard, but exciting.
When we moved to our current house in 2010 I found a running group. I started running with them in October 2010 – a year after I began running. Another 10 mile run with the group in November 2011. The only recent 10 mile runs I have are from over the summer, which are faster than my 2010 & 2011 runs, but the most current 10 milers were during the summer & it’s hot – I’m curious what I could do in cooler temps. (lucky for us the cooler temps are starting to roll in)
When I started to run with the group regularly I started to gain speed. I spent a lot of time running just behind some of the faster members of the group. I just started to push myself – see how fast I could run. If I hit a wall, then I hit a wall, but at least I tried. In addition to running with the group regularly for long runs, I do some sporadic farklet workouts. Never structured, and never on a schedule – just did them whenever I felt like it.
I’m not a gigantic fan of intervals; I ran them a few times while I was briefly training for Space Coast, and maybe i’ll do an interval run here & there as the half-marathon season starts to get into full swing, but over all I’m just not a fan of the workout.. I know they work, I’ve seen lots of running friends gain speed by running intervals weekly. For me, it’s most of a pain in the butt than anything else. Farklets work best for me in my neighborhood.
So, that’s a little bit about me & my running “career.”
What about you; Are you a new runner? How long have you been running? Do you do speed workouts on a regular basis, or not at all?