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Running: My New Journey

I’m training for my first ever 5k. I’m a little nervous, but mostly excited. Exercise has taken a back seat since I started school back in 2009, so I thought signing up to run a 5k would force me to exercise. So far, it’s working. My goal is to be able to run a full 5k without walking. *Fingers crossed*

I’m participating in the Run For Your Lives Zombie 5k on October 26th in Darlington, MD. Volunteers sign up to made into zombies that chase after you durning the course of your run. How cool! Training is a must if I don’t want to be gobbled up by a flesh eating zombie.

Running involves having a good pair of running shoes, so I investigated running stores in my area and came across Charm City Run. The sales personnel were so helpful. They took me under their wing and custom fit me with an amazing pair of Brooks running shoes. They happen to be neon purple. They watched me run, which was a bit nerve racking, but totally helpful. I happen to land hard on my heal, so they fit me in a pair of shoes that help align my body and guide my feet to fall in a more comfortable position.

I started training four days ago, and my body is slowly adjusting to the change. My muscles are screaming at me. They’re angry, but they’ll just have to get over it. Soon they’ll be toned and running like a pro.

Here’s what I’ve learned after only four days of running:

1. Buy a pair of good running shoes. You’re feet will love you for it.

2. Invest in some running attire. I love the light, loose fitting shorts with the built in undies and loose-fitting, sleeveless tanks.

3. Music is a must. Download some of your favorite tunes to help you push through. In my opinion, a really good song helps me stay strong and push forward when I’m running. I have a special playlist on my iPod specifically for running. It’s full of up beat music that keeps my ponytail wagging throughout my run.

3. Download the Map My Run App on your iPod or iPhone. It keeps track of your route, pace, time, and distance. I love it. It also tracks your progress.

4. Holding my water bottle when I’m running is no good. I even tried placing it in a Nike gym sack that goes over my shoulders, but that didn’t work either. The gym sack was too loose and just kept falling off of my shoulders. I invested in a Camelbak hydration pack. No more holding a water bottle. And, it has a place where I can keep my keys and iPod. Plus, it’s pink. 

5. Carry some pepper spray. You just never know when you’re going to need it. Being a woman that runs by her lonesome, I carry some pepper spray.

6. Set a goal. When I’m out there running and starting to feel tired, I give myself a pep talk. “Okay, Jennie. You can do it. See that tree up ahead? If you can make it to that tree, you can take a break and walk for a beat.” I know it sounds lame, but it totally works. Try it some time.

7. Always stretch before running. I made that mistake once, and I’ll never make it again. My muscles seized up and there was no running after that. Stretch and stretch some more.

8. Start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. I start every run with a 5 minute walk and end every run with a 5 minute walk. It helps prepare my body for the run and helps slow my heart rate when I’m finished. The last thing I want to do is shock my body.

9. Don’t overdue it! If you’re muscles are telling you no, then no means no. There will be no 5k if you injure yourself. Listen to your body; it’s usually right.

10. Don’t run on an empty stomach or an overly full stomach. I will either run in the morning or when I get home from work. If I run in the morning, I usually drink 8 ounces of water and eat a banana. In the afternoon, I eat a whole grain granola bar and a piece of fruit and drink water.

I’m not claiming to be an expert runner. These are just some of the things I have learned on my new journey. I hope this helps any future runners.

Cheers to miles more pavement pounded!

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7 Responses to “Running: My New Journey”

  1. #
    Renee — July 31, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Great tips for new runners Jennie


  2. #
    Tamara — July 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    This is great! I recently joined a runners group in VA and I felt like you were telling my story!! Hoping you will continue to share your journey.


  3. #
    Sunithi — August 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Pepper spray huh ? :) Good tips !! Never trained for a long run since I was 16 !! Good for you ! You go girl !! Nice tips !!


  4. #
    Sasha — August 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Good for you! And great tips, too. I’ve never done a 5k, but a bunch of my friends are talking about an upcoming Graffiti Run that looks like a lot of fun. This one is in Ottawa but looks from the web site like they’re all over the place:

    Happy running!!


  5. #
    shannon — August 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    jennie, i love this running journey you’re on. it’s so great! mostly it’s been too hot to breathe, but before it got that way, i jog/walked with the Wee One (and her trusty jogging stoller) daily. I wish i could work up to a 5k, and i want to, so maybe this fall is the time to do it! i feel motivated, and that’s because of you.
    also, zombie races are SO AWESOME. we have the same one here in a few weeks, i think (outside of St. Louis).
    also (too), perfect tips for starting out; i own tons of those shorts with the undies, and i have great shoes (firm believer that shoes will make you want to run or not run depending on how good they are) and i do the whole “just to the top of that hill, one foot in front of the other, i can do that” self-speeches. sometimes out loud, to the delight of the Wee One and other joggers. :) i know you’re gonna do great, and i’m so excited to follow along!


    • Jennie replied August 6th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks, Shannon. Surprisingly, I enjoy running, but you’re right, it’s so hot. I’m struggling in this heat. I will be waking up at 5 a.m. to see if that helps with the heat issue, but I seriously can’t wait until fall (which happens to be my fav season ever) to get some relief. Maybe one day I’ll have a really cool jogging stroller and a wee one to cheer me on while I run. Love them shorts with the undies!


  6. #
    lorena — August 9, 2012 at 12:48 am

    That’s soo awesome, Good Luck Jenny!!


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