Wednesday, February 5, 2014

To run or not to run, that is the question....

My husband has this goal. He wants to run in the Peachtree Road Race. That's a 10K. I've never run a 5K, much less a 10K. Well, let me rephrase that. I've done 5K races in the past. I walked most of it, and it took me an hour, but I did them.

This was prior to knee surgeries and adding about 30 pounds back onto my already obese 5'1" frame. I haven't run (or gone for a slow trot) since taking a nasty fall and two knee surgeries. I miss it, I think.

Above is a family photo taken before a run we did in 2010. I ended up mad at myself because I missed a turn and ended up not actually finishing the course. Everyone was so excited that I shaved like 15 minutes off my time, but really I shaved part of the course off my race. I couldn't bring myself to accept that time officially, so I ended up with a DNF. Kinda bummed, but I would know I didn't finish.

So, my husband signs us up to join the Atlanta Track Club. I was all for it at the time. But yesterday some stuff came in the mail from them.... membership stuff, a t-shirt.... Oh. My. Gosh. This. Is. Real. I need to start running.

To say I'm terrified is an understatement. I weigh right now somewhere in the 270s. I was at least 20 pounds lighter in 2010. I'm scared of injuring my knees again. I'm scared of the pain that I know will come until I get some weight off and I condition my body to do that sort of movement again.

But I want to be a runner!

I want to run The Peachtree. I have no idea if I can do it by July 4th since I don't run at all now. I not only want to run (or run/walk) it, I don't want to feel like I'm about to die in the process.

I found some reasons to start running, according to Women's Health Magazine. Here's a bit of what they say...
1. It's easy. If they say so! But what they mean is, a good sports bra and some running shoes are all you really need. You don't need fancy equipment to run.
2. But it's hard. Huh? Say what? Yup. It's hard. It's one heck of a workout. You will soak that sports bra and whatever else you're wearing. It'll burn some major calories. It also makes your heart stronger the harder you workout.
3. Your knees... they'll be thankful you run. Wait! What? Really? Well, according to this article, yes. Runners are more likely to be at a normal weight. People who are at a normal weight are less likely to get osteoarthritis. That junk hurts. Note to self: Get over the fear of hurting your knees now... they may hurt a whole lot more if you get osteoarthritis in them.
4. Less stress. Yup. Running reduces anxiety. Not only does it reduce anxiety, but a study found that it works better than relaxing in a chair. Crap. There goes my excuse for not working out. This article also says that running is used to treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction. Huh. Who knew?

5. Disease prevention. Studies have found that the most active people have lower chances of developing some forms of cancer. Running is also linked to lower blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, and stronger immune system.
6. Live longer. Research has found that regular exercise could reduce disability and risk of death.

OK, so I guess it's time to put my running fears behind me. Those are just a few reasons to run. I'm curious. Why do you run? Or are you not a runner? What's holding you back from running? If you aren't a runner, what do you do to get in or keep in shape? I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to respond here or on my Facebook page.

Happy running!

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