It's true. I have gotten a wee bit, um, obsessed, with running. I've been running or attending a "boot camp" most days of the week and kind of mildly sulking on my (usually forced) days off.
There are so many things I love about running-- but the biggest one is how strong it makes me feel. Sometimes, in the middle of a long run, I just think "holy crap, I'm really doing this!" and feel a lot of inner pride for pushing myself and for going past my pre-conceived limits. The other night at my running class our instructor asked us all to share what we say to motivate ourselves during a run. I said "I tell myself I am strong and I am awesome" and basically, I do. And sometimes, it's not so much in a motivating way-- sometimes it's more in the way that I am in awe of myself, like, "whoa, I AM strong! and I AM awesome! look at me!" I had to giggle when I found out that several of my classmates, including my instructor, borrowed it for their own motivation, too! We are all strong and awesome!
Though I got serious about my fitness last January, then more serious by joining a boot camp class in July, I didn't really start running until October. I credit my overall level of fitness with helping me hit the ground running (so to speak) and being able to run close to three miles right off the bat. Yes, it was a tough run that first night, but I still did it. Since that night I have upped and upped and upped my mileage so that now my personal record in one run is 5.6 miles, which is two laps of the inner path around Green Lake:
It only recently occurred to me that I might be pushing myself a bit too hard. I have had a few aches and pains, and when I research how to deal with them it always says they most often occur from overuse. Oops. "But I wanna ruuuuuun!" I whine. I am now learning the fine art of not just pushing myself to go further, but also allowing myself the R&R my body needs to recover and build muscle. Who knew you weren't really building muscle as you actively pound the pavement? Nope, you need to adequately rest in order to do that.
I looked up a 10K training plan last night to figure out what rest/run/cross-training days should really look like so I have a better idea of what I should be doing. It's helped me relax a little and know I can get to where I want to be without constantly pushing for more mileage every time I lace up my sneakers.
The other fun part about running is the whole new world of running gear! I decided that the money I made selling my wedding dress last summer would be well spent on outfitting me for running-- and that is a good thing, as running clothes (at least, the uber-techy kind) are not at all cheap. I do hit up a local discount store for a lot of things, but that will only get me so far. Now I scour websites looking for deals on fun pieces to add to my wardrobe. My newest obsession is finding the perfect running skirt (or skirts, if I can afford it!). They look so darn cute in the pictures!