My last post about running, exactly a month ago today, talked about running a mile straight. The very first time I ran a mile, I was out of breath and felt like my heart was in my lungs. The second time wasn’t as bad, but it was still a challenge.
I don’t remember when I first ran 2 miles straight, but I know that I ran 2.25 just before we left for Alaska a few weeks ago. I was worried during our time there that I would lose some of the endurance I had built up, but two days after we got back, I was up to 2.5 miles. Then almost 2.9 on Sunday with a brief break.
So today was definitely an exciting milestone. It’s been about 2 months since I started running (about every other day), and I’m happy to see that it’s getting easier. Running still isn’t the most fun I’ve ever had, but I like it more now that I don’t feel like I’m going to die at the one-mile mark. The 3 miles was still challenging this morning, but Pete and I both felt like we could have kept going. I stopped because I wanted time to cool down and my legs were pretty tired. Minus the warm up and cool down, it took us right at 30 minutes.
Because I like to turn things into a learning experience, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- The absolute best thing I can do for endurance is focus on breathing. I count in through my nose—one, two, three, and out through my mouth—one, two, three. That helps immensely. It also helps to start breathing that way during the five minutes I’m walking to warm up.
- Wearing a hat while running in North Carolina humidity makes me feel hotter than not wearing a hat. But it does hold my ponytail in place.
- Listening to music helps the time go by, but because I have ear buds, I can also hear myself breathing, which is kind of distracting. I usually have a dog with me in the mornings anyway, so I haven’t listened to much music. Next time I do, I’m going to listen to something I know all the words to so I can sing along in my head and see if time goes by any faster. 🙂
- Running with a dog slows me down. Anja always has to stop and pee, and I’m paranoid that Zoey will suddenly dart to one side to chase a squirrel and pull my arm out of the socket.
- Running with Pete helps distract me in a good way. He gets bored and starts talking about the future, although I don’t talk back because I’m focusing on breathing. (Apparently our future entails paying off our home, building a yurt and Pete being a stay-at-home husband. Or so I’m told.)
- The RunKeeper app is so-so. I like the GPS feature and that it gives me a running plan to reach my goal, but it hasn’t been applying my activities to my plan. There’s also something off about the way it tracks days. It says the 3.1 miles we ran this morning actually happened yesterday, even though the actual date on the app is correct. I can’t fully recommend it if you’re looking for a running app.
- Shoes make a HUGE difference. My old worn-out tennis shoes hurt my ankles and I feel like I can’t run nearly as long in them. I’m happy with the Saucony ones I got when we first started running (pictured above). They were pretty inexpensive online.
3 1/2 weeks ’til the 5K!