Reporters: Why are you running? Are you doing this for world peace? Are you doing this for women's right? Or for the environment? Or for animals? Or for nuclear arms? Why are you doing this?
Forrest: I just felt like running.
~ Forrest Gump, 1994 Movie
I have a new hobby - attempting to become a runner. Why? Because I just felt like running. No real reason. I have never been a long distance runner. Ever. In fact, in the past if someone asked me what I thought about long distance running I would have laughed my head off and replied "no way - too much work and not for me!". Something changed this year. It all started when one of my best friends decided to run a 5k for a new years resolution. It got me thinking that maybe I could do it too. I pictured myself running all gracefully down the road in really nice looking running clothes, wind in my hair and a big smile on my face. So far that has not happened. Most of the time I look like a crazy monster all sweaty and red with my chest bouncing like it could knock me out any second and on the brink of swearing like a sailor. However as scary as I look I must admit I am enjoying the process of becoming a runner, as slow as it may be.
I started out this new journey by purchasing a treadmill. Living in Manitoba with the cold, cold winters and excessive flooding, having the option of running inside is a must, although I hope to start running outside in the very near future. I didn't want to purchase a top of the line expensive treadmill just in case this new hobby only lasted a month or two (who doesn't have a piece of exercise equipment collecting dust in a closet or basement?). I started watching the flyers and saw one at Canadian Tire that caught my eye.
I got it on sale for $399. You can read about it here. In fact this week it is on sale again! I strategically placed my treadmill beside a window overlooking my bird feeder so I would have something cute and entertaining to look at while running. Here is the view from my treadmill:
Up next was a good pair of running sneakers. I decided to pay a visit to the Running Room in Regina, Saskatchewan and be properly fitted for sneakers. I had always just gone to a local sports store and picked out the prettiest pair of sneakers on the shelf with no real thought about how it fit my feet or would work for my particular sport. Going to the Running Room was a great experience. They had me walk in my sock feet around the store to watch my foot and investigate its arch. They also measured my foot. Turns out I have a very narrow foot and had been wearing the wrong type of sneakers my entire life. I am now the proud owner of a pair of sneakers that best fit my feet and are made especially for narrow feet. They feel fantastic and are definitely a big improvement. They are Asics in a 2A width (model number GT-2160 2A).
So now I had the gear and it was time to actually start running. I thought to myself how in the world am I going to do this? How do I learn how to run? I bet there is an app for that! It turns out there is an app for that! It is called Couch to 5K and it is by Felt Tip Inc. It is great! It trains you to run a 5k by running three times a week for nine weeks. You can listen to your own music while using this app. A voice comes on over the music and tells you when to warm up, when to run, when to walk, and when to cool down. As you progress in weeks the running time is increased and the walking time is decreased. I absolutely love it!
So now I was running regularly and needed an actual goal. Once again I turned to the Running Room and searched their races tab to find a 5k near me. I found a race close by and registered. There is no turning back now!
Much to my surprise I am really enjoying this process of becoming a runner, although some days I still swear at the treadmill, and some days I struggle to keep running. I can't believe how far I have come in just a short period of time. My race is getting closer and closer. I know I will not be the fastest. I may even be the slowest person in the race. I will probably have to still alternate between running and walking in order to complete it, but I know I will finish it and that will be a huge accomplishment for me. I will keep you posted!