Seasons change and metabolisms slow and there I was, nearing my graduation from college, and I found myself running again - this time by choice. My first run outside was a complete and utter joke, achieving maybe one mile before I dragged myself up my front steps. I declared, upon entering my parents' house, that I would never be doing "that" again. I took to the elliptical for months before I ever dared run on the pavement again.
Moving to Salt Lake brought interesting challenges, and my job was an inactive desk job. I noticed a gain of about 10-15 pounds one summer, and determined to have dropped a pant size before my boyfriend returned from Boston, I started running once more. I later purchased a gym membership, and began to consider myself a serious "athlete."
Little did I know, when reuniting with an old group of girlfriends, that I would be propositioned to run a half marathon. I have been running consistently since about December, but never in quantitative mileage that one who attempts this feat would boast. I had entertained the idea of a half marathon last year (as part of my lame attempt at New Year's Resolutions), but never really buckled down. So, I agreed, and here I am, 4.5 weeks into my formal training and I have a few observations to share.
- Bananas are my fruit of choice - they increase my endurance, decrease muscle cramps, and they're fast and convenient.
- The tone of my skin (not just on my face) has gotten much nicer since I started training! It's much softer and more supple :)
- The inclusion of water in one's diet cannot be underestimated. My goal is to drink one full gallon per day - something I achieve most days of the week. I feel so much better after a run when I'm adequately hydrated!
- Running medicated is the only way to go. My preferred cocktail: 5 Ibuprofen, 15 minutes before starting my run.
- The proper synthetic attire (i.e. sports bras) make a HUGE difference. Not just in support - they wick moisture away from my body and make me feel less of a sweaty mess when I'm done. In that same vein, I've learned I can't run in pants! They make my legs feel so heavy and ultimately slow me down - leggings and shorts only, please!
- My feet and legs have taken a huge toll - I have blisters on the ends of all my toes except the big ones, and I have a feeling that I will start losing toenails within the next 2-3 weeks. My legs are perpetually sore and sometimes I walk with a limp because of it.
- There is no better running partner than an iPod Shuffle. Period.