Okay, so I would be lying if I said my blog titles was true, I am yet to run a marathon but I’m getting there.
As I may have mentioned, this whole running thing came about when my Dad died 2 months ago. I wanted to achieve something. Naturally I chose something he would probably proud-mock me for, but I’ve never been one to shy away from a little teasing.
My first proper race is a 5km on the 21st of March in Tygervalley, but I still have to get there. First, I want to talk about all my newbie mistakes:
My first mistake – shoes
My first mistake was thinking I could put a pair of shoes on (any old shoes mind you), get on a treadmill and run. When I started this little journey 3 weeks ago, my first concern was a sports bra. I wear a 36DD bra, and my logic was don’t spend a lot of money on running shoes, instead, spend money on a bra, buy cheap shoes, and see if my boobs stay in place. I bought a decent bra, and it worked. However, I also bought a cheap pair of Maxed shoes, and they aren’t working. My logic was that in the beginning I would walk more than run, I wouldn’t rack up too many kays and I really wouldn’t need to spend R2000 on shoes. Oh boy was I wrong. Within the first 2 weeks of my schedule I started getting shin splints. Bad shin splints. The kind that make walking from your desk to the bathroom agony. I gave my legs a rest for a few days, and hopped back on the treadmill, managed 8 minutes and gave up when my calf went into spasm and my legs hurt so much I wanted to die. I could barely drive myself home that afternoon, and I live about 3km from the gym. This is when I decided I need shoes, and my bank balance was already starting to hurt (January is not a good time to invest in shoes – everything may be on sale but I was still skint!). Luckily my mom decided that she was so proud of me for wanting to run so she gave me shoes as a gift. So off I popped to Runners Rest, where I spoke to Bennie. Bennie has been running for 42 years, and he knows his stuff. Seriously, if you’re in the area, and need shoes, go see him. Bennie talked to me about my fitness level, my training thusfar (which I explained to him involved 20 minutes on a treadmill, alternating between fast walking and jogging, and that I’d now got to a point where I could jog for 90 seconds at a time, and only needed a 3 minute rest between). We spoke about previous injuries (weak ankles), and the pain I was experiencing. Bennie then gave me 4 or 5 exercises that I could do in my own home to assist with my pain, as well as 2 massage techniques. 45 minutes later (yes, he consulted with me for nearly an hour) we started talking shoes. He handed me a very nice pair of pink shoes, and I wanted to hightail it out of there. Pink? No, I can’t. I tried them on nonetheless and they were lovely, in spite of their luminosity. We tried on 3 different pairs, alternating different shoes on different feet, walking, hopping, jogging and skipping with them on before settling on the most plain pair he had in stock (fortunately they were also the best suited to my feet) and I walked out with a lovely pair of Brooks Ghost 7. R1800 later I am the proud owner of a professional grade shoe, and I’m dying to try them out. I’m still avoiding the treadmill, and I’ve had visitors since Saturday so I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since, but they’ll be hitting the gym tonight, and I’m very excited.
Aren’t they lovely?
My second mistake – marathons require core strength, not just the ability to put one foot in front of another
The idea that a marathon runner needs a strong core has never occurred to me. Ever. I naturally assumed that you just hit the road and ran. I never thought that core strength would have anything to do with it. Bennie set me straight. On top of having a few technique issues, including that my strike on my right heel is way too hard, and that my feet don’t follow through (basically I’m a flat-footed stomper), my core is weak. Who knew? I find the machines at the gym very intimidating, and I find weights even more so. I don’t want to do yoga / pilates as that’s another membership fee, and I really don’t want to drive up and down around town for that, so the circuit it is. Once my friends are gone, I’m going to pop into the gym during the day (I’m on leave) and speak to a trainer and ask them for the best way to get my core strength up, and just work on that. Maybe a few days in a quieter gym, alone with the machines will make me feel less intimidated and then it won’t be so bad.
So far I’m really proud of the progress I’m making. I’m not yet ready to run a half marathon, but a 5km fun run will do me just fine for now. I’m happy with baby steps, I don’t need much more right now.
Hope you enjoyed this!
Hugs & sloppy daxie kisses