No recipe today, my friends. No, today we are going to talk about running. “Whoa!”, I hear you say. “Wait a gosh-darned minute. I come here for the recipes and the pretty pictures of food. I am not a runner!”. Oh yeah? Want to make a bet? Come on, I dare you. Prove to me that you AREN’T a runner. Yes, I am asking what it sounds like I am asking. I am challenging you, my reader, to become a runner. Because barring some physical limitations, I can virtually guarantee you that you, in fact, are a runner. I am a runner and for years I never even knew it. Perhaps you know this story, I may have told a few times. But it warrants re-telling in the hopes that I can inspire you to find your inner runner.
Three years ago, I would have been that person saying “Whoa, I am not a runner!”. I was a walker, I was a hiker, I was fairly active. But I detested running. It was an exercise I found zero enjoyment in, it hurt, I got red in the face and I never progressed much. Every time I started a running program, I quit after a few days, figuring I just wasn’t a runner. And then I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and I walked every day after lunch and dinner, even through serious back problems, in an effort to keep my glucose levels down. Seeing the remarkable effect that a 15 minute walk could have on blood glucose made me in awe of the power of exercise and I made a commitment to a regular exercise routine after my daughter was born. I walked a lot, I worked out on the machines at my local Y, and I made some new friends. One new friend invited me to join the Y Run Club and I nearly laughed in her face. I am not a runner! But one cold January day, I headed out for a walk. I was so chilly, I started to jog to warm up. And it felt okay so I kept going. And going. And going. Next thing I knew, I’d run 40 minutes solid. And because I’d worked up to it slowly, it felt surprisingly good.
So I did join the Run Club and was soon running 4 or 5 miles. One of my new friends invited me to sign up for a half-marathon in late May, and in a momentary lapse of reason, I agreed. We started a training program, working up our mileage slowly and safely. I discovered the amazing sense of a runner’s high, when exhaustion and discomfort fall away in the joy of pushing your body to its limits. It was astonishingly powerful. I discovered an inner strength, the ability to keep going when I was utterly exhausted. I also discovered that my short little legs were surprisingly fast in an all-out sprint, and with a little training, I was soon outstripping everyone in my run club. For the first time in my life, I felt truly athletic and it was incredibly empowering.
Running is something almost all of us can do. We may be fast or we may be slow, but we can all run. So I have banded together with a few other running bloggers, lead by Dara of Cookin’ Canuck, to challenge our readers to find their inner runner. We are of all different levels and some of us are more seasoned than others, but we are all runners because we get out there and we try. We want you to do the same.
We call ourselves the Red Faced Runners and we will all be signing up for a 5k race (or longer) in our hometowns, to be run on the weekend of September 8th. We’d like you to join us. Because you are a runner, you just don’t know it yet.
If you’ve read this far, I have to assume that you are at least a tiny bit interested. So here are a few fun, inspiring tidbits to motivate you! First, a collage of all the Red Faced Runners in their Wonder Woman socks (yes, my legs are in there, at the bottom right by the word Run). Because you will feel like Wonder Woman if you run a 5k race, I promise. (Or if you happen to be male, you will feel like Superman…and there actually is a Superman version of these socks).
Secondly, it just so happens that Cindy of Once Upon A Loaf is actually a running coach. She has put together a few quick tips for all of us to inspire our readers. And beyond that, she has actually put together a full 5k training program, which you can read on Cookin’ Canuck. If you don’t think you are a runner, try this training program on for size and join us on the weekend of September 8th. You CAN do this!
If I have managed to inspire you to try running, please tell me about it. Comment on this post and if you think you might be interested in taking on this challenge, let me know. Running is a huge part of my life now, it brings me great joy and I want to share it with you. Join us and train for a 5k race in September. If anyone is interested, I will happily post periodic check-ins where we can talk about our training and prepare for our races together. Support in running is integral and I want to help you achieve your goals.
And if you are already an experienced runner, join us anyway! Sign up with us and we can set goals appropriate to your experience level. It will be fun!
Don’t know how to find a 5k race in your area? Check out these links below: