Confessions of a New Runner, Part 2

Earlier this year I wrote a post about what I had learned halfway through our Advent challenge. Johnna and I figured it was time for another update from a new runner!

I make no secret about the fact that running is challenging for me. In case you have any worries about keeping up with a specific running plan, I would really like to put those fears to rest! The 5k, 10k, and half-marathon plans that we send out as part of the challenge are hopeful suggestions that we want you to customize to fit your needs (check out our post answering your FAQs).

I am no exception to this! I often find that I have to repeat each run 4-5 times instead of the 3 suggested on our 5k running plan. The result is that instead of being ready for a 5k at the end of the Advent challenge, I'll be ready at the end of the Lent challenge. And you know what? That's totally fine with me.

It gets easier, but it also gets harder. 

Yes, I'm starting with something that doesn't make any sense. See, I used to think that people who ran frequently did it because it was easy for them. Even if it wasn't easy for them at first, I figured they got to a certain point where they were just in really good shape and every run was easy! Now I know that is only halfway true. I may be able to run long than I've ever been able to before (for me this means 10 minutes without stopping). That means if I went back to running for one minute and walking for three... yes, it would be easier. But it doesn't mean that I suddenly think of running as an easy thing! Now that I know I can get better at running, I have this new drive to keep going so I can run further and further and eventually make it to that 5k I keep talking about. And I already have a feeling that won't be my ending point. But what does any of this have to do with running getting harder? Now that running doesn't scare me, I know that I can push myself a little more than I used to. Once upon a time I would have stopped running as soon as I started to struggle, but now I know I can often push myself through a couple of rough spots.

Running with a stroller is HARD.

I got a running stroller for Christmas. I was super excited and still am! But it looks like making the running stroller part of my regular exercise routine is going to take more adjustment than I expected. I knew I wouldn't be able to run quite as far with a stroller vs. without... but man! It makes a REALLY big difference. I'm still toying around with the best way to switch between running with and without a stroller. Tell me in the comments if you have any advice!

Sometimes kids are the best cheerleaders. 

This one is going to be cheesy  (#sorrynotsorry). Some of the best motivation I've gotten has been from kids! If you have kids, please give them the opportunity to cheer for you, because it is totally worth it. Sometimes my husband takes my daughter to our apartment playground while I'm running around the complex. She waves and cheers for me every time I go past, and it's pretty much the best thing ever. Also, I recently got some amazing encouragement from a couple of elementary schoolers who were outside playing with their pogo sticks. (psst... I posted about some of this in our new Facebook group! Check it out!)

Pacing myself is still difficult. 

This is pretty self-explanatory. Anybody have advice? Let me know in the comments!

-Charlotte M.

RunningJohnna Wilford