Here’s the thing… I wouldn’t call myself a “runner” exactly. I used to hate it actually. I played soccer in high school and as long as there was a ball on the field I could run for days but as soon as coach took that ball away and made us run sprints or for distance I was miserable.
So it will surprise you to know that I set a goal for myself to run a half marathon in 2016.
I AM GOING TO RUN A HALF MARATHON BEFORE 2016 IS OVER.
You read it here first.
I’ve always been goal oriented, I like pushing myself to my limits and seeing what I can accomplish if I really set my mind to something. A lot of my friends are runners. Over the years, I’ve seen them collect medals from 5ks, 10ks, half and even full marathons. Every time I see the look on their faces as they cross the finish line I think to myself, “wow it must feel great to accomplish something like that”. Well then I realized, I can accomplish something like that!
So a few weeks ago I committed to training for this goal of running a half marathon in October 2016. It started out slow, at first it honestly really sucked. My lungs weren’t trained for long distance running (usually I stopped around 3 minutes when they started to burn) so the first two weeks was all about forcing myself to run through the burn in an effort to train my lungs to breathe under the conditions.
And guess what? It worked! I can run as long as I want now and my lungs never hurt, they are no longer holding me back. So we’re off to a good start.
Except that my legs haven’t quite adjusted to the increased amounts of running I have been doing 4-5 days a week. Which is a little scary because a half marathon is just over 13 miles and so far in my training I haven’t gone past 6 miles. I know the only way to train my legs is to keep running but let me tell you it’s easier said than done.
Once I got through the first few weeks and decided I was truly, truly committed to this goal I had to invest in some decent running shoes. Originally, I was running in my old serving shoes which had seen about 3 years and countless miles and had more holes in them than swiss cheese. So I checked out Nike Factory Outlet and left with not one but two pairs of running shoes! They were running a sale and they were too good to pass up. I’m really happy I saved a ton of money but I have to say, if you are training for long distance run it is worth the investment even without the sales!
Both pairs of shoes are Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 just in two different colors (I realize this link goes to Dick’s Sporting Goods but I could not for the life of me find the exact shoe on the Nike website).
These shoes have made a HUGE difference in my training! My feet feel so much better while I’m running and my legs are getting stronger every day. The whole concept behind Nike Free is that they allow your feet to move as they naturally would without shoes on, thus making the muscles in your legs do more work. I will warn you, it was difficult at first. The burn in my calves was ridiculous and at some moments I felt like I was in the beginning of shin splints. I actually considered checking out another pair of shoes with a little more support but for whatever reason I continued on and after a week or so my legs adjusted and I’m totally in love with my shoes. That’s the great thing about Nike though, you can buy your shoes and try them out for 30 days and if you are unsatisfied you can return them for a full refund. And I don’t mean put them on and walk around the house, I mean that you can wear them outside and do all your normal running in them and still, if unsatisfied, you can return them as long as it’s in that 30 day window.
Now that I have the proper footwear I just have to keep running. It’s never easy, some days are harder than others, but it’s always worth it. I feel so accomplished when I lay down at night knowing I have 6-7 miles of hard work done that day. Each day my runs get longer and my legs get stronger. I’ll be running 13 miles before you know it.
**This post was never intended to be a product review but I said I was going to write about my life and right now a lot of my life is running. Check back later to see my progress!