Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why do you run?

By Andrea Kaltenbaugh

Do you ever wonder about someone’s running story?  I love to hear running stories, how someone started running, how long they have been running.   Do they enjoy it?  Do they run to hang out with friends?  Maybe they had to take a hiatus from running due to an injury or illness, and are just getting back into it.  Do they do it so they can eat?  Come on ladies…I know I have heard this before…"I run so I can eat."  Are they running to train for a race, for a cause, or just so they can wear the cute new running skirt. The list goes on and on.

Running is something that has been in my life for a long time, at different levels of course, depending on the ages of my children, and my husband’s deployment/TDY schedule.    

I still remember the day that my husband and I drove to the local fitness store to buy a jogger stroller.  The year was 1997 and we were living in Spokane, WA.  We brought this monster jogger stroller home and the next day with my daughter on her bike, and my son in the jogger stroller, we set out.  Five minutes later, I said to my husband, “How long have we been running, I mean it has to be at least 20 minutes, because this is tough.”  Maybe that is where some of you are at right now.  Just started running, and you are discouraged, because you don’t feel like you can get past 5, 10 minutes, a mile. Or maybe you are running 3 to 4 miles in 30 minutes and you are struggling with your energy level. Increasing your mileage takes time and patience (a lot!).  It’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen if you stick with it.  It reminds me of a quote I read on facebook, recently by John Bingham.  “The miracle isn’t that I finished the miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

How then, you ask, do I start?  Keep your running consistent and take baby steps, have a plan, set a goal like signing up for the next 5k. If you have the means to do so then hire a coach to get you started on a run plan. Focus on running a little farther each time you run.  Once you can successfully run a little farther, for example 2 miles without stopping, try running further.  Remember to give yourself at least a week before you add more mileage; adding too much mileage too soon, can cause injury.  Your body needs to adapt to a given mileage, before adding more.  Keep a running log; log your miles, how you felt that day, how much sleep you had, what you ate for breakfast that morning, what you hydrated with.  I love looking back over my running logs; it reminds me of how far I have come, or how I struggled with a particular run. 

Join a run group.  WOOT and WOOP are both great groups to belong to! Find a friend to start running with so you can hold each other accountable.  There have been a lot of early morning runs that I would have turned the alarm off, if I was not meeting a friend.  Choose a time of day that works best for you and get your family in on the run.  If you don’t have a jogger stroller, trade off baby-sitting with another Mom.  

I smile when I see ladies out running.  Yes, I smile when I see anyone out running, but maybe I am a little biased towards women runners, because I am one, and I know how busy we are with our careers, raising our children, volunteering, and holding down the home front while our husbands are deployed.   It makes my heart happy to know that with everything they have going on in their busy lives, they had the courage to start.   Why do you run?

About Andrea:

Andrea is one of our long-standing WOOT members, and also an RRCA certified running coach. I've had the privilege of running with Andrea on numerous training runs and in many races, and in the process I've been fortunate to learn many things from her.

Andrea started running when her kids were very young; she was determined to lose the weight that she had gained over the course of her pregnancies. She not only lost all of her excess weight, but she discovered, with the help of a running coach, that she had the ability to both improve as a runner, and also EXCEL as a runner! 

Under the guidance of her running coach, Andrea ran several sub 3:30 marathons (she has a 3:19 marathon PR!), and her half marathon and 10k times are equally impressive. But beyond the scope of race PRs and running goals, Andrea is just as happy running without any agenda, and even more so when she's able to run with friends.

Unfortunately, Andrea is not in a position to coach right now, but she is able to answer any running-related questions you might have - you can send her a private FB message if you wish to contact her.

Andrea Kaltenbaugh - running to the finish line at Risner to claim first place

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