Today I thought I’d share a a little bit about my quest to becoming a runner and a little about the apps that have helped be along the way.
I’ve always wanted to be runner and took up running about two years ago. My best friend Jill and I gave it a try in high school, but our desire to cheer and dance on the sidelines at football games outweighed that of running long distances.
Fast forward 30+ years.
Jill and I both live in the Tampa area now. Back in the spring of 2014, we ran the Color Me Rad 5K at the Tampa Fairgrounds. For those not familiar with a color run, it is a race where colored cornstarch is thrown at you suring different point of the race and by the time you finish, you look like you ran through a rainbow.
Too much fun.
I remember that color run being in May. It was already getting hot in Florida. Running in gazillion-percent humidity just wan’t appealing to me anymore. So again, I gave up running before I even got started.
But in the summer of 2016 I stumbled across RunDisney.com. My husband and I are big Disney fans and when I saw photos of runners dressed up as Disney Princesses running a race around Walt Disney Resorts, I got the urge to become a runner again. The runners looked like they were having so much fun! And the BLING! The medals were awesome and I wanted one.
I was about to turn 48-years-old. Now one would think that an almost 48-year-old, inexperienced runner would have enough common sense in her to register for the Disney Princess 5K or 10K race, right? Nope. Not this girl. I went big and registered for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. WTH was I thinking?
I went on my very first training run–September 12, 2016–my birthday. It was hot and humid, but I was running at 5am, before work, so at least the sun wasn’t beating down on me. I was also training using the Couch to 10K app and then the 13.1 Half Marathon Trainer app. And they were great! These apps start you off slow through walk/run intervals. For example in Couch to 10K your first day is a 25 minutes run/walk: a 5-minute warm-up, 6 sets of a 1-minute run and 1.5-minute walk, and a 5-minute cool down. As you train, those run segments become longer, walks shorter, and you are eventually running without that walking break. You can click on the icons below to read more.
A few weeks before the 2017 Princess Half-Marathon my right knee started to bother me. I backed off training a bit so I wouldn’t really hurt myself before the race. I never really ran a full 13 miles during a training run.
Fast forward to race weekend.
Participants pick up their race packets at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. In one of the buildings at the complex there is a large health and fitness expo with all sorts of vendors. I visited the KT Tape booth and bought some of their kinesiology tape. I have no idea how this magical tape works. It’s so thin. But man, did it help! I watched their YouTube videos on how to apply it to my knee and I ran that race pretty much pain free!
I didn’t run for about three weeks after that race, but had such a good experience that when the time came to register for the 2018 race, I signed up!
Running during the summer in Florida is just insane. So I didn’t. I just kept to spinning and yoga. But even that stopped for a little while last August when I was diagnosed with a DVT/PE, was in the hospital for four days and put on blood thinners for 6 months (that experience is a whole other blog post).
At the end of September Jill and I, along with another friend, signed up for the Wanderlust Mindful Triathalon which included a 5K, a 45-minute yoga session, and finishing with a 25-minute meditation session. It was a great event, although my knee was pretty sore during the run.
It took me a while to even feel like running again after Wanderlust. Once I did start back up, it was one strain after another that seemed to prevent me from doing any kind of serious training for the 2018 Princess Half-Marathon that happened about a month ago. The one over the counter pain reliever that works for me is Aleve and I couldn’t take it because of the blood thinners I was taking. At one point I even considered dropping out of the race because even walking long distances would aggravate my knee. But Disney doesn’t give any refunds on their races and they are pretty expensive, so I was going to run this thing no matter what.
It wasn’t until the Wednesday before the race when my hematologist gave me the all clear. No more clots. No more blood thinners. Hello Aleve. Hello 2018 Princess Run.
I accepted the fact a long time ago that this race was not going to be one where I was going to break any personal best records. I really don’t care about any of that. I just liked the atmosphere of the race. So I taped up my knee (and my hip, and my ankle😂) and I ran.
And it wasn’t pretty.
I ended up walking the last four miles, but trotted across the finish line in tears. I was hurting. But I got my bling. And I took Aleve.
One of the things I noticed while running was the sound of dings and chimes going off on my fellow runners’ phones. Turns out many were running the race using an interval app where you can set your own high and low intensity training cycles. The sounds alerted them when to walk and when to start running again.
I found one of these interval apps recently in the App Store and have been using it the past few times I’ve been out running (I try to do a 5K twice a week right now). Oh my gosh! I love running with it! I set it for 30 second intervals and believe it or not, I’ve shaved a minute off of my mile and my knee hasn’t bothered me. I think because I was running on it for shorter periods of time, my knees weren’t experiencing that constant pounding if I was running for a longer period without stopping. I’m sure I as I work on strengthening my knee I will increase those interval times, but I’m kinda liking these 30 second intervals for now. This is the app I am using:
It’s called Interval Timer. The app is free and can be used for any exercise or activity you wish to set intervals for such as cycling, running, stretching, boxing, and more! I’m really happy with it.
And you know what? I signed up for another race! My husband and I will run the Disney Wine & Dine Half-Marathon in November! I’m so excited we will run a race together! I can’t wait to see what that medal looks like!
If any of my readers are into health and fitness, tell me about any apps you may use to reach your fitness goals! I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below!