Monday, January 28, 2008

You too can be a runner

I’ve gotten a lot of comments in my blog lately about my running. I get the feeling from some of my wonderful readers that they think running takes super-human strength. Well – I can personally attest that anyone can be a runner. If I can do it, you certainly can too. Here’s my response to some of those comments:

From Carrie:

I can't believe how much you run!! I'm jealous.... I'm a bad "jogger". ha ha I'm a champ on my treadmill though. ha ha, again. :o)

I actually do most of my running on the treadmill (or dreadmill as I affectionately refer to it). In the summer I am able to spend more time running outside, but right now I’m pretty much 100% running indoors.

From Janae:

I totally admire you for being a runner. I've always wanted to run. I'd love to do a half marathon one day, but I'm afraid I'm getting too old.

You can do it! And you’re not too old. I ran my first marathon at 32 – actually just a week before my 33rd birthday. I didn’t win any medals (in fact, I barely finished 2 minutes before the cutoff). And I spent ½ the day running with a grandmother who was running her first marathon. But let me tell you, there is no better feeling than running (or limping) across the finish line of your first marathon. (You can read my story and view my pictures here if you’re interested)

From Julia:

I think it is crazy that you can do everything you do and still have energy to run. I need to get back into actual physical activities.

Actually, running gives me more energy. I know that may sound completely crazy. I don’t run as fast/hard as I can every time. I maintain a steady and consistent “jog”. I feel healthier, more energetic, and I sleep better than I ever have. It also helps me cope with stress. There is no better way to get over a bad day than to “pound” it out with my feet.

I’m not kidding when I say that anyone can be a runner! I was one of those kids in school who brought a doctor’s note to get out of having to run the mile. I was asthmatic and had bad knees – full of excuses. But then I got knee surgery and medicine that controls my asthma, and suddenly I could do physical activity. I learned to snow ski and water ski (at the ripe old age of 18). I started backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, and doing the elliptical at the gym. But I was always afraid to run.

Then I had babies – 2 of them in 2 years. And babies were hard on my body. Despite puking every single day with both pregnancies, I managed to gain 65 pounds with the first, and 75 with the second (luckily I did lose a lot of that). Not pretty. I was so gross and disgusted with myself that something had to be done. Being that I don’t have much time every day, I needed to find an exercise that would burn the maximum amount of calories in the least amount of time, and it also needed to be something that I could fit into my schedule. Running fit both requirements. So, I googled “beginning running plan” and found the Couch to 5k in 9 weeks. I was hooked. I started the next week, and I’ve never looked back.

I’m finally, after a year, feeling like I can legitimately call myself a runner. I can run for 3 miles with little effort. I feel strong and healthy. My body has changed as well – I haven’t lost as much weight as I’d initially hoped (weight loss is mostly about diet I’ve learned), but my legs and butt are fit and toned. Most of all, I’ve found something that is for ME and no one else. Can you tell I love it?So, if anyone is interested, here’s a few pointers on how to get started:

1. Go to the running store and get fitted for running shoes. You will pay more, but its worth every penny.
2. Start out slow, and then go slower. The biggest problem with beginning runners is that they try to go out too hard too fast. Run at the same speed you walk. And don’t be afraid to take walking breaks – just don’t keep walking. Once you can breathe again, start running – slowly.
3. Wear the proper attire. While you’re at the running store, pick up a good bra (you and the sisters will thank me for it). And no cotton – cotton is rotton. If you’re running outside, dress so that you are a bit chilly at the beginning. And, if you're a bit on the larger side, wear something that adequately covers so that you're not hanging out and jiggling too much.
4. Once you feel strong enough, enter a race. It will inspire you to train, and it’s a lot of fun!
5. Keep a log. I am such a data geek, and there is nothing better than going back and seeing how many miles I logged in a week or month.

And if anyone local is looking for a running partner, I’d love to run with you! I’m starting a training program today to run the Salt Lake City ½ marathon in April.


The Gatherum Family said...

Hey girl,
I will be your partner starting at about the first of September-I will be slow at first but I am tryin to stay in shape by walking (FAST) on the treadmill everyday so hopefully I'll be able to get right back into running. I would love to run with you. I have other friends who run but they are all CRAZY fanatics and that's just not me and you sound like more of my type of runner....soo, let's look forward to it :)

Christie said...

Yay! I'd LOVE it! I think we probably live really close too - I'm only 1/2 mile from the new hospital - just on the edge of Riverton.

The Gatherum Family said...

Oh so close, I live by the fire station on 27th. K, we will plan it-As soon as I am done I am going to jump right back in :) can't wait!

janae said...

I just read your story and looked at your pics. You are so amazing. You have totally inspired me. I don't even know if I know how to run ;). I really do want to try though. Thanks for sharing your story. What an amazing accomplishment! You should be so proud of yourself.

Stephanie said...

Did you move again? I thought you lived in Saratoga Springs. Very motivating post, I have always thought I could never be a runner. Too bad I just traded in my "dreadmill" for an elliptical (at least I use it!).

Megan said...

Great tips!! I agree with your thoughts of "pounding" out a hard day!! When I am stressed I crave a good run.
I'd love to see your training schedule!

Christie said...

Janae - you can totally do it!

Stephanie - we had money down on a lot in Saratoga - a big, beautiful lot on the hillside. We were going to have a walkout basement with a view of the lake and Timp. But it just didn't "feel" right, so we walked away from it. We ended up in Herriman in a smaller, cheaper house.

Megan - I'll email you my training program.

janae said...

A couple more questions...Where is a good place to get shoes? Do you listen to music when you run? I do the elliptical trainer right now and I've been reading, but that won't work with running ;).

The Gatherum Family said...

K i'm not smart...what is liquid smoke and where do I find it????

Julia said...

Hey there. I love this post. I"m totally with you on anyone can run. I actually used to run like crazy in college and I'd use that same line with anyone that thought they couldn't. "just start out with 15 minutes...then work to 20..."

Sadly my running has fallen behind since September and the still-broken foot issue. I agree, it gives you way more energy and I used to love getting out with the boy in the jogger and running the hills of Sandy. I wish I could be your partner for the 1/2...I haven't done one forever. I better figure out what to do with this foot first. Keep running!

Julia said...

Oh and one more thing...I THINK I'll be at Anne Marie's on Thursday. Mostly depends on the kid and weather.

Christie said...

Janae - I'm assuming you're north Utah County. If so, I love Fleet Feet in AF - great customer service.

As far as music - I have an iPod with the Nike + connections that keeps track of all my mileage, pace, calories burned, etc. LOVE it! I always have it on - but usually on the treadmill, I watch TV. I DVR my favorite shows, and only let myself watch them when I'm on the TM. Very motivating!

Kari said...

Well Christie, you are THIS CLOSE to convincing me that running is worth it. Unfortunately, there's still that voice in my head that tells me how much I hate running and how painful it is. I have trained for and ran a 1/2 marathon (Hobblecreek) and it was the hardest thing I ever did. And I must say I didn't even enjoy it. :) But I admire you for your dedication. Keep it up!

Chelsea said...

The reason I'm in awe of runners isn't because I don't think I can do it - I know that physically I could. I just hate running. Everything about it. So I'm in awe of people who actually enjoy it! I SO wish I could like it because it's such an efficient and accessible form of exercise, but I don't think I will ever get over my hatred.

janae said...

I'm actually in Sandy. And to answer your question on my blog that I just spaced off until now...we are building in Draper. Do you know of a good place to get shoes in Sandy? I was told about the nike + when I went into footlocker a couple of weeks ago. I know the Lehi ladies through my sis in law, Gina. Did you used to live in that neighborhood?

Christie said...

Janae - there is a running store on the corner of 94th and State (northwest corner). They have a really good inventory and the last time I was in there 1/2 the store was having a huge sale (great prices!). And the owners are so nice and helpful

carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carrie said...

Christie....You're awesome. I take it from your post that even I can MAYBE become a runner. ha ha I seriously am going to try. I'm going to go get a really good pair of running shoes for my birthday. You've inspired me. I wish you were closer, then I could tag along with you. You could run...and I could walk/jog about a mile or two behind you. :o) I really, really do like your ideas. It'll be fun to see you at Anne Marie's Thursday!! BTW, that Pioneer Woman's food is going to set me back a few weeks on my little meal plan, huh?? I better start the running on Friday! Yikes....

Jen said...


Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the honesty in your posts. You are one funny, smart and very real lady. I wish I lived closer, I have a feeling we would be great buds, aside from the fact that I CANNOT ski to save my life! CrossCountry I can d,o but put a hill in my way and it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Can I request an update on Ben and his job? My husband was recently laid-off and we're in the midst of a job hunt and all the fun that goes along with that. He did get a very nice severance package but it's still an odd situation, I work, and he has dinner on the table when I got home. My husband thrives on work so even though he's only been off of work a week he's done more housework, home repair, laundry, cookie baking etc. than I usually do in a month. I like my new "man-wife" as I call him. :) Just wondered if you cared to elaborate on how you delt with Ben loosing his job...

Sorry for the novel!