Google+ Bree Bronson's Babies: Learning to love

Friday, November 16, 2012

Learning to love

Helsinki City Run 2012
I mentioned earlier that I put on some weight during my pregnancies. Mildly put. I realized very soon after Daughter was born that minimizing my candy consumption wouldn't do the 28" waist wonder for me. Sports would if anything.

I like sports, I even used to compete in figure skating as a teenager. But I'm picky. Anything that would require going even near a ball is a no-no to me. I don't like going to the gym. And I'm absolutely no weight lifter, Son's 17 kilos are almost too much for me to carry. I loved going climbing both indoors and outdoors before the kids were born but right now that's a way too time-consuming hobby for me. My sister had recently run a half-marathon and suggested the obvious: start running! It's cheap, fast and sooo rewarding, she motivated me.

I hated the idea. Running was mandatory training when I used to skate and I wasn't even too bad at it. But still: I never liked it. It was boring, not rewarding. In the lack of better ideas I decided to give it a go anyway.

I hated it. I felt like a whale, old grannies in wheelchairs would pass me and after three runs my knee was so sore I could hardly walk. Today I thank my luck I didn't give up. After getting a pair of proper running shoes and dozens of whale runs I actually started to like it. After just two months I ran my first half-marathon. I was stunned.

For anyone who would even consider running I can warmly recommend these:

1. Shoes. Proper running shoes that fit you, your foot and your running style. Get a professional to evaluate what kind of shoes you need (they'll know at a proper sports store). I can't emphasize this enough. Not a peep from my knee after taking care of the shoe issue.

2. Pole pole (swahili: take it easy). Start with walking speed so that you're actually comfortable.

3. Motivate. Need a target to train for? Sign up for a running competition. Brag about it so your friends will come and watch and you'll have to do it. Need concrete tools to keep you going? Get a nice running computer or use a mobile software that'll track your route with GPS and help you keep a training diary (Sports Tracker works at least ok).

I haven't used a personal trainer, at least not yet. Because Sister was right: it became rewarding. My waist size started shrinking, I got faster and more motivated. I started rewarding myself with cool running gear and thinking about another half-marathon. And a marathon. I surprised myself with learning to love it.

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