A Princess in Preparation

Last time I wrote I said that I was going to wait until mid-October before I started running outside.  Well due to unexpected low humidity levels this past week I changed my plans, but just a bit.  My wonderful and supportive husband has every other Friday off from work so he decided that his day off was a great day to head to the park for a walk.  Notice that I did say walk and not run.  We arrived at the park by 8:30 and were on the trail power walking within minutes of our arrival.  We had our 17 month old son in the jogger stroller and he was enjoying being outside and pointing out the “pupps” that were out for their  morning stroll as well.  After about 10 minutes of walking I decided that now was as good a time as any to get this training thing under way.  I gave DH about a 15 second warning and told him we were going to try jogging a bit.  (Lucky for him (and me) that he is former military.  He knows how to run and is actually my motivator when things get tough.)  Quickly I discovered that running with a jogger stroller is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  I found that I need to be able to move my arms and holding on to a stroller does not allow for that movement.  I probably made it about a quarter mile before DH took over and pushed the stroller for me.  Another quarter mile and I had to walk again to catch my breath.  After a few minutes I was ready to try running again and following Jeff Galloway’s suggestions to build endurance I continued on alternating running and walking, always pushing myself just a little bit further than I thought I could.  The morning that was supposed to be a nice walk in the park had turned into a full on training session.  My total distance for the morning (according to the handy trail maps posted along the way) was 4.5 miles, of which I jogged about half and walked the rest.  Obviously I have a LONG way to go to 13.1 miles.

Some learning lessons from the morning:  First, as much as the baby loves being out in the jogger stroller, he isn’t going to be able to accompany us as the distances increase.  DH is capable of pushing the stroller, but he would be more comfortable without it.  So this means we are going to have to get creative and shuffle him around with various family members for our once a week runs.  Second, this was about the warmest temperature that I can comfortably run in.  It was in the low eighties with a nice cool breeze.  The only hard part was the stretch of trail that had no shade.  The sun was beating down and I thought that I was going to have heat stroke in the short 10 minutes or so that we were on that part of the trail.  Third, running outside really is nothing like running on a treadmill.  I knew this in my head, but once I was outside doing it, my body realized that my head wasn’t kidding.  I am going to continue running during the week on the treadmill, but once a week DH and I are going to hit the park trails and run outside.  We are going to run on his off Fridays or on Saturday morning, depending on which is more convenient.

I feel like I am officially on my way now.  I am going to study the race maps and find landmarks to mentally mark off how far I have run so far.  I know that mile 5.5 is through Cinderella’s Castle.  How fun is that?!?!

Bridget (who is learning to be a runner)

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