Thursday, February 11, 2016

Get Out There and Run - Jennifer

I am very excited to run the Boston Marathon with my fellow NWH employees. I have been running for most of my adult life. I started running in my mid 20s, so close to 20 years ago.  I finished nursing school rather out of shape. In an effort to get fit, I started running and was lucky enough to live very close to a trail around a lake. It is still my favorite place to run, though now, rather than solely for fitness, I run because I love it. I ran many years before ever deciding to run a race. My first race was a half marathon in 2014. Training was fun. After the race I was hooked! I ran several 5Ks, a 10K and another half marathon that year. I even earned a few medals. I signed up for my first marathon that fall but I was unable to run it due to an injury. My goal at that time was to finish. But I was secretly hoping to get a qualifying time so I could run Boston just once! My biggest motivation to run Boston is just to accomplish a goal. For many years I felt like it was a goal that was not even within reach, not even worth training for. But as I have accomplished other goals, like running the half marathon and winning a 5K and a few age group awards, I have started on a fun journey of challenging the limits I set for myself. So, while so many people have run Boston before me, it was never something I envisioned myself doing, and now I am training for it.

I have decided to follow the World Running full marathon intermediate training guide. The main reason I chose that one is because it advises the runs in time rather than distance. I was elated when I first heard that I was lucky enough to be selected to run with NWH. It was not long before reality set in and I wondered “how am I going to run for four hours or more??”  I realized it was the length of time rather than the distance that seemed daunting to me. In following this plan, I have found that I like my training runs planned in time rather than distance. It has changed my attitude towards my running. I enjoy going out knowing how long I will be running and not trying to finish up quickly to get on with my day.  

Training has definitely affected my daily life in a very positive way. I enjoy running and now I have more motivation to do it. I am also incorporating some HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, stretching videos and yoga. I am going to physical therapy also, which is helping me to work on my areas of weakness. I have my training plan in my calendar all the way until April 18th!  I have some friends coming along with me on some of my runs, which is great.  I help to motivate some, and others motivate me to work harder than I otherwise would (you know who you are). I am looking forward to seeing some of my friends along the route. It’s a great feeling to know that I have people out there who are planning to cheer me on. It is very motivating for me. It really encourages me to get out and train.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous to do this. I wondered if I would be ready. I wondered if I would be able to do the training. I was concerned about injuries. But now that I am on my way I realize that those fears should not keep me from doing something I am so excited to try.  When I start to feel discouraged, I just look to the people I know who have done it before me and reflect on how impressed and inspired I was by their accomplishment.  This gives me the motivation to overcome the fear and get out there and run.

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