Run baby, run: my history with running

You may have picked up on this, but I really like to run. Like, love it. So much that I'm trying to do 600 km of it this year.
Funny thing is, I haven't always loved it. When I was in high school, I HATED sports. Running was my least favorite. I just couldn't see the point. We had this running test twice a year (Wikipedia calls it the Multi-stage fitness test. We called it the Shuttle run test), and I dreaded those days with every fiber of my body.

Fast forward a few years, to 2009. I was 20 years old, and I wanted to get in shape a bit. Imre and I just broke up, and I didn't know what to do with myself. So I got myself a pair of Asics (The pair above. This is the first running related picture I could find in my archives) and I started this thing called "Start to Run". It is a sort of podcast with music and a Belgian woman telling you when to walk and when to run. During lesson 1 you start running with one minute intervals, and 10 weeks (30 lessons) later you can run 5 km.

I was incredibly impressed with myself after running my first ever 5k. And so... I stopped running. Don't ask me why, but right after I finished the program I stopped. A few months later I started again, and the same thing happened. Over and over again, I started, ran for a few weeks and then stopped. Sometimes I got pretty far, but I hardly ever really got to 5k. At some point I knew which songs would play next, that's how often I'd played those tracks. I love running though. At this time I lived 30 meters from the entrance to a park that led to the woods. I never ran in the city, I always ran in the woods. I loved it. Loved it. That forest is one of my happy places :)

This went on for a few years, until I set myself a goal: I wanted to run the 5k race organised during the Eindhoven Marathon, in November 2013. I bought myself a new pair of running shoes (I love my Mizuno Wave Inspires!), and started training for real. I didn't set myself any goals other than finishing the race. I ran it, and I finished in 36.22. I felt amazing!
And then, you guessed it... I stopped again. I hated running in the winter, and for some reason I lose focus after reaching a goal.

Fast forward to Juli 2014. I did not run for over 6 months. At the beginning of the month I started my new job, and found out that the company was sponsoring a race in October. Employees were invited to join, and a few of the colleagues in my team were running 5 or 10k. So I joined, and set myself the goal of running that 5k faster than last year, preferably under 35 minutes. And I started training again.
I ran those 5k in 34.01, so again, I reached my goal (I was a bit bummed that I wasn't 2 seconds faster though..). And again, I fell off the bandwagon for a while.

In my defence, the day after my race Imre and I started our first ever Whole30. And if you ever did a Whole30 while working full time, you know that a) you don't have any time to do anything but cook and work and b) your energy levels drop significantly during the first weeks.
So I made a deal with myself: I got to relax during my Whole30 (and the reintroduction phase), but afterwards I had to get back on track. About 7 weeks later I put my running shoes back on, and started getting back to a comfortable 5k.

That comfortable 5k is where I am today. After almost 6 years I'm starting to feel like a proper runner (which is crazy, I know). I'm now training for my first ever 10k race, Nike's We Run Amsterdam on May 16. My main goal is to finish the race. I hope to be running more 10k races this year and improve my time, but this first race is all about finishing without injuries.

 I'm currently trying to figure out my training schedule. I'm planning to up my endurance run by 0.5 km every week, which gives me plenty of time to get to that 10k in time, and take it slower if necessary. I want to add an interval training every one to two weeks. But most importantly - I want to keep enjoying my runs. For the first time ever I am going for runs because I want to, not because my training schedule tells me to. I'm learning that I actually don't mind the winter runs. Last week when it was snowing I couldn't wait to get out and run just for fun. Yes, I love that I'm getting faster. I love that I'm running further than I ever have. I love when my Nike+ app tells me "records fell today".

But mostly I just love to run.

1 opmerking :

  1. Seriously, this blog post is so inspiring. I really loved reading this story. And wow, 10K. That's impressive. I'm sure you can do it.


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