Hey y’all, it’s me. You may or may not recall (hopefully the former), as it has been what seems like an eon since I posted, but this is your Southern Fried Friend, DC Darlin’, at your service. Good to see you again, too.
While my absence from the Southern Fried Blog possesses an air of tactlessness and nearly borders the line of *gasp* Uncouth, I will say that I have a perfectly logical, decent and even Southern explanation for my actions. Last week I took a much needed vacation from city life and jetted back to my roots of L.A. for some RR&R (rest, relaxation & really good cooking). I had a lovely week, hanging out on the Redneck Riviera, eating my weight in seafood, fried chicken and anything else my mom lavished upon me, and enjoying some much needed time with the family. I don’t know what it is, but no matter where I go or what I do, going home from time to time is like giving my life a big tune-up. The minute I’m home, I get back to my roots and recharge, armed with a larger piece of me to face the chaos that awaits on the other side of the plane flight back. I hope each of you have a ‘home’ – whether a place, people, faith or otherwise – where each time you visit you leave feeling more like yourself than when you came. No matter where that is, that, friends, is home.
Ok, enough Oprah talk, I have another item to address. I have had a number of Southern Fried Fans ask about my 10-mile run and just how I did it. My first thought is, “If I can do it, trust me..anyone can!” So I thought I’d give you my non-expert guide to loving running and getting good enough to do it an insanely long period of time…
1. Just Do It. Meaning…start. Just start running. When I first started running, I began on the 2-mile walking path at the Arboretum in Lexington, KY. I would run for probably a quarter mile and then stop because I was sure I was about to meet my Maker momentarily otherwise. But I had to start somewhere.
2. Push Yourself Further Every Time. When I began those daily runs at the Arboretum, I worked on pushing myself a little further every time. Even if the next time was to the next park bench or curve in the path, I made myself go a little further every time. Before I knew it, I could actually run the entire 2 miles without stopping, which was a HUGE feat for me! And feeling that kind of confidence only pushed me to want to beat myself even more..thus I pushed to 3 miles, then 4, 5, and now 10!
3. Music makes the feet go ’round. This may not be true for everyone, but for me, music is a must-have for running. It is an incredible motivation for me to keep going, no matter how I’m feeling at the time. But I know others who can’t run with music because they like to hash out things in their head while they run…therefore music is a distraction. No matter what, find out what works best for you and make it part of your regimen.
4. When you’re ready, sign up for a race. I say “When you’re ready” with all seriousness because you need to feel comfortable with running and be at the point where you really like it. I despised running before I started regularly. But once I got in good enough shape to actually run, I loved it!!! Once I established a liking for it, I decided to test myself with a 5K (3.1 miles). At that point I was running three miles regularly before the race, but actually signing up and devoting money to the event was good motivation to keep up the level of effort in order to place a decent time. And when you sign up, set a personal goal for yourself…maybe it’s finishing without stopping, or finishing by a certain time.
5. When you’re ready to run an extensive race, get some help. I’m pretty sure even She-rah couldn’t have run 10 miles without some sort of training plan. So when you get to the point where you’re ready to really go the distance, find a training plan and begin it as soon as possible. DON’T wait until 2 weeks before the race…you’ll only cheat yourself of the feeling you get after having worked so hard to attain your goal. I found this plan on the web and followed it in order to train for my 10-miler: 10-Miler Training Plan from Runner’sWorld.com. There are a number of variations out there, so find what works best for your lifestyle and schedule and make it happen!
I suppose a number 6 could be finding a running group, as many people gain motivation from running with others. I actually am the exact opposite, probably because I started training by myself. I actually like running by myself because for me, running is about beating myself. When I run with others, it becomes about beating the other person. But some people find they are pushed more when they have a partner or group to run with. If you don’t have a friend who is interested in running with you, you can definitely find info on running groups from your local running shoe store. And if you’re in DC, Pacer’s has a fabulous email newsletter with info on running groups, upcoming races and anything else running related in the DC area.
So there you have it…straight from the non-expert horse’s mouth. Please feel free to send comments on your running tips, updates, questions, complaints, etc. I’d love to hear others’ experiences! Happy running!!!