In an effort to continue leading a healthy lifestyle this year I have decided to challenge myself by running the Chicago Marathon. Completing a marathon has always been a dream of mine and given my newfound health it’s time to make that dream a reality. I have begun training and as of this past Saturday am up to twelve miles, not too bad for a guy who only seven months ago would break a sweat if his nose ran! However, I’m quickly learning that it’s not enough to just want to run a marathon; it takes a great deal of dedication, motivation, perspiration, and especially the right information.
With my new body, I feel as if I run like the wind; especially when compared to what my old body could do. I am simply so excited that sometimes I forget some of the important lessons I am learning from my running coach and running buddies. But, they say if you’re write things down, you tend to forget less. So, I am writing them down to share with all of you.
First of all, it is essential to eat about 200 calories before doing any form of exercise, especially if it is first thing in the morning. This will not only get your metabolism going, but also keep your blood sugar from dropping in the middle of your workout.
Next, it is extremely important to pace yourself while running. As I said, I get so excited; my little feet (which I now can see) take off nearly leaving my body behind. I’m quickly learning that the run-as-fast-as-you-can technique works great for low mileage, but after running 12 miles, I sure am glad there was someone there to pace me. The key is to not expend all of my energy at the beginning, but keep an even pace throughout the run.
Finally, the most important piece of information I want to share is that a good pair of running shoes is key. I always got mine at the local shoe outlet store and saw nothing wrong with it until my fabulous trainer, Angela Park, recommended Running Away, a locally owned running store here in Chicago. I went in and was helped by Tim, the manager. He spent an hour with me making sure I had a pair of shoes that not only fit my feet, but also fit my body and my running style. Spending the extra time identifying a pair of shoes that will help me prevent injury while putting in the miles was worth every second. I am now the proud owner of a pair of Brooks running shoes, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. They are so comfortable, I wear them whenever possible. I’ll tell you . . . these shoes were made for running and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these shoes are gonna run right on past you!
July 17th, 2008