In two days I will be attempting to run my first 12 kilometre fun run. I have entered and completed 12km fun runs before, but always as a walker.
About eight months ago one of my best friends asked me to do the Perth City to Surf (another 12km fun run) in a year's time with her. She has had her second child and was looking forward to running again, and it was nice of her to give me a year's notice to practice, as I was NOT a runner.
I've signed up for the fun run this weekend as a practice run before the City to Surf, which is a VERY hilly run. So far I've only managed to jog 12kms once in training, and I was very sore the next day so I expect to be in a bit of pain when I write next on Monday; I'll let you know how it went and what time I finish in.
When I first started training in the gym, I hated running. It was hard. My feet hurt. My back hurt. The only reason I kept running on the treadmill was it became apparent that it was the fastest way for me to burn calories (out of the exercises I was doing).
Over time it became easier and I would enjoy setting myself a distance or speed challenge and beating it. Every time I came off the treadmill I was high as a kite and completely exhausted. Once I could run 5kms I entered the 5km Color Run and was surprised to find how difficult it was doing the same distance outside. Running in the sun and wind (instead of air conditioned comfort) across varying terrains was exhausting and I barely made it across the finish line.
This, and the desire to save myself the gym fees finalised my decision to hand in the gym membership and become a runner. At first I was concerned my thrice-weekly running sessions would give way as winter wore on, but I'm lucky enough to have well-lit bike paths in my neighbourhood so I felt safe running after dark on my own and continued my training.
The only equipment I bought was a GPS watch so I could continue to set myself time and speed challenges as if I were on a treadmill. It cost about $130 and my gym fees had been nearly $50 a month so this was paid back in under 3 months of running.
Now I'm starting to take my training a bit more seriously I read running blogs and have found the No Meat Athlete a great help for nutritional advice for vegetarians. Matt is a runner who went vegan to improve his speed and endurance - a great inspiration!
I have found setting myself little goals keeps the training interesting, as well as adding motivation to get changed and go out running in the dark after a long day at work! How do you motivate yourself and what sports work for you?