Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Minimalist Exercise - Running

Back in October of 2014 I made a commitment to myself and my family.  I was determined to lose the "baby weight," get fit and become an example of healthy living to my daughter.  I decided to take up running.  Of course, in my usual fashion, I went in with both feet.  Or more like a direct dive.  I signed up for a 15K and just started running 4 days a week.  It started with one mile a day and quickly moved into 3 miles.  I remember looking at 4 miles as if it was an impossible feat, only to be running 9.32 miles (15K), 3 months later. Yep.  Did I quit running after the 15K? Nope.  Instead I signed up for and ran an Iron Girl half marathon 3 months after that.  During that race, I thought I'd die honestly.  But, did I give up then? Yea.... no.  Instead, I opened up my e-mail to find out I'd been selected in the Chicago Marathon lottery (which I signed up for as a total joke).  I definitely couldn't turn that once in a lifetime opportunity down! So, what did I do alllllllll summer in the Florida heat?  I trained.  I ran.  I prepared.  Come October of 2015 and I ran and finished the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  One of the World Marathon Majors! Me!!! Little ole' me who couldn't even run a quarter of a mile without feeling completely winded and red as a lobster!!

So, am I still running today? Yes.  In fact, in a couple of months I will begin training yet again for another marathon.  This time? The famed TCS New York City Marathon in November! My name (which again, I put in as a "no way I'm getting picked for this") was drawn out of the lottery.  How can I say no to that?? I'm running it.

I share this story with you in an attempt to encourage you that exercise and fitness need not be expensive or impossible. You really can't get more minimalist than running.  All it requires is a quality pair of sneakers, which will run you anywhere from $75-150.  But, they are WORTH it.  Trust me.  Don't run in cheap shoes.  Your shins, ankles and feet will thank you.  The road is freeeeeeee!! Plus, what better way to get in touch with nature than being outside several times a week.  If you have a stressful day job or home life, I can't say enough about what a stress buster and endorphin inducer running is.  You WILL feel awesome!! I guarantee it.

Are you new to running? Don't fret.  You don't have to be a crazy person and go all out like I did.  I'm just crazy like that. I would recommend starting with a couple of days a week following a run/walk program.  You will slowly build up endurance and suddenly feel like you can go a bit more than the week before.  Increase your distance weekly and you will be on your way to making running a part of your minimalist lifestyle.  Are you already a runner? I'd love to know how you fit it into your schedule and what your routine is! Have a healthy and happy Wednesday!