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Fat Lady Running

April 11, 2013

Howdy folks. Some of you may know from my blog that I’m preparing to strike something off my bucket list: the Victoria Goddess Run, to be held on June 2nd here in beautiful Langford, BC. So far I’ve just been doing some walks and on Sundays going for longer walk/jogs, but this last week three things have happened to help kick things into a higher gear: I acquired a jogging stroller, my old shoes completely died on me, and I finally found a great Couch to 5k podcast.

Why do I need a jogging stroller? So I can stop being a weekend warrior and get out during the day while Gabe’s at school and bring Kat with me. If I’m going to actually RUN the 5k and not just walk half and jog the other half, I need to actually train. Sadly, Blackberry doesn’t have a good Couch to 5k app, but Runtastic is alright and WalkJogRun is where I plan my routes. I’ve never done anything like this before in my life, so I want to get started properly. This ties into the awesome podcast I found and downloaded; the music is fun and the man narrating it tells me when to warm up, run, slow down and then cool down. I’ve done it twice already for week 1, with one more time to go before I start on week two, and I can’t wait to lace up my new shoes and GO.

One thing I’ve read over and over about running is to get the right shoes. Unlike many people, I despise shoe shopping. My feet are rather large for a woman (size 10 and wide, depending on the make) and there’s rarely anything nice left for me to pick up (kind of like buying bras when you’re a fat lady; “Gosh, do I ever love beige!” said no fat lady ever). It’s time consuming and often I’ll just grab the first thing that fits and get the heck out. The right shoes can help you prevent injuries, keep you motivated and overall just make for a better run (or so I’ve read). Sadly, really nice running shoes are out of my price range, so it was off to Wally-World for a pair of whatever I could find that fit and felt alright.

New Shoes

New Shoes

So, armed (legged?) with new shoes, Kat in the jogging stroller, Runtastic ready to clock my time and distance, and my podcast playing in my ears, I set out and apparently completely forgot everything I’d read about not overdoing it at first. Doing the training  two days in a row without the break day was really hard on my calves. Also, I still really need a new bra. The stroller, while light and much much MUCH better than the one I was using, is also much wider, which makes running alongside the road (no sidewalks) difficult. Running on pavement, as opposed to the trail like I was, is hard on my knees as well.

Still, it was a beautiful day for a run: sunny and warm, not too much traffic, birds chirping in the bushes, the ditches running with water making a nice burbly sound, and a hot shower with special soap waiting for me when I got back. What has a couple of 5k walk/jogs taught me?

  • Buy decent shoes — They don’t have to be top-of-the-line, $200 shoes, but they do have to fit properly and be able to cushion your body from pounding the pavement.
  • Get a good bra (ladies, this one’s just for you) — Having your boobs bouncing all over the place while you run is not only uncomfortable but can make you feel self-conscious, or even MORE self-conscious of yourself.
  • STRETCH — Please don’t make my mistake and not stretch before beginning. Even a minute or two will improve how you run, and how you feel afterward.
  • Bring water
  • Wear chapstick
  • Be aware after a run of chafing — Powder can help with this, as can clothes that breathe better/differently than cotton. This is NOT just a fat people problem; anyone who runs long distances will experience the friction that can cause chafing.
  • ABOVE ALL — Listen to your body! If your podcast says you’ve got 20 seconds left to go but your body says “nope, we’re done,” you’re done. If your brain is saying “Just a little more!” and your knees say “Nope!” then listen to your knees. Your brain can and will try to trick you into doing more than your body can handle. Sometimes this is a good thing, like pushing past a fear. Other times, not so much.

So, this is what I’ve been up too! I’m a fat lady who’s running and not giving a damn if she look silly, is slow or can’t afford fancy shoes.  It’s both harder and easier than I thought it’d be, but either way I’m glad I’m doing it.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Duckie permalink
    April 11, 2013 12:20 pm

    Running terrifies me. I do not run. I’ve always hated running, even as a kid. I truthfully have not run even one or two steps in nearly two decades. I’m pretty sure I could still do it if a saber toothed tiger was behind me or someone snatched my purse, but I would pretty much hate it then too.

    Kudos to you! Take care an keep yourself healthy so you can keep telling us about your running fat adventures and letting us live vicariously!

    • JeninCanada permalink
      April 11, 2013 9:00 pm

      Thanks! What DO you like to do (if anything at all? Nothing is 100% an acceptable answer). I didn’t like running, until I started doing it. Like you, the only reason I ran was if it was NECESSARY. Before this, the only time I ran was to catch a bus, or my son. One day I just “What if?” and it’s grown from there. It’s SO WEIRD. But, I love it. I love the solitude of it especially.

  2. April 11, 2013 10:48 pm

    … be able to cushion your body from pounding the pavement.

    Alternatively, minimalist shoes are an option. While they do require a different stride technique than do traditional running shoes, I found that to be more a mental transition than a physical stumbling block. (That is, it totally felt fine on my legs, but I initially had problems remembering to use the new stride.) They’re certainly not for everybody, but I don’t know any reason why they wouldn’t be a fine option for larger runners. But I am, you know, totally biased. 😉

    … Be aware after a run of chafing…

    Another product link, I admit, but — BODYGLIDE. All the kinds. It is pretty much Awesome in Soft Solid form.

  3. April 11, 2013 11:36 pm

    I started a VERY conservative couch to 5 K program. I was inspired by some people on the fit fatties forum. I like the running, but I have trouble controlling my thoughts and I end up very angry by the end of every workout. I went to a mediation seminar and the woman leading it called the phenomenon “monkey brain”. When you get more oxygen to your brain, your brain just goes from one subject to another, anyway, my brain just gets angry. It’s not the same thing and sometimes it’s about really stupid stuff, but by the end of each workout, I’ve written some sort of manifesto in my head and I’m angry the rest of the day. My husband just gets calm and empty headed, but, boy, not me. I’m going to try maybe some podcasts or something, but I don’t love having headphones on for other reasons. (I know I sound kind of high maintenance, but I really try to keep my high maintenance aspects to myself.) I’ll also work on my mediation techniques, but I think that’ll take awhile to kick in.

    Previously, my workouts were more like aerobics or dancing where you had to concentrate on steps and had music to listen to etc. I’ll keep running for now because my husband likes it and he’s a little harder to keep motivated and I want to help him stay motivated and as long as I think it helps him I’ll stick with it. I like aspects of it. Mostly, I like challenging myself. I live in Texas, so we’ll see how I feel when it’s 100 in the summer.

  4. April 12, 2013 10:59 am

    It’s weird. I am the only one who truly loathes running, from a family of runners … yet give me my rollerblades and I’m happy as a clam. I love that solitude feeling as well, I just can’t ignore all the negative thoughts when I run. It’s hard and jarring and my brain immediately starts screaming “If you weren’t a fat lazy fuck you could do this!!” But on my skates? I work up a good hard sweat without any of the negative reinforcement. I have no idea why my brain reacts that way.

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