Fat Lady Running
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.
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.