It’s been such a long, (mostly uphill) road for me! I started out with running a few months ago and never imagined how much I’d love it. I really was a BEGINNER on every level. Right now I’m still brand new at all of this. My first 21km was a project or experiment. People ask why I started running as if it was my idea and it really wasn’t. I had signed up with Knysna Oyster Festival as a beginner Sports Writer of sorts, and it was an assignment. It was a challenge I could NOT turn down. I worked really hard for the opportunity – I trained, saw numerous medical professionals, kitted out, joined a gym and spent tiny baby fortunes on shoes, accessories and everything else I needed. We’ve spoken about all of this. Sorry. I really just can’t get over it – all of it. I still can’t believe that I ran 21km. I felt nauseated and my body was bleeding with pain for days on end, but I achieved something for nothing more than my own personal satisfaction.
And now the rabbit has nibbled (you know like, instead of “the bug has bitten”) (you know?)
I’ve entered three more races, just to keep my fitness up. I thought that after the assignment I’d stop with the running and carry on with business and family as usual. So I quickly wanted to tell you about the three races I’ve entered! You know, people ask me for advice on running – on how to do all of it. Some of my readers have even started running since following my little missions. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. If even ONE of my readers has started running because of me I’d be absolutely thrilled and elated, for YOU. If my happiness can bring you happiness then well… that’s just the best thing since banana pudding, isn’t it?
I don’t really have advice. Some days I can’t even get myself to lace up or leave the house. Sometimes the thought of going for a RUN is so exhausting that I’d rather do absolutely anything else. Different things work for different people. At the end of the day and like everything else.. it has to be something that YOU want to do. Everyone enjoys different activities, so this might not be the one for you. HOWEVER, I’ve scoured the internet at large for a few quick facts, history and benefits of running. I think these are really fun:
Ten Facts and BENEFITS of Running (and why I keep telling y’all how AWESOME it is!)
1. It is assumed that our ancestors developed the ability to run for long distances about 2.6 million years ago, probably in order to hunt animals – the activity of following and chasing until a prey is too exhausted to flee. Nowadays (luckily) we don’t have to chase our supper for 20km at a time.
2. Running has been described as the world’s most accessible sport.
3. Running improves your cardiovascular and respiratory health and improves your cardiovascular fitness. Running also reduces your total blood cholesterol.
4. Running, like all forms of regular cardiovascular exercise, can effectively slow or reverse the effects of aging.
5. Running is proven to reduce your risk of having a heart attack. By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be reduced
6. Running can assist people in losing weight, staying in shape and improving body composition. Running increases your metabolism. Running is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute, following only after cross country skiing
7. Running is frequently recommended as therapy for people with clinical depression and people coping with addiction.
8. For women, running can actually help to lower your risk of breast cancer.
9. When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones. This is how running relieves stress!
10. Running assists with strengthening of bones and the immune system. More strong, less sick!
SO. By running you can improve your health, prevent disease, lose weight, look younger, be happier, boost your confidence, strengthen your body and stay in shape! Sounds good to me! If you’ve ever thought about starting out, then maybe try push yourself in to the scary end by signing up for a race or funrun! Entering races is cheap (about R30 – R150 per race including your license fees and race chips where applicable) and some are even free! Remember that big races and marathons will also offer shorter races and family walks or funruns, so look at ALL that is on offer! Man, there’s such a great vibe at these things, I am so excited about my next three races. Namely:
1. Totalsports Ladies Race. Saturday 9 August. 10km or 5km. Follow them on Twitter: @tsladiesrace
Entries for this one closes TONIGHT (Sunday) and you really should enter online! I saw my friend Tammy did the Durban one and it looked like SO much fun! It’s going to be really fun to run around Stellenbosch for the morning! I can’t wait. Think I’m definitely going to try get a permanent race number for this one!
2. Cape Town Marathon. 21 September. 42km Marathon or 10km Peace Run. Follow them on Twitter: @CTMarathon
I’m only doing the 10km and doing it alone again! Graeme has knee issues, so he really struggles with running anything more than 5km. He’s taking some medication and supplements, but for now I am still running solo. I have never run WITH anyone else, so I don’t know if that’s really my thing either. I’m quite a loner on the road! The only part that sucks is the pre-race part, so please come say hi if you’re doing it too!
The Gun Run. Sunday 12 October. 21km, 10km and 5km. Follow them on Twitter: @GunRunSA
I’m doing the 21km again! Guys I really, really struggled after my first 21km. I took valoids and myprodol and rehydrate and everything Graeme tried to give me. I slept for a few hours then tried going out for dinner and being ‘normal’ but my body was just in a total state of shock. I am REALLY hoping that It will be easier after this one. And that I won’t cry as much at the finish!!
All of these races are still open for entries. Even if you start with a 5km – do it. Bring the whole family! These are going to be SO much fun!! See you there!