The Beginner’s Guide to Running

The following is the first a 4-part guest post series from from reporter, fiction writer, and 20Something Blog Author, Andrea Lynn Tyrell.  Enjoy~

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Andrea Lynn TyrellI hate exercising. Period. I avoid it as much as possible.

 

While I feel generally okay about my body, I know that I could look a bit better. But that reason never really gave me the motivation to work out.

 

A couple of months ago, I pumped iron with my boyfriend’s brother (who is a trainer-in-training) but I stopped after two weeks.

 

I hated being constantly sore and feeling like I couldn’t use my arms.

 

Plus, the SWEATING!

 

When you’re a woman of color, you know that the sweat can turn your newly straightened hair into a fro-like mess. I just rather not deal with the tangles and useless limbs.

 

I’m lucky that I’m in good health- it is something that I take for granted all the time. I don’t get sick often and my skin is clear. The amount of exercise I do get is reduced to biking since I don’t own a car.

 

I don’t always feed my body the most nutritious food (cocktails will forever be my weakness) and my sleep pattern is scattered.

 

Despite knowing all this, I still chose not to change my lifestyle.

 

Let’s admit it- change is hard and I’m a girl set in my ways.

 

But this girl has to be a grown woman one day and I know that I won’t always be so lucky with my health. Diseases like diabetes run in my family and it’s something that I know I can prevent if I start building healthy habits now.

 

I do think about my future often- I see myself as a mom running around after my kids, playing soccer with them and teaching them how to surf.

 

I see myself strong and agile, keeping up with my children with my grayed ponytail blowing in the wind.

 

It is time to take better care of myself. Time to exercise on the daily. Time to eat better. Time to drink more water and take more vitamins.

 

The little devil in the back of my head keeps on telling me, “No! Let’s watch a couple more episodes of Futurama and shove more Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked in your face.”
But it is time to show him WHO IS BOSS

 

So, let’s exercise!

 

But… Doing the same thing every day bores me and leaves me feeling discouraged. I figure if I can find a regiment that challenges me, I’ll stick with it.
I’m also unemployed at the moment and cannot afford a gym membership. I don’t have weights at home but I have the internet and a can-do attitude!

 

I’ve been researching different workout routines and simple exercises that you can add to your daily life- but man, there are so many! The investigative journalist in me wants to explore every option.
So, I have decided that for the next four months, I am going to try a different workout regiment, see if I like it and then, hopefully stick with it (fingers crossed).

 

MONDAY

Running a marathon is on my bucket list and I hope to one day make that goal into a reality.
I always wanted to be a runner. My favorite summer Olympic events happen on the track and I’m jealous of the speed and agility of those athletes (plus, have you seen their legs?). Running a marathon is on my bucket list and I hope to one day make that goal into a reality.

 

With that dream in mind, this month I will teach myself how to run and transform myself into a long-distance runner.

Should be easy enough, yes?

 

Here we go!

The Starting Line

The Starting Line

Being the eager beaver that I am, I ran through my neighborhood in the early morning, completely overexerting myself. I woke up with a surge of energy that I needed to burn off. After checking the weather report (it was a perfect 76 degrees), I threw on my shoes and hit started on the streets. I didn’t track my time nor my mileage- I was just happy to run.

 

That probably wasn’t the best idea…..

 

By noon, a few hours after my adventure, my legs felt like Jell-O. I spent the rest of the day with a friend visiting from the Bay Area. She just started running and runner friend of mine who was happy to share tips. “Start small,” she said. “Start by running for five minutes and only five minutes. Gauge yourself,”.

 

Oops.

 

TUESDAY

I woke up hating myself. I sat in the shower for half an hour, massaging my sore calves. I had the worst shin splints and vowed not to move from the couch for the rest of the day.
Usually, I quit when things get rough. Not this time!
I spent a couple of hours online, looking up beginning runner’s training.
CoolRunning.com seems to be a great place to start. I found some amazing offers guides for beginner runners- and has running logs, nutrition tips and injury prevention advice- all for free!

 

Cool Running has a free beginning program called Couch To 5K. Their idea is to transform a beginner into runner, getting you running three miles (or five kilometers) on a regular basis in just two months.

 

I wish that I could be one of those people who could work out without a guidance but sadly, I’m not. I am hoping that the Couch to 5K program will be a good fit for me. Here’s to hoping!

 

WEDNESDAY

It poured all day on Wednesday and I wasn’t ready to splash in puddles, so I took the day off.

THURSDAY

The next day proved to be a busy one as I had breakfast plans and two job interviews on different sides of town.

 

I woke up earlier than usual to run. I reviewed the Couch to 5K advice for the day and spent twenty minutes (yes, only twenty minutes!) rotating running for a minute and walking for a minute and a half.

My calves were still incredibly sore throughout the day but I feel a great sense of accomplishment as I went throughout my day.

 

Turns out, running may be my thing after all.
Stayed tuned for next week’s blog. Hopefully, my legs don’t fall off in the meanwhile.

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Andrea Lynn Tyrell is a 29-year-old reporter, blogger, actress and fiction writer living in Reno, NV. She is obsessed with Peter Jennings’ and Lisa Ling’s careers and hopes to one day win an Oscar (she already has her acceptance speech prepared and memorized).

Tyrell has editorial, website and multimedia experience and writes about political issues, relationships and sex, entertainment and art, as well as human interest pieces. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaLTyrell and at twenty20something.wordpress.com.