Running: My New Passion

 

Asics GT-2150

The above image is a pair of Asics GT-2150 running shoes that I use for a new found passion of mines: running.  It’s kind of weird how I stumbled on the thought of running on a regular basis.  When I was young, I always loved to run.  I was always the one who loved to play childhood games such as “Catch One Catch All”, “Tag”, “Freeze”, and all of the similar activities.  Why?  Because I knew I had the speed to catch anyone; it was exciting at the time.  Even with my love for running, I never played any athletics during school.  Fast-forward five years later after school, and here I am running for fun and competitive purposes.

My itch for competitive running started back in March of this year.  A co-worker of mines told me about a 5K event (3.1 miles) that was going to occur in May.  I was pretty excited to run the race, so I decided to accept the invitation.  When I first started my training, a didn’t know a THING about how to train, where to train, how to properly condition my body, nothing.  I remember my first couple of practice sessions at a local race track:  I was running in Nike Air Forces (never a good idea for ANY type of run, in my opinion).  I could not even run 2 miles without having to stop and grab something to drink.

I knew I was better than this, so I decided to get some advice from past runners/books.  The first thing that I had to do was definitely get some running shoes.  Even before I bought my first running shoes, I had to determine my foot structure.  The “Wet Test” (where you wet your feet and place them on a heavy piece of paper, preferably cardboard) helped me determine my foot structure.  I bought my first ever pair of running shoes, Asics Gel 1120.  From there, I purchased better clothes for running (Under Armour, nothing else matters!).  From this point on, I took not only my upcoming 5K event, but my running training very serious.

I started running once a week.  After I was comfortable, I started running 3 times per week; getting better with each run.  I started to run at different places other than the track.  I first started running with headphones and iPod in order to allude the thought of heavy breathing and aches.  After a while, I left those same set of headphones and iPod in my closet in order to become a more focused runner.  I wanted to correct my breathing patterns, my running technique, and my body movements.  All of this is critical when running.

I ran my first ever 5K on May 1st.  My official time was 23:50 (average of 7:40 per mile), which used time-chip scoring.  I felt great not only finishing the event without stopping, I felt great with the results at hand.  The results can be attributed to increased and consistent practice, good sleep the night before, and a good balance breakfast beforehand.

After the event, I wanted to learn more on how to become a better runner.  I was in a used bookstore and I happened to find a book called The New York Road Runners Club Complete Book of Running by Fred Lebow, Gloria Averbuch, and friends. Even though this book was outdated by 15 years, this book helped me to build a foundation of what it takes to become a better runner overtime.  As I was reading this book, it talked about Marathon running.  Before this point, I had really no intentions on running a marathon (26.2 miles).  I thought there was NO way that I could ever run that long and still stay sane.  After I read this chapter, my thoughts changed drastically.  My goal is to now run in a marathon by March of next year.  It’s going to take an ample amount of training, preparation, studying, and patience.  I believe that I can get it done. I bought a more up-to-date book for my marathon goal, The Marathon Method: The 16-Week Training Program that Prepares You to Finish a Full or Half Marathon in Your Best Time by Tom Holland. To quote Kevin Garnett, “anything is possibleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”.  Well, maybe without the same emotional outburst as Kevin, but close.

Since my first 5K, I’ve bought improved running shoes (hence the photo at the top), gotten my body into better shape, became more conscious of possible dangers of improper training, and overall became more excited with each run.

I went from not being able to run 2 miles without stopping, to currently running a personal record of 8 miles.  With each experience, I get more confident in my ability to run efficiently.  The thought of running actually has me going to bed early on the weekends (I know, blasphemy!) in order to run the paved paths and dirt trails.  I ran another 5K in September, and I plan on running my first-ever 10K this weekend.  As a matter of fact, I just came back from running two miles as practice for the event!  I’ll tell you how it goes in a future blog post.

Livestrong.

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Motivation: What Motivates You?

Motivation -the state or condition of being motivated; something that motivates; inducement; incentive.

Ask yourself this simple question: What motivates you?  Think about for a little bit.  There is something that motivates each and every one of us.  Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, there could be a wide range of factors that equates one to get a job done.

I hear people saying that others around them gives them motivation.  People who won’t stop at nothing to prove that you cannot succeed; people who believe that they are superior to your existence; people who say that you cannot accomplish something just because they could not do it themselves.  There finally comes a point where you feel that you have to prove yourself to others who doubted you.  You start working extra hard to overcome the naysayers.  This is where motivation kicks in.

Your sources of motivation could come personally; more specifically: family members.  This relates to me very specifically, especially when I lost my cousin lost his life to senseless violence.  This event motivated me in two ways:  1. To stay close with my family members no matter what constraints lie between us; 2. To succeed in college in remembrance of my fallen family member.

One last source of motivation that I will talk about is regarding the future.  What does the future hold for you if you accomplish your goal?  For example, do you see yourself coming out better financially?  Do you see yourself improving physically?  Motivation can come from realizing the end result of all the preparation and work you will need to sacrifice.

Overall, motivation can come from many different sources.  I tend to find something all the time to motivate me.  I tend to be more focused when I’m motivated.  As T.I. said in the song Motivation:

“If God with me, who could be against me sucka? Can’t make me suffer, just make me tougher (It’s motivation)”