I was a night owl, partier and drinker. On the other hand, I’ve also been sporty all my life, just didn’t do the long intense cardio workout thing, and hated running I usually did weights, body balance, body pump, spinning, or tennis.
Started hearing friends who turned 40 saying that its harder to lose weight after they turned 40. Body starting to “fall apart” too.
So, approaching 40, 3+ yrs ago, at the same time when my daughter had to be at school by 7am, I started to wonder what to do with myself that early in the morning after I was done with the shuttle service. I was also getting tired having to drive to the gym to exercise and missing classes while on holidays. I want to be able to just go out the door and exercise! Whatever time of day as long as the weather is nice and “cool”. I thought, after all the spinning classes I did, my stamina should be good enough to run!
And that was it! one Saturday morning, I laced up, asked my daughter to cycle along (I was too shy to run by myself ). We did 5k! I didn’t run nonstop but I tried the best I could. I choked, struggled, out of breath but I was determined to cover that lap!
Legs and body ached and were stiff all over after. I later asked around, apparently I should have worn proper running shoes. Even running socks!! Wow, I didn’t know they made any difference. That was the next thing I did, retail therapy!!
Even choosing running shoes was confusing; there are the road or trail shoes, cushioning, stability, motion control, minimalist/barefoot.
Anyhow I bought my first, they were adidas and they were perfect. They supported my feet and body. I kept on running and there was no more ache/stiffness. However, those supports wear out. How long that takes is dependent on your mileage. I now can tell as I can’t feel the “cushioning” anymore, the shoes become kind of stiff and I know it’s time for more retail therapy! 😀
Unfortunately just like fashion, they have new running shoe designs every season or something, supposedly better I think. You might not be able to find the same ones as that last pair you loved and became accustomed to. So you have to start that whole process all over again…try different ones which would suit your feet and running style. Sometimes you can only feel it after a few runs!..
In 3 years, I think I’ve tried and owned almost 10 pairs, from adidas to nike to saucony to brooks to asics to sketchers. Different brands, different models, different fit! From those 10 pairs I’d say 6 were the perfect fit.
Anyway, after my first run, I continued running. Minimum 5km! My thought was, my first run was 5k, my next run cannot be less!! I tried to get my daughter to cycle along on the weekends. Over time, she even noticed I was getting faster and lasted longer without walking. Now I run alone and running is freedom – from schedule, at my own pace, I don’t need to depend/wait on anyone.
My regular route is our neighbourhood. I recreate accordingly should I want to go further. In the beginning I used an app to plan and calculate my route. And when I needed change, I go to East Coast Park or Sentosa to run along the beach. But now that’s not convenient anymore.
I didn’t follow any training plans for a while. I just ran by feelings. When I wanted to push/challenge myself, I just told myself maybe I can do 7k today, then lets try 8k, or 9k and so on. I didn’t stop, I kept on running..I actually love it!!
The key is listen to the body – to go fast, far, pace, push or rest. At my age, I don’t think to be fast like athletes. I just want to keep fit, healthy, finish races within cutoff time and most importantly not to get injured.
Now, I’m still a night owl, I still party and drink, but according to my running schedule. As I have now been training for half marathons, so I’m running more, my body feels more tired and my mind thinking “I’d rather run tomorrow morning than nursing a hangover”
When I’m going on holiday, I check in advance where I’d be able to run – on the beach/trail nearby, or if I’d need a hotel with a gym.
I searched, googled, downloaded training plans, mix and match them, follow them however suits my body.
I didn’t really need to lose weight. I may have lost 3kg in the 3 years of running. Not much but I look skinny and toned. 😉