lessons learned: running

Feb 14, 2012

Keziah and I have started running. We have now run together three times (which is three times more than I ever thought I would run) and I haven’t died. That is lesson learned number one. Running for one minute at a time will not kill me. I’m still not sure about longer than one minute, but given my experiences thus far, I don’t have a great fear of dying come Monday (just a teensy-weensy trepidation).

I have already learned gobs about running and about myself. I have spent oodles of time reading about running and investigating all the various opinions about stretching, breathing, shoes, surfaces, gear, goals, injuries, treatment, schedules, training, races, etc.

Lessons learned after two weeks in this new world of running:

  • Having a bio-mechanical evaluation done at a real running store is a great idea and will help you know what your feet and legs normally do. This will save you time (theoretically…see below) in picking out shoes that are correct for your feet and stride.
  • Trying on lots of shoes is a great idea. I am so glad I didn’t just order some off the internet. Unfortunately, if you are like me, you might spend several hours in the running store trying to decide between two pairs of shoes and wear yourself right out by running and running and running in them to help you make the final decision.
  • I prefer dynamic stretching instead of static stretching. We walk, do jumping jacks, skip forwards and backwards, toy soldier kicks, butt-kicks, and whatever else strikes us as a great stretch at the moment.
  • I do not know how to breathe AT ALL. I breathe out over and over and can’t figure out how to breathe in. If it is absolutely the ONLY thing I focus on, I can manage to breathe in through my nose, but if I let my mind wander for even a millisecond, my breathing is all messed up.
  • I breathe out for a really long time. I read you should breathe in for your left, right, left steps and then breathe out for your right, left steps, then get ready to breathe in again when you hit your left foot. Mine is more like right, left, right, left, right.
  • I am kind of drawn to barefoot running. I’m not doing it, but it definitely intrigues me.
  • Running in cemeteries is nice.
  • I like running outside. I feel like I am feeding my body a much needed dose of God’s creations.
  • Running with my daughter is much more enjoyable than I ever imagined.
  • Running with Scout is not so enjoyable.
  • Stretching after a run feels really, really good.
  • Something is wrong with my right foot. It aches when I run. The running store recommended orthotics with massive arch support for my insanely high arches, but I am hesitant to try them because I want my arches to be strong all on their own. Still thinking about this one.
  • 38 degrees is a lot warmer than 31 degrees.
  • I must find some wind-proof gloves.
  • My running clothes feel so comfortable I am tempted to wear them all the time. They are warm and cozy and I can move ever so freely. Then I look in the mirror and realize it would be a big mistake to allow anyone to see me like this.
  • There are more runners in my life than I realized. I am surrounded by them!
  • I need to figure out a better way to time our training runs. Holding my cell phone is driving me crazy.
  • I love being a mom who can choose to make this happen for my daughter. I know everyone doesn’t have the option to exercise with their children and I am so grateful I do.

What else should I look forward to learning? What do I need to know? What advice do you have for me? Would you like to train with us? Tomorrow is our walking and/or biking day. With all this mud, I don’t know that we are biking anywhere!



Related Posts


  1. You need a watch (like an ironman watch) that has timers for interval training. I love the watch I have, but I think they’ve stopped making it. It is a Timex Ironman USB datalink watch. It is fabulous, and I can put in my training schedule and it will beep for me. I use it all the time, except right now, the batteries are dead.

    • tracy

      Hmmmm, that sounds perfect! Thank you for the suggestion!

      We had a great time running with Courtney today!

  2. Anne

    I have several timing watches I can send you!

  3. I don’t like fancy running watches… just a timex with a stopwatch, if anything at all. ;) Also, don’t worry so much about the breathing, and when you should breathe in and out. For now, focus on relaxing. With each step, relax your shoulders and neck… shake your hands or arms, keep your fingers loose. The breathing will come more naturally then. Also, my left foot aches often when I run. It usually loosens up around mile 3, and is good for the rest of the run. I’m not saying that’s how it will be for you, but just letting you know my experience. :)

    • tracy

      But if I don’t focus on breathing in, I only exhale. Seriously, no air comes in.

      I will focus more on relaxing and see what happens.

      Thanks Mindy!

  4. jessica

    Where in the world does one get a bio-mechanical evaluation done?

    • tracy

      I got mine done at Teton Running. They have you run on a treadmill and videotape your feet.

  5. Kate

    I love running with Tina. I love watching the sun come up in the summer. I love literal milestones. I love stretching at stop signs. I love feeling my whole body work together. I love fresh air. I love being suspended for milliseconds. I love sore muscles. I love running.

    • tracy

      Maybe someday…not yet though.