Eliz Runs. Kind of.

Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I run for short bursts, with longer bursts of walking in between.

I have a confession. I’m not really doing a ton of climbing this summer. At least, not outside. This summer hasn’t been the climbing extravaganza that I dreamed it would be, and I’m ok with that.

In lieu of the planned 2011 Climbing Extravaganza I’m working on increasing my general fitness level. I’m training with kettlebells twice a week, I’m hanging from the hangboard, I’m getting to the climbing gym once or twice a week, and I’m still working on knocking out that first pull-up.

And now, I’m adding running to the list.

My new running shoes

I’ve tried it before, but it’s never stuck. I ran track for a year in high school. I ran/walked a couple of 5Ks several years back. But I’ve never been able to run the ‘normal’ way. I’ve always run on my toes and no matter how hard I’ve tried to master the whole heel-toe thing, I’ve always gotten discouraged and quit.

But now, it’s cool to run my way. The barefoot running craze is exactly how I run. The subject of endless teasing in junior high and high school is now becoming the cool way to do things. So, I went out and got myself a pair of Merrell Pace Gloves, and I’m using the Couch to 5K plan to train.

Three runs down and I must say, I’m loving it so far. I love the way the shoes feel, and I love the way it feels to just put them on and walk out the door. No equipment, no fancy-ness. I also love that I’m not trying to fight the way my body wants to run. It’s way more enjoyable this way.

I’ll update as I get farther along. So far I’m only one week in, so the most I’ve run at a time is 60 seconds.  No bragging rights there. Heart and lungs are fine (thank you, kettlebells), it’s mostly just my calf muscles that are getting in shape so far. If all goes well, I’ll be running 30 min. straight in nine weeks time. Hard to believe.

I’m looking forward to seeing the added fitness benefits of running. Between running, kettlebells, and regular trips to the climbing gym, I’ll be raring to go next season. Maybe a mountain is in my future…

7 thoughts on “Eliz Runs. Kind of.

  1. tammyO.

    good for you! i hate running, but do it anyway. i chant "it can only help my climbing" over and over as i go. did my first race (a half marathon- what was i thinking?) this past january. think i'll stick to shorter races from now on. let us know how the shoes work out. i'm curious about this whole barefoot running thing.

  2. Elizabeth

    Thanks, Tammy. I've always hated running, too. Hoping the gradual approach of this program will help me keep going. I'll let you know how the 'barefoot' running works out. It's a no-brainer for me because it's how I run anyway. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom

    Glad your liking the shoes! I get the same way when I can't climb as much as I'd like. I totally throw myself into running, kettlebells and yoga. It helps take the sting of not climbing away, lol. And I wouldn't worry, I see lots of mountains in your future 🙂

  4. SuzRocks

    My cousins use the barefoot shoes- I've heard it's harder to initially start out running in them- so don't get discouraged. Running can be super fun if it's in the right place.

    Ps. I can not do a pull up either. Not even a little bit. Maybe one day!

  5. Elizabeth

    Haley – glad it's not just me! I figure making myself a fitter human being is a good alternative when I can't be climbing things. 🙂

    Suz – I find comfort in your inability to do a pull-up. Thank you. And thanks for the encouragement, too. Even though I'm only partway through week 2, I'm feeling pretty good about it so far. I'm lucky to live close to some great trails, so that helps a lot!

  6. krysia

    Nice! Cross training is always good. (I have always been a toe-runner too, and finally feel vindicated as well 🙂

  7. Elizabeth

    Oh yay, another toe runner! Hooray for vindication! 🙂 I was talking to some of the guides on the Chicks Climbing weekend, and they all cross train. They're fit ladies all around. Great motivation to keep this up!

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