Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sunday is 10K Day!

Every Friday until November 7, 2010 you will find entries from a series written by Iris about her training to run the New York marathon in 2010. It is something she never aspired to do; she has never run a distance of more than two kilometers in her life. In this series she describes her adventures and how she works on her beliefs to transform her challenges and successes into one great experience.

Hello everyone,

Before I start my rant about my running, I want to direct you to a blog from an amazing writer with a son on the spectrum. Her blog is called Zen Master Quinn. Her newest article made us laugh and cry. It is so fabulously written that I don't want you to miss it. So click the link and enjoy.

If you want to support Jenny's writing, you can become a member of her blog and let her know her musings (I would call them art) are appreciated!

This weeks update...
Tomorrow I will run my first 10K and to my surprise I feel prepared! Over the last two to three weeks I have been able to start running again properly, and I have been able to slowly build up the miles. I have not yet been able to run a full 10K, but I have been able to do a combination of running and walking, so I feel confident that I will reach the finish line! Tomorrow is Teflon's birthday and he might even run with me! Awesome, isn't it!

As a way to celebrate my accomplishments so far, I decided to review some of my beliefs and compare them with where I started two-and-a-half months ago.

Running is Healthy
You might thinking. 'Of course running is healthy! Well duh!', but that is not how I saw it. If I ever saw a person running, I would think, "That cannot be good for you. Stressing out your heart, making your blood pump so fast. Those people are going to die some day because they burned themselves out!"

REALLY! That was what I would think. Now, after a couple of months of training, I notice that I breath better, that my skin is softer, that I have a greater appetite for more active things. After having cursed my gym teachers forever because they "forced" every kid to run two kilometers, I am now grateful that they tried. Yes they did. But I didn't want to listen!

Running Makes Me Breathe Better
Time will give me a better perspective, because I have allergy related asthma and the season is only starting, but I must say that without the allergies around my breathing has become much better. I was never someone who had asthma attacks where you cannot breath from one moment to another. Instead, my breathing gets worse over time and my breathing becomes less and less deep.

Because it happens over time, it is not very noticeable. I get more tired and think less clearly, but hey, we all have those days once in a while... not! So, when I was working at Harvard, I decided to visit my doctor. I told him that I wanted to have my breathing checked and when he did, he was surprised about the result. Wow, not enough air to make a baby breathe! No wonder I felt tired! Since then, I am one of the "lucky" people who have an inhaler that I use on a "if needed" basis. And I must say, I have not had to use it a lot lately.

Running Gives Me Longtime Health Benefits
I decided that running is not only helping me with short-term things like breathing and softer skin, but it will also improve my health at old age. Some of you may know that I have signed up for at least 93 years and I want to bring them through in good health. I really have lots and lots of plans for the years to come and would rather not delay them because of health issues. I really believe that active people age later and are in overall better health. I want to be one of those women of 80 that is still running around, doing her daily things as though she were 38.

Running Outside is So Nice!
I didn't realize how much different running outside would be compared to a treadmill. You feel the wind; you smell the odors of the places you pass; you hear the sounds of moving animals or cars. People wave at you; birds fly with you; dogs greet you.

To Run, You Have to Balance Your Mind with Your Body
I never understood that my body consists of different systems that are regulated independently. For example, at this point I believe that I got my first injury because I over trained the muscle in my leg. I believed that when my breathing became better, I could run further and harder. I didn't understand that my muscles have their own training regimen that is independent from my breathing. Now I know that my lungs adapt faster to further distances than my muscles, and that I have to say at a certain point, "Hey stop, no more miles today".

I have to take care of my body.

Running is Fun
Can you believe it? It is something I now look forward to. I am enjoying it. I am even reading about it. I am looking up what other people do, reading tips and browsing race opportunities. It is fun! What a total switch from when I started in January.

I am looking forward to starting 9-mile runs! This is a crazy one. I cannot yet do 9 miles, and I must tell you, 9 Berkshire miles are challenging with all the hills here. Still, I am looking forward to that day that I will be dropped in Great Barrington and then run home.

I am looking forward to it! Can you believe it! Maybe it is because I know that at the end of that day I will be so satisfied. Because it means I have reached a level that I want to be at until I am very old!

OK, there are many more beliefs I could type up right now, but it's time to get moving! Speak to you all again after my first 10K experience. Have a healthy weekend!



  1. How about expanding your training with a morning meditation on your breathing - it might get even better. When the season comming it could be helpfull to meditate early mornings and fully observe your breathing.

    Have a wonderful 10k


  2. I had a wonderful time running with Iris. It's amazing the disparity that can exist between your lungs and your legs when you haven't run in a couple of years. It's also amazing how much it can help to remind yourself that you're doing something because you love to do it, specially after your Achilles tendons decide to become steel cables after three miles.

    Finished the race limping but never out of breath. In addition to correcting my bias of playing by ear versus reading music, I'm going to correct my bias of biking versus running.

    Thank you Iris!


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