Learning to run and love it

Who doesn’t want to be able to just put on their running shoes and go for a fun, mind-clearing run and enjoy it?

That was my dream…

I asked Julie to help making me a runner. (Tall order!) My initial goal was to be able to run 3 miles on the trails without hating it – I know, lofty goal but want to give an idea of where I started.

We started with 1 minute easy run and 4 minute walk for an hour – that was the first week in March 2013. I committed to 5 workout days per week of which some was trail running, some mountain biking and some hiking.  After a couple of days of no running I was so hungry for running and when there was a break from biking I was hungry for that! So Yes, Julie kept me wanting more!

It wasn’t always easy. Dealing with the weather (going out in the snow, rain and crazy desert winds) took some discipline but the mental challenge was what surprised me most. Interesting how physical training makes us dig deep within ourselves. Two days I won’t forget:

During the first month I remember having to do sets in the hills (hill runs) after which I emailed Julie,       “ …if I had the energy left to cry I would’ve. I felt like the one in the back of the pack on NBC’s The Biggest Looser shuffling up the hill”. (3 months later I’m no longer shuffling!)

The other tough day was a couple of months later running sets of 75% speed drills. My note on the workout said we want to keep the carrot in front of me.  Being hot and tired out on the trail I remember asking myself “why am I doing this again?” and “I don’t even want the stupid carrot”.

Thanks to Julie’s coaching on mental engagement I pushed through. I also find that concentrating on my technique while working out is a healthy way to stay focused.

During month 2 of my journey I was invited to be on a RTO (Reno Tahoe Odyssey) team which was great ,giving me a clear and definitive goal to work towards.  Even going out of town twice I was able to keep up with my training going for early morning runs in Death Valley, enjoying Red Rock State Park running the trails before meeting up with my family hiking and taking to treadmills in hotels.

After 3 short months of working with Julie I can now go out for a 90 minute run in the hills behind my house covering 7+ miles and loving every minute of it! I also just ran in the RTO which was a blast and so rewarding to enjoy the pay-off of my training. It was interesting thinking of different training days while running and using what I’ve learned. My teammates, all experienced runners, really encouraged me to keep at it and I definitely will!

Thank you Julie Young, for the training, for the encouragement and sympathy at the right times and for calling me out on being a drama queen at the right times! I am looking forward to training with you again in the near future!

O2fitness athlete, Henthe Heinze