Rule of thumb: Don’t post anything on Twitter that isn’t for public consumption. It wasn’t technically a secret, but I hadn’t really started telling many of my friends and colleagues. Now if I had posted it on Facebook, that’s a different story — there are definitely no secrets on Facebook and we all know it. But a couple of Twitter shout-outs here and there have officially let the cat out of the bag…I am training for my first half marathon.
People run marathons all of the time, so this is not front page news . But I am not a runner. I bike. I hike. I kayak. I do not run. The idea came to me a few months ago while lamenting a milestone birthday that is approaching in April. I need to turn back time in a non-Benjamin Button type of way. How about run a marathon? Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. Half a marathon? Maybe. And so began my Google search for gadgets, online support, and mobile running apps.
- My first stop was Digital Running Club. I don’t know who these people are, but they know their stuff. I printed out their training program and started tweeting them for encouragement and advice. They never fail to reply, even when I accuse them of trying to kill me.
- Accountability is huge when you set any type of goal, so I brought the @MadisonMarathon Twitter team into the mix and proclaimed my intent to run the Madison Half Marathon on Memorial Day weekend 2013. Now they are expecting me to show up and I will be there.
- I also used my new aspiration as an excuse to buy myself a FitBit. Do you have one of these? They are way too much fun. It tracks my steps, the number of floors I climb, my calories burned and it syncs with MyFitnessPal.com to monitor my food intake and nutritional requirements. It will even monitor my sleeping efficiency by telling me how many times I woke up throughout a night.
- I’m still searching for a great mobile app that I can use for that day when the ice melts and I can leave the treadmill behind in favor of the streets. I’m looking for an app that will regularly speak to me and tell me how far and how fast I’ve traveled. An occasional “Lookin’ good, hot stuff!” would also be welcome. Shoot me some ideas!
- There are so many wonderful resources online for starting any new hobby. I have tapped into the expertise of RunningDivaMom about problems like running boredom…something I struggle with on a regular basis. Her inspirational posts keep me moving even when I’d rather stop.
These resources are great, but nothing can do the work for me. I’m almost halfway through my training program and I’ve endured both a hip injury and back pain that set me back at least a week for each. Now my body is adjusting and things are looking up. Remember that accountability issue? Well, now that I’ve truly gone public there is only one thing left to do. I’ve gotta run!