Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

Every artist, every mechanic, every carpenter, knows that the RIGHT tool is necessary to do the job right the first time. From the very beginning of my running journey, every runner with whom I’ve chatted has stressed the importance of wearing the right gear.  So the very first thing I did after signing up with the Women's FIT Team was to invest in a decent pair of running shoes.


The second thing I did was to buy some workout clothes. 


I couldn't afford what the specialty stores offered, so I went to Goodwill to beef up my wardrobe.  For about $35, I got 6 tops and 6 bottoms, so not only will I be comfortable and “fit in,” but I’ll actually look like I know what I’m doing.  Knowing name brands and fabric content was crucial in deciding what to buy.  I don’t need a hundred-dollar-outfit to go for a run, but having clothing and socks that wick away moisture, proper running shoes, and a supportive sports bra provide a more comfortable experience, allowing me to avoid injury, blisters, and black eyes.  Oh yeah, I also learned to dress in layers, especially in cool weather.


Another good tip was to journal my experience.  As a writer, I had brought a journal to our first meeting so I could take notes.  But now I know I can track my progress, gauge my pain, track what works and what doesn’t, and record information such as miles walked, calories burned, heart rate, trails covered, average speed, and other cross training details. 


More good advice?  “Take it slow.”  Even though it feels like I’m not doing much, I reassure myself that I’m doing it the right way, and I can build on my “base” every week.  Coach Judy Fellhauer said, “The finish line is the goal, not necessarily how fast you are.”  For me as a first-time runner, that was encouraging, because I may not RUN this entire race, especially considering it's 10 miles through hilly terrain, but I do want to FINISH.  There are other races throughout the year, so my training and healthy lifestyle will be continual.


Little by little, each of these tools so far is helping me to reach my goals.  Do YOU have any kernels of wisdom you’d like to pass on as well?  I’m paying attention.  And taking notes.

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