Tina Bailey, 2013 Project 90 participant
When I signed up for Project 90 I had no idea about cadence (I thought this was just for musicians), form (There’s form to running?), hydration or nutrition. I had no idea what I would learn or what I would experience, so with some persuasion from a friend I signed up, paid my dues and eagerly awaited the first email.
I signed up for the Advanced group because I thought, since I was wanting to run a half marathon at the end of the training, that's where I belonged. I probably should have stuck with the Intermediate group as I look back, because I was always the last one on the group runs and the farthest I had ever ran was nine miles (and even that was a struggle.) But while out on the group runs, Ted would always have to come back and get me and direct me where to go. This never bothered me because this would be when Ted would share some of his valuable information with me or force me to walk when my heart rate exceeded 160.
I remember the first run of Project 90 as if it were yesterday. I had no water on the run because, let's face it I had never been told I needed water. I just thought you drank before and after. Ted quickly began to tell me how horrible it was for me to not have any water. He actually went into detail about what the inside of my body was doing with the lack of hydration and high heart rate—that was an eye opening experience. He told me I was dehydrated, just by looking at my face. He then directed me back to the track and told me next week I need to have water. I remember thinking, “I signed up for a five mile run today and am only completing four because of no water?!” As soon as I could get to Gearhead that day, I bought a water bottle to carry on my runs.
Each week I would eagerly await the arrival of the next email, read all the information, and began to plan out my schedule. As the clinics went on I quickly realized that I knew nothing about running. I decided I needed to focus and soak in all the knowledge so I could run better and longer.
As Project 90 continued, I noticed I was not having hip pain, I was able to run better, I felt better after my runs, and I was getting faster (slowly, but I was getting faster). I ran my first half marathon just prior to Project 90 ending, and I was thrilled with the results! I finished under the time I thought I would and felt great. Well, as great as you can feel after your first half.
I remember Ted and Amanda encouraging us to try the run/walk method. I never tried it during the clinic and I hated having to walk when my heart rate would exceed 160, so I for sure did not want to alternate walking one minute after running for three or five or seven minutes. I was set on running my first half and the Endurance Challenge without walking any part of of the races.
While I did run the half marathon, the next week I laced up my shoes for the Endurance Challenge where I ran and walked. Yes, I walked and was thrilled with it. I also ran my second half in April of 2014, where I did the run/walk method. I was sold when I finished, and saw how I was actually faster! I couldn't believe it, Ted and Amanda were right about that too.
If it were not for Project 90, I would not be running today. I believe I would have completed my first half, but I would have never ran another due to hip pain, improper form, poor hydration and lacking nutrition. I will always be grateful to Project 90 for giving me a passion for running.