Hi Shalia - welcome - love your sene of humor. You can join me for my morning coffee, anytime (as soon as I finish cleaning it off m screen
Congrats on getting started on your running. Take my advice with the understanding that I am a "newbie" myself - I started running in Feb and ran my first 5K in Apr. I beleive in doing things BIG, so I am now training for a marathon. Yikes.
We think we know how to run, I've been running from scary bits for over 40 years. But to really run there are quite a few things to concentrate on. So Idecided to "do it right" and went to a physical therapist for a "running assessement". Here are some of the things they told me that have made a difference. While I did not run on my toes, I had very significant heel pronation issues, so the nuggets of wisdom may or may not make sense for you.
1) Concentrate on landing on your whole foot and push off from your big toe. You want to be careful not to exaggerate the heel thing - could be just as bad, if not worse, than toe landing, especially on the ankles. That big toe thing was huge for me. It takes a while to get used to. I did it on a treadmill at low speed - just a little faster than a stroll to get used to the feeling before trying it as a jog. I probably did this as two 30-45 minute sessions before doing my jog/walk program. It does take a while to get used to, so don't beat yourself up if it takes more than 30 seconds.
2) Squeeze your butt (glute) as you push off to engage the core in the movement. (see #3)
3) Concentrate on keeping your abs and core engaged while you run. This (and the butt squeeze) will help keep yourself erect and make the movement come from the entire lower body rather than just the legs. You will not tire as quickly and can go further. It also allows the legs to work on the forward movement of the running and not worry so much about holding you up, as your core is doing that part. If you have not tried Pilates, it is worth a session to learn how to engage all your core and 'scoop" and breathe at the same time. Take a mat class or a try video (I like Pilates for Dummies - available from Netflicks, but so are a whole lot of others).
As far as speed, don't sweat it. When I started my walk was at 3.5 on the treadmill and my jog at 4 mph. You will see progress if you stick with it, I promise. I am no expert, by any means. I have just reached 5.0 on my "jogs" and my walks have only progressed to 3.8. I am currently doing 4/1 intervals and feel pretty good. Maybe in Aug I will try 5/1s, but not too concerned. My trainer moans on getting his tome to a 7.5 min mile on the long runs. I am not there, and hope to never be there. Yes, Iam scheduled for a marathon in Dec, and my time goal is to finish under 6 hours, when the course closes. I just concetrate on how good I feel while running - I get a "zen" from the rhythm and that is all I care about. Added cardio capacity, speed and fitness are just added bonuses. Oh, yeah - and the "snaps" from my family and friends ispretty cool, too. Next week I will probably get wacked out and obsessive about time and speed, but I will try to fight that. Let me finish my first marathon, then I will worry about speed. Shalia, keep it fun, be proud of your accomplishments and oh, yeah, have some more fun!