But you think you can’t? Or you think that 3.1, 6.2, 13.1, heck even 1 mile is near impossible? Let me tell you something…this may be hard to comprehend, but you can run (granted, if you don’t want to then you probably won’t) but if you like the idea of becoming a runner, you CAN! If doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, a mommy or daddy, skinny or large and in charge…read on!
When I talk to people about running today, most ask me if I ran in high school. I can’t help but think to myself, “Ha, if only you knew me in high school…”
I started running in January 2010. I had moved back home the fall prior to figure out what I wanted to do with school and life. When I was attending Wichita State, I was on the rowing team and those were the most intense, adrenaline pumping workouts and (best) experiences I have had in my life.
I miss this stuff.
bottom two photos courtesy Susan (the best team photographer in the world, obviously)
Upon returning home, I needed that same adrenaline rush and something to keep me active as well. My aunt encouraged me to participate in the Trolley Run and that’s all the goal I needed…I was going to run a race. It would keep me occupied for a few months at least.
Yes, I spent four months training for a 4-mile race. At this point in time I was also fresh out of a rough break-up and running became my new relationship. When I first started running, I could run about 40 seconds before I got winded. I am being totally serious. After staying dedicated to my training plan, I was soon able to run for 2 minutes, 4 minutes, then 9 and 10 minutes without stopping. I recall the first time I ran 14 minutes without stopping and was on top of the world!
The journey that running is taking me on is truly incredible. It challenges me, pushes my limits, allows time to think and reflect, is always there, has helped me build relationships and I am thankful for the blessing it has been in my life. Since January 2010 I have completed 11 races, two of which were half marathons and have races #12-15 coming up in the next month!
So now it is your turn. Maybe you have only dreamt of running, or couldn’t fathom running ten feet…but if you have the desire, you can be a runner. Here are my tips for those of you who are aspiring runners:
1. Set a (realistic) goal for yourself. A race, event, celebration. Make your race something important to you which you will look forward to and be enthusiastic about.
2. Read up! Before I ever started running I drowned myself in running books, a couple of favorites are: The Runner’s World Complete Book of Running and The Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running. Learning and educating myself about running has been one of the most beneficial things I have done to become a capable runner. These books contain so much advice, tips and answers to questions you may not even know you have about running.
3. Find a training plan that works for you. This will help guide and maneuver you through the time leading up to your race. Whether you have time to run 3 or 5 days a week, having a plan to follow will make your relationship with running more enjoyable and consistent.
4. Make sure you have good running shoes. Don’t let a pair of bum shoes get you discouraged and turned off from running…I speak this from experience. Better yet, get fitted properly for a pair of good running shoes if you plan on having an LTR with running. Warning: this may be tough to accept, but your running shoe size will probably be a size larger than what your normally wear
. So if you have big feet like me, be prepared for bigger feet. It’s humbling.
5. Start running. Even if it’s only for 30 seconds at a time, you are just that much closer to your goal! And also remember to stay encouraged and find people who can keep you accountable for your running!
6. Get addicted. This step is optional, but it very likely to happen! Many runners talk about getting ‘the bug’ after their first race and that’s kind of how I got to where I am today. The feeling of crossing a finish line for something you trained your booty off for is a feeling I can’t even describe! So you know what this means…you’ve gotta test this theory out for yourself!
Though I feel like I could write a hundred thousand entries about running because I’m a nerd like that, I will spare you. I would like for you to keep reading my blog. Disclaimer: I am not a pro (yet), I just read a lot and absorb a lot of information about running and nutrition and these are my personal tips for those of you who may be hesitant about becoming a crazy runner person.
This photo exhibits my points of 1. you can run at any age (I am the youngest person in this particular picture) 2. old people can run, see…that is me trailing and old man 3. running makes you crazy, see: tutu