Becoming a Runner (?)

I want to preface this post by saying that I am not a runner – at least not yet. I’ve tried many times to develop running into a habit over the years, but I haven’t been successful. For the past four years or so, I haven’t even tried. I had adopted an attitude of “I’m just not a runner” and frequently made jokes that if you ever saw me running, you should run too because something obviously must be chasing me. I had given up hope that I would ever be one of those people who crossed the finish line of a race, looking exhausted but so absolutely proud of themselves. But yesterday I ran 3.1 miles (5k). And I did not die, as I feared I would. In fact, it felt great. Let me start at the beginning.

It all started with a pair of shoes.

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And if there’s one thing Cinderella taught us, it’s that a great pair of shoes can change your life.

A few weeks ago I was visiting my parents and went shoe shopping with my mom. And I figured while I was at the shoe store, I figured I should get a new pair of sneakers – you know, just in case I actually decided to do some kind of physical activity. The pair of New Balance sneakers above caught my eye. Of course they weren’t the cheapest shoes in the store by any means, but after picking them up and discovering how unbelievable lightweight they were – and then trying them on and discovering how incredibly comfortable they were – I was hooked. I had to have these shoes. And then a funny thing happened, the shoes made me want to go for a walk. So the next day my dad and I took a 1.5 mile walk around the neighborhood first thing in the morning. And when I got back home to DC, I took a walk around my neighborhood in the afternoon that was another approximately 1.5 miles. I actually was anxious at work all day to get home and take a walk. It’s like the shoes were at home begging to be used.

I also think the shoes may have just been the catalyst, and the true motivator is my new, healthy lifestyle. I’ve been on a green diet for almost a year now, and I feel better and better each day. And the next logical step in my transition was to become more active. And this all coincided perfectly with the start of warmer weather (except for our freak snowstorm yesterday), so it was the perfect storm. Yesterday, despite the snow and cold, I walked to the gym and ran/jogged/walked (mostly walked, but never too slowly) 3.1 miles. Why 3.1? Well, yesterday I signed up for ‘Run or Dye’ in DC with a friend of mine. It’s a 5k color run on June 8th, where you run through the course and get splattered with paint. Sounds amazing, right? I signed up yesterday at lunch, but then I had to prove to myself that I could actually get through 3.1 miles without dying or making a fool of myself. Which fortunately I didn’t.

Actually during the first 1.5 miles, I was thinking that my training strategy was all wrong and that I should stop at 1.5 and then work up from there. But a funny thing happened after 1.5 miles – it got easier. I hit my stride and finished out the last 1.6 feeling great. I have to believe that my healthy diet has provided my body with some inner strength – some store of energy – that I never had before. I walked/jogged 3.1 miles in 51:00 minutes which is severely embarrassing to admit (how long it took me) but at least I did it. And I figure I can keep doing the same 3.1 and work to get my time down – and this time I feel like it’s a goal I can manage. And maybe, just maybe, at the end of it all I’ll be a runner.

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43 responses to “Becoming a Runner (?)

  1. We Three Locals

    I’m so happy to hear that you feel called to be a runner. Great kicks can do that! I hope that your running journey is successful this time around, and I look forward to hearing more about how happy it makes you!

  2. It may not happen overnight, but you WILL get there! It’s a matter of listening to your body and being consistent – you’ll be surprised how quickly you start to run longer and faster. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much Sarah! It’s so great to know that other people started at a beginning stage like me and actually made it! I checked out your blog and I’m definitely going to follow – it looks great!

  3. YEA for you! We are proud!

  4. Well done for having the determination to give it a go. I was a reluctant jogger, but I persevered and now I love it. It wasn’t easy and I was slow first of all, but now, three years later, I’m about to run my third marathon. If I can do it, anyone can πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! Your third marathon – wow! That’s so amazing – Congrats! I’ve been sticking with it so far. I’ve run 3.1 miles four days this week and gotten a little faster each time – and I’m feeling great so far!

      Thanks again for stopping by and for encouraging me! πŸ˜„

      • That’s brilliant – I only had enough energy to go that far once a week when I started! If there’s anyone you know who’s a running coach or an experienced runner, ask them to watch you run and give you some tips. I’ve recently worked with a running coach and just a few simple adjustments to my technique have made it much easier to run… but I’ve also had to undo three years worth of bad habits. (I’d just thought running was putting one foot in front of the other!)

      • Thanks! I think my healthy diet has a lot to do with my energy – I never thought I could do this much! And thanks for the tip about the running coach – it’s probably an excellent idea for me. I was thinking about it when I was running today that I for sure am doing a few things wrong. I’ll look into it ASAP!

  5. That’s great! I bet the shoes were just added motivation – your healthy lifestyle definitely sounds like it’s the key. Way to go!! I’ve never been a runner, but I’m a mean power walker! πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’m definitely more of a power-walker/jogger right now but I can feel myself running more and more of the distance each time. I guess we all start somewhere! πŸ˜„

  6. Never underestimate the power of a pair of woman’s shoes! But seriously, I bought a tennis outfit before I ever walked on a court and it motivated me to play tennis, a game that I love!

  7. It’s awesome that you’re becoming a runner! When I first started running I dreaded even running a mile and now almost 2 years later I’ve run 2 marathons. Once the running bug bites you it’s hard to stop. Everyone has to start somewhere. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much! It’s so inspiring to hear from people who once started out at such a beginner level (I feel like I was even lower than beginner! lol!) and are now running such amazing distances. A marathon feels so far away right now, but I also know that about a month ago 3 miles sounded like work and it’s getting easier each week! I really appreciate the encouragement πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: Announcing My First Half Marathon! | Foxy [Whole] Foodie

  9. …and that’s how it begins!! “Becoming A Runner” doesn’t happen overnight. It happens just the way you are describing it. I hope you develop a love for running b/c it can bring so much into your life!! Visiting from SITS today. Enjoy your day in the spotlight!

  10. Good for you! I am a long time runner…started in high school and never stopped…it’s hard to ever give it up once you get going! Visiting from SITS today!

  11. Everybody starts somewhere…So glad you’ve started! I have an article “5k Training for Beginning Runners” at http://nicolenenninger.com/resources/5k-training-for-beginning-runners/
    It might be helpful to you. I began by running one telephone pole to another, then walking, then running. My husband also runs so that helps me stick with it.

  12. Why is it so hard to start exercise every day even though you feel good at the end? Such a conundrum. You know chocolate is delicious, you don’t hesitate to eat, so what is it with exercise? Enjoy your SITS Day.

  13. Too funny! When I’m feeling unmotivated I buy a new pair of shoes or a new running outfit :->
    Congrats on your SITS day!

  14. Pingback: Foxy Whole Foodie - The SITS Girls

  15. It kind of has an “If you build it, they will come” feel, or maybe “if you buy them, you will run.”
    Congratulations.

  16. Awesome story of pushing yourself.
    Happy SITS DAY!
    My only problem is my breathing…!! It sucks and hurts and its not even my legs, its my lungs..

    Any suggestions?

    Keep it Touched,
    KG
    http://www.kgstyleinc.com

    • Thank you! I have the same problem….my lungs are always what stop me, not my legs. It’s something I’ve been working on. I’m not an expert but here’s what I’m doing. I’m doing a good bit of cardio cross-training to work on my lung capacity (I take cycling and kickboxing). Also, I’ve been working on making sure I’m taking full, deep breathes. Apparently it’s pretty common for people to stop breathing or breathe shallow when working out and not even notice it! Practicing my breathe in yoga has been a big help with that πŸ™‚

  17. I’ve walked a more than a dozen 5ks, and one 10k. Then, I started trying a walk/run program. I signed up for a half marathon, started training (slowly), and ended up with multiple stress fractures/injuries (7 bones affected – 6 in my foot).

    Good shoes are important. I highly recommend getting fitted at a running store – somewhere where they analyze your gait. I had good shoes – but they were the wrong kind for my foot… I am paying the price.

    Good luck with your running. I’m hoping that I might be able to get back to it, but right now, it doesn’t look like I will heal in time for my half.

  18. I truly believe fairy tales are always right and therefore living my life following them. Lol! It’s wonderful that these shoes have made such a difference in your life. I too have recently found the inspiration to become more active. Visiting from SITS. Happy SITS Day!

  19. Love it! I joke and say that I’m a runner, but only if it’s 55-65 degrees and not raining. Actually my running is almost entirely motivated by my materialistic love of bling that comes at the finish line of most races. I run between races so I don’t die and can actually wear the bling after finishing. πŸ™‚ Congrats on starting & I hope you’re still running! #happysitsday

    • That’s for stopping by from SITS! I love that joke! I’m totally the same way πŸ™‚ And I’m very motivated by races and the atmosphere, but not so much by the training runs all by myself. But I’m working on it! πŸ™‚

  20. Go Cinderella!! πŸ˜‰ I’ve never run a 5K, but with all my friends doing it, I’ve thought about jumping on the train. Now I know where to start: Shoes πŸ˜€ Happy SITS day!

  21. Whooo hoooo! i have recently become a ‘runner’ as well! I did 2 5ks this fall and I am in training for a 10k. I LOVE running now! Although it is tough now that it is cold and since i have been running outside most of the year I prefer the outdoors to the treadmill! Happy SITS DAy!

    • I completely agree and I’m having the same problem! I loved running in the fall/spring but now that it’s cold I’m just not into it anymore – guess I’ll have to focus on strength training until spring comes again! πŸ™‚

  22. Visiting from SITS. Great job getting out there. Running shoes make all the difference in motivation and comfort. And yes, it always gets easier a mile or so in.

  23. I know what you mean about the shoes begging to be used. I was about to turn 40, and I already eat pretty clean (including low-carb & grain free), and lift weights (although not as aggressively as I wish I did), but I felt worried that my body was about to break down on me with my upcoming b-day. Long story short: instead of having a mid-life crisis where I do something really stupid, I decided to sign up for The Color Run 5K, bought myself the most wonderful pair of super-bright Saucony shoes, and went from being a walker to a 5K runner in about 3 months. I had a great run and still run 5K typically 3x a week. Now, if I can just step up that weightlifting… Happy SITS day, late, BTW!

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