If you had known me in my younger days, you’d never expect me to be an avid runner now. It is such a HUGE part of my life now, that I thought I’d share how I got my start.
I avoided running like the plague growing up. I was really slow and frankly embarrassed by the very idea of people seeing me run, so I convinced my mom to let me skip track and field meets, I never played team sports until the very end of high school, and I was a stationary bike kind of girl at the gym.
I had a few bouts of attempting to run, mostly on the treadmill at the Y, or outdoors in Saint John when I was living there and playing on a women’s tackle football team. But every time I headed out for a run, I’d go too fast, get tired, and generally walk the rest of the way.
I’m not sure why or how I had a change of heart, but in the Fall of 2008, I announced to my then-boyfriend that I was going to learn how to run. I think he laughed. I don’t blame him. I was pretty sedentary aside from the occasional gym trip.
The next day I signed up for a ‘Learn to Run’ clinic at a nearby Running Room. I can’t say enough about the awesomeness of this program as the foundation I built here is the reason I’m still running four years later. It was challenging, and difficult. I was constantly at the back of the pack and getting lost from the group, but I kept at it and completed my first 5k race in December.
I signed up for the 5K clinic the following winter and kept going, training solo for my first, slowy mcslowerton 10K that spring. While I struggled constantly, running races really gave me a sense of accomplishment like nothing else ever had.
Sometime in 2009, I had a friend suggesting I do more, perhaps a half-marathon? I was scared and pretty sure I would never be able to do that. Still very overweight and incredibly slow, I thought to myself, people like me don’t do things like that. Then I watched the Biggest Loser. It happened to be the episode where they make them run a marathon (yes, I know people have issues with this show and its extreme nature, specifically around making them run a marathon but bear with me, it spoke to me). I thought to myself, if they can do that, surely I can train for and run a half-marathon and I signed up right away.
In May 2010, I completed my first half-marathon, and oddly enough, I didn’t hate every minute of it. I actually really loved it. I went on to run two more that year, and have run 8 in total since that first day. I even caved and ran two full-marathons, one in the Fall of 2011, and one this past May.
When I started out, running was (and still is) hard, but the feeling it gives me is unmatchable. I realize running isn’t for everyone, but its about finding the activity that gives you that unmistakable, “this is fricking awesome!” feeling.
Today, I run not only for health and fitness, but for stress relief, personal challenges, and even, for fun!
Are you a runner? How did you get your start?