Happy FRIYAY (I'm pretty sure I say this every week...but it's always exciting to be so close to freedom of the weekend!)! Also HAPPY DECEMBER! I wanted to dive a bit more into my running story (how I got started), as I definitely was NOT always into running, fast, or knew really ANYTHING about the sport! I thought a mile was SO FAR and that I would always be slow (also thought that all runs should feel like my feet were stuck in molasses). Sure, I did cross-country one year way back in High School, but I also skipped out on almost all those work-outs, walked A TON, and generally hated fitness (but figure skating didn't count as "fitness" to me...).
It was the end of freshman year and I had just had surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in my right knee. I knew enough about Physical Therapy (I had shadowed/worked in various PT offices for the past 4 years) that I didn't get PT after surgery, but decided to rehab my knee. It was after I began to gain more strength in my knee, but began to gain a few extra pounds (and generally felt "out of shape") in the middle of my sophomore year. I had recently talked to a college friend who had began running (and she got into shape) and signed up for half marathon the next year. Over winter break, I decided that running could be a great way to get myself feeling "fit" again.
I started by running maybe 2 or 3 minutes, then talking a walking break, and repeating it. I never began by running straight through and honestly didn't run outside (only a handful of times) for the next several years (because I thought running outside=really challenging and hard). I had built up to running 3.5 miles straight-through easily on the treadmill the next year and began wanting to challenge myself (I was also unhealthily obsessed with my weight- more to come about this in future), so I would increase the time (or mileage) I ran on the treadmill every weekend (never followed a training plan during this time) until I built up to running 9 MILES on the treadmill at one time! I remember feeling LIKE A ROCKSTAR after those 9 miles on that Sunday night in college.
I loved how I felt when I ran (strong, resilient, fit, badass...) and over the summer leading up to my Senior year, decided that I would sign-up for a half-marathon that upcoming Fall. I picked the easiest training plan for me and knew that I could most definitely probably finish in under 2:30.
This first training plan was really difficult and challenging for me because I had only ever done a few miles outside at a time (still really loved the treadmill & hated hills) and I just wanted to 'get it done', check it off my 'bucket list', and move onto something else. Training went OK, I didn't pay any attention to my paces (definitely should've slowed down A LOT on my easy runs), and struggled (but managed) my long runs. I skipped the last few training runs and did a lot more runs on the treadmill than I should have. I finished my first half in 2:30:34, but continued to keep running my 3.5 miles on the treadmill every day during the week.
I never really thought running 13.1 miles was 'easy' for me until after I did a few, then I began to not really even train for halfs for a while. I would just sign up and run them (never improving much, but always having fun). I loved having running as a continued way to stay in shape and how it made me feel.
SO if running doesn't feel easy to you, know that if you stick with it- it will get better! Run/Walking is great way to start into it and just focus on your goal for each week/day/month/year. Whether that's running for .5 miles straight or running 13.1 miles with a time goal, it's OK to have our goals be scary because that's how we improve.
How you'd begin running?
How do you stay motivated for goals?