How I Became a Runner
Jan 06, 2014
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It’s the start of the New Year. If you are anything like me, you always feel like you could look better & more importantly… feel better! And every year in January, you vow to do better. Well, this year – let’s make exercise a priority together.
It was Spring 2013 when I finally thought “OK, enough.” and I put on a pair of tennis shoes, downloaded an app on my iPhone, borrowed my husband’s headphones & took off on what was my very 1st run on my journey to become a runner. I made it .8 miles. Yes, 8/10ths of a mile was all I could do & then I came home, got sick, realized I hadn’t even burned 150 calories, and made the decision that I would try again tomorrow. The next day I pushed myself to finish the mile & I actually went 1.1 miles “just because” and for the first time in my life, I experienced what it means to be mentally tough. And I didn’t realize it in the moment, but I look back on my journey now & I credit that 2nd day as the day I became a runner. Because that was the day I left my driveway with a goal to go 1 mile & then I pushed myself to go a little bit further, 1.1 miles, just because I thought I could do it. And I did it.
So I stuck with it. My sister & I registered for a half marathon and made a commitment to do our long distance training runs on Saturday mornings. I’ll never forget the 1st time we ran 4 miles. I thought there was no way I could do that. I would even get scared but Kelly would laugh at me & assure me that I was over thinking it all – we ran 3 miles last week; it’s time to go 4. She never let me quit. And trust me, it wasn’t always easy to wake up at 5am on Saturdays, but wow – it felt so great to have a cardio workout in & done by 8am. And I was more mindful of what I would eat. When you are running, you learn real quick how hard it is to burn even 100 calories. So you think twice before you put junk in your body.
Soon after we started, my neighbor Amy decided to join us on Saturday mornings. And Amy is now one of my best friends. You learn a lot about people at 6am on Saturdays during 9 mile runs.
And a short 5 months after that dreadful .8 mile run, I ran my first half marathon on August 31, 2013. It was the hottest day of the year in Indianapolis & I was challenged like I’ve never been challenged before. But I did it! And I held hands with my sister as I crossed that finish line. I cried & I honestly cannot believe I didn’t quit.
So the moral of the story is this: you can do it. Start where you are capable of starting, for me it was .8 miles. Maybe it’s 2 or .2 miles for you. It doesn’t matter – just start & keep building upon it. I also think it’s really important to find someone like my sister Kelly & my friend Amy. People who will support you and be a proud part of your journey and will graciously welcome you into his/her journey and share their experience with you. My biggest goal is always “to start” & my next goal is “to finish.” I feel GREAT when I simply set a distance goal and then start it & finish it. And as my sister, the most brilliant marathon runner I know, taught me: “Don’t over think it.”
She’s right. Just run. I can do it. So can you…
I just signed up for my next half marathon; it’s in 13 weeks. Happy 2014, Produce Moms!
xoxo Produce Mom