When I took my first run, about 3 years ago, I was out of breath less than a mile in. It was horrible. I thought I couldn’t go any further, so I walked the rest of the way – back home. The next day it was even harder to get out the door, but I did it anyway. This time is was still hard, but I went a little itsy bit further. At that point, I challenged myself to run at least 3 times a week. I really wanted to be able to run for a full 30 minutes without stopping to walk. That was my goal.
After about 2 months of these really horrible, hard short runs, I noticed it wasn’t as horrible as the first day – maybe I was even enjoying my runs. I could finally say that I could run for a full 30 minutes. Now it wasn’t fast, but I didn’t stop to walk. I was proud of myself – I had never run over a mile before.
And then as the story goes, as with most runners, I was hooked. Hating running turned into loving running. I started signing up for races and completed my first half marathon. The rest is history.
When I talk to people about running I usually get the same response, “There is no way I could run that long.” I use to think about running like that too. Three miles seemed daunting and anymore than that is crazy! The problem is you can’t think about it like that. If the farthest that I have ever run is 1 miles, I probably won’t be able to just go out and run 5 miles today. It takes baby steps and lots of practice – just like anything else.
Focus on the first 5 minutes, making it to the tree around the corner or maybe even the next 30 seconds. You can really train your body to do some amazing things if you are dedicated. This is what I tell all my friends who are interested in running, but have been to scared to start.
Recently I challenged my friend Erynn to run the half marathon with me while I’m visiting her in San Francisco. Now, Erynn isn’t a crazy runner like myself 🙂 but she runs with her pup a couple times a week. She also ran a 10K a couple of years ago. She told me to create a training schedule for her and she would think about it. So I did and she accepted the challenge.
She admitted that she is a little nervous about keeping up with the training. I say the best motivation is fear. You want to finish the race, you don’t want to back out, you don’t want to be miserable for over 2 hours. So that means you HAVE to train. If you don’t want a miserable experience you have get out there and train. It’s a lot of work, but is oh so worth it!
You are truly your own hero in running. It is up to you to have the responsibility and self-discipline to get the job done. – Adam Goucher