I hate it. There I said it.
I have friends who are graceful runners, who are fast runners, who enjoy running and beat records often. I am glad for them…but that is not me.
I started running with a friend of mine a few years ago and we used the Couch to 5K app. It’s interval training, so you run for a certain amount of minutes, walk for a certain amount of minutes and then repeat. Your training is about twenty to forty minutes, 3 times a week. Each week your running time increases a little bit more over your walking time. Even though this is a good and fairly easy way to start, neither one of us loved it.
But we did it anyway.
Here’s some things I learned about running:
* Accountability got me out there. I’m certain that had my friend not been waiting for me at our designated time and place, I would have not stayed with it. A few weeks in, we both paid for and signed up for a race. That definitely gave us motivation to continue with our training.
* Running is a discipline for me. When you discipline yourself to do something over a period of time, you see results. I remember different times during our training where we would come in from a run and realize it was easier than we expected AND we weren’t as breathless as we had been in previous runs. Another day I happened to notice some muscle definition in my legs that hadn’t been there before. Seeing results helped get me back out there the next time.
* Running is cheap. You don’t have to have a gym membership. You don’t need to pay a trainer. You simply lace up some tennis shoes and hit the pavement. So that financial excuse? It doesn’t work here.
* Mind over matter really is a thing. One running quote I found on Pinterest says “Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” Seriously. Sometimes when I was on the “run” part of our run/walk training, I would change the words to Dory’s song (from Finding Nemo) to “Just Keep Running. Just Keep Running. Just Keep Running, Running, Running.” Or I would tell myself I was going to run for a full song or two full songs, etc. And when my friend was running with me, we could encourage each other. There were days her encouragement got me a lot further down the road than I felt like going. You can do more than you think you can.
*I’m not a pretty runner. And that’s OK. I’ve seen posts on facebook from my running friends that say things like, “Suzy ran 4.5 miles and felt great.” Believe me, I’ve wanted to create a running app where you can post things more like, “Melissa ran 2.2 miles, her face was bright red, her heart was pounding out of her chest and she felt like she was going to die, but she did it.” Do you hear the power in those last four words?
We all know the benefits of running, such as: increased energy, weight loss, better cardiovascular health, muscle definition and strength, increased energy and stamina, and so much more.
So now that you’ve learned my secret about running, here’s another one: I’ve taken a couple of months off and need to get back out there.
Who’s with me? Comment on this post if you’re running, signed up for a race, or going to start running. Let me know what you’ve learned from running. I’d love to know we are in this together.
Let’s be able to end our sentences with “But she did it!”