My favorite Nikes--probably the most important, most-used piece of exercise 'equipment' I currently own.
My favorite Nikes–probably the most important, most-used piece of exercise ‘equipment’ I currently own.

If you told me 10 years ago that in 2015, I’d consider myself a runner, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me that five years ago I wouldn’t have believed you. Shit–if you told me ONE year ago I wouldn’t have believed you! But it’s 2015, and here we are.

I was ALWAYS the slowest mile runner in gym class. Always. I remember running the mile as a part of the Presidential Fitness Test in lower school and feeling as if my lungs were burning, like I was going to die. I was super embarrassed about my pace, my body, and my inability to continuously jog four laps {or even ONE lap} around the track without stopping. The first time I ran a quarter of a mile without a walk break, I was 19. I hated it. I didn’t run again for a year. I took a kinesiology course my sophomore year of college from a professor who also taught a marathon training class, and was ensured that people who didn’t like running had likely simply never learned HOW to run correctly or to become efficient at it. That gave me hope. I tried Couch to 5K next, but became discouraged quickly when I found even the most basic training days difficult. I lasted maybe a week.

Because of these experiences, I basically considered myself the anti-runner–I didn’t do it, I couldn’t do it, and I thought it was stupid.Β Screw running. I went along doing 30-minute elliptical sessions, YouTube video workouts, and Jillian Michaels DVDS instead, building a baseline of fitness. When I grew tired of that, I hit the treadmill…and walked. On an incline. I started out walking at a 2mph speed, 5% incline, and eventually, over the course of a few months, worked my way up to 4mph speed, 10% incline. And it was HARD. At first, anyway. I did it gradually, and eventually, it became pretty easy.Β  Then, all of a sudden, something snapped in me–if I could do my hardcore incline walking thing for 35 minutes, running probably wasn’t TOO much more difficult. Right? I decided to crank up the speed to a 6 and see what I could do.

I lasted ten minutes.

…But it was five minutes longer than I had ever run before.

As I’ve mentioned, I have definite workout ADD, so actively feeling my body adapt to a routine drives me nuts. This is what had happened with the elliptical and the 30 Day Shred, and it was beginning to happen with the incline walking, too. It wasn’t challenging anymore. It used to be hard, but it had become stale and standard. I wasn’t sore. I wasn’t out of breath. My heart rate wasn’t incredibly elevated. I had acclimated. I needed something new to conquer, and running seemed like a logical, though frightening, next step.

How I got started…

For the next few months, I challenged myself to just run a little every time I went to the gym. I added it on to whatever I was already doing. At first, I ran at only 5mph, and did it for as long as I could–this usually ended up being between 7-12 minutes. From there, I challenged myself to beat my previous time, either by running longer OR running faster. Even if by just a few seconds. The Nike+ running app became my new BFF. I was hooked.

It wasn’t easy. It took a LONG time. I had to get fit–really fit, in my opinion–before running became a doable thing for me. It took losing weight and working out consistently for over a year before I was able to run a mile without stopping to walk. Now, I run one in under seven minutes most days. I run three miles multiple times per week. My current record for longest run is 10 miles. It’s one of my 2015 goals to run 13.1. It took me nearly three years to get to this point. I’m not a natural. It didn’t come easily. But now I can do it. That’s probably part of the reason I’m so into it.

I haven’t gotten tired of running {yet} because it remains challenging. I could always run faster or longer or on different terrain. There are always new milestones to meet. There’s no real end in sight. I appreciate that. I also appreciate the work that my body has learned to do. I NEVER THOUGHT I’D GET TO THIS POINT! I didn’t think running would be something I would ever really be able to do, let alone ENJOY. But, like I said before, here we are. It’s 2015. I run. And I like it.

xx,

Liza

4 comments on “Story Time! My ~*Journey*~ With Running”

  1. I am so one of these stories. If you had told me 4 years ago that I would be inspired to sign up for a half marathon; 3 years ago that I would be running a half marathon; 2 years ago that I would run a marathon; and 1 year ago that I would run 2 marathons with a BQ by today I would have averted my eyes and moved quietly away. When I was a child, actually probably until I was in my mid teens, I used to say that I only ran if something was chasing me.
    And now I do the chasing πŸ˜€ And I chase people–tracking them down, closing that gap–and my future. I will never forget what running has given me–the courage to believe in myself!

    • YES!! Isn’t it crazy?! I swear I almost teared up reading your comment, lady! You’re CRAZY inspiring–I’m seriously so impressed that a former anti-runner like me has been= able to accomplish so much and hit so many goals. <3

    • You are the absolute sweetest, Susel! Thank you so much for reading & for the lovely words!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *