I’m the kind of person who always said I hate running. And I meant it, too. Yes, I used to run in the past. But I did it more for social reasons than for a love for running. I wanted an easy-to-implement, cheap exercise to help me lose baby weight. Then I came across a running group.
I didn’t find out, until I was hooked, that the group was preparing for the marathon. The marathon?? No thanks. Yes, I could have dropped out. But there’s something about peer pressure, for good or for ill. Their enthusiasm kept me going. So I did the 1999 Los Angeles marathon in about 4 hours and 10 minutes.
I was on track to finish in under 4 hours, but I developed a heel injury that I had to heavily medicate myself for just to be able to run the marathon that morning. I took two Advil and two of somebody else’s unidentified stronger pain medicine. I don’t recommend this. But I was determined to finish what I’d started.
So, that was that. After the marathon, I lost interest and took up beach volleyball. Super fun, super social, and much easier. I steered clear of running. At the gym, I would use all the different cardio machines. But when I would use the treadmill, I would walk. This was my routine until about a week ago.
Then it happened – a random event that changed the course of my exercise life. I couldn’t go to the gym for several days last week because I was away from home. I didn’t want to just skip it, so I figured I’d run instead. No big deal. I told myself that I would go back to my routine as soon as I got home.
But a funny thing happened…I fell in love!
I tackled a ridiculously steep hill simply because it was near where I was staying. I made it! I ran slowly the whole time, but so what? No one was timing me. I wasn’t preparing for any race. I wasn’t with anybody. I was able to just run for the sake of running.
When I got back, I felt amazing. I felt “clean” on the inside. I felt like I had worked my whole body, not just my legs, which is how I usually feel. I did it again the next day. I took an easier route that time. At the end of that run, it was confirmed. I had a new sport – or a new old sport. I was a new (or born-again) runner.
Once I got back to the gym, I worried about running on the treadmill. I had always avoided that like the plague. It’s boring, right? And tedious. But, it wasn’t. I found some good running music, set the treadmill on a gentle “hill” setting, and did 30 minutes. I was still slow. But it’s nobody’s business how fast or slow I run. It still gave me that clean feeling inside. I started thinking about my next run as soon as my current run was finished. Why did I fall so hard for this sport?
- I can do it alone (I’m an introvert; need lots of alone-time)
- I feel like my whole body is working together at once. I usually lift weights, so only certain body parts are worked each time. Running is a group effort for my whole body, and mind.
- Any restless energy is burnt off at the end of the run. I feel clear-headed, certain, secure, and light.
- I get quick results. I’ve already been able to run slightly faster than the first time. And my resting heart rate has dropped a little. Tiny improvements – but still improvement. It’s addictive!
- I feel like I’m part of a larger community. Runners have a lot camaraderie. Even though most of my connection is online or through magazines, I still feel like there is a great deal of support out there for runners. It’s motivating.
Whatever you do for your body, I hope that you find something you love. That’s what matters most. Any exercise will work for you if you do it consistently, and pair it with a nutrient-dense diet. You can do it!
If you need help getting started, please contact me for online coaching.
Peace and love,