Yup, I said it. I’m a runner. Me? A runner? Are you kidding?
That can’t be right. Running is hard for me. It doesn’t come naturally. I have to work at it. Everyday is a new day when it comes to running. But, I admit it. I’m a runner and damn proud of it.
How did this happen? Well, I give a lot of credit to my husband who encouraged me to do it in the first place. For those of you who know him, he’s a VERY patient, VERY motivating and VERY upbeat guy. To the point that on some of our early runs, I’d have to tell him to shut up because I was so frustrated that running was hard for me and he’s running next to me, shouting motivating words my way and has barely broken a sweat. Meanwhile, I’m gasping for air, struggling with side cramps and chanting “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this” with every step I took.
It took awhile to get into groove with running. You have to start slow and pace yourself, give yourself walking breaks along the way until you’re able to run more continuously as your stamina and endurance builds. In fact, I definitely recommend the “couch to 5k” program that’s out there, it’s a great way to slowly integrate yourself into the concept of running because not everyone is a track and field star by nature, I’m surely not one of them!
What I’ve come to love about running is two things:
- It can be very meditative – especially if you can run outside and soak in the beauty of the day in front of you. I find that, one a good day, I can really drink in the scenery around me during a run and let my thoughts wander. Already, I’ve used that time to think up my next blog post, very inspiring, indeed.
- It’s an incredible, full-body cardio workout. I’ve heard it said many times that running is probably the best cardio workout you can do. Yes, it can be rough on the joints but there are ways around it, you just have to be careful and listen to your body.
I’m proud to say that today, I do like to run, I love it most days, hate it some days but like it the majority of the time. In fact, a group of my friends and one of my sisters started a running group a year or so ago where we’ve really bonded over the 5ks (and a couple of 5-milers) we’ve run together. The goal hasn’t been to beat eachother to the finish line. Instead, the goal has been about nothing else than to “Start strong, Just Finish.” Our motto that we proudly display on the t-shirts two of the girls (fellow fitness fiends and sisters, too) surprised us with at our last race at the end of last season. Check out our t-shirt below as well as a group shot of us all proud after our last race at the end of our first season (Sorry Jo, this was before you joined the ranks!).
See? It’s this that inspires me everyday. The fact that fitness can bring friends together in new ways. None of us are runner’s by nature, it’s always going to be a challenge for us but we do it together, are proud of each other and throw a mean end-of-season party, to boot. Not too shabby for a bunch of girls who weren’t runners…until now.
I’ll leave you with the first song I played on my iPod during one of my early runs that motivated me to finish what I started and also, was quite possibly the song that got me hooked on running in the first place. Yup, “Jessie’s Girl,” who knew, right?