everyone starts somewhere

who-you-are-is-stronger-than-you-guess

This morning, I had a brief conversation with a friend. It started when she came to my desk and announced she had something to tell me. Turns out, she and her husband ran/jogged last night, and she thought of me and wondered how on earth I could log all of those miles. Truthfully, I wasn’t thinking about how I log the miles at all; I was too busy congratulating her for her effort. I absolutely LOVE when people tell me they’re giving running a try; it just makes me smile. She said that although she was tired and felt sore, she was going to continue, and that is what made me so proud of her. I’m going to drop a truth bomb on you (not like you don’t already know it) – Running is hard, and the initial effort is likened to torture.

I’m sure these people exist, but I don’t know of anyone who fell in love with running after their first run. Do you know how few runners we would have in the world if people based their impression of running off of their first run ever? My guess is not that many. I still remember my first run like it was yesterday. It was very early spring 2009. I laced up my worn-out pair of shoes, put on copious amounts of layers, stretched a little, and I was off…kinda. I had only made it down the street and already I was out of breath and overheated. I turned off from my street to a small subdivision and clumsily wound around the streets. Each step I took made me feel like an elephant, and I’m sure I looked just as ridiculous. I had no mp3 player at the time, so all I could hear was my heavy breathing and clomping. I also had no watch, so I had no clue how long it had taken me or how far I went. When I made it to the main street, I stopped, hunched over in pain, and tried to catch my breath. My body was screaming out, “What the hell are you doing to me?!” For a girl who was normally in good shape, I felt like a mess. I walked home, a little disheartened, a little defeated. My run, which in my head felt like at least a mile and half, turned out to be only three-quarters of a mile. I had a lot of work to do.

The next day my entire body hurt. My back, my legs, my core, everything. I wasn’t used to this type of exercise. Did that stop me from running? No, it didn’t. I set out again on the same route as the day before, and yes, it was still miserable and continued to be miserable for the first two weeks or so. Despite the pain, I kept running and found that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the time away from personal life stress. I enjoyed the small improvements I was making. I enjoyed the way I felt after completing a run, like I had accomplished something. Soon after, running was my “thing.” I’m pretty sure getting a new pair of shoes that were actually made for running, an mp3 player, and new running clothes didn’t hurt either.

If you’ve considering running, be warned – it won’t be pretty and it won’t be pleasant when you start, and you will hit plateaus along the way. Push through those, knowing there is running bliss awaiting you. Running is a great way to mentally and physically test your body’s capabilities, and I promise that you will be surprised with how much you can accomplish.

And if you’re looking for a great place to start, I highly suggest you register for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5K! It’s Saturday, May 17 at 8:00 a.m. The run is only $30 through April 9. Register today and use this as your motivation to get moving. My daughter, Alexandra, and I will be there, along with other family members, so I know it’s going to be a blast and just what I need to shake out the legs before the marathon on Sunday.

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3 thoughts on “everyone starts somewhere

  1. I have two co-workers that have started running over the past year, and I get so excited when they tell me their process. It’s so great to see runners of all shapes and ages.

  2. Great post Steph! I have been plateauing left and right during this training, and this weather hasn’t been helping my spirits! But hey there is light at the end of the weather tunnel, hoping for some better weather soon! Like I always tell myself…just keep SWIMMING!

  3. Oh my goodness!!! Reading about your first Run totally sounds like my first run! It was so awful!!! I shed the layers as I went and had to pick them up on my way back. The only reason I kept at it was because I had already signed up for my first 5k. I was sure I would die! By the way… Have your kids ever done just Run? I wrote about it on my blog. It’s such an awesome program for kids and it’s free. My kids are doing it at Perry high. You don’t have to live in Perry to sign up. It starts April 13 if you’re interested.

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