This week, I got asked how I got started running and how long I've been running. I realized that I hadn't ever really talked about this in detail on my blog. So this is that informational post.
I actually lost a bunch of weight during college and the way I lost it was running, but I never trained for a race. Then I went through a period of not doing any major exercise until last summer. I was stressed with how I looked and super stressed with law school.
As you know or at least I hope you've started to figure out, losing weight and being serious about it is a process. Sometimes it can be long. My process has been long for sure.
Last summer I wasn't fully on "Healthy Train" board yet. But I knew that when I lost weight in college, it was while I was running. So I started the Couch to 5K program. And when I tell people that is how I got started, they are floored, but really it is the best program in my opinion. But like I said, I wasn't fully on board yet, so I drifted on my running over break and then started up last fall, but it didn't go anywhere. I was running outside when I was on this stretch. During college, I ran indoors entirely.
This year when I made my resolution to be serious, I knew that my exercise would include running. This leads into WHY I run.
Running for me is VERY therapeutic. I lose myself in running and it helps me be balanced. If I am stressed, I can just throw myself into a run and afterwards, I may still not have found a solution, but I don't feel as trapped by the situation. The stress feels manageable.
I also really like that I can literally see how far I've gone after I finish a run.
There is no easy transition for this next part, but it's the how I run and what running/training looks like for me.
The "How I Run and What Running and Training Looks Like For Me" Portion.
This year I started with the Couch to 5k program on an elliptical. Yes, I started completely over. Then when it finally warmed up, I started the Couch to 10K program. I would have weeks where I was consistent and then weeks where I wasn't. I know now it was because I didn't have a race to keep me focused.
I joined a women's running group at the end of the summer because one of my best law school pals had trained for a half with them earlier in the year and I was really inspired by that. She kept saying, "You should do it. You could do it."
So I decided that I wanted to get serious about this running deal. I am very much an all or nothing type person and I also am a very traditional person. In other words, I keep doing things because I like the routine or tradition of it.
When I signed up for the Half and then signed up for the running group in the same day, I knew that I was signing on for this to be part of my life like being a Sooner or an attorney (some day) is part of my life.
I am part of a local women's running group. I am a person who also thrives on accountability. So, when I do my long runs, they're on the days that I go to my running group.
I have a running coach that leads the group. I love her. She is this little bitty thing that used to be in the Navy, but she is such a fount of knowledge. I am constantly emailing her with my questions based on blogs I've read or articles I've read on active.com.
She also is really creative with our workouts. For example, this weekend, I ran ten miles, but 5 of those miles was running to and back from a stretch in the road that had hills. I ran the other five miles running those hills. As a side note, hills suck balls, but they make you super strong as far as endurance is concerned. But we don't always run hills. Last week, we ran one of our regular routes, but along the way we had to stop and do different strength training exercises.
I actually will miss my running group a ton when we move back to Oklahoma. I'm already looking for a good fit now because I've been so spoiled. This women's group is all ages and different programs as well. I'm the youngest in the group and the oldest is 68. The women that you'd think were the ones only doing 5Ks are the ones who have been running for years. They are absolutely wonderful!
So to answer the question from the very beginning, how long have a I been a runner?
Only in the last year would I consider myself a runner. And truthfully, for half of that year, I was a wannabe runner.
Within the last two months, would I only consider myself somewhat legit.
I'm still stalking runner blogs like crazy and I read the active.com emails like they're the Gospel.
I still am learning a ton and when I write about running, it is very much from the "this is what I think about it so far" perspective more than it is the "I'm a seasoned runner."
I write it all down here so I have a place to keep my thoughts, but also so that others can see that if I can do it, they can do it too.
I am a runner. It's just taken me awhile to get here.
Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I am an open book!
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