In April 2014, I decided to start running. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who can just tie their sneakers and go. To run for more than 2 minutes without feeling like you’re dying! I’ve always considered myself to be in good shape, but running? Yeah well…THAT I couldn’t do. So I laced up my new sneakers and I went. And I thought I was gonna die!!!
I tried a beginner’s program where you walk for one minute then run for one. That was excruciating! But I did it. And I did it again, and again. Then I slowly built endurance and was able to run for 8 minutes and walk for 1. I was so excited! Then I got injured. My hips and butt were so sore, I could barely walk. My physio explained to me that I have something called “lazy glutes”. Ha! How ironic! They shouldn’t be lazy now that I’m running, right? So, I wasn’t allowed to run for a few weeks. When I started up again, I did so slowly. I went back a couple of weeks in my program and eventually made progress again. But now I had hit another wall…the cold weather was here. Grrr…I’m not a big fan of the cold. And also, I had no winter running gear. I would have frozen in my airy summer shoes and little windbreaker! So I did the only thing I could…stop running for the winter.
I was a bit discouraged since I had worked so hard to get to where I was. I didn’t want to stop my training. I was embarrassed to share with others the progress I had made – in 5 months!!!. I mean, I was running 8 minutes and walking 1 minute. Big deal! My other running friends were running 5k, 10k and half-marathons. I was constantly comparing myself to them. But even though I didn’t want to share with the world what I had accomplished, I was privately proud of myself for not giving up.
I had no way of continuing my training over the winter months. No treadmill, no gym membership and no winter running gear. So needless to say, it was a bit of a struggle getting back into training mode when the warm weather started up again. I was a bit lazy, didn’t want to go anywhere, always had something else to do. I had to figure out a way to get back into my old routine. I’d run sporadically, gaining a bit of progress, but very slowly. My lazy glutes would act up again and then I’d have to slow down. I was beginning to doubt I’d ever complete the beginner’s training program. I mean, it’s supposed to be done in 10 weeks and it’s been over a year here! That’s when I started to make changes. I needed to take this seriously. I needed to see myself as an athlete, not a wanna-be athlete.
I started going to bed early and waking up early. I ate healthier meals. I made sure I had enough carbs and protein to fuel my runs and to recover from my hard work. Things were getting better. Much better!
So now, I’m a year and half into my 10 week program (oh my!) and I’m happy to say that I’m almost done. I can now run for 10 minutes and walk for 1 minute for a total time of 32 minutes. Wow! Even though I’m not done, it doesn’t matter as much anymore. I can’t believe I can run like that. I never thought I could do this. Now I’m confident that soon, I’ll be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping for a break. Without feeling like I’m about to die! Like a runner. Like an athlete.
I wanted to share with you my journey to become a runner, even though it’s not complete yet, so that you can understand how important it is to push yourself past what you think you can’t do and let yourself believe that anything is possible. Sure, the program was intended for a 10 week training period, but I chose to believe it was intended to create a runner, and to take as much time as you need. I chose to keep going. I am choosing to continue my training. This winter, I’m prepared. I have a treadmill. Come spring and summer, I expect to be ready to run my first 5k. If you stick around, I’d love to share with you how that goes…
“With God, all things are possible”
Will you share with me your learn-to-run journey?