I started running in January of ’05. A friend would meet me at the park and we would run the half mile loop. That first day, I don’t think I could even run 1/8 mi without stopping. It was cold, and painful, and my lungs felt like they were going to explode. Let's not even get into the pain of the girls bouncing around. At the time I doubted that I would ever be a “runner.”
We met at the park every morning around 6 a.m. On the second day I was able to get around the ½ mi loop without stopping, by the end of the week I was able to run a mile without stopping.
I was not in shape, and had never run in my life, but the consistency of being out there every day (muscle memory) paired with someone holding me accountable to get up every morning completely changed my life. We soon set a 3 mile goal every time we went to the park, and ran/walked it until we reached our daily goal.
I think once you get 2 solid miles of running under your belt, training for longer distances becomes much easier. Most training programs add mileage on slowly.
I ran 2-3 miles at time for about 2 years, then took a year off when I discovered the gym and became addicted to spin, yoga, and body pump classes. To be honest, those were more fun than running at the time since it had become a chore...and a bore.
I didn’t start running races until last year, and that has been the next greatest change in my running. I feel like part of a community when I’m out there at events, as well as when I’m training/shopping/researching/blogging. At the same time, I often run alone, even when I’m with a running buddy. I enjoy just knowing that my pal is out there, but I’m not one to run side by side with anyone and chat it up. Maybe I’ll get there, but for now I use that time to process life, block everything out and jam out to music, or focus on working on new running goals.
I told my friend that the best thing to do is to just sign up for a race! Once the money’s been paid and it’s on the calendar you’re committed to getting out there and running every other day or so. And after you finish that first race you’ll be hooked! You’ll love the event, the feeling of finishing, and you’ll get the bug to keep setting new PRs!
How long have you been running and what keeps you motivated/inspired to keep going?