In the fall of 2011, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I was only one pound away from hitting a new threshold that I did not want to hit! This knowledge spurred me into taking action in an effort to turn things around and get the numbers on the scale to move the other direction. Because friends of mine had just started running, I decided that I’d give it a try too. With no direction or instruction on how to start running, I committed to going out for 2 miles a day, 6 days a week*. (Way to ease into things, right? My husband calls me “extreme,”- all or nothing for me!) I used what I now know is called the run/walk technique. Basically, it’s just running for as long as you can, and then walking while you recover until you can run again.
(*Note: I recommend using a C25K (or Couch to 5k) app rather than just winging it like I did!)
I remember feeling so accomplished when I could finally run a whole mile without stopping! There had been one particular incline on my running route that would always cause me to have to break down into a walk. I wanted so badly to conquer it! At the advice of another runner, I was able to run up that hill by staying in a run, but slowing my pace way down and pushing up to the top with all my effort. What a victory!
I was hooked.
Though I’d started running just so I could lose some weight, I learned to love my new hobby for the many ways it helped both my mind and my body! I was surprised to find out what my body was capable of doing as I got stronger and in better physical shape.
The “runner’s high” is a real thing! You feel like a rock star when you finish a sweat-drenching long run! Also, I’ve had some struggles with anxiety and depression, and a run always makes me happier.
As an introvert, I love time alone. And, since our triplets homeschool, solitude can rarely be found at home! Running allows me to get outside the walls of my house where I can enjoy just letting my mind wander. I find this is so rejuvenating! I love being outside, especially in the Southern California sunshine!
Most of the time, I like to listen to running podcasts while I run, as they seem to help the time pass more quickly, and they keep me somewhat distracted from the discomforts of running. When I’m interested in something (like running), I like to learn as much as I can about the subject. Podcasts are a great way to learn about things.
I like knowing my neighborhood. We live in a pretty, rural area where there are mountain views all around us. As a plant lover, running allows me to see the seasonal changes that take place in the landscape. There are so many things that are missed when we just drive by them! I’ve seen really cool hawks, owls, and snakes while out running. (Unfortunately, I’ve been chased by dogs too, which is why I always carry a stick with me while I run!)
Even though running isn’t my main form of exercise anymore, it is still something I keep in my routine. There are too many reasons to like it once you get past the hard part of starting out!
What about you? Have you already been bitten by the running bug? Or, are you thinking about starting to run? Leave your comment below!