June 10, 2012

on running (again, finally)...

So, I decided to start running again. It's been close to two years since I've been on a regular running schedule, and I've periodically thought about how much I miss it. It's actually so foreign to me—that idea of wanting to exercise. And it surprised me a little bit, how incredibly happy and familiar and comforting it was when I dug my running shoes out of the abyss of my closet, put on my work-out clothes, turned on my most random playlist, and finally began that first run last week.

Several years ago, I decided to randomly take up running—mostly out of boredom, but also because it was hard not to be inspired by my marathon-running husband.

It took me about a year to fully commit to running regularly, but after a while I found myself slightly addicted. I didn't really advertise my new hobby to many people—sure, I was proud, but I didn't really feel like I could call myself a runner unless I was entering races and had $90 shoes and was up at the crack of dawn to run every morning. It was more of a personal thing, really. It just felt good to run around the neighborhood, to feel my body getting stronger every week, to do something that I had never thought myself capable of. I rarely try things that I'm not good at because, quite frankly, I hate failure. So, the fact that I kept with it and actually saw myself changing and becoming stronger was the most incredible feeling in the world.

By the summer of '08 I was running three times a week, about 3 miles each run. Since I had started running I lost nearly 15 lbs. and had reached my goal weight. (I wasn't dieting, either. Although, I do find that I eat healthier when I am more active.) More importantly, though, I just felt so healthy. And kind of invincible.

I'm not sure when I stopped running but I know a lot of it had to do with just being lazy. Also, after a while I had a new job that left me little time at home during the week. I didn't think much of it and kind of shrugged it off. It didn't seem like a big deal. But as time went on I realized just how much I missed that heart-racing rush of running for thirty minutes straight, the cool evening air rushing around me, the beat of a song matching each step of my feet against the pavement.

You know that thing they say about exercise being good for your energy levels? For your attitude? For your emotional health? It's true. All of it.

I've been changing a few things in my life—both adding new and removing old—and I feel so much better with each step I take. More...myself. If that makes any sense at all. Deciding to start running again is one of the things I felt so driven to do, and I'm glad I did it. I'm not focusing on weight loss or getting that ever elusive bikini-body, but I do look forward to feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I'm only one week in and I can already feel the difference.

I'm actually thinking of signing up for a 5k. Possibly more. But we'll see.

This time around, I'm following a "couch to 5k" sort of program, since it's been so long since I've run. The app I have on my iPod is called Ease into 5k and I adore it. But I think there are a bunch of other C25k programs out there, too. In any case, running three times a week isn't overwhelming at all (I'm running Monday/Wednesday/Friday) and the workouts are only 30 minutes. At this point I am positively giddy while looking forward to my workouts, which doesn't seem normal (for me, anyway).

If any of you would like to join me in these shenanigans, please do! This is where I get really cheesy and say the usual, "If I can do it, you can do it."

But, honestly. You can. True story.

25 comments :

  1. YES! To all of this. Running/excercising is so good for the soul! It really doesn't matter if you run for yourself or train for a race... The most important thing is that you're doing it because it makes you feel good :) so glad you're back in the game. I just came back from a 3-mile run and feel great! :)

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  2. Oooh exciting! I've started C25K several times and never finished...now I'm feeling motivated again!

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  3. Lurker alert! I'm coming out of hiding today :) I'm a long time reader and have loved following you. I even remember you doing those weekly (I think they were weekly?) workout tips, etc. Nonetheless, I have seven weeks until a trip to Florida - so I'm thinking this post was a sign for me to dust off the running shoes. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. I'm impressed with anyone that runs. Sounds funny but it's true I have tried running but it doesn't so much cooperate with my body so I just try to walk now. I think the fact that you are back to running and that it makes you feel so great is wonderful!

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  5. I hope to write this exact post soon. I have almost the exact story, but still haven't got my 7 month post-partum booty out for a run. I am hoping this is the exact motivation I need.

    Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  6. It really is amazing how much running impacts my mood, positively (uh, and sometimes negatively). But working out in general keeps me sane. Happy for you!

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  7. I did a C25K program with a local running store and ran my first 5K last month and am still running! I've been an off again/on again runner for a decade, and when I say "on" I mean, running a couple miles a week for a month or two. The thing that's been keeping me going lately is not wanting to have to start over again. So congrats on starting over and good luck! Sign up for a 5K! It was so fun and gives you a goal to keep you going. I'm looking for a 10K for the fall.

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  8. Within the last month, I've been reconciling with running as well. :-) It's been great. I can really relate to how strong and healthy running makes you feel. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  9. I've had to stop running for a while (which I'm gutted about) and you're absolutely right, I didn't realise how much running made me feel better about things. Good on you for gettin back into it, hey. That's awesome :)

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  10. I started C25K about two months ago and sort of gave up. Recently I've been thinking about starting up again and I think this gave me the little push I needed. Thanks!

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  11. I'm in the same phase as you! Only I've been a little stalled on week 6 of the program. It's still so hot when I get home from work that by the time it's cool enough to run it's time to get ready for bed. So for now I'm just running once a week on a weekend morning, and that's just how it's gonna have to be. Nbd.

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  12. about 3 years ago my husband took up running. He's since ran several half marathons, many 5Ks and two marathons (in the same month!!!) and its so very inspiring. I downloaded a C25K app (I think the same one you are using) and did great the first week, although I really felt like I was going to die during the workouts. The second week proved even harder as I just could NOT breath when the run times got longer. Like no air in, no air out. So I quit... kinda. I'm walking instead. Longer and Longer walks and I hope one day to get back up to to the C25K. My goal is to be able to run WITH my husband. One day.

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  13. Running is like an on-again off-again boyfriend for me, and we're currently off, but your post has reminded me about all the good times. Perhaps it's time to go on again... ;)

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  14. Ugh - I SO need a kick in the pants to start running again. I stopped for a while because of a wonky knee but I don't have any excuses now (well, besides the usual excuses of baby! full time job! extreme laziness!)
    I am turning 30 in October (hold me) and I kind of think it would be cool to run some sort of race to mark the occasion. I'm so scared though (I am not a fan of failure either.)

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  15. I just started [my third or fourth go round with] the the couch to 5K, and I'm using the same app. I even splurged for the GPS updated version, so I can see how many miles I run. I did Week 2, Day I this morning. Good luck! I am a wannabe runner, so I'm hoping I'll stick with the program all the way to the end this time!

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  16. I rather recently started my third (or fourth) attempt at C25k and have gotten through 6 weeks (farthest of any of the attempts). I never imagined myself a runner. I did a bit of running when I was as a soccer player and hated it, avoided it ever since. But I'm enjoying the challenge, relishing experiencing the physical changes as I get stronger and can run longer (however still rather slowly).

    Good luck, Kerri!

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  17. I'm on it now too... Week 2! This is my 2nd go at C25K, I got to Week 4 last year when I broke my arm in 3 places, so I just quit. It feels good to be back at it, although after a long run yesterday I am definitely feeling the burn. I don't have any marathon-running aspirations, but I really need to do this for my blood pressure and overall health. I use the NHS C25K podcasts and love the British lady encouraging me and giving me tips :)

    Let's keep it up!

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  18. quite simply- this blog lifts my spirit! And now wgere are those trainers???

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  19. I need to get back to running also. Since the summer and hotness began, I haven't felt like running. It doesn't help that I have no races to do (refuse to do it because of the humidity) and those races have really helped motivate me and keep me on track. C25k is where it all began for me too. It lead me to finishing 3 5ks, and 1 10k so far. Gotta get back at it! :)

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  20. I'm so with you here and am glad to see you're getting back into it. I miss it at the moment as I've had a stinking cough for the last 3 weeks, and marking literally hundreds of exam papers at the moment.

    I'm no natural runner myself (I sometimes think I have the bone structure of an elephant) as I don't have that sleek runners frame, but I love the peace and solitude you get from running. I've used it to really push me out my comfort zone too and did a 10K just before I got married 2 years ago and am doing a half marathon for charity in October. I never thought I could manage a 10k but by the grace of God I managed to run the whole way round and it's something I'm really proud of so go for that 5k!

    Becky
    http://oldheadonyoungshoulders.blogspot.com

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  21. Your blog has always been inspirational to me, not to mention how ironic it seems that our lives run parallel to one another! I cant wait to pick up running again, but right now time (and energy) aren't something I have with a bubbly 5 month old wee one. But reading your posts gives me faith that my life will resume some sort of normalcy in the future! Keep up the great work!!!!

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  22. Yes. I just kind of tried to motivate myself to run again, and this post did it for me. Thanks! I love the app I chose to start running, and day 1 didn't kill me. :) Good luck to you! It's been a while since I've commented.

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  23. I just finished a book the other day about a female athlete, and it made me realize how I never exercise!! I mean, sometimes I take a walk or two(only a few blocks) during the week, but that's it. And now seeing your post about your getting into running again, I think is a sign of getting into excerise more. I do have running shoes(not expensive or anything, just shoes), and I've only worn them a few times. I think I need to break them in again. Not sure if it'll be running, but I want to do something. To start really taking care of my body. Of course, talking is one thing and doing is another...But I hope I'll get into it. If you can do it with a baby, I can do it without one!

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  24. Very appropriately written and put forward. this is a great blog post. Gives Fodder for brain as well as compells you to ponder. Happy That I discovered this site.

    We Belong Together

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