I donâ€™t think there is anyone thatâ€™s in the middleÂ when it comes to running. YouÂ either love it or hate it. I was one of those onesÂ that hated it. Sure, there are someÂ naturally great runners, but I think most people have to work for it. Running theÂ mile in high school was always the worst day of myÂ life. I wasnâ€™t fast, I couldnâ€™tÂ breathe and I was always in pain afterwards. I wasÂ the student that got an â€œAâ€ forÂ effort and an â€œFâ€ for time. I didnâ€™t understand how people could breathe throughÂ the running. How are you that fast? Donâ€™t you feelÂ like dying? Am I that out ofÂ shape? Granted, I was always a little chubby growing up and didnâ€™t play sports, but IÂ was in the Marching Band; played piccolo. Clearly,Â I had good lung capacity.
The idea of running was always one that I liked. Lace up your sneakers. Pull yourÂ hair back. Put your headphone in and start running. The wind hits you in the faceÂ and you forget the world. When I got to college, IÂ tried this process of running again.Â College for me was in Savannah, GA and Forsyth ParkÂ was THE perfect place to runâ€¦Â if you could actually run. I would go to the parkÂ every so often and try to runâ€¦ theÂ operative word here is â€œtryâ€. It was like high school all over again. I feltÂ embarrassed at the face that people would see me start to run and not be able toÂ make it a block. Iâ€™m sure no one was really looking at me, but in my head, everyoneÂ was saying ,â€œWow! Look at that fat girl. She canâ€™tÂ even run a blockâ€. Thatâ€™s when IÂ started telling people who would want to run, â€œIâ€™mÂ not a runnerâ€.
I met my boyfriend in Hollywood and we bonded overÂ our love of working out. WeÂ both had lost a substantial amount of weight. He tÂ old me that he loves running, toÂ which I replied, â€œIâ€™m not a runner.â€ He basicallyÂ called bullshit and said that anyoneÂ can learn how to be a good runner, so he took it upÂ on himself to teach me. WeÂ basically started running stairs and short distances around town, adding more stairsÂ and distance, as it got easier. I bitched and complained A LOT while we wereÂ training, but something in me didnâ€™t want to be a quitter, so I huffed and puffed myÂ way through each workout. We started doing mud runs together and I think thatâ€™sÂ where I really started to find my love for running.
After a year or so, I convinced myself I could do aÂ Â½ marathon which is 13.1 miles.Â We picked a race in Long Beach, right along the coast, so we knew it would be flat. ItÂ was a great pick for a first time Â½â€™r. Here is myÂ testament to all of the couch to 5kÂ and running training schedules they have online…. THEY WORK. If you put in theÂ work, the program will work. I was running about 5x a week with varying distances,Â building up to 13 miles. I was having some troubleÂ with my knees, so the longestÂ distance I ran before the race was 7 miles. I donâ€™t know if it was the flat terrain, theÂ adrenaline, or the training, but I managed to run my first Â½ marathon in 2 hours andÂ 20 minutes. I wasnâ€™t incredibly fast, but I let goÂ of the competition and just focusedÂ on me. I focused on my breathing, my stride, cadence and the fact that I was doingÂ what I told myself I couldnâ€™t do. Whether you runÂ for 10 minutes or 2 hours, enjoyÂ the time. Donâ€™t worry about speed or distance, just focus on the act of running and