There are a lot of people I know who don’t like to run, and I completely understand that. Five years ago, running was my least favorite form of exercising. I had tried track in seventh grade and absolutely despised it. You wouldn’t catch me running more than a mile unless I was forced to do it for condition. I would much rather play a sport or lift than sweat my guts out on the pavement. Now five years later, I have three half marathon medals hanging in my room, and I am in the process of training for my first full marathon. I wanted to spend some time talking about my experience from basically zero to 100.
The Runner’s High
When I was a senior in high school, I had a good friend who was an avid runner. She had ran track and cross country all through grade school and high school, and she was someone I really looked up to. She was one of the most fit people I knew and had the craving for running I couldn’t possibly dream of at the time.
The summer before my senior year, I decided that I wasn’t going to be afraid of running anymore. I wanted to be like those people who started their day with a run, clocking in several miles every day with a smile on their face at the end.
It sounds strange because I literally woke up one day wanting to love running. I would be lying if I told you otherwise. I started running that summer, just a few miles at a time. I really couldn’t make it more than a few miles. It felt good, though. I came to understand the post-run high, and I was addicted.
My First Half Marathon
Motivating myself to run a couple times each week was quite hard, but I tried to keep my mind focused on the end result. When school started in the fall, I continued my running, and that spring I met my running buddy. She was training for her first half marathon, and I decided to train with her just not do the half marathon. Having a friend to run with and to teach me how to do it properly was the blessing I really needed. That spring she ran her first half marathon, and I was eager to do my own.
That fall I was too busy to train, but the following spring I ran my first half marathon with two friends, the Indy Mini Marathon. I thought I was going to die towards the end of that race, but afterwards I was crazy enough to sign up for another one and another one.
Today I am three half marathons in with a determination for more. I realized that 13 miles wasn’t as far as I thought it was. I’ve come to realize that these races I do are what I need to stay fit. I need a purpose for my working out other than being healthy. It’s why I’ve loved continuing cheer in college because it has helped me to continue to create fitness goals for myself that I know will help me in my sport. I needed a greater purpose like that.
The Motivation I Need
That’s the motivation that a marathon has for me. This week I started my first week of training for the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis this November. It seems a long way out, and I probably won’t keep to the schedule perfectly of four running days a week, but the thrill of crossing the finish line and being handed a medal for running 26 miles is the vision I have in my mind to drive me.
Motivation is a really hard thing to sustain while working out. It is so easy to just quit, but I know that if I don’t put in the necessary training for this race, I will end up walking, and I didn’t pay $100 to walk 26 miles.
My advice to anyone that wants to be healthy is to find a strong purpose for your fitness. Being fit isn’t a big enough goal for me, so I like to set these more concrete goals in my life in a way that won’t let me back down.
How Is Training?
Here I am on week one of my training. For my first run of the week, I did an easy three miles in the evening. My second run of four miles was a little different. I walked nearly half of it because I assumed it wouldn’t be too bad to run in the middle of the afternoon during an Indiana heat wave. It was only four miles, and I wasn’t convinced I was going to make it to the end.
I’ve also realized that my previous fitness goals will have to be altered due to my new running schedule. I know that running four days out of the week will be difficult and even more so with the addition of other types of workouts. So I plan to mix things up as often as I can with my workouts.
I have two more runs to accomplish this week and 20 more weeks to go, so I’m not worried about my training yet. You have to accept the ups and downs in running and recognize that they aren’t all easy runs.
tank top, shorts, shoes, socks: Nike
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