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I've been an on and off runner since I was about 13. I never did track and field but I always ran on my own. In college I ran my first half marathon and 3 years ago I ran my first marathon (with other races in between).
I want to start running again and make it stick this time.
But I need some motivation... what are your stories? How did you start running? What made you get out there and how did you do it?
I always hated running. When I was in school I was always the kid finishing near last in PE when we ran.
When I was 29 I was obese and decided to do something about it. At first I changed my diet but felt that diet alone wasn't good enough to be healthy. So I started running and hated it at first. I ran/walked every day for 30+ mins. After a while I actually liked running. I can't believe it took me almost 30 years to find that out! It took me a couple of weeks to be able to run 1 mile without stopping. It took me a couple more weeks before I could run 3 miles without stopping. I just kept increasing my running endurance. I did my first marathon about 1 year after I started running.
I actually stopped running for 6 years between 2002-2008 - 2 kids + new job. I got fat again (gained 50 lbs) and started having health issues: indigestion, heart burn, and acid reflux. The doctor said that it was all due to my weight gain. So no more excuses, my kids are older now and require less attention and now I have health issues. I have been running now since Aug 2008. I lost 20lbs within 3 months and best of all... no more health issues! My BMI is finally in the normal range and I am still working to lose more weight - to get faster.
I need no motivation to run. I love it and it helps reduce stress. I also love to run races, mainly marathons. I run races with my family and kids. My son ran his first 5k when he was 4yo. He finished in 42 mins, not bad!
I'd recently finished graduate school and had moved across the country. So instead of being a student working about 70 hr/wk, I was now an engineer working about 45 hr/wk. Wow, now with all that free time - what to do? I decided to get into condition - I was thin but wasn't getting any regular exercise other than walking. So I bought an exercise bike and took some aerobics classes. After about a year, I decided that those weren't quite enough - was getting bored with the limited selection. So I started running - it fit the bill since I wanted an activity I could do outdoors (in the nice California weather), on my own schedule, at my convenience, that didn't require special facilities and didn't require teammates. That was in 1983 and yes, I'm still running 26 years later.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17
New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32
@ 10K: (coming in March)
About 12 years ago I started walking regularly for fitness. Not being naturally athletic, I just assumed running was out of my league. But as I became more fit, I walked faster and faster - up to 12 minute miles. I wanted to get in shape, not just stroll along! Anyway, walking that fast is hard and I would sometimes take "jogging breaks". Although that sounds strange, it really is easier to run slowly than to walk that fast. Then I discovered that I much preferred the running. It took me to a whole other level. Running felt like I was opening up and letting go - walking in comparison felt like I was holding something back. I just replaced walking with running and that was that.
I also stopped running a few years ago when life interrupted. But I started back two years ago, because I never forgot how good it felt. I'm not a stand out runner and I never will be, but that's not why I do it. I do it because it is better than any therapy for what ails you - mentally or physically.
I watched a marathon and saw all the smiles.
Basically, because I think as a kid, I was envious of other kids accomplishments and decided I could probably do better and steal some of that praise for myself. Now, I know that's a really crappy answer, and there's probably a boatload of psychological mumbo jumbo around it, parental acceptance, complexes, what not. But, you asked, and I think that's the truth. Envy I believe can be a great motivator and can lead us to things bigger than ourselves. Of course, it can probably be a destructive thing as well. I wouldn't recommend it much. Do something because you enjoy it.
So, my story, was that's what got me started. At some point prior just before my senior year in HS, I somehow decided I thought I could actually be pretty good at it. Must've been from reading runners world magazines. I even got crazy enough to set a goal to get to the state championships. Well, success breeds success and once I found I actually had trained myself to be really good, there was no turning back. I made one more running goal, and that was to run in the Boston Marathon, which I did in 1983, then I quit.
I am sticking to it out of necessity at the moment, long story. If you really want to stick with it, I'd suggest setting goals and getting involved in competition. I've done as much recently. What I've found is while I can't do a 15 minute 5K any longer, well, jostling around with the old guys at 20, 22, 24 minute pace can be pretty motivating as well. And, I've always found that competing is the most fun part of running to me. It's killing me at the moment not signing up for races since I'm rehabilitating some injuries.
I ran my first two 5k's at 11 and 12 years of age. I didn't have any interest in running, I just wanted to see if I could do it. I kept running every so often (once every couple of weeks) until I was a senior in college. I was working at a gym and everyone around me was really into fitness, but thats not what got me started. One day I was reading the news and I read about a somewhat famous radio or TV guy from New York who was on his death bed with some kind of congestive heart failure or the like. he was very much overweight. He ended up surviving and vowed he would live his life differently. Only a year and a half after his heart surgery, he ran the 2007 New York City Marathon(if anyone is familiar with his name please let me know because I can't remember). When I read that story, I no longer had any excuses for why I couldn't or shouldn't run, and I became a running addict soon after.
October 24, 2009 - Knobstone Trail Mini Marathon - Martinsville, IN 2:12:50