Thursday, February 17, 2011

running 101

For the past few weeks, we've been talking mostly about healthy eating habits (annnnnd not so healthy eating habits), and how to slowly get on the road to a healthier lifestyle. (posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Today we're switching gears to exercise--just as important as a healthy diet. The two make a perfect pair, walking hand in hand down the beach.

I'm going to tell you flat out that this post is about running....no beating around the bush here.

Now before you quit reading all together--"I hate running!!" you scream at your computer screen, just hear me out.
I may not convince you that running is your thing....but just maybe it could be.

Flashback. High school. I HATED running.
More than anything in the world.
I played basketball and softball, I was in great shape, but ask me to run one lap around the track and I wanted to go hide in a dark corner. It was just so....hard, and boring, and more boring, and pointless. I specifically remember when we had to run the mile, hating every single step I took, swearing that as soon as I was out of high school P.E. I would never run again in my life. Really--these were the conversations I would have in my head while running.

After we were married, I needed a way to stay in shape, and for some reason I thought I'd try running (I guess I'd forgotten my promise to myself). I could do it any time of day, it was cheap, and it seemed to be the thing to do in a college town. I slowly worked my way up to a little 4 mile loop, and while I never loved it, I knew it was a great way to stay in shape--running works so many muscles in your body at once--it's the best bang for your buck, I like to think.

Flash forward a few more years.

Pregnancy. sidenote: sometimes its crazy to me that I was ever pregnant. Twice. That my now large, sticky children, were once snugly little buns inside of me. Weird.

I walked and walked and walked throughout my first pregnancy.....anything to keep moving or my mind would go crazy. After he was born, I was anxious to get back into a shape of some kind--any shape really but post baby shape--and I didn't know what to do. I knew I wouldn't be taking my precious little bundle into some germ laden gym, so once again I turned to running.

I hated it. It hurt. My knees. My hips. My poor toes and their blisters on blisters. I felt so old.
I was 22.

But I kept at it. I started to see results besides lost toenails and achy muscles.

One year later I ran my first half marathon.

And loved it. I haven't stopped since.

weeeeeusragnar
photos from this race

There is nothing that compares to getting out in the fresh air, sunshine on your back, a good playlist and your thoughts to keep you company, with miles of pavement ahead of you.

It's wonderful. 

So have I lost you yet? I realize that running is not for everyone, but I do suggest that you try it--I mean look how I changed my mind! It took years, but I went from loathing it, to craving it, and writing about it for all 12 of you to read.

Now maybe you have tried it, over and over again, and you really just don't like it--find something else. There are so many ways to get out and do physical activity, you are bound to find something that you can really connect with, love, and get your blood pumping.
Just don't give up too fast--nothing is easy at first.

If you are interested in running here are just a few things I've found helpful (and keep in mind, these come from a former hater, so these are things I've found really make it better).

Shoes. THE most important thing about running. When I started I wore the same pair of old cross trainers for 3 years (3 really uncomfortable years). I had terrible blisters, my knees always hurt, and I thought that was all just part of running. It's not!! Go to a running store--those guys know what they're doing! They'll study your feet and find shoes that will work WITH you, and not against you. As soon as I got shoes (and as long as I get new ones when mine get too many miles on them), I've had no problem with my knees, and running is so much more comfortable than when I first started.

Clothing. Lightweight, breathable, water wicking clothing. Stay away from 100% cotton (this goes for socks too), or you'll be feeling all kinds of uncomfortable, in all kinds of uncomfortable places.

A goal. Whether it's to run one mile without stopping, or running a full marathon, just set some kind of goal to keep you motivated.

If you have all these things and you're still hating it....

Get off the treadmill. I can barely run a mile on a treadmill.....it is pure torture to me! I get so bored and worry too much about flying off the back. If that's your only running experience, get outside and go! It is exactly one billion times better, I assure you.

Make it past 3 miles. Now if you're not running at all, 3 miles sounds terrible, impossible, and you think I'm kidding....right?? But really--the first 3 or so miles are terrible for everyone (I hate it). Your muscles are still warming up, your breath isn't in sync, it's uncomfortable, and you want out. So if your only running experience is distances under 3 miles (or maybe a bit more....I don't start to love it until between 4 and 5), you are missing out!

Drag a friend out there with you. It's easier to do it together and motivate each other--you'll get to talking and before you know it, your run is done! 

Music. A wonderful motivator to pick up the pace.

I could go on and on (and on!) about running, it has really become a big part of me, but we'll save it, and see if there's an interest in a running 102 someday:)


My challenge to you this week: 
I would love to challenge you to run....can I do that? 
You might hate it (you'll probably hate it), but I guarantee when you are done, you'll be happy you did....and you might want to try it again. 
Run a mile, run around the block--just get out and move those legs!
If you really really insist on hating running, and you promise me that you have tried, 
then find another way to push yourself this week. Go on a bike ride. Walk longer than you normally would.
Just do SOMETHING.

A healthy diet is only part of a healthy lifestyle....don't be afraid to challenge yourself.

Good luck! 

I'd love to hear why you love it or can't stand it, and wondering if there are any other former haters out there:)
I'll be posting tips/comments/conversion stories on my fb page.


edited to add: 
I was super surprised at the response that this post got....I'm so happy to have so many runners our there! I'll be writing another running post, so if you have anything you'd like to be discussed you can come leave your questions in the comments here.

55 comments:

Laura said...

So, this story isn't about me but my sister - she's older than me, never really been sporty except for a love of field hockey when she was a teenager, occasionally had asthma attacks just from walking up hills. Except one day she decided to sign up for a half marathon, and now she does 12 miles practice runs at the weekend. I am *so* proud of her and it's a massive kick up my bum to do something too. I'd left my trainers halfway up the country at home by accident, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise - they were old! :) Maybe I should invest in some proper running shoes!

Thanks for the blog Sheena - definitely something I needed to read :)

A Place to Reside said...

That is interesting about the three mile barrier. I've actually never broken that, but perhaps I need to make that my new goal. I'm a little daunted, but maybe...

Janet said...

funny you posted this...I ran a bit yesterday morning while walking the dogs...and again last night...and again this morning. Not far at all...but it's a start.

banananutmeg said...

the 3 mile barrier is REAL. Just get past it, and you're golden.

I am SOOOO a former hater. Like Hater with a capital H.

Started running when baby 3 was 6 weeks old. It took me 22 minutes to run that freaking first mile on my treadmill. I could have walked faster, but "run" was the goal, so I sort of...er...trotted. (had to make sure those lady parts weren't going to give out on me, ya know.)

and on the day baby turned 6 months old, I ran my first 1/2! I've done a few since then, and I have another one coming up April 2 that I'm buddy running with a couple girlfriends. it's going to be so fun!

First Full marathon will be 2 weeks later! I'm going to die!

but I'm going to love it.

Running is the best drug I've ever taken, and pretty much cures anything that ails me.

I want to hear more about your dead toenails. That's hot.
The bottom half of my big toe is like giant, and reddish purple. Bruise? who knows. At least it doesn't hurt...so I will keep on running!

banananutmeg said...

speaking of marathons..how 'bout that crazy long comment? If I start talking about running, I can't stop.

hahahha btw have you seen this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbONA5Rz1es

"I cross train on my bicycle. I cross train on my bicycle."

Daniel & Mindy said...

i'm glad you posted this.
i've always loathed running, but this year i decided is going to be the year that all changes :)
of course, i just found out i'm pregnant, too! so maybe granny walking will have to be my thing for awhile longer...

Karlee Turner said...

First off, I love this little blog of yours, and I LOVE this healthy series you are doing! I have pretty much the same feelings/passions with regards to food exercise and I love hearing others that do too.

I happen to LOVE (how many times can I say "love" in this comment?!) running. Like you, in high school, I hated it, but once I got into college I was hooked. Running has always been my stress-reliever. When I'm upset or having a bad day, pounding the pavement is my medicine of choice. It's never easy for me, but the feeling you have after a good, hard run can't be matched!

summer said...

woooohoooo!! i love this, sheena! and thank you SO MUCH for mentioning the 3 mile mark- i needed that. don't let me forget it this summer:) my mom told me once that the first 20 minutes are the hardest, so just work past those and you'll be good- that has helped, but i think the mile marker will work even better for my mind.

i love running for the same thing you mentioned- sunshine, pavement, music, being alone with your thoughts, feeling ALIVE! and the feeling when you're all done is so amazing.

i haven't been running during my pregnancy- i tried it one day and it felt SO WEIRD, and i hated thinking about bouncing the baby around, and things are just heavier now:) but anyway, i really really miss it! so i think that's a good sign!

Keely Kellett said...

I agree with everything you said. Never thought I would be a runner. And now I love it! I am about 25 wks pregnant and bought one of those support belts, because I don't want to stop running. It is my stress relief and I can tell when i haven't ran in a couple of days.
And agree on the shoe. My feet look really flat, like I have no arch at all. I always bought ones that had a lot of arch support, but went in and found out I have high arches, my ankles roll in though. After buying the right shoes running is so much easier. Love it!

mlesueur said...

I absolutely LOVE your blog! I totally can relate to you with the whole running thing. I used to hate running in high school. A few years after I graduated from high school, I trained a ran a marathon with my older sister, parents and a few cousins and haven't been the same since. Since my first marathon in 2005, I've run multiple 10k races, a few half marathons, a relay similar to Ragnar called "Reach the Beach" and another marathon. I don't start really enjoying my run until after mile 4 or 5 as well. Although I feel physically fit and amazing when I am in good running shape, it hasn't helped me lose any weight, it just makes me so hungry :(

{lizzythebotanist} said...

all 12 of us? try all over 1300 of us, silly.

i love running because i like the shape my body takes, especially because it happens all at once. i've been working out at the gym because it's easier with my schedule + two kids and my body looks so totally different than when i run. and it takes a lot more time to get all the necessary parts taken care of. unless i use the treadmill which i HATE.

i also just love being outside in nature + sun-trail running is my favorite. it makes me feel fast & strong.

Derek Henderson said...

great post!

Hannah said...

I've always hated running, but it is a new years resolution. I want to get to the point where I enjoy it. Thanks for the motivation.

Shannon said...

Sorry Sheena. I'm a hater. Although 3 miles is about as far as I've ever run. It also hurts my knees, but I'm not about to go spend over $100 on shoes that would help that problem when I know I hate running. It feels like such a chore.

I LOVE swimming and the elliptical. I'm so glad that I bought an elliptical for my house, and swimming is the best when it's in an outdoor pool as the sun is coming up. I do sort of understand the runner's high thing because I get into a groove when I swim long distances and definitely get that rush.

Exercise is definitely important to a healthy lifestyle but certainly there are TONS of ways to get moving. Running is not even close to the only option. I think the takeaway here is simply get moving. Do something you love so you will keep doing it. If that's kickboxing classes or zumba or kicking a soccer ball around with your kids. Do it. :)

melissa marie said...

oh, yes, i was a hater hater. i ran track in high school, but sprints only. if the workout was over 200 meters i'd pretend to throw up and go home.

you're exactly spot on with the 3 mile advice! that was what did the trick for me. once i get past 3 miles i'm so happy, and i never knew that for YEARS because i never got past 2.

however, not all of those other things are necessarily essential to enjoying my own running, so people shouldn't be scared to start to run if they don't have nice running clothes or a friend to go with. i prefer to go alone, outside, with no music. i can't wait for spring!

(all this coming from someone who is not even really a runner. just a wannabe.)

Rebekah said...

LOVE this post!!! I love running and agree that it's almost torture to run on treadmill, but running in the winter in Chicago is insane. haha, so I have to do treadmill :( Alas, today is in the 50's and I think Ill head out!! PLEASE tell me how you converted your husband to running!! Mine hates running, but I would love for it to be something we could do together. haha! We shall see!

Love your blog by the way!!

stephanie said...

last month i decided that i was a runner.

even though i had never run before. ever.

3 miles was my first goal. i've done that a few times now, and after reading this post, i think i'll try 5.

honestly, i love it. i never thought i would, but i do.

thanks for the inspiration, sheena!

Katherine Fajen said...

I have been wanting to start running for the last month or so...but with the cold weather I have been having a hard time feeling motivated. I'm going to give it a try this weekend, weather permitting!

Chelsea said...

This post is inspiring me to leave a comment -- you are adorable and I love your blog. I feel the same way about running--I HATED it but somewhere along the years I too learned to love it. Now I am pregnant and not being able to run as much/as well/as fast/whatever I have decided that I want to run my first full marathon hopefully sometime soon-ish after the little baby comes.

Thanks for your fun post and reminding me all of the WONDERFUL things about running.

Meghann said...

I'd say i have a love-hate relationship with running. Although I will say I have really begun to just love it lately. I used to just flat out hate it until about 2 1/2 years ago. I will agree with you that it is better to set a goal for yourself. When I first started I sign my self up for a 10k. That was a good starting point. Finishing a race is such a great feeling and makes you hungry for more. I signed up for my first marathon for this June. Training was going really well until I broke my foot a couple weeks ago and I can't get back to running for at least 8 weeks! I was and still am so frustrated about it. So I won't have enough time to train... but maybe I can still do the half.

My husband has started running this past year too. He's doing great and is planning to run the marathon in June. I'm not sure he really enjoys it yet though.

Kassidi Bridge said...

I LOVE the thought of being a runner. I decided I was a runner after I had Hazel. I even subscribed to runners world. Then a month later I tore my achilles. So it's still not the same. However, I still love the idea...and I still want my body to be able to do that again. Time to take a jog around the block...gotta start somewhere?!!

The Webbs said...

i am one of those running lovers out there. seriously i could not have put it better, getting fitted for shoes was the best purchase ever, having a running buddy to train with is so worth it, music, goals and that crazy 3 mile mark. i think mine is more of a six mile mark. running in denver during the winter is hard, but i am grateful for the gym! it allows me to take classes between running and i am actually always looking forward to my quite long runs with no one to worry about (ahem, cute little one).

i think the best way that kept me motivated was my friend and i who trained together lived in different states, but wrote out our miles on a blog calendar that only we could see each others runs. if she ran, i had to get out there and run. it was such an amazing feeling having a goal. but i think the best way to run off training is make time for it, write it on the calendar, and have a date set with your shoes to go on a run :)

(super long post)

Shiloh said...

I am definitely a former hater turned lover. I did gymnastics 4 hours a day from age 5 to 18 so never needed to run. Once that ended, it became apparent that I needed a change. I totally agree about shoes, they make or break you. I actually just switched from tennis shoes to vibram fivefinger barefoot shoes....can I tell you I am in love, and my bones love me for it, and my muscles ache but are getting stronger. don't read "born to run" unless you are prepared to be convinced to run barefoot.

PS Ragnar NYC last year (woodstock to dobbs ferry NY). Pretty much the raddest thing I have ever done.

Becca said...

Former hater here! Well I'll say i'm in the process of beginning to really enjoy it which is HUGE for me. My husband has been a runner since high school and is doing his first marathon this summer. I used to try going on short runs with him but always hated it because I think I was doing it more for him than for me.

My son is just about a year and a half and I knew that before baby #2 came along I wanted to get in the best possible shape (I knew that running would do this, unfortunately) but never really made a commitment to do it until I read one of your running posts (and you explained how much you used to loathe it). I figured "if Sheena began to like it then why can't I?" so I told my husband that I wanted to sign up for an 8k called the Shamrock Run which is next month (he's going to run it with me)!

He has completely supported me by creating a training schedule, buying me the appropriate gear, and coming home on his lunch breaks so I can go run without worrying about a baby. He actually will be coming home in an hour so I can go run 4 miles for the first time!

The 3 mile thing is SO true! I remember as I was doing my first 3 mile run I kept saying to myself "this has to be the hardest thing I've ever done, maybe even worse than childbirth"...haha I'm so weak.

Anyways, it's so not a big deal for me anymore and I actually enjoy the "me" time. So thank you for inspiring me and I totally want a part two of this!

Ang said...

I too am a former hater turned lover turned injury-prone-and-unable-to-run-for-months-er. But I am trying to work my way back into it...injury free, hopefully!

It's always tough getting back into something you used to be good at because (surprise!) you won't start off as good as you were at your peak, but as silly as it sounds, I take baby steps to my goal and cheer myself on with every step if I have to. Sometimes I literally count down with my stop watch to the end of the interval I'm on - I find it helps me push myself because I am that much closer with every second that goes by, so why quit now? It also serves as a distraction to focus on the numbers rather than that muscle or ache that tempts me to make every step my last.

Aside from that, I’ve used every tip that you listed (besides the clothing one – perhaps I should invest in something better than old t-shirts) and found them incredibly helpful in my journey from hater to lover – great tips!

abi Porter said...

running is medicinal. stress and worries go out the door. i feel there is no better way to clear you head and be with your thoughts (or silence). and the 3-mile mark is true!! after that, it feels like you can go for 100 miles.

as for treadmills, they come in handy when its pouring down rain 24/7.

Kasey said...

I'm a convert, too! I was a (capital H) HATER for so many years. My husband (who ran cross country in high school) has tried to get me interested in running in years. I'm a type A personality. If I was ever going to give running the real college try, it was going to have to be my idea.

One day (when my husband was laid up after knee surgery, btw) I just decided to train for a 10K. Well, it's been almost 2 years of running now and I. Can't. Stop. Seriously addicted to this drug.

I also hit that awful, terrible, undeniable wall at 3 miles. So, I just stayed there for several weeks, until I felt like I might have the stamina to push past it. I remember asking a friend, "HOW did you EVER get past 3 miles??" I later asked her the same question about 8 miles.

I think the magic number is 5. If you can run 5 miles comfortably, you can run 6, 7, 8, etc.

I just ran my fourth Half Marathon last week and am looking forward to my first full in April. I can't even describe how good running makes me feel (and always AFTER I get past the first 3 miles). Honestly, the last half of any run is always more enjoyable than the first half for me.

If I could bottle these endorphins I feel at the end of a run, I'd be rich. And that is just ONE of the many payoffs for putting those shoes on and getting out the door.

WORD on having the right pair of shoes!

And I only love the treadmill when it's impossible to run outside due to icy roads or extreme heat.

Great post!

Me said...

I wouldn't say I was ever a hater, but I've definitely come a long way. I remember challenging myself in high school to run for AN ENTIRE HOUR and I thought I was going to die. In my defense, it is realllly humid in VA and actually, the thought of doing that now makes me want to die again. Ugk, humidity. People who run in humid areas have my deep respect.
I decided I'm going to run the Top of Utah marathon this fall. I'm a little worried about the training. It was one thing leaving Justin with 2 older kids every Saturday morning but with baby it's going to be a lot harder on him. But he's given me the ok, so I'm doing it! Your imagery of running with the sun on your back and your playlist going made me want to get out and run right NOW!:)

Tara said...

Wow, I'm having some login issues lately! Sorry, we have a lot of accounts. I'm guessing you might have known who "me" was anyway. :)

Joanna said...

This post is awesome! I not only wasn't a runner, I wasn't an athlete, period. I'd always been a scrawny girl who preferred to just stay inside and read.

Then I decided I was going to run a half marathon. I started by running for 1 minute, walking for 1 minute, and worked my way up from there. If I can do it, anyone can. And it's true--you get so addicted to the feeling of accomplishment.

Truth: The first 3 miles are always always always the worst.

amanda vanvels said...

I LOVE running. I was definitely a hater like you, though. In high school I hated running, I couldn't even run a mile without feeling like I was going to die. Now, I'm running 3-4 miles straight. I'm slowly trying to work my way up to a 10k, but I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far and I'm happy taking it slow.

One thing that drives me nuts, though, is that I get so bored when I run for 30-40 minutes straight. I can't run outside yet, because the roads are icy, so I'm on a treadmill. At around 20 minutes, I get bored and that makes me want to stop more than anything. I'm thinking about putting some movies or tv shows on my iPod and watch them while I run.

Learning to Simply Live said...

Sheena, I have never run more than 2 miles, but I think I am going to try your 3 mile thing! I have heard it said before, but you have given me motivation to try it. Question though, could you post one of your favorite playlists to run to? I always have a hard time figuring out some good music to run with.

Thanks!
-Liz

Kim said...

Great Post!! you have inspired me to jump that 3 mile mark.. maybe this weekend even. Thanks for posting & keepin it real!

Rachelle said...

at least you were active in high school. does tennis count as being active??

i started running in college due to a million health classes making me realize i should exercise.

i heart running! but i can't get passed 7 miles. it scares me to run farther.

Rachael said...

I tried running the summer before last. I only went out a couple times, and I could never run without stopping! I'd run a little, then I'd get tired pretty much right away!
But I really liked how I felt afterward. Full of energy.
I'd actually love to go out and exercise again. Right now I have to wait for the weather to get a little warmer. Yes, you can say that's an excuse. And partly, it is. But around where I live right now, there isn't even sidewalks! But I can't wait until I get a chance again.
But it's great to know that from a previous hater of running, how much you love it now! It's inspiring.

Jessica said...

I'm not a huge fan of running but I think this post has inspired me to give it another chance, so thanks! And it's true that it works your whole body and I always feel awesome after I do it. Also I have to tell you that I'm loving my scarf, it's so soft and cute. Thanks again!!

millie said...

i ran cross country in high school and HATED every second of it, but then somehow i motivated myself to start running again this year.
i used the Couch-to-5K program (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml)
and it has literally changed my life. i crave running too. i feel on top of the world when i finish my run. i was just thinking to myself today how running has become my newest addiction. and i LOVE it!

for beginners, i totally recommend doing a program like this because it starts off real slow, but before you know it you're running 3 miles, easy.

my new goal is to run the ragnar relay this year. CAN'T wait!

She Loves To Make said...

Former hater! I was working to lose weight, got pregnant and after my first baby I was CRAVING just to be smaller than the huge pregnant lady I felt! I started running and absolutely fell in love. Never ever thought that would happen. Good shoes, cute outfit and good music on my ipod are my absolute musts. I got up to 8 miles straight and then I got pregnant again :) Which I am now. I look forward to running again! I sometimes dream I'm running and when I wake up I feel as if I have worked out lol. I'm hoping to run my first half marathon before my next baby. Love your blog!

jen said...

I was most definitely a hater too, but when I was a dance major in college we were required to do some sort of cardio in addition to all our other training, apart from technique classes, rehearsals etc. (looking back I have NO idea how I fit everything into one day!) but even though I thought I didn't have time I MADE the time for it and the conditioning from running fed into other areas. I was more attentive, had more energy, I could keep up better in technique classes, I felt better + happier, I had a clear mind and loved the time I had while running to think and have conversations with myself (totally sounds strange but it's so good!) Now I love it, even if I haven't been as consistent as I was over the years. hence new running goals! :)

totally agree about the 3 mile mark, it's a plateau where everything comes into stride. love that point, even If it takes a little while to initially get there.

p.s. pregnancy is TOTALLY strange + miraculous. nothing about it makes sense, but it's so awesome.

Alison Rebecca Davis said...

Okay, I'm convinced that I could possibly love running. The weather here in Arizona is gorgeous, and there are lots of sidewalks.

I see runner's arms and their butts, and their legs, and their stomachs and I'm so jealous! But, about 10 seconds in I think I'm going to die. My shoulder starts hurting, my side cramps, my lungs try to jump out of my mouth... Help!

I thought shoes might help so I bought some nice running shoes and fantastic socks. Not fit to my feet, but they feel glorious. So far they have made walking around in the grocery store much more fun. One time I ran into an avid runner while I was in my workout clothes and in a burst of shame admitted that I had not just exercised, but in fact had just put on the clothes because they were comfortable! Guilty!

I think I may give it another go tomorrow. You'll be in my thoughts as I battle the thoughts of dying, cheeseburgers, and curling up in bed. THANK YOU for the motivation!!!

Emily said...

Ok, Sheena, your blog motivates me. I'm ready to give it a try. I have an old mp3 player that is bulky and bounces in my pocket, if I have a pocket. Or it sits in my sweaty hand. By chance do you have any suggestions, on an mp3 player and earphones for small ears? Fun music to run to?

Kandice said...

I've never really liked running and then last year for some bizarre reason I signed myself up for the Provo 1/2 marathon. I pushed myself to run everyday and fight through all the pain my body was going through. I got a horrible pain in my shoulder but kept running and it eventually went away. I got myself up to 7 miles with walking rests in there somewhere. I didn't like running on a treadmill once it got warm enough to run outside. I loved the effect it had on my body, my love handles were gone!! My knee started to really hurt above my knee cap and I wasn't able to do the 1/2 marathon. I really want to get back out there this year and start running again. Running is really hard, but once I get started my body craves it daily. I need to find some good shoes and see if that solves my knee pain.

Meglet said...

I actually have you to thank for inspiring me to start running again. It was a funny coincidence that the first time I ever read your blog was the day you posted about the Never Nudes at your Ragnar race.
I have never enjoyed running before (I was a gymnast for 13 years so I enjoy quick bursts rather than slow and steady), but after your post I decided I wanted to give running another shot. (This decision was also partially because my long-time boyfriend has been a pretty hard-core runner since we met and I want to be able to enjoy this with him in the future.)
Anyway, your Ragnar post convinced me that running could be fun and I went directly to the Ragnar website and found their beginner's training schedule. While I don't follow their schedule very closely any longer, I do continue to run some every week.
So... I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to get back out there! Who knows; maybe I have a Ragnar in my future!

Hannah said...

I am so glad you wrote about running today. It has been on my mind- I have hated it for years, and yet I have such a strong desire lately to try it again. It's kind of strange. My biggest obstacle had always been crippling side cramps that just won't go away- any tips for that?

Hayley said...

Okay, I just have to comment even though I get embarrassed to comment on people's blogs - especially people that have no clue who I am. Anyway, I, too, played basketball (for 12 years) and hated running even laps in the gym. I went to college (where supper would consist of three desserts in the cafeteria), played soccer, started to LOVE running, and now I run half marathons because they bring me such joy and a sense of amazing satisfaction. Thanks to my love of exercise and my former trainer, I am now a healthy eater too! I pushed my little baby girl in her stroller in a 5k in December and hope that she will run with her mommy for ever and always! So, please do another post and include your playlist. I love upbeat music with a solid, quick beat, but I hate nasty lyrics! Thanks!

Christine said...

The first three miles are the absolute worst! I hate running in high school too- I remember walking once out of view of the PE teacher. And now I'm doing 6 or 7 halves this year!

Emily said...

former HATER here. serious hater. but I've always made myself run one mile at the beginning of my workouts. One torturous mile, where I started counting down the seconds at minute 7. Yes, I counted backwards from 180.

And then I moved to Chicago and had a lake. A year later, my normal run is 2-4 miles instead of 1, and it feels a whole lot better. Your insight on getting past three is SO interesting to me - I fight my breathing and my pace the whole time, it's almost torture to get myself to keep going, I never understand people who say they love it and I literally only do it b/c its the best bang for your buck workout wise ;), I go to my friends half marathons and sit at the finish line in awe, no understanding how its humanly possible.

Anyways, you've inspired me to at least try to hit 5 or 6. I want to love it. I want to cross the finish line one day and understand how awesome it feels.

Thank you so much for this post!

Courtney said...

You are awesome.
You along with some other things have convinced me to run the Bentonville Half in 6 weeks. Thank you!!!
I'm very excited!!
Bye bye pregnancy weight!

gina said...

I hate running. (always have) My gym decided to go out of business on me, so I had to turn to my treadmill. You inspired me to try running again. Thank you.

Jenn said...

Are there any kind of shoes that you would specifically recommend? This has been a difficult thing for me to find, a great pair of shoes. A little less difficult than finding the motivation to run, but I figure if I can start with good shoes I am half way there...?

Maggie Harrison said...

I LOOOVE this post! In fact I think I'm going to link to it on my blog! I'm a mother of 15 month old twins. As the days go by and one is walking and the other is on her way, I can't help but start obsessing over the fact that I need to change the health aspects of my life. Not just so I can keep up with them but so I can set a good example. I'm 27 years old and am without any real physical activity in my life. 6 - 9 months of hitting the gym hard every now and then. I was a fortunate teenager with high metabolism. I kept it through my early twenties. So I was never overweight. But I realize now, that doesn't matter. I was still unhealthy. Physically and even, at times, mentally. I have the HARDEST time with will power. I get so disappointed in myself as I fail diet and excersise goals. After reading this comment section after such a motivating blog post, I'm even more motivated to see 50 other people talking about how they're just like me! A big part of fear is loneliness. I no longer feel alone. Just empowered. I think I'll go for a run...

Irma said...

I was referred to this blog post by my sister and as I read it I felt like I was reading my own writing. I used to HATE running. I ran my first 1/2 marathon in 2009 and am hooked! Long distance feels great! I invested in a good pair of training shoes a few months before the marathon and they made a world of a difference!

cmmnrufus said...

Hello! I LOVE your blog, just love it! After reading your challenge(I finally am caught up on my reader!!) I decided to talk the hubby into 'walking' every night, of course the 2yr old Akita mix is saying, WAY TO GO MOM!! We have always been walkers, and for some reason have put it off since the beginning of the year....well we are on way back, and loving it!! even loving all of the aches and pains we are feeling!! So I wanted to say THANK YOU!!! for the challenge and for your wonderful blog, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Meredith said...

I just really want to thank you for this blog...I read this when you posted it and would frequently come back and reread it. I've been doing weight watchers since september and am in better shape than i've ever been in. still not perfect but let's consider how far i've come. anyway, i never thought i'd be able to run any distance. i wasn't ridiculously overweight but not in shape. after reading your blog, i really felt inspired to try running. weight watchers started a 5k training for running or walking (their big push) and i finally took the plunge. their running program trained in 6 weeks and did not seem possible. but with my best workout buddy, we have been tackling the couch to 5k plan. we just finished week 5 day 2 which is run 8 minutes, walk 5, run 8. tomorrow we have to run for 20 minutes straight which is overwhelming to say the least!! however, i've really used your tips from both running posts. i went yesterday and finally got fitted for those expensive running shoes...they were expensive but $40 off because the new ones of that brand are getting ready to come out. i got brooks glycerin and i remember that you mentioned something about brooks being good shoes. i've also been updating my running wardrobe slowly but surely. running with a buddy and having the 5k goal in mind is so motivating right now. my eventual goal is to be able to run over 3 miles since you and others have mentioned that the first bit is the worst...i haven't hit that magical place yet so i'll just have to continue to take your word for it.

All this to say thank you so much for sharing. your blog is very real and open and honest. your two running blogs have inspired my friend and i into trying our feet at running. i thank you for that.

(i also went two weeks ago and cheered on two friends and they ran a half marathon...not feeling inspired to do *that* but it was inspiring!!)

missmarc said...

Hi Sheena!
I hated running in HS. I have recently decided to start training for a half marathon, maybe, but at least for a 5 K. My friend's mom has cancer and she's running a half-marathon in DC for her, which I'd love to do too.
My lungs are in no way used to running at all. I tried to do the C25K app but it almost killed me 15 minutes in of interval training.
I just don't know how to start running, which I definitely need to do gradually.
Do you have any advice for me? I am sort of lost. my email is: hewokemeup@yahoo.com
thanks so much!