Outside of my running circle, the most common statement that I hear is, “You ran that far?! I could never do that.” Let me tell you, YES YOU CAN! Most people only see the distance that I have worked hard to achieve. They see that I can get up and run 6-10 miles on any given Saturday at 5 a.m. What they don’t see, is that when I first started running consistently, I could barely run one mile without stopping. I was out of shape, was roughly 25 pounds heavier, and my mind was a mess. The next question is usually “But how did you do it? Why do you like running?!” I love talking to people about it, so I thought I would share here too.
It started simply. I had a bucket list goal to run a half marathon. I never thought it was something I’d actually accomplish, but was peer pressured into signing up for the 2020 Chevron Aramco Half in Houston. It was for a noble cause, so I figured it was now or never. In April of 2019 I could barely run one mile. However, I stuck with a plan, and by January 2020, I finished my first half marathon slow and steady! This year I am an official Ambassador for the 2022 race, and over the past couple of years I’ve shaved a lot of time off of my pace! It was hard work. My body hurt at times. But I needed to believe in myself, and I’m so glad that I did! The accomplishment was like none I’d ever felt.
Running is natural therapy.
Running is proven to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. I was going through a separation and divorce when I first started running and it helped me immensely. A quick google search can tell you all of the ways that running helps the body and mind, a few of them include: better sleep, improved cognitive ability, stress reduction, and sunshine/vitamin D. I can’t exclaim enough at what a game changer running has been in my life.
The running community has been an enormous blessing!
I had no idea such a community existed. Since starting running, I have joined Northside Running and Tri, a large running club that trains together. We laugh, we talk, and we cheer each other on to bigger goals! My pace group of about 10 people have become some of my closest friends. Our journey isn’t just by feet and over miles of pavement, but we share life’s stories with each other: our disappointments, hardships, successes, joys, and dreams! There are also other social running groups that meet weekly around the city. It’s a really fun way to meet new people. Maybe even find a boyfriend. 😉
Make a plan!
For those who are wanting to start, but feel overwhelmed, below is a simple from couch to 5K plan from Runners World. There are many great apps and running coaches out there too. My biggest advice would be to choose a local race and go ahead and sign up! Give yourself a goal that you can work towards and measure your success. For a beginner’s half-marathon training schedule, click here.
Choose a time of day that works best for you. I suggest running early in the morning or in the evening. Even though it’s hard to get out bed sometimes, if you live in a hot area like I do, a cooler morning run makes a world of difference. Running in 85-98 degree humid heat can be difficult.
Get some gear!
Before you get going, make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Fleet Feet has an awesome staff who will fit you to your perfect shoe. This will help you avoid injury and reduce aches and pains. It’s well worth it to invest in great shoes! My personal favorites are Brooks or Karhu. Performance socks also make a big difference! Fleet Feet has their own brand which I like, or Balega, or Feetures are awesome too! Visit those links to shop! And if you’re a woman, a supportive sports bra is a must. I love my Brooks sports bra. Those babies stay put! Sorry, gentlemen.
The bottom line: No matter where you start your journey, you can do it!! Start small, but with big goals. Get good shoes, find a friend to run with, visit a group, and most importantly, don’t give up. Feel free to reach out if you have questions! I’m here for you and cheering you on! Follow me on instagram. I’d love to hear your successes and encourage you along your journey! You got this.