How did it all begin? Where did I start from? Am I one of those annoying people that “just started” but can already run a 5k in 24 minutes?
Let. Me. Tell. You!
I am slow. I am a very slow runner. I have never been fast, but I am building speed. SLOWLY! It’s not easy when you’ve never been a very good runner, then you decide to start one day. It’s so easy to expect that you’ll be good at it in no time.. But that isn’t how reality works. We have to chip away at things to become good at them, and unfortunately for me, without a good base of fitness to work from, I was starting at square one!
So I started running just after my 28th birthday this year (which I mentioned in my previous post), and began like everyone else in these technological times: with the C25K app (I also used the Zombies, Run! app as a run-tracker and for a little extra motivation).
C25K is great for building up that base of fitness, enough to get you in the habit of running, and enough to get you to run continuously (if slowly) without stopping or walking.
I began by running around my neighbourhood for 20-30 minutes at a time, using the prompts from the C25K app to begin running or walking.
After a few weeks of that, I added my own extra running schedule in, and once I had completed the program I was able to run 6km without dying so I signed up for a 10k! (because obviously)
I raised a bunch of money for the race, trained my little butt off and ran the race, and it was… fine. I didn’t die, but I didn’t love it. It was something to do to keep me motivated to train.
The problem was that I was not training toward anything other than “be able to run 10 km without collapsing”. Which I did!
After the charity run, I lagged. I gave myself a couple of days off, then went for a couple of short runs around the block and claimed my virtuousness of having “been on a run”, as we do. But I’d lost the passion, and the driving force of knowing I would have failed if I couldn’t make it to the finish line.
So I stopped bothering to run as much, or as far, and within a month I was running maybe twice a week (on a good week) for maybe 3 km at a time. And it SUCKED! I sucked. The world sucked and I hated every part of those runs.
I finally worked out why! I had no driving force! I wasn’t running because if I didn’t I’d be eternally embarrassed to face all of my friends and family that had donated money and support, or because I knew if I didn’t make it my friends all waiting at the finish line would think I was a complete loser. I had no reason to run!
So I decided to make running my reason. To run is my reason now. I need it. I have used it to make my life better, other than the already stated benefits of running, I can also eat a bunch more and not feel guilty! My clothes fit better! My house is cleaner! I’m more organised! So many amazing benefits all from having this routine based around going for a simple run in the morning, or not getting drunk on a Friday night so that I can do a longer run on a Saturday.
So many damned benefits!
So now I’m running because I want to improve, and be fitter, and so that I can get all of the other benefits, as well as having that general base of fitness to work off if I do want to train for something big, without having to start from scratch.
Why do you run? Do you set a goal to work toward so that you have to train? Or are you able to motivate yourself to run regardless of what is happening?
Do you have any tips for how to keep going? Or how to begin?
P.s. This post should really be titled:
How I Got Started and the Many Mistakes I Encountered and How Much of a Motivator Guilt & Potential Shame Are
But it isn’t. Because I wanted you all to think that I’m going to impart some wisdom on you.
P.p.s. I hope you did glean some kind of information from my ramblings!