I don’t know how many articles and posts I have read about how to get started running. There are so many couch to 5k or couch to half-marathon articles out there that makes it sound like running is easy. I have a secret for you. It isn’t easy!
I began running five years ago exactly (as of the writing of the blog post). When I began, I was a pretty avid walker, but was not a runner. When a friend suggested that we run a half-marathon, I thought, “Sure, why not.” It was five months away.
We found several couch to half-marathon schedules, selected one, and set out with determination that we would complete the run. Quickly, we found out that running is hard. Those first few weeks were brutal. I could barely run a quarter of a mile without feeling like I would die! Let me tell you that all those motivational quotes that tell you to keep running even when your legs are about to give out is crap!
That said, I continued on the journey of being a half-marathoner and, to my surprise, I improved. It wasn’t long before I could run a full mile, then two, then three. I couldn’t believe it. I started really challenging myself to do better.
I would love to tell you I crushed the half, but as the marathon grew closer, I knew there was no way I would be ready for it. My goal became to run it in under 3 hours and run over half of the half. I ran it in 2 hours and 55 minutes and ran 7 miles in total. I was pretty pleased with myself.
Interestingly, it wasn’t until after the half-marathon was over that I really started thinking of myself as a runner. I woke up one morning and couldn’t talk myself out of getting up to run. That’s when I knew. I was a runner.