Why I Started Running and You Should Too

Why run?In September I starting thinking about running again.  I used to run, when I was younger as a way to let go of stress.  But I really wasn’t very good at it.  I wasn’t a “runner” per say.

Truth be told, running sounded like a lot of work.  So much work, in fact, that I kept thinking about it until the following February.

I hadn’t done anything to prepare to run other than some walking here and there.  But the extra 20 pounds I couldn’t seem to lose, was taunting me to get started and finally do something.  So I finally took that first step towards my fitness goals.

Here were my goals:

  1. Lose before mentioned 20 pounds.
  2. Have more energy and feel better physically and mentally.
  3. Do a sprint triathlon.

There, I admit it.  I wanted to tackle a triathlon.  To swim, bike and run.   To BE a triathlete.  I didn’t want to come straggling in last either.  I wanted to finish that tri like a BOSS.

And to be quite honest, that extra 20 pounds was really getting to me.  My weight loss efforts just weren’t working and I knew that running and biking both burn some serious calories.

Plus, the research was convincing.  Who couldn’t use more energy?  A stronger body, mental clarity, and an emotional boost.  Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

So I headed outside to do my first training “run” in early February.  We’ll call it a run, but it was a walk with some small spurts of jogging.  It was hard.  But I didn’t throw in the towel.

Slowly, I was able to do more running and less walking.  I noticed that runner’s high for a couple of hours after the run, giving me more energy, mental clarity and an emotional boost.  My sore muscles felt good, because I knew I was making progress.

At 5 weeks, my muscle tone had increased and I started losing weight (finally!).  I could literally see the difference in the mirror from week to week.  I should mention that I adopted a healthy whole food, nearly vegan diet during this time as well.  (More on that in another post).

It’s now been 10 weeks since I started running and the weight is almost gone (woot!).  I ran my first 5k (3.1 mile) trail run last month and I’ve started to add biking into the mix.  In August, at the 6 month mark, I’ll complete my first triathlon.  My goal is to finish in an hour and a half.  Totally boss, for me.

There have been times when I needed to sleep more than usual for my body to recover.  Or when I couldn’t run like I wanted, because my knee hurt.  I’ve learned to listen more to my body and what it needs to be successful.

Running has become my antidepressant, stress relief, energy drink and meditation all in one.  More than anything, it has become a way of life.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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