Yes! You Can Start Running

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Posted December 10, 2013 by Marie Arcidiacono in Life After Five
Woman on a run

In case you didn’t know, more women than ever are signing up to run races of all kinds: road races, trail races, etc. In fact, according to Running USA’s 2013 State of the Sport-Part III: U.S. Race Trends:

The number of U.S. race finishers has increased 80% since the year 2000, and female representation has increased from only 42% to an all-time high of 56% in 2012.

Talk about AWESOME!

Running and racing are amazing—these are words I never thought I would say a little over two years ago.

I get asked ALL the time, “How can I start running?” “How did you start running?” “It must have been easy, right?” Let me be clear: It was NOT easy, but in the end, it is SO WORTH it.

People ask me about my “running story” often, so I thought I’d share, maybe it will encourage you!

I was NOT a runner despite the fact that I come from “running stock” aka my mom was a marathon runner. That’s right; she ran 26.2 miles multiple times and actually liked running that far! This led her, and me, to naively think that I would be a natural when it came to Cross Country running in high school.  Let’s just say Cross Country and I were not friends.

In fact, I specifically remember a 7 mile training run that the CC team did. My mom went with me on, as moral support she claims. At one point I desperately begged her to let me run home since the route passed our house not once, but twice, talk about torture. She bribed me to keep running with doughnuts and I begrudging finished the run while muttering some choice words as I ran. Needless to say, I lasted one season on the Cross Country team.

Fast forward to 2011 when I VOLUNTARILY decided to become a runner.

Starting to run was HARD. Read: Difficult. Demanding. Frustrating.

BUT, I stuck with it!

I followed a custom deigned running plan (Thanks, Mom!) to build a base which is really important. Don’t try and go from zero miles to 1mile or 2miles. You will hate it, your body will hate it, and it’s all bad. Slow and steady, little by little.

That being said, I got short of breath quickly and the soreness from pushing my muscles was no picnic either. I can’t tell you the number of times I wanted to quit during a run and/or say that I was never running again. I didn’t quit though, because eventually it got easier.

Notice that I said it got easier, not more fun. Seriously though, so much of running and sticking with running is just staying with it, even when it’s hard. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It wasn’t until after my first half marathon that running truly became fun for me. The adrenaline rush from racing is a unique feeling and one that I love to experience time and time again. Running has taught me a lot about who I am, of what I am capable, and how to overcome obstacles.

So that’s my “running story.”

In case you are thinking about starting to run:

To help you get started, properlyAFTER* you have consulted your regular physican and been cleared to start an exercise routine–You NEED to make sure you consult your doctor!– check out two online resources for beginning runners:

Runner’s World: http://www.runnersworld.com/the-starting-line

Women’s Health Magazine:http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/become-a-runner

So why not grab one of your girlfriends and register for a race? It will give you something to train for. Please give yourself LOTS of time! I have heard great things about the Couch to 5K app.

There are so many awesome 5k races out there that are perfect for new runners or runners just looking to have fun. I loved The Color Run which I did with my friend Kristina last summer. We had a BLAST!

Just remember, as long as you run, no matter how fast, no matter how far, you are a RUNNER!

In the meantime share with me:

What’s your favorite memory from high school? (Clearly, mine was NOT that 7 mile run.)

What would make you want to start running if you aren’t a runner OR what keeps you running if you are a runner?

*Disclaimer: You should ALWAYS talk to your regular physician before starting any exercise routine. The author of this post is NOT a physician and encourages exercising/working out ONLY once you have been cleared by you physician.


About the Author

Marie Arcidiacono

Marie is a Speech Communication professor who also coaches a debate team. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue to teach for decades to come. In her "free time" she is an avid runner. Marie enjoys running a variety of distances, including the Half Marathon. She is dedicated to living as healthy a lifestyle as she can while balancing a very busy schedule. Marie loves to network and share ideas so writing for Career Girl Network is perfect for her. You can also read about her adventures on Why Not Girl!.

4 Comments


  1.  
    Lisa

    Started running this year because of you! I thought I would hate it, since I love spending most time watching Netflix on the couch (ha!!) but I didn’t hate it. Running gave me something to look forward to and work towards. Yeah, at times I hated it (mostly during my run) but once I accomplished the run I felt great! Plus all the free shirts and medals you get once you actually compete in a race, couldn’t have found a better hobby. So glad I started running!




    •  
      Marie

      Thanks, Lisa! I know it was super difficult when you first started running but I was SO proud of you when you crossed the finish line at your first Half Marathon! And yes, running “swag” is amazing. Medals are a great motivator. I’m excited for our next race together!




  2.  
    Tina

    My sister in law has been running for about four years. The entire time, she encouraged me to start. I refused over and over and over. Mostly because I, too, had an awful time “trying out” for the cross country team in high scool. Then, my sister in law signed up for the tinkerbell half marathon. When she told me about running through Disneyland, and getting *exclusive* Disney swag for completing the run, I was in. I started with the Couch to 5k program and will be running the tinkerbell half in January. I can’t wait.

    All year I joked that I would quit once I completed tinkerbell, but I feel like I’ve learned too much, gotten too healthy, had too much fun, and grown too much as a person and entrepreneur to give it up now. I’ve proven to myself that I can do something if I set my mind to it, reconnected with old friends, made new ones, and found my new favorite form of stress relief.

    So, I don’t love running, not any more than I did during high school cross country try outs, but I’ve learned that when reaching for a dream, the work along the way is not always enjoyed, but definitely always appreciated.




    •  
      Marie

      Tina, I LOVE your “How I started running story!” Your sister-in-law picked the right race with the Tinkerbell! YAY for January and your Tinkerbell Half Marathon, you will LOVE it! The medal is pretty awesome as well.

      I absolutely agree that running and committing to a goal can show you so much about who you are. I am so glad that running helped us reconnect as well.

      You are going to ROCK your Tinkerbell Half Marathon and I will send you “Cheers” through your Nike app the whole way. So proud of you, girl!





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