Throwback Thursday – Starting to Run

Before I jump back in time for Throwback Thursday, let’s talk about yesterday’s run. I did my first level 2 key workout: a ladder run (I think that’s what it’s called). I did this same run a couple weeks ago, but I’m having to repeat level 2 because I didn’t finish it before I took a week off.

This time around wasn’t exactly easy, but my legs felt better than the first time I did it. I really feel like the run went pretty well, except I’m having a hard time getting too excited about it because I stopped and sat down to rest on a bench for a couple minutes at about the halfway point. Ha! I think this is the first time I’ve ever sat down on a run. But I needed a little break, and the bench was there, so…haha.  I think the problem was that I ran too soon after dinner.

Anyways, the little break made my full stomach feel better and I continued on with the workout. Is there something wrong with me that I feel so happy/good about a workout that should probably be considered a failure because I SAT DOWN during it?

2014-05-28 19.52.08

Sitting breaks are a good time to take pictures. This is the Beverly Commons. It’s not much, but it’s a nice little gravel path for a change.

The details

  • Warm-up
  • Brisk Run: 3 min, Jog: 1 min
  • Brisk Run: 5 min, Jog: 2 min
  • Brisk Run: 8 min, Jog: 3 min
  • Brisk Run: 5 min, Jog: 2 min
  • Brisk Run 3 min, Jog 1 min

Total: 3.68 miles, (9:45/mile)






Now, onward into the past….

Last week I jumped on the Throwback Thursday bandwagon, and I wrote about my first experiences with running that I encountered during my time on the soccer team in high school. All the running during soccer didn’t make me a runner, though. I hated running then, and once high school was over and soccer was over, I didn’t keep running. So this week’s post is about when and how I started running.

Up until college, I never exercised just to exercise. I played outside as a kid, I was on sports teams, and my family went on the occasional bike ride or walk, but outside of team practices I didn’t have a regular exercise routine and I never went to a gym or exercised with the purpose of staying healthy or losing weight. That was never on my radar. In fact, until college I didn’t realize that people actually went to gyms. I kind of thought that that was just something that happened on TV (the episode of Full House when DJ stops eating and starts exercising too much was pretty much the only exposure I had to a gym while growing up).

So, I went off to college, and my main exercise became walking to/from classes and meals. I played a few sessions of intramural sports (soccer and broomball), and tried out some club teams for a few practices before quitting (rugby – ha!, and indoor track – ha ha!), and I also went to the gym a few times to see what it was all about. But nothing stuck, so mostly I was inactive.  And that was mostly okay with me.

Until midway through senior year, when I realized I had gained weight, and I never exercised, and I decided that maybe that should change.

Christmas Eve 2005 001

December 2005, going in to the last two terms of senior year.

So, slowly, I started to exercise. My weapon of choice was the elliptical. I would listen to music and read while working out, and it wasn’t really all that bad. A little boring, and I wasn’t very consistent, but it was a start. When winter term ended and spring began, I had more free time. I went to the gym more regularly, and I noticed a girl that would come in and run on the treadmill for an entire 45 minutes.  This was astonishing. Amazing! How could someone run for so long? For some reason, this made me want to run, too. I figured if she could run for 45 minutes, I could run for 10 min. And one day, when no one else was in the gym, I hopped on the treadmill at the end of my workout and tried to run for 10 minutes.

I’m not sure whether I made it through a whole 10 minutes that first time.  It was not easy, and it was not fun. But whatever it was, it made me want to be better. Being so bad at running made me want to get better at it. There was no reason I couldn’t run for 45 minutes if that other girl could. After all, I used to run all the time for soccer.

For a long time, I still mainly exercised on the elliptical and the arc trainer, but I also tried to run for a little bit every time I went to the gym. Eventually, 10 minutes of running wasn’t so awful, and I added a 1 mile run to the end of my workouts. I wasn’t quite a runner yet, I wasn’t hooked like I am now, but it was a start.

How did you start running? Was it hard? What made you stick with it?


17 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – Starting to Run

  1. I started after Caroline was born because I figured now that I had two kids, I needed a quicker way to burn calories! I used C-2-5K at first, and the thing that kept me going was feeling too competitive (with myself) to stop!

    • Yes, being competitive with myself is a huge motivator for me, too! After 8 years, I still am asking myself, “Well, can’t you run that race distance just a little faster?”

  2. There was no true “start” for me I guess. My best friend in high school was a cross-country runner, so she’d drag me with her occasionally. I joined track my senior year as a thrower, so we had compulsory warm-up laps and long runs, and I jogged occasionally all through college and after. I guess I started running REGULARLY the summer of 2012, when I ran my first 5k (the Color Run).

    • Races are definitely a good way to end up being a regular runner. Knowing I have a big race is one thing that can guarantee I get out the door even if I’m not feeling it.

  3. I hated running in high school. My tennis coach made us run a lot and I got cut from the team because I couldn’t run very far. I tried the track team too but injured my way off that team too. I made a few stabs at running for fun in college but never was able to run more than a quarter-mile. I don’t know what made me try C-2-5K a few years ago… I guess a bunch of my friends had started running 5Ks and I wanted to give it a try. I kept at it because so many people talked about how much they loved it and I figured if I kept going then someday (maybe!) I’d love it too. And now I do! 🙂

    • I hated running in high school, too! Now I love it, and I’m still not sure how that happened. I figure if you can just hang in there long enough that it stops feeling awful, it starts being fun. 🙂

  4. I used to be a runner in college. Nothing crazy or anything. I ran about 2 miles a day, most days of the week depending on my practice schedule. If I had a hard practice (that always included a lot of running on its own) then I didn’t go for my run. I only did it because I wanted to be better at soccer and softball. We had timed runs in soccer and I didn’t want to be the slowest 🙂 eventually I wasn’t. But then grad school happened and I stopped running.

    • Pesky grad school, always getting in the way of things! It’s awesome that you ran outside of practice to get better, I was certainly never one who wanted to do sports homework. It was one of the (many) reasons I quit basketball when I was a freshman.

  5. I ran cross country in high school and it was because my sister was in it and I wanted to be her. I ended up liking it and have been running ever since 🙂 I like hearing How I started running stories!

  6. Sitting down during a workout is not a failure at all! Better to sit for a few minutes than keep running and feeling sick.
    I’ve “started” running a few times during my life… every time feels like I’m starting for the first time too, and yes, it was hard every single time. 🙂

    • I think that’s exactly why I don’t count the run as a failure; I felt great for most of the time I was running because I stopped when I felt bad. The second half of the run could have been hard and painful, but it was just fun, so it felt like a win!

  7. Nice workout!
    I ran track in high school but quit for a good 10 years before I picked it back up again last April. Starting over again was hard! Everything hurt, even though I had a good base level of fitness. I’m glad I did though, because it changed my life for the better!!

    • The workout was fun, it’s a new type of run for me, and it was nice to mix it up. Isn’t it funny how hard/painful starting to run is even when you have a good fitness base. I just remember thinking that the elliptical was not a very good workout if I could do that for an hour and couldn’t run for even 10 minutes!

  8. I started running because I saw so many people at the park doing it, and I was like “Hmm they all look really happy and healthy…I wonder if I could do that?”. Here I am running half marathons now and it totally blows my mind how far I’ve come! This was a great post and I loved hearing about your running journey!

    • Sounds like both of us were inspired by seeing other people (strangers) running. Do you think we’ve inspired any strangers out there? I’d like to think so. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Throwback Thursday – My 1st Year Running | Let's Go Running

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