Throwback Thursday – My 1st Year Running

Yesterday was national running day. I celebrated by going for my normally scheduled run, and buying a pair of compression socks at half price. The run was intervals, a toughie, but I enjoyed it, and today is a rest day!

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Hittin’ the beach for running day!


If you’ve been following along with my Throwback Thursday posts, you’ll remember that last week I talked about how I started running. At first it wasn’t much, just a little time on the treadmill after using the elliptical or arc trainer.  I continued like this for quite a while, adding more running time as it became easier. The gym I belonged to after I graduated college was always VERY busy, and sometimes all the ellipticals and arc trainers were taken, so I was forced (in a way) to add in some running only workouts.

Even though it wasn’t my choice at first, these treadmill only workouts soon became my norm. At the time I was attempting to go to the gym 3 days a week after work for about an hour. When I switched over from elliptical/arc trainer to treadmill, I wasn’t able to run for that entire time. I would spend 10 minutes walking to warm up, and 10 minutes walking to cool down, and I’d also take walk breaks during my run when I needed them – not necessarily on a schedule.

Over time, I took less and less walk breaks, and my warm up and cool down walks shortened. I remember the first time I ever ran 5 miles without stopping. It was so exciting! Every time I wanted to stop, I just slowed WAY down and eventually I felt better and could speed up again. I don’t have anything against walk breaks, but seeing how far I could run without stopping made me feel strong. I still use this “slow way down” tactic whenever I’m tuckered out, but am afraid that I won’t start up again if I take a walk break. I tell/let myself run as slow as possible, and eventually things tend to turn around.

By the end of my first year of running, I would regularly run/walk 5 miles on the treadmill every time I went to the gym (maybe 3 times per week). I didn’t pay much attention to my times, and I NEVER ran outside, but around this time, the idea of running a race started to worm it’s way into my brain. And that’s what you’ll hear about on my next Throwback Thursday post.

I don’t have a good picture to go along with this post, so here’s one of my sister and me when we were little. It’s applicable because I’ll be seeing her today! Yay!

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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?

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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.

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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?