I started running in June 2012.
After struggling with an eating disorder (starvation, bulimia and then compulsive overeating) for years, something finally clicked. I no longer wanted to live in a depressed state, unhappy with my body and my life.
I had been going through therapy and one thing my psychologist always said was that I had to find a way to workout without hating it or getting obsessive about how many calories I was burning.
When I found running I no longer counted my calories, instead I focused solely on becoming a better and stronger runner.
If you have ever spent any significant amount of time on the stationary bike or elliptical at the gym like me, you know that you can put in minimal effort which gives your mind plenty of time to wander. If you are like me, you start obsessing over the time remaining, how much you ate that day, how many calories you “need” to burn and so on.
When you start running it is HARD. You no longer have the capacity to think about calories because you’re just trying to keep breathing! Or at least that is what it was like for me.
The first couple of weeks of Couch to 5K were very difficult for me. My breathing was erratic, my calves burned after only 30 seconds of jogging and I wondered how I would ever get up to one mile let alone the 3.1 that is required for completing a 5K.
Aside from my boyfriend I didn’t tell anyone I was doing Couch to 5K because I was embarrassed that I was so out of shape, and I also knew I would be mortified if everyone knew I failed to complete the program.
Most Couch to 5K training plans last 12 weeks. I took almost seven months. In the beginning I didn’t stick to the 3-day-a-week running plan strictly. Some weeks I would only run/walk for one day so it took me forever to get through the training.
In October I signed up for my first official 5K and after that I knew I needed to get serious and that’s when I really began training.
I stopped following the Couch to 5K plan and created my own plan which mostly consisted of run/walking 2 to 3 miles three times per week. My breathing was still erratic, my calves still burned and many times I was ticking off 15:30 or 16:00 minute miles. Sometimes 16:30 or 17:00 minute miles depending on how tired my body felt.
No matter how slow I was moving, I never stopped. I kept at it and in February 2013 I completed my first 5K!
Before the race I worried if other runners at the 5K would laugh at me, think that I didn’t belong, say rude things to me, but of course none of that happened – I am glad I didn’t let those thoughts hold me back!
After crossing the finish line for the first time I was truly bitten by the running bug! I loved the sense of accomplishment and pride I felt at doing something so hard, and I decided I wanted to run longer races.
I trained for my first half marathon in the summer of 2013 and finished the Fort Lauderdale Half in November 2013 with a time of over 3:30 hours.
That race was long, it was hard but it was worth it! After running my first half I was bitten again by the running bug, and despite my slow half marathon finishing time I knew I wanted to train for a full marathon!
In October of 2014 I successfully completed the Portland Marathon — all 26.2 miles!
It was a tough day, I struggled through the second half mightily and I was disappointed with my finishing time of over 7 hours because I knew I was capable of better than that.
At first I was just incredibly disappointed with my marathon debut, but after some rest and reflection I realized just how incredible it was that I was even able to finish a marathon having been so sedentary for most of my life!
Just one month later I ran the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon a second time and finished in 3:02! That means in one year I was able to reduce my finishing time by thirty minutes!
am now training to complete have finished a half marathon in under 3 hours 2:57 and I will also be running my second full marathon this year in Chicago, and I hope to beat my Portland time by a lot.
I had on idea when I started running how much I would grow to love it and how much it would change me as a person. I no longer feel overweight and lazy, I feel strong and full of life. Even on the days when I have a disappointing run or race I know that I’ve come so far since day 1 as a total beginner.
Knowing I can complete a full marathon reminds me that I am mentally and physically tough. I’m a completely different person now than I was in June 2012 when I was still struggling to get over my eating disorder and had incredibly low self confidence.
Running has changed my life.
If you are a beginning runner I hope that you’ll follow along with my training updates and feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send me a DM on Instagram anytime!
Here are a few areas of my blog you might enjoy reading next:
- Training for my first half marathon
- Training for my first marathon
- About me
- How My Race Times Have Improved
- My current running goals
- My running bucket list
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!
If you’re just getting started with running I wish you the best and please feel free to email me (email@example.com) anytime!