Wannabe Runner


I want to be a runner.

It’s honestly been one of my goals for a while now. Seems like EVERYONE EVERYWHERE is running, and I want to jump on the bandwagon!

Running is kind of in my genes. Dad ran track in middle and high school, did triathlons, and had to run all the time in the Army. He was a lean, mean, running machine until he hit mid-thirties and starting having knee problems. Mom used to play softball and tennis so she used to run quite a lot before she had children and achy knees. Bro has always enjoyed running as well- on the baseball field, basketball court, and the cross-country course in high school. I was never involved in any sports where running was a big thing- ย ballet class and swim team – and now I regret not starting to run until my 20’s.

It all started years ago but really culminated last summer when I was home from college. You see, while on my college campus I never was the girl to go running the mile-loop around campus. I never was the girl at the gym in the morning before class. Shoot, I never was the girl out on the sand volleyball courts at midnight playing intramural games. Basically- I’ve never been the fit girl. You know which kind I mean.

So last summer I decided I wanted to start running. How hard could it be, anyways?

Hah, boy was I in for a wake-up call.

First of all, my apparel- my shorts always hiked up when I moved any faster than a walk, my shirts always billowed out behind me in the wind (that was usually non-existant in Durham in the summer), and my shoes… well.. I’ve had them since high school so they aren’t really running material.

Then there’s the hot, sticky, humid Durham summers. I won’t go into much detail but let’s just say that breathing and moving are quite disgusting to do… and by the time I was done with a mile or two walk/run/jog, my skin & clothing were sweaty and shiny and nasty.

Lastly, there’s this whole issue of my body. I think it hates me for trying new things such as running, because every single time I jog or run, my right shoulder starts throbbing. Not some “ouch, I did too many push-ups” pain, or even an “ow I pulled a muscle” pain… no, this is more like “oh my lanta I can’t move my shoulder it hurts so bad!” Which makes running and pumping my arms trying to look all legit, impossible.

My runner dreams were flushed down the toilet last summer when, after a few weeks of running maybe once or twice, I decided I was not cut out to be a runner. *Cue sad music*

A few weeks ago, however, as I was working out and doing some weightlifting (keeping it muscle-woman over here with my 5-pound dumbbells. Booyah) I thought to myself “Mere, you should start running. For real this time. Write out a training plan and stick with it. You have no excuses.” (Actually there are a few excuses such as busy schedule, work, volunteering, blogging…priorities, y’all, priorities) So I kind of brushed it off until last night.

It was 8:15 and I was pulling in the driveway after a day out with some friends. As I rolled up my windows and readjusted my ponytail, I thought, “hmm, nice night for a run.” I unlocked the front door of the house, walked upstairs, and as if my hands were magnets, I immediately and somewhat robotically changed into shorts, a t-shirt and my tennis shoes. Before I knew what was happening, my Map My Run app was loaded and going, and I was jogging down the road.

When it got to the point where I couldn’t catch my breath, I stopped, and walked a ways. Then I started running again. Then jogging. Alternating every time I couldn’t breathe. When I began to feel a bad cramp coming on, and oh, that aching shoulder pain, I pushed through it (crazy, right?!) and kept moving… I ended up doing 2 miles back and forth on my street. I won’t tell you my time because it’s kind of embarrassing for a novice runner, but at least I have something to improve on.

I’m telling ya- spur of the moment decisions are the BEST.

I felt so good after my little excursion (minus the throbbing shoulder pain and the hard to catch my breath factor) and then after stretching and doing some intense yoga I felt even better. One hot shower, two handfuls of blueberries, and three empty water bottles later, I was ready for bed. I will unashamedly say I was in bed at 11:00 last night- super early for most people my age on a Saturday night. But you know what? I’m totally ok with that. Because after my little date with tennis shoes and the pavement, I felt like a new (albeit very tired) woman.

So maybe I can do this whole running thing. Maybe I can train myself to push through the pain of my shoulder, run despite the weather in Durham, and buy actual running apparel.

Maybe my goal of actually becoming a runner can come true.ย 

New teal running shorts

Are you a runner? Do you have any tips you could share for beginners? Have you ever made a spur of the moment decision that turned out great?


26 responses »

  1. This is great. Very happy for you. It takes a lot to keep trying, especially at something you’re unfamiliar with or had a bad experience. I’ve been in the same boat as you. If I’m not competing, getting chased, or tackled, then what’s the point of running on your own, right?! Well this is just a character test. Remember when you first started swimming? Wasn’t that hard starting out as well? It’s so easy for us to give up on a new venture because we hate failing as young adults, so we focus our energies on the things we excel at. But how are we ever going to grow as individuals? Even if it is just running, take each day one at a time. Slowly start to increase your speed, time, and length. Don’t rush into things. It’s a process. And it’s great you’ve realized the accomplishment and gratitude you felt from a spur of the moment decision. That’s what it’s all about. You must find your “important why.” You must figure out what will keep you going. What will keep you motivated in the face of adversity. Once you figure this out, you’ll be running in marathons as soon as you know it! Hope to hear more from you and your running progress!

    • Wow, thanks so much for the encouraging & inspiring comment! I will be taking things slowly and listen to my body as I build up my endurance & speed. And I will blog about my slow progress! Maybe do a weekly update thing depending on just how much I run each week. How long have you been running?

      • You’re welcome! Yes, documenting all progress will help you evaluate yourself and give people encouragement along the way, not only to help you stay motivated, but also to keep them motivated as well. Actually, I’m not a runner. I actually dislike running from the shear fact of boredom. But I have been forcing myself to run consistently. It’s hard because I’ve always had sports for cardiovascular training. Once that’s gone, it’s very tough to stay committed to such thing like running. I’ve been into the High Intensity Interval training, such as CrossFit of recent. It’s not only far from boring, but it’s definitely a much more intense cardiovascular workout. What about you, how long have you been running?

      • I have just recently started running. I’ve done workouts like P90X & other cardiovascular workouts in the past, but decided I wanted to pick up running. Obviously it’s not just something one can easily “pick up.” I’ve heard good things about CrossFit…might have to look into it. Although you dislike running, you still make yourself do it? Wow. That’s dedication right there! :p I understand the boredom of running. I don’t run with music on and I have been running at night so there aren’t many people out walking their dogs, and cars hardly ever drive by my road…boring. But, at least there’s no one out to see me looking like a fool running! hah.

  2. Hello there!
    I liked your post and I feel the same way! I very much like the idea of being a runner and I have tried many times even! One summer my dad told me and my siblings if we ran 100 miles, he would give us 100 dollars each! Yeah, major motivation right there haha He doesn’t bribe us with money anymore but I still try to keep up with running. It’s definitely hard but so many people do it, its gotta be worth it! College can make it hard to find time for it too, but at least it will teach us time management! Cant pass that up! ๐Ÿ™‚ So good luck to you!

    • Hi! Thanks so much for the encouraging comment! That’s awesome motivation! haha, I might have to bribe myself to run like that! Good luck in your running adventures (if it’s something you still make time for!) Have a great week!

    • I love night running! It’s a little sketchy though, I must admit. And no I don’t listen to music when I run, mainly because I run at night and I need to listen to my surroundings ๐Ÿ˜‰ if I start running in the mornings I might start listening to music. Any song recommendations?

  3. Yeah, that’d be a good idea if you didn’t listen to music at night. You definitely have to watch out and be more careful. I guess reflective colors and clothing is your best friend, right? Music, oh hum, what’s your preference? What type of music do you like?

    • No head lamp… I think it would probably fall off my head! lol. Hmmm… lately I’ve had these songs on replay: Too Close by Alex Clare. Paradise by Coldplay. Message in a Bottle by the Police. Wonderwall by Oasis. Taxman by the Beatles. (haha so appropriate, no?!) Pretty random mixture…

  4. Love that movie! Jim Sturgess does such a great job on all the songs! Ok, got sidetracked. Do you listen to that same kind of music when you need a ‘pick me up’ for motivation? Do you listen to up tempo like techno, or rock?

    • Hah, no I totally agree! I love the soundtrack.
      Hmm… I sometimes listen to the same type of stuff, but then again I prefer more upbeat music to motivate me. I’m not very well-versed on techno as of late…and I’ll always love rock music ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Ok so ACDC, The Almost, The Bravery, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Linkin Park, The Killers, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Weezer, Switchfoot, Blues Travelers, Counting Crows, Journey, Blink 182…Did I hit any of your rock band preferences?!

    • Heard a few songs from all of them and I don’t think there was anything I disliked! I don’t recognize the Blues Travelers though…guess I will utilize youtube! ๐Ÿ™‚ I like Linkin’ Park, the Killers, and Journey a lot though. Haven’t listened to much of Switchfoot since ’07-’08… is their newer stuff good?

      • Yeah for sure. Check them out on YouTube. Yeah, Switchfoot’s latest stuff is pretty good. There’s also a lot of Christian rock that’s really good right now, if you like that genre as well.

      • Yes, we finally hit a trigger button! Ok, yes POD has some upbeat music. Check out: Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, TobyMac, Disciple, Red, Fireflight, Pillar, 12 Stones, Kutless, Flyleaf, to name a few.

      • Oooh awesome!!! Thanks for all the suggestions! I like TobyMac too. And Flyleaf. I need to catch up on all that music! I have such a bad memory when it comes to artists :p

  6. Now we just have to shop for a new “head lamp” for your night running adventures. I’ll begin with Mag, Coleman, Black Diamond, … Kidding. Glad to give you some music suggestions!

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