Monday, October 3, 2016

My Running Journey: How I Started

Ahh, yes. I get this question quite a lot. "How did you start running?" "Why did you start running?"

Today on the blog I wanted to chat about my answers to those questions and how exactly I started on my running journey. Running didn't come to me overnight. It was one of those things that I worked at day in and day out, a little bit at a time.

If you read my body image post, you'll know that I have struggled with personal body image for a little while. Fortunately, I feel as if I am in a place now where I can just accept myself the way I am and know that I have the knowledge and the means to make changes should I want to.

That being said, what truly started my running journey was the desire for a healthier life and to lose weight. I feel like this is kind of part of everyone's reason for starting on a health journey. Am I right, or am I right?

For me, it was in 2007 when my love affair with exercise and running truly started. I would do various work out videos on YouTube and be consistent for about a week or so, and then go on a week break before picking it back up again. At this time, I was going to the local gym with my dad a few evenings per week and I would use the elliptical machine for about 30 minutes. After I was finished, I remember feeling so good and accomplished. My parents were always supportive of me going to the gym, and I remember being SO excited the day that my dad and I went to pick up a used treadmill that we found in the Buy, Sell, and Trade. This is when I really started to dabble in running.

My running journey didn't start by running full on for half an hour. Nope, not even close. I would run for a minute, walk for two, then repeat for 20 minutes or however long I wanted to run for. Then, I would start to increase my running time and decrease my walking time until I could run a full 30 minutes without stopping. This took me months to do, but I would run from 7-7:30am Monday to Friday before school. It was during this time that I really saw my body change with being so consistent, and of course making diet changes, too. Exercise and eating is something that goes hand in hand. For me, this was a great combination that helped motivate me along the way.

Eventually, I ran my first 5km race which was a local Run for ALS fundraiser in my area. My mom, dad, and sister all came out to watch me, and I felt so pumped after crossing the finish line. The endorphins were flowing, I was feeling good, and more importantly I was feeling inspired to continue on. I started pushing myself further and kept track of the distance I was running. One year for Christmas my parents got me my first Garmin watch, and that's when I could really see just how far exactly my runs were taking me. Prior to this I would train by time. Just get to 20 minutes, now get to 25, now 30... Okay that's a little over 5km... I wonder how far I can go now. My family was happy that I found a healthy hobby, and I was too.

In 2012 I ran my first half marathon. It was the BMO Half Marathon, and I crossed the finish line in under two hours. This is probably the moment I truly fell in love with running. Reading my race recap actually gives me goose bumps, because it takes me right back to that moment when I was running towards the finish line and saw my mom and sister there cheering for me. At that point, I almost burst into tears. I did it. I ran a half marathon, and it was amazing. It was the moment I felt like a runner, and a time I will remember for the rest of my life. <--- Wow Holly, you sap.

And so, the rest goes from there. For the last almost 10 years running has been a huge constant in my life. It is something I can turn to when I am happy, stressed, sad, upset, excited - it doesn't matter how I am feeling, because I know I will always feel great once I get out there. Plus, the endorphins after don't hurt either!

If you have been curious about running, I say give it a shot. Set a goal and go for it, because you will be amazed and so thrilled at the results once you accomplish it. I am a huge advocate for goal setting, because there is always something you can achieve, no matter your skill level or where you are in your fitness journey. As they say, everybody starts somewhere!


Thank you for taking the time to read this post! For all the other runners out there, how did you start your running journey!? Let me know!

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