Andrea here, I have always had a desire to be a runner but I don’t like to run. Once I started having babies and wanted to drop some of the weight, I decided it was time to start running. I met some mom’s in my neighborhood who liked to run and I started my running career with them. I have run 5 half marathons yet I still don’t love to run, however I love the feeling of accomplishment after the training and races are over. Having friends to run with and to coax you into running races with them is good healthy peer pressure.
One person in particular really inspired me to run more and I loved that she actually enjoys running! My friend Britta Holmes has given some advise to us ‘want to be runners’. I hope this helps you as well!
How did you get into running:
My mom has been a runner as long as I can remember and I started running my Junior year of high school to be with her. I would wake up early before school to run with her and as one of seven children I really loved having this alone time with my mom.
The first few years of running I didn’t race. I didn’t have the desire to do so until after my oldest son was born. After my son was born my mom asked me if I would like to do a marathon with her and thought “sure why not”. Besides one 5k I did in college this was my first race.
My oldest son is 15 now and I have run 13 full marathons. Its hard not to catch the marathon bug. Usually around mile 18 I think to myself “Im never doing this again” and with out fail it only takes about 30 minutes after finishing to think “next time I’ll do this or that to improve”. My first marathon time was 4:53 and I have a current PR of 3:16.
How do you enjoy running:
The trick to loving running is to realize it is NOT easy!!! I have been waking up early to run for 20 years now and guess what, 9 times out of 10 I consider going back to bed; but I remind myself how I feel when I am done running and I crave that feeling.
Don’t set yourself up to hate it or to not enjoy it. Set your expectations realistically as to what running is going to feel like. If you are just starting, it is not going to feel good it is going to be hard but think of how proud of yourself you will be by doing something challenging and following through with what you said you would do. Don’t compare yourself with other runners. Build on your own capabilities and set your own goals that will stretch you.
What I love most about running is how I can push myself outside of my comfort zone and accomplish things I had only dreamed of before. Running gives me a sense of accomplishment and helps me to realize I can do hard things in all areas of my life.
What are the benefits of running:
The benefits of running for me are obvious ones like physical health and endurance but my favorite benefits of running are the mental and emotional rewards I receive. Throughout my 20 years of running I have been blessed with running partners on and off. My running partners always become my closest friends. They have to be my favorite part of running!!!
How can I train for a race?
If you have never trained for a race before and would like to, start out slow. Set your expectations realistically but push yourself a little further each time. Start out with a walk run plan and build. There are so many plans you can find online. Runners World or Nike are always a good place to start.