So, I run consistently 2-3 times per week for the last months. You guys don’t know me in real life, so here is a piece of information that might make you understand a little more why this is shocking: I SUCK at anything athletic. I played football (soccer) in High School and I was the goalkeeper because, while I was a GREAT goalkeeper with reflexes of a ninja, the fact is that I could not run for my life, so all other positions on the team were a big no-no to me. The sports I’m best at are reading marathons and foosball (table football). So you can say I’m not the most athletic person.
There are a few reasons why I started running, and better reasons why I continue to run.
Why I Started
First, I need to do something about my cardiovascular health – it’s my highest priority and it must always be. I’ve got a strong family history of heart problems, and I’ve had high cholesterol since my teens (genetics, huh). It’s now under control, but I will always have to watch that with exercise and food. Since I hated all kinds of aerobics anyway, I decided running sounded like the most effective way to improve heart health in a short time. If I had to suffer, I’d do it efficiently. (typical me, tbh)
It would also be a good way to amp up my burned calories and help my objective of losing the body fat I gained the past years after an illness.
Finally, there is just so much you can do on the treadmill before it becomes boring. I added treadmill on my workouts to warm up, and I started listening to audiobooks to make it more interesting. (FYI Behind Closed Doors made so stressed that I had to put the speed up on the treadmill. So… great workout book, maybe?). I mean, I couldn’t run for more than a minute (seriously), but at least it was distracting. When running, I was so concentrated on NOT DYING that I wasn’t really bored.
Why I Continue
Okay, so those were the main reasons I started. But for that, I didn’t really have to get good at running – just good enough. After a whole year of adding running to my workouts little by little, and becoming slightly less shameful to my honor at it, I actually decided to let it take a bigger role on my workouts.
Once you go past the part where you can’t breathe & you wonder if your last will is up-to-date, running is actually quite enjoyable. I look forward to the days when I go running. My boyfriend was in a state of shock (probably) for weeks as I recounted my attempts to run (he is a runner and too polite to laugh on my face). When I signed up for a 5K run for this July, he probably rightfully concluded I lost my mind and would end up dead training for it, so he might as well join me to see when to call an ambulance. So far, I only got lost twice (once in Scotland) and managed to limp my way back home! Yay! #goals
As for the losing weight part, the steady-state running is not as good a way to lose fat as the HIIT way I did before. So at the gym I started doing other exercises to help with that, but I didn’t really want to give up running.
Part of what is so cool about running is how quickly you see yourself getting better at it. I still suck, but I’m doing SO MUCH better now. The day I could run for 2min straight was such a good surprise to me. And I always thought I’d never run outside because I have NO idea of how fast I’m going, or how fast I’m supposed to go, is my foot hitting the floor weird, plus I have no sense of direction. Nowadays, that is how I do most of my running. This is what is amazing – what your body can DO when you push it a little farther, believe in yourself and simply refuse to give up. I love that feeling that my body can take me farther, faster and become stronger.
By the way… a side effect I did not expect is that running made me less anxious. If you also have anxiety, you probably experienced too the nervous energy in your body & mind after a stressful (or normal) day at work, after meeting people or so. Running burns off that energy and takes the edge off my anxiety, making it manageable and even, sometimes, making it go away entirely.
I noticed that I have been getting sick far less often than before. I’ve always been the kind of person who is sick every few weeks, but not anymore. I still do get sick, but it’s much farther apart and it lasts just a few days.
I would love to hear what you guys think! Have you tried running?
CAN YOU RUN FOR MORE THAN ONE MINUTE??? (great job if you can)