How I Caught the Running Bug

All I wanted to do yesterday was run. It was the perfect day: sunny, warm yet crisp. I went to yoga instead, hoping some stretching would do my body good and help this knee heal up in no time.

But then I got to thinking. How did I get here? How do I now LOVE to run?!

Not too long ago I thought…

I could never run for “fun”.

I could never run far, fast or long.

I could never get up early to run. 

I could never be by myself for that long… just. running. 

But this summer, I laced up, hit the pavement and haven’t looked back.

Graduation meant no more basketball which meant no more “organized fitness”… practices, games, tournaments, conditioning, weight training. I was on my own. So what to do? Sitting on the couch is not an option for me. I love being active and wanted to stay in shape so I started to run. Why running? Because it seemed simple enough: get dressed, tie shoes and go. No equipment required (ahem, that changed), no membership, no schedule, nobody else. Sounds good to me.

But running quickly turned into more than a “workout.” It was the most inexpensive kind of therapy. This summer was hard. I moved back home, started my first job, broke-up with my first love, rekindled friendships (and made new ones) but it was hard. And things are still not easy (when are they ever) or perfect. But running helped me. Running helps me. Some people take to wine or chocolate when things are tough (both great options) but me, I took to running.

At first I ran for 20 minutes. Then I ran for 25 minutes. Then I ran for 30 minutes. Now I’m running for nearly two hours and running my first half-marathon this weekend. I never, ever thought I’d be able to do this. I’d watch runners trotting along the Charles River in awe. In admiration. In desire.

So what changed?

I took the first step.

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[Image source]

In May I started to run. In July I signed up for my first race. In August I ran that first race. In September I registered for a half-marathon. On Sunday I’ll run that half-marathon — come on knee!

Clearly running is not always unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes you just don’t want to go. Sometimes you run in the dark and the cold. Sometimes you run in the pouring rain and are miserable. Sometimes you do it again because you’re crazy. Sometimes you admit that mother nature wins this round and run on the treadmill instead. Sometimes your body hurts.

But that’s only sometimes.

Running is truly an amazing thing. Running is my time. Running makes me feel good. Running makes me feel strong. Running makes me feel like I am unstoppable. I cannot even describe how I feel after a good run — it’s truly that “high.”

I am proud to call myself a runner and all you need to do is take that first step.

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[Image source] 

Thank you for all of your kind words and encouragement — I promise I will get back to the food tomorrow :)

 

Questions of the day… 

How did you start running?

What motivates you?

Do you think you will take the first step towards running, or anything?

 

 

70 thoughts on “How I Caught the Running Bug

  1. Looove this! I was scared of running/exercising all throughout high school because I knew I wouldn’t be good at it right away, and that made me scared of it. But in 2nd year of university I finally decided to get in shape, so I eased myself into it, starting with 15 minutes on the elliptical, then 20, then 30 – and then finally I tried running and worked my way up to being able to run non stop for an hour. It’s all about pushing yourself to take that first step, and then taking baby steps along the way!

    I hope your sports doc appointment goes well this week. My fingers are crossed for you!

    1. New things are definitely scary but you are so right the baby steps too. I thankfully got an appt and it went well. I live to run another day!

  2. You are going to do great this weekend, even if you need to go slower or take some walking breaks for your knee! I’m dealing with issues on my foot and it’s killing me with a race coming up, but I know I can do it; however I finish it. I got into running for the Race for the Cure for my aunt. It was a 5K and my mom and I started running and haven’t looked back!

    1. Thank you so much Heather. My commenting has been lacking lately but I know you feel my pain with your foot too. I know you will also do great and I truly think it’s awesome that you and your Mom run together.

  3. So inspiring! It makes me so happy for you that you found your soulmate workout :) Also running on the Charles really is the best. I love our trail at home, but I was doing my best running in Boston!

    Still sending your knee good vibes <3

  4. I love this and I can tell you are truly passionate about running. I’ve never been a runner–not because I don’t want to but when I do start to run I always end up injured in the long run (I’m very injury prone—woo!) I’d like to be able to run one day but if not I know that there are plentyyyy of other ways for me to get that “high”. Good luck this weekend!!!…..though I will probably be telling you this every day this week.

    1. You’re the sweetest — thanks girl! You are also so spot on about getting that “runner’s high” in so many other ways. It’s totally about finding your high… haha ideally through exercise and not… well ya know

  5. I started running as cross training. I hated it. I hated it so much. Then all of a sudden, something clicked. It’s great to feel that running bug because once it comes, it sticks. There’s nothing like a runner’s high for me. I hope your knee feels better and you make it through your half pain free!

  6. Great post! I hated running up until college. I played sports (tennis, bball, soccer) all throughout high school, but I just didnt get running. Why would anyone want to run after nothing? All of that changed when I went and watched the Chicago Marathon in 2006. I will never forget that moment when I realized I wanted to become a runner. The next day I signed up for my first marathon without even being able to run 3 miles!

  7. I ran track and played soccer throughout high school, but I didn’t really get into running until my mom suggested we run a half-marathon during my first year of college. Without the structure of practices, I needed this excuse to get myself exercising again! I haven’t looked back since. :) i try to stay motivated by signing up for new races, and keeping my running plan in plain sight in my room so I can see it when I start to think about skipping a run.

  8. Okay soooo… I’m not even joking when I say that I may just end up lacing up my running shoes after I finish writing this comment. I think I may have mentioned that I’ve seriously wanted to catch the running bug? Going as far as asking you to sneeze on me? ;) Well, this may have just been the sneeze I needed… I’ll keep ya posted :D

  9. It’s always interesting to see how people got into their chosen form of exercise! I started in university with spending 20, then 30, then 40 minutes on the elliptical about 3 or 4 times a week, then slowly started adding in some basic strength exercises. That summer, I started doing a walk/run routine on the treadmill, and eventually built myself up to running 2 miles outside. Then, it just kinda kept going from there. I don’t run too often anymore, but it’s delightfully head-clearing when I do get out there!

  10. Love this! I started running in high school and always did it on and off throughout the years. I just started really getting back into running again right before I fractured my foot, but I’m hoping once I’m healed, I can start again. I find it to be very therapeutic for me and it really helps clear my head. I love it!

  11. I started running on my own after high school wanting to stay on shape during college.. Little did I know it would do so much more. I don’t run as much as I used to these days, but will always consider myself a runner. I know one day I will start back up doing it regularly again because I love the way it makes me feel physically and mentally.

  12. I started because I never really thought I could. I never thought I could run a 1/2 marathon…until somehow I did. It was a challenge and once I got past the point where I dreaded it, I started to actually enjoy it! Craziness.

  13. awesomeeeee!!! You know I can totally relate to all of those thoughts you had before- who knows, maybe I will even reach the point that you’re at with your relationship with running?! You’ve GOT THIS GIRL!

    1. Thank you Alisha! Who knows is right, you just might… it certainly surprised the heck outta me. Can’t wait to read more about your running adventures.

  14. I used to HATE running. Like with a capital hate. When we had to do the beep test in high school I would pretend to be sick or something because I didn’t want to do it. Now I couldn’t imagine NOT running. It is my primary form of exercise and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. you are going to rock that half!! Keep up the good work!

  15. Great post, Amy! I definitely have been bit by the running bug as well. I ran cross country in high school, but I rekindled my love for running as a form of therapy as well. After I completed my first race, there was no turning back!

  16. I could not have written this better myself. I LOVE seeing people make the transition (like I have) to finding running as a true therapy – a source of relaxation, self-confidence, and clarity. And YES – it’s not all unicorns and rainbows, but that makes those great days even better. SO happy you’ve found this! YAY!

  17. I am feeling the power there at the end of the post, like a great anthem about running. I wanted to put my fist in the air and be like ‘heck yeah!’ but I am in the computer lab, so I refrained. I got into running thinking I could never run longer than three miles, and now all I want to do is run long! The injury sidelined me, but it can’t take away my love. I am sending positive vibes your way all week in prep for the race!

  18. We have very similar running stories so I had to post! I just started running in May, ran my first 5k and was hooked. Running is my therapy and helps me relieve stress. It’s my “clear my mind” time. I love it. I ran a quarter marathon in July and after just kept increasing my miles realizing that some of my favorite runs are the long ones. I signed up for my first half marathon and it’s two weeks away. Most people think I’m crazy since I just started running this year, but I know I can do this. And reading that you’re doing the same thing and rocking it, gives me a little inspiration. Good luck in your race!!

    1. I am so glad you shared your story too and you are right — very similar! The long runs are the best — don’t you feel awesome afterwards?! And we can totally be crazy together… I’m down :)

  19. Ah…how I started running and why I run…a question I get so often that requires quite a lengthy story! Maybe a blog post on it would be more adequate :) Ha! I love hearing how you got into it though! Definitely one of those “if not now, when?” questions! Happy Tuesday, friend!

  20. I started running again March 2012! Not long ago at all. I ran my first organized race, a 5K. It wasn’t really easy, but I did it! I ran a half marathon last March. I haven’t really run a whole lot since the half, but I’ve been getting the itch to run now that the weather is cooling down again!

  21. This was a really poignant post – and will probably be one of the many thoughts I draw on as I’m running my first half this weekend, too! I wish I could put my feelings into words as well as you do – you make that sound so poetic.

    It’s always great to see runners come around to the sport, and you’ve embraced that identity. Just remember, you’re a runner anytime you run. It doesn’t have to be every day, or even every week. Each time you lace up your shoes and go, I think you become a runner again.

    Good luck this weekend!

    1. Ah I am so excited that you are running your first half this weekend too! I’d love too hear how it goes. Thank you for the kind words… you are so right about being a runner :) Good luck to YOU this weekend!

  22. I never ran as a kid, in college, or even for a few years after college. Even though I’ve always worked out in some way, I was just never interested in running, especially cause it doesn’t come naturally to me (I’m pretty slow by most standards). I started running two years ago, however, and now I love it! Even though I’m not really interested in long distances right now, I’d eventually like to run a half marathon. So glad you’ve discovered how much you love running!

  23. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I’d be a runner when I was younger… I hated running during PE and it was always a “punishment” at sports practices. Nowadays, I run because it’s that one time of the day that my mind is free, free of thoughts and from daily demands.

  24. It wasn’t until I quit running competitively that I realized how therapeutic it can be! Even though I can’t remember the last time I ran more than 30 minutes, running simply for the sake of running is extremely empowering. Great post Amy!!

  25. Love this post!! When I was younger I was very overweight and avoided running and exercise at all costs. It was when I was about 19 I did the couch to 5 K run and that was what first ever made me think, hold on a second I may actually be able to run. It wasn’t till years later though about 4.5 years ago when I met my boyfriend that I really got into running. We decided to enter a run together which meant doing training runs together as well as doing the race together. I was very nervous as I had never run as far as the race was -14.7km. But having someone else to train with and running that race really gave me that running confidence.

    1. I think your running story is inspiring! And so special that you have that special someone to share it with. I hope I can train/run a race with someone one day too. Love your post today girl… so proud of you.

  26. Although I’ve never been a fan of running, when I first got into exercise I found I really enjoyed it- but over time it transformed into weight training and then something ..not so good. I’d love to mend my relationship with it, and reading this post actually inspires me to use ‘running’ as a form of therapy. Thanks for this- I can feel bits of the running bug coming ;)

  27. If I could be of any help in mending your relationship with running, you know where to find me :) I hope you’re enjoying your bowl of cinnamon protein oats hehe have a great day!

  28. Oh I couldn’t agree with you more. Running really is like free therapy. Started running about a year ago, before then I laughed at the idea of running a mile let alone a half marathon. I hope your knee feels better and your able to run, and enjoy your half!

  29. Just came across your blog and thought I would comment :) I started running before my wedding and could barely run 1km straight. Now, I’ve run 10 half marathons, 1 full marathon plus other races and love running! I was super burnt out from it after the full, but my love for it has finally returned :) Good luck on your first half marathon!

    1. Thank you for commenting and sharing your running story! I am so glad you have regained your love for it — I can only imagine that a marathon sucks a bitttt of running life outta ya. Yay for meeting fellow Canadian bloggers :)

  30. I’m so glad you’ve joined “The Club”! It’s nice to connect with people who GET it. I have such a hard time explaining *why* I do the things I do to friends & family who don’t share my athletic hobbies. They always think I’m running FROM something, but it’s the exact opposite – I’m running towards great things – more confidence, mental clarity, etc. Plus I just feel SO connected to everything during my runs.

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