How I Started Running…Then Stopped. Then Started.

It all started with being willed $100.

My grandmother passed away in 2008. She was a woman of modest means, and very loving. She was a real go-getter, making every second count in her life. While not a runner, she was the epitome of active. She left each of her grandchildren $100 in her will.

I hung onto that $100 for a while, wanting to spend it on something special, meaningful. Something that would link us, but not something that would sit on a shelf and get dusty. Finally, about a year later, when my youngest was almost 2 years old and I was really feeling flabby-n-shabby, I decided to buy a pair of running shoes – a fancy pair, from a real running store that made me run on a treadmill while they videotaped my feet then played it back and told me that I was an overpronator, which is a nice way of saying I have duck feet. But for months, the Fancy Sneakers sat on a shelf in the closet, getting dusty.

I think I was scared to try it and fail. I was scared I wouldn’t have time for it, so I didn’t try. I was scared I wouldn’t honor my gramma. I was kind of scared I would die, which was just silly.

One day, at my teaching job, there was a Fun Run. I wore the Fancy Sneakers. I had some unmotivated second graders and decided to show them up, so I ran it. And I didn’t die.

So I ran again one day after Hubby got home from work. I liked having a moment to listen to my music in peace. And I didn’t die.

I made a “running mix”, and I ran again, this time I made it to 1/2 mile before bonking.  Yes! Still living!

So would I commit to this new found activity? I guess you can tell the answer to that by the badge on the right.  In the next post I’ll explain The Moment I Got Hooked. But until then, here’s a hint: It involves unemployment, euphoric crying jags, and Tom Petty, not necessarily in that order.

How did you start (or restart) running? Did it involve Fancy Sneakers and second graders? Or was it something a bit more exciting? Tell me in the comments!

11 thoughts on “How I Started Running…Then Stopped. Then Started.

  1. I started running in spring of freshman year, and was up to 5 or 6 miles at a time by fall of sophomore year. Unfortunately after a particularly exhilarating 6 mile run in January, my knee started hurting – badly. I had to go to physical therapy. I felt slightly depressed, not being able to run anymore. I got out of shape. Often I would binge eat sugary foods to cope. It wasn’t a great situation. However, much soul searching and rehabilitation later, I’m slowly building in running to my workouts again, and I’ve halted my overeating habits. To this day my knee still doesn’t feel 100% right, but even just running 5Ks brings endorphins and a sense of accomplishment. 🙂 Love you, cousin!!!

  2. love this Nancy . . . . I started running after I realized that I couldn’t drown doing it or fall off a bike!!!!!!!! Somehow, after doing a couple of triathlons and NOT nailing the runs, the runs finally became my favorite aspect!!! This all started only 2 years ago. And the run that made me love it was running from Burger King on Rt 23 to home . . . . The first 3 miles I could run without stopping! I’m keeping it at 10K’s . . . at my age I don’t want to blow out my knees, and I hope to run forever!!!! And I LOVE following your pursuit and Lily’s outfits of the day!!!!!!!! Here’s to the best times!!!!!!

    • I love 10k’s. They are just far enough to feel a challenge, but not so far as to require a huge amount of time commitment for training. I miss seeing you swim in the lake!

  3. I ran a little in college. I ran a little after college. But when I turned “older” than I felt, I decided to do a 5k. With just women. On a flat course. And I did not die, either. But I did pee all over myself as I passed a bathroom near the finish line. LOL. I am happy to report I’ve done several 5ks and triathlons. And I still haven’t died, and I am prouder to report I can now hold my pee!

  4. I started running in 2007 after I went for a physical. I was 20lbs overweight, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My doctor in so many words said, “What are you doing or what are you not doing?” It was a crazy point in my personal and professional life and I was not paying attention to myself. So, I started to run and eat better. I began running for 10 minutes a few times a week, then 20 and then 30. 6 months later my blood pressure and cholesterol were in check and I lost 7 pounds. I started doing 5k’s that summer, 13 of them to be exact and have been pushing myself ever since, with 10k’s and half marathons. Last year I ran the NYC Marathon for the first time and I didn’t die, but I may have if I didn’t start running.
    Good luck in your journey Nancy!

    • Mike, you make a good point. I think we are at the age where we take our health for granted until something drastic happens, (or the numbers are staring at us in the face). I actually have a future post on my health reasons for running. I’m glad that you are healthy now and can help me motivate for the marathon!

  5. Pingback: How I Stuck With Running…Or, You Always Remember Your First One | See Nancy Run.

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