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The truth about becoming a runner through my eyes

Saturday, April 04, 2015

I am a 49 year old female who is currently 216 pounds, 76 pounds from goal weight. This is my third attempt to become a regular runner. Running is how I lost a significant amount of weight several years ago, but when I stopped, the weight came back-no surprise, right? Well, the second time, life again got in the way. Here it is, my third attempt and something has changed-my outlook. Running, and other exercise, is now a priority. I read an article that said exercise must be as important as a doctor's appointment or work commitment. It changed the way I look at it. Anyway, back to my original point.
1) Running is HARD! There is no easy way to become a runner. When I first started each time, even 1 minute seemed undoable. I would be 30 seconds in, thinking I was going to drop! I didn't. I repeated training days quite often, which brings me to my next point.
2) Do not think you will effortlessly be running 30 minutes or 3 miles in 12 weeks. This is a fallacy that many are lead to believe. Most of us here on Sparkpeople are over weight, and because of this, our bodies take longer to adjust and it is harder to move 200 or 300 pounds down the road. Our knees and other joints take longer to get used to it. My knees hurt for the first 3 to 4 weeks, not so much so that I couldn't function, but they knew I was being quite mean to them. I have been running since August, with a short break in December, and have just now gotten to the 3 mile mark (which is still difficult). The good part is that my weight is down over 20 pounds.
3) Treadmill running IS different from outdoor running, even with the incline. Two of my attempts at becoming a regular runner involved using a treadmill to start. When I tried to switch to outdoor running, it felt like I had never run a day in my life. This was quite discouraging to me. I started going to the nearest trail and felt good beginning there. The people I saw along the way either said nothing or were very encouraging. Just remember, what others think of you doesn't matter. Also, when you keep running and start shrinking, those same people will see the progress you are making and admire you.
4) Make sure you set the Nutrition Tracker to add the extra calories you are burning to your daily intake. Running not only burns a lot of calories while you are doing it, you continue to burn more during recovery. Your body will start telling you it is low on fuel. You need to feed the body if you expect it to keep running. I am losing 1 to 1 and a half pounds most weeks. Slow and steady does win the race-literally!
5)Last, but not least-DO NOT be discouraged when the fitness tracker tells you that you are walking because you are going less that 5 miles per hour. I started running at a 15+ minute pace and was very hurt that it said I was walking, not running. Even now, at 13 to 14 minute miles, it says I am walking. I have learned to ignore it. I know I am running and so does my body. Every person that sees me, knows that I am running.

It will happen. All the runners in the world started with small distances. For some, it was easier. I am ok with the fact that this is taking time. I have the rest of my life to continue improving at running. From the moment you run your first 1 minute interval, you are a runner. Rejoice in that!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CRACKERS4554
    My trainer has me do intervals and lifting kettlebells. You might want to try running at a fast pace every minute or two to shock your body.
    2026 days ago
    Great blog!
    And yes, outdoor running is so much harder! I wish I could go trail running. I am going to start going Saturdays; I will ask my MIL or oldest to watch the kids for me.
    2146 days ago
  • PATTI7177
    I have made progress, lost a few more pounds, and now run faster than 5 miles an hour. I have played around with my running routine and just yesterday ended a 51 day run streak, which was actually doing me harm instead of helping my progress. My weight loss has stalled, in fact crept up a couple pounds, but I am not stressing, just re-evaluating my eating. Thank you for asking. It made me do a little self-evaluation.
    2159 days ago
    You have set an attainable goal - very good.

    How do you feel you are doing in the last three and a half months?

    Congratulations to you for all that you do to make yourself more healthy.

    And just keep doing it too.
    2159 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11332084
    Lots of good information and encouragement - thank you! We larger people tend to forget that we're essentially carrying another person while we run, and in everything we do. If you can imagine that you go about your day with your child or teenager on your back, that 1, 2 or even 3 miles becomes a tremendous achievement!

    Think how hard firefighters train to be able to carry the extra weight of their gear and victims! We're doing it on a daily basis! But - the more we push ourselves, the lighter that person on our back becomes, until everything is easier - from standing to running!
    2204 days ago
    go girl .. admire those that run .. i have tried but hated it the whole time .. may try again in future!

    2204 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15242108
    Patti, GOOD stuff~!!!
    emoticon emoticon
    2261 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2704340
    Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing!
    2262 days ago
    Thanks for encouraging words! I am 50 lb over and have committed to a half marathon in October. Definitely not a runner, but maybe crazy! Let's do this
    2263 days ago
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