Monday, February 10, 2014

How I Became A Runner

Today I have a special treat for you...  We have our first, of what I hope to be many, guest post.  Today's guest is Megan from Elbow Glitter.  You can also run over there today and read my (Kelli) post. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy!

In 2006, I was a law student looking for a new way to relieve stress. I was going to the gym regularly, but usually getting on the elliptical or occasionally the bike.  I mentioned that I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of runners, and a friend told me I should give running a shot.

Umm, hello, I’m no runner.  I can’t run more than a minute without thinking I will die.

But she pointed me in the direction of Couch to 5K and so I decided to try it out.

I’m not going to lie to you.  It was hard.  I repeated weeks a number of times.  I had days where I went out for a run that ended in what I considered complete failure.  But I did start to see progress.  And that was rewarding.

I ran my first 5K that August.  It was a walker friendly race, and people often walked with strollers.  Great, I thought.  I won’t be last.  

Then it rained.  A lot.

Guess what?  I was one of the last runners to come in.  Not the best feeling.  Looking back at my time, it was a pretty good 5K for me!  It was definitely a mental setback though.  But I refused to give up.  I just kept at my training.  It’s definitely been worth it and I’m so glad I didn’t give up.

I learned a lot in that first year of running.  I learned a lot about running, but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself.  I can’t teach you anything about yourself, that you have to learn on your own.  But I can offer some tips I discovered along the way.

If you follow a plan like Couch to 5K (which I do recommend), don’t worry about following it to the letter.  I repeated weeks a number of times.  If I didn’t feel ready to move on to the next week’s workouts, I stuck with what I knew worked.  I know a lot of people like to have a goal race, but I didn’t want to sign up for one right away.  Besides, since Couch to 5K had me running by time and I’m a slow runner, by the time I “finished” the program, I still wasn’t quite up to 5K.

Another important tip - less is more.  No, really.  You won’t become a runner any quicker by running every day.  All you’re going to do is hurt yourself.  And if something hurts, don’t run.  (Of course, every runner I know tends to run injured, but we are a stupid breed.)

The most important thing I learned was to run my own race.  And the same theory applies to every single training run.  What I mean by that is to not compare yourself to anyone else when you run.  Don’t push yourself because your friend is faster.  Don’t be offended when a very pregnant woman goes flying past you (it’s happened to me more often than I want to admit).  Or a guy in a crab costume running sideways (yes, that happened too).  Don’t worry that someone is watching you on your training run and thinking you’re slow.  Just focus on you.  Do what’s right for you.  You’re worth it.


  1. That is so awesome that you stuck with it and now are a runner..and healthy living blogger/ GGS ambassador!! I have heard many great inspirational stories about running, it is very motivating! Even though I have ran and played sports my whole life, running is not my strong suit!

  2. Thank you, Sarah! Running will never be my strongest skill, but it's pretty awesome to be able to call myself a runner nonetheless!