Friday, April 16, 2010

Am I a Runner?

Am I a runner?
I often hear this a lot: "I can't run"
The first thing I think of is, "you can't run, or you don't like to run?"
Let me share with you a story on someone who was a self proclaimed "I can't run" person.
2007, I decided it was time to shed the pounds. My mom was an active runner, so I thought that would be a great way to loose the extra weight. So I told her I wanted to train for a 5K. Yeah, I'd never run in my life. Not only that, but I hated running. January, I made this commitment, and in March I was running my first 5K. Wow, that was fun, I thought. I wanted more. I wanted to run a half marathon. So, from January to August, I went from hating to run to running my first half marathon. Soon after, I got pregnant with my third child, stopped running, and gained a ton of weight.

After I had my baby, I wanted to be a "runner" again, but it seemed like a far fetched idea. I had 80 pounds to loose, completely out of shape, and everything else that comes with having a c section and a new baby. I didn't know if I could be a "runner" again. Then I read an article in Runners World Magazine. It had one criteria that you had to meet to know if you could be a "runner". Here it is: Can you walk from your couch to the fridge? If you answered yes, than you can be a runner.

Yes, it's hard to start
Yes, you'll be sore
Yes, you'll be tired
Yes, you might wonder if it will be worth it
No, you won't be able to run for very long at first
And, yes, you'll be out of breath, even after going for 30 seconds
The promising news is, it won't last. You'll be surprised at how fast your legs will get strong, and how fast your lungs will adapt.
And, you'll feel like you can conquer everything!
Your lungs and legs will be strong enough.
Most important, your mind will develop the I can attitude.
Here is the trick: ease into it slowly.
Don't jump right into running if you haven't done it before.
It will be to easy to give up quickly.
Need a training guide for a beginning runner?
Check this one out:
I went for a run this morning with my favorite running partner. On Saturday, my mom, who is 57, is running her fourth half marathon in three years. I'm impressed. I told her my ambition of one day running a marathon. I plan on starting to train when my youngest starts school. I looked at her and said, "That's in three years. Do you think I could be ready for a marathon in three years? I can barely run four miles?" I loved her reply, "Of course you can. If you do it, I'll do it with you." Okay, I'm a little excited about this proposition, and amazed. She will be 60 and running her first marathon. How awesome is that! Is it legal for a daughter to be so proud of her mother?
So, here's the point of the post: If you don't run, and would like to try, YOU CAN DO IT! If you can get off the couch and walk to the fridge, you can do it! Look at the training guide. It's so easy, right? Remember it's just a guide. I never moved to the next week/level until I was comfortable running the amount of minutes I was at.
Have fun and keep on Woggling (Walk/Jog)!


  1. This was an inspiring post, Alicia. I was a runner in high school (track) and college (to avoid the Freshman 15), but let it go as a staple form of exercise after a parachuting accident at 21. Still, having watched The Biggest Loser, I know that even those with knee injuries can run. So I should hang up my excuse and give it a go from time to time.

    You should be so proud of your mom and she, you. It would be so meaningful to reach a huge fitness milestone like that with your mom.

  2. This is a great post! So inspiring to everyone who just doesn't know where to start. I ran track in high school, ran in college to cross train from my dancing and when we moved to NYC and couldn't afford a gym I really started running. I did quite a few races and my first half marathon.

    Then two kids came....and the weight. I've been an exerciser but always say. "I use to be a runner." I run occasionally on the treadmill and sometimes I'll walk/jog outside.

    But, now I've committed to do a Duathalon this fall with my cycling partner. It's a spring run bike run. Should be fun and will encourage me to get out and run more. I'm actually looking forward to it.

    Alicia, I can't wait to hear how your running adventure folds out. What an inspiring mom to be your partner. Sometimes a good partner is all it takes.

  3. I want to be a runner but hate running and have a knee that really hates running. I need to find stretches that would help my knee. After doing the Avon Walk (marathon and a half) two years ago my knee was cursing me. This post gives me "Runners's Hope". I will try as soon as I've weaned that baby and my boobs don't bounce up and hit me in the face.

  4. Running is too hard on my back and knees but I admire those who can do it and do it well, you know like a marathon. If I was a betting woman I would put down money that you will run that marathon with your mom.

  5. Alicia, great post! I read it this morning and said, "Alright, maybe I am a runner!" I put my shoes on, walked out the door and ran to my friends house and back. I've been running about once a week since this blog began, but I would never call myself a runner. I calculated my distance when I got home and discovered that I'm not that far from running a 5k. I could actually do a race or something! I wish I had time to train to run the historic Bolder Boulder on Memorial day, but as that's only 6 weeks away I don't think I can work up to a 10k by then.
    Good luck with your training goals. How fun that you get to work on them with your mom. She rocks! I hope I'm fit like her when I'm nearly 60.

  6. Love your post! Running is more of a mind game than anything! I remember my sister DYING just to run 3 miles. That was in high school. She has ran about 10 marathons since and even ran in the Boston. THAT is motivation!!!
    It really is important not to rush things enjoy what you are doing and you will be hooked with your 1st race!
    I look forward to hearing how it goes for you. There are lot's of fun runs in Utah...

  7. I'd love to be a runner, but...(and here's my excuse) these boobs are not kind to me. Seriously, after a minute or so, they get into their own "swing" opposite of each other. Not a pretty picture and dang, does it hurt. But I think that is awesome you are doing it!!

  8. It's so great to read Mindy's comment now...looking back and knowing she did it! She ran the Bolder Boulder! So amazing!