I would by no means consider myself a professional runner or an athlete... but lately I have been running a lot more and I thought it would be nice to share what has inspired and help me increase my endurance.
I have been running on and off throughout my life, but I would typically get tired after about the second mile in. It's always nice to go running with my husband... he usually pushes me to go further and faster. It didn't realize it then, but I definitely think that my running shoes had something to do with it. They were about 8 years old! (yikes!) I am used to wearing my shoes super tight and the sides of my feet would really start to hurt, plus I am not big into shopping for athletic shoes. They just don't appeal to me and I'd much rather spend the money on some pretty heels.
So, this past year our family decided that instead of trying to guess what each other wants for Christmas, we would use the Amazon Wishlist. This was perfect because now I was able to put things on my list that I knew I really needed and wanted, but just couldn't pull the trigger to buy myself. So this past Christmas I actually ended up with two pair of running shoes! After opening all the presents on Christmas day, I immediately put a pair on! They were so colorful and pretty! I had always been afraid of colorful running shoes. I usually stuck to basic neutral colors (grey, black, white). That afternoon weather was really pretty in Texas, so our entire family went for a walk a near by park and I ran/jogged majority of the time. I had tied them a bit looser and I could tell immediately that I had been wearing the wrong pair of shoes for years!!!
Soon, I was running 20 minutes about 2-3 times a week and I never actually kept track of my pace or tired to see how far I was going. But little by little, I was running more often and longer. I started thinking about my sister... she is not a runner, but she typically walks fast or does a slow jog for at least 1 hour on most days and of my co-workers had recently been training for a 1/2 marathon. I started to push myself to run longer even if I couldn't run faster. I could never in a million years think that I could run a 1/2, so I started with a goal of a 5k. The weather was also getting better outside and we lived next to a beautiful park, so I downloaded this app - RunKeeper to help me run outside. I like running on a treadmill because I like knowing how far I've come, my pace, etc. I like this app because ever 5 to 10 minutes it would update me on my pace and distance. The coolest thing was that every time I exceeded my goal the app would give me a little treat - these were usually coupons for various health food items! Now, I never really ended up using them, but it was like being a little kid and getting a little something to encourage you! (Everyone likes a little encouragement, am I right?)
The weekend I was suppose to run with my co-worker, we ended up having family from out of town at the last minute! We live pretty far from all of our family so anytime they are in town it's a pretty big deal! Even though I couldn't run with her I ended finishing my own solo 5k in my neighborhood. I believe my time was in between 35-40 minutes. It was a great feeling of accomplishment even though I wasn't able to participate in the actual event.
And just last weekend, I was there to cheer on another one of my friends as she finish her first half marathon! After watching her run for 2 straight hours, I had all this energy and motivation to run. That afternoon I finished my first 6.25 mile run! Took me 1hr and 10 mins. I have never ran at a steady pace for that long ever before! It's amazing what your body is capable of!
I've signed up for a first official 5K this May with several of my friends. My goal now is to really push myself and work on my pace/time. It's great to be around people who inspire you to do something good for yourself. Trying to get fit and loose weight is always on my to-do list, but I think the reason I enjoy running is because I started it with without any particular fitness goal in mind. It was just something I was inspired to do by the people around me. Running seems more like a hobby now and it's actually quiet relaxing.
What type of physical activity have you been motivated to pursue?