For me, running is not an effortless sport. I rarely have an “easy” run or one where I “forget” I’m running. And over the years, I have come to terms with that fact. I know I am going to feel so much better in the moments, hours and days that follow a run that I will push myself forward.
Has it gotten easier as I’ve become more consistent in my training? Of course! My few months of running when I returned from baby-land were excruciating.
I had to start off small – 3 miles with 5 mins of walking and 3 mins of running.
I had to fit it in around naps and my part-time job and my husband’s full time job and whatever else got in my way.
I had to set goals – big and small… I will get to that mailbox. I will run around the block. I will finish a 5k.
And I had to make myself get out the door no matter what. Running time became sacred time. Skipping was not an option. Some days I had to tell myself that if I could only run a mile, that was OK. And sometimes I did just that – I ran one mile and walked home. Other days, I found myself running more miles than I dreamed possible.
But I didn’t give up. And I didn’t let that pesky self doubt voice get in my way. I wasn’t too fat or too old or too boring. I was just as worthy as any other runner on the pavement to don my bright shoes and compression capris. That’s one of the gifts of running – the road is open. It’s waiting for you. YOU get to decide to take the first step.
The best advice I’ve received as a runner is just to GO. Get dressed, put your shoes on and GET OUT THE DOOR. There are a million excuses that can stop that first step, but YOU have the power to keep going. Unless you are injured or sick, you can make those steps happen. Someone once told me it takes 90 days for something to become a habit. Every time I try to make a hard change – in running or in life, I remember that. Change is hard. But change is good. And we are always stronger on the other side.