Guest Post: How I Became A Runner

(Editor’s Note: It must be guest post week here at ABP! Today’s is brought to you by Laura Roeseler of Project Lovely Laura on why she started running as part of a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador Blog Exchange. Make sure you head over to her blog then to read my post on why I started running!)

Laura Roeseler post-10K Race (1)For as long as I can remember, I’ve despised running.  The memory of achy legs, burning lungs, and disappointment are seared into my brain from childhood gym classes.  I could never run a complete lap during the timed mile, much less the entire mile.  I only ran when I thought the gym teacher was watching and I almost always finished last.

Having been overweight nearly my entire adult life, I decided to get serious about my health last January and much to my surprise, I decided to start running to lose weight.  I’ve met some amazing runners in my life and I am always intrigued by their passion and determination.  I could never understand what would possess someone to run, but there was always a small voice in my head thinking If they can do it, why can’t I?  I downloaded the Couch-to-5K app and set off on a path that changed my life.

If you aren’t familiar with it, the Couch-to-5K program is designed to get beginners to go from sitting on the couch to running a 5K (or approximately 30 minutes) in 9 weeks.  The first day of the program consisted of 9 intervals of 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking.   I didn’t even think I could complete one interval, much less 9, but I decided it was worth a try.  Running was exactly as difficult as I remembered; each second was a struggle and I checked my phone obsessively to count down the seconds to my next walking interval.  I ended up completing all 9 intervals that first day and I was sweaty, out of breath, and incredibly proud of myself.

As I progressed through the weeks of the Couch-to-5K program, I was faced with an ever present battle of mind over matter.  I would look ahead to the scheduled intervals and think that each was impossible.  Never once though, did my legs give out and I quickly learned that my mental strength was holding me back in my running, not my physical strength.  I was always able to complete the intervals, although sometimes I had to repeat a day or a week to build up my strength.

I deviated a bit from the Couch-to-5K program last summer and decided to try my own interval training.  Shortly after changing gears, I ran a mile non-stop for the first time in my life, which was a huge milestone.   I ran my first 5K in September 2013 and followed with my first 10K on October 13th.   Crossing the finish line in those races was incredible; I was elated and felt such a sense of accomplishment.   Those races did more for my self-esteem than I can ever express.

late Summer 2013 iPhone pics 048I will be running my first half marathon in early April and while training is challenging, I love pushing the boundaries of what I thought I was mentally and physically capable of doing.   I love the sense of incredible accomplishment that running provides and the self confidence that it gives me.  I’m more confident as a mother, wife, friend, and in my professional life and I know that I can do anything I set my mind to!

 

 

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