My Running Story

August 23, 2011 · 46 comments

A reader recently asked me to explain how I started running.

Believe it or not, I used to hate running. Absolutely hated it. I had to keep in shape for field hockey, the sport I played for 11 years and played in college.

My first time running was for the 6th grade mile. I still remember my time:Β 9:09.

My brother-in-law still makes fun of me, because he remembers so clearly the time I cried when my mom made me run a mile with him and my sister to train for field hockey.

And, as a prime example of how really hard work can get you somewhere, after stupid hard training all through middle and high school, I was able to run a mile in 6:00 flat.

(Don’t be too impressed.. that was sophomore year of high school, and I’m pretty positive I couldn’t do it now if I tried.)

I used to be a little more agile.

Anyway, my high school field hockey team was pretty cut-throat. For conditioning alone, we would run a minimum of a 2-mile loop on the reg.

We all hated it. I would be anxious all day through classes about my running performance. I would stress all day about what I was eating so I could run well later. I couldn’t run to certain music. I’d hyperventilate if I felt like my running performance wasn’t good enough to keep my position on the field. I would think way too much about it.

these girls ran. so. much.

After I gave up my college field hockey career for an internship with NASCAR in college, I decided I was done running for a nice long time.

College lifestyle? Oh yeah.

Once I started to feel like a trash can who didn’t remember what it felt like to sweat, I started meandering to the school gym for some leisurely elliptical sessions.

That was when I discovered how awesome it feels to work out for me. For over a decade, I had worked out because I had to. Because someone else was telling me what I needed to do.

I realized how much I love being able to do what I want.

So, little by little, I started to want to push myself more and more. I would hit the tread and see how long I could go before needing to switch to the treadmill. I started out with half a mile, built up to 1 mile, and soon, I was at 3 already.

Finally, I was a runner again. On my own accord (as my lawyer friends would say, “sua sponte” ;)).

A year or two later, my little running twin entered my life and tried to convince me to run a half marathon with her. I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and I told her there was no way I could run for 13.1 miles.

Three months later, guess where I found myself?

I owe those two kids behind me big. I would have never even attempted a half marathon.

. . . or four.

And now? I love running. Maybe it’s due to being put through the ringer as a kid, but I don’t feel complete unless I’m giving myself a kick in the butt to push myself.

“A marathon? I can do that.”

I think I know why I finally love it – I’m doing it for me.

So, don’t tell me you can’t run. It’s not true. You just have to want to run.

And this is the story I’m going to tell all my middle school field hockey players next week as I’m introduced as head coach and I make them run my marathon training with me so I can kill two birds with one stone during practice.

I’m going to be the best coach ever.

P.S. If you haven’t entered yet, the B.I.C. Bands giveaway is still going on.
To enter to win my favorite fitness accessory, click here.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry August 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Aww, you were a cute little high schooler.
I so wish I played field hockey in high school! Well, I wish my school had a team… I go to my organization’s field hockey championship every fall now and I just wish I was playing!

My running story is kind of the same, minus the field hockey business…When I HAD to run, I hated it and didn’t want to… but when I started running for ME it all changed around!
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2 sara @ the foodie diaries August 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Okay so I won’t say I’m not a runner, but I don’t like running. I hate it. BUT lately I’ve been trying to push myself into enjoying it more. It’s such a great way to stay in shape that I WANT to like it, I just don’t… yet πŸ˜‰ I’ll let you know how my runner progress goes πŸ˜‰
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3 Lisa @ I'm an Okie August 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Yes, that’s the thing. Do you want to or not? I go back and forth!
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4 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries August 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I didn’t know you were going to be the new field hockey coachhh!! That’s amazing news πŸ™‚ And you’re right, anyone with an able body CAN run – most people (myself at the TOP of that list) really just don’t want to. I’m convinced running is 90% mental ability.
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5 Hollie @lolzthatswim(andrun) August 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Wahh. How inspirational! I’m the same way. Minus my first mile time was a fabulous 12:24 and passing the mile was 12:30. I legit think that last time around the track was my greatest negative split ever because he had a countdown going on for failing bahaha.
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6 Heather @ girlyeverafter August 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I ran a lot in high school for tennis but it was more sprints and suicides. It was awful because it felt like a chore. Now that I have a better mindset and don’t feel like I have to do it I enjoy it more.
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7 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Lately I’ve been taking a break from running — and I kinda like it πŸ˜‰ I can tell I’ll get back into the swing of things when I’m at a D1 school in 2 days!!!
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8 Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health August 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I actually like running, just not all the time haha…and sometimes, my body doesn’t like running. BUT, I think I may sign up for my first race ever- a 10k (so not nearly as cool as a half or full marathon like you’re doing) but that’s enough distance for me. And I you’re totally right, if you do something because you want to, you’re so much more likely to fall in love with it!
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9 anastasia August 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

mawww everytime i read about your running story it makes me all sentimental. who knew my desire to run so i could eat my body weight in food, combined with my secret obsession with impressing robby would create such a beast (uh you ;), hahah. best running twin everrrr.. k gotta run but that giveaway is getting entered soon! xoxoo


10 Candice August 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Im new to your blog! Love your running story! I was the same way in high school, being on the dance team we always had to run and I would hide while everyone else did the loops because I hated it that much and now I run races, teach fitness classes and LOVE it!
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11 thehealthyapron August 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for sharing your story! I’m always interested in how people got started with their hobbies!
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12 janae August 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

You are QUITE AGILE, I loved reading this and seeing how you came to find your love for running! That is awesome you still remember you time!! LOVE the sleeping picture and can I pretty please have your abs?


13 Kat August 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

really awesome story girl. My soccer coaches made us run like crazy in highschool, which is pretty much why I HATE it now lol sometimes I do get the urge to get out there and stretch my legs a bit, but Im much more of a sprinting/jumping/stairs kind of girl!!
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14 Mallory @ It's Only Life August 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I loved this story! I can really relate to that, as I used to HATE running with a fiery passion until my soph year of college. I’m pretty sure when we ran the mile in 6th grade I was dead last and had a ridiculous time of 14 minutes or something like that.

Now I love it, can’t live without it, and have run 2 half marathons!
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15 Holly August 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Umm, LOVE your running story! And OMG- CONGRATS HEAD COACH! You are going to be the BEST. coach. ever. without a doubt πŸ˜€
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16 Emmarie @ Bananas And Beer August 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I really enjoy reading other people’s running stories. I’m just getting my feet wet with this running thing, but it’s very inspiring to see what other people go/went through.
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17 Marijke August 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

GREAT story! I loved reading it!
You can tell that you are truly doing this for yourself now- you look SO happy in all your running pics! It put a smile on my face πŸ™‚
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18 lindsay August 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm

oh gosh, yes, that sounds like me. WHen I was forced to run, I didn’t want to. It was mainly in sports. But once on my own I loved it and challenged myself.

I need to go get some UMBROS! haha.
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19 Diana August 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I used to run XC in high school but I still feel the same as you! I used to get such anxiety as the week wore on, knowing I was getting one day closer to our weekly Saturday 5Ks – now I look back on how daunting I found 5Ks , 4 half marathons and a full marathon later, and just have to laugh.
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20 Lauren @ Team Giles August 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Just found your blog, and I’m loving it! πŸ™‚

Congrats on becoming the new coach.

I enjoy running. I however do not enjoy running in the hot humid 1,000 degree heat that Texas is having… so I run on the treadmill until Fall arrives. Bumm-ah. πŸ™‚
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21 Emily @ Living & Learning August 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I’ve always heard & do believe that running is 80% mental & 20% physical. & while those ratios might not be the most accurate, it def has truth in it. Once you stop focusing on the “i can’t, I’m not a runner” negative thoughts, etc. & focus on the “little steps at a time, wow this actually feels great” and the positive thoughts & beleive in yourself, it’s amazing what your body is capable of – which I know you know, Ms. Marathoner! you go girl.

Good luck with head coaching – they will def love you!
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22 theAlmostRunner August 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm

you are such a badass! this is such a gooood post- good luck with yo’ coaching!
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23 Tracy @ Tracy's Treats August 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Haha poor little kids ;-). I enjoy reading about people who love running as much as I do. Like you, I used to HATE running! I somehow fell in love with it during college, and I’ve never looked back!
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24 Allison @ PickyEatingRD August 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I used to really hate running. In fact I distinctly remember my girlfriends and I running 3 laps on the track and calling it a day in gym class. 4 laps was the mile but we had gone so slow that we were finishing our 3rd while most were finishing their 4th. Our gym teach never noticed.


25 Rach August 24, 2011 at 1:15 am

Awww you will DEFINITELY be the best coach ever! I’d totally let you coach my kids… not that I have any but that’s beside the point. Anyway, love that you love to run now! πŸ™‚
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26 Brittany @ A Spoonful of Peanut Butter August 24, 2011 at 1:26 am

You’re gunna be a field hockey coach? NEAT-O! lol. That sounds like fun. But, please make sure to teach the middle schoolers proper cleanliness too- because during that time they don’t really know what deoderant is πŸ˜›
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27 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 24, 2011 at 3:15 am

I don’t like running. I tried track like…3 times…in middle and high school, and ended up quitting every time (I preferred dance class over running laps). I run (very) short distances every once in awhile when I’m working out, but I just can’t get into it. You’re story is inspiring though…I’m sure it feels great to say that you are a half marathon runner!
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28 Lizzie August 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Lol yes you will be a great coach!!!
This is actually a super inspiring story–it kinda makes me wanna train for a 13.1 mile run!
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29 Karla August 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

My story is just about the same… when we’d do dryland for swimming sometimes we would run 3 miles and I’d just bit** and moan the whole time. Once I quit swimming and started running because I WANTED to everything changed. Here I am… 2 half in the bag, 1 in October and a full next spring!
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30 Kimberly August 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Ahh – I’ve spent an hour reading your blog! I need a life…or a job. But either way, I feel the same way about running. After playing soccer my whole life and all through college, running was punishment and caused me SO MUCH anxiety through high school and college. I’ll never forget the feeling of completing my last fitness test senior year…but I still don’t love running…I still associate it with not being able to do it…I am gonna take your inspiration. I played college soccer but for some reason mentally feel like I am not a good runner and could never be!! Eeeek, hope this all changes after posting this!!
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31 Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 25, 2011 at 1:18 am

Love this post!! I think it’s so interesting to hear people’s experiences with running. I HATED running my whole life, until just a few months ago. Now I’m loving it, and I’m loving that I’m doing something athletic, because I was NEVER athletic when I was younger!! πŸ™‚
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32 Jamie @ snacktress August 25, 2011 at 4:39 am

This post makes me happy. I’ve wanted to get into running for a while, and have tried following different training programs. I did C25k which was cool because it helped me run 3 miles straight, but then everything after that I wanted to kick in the face. I’m reaaaalllly looooosely following another program, but mostly running when and how far I want. Which is better. Doing what you want is always better.
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33 PMD October 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I love your blog, you should add instructions for the RSS feed feature so I can get automatic notifications of new blogs. If you can help me set it up please email me! Ii will bookmark you for now. Again Excellent Blog!


34 Chelsea August 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm

As a former athlete, I feel the exact same way. If I didn’t do something crazy or brutal during a workout, I feel like I am getting away with something and not really “working out”. For so long I half-assed workouts because I couldn’t figure out why I was sweating it out since I didn’t half to any more. Running made it click for me again and now I can’t imagine my life without it. Just did my first marathon in May!
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