I am not a ‘born’ runner. I was not a star athlete, running the mile was my worst high school memory and the thought of joining track in my early teens still turns my stomach. I was not a ‘thin’ child, teen or young adult. Fitness did not seem attainable – it wasn’t fun, it wasn’t easy and I was uncomfortable. Until college. Thankfully I had a roommate (hi Bree!) that was fit, healthy and strong. Together we worked out, ate healthy (for the most part – it was college!), and I began to see my body transform.
After college, I met this guy (now my husband!) that included the gym in his daily routine. So I added it to mine…and I became addicted. I loved strength training, group classes and eating clean. On our wedding day I hit my all-time lowest weight – 120.
Then I had my first daughter and gained 50 lbs (yep I said it). Fortunately I was able to return to my pre-baby weight. Until my second daughter…where I gained 50 lbs again! And to be honest, I was really active and kept a clean diet…my body just really liked…ummm growing. So after my second daughter was born, losing weight was not easy. It brought me back…way back…to all those years of being overweight. It was miserable. I felt like it distracted me from really enjoying those first few newborn months. Fortunately there were several other post-2nd baby mamas at my gym and we clicked…hard. We became really close, sharing our struggles, vulnerabilities, and of course, the joy of motherhood (because I promise you there are so many!). We all needed a goal – and because there’s strength in numbers, we aimed high, trained AND completed the Tough Mudder in 2013!
I shared this (very) detailed and (very) long intro to share where I’m really coming from. I get it. I can relate. Running does not come natural. But I want to inspire you, because I swear to you, it has changed my life.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight – if you run 3 miles at an 8, 10, or 12 minute mile – you are going the EXACT same distance regardless of the speed. I firmly believe in slow and steady vs. sprint and stop. I have no shame if someone can walk faster than I am running…at least I’m still running. And that is always my goal – just keep going.
So let’s say you have never ran before. First and foremost – find a buddy. Running with someone makes the experience exponentially better. They will motivate you, keep you accountable and most importantly – keep you entertained. Until you find a rhythm, running can be incredibly boring. Some people much prefer plugging in their playlist and going, but I’m all about that free therapy session with my girlfriends. Plus, if we agree to meet at 5:30am…I know I’m going to follow through. Otherwise, I’d likely just hit snooze.
Okay, so you have a buddy…now you need to find your reason why. Why are you running? To lose weight, feel stronger or maybe train for a race? You need to figure out what will make running exciting. For me it was to complete a goal – which was Tough Mudder. Then last year I realized it was time for a new goal – so I signed up for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon. Once I crossed that off my list, I was ready for another, so I did the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon. In between I did several 5 & 10K races. It became apparent that races were my motivation.
Which leads me to my current why. It’s been a year since my last race…a year! Lately I’ve just been running 3 miles a few days a week and realized I needed to up my game. So last week my best friend and I ran 6 miles. And then the race bug hit…I’m ready to train again. I’m inspired. And inspiration is everything.
A few other ways to find motivation is to set mini milestones and reward yourself. Maybe you treat yourself to some new workout gear (I’ll list some of my faves below), or end every run with something delicious (but still healthy!). It’s amazing what we’ll do for a little prize at the end.
Running is just moving forward. You can do this. And I’m going to let you in on a secret…the first mile is always the hardest, even for long distance runners. Just keep going. I promise it will get easier. You will feel stronger. Mindset is everything – you are a runner. We are runners.
I promised I would share my favorite workout gear…but first I’d like to note the shoes I’m wearing in this post are the Brooks Women’s Vanguard Heritage. These are actually a lifestyle shoe – which I typically wear post-run when I’m heading out for a coffee date or incorporated in my weekend warrior style.
I was gifted these shoes by Jenny Keller at her recent Barre3 event – stay tuned for my recap + photos!
If you’re looking for a good running shoe – check THIS POST out!
My Top Picks for Running Gear:
My Post-Run Reward:
ZICO Coconut Water Chilled Juice Blend
So now you know my running inspiration…what motivates you? What is your why?
Photos by Jasmine Klein | Makeup by Tasha McCormack
Disclosure: Brooks Running & ZICO graciously provided product to try and review. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!
*Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program to avoid/reduce the risk of injury. Exercise at your own risk. Portia will not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained as a result of using any fitness program presented and/or discussed on Obsessed by Portia.