Learning to Love Running

In elementary school my mother was really into local races.  She would do a local 5k and I would wait patiently at the finish line for her to come across.  This is where I was first introduced to the sport and to the racing scene.  I did a few with her and I distinctly remember one race where I actually got lost and had to find a police officer (I obviously listened in school to find a cop when in doubt) to have him take me back to finish line to meet my mom.  What a great way to start the racing career.

thanks, momma!

thanks, momma!

In 8th grade I was on the track team.  My 200 pound plus body proudly did what every other larger person on the team did.  We threw shotput.  Obviously I wasn’t a prodigy at it but being on an organized sports team made me feel athletic and included.  I would cringe when our coach made us run.  Why did the throwers have to run when our event involved absolutely zero running?  I hated running and wanted no part of it.

Thanks to my mom’s racing days in my childhood I was no stranger to races.  I knew what to expect and what made a good race or bad race.  But that didn’t mean I necessarily liked running.  For my freshman year project in college, I took up local races.  Originally it was just to “fit in” and seem athletic.  I’ve mentioned in my weight loss story that somehow completing races made me feel like more of a person and gave me a sense of value.  In my mind, completing races made me fit.  Oh, how wrong I was.

For the Biggest Winner team the following year I ran to try to lose weight.  It worked for the most part but I didn’t really love it.  I just loved the benefits.  When I rowed at UT, we had to run all the time and that’s where I sort of started to like it.  I enjoyed getting faster.  I enjoyed seeing my interval repeats get faster at the track workouts.  I enjoyed being able to run more than 3 miles without any walk breaks.  The love of running actually started to wear off on me.  But once rowing was over so was my love for running and I fell back into the whole “running so I can eat” and “running to lose weight” categories.  Nothing wrong with that but it is just not where I wanted to be.

running so I can eat rock candy!

running so I can eat rock candy!

It took me flying across the country to run through Las Vegas to help me fall in love with the sport.  Running Ragnar Vegas was everything I wanted running to be.  I got to be in a beautiful place and actually enjoy the views around me instead of slugging through and only looking at the ground.  I got to cheer on my wonderful teammates which really showed what the sport should be about.  I ran fast (for me) paces and wasn’t scared if I had to take a few walk breaks.  I freaking loved every minute of it!!  I still truly believe that the relay really set the fire in me.

the face of a girl who loves to run!

the face of a girl who loves to run!

Right after coming back from Vegas we started training with the new Biggest Winner team.  After talking with the Biggest Winner from last year we set up a training plan.  I shared the plan with my favorite running pal Brittney and we began.   At first it was scary following a plan.  I was scared to push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I was scared to think about running up hills (for fun).  I was scared to run on the treadmill.  But you know what?  I love running AND I love myself and sometimes it takes doing things that scare you to show you that you actually like something.



Last week I did a hill workout on the treadmill.  Yes it was hard and no I didn’t enjoy every second of it but I got off feeling proud of myself and a little less scared about the whole running thing.    1.7.14hills

This weekend I did 8 miles with the Knoxville Track Club.  I used some good run/walk intervals and the much needed help of my friend Bryan but I conquered 8 miles.  The best part was not even being sore the next day which gave me permission to push even harder next week.  The next day, my Momma and I went on a walk and we hit up Stonegate and I ran up this huge hill.  Yes it was hard and yes I wanted to quit but I felt so much better after getting to the top.  Running isn’t easy.  It is hard and it takes practice and dedication but it is worth it.  1.7.14miles 1.7.14foxhollow

Yesterday I did a treadmill workout where I would walk for one minute and then run for one minute.  I consistently increased my running pace and by the last little bit I was able to run over a quarter of a mile at a 7:24 pace.  That’s blazing fast for me and I really couldn’t believe what my legs were doing.  I hopped off with a huge smile on my face and a newfound love for running.  1.7.14treadmillaction

If running helps me lose a little more weight, then that’s great.  If running helps me eat an extra slice of pizza then that’s great too.  But lately I have really fallen in love with running.  I love the feeling I get afterwards, I love seeing progress, I love talking with fellow runners, I love seeing beginners take their first steps, I love seeing my Momma beaming after being able to shuffle for a quarter of a mile, I love finish lines at races, I love stepping outside of my comfort zone, and I love being completely out of breath with lungs burning after a good strong finish.  I just love running.  It has given me so much and I want to put in the time and the effort it takes to become a faster and stronger runner.  I’m not shooting for the moon here, just the finish line.

Doesn't this scream happiness?

Doesn’t this scream happiness?

I challenge you to remember why you fell in love with running (or just walking).  If you aren’t on that “OMG I LOVE IT” level yet, then what’s holding you back?  Running used to scare me and it still does at times, but stepping just a little out of your box is so liberating and rewarding!

25 thoughts on “Learning to Love Running

  1. I feel like I fall in and out of love with running on a regular basis. I follow a lot of bloggers who run so much and seem to love it, but it’s just not me. They inspire me to run, but I don’t ever know if I will say I absolutely love it. I am happy that you have found your happy running place 🙂

    • It is definitely a love and hate relationship a lot of the time and sometimes it changes multiple times during a run. I don’t think anyone absolutely loves running 100% of the time and it is totally okay if someone doesn’t even love it all. I’m happy too, so thank you!! Just know that you inspire lots of people who read your blog to get out there and run!

  2. I ABSOLUTELY love this post!! It’s really funny how in such a short time we can make the transition from running to burn calories to running because we love it. I can quiet put my finger on where that transition happened for me, but I can’t imagine my life without running now and I am truly thankful when I am healthy and can run happy miles 🙂

    • It is crazy how long it took me to get to this point but hey, I’m not complaining. Hopefully this love will last a while 🙂 Aww happy miles-love that phrase. Isn’t it wonderful how great of a feeling it is to actually love what you do AND reap lovely benefits from it (weight loss, endorphins, etc)?! Hope to see you soon, friend!!!

  3. I love this!!! So glad that Ragnar Las Vegas made you feel so good and that I was a part of it with you! I remember when you were throwing down runs in the 8:XX pace! That relay did something to me too. I just never felt so connected with a group of people before. We have to do it again soon! Stick with the hard work because you are doing great..7:24 pace!! WHAT????

    • Well of course you were a huge part of it!! I had to hand the torch, oops I mean baton, to you!! Oh my goodness I remember screaming at y’all that I was running fast because I literally felt like I was flying…definitely would not have ran that fast without you lovely ladies. And yes, I totally agree! It is hard for me to connect sometimes with people when I’m so used to hiding behind my blog, facebook, or twitter, but our entire group gelled so perfectly together and I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better weekend! Again ASAP, please!!

  4. This post just made me smile. =) I love running, but running does not love me. LOL It’s been awhile since I felt a rush from running. I’m hoping once the weather gets back to at least double digits, I can start “feeling the love” a little more. =)

    • Haha, I can totally relate. Running hardly ever loves me!! Isn’t this weather just a real downer at times?? Hopefully sunny skies will shine down soon and mileage can increase and running will fall in love with YOU!! 🙂

    • I should probably clarify…I loved the benefits of running just hated it while I was actually doing it. If that even makes sense? Also, I’m a fake it til you make it kind of person so I suppose trying to love it so much eventually resulted in actually loving it.

  5. I love reading this! It is always a good to be reminded of why we first fell in love with something. Being in love with running is similar to being in love with another person. There are times that it annoys us or we want nothing to do with it or we may not always like it…but deep down we still love it. At least that is how I feel about running (and my husband – haha!)

    I love the picture of you and your momma. Gorgeous!

    • You are so SO right! It is like being with a person. Sometimes we commit to it but running just isn’t in our favor that day or that race OR on the other hand running tries to give us so much and help us but we shut it down. I really like the comparison of romance to running. Spot on!! Thanks so much for your comment!

  6. I love this post so much! I want to fall in love with running again, I haven’t been feeling it lately. Your happiness really shines through this post and you look GREAT!

  7. Fantastic post, and I really needed to read something like this! I’m getting back to running after a health-related hiatus, and it’s hard to get back to it. It’s harder than I remember the last time I had to rebuild my running fitness. But I do love running, and I have since I started doing it about 18 years ago. I still can’t believe I’ve been a runner that long, but it’s something that I love, and I always will. I love that it helps me maintain/lose weight, the way that it makes me feel afterward, the way that I feel during those extra special amazing runners’ high days. Happy Running!

    • Thank you so much!! I really needed to write something like this 🙂 Isn’t it crazy how long it takes to get in decent running shape yet how short of a time it takes to lose it?? Glad you are back at it!! You’ve been a runner well over half my life so that’s awesome!! Isn’t it awesome? Love your description of all the wonderful benefits!

      • Ha, being a runner for half your life is awesome! 🙂 I started running when I was in 8th grade and caught the bug. It is amazing how long it takes to get running fitness back, but I’m ready for it! Have a great week.

  8. Great post! Ever since high school in PE, I hated running…probably because I was slow compared to the girls in my class who could run 6 minute miles! In 2012, I started running as a New Years resolution. After a few months, I actually enjoyed running. I would sit at work and dream about my next run. Shortly after though, I got burnt out and I’ve been running here and there ever since. I have lost a lot of my running fitness, but I am hoping to gain it back. I signed up for a 10k in April to help me get back into it…hopefully I can find that love again ;).

    • High school PE was the worst, totally understand!! You will get that running fitness back and then some!! Good luck on your 10k…that will be good motivation to stay consistent! 🙂

  9. My mind and spirit absolutely love running, but oftentimes my body revolts against me. I have had to cut my mileage WAY down because of a nagging knee injury. Actually, I’m not even sure if it’s an injury exactly, or maybe tendinitis or arthritis. Either way, it stays swollen a lot, making it hard to run as much as I’d like. I haven’t run since the race on New Year’s Day. I have been doing some sweat filled spinning sessions though, and I’m thrilled to be able to workout in that way. All of that being said, I am going to go out for my first three miles (since the race) today, and see how everything feels….Once again, you continue to inspire! I love it!!!!

    • Darn body!!!! I hate it when people who LOVE running get injuries (big or small). Hope that darn knee works itself out soon. Spin sessions are AMAZING, aren’t they?!!! I always feel so accomplished when I hop off the bike. Hope your miles were GREAT yesterday and pain free!! Text me anytime!

  10. I love that it was your mom who introduced you to running when so often its the reverse!!!
    I wish I could bottle up the feeling you get from running and then when you need an extra kick in the butt motivation to get out there and run you could open said bottle and be reminded… or I could just read your positive post 🙂

    • I love my sweet Momma! Looking back on all the races I went to as a kid, it is really crazy to see how much they have evolved and grown. I don’t always have euphoric feelings when running but when I do it is amazing…I will send some your way!! It is actually going to bottled up and sold in running stores nationwide and will make me very rich 🙂

  11. What an awesome post! Sometimes I still struggle to find the OMG I LOVE IT! I feel that way after, but I want to get to where I enjoy the during as well.

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