Everyone begins at the beginning. An ultrarunner who has completed multiple 100-mile races still had to take that first (super slow, painful) step. It can be completely overwhelming to start running when you have no idea what you are doing (and face it- most of us had no idea what we were doing when we started.) Conversely, for someone who’s been running for years, it can be hard to think back to those first steps and remember all the things we did to get to where we are today. One thing we always remember though it how it felt.
It’s a Saturday morning in May. I’ve got my iPod on, a new cute running top, bright white sneakers and some shades. I burst out the front door of my house on a mission: I’M GOING TO RUN. I’m tired of looking on wistfully at all the local runners with their nicely toned legs as they stride down by the lake like gazelles, sweat running down their backs. I’m headed down to the neighborhood park and I’m going to make myself a runner if it kills me. I tear down the street at top speed with a carefully selected Run Playlist pumping through my headphones. This isn’t so bad! I pass other people walking their dogs and I start to feel a little self conscious. Can they tell I’m not “really” a runner?
Uh-oh, my legs are starting to hurt. I turn the corner and enter the park and my lungs begin to burn. I get a stitch in my side. I look down at my stopwatch to see how much time has passed.
A minute and a half.
I'll never forget how hard it felt when I started. I'll never forget the first time I ran over a mile without stopping. I 'll never forget how even when I was able to run longer, I still hated the first 20 minutes of every single run. Just get to two miles and things will get better.... I'll never forget how I felt down the final stretch of my first 5K, my first marathon, my first sub-4 marathon, my first 50 miler. Running brings new adventures every day but I'll never forget how it started.