Learning To Run- From Perpetual Couch Potato To…Less Potatoey.

June 17, 2012

Pink Running Shoes

Post graduate life threw me off kilter a bit-  after completing my Master’s Degree and working from home, I got in a creative rut.

I’ve kept really busy for the past few years with a major focus on school- completing big projects, joining teams and organizations, jumping from undergrad to graduate school.  For the past 5 years, I’ve always been running from one project to the next, chaos and distraction was comfortable.  I kept myself on a mental and emotional treadmill to hit my goals- but I assure you, I avoided an ACTUAL treadmill like the plague.

Exercise was always a distraction from the creative and mental work I enjoyed doing.  To me, running or visiting the gym (with an exception for yoga) was an annoying disruption… I hated getting sweaty, I never had the right clothes & of course, starting from where I was at totally demotivated me.

In the last two weeks I hit a serious writer’s block.  I was uninspired, tired and without direction.  I came to realize not only did I need a new goal and challenge, but I realized the energy dedicated to creative endeavors was out of synch with the physical part of my life.

In order to regain that spark with my creative work of blogging and social media consulting I realized the need to nix my couch potato ways.  Creativity and health go hand in hand.

Today, I went on my first run in YEARS.  After being around a good influence that loves to run, I invested in a good sports bra (finally, comfort!), running shorts, shirt & socks.  The difference in material made running comfortable & it’s a challenge I’m ready for.

I came to realize that my experience with running in school was a negative one- it shaped my dislike for running.  In grade school, I hit puberty pretty early and running in front of boys made me uncomfortable.  Plus, getting hot and sweaty during gym class meant feeling disgusting in my day clothes during the rest of classes since we never had time for showers.

My genuine disdain for running was solidified when faced in school with the “one size fits all” approach to fitness by my school-  you were expected to run the mile with the kids who did track after school.  Running never made you feel good- if you were one of the slow kids (I was!) you felt like a piece of crapola knowing that the faster kids lapped you and gym teachers were yelling at you just to finish the run.

Though I’ve been out of high school for years- the impression of running stuck with me.  Now that I’ve given running a second chance, I’ve learned that patience, acceptance of where you are physically, and investing in the right clothes makes all the difference.

I started running because it’s time to not just run from job to job or putting my whole focus on mental tasks of output- but to actually spend time in my own head, in touch with the physicality of daily life- reconnecting the mind to the body.

Today was only my first day of running- but it’s already turned my experience around.  Of course I’m nervous that I won’t make this a habit, of course I’m still intimidated by the “profesh” runners that have all these intense routines, fancy duds and insane diets.

I’m going to take it at my own pace, without getting bogged down with all the information out there.  I invested about $170 in clothing since I had absolutely nothing to work with, and that scared me.  I didn’t want to be one of those people that goes out and drops gobs of cash on “good intentions,” feeling it necessary to get all the duds but never following through.   After my first run though- I don’t regret it and having the right clothes made a world of difference!


Learn to run

I’m nervous but excited-  I’ve never been an athlete.  I don’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy running clothes, and even less experience.  The thought of being sweaty used to put me off- but I think it’s time for change.   Less thinking, more doing.  More balance, greater endurance and different challenges.

Are you doing something new or challenging?  

How do you make a new habit stick?

12 comments so far.

12 responses to “Learning To Run- From Perpetual Couch Potato To…Less Potatoey.”

  1. Carolina says:

    Love this post! I’ve been thinking about running for a while and I believe today is the day 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  2. krantcents says:

    Thanks to a “pinched nerve”, my doctor does not allow any strenuous exercise. No bicycling, weightlifting etc. I can walk and do it daily for thirty (30) minutes. There is always something you can do!

  3. Keep at anything for a good month and it will become routine!

  4. Good for you!!! Due to some health issues running is not for me, but because of some of those same health issues I needed to do something so I started walking. 30-60 mins a day depending on mood, and heat. Been doing it everyday for almost 2 months now. Hope I stick to it as well, last year I got out of it and health slid back again.

    Hope you stick to it as well!

  5. I wasn’t much of a runner, but I could play soccer for hours everyday. It took a while to make the mental shift and I now enjoy hitting the trails behind my house, or running on the beach early in the morning.

    I hope it beings the sense of accomplishment that it brings me everytime I beat my personal best.

  6. Rachel says:

    I recently started running again. I was running in the rain the other day and it felt really nice. I need to download some better tunes though to listen to for motivation. The right beats can help a lot 🙂

  7. Stefanie G says:

    this is great and very motivating! I would love to start running. I’ve never been good at it, but I’d like to get back in shape!

  8. Good for you! I’m a former non-runner turning into a runner each day! It’s kind of cool to see the transformation. 🙂

  9. I’m so so excited that you are doing this! Maybe I’ll see you at some races in the fall?

  10. Suzanne Timmsen says:

    I love yor giveaways bg.

  11. angela adelman says:

    I would love to find a bath and relax…I used to do that all the time before I became paralyzed….But my kids love bubble baths so I live vicariously through them

  12. Rosie says:

    Haha… love this. I like learning from runners that weren’t always so perfect and athletic, you know what I mean? I read other running blogs and I feel left out since I’m new and slow.


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