How to Enjoy Running when you Hate It

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Recently Kelly convinced me to run my first half marathon. I'll be honest, when she presented me with the idea of running 13.1 miles, I looked at her like she had antlers growing from her head. Anyone who knows Kelly knows that she has a way of convincing people that they are tougher (and fitter) than they believe they are. To be clear, the fact that the run also was in Africa had a little bit to do with why I agreed!  The idea of doing just a  warm up on the treadmill was enough for me to skip a workout. So, when I had to start training to run a marathon I pretty much was starting from zero. Here's what I learned in the year of training for our run, and how I became a runner! 

  1.  Change your Mindset
    First and foremost, in my opinion, running is more of a mental sport in the beginning. Whether you have to push yourself through the last quarter mile to the finish line or push yourself to put on the running shoes in the first place, you have to be mentally strong. If you are trying to start your running journey, you're going to have to practice some mental vigor. Having Kelly by my side pushing me through the training was certainly helpful. There were days when I barely could get through a mile and other days that I could hit 8 without blinking. Take your time and don't hurt yourself, but learn to push through the pain because most of the time it was in my head, not my body. 
  2. Get the right gear:
    Weirdly, the smallest things, like what socks or sports bra I was wearing had the ability to completely trash my run. Our recommendation for shoes are Brooks and Asics, but don't be afraid to spend the money and get someone to measure your feet and watch how you walk. Everyone has a different preference. The rest of it comes with trial and error. Find what works best for you. 
  3.  Find on the right Plan:
    I'm biased, but I believe anyone training to do a run should be working with a personal trainer. Even if you've been a runner in the past, our bodies train differently as we age. Not to mention, if I would have just stopped resisting the training program, I probably could have finished my race a lot faster than I did. A training plan that you find online might be great for someone who has been training on their own for fun, but if you're starting from square one, you may need to work with a trainer to increase you're endurance before you even start. 
  4. The Runners high is real
    I kept waiting and waiting to get the "Runners High" I kept hearing about, and it just wasn't happening. Then one day I looked down and I had run 10 miles without even thinking about it. The more I focused on loving the process the easier it became to just let my body do what I had been training it to do. If you're just starting, don't worry, it's hard to love running when your as out of shape as I was in the beginning. Take it from someone who hated running, just keep pushing through the bad days because It's so worth it when running becomes a way of life. Not to mention the medal wasn't a bad bonus!