A Tip for Beginning Runners

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I was driving to work and feeling guilty for not waking up early enough to ride my bike. I was stopped at the corner of 2100 South and 700 East when I saw her. She was about my height and looked like she weighed as much as I did when I started exercising. She ran for about ten steps and then walked. Then she ran again for about ten more steps and then walked. She was breathing heavily and my mind flew back to when I first started running.

The light changed. She turned the corner, running ten steps and then falling back into a walk. I drove through the intersection, filled with the memories of running. I remembered looking ahead of me and thinking, “I’ll run to that tree.” I would push as far as I could. Sometimes I would make it to the tree, sometimes it was just too much for me and I had to walk before I reached it. I felt so horrible because I couldn’t just run the entire time.

I couldn’t run every minute of every day, so I spent more time reading about running than actually running. Most of the articles in Runner’s World made no sense to me. They talked about splits and other runner’s jargon. Sometimes I found helpful things, other times I just turned the pages and looked at the pictures of the pretty runners. “That’s what I’ll look like when I run,” I thought to myself.

I remember reading a beginner’s guide to running book that said to run slow. It said to run even slower than that. I tried that on a run. It was one of the few times where I was able to run most of the way. I was working just as hard, but I felt so much better about myself because I was able to run more than I ever had before.

The first time I was able to run without walking was during my first 5K race. My goal was to keep running for the entire race. That was my only goal. I had no time goal. I had no other expectations except to run the entire race. I was able to do it and I felt such a joy at the end. It didn’t matter that a couple of people in the Walker division beat me. All that mattered was that I ran the whole way.

Now, I can run throughout my entire workout. When I’m tired, I run slower. When I’m energized, I run faster. I just feel good that I don’t have to walk. I don’t have to say to myself, “I’ll run as far as that bright yellow fire hydrant.” I can just run.

I felt like screaming, “Run slower,” out my car window at the girl running on 2100 South. I wanted to take her under my wing and tell her that she can do this. She can run every day and someday she will be able to run the entire route. I wanted to tell her to slow down and if she thinks that she is running slow, to run even slower than that. I wanted to tell her the key, but I just drove on past. There’s a whole big world out there waiting for her. I hope she is persistent enough to see it.


3 Responses to “A Tip for Beginning Runners”

  1. Kristine Says:

    I used to dream of running a marathon back when I was around 180-190. I hoped it would help me to get down to a svelte 130 or so (I’m 5’6″). Now that I’m up to 22%.5, I’m bored when I walk, but scared of hurting myself if I run. I even hurt myself (pain in hips and knees) when I started back walking a few months ago and realized it was due to me trying to walk as fast as possible so that the people passing me or driving down the road would think, “Wow she’s fat, but look how hard she’s working to get thin…” Maybe I’ll try running again, but it never seemed to help me lose weight… I’d be so tired when I got back that I’d take a nap, then wake up and eat half the kitchen. argh.

  2. Laura Moncur Says:

    Remember, Kristine,

    Exercise makes you fit. It makes your heart and muscles stronger.

    You will only lose weight if you make sure your calories in are less than your calories out. Whether you exercise or not.

    You can be fit and fat. You can be thin and unfit.

    Be careful. I wouldn’t do anything that causes joint pain. Muscle pain will go away with rest and time, but joint pain is what you need to watch out for. The best bet is to work hand in hand with a good doctor who understands our issues.

    When you are exercising outside, visualize every person who drives past you as someone who is rooting for you. Pretend that each of them are giving you words of encouragement as they go by. For all you know, they are.

    Good Luck, Laura

  3. lynette Says:

    Is beginning running really for someone that is really over weight? I am about 5’6 and 320lbs. I am also 27 years old. I do pilates and weightlifting but I want to run so bad or at least jog. I feel my spirit just want to go out there and go but then I walk and get winded and my knees hurt. What should I do? I read on a site that you should not run on your toes and I figured out that I am doing that so I am going to work on it. This story touched my heart, I have to tell myself that it is ok to run to the tree and if I can’t make it then try my hardest. I am also going to run slower than I think I should. THank you for the motivation.

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