Here at Get Healthy U we like to be active every day and we all have our different things we like to do. Sandra, my editorial director, used to hear from others that running was not for her body type. Well – she proved those theories wrong and shows us all that stereotypes aren’t always right. Read her story and get inspired to sign up for your first 5k – Chris Freytag.
It was hard enough that my childhood dream to be a ballerina was dashed because “petite and lean” aren’t adjectives anyone would use to describe me. Even at my ideal weight and a good BMI score, I have short legs and a chest that would scrap any ballet dancer pursuit. If I was a ballerina it would look like a choreographed SNL skit. So imagine how discouraged I was when I told a yogi friend of mine that I wanted to take up running, and she told me I shouldn’t because of my body type. “You are too stocky for running and all that pounding would damage your body,” she said as we power walked. She had great intentions, but I am so happy I didn’t listen to her, because I love to run. You could even call me a running addict.
When I was a beginning runner, it wasn’t pretty. I ran like two minutes and wheezed for the next five while walking. Okay, kidding … but it wasn’t much better than that. Eventually, I could run for ten minutes without stopping. I signed up for my first 5k and decided I’d run/walk it.
The energy at 5K races is addictive. Fitness enthusiasts and athletes up and out early on a Saturday morning! Everywhere I looked, images of fitness—race bibs, fitness gear, neon sneakers, fit people, bananas, apple slices, awesome crowd energy, people cheering from the sidelines and a sense of exercise accomplishment before 9 a.m. F.U.N. FUN!
On to my second goal—sign up to a 5 K and run the whole thing. I felt like a million bucks afterward … and was even proud to finish those 3.1 miles in 38 minutes because I was a beginner.
Cue the drum roll … Today I run a 27 minute, 17 second 5K. That’s my PR right now. I’m training to beat it soon. How far I’ve come (how much I’ve improved) is probably the number one reason I love running. Running shows me that I can do more than I ever thought I could do. I compete against myself and win. I have tangible proof of my cardiovascular fitness improving. How cool is that? Sometimes when I look at my race time on the big digital display as I cross the finish line I think: Is this really me?
Related: 5 Reasons To Start Running
When I started to jog I could only continue for about two minutes. This week I was on the treadmill running a 9:15 second mile, and I could let my mind wander and carry on a normal conversation. My body felt strong—like I was on auto-pilot. Blows my mind to see how much I’ve progressed. I even dialed it up to an 8:45 mile for a while for just for fun.
I’ve won my age group a couple of times and won some cool prizes like a John Hardy bracelet and a group tasting at a great local restaurant for 10 of my friends. I’ve run more 5ks than I can count, a few 10ks and two half marathons to date!
I run consistently every other day and I am always excited when it’s a running day. Grab my playlist, iPhone, armband, headphones, FitBit Flex, my dog Biscuit, and run right out the door if it’s nice out, or head to the gym if it isn’t.
I love how running always gives you a glistening sweat. There’s no doubt you just gave your body an intense workout. I love how your lungs feel more open and capable after you finish. I even love running hills now (most days) because of the sense of accomplishment. Running has helped me torch calories, lose weight and get my legs rock solid. It’s changed my body and has become my favorite cardio workout for sure!
If you have curiosity about running but you don’t think you are a runner or someone told you that you aren’t a runner—don’t listen! Try it and give yourself time to progress. Don’t give up if you can only run for two minutes when you start. Running is a slow build. Stick with it and you just might get addicted. And running is one addiction that’s actually good to have!