I am a Runner by Elizabeth

“Love what you do – Do what you love!”  That is the driving force behind everything we do at Metro Run & Walk and part of that is being able to be a part of your journey toward being a healthier, stronger, and happier you.  So rather than listening to us, here is what some of our participants in the Good Form™ Running clinics and our training programs have had to say.

“I Am a Runner”

Elizabeth joined the First Steps fitness training program by Metro Run and Walk and now sees herself as a runner.

"I am a Runner"

by Elizabeth

I am a runner. For the first time in nearly 30 years of on-again-off-again running, I think of myself that way.

I first tried to run in high school, when my dad got inspired by the Jim Fixx jogging craze. I remember a poem that hung in our house: “Why do I run? / ’taint no mystery / want to have a good / medical history / doctor told me running’s great / helps them blood cells circulate” and so on. I kept jogging for a year and even worked out with the track team briefly. I enjoyed the meditative feeling that came from counting my footfalls as I ran, but I never got faster and never could go farther than a mile.

I started again in college in upstate New York and got some pleasure out of saying that I would run as long as the temperature was at least 10 degrees. But I didn’t make a lick of progress and lost interest again. Third time’s a charm, right? Ten years later, when I was in much better physical condition, I psyched myself up again. But that stint was just as unsatisfying as the two before.

I think I signed up for the First Steps program at the Metro Run & Walk store this June out of desperation. I hadn’t exercised regularly in years. On that first, wickedly hot and humid evening, I struggled to cover one mile by walking 2 minutes, then running 2 minutes over and over. Ugh. That was worse than I’d ever done before. I went back for the second meeting, early on a Sunday morning, mostly because I knew that people would be waiting for me. When I told Bruce, one of the trainers, that the previous run had been hard for me, he suggested that I drop back to 2 minutes walking and 1 minute running. That sounded pathetic, but I tried it because I wanted to be a good sport. I found it manageable, despite the heat. The next time we ran, I did the same. I haven’t used my inhaler since then. At the third meeting, Bruce prodded me to try 1-1/2 minutes running.

During the group’s Good Form Running clinic, I discovered why I hadn’t enjoyed running and hadn’t gotten any better: I was doing it all wrong. My head was down, my stride too long, my arms moving in all directions. I was hitting hard on the heel of my foot. As Bruce went down the list, I said, “Maybe this would go faster if you tell me what I’m doing right.” The answer: you’re here.

My big test came the following week, when I had to go to the track by myself because I couldn’t make the group run the previous day. To my surprise, I woke up early and ready to go. My body wanted to run. Because I didn’t have a good stopwatch, I accidentally overshot my first lap and ran for 2 minutes. That wasn’t so bad, so I challenged myself to do 2:2 for the rest of the mile and a half. Which I did. Halfway through the program, I had worked my way to the point where everyone else began. But that’s when I started to take off. Now that I’m at the end of the program, I can go 62 minutes at 2:2 and cover about 4 miles—by far, the longest distance I’ve ever gone. I think I’m even ready to move up to 2 walking, 3 running. Now that’s progress!

I like being a person who wakes up early on Sundays to run. I like being able to say that I could easily do a 5K and probably will, this fall. For the first time, I can say that I like being a runner.

 

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