Reflections On A Year Of Running

The Al Buehler Trail at 7am on a sunny fall morning.

A year ago I joined the Run/Walk Club at work. I’m not one for joining social groups in general, but I needed to do something to kick-start my desire to get back into shape and lose a little weight. So, stepping boldly outside my comfort zone, I signed up and started the beginners walk-to-run group. That group basically follows the Couch To 5K program where you run a little then walk a little, gradually increasing the run time and decreasing the walk time.

When I started, I couldn’t run three minutes (1/4 mile) around the flat East Campus wall trail without feeling like I was going to collapse. Today, a year later, I ran for an hour (5.6 miles) on the Al Buehler Trail, which is a cross country trail that circles the Washington Duke Inn’s golf course. It includes long low hills and steep short hills, mud, rocks and the occasional snake. A few things I’ve learned this year:

  • I still hate running, but now I hate it only about 50 seconds out of every minute. What keeps me going is how much better I feel afterwards.
  • Most running days I wake up whining a lot on the inside, but I know that not going will just make it worse next time.
  • It helps knowing that a lot of my friends are also out there starting/continuing to get fit. Knowing that I’m not the only mid-forties slowpoke huffing and puffing their way around the trail keeps me going. That, and being lapped by the two 70+ year olds that I routinely see on the trail.
  • I don’t care how fast I run, I’m out there to better myself. If I run faster today, great. If I run farther today, great. If I run at all even if it is short/slow/long/fast/easy/hard, yea for me!

Finally, the two mottos that keep me going:

Turtles run faster than couch potatoes.
If you are tired of starting over, don’t quit.


3 Responses to “Reflections On A Year Of Running”

  1. October 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Awesome and excellent, all of it. Truly.

  2. October 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I had no idea you’d been doing this for a full year, Beth! I know I’ve said it before, but I am truly impressed. It takes a lot to get out there and run ONCE–and it takes something extraordinary to keep it up and to increase your time and distance so much. Kudos to you!

  3. May 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Beautiful photo of the trail, it really caught my eye. I hope you like that part of running, enjoying the scenery. Congrats on keeping up with it for a full year! It surely helps to be exercising with a group (or better, friends) at a scheduled time.

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October 2012
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