I promise to do a recap of the “other stuff” from our show, but for now, I wanted to address a pretty funny/interesting moment that happened this weekend.

A good friend of mine is a runner. Her blog is linked to the right, and while she doesn’t blog very often, I always click super fast when I see a new one from her. Running gives her a TON of joy and sense of accomplishment, and as such, we have spent a lot of time talking about it.

As I was preparing for our horse trial, the conversations took a bit of a turn. I found myself asking her for advice of how to get into running. She has faced a lot of the same doubt about running with her body as I have…

Real runners are fast, elegantly-designed, long-bodied gazelles that barely graze the ground. They effortlessly glide across the earth.

Us? We are not those things. Those Couch to 5K apps? Yeah… I can’t get through the first level with them, so I quit. You know what she told me? Just run to your mailbox and back. There, you went for a run. We live far from one another, so this advice just made me stare at my screen.

My first thought, “What if my neighbors see me do that?”

My second thought, “I could probably make it though…”

Then I was listening to a podcast, where they talked about how, as a kid, you moved your body just because you wanted to. Not because you had to. Not because you were good at it, but just because the desire hit you. Why did 5 yr old you decide to try to run DOWN the slide? Because you wanted to.

As adults, we are so concerned with looking ridiculous that we often don’t even try. I do not run down the street in my neighborhood because I don’t want anyone to see me struggling.

Then I was watching the footage of May and I on XC, and I realized, I just ran XC in front of a good amount of people, at the iconic KHP, in a hot pink tutu and white pants. If that isn’t confidence, I am not sure what is.

© Xpress Foto 920-619-8765
Photo courtesey of Xpress Foto. Www.xpressfoto.com

So on Sunday, I got up, and I put on sneakers. (Full disclosure, I also put on an all black outfit with the baggiest Tshirt I could find). I headed out my front door, and I told myself I could just run to the corner and back.

Honestly? That first minute felt REALLY good, and I was like… I guess I can keep going. I would love to tell you that I then ran 5 miles and felt amazing and accomplished. In reality, I did 0.63 miles (with hills!) and it took me 11 minutes. My throat is actually sore from huffing and puffing. My muscles REALLY hurt. And I felt like jelly when I rode my horse after yesterday.

But I did it. I put myself out into the word and ran. And you know what? I hope I can sneak in another 11 minutes tonight.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Sarah (threechestnuts)

    This is really all very real and true. I got into to running for a while and found I did better following my own plan vs a couch to 5k type of thing. I just made my own goals, sometimes met them, sometimes needed to walk more, but it worked. I improved, ran more and more, tracked my runs and it went really well (I used an interval timer and tried REALLY hard to make it until my walk breaks.
    As my migraines got worse (and add in another concussion), the running just got harder and harder and I just gave it up. Too much jostling around and my head always hurt, especially after a run. So no more running for me (I also stopped pretty much all impact-type exercise). I’m trying to start swimming again and I’m trying approaching how you approach it. Who cares how slow, how few laps I do, how out of shape I look, etc. I’ve been hit my awful asthma (I’m falling apart) so I’ve been out of the pool, but hopefully over time it’ll get easier. So, I’m on this journey (sort of) with you, just in the pool vs on the road.

    1. Emily

      Yeah. I am SO AFRAID of failing, that I am not even trying. All I can think is that, if I didn’t start riding at 6, would I have the courage now to even try? I always say that adult beginners are the bravest riders. Hoping that running turns into something I get a sense of accomplishment out of too.

  2. Kristy B

    Good for you ! Getting out there to do it is sometimes way harder then actually being out there and doing it.

    1. Emily

      For sure. And you know what? I don’t think anyone even noticed me hahaha

  3. Laurie and John

    You go girl~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!

  4. roamingridersite

    Good for you!!! Who cares how fast or slow, running is still running no matter the distance. Personally I am a fan of the run/walk method as it doesn’t make me feel like I’m dying but yet I am still moving and going somewhere.

    1. Emily

      Oh yeah. My 11 minute 0.63 mile “run” definitely included some walking… and some straight up shuffling haha

  5. Stampy and the Brain

    When I started running (early on in my weight loss several years ago) I was going to a gym where something like 12 laps was a mile. I could barely run a lap before I needed to walk. I would run a lap, walk two laps, run a lap, walk two laps just a few times to start. Later that same year I ran my first 5k and did it in under 30 minutes. It’s amazing how well your body can adapt and change. I’m bad at making time for running (horses and work first!) but I really enjoy it now, despite disliking it early on. My own personal challenge. I will also say being at the gym and seeing so many people of so many sizes and shapes doing the same thing really helped me feel better. Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone leads to some cool discoveries.

    1. Emily

      I think you make a great point about representation. If you see examples of being doing the thing you want to do, successfully, and then they LOOK like you, it can be super motivating. This is definitely one of those “consistency is key” type adventures.

  6. CobJockey

    Amen to alllllllllllllll of this! Go you!

    1. Emily

      Thanks girl! I am always so impressed by your CrossFit updates

  7. the_everything_pony

    I love running. Keeping with running tho…. yeah that’s hard lol. But go you! That’s awesome! I don’t know what it is about running but I always feel pumped up and driven after running. I hope you can get in another few minutes too!

    1. Emily

      So hard so sore. But the after feeling is wild!

  8. lauracoburn1111

    Yeah for running. I never ran, then tried it, did a half marathon and then life got in the way… Here I am 3 yrs later thinking the same sorts of things as you. I need to just get out and do it!

    1. Emily

      yes! I remember ONCE when I was super fit in high school, getting on the treadmill and running for a half hour. And it feeling GOOD. But like… a lot has changed since then hahaha. I am luckily to have sneakers and a safe neighborhood, so I really have no excuses.

  9. KC Scott

    Woot! Trying is the hardest thing EVAH but you got this! Have a great 11 minutes tonight!

    1. Emily

      We’ll see if I even make it that long tonight! hahah but I will be out there!

    1. Emily

      Honestly, it was a really good feeling to just have DONE it. I wanted to move my body, and I did. <3

  10. Nadia

    The first run is always the hardest! And you e got that out of the way so way to go!

  11. martidoll123

    hahaha who are you and what have you done with Emily!!? Just kidding this is a great blog post!! So true. I ran those 5ks in Delaware (or walk shuffled them) and loved it (hated training for them but loved the day of the races, so much fun) If i hadn’t gotten the plantar facistis (spelling) and the heel spurs I would still be doing them. Be careful and stretch a lot when pounding the pavements. It sucks once your feet hurt no matter what!! 🙂 But you are young and enjoy. I always think of the friends episode with Phoebe running (if you dont watch friends just google Phoebe running and lol)

    1. Emily

      hahahahaha. Omg. I dont think I realized how TIGHT my calved would get. I think I spent more time yesterday on my front stoop, stretching out my calves, then I did actually running.

  12. emma

    this is awesome, way to go!! i’ve never had much luck with programs like “couch to 5k” either bc… honestly those programs are sorta designed to build you up quickly to a fixed date outcome, rather than designed to produce a sustainable habit. for my lifestyle, sustainable is the key word, whether fitness or diet.

    which means in terms of stuff like fitness, it’s gotta be introduced in such a way that the habit actually has a chance to develop and stick. i’ve read that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, so my #1 goal is always getting thru those first 3 weeks (same approach i took to quitting smoking lol). any fitness work has to be easy enough to integrate into my day to day life so i can’t talk myself out of it, and not so intense as to make me too sore to come back the next day to do it all over again. once the habit is formed, then the intensity can be adjusted. good luck!!

    1. Emily

      Yup! That’s the thing. Those couch to 5K programs always made running such a CHORE. I want it to be an outlet. Fingers crossed.

  13. Stacie Seidman

    You can absolutely do this! Now that you’ve gone out and run for 11 minutes straight? Guess what! You’re a runner! You’re doing the thing! I had really gotten to HATING running because I had an undiagnosed thyroid condition that was making it really hard and defeating. But I’ve recently stopped watching the clock, and just go run for the exercise. No worries if it’s a 12 minute mile (or more!). Just trying to do it. And I’m starting to like it again!
    When I first started running at 29 years old (clearly was having a small breakdown about turning 30…) I did couch to 5K, but not with an app (it wasn’t out yet… I’m old!). Maybe just use the concepts to help you build rather than being tied to the app. Or plan to run intervals. Like run 2 minutes, walk 1. Until you reach a certain time or distance. Just some suggestions to help you build on your awesome start!

    1. Emily

      Yes! When I chatted with my friend about doing a “program” to get started. She told me to just go an do it because I have to LIKE it first. It was like… oh… yeah… I probably should just like it instead of using it as some weird punishment.

  14. Alex

    That’s amazing! You really got out and pushed yourself past what you thought you couldn’t do. Running is so hard and I’m a runner. I’ve done two half marathons and I STILL think running is hard. But it is done just by doing a little more each day. You can totally do it!

    1. Emily

      Thanks for the encouragement. So far, I actually AM enjoying the “after”. The before is tough… the doing is hard. but the after? That’s a great feeling.

  15. ginandtinyjumps

    Way to go!!!! I fall in and out of love with running. I sign up for a race because it sound fun or an excuse for a trip…..I can pull 10k out of the bag without much training but it is NOT pretty. But who cares!!!! I feel good at the end and I’m only competing with myself. Can I go a bit longer than yesterday? A bit faster but shorter distance? Right now I’m out of love and just walk on the treadmill to put the minutes in. And it sucks but it must be done.

    1. Emily

      I.. definitely could not run a 10K or a 5K right now hahaha. I guess because I never HAVE run for any length of time, there is no underlying fitness hidden anywhere in my body >.<

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