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How I Became a Runner

by Courtney on May 9, 2011

Today was the day…

training plan

I officially started my training for the Boilermaker 15K! I’m so glad that Tina introduced me to SmartCoach, which is where I put together this exact plan. The site is awesome, and if you’re looking for a plan of your own, it’s definitely worth checking out.

**Does anyone want to be my virtual 15K training buddy??? C’mon, it’ll be a blast! Winking smile

It really boggles my mind that just a couple weeks ago, I completed my first 10K race, and now I’m training for a 15K. Crazy.

I actually get quite a few questions from readers about how I started running and how I was able to build up any sort of endurance. Well, let me just tell you…if I can do it, YOU can do it!

I grew up with asthma, so running was something that was never really in the cards for me. In high school, I stuck with the sports that required minimal running effort: volleyball, bowling, and softball.

About two years ago when I started getting more interested in fitness, I began by just walking on the treadmill. Some days, 15 minutes was all I was interested in. But soon enough, I started getting the itch to do more, so I I’d try a few seconds of jogging. Eventually, I bumped it up by jogging for a minute, then walking five. At that point, running for a solid minute was a victory.

Once I got the minute run down pat, I started decreasing the amount of time walking in between. I’d run for my minute, and only walk for 4…then 3…and eventually, I ended up walking and running even times. Again, another victory.

Soon after, I decided to try running more than walking, and I ended up staying at this for quite a while. I just wasn’t ready yet. But soon enough, I was really able to push it…and I loved it. I started out slow, but every time I got on the treadmill, I tried bumping it up just by 0.1mph. This led to some crazy-intense treadmill workouts, and now has me running races outdoors.

My hard work paid off, and now I feel proud to call myself a runner.


When I woke up this morning, I was actually feeling a little bit anxious about starting my training plan. A 15K is a HUGE deal for me, and I started feeling a little doubtful…

“What if I fail…”

“What if my hip starts acting up again…”

“I hate having a set training plan…”

But then I reminded myself about that exact feeling that came over me when I crossed that finish line just a couple short weeks ago. Yeah, remember that hot picture?


But whatever. The face says it all. I worked hard. I was proud. I did it.

So now I know, even though I may be a little anxious about my new training plan, it’s going to be okay. I started out small, and I worked my way up; and it’s going to be the same for this, too.

I mean, hey, I even ended up running a full extra mile this morning without realizing it!


Since I have yet to purchase my sought after Garmin Forerunner, and my RunKeeper app keeps acting up, I resort to using the website WalkJogRun. It allows you to track your route, so I was able to see exactly how far I went. Plus, it even gives you an elevation map. Check out those hills!


So there we go…I’ve got three hilly miles in the books for today. I think that most definitely called for an immediate, post-run iced coffee.


And some breakfast: leftover Egg Strata, strawberries, and the last of my Oatmeal Raisin Banana Muffins.


I loved the muffins, but I’m glad they’re gone…I was starting to get bored with ‘em.


In case you’re just catching up from the weekend…

A Happy Mother’s Day

To All the Mom’s Out There…

It Makes Me Smile

We Heard it Through the Window

Questions for the Morning:

Have you ever surprised yourself by accomplishing something you never thought possible?

What are you working towards accomplishing right now?

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blog is the New Black May 9, 2011 at 9:43 am

All kinds of great sites to check out to motivate me to run!
Blog is the New Black recently posted..Peanut Butter Parfait


2 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’ve been running for three years now, though it feels like it’s been forever! When I was younger, I actually hated running, especially in gym class, but during my junior year, I got hooked! Maybe for the wrong reasons at first, but now I can’t imagine my life without it :)

Good luck with your training, and I’m considering running my first race soon! Maybe a 10K or even a half marathon.
Liv @ The Salty n’ Sweet recently posted..Red Cabbage and Apple Sauté


3 Alyssa Kuminski May 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

I too have asthma and running has always been a challenge. Great tips :) Question – do you run better outside or inside?
Alyssa Kuminski recently posted..Fiesta Fiesta


4 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

Overall, I tend to run better inside because,
a) I’m more used to it
b) I can pace myself a lot better
But I’m trying to work on that! :)


5 Farrah May 9, 2011 at 9:55 am

You may have inspired me to give running another shot. My fear of failure is what is holding me back. I got stuck on Couch 2 5 k on Week 6 Day 3 which was a five minute warmup and then 25 minutes of jogging without stopping. I just need to build up my endurance :( When I realized that I couldn’t do it I basically gave up and went back to lots of cardio and my treadmill is getting dusty! lol
Farrah recently posted..A busy day and some incredible frosting


6 Lisa @ I'm an Okie May 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

THere’s something so special about running. I think the biggest tip for new runners is simply having patience.


7 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

Absolutely, Lisa!


8 Melissa May 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

What a great story, Courtney! I think running is its own reward. That sense of pride and accomplishment is unparalleled.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option to a Garmin, get the Nike ipod sensor. It’s about $30 and you just plug it in to your ipod and put the sensor in your shoe. It keeps track of your distance, pace, calories, etc. and when you plug it into your computer it uploads everything to their site so you can track your progress.

I’m training for a half right now–otherwise, I’d totally take you up on the “virtual buddy” offer! :)


9 Khushboo May 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

Running gives me a different kind of high than any other firm of exercise! I always used to be lazy, chubby kid at school so it still amazes me that I actually enjoy running, even on holiday!

I love the 15k distance for a race- ideal!
Khushboo recently posted..Rock-bottom motivation


10 Danica May 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

I just started “being a runner” at the beginning of this year. In the last week I completed my longest run yet…3.65 miles, and even though it isn’t a 15K, it’s a big accomplishment for me! I’m slowly making progress and I’ve registered for a 5K and a 4-mile race for June! I’m starting to see how running is such a passion for so many people : )


11 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 11:11 am

That’s awesome, girl! :)


12 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine May 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

Good luck with training! I feel like 15ks are the perfect distance- not so long that training takes over your life, but long enough to still be a huge accomplishment. I wish there were more of them!
Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine recently posted..AOC


13 Trisha May 9, 2011 at 11:20 am

I love hearing people’s stories about their running! It is great to hear…it reminds us all how we started out and to look back at how far we have come. Awesome job, girl! You will rock that 15k :)
Trisha recently posted..Take a Seat


14 Lynzy Carey May 9, 2011 at 11:35 am

That is awesome, congrats!! I have run the Boilermaker 3 times and a few halfs- I am running my first marathon in Oct- in NYC! I am so flipping nervous! Thank you for introducing me to SmartCoach! I will definitely try it out!
xo Lynzy
Lynzy Carey recently posted..Eclectic


15 Heather May 9, 2011 at 11:42 am

I will totally be your 15K buddy! I’ve been trying to get into running…and last time I did I ended up hurting my foot because I had horrible running shoes. I got some new kicks and I’m back on the running bandwagon. I just love that you can run from anywhere…no gym necessary! Thanks for posting your running plan..I will definitely try it.


16 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Awesome! YAY for a 15K buddy!! :-D


17 Christina May 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm

My running story is so similar to yours — asthma, never really a runner, stuck to the elliptical, etc. Finally I worked my way up to running, and now I’m training for a half-marathon! I never thought I’d even run a 5K. I’m so happy I got into running though, especially with the asthma. Mine has improved drastically and I think regular physical activity has helped my lungs better than any medications could have. Have you found your asthma is much better now as well?

Good luck with your training and the 15K! Such an accomplishment :)


18 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

As far as when I workout, yes, my asthma is definitely better. Unfortunately though, since I live with my dear cat, he keeps things where I need to really keep on top of it. But ahh well, he’s worth it :)


19 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries May 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Being able to run a 5k, a 5-miler and a 10K are all things that I’ve done that shock the you-know-what out of me. I still don’t consider myself a runner (because I don’t really enjoy it), but before my sophomore year of college, I could barely run a mile – so it’s kind of a big deal! Good luck with your training! I don’t want to be your virtual training buddy, but I’ll certainly be your virtual cheerleader!
Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries recently posted..Slow Down- Crazy Slow Down


20 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

LOL, I love your honesty, Colleen! You can be my cheerleader ANY day! :-D


21 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’ve never used Smartcoach, but I think I’m going to start! I think I never thought I would ever complete a half marathon, but I did – twice!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..realist ravioli


22 Jess May 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I’m definitely going to use that training plan you put up…I used smartcoach for 10k training and really liked it….I like that they have tempo runs and speedwork throughout!
I’ve played sports my whole life, even in college, but always considered running to be a necessary evil..I ran my first 5k last year and caught the racing bug…I’m still pretty slow, but I’m hoping to find a new love in running :) Hope to see you at the Biolermaker!!


23 Laurel May 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Running has changed my life – especially since I was also an asthma girl! Good luck to you!
Laurel recently posted..The Green Smoothie Recipe


24 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm



25 Kathryn May 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I appreciate you writing this post. I have just finished nursing school and have gained – 20 lbs – eek! – throughout school. I am ready to start a moderate weight loss plan that mainly focuses on healthy living over weight loss. I’m scared to start running, but this post made me realize it may take and while and that’s ok!
Thanks Courtney!


26 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

That’s the spirit! Way to go, Kathryn!! It already sounds like you’re ready to tackle your healthy living plan. :-D


27 Jillian May 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I apologize if the answer to this is in a previous post–but what happened to your hip? I am just curious because I had surgery on both of my hips but I am able to run now (currently up to 8 miles at a time, but hoping to do a 10K, 15K etc, someday).


28 Carrie @ Confessions of a Dietitian May 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Great websites, I will check them out. I looooove RunKeeper app. Like a garmin, but free!
Carrie @ Confessions of a Dietitian recently posted..Chicago


29 Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit May 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

it might be a little embarrassing, but my current workout goal is to get to a point where exercising every day is the NORM! being a full-time college student, i’m usually hitting the books so hard that i make a ton of excuses. summer is here, so i’m taking this time to really focus on my fitness!
Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit recently an instant


30 Courtney May 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

That’s not embarrassing at ALL! Keep it up!! :)


31 Sam May 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I recently finished my first 10 mile race and crushed my goal pace! If you would have asked me six months ago if I would ever consider myself a runner I would have said “no way”! Now I’m getting ready to train for my first half marathon. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll run a full!
Sam recently posted..Temp- 57 degreesLocation- BoardwalkDistance- 5 milesPace-


32 colleen @ thegiftofmondays May 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm

i grew up hearing about the Boilermaker as my dad grew up around utica and my older sister owned McCarthy’s Bar down the road in Whitesboro. everytime we would go for a visit, it seemed like we would hear about the race. how cool that you’re going to run it! i’m working on running my first 5k this year but somedays it seems like i’ll never get there. maybe one day, i’ll run the Boilermaker too. thanks for the inspiration!!!


33 Amanda May 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Awesome on signing up for Boilermaker. I did it last year and had a blast! I really enjoyed the popsicles that people handed out as you are running. Very refreshing! I just started my training this week for this year’s as well, so I can be your virtual training buddy as well!! Good luck!!


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