I used to run multiple times per week, but life happened and I quit. I have been wanting to start it up again, but it has been difficult knowing when to do it. I am not a morning person, but evenings are usually busy with all things family. Every time I stopped to try to figure it out, I came up short with when a good time would be so nothing ever got accomplished.
I have always been a sleep-as-long-as-I-can person. The thought of getting up any earlier than I had to was just a no-go. I would laugh at anyone who suggested it. I even got to where I showered at night. Me. A female. Showering at night.
But I realized if I was going to fit any kind of exercise in, I was going to have to plan it out.
So I was sitting down looking at my planner and writing everything down that I needed to get done that week and it occurred to me that I should just pencil a time in for running and stick to it. I have often found that when I schedule something, it usually gets done. And my planner is life. I have always been a planner person. It comes from many years spent in education- document, document, document Otherwise, that quote “the best laid plans…” can totally apply meaning that I have the best intentions, but it probably isn’t going to happen or I am going to forget.
So I penciled in 6:45 a.m. every single morning including my days off. I even took it a step farther to set my alarm to make sure I would crawl out of the bed on time.
The next morning I got up when my alarm went off, put on my running shoes, did some stretching, and took off down the road. I set a goal of one mile. I did a combination of running and walking because it has been a while since I have done any type of exercise and I am severely out of shape. Plus, I am hoping we can plan a hiking trip soon and I am going to need my legs and lungs in tip-top shape to keep up with my husband on the trails.
It was incredibly hard. I know that sounds goofy, but it was. But you know what? It was not about how fast I went. It was not even really about how far I went. It was about starting and not quitting. I pushed through it, hit my mile, and felt really good about it.
The best part? It was a Friday so I gave myself the weekend to recover and started again on Monday. Woo-hoo!
You know what else happened as a result? My whole day went better. I felt amazing. Were my legs sore? Yes! But my spirit was soaring. I did it. I could do it. I could keep doing it. I was able to get a shower, do a little bit of reading, and get ready for work and still leave on time by setting my alarm for 30 minutes earlier than normal.
My mornings are no longer controlling me. I am controlling them. I am enjoying that time to myself out in nature to clear my mind, wake up, strengthen my body, and more. I want to live a healthier life and exercise is an important part of that. What could you accomplish by getting up just a few minutes earlier?
My advice to anyone that is wanting to begin running is to just start.
- Pencil it into your schedule.
- Make it a priority.
- Start small.
- Set attainable goals such as a mile for the first couple of weeks and then move to a mile and half and so on.
- Do a combination of running and walking until you build up your muscles and stamina.
- Listen to your body!
- Stretch well before and after your run.
- Be proud!
- Think of your why to help get you through the tough moments
- Love yourself enough to take care of your body
- Drink plenty of water
- Get some earbuds and listen to music
- Download a fitness tracker app or even a running app
- Have fun!
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