I am so excited to have my aunt to share her running story with all of you. She really is such a role model for me and a great inspiration as I train for my first half marathon! I hope that her story proves that anyone can be a runner! I hope you enjoy! We would love to hear some great feedback, so don’t be afraid to comment at the bottom of this post.
A Running Story
Hello, fellow blog readers. I am Morgan’s aunt, Hannah. We may be aunt/niece by blood, but our relationship is more like sisters. We are only 7 years apart and share such a close, special relationship. Morgan asked me to write a guest post on her blog about my history of running. It has become a true passion of mine and continues to be a great stress-reliever. I always wondered what people meant by “the runner’s high”, well, I can now say I know what runners are describing.
Approximately 11 years ago I started running. Now, we are not talking I started running long distance races. I started at a track and would set goals. I would run one lap and then walk two laps. I continued building upon these goals and before I knew it I could actually run one mile without stopping. My freshman year at Berry Collegein Rome, GA, I started run/walking the 3 mile loop on campus. Before the end of my first semester, I was running the entire loop without stopping. The second semester of my freshman year a friend invited me to run my first 5K. I remember crossing the finish line of the race with a huge feeling of success. I experienced it for the first time…the runner’s high! I kept signing up for 5K races. My runs allowed me to clear my head and blow off steam. They started feeling less like a work-out and more like therapy sessions. I would get back to my dorm and feel stress-free while getting a good cardio work-out. Berry College offered great scenery and a wide variety of trails. Just about every run was different and it was extremely easy to add mileage as I continued to set new goals.
Moving on to Bigger Things and Gaining Confidence
My first half marathon was the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathonmy sophomore year. My training was perfect! I used Hal Higdon’s Novice Guide to Half Marathon training program and adjusted the recommended running schedule to fit my school schedule. I did not use anything fancy to train; watch with timer from Wal-mart, running shoes, and an MP3 player. I believe I actually wore cotton T-shirts and gym shorts from TJ max. On my long runs, I would write a Bible verse on a notecard and reflect on the verse as I ran. I found that I was able to enjoy the beauty of Berry’s campus and spend time with God as I trained. I remember crossing the finish line on that chilly Thanksgiving morning and feeling like I could keep running. Again…runner’s high!
Just Run. It’s That Simple.
You do not need any fancy gear. Although, I do recommend being fitted at a running shoe store for shoes once you decide that you like the hobby. You will enjoy running 10 times more if you have the right shoes and socks that fit you. Music is optional; however, I do recommend it for long runs…especially a good Michael Jackson song on those tough hills. The beat will keep you running to the top! I have a Garmin watchwith a heart rate monitor that I have used to track mileage. When I first started training for races, I would use a stopwatch and see how long it would take me to complete 3 miles, 6 miles, 9 miles. I could then go out without any watch and know what pace I would usually be running.
My main point is enjoy yourself, set goals, but then allow yourself time to run just for the fun of it. If you get to a point that you stop enjoying the hobby, try backing off for a while, and change up your work out. Try trail running or sign-up for a fun race like the Warrior Dash or even more extreme…Tough Mudder. If you are hesitant to start on your own, then join a running group or grab a friend and start walking together.
Tackle New Challenges
I have now completed 2 marathons and am now starting to train for my first Goofy Challenge…39.3 miles of fun at Disney World. You run a half marathon on Saturday and then a marathon on Sunday. Yes, it seems extreme, but I am ready to set the bar higher. I love running and I am by no means a record setter. I set my own goals and will run some races without even starting my stopwatch.
Running can be fun if you allow yourself to experience it. Do not be too hard on yourself, but set achievable goals and build upon them. I hope that you are able to enjoy the sport as much as I have. Good luck and remember to have fun!