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Learning to Love Running

Posted May 01 2012 8:26am

We BANGED OUT this mornings run! Read on for tips to learn how to love running.


3 miles at 11:10 pace. It was too fast for our run plan. We have to stop doing that, but it felt so good.  Noosa triathlon asics

  Sweaty Kat

I love running in Brisbane, partly because I get so sweaty from the humidity. It makes me feel like a really fast runner. Anthony and I split up half way through (we were teasing each other that I wanted to do an out and back; he wanted to do a loop; so I turned around at the half-way point and he kept going for a bit, until he chased me down and whipped my bum) While I was running by myself, I came up with my new mantras that I know will keep me going through the race.

Who runs so fast like a fire blast? That’s me! :: clap clap :: That’s me!

Who runs so far like a shooting star? That’s me! :: clap clap :: That’s me!

Childish, but oddly effective. And fun.


After we got home, I made myself a “dinner for breakfast.” I’m not the biggest breakfast foodie, and while I love overnight oats and smoothies , sometimes I crave something savory.


I made a barely medium fried egg plus an egg-white, and put it over a serving of gluten-free buckwheat pasta that had been sitting in the fridge, waiting to be eaten. I sauced it with my go-to sauce – a teaspoon of almond butter with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. On the side, I had a sliced cucumber with a bit of extra sauce.

Learning to Love Running

I have had a torrid love affair with running since I was 18. When I was a freshman in college, I developed viral meningitis, which left me hospitalized and barely able to walk. I had to take a scooter (yes, one of the granny scooters) to class because I couldn’t walk more than 1/10th of a mile without getting dizzy. Being an extremist, I decided I didn’t only want to walk, I wanted to take responsibility for my health in a bigger way. I started by going to the gym for the first time in my life, and starting on the elliptical for 20 minutes. That gradually progressed to an hour a day. While I loved (and still love.) the elliptical, I knew I wanted something more. This lead to my first triathlon.

Triathlon exit

Triathlon exit

Crossing the finish line of my first race was one of the high points of my life to that point.

Triathlon finish with medal

I never thought I could run a mile, much less compete in a triathlon.

Between 18-22, I raced in a number of road races and triathlons. From 5k’s to half marathons to half-ironmans, I trained for them all and mostly had a great time doing them.

running a 5k

However, my love for running (and triathlons) waned when I started training for a full ironman in 2009. I had my sights set on Ironman Arizona, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was just too much for me in terms of distance and hours involved, especially considering I was graduating college, moving to New York, starting work, newly single, and all sorts of other things.

As an aforementioned extremist, I didn’t run another step for two years. I fell more deeply for yoga, becoming a 500 hour trained teacher and teaching at high level studios. I don’t blog too much about my yoga, as it’s my career and therefore feels separate from the blog, but my practice influences and guides me daily.

yoga with kids

When Anthony and I wanted to stay in shape during our Europe trip (and no, I haven’t forgotten about the two remaining weeks I have yet to post – they’re coming soon) we decided to try running. I knew I needed an incentive to run for myself (besides pizza ) so we decided to register for the Brisbane half.

Run Brisbane Festival

We’ve been using Runner’s World Smart Coach training plan, which has been awesome. Whenever we’ve run in the past, we’ve run too fast, and burned out. We never were able to run a straight distance, because we were pushing ourselves a bit too hard. This training plan has had us feel strong, confident and very sweaty.

Now, Ant is a drastically faster runner than I am, but I have a bucketload of endurance, so even though he is holding himself back during our runs now, I don’t think it will stay that way for long. Both of us have a similar relationship with running, which is more hate than love, but we both are finding ourselves falling in love with it.

Here are some tips we’ve come up with to help you fall in love with running.

  1. Stick with it - Even when it feels unbearable, awful, and as if you’d rather have a root canal than take another step, stick with it. It took me years, and then months, to really fall in love with it, and genuinely look forward to going out on runs. Pick a training plan appropriate for your level, stick to it no matter what (besides injury or illness, of course) and after you finish it, you’ll probably have a good idea of how you feel about running.
  2. Pick a plan appropriate to your level - I can’t tell you how much I hated running when I was trying to run consistent sub-9 miles. I could do it for a couple of miles, but I ended up miserable and exhausted. Starting to run at an appropriate pace for you is the best way to get faster. While I am running 11:11′s now, and they might look quite slow on paper, just four weeks ago I was running 11:25′s at the same effort. According to my run plan, I’m on course to run a 2:03 half, which is not bad at all.
  3. Listen to your body - Sometimes, it calls for rest. Sometimes, you want to take it up a notch. Either way, be sure to check in, listen, and make sure you are doing what your body (not your ego) calls for.
  4. Pick something to keep you going - A song, a mantra, a health-based reward (ice cream sundae with extra caramel sauce is probably not the wisest incentive.) Whatever it takes that makes you smile and happy will help you associate running with those endorphins.
  5. Let Go of the need to like it instantly - I read so many blogs of runners who make living a la gazelle in the wilderness seem effortless, and love it. Let it go. You might not love it, you might adore it. When you let go of attachment to expectations, it’s much easier to watch the feelings without the story-line.
  6. Sign up for a race/fun-run/mud hustle - In a few weeks, we have a 10k as part of our training plan. It just so happened that there’s a race on the same day, so we decided to sign up. Now, we have a closer race to aim for, and that weekend long run will be so much more fun than just another day running a loop.

QFTD: What are your running tips? Do you love running? Hate running? Please share!

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