I started running today

For the first time ever, I woke up before my alarm (which was set for 5:06!). It was amazing to wake up on my own, and it wasn’t like most mornings when my alarm goes off and it feels like I have sand in my eyes and so I think there is no way I can possibly keep them open. I took that as a sign that running was meant to be.

I packed my bag the night before and slept in my work-out clothes so there would be no excuses. Once I got to the college and drove in a circle a time or two before accidentally driving down the road that lead straight to the track, I was thinking it was still incredibly dark for 6:00 in the morning. The sun wouldn’t rise for another half hour.

The darkness wasn’t my only problem. It was COLD (29 degrees!) My ears and face were numb within seconds.

Well that’s not a problem, I thought, I’ll be running soon and I’ll get warmed up!

False. Kind of.

My first day of Couch to 5K involved alternating between a brisk walk for 1:30 and jogging for 1:00. So while I was active and trying hard, I was still freezing.

I probably looked like an idiot. I kept my big parka jacket on. My I-pod earbuds fell out the second I started jogging. I forgot about my Spi-belt so it stayed in my pocket. My keys are still on a lanyard and I just tossed them around my neck so when I did get jogging, I sounded like Christmas.

I had my hands in my pocket the whole time. Bad form, I know. The whole workout I was cursing myself for not having brought my gloves and something to cover my ears. It.was.so.cold.

No one was on the track which was a relief as I definitely looked like a moron; running in my big coat, with my phone out, keys jangling around my neck and hands shoved in my pockets. It was also alarming since it was still dark out and the track is semi-isolated on this huge campus so I was nervous I’d get dismembered or something (I watch too many crime shows).

You probably predicted this was coming, after about 5 minutes, I started debating leaving. I sat down on the bleachers feeling cold, red-faced and tired.

My thought stream went something like this: “It’s way too cold. I’ll get sick.” “I can’t start to run if I’m not fully prepared. I need gloves!” and “Am I really ready to do this anyway? I’m already kind of exhausted. I’m not ready. Maybe I can’t do this.”

Then I came to a realization: I was doing exactly what I had predicted I’d be doing. Letting myself feel defeated before I even (really) got started. Trying to weasel my way out of it.

I decided I needed to severely alter my mental state if I was going to do this. So I focused on four things:

1)      It was way past time that I do this. It was way past time that I literally take the first steps to shedding the extra 15-20 pounds my body’s been lugging around for years. It was way past time that I do something about the fact that for years, I have not been happy about how my clothes fit or my reflection in the mirrors. I can complain about it until I’m blue in the face, but what does that accomplish? Nothing. If I finish this work-out on the track, it’s accomplishing something.

2)      Every runner out there had to begin somewhere, too.

3)      I really had no choice. I paid $35 already and have to show up at a starting line in two months and complete a 5K. (Thank God I signed myself up for those two races before beginning running. Thank God)

4)      My office wasn’t open for another half hour so if I stopped running now and gave up, I’d have nothing to do but sit in my car and wait for the building to open. So since I was here…..might as well run..

So, trying to focus on those four things, I made the resolve that I was here. I was going to start TODAY. Caution: cheesy alert ahead. These exact Rascal Flatts lyrics popped into my head.

On your knees you look up

Decide you’ve had enough

You get mad, you get strong

Wipe your hands, shake it off

Then you stand, then you stand


Everytime you get up

And get back in the race

One more small piece of you

Starts to fall into place

So, I stood (back) up. It wasn’t an amazing work-out. Occasionally I’d stop jogging and start walking 5-10 seconds sooner than I should have. But once my Couch to 5k app instructor told me to start the “cool down” (walk), I got all kinds of excited. I’d done it! I’d started to run! I wasn’t dead! My legs kind of ached and it feels good even though I am frozen! I can’t believe I actually went through with it and finished!



I feel so victorious. Although it sucked in the moment because I was cold, I’m in such a good mood today and am so proud.

Of course now that i’ve started and am trying to get into a routine…Baltimore’s expected to get anywhere from 1-14 inches of snow this week. Ugh.

Here’s to Day 2, Day 3, and starting down a new healthier track.




(edited 3/8 to link up with Jill)



15 thoughts on “I started running today

  1. I love that feeling after a good run. I’m amazed that you are able to get up so early to get it done! I think 7 is early to run lol the third day will be the hardest and after that you’re smooth sailing 🙂

  2. Hey there!
    Congratulations on not letting yourself give up! Although I don’t know how you made it with nothing on your ears or your hands! UGH! Just the THOUGHT of that sends chills through my fingers. 😉
    But please be careful – practice safety. Dedication is one thing. Possibly putting yourself in harm’s way to prove a point is something else. You mentioned Baltimore. I’m assuming you meant Maryland – I live here too. If you know Lake Montebello, that’s a great place for early running – well at least it was in the warm weather. I haven’t run there in this cold. But it’s definitely a runner’s spot.

  3. woohoo! I just downloaded a similar app, which has an 8 week program. I started planning it out in my head how it would all work out.. and then automatically thought.. well I can’t start yet, I’m going home to visit my family for almost 2 weeks and won’t have access to a treadmill blah blah blah. But after reading this post.. I need to just get over it. Get of the freakin couch and run outside if I have to. I’m pretty sure I can spare 30 minutes 3 days a week while I’m home. Making excuses is the exact reason I never lose any weight. There is never a perfect time to start.

    I admire your ability to get up at 5 am though.. I don’t think THAT is ever gonna happen for me. haha!

  4. Great job getting out there and sticking with it! 🙂 You are so right, all runners start somewhere and you will look back on this run one day and smile. Even as a long time runner, there is no way I can run in this without mittens, keep those hands and head warm, it make it much easier.

  5. This is great! I’ve very proud of you for sticking with it! And you are right, we all started somewhere. Take it from me, I used to be a track & field athlete, then stopped running only to start again when I joined the Army, then I stopped because I got sick, then got better and started again. All those times I started again were not easy but you do get a sense of accomplishment once you finish that first run. Look forward to reading how your journey goes! 🙂

  6. Awesome job! Sounds like the first run was a little rough, but I’m sure you learned some things, so the next time will be much more enjoyable! One very important thing- I ALWAYS carry mace with me. (And I don’t even run at night!) I’ve watched crime shows, but also have heard a lot of true stories! So it’s best to be safe!
    I look forward to following your journey!!

  7. Pingback: Lighting & Logistics | city & the cubicle

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