How I Started Running

sibling 5k

This is me with some of my siblings (I am on the left), before we did a 5k together last year (my brother’s first!).

In 2008, I had never done more than the mile they used to require in P.E. class (I’m not sure, but I don’t think they do this anymore?). Even then, I would whine and moan and walk most of it. I was always one of the last to finish. My whole life I had accepted that I would never be athletic. I could never climb that evil P.E. rope, either, for the record. I could barely even dangle at the bottom of the rope. The kids that could were like circus acrobats to me. Books were my area of expertise, and I was fine with that.

Then I got a job, waiting tables and bartending, with a girl who had ran several marathons. I absolutely could not fathom than anyone would ever do that, but I was charmed by her super lean and muscular body. I was also really jealous of the power she must feel from being able to push her body that far. Still, I thought it wasn’t even worth trying for. In addition to being out of shape, I have asthma. I had so many excuses…

Suddenly, some other girls at work wanted to run a four mile Turkey Trot. I thought the idea was preposterous, but was intrigued by the idea of getting a work out before pigging out on Thanksgiving. I signed up and meant to train, but had no idea how. I essentially didn’t train at all, but managed to run a good portion of the race. Apparently the other cardio I was doing helped me through! I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to do more.

When I tried to run on my own, I failed massively. Then I heard about Couch to 5k. It seemed to me like it was for wimps because it involves a lot of walking in the beginning. It turns out, running is really hard, and alternating running and walking is perfect for a beginner. The workouts were hard for me, but worked perfectly. I can’t even explain to you how proud I felt the day I ran two miles without stopping. I thought I might cry. I told everyone I knew (for the record, most people are not impressed by this. I have no idea why. I am very impressed!).

From there, I just kept adding more. My sister signed me up for a half marathon, but I wasn’t ready. I switched to an 8k. I did a 10k, and eventually (after running for a few years) two half marathons. I have never been fast, but I was happy just with the sense of accomplishment it gave me being able to cover the distance.

I will be honest- a lot of what made me sign up for a half marathon was the fact that my sister did one first, and I was so impressed by her. If she could do it, I wanted to do it too! The family decided long ago that she was the strong and athletic one, and I wanted to be like that too. I finished my first half marathon in 2 hours and 17 minutes. I was very happy with that time, and then was so sore I could barely move for a few days. I loved feeling like I was no longer in the box of “oh, she’s just not athletic”. Title IX made so much possible for girls and women, and I want to take advantage of it. Gone are the days when women couldn’t run long distances because of crazy ideas like that it would ruin our reproductive organs. We are strong, and we can do whatever we want to with that strength 🙂

Tomorrow I will tell you my full marathon story, because I don’t want to make this too long. Who else loves to run? Well… maybe I have a love/hate relationship with running, but it gives me a feeling that no other work out can.



  1. Wow, good for you! And you look super cute in that picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I have been eyeing the C25K program on and off for years but never thought (and still wonder) it would work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t think it would work for me. I am so skeptical of everything, it’s just ridiculous. But if you want to run, I would definitely try it. It’s free! It’s doable! You don’t really have much to lose, if you think about it 🙂 it worked for me, and I was about as far from a runner as a person could be. I actually think I’m going to do it again to get back on track.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am really thinking about it, maybe as a goal for later this year when I have gotten my eating under more control. I think I also feared I would look ridiculous running and walking and even trying to run. I am pretty tall and awkward, but I’m just being ridiculous. I have some back problems I would need to be cognizant of, but of the times I have had to jog or have had an intense workout, I start to think that running would become a very healthy addiction.


  3. the day you had to run the mile in school was totally my most dreaded day…and you’re right, i actually don’t think they do this anymore. i recently just started running too, and did my first 5K last september. i’m not really built to be a runner with my short legs, but i’m trying 🙂 congrats to you on the half marathon!


  4. Great stuff!!

    It is great to see your persistence to keep at it. It shows that mentally you were in a good place, even though you didn’t feel so much physically.

    There is more to being good at something than just raw talent.

    As they say, practice makes perfect!!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was going to comment saying that I hate running, but I realized this morning (on my morning run) that I actually really enjoy being outside (when the weather is nice) in the early morning for a run. The fresh air, the sunrise, the quiet peacefulness, and the feeling of being fit… I guess that’s what they call a runner’s high, right? I started running because I wanted to be fitter and faster when playing soccer, but I have since taken on running as its own thing.
    That is a great time for your half marathon. My p.b. is 2h18m for the half marathon (I’ve done 3 total), so well done on beating that on your first try! I hope to do better this year, but we will see how it turns out…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so cool!! It’s so funny, it took me at least a year before I ever felt the runner’s high. I just kept doing it, even though I hated it. I really just felt super excited when it was over.

      I love that you are able to enjoy it (at least some of the time) now. That is also really great about your half marathon time! The only reason I got 2:17 on my first one was because I had a girl that truly runs with me. She pushed me so hard!

      On my second one I hit every well that I could find and finished in 2:33. I was crushed.

      Then when I got 2:10 on my third try- thrilled. You can do it! And if not… keep trying.


  6. It’s awesome that you’re into running! So many people in my life are, but I’ve yet to take the plunge. I have chronic asthma which makes it hard to do super intense cardio. I admire you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here’s a weird, weird thing that may or may not work for you. My nurse friend tells me that this doesn’t work, but for some reason when I keep super hydrated, I have less problems with my asthma.

      When I go on a run, I wear a Fuel Belt and carry a total of 32 ounces of water- even if it’s four or five miles. Everyone makes fun of me, and I don’t care.

      For some reason when my throat gets scratchy, I start coughing, then it irritates my lungs, and it’s all over. If I take a sip of water every few minutes, I’m almost always fine.

      I also have to go slower, because running brings my heart rate up super fast. If it gets too fast that aggravates my lungs and I slow down and use my inhaler.

      It’s annoying, but both of these things really help. I do totally avoid running when it’s super hot or super cold, there’s nothing that fixes that.


      • Wow, I somehow missed that you have asthma! That’s always held me back so much but you’re showing me that maybe I can start running too. Thanks so much for the suggestions. I’m going to seriously consider starting some kind of running program I think

        Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 you should definitely try it. Obviously start slow and be careful. I would start at a gym or busy area in case something goes wrong, but it’s totally possible. Asthma doesn’t always have to win. Dumb asthma.


  7. I am a runner, but I am what Kelley Kersley calls the secret racer ( Being one allows me to stay fit mentally and physically while exploring my neighborhood, but most importantly it keeps my runs fresh and exciting. I am looking forward to your marathon tale, or perhaps one day secretly racing you. I’ll be the woman in the bright colored hoodie and tennis shoes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 I am the same way with the secret racing, I think most of us are. I have learned not to push myself too much though. However, that’s totally why I posted my times. I know that I love to read running blogs and compare how I am to other people. Possibly unhealthy, but I thought I would indulge others in the hobby! Let’s race!


  8. Good on you Jillian. I trained with a group of women and the logo for the group was a dragonfly because a dragonfly can adapt to whatever challenges it faces. For me it was all that because at the beginning you question whether you can go the distance. When you say out loud you can, you do. Running has always been a high for me and the dragon fly is tattooed on my ankle. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a love/hate relationship with running. My problem is that I’ll have periods where I stop running and lose my endurance. I did a 5k in October and then quit running until recently. I’ve done 3 5ks and I’ve found that having a race is the best way to motivate me to run. Completing a half is on my 30 by 30 list, so I’ll probably try that next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Races are great for motivation for me, too. It also really helps me to run with a friend, but it’s so hard to find someone that’s a good match.

      It would be so cool to do a half! You should sign up for a 10k now to get moving 🙂


  10. I really love this story.

    Liked by 1 person

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