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''I Can Finally Call Myself a Runner''

My First Mile Wasn't as Bad as I Expected

-- By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
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I kept going, past the pharmacy, past the next landmark I set for myself, and past a third landmark. I ran for 20 minutes straight—far more than the mile I'd thought I couldn't run at all!

I cooled down, walked to the pharmacy and then headed home. The sun was still shining, I was smiling, and I thought about whether the weather would hold out so I could run again soon!

Since then, I've run a few more times, usually for about two miles each time. There are no rules about how fast to run or how far you have to go to be a runner. You won't find me training for a marathon any time soon (or probably ever!), but I would like to run a 5K for fun this summer.

As it turns out, running isn't torture disguised as exercise. It's actually fun!
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • DIMPELS9
    I loved this article. I recently started a run/walk routine I like to refer to as "jogging" :D. My husband has been patient and supportive by running alongside me, even though he could easily outrun me. Running is a great exercise, and I agree that as long as the effort is there, you're doing a great job. I too do not see myself training for a marathon either, but I am excited to run my first 5k in January! Wish me luck! - 11/14/2013 12:18:31 PM
  • This article made me feel so much better, and definitely provided motivation!! Thank you!! - 10/28/2013 10:41:11 AM
  • Your excuses for running (or rather, NOT running) were the same as mine! I could actually hear my voice saying those same things! LOL! Well, you have almost convinced me that I may actually run someday. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. - 6/20/2013 4:42:42 PM
  • I was the same way. You run that first time and smile because you didn't think you could do it! That motivates you and pretty soon you're running when, in fact, you once despised running! - 2/5/2013 11:30:47 AM
  • PAUL2274
    Fantastic! That is how it kinda started for me... thought I couldn't do it then I started and I could run further than I thought. - 2/5/2013 9:32:59 AM
  • That's great! My son is a sprinter, not a runner, but he wanted Doritos from the corner store during the Super Bowl half time so I told him I'd get them only if he jogged to the store with me. It's about 3/4 mile round trip and we had fun. Now he knows he can do almost a mile. LOL - 2/5/2013 8:06:23 AM
  • JENNIW77
    I think this is a great article and very inspiring. It is very similar to my own story of how I recently began my running journey. I had always tried to run and got out of breath, and my legs would hurt. Don't get me wrong, walking is fantastic for you, and for many, is the best form of cardio. After reading some comments, I realized that many people think that this girl just suddenly decided to start running one day, with little cardio training. In the article, she said she does spinning. For those who have never tried this, you are missing out! This, next to running, is the best intense cardio workout I have ever done. After around 9 months of spinning classes 5 days a week, I too decided one day, to try running again. I amazed myself that I could run for 20 min without stopping! This was because of my cardio and muscle endurance improvement from my spinning classes. I just didn't realize how much it had improved my endurance. Even my legs didn't hurt like before.
    So running isn't for everyone, I do understand, but for those who want an extra boost in cardio, where there body, both heart and joints will allow them without injury, is really worth giving a try. You just have to work up to it :) - 10/27/2012 2:08:53 PM
  • What an inspiring story. I need to get some faith to think I can run a marathon but want to do while I can as knees go out later. I hope to get where you are and run my first marathon someday soon. I was always an athlete when younger but after 40 it's hard to get that thing off the couch after a long day of work. - 9/4/2012 9:28:56 PM
  • It's nice that you were in such great shape that you could just start running without any kind of work up into it.
    I used to run, those days are over. Two knee replacements, no running. But some brisk walking, a little easy jogging is good for those who can't run or don't want to.
    So run on runners, just watch those knees. They take a pounding and sometime in the future they might give out. - 8/3/2012 8:13:02 PM
  • I was a runner when I was in school; but now I won't see that again. Well, maybe with somebody pushing my wheelchair. I can't push it. - 8/3/2012 11:00:10 AM
  • GREAT article and I feel like you've written MY story!! - 8/2/2012 6:46:06 AM
  • Awesome article! I am also a new runner. Completed multiple 5K runs my first year and shortly after first year completed a half marathon. currently training to run a full marathon this December. Good luck!!! - 5/3/2012 11:40:42 AM
  • J21883
    Great story! I used to always hate running, about 6the months ago i thought id give it a try since i was getting bored with the gym machines. I am addicted, just finished my fist 5k 2at weekends ago and came in 3rd in my age group. Cannot wait for the mud run i signed up for in July! - 4/17/2012 10:14:46 AM
  • I've never been a runner and will never BE a runner. With a replaced right knee, I can't even jump rope. Impacting exercises and those that require kneeling are simply not for me. I'll take a brisk walk any day! - 4/13/2012 12:27:00 PM
  • Great story! Don't be surprised if you do find yourself training for a half marathon. My experience was much the same. Last fall I tried the SP Rookie Running Program after a thirty+ year hiatus from running. During the Christmas holidays I had that "Hey, I'm a runner!" moment when I ran for a mile and a half without stopping and without feeling uncomfortable. I completed my first chip timed 5K and have run several half marathon distances since then I am registered for the Binghamton Bridge Run Half Marathon, which will be held May sixth. I am really looking forward to it. - 4/12/2012 8:48:33 AM
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