Fitness Articles

''Nothing Brings Me Joy Like Running Does''

Gail Found Her Passion After Stepping Off the Treadmill

Gail (RHYNIC) has been a SparkPeople member since 2006. She is a co-leader for the Road Runners SparkTeam, which is the largest SparkTeam for runners, with more than 70,000 members. Gail has been running for more than 3 years; she started with the walk/jog method and progressed to her first marathon in 2007.

Gail Before Gail After
Gail Before Gail After

What made you decide to start running?
I had been walking off and on for a long time and felt the need to try something different. One day, I simply added a few minutes of running to my walk. I loved the challenge! From then on, I ran just a little bit more each day I exercised.

How do you keep your runs fun and interesting?
I find running, in itself, interesting. Some days I run fast, other days I run slow. Some days I turn left, others right. Running works for me because it's the one hour a day that I can completely live in the present. When I run, I don't worry about tomorrow and totally forget about the past.

Were you intimidated to start running? How did you overcome that?
Starting wasn't intimidating for me because I was on my treadmill, in my basement, alone. However, I didn't feel confident enough to take my run outside. One day while on the treadmill, the sun started shining in through the tiny basement window. It was a perfect spring day to be outside. While running, I completely understood that I was the only thing standing in my way. I thought too much about what others thought of me. I decided that the people living in my tight knit community talked about everyone, but if the talk that day were going to be about me running—so be it! Once I completed my first run outdoors, I knew running would never be the same for me again. The runner inside of me was set free.

Any tips for someone just beginning to run?
Run for yourself and no one else. Take things slowly. Allow yourself to be totally proud for each new distance you run— every step counts. My first 3-mile run was as hard as my first 20-mile run! Also, adding walk breaks to a run doesn't make you less of a runner. And, if you don't feel like running, go anyway— it could very well end up being your best run of the year.
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