Fitness Articles

''How I Became a Runner at Age 48''

A Half-Block Jog Gave KASHMIR the Confidence to Run

1KSHARES
Robin (KASHMIR) has been a member of SparkPeople since 2006. She has lost 95 pounds and is training for her first marathon.

Robin Before Robin After
Robin Before Robin After


What made you decide to start running?
I noticed my evening walks were getting longer. As my weight went down, the walks had to last longer in order for me to burn a good amount of calories. One evening, I was feeling particularly peppy and figured I’d give running a try—and it was hard! I managed to run half a block the first time I tried. It felt good! After my first run, I knew I could do it again.

How do you keep your runs fun and interesting?
I love running outside! One of my favorite places to run is a nature trail located about a mile away from my home. I also enjoy running through the neighborhood and taking in my surroundings. For the first year, I always ran alone, but this year I decided to run in the Portland Marathon. I joined our local marathon training group, and now run once a week with other people. I’m always looking for new places to run, so I started running in some local races too. Next up—trail running!

Were you intimidated to start running? How did you overcome that?
I was very intimidated. I convinced myself that I would never be able to run—or at least that I couldn’t run further than a 100-yard dash! After my first attempt at running, I decided to give it a try every once in a while along the nature trail. The trail has quarter mile markers set in the asphalt, so when I would feel like running, my starting point was one of those markers. I slowed down when my heart rate got too high and would then walk some more. As I continued doing this, I realized I was going a little farther each time. I finally set a goal for myself to do what I’d been convinced my entire life was the impossible: run from one quarter mile marker to the next. Once I accomplished that, I was totally blown away! At almost 48 years old I did what I couldn’t do at age 14.

Any tips for someone just beginning to run?
The most important advice I can give is to go slow—slower than you think you should. Don’t worry about running fast. For the first year, focus on building your distance. By not running faster than your body is able to maintain, you will build your endurance and stamina, you will strengthen your heart, you will teach your body to use oxygen efficiently, and you won’t put as much stress on your bones and muscles. When you run fast, you can’t run as far. Also eat a little something before you start to run and refuel after your run. And, don’t forget to hydrate!
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Member Comments

  • ProjectChrissie,
    I also was too embarrassed to run in public... I "practiced" in my basement jogging from room to room until I lost some weight and built some endurance. It wasn't a perfect set up but better than nothing! Then (after strengthening my bum ankle jogging in the basement) I graduated to outside or on my treadmill where people could see me.
    As for the name caller who heckled you: brush it off! I was on the receiving end of comments like that.... I decided to not let it bug me....they don't even know me nor I them, so why let a total stranger dictate how I feel or what I do?!
    Just do what you want...whatever works....and smile because you're getting HEALTHY! - 11/4/2014 7:00:26 PM
  • That story is amazing, I walk alot and am beginning to think that my body has gotten so used to it that it is not releasing any more weight. I have contemplated running but find it intimidating as well, I tried it once, on my evening walk only to be put up by some yelling from a car 'run fat lady run' this was very off putting, so am a bit worried about doing it in public. - 11/4/2014 2:04:46 AM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 8/26/2014 5:42:10 AM
  • Any runners here over 60? How do you cope with hip pain? - 6/11/2014 9:29:55 AM
  • JJOHNSON645
    i have health problems too, being short of breath, back problem, and i am on oxygen how long it take you to walk up to 2hundred steps a day and what exercise did you do jjohnson645
    - 2/26/2014 2:54:21 PM
  • I thank you so much for this article! I'm 45 and have recently (last 6 months) began walking. I was intimidated to walk due to the out of breath issues and pain in my legs/knees. I went from under 200 steps per day to hitting 7500 pretty regularly.

    I used to love running/racing as a child, but haven't been able to do so since about age 12.

    I, too, dream of running marathons or on my treadmill. Your story has inspired me that it is achievable. So again thanks! - 1/24/2014 11:17:09 AM
  • 1KCHANGE
    I use to run in my 30's now starting again age 52 - 1/16/2014 6:18:18 PM
  • congratulations! - 10/4/2013 12:21:20 PM
  • I will be 48 in July and i also started running this year... so far my best 5k is 31:21 and I have several more planned for this summer and want to get my time under 30.... Next summer will be 10ks abd my big goal is to do a half marathon before I turn 50 in July 2015. - 6/5/2013 9:30:30 AM
  • You look awesome. Keep the good work up. - 6/5/2013 7:42:27 AM
  • Very inspiring - 6/5/2013 7:21:55 AM
  • This story is extremely inspiring to me! I am going to be 48 in May, and even though I weigh 280lbs, I really want to start running. I have a friend who is encouraging me to run even though I fear I'm too big. I'm going to start really slow, and hopefully one day I will be able to participate in runs like Robin! Thanks so much for sharing! - 3/28/2013 11:31:54 AM
  • I wish Spark People would allow us to update these articles after time has passed. Since this was written, I ran the Portland marathon, have completed 13 half marathons (maybe more, I can't remember!) and numberous other races. I've also discovered that trail running may well be my favorite form of exercise! I am now 53, and have run races from Northern Washington state to Southern California and Nevada. I've been a member of a Hood to Coast team, and will be running Ragnar Southern California relay race in April this year.
    I am currenlty nursing a broken arm (yes, I fell while running, these things do happen) but am still planning on run/walking the Vancouver USA marathon in June of 2013. - 2/15/2013 5:31:55 PM
  • DJPG50
    Inspiring! - 2/15/2013 2:37:59 PM
  • I've never seen this before Robin. Great story! I registered for the PDX marathon half a few weeks ago, OMG! What did I get myself into? - 2/15/2013 9:48:47 AM
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