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

A Half-Block Jog Gave KASHMIR the Confidence to Run

-- By SparkPeople Editorial Staff
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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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Love your story and thanks for sharing it. I didn't have as much success with starting to run at 40 (knee problems) but perhaps I'll try again - with a coach this time - once I heal. - 2/15/2013 9:44:15 AM
  • I just started to become a runner at 69 and now 70 years old, I have also gone very slow but I am improving. When I started a year and half ago. I was 122 pounds over weight and could hardly walk the 100 yards to my mail box and back. After a lot of walking and stretching my distance I have now lost over 100 pounds and can slowly jog about 4 tenths of a mile and my goal is to do one mile before setting any other goals. I am going do my first ever formal walk/run 5K event a week from this Sat. on 2/23/2013. There is also a one mile fun run before that I will also try even though I may not be able to jog the whole distance yet, I am going to give it a try. ☺ - 2/15/2013 8:27:29 AM
  • MRSMAGOO1234
    Your story is fantastic.Ive been thinkingabout doing the jog/walking thing.I use to run short sprints 18 years ago and no one belived that this was how I controlled my weight, muscle tone and stress.Im inspired at 53 to give a try again.We have a bike path.Im not going to lose anything by not trying except time and that is prescious.Thank you for reminding me. - 12/9/2012 11:44:09 PM
  • You are so awesome! I'm very glad to have met you, and been able to know you through SparkPeople! :)

    Jocelyn - 12/9/2012 10:02:33 PM
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