When my youngest was four, we were watching an episode of Curious George and one of the human characters wanted to start training for a race. She said to the Man in the Yellow Hat, "Teach me how to run." To this my little boy exclaimed, "Why do you have to learn how to run? Just do it fast!"
Since I'm not as energetically inclined as my four year old, I thought to myself that I should "teach" myself how to run. I've always wanted to be a runner, with their cool running gear and hot legs, but truthfully I hated running. I couldn't even bear the thought of running around the block.
In August of this year I finally got started on a New Year's resolution to get disciplined and fit, and in September I blogged about it. It was a bold move. Once I had put it out there I knew I had to start running.
How to Get Started
Make a solid decision.
Make it and mean it. Remind yourself over and over of why you are doing this. For me it was a deep desire to become better and to feel accomplished in an area of my health I had neglected.
Go as you are.
Don't buy any gear (except maybe shoes if you only own flip flops). It might be nice have new running cloths or a chest light or one of those arm bands for your phone, or a water pouch, but you don't need it. The problem with going shopping before you start is that it feeds procrastination. You get yourself into a head space of, I'm not ready until.
In the past, anytime I have ever gone out to buy workout gear before my workout I never actually stuck to the workout. Once those shiny new objects lost their shine so did my desire to continue. The point is don't think about starting, don't prepare for starting, just start.
Go easy on yourself.
My very first run was not a run, more like a semi-brisk walk with a couple of intervals of jogging. I couldn't jog for longer than maybe a minute. But I completed my entire two mile route, it was a start.
Set small goals.
After that first run, I set my first goal. I wanted to run the traffic light (1/2 mile) without stopping. That goal motivated me to run again, but I had to take a two day break because my legs hurt so badly after day one!
The third day I ran through the pain.
On my fifth run I made it to the stop light! It felt so good. By my seventh run my legs stopped hurting. I set another small goal and increase my distance to three miles.
Today my goal is to finish a sub 65 10k, in run-language that means 6.2 miles in under 65 minutes. When I set that goal I didn't really think it would be possible to achieve it but I just broke my longest distance record at 5.68 miles. I'm getting closer!
How to Keep Going
Do not fool yourself and think that you will keep this your little secret. You need to tell people that care about your success. They will help you. Currently my favorite accountability tool is an app on my phone called RunKeeper. It notifies my friends when I've run. When I'm slacking people start calling me out on it, that is a good thing. Also it's neat to see the maps, the miles, and the speeds. All of those things keep it exciting for me and help me to set my next goal.
I love my music when I run. Something about sticking those headphones in my ear is so liberating. No one talks to me when I'm running, no questions, no demands. Its just me and my jam.
Find your scene.
People that are very social will do best at the gym, surrounded by other people. Others may love the treadmill at home because they can watch their favorite show while they exercise.
My scene is nature. I love the outdoors. As I run I notice all of the beauty around me. The air in my face, the trees, flowers, grass, the sky, all of it. It is so incredibly beautiful when you take the time to notice it.
Repeat Positive Affirmations.
There's not much else you can do while running, but it's a great time to think. I am conscious about the things going through my mind. I don't think about shopping lists or squabbles with the hubby. Instead I create positive affirmations, at any given time these are some of the the things I'm repeating:
I am strong, I am power, I am in control of my happiness, I am in control of my destiny, I attract all forms of abundance into my life. I can do this, come on girl you can do this! Feel that burn? It's suppose to feel like that, that means you're alive. I'm alive! I love my life! I have legs, God gave me legs, I am grateful for my legs. I am grateful for the air hitting my face, it smells so good. I smell someone barbecuing, family time is beautiful, my family is beautiful, I love my family! Come on, make it to the next fire hydrant!
Does that sound crazy? Maybe, but it works.
Mindset is extremely important but nutrition is key. There are a few things I take daily to ensure physical and mental strength.
Master Formula Multinutrient Complex
You have to take your vitamins everyday. Master Formula is the king of all multivitamins. I have tried a lots of different vitamins and nothing has ever given me the energy and mental clarity quite like this. I already thought I felt great from everything that I was already doing but now I'm flying!
One shot NingXia Red + NingXia Nitro Tube + 1 drop of Peppermint Oil
I've been drinking NingXia for quite a few years now and I can honestly say this stuff changed my life. I used to be tired and sluggish and struggled with negative thoughts. Now that I think about it, it actually saved my life.
NingXia increases energy and general health. The natural occurring caffeine in NingXia Nitro and the added drop of Peppermint essential oil give me a huge energy boost right before my workout. (If you'd like to buy any of these products I recommend becoming a member with Young Living with the purchase of a premium starter kit, Peppermint and NingXia Red are already a part of this kit. Afterwards you may choose to order other nutritional supplements like the ones I use at a discount of 24% off, no minimums to buy, ever.)
Fitness Essential Oil
I apply this oil to my wrists and back of my neck right before I leave the door. Its energizing, uplifting, and helps to keep me cool. I say an affirmation as I apply it: "I am fit, healthy, disciplined, and strong."