40 Something “Wanna Be Runner” Speaks Out

I am not a runner.  I have never been a runner or had the desire to become one…..
It all started when a friend of mine (for the last 30+ yrs) asked for people to join her for a 5k run to raise money for food shelves, this was Spring 2014.  This also happened to coincide with my adult son telling me I needed to find a hobby that wasn’t related to him or work.

Despite my aversion to running, I told my friend I would join her.  I didn’t want to look like a total idiot so I started the “Couch to 5k” training program.  I walked/ran my first 5k, had fun hanging with my friend and was some how talked into doing another.  This second 5k officially started it all.

Running - OSI Physical Therapy 2The Electric Run was held on a Friday night in June which also happened to be my 46th birthday.  Promptly after finishing this 5k, while enjoying a post race libation with my friend and my marathoner future sister in-law, I decided these 5k’s were kind of fun.  I got to hang out with friends and the energy of hundreds to thousands of other runner/walkers was a little infectious.  It was at that moment that I foolishly declared with the friend who started it all that I would commit to running 1  5k a month for the next year!    Woo-Hoo!!  This was going to be great!

I realized the next day what I had gotten myself into as we started registering for run after run.  It wasn’t enough for me to just show up for these things……if i was going to commit, I was truly going to commit and run, which meant I had to train.

My love of exercise includes, biking, Yoga, weight-lifting…..it does not and never has included running.

I discovered quickly that becoming a runner at 46 is not an easy task and required research and planning. The other thing I realized was that I was going to have to run in the cold.   Being a PTA and working with many active people including runners, I knew the basics of what I needed to do to get my body in “running” shape.  I spoke with my running work colleagues and friends for further advice and read a great book titled “Running and Walking for Women Over 40: The Road to Sanity and Vanity” by Katherine Switzer.   I have researched diet, clothing, etc.

My early arthritic knee determines when and when I don’t run so biking and elliptical fill the void.

I am happy to say that I am officially 1/2 through my goal of a 5k a month, completing 6 5ks so far and my running is slowly improving.

While I cannot admit to falling in love with or finding joy in running, we have developed a mutual tolerance for one another. It allows me to see my friends regularly, get the crazies out and stay healthy.

To my son who asked why I was doing so many 5k runs; You told me to find a hobby!!!
I have stuck to my goal and am happy to say that I have extended that goal into Oct of 2015!!


For those who have thought about starting running or any other exercise program, this is what I can offer you;

– First and foremost make sure you are healthy enough for exercise

– Work with a partner to help keep you motivated
– Seek help from your Physical Therapist or MD at the first sign of injury
– If running is your goal seek a running eval from a trained PT
-Start slow
– Set achievable goals and build on them
– Stick to a schedule
– Find an activity that you can enjoy
Most importantly HAVE FUN!!!!

– Jodi
sports injury

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