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Starting a Running Program

Starting Running

My mom is a runner.

She turned me into one in the 2nd grade by signing me up for the running club at my elementary school. I was always running around playing games, but running for exercise gave me a focus for my energies. I ran in the morning with my chihuahua, Buffy. Buffy was skinny.

I wasn't. My family has been weight-conscious since I can remember. It seemed like every Monday morning wed start our new diet. And wed stick to it for at least an hour or two.

Later, when I would come home from high school, Mom would be teaching piano downstairs and couldnt see the horrible eating habits I'd taken up.  Foods not on the diet-of-the-week still lurked in the back of the pantry and became a fun after-school snack.

Then, like a good little girl, Id go running to burn off what I ate. Punish myself.

Gradually I ran less and continued the expansion until I changed the way I looked at exercise and eating. 18 years later.

What changed?

While shopping at a bookstore one night, I stared at the exercise section -- as usual. One book caught my attention -- How to Run Your First Marathon.

I remembered enjoying running when I was a kid, and I decided without a second thought to start training.

I read the book that night, mapped out my program and got so excited, I forgot about my weight issues. I didnt consider my 20 weeks of training a way to slim down -- my previous fixation with weight turned into a healthy passion for running.

Every day, I looked forward to the longer distance and the new experience of the run. I rarely took the same route and before long my favorite routes became my routine. The houses and streets around me became MY neighborhood.

Some days beach runs were therapeutic. Some days were hilly and exhausting. Other days I took it flat and slow.

Daily, I learned new little things about my body, like don't drink lots of water before the run and never...never drink milk before you run. Trust me!

I looked down one day and my plumpness had vanished.  Icing on the cake, so to speak. 20 weeks later I ran the Los Angeles Marathon in 4 hours 20 minutes.

I just run for fun now. Its the one time during my day I reserve for myself. Its not always easy, so now, I force myself to run. But Ive never regretted it.

Thanks Mom!

You don't have to run a marathon to enjoy the benefits of running.

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