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A Runner: I’m not a real one…….but I pretend.


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Remember how I get bored easily with doing the same workout over and over?  I need a goal or a class or a workout buddy.  Something that keeps me motivated.  So, I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to start running again.  And sign up for a race to keep me on track.





Oh wait, wait, wait, don’t click away.  I’m not a natural born runner who’s going to say that running is the most invigorating way to clear my brain and firm up my body while I forget that my thighs are burning and my calves are like hot cakes on the griddle.  Yeah right.  I don’t actually fit into the runner mold either.  My body is not long and lean.  Oh wait, it’s long but far from lean.  But I look like I belong in the goalie box…….or something.  In fact, I have always HATED running.  And despised those dang mile runs in P.E. in grade/high school.  Uggh.  How embarrassing.


My husband and I met a marathon runner while living in Idaho about 3 years ago.  He was the real deal.  Super long and lean, endurance like an animal, and all the fancy watches/trackers to help him shave seconds off his time.  He told my husband one day that he used to be an overweight football coach.  He hated running and was pretty unhealthy.  But one day, he changed all that.  And then he began telling us what helped him and that if we would just work on a few tips, then we could run too.



I didn’t believe him.



But after a few times talking to him (serious runners are passionate about their sport and will talk to you about it every chance they can get), we kinda decided to give it a try.  And once I got the hang of it, I started running longer and longer without stopping.  I couldn’t believe that I was actually running.  I was hooked.  And at my peak (about 2 1/2 years ago), I went from barely running around the block to running a full 11 miles straight.  Yes, eleven.  My clunky high school self would have NEVER believed me had I told her that while she struggled to run that dumb mile test.  But let me tell you a secret.  I’m a clunky runner and pretty pokey.  And yeah, many of you could walk faster than I run but I still put-put right along.  Because it’s running.  And dang it, it’s good enough.



So thank you Mr. Albaugh, for teaching me everything I know about running.  (If you by some slight chance are reading this, your enthusiasm about running changed me.  You taught me how to NOT hate running.  And told me that even I could do it.  And you waiting at the finish line while my husband and I finished races, was so encouraging.  You’re an angel.  Thank you.)

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However, since that time, I have gotten out of the habit of running and then had another baby and then moved across the country twice, blah, blah, blah.  But just a few weeks ago I decided to start all over again.  I figured I’d have to start by running for a minute, walk for 5 minutes, run for a minute, walk for 5, etc.  Just like I did when I started.  However, my body remembered and those old running muscles must have kicked in because I ran for a good 20 minutes.  And it felt so good.




That’s when I remembered something really important.  Running is like 95% mental.  There are some techniques to running but your mind is a powerful thing.  It can discourage you in a snap and tell you that you’re too clunky, too overweight, too out of shape, too uncoordinated, etc…….and wow, I’m already feeling deflated just writing that.  But if you’ve ever seen that Biggest Loser show, you know that anyone and any sized person can run.  So if you want to, you could totally prove yourself wrong and become a runner.  (Unless you have some other medical reason why you shouldn’t.)  It’s slow going at first and you have to keep at it and train those muscles……but mostly you have to train your brain.  So I sat my self down the other day and said, “Ash, it’s time!  You need a running goal again.”



So I’m on my way, training for a 4 mile race right before Valentine’s Day.  (Yeah Erin, you better still be running that.  See you there!)



Do you want to know a few things that Mr. Albaugh taught me? 

(I know he wouldn’t care if I shared.  He always shared with everyone he knew.  Because he was cool like that.)

(And remember, these are only suggestions that I learned from my marathon runner friend.  He read the books, trained with other runners, etc.  And these are what worked for me……the non-runner type.  So use what you’d like.)



  • You need a new pair of shoes.  He would drill it into us that an old pair of shoes will cause injury and will make you run slower and make your body ache, and will frustrate you, etc.  I can’t tell you what a difference this has made for my knees and joints.  Well worth the money to buy a new pair.  Just be sure there is extra room by your toes. (I order a half-whole size up.)  You don’t want numb toes or cramped feet.  (My husband and I have both used many brands of running shoes…….our favorite by far has been the Asics Nimbus brand.  So light and airy and supportive.  But okay, they aren’t that pretty nor are they the bright teal/yellow color that I would like…..but the comfort is more important than how they look.)


  • Practice walking first.  He told us not to take lengthy sprinter strides……but to keep our steps short and right underneath our body. He also told us to put our heel down first and then roll to our toes as we walked.  Running/walking on your toes uses more energy and if you want to run for a long time, conserving energy is important.  So we walked around in circles, putting our heels down first and practiced a nice even gait, with a short stride.




  • Relax your hands, bend your elbows, and relax your shoulders.  Mr Albaugh explained to us again and again about conserving energy.  He taught us that clenching your fists, or pointing your thumbs up, shrugging your shoulders up by your ears, etc…….all uses extra energy.  So he told us to completely drop our hands and just let them hang off our arms.  And if you need to, just lightly touch your thumb and middle finger.  And then just bend your elbows and let your arms swing naturally as you run.  But just keep it relaxed.  This has really helped me to focus on my form.




  • Run on the road when possible.  The sidewalk is a lot harder than pavement so whenever possible, use the shoulder of the road.  This will help achy knees and joints.  (If I run on sidewalks, my knees always hurt.)  Also, try and run on a flat road.  This will keep your stride even and keep your muscles working evenly in both legs.  (Mr Albaugh would tell us that whenever he was running on a deserted road, he would run right down the middle.)




  • If you get tired, slow down your steps.  Slow way down if you have to but you don’t have to stop.  Just try slowing down first, see how you feel, then try going just a bit longer.
  • If you want to run faster, speed up your steps, not the length of your steps.
  • Warm-up and Cool-down.  Mr Albaugh told me to just walk for at least 5 minutes before and after your run.  That’s a good way to transition in and out of running.
  • Stretch.  You can really pull those muscles… give them a good stretch and lengthen them when you’re done.





A few other things that help me.


  • Make visual goals of how far to run. When I started out, I didn’t like looking at a clock.  I liked to pick a landmark on the road and run to it.  See that garbage can up ahead?  Run to it.  Then walk until the next one.  Then run until the one after that.  Then lengthen it and run for a bock, walk for a block, etc.  That always helped me when I was first starting.




  • Trick yourself mentally.  Tell yourself that you’re only going to run for 90 seconds (or for a block) and then take a break.  So run for those 90 seconds but then when you reach those 90 seconds, take note of your body.  You’re not going to die or pass out…….so push yourself for another 15 seconds.  And then rest.  I do this ALL THE TIME.  Now that I know I can run further, I say, “Okay Ash, I know you’re not in the mood to run.  So run for 15 minutes and that’s all.  Then you can be done for today.”  And then after the 15 minutes I say, “Okay, just do 5 more minutes.  No big deal.  You can do 5 more minutes.”  And then I keep going and running more and more.  That helps me every time to get started.  It’s kind of silly because I know I’m probably going to do it to myself.  But for some reason it gets me going.  Every.  Time.




  • Reward yourself.  Just like I mentioned in this post, I need rewards for meeting smaller goals.  Simple as that.




  • Sign up for a race.  I can say all I want that I just want to get back into running.  But there’s something about signing up for a race that actually makes me stick to it.  I keep running and training to get better at running.  Not necessarily to get faster……..just to get more comfortable at it before the big race day.  And it’s okay if you’re the absolute last one.  Who cares?
  • Music, music, music.  Sometimes I get a really motivating song on and all of the sudden my body is running on adrenaline and excitement.  It thrills me.  And moves me right along. 




  • Use a program.  If you’ve never run before but would really like to, I have heard excellent things about the couch to 5k program.  I was also looking for other free running apps on my phone and found one called c25kfree.  It actually talks to you and tells you when to run and when to walk and tells you how you’re doing for every single day you run (3 days a week).  I didn’t end up using it because I am already able to run a 5k but if I were starting from scratch…….I would have LOVED this app.  (You can also listen to music while it’s running in the background.)
  • It takes me about a mile to get warmed up.  Once I started getting better and better at running and knew that I could run more than a mile……..I would still have a hard time getting started.  But I realized that it took me about a mile to get into my groove and get comfortable and for my body to work out all the kinks.  After that, I could run on and on and on.  It shocked me to find out this was true.  But when I worked up to those 11 miles, I still had to just push through that first achy mile.  And then I was fine.




  • Stop caring what you look like while running.  I used to care.  And that would limit where I ran.  But I know I’m clunky and pretty slow and turn bright red in the face and look deathly while running up hill.  Ha….but I seriously don’t care anymore.  I’m doing this for me…….and that feels good.



I think that’s it.  Hopefully there are a few tips here that will help some of you.  And remember, most everyone can run.  So if you have ever said, “Hmmmm, running seems like good exercise but I hate running.  And would never be good at it.”…………you’re wrong.  Just give it a try and see how it goes.  You may end up surprising yourself like I did.


  (And you may still hate running……but will most likely fall in love with how it makes you feel.)



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And just so you know, I have been mixing up running, a little bit of aerobics, and some strength training directed by Alysa that has been kicking me in the butt.  Want to give that a try as well?  You should.  Mixing things up helps with bordeom and also tones a bigger variety of muscles.  Who doesn’t want that?!



Read all ‘Inpiration to Fitness’ related posts here.  There’s tons of inspiring articles from trainers and other bloggers who are trucking right along with me.



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Tami Grandi says:

    I found this post through a pin on pinterest- I LOVED this- I have just recently begun the running thing- in January and then had a rough spring (I’m a teacher) and started again a few weeks ago. I definitely needed to read this today!

  2. Anonymous says:

    great tips, maybe im not so bad after all……
    see wat i did there…motivation!

  3. Anonymous says:

    LOve the post. I recently started to pretend I could run too…I now have the runners high. I ran two 5k’s last year in the fall then ran all winter on the dreaded treadmill.Well just last Tuesday I ran three miles in 7 minutes less than I ran last year. I am so happy Thanks for your post. I also started with couch to 5K. It is great.

  4. Lori says:

    I love this post. I have never been a runner and have had a million reasons why I can’t be a runner. My NEW Year’s resolution was to train for a 5k. I am lucky that I have a couple of buddies that are working with me too. The YMCA is starting a couch to 5k in March. I WILL run a 5k this year. I may finish last but I will run. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. sarah says:

    i am a little jealous that it takes you only a mile to warm up. i know i am a very capable runner (i ran a half marathon with my husband and sister in law at the end of august last year) but running alone is so hard mentally. and i dont enjoy it till i hit the end of my 4th mile. by then, i feel warmed up and in a groove, but until then i wonder to myself why i would ever do this for fun. okay, maybe more than a little jealous. :)

    i am excited though to see more bloggers running. andrea at knitty bitties has mentioned running more, and of course, the girls at another mother runner are so encouraging, its nice to find runners in the crafty world too.

  6. Jillian says:

    I read this post when you first wrote it and you really got me set on running. I have never run, I mean not since Jr high I think. Over the last year i have lost 130 lb and suddenly feel like I want to run. I knew I would have to LEARN to do it. I am using your tips and ideas along with an app for my iPod, one of the couch 2 5 K programs to train me. I made it though the first week before the cold my family has had finally attacked me and put my running on hold (can’t breathe, can’t run). Hopefully I will be back at it next week. I also posted your blog on my Facebook for a friend who came on tonight saying that all of our friends who say its fun to run are liars, she is trying and having a hard time of it. Thanks a ton!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing the tips!! I really want to start running but have all the excuses not to. :) Plus, I have absolutely NO mental endurance. When you were talking about it I was like, “that’s totally me!!”. Haha

    Actually, my sister works for a relay company called Ragnar Relays. I really REALLY want to run one in the next year which means t need to get my feet moving and my buns in better shape so that I don’t end up walking the entire thing. :)

  8. Mary says:

    My husband also used to hate running, but then he discovered minimal footwear/barefoot running. From all that he and I have learned from that time, I agree with some of what you said. Relaxing unnecessary tension is a big help, and keeping your feet mostly under you too. However, we’ve learned that landing on your forefoot, or at least mid-foot actually helps your foot and arch act kind of like a spring to lesson the jar on your knees and other joints. And running with shoes that aren’t too supportive allows them to behave the way the would naturally. (Your Vibram Five Fingers are a great example of a shoe that would allow for more natural movement.)

    Anyway, good for you for keeping up with your goals! I’m glad you are feeling better!

  9. beth lehman says:

    great post and great ideas, here. I thought of them several times this morning while running in the early dawn/dark!

  10. kate says:

    Your tips are exactly what I learned some 12 years ago when I was training for my first marathon! Exactly! I did learn the “pretend you are holding a potato chip in your fingers” trick in college…But they are Perfect and I hope some readers follow your helpful info. I have run down the middle of lots of roads. And never sidewalks…hello shin splints! Ashley, this is a GREAT post!! Oh, and I too, are partial to the Asics (or New Balance).

  11. Wendy says:

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I used to run for Uncle Sam. I hated it. My ankles hated it. My knees hated it. My shins. Well, you get the idea. So now….I walk. Or try to. Your tips are right on. Run/walk to a known point. Then run or walk to the next one. That’s how I survived ROTC and later on.

    The winters in New England are terrible, but this one’s been better than most. My husband used to love running (Uncle Sam made him run, too.) and is now my walking buddy. We know we need to do more. I adore my Wii Fit and my Wii Zumba. Watching those little guys on tv is just fun! And when I work with them, that’s even better! :) Our oldest son is a runner although he’s been down with a back injury. He’s trying to get us ready for a 5K in the spring. Not sure we’d run it but the idea of a long walk doesn’t sound too bad.

    Thanks for the inspiration to “get out there” and do more. Let’s all do this together!!!

  12. Abby says:

    Thanks for this post…I ran my first mile this morning in over a year! It felt great! I’m not athletic, but use to run all the time…everything you said is right on! I would add though, if you are heavier up top, spend the money and get a great sports bra. It will make you feel so much better about running. Thanks again for a great post.

  13. Heather D says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m in horrible shape and very overweight. I have been going to the gym for about a month in an attempt to get my body fit enough to get pregnant. I love the treadmill. My go-to album is by David Guetta. It’s upbeat and has the perfect beat. The song I play when I think I can’t go one more step is called “I’m a machine.” It gives me an amazing rush!

  14. Tanya says:

    Right on time! I’ve been talking about it, now, it’s time to put rubber to road.(or in my case, rubber to rubber, it’s pretty darn cold in Northern Ontario Canada right now)
    I read everybody’s comments and it’s nice to see I am not alone. I can do this, yest I can!
    Best of luck to everybody.

  15. Sarah says:

    Great tips! I was a “competitive” runner in high school and kept it up until now, when I have 2 kids and full-time job. Time is really the most difficult thing to master for running, in my opinion. The really great news is that muscle memory for running is quite long! Any time I put it down and come back a few months later, the muscles get back in the groove quickly. Hopefully, that will encourage other trying to get back into it.

    A couple more tips from a former runner ;)
    1 – Keep your shoulders down and back. Roll them up to your ears and around and down – then keep them there. When you start to get tired, it is easy to tense up your neck and shoulders and get sore.
    2 – Pretend you are carrying a roll of quarters loosely in your hands. Arms can be down or elbows at 90 degrees with an up-down motion to your hands or a chug-chug like a train motion. Bending the arms can help you pick up speed for a great finish!

  16. Darlene Staley says:

    Thanks for the timely tips. I always say “I wish I could run, I want to be a runner”…and then it is said, If you want something, then you just have to go for it! Thanks for the reminder.

  17. Tara says:

    I just had to pop by and say that I used the C25K and I loved it! I didn’t quite finish the program beacuse of but as it’s a new year I will be using it again when I get back into running next week.
    I went from barely being about to joggle (like jogging, but slower with more wobbly bits) for 60 seconds to running 5km in about 9 weeks. (The full program is 12 weeks).

    If you have an iPhone/iPod etc get the app and just start. It’s great!

  18. Holly says:

    I totally agree! I followed all those steps (mostly by trial and error) and in 1 year went from running nothing, to running a half marathon!!

  19. Kelli says:

    I love how you described yourself as a pretend runner because that is what I always say too. But I had a friend (who runs marathons) tell me once it doesn’t matter how far you run or how fast you run, getting out and running makes you a runner. I started C25K last April and have finished it 3 times since. The second time I did it to reinforce my endurance and techniques and the last time was to increase my speed. I am incredibly slow when I run and I incorporated some sprints to the runs to push my endurance and speed. I am starting the Bridge to 10K app next week. My goal is to run in the Disney half-marathon next year.

    1. Anonymous says:

      If you want to do the Disneyland half, in September, sign up NOW! I picked up my tinker bell half packet yesterday (race is on Sunday) and the Disneyland half is already 50% full. It sells out very fast!

  20. Jennifer says:

    Perfect timing. I am not a runner. EVER. Just like you I hated the PE mile they made us run. (or walk in my case) but I figured it’s time to get in shape. I am just finishing the first week of the Couch to 5k. I learned that I need good shoes. (got them yesterday). I learned that my gate was all wrong, and had two days worth of “shin” splints on top of my feet as proof. But, I also learned, it’s not killing me. Yes, I’m sore. Yes, I am SORE! But, I’m not dead. I can actually finish, and I am so proud of myself. I can do this!

  21. Crystal says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!! Getting in shape is a goal for me this year, too. And I’ve been thinking about trying running, but I don’t like to run. But I keep thinking about it, and what a great stress reliever I think it would be, and good for me to boot. I even have been thinking about signing up for a race……but I don’t like to run. LOL
    I’m going to try every single one of your tips and see if they work for me! Thank you! Keep up the great work!

  22. Alysa (InspiredRD) says:

    These are some really great tips! Sounds like you are doing a great job getting back into running shape. Hope you are enjoying the strength workouts too!

  23. Tiffiny Felix says:

    Against my will ;) I trained for and ran my first 5k back in August (ran/walked and ended with a ridiculously long time) . I used to teach a group of teenage girls at church and they decided (when I wasn’t around) that they wanted to train for and run a 5k as a project. At first I told them to have a good time, and that I would wave to them from the sidelines. Then I started to feel guilty…”I’m their adviser…I should *at least* try….” I learned the hard way about proper form and the need for properly fitted shoes and inserts (after ending up in physical therapy and a foot Dr.s office), but I couldn’t have been more surprised when I realized I was actually enjoying running! Craziness of craziness! I’m going to do another 5k in May and I can’t wait. I hope to run the whole thing, and while I still won’t be fast by any measure, that alone can’t help but improve my time :)

  24. Alesha says:

    Thanks for the post! I love running, but finding the time to do it is what gets me. You motivated me though. I do feel great when I’m doing it!

  25. Brooke says:

    Oh my heavens!! I’m on week 4 of the couch to 5k training plan (and am actually blogging about how I’m doing…). I’m the same–always dreaded running, but I had my first baby last year and still want to lose five or ten pounds so I needed something!! I’m just starting to feel good when I’m running and it’s so exciting! I needed a boost to keep me motivated. Thanks!

  26. Kristen says:

    thank you so much for this. I need to get myself out there and do something.

  27. Mika says:

    Thank you so much for a very inspiring and helpful post! I too have always thought I have hated running, but after reading your post, I’m hopeful that maybe I will come to enjoy it one day. Hoping to try the couch to 5K plan once I’m not nursing full-time!

  28. Caitlin says:

    Thanks for this post! I love the tips, but mostly how you feel about your own running. I used to be a runner in high school, but after getting married & having two kids I really haven’t done much exercising at all. I recently decided to start running again, just so I can lose that extra baby weight. I bought myself a double jogging stroller so I can run during the day with my girls, and I’m going to sign up for a 5k (maybe a 10k) soon so that I have a specific goal (deadline) to train for. I really appreciate your tips & advice! Thanks!

  29. Gina says:

    Very encouraging. I actually LOVE to run… but I’m not good at it. At all. And since I haven’t run in MONTHS, I’ve been too intimidated to get back out there. Now I just might have to hit the road again! Thanks!

  30. Carol says:

    Ok, you’ve inspired me. I’m downloading the app to my phone. Wish me luck! I need to lose some weight before my daughters wedding in May. Slimmer me, here I come!

  31. Ann says:

    I’m another pretend runner here, with exercise induced asthma too. I’m trying to stay healthy and show my son (just diagnosed with EIA this summer) that we can still be active. Some days are hard, some are harder. Today was one of those “harder” days. But I’m going to keep (slowly) running. Your post was very encouraging. :)

  32. Rachelle says:

    I hate running too. But I hate being out of shape more. In November, right before my baby turned 1 1/2, I started the couch to 5K program and it’s awesome. It’s totally changed my mind about running and I think there are a lot of people out there who hated running in school that have stumbled into it as adults. There’s got to be some new way to teach kids to run that will get them to love it!

  33. Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life says:

    Thank you for this post. I really do hate running. Both my brothers are runners, but I have always despised it. I know it can be so good for you and really helps to lose weight/keep weight off. You have inspired me to give it a try. Thanks! Now to find the time with two small kids and no jogging stroller.

  34. Kimberly Grafton says:

    Thanks for the tips. Just a few days ago I wrote a post on my blog ( about my new years resolutions (a little late, I know) and one of my resolutions is to run a 5K this year. I am NOT a runner, I’ve always hated it, but I figure it will help me get into better shape and loose some weight while giving me a deadline to work toward. I downloaded the couch to 5k program app a couple of days ago and between that and your tips, I’m actually excited to start training!

  35. Merideth says:

    I’ve been reading your site for awhile now & love all the cute things you make & inspire me to make, but this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to comment!

    I LOVE THIS POST!!! A year ago, I weighed 230 lbs after having my 3rd baby (I’m 5’3″). I couldn’t walk up the stairs in my house without getting winded, my knees ached, my back ached – I was a mess. I’ve NEVER been athletic. At. All. At the encouragement of one of my BFF’s, I joined a Couch to 5K class offered through our parks & rec dept. I NEVER ran before. Always said I would only run if someone was chasing me (though who I thought I could outrun at 230 lbs, I don’t know). That first class was only a 20 minute workout. Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute. I thought I was going to die. I vowed that I hated my best friend, hated running. But, I’m not a quitter, not anymore & I was determined to stick with it.

    A year later, I’ve now run 3 5k’s, improved my time from a 14:50 pace to a 12:30 pace, competed in a triathalon, lost almost 50 lbs so far and am training for my first 1/2 marathon.

    So believe me when I say ANYONE can do this. I read somewhere that the hardest step for any runner (beginner, novice or seasoned) is the first one out the door.

  36. Laura says:

    Thank you for this post! I come from a family of runners, but stopped running after a bad experience in elementary school gym class. I have been trying to change that. A few years ago I had gotten up to 3 miles. Then pregnancy ended my running streak. I tried and tried to get back to running after having the baby, but something always threw me off track. Two years later, I finally signed up for a 5K. This post has come at just the right time. Thank you for all these useful tips!

  37. Sarah Lou says:

    perfect timing. My wonderful friend conned me into a quite major fun run here in sydney in september – city to surf. And im just about to start my running training. Some how I think ill be a pretend runner as well, but what ever gets me out – works for me!

    The only place I normally run – is away from my 4 kids for a minute of peace – if i get good those suckers will never find me!!

  38. Tiffany says:

    I’m a pretend runner too. and whenever I’m out there runny my slower then slow miles I think hey at least I’m going faster than those people sitting on their couches. or at least i’m out here running and not sitting on my bum in one of those cars. that always keeps me going. and I am the same with that first mile. the first mile is AWFUL, but if i mentally push through it then next few feel great!

  39. Whitney says:

    I have recently taken up running as well… I have always liked the *idea* of running, but I hated actually running. I bought the book “Run Your Butt Off” and it teaches you how to start running slowly. I recommend it for anyone who is out of shape who wants to start running.

    And thanks for all these tips, they are great!

  40. les says:

    I never was a runner before either. I hated it and I have a hole in my heart – so that was my excuse. But, after my first son was born, I walked with him all the time, and one day just decided to run – and ran 2 miles! I told my husband, who was/is and avid runner – and we ran a half marathon together. I still love it and now that I’m pregnant again and can’t run right now, I read your post with longing and a little jealousy. I miss it so much! Good job! Run some for me!

  41. Kara says:

    I first started running about 4 years ago after my 3rd baby was born, and really started to enjoy it, just as I got pregnant with my 4th, lol. He had some complications and I just never got back into it, and had baby #5, and started running after she was born. I was determined to get rid of baby weight that hadn’t gotten to come off between #4 and #5 in addition to some from baby #5. It was awesome. I was loving it. Now I’m pregnant with #6, and I was hoping to be one of those awesome people that ran while pregnant. I can’t do it, lol. I just contract and ache in my belly WAY to easily (and I’m only 14 weeks, so I can’t imagine what’d it be like later). This made me so excited to get started … like in the fall. :) I hope it goes well. Thanks for sharing your tips, they are great!

  42. Jessica Harwood says:

    When I was reading this post and you described a long, lean runner you had met that had given you so many wonderful tips, I immediately visualized someone in my head who was exactly like that. And then you said his name, and holy cow!, I know Mr. Albaugh! He was even the person I thought of! He used to be in my stake and he worked at the school where I student taught. And your post has inspired me. I have always been really bad at running but have, oddly, always wanted to like it or at least be able to do it without bursting a lung. So now I’m inspired and I think I’ll tell my hubby that I want to learn to run. He may faint dead on the spot. {Did you get any tips from Mr. Albaugh about what to do in the winter? ‘Cuz I surely can’t go running in the road with six inches of snow on it.} Thanks again! :D

  43. Natalie says:

    Ok, I totally do all those things! When I’m running outside, I pull the ol’ landmark trick. It definitely keeps me going! When I start to get tired on the treadmill, I say I’ll run the next minute before I walk, and when I get to that minute, I say I can go another 30 seconds and so on. Keeps me going much longer than I thought I’d be able to go! I make myself sign up for a race to keep me motivated, and I reward myself. It also helps to have the hubby’s support and encouragement :)

  44. shawnna says:

    Thank you for such an inspiring post. Can you share some favorite running songs with us?

  45. jesser says:

    I love running, but it took me years. I ran with my best friend in high school (he was in x-country and swimming, and swore it would help my swimming) and for various sports, but always thought of it more as punishment. After my daughter was born though, it became a necessity to get the baby weight off and model good behavior for her. I kept at it because I found some awesome girlfriends to run with. Now I run half marathons a few times a year! I run with my girlfriends once a week and make my other two training runs on my treadmill at home – it’s pretty much the only time I get to watch TV. I feel like I’m proof that anyone can do it.

  46. Mejia Mamma says:

    thank you so much for this inspiring, helpful post!! I literally (just yesterday) posted about my decision to train for & run in my first EVER marathon (half)… – I’m going to download that ‘couch25K’ app now!!!

  47. Becca @ Sweet Swan Songs says:

    My hubby and I started running last spring, and did the couch to 5k program to get us started. It worked great! We ran our first 5k in September and then stopped running pretty much for the winter. We’re just starting up again, and already able to go almost 3 miles without stopping. I NEVER pictured myself as a runner either, but it definitely grows on you! I really enjoy it now, and have toned up those post-baby muscles nice and tight. Maybe next fall I’ll do a half marathon? I’m thinking maybe so. Great tips and techniques- I especially like the ones on form- I always struggle with tensing up too easily in my shoulders while running.

  48. Kelly says:

    Running hurts my arthritic knee, but I’ve been trying to increase the speed of my power walks. I’m interested in some of your tips, including working on my heel-first steps, which I’ve been trying to work on already, but need to do better. I found most interesting the arm/hand positioning. That’s going to be hard for me to break, I have the fist clench and thumbs up thing down pat. LOL Thanks for the advice. I’m praying that one day I’m fast enough for walking timed races.

  49. Aimee Bryan says:

    Your title describes exactly what I have felt about myself for the last 3 1/2 years. As a matter of fact, I have told people that very thing…that I just pretend to be a runner. Now, I’m just going to “pretend” to run a marathon in June. I had always hated running as well. In elementary school I had asthma and so I always had a valid excuse not to run. Apparently I have grown out of that asthma though…and I’m so grateful. I’m kind of hooked. And I’ll just keep pretending :o)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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