Though I’ve been running off and on since my college days, I didn’t really consider myself a runner until the past two years. I was a person who ran, but I did it because it was an efficient way of keeping in shape, not out of any love for running.
Obviously, that’s changed a bit. No one who doesn’t at least like running signs up for a marathon, right?
So what changed? I’ve been trying to figure it out for a few years now, and I have a few thoughts.
- My location: Northern Virginia has amazing trails. D.C. has an awesome running culture and being around so many fit and competitive people has definitely helped! I am never short of safe, well-lit places to run and it has made all the difference. Right out my door are great roads and trails. Plus, it’s amazingly inspiring to run on the Mall and around the monuments!
- My overall fitness: It’s made a huge difference that I’m working so hard to gain muscle. I’m really working on eating well (those two cookies I had after lunch today excepted!) and moderate my alcohol intake. I’m not at my thinnest ever, but I am definitely feeling like I’m close to being the strongest I’ve ever been.
- Consistency: This is the biggie. I’ve made a huge effort to stay consistent with running and working out in general. It’s paid off – my runs all feel much, much easier than they did when I was running, sort of, kind of, a couple of times a month. Running at least three times a week for most of the past three months has made a huge difference, but even before that I was reaping the benefits of making sure I exercised regularly. My workouts are on my calendar, which makes it much easier to get them done.
- Races: I keep signing up for them, and they motivate me to keep working hard!