How did YOU start running?

I’ve wanted to be a runner since I was a kid. When I was young (like 11 or 12?) I went with my dad a few times. Of course, his legs were a billion times longer than mine but I was just so awesome I kept up anyhow (thanks dad). We only did it a very few times but like during everything else we did he threw out bits of wisdom. It’s his fault I refuse to run on the sidewalk, cars be damned. He always said the sidewalk would kill my joints but that running in the street was better. Therefore, running in a street full of hot rodders and semis will always be my choice, over the sidewalk lined by nice, green grass. After all, you only get one set of knees, right?

The problem is that although I tried to start running plenty of times, I never lasted more than a week before my knees and shins would start screaming and I decided I will just never be able to run at all. Every time I gave it up I was really, really bummed but I didn’t have much of a choice, I just wasn’t built to run.

This last time I decided it was now or never. I started running almost two years ago, and this time I decided to try it a little different. Obviously I am still nothing like consistent but I did do two things right.

First, I started using the Couch to 5K program. It kept me from overdoing things and also kept me doing things. Good combo.

Second I decided that since I am one of those people who hates wasting money I’d go out and buy a good pair of running shoes. I went to an actual running shoe shop near where I work and they did a gait analysis and everything. The guy handed me three pairs of shoes, only one felt right. So I went home with a shiny new pair of Saucony running shoes and never looked back.

I really don’t know if it was the running plan, the shoes, or a combination of both but I haven’t had much more than a twinge of pain in my knees or shins since. I still don’t feel like a REAL runner, but I do feel like it’s possible if I actually put in the time.