TEEN BEAT: Getting back into running

Teen Beat | Grace Fowler

I wouldn’t describe myself as a runner.

I have never been able to run long distances or sprint easily and I’m not a huge fan of it in general. However, tennis started recently and we haven’t been able to get out on the courts, so I have decided to get myself into shape.

When I lived in Colorado, there was a 10K run that my family and I did every year. When I was in eighth grade, after I did the race, I got really into running. I was able to run for like 30 to 35 minutes straight and feel great when I got home. I ran every day after school and cut sweets completely out of my diet. Unfortunately, this only lasted for about a month and then I caved in to an unhealthy diet and I stopped running.

I like to exercise, but I prefer things like doing crunches or going for a walk around the lake. Nothing that causes me to be dripping sweat or feel like my lungs have collapsed. Once tennis started this year, I realized how out of shape I really am and that I’m not going to get any better at tennis unless I get into shape.

This past week I wanted to see if I could run all the way around Baldwin Lake. It’s about two miles — give or take — and I can walk it pretty easily in 55 minutes. I thought, no big deal. If I pushed myself hard enough, I could run the whole thing without stopping. I was wrong.

I’d say I ran about 80 percent of the distance. Honestly, I was still kind of proud of myself because I can’t even remember the last time I went for a run. But that’s not where I want to be. I want to be able to run the lake without stopping and not pass out.

The hardest part is getting out there and getting yourself back into shape. It’s so much easier to stay at home and watch a movie with a bowl of ice cream. And trust me, I know this from personal experience. But exercising every day makes me much less stressed, it makes me want to eat healthier, and it makes me sleep better. Also, it gives me endorphins, which are something I cannot get from my favorite TV show.

You should try it. If not a run, then maybe a walk or a bike ride. I know it’s hard to motivate yourself but trust me when I say you’ll feel so accomplished after you’re done and you’ll have more energy to get you through your day.

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