Exercise! - New to running - and about to give up

10-24-2009, 10:37 AM
So I'm new to running. It's very hard for me, it seems. It's pretty rough on my joints, and I seem to stop and walk every few minutes. I've been running about 1.5 miles two or so times per week.

What's disappointing to me is the people I encounter while running. I just stopped running and almost start crying on Thursday, when I turned around and saw a man was making fun of me by mimicking running. Sometimes I will hear people yell stuff from their cars. It's discouraging.

I canceled my membership to the local gym because I thought I could get good exercise this way. One of my friends majorly slimmed down by running, but I haven't been seeing the results.

I'm thinking about biting the bullet and just repurchasing my gym membership.

Mrs Snark
10-24-2009, 10:56 AM
I'm so sorry about the idiots you encountered that mocked you. That has happened to me in the past -- you've got to remember it isn't a reflection on you, it's a reflection of THEM, some people are just jerks.

When I first started running I could NOT run for even 1 solid minute. That's normal when you are new to running. It is best to ease into running with lots of walk/run intervals, just as you are doing. So don't think you are somehow failing by doing that. Over time, your cardio stamina will improve and you'll run for longer and longer intervals. In the meantime, it is good to go slowly and ease into the sport to give your joint/tendons etc. time to adjust to the motion.

I will say that in my experience, running alone will not cause weight loss -- weight loss comes from proper food/calorie management. I definitely credit running with a large part of my success because it gave me physical goals to strive for and an athletic identity. I want to eat right to fuel my runs! This helped me better control my food intake and choices.

However, if you are not enjoying running as a sport, I always think it is a good thing to try other activities. It is much easier to truly integrate regular exercise into your life when you are ENJOYING what you are doing!

10-24-2009, 11:00 AM
Thank so much for the encouragement. I'm glad to hear I'm not being mocked just because I look funny running!

I'm definitely trying to eat better, and looking at running as requiring better eating habits is a good idea.

I hate exercising in general, but the one thing I do enjoy about running is you get to be outside, you get to see different things (if you take different routes), and etc.

How often do you think I should run? How often did you run in the beginning?

Thanks again!

10-24-2009, 11:02 AM
Did you buy a good pair of running shoes? Get fitted at a running store?

I'd recommend looking at the C25k program, which will help structure you a bit.

10-24-2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks, nelie! This web site looks fantastic.

10-24-2009, 11:29 AM
Until last weekend, I had kind of forgot about the catcalls. I live in an apartment complex that backs up a nice/moderate housing developement both consisting of mostly professionals and families. This is the only area I run because I have my distance mapped out and since I started running in June, the only time anyone has every even commented was a guy that was really impressed I was running in the rain. Well, I ran at my mom and dad's last weekend, and my run took me into their downtown area. I heard constant people yelling from there cars. I just want to tell them to grow up...but I didn't, I just ignored them because they are just not worth it.

As far as not being able to run very far, I tried running in Februray when I got serious about losing weight. I could not run for the 60 seconds. My legs burned, I couldn't catch my breath...I HATED it. So I started with walking, I was really out of shape, and very overweight. With the combination of the two, running was just a little too ambitious. I walked for several months, increasing my speed, increasing my distance. In June, I was walking about 5 miles a day, 3 miles of that was at 4mph. I decided to try running one more time, even if I had to do that first week of the C25K program for a month, I wanted to give it a try. I did end up repeating I think week 5 and maybe week 7, but I now run 3 miles 3-4 days a week and it feel great. A year ago, I would have never imagined that not only would I be able to run 3 miles, but I really never thought I would enjoy it.

10-24-2009, 12:47 PM
Amanda, that's really inspiring. It seems like the majority of people I talk to about running have been doing it forever and they don't really remember what it was like to start out. Thanks for your story :)

10-24-2009, 05:04 PM
I started out running at the high school track. I could barely jog the straight parts and then walk the curves. It's okay to start slow. Stick with it.

I usually run first thing in the morning. The morons are all sleeping in I guess, cause I never get catcalls at that hour. I've experienced them other times and I just ignore them. Sometimes I learn later that someone who honked was someone I know....:)

10-24-2009, 06:16 PM
When I first started running everything hurt, everywhere, all the time, lungs wanted to pack up and leave town in protest, legs, if they weren't attached would have taken themselves AWOL.

I couldn't run far without having to stop and catch my breath but then again, it was to be expected!

What really helped me was just sheer stubborness in the begining. Yes, this hurts, and yes I look like an unko, but I AM going to run to that tree over there even if it kills me and then I AM going to run to the next one...and then the next one...etc etc

I actually really like seeing people who are obviously new runners out and about. I always have a smile and nod for them when I pass them.

There are idiots in the world. Everyone starts at the bottom, you wont be there long. Its amazing just how quickly you pick up when you put your mind to it. Your boddy will adjust to the impact and new movements. Muscles will strengthen and your lungs and heart will increase in their capacity. Never fear!

Good luck and good on you for taking up the fabulous sport of running!

10-24-2009, 07:11 PM

Lyria, how many times per week did you run in the beginning? How far did you go? I am definitely a new runner, and I always appreciate those encouraging nods!

10-24-2009, 07:13 PM
This is good timing.... I think. Last night I met with my boot camp instructor who is also a PT and he was showing me the proper way to run (it was on a treadmill last night). Let me give my disclaimer.... I am only relaying what he said.... not from my expericence b/c I am not a healthcare professional. He said first of all to only do intervals.... he is going to give me a chart to go by but he didn't have it with him last night. Secondly he said to make sure you watch your form watch your feet and make sure they are pointing straight. He said many runners do not do this and it is just asking for trouble. Even when I thought my feet were straight, he pointed out my right foot tends to point further out than left. Also make sure that your heel does not hit the ground first. Then he said make sure you hold your arms flexed and for you not to be tense..... he said you should be able to hold a butterfly by the wings (unharmed) with the amount of tension you have in your arms. Make sure that you push your arms out.... not swing them across your body. Also make sure you posture is like if air was shooting down on you, it would hit your neck/shoulder area.... not the top of your head. And make sure you are breathing through your belly..... almost like if you ever took choir like how you are taught to breathe.

In short..... I did this with him next to me..... without ever running any distance before..... I was able to run for 8 one minute intervals. I am a little sore in my BUTT and THIGHS this AM..... but my feet are great.

I hope this helps. Don't worry about what people think..... at the end of the day, do they pay your bills and do they have to live with you? If the answer is "NO" then they are not important enough to have an opinion (IMO).

10-24-2009, 08:04 PM
Great advice!!! I will try to be more cognizant of my form. I have heard that's important.

10-25-2009, 08:06 AM
I listen to music whenever I run, so I don't hear anyone saying anything! Just my own little world.

Or if you have a bicycle, try going to a park or someplace peaceful and starting out there... it might be less distracting.

But please, don't give up running! It's been HUGE in my weight loss efforts.

10-25-2009, 12:11 PM
I also started out at the high school track. It was May, so all I had to do was go on nights when there were no track meets happening. I liked it because I knew how far I had gone and the only other people there were other walkers/runners. One night I was laboriously jogging along to my C25K and I could see a couple little kids in their yard on the hill, yelling at me. I took off my headphones because I thought they were jeering and I was going to jeer back (very mature!) but no....they were cheering me on. "Keep going! You can do it!" It was very sweet (they were about 8 or 9 years old).

Once I got a little more confidence, I decided to hit the road and jog like a big girl. :) I decided that I couldn't worry about looking foolish because I wanted to become a runner and runners eventually go outside of the track. If people have made fun of me, I don't know it because I've got my headphones on and I ignore everything but the running and the music. That's just kind of the way it has to be for me; I'm tired of having my life defined by what other people think. I know that's easier said than done because feelings get hurt, especially when we're already feeling really bad about being overweight. But if you can ignore them, that's probably the best thing.

Don't let what other people think control what you do. Don't let them box you in and restrict your life.

10-25-2009, 07:39 PM
I definitely can't hear people, because I have to run with music too.. but this situation involve my seeing how the guy was mocking the way I ran. But I'm over it and ready to move on. :)

I live near a high school, and I'd like to try out their track. It would make my ankles feel better, I think.

10-25-2009, 08:53 PM
BLL - I think you will find that most runners here have either started with C25K or at least have gone through it at least once to improve speed/stamina. I'm on week 4 and I love it because it is structured and gives me the push I need to keep going until it's time to stop. I'd def check it out and join the C25K thread for support. There are podcasts that you can download that will tell you when to walk/run so you don't have to constantly be looking at your watch reminding you how much more you still have to run! Good Luck!

10-25-2009, 09:43 PM
Pathetic people feel better about their lazy butts if they make fun of people making better choices. :carrot:

10-25-2009, 10:57 PM
I get the hoots and hollers all the time. Sometimes it doesn't feel good when people make fun of me and other times it seems like these fools are trying to be supportive "You go girl! Work it!" etc. It has no baring on whether I go or not, but I do find that there is less of that going on at the track than on the streets.

I will say though that I am surprised that so many of you wear headphones while running. I see it's the cool thing to do however, I feel the need to be aware of my surroundings at all times. It makes me really nervous not to be in tune with what's going on around me in terms of my personal safety. Just a thought.

10-25-2009, 11:11 PM
Screw this guy! If you quit running, this loser wins.

10-26-2009, 05:12 PM
Sounds like you have gotten great advice already. Me -- I am more a walk/jog lol I have just hit 4.1 when I am jogging and I walk at 3.2/3.3 for 3 minutes and run for 1 lol if you call that running. Anyway -- just do your pace and what feels good for you.

I also don't hear what other say or if they do because I have my headphones on. I have learned though - this is about ME not what they think. Hang in there!

Shannon in ATL
10-26-2009, 05:52 PM
I will say though that I am surprised that so many of you wear headphones while running. I see it's the cool thing to do however, I feel the need to be aware of my surroundings at all times. It makes me really nervous not to be in tune with what's going on around me in terms of my personal safety. Just a thought.

I run in a local gated park, I keep one earphone in and the other out, keep the radio at a low volume. Even in a gated area with a pretty constant police and staff member presence I have to be able to hear people around me.

OP - don't give up. People are rude and insensitive, sometimes because they are insecure, sometimes because they are just plain mean. Don't let them shake you. They aren't worth it. :hug:

10-26-2009, 07:17 PM
I think someone else recommended walking. I think that's a good idea if you're having joint issues.
I don't believe in running myself because I get achy knees and hips.
You've got to find something that you can do for life.
Don't run because you feel like you should, do it because you enjoy it.

Best wishes :)