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failed at being a runner before i've even begun

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Old 10-23-2006, 01:19 PM   #1
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Hi guys. I went to the track and field centre at my school today with the idea that I was gonna start the couch-to-5k running program. I went in there the other day to look around and thought I could convince myself I could handle it... but when I got in there today, I just couldn't do it. The place was full of athletes practicing, even more than last time. I felt like such a loser even standing in the same building with them. No way could I jog/walk around that track knowing that they were all watching me, thinking about how they're looking at that fat girl trying to run. I feel so let down because I really want to do this, but that's the only place around here that I could practice this winter and I don't think I can go back there.
Do any of you guys run outside in the winter? It's not something I really want to do but I don't know.. maybe I could.
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:25 PM   #2
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Well, chances are, everyone's too busy with their own workout to stand around judging. But even if what you fear comes true, so what? Don't let the random idiots of the world stand between you and your goals. You have many reasons to be proud. You've come a long way already and are motivated to try something new.

Go for it, knowing you have a supportive group right there with you in spirit!
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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Another idea is to ask one of the athletes for advice. Many people will give you a lot of credit for trying something new. Sure, there may be some jerks there, but I'm willing to bet that all of those athletes had to start sometime, and some place. If word gets out about what you're trying to accomplish, you could meet some interesting people, and get tips and support in addition. As for the jerks, once they realize that no matter what they say, you're not going to quit, and that they don't matter to you, then they won't be so entertained and will move on.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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Some of these "atheletes" may have been in the same place you are at a while back. I wouldn't let them bother me. When they see that you are there consistently all they will think is "she's really working hard to improve her health". Before long, you will just be part of the group. Don't let anyone else or anything hold you back from what you need to do for yourself.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I know what you're saying is true but it's different when I'm standing there. I'm still trying to think of an alternative. It's not really about them, I doubt they would say anything, it's about me and where my head is.
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:12 PM   #6
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Please go and give it another try. Really, you must do this. Plug in some music, ignore anyone around you who seems to be giving off unfriendly vibes and get the run you came for.

Really though if they are serious runners, they will respect you for being there on a regular basis and maybe even offer support as you become an accomplished runner too. GO GO GO GO.

Also, go get fitted for the best shoes for your gait and DO NOT push yourself too hard. Bad things happen when you do too much too soon, run too fast, too far, for too long. C25K is a good outline plan. Just make sure you listen to your body during each run for any signs of "bad pain." (If you are already savvy enough to know about C25K then you probably already know all of this so I'll stop.)

Good luck! I hope you have a great first run!
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:09 PM   #7
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I know what you mean.

When I first started running, I went to the local h.s. track and the FOOTBALL team was practicing.

I chickened out.

I went back. I didn't chicken out. I ran the straights and walked the curves. Over and over again.

I just finished my first half-marathon. Ran the whole 13.1 mile distance.

If I can do it, ANYONE can do it.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:58 AM   #8
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I don't know if I can go back at this point.... I feel stupid for insisting on this when you guys are obviously right, I should go back there.... but I don't want exercise to be this intimidating thing for me, it just sucks. I'm thinking about just using the treadmill at the gym instead for a while.. until I feel more comfortable about running maybe, I don't know. I know it's not the same as real running in some ways but it does train you aerobically. Would it be a total cop-out if I followed the C25K program using a treadmill?
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:35 AM   #9
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That's not a cop out at all - I started running on the treadmill, up to and past doing my first 10k.

I mainly run outside now that I have more confidence, and I've started to find the treadmill boring, but there's nothing wrong with starting there if it makes you feel more comfortable.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:39 AM   #10
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Gez I don't blame you for chickening out! Not too sure if would have continued as planned either! I'm on my last week on C25k all done on a gym treadmill...I've never ran outside. C25K is perfectly doable on a treadmill so my advice is do that if you feel more comfortable.
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:31 AM   #11
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Hi Futuresurferchick,

Using a treadmill is not a cop out at all. That's how I started too. In fact, with winter around the corner I think it's a great option. No black ice to deal with. If your interest is in running outdoors make it your plan to acclimate to outdoor running this spring. By then you will have a good foundation in place for the challenges of outdoor running.

Since you also have access to a gym, don't forget to do some strength training as well. Make sure that your quads, hamstrings and abs become well conditioned to help support the impact that running has on your bones/framework.

Best of luck and have fun!
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:35 AM   #12
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futuresurferchick: I agree with everyone here depending first on what you feel comfortable to do. (But, don't let anyone sway you from your healthy choices!)

If you want to do the treadmill, many have done the C25K this way. This may work for you until you gain your confidence and will keep you out of the cold weather, as well.

If you want to try the track again now or at a later time, then I agree that most people out there are not paying attention, and if they are they're probably glad you're out there doing your thing. I graduated from the C25K just a couple of months ago and I have picked up encouragement from the more experienced runners then and even now. And like a circle, I now like to encourage those that I know are just beginning. I think the majority of people in this world are nice and thoughtful down deep, maybe just a little uncomfortable to "meet strangers". But you keep coming around and I'm sure they will open up with suggestions and encouragement.

If you want to try outside, then dress for conditions and go for it. Above all, I will restate what Lydia has said - make sure that you have a good pair of running shoes and be safe. You will probably experience discomfort, but NEVER pain!!

I have learned more about myself from running, and have found that running is a continual experience to learn from. Enjoy it!
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:05 AM   #13
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You're right the treadmill will hold a different experience than track or road running. But, I have heard that an incline will help to closely resemble outside running. Also, the treadmill will be easier on your ankles as it will give some, where asphalt will not. So while it may be a different experience, it may not be a bad one.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:17 AM   #14
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I completely understand where you're coming from. In the past, when I tried to run or jog a little, I'd always stop when I saw a car coming because I couldn't stand the thought of someone seeing me run. I'm just now getting to the point where I can jog through my neighborhood without caring what anyone thinks. I don't jog on the treadmill at the gym because I'm still concerned about what I look like there. I know it's stupid, but I always see my students and their parents there, and it's hard enough to have them talking to me about their grades while I'm sweating and panting!!

I'd also love to use the track at my school (my husband is even a track coach there, so it's not like I wouldn't always have access!) but I'm too embarrassed to run in front of my students. It may be silly, but it's the way I feel. So I feel your pain!! But if you feel comfortable running inside on a treadmill, you should definitely do that!

I plan on jogging through my neighborhood tonight and not caring at all what anyone thinks!! Eventually I'll be able to do that anywhere!
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:31 AM   #15
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I agree with everyone's advice. I think focus on you, strike up a conversation with one of them if you want, but just worry about you and try it out! Don't worry about anything else.
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