You wanna run? THEN RUN! But be smart.


Don’t be embarrassed as you embark on your plan to fitness.

I know, I know…you see the “skinnies” and the “Fitness Guru’s” out there and you think, “I look so out of shape. People will laugh or look.”

But they won’t laugh and if they do, tell ’em to stick it and get over it. Don’t let someone that has no interest in your well-being make decisions for you. You’re above that. Look at you! You’re moving and out and trying your best. You are doing great!

I read a quote from “The Complete Book of Begnning Running” by Amby Burfoot (A book I highly recommend) and it goes like this:

“The last place runner gets the biggest cheer. And deserves it. After all, he or she has been running longer than anyone else in the race. We like the way spectators and other runners applaud the backof-the-packers.”

I love that. What wise words, the last place runner has run the LONGEST race! Look at it that way and you will see that there is no contest when it comes to your own running record. Just improve on your own personal bests and also take time for those easy runs that alternate after your hardest workout days. Take a break when you hurt or you feel you are on the verge of injury. Back off and go by the simple plan of running again when YOU feel you can. You don’t need a five mile run every day. Sometimes you need just a mile or two. Alternate days of heavy runs with days of core training and working on your arms and abs. You are an entire person, take time to work out all you’ve got.

It is perfectly fine to miss a day here and there and even a week if you are unable to run. Eat right, make good choices and try to get in mini walks when you can, avoid the close parking spaces at the mall and grocery. Take the dog for a walk or just work out with handweights while watching television at night. Move something. Move anything MORE, it all makes a difference and it all adds up.

While you are trying and getting out there whether you are slow or out of breath from just walking, hold your head up and stand straight and keep on moving. The people that may mock are probably members of the 2/3 of Americans that rarely leave their couch and don’t exercise at all or they belong to the 95% of Americans that can’t run a mile without stopping…So you may be slow…You still rise to the top.

Start out easy.

Walk for one minute, then a light jog or run for 30 seconds, keep this up until you are ready to move to 45/45. What I started out doing was a run outside on occasion and I ran the distance of one lamp post to the next and then walked for two lengths of the same.  I kept this up until I wanted to run one, walk one, run one, walk one for 2 miles. Now I am happy to report after interval training at 226 pounds I am running up to three lamp posts at a time and walking one and I actually did a full lap on the indoor track without stopping not one time but four times during my 2 mile walk/run.

Don’t expect to put on your new shoes and trip the light fantastic 2 miles without stopping. It just won’t happen and if it does you could damage your joints and muscles and keep yourself grounded before you even get out of the starting gate.

Interval training works. It prepares you and helps you lose weight or tone up in the weeks prior to your increased running time on the track or the road.

Headphones: Be smart. Don’t wear headphones if you are going to be around traffic or secluded areas that you may need to be using all your senses for safety. If you travel outside or around secluded areas, buy a phone strap you can wear on your body to keep your phone handy for emergencies and if you do run with headphones, keep only one ear in use.

Proper running direction: FACE the oncoming traffic, never run WITH traffic. You can’t see the cars coming. You can’t see a larger than life load hanging off the side of pick up trucks or wide mirrors. They can strike you and knock you into the road or into the revines of glass and trash or dangerous drop offs. Use common sense. Don’t run on high traffic roads and be smart when choosing areas that are secluded as well. If you don’t feel comfortable. Choose another route.

CONCRETE KILLS your feet. If you are running avoid sidewalks and concrete surfaces, they give no shock absorption they are misery in the making. When you run you exert up to three times your weight in force to your feet. Those precious feet that need protection that provide your transportation. Be good to them.

Pain and pre-injury stiffness:If you notice your shins and legs seem extra tired, do easy stretching before hand, and warm up with a light brisk walk and then stretch gently again. Begin on a mulch path or the asphalt road. These are much better alternatives when you are running or walking. If you have a road in your area that is rarely used, try to run in the center, that area is the flattest and most even, but only in places where there is no traffic and do not wear headphones if you are going to use this area. Sidewalks will ruin your run by creating pain and suffering.

 Avoid concrete.

Most of all have fun.

Get out there, feel the freedom of your feet in movement, taking you where you want to go.

Hold your head high, breathe in the beauty of the world on your walk/runs whether you are indoors or out use your cool down and stretch as your “decompression” for the day. When you finish your run/walk, leave refreshed and relaxed and carry that great feeling with you the rest of the day. 🙂



About margie rigney

I'm a woman with too much to say to keep it to myself. Stop by for a virtual coffee break with me and refill your cup. Life is too short to worry too much and take it too seriously. Sometimes you just gotta laugh, even when it hurts.

One response

  1. I also keep repeating to myself…”Oprah ran. In a marathon even! Surely I can run for myself at my own pace. If Oprah can do it, I can.”