It’s Never Too Late to Start Running

By Jess M., Garmin Ambassador
Featured image: Lucie Wicker Photography

I often hear people say that they never were or never could be a runner.  I beg to differ!  I didn’t grow up liking running or was I any good at it.  I had a short stint running track in the eighth grade, but I quickly realized it wasn’t for me, and I quit to play volleyball.  I thought I’d play club volleyball in college, but I ended up doing some light lifting at the gym.  If you asked me back in college if I would ever imagine running a marathon, I would have seriously laughed in your face.

After attending Boston University, I got a job in the city and was looking for a hobby.  After watching the Boston Marathon every year, I was surprisingly (but in retrospect … not surprisingly) inspired to try to run it one day.  I got my hands on Hal Higdon’s Marathon book, and after finishing it, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon in 2009. My fiancé, Dave, (boyfriend at the time) had college friends out in Chicago who had also signed up for the marathon, and we were going to make a race-cation out of it!

I did my training with a simple sports watch that just tracked my running time.  I had my eyes on a Garmin wearable, but I didn’t know how serious I’d be with running, so I didn’t yet invest in a Garmin.  One day, though, I came home from a run and Dave had a surprise present for me — you guessed it: a Garmin Forerunner 405!  As silly as it sounds, that watch helped me stay motivated during my training.  When I would run those 20-milers (when I doubted that I could run the additional 6.2 miles) I remembered that my boyfriend believed in me, and I couldn’t let him down.

I still remember the feeling of pure joy as I crossed the finish line.  I put in so much hard work and determination throughout training, and it felt incredible to complete a challenge I never thought I’d even be interested in completing.  I also couldn’t believe that I was a minute short of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined I could have qualified for Boston, but I was so close. This meant I simply HAD to run another marathon.  Since then, I have completed seven more, including 2 Bostons and 5 Boston-qualifyings.

Now, 32 years old and wearing my fēnix 5S Plus, I’ve learned a lot from my days as that young high school girl who despised running.  Running has taught me a lot of life lessons: to never write something off, keep an open mind and believe in yourself.  You might not think that you’ll enjoy something, but you may love it.

How did you find your sport?  Was it something you always loved or something you fell in love with? Share with us in the comments below.