Since I started running I have recruited three people into the fold. First one was my boyfriend. He was terrified to run, and it took a long time to convince him that he wouldn’t die. On our first run together we went to the park, and we did very short running intervals. Afterwards he was surprised by how easy it was, and told me he felt like he could run a lot more than that. I explained to him that this was the point, and that doing too much too soon is a reason why most people stop. He kept it up for a little while, until the day he decided to do too much too soon. We were running together, and he kept running ahead of me, saying, “I’m sorry, I just can’t run that slow.” I warned him a couple times, but eventually I told him to just go ahead and go. I watched him sprint away from me and eventually turn a corner. Then I slowly watched him get closer and closer to me again as he walked, gasping, and I ran at my steady pace up to and past him. He continued to try to sprint past me, only to have to walk shortly after. He puked at the end of that run, and I haven’t been able to coax him back out yet.
Lesson learned, and on to recruit number 2. My friend is a slightly overweight middle-aged man who decided to have a full blown mid-life crisis this past summer, complete with a new car and a spontaneous divorce. In his lifestyle makeover he decided he wanted to start running. We ran together one or two times a week through the summer and into the fall of this past year. He even ran a 5K, and I thought he might stick with it. I felt like running may help ground him a little. And then he met a girl. Bye bye running recruit number 2.
The third, my sister, I feel like has been a complete success. She doesn’t run big miles or everyday, but she runs consistently. She calls me and we talk about running. We run together whenever we see each other now, which I have to admit is really nice. I’m really close with my sister, and sharing running with her has been a great joy for me. She complains when she can’t get out for a run, which makes me believe she’s a long term runner. It’s gonna stick with her.
And now another one. My best friend has been dieting for awhile now, and has lost over 50 pounds. She has been walking, and a few months ago she started talking about running. She wants to run a half next year, and asked if I would do it with her. Um, YES!! (Mind you, this is before I knew I was pregnant, and thought I would already have one or two under my belt).
Last month was rough for me, and I was pretty sick for a few weeks. Needless to say, there wasn’t much running. I tried a few times, but it made me want to puke, or pee, or generally just nap on the side of the road. So I’ve been easing back into exercise, and I asked my friend to go with me a few times a week to help motivate me.
Fast forward to today. She texted me this morning to see if I wanted to go for a walk tonight. I was planning on a run today, so I asked her if we could do a little running. She was terrified, but reluctantly agreed after I told her it was time for her to get started. We met, and she was expecting to be covered in sweat and blood and be dying by the end. We ran some really easy intervals, and did about 3.5 miles. I felt great because it’s the first time I’ve been able to get in some running in a month. My friend did awesome, and she commented several times on how it was much easier than she expected. She asked if we could go again together next week! Now, if I can just keep her from puking…
I’m wondering what other people’s experiences have been recruiting others into running. Were you recruited by somebody else? What was helpful in getting you to stick with it?