10 Women Share How They Learned to Love Running

Not everyone experiences love at first jog.

Running can be an acquired taste. For some, clocking a couple of miles is the best part of the day, while others really struggle through those miles. But like dry wine and stinky cheese, once you try it a few times, you might find that running is actually a real treat. We asked Women’s Health‘s Facebook followers how they went from dreading a run to actually being pumped to hit the road. Prepare to be inspired to lace up.

“I started running to prove to myself that I could finish something that I started. Crossing that finish line after training for my first 5-K changed my life. I haven’t looked back!” –Linda T.

“I bought a treadmill with the expectation that running would be easy, and I quickly found out that it wasn’t. So instead of running, I just started walking as fast as I could and experimented with different inclines. Eventually, 20 minutes of walking turned into 40 minutes over a month. One day I thought, ‘Let’s speed this thing up and try running.’ I surprised myself and ran over three miles. After that, I was hooked. I started running two miles a day, and now I’m able to run 6.2 miles.” –Leilani L.

MORE: Can You Use the Treadmill to Train for a Race?

“Running felt like a chore until I went to Europe with my family. My dad runs a lot, and we ended up jogging through all these amazing parks and beautiful areas of London, Edinburgh, and Paris. It opened my eyes to how fun running can be and that you don’t have to run a long distance or push yourself too hard to have a good time. Since then, I’ve completed a half-marathon and run all the time because I want to!” –Rachel O.

“I love how I can feel myself get stronger and faster after each run. That’s what got me hooked.” –Jallyce B.

“I cheered on runners at the Chicago Marathon and found myself getting goose bumps and tearing up as people crossed the finish line. I decided I wanted to run. When I started, I was out of breath after the first block, but I kept pushing myself. Over the next few years, I completed many 5-K races. I just finished my first half-marathon four minutes under the goal I set for myself.” –Betsy E.

“I learned to love running by treating it as ‘me time.’ I can clear my head, listen to music, and just enjoy the great outdoors.” –Christine D.

MORE: 3 Steps to Become a Runner

“One of my friends ran a half-marathon a few years ago and convinced me to train with her for the next 13.1-mile race. Once I started training, I fell in love with the way running made me feel! I had never felt so powerful or strong!” –Gabrielle G.

“When I was in the Army, I had to run three to four miles three times a week. I hated it! Everyone was super-fast, and I was always falling behind. After I was finished with the military, I started running with music and at my own pace. I’ve grown to appreciate it, and this past Sunday, I ran my second half-marathon! It’s still hard for me to think of myself as a runner because I am not fast, but I’m slowly beginning to realize that I am one—I’m proud of that.” –Melissa T.

“I hated running growing up, but when my mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I realized how unhealthy I was. I decided to try running to get in shape. Though it took a while to truly love it, today it’s my favorite way to de-stress. Now, I’m training for my fourth half-marathon!” –Ashley T.

“It might sound cliché or cheesy, but understanding that running is an ongoing journey rather than a chore made me enjoy running more. Cute workout gear helps, too.” –Tarra C.

MORE: 25 Signs You’re Crazy About Running

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