FALLING IN LOVE (WITH RUNNING) - BY FEATURED GUEST BLOGGER JARON TUTTLE

...the trick is, I never gave up.
— Jaron Tuttle

“You like to run? For fun?

I hear this a lot, often times followed by a sigh and a comment such as, “I wish I could do that!”

Truth is, you can find a love for running. There was a long period in my life where I hated running. And I mean, loathed it. Even the thought of running left me nauseous, with an anxious pit in my stomach. In grade school, I would go to any lengths to avoid running the mile run, including faking an illness. In high school, I participated in team sports which involved some running, but I was too busy dribbling a basketball or hitting a softball to notice. It wasn’t until I moved into a neighborhood with no gym close by that I started wondering, how am I going to get my cardio in?

For a while, I would make excuses. “Well, I did a minute of jumping jacks today. I’m good!” or “I walked up a flight of stairs. My legs are killing me!” Which was better than nothing, but deep down, I knew I needed more.

Eventually, I couldn’t ignore the calls of the pavement. No more dodging glances towards the roadway, or smiling wistfully to a neighbor as they ran by. Even though running seemed so daunting, so impossible, my heart filled with hope.

Was it easy? Heck no! The first time I tried running I didn’t make it very far. I staggered home and collapsed on my couch. This is it, I’m going to die, I repeated over and over.

It took me a few days to try again, but the trick is, I never gave up.

My pace was slow and steady at first. I gave myself small goals to work towards, and once I’d achieved those, I set new ones. After time, I grew to love running. Yes, me – the one who used to hate it! I’ll never forget when I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon, exhausted and sore. I couldn’t stop smiling. My elation lasted for days and I never wanted it to stop.

The most rewarding experience for me is becoming a race pacer. At half marathons, I’ll hold up a sign showing the time I’ll cross the finish line, and those who have that goal will run with me. Over the last couple of years, I’ve helped many fellow runners and novices meet their race goals. Seeing their smiles as they cross the finish line brings me back to my very first half marathon, and I’m so grateful to be a part of their experience!

Hopefully by now I’ve encouraged you to at least try running (if you don’t already).

Jaron's running tips:

  1. Don’t give up! We all have off days. If you aren’t feeling it one day, try again the next.

  2. Wear good shoes. This is so important and worth the investment. You don’t want to sideline your progress by an injury that’s preventable.

  3. Ease into it. Follow a program such as Couch to 5k if you’ve never run before. When I started running, I used Hal Higdon’s online training. He provides guides for varying levels of fitness and incorporates cross training. Hal’s guides can be found here: http://www.halhigdon.com/

  4. Don’t push your body too hard too fast. Rest days are essential in helping your muscles recover.

  5. Set goals. Whether it’s running solid for 1 minute or the eventual marathon, setting goals keeps you accountable and focused.

  6. Last but not least, never forget that believing in yourself is half the battle. Believe you can, and you will. Good luck on all your running endeavors!

Jaron Tuttle is a member of the American Flyers Race Pacers, helping fellow runners achieve their race goals. An avid runner, she’s placed first overall in a number of local races. When she’s not running, she can be found reading, writing, or traveling the world.

Jaron Tuttle is a member of the American Flyers Race Pacers, helping fellow runners achieve their race goals. An avid runner, she’s placed first overall in a number of local races. When she’s not running, she can be found reading, writing, or traveling the world.

favorite songs RIGHT NOW:

  • “New Romantics” by Hands Like Houses
  • “Paris” by The Chainsmokers
  • “Follow You” by Bring Me The Horizon
  • “Word’s Don’t Come So Easily” by Lower Than Atlantis
  • “Wasted Time” by Keith Urban

Favorite inspirational quote:

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I could positively change the world I would: somehow instill in every single person how amazing and loved they are!

I am most proud of my ability to: achieve the goals I set. I never give up!

Follow jaron on Instagram at @jaretuttle