Back when I was a youth I always entered into my school's cross country events and I always did alright. Never first place but always second or third and off to zone. However, once I hit high school it all stopped.
I was an active person throughout my teens and twenties, always swimming and riding bike, despite being diagnosed with Rheumatoid. But things got a little more serious in my mid-twenties when I purchased my first road bike. I loved swimming and riding and it was my way of keeping fit. Six weeks after having my second daughter I decided to enter a short distance "try a tri" triathlon. The run leg was a very short - 3km and despite having some fitness from swimming and riding, I couldn't even make it the whole way. That is when I decided "Right if I'm going to do triathlons, I have to learn to run". So I started with the good old walk/run plan. Running 1km almost killed me but I kept pushing on.
Every time I went for a run I would try and increase the distance of my run and then walk the rest. For example, run 1.5km then walk the 500m, then run again for as far as I could, usually by that stage only 1km, then walk again. I tried to run/walk at least 2 times a week. I slowly built my running up and before I knew it I was running non-stop for 3kms. I kept running this distance for a few weeks about 3 times a week. Once I felt like it was getting easier I would add on another 500 metres each run. Before I knew it I was up to the 5km mark, parkrun ready! So I took myself off to Parramatta Parkrun and ran like I'd never run before. 5km done in 30min 20secs. I was beyond stoked. It probably took me approximately 3 months from walk/run to running 5kms and a pace which I was pretty proud of.
Soon after that I realised a friend of mine was a runner and she convinced me to come running with her. I was so nervous but thought hey, I need to push myself and do this! Yes I was slow and she was always in front of me by a good distance but if it wasn't for my running buddy I would never have increased my pace and distances.
Having rheumatoid and being a bit overweight in the beginning I would never have thought I could run 5km, or 10km, or a half marathon or a full marathon. But this Mum of two with rheumatoid is now a runner. It has taken me a long time to call myself this. I wouldn't say I am a fast runner but I run and that's the important thing.
My fastest 5km was back in 2015, at 26m55s. 10km was 58m again back in 2015. I haven't been able to get back to those times lately and certainly need some motivation but I will get there again. My fastest half marathon was 2hr10min and my one and only marathon (so far) was 5hr14m. I think back to 2012 when I couldn't run 1km and if someone would have said to me one day you will run a marathon, I would have laughed at them and told them they were dreaming. But I did. Me, the girl who wasn't a runner. So if I can do it then so can you.
So my tips:-
You'll get the bug and then you'll be a runner!