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Amy
Do we have any runners here?

Why do you run?

How often do you run?

Advice for beginners?

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    I used to run -- I ran the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco twice and loved it so much. I'm old and fat now, but looking forward to getting back into it as soon as I am not living on the surface of the sun here in Phoenix.

    To answer your questions:

    I ran because it felt so good to challenge myself. I have always hated any kind of cardio, but running a measurable distance in a certain amount of time was a solid goal that I could aim for, reach and then try to exceed.

    I used to run every night, just as the sun was going down. Three and a half miles and I sprinted across intersections. On Sunday mornings, I got up at 5:00 a.m. and drove to Santa Monica from Woodland Hills where I ran with my personal trainer and his friends. I was the slowest, but they were all very encouraging and very kind. I highly recommend group running as long as everyone is allowed to run at their own pace.

    If you have never run before, the easiest way is to start slow. Walk ten paces, then jog ten paces. Decrease the walking steps and increase the running steps every day, or every other day. Then time yourself. Walk for 10 minutes and then run for 10 minutes. Keep going until you can run easily for at least 30 minutes. Also, if you do a Google search for "Couch to 5K" you will find excellent advice.

    What else? Find your own pace. My trainer wanted me to do 7-minute miles and while I did it once or twice, it wasn't fun. I was happy at a 9-minute mile, because I could keep it up for 5 miles.

    Also, this is a weird tip, but from the very first solo run I did -- without my trainer either chasing me or dragging me along by my hoodie -- I carried a water bottle. I was running in the middle of suburbia, so I often had to stop until it was safe to cross the street, and I would sip the water then.

    I also never wore headphones. Partly for safety, but also because the point of running, for me, was to be in touch with my body and to clear my mind. If I had music on, then I'd be zoning out and not really in my body and I didn't want that. Everyone is different, though, so I'd experiment.

    I'm sorry this was so long, and I hope that it helped.

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