If I don’t start, I’m never going to finish. – The Shrinking Jeans of Christy


January 27, 2011 By Christy

Last year this time, I was getting ready to kick-off my training for the Rock n Roll San Diego 1/2 marathon with Team in Training. I was a newish runner, having never run more than 5 miles, and that was only once. I had never been injured, never suffered setbacks, and honestly I had never experienced that runners high.

It didn’t take long for me to experience all of those things. It was hard, but with the help of an amazing coach and the most supportive team, I made it to San Diego and crossed the finish line. Amazing.

I took a couple of months off after that race, and then started training for the Rock n Roll San Antonio 1/2 marathon. A car accident derailed all of that for me. I tried to continue training, but physically and mentally I just wasn’t there. I pretty much stopped running in November of 2010, except for a few jaunts here and there. It just never felt right, and so I didn’t do it.

Why didn’t it feel right? Was it because it was hard? Because I had lost my endurance and my strength? Maybe. While I was still busting my ass in bootcamp building strength in my core and body, I was not running. When I tried to run, I just didn’t enjoy myself.

I knew in the back of my mind what was holding me back. Mentally I was a 1/2 marathon finisher and I wanted to get out and run the distance. Easily. Without pain. Without struggle. I felt I had earned the right to be able to do that at will. But that’s not how it works. Sure, you can keep up a certain level of training by doing other things, but if you’re not running then you’re not running. When you start running after months off, you’re going to be starting back at square one. Maybe not C25K square one, but damn close. If you try to go out and act like a 1/2 marathon runner, you’re only going to disappoint yourself and you’ll probably end up injured from pushing too hard. Yadda-yadda-yadda.

You see, I know all of this. I do. But for some reason I just feel like it doesn’t apply to me. Yeah, I guess I’m a little arrogant like that.

Today I set all of that aside. Today I got out the running shoes, put on my headband, drug out the jogging stroller, and I hit the road. I ran like a beginner, and I was finally okay with it.

I realized that if I don’t start somewhere, then I’m just never going to start. And if I don’t start, I’m never going to finish.


During that run, I remembered what it felt like to get that high. I remembered why I loved running.

After that run, I vowed to keep running like a beginner until I’m not a beginner anymore. I will cross that finish line again. Soon.