If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be able to run 3.2 miles without stopping and without dying when I was done, and that I would pay to run in one of those silly 5k races that are always happening around town, I probably would have laughed at you. To be honest I'm not sure what happened, but on Saturday, I did exactly that.
There wasn't one single thing that made me start running for exercise, but just a weird combination of events that put me out on the road, in the cold, sometimes in the dark, jogging and/or speed walking three times a week.
#1) I felt bad. Not really unhealthy, but not healthy either. I don't know how to describe it, but I suspect a lot of moms with young kids feel it. Stiff, saggy, tired, etc. I wanted to feel better.
#2) I kept hearing or reading of people in my circles doing the Couch-to-5k program and it didn't seem horrible. Which was weird, because since my Air Force days I had actually grown to hate running for PT.
#3) It was the new year, and that's always a good time to start something.
#4) I had a good friend willing to run with me, and I had the support of my family, who came out at 8:30 on a Saturday morning to cheer me on at the finish line. I think in the end that made all the difference. Well, that, and committing to going out for brunch after we were done.
At any rate, I recommend it. I don't know if I will ever be a "runner", but I hope to keep up what I've worked for and it was actually pretty fun!