It wasn't until my 28th year that I decided to become a runner. I didn't like taking a beta blocker to keep my blood pressure in check (it topped out at 170/110), and I envied how sinewy most runners were. Thanks to the Couch to 5k program and Mr. Kate's extreme patience (he is a seasoned runner), I eventually worked my way up to the point where "taking a day off" meant running six miles only once that day, not twice.
I was always the last to finish the mile in grade school gym class (because I walked), so 60 seconds of slow continuous jogging left me gasping at first. I couldn't wear a watch myself, because I didn't want to know how many seconds I had to endure before couch to 5K allowed me to take a walk break. I also didn't want to know our route in advance, because then I'd be aware of how far into the run we were (or weren't). These self-imposed rules (which also included "no neighborhoods," "no hills," "no straightaways where I could see how far I had yet to run" among others) were mental tricks I played on myself, and they made running with me quite unpleasant. I reminded Mr. Kate of this during a run the other day (since conversing is no longer banned), and he simply replied "I knew you had it in your heart to become a runner."
I couldn't have said it better. Running is in my heart.
Even if you're not a runner, USA Track and Field's "map a route" feature lets you plot your course to see how many miles you've traveled. It's exactly the thing I needed after every run to see how far I had gone (since I didn't allow myself to know at the time).
Here's one of our typical runs: