there’s nothing like your first time


Competitive runners sometimes forget how simple and beautiful a run can be. We often get tied up into worrying about split times, training cycles, race plans, and place. After eleven years of competitive running, I still enjoy the simple aspects of the sport, but time and place is a major consideration for me. However, sometimes Sometimes it takes looking to others to remember why I began running in the first place. Fortunately for me, I have found inspiration in my run club at lululemon Logan Circle.

At Logan Circle, we meet at the store, go for a run around the monuments and Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, and then meet back at the store for a discussion on a running related topic such as nutrition, injury prevention, or motivation. During a recent group discussion on motivation, I was deeply inspired by my group’s love of running and the joy they find in finishing each run. It wasn’t about how fast they finished the run; it was the fact they were out there, doing something healthy, positive, and fun. Listening to the group, I realized that you are not going to run your desired time on every run or track workout, and that is okay, as long as there is enjoyment in the activity.

I also started to reminisce about my first few seasons of running. When I first joined the track team in high school, I couldn’t even make it an entire lap around the track, let along complete a race. That first season, I loved everything about running and did not even consider time. It was such a feeling of accomplishment to even just complete workouts.

Eleven years later, I am a competitive marathon runner, run coach, and run club leader. As I become more competitive, times become more important, but I always run my best when I keep it in perspective, and the runners in the lululemon run club have been instrumental in that regard.

In fact, this very realization has made me into a better runner. Now, when I am out on the track or in a race, and feeling frustrated for not hitting my times, I immediately stop the negative thought pattern and remember why I am running in the first place…because I love being out there. I find the times come easier when I think about the smiles on the faces of the lululemon runners and the joy radiating off their faces when they told the group why they run, as opposed to just focusing on tenths of a second. I often get e-mails and recaps of races from the runners in the group after they race. They are always so excited about the accomplishment of finishing the race, first and foremost. Every time they race and expose themselves to the exhilaration of race day, I cannot be prouder.

In the short time we have had a run group, I find that that the runners are signing up for more races and encouraging each other to have fun during competition. I know that these runners are going to see vast improvements this year in their sport, but I also know that each and every one of them will keep their running in perspective as they improve and remember they the joy and elation they felt during their first few runs.

Elyse and her run crew at lululemon Logan Circle. For more information about complimentary events at our Local Circle store, visit their community events page here.

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What a GREAT post! I’m a runner as well, and I feel naked on a run without my Garmin to tell me my exact distance, pace, and time. I think I’ll make an effort to go out without a watch every once in awhile and just enjoy running – thanks for inspiring not only your Run Club, but me, too :)

Comment by Abbie — April 19, 2009 @ 5:32 pm


I am so inspired to see you bringing the sport you love to life in your own store and learning lots along the way. I’ll be sure to stop by for a run the next time I am in town!

Comment by Tracy — April 19, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

Another great article Elyse! After running and competing for 14 years, its easy to forget the feel of running for the pure joy of it. I was reminded of that joy Saturday, while running on the Mount Vernon trail along the Potomac, taking in the breathtaking views along the way… the White House, Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Georgetown waterfront, and all the gorgeous flowers (I also notice lots of colorful lululemon attire on the trails!). Spring has sprung, and it is a great time to be a runner!!!

Comment by Kelly — April 20, 2009 @ 8:40 am

Perfect example about it being about the process, not the result (something I am working on).

I love that your run club meets afterward for a discussion. We may try that at the Carlsbad store!

Comment by Lauren Clapperton — April 20, 2009 @ 10:31 am

Good article.

About two years ago I stopped timing myself on “runs” and solely focused on running. I have my routes measured, know how long they approximately take to run but rarely ever time myself. I enjoy the stress free runs the best and save the times for the races. That is probably why I still enjoy running more than racing.

Comment by Mike — April 20, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

Love it! I’m sharing this post with the PES lululemon run club ( :

Comment by Paige — April 23, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

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