Let me make this clear: I am NOT a runner. I, like so many, resolved myself to knowing that I'm just never going to be that person who can run for an extended period time (unless I'm being chased by a bear or a murderer). So how is it that I'm now preparing to run an entire 5k?

Well, I recently did the Couch to 5k program and let me tell you, the girl who was previously not able to run more than 60 seconds without having to stop is now doing 2.35 miles a day, and I'm hoping to be up to 3 miles a day within the next month in preparation for the Lake Como 5k.

I pretty much only work out to lose weight. Do I still want to lose weight? Of course. However, I'm no longer running JUST to lose weight.

It hasn't been an easy road. The first time I had to push myself to do 22 minutes straight I really thought I was going to die before I finished. And the first time I tried? I couldn't do it all. But then I tried again. And something awesome happened. I actually did it. 22 minutes of straight running.

For all you experienced marathoner types, I'm sure that sounds silly. However, for the rest of us, 22 minutes seems like an ETERNITY. So when I was actually able to do it, it was a feeling of tremendous pride (mixed in with some exhaustion and a smidge of nausea.)

So I guess now I am a runner.

I'd really encourage anyone who thinks they can't do it to challenge themselves. Go to a running store (I went to Roadrunner Sports in Shrewbury), get yourself a good pair of shoes, and trust yourself to do it, slowly but surely.

I've been running solely on a treadmill but I'd love to take it outside since it getting nicer. There are some great spots I can think of - Holmdel Park, Moss Mile in Long Branch, Belmar boardwalk, or just around my neighborhood...but are there some great places I'm missing out on?

Where's your favorite place to go for a walk or a run? Share it below!