I started running a little over 2 years ago- I tried some endurance bike stuff right before I started running (an “alley cat” race, you heard of those? If not, they’re kinda like a scavenger hunt on a bike).
I did like 48+ miles, 6 or 7 stops in between (I had to stop at each to get my manifest stamped) they basically give you a manifest and say go to all of these in whichever order you want; 4 hours 10 minutes (I think I finished like 25th from the bottom, like 125th place?) and that was enough to hook me into endurance sports I guess…
I started running a few weeks later, the Bay Area bike community wasn’t what I expected (basically a bunch of hipsters that were more concerned with what kind of brakes I had on my bike or what type of jeans I wore) so I figured something more solitary; voila running!
I started slow, couldn’t even run a mile first few times out, then within a month I could run 2-3 miles 3 days a week, then added another day, etc.
Found out about Hal Higdon’s half marathon training plans, followed that, ran 5 days a week; every “long run” was my longest until I did the SF Half in July of 2011. Then I decided I hated running streets/concrete, went on a trail run and loved that. Stopped running with music shortly after, ran a trail half (Nov. ‘11), then a 20k (Dec. 11), then a 30k (Jan ‘12), then my first trail marathon (April ‘12) and then my first 50k (June ‘12).
I just slowly increased my mileage, stopped obsessing over pace and distances and just ran. I guess, yeah- I just run now with an hourly time frame, like I could go out and run 4 hours on trails and that might only be 20 miles (I could probably run 30-35 on roads in 4 hours). Trails are a whole different beast.
So yeah, I just progressed slowly over the first year and maybe much quicker over the last year, I had to change some things like my stride rate (180-200 per minute now), shortened my gait, went to more minimal shoes, stopped pounding the downhills like a madman, eating better (fresher vegs, less meat, more fish and whole grains).
I hope that answers? Thanks for asking.