I have hated even the prospect of running for EVER. I am 43. For some reason even I cannot fathom, I got a mad whim to try to give running a real try, to actually WANT to try to do it. This overtook me in December. Toying with the idea, really. Then on Dec 15, I fell ice-skating and banged up my right knee. No actual damage (no torn ligaments or anything) just lots of bruising. But it was enough that I went to the doctor because I couldn't fully extend my leg or bend it properly, or bear weight on it, etc.
THAT made me angry. Because now, even though I was toying with the idea of running, it was no longer a CHOICE I had available to me. Not at that moment anyway.
So I basically set my mind that I WOULD do it. Hinted at husband to buy me running shoes for Xmas, knowing full well that he wouldn't bc that is really something a person has to get for themselves (for fit). Though he was thrilled and yet at the same time perplexed that I was suddenly interested in running. (He runs 4-6 miles a few times a week, and has for years now).
I bought a pair of running shoes the week after Christmas.
So, January 1st (complete coincidence) was a Sunday, and I decided to give it a go, taking it easy due to my knee which was still recovering but MUCH improved. The swelling was gone, but with activity would come back briefly. I headed out. Didn't go too far, but stuck with walking/jogging intervals and went 2 miles total (mostly walking, but some jogging mixed in).
By 2 weeks, I was running 5 minutes without any walking and intermittently mixing the remainder of my 2 miles between the two. It was hard. And slow going.
Then, I decided to go out on the road instead of just inside our neighborhood. Bad idea. Running along the low edge of the curve in a road can injure your knee. Very sloped right there. I did. This time it was actual injury, not just bruising, but still nothing serious. Just enough that it was uncomfortable and I had to not run, and go back to advil and icing. Two weeks later, the pain was gone and I started back at it. That was end of January.
Now, a month later, running no more than every OTHER day, I can run 1.5 miles before alternating into a walk/jog cycle the rest of my 2.4 miles. I read somewhere recently that you should not try to increase your speed/distance more than 10% per week. So that is what I am aiming for. And I look forward to each and every run. I LOVE it now. LOVE. IT.
For me, I think the biggest thing was having a proper sports bra. I am a C (used to be a D) and compression bras don't work for running for me. Also, having a pair of good quality running shoes (I always "tried" starting out before with cross-trainers, thinking that I could use them for other workouts if the running didn't work out. The running never did).
And, running in my neighborhood without concern for anyone seeing/watching me.
I take my dog (German Shepherd) and if I needed to walk instead of jog, I don't feel like an idiot all dressed in "running" attire, out just walking. When I tried to run in the past, I was always conscious of how I looked to passersby... and I had no dog, so I felt a little dumb when I ran all of 100 yards and then had to walk. But that is the trick of it. You have to run and then walk, run and then walk, run and then walk throughout the entire distance. Slowly, the running goes longer and the need to walk (the time in between running bouts) diminishes. In 2 months (not subtracting the 2 weeks I couldn't do anything) I went from 50 yards and maybe 90 seconds of running, to being able to run 1.5 miles and for 24 minutes at a time without walking. Now, I'm no speed demon. But I will gain speed as I progress, I'm sure. I took longer strides on my run this past Tuesday, and my legs (bones/shins, etc) could tell the next day.
Be careful not to try to push too hard too fast. That is usually the danger. If you don't rush it, and are okay with being slow, and slow progress, you have a better chance of sticking with it and learning to love it. I know that is what worked for me.
Best wishes. And happy running!
ETA: (sorry so long, too)... try to start WITHOUT an ipod or music. You need to pay attention to your body and your breathing at first. I don't run with any music and find that I am much more in tune with how much I can push my body when I am paying full attention to it and my breathing. And some of the actual "races" don't allow music players anyway...