I am including a page in my blog about running because when I searched for blogs about moms that ran, I had a hard time finding ones I could relate to. Most that I found (I admit I didn't spend a ton of time looking) seemed to be about women who were a lot more serious about running than I am.
I'm proud to say, I consider myself a runner. I have not always been a runner. I've only been running for the last year and a half or so. Actually, I used to hate running. Sometimes I still hate running. Here is my story.
I was pretty active up until I got pregnant with my son, who will be five this spring. I played sports in high school and college. I played soccer and softball in recreational leagues as a young adult. I joined the gym for the first time in my early 20's. I loved aerobics (step and high impact.) I even became an aerobics instructor. As active as I was, I always HATED running. I can remember faking a twisted ankle during a run at my high school soccer practice. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's true. I share that to show that even though I played sports that involved lots of running, I hated it.
I knew running was a good exercise and really wanted to incorporate it into my exercise routine. I had heard about "runners high" and so wanted to experience that. I thought if I could experience that, maybe I would be able to force myself to continue to run, even if I hated it. I have tried to get into a running routine several times. Each time I would go out for run and before I got back to my house, I would have stopped running and quit again.
A few years ago, my husband started running. He was closing in on 40 and was trying to combat aging. He had never been active. The only sport he really ever played was golf. While he was very good at that, it didn't help his fitness level. He started slow but kept at it and ran regularly. I was really proud of him (and impressed.) Then, he told me he was going to try to run a half-marathon. I thought he was CRAZY. On race day he was going to have to run for a couple of hours. In addition, he was going to have to spend many, many hours training for that day. I could not understand why he (or anyone) would want to spend that much time running. He ran his first half-marathon right after he turned 40.
Inspired (and encouraged) by him I decided to give running a try, yet again. I started by running around my neighborhood. During my first run I thought, "I remember why I hate running, it's hard and boring." My husband loaned me his iPod and that made running significantly better. I found podcasts I liked and listened to those during long and short runs. I'm pretty sure I would have quit if I didn't have his iPod. I hate hearing myself breath hard while running and in the beginning, I was breathing hard all the time.
The kids and I met my husband at the finish line of his half and I could not believe all the people there. There were thousands. I had no idea there were so many runners. My husband talked about running the St. Jude half-marathon in Memphis that December and wanted me to go with him. I decided I would run the 5K.
In Memphis, I ran my 5K and then went to the finish line to meet my husband. Again, the number of people there was shocking. This event was even bigger than the first half he ran. I don't know if it was my competitive nature or what, but when I saw some of the people that came across the finish line I thought, "If they can do it, I can do it." Most of the people did not look like super fit, elite athletes like I used to think someone who would run a half-marathon would be. They looked like the average person. There were some that were thin and fit but there were lots that were heavy. That was it, I was going to try it.
There was another big event in our area the following April. I registered right away, so I couldn't change my mind. I started following Hal Higdon's program. I ran two or three times a week all winter long. On Saturday or Sunday, I would do a long run. Race day came and I ran slowly, but I ran the entire 13.1 miles. I was really proud of myself. I did my second half last October and am currently preparing for my third.
There are a couple things that helped me become a runner.
First, my husband was hugely supportive. He would make sure I scheduled my running and was available to keep the kids.
Second, the iPod. I now listen to podcasts while running, as well as working around the house and riding in the van. (We also download audiobooks for the kids from our local library.)
Third, a GPS watch. Initially, I thought something like that was a huge waste of money. I got one for my husband for his 40th birthday. I gave it to him early so he could use it to train for his first half. I began using it while training for the 5K. My favorite part is that it gives a current pace while I am running. That is valuable to me because if I start too fast, I poop out early. I can not gauge how fast I am running. When I finally realize I am running too fast, it's too late. It also gives an estimate of calories burned during a work out. The first time I checked that after a long run, I was floored. It was over 1000 calories. That was hugely motivational.
Last, my running partner. A friend of mine wanted to run a half-marathon before she turned 40. She and I trained together for the half last fall. I was hesitant to run with a partner. I used to think I wouldn't enjoy running with someone. I liked listening to my podcasts and wouldn't be able to do that if I ran with someone. I also worried I wouldn't be able to talk because I would be huffing and puffing and I thought we would run out of things to talk about. None of that was a problem. Plus, we were great for each other. We couldn't decide not to get out of bed and run because someone was waiting for us.
I'm including this page in my blog in hopes of motivating people to run. If someone had told me a few years ago that not only would I would be a runner but I would run half-marathons, I would not have believed it. But I am a runner and I do run half-marathons and think if I can do it, almost anyone can.