The Making of a Reluctant Runner

For the longest time I swore up and down that running was bad for women. Therefore, not one to go against medical evidence and scientific information, I didn’t run. Somewhere along the way I had heard that there was something about the arches in women’s feet that made running difficult. Or so I believed. It’s not that I didn’t like being active, I loved sports, I just hated running. Why would anyone in his or her right mind choose to run…unless being chased in which case it wouldn’t really be a choice. It is actually possible that I may have made up above said scientific information to get out of running events in high school…but I can’t remember for sure.

And then I got engaged. Searching for a way to become a “Buff Bride” I started jogging. Slowly. I managed to run a quarter mile. And thought I was near death. And then worked up to a half mile. Then one mile. Eventually I was running three miles. I would love to say I was running with ease but I don’t know if anyone ever truly runs with ease- there is always some sort of challenge whether it be the first mile, getting started, or finding the time. The upcoming wedding was motivation enough. The thought of hundreds of eyes on ME freaked me out and pushed me to get out and run.

After the wedding, I continued to run. I often ran the local reservoir- a hilly, challenging, 3 mile loop. In my head, I told myself that once in my lifetime I would like to run a half marathon. It sounded cool. Was fun to say. I never thought it would become a reality, especially as I had never really run more than six miles and was firmly aware that one DRIVES 13.1 miles. Again, it sounded really cool and was fun to throw into conversations. After all, “life goal” meant I had the rest of my life, duh.

After having Tyson, I ran to lose the baby weight. I ran when I could, often running on very little sleep and pushing a very unhappy baby in the jogging stroller. There were many days when a nap trumped running. As Ty got older the thought of running while trying to feed/console/entertain/block out the whining/crying/fussing trumped actually getting out to run. After having Jake, I ran to lose the baby weight. I ran when I could, often running on LESS sleep than after having Ty. Going for a run now meant packing a snack for Ty, toys for Ty, books for Ty, water for Ty, water for me, snack for me, diapers for Jake, wipes for Jake, Hooter Hider for me, toys for Jake, blankets for Jake…by the time I was done packing up to go out for a run I often found myself faced with dirty diapers, hungry children, or a child in need of a nap.

And then a couple girlfriends mentioned they wanted to run a half marathon. I jumped on the opportunity to train and run with friends. Half serious. Not sure if it would become a reality. It sounds REALLY good but really…run 13.1 miles. In a row. Without dying. Voluntarily. AND pay someone for the “honor”…not so sold on this. After all, we all had two kids. Two of us had infants. None of us were getting full night’s of sleep. What were we thinking…but we continued to train. We ran through the heat of the summer. We ran through the fussing. And whining. And tears. We ran through the exhaustion. And doubt. And we all crossed that finish line.

As I ran around the corner towards the finish line I had to hold back tears. I couldn’t believe I was about to cross the finish line and complete something I had seen as impossible. Somehow between the sleep deprivation, diaper changes, toddler tantrums…I had done this. I. Did. This. WE did this.

And we’ll do it again…in JUNE.

Somehow. With a busy husband, busier than in the fall, an active-HATES-the-jogging-stroller 3 year old, and an on-the-verge-of-walking-also-HATES-the-jogging-stroller 1 year old…I can do this again. Don’t ask me how many times I have run since the October Half. It’s a shame really. I desperately need to find my running mojo again…however, it seems really hard to find at 5 am. Or in 40 degree weather. Or in the rain. Or when it’s too foggy. Or when…*enter weather/sleep/kid/time excuse*. And you wondered why I put “reluctant” in the title…the one thing I wish I had done differently the last time is chronicle my training. The ups and downs. So here starts the chronicling…day one.

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