One of the things I find especially interesting is learning why people decide to run, or become “runners.” For many people, running is just the most accessible form of exercise that allows them to stay in shape and be healthy. Others may have gotten their start on the cross country or track team in high school, and have continued to run ever since. But, I’ve also found that a lot of runners started running after a difficult or traumatic event in their lives drove them to an inexplicable, instinctual need to go for a run. I fall into this last category.
How I Got Started Running
Although I’ve spent most of my life running as part of various sports that I’ve played, or in random, isolated efforts to stay in shape, I didn’t start “seriously” running until the summer of 2014, following my divorce from my ex-husband. After separating from him in April 2013, and turning thirty in December of the same year, I found it difficult as a single mom to pin down the time – and gather the energy – to exercise regularly. I made a few attempts here and there to go out and run, but those efforts were never directed toward any particular goal, or with any sort of plan in mind. I would go out and run a little bit one week, and then go several weeks or longer without running again, which of course didn’t do me much good. I could feel myself getting softer, heavier, and sedentary, and I didn’t feel good about myself in general. I knew I didn’t want to wallow in self doubt and pity after getting divorced – and I didn’t want that to be reflected in my appearance, either. I wanted to be resilient, and not allow the divorce to define me in any way. It was during this time that I heard the quote,
The only person you are destined to be is the person you decide to become.
This quote truly inspired me, but it took me awhile to figure out all the things I wanted to be, and what steps I needed to take to get there.
Then, on a sunny Sunday morning in the summer of 2014, with the encouragement of my then-boyfriend/now-husband Matt, I made the spontaneous decision that I wanted to run a 5K.
I’m not sure what exactly sparked this notion, but I can clearly remember sitting on the couch, watching TV with Matt, and having the idea pop into my head. What I do remember is feeling tired of spending too much time doing exactly what I was doing – sitting on the couch watching TV – and having a sudden, undeniable urge to get moving. I Googled “how to start running” and “how to run a 5K”, and came across a bunch of Couch to 5K plans – something I had never heard of until that time. After choosing one that seemed reasonable – eight weeks of run-walk intervals that eventually culminated in the ability to run for thirty minutes non-stop – I picked out a “goal” race: the Seaside 5K in Ocean City, MD on October 25, 2014.
Although I really struggled with that first 5K, huffing and puffing my way across the finish line and squeaking in just under thirty minutes, I had gotten hooked on running in a way that I have never gotten attached to anything before in my life. I loved the feelings of strength and power that came from the act of running, I loved pushing my body beyond what it had been able to do the day before, seeing and feeling myself get stronger and faster, and I loved setting a goal to finish a race or beat a certain time, working to meet that goal, and accomplishing it. I loved the exhaustion after a really good run, and the sense of being mentally and physically cleansed.
Since that first 5K, I have run a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks, six half marathons, and one full marathon, as well as a few middle-distance races (ten milers, the Charles Street 12, etc.).
After finding out I was pregnant in July 2016, I put training for my second full marathon on hold, but continued to run until 22 weeks. Following the birth of my daughter in March 2017, I have slowly gotten back into running (although it has been a lot more difficult to run postpartum than I expected!) and I am currently training for the Wineglass Half Marathon in October. In just three short years, running has affected my life in so many ways that I’ve also decided to pursue certification as a personal trainer and as an RRCA Certified Running Coach so that I can (hopefully) help others find the same joy in running that I have found.
Why Mom Runs for Fun
So, why start Mom Runs for Fun? It’s really pretty simple. I love running and I want to share my love of running, the ways it inspires and challenges me, and how it fits into my busy life as a wife and working mom of two, with others – whether they’re moms, dads, non-parents, runners, those thinking about running, and any and everyone in between. I’m not an especially fast or very experienced runner – there are a lot of them out there, but I am not one (yet) – but I do consider myself to be somewhat of an expert in what it’s like to be an average, thirty-something mom and wife with lots of other responsibilities to balance in addition to running. So, from that perspective, I’ll be sharing things that have worked (or not worked) for me, including gear reviews, training plans, strength routines, recipes, inspiration, and more.
While I definitely run for fun, I also run because running has made me a better partner to my husband, mother to my children, and human being in general. Sharing my passion for running and the ways in which it shapes and improves my life through Mom Runs for Fun, building a community around this concept, and hopefully inspiring others to get out and run is my ultimate hope and goal with this blog.
Please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Facebook page and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear how you got started running, too, and what inspires you to fit running in to your busy life!