A long, long time ago, I used to run half-marathons.
In high school, I never was a runner. Ask my tennis coach. Exercise wasn’t really my thing, but I did like playing tennis. I just didn’t like to run.
Running came to me during a difficult part of my life, when two of my biggest concerns were starting a Ph.D. program and my husband being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, among several other issues. I ran to keep the stress at bay, and it worked. I ran my first half-marathon in the early spring of 2010, and I followed up the next two years with two more half-marathons.
However, in the spring of 2013, I had a baby: The Artist. She was sweet and she was wonderful, and before she turned 1, I had plans to run another half marathon.
Then I broke my tailbone. That whole incident deserves its own post one day, but suffice to say, I was out of running for months after that.
No problem, I thought. Time went by, I healed, and I started to train again, this time for a nearby race in November 2015. I got all the way to the week before the race. I was finishing up my last long run and was getting ready for the taper week.
And then I busted up my foot.
“Busted up” truly is the best way I can describe it. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but not only could I not race the next week, I spent the week prior to the race getting an X-ray, a CT scan, icing, downing ibuprofen, and having to even cancel a work trip to Las Vegas (and, really, who wants to do that???). The day of the race, I was a hot mess of emotion.
And that Wednesday, I found out I was pregnant again.
So between two babies and two injuries, it’s been hard to keep running up. Before The Engineer was conceived, I was easily running 20 miles a week for fun. Now, I’m lucky to hit 12.
Which, before you roll your eyes, I KNOW THAT’S PRETTY GOOD. Every thing is based in comparison, though, so compared to what I used to do, it’s a bit disappointing. I’d be happy to hit 16 a week, but it’s hard. Either a child is sick or I’m sick or I’m not sleeping well or a million other excuses hit. But, I am proud to say that the past three weeks, I have run four times a week, which is my goal. I may not have hit the mileage I want, but I laced up my shoes and ran four times each week.
We all need goals – even exercise goals. Heck, because my back hurts because apparently I’m old now (I had a student last week refer to my age as “middle aged” without knowing that WAS my age), one of my goals is to stretch 10 minutes every day. Now, granted, I haven’t done that in a week, but that’s beside the point. We need to plan goals, even if it is just stretching 10 minutes a day (which, again, I haven’t done in a week…).
And it does take planning – especially if you work and have kids. Heck, when I was off this summer, I thought, “Hmm, I can basically run any time I want – morning, nap time, or night time.” And you know what happened? I was lazy and slept in every day and then by nap time and night time, I was too exhausted to run.
PLAN. Plan with me and plan reasonably. If you don’t exercise at all, make a goal to walk half a mile every day. That’s like 10-15 minutes a day. Get the kids involved. My girls love doing yoga with me – you know, the two times a month I do it. But they love it, and they love doing it with me.
And if you need a running buddy, I know some good ones in the area. =)