My journey with running began in high school, when a friend convinced me that my leisurely 2 mile jogs were good enough for the cross country team. I loved running, I loved my team, but I hated meets- the stress and competition were not my strength. I could never sleep well the night before the race and the thought of the gun going off made me queasy.
I wanted to run for the enjoyment. Not the competition.
I loved running in college, it was my stress relief. A place to set my mind free from “angiotensin and the adrenal cortex.”
The distances got longer and finally, I got up the nerve to enter myself in a race again- the Tulsa Run 15k. I survived the nerve of a race, felt strong with each stride, and loved the sense of accomplishment. I was officially addicted to running.
When I got pregnant with Norah, I was training for the same race again, but was so sick that I couldn’t run a mile… let alone walk to the couch. It felt like my long distance runs would forever be in the past.
Nevertheless, at 6 weeks post-partum from a c-section, I wrapped up my abdomen and ran a mile. I felt… awful, but so accomplished. If you have ever had a c-section, you know the feeling of bruising and pain that you feel as your body works to mend itself. If you have ever gained 50+ lbs and worked to get it off, you know the feeling of weight on your joints and heaviness with each step.
As I got stronger and we got deeper into “sno cone season,” I realized that my chances of running alone were pretty slim. Norah would have to join me on my journey back to myself. I researched all kinds of running strollers, shocked at the costs but amazed that moms were able to run marathon length distances with their babies! I finally decided on the BOB Revolution. BEST DECISION EVER! It was so easy to push and Norah was so content in it! Over the next year, we put in hundreds of miles, trained for the Tulsa Run again, and even half marathon (which I never actually got to run). She LOVED going running, pointing to birds, hearing the “gogs (dogs)”, and taking sweet naps while I ran my brains out… or least the baby weight off :).
When I got pregnant with Jonah, I was running about 35 miles a week. One day, at around 6 weeks pregnant, I collapsed on the bathroom floor out of disappointment. I had stopped several times along my five mile run to throw up. I felt myself slipping back into the awful pregnancy I had with Norah. Except, this time I had a toddler to try to keep up with too. Josh sat on the floor with me and held me. We prayed for strength together and that God would protect both me and the little life inside me. This was the beginning of my “miracle boy.” That was the last time, I felt “morning sickness” and I was able to run until I was 35 weeks pregnant. I even ran the Tulsa Run 5k at 26 weeks pregnant. Running while pregnant was one of the most rewarding experiences, but that would be a blog in itself.
For my 26th birthday, Josh got me the BOB Revolution Double and I learned to run with two little ones… and Xavi. We put in many more miles, but often opted for flat areas. Running with two was SO much more difficult than one. Even with a great running stroller, it feels like I am pushing a shopping cart.
The Tulsa Run 15k has once again come and gone. My time got better and I realized that all those miles with “Big BOB” only made me stronger.
The Route 66 half marathon is in 2 days and it will be my first official half marathon. I have run the distance a half dozen times, but not in a race format. Already, I feel that nervousness for the “race” aspects of it, but at this point my goal is just to survive it to say that I did! It isn’t bad motivation to know that I will have these 3 goobers waiting for me at the finish line!
I am by no means a professional runner and there are millions who run far more mileage than me. However, my love for running continues. I enjoy my daily 3 mile runs, spending time with the wind in my face, and hearing my kiddos squeal with excitement as they point out a pretty sky, big truck, or Christmas lights.
Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'”
– Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner