I’m not a runner; if you knew me, you’d know what I mean. I’m the person who would take a leisurely 20 minutes to walk the mile during the Presidential Fitness Test each year. In fact, you might have found me skipping part of the distance.
What can I say? I was more of a theater kid.
A new mom in 2015, I found Another Mother Runner. I was inspired by the idea of a community of women working toward the same goal. I went and got some sneakers from the local running store, and I read some articles on Runners World about the best way to start running.
My body had other ideas though. I’m naturally very bendy, and it took a long time for my joints to stabilize after giving birth. In fact, it took me five years to get my body stable and healthy enough to actually try running. Injury after injury plagued me: I had issues with my ankle, knee, and foot. I
lost most of my muscle mass, but I finally got my physical health managed in January 2020.
Then, WHOA, hello pandemic.
In late June of this year—after juggling a full-time job, homeschooling, a husband, and two dogs—my body broke down. I was sick (not Covid, thankfully) for two weeks. I was destroyed. Exhausted and sad.
Something had to change.
There’s not much we can control right now, but I knew that I could control at least one thing. I chose to focus on movement. Moving, quite simply, makes me feel better.
Working from home is especially hard for me, especially from October-March when my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) kicks in. I was determined to not replicate my June/July situation for another nine months.
You know, I deserve better.
So after 5 years of listening to the AMR podcast and reading the
newsletter religiously, I set a goal of running a 5K. I found a race that was still scheduled for early December, and I bought the Train Like a Mother 5K Run/Walk training program to start in mid-September.
Mind you, I made my training and race plans in July, so from July until September 14, the starting day of my training program, I focused on getting my legs and my lungs strong by riding my bike 5-7 days a week, even if it was just for ten minutes.
I found muscles I have not seen since I was a teenager, and I felt immense pride in myself. Moving my body gave me something to feel good about, even when everything else seemed to be going wrong.
Now, I am a runner. My longest distance thus far is 1.8 miles at a 13 to 14 minute pace, but I am so proud of those 1.8 miles run at a faster pace than I ever thought possible.
I know I will get to my big goal of a 5K distance in December—and I can’t wait to see where I run in January.
Read more Seven Months into the Pandemic essays.