Becoming a Runner…Again

I started running in 2010. I had tried running before but never stuck with it for more than a few weeks. But in the fall of 2010, I decided I was going to do a Couch to 5k program and in January 2011, I ran my first 5k (and I ran the whole thing). I joined a running group and ran a few more 5ks.

Then I got pregnant.

Between the morning sickness and the back pain, I had to give up running. But once I had the baby and I got the all clear to start running again from my midwife, I started training for a 5k again. It was like starting over from scratch since it had been nearly a year since I ran. But I was pretty disciplined and I started to get back to where I was.

Then I went back to work.

I couldn’t figure out how to fit running into my new working mom schedule. I started and stopped and started and stopped. I ran a couple races but I did them on little to no training. I finally started to get back into running in the fall.

Then we all got sick. Twice. And traveled. And the holidays.

So now, over 3 years since I first started running, I am starting over again. I am sure something will come up and I will want to quit again. But I am really trying to commit to three runs a week. I am following a training schedule for an 8k (5 miles) which is easy now but will be a challenge once I need to start running more than 3 miles. I am just as busy as always, and morning runs are impossible, but now that the days are getting a little longer I am hopeful I can get in some post-work runs during the week (or there is always the dreaded treadmill at the gym).

I am still calling myself a runner and I never stopped calling myself a runner. I may be inconsistent. I may be slow. I may need to walk sometimes. But I’m out there. Running as best I can.

So my question for all of  you is how do push through life’s inconveniences to keep running (or swimming or dancing or walking or whatever it is you do). Having a training plan/schedule works for me but I am interested in any other tricks you have to share.

16 thoughts on “Becoming a Runner…Again

  1. Word Lily January 10, 2014 / 8:34 am

    Ugh. I was consistent in good amounts of exercise for a few months before I got pregnant, too. And since? It seems like I start over again practically every month, but I haven’t succeeded at anything close to consistency yet. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I clearly have no tips.


    • Michelle January 10, 2014 / 1:06 pm

      It’s hard! Do you have a jogging stroller? Since you’re home with A, you might be able to fit in some walking/running with him. When it isn’t 0 degrees out that is. 🙂 I also think I would take advantage of the kid zone at the gym if I didn’t work away from home all day. I feel guilty sending him to the kid zone when I just picked him up from daycare so I generally wait until he goes to bed to head to the gym. Do you have a rec center or Y with a daycare you could join? Sometimes the rec centers are super affordable.


      • Word Lily January 10, 2014 / 3:35 pm

        We have a Y, yes. That’s one of my options, but I don’t consider it super affordable. I did a free trial at another place (LOA), and I liked the classes, but A didn’t handle it well at all (it got worse every day, I didn’t even get 20 minutes of the last day’s 1-hour class). I could try it again, but I’d have to sign up, probably no chance at a second free trial.

        No jogging stroller, no. Just a regular one. Our sidewalks are in terrible condition, too, and yeah, walks aren’t very OK when it’s icy and snowy. Plus I feel bad about leaving the dog home, but I can’t manage both the stroller and the dog. 😦


      • Michelle January 10, 2014 / 3:40 pm

        So many challenges! Our Y isn’t super affordable either. If we lived a block south of where we do, we’d have a city rec center for a whole lot cheaper. I haven’t tried to leave E at the kid zone in a long time. He used to do fine but I bet he’d freak now.


  2. Kailana January 10, 2014 / 11:12 am

    In the winter I use the ‘dreaded’ treadmill. I am so not running in the cold temps we have had lately. I kept starting and stopping until I just got a treadmill. Now it is in my house and will get me through the winter and we will see what the spring brings. (That being said, my ‘starting again’ was only like December because I couldn’t get to the treadmill because of first moving and then renovations.)


    • Michelle January 10, 2014 / 1:03 pm

      I think I would be better during the summer if I had a treadmill at home. It’s too hot outside in July and August (and most of September) here. But I don’t have any room for a treadmill.


      • Kailana January 10, 2014 / 9:20 pm

        We don’t really either… I just make room and tell the guy it is not going anywhere and we have to work around it…


  3. Sandy January 10, 2014 / 1:05 pm

    Well, as you may have read on my blog or not, I ran a half marathon last February. I had never run further than 3 miles, and that was back when I was in college! Ack! But I had a schedule (sometimes meant getting up at 5am to run) and I stuck with it, and I did the damned thing. Then I had a couple of injuries, so I’m trying to come back from that and get back on it. I think the most important tip I could give is to get a running partner…someone who WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU SO YOU HAVE TO SHOW UP!!! It is way too easy to talk yourself out of it otherwise. Easier said than done I know, trying to find someone who has the same schedule. But I swear it was the only thing that kept me going.


    • Michelle January 10, 2014 / 1:08 pm

      Ben and I are doing the same training schedule right now, so while we can’t always run together, we can at least hold each other accountable. I definitely think having a schedule helps me a lot. Way to go on the half! That was the disney one, right? Someday I want to do a disney race.


  4. Stacy Overman Morrison January 10, 2014 / 3:18 pm

    I am out of sorts on the exercise front, too. My gym changed ownership and then the aerobics teacher I adore moved. I don’t really like to run but that may have to be what I go to. I love classes as I am a people person but I may find a running buddy and try that.


    • Michelle January 10, 2014 / 3:42 pm

      I like the group classes, too, but it’s hard to find the good ones and times that fit my schedule.


  5. Jen - Devourerofbooks January 10, 2014 / 3:31 pm

    I am having trouble with this now that it is too cold/icy to run outside. I just can’t do the treadmill at all and find the indoor track super unmotivating (and hard to keep track of since my gps doesn’t work in there). I think I need to just get back in the habit and push through until it doesn’t suck again.


    • Michelle January 10, 2014 / 3:41 pm

      You need your clicker!


  6. Cori @ Let's Eat Grandpa January 10, 2014 / 4:06 pm

    I don’t have kids, but I have been sick (colds, stomach bug) and now I’m looking at foot surgery. One of the things I’m trying to do is be “actively mobile” for at least half an hour a day. If that means slowly walking around the park even when my feet hurt, so be it. I’ve not been perfect, but it at least helps me when I am just not feeling up to a more strenuous exercise session. Good luck!!


  7. Jennifer January 20, 2014 / 11:31 pm

    I just have to say that I find this post to be so inspiring especially where you say: “I am still calling myself a runner and I never stopped calling myself a runner. I may be inconsistent. I may be slow. I may need to walk sometimes. But I’m out there. Running as best I can.”

    I have to say that I have a hard time considering myself a runner. I did the majority of the couch to 5k program over the summer. It was hard for me. But then I reached this awesome point where I actually looked forward to my runs. And then school started and my runs became less frequent and then weeks went by without any running. Luckily a friend convinced me to get a fitbit (it monitors your activity). The competition got me out walking a lot more and now I’m back to running 2 – 3 times a week. I really utilize my weekends to get out there. I’m still at that point where I walk more than I run but I’m making progress. It is the progress that really inspires me. And the competition. Running more means I cover more distance (get more steps) in less time.

    Again I have to say I’m inspired by your dedication. I’m a teacher but not a mother. I barely find time to exercise with my schedule but I’m sure that yours is way more filled up.


    • Michelle January 21, 2014 / 8:01 am

      Thanks for the nice comment. It’s hard to find the time – I have to make it. I gave up a half hour with my son to go to yoga last night. But then I get to hang out with him tonight. I think there is always time. It’s just making it work for you. And not sitting on the couch. 😉 Happy running!


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