You’ve never been running before and feel like you couldn’t? Don’t have enough time in the day? Don’t feel alone with this! I am not your typical running type, but I couldn’t do without it and neither should you. Why? Read on…
You Run? Really?
When I last told people at work that I was part of the Running Team representing our school at a 10km run I got a mixed response. Some people were very surprised and showed it, others were puzzled as to why I was „putting myself through this“ and others were supportive. I do not look like you might picture a „runner“. I am pretty short at 160 cm and have curves which seem to have been added to since the birth of my girlies, but still, I run and I love it. I think you might too.
Run For A Cause
I ran a 5km Race For Life at uni which was my first attempt at running. I was living away from campus and I felt like I’d outgrown my gymnastics and trampolining hobbies of my childhood and youth. I wanted something cheap but pretty effective for getting fit. I read about the Race For Life events and thought it was really interesting. Most of my grandparents have had cancer and I wanted to support a good cause while getting fit. Two birds, one sports bra and all that. I found some instructions online (this is going back a bit!) for a couch to 5k plan and set off around our area. I remember listening to Nelly songs a lot of the time while I ran and this soundtrack will always remind me of that time! Running for a good cause is a great way to start if you feel (like I did) a bit of an idiot telling people you took up running. It sounds like you are doing it for a noble cause, I also dragged along my friend to race and my mum watched. It was a really lovely day and something I would do again (we currently live abroad).
Run Like Your Mum
After Uni I began working as a teacher and I had so much to learn and do my running really slipped. I wish now that I had kept it up at this time because I was so stressed and used to go to bed a lot with a tension headache. I think running would have really helped with this, as it does now. It was after I had my first daughter that I realized that I had been neglecting my fitness as an adult and had relied on periodical diets and bouts of gym memberships (I have been a proud member at every gym in our town…) to keep me in some semi-decent sort of shape. Having Lilly made me want to be fit again, look good as mum and be a role model for her.
Run, or Run Away
It wasn’t all plain sailing with running and a small child. As a parent you spend a lot of time being exhausted and the thought of getting on your running kit is quite a remote one. For a while you can force yourself, but unless you develop a love of running, even beating yourself up about how you should be running doesn’t work. I remember being at a point when my second child was around two where I felt so exhausted from working and having my young children that I really didn’t know how to cope. I told a friend how I felt, and that some days I wished I could run away for a few hours just to breathe! She wasn’t shocked or judgmental, she just told me I should probably start running again. I realized she was right. It was honestly the last thing I wanted to do, but after a few runs I realized how right she was. I get the quiet I really need and it also gets you out of your head, which is something I need to do (without alcohol ;-)). Going for a run really puts things in perspective. I spend a lot of my run thinking about my body and how I really am not sure if I can carry on running! But when you are pretty exhausted and sweaty afterwards you do feel like your thoughts have been shaken through too and settle in a better way than the confused cloud they were floating in before.
Finally A Medal!
As if getting up multiple times in the night and keeping small people alive wasn’t enough for a medal? You at least get one for taking part in official runs. It might sound childish, but the thrill of finishing a race and then getting even a small medal is a nice sense of achievement.
You Don’t Have to be Loyal
The thing with running is that it is always there for you. Once you get the basics right with some good advice from runner friends, books, magazines and apps (I use all of these things) you can get out. Even after a few weeks, months or years. You obviously have to take it slow, but there are so many great apps and fitness trackers out there to help. I always waited with running until my babies were at least six months old, just to give my pelvic floor a bit of a break. I got the o.k. from my doctor and then went out with the babies in a jogger or left them with my husband.
Keep On Keeping On
Running can get boring if you keep doing the same tracks and never challenge yourself which is why you need an attainable goal to work towards. I like to have a „race“ to work towards, this keeps me on track too once I’ve paid the fee. I also just bought my first running watch which reminds me to run and pushes me to achieve new goals if I want to. The feeling of running is what I enjoy the most now, I’m able to let go (after the first few kilometers of dread) and enjoy the rhythm, the smells of the woods, the quiet! I never thought I’d say this, but I am a mum who runs, and I love it.