Friday, June 24, 2011

Run, Mama, Run!

I'm re-posting this post from June today to link up to Beth's party, My Favorite Post of 2011.  No, it's not a project I completed for my home, but it was a post that I wrote as an inspiration for others who don't enjoy running that they might be challenged and encouraged to exercise.  

I did run the 10 mile race I mention below, and I was 9 weeks pregnant.  For those of you who are setting new goals for 2012, may this be an inspiration and encouragement to you to start now, and you can do it!

While we were in Florida this past week, my husband found a sign for a 5K and decided he wanted to do it.   So, we got up early on Saturday morning, registered for the race, and I'm proud to say that I ran a 5K!
Here we are after:

The first time I started running was a little over six years ago, while living in Jordan.  There was an ultra marathon/marathon/10K/5K that went from the capital, Amman, down to the Dead Sea.  How could I not participate in that?  So, I began training for the 10K portion of the race and completed my first 10K, along the Dead Sea.  I haven't had any exotic running experiences since then, but I've tried to run from time to time, and have never enjoyed it!  I always love how I feel after I run, but the process is not pleasant for me.

After I miscarried Baby #3 in March, I decided that it was time for me to get back in shape.  Sure, I could fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, but they just didn't fit the same.  If you've had children, you know what I'm talking about.  New bulges appear, your skin stretches out--everything sort of just shifts around.  I think I'm most sad about losing my belly button; it's no longer a goblet (Song of Solomon reference, in case you were wondering).  With both of my first two pregnancies I gained 50 pounds, and with the 3rd, I had still gained about 10 pounds by the time I miscarried.  I'm not one of those blessed women who can come home from the hospital and look like they never had a baby.  So, I still had some weight to lose and I decided it was time to do something about it!

So, how did I get started?  I set a goal:  Run a 10 miler.  Yes, it's rather ambitious, but I needed something to work toward.  Every year in my parents' town there's a 10 mile race.  I've always wanted to do it, but not being a runner it wasn't really an option.  I figured by giving myself a good 5-6 months to train I could certainly pull it off.  Plus, I have several women in my life that are my running inspirations: my mom and her friend, who are in their 50's, and run between 10-15 miles a week; a friend of mine who ran a marathon 7 months after having a baby; countless other friends who run regularly and amaze me with their discipline!

The most challenging aspect of training for me has been the heat (that and the fact that I don't enjoy running!).  Some days I'm out running and it's close to 100F!  What was I thinking?! is usually what goes through my mind on those days.  But then I hear my husband's words of encouragement that I'm being consistent with exercise, and I hear him saying that he notices I'm losing weight in certain areas, (he also mentioned that my behind was a bit firmer--come on, ladies, what husband wouldn't want that!  And what woman wouldn't want to hear that!).  And when I come to the end of my 3-mile loop, I hear my little girls yelling, "Run, Mama, Run!", and I remember another reason why I'm running.  I want to be in shape and healthy enough to enjoy them as they get older.  I want my children to see an example of a well-disciplined life, in all aspects of my life.  And so, I run.

If you've been feeling the need to get back in shape, here are my tips for you:
1. Set a goal.  You can start out small, like taking a walk once a day, 3 times a week.

2. Find a race and sign up.  Most running races have a walking portion as well, so you don't have to be a runner to do this.  Having a race that you're working toward has been a huge inspiration for me.  And if you register for it, you have to pay, so that sort of commits you!

3. Get a friend to help you.  "Iron sharpens iron..." so find someone who wants to get in shape too and keep each other accountable.  If it's convenient, walk or run together.  (Some ladies from our church here recently trained and ran a 5K together--that would be a great ladies' night out activity!)

4. Enlist the support of your husband.  When I shared my desire to get in shape with my husband, I told him that I would need his help in watching the kids.  There was no way I was going to train for a 10-miler pushing a double jogging stroller!  He has willingly and eagerly assisted!  And, I'm sure your husband would do the same!

5. Start now!  It's easy to say, "Oh, I'll do that next week, " or, "I'll wait until July so I can start at the beginning of the month."  We all know that procrastination doesn't pay off.  So, start today!

*Edited on December 27, to add the following:
I did run that 10 mile race mentioned above, and I was 9 weeks pregnant.  For those of you who are setting new goals for 2012, may this be an inspiration and encouragement to you to start now, and you can do it!

Linking to:
Home Stories A to Z, My Favorite Post of 2011


  1. This is an inspiring post! All of your tips were really good and you are doing such a great job! I can't believe you ran a 5K in Florida summer heat! And how cute is is that the girls cheer for you??

  2. WOOHOO!!! Way to go. This is such a great post Lauren. I love when women encourage women in areas dealing with health and fitness :) Enjoy your running as best as you can. Maybe soon you will get a runners high and just feel the need to keep going :)

  3. That's awesome, Lauren! I've been wanting to start up running since having Miles for several reasons, so hopefully this will be a kick in the pants for me. Now, I need Bradley and Josh to have a talk...Josh told me one time I didn't need to lose weight but rather just tone up a bit. Thanks, hubby! :)

  4. Awesome Lauren!! So glad you are able to have the be disciplined in spite of the crazy heat! And so cute that your girls are into your running too! I am glad Bradley is so supportive for you, good man you have there!

  5. You almost have me in tears, Lauren. I'm so proud of you! For your discipline, for your love for your husband, for your love for your girls, for your ability to write such exhortation so graciously, for your commitment to doing something you don't really enjoy but know is good for you... Thank you for this post. I needed some good encouragement today, just generally speaking. I won't be running any 10-miler any time soon, or probably ever, but I'll come back to this post after I have baby #2. And for now, just thank you for refreshing my spirit.

  6. Hurray for running and hurray for you! Extra hurray for supportive husbands who make you feel good about yourself. So glad we married men so similar. Love you, friend.

  7. WOW talk about major insipiration!!I am so impressed by what you ahve done, and your husband sounds like a wonderful man. This was really uplifting and I truly commend you, I am trying to find some willpower and dedication to losing 20 pounds...I HATE squeezing into my once beautifully fitting clothes but the stress of building a house, it taking over a year MORE than what we thought and some other health issues which thankfully are getting much better, had me stressed and eating (the way I handle stress) and now I am stuck with 20 more pounds and not happy about it..reading this was very encouraging to me. Thank YOU! SO happy you stopped off at my blog so I could find yours:)

  8. I just started running this past year and am slowly starting to love it. I run with a friend 3-4 days a week and that has helped motivate me and keep me going. I'm thinking of signing up for my first half next spring. My husband runs and like your husband is a huge motivator and encourager!


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