It Keeps You Running

The news I am about to report may seem a little far-fetched if you know me and my adoration for my annual workout.

I have now completed 7 out of 8 weeks of a Couch to 5K training program.

I am currently running about 2.25 miles without stopping, averaging about a 9’30” pace.

The journey here has been a fun one, for the most part. I, like so many claim, am not a natural-born runner. I hate getting hot. I hate being out of breath. I’m convinced I don’t sweat like I’m supposed to, my face instead turns bright red and puffy. Like all the sweat rushes to my pores, then says, “Nahhhhh” and just hangs out somewhere else.

My first run was ridiculous. I got lost. Stubbed my toe. (That toenail is black now, by the way. I’m official.) I had no running gear, so I basically looked like this, out on the road:


But I kept going. Andy was right. I didn’t need to figure out how to plan my life around running. I just needed to plan my next run.

It took just one more run after that first one before I deemed my shoes unwearable. My feet grew a bit with each of my pregnancies, enough that my toes now rubbed the fronts of my shoes with each foot strike. A promise for more black toenails in the future. New shoes it was!


I went to a schmancy running store this time… instead of the DSW like last time. Nothing wrong with the DSW, per se. I just had a problem to fix this time around, and I desired professional help.

Just a few weeks later – and tired of doing constant laundry to turn around my two running outfits – I bolstered my fitness clothes too. Now I definitely look the part.

Some things I’ve realized about myself during these 8 weeks.

  1. I really, really, really am a morning workout person. I would so rather get up at 5:45 am and be assured of getting my run in than try to find another random place to wedge it in during the day.
  2. Runners are crazy about data too! There is literally no end to the number of apps and contraptions you can download or buy to track just how your run is going. So, so many opportunities for data collection. I boot up two apps before I run. The C25K app – which tells me when to run and walk during the training session – and the MapMyRun app. I used to use Nike+. I don’t really know why I went looking for something else. MapMyRun tells me pace over splits (or pace per mile for each mile I’ve run) and also shows my pace across the elevation of my run route. Which…. how does it know??!


  3. Wisconsin has HILLS TO PAY THE BILLS. Dear lord. But I think… no, I KNOW it’s making me a stronger runner. My pace at 7 weeks of training proves this to me. I’m a lot faster than I ever was in Dallas.
  4. My favorite thing about running is that I have more wiggle room in my diet. My true reason for being.
  5. I love my new view. There is a nearby nature preserve that has hike/bike trails all around it. It’s a 4-mile loop. It’s my goal to run the whole thing as my regular workout. I think I’m capable of this.

    photo 1

    photo 2

    It really does beat my old master-planned neighborhood sidewalks. As much as I liked them too.

    Although, if we’re being honest. I never had an issue getting lost in our old neighborhood. Just this past Saturday morning, I got so far out in our little nature conservancy I had to call Andy to come get me. YES, SERIOUSLY.

    First, I sort of miscalculated how long the main loop was in the first place. So there was problem #1.

    Also, there are a bunch of little offshoot trails. At our home nature preserve, Rock Springs, the trails had names. Big Oak, Prairie Path, etc. And on each trail marker, the arrows had the names of the trails on them. So you could, like, plan how long you wanted to be out, pick a corresponding trail, and then follow that trail around the park. Done and done.

    Our conservancy – being just a li-ttle more survivalist just has arrows on the path markers where the trail splits. As in: “You could go this way… or you could go this other way! Good luck, sucker! Maybe in Illinois you use cute names to help you get around, but this is Wisconsin. We don’t do that here. Also, try the cheese curds, they are delicious. Pending you get out of here alive.”

    And no, the trails are not marked on Apple Maps, and the forks in the road are like… a 25-degree angle difference, so to hell with your natural sense of direction too. My phone has battery issues, so it only lasts about 2 hours on a full charge. (Then it hangs at 1% battery for like 6 hours before dying at an unpredictable moment.)

    Basically, it’s not going to be long before the boys put out a missing person’s report on me after I fail to return home from a morning run. Some years later, they’ll find me, wandering the same [beautiful] trail, looking like my buddy here.


And that’s all I have to say about that.


  1. Michelle says:

    Hilarious. I literally laughed out loud. I actually think that I’m raising Forrest Gump. My son loves running :)

  2. I’m glad you no longer have to put your ice cream cone into your bedpan.

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