Hello readers! Today I wanted to give you the opportunity to hear from a new runner! My friend Emily started running almost a year ago, and has an amazing story! Read my interview with her below:
How long ago did you start running?
I started running in Late April of last year as a way to lose weight after baby number 3 (which was all extra weight from all 3 pregnancies, my first few years of marriage, and college). I had been doing workout videos on a daily basis and needed a change.
What ‘inspired’ you to begin and then continue running?
In February, I committed to working out with a group of ladies to lose weight post baby. I had been doing videos, but realized that with 3 kids I needed to find a quick and efficient way to burn calories in the shortest amount of time. Running was the answer to that. When I started running I could barely jog a mile, but once I started pushing myself a little farther or a little longer, I began to enjoy the challenge of the run. As my runs grew longer, I realized that I found myself alone, in silence. I would run a little farther just to have a little peace and quiet from my busy life. As time went on, I began to love running. I looked forward to my run each day and would change my schedule around to make sure it happened. I would have never imagined myself running on the snow, ice, or when it was bitterly cold, but I find myself longing for runs more and more. Some days I would even take the kids out in the jogging stroller to make sure I got a run in during nap time.
What is your favorite part about being a runner?
The alone time. I love the time away from my kids. As selfish as it sounds- it is my time. I do go out and run with friends and enjoy companionship on runs, just adult conversation. I also love the benefits of running- how I feel about myself, the weight loss, and the stress relief it provides. I have lost 65 pounds so far, mostly with running, and am enjoying all the benefits of a healthier self. I have more energy to keep up with my kids!
What is your least favorite part about running?
There is not much I don’t love about running. The biggest challenge I have run into is the bitter cold. This winter has been so cold I have not gotten out nearly as much as I would like. I have been running on the treadmill some, but that is boring. Most of my week is spent doing work out videos (I like fitnessblender so I can mix it up a lot) and treadmill work. The treadmill is probably my least favorite thing because I feel such a urge to run, but the weather has not been good this winter.
Do you run with music? If so, what do you like to listen to while training?
I don’t run with music often. I spend most of my time running on rural roads around here and it is far too dangerous to be distracted. On my really long runs (over 10 miles) I tend to bring my phone and stream pandora on the speaker so I can still hear the cars around me. I actually love to listen to just about anything, but find myself drawn to hymns while running. Country fitness is another channel I like to listen to and I love oldies!
How do you manage running while being a wife and mom?
I have the support of an amazing husband. Some days he will keep 1, 2, or 3 kids so I can run by myself or get a run in during nap time if we are going to be busy after he gets off work. I mostly run right at 4 pm when he gets off work and most nights he will start dinner while I am out on my run so it can be ready when I get home. On my long runs (which I plan during nap time so there are 2 less kids for him to keep an eye on) he graciously keeps the kids entertained. Some days he will pull the kids in the bike trailer and ride with me on my runs. Life is busy. I make exercise a priority. It is much easier for me to go about my day with a work out. I am a much happier wife and mom. I am not an early morning runner (I have a nursling who nurses all the hours of the wee morning) so I can’t get up before the house is awake. My husband makes it possible! I try to run between 6-8 miles a few times a week with a long run thrown in there. If I can’t do anything else, I try to at least get 4 quick miles in on the road or treadmill.
Have you done any races? What distance? Do you have races planned in the future?
So far I have only ran one race- the White Tail Trail 10K. It was in the beginning of October. I actually won my age group (20-29) and finished in the top 25 of all runners.
I am hoping to run a half marathon this spring. I haven’t decided which race I am going to run yet, but I am leaning towards the Indianapolis Mini the first weekend of May. I was hoping to find a race sooner than that, that would be smaller since I have a small fear of crowds, but I am not having much luck. I haven’t committed to anything yet as races are on the expensive side (especially since I have dragged my feet in signing up) and I am having difficulty justifying the cost. Eventually I would love to run a marathon, but I am not sure how I would fit that amount of training into my busy life.
How has running improved your life?
I am less stressed, happier, healthier, and more able to do things with my kids. Never in my quest to better myself would I have thought that I could lose as much weight as I did, but now that I have (and have been in maintenance mode for several months) I realize how much running has changed my life for the better. I am smaller than I was in high schooll and I have 3 kids. A year ago I would have never called myself a runner and would have laughed if someone else told me otherwise. I was an athlete all my life (even in college), but I have never been in better shape.
What encouragement/advice do you have for new runners?
Give it a chance. Start slow, but push and challenge yourself. I would just add a smidge of distance here or try to shave a few seconds off my previous time. Eventually, I found myself discovering new roads and trails with a new appreciation for running. You will find you are capable of so much more than you could have ever imagined!