another mother runner.

Probably about 11/12 weeks ago I started Couch To 5K…again. The last time I did this it was during Andrew’s deployment. I committed to the nine week program with my sister and her husband, and we cranked it out. I was toned, skinny and feeling great. Then Andy came home, we ran a 5K race that weekend and I hung up my sneakers. Running wasn’t for me. I never felt the runners high, and I never felt like it got any easier or that I got any better at it.

Fast forward two years, a pregnancy, and a baby. At about nine months post-partum, I felt ready to run again. Although I was back to my pre-baby weight, I didn’t look the same at all. I knew the results I’d  had the last time I completed C25K, and I wanted that rockin’ body back. So I did what I do- went out an bought new sneakers, new running clothes and a new running stroller (The BOB). And I started training.

So far during my training I have endured a strained Achilles (I started with a poor shoe choice – took a week off and got fitted for another pair of new shoes at a running store), a strained hamstring (ran a 5K race with my husband at the mid-point of the program, before my body was fully capable – took a week off) and now a sprained knee (I fell down a hill while pushing Maddie in a stroller and walking Hudson). The latest injury has stalled me at the final week of the program.

This has been a frustrating couple months. I make progress, get injured, take a few steps back, gain new ground, get injured, repeat. My body has NOT gone through the huge transformation I was expecting. Although my husband tells me my legs look leaner and stronger, I don’t see it. The extra weight in my mid-section has not miraculously melted off (along with my stretch marks), as I had hoped it would. Plus I am full of guilt. I keep thinking that I look like such a shammer trying to rest an injury. Or if I skip a run one morning for whatever reason, I beat myself up, making excuses to myself, rather than just enjoying the rest. “I’m going to run tomorrow morning. I was so tired. I really need the break.” This hasn’t gone down how I thought it would.

However, I am enjoying being active again. I feel like I am setting a good example of what a healthy, active lifestyle looks like for Madeline. I feel proud when I return from a run, having gone a little farther or a little faster than the previous run. And I have found a way to make it through my runs without spending every waking minute wondering how far I’ve gone or when it will end. I listen to podcasts, specifically the Another Mother Runner radio show. The thought of getting to run while listening to a new show actually excites me. Excited about running. Me. That thought alone put a smile on my face. I am a badass mother runner!

So although it hasn’t been easy and I may not be toned or skinny, I’m going to keep going. When I feel healed enough (do we ever?), I will finish my final week and then I will continue to run. Because, as it often does, the good outweighs the bad. Can I get an Amen?

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