Thanks for sharing your story, Kelli!
I was never a runner. In fact, I was never an athlete in any way, shape or form. I tried soccer: hated it. Tried gymnastics: hated it. PE in school: hated it. I never exercised either. It wasn’t until I got to college that the magic began.
I was a freshman in the dorms in 2007. A friend down the hall had been a runner in high school, and she was asking around for a friend to take a jogging class with her. I randomly volunteered to be that friend. Why? I will never know. But once that semester class ended, something had begun stirring inside of me. My professor told me that I had a great pace and form for running. She thought I had been a runner in high school! Little did she know…
I ran my first half marathon in May 2010. It was mostly on a whim. I didn’t train that hard, and the farthest I ran in training was about 8 miles (and I basically to collapsed from exhaustion afterwards). I signed up for the race with my roommate, and my dad ended up joining us! We ran the American River Parkway Half in Sacramento, CA. I forgot my iPod the day of the race, huge bummer. I started out strong with my roommate while we left my dad behind since he was taking it slow due to knee issues. We ended up separating later on because I had to go to the bathroom and I told her to go on without me! Later on in the race my dad caught up with me, and I decided to stick with him and we could finish together. We finished in 2 hours and 5 minutes. Not bad for a beginner who had barely trained! I felt like collapsing (once again) after the race and couldn’t imagine being one of those crazy marathoners, turning around and doing another 13.1 miles! But the more I thought about the race in the months following, I realized I WAS one of those crazy marathoners – I wanted more.
I ran my first full marathon in September of 2012. I signed up for the Huntsville Marathon because I thought it would be an easy downhill course and a nice fall weekend getaway for Andrew and I. Unfortunately it was too much downhill – I had to stop running a little over halfway through it, due to blowing out my calf muscles and from extremely stiff joints. I didn’t want to injure myself so I walked quite a bit. I was training to finish with a 3:30-3:45 so it was pretty disappointing. (Read the full race recap here and here) I was really upset that I didn’t finish as well as I wanted to, but the more I thought about it the more I felt like, “That was the BEST experience of my life.” I wanted to redeem myself for sure. The whole experience of marathon training and running the actual race is incredibly rewarding. After you run a marathon, you feel like you can accomplish ANYTHING.
So I guess I was hooked on running after that! I knew I wanted to do another marathon but I also wanted to have a baby. Our sweet baby boy came in February 2014. I trained and ran the St. George marathon in October of 2014. I knew it would be the perfect motivation to get back into shape post-baby, and I knew I loved training so I wouldn’t back out. I finished in 3:46! Just 11 minutes shy of that elusive BQ. You KNOW I’ll be coming back to the marathon again.
Is it weird that it excites me to put up a new training plan on my Google Calendar?! I knew it will be difficult to train with a brand new baby for a first time momma, so I wanted to share my journey in order to motivate others and hopefully share some new knowledge. There were a lot of unknowns ahead and I wanted to share how to overcome training-with-baby obstacles on my blog.
You can read my St. George Marathon recap here!
If you are looking for tips on how to train for a marathon with a baby, start here:
5 tips for breastfeeding endurance athletes
6 tips for running with a stroller
Biggest marathon training mistakes
Protein facts for breastfeeding runners
Best sources of protein for breastfeeding runners
6 supplements for breastfeeding runners
One Comment on “Kelli’s Story”
This is so fun to see on your blog! Thanks for sharing my story!
Congrats on your progress with training by the way. You are going to do great on your half!