You guys, thank you so, so much for answering my questions last week. You have no idea how much I value your input – even when it’s varied and all across the board, I love reading what you have to say and try out so much of what you suggest.

Sorry it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an inspirational running story from one of you! I literally didn’t even have a spare second last week to get one formatted and ready but I promise a few new ones this week. If you haven’t seen the last couple, check out Christina’s here and Judith’s right here. Amazing ladies!

This week. Wow. It was alternately a blur and then at times felt like it would never end. Running four days a week instead of three is definitely an interesting challenge for me. Here’s how it went down.

The Week’s Workouts:

-Monday: ran three miles pushing my 3- and 6-year old in the double jogger since I didn’t get the run in before life started at 6:30 a.m. (down to the post office in our little town and back). Whenever I think running three miles might maybe, possibly be getting “easy” – all I have to do is drag out the double jogger. I.Wanted.To.Die. I’m pretty sure the people driving by me were thinking “dude, that lady might as well walk, she’s running so slow.” But hey, I crossed off Run 3 Miles on my to-do list (even if it did include a 4-minute break to mail something).A little boy and girl in a jogging stroller.

-Tuesday: I did a sculpting/toning workout on TurboFire (BeachBody set my cousin, Merianne, lent to me)

-Wednesday: Did the unthinkable (for me) and since I didn’t run in the early a.m., I ran during Cam’s nap (which is usually very precious blog-working time for me that I don’t relinquish to other things very easily) since I knew I had church/family obligations from about 3:00 to 11:00 p.m and wouldn’t do it in the evening. I was supposed to go 4 miles but only got in 3.

-Thursday: Was supposed to run 4 today (since I only ran 3 Wednesday) but thanks to incredibly busy schedules all week, it didn’t happen and mentally prepared to do it early morning Friday.

-Friday: Woke up before 6 a.m. to run 4 miles only to find it pouring rain so I hopped on the treadmill (grudgingly) and ran 3 instead (not sure what was happening with my treadmill motivation this week but 3 miles was about my max each time I tried).

-Saturday: The big 7-mile run (longest distance so far) was looming before me all week. Because I shorted myself 1 mile in my weekday runs, I decided I better do 8 miles instead. I tried to talk myself out of this a hundred times but knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with my weekly goals unless I just sucked it up and did it. I woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday, got prepared (and tried to calm my nerves) and set out on the course I had mapped out the night before. Thanks to your suggestions last week, I was armed with my running water belt (which I’ve been using for several weeks) and some energy gel blocks (that my friend, Mel, sent to me last week).

I’m not sure why but I was sluggish from the beginning. I’ve been starting out at a 9:45 or 10:00 pace but I never got below 10:15 this entire run (and most of the time I was hanging out right at 10:30 or 11:00). I tried not to overthink my pace knowing that today, it was just about getting in the miles.

Right around mile 5, I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it. I was tired, my right hip flexor was aching and I really had to use the bathroom (sorry). I slowed down a bit and decided to chomp on one of the energy gels and slurp some water. Just as I turned my pack back around to pick up the pace again, I heard footsteps to my left which was very, very odd and for a minute I had one of those quirky out-of-body feelings where something’s happening you can’t place and it takes a second or two to figure out what’s going on (like the time in college when I saw my university professor at the grocery store and it took me, like, 5 seconds to say something coherent because I couldn’t figure out why I was seeing her there). I looked over and screamed! It was my 9-year old, Walker! Remember, he’s the one that ran 5 miles with me a few weeks ago.

A little boy running on a sidewalk.

He and Brian had hatched an elaborate scheme after I left. When they figured I had run about 4-5 miles, they hopped in the truck and came up behind me. Walker quietly hopped out and sprinted to catch up with me so he could run the rest of the way home by  my side.

I can’t even describe what this did for me mentally. I might have even started crying a teeny bit (jeez, running has made me emotionally fragile!). I so desperately had needed a pick-me-up right at that very moment of my run. I was in the middle of cow country and was sure I wasn’t going to be able to keep running, but when Walker started running next to me (and maybe the energy gel helped to? guess we’ll never know for sure), I had a renewed sense of purpose to finish strong. Notice, I didn’t say fast (in fact, I had to keep telling Walker to slow down), but I wanted to finish without stopping or walking.

Brian caught the whole 50 second surprise on video. {Watch how Walker’s sprinting to catch up to me and you’ll see that I totally jump/squeal in surprise.} It’s taking a lot of courage to post this because: a) I’m running really slowly, b) I look like I’ve been running for 23 miles, not 5 and c) let’s be serious, you can’t hide a lot on video. But this was a really defining moment for me – I realized how much my family’s support means to me. It completely changed the outcome of this milestone run. I also realized {again} that I can do hard things and that even though the progress seems slow, I’m making it!

Despite the fact I am unbelievably sore today (definitely the most sore I’ve been since I started 13 weeks ago) and couldn’t get up out of my chair yesterday without assistance after watching three soccer games in a row right after running, I still can’t quite believe I ran 8 full miles. I RAN 8 MILES!!!

I suppose I better start to come to terms with it since I have to do it again Saturday. P.S. A special thanks to my friend (she knows who she is) who let me knock on her door at 7:30 a.m. at mile 6 and take a 30-second potty stop.

A woman running with her son.

This Week is Pretty Straightforward

-3 miles Monday, cross-train Tuesday, 4 miles Wednesday, 3 miles Thursday, rest day Friday, 8 miles Saturday.

My Goals This Week:

-Get all my runs in early morning of the actual day they are planned – this will require a little more self-control to get to bed before midnight but will help so I don’t procrastinate the runs all day to the point that they sometimes don’t happen until the next day (or at all)

-Map out a few new courses since my go-to’s are getting pretty boring

-Take both my older boys out for one or two of the runs to help them with their upcoming 10K

-Incorporate more stretching (even on non-running days?) – my hamstrings and hip flexors are really tight and sore and I want to avoid injury as much as possible…I need to google some foam roller exercises


You, You, You!! How was your running week?