I'm re-posting this post from June today to link up to Beth's party, My Favorite Post of 2011. No, it's not a project I completed for my home, but it was a post that I wrote as an inspiration for others who don't enjoy running that they might be challenged and encouraged to exercise.
I did run the 10 mile race I mention below, and I was 9 weeks pregnant. For those of you who are setting new goals for 2012, may this be an inspiration and encouragement to you to start now, and you can do it!
While we were in Florida this past week, my husband found a sign for a 5K and decided he wanted to do it. So, we got up early on Saturday morning, registered for the race, and I'm proud to say that I ran a 5K!
Here we are after:
The first time I started running was a little over six years ago, while living in Jordan. There was an ultra marathon/marathon/10K/5K that went from the capital, Amman, down to the Dead Sea. How could I not participate in that? So, I began training for the 10K portion of the race and completed my first 10K, along the Dead Sea. I haven't had any exotic running experiences since then, but I've tried to run from time to time, and have never enjoyed it! I always love how I feel after I run, but the process is not pleasant for me.
After I miscarried Baby #3 in March, I decided that it was time for me to get back in shape. Sure, I could fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, but they just didn't fit the same. If you've had children, you know what I'm talking about. New bulges appear, your skin stretches out--everything sort of just shifts around. I think I'm most sad about losing my belly button; it's no longer a goblet (Song of Solomon reference, in case you were wondering). With both of my first two pregnancies I gained 50 pounds, and with the 3rd, I had still gained about 10 pounds by the time I miscarried. I'm not one of those blessed women who can come home from the hospital and look like they never had a baby. So, I still had some weight to lose and I decided it was time to do something about it!
So, how did I get started? I set a goal: Run a 10 miler. Yes, it's rather ambitious, but I needed something to work toward. Every year in my parents' town there's a 10 mile race. I've always wanted to do it, but not being a runner it wasn't really an option. I figured by giving myself a good 5-6 months to train I could certainly pull it off. Plus, I have several women in my life that are my running inspirations: my mom and her friend, who are in their 50's, and run between 10-15 miles a week; a friend of mine who ran a marathon 7 months after having a baby; countless other friends who run regularly and amaze me with their discipline!
The most challenging aspect of training for me has been the heat (that and the fact that I don't enjoy running!). Some days I'm out running and it's close to 100F! What was I thinking?! is usually what goes through my mind on those days. But then I hear my husband's words of encouragement that I'm being consistent with exercise, and I hear him saying that he notices I'm losing weight in certain areas, (he also mentioned that my behind was a bit firmer--come on, ladies, what husband wouldn't want that! And what woman wouldn't want to hear that!). And when I come to the end of my 3-mile loop, I hear my little girls yelling, "Run, Mama, Run!", and I remember another reason why I'm running. I want to be in shape and healthy enough to enjoy them as they get older. I want my children to see an example of a well-disciplined life, in all aspects of my life. And so, I run.
If you've been feeling the need to get back in shape, here are my tips for you:
1. Set a goal. You can start out small, like taking a walk once a day, 3 times a week.
2. Find a race and sign up. Most running races have a walking portion as well, so you don't have to be a runner to do this. Having a race that you're working toward has been a huge inspiration for me. And if you register for it, you have to pay, so that sort of commits you!
3. Get a friend to help you. "Iron sharpens iron..." so find someone who wants to get in shape too and keep each other accountable. If it's convenient, walk or run together. (Some ladies from our church here recently trained and ran a 5K together--that would be a great ladies' night out activity!)
4. Enlist the support of your husband. When I shared my desire to get in shape with my husband, I told him that I would need his help in watching the kids. There was no way I was going to train for a 10-miler pushing a double jogging stroller! He has willingly and eagerly assisted! And, I'm sure your husband would do the same!
5. Start now! It's easy to say, "Oh, I'll do that next week, " or, "I'll wait until July so I can start at the beginning of the month." We all know that procrastination doesn't pay off. So, start today!
*Edited on December 27, to add the following:
I did run that 10 mile race mentioned above, and I was 9 weeks pregnant. For those of you who are setting new goals for 2012, may this be an inspiration and encouragement to you to start now, and you can do it!
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