Run like a Mother!

I’m not sure what it is about people who enjoy running…but it’s this not-so-secret little cult that I’m starting to understand more about.  They love to run, they love to talk about it, they love to read about it, and they love others who feel the same way.  They wave to each other and smile on their 6:00am weekend runs.  They talk about their shoes, their races, their pace, their training schedules and for some reason they never get bored by it.  And this is who I am writing this post for….because, quite frankly, it may sound boring to everyone else.

Or, maybe you are new to running.  Maybe you want to give it another try.  Maybe you’ve been staring at your Couch 2 5k app for months now and want to give it a shot.  Maybe you despise running with a passion {me 6 months ago} or maybe you’re just starting to fall in love with the sport like I am.  So maybe, just maybe you may have a little interest in this post too!

I just wanted to write a little about where I am at in my running journey.  I read a quote the other day that said “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday”.  That’s exactly how I feel about running.  It’s constant progress.  And while there may be bad days, you are always a becoming a better runner than you were the day before.  It’s actually really amazing to witness in others and of course, see for yourself.

Six months ago my friend Ryann and I committed to running together.  It was rough.  We started C25k and off we went.  2 min walk. 2 minute run. 3 minute walk.  3 minutes running.  I remember the day the voice came over my earbuds and said “run 22 minutes straight”….I immediately thought the app was broken and didn’t listen to it because there was no way in the world I could run that long,  so I didn’t.  I rewound it back a week and went back to the run/walk schedule.  We kept at it though, and I don’t know where the turning point began, but we started to look forward to our runs.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  We decided to sign up for the 5k 4th of July Freedom run our town holds every year.  We had previously done the 5k Color Run and the 10K Camp Pendleton Mud Run but they were both for “fun”.  This was the first race that was timed, and the first race that we were running solo.  We stood together close to the start line and nervously chit chatted, because we both didn’t know what to expect.  It was crowded, the sun was starting to beat down, and we just kept fiddling with our armbands/iphones hoping our playlists and MapMyRun apps were ready to go.  The crowd took off, and we instantly lost each other in the sea of runners and never looked back.

The start was chaotic.  It was hard to get around people, it was hard to set a pace.  I have no idea what  happened but my mouth was so incredibly dry.  Like to the point that I was fixated on it and had no idea how I could keep running because it’s all I could think about.  The water gods must have heard me because they had a water station before the first mile was up and I choked down a cup and kept going.

Now keep in mind, running 3 miles has become a standard distance for me so my goal in this race was to push myself on my pace and actually RACE.  That is something I have never tried to do before and I could tell from the start how different it felt to run outside my comfort zone.  It was hard.  It was getting hot.  And the entire first 1.5 miles was a steady uphill that really made it suck.  It was so cute though because Greg knew the course, so he kept popping up with the boys right where I would need them.  It totally made my day to see them and hear them cheering for me {can you tell?}

freedom run 3

Mile 2 brought about complete stomach muscle spasms which was awful but I tried my best to breathe through them so I could really pick up my pace downhill, then round the corner to the finish line.  They boys were there again with the last quarter mile to go and that’s where it was sprint time.  It’s so funny how that second wind kicks in and you always wonder if you could have exerted yourself earlier instead of saving it all until the end.  But there it was…the end!  I crossed the finish line and was exhausted.

I hobbled around chugging water, found my family, and turned to see Ryann just finishing too!  I could tell she just hauled some booty too so I was so excited to see our times and how we did overall.  Within a few minutes I heard them announce that they were posting the initial results.  I walked over to the board where they printed them, and didn’t even get a chance to read them since everyone was crowded around it.  I stuck my hand through, snapped a photo where I could make out my name, and walked away to zoom in on my stats on my phone.

Was I seeing things?  I placed FIRST in the 30-34 age division with a time of 24:13 and a pace of 7:48.  I was completely shocked.  The best part is Ryann walked over with the same stunned look on her face.  She came in 3rd in our same age division {there were 61 women in our age division}.  I came in 26th out of 589 women.  And 110 out of 1092 total runners.

I couldn’t have been more proud to stand up with my friend and get a gold and bronze medal in our first ever individual race.

freedom run 2 freedom run

 We have decided to add a couple of 10k races to our calendar to train for our half marathon in October.  In the meantime I’m using the momentum from this first race to keep pushing myself further in my day to day training.  I took the day off from running Friday since I was really sore, did cross-training on Saturday and then Sunday woke up early and got in my longest run to date.  It felt great to get out there, slow down my pace, and just enjoy my alone time.  I don’t get much of it, so I’ll take it in the form of a 9 mile run.

map my run

 That double digit milestone is just around the corner, and I can’t believe it’s ME actually getting there.  I can’t express enough how much I hated running.  I was terrible at it, it brought back awful middle school memories of that wretched mile run, and I just never saw why anyone would ever WANT to run if they didn’t have to.  I’m sure there are so many of you reading this that can relate {if you have even made it this far because who really wants to read about running right?}.  If you do have the slightest urge to get started the Couch 2 5K app is definitely an awesome place to start, or I also love Map My Run if you just want to map out your own course and pace.  When I first started I kept reminding myself that “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”.  And that was fast enough for me!

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    • lauren says

      Seriously you are doing so great!!! The fact that you’re getting up so early shows your dedication. You’ve already coming really far! Keep it up!

  1. says

    Is it totally weird that this post made me tear up a little? I’m so proud of us for how far we’ve come and excited about our potential. SO glad we stepped outside our comfort zones and signed up for the Mud Run back on New Year’s Eve. It’s led to so many positive, healthy changes in our lives and I’m excited to see what our running future holds. Here’s to many more fun (and challenging) races! Now let’s go train for that half!!!
    P.S. Thank you for putting this down on paper so eloquently so I can share it too! You rock! XO

    • lauren says

      Hahah I totally teared up while I was writing it. It’s been a really amazing experience and even better that I have been able to share it with you. Half marathon…we’ve got this! xo

  2. says

    How awesome for you! I can’t imagine how accomplished you must feel after this!
    I’m so looking forward to getting settled after our move next month so I can get a routine down without breaking it and having to start over. My sister and I are doing a color run in September, so we’ve got some work to do!
    Great job, Lauren and very encouraging =)

    • lauren says

      Hope you move goes well Renee, I know how much time and effort that takes. Running will be a great stress release once you’re ready and I’m excited to stay tuned to hear about your Color Run. It’s so much fun, you’ll do great!

  3. Casey says

    I am so very proud of you Lauren! Congrats not just for starting to run, but winning your age group must have been an amazing feeling! I have completed 3 half marathons myself and LOVE my 10 mile Saturday morning runs with my girlfriends. Running is addicting for sure – good luck and enjoy your training sessions!

    • lauren says

      Casey!!! I have always thought of you when it comes to swimming and running…you were always so good. I’m so happy to hear you’re still keeping at it….two adorable babies later!! I think you can remember how nonathletic I was growing up soooooo, you can only imagine why this all means so much to me haha. You’re a rockstar mama!

  4. says

    Congrats! This is really inspiring!

    I started running a few months back and have been stuck at 3 miles. My map my run app seems to give me the wrong pace and distance when I wear it on my arm. It was really discouraging to think I did a fast 3.5 miles, only to find out it was an average 2.75 miles. Do you have any trouble with the app? Any tips?

    Thanks! And congrats again!

    • lauren says

      Hi Kristin, you know what? That actually has happened to me! I remember one time it said my first mile was 6 minutes and I was like huh? I think sometimes in certain more rural areas the GPS can cut off at certain points and mess with your time and distance. Hopefully with some updates to the app it will get better. For now just keep at it, it sounds like you’re doing a great job. I wouldn’t even worry about your pace, just keep pushing yourself further and further and the faster pace will happen with your increasing endurance. 3 miles is awesome!

  5. Kara says

    You know how I feel about this – so so proud. And I will add that it wasn’t just you and Ryann tearing up reading this… you are doing so so well. I feel like I’m on the journey with you for some strange reason… I wanted to love running but messed up my knee trying to train for my own half-marathon (the only way I could convince myself to try running – to sign up and pay for a race since I knew I wouldn’t flake on something I paid for – but then I got hurt and couldn’t, even with doctor’s help, return). Maybe, though, if I visit another orthopedic surgeon after the baby, they can help me out. Anything to look as amazing as you do! :-)

    • lauren says

      Thanks so much for your support as always Kara! I definitely know how frustrating an injury can be. I hope when you are ready and able to get back into running your body will let you! Eeeeek it’s almost baby time over there isn’t it?!? So exciting!

  6. Kayla says

    Hiya – stumbled upon your blog. Think it’s wonderful! What running app do you use for iPhone? I like the map option! Thanks Lauren!

    • lauren says

      Hi Kayla, thanks for stopping by! I use the Map My Run app. It’s awesome. If you ever have any questions let me know. Happy Running! :)

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