Let's talk about Running.

9 months ago I started my running journey, so I thought I would share with you some tips on how to get started. These are things that helped me, so maybe they will help you also.
 A little background info about me....I have always liked running.
When I was a kid I would go running with my dad and I did my first 5k when I was 5 years old.
Whenever it was time to run the mile in PE, I looked forward to it :)
In middle school and high school I was a soccer player, but I ran track to keep in shape.
I was a sprinter....the events I specialized in were the 4x100 relay, 300 m hurdles, 200 m & 4x400 relay. I didn't do the "long distances" like the 1 mile or the 2 mile...those were for the crazy cross country runners ;)

But, like I mentioned, I did enjoy running and that was part of staying in shape for soccer. I got a scholarship to play soccer at University of Colorado and to stay in soccer shape, I would go on 3-4 mile runs 1 or 2 times a week to keep my endurance.

When I graduated from college & stopped playing soccer I would still go on runs. When Kevin and I first became friends, we would go running together after work 2-3 times a week. We really got to know each other by spending all that time running together.
When he proposed, we were actually on a run....we had gone on a trail run and he proposed up on a hill overlooking a valley.

Once we got married, we would still go on runs, but not as often.
I've shared this part of my running journey before, but want to share it again...
Then in 2005, we decided to start trying for a family.
Summer of 2005 was the last time I ran (until I started running again last summer)
I got pregnant in September 2005 and then had a miscarriage at 10 weeks in October 2005. 
I was in a funk for several months & then in May 2006 I found out I was pregnant with Kate.
Even after my pregnancy with Kate I didn't start running. 
Then when Kate was 11 months old, I became pregnant with Claire.
These were my excuses:
"I'm nursing....it will hurt to run with all that milk in the ladies"
 "I'm too tired"
"I don't have enough time"
"I'm too out of shape"
"I don't want to"
Kevin would beg for me to run, when we moved into our current house, it backs up to a running trail. I promised him we would start running together.
I broke my promise....I kept making excuse after excuse on why I couldn't run. 
Again, these were my excuses:
 "I'm too tired"
"I don't have enough time"
"The jogging stroller is too heavy to run with"
"I'm too out of shape"
Again, these were all excuses & lies that I was telling myself.
I did have the time, I just wasn't making it a priority to work out & run.
But, the real reason I wasn't running was because of 2 things:
I had too much Pride to start running again because I knew that I wasn't the runner that I used to be. When I was in my teens & early 20's I was a really fast runner. 
(I still hold a school record in track at my high school for the 300 hurdles) 
I had too much pride to start running again because I knew that I wasn't going to be as fast as I used to be. 

It was also Fear. 
I was scared to start running again because I know how much it hurts to start from scratch.
You are so sore those first few weeks back.
I was fearful of the pain & also fearful that I would be slow.
I knew that taking years of running off, plus having 3 kids & now being in my 30's would mean that I would be slower. 
It was pride & fear getting in the way of starting to run again. 

Last June my friend Jackie and my neighbor Stephani were signing up for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco. It was a lottery and they said the chances were slim to get in, but if you signed up as a group, you had a better chance. Jackie & Steph needed a 3rd person for their group & asked me to sign up with them.
I did NOT want to sign up.
I had not gone running in 10 years & here I was signing up for a 1/2 marathon?
I didn't think we would get in, so I agreed to sign up with them.
A month later we found out we got in.
So, that meant I had to start running again.
I was scared. 
Maybe you haven't worked out or gone running in several years either and you want to get back into it.
I have made a list of 5 tips that might help you....I know these are things that have helped me.

1. Sign up for a race
I know for me, I was motivated by the fact that I had signed up for a race, so I HAD to train for it.
You don't need to sign up for a Half Marathon.....you can sign up for a 5K (3.1 miles) or a 10k (6.2 miles)
Signing up for a race was the kick in the pants I needed.

If you do sign up for a race.....Follow a training program!
There are tons of free training programs out there.
I followed Hal Higdon's half marathon training program.
I know friends that have used Couch to 5k
These training progams are GREAT because they start you off slow with your training and then you build. TRUST the training programs! They work if you follow them. I felt totally prepared for my first Half Marathon because I followed the plan. And, I didn't get injured from over training because I followed what they told me to do.

After the Nike Half Marathon in October, I didn't run for about 2 weeks after because I didn't have a race that I was training for. That is when I realized I am more motivated to run when I am signed up for a race.

2. Get a running buddy/running group or someone to keep you accountable
Even though running is an "individual" sport, it is nice to have someone to run with.
One of my favorite things to do now is to go on a family "bike run" Kevin and I run & Luke is in the jogging stroller and the girls ride their bike.
Running groups are also a great thing to get involved with.
One of the running shoe stores in our town has a running group & once a week there is a group run.
A lot of running stores have these.
When I signed up for the Nike Half with my friends, we all have kids & different schedules so it didn't work out for us to all run together, but we would text each other for moral support and check in to see how the training was going. I know that Jackie & I had both never run more than 10 miles so on the days of our long runs, we would text each other for encouragement and accountability.

3. Get appropriate shoes/clothes/accessories
You need proper shoes & clothes for running!
I had not gone running in 10 years, so my running shoes were 10 years old. The rubber was obviously worn, so I didn't want to run on worn out shoes & risk an injury. So, I went to my local running store and got fitted for running shoes. They examine your gait, how you walk, how you run, how your feet are positioned, etc. This is SO important that you wear proper running shoes!!!!
I have been fitted 2 times and THESE are the shoes that are best for me:

I didn't have any running clothes when I started running, so I went shopping for a few new things.

THESE are my favorite running shorts:

I have them in a few colors/patterns. So comfy!

THESE are my favorite running pants:

THESE are my favorite running socks...dri fit socks are way better than cotton!

THESE are my favorite running tanks:

THESE are my favorite long sleeve running tops:

And, I have THIS armband for my phone in while I run & listen to music:

I love THESE running headphones:
I also use the Nike + Running app (it's free!) and I listen to Pandora Top Hits while I run.

I also run with a visor on...I don't like sun in my eyes or my face.
THIS is the visor I run in:

4. Find a time to run that works for you
I know a lot of people go on their runs in the morning before work/before their kids wake up.
I am not a morning person, so that time doesn't work for me.
In the past 9 months, I have gone running 2 times in the morning...I just don't like running in the morning. I prefer to run in the late afternoon or evening.
If I had to run in the mornings, I would probably have given up by now.
Sometimes we will go on family bike runs when Kevin gets home from work.
Sometimes I will go on runs in the evening by myself.
Sometimes I will go on runs after the kids are in bed.
On the weekends, I like to go before dinner.

5. Just do it & Have fun!!!
Yes....your first week or 2 getting back into running is going to suck.
You are going to be sore.
You are going to think that you will never be in shape again.
You will want to quit.
These are all things that went through my head.
Push through it.
You CAN do it.
It has been exactly 9 months since I re-started my running after a 10 year break.

 In the past 9 months I have ran 505 miles...which included 3 Half marathons, a 10K & two 5K's.
If you told me a year ago that I would have gone running this much, I would have laughed & not believed you.

There has been blood, sweat, tears & a lot praying during those 500+ miles. 

On July 16, I ran for the 1st time in 10 years...it was awful. I did that same run this past Saturday...April 16. I ran it 2 minutes per mile FASTER than I did 9 months ago.

I can't believe the improvement in just 9 months...I'm so glad I started running again....I feel stronger & better about myself. 

No matter how fast you go, at least you are getting out there and running. 
I love this quote that I saw:

I'm mad at myself that I wasted 10 years NOT running. I made so many excuses for 10 years...so glad I carve out the time do go on my runs now. As parents we often put our needs aside because we are busy with our kids, jobs, etc. It really doesn't take that much time out of your day. The app says I've gone on 106 runs...did I want to go running 106 times? Nope! But, I'm always glad I did after I am done. 

So glad I am not making anymore excuses. I made way too many for 10 years.

 Maybe you want to start running again....or going to the gym....or swimming....or going on hikes/walks/bike rides...or playing tennis or doing yoga.I want to encourage you to carve some time for yourself each week....you will be so glad that you did. 

Just do it.

I hope these tips are helpful to you.
I am by no means a running expert...I am far from it!
I'm just a mom of 3 kids who has re-ignited her love of running.

If you have any other tips that will help with running, I would love to hear them & I am sure other readers can benefit from them also!


  1. Great tips!
    My running buddy is going back to work soon. I'm not too thrilled about it, but I hope I can find somebody else!

  2. Greatt tips! Thank you Mel! I use to run....well I should say jog! I need to start again!!

  3. I love this!! I quit running (and working out really) when I started grad school last March. Now that I'm almost through, I want to get back into running the 4x a week that I used to and run a half in November. I'm glad you wrote about how scared you were of how hard it would be because that's how I felt yesterday when I took my first run. It was hard but I know it'll be easier the more I do it!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  4. I love this, Melissa!! I have been on a running hiatus for the better part of a year and I MISS IT. I just needed a little motivation.

  5. Great post! I started running for the first time 4 years ago. I did the couch to 5k program and ran with a group of people in my town. I still run to this day! :)

  6. Yes! As a former runner, I couldn't agree more with this. Love your attitude and encouragement friend!

  7. I love this! As a former soccer player, I also loved running to keep my endurance up. After I quit playing I slowly quit running also and I'm so aggravated with myself for doing that! I'm slowly starting back up. Thanks for the encouragement! -xx Leah || Chasing Texas

  8. Mel...I don't know whether to kiss you are kick you for posting this!!! I was never a runner and will never be a fast runner but I've run 3 1/2 marathons and I really did love the success of completing something like that. I had dinner with the girls I trained with in 2014 and we were all contemplating signing up for the 2016 race...I think I just got my answer. Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. I was definitely not that kid, I would try to do whatever I could to get out of running he mile! Ha So needless to say, running is not my thing but I honestly wish I was. I've tried to do intervals on the treadmill but that's about as far as my path to running has gone. Thanks for these tips, I'm going to give them a try!

    xo, Kristina

  10. I also love running, and infact I do running on treadmill for long hours. I prefer wearing pants and comfortable tank tops while running. Recently bought workout clothes from online at great discount and their designs and colors are amazing.



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