Saturday, February 07, 2015

Running into Midlife


So, my very first and only goal when I started running again last summer, was not to quit.

Hello! Oh dear readers. Its been a while, hasn't it? Yes it has and I'm really sorry about that. I'm blogging right now but honestly, I have no idea how often I'll pop in here. I've learned that priorities shift and change and while I truly want to keep an online journal, I'm not sure how realistic that is. 

But here it goes anyway. Again.

I've taken up running for the second time in my life and I have two words to say:  life-changing.

I don't know why, but I suspect the reason is that its a part of my life I can control in a very positive way as I move through my forties. Last year, age 44, was the very very very worst year of my life for reasons I'm going to keep close to my heart, but reasons which are probably pretty normal for my age. Not so this year however. Turning 45 last September has brought a lot of joy! New doors opening! Stepping out of safe comfort zones! Fully living life instead of watching from the bleachers! Becoming more confident in my decisions in how I do life and parenting and homeschooling and sewing and all of it. Oh ya, baby.

Last weekend, I ran my first race in over ten years, a 15K, which is just over 9 miles. Tom and Dawson ran the race also, met me as I crossed the finish line, showered me with Gatorade and took pictures of me holding a well-deserved medal.

Gatorade never tasted so good, people. Dang.

Getting ready to run!

We did it!!!

So proud of my medal!

And to top off the day, my sister and I went to the Phoenix Quilt show, also known as happily purchasing a lot of fabric despite the tanking Canadian dollar.  It was hands-down one of the stinking best weekends of my very life.

I'd like to chronicle this journey. If you've ever read any of my blog, you'll know that over a year ago, I wrote about doing the 28-Day Prevention magazine challenge to transform my physical fitness. Kate was three years old and it was the right time for me to get my physical activity level back. Still, with toddlers under foot, you can't just easily leave the house for a couple of hours to hang out at the gym, and often just leaving the house at all isn't possible. After researching about the benefits of even 10 minutes of cardiovascular activity, my strategy was to wear my runners at all times in the house, and to sneak 10 minutes running on the treadmill twice a day. Because 10 minutes? Its doable, so doable, and the kids will not die.

I also began doing the Insanity workout with my son but it was really ridiculously Insane so I just kind of fiddled with it here and there. Still, it was something. 

By spring when the weather got better, I began to be able to get out for a walk, usually about 3 miles. It really clears my head. And by late summer, that turned into running. I still have no idea why, I just remember doing my walk that day as a walk/run. After all, my treadmill work had always been running, so why not run outside? By early September, it all just turned into running. I didn't use a program, I just ran till I couldn't and then I walked. 

I started to feel sooooo good. Like, happy hormones coarsing through my veins. Happy, exhausted, victorious, I-can-do-it hormones after every struggling run. I felt so strong and healthy.

Then I read the book Marathon Woman, by Kathy Switzer. I tell you, I love that book. I mean, I don't agree with all her life choices and the running came at a price for her but the book itself? Fascinating. Motivating. Inspiring. She suggested setting a goal to run consistently for 12 weeks. Which would put me into winter. Yech, winter. Oh well, I was at the very least, motivated to continue after all the sweat I had put into it so far, sooooo ...

I soon became a regular customer and runner at our local Running Room. I kind of became obsessed with all things running. They got me hooked up with all the tech gear to keep me running through the winter. I joined their running group on the mid-week (free for anyone) evening runs. Remember how I'm an introvert? Ya, so joining a running group was a huge risk for me, but I kept going and found the group so supportive, so encouraging, and so very friendly!! 

The runs were exhilarating. 

And apparently inspiring, because my husband and son started to run. Well, Tom has always been a runner ever since we met, but his current running was on the treadmill at his work gym. Folks, treadmills have a place but it is nothing like propelling your body forward on a path in the great outdoors. So, Tom and I began to do longer runs together on the weekend, and I think its going to be a new thing we can do together as a couple.  It kind of makes me giggle every time we head out together. So much fun!! 

I have learned that I love cold-weather running, although we have had an incredibly mild winter here in Calgary so far. Its what I love about living in the foothills, you can get frigid temperatures one day but the next day a chinook will roll in and the sun will shine and its awesome. But I am not afraid of and I actually prefer to run outside in minus 18 than be on a dreadmill watching the miles slowwwwwly tick by and no breeze to keep me cool, no scenery to distract me. That is sheer torture.

So there you go, friends. I've turned a new leaf, cemented a new habit, added a new hobby to my lovely full life. And I want to take you all with me!! Any runners out there? Any runners-in-the-making? I will just say this: DO IT. Get active and change your life. Start small but don't quit. Make the decision and tell someone to keep you accountable. 

Join me in my next race. Please?

Love you all, dear readers. Thanks for hanging out with me, I'm off for a run.



  1. GO YOU!!!! :-) I am so proud of you! and so happy that you are so happy :D

  2. (but _18?! oh my!! I could never do cold weather runs! Under about 55 and I just can not breathe. And I have to spit constantly (what the heck?!)

    1. Yeah ... spitting is just part of running culture LOL!!!


I'd love to hear from you! Let's talk!