I am a military wife-mommy-runner. My running journey began almost 8 years ago when I met my husband. He was an avid runner, and I immediately developed a love for running. Running has gotten me through some very tough times, it is the cheapest therapy out there!(you just have to replace your shoes every 400-500 miles.)
My first real emotional need for running was after hurricane Katrina. My husband who was my fiance at the time, was full time in the military. He lost all of his belongings, and was working 20+ hours a day. My office was out of New Orleans, which had flooded so I was not really working. To my husband I was, and he was so grateful for it. He continued to push me to run even when he could not. I would wait for his call and carry my phone on runs in case he might have a free second and I would drive all over to bring him a cup of CCs coffee or a real lunch if he was going to have 5 free minutes that day. A few months later we relocated to Alexandria, where I knew no one. On our four month anniversary he had to go to a military school in another state. Thats when I really started running alot. I would run for hours with my dog mollie (who could run forever). Running really kept my mind off of things. I was tired alot but just attributed it to stress and getting up for work at 530 everyday. I would come home from work at 3, nap until 4, and then head out for my run. Then I got very sick and ended up in the hospital, (I was extremely anemic, hence the tiredness) My husband drove 10 hours as fast as he could to be by my side. That was the first time my training was put on hold.
It has taken me 8 years to get to where I am today as a runner. I did not always take my husbands advice on how to be a better runner, and I payed the price a few times along the way. I started training for a half marathon when we moved back to baton rouge and about 6 months into my training I became pregnant with our daughter. I did not stop running during my pregnancy, I just didn't run further than 6 miles. I got up every morning before work and was running by 5:45 am; I know that this is what made my pregnancy so easy, along with my post c-section recovery. I ran until I was 7 1/2 months pregnant and then I walked. When the doctor told me I had to have a c section and did I have any questions, I said how soon before I can run? He said 1 month. So, 1 month to the day I started running. It was our first family run, I was super pumped! It was a fairly cool day, beautiful weather and I was ready! My husband (I will refer to him as the Kenyan from here on) would not let me run further than 15 minutes, I listened because I didn't want to overdue it. I wore this big elastic belt thing that really held everything in place so I didn't feel like my uterus was going to plop out! 5 months later I ran my best 10k. I would plan my runs around her feeding and nap schedule and most times she would stay napping in her car seat for another hour or so after we were done running. Running after my bug was born definitely was my therapy, it was a way for me to feel good emotionally and physically. There were days when I just could not muster up the energy to run, and kenyan knew it! Sometimes he would get home from work and say Lacey you need to go run!
I can tell you that running with a jogging stroller makes you stronger for lots of reasons; one because you are pushing an added weight, and two because a lot of times I would be singing or talking to my bug(nickname) for 4 or 6 miles.
My husband has pushed me mentally and physically with ways to be a better runner, but it was literally like a spark went off one day and I told myself HEY! I am a runner. I never felt like a runner up to this point because I had not yet run further than 8 miles. When I finished that first 10k after my bug was born with my husband-best friend by my side and a happy bug, it was the greatest feeling ever! I also ran faster than some of my husbands soldiers and he thought that was great and hilarious all at the same time. It was a great feeling of accomplishment that I could still run, breast feed, and function on little to no sleep sometimes. When I went back to work when my daughter was about 8 months old and I did not run as often. I missed her terribly everday that I was away from her. Some mornings I got up at 4:45am and I would pump (not as in pump you up) and run before I had to get her up and ready for daycare. Then I started running on my lunch break, which was not always easy because I would be sweaty but I did not care; I washed my face, and sprayed on some perfume. I was getting my run in; my therapy for the day.
I started going to yoglates with a friend and that is where I learned that I needed this time for myself to be a better wife, and mother. Through yoglates, I became stronger and I learned how to strengthen my body to become a better runner, and something clicked HEY maybe I should listen to my husband who's been running for 20+ years! So I really started trying and pushing myself, and getting a training schedule from the kenyan (not really kenyan, just freakishly fast). I realized that my mind was getting in the way of me being a better runner, not my body.You can always run further than your mind thinks you can! That is step one in becoming a runner! No matter how fast or slow you run, its the fact that you got started that counts the most. I also started going to a plyometrics class occasionally that was taught by this super hardcore guy, he would yell at us as we are on our 100th lunge PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY! As a runner you will gain mental and physical strength you never knew you had!
I ran my first 13.1 not for a half marathon per say, but in remembrance of a previous co-worker of my husbands. I thought about him alot on the way, he died very young of a brain aneurysm and was an amazingly funny, smart guy; the miles just seemed to fly by. My husband and his co-workers run 33 miles every year on July 5. So I said I would do 12, and up to this point my longest run was 8 miles. I was nervous, and excited that day. It was extremely hot that day, I got started about 7:00 am and it was already 95 degrees. As I was making my way back around for my first 6 miles I met up with the kenyan and one of the other guys. He said how do you feel, I said I feel like I could go 7 more, so I drank some water and ate a protein bar and kept on running. That day proved to me that I am a runner! I kicked my training into overdrive and started training for the Gulf coast half. I had an injury during my training, I twisted my ankle on a rock and kept running! Like an idiot! I had set out to run 10 that day so by golly I was gonna run 10, at mile 8 was when I twisted my ankle. I took off two days and started out with 3 miles, by the 2nd mile I was limping, leaning on the stroller like a crutch and my daughter saying mom why are we going so slow!?! Well I finally had to take off an entire month and did not think that I would be able to run. I rode a stationary bike and did lots of gore training, I hate the stationary bike! One month before the race, I was able to run pain free, I got two good long runs in. I finished way better than I expected and I wasn't dead, the kenyan says that's because you could have pushed harder(God I love him!) I teared up at 6 miles, because I had this wave of emotion that came over me and I knew I would run that entire 13.1 and finish! It brought tears to my eyes as I was coming across the finish line to see my bug screaming go mommy go, run faster mommy! I tear up alot on runs, you will read about that a lot to.
I will end this first entry with this because it could be an entry all to itself. I've had people tell me there kids don't like being pushed in a jogging stroller(BOBs are the best), once my bug was older and talking we had some of the best times in the jogging stroller, we would sing songs, count trees or birds or whatever, talk about food, colors, hunt for trolls (she had an obsession with trolls for a while after reading 3 billy goats gruff) we would make up adventures and so on. She is now 3 and loves running too, so if she's with me for my run then she will either run before I start or after I'm done. She is currently in training for her first race:) A one mile fun run at Disney where I will be running the princess half. We are definitely a running family! I say families that run together eat lots of food together, no really families that run together stay together! Happy running!