working mama: I used to run

3:26:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I used to run. Like really run. I transformed myself in 2010 from a proud, non-running, lazy lady into a half-marathon I-run-for-fun freak. I loved it. I lost weight, Nick and I had a new hobby to enjoy together, and did I mention I lost weight?

Then I got pregnant. I always vowed to run throughout my pregnancy, but then I got pregnant. And running with a huge belly when you already can't breathe and pee every 5 minutes? Not an easy task. I really admire the workout fanatics that actually stay fit while pregnant.

As soon as I was cleared by the doctor at 6 weeks postpartum I started to run again. It wasn't nearly as pathetic as my attempts to run when I first started in 2010, but it was pretty bad. But I worked hard, ran daily, and in a few weeks was back up to running 3 miles a day. I was ready to quit everyday, but Logan loved it. You can't argue with that.

At 5 months postpartum when I unexpectedly went back to working 50 hours per week, I made running a priority. I refused to give up everything I had worked for and loved in life, so every morning after a 12-hr shift I laced up my shoes, strapped Logan in our BOB, and off we went. My legs would feel like jello after being on my feet all night. I'm pretty sure sometimes I was running and sleeping at the same time. But I did it.

I did it for the first 3 weeks. And then exhaustion set in. I only get 3-4 hours of sleep between shifts (or really any day of the week), and it really started taking a toll on my body. I was tired, cranky, and hated life. The worst part was that after our morning runs I seemed to get a burst of energy and it took a few hours to cool off and calm down before I could go to sleep. I had to make a decision to keep me happy, and in turn keep my family happy. I quit running.

I never intended to completely quit, I just planned to stop running on days that I worked. There just weren't enough hours in the day. But on my days off we always had plans that ruined any plan of running in the morning or evening. When I found myself with 5 days off of work, we went out of town... where, again, I didn't run.

It hasn't really been that long since I've run... a few weeks, maybe... but it feels like an eternity. And when I haven't run for a while it is the most terrifying task in the world to me. Running can be fun, but not when you're out of shape and out of habit.

I'm off work for the next week (more on that later), and I'm hoping to restart my morning runs with Logan. He loves being outside, and that is one of the few ways I can tolerate it with the crazy hot summer we've had. I'm still hoping to run another half-marathon in the near future, and it's going to be a long 13.1 miles if I don't start training now.

I'll keep you updated.

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