mind, body & soul of a runner: reflections from my first 6 months of running

i started my running journey in october 2019. i started running for three simple reasons. reason #1: to connect with my kids; reason #2: to take care of myself; reason #3: to challenge myself as i embarked on my new life as a part-time work from home mama, all while living in a brand new city. once i decided that i would become “a runner”, i went all-in and started to immerse myself in the wonderful world of running. i picked a goal race (yosemite half marathon in may 2020, which has since been cancelled), and lined up lots of tune-up races in between. i researched, read blog posts, followed other running mamas, listened to podcasts, bought new running shoes, and started this blog/instagram to share my story (which is a huge leap of faith for me, as a previously proud “non-social-sharer”!).

it’s been a truly incredible 6 month journey. as cheesy as it sounds, i have never felt so alive! the mind/body connection running provides, plus the time i’m able to spend with the kids…i can’t imagine anything better. i thought it would be fun to reflect on my journey so far, so i’m sharing my list of 6 observations from my first 6 months:

1 – i feel taller. and leaner. and more athletic. while i didn’t start running with a weight loss goal, i definitely have lost a few pounds (but i’ve also gained muscle!). and totally not scientific, but i feel like i’ve been stretched out. my posture has improved. my legs are more toned. i feel lighter on my feet.

2 – i feel more confident. there’s nothing quite like the feeling of running with a double stroller (my arms will attest to this!). but seriously. you’ll feel like a true bad ass mother runner. and that runner’s high stays with you all. day. long. it’s also such a rush to be able to try something totally new. by now, you know my story (#neverarunner). it is so fulfilling to push your boundaries…instant confidence booster!

3 – i feel closer to my kids. nearly 90% of the time, i’m training with kids in the stroller. we log 20+ double stroller miles a week. i am forever grateful for the quality time we get to spend together.

4 – i feel more productive. nothing like a fun double stroller run to get my day back on track. there’s something to be said about spending time with the kids, spending time outdoors, and getting a great workout.

5 – i am just getting started. i have so many goals. and so far to go. while i’m not looking to bq (“boston qualify” for my fellow new runners our there!) any time soon, i love that i can make so many goals for myself as a runner. i’m very race-motivated, so i love having “goal races” on the calendar. but quarantine has showed me that in the midst of cancelled races, i can still crush my goals with virtual races, challenges, run streaks and more!

6 – R.I.P. toenails. so this is not a glamorous observation, but definitely worth mentioning! when i started my journey, i made the mistake of not getting proper running shoes. this should’ve been my first step…lesson learned. both of my big toenails are bruised and will likely fall off soon. no pain involved, but they’re certainly not fun to look at! this is a reminder for all new runners. build your mileage slowly and be sure to have the proper gear.

i can’t wait to see what the next six months bring. i’m always adjusting my goals…hint hint, i will be making some new ones (and naturally, publicly committing to them) very soon! if you want to read more about how your body changes when you start running, check out some of these informative (and scientific) articles:

runner’s world – 16 things that will probably happen to your body when you start running

the active times – how running changes your body