At our summer track meets, one of the races some of the kids and adults participated in was a one-mile race. My kids always sat out of this one, preferring instead to watch the older kids sprint by. Because there were so many races those evenings (50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, relay, along with the mile), the only request made to run the mile was that you be able to run it in under 10 minutes.
I was always curious if I could do this. It seemed doable—after all, I ran a 5K in just over 33 minutes—surely I could run a single mile faster. But, I was too chicken to join those running, especially with so many finishing in 6, 7, 8 minutes.
Today, I gave it a shot. 
I haven’t run in a long while; I have only just started exercising again (hi, Shredheads, it’s been a while!). But the cool fall-weather day had me itching to put on my sneakers and hit the road. 
I mapped out a single mile, stretched out, and took off down the street. 
I felt like I was flying at first, really sprinting. Even at the uphill about halfway through, I felt strong and quick. The last couple of minutes were a real struggle but my arms were pumping, legs striding. 

I crossed the mile, and glanced at my watch, certain I must have done it in eight, maybe nine minutes.

Blink. Blink.


Whoa, I JUST beat that ten-minute mark. Barely.

Running is so humbling. 

There are days when a half-mile feels like a marathon. Times when every little incline is a “hill” to be conquered. Times when I feel like I must have run four miles, only to find out it was just over three (that hurts).

But, there is nothing else that makes me feel so connected to my body and its ability to push itself beyond what I think is possible. And though I barely got in under ten minutes, I did it.

And that is good enough for me.

Though next time? I’d better break 9:30.

Running in packs

I started running again a few weeks ago, but this time I’m not alone. I’m doing the “Couch to 5K” program with members of our homeschooling coop.

I never knew running could be so much fun.

It’s different to run with a group or a buddy. I have a friend who has said this before, but I’ve never had the luxury of finding someone who wants to run at my pace or my (short) distance. But every Monday, a group of us run and walk (and sometimes shuffle) around the big church where we meet. Midweek, a smaller group often meets at the local playground to run as well.

Moms, some pushing strollers, and kids, from the wee four year olds (who sprint until they are out of breath—stop—and sprint again), to the tweens who either walk (too cool to get sweaty?) or fly by me with a grin as I huff and puff and blow nothing down.

And then this past Friday, I ran alone with Jilly, my eight year old. She is adorable to run with: Chatty, funny, determined. And though I was ever her mother (“Stay to the side of the road”, ” Watch out for those rocks”), I was also her running partner and it made me realize how quickly she is growing up, quite literally running away from me.

But I’ll never be too far behind.

Have you completed the Couch to 5K program? We’re on Week 5, doing a 5K on Memorial Day!

Another year, another set of humbling photos

What is it about April that does this to me?

Last year, I exposed myself, quite literally, to the world as I embarked on the 30-Day Shred, with the crazies known as The Shredheads. During my journey, I lost ten pounds, started running again, and felt great.

So, what did I do?

And while I think my lifelong habit of “starting to exercise and then stopping” is going to be a hard one to break, I’m going to try.

Otherwise I’m going to be posting these awful photos every April. And, yes, I’m cheating by covering up all the stuff in the middle. Use our imagination.



Start: 140 lbs
Waist: 33″
Hips: 38 1/2″
Thighs: 22″

Goal: Run 5k with my two girls in June and get into my pants without having to push flesh out of the way. And maybe get past Level 3 in Ripped in 30, though I’m not promising anything.

Note: I know 140 pounds for someone 5’9″ is totally acceptable, but on me—34A, small boned (my wedding ring is a size 4 1/2)—it feels too fleshy. My college weight of 125 pounds looks way too angular on me now, so I’m only looking to shed about five pounds. I really just want to tone up and fit into my clothes and my –ack–bathing suit.