Introducing Pumpkin!

Why can’t running feel as easy as brunching?

Hello Salty Runners!  I am your latest spice, the very deliciously named Pumpkin Spice.  You can call me Pumpkin for short.  I hail from the Twin Cities, but have done most of my adulting in Moorhead, MN, essentially, on the Minnesota side of Fargo, ND.  I am coming up on 10 years of wedded bliss to my awesome husband and am a mom to a 7 year old boy and almost 5 year old girl.  They are the reason I run.  (You can read that in whatever way you want: run for them or away from them.)

Now that the awkward introduction is out of the way, let me legitimize my presence here!

In some ways, it feels like I’ve been running forever, but really, I’ve only been doing this for 5 years.  I started running 6 weeks after my daughter was born, as a way to take back my body after several years of pregnancies.  I had tried and failed at running a bunch of times previously, always feeling frustrated that it was SO HARD.  I always heard about how “addicting” running is, but I never felt myself jonesing for a run like I jones for a gallon of coffee or a piece of cake.

Anyway, my doctor advised me not to take up running so soon after my baby was born.  I tend to do what people tell me not to do, so that sealed the deal for me.  Not only was I going to go out and get myself a running addiction, I figured I might as well go all out and sign up for a half marathon.  Makes sense, yes?

And thus began my love/hate/tolerate/love relationship with running.  I finished that half marathon and have run about 9 others.  I’ve run 2 full marathons since then, and a bunch of 5ks and other distances.  Compared to some, I’d consider myself on the slow side, but I’ve come a long way since my first race.  Most days I’m completely content with hanging out in the 10 minute mile zone, and some days I compare myself to all of my fast runner friends.

I’ve done far more than I ever thought possible.  I’ve build amazing friendships with running partners. I’ve eaten far more GU’s and Sport Beans than I care to think about. I’ve peed my pants during several races (but, for the record, never poop). I’ve had injuries, expensive MRI’s and chiropractic work. It’s all been worth it.

The past few months, though, I’ve had more hard runs than fun ones.  I’ve had really good training with really awful, trainwreck races.  I’ve had a hard time dragging myself out of bed at dark o’clock unless I’ve made a date to run with a friend.  I’ve felt stale and ready to break up with running.  I’ve lost my confidence.  Coincidentally, I had planned on taking a break from running beginning this month.  And then this opportunity to contribute to my favorite running website came along on the day my break was set to begin.  Must be a sign.

track tuesday
Obviously the best way to recover in between 400 repeats is to take a faux action shot.

So I guess today marks my fresh start.  I’ll consider this blogging opportunity as couples therapy for running and me.  I don’t know what I’m training for yet.  Maybe training for a race right now isn’t as important as finding the joy in running again.  So I’ll take it one run at a time and see where this takes me!

Have you ever almost quit running? Do you struggle finding the motivation more than it seems others do?

I'm a college mental health counselor, runner, cyclist, wife, and mom to two strong-willed children. I started running in 2011 after the birth of my last child after years of love-hate relationships with fitness. My favorite distance is the half marathon, but I love the challenge of tackling the marathon. My biggest challenge is the mental aspect of racing, but my greatest strength is I'm stubborn and never give up! I'm a free spirit, an open book, and try to be authentic both in real life as well as in my internet life. Running has given me a place to face my fears, chase goals, and stay humble. Side note: I love cats and coffee and tacos.

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