I Gave Birth Twice…Running 6 Miles (With Hills) is a Piece of Cake

I’ve seen lots of comments posted on Eat. Blog. Run. from newbie runners who like reading the stories from The Relay team here. Me too! My teammates inspire me and help motivate me to do more on my runs. But we all have different stories for the “how” we started running and, of course, the “why.”

When I first told my parents that I had joined The Relay team, my dad said, “Run six miles? You’ve never run six miles in your life.”

“Dad, I’ve given birth twice. If I can endure pregnancy, labor and delivery, I can run six miles.”

And so a running mantra was born.

I want anyone reading this blog to know that if you don’t think you can run, you should think again.

Two months ago I could barely run five minutes. Running has always been hard for body, mostly because I never trained long enough to give it a chance. Also? I have asthma and I never worked with a doctor to get it under better control while running.

Today, I clocked in four miles in just 42 minutes. And the word “ecstatic” just doesn’t describe how I feel about my training.

How did I do it?

First, I checked in with my allergist and came up with a treatment plan to get my lungs in check for running.

Next up? The running. My plan was simple: Block by block.

Every third day that I ran (5 days a week), I would add a block to my distance. One single block.

Baby steps, people.

My lungs were supremely out of shape and holy cow, did my legs hurt/burn/ache/cry-for-me-to-stop-the-madness. But day by day, block by block, I got a little stronger. And one day at about the 8-week mark, instead of stopping after a certain number of blocks I just kept running because if felt right. I ran for 20 minutes straight and covered about two miles of ground. A week later, I ran 3 miles. My body surprised me. I didn’t collapse out of exhaustion. In fact, I almost cried out of sheer joy because I can run! I can run! (I felt like Junie B. Jones as that thought crossed my mind.)

And now? Four. Whole. Miles. Rain or shine.

I’m still terrified of running my first two legs (12 and 24) of The Relay because I have some pretty decent hill work to cover. (Hill training starts in March. I’ll be using a “minute by minute” method.)

But like I told my dad, I gave birth twice. And that means I can do just about anything.

How did you start running? What’s your running mantra?


  1. thanks to this blog and some inspiring friends who are tweeting/facebook about their running, i have started my own running routine this week (with my dog). the first day i alternated running/walking for one mile and found it to be too easy.

    i talked to my brother and he said, “just get out there and try to run for 10 minutes. if you can do that, then work on adding a minute each day.” so yesterday i ran for 10 minutes and today i did 11.

    i have never really been a runner, but i am excited that i CAN do it. BTW I am totally enjoying this blog.

  2. Jacklyn /

    Love your mantra! I started because I needed a stress reliever and a hobby. However, while I was running this morning early in the dark and with flurries swirling around my feet I thought, “Man I picked a dumb hobby” :) As for a mantra…”I can do anything for ___ minutes” When I’m at the end of a timed run and my feet just don’t want to move, I look down at my watch and see 5 minutes left, I say, “I can do anything for 5 minutes.” It keeps me going strong till the end!

  3. Oh it is just what I needed!! I will be following your blog and keep my feet moving. My sister in California just registered with me to run the Toad Suck Daze 10K with me on May 1 (I live in Central Arkansas). I am so excited about her encouraging me to work hard and for us to do this hard thing together! I have just started the training last week and bought “running shoes” today. :)

    Not sure what my mantra is yet….I am just constantly thinking “I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die!” I know that I WILL NOT DIE from running hahahaha. I need a better one hahahaha.
    Thank you!!!

  4. Just found your blog and I’m ecstatic! A good friend of mine said her cross-country coach told them “Pain is just weakness leaving your body.”
    Now when I start to feel a cramp in my side or my shins aching, I just remember, pain is weakness leaving your body, and keep pushing forward.

  5. great post! I remember thinking the same thing when I was training for and running my first marathon last year. and I hadn’t run more than 3 or 4 miles when I started training. but I’ve actually found I feel BETTER after about 4 miles, since it usually takes me that long to get warmed up and in a good running groove and mindset. good for you! everyone minute (and mile) slowly adds up and your body CAN do amazing things!! you’re right–you gave birth–you can run–there are such awesome comparisons between the two. good luck and keep running. thanks for the motivation–I’ve been in a rut since my marathon, hoping to find something to drive me to train soon!

  6. Those exact words came out of my mouth during my last relay! Labor and the relay are about the same time frame, 30 hours :) and once you’ve ran one leg, you get to rest for a bit and then run 2 more, just like those darn contractions!!! But then once it’s over, you feel sooooo empowered, like you could do anything. You think you couldn’t ever do it again, but about a month later, you’re itching for the next race! (a baby might be more like a few years later, not a month!!)

    And I think I have a mild asthma problem. We need to talk!

  7. I don’t know, my last marathon all I kept thinking was I gave birth with no drugs and this is SOOOOO much worse. Seriously, so. much. harder.

  8. charlene/crazedparent /

    It’s all relative, I guess. This relay will be my first race, so talk to me after my first leg filled with lots of hills. I may be singing a different tune (filled with a chorus of “dude, my legs are killing me!”) :)

  9. Crissa Robertson /

    I just stumbled upon your blog. I love it. I feel like this is all I have been doing lately…eat.blog.run. I enjoy running but I am starting to love it. I love being out there when I am but getting out there is my biggest issue. Thanks for a great blog!

    If you know any Utah runners (Utah County) send them my way. I would LOVE a runner partner. Then maybe I could start training for a half marathon…or even a marathon!


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