The Minivan Mom Runs

I ran track in high school.  I don’t really know why.  I wasn’t that good at it and running has never been my favorite thing.  I enjoyed the comraderie and I was a sprinter so the running I had to do was in short bursts – much better for a girl who’s brain starts cussing her out once she hits the half mile mark.

I also enjoyed the boys. Mmmm…the boys.   Come to think of it, it may have been the boys that kept me coming back each year for another season.  I enjoyed running as long as I could exercise my flirting skills.


Actually, I started my track career as a high jumper, something that I had at least a little natural talent in, but had to quit when I developed a stress fracture in my back.  But rather than quit altogether, I decided I would just become a runner.  Only I quickly discovered I wasn’t exactly a runner.

I’ve always longed to be able to say I’m a runner, though.  When Lee and I were first married, we met a crazy older couple who told us that running was a great way to strengthen a young marriage.  They were training for their second marathon together and convinced us to train for a half marathon.

So, in our love struck foolishness, we agreed and began running.  And we quickly learned that trying to train for a race together would likely be the demise of our marriage.  We’re both highly competitive, but one of us is naturally a better athlete than the other.

I’ll give you one guess as to which one it is.

My husband is a super freak when it comes to athletics.  He’s all, “I hate to run.  It’s so hard and boring.”  Then he pops out and run 5 miles in 40 minutes while barely breaking a sweat.  And quite frankly, it infuriates me.  The only plus was that since I was stuck running behind him most of the time, I got to stare at his backside while he ran.  Bonus for me…but still annoying.

So Lee dropped out of the training after a couple of weeks and decided he didn’t need or want to run a half marathon.  I, however, stuck with and got up to 8 miles when I hurt my foot, had to take a break and never started up again. 

Fast forward seven years.  I was once again duped by a friend into running a marathon relay.  My friend convinced me that it would be easy.  Four of us would divide a marathon and would accomplish the race that way.  “You can have the last leg,” she said.  “It’s the easiest.”

L to the I to the A to the R!  The final 6.3 miles was all up hill.  I nearly died, folks.  Did you hear me?  I NEARLY DIED!

One week later I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) with Landon.  And when complications with the pregnancy arose, I stopped running…and never started up again.

Fast forward to today.  I have lost all the baby weight from three children.  Go me!  But there’s one problem.  Areas of my body are soft and squishy where once they were much firmer.  Not cool

Combine the squishiness with the fact that my husband has decided he is going to run a half marathon in April and is already up to running 3.5 miles after only a couple weeks of training and I’m chomping at the bit to dive back in.

I may hate running, but I’m not one to sit around and let my husband show me up.  Competition – it’s what killed the cat.  You thought it was curiosity, didn’t you? 

So, I started running again this week.  I did a mile on Monday (I was heaving with embarrassing aplomb) and today the goal is to do a mile again – just a little faster.

And so, here I go.  I will be chronicling my adventures in running here in an attempt to spur myself on and to find comic relief in what I believe to be the very un-funny process of running.  This has the potential to go one of two ways – I fall madly in love with running and experience the “runner’s high,” (not likely) or I fall flat on my face (figuratively…and maybe liturally) and learn once and for all that running is not for me.

Because the temps are significantly below freezing right now and the only thing that sounds worse to me than running is frostbite, I will have to do the dreaded exercise on a treadmill for awhile.  Awesome.  Now I get to have an audience as I galump along. 

When it warms up, I will hit the road.  Now if I could just find some cute boys to surround me while I run, that would help…


  1. I Laughed out loud about the relay! I have fond memories of that day! We were a great relay team (even if you did have the hardest leg). If you ever want to run together, let me know! I’m always up for a running partner! Oh…. And Craig and I are the same way! Running was my thing first! He wanted to do what I was doing (half marathons) so he started doing them, and he is SO much better at running than I am, and I started 2 years before he did! GGRRR…. So yeah, we don’t run together because we are both too competitive! I signed up for the Disney’s Princess half marathon, and it’s supposed to be women only. But ofcourse Craig found a loop hole and wanted to sign up also so he could run. I had to tell him no. I wanted one race to be mine. I wanted to have something that I can do and not have to hear him bragg about how well he did. So we are finding compromises in our races.

  2. Dani, you are what I aspire to. I long to have a race that a catalyst into me suddenly loving to run and being able to zone out while I run. But alas, I am still in the phase where while I’m running I can think of nothing but that fact THAT I AM RUNNING!

    A princess half marathon does sound fun, though. If Craig insists on joining you just tell him he has to run it in heels and a crown!

  3. I told him that he had to wear a princess dress just like my mom, aunt and I are going to wear. It quickly changed his mind. 🙂
    I used to always have this mental block when running. I too would hit about the half mile mark and mentally want to stop, even if I knew I could physically do more. But I started running more and more the past few months as a way to escape and clear my head from everything consuming me with Christian, and somehow my brain just started checking out while I was running. I made it my time to not have to think (even making myself stop thinking about the fact that I was running). I can’t tell you exactly how I did it. But I just made myself stop thinking so and needed that time to clear my head. Running has just given me the physical and mental ability to deal with everything going on right now.
    Keep at it though girl! It gets easier and easier everytime you run!

  4. Kelli – I am so with you on the I wish I was a runner thing. My sister, hubby and I are training for the St. Patty’s Day Run. Thought it would be great motivation to lose the rest of the baby weight I acquired from all the “it’s ok I’m pregnant” food that I ate. Plus I just don’t have time to go to the gym for an hour any more. I can be in and out in 30 minutes which is perfect for my schedule. It’s 5 miles. I’m using the Couch to 5K program – just google it. It’s only 3.1 miles, but it still is a really great way to get back into it. Mark is just like Lee, he can run forever and not train for it specificially like I have to. Shannon and I on the other hand are not runners and we are hoping to just run as much of the 5 miles as we can. Last time we “ran” it they were taking down the banners by the time we got to the end…hopefully we can spare that embarrassment this time around. Oh and we’re going to push the kids for the extra workout. We might die, but we get to have green beer when we’re done…so that’s motivation enough for me!! Good luck!

  5. Green beer is great motivation! And I admire you training with the kids. Running by myself is torture enough without pushing an extra 40 pounds. Good luck to you!!!

  6. yea…I remember when i started running. It was about 0430 AM in september of 2006. At Ft. Benning, GA. Yep…and there was a “motivational government representative” with us! (Drill SGT) Its amazing how well you get into shape that way! LOL… I hate running too. But, man, if you stick with it…you really see results quick. Just pop in the IPOD…and go. I find that the music helps…not some point of grace stuff….many Chevelle. HA… Keep at it…maybe we can ALL do a race when I get back! WOOHOO!!

  7. Jeremy – maybe I need a drill sargeant in my ear. Wait, never mind…I don’t like people yelling at me. It makes me nervous. But yes, I would LOVE to do a race with you guys when you’re back in town. Although, if you’re anything like Lee, you would likely leave me in the dust almost immediately.

  8. Kelli-

    As I ran on the treadmill the other night training for a half marathon my entire family (husband and two kids) laid in the bed and watched. Then they pointed and talked about me. Have fun with the audience.

  9. ive thought about doing the st. pattys day race… but never found anyone to run with. …cute boys always make running better in my book! 🙂 haha and like you, i am not a runner. Wish i was, but i’m not!


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