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Exercising as a Working Parent: How I Became a Runner

Exercising as a Working Parent: How I Became a Runner

I’ve never been a runner. In fact, I used to always tell people that my body wasn’t made for running – “it’s not in my genes.” I was on the cross country team in high school (not sure why now, but maybe there was a boy that inspired me) but after that, I never ran again. It wasn’t or isn’t that I don’t like to exercise. It’s more that I always found running to be too hard…until recently anyway.

How I Became a Runner

About seven months ago, I set a goal for myself to start walking several times per week. It was a small goal, basically walk 25 minutes a day around lunch time. I would walk 1.6 miles. I was in a work rut and needed something to help me gain outlook. Sometimes when I walked, I was actively working, because if I didn’t, my day would get away from me and I’d never get out the door. Other times I used the 25 minutes as a time to think work things out.

After about two months of this, I found I was moving faster. It wasn’t really planned, I just started pushing myself to run a ½ mile.  You are probably laughing right now… a whole ½ mile – is she serious? Well, yes, I am. Remember how I said I’m not a runner? A ½ mile was like a marathon to me. Then I started to push myself and I would walk a ½ mile, run a ½ mile, walk a ¼ mile and then run ¼ mile. One day my sister asked me why I was going from walking to running to walking to running and really I couldn’t think of a good answer other than this notion that running is not in my genes and that I couldn’t do it. She inspired me that day and I pushed myself to run a mile of that 1.6 mile loop – but guess what?  It wasn’t really pushing. It was pretty easy. So now I find myself pushing myself further and just a few weeks ago I got addicted to running 3 ½ miles. I can do that in just over 35 minutes, which doesn’t cut into my work day much more than “taking” lunch would (which I’ve never ever done anyway in my entire 15+ years of working).

The benefit is I feel great! AND it’s amazing how much you can “work” through during a short run. Plus every time on the weekends my kids seeing me running on the treadmill (which don’t get me wrong , isn’t stress free) or waving as I leave for a run outdoors, I feel like an awesome mom for showing my kids how important exercise is! So, my trick is, if you’re not a runner, don’t run. Walk.



  1. News Mom January 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    That’s great inspiration! I am not currently a runner, but once upon a time in my 20s I took up running. I too started out mixing up the running and walking, and eventually just found myself bored during my walking segment. I eventually worked up to 5 mile runs. (I am now back down to 0.)If you’re not concerned with speed, just keep trucking. I have a friend who is a true runner whose best advice to me was to always think you can run one more step. Don’t try to make it to the end of the block or the next tree. Just try to take one more step at a time.
    And welcome to the blog!

  2. Ruth January 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Love your strategy but I think I’ll keep walking. I love my morning river walks. I’m looking forward to your organization tips.

  3. Lizzie January 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the inspirational post. I was working out quite regularly until last summer when I had some minor surgery. That gave me a “get out of the gym” pass for 6 weeks, and it’s been hard to go back ever since. I started yesterday in a Zumba class and now, ache all over. However, it’s a good ache and I’m committed. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts! Welcome to the blog.

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