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Unexpected Motivation: Rekindling My Love Of Running

by Nellie

Life with 3 kids has been rewarding, stressful, blissful and exhausting. I know I say it all the time but I’m in complete awe of mother’s that have multiple kids and make it look pretty. News flash: that ain’t me. Some days have been amazing and other days I’m operating in survival mode. Things have changed a lot in general but I didn’t realize how much *I* had changed until this weekend. 

Baby girl is 10 months old now. Getting into everything, and showing her full personality at every turn. The boys are now entering 3rd and 5th grade respectively. We are still dealing with special needs issues daily, but somehow, are still med free. My husband and I just celebrated our 12 year anniversary and I’m managing this entrepreneur life as best as I can. 

However, I realized this weekend that my full attention shifted to family and business completely forgetting myself in the process. Since my c-section my running has come to a literal and figurative crawl. 

Since the Star Wars race, I’ve run one 5k race. Running has been a huge struggle for me post baby. When I get on the treadmill the incision site screams for mercy and throbs for hours afterwards. Sure, I have a runners high but my body wasn’t ready quite ready to be running full time again. 

It’s been so incredibly hard to watch my friends run races that I’ve been running for the past 3 years faithfully. Somewhere in my brain I thought my recovery would be simple, easy. After all it was my 3rd baby, my 3rd c-section, my body was clearly used to this. I’d definitely be running in a few months…right??

Wrong. I grew so frustrated with my body that it wouldn’t act the way I needed it to that I slowed down on running altogether. 

The whole summer was a bust because I usually could only workout after 7pm….and guess how much energy I had post taking care of 3 kids all day? Guess!!

Zero. Zilch. Nada. I still went to the gym, because mama needed a break. But most nights I didn’t. When my husband walked through the door all I wanted to do was relax on the couch and watch my favorite shows in peace. The motivation and the energy was simply gone

I forgive myself for this because guilt of not doing something (could be anything: working out, making money, self care) when you mother full time is overwhelming, it’s stifling, it’s depressing. It also has a way of pulling you deeper into a hole that is almost impossible to climb out of. 

On Saturday I went to an event at the NYRR Run Hub to support Tina Muir while she hosted a live podcast recording. I didn’t think anything of it—all I wanted to do was come support and be a friendly supportive face in the crowd. 

Instead I was slammed with memories of the dozens of races I’ve run with NYRR. People were picking up bibs, celebrating their 20 mile runs, and I even saw a guy with a whole turtle logo on the back of his shirt. I felt an immediate connection with that guy. 

I started flashing back to the end of my second marathon. How I finished standing up and smiling vs. the year before when I wept and practically crawled across the finish line. I was just a few steps away from where that happened. 

Just like that I was a glass case of emotion. 

Where had that running girl gone? The one that would have super amazing runs and completely horrible runs and was better for both. The one that got up crazy early to run because she knew that her brain works better with it than without it. 

Where did this girl go?

Thank you to my amazing friend Dre for taking these awesome shots of me on the course!

I’m determined to find her again. My mom has agreed to take the baby for a few days a week while I reconnect with the pavement. I ran a 5k last Thursday and the pain was minimal. I’m going to try to run 10 miles a week and build from there. 

I had no idea walking into that building would shift me so profoundly. I’m ready now. 

Join me?

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3 comments

Janine Huldie September 9, 2019 - 9:08 am

Aw, Nellie, I get it as even though I only have two kids, not three by the end of the day I am beat and often don’t want to think about anything but vegging out. But this past summer I made it a point to get out and walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I can’t run with my back, but I decided to at least walk and keep moving. I was doing great until I didn’t stretch well enough last week and my lower back was bothering me a bit. Thank god for the chiropractor as my back seems to be on the mend and this weekend got about 5,000 – 6,000 steps in on Saturday and Sunday. Just have to remind myself that I need to take care of me and that I am doing the best I can. So, I am glad you found your running mojo again. But do cut yourself some slack and remember that you are doing the best you can, as well. Hugs <3

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Jess September 9, 2019 - 11:38 am

I love this so much. Thank you for being honest about just how HARD it is to be a mom and all the things! I feel I’m always in surviving mode. I’m due for our 3rd next March and I’m already exhausted thinking about it. Ha! I hope you and the road can become the best, if not even better, of friends again.

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kita September 10, 2019 - 9:05 pm

You better find her she in there. It’s hard doing 2 kids hats off to yall with more than 2

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