I have made a huge mistake

My body was not made for physical activity.

No stop, don't roll your eyes. I have zero athletic abilities. As much as I hate this fact, it's true. It doesn't stop me from exercising, it just means I could get lapped by a 92 year old with a walker.

I was a distance swimmer in high school (that sounds far more impressive than it was--I have hilarious stories of my failures), but my endurance in the pool has never translated to running. I can't run to save my life. Honestly, if I had to run TO save my life, I would die. I've accepted it, it's fine. I'm at the bottom of the food chain. IT'S FINE.

My first semester of my freshman year of college, I made the mistake of befriending several runners. What this meant was that every evening, they dragged me outside and forced me to run 2 grueling miles with them on our very steep, hilly campus. One night they literally had to pull me by the shirt to keep me moving. They wound up being some of my favorite college memories, but THEY COST ME DEARLY. After several months, I could finally run the two miles without stopping, but I was lightyears behind them and usually crying and about to throw up. After transferring schools and against all odds, I kept my running mojo for the next year. I was stick thin, I was in amazing shape, and my feet hurt all the time. Every morning I laced up my shoes for my 2-3 miles. My class schedule eventually changed, a gym wasn't convenient, and I fell off the wagon. I've been trying to get back on the wagon for the past 9 years. I haven't been able to because the wagon is moving and in order to hop on, I'd have to run after it.

And we all know how I feel about running.

This is the part where the people who can lay in bed for a year and then easily get up and run 5 miles can just stop. Just like the people who don't get morning sickness--I'm happy for you, but I need you to stay quiet right now.

The past 9 years have been full of bouts of running that never lasted. I'd do well for a few months, but then I'd catch the flu, get an injury, or something would happen and I've never be able to find that groove again. I've resorted to long walks and lots of bike riding. I want SO BADLY to be a runner, but it's not in my DNA. Which is funny, because every morning my dad used to wake up at 5am and run several miles. I didn't get my athletic skills from him.

I've tried the Couch to 5k program many times. It's brilliant, it really is. It's like slowly lowering yourself into shark-infested waters instead of diving right in. I can never make it past week 4 or 5 no matter how hard I try. Something happens every time, and I lose my groove. It's one of the unexplained mysteries of life. Has absolutely nothing to do with my self-discipline.

My last running groove was the spring of 2015. I was running at 6am, going to work, and then coming home and going on a walk or bike ride. I was deep in the fitness zone and my pants were getting looser by the day.

And then I got pregnant. It jumpstarted my goals in that I lost 10 pounds in the first several weeks, but as you can guess things didn't stay that way. I've finally conquered my demons and started waking up early every day to at least go on a walk, and I figured I might as well try the C25K thing again. 5th time's a charm, right? And here's the thing--other than that fluke in college, I've never been able to successfully run outside. If I run any distance at all, it's always on a treadmill. Just like my friends had to pull me by the shirt, I need a rapidly moving belt to force my feet to keep going or I will stop. I just will. I don't want to, but I will and I hate myself for it.

I hit the start button on my C25k app at approximately 7:09 Friday morning. I was tired, but I felt good and ready to go. I gave myself a pep talk during the warm up: "Michelle, you survived 9 months of pregnancy with Hyperemesis, you gave birth to a baby and survived a horrendously painful 3 month recovery, and you went through breastfeeding hell at the same. YOU CAN RUN A FEW MINUTES ON THE SIDEWALK." In all honesty, I wasn't too worried because I remembered the first few weeks being fairly easy.

I survived the first running segment and felt invigorated. I made it through the second one and felt slightly less jolly. By the third, I was wheezing. My thighs were itching with the power of 600 mosquito bites. By the fourth, I hated everything. It was 56 degrees out, yet my face was radiating so much heat it will probably be held responsible for global warming. During the 5th run, I started making sounds similar to the ones I made in the delivery room that I swore I'd never make again. I was getting lightheaded. I saw a teenage boy get on the school bus and I almost went with him, because returning to high school can't be as painful and uncomfortable as running. Also I really wanted to sit down on the bus.

The last run sent me perilously close to the grave. I let out a long, low moan. I was smacked down with a wave of nausea. I contemplated calling James to come look for my nearly dead body as I prayed for the peace of death. My lungs were burning, my nose was running, my left ankle was screaming, my stomach was cramping, my knees were angrily airing their grievances. I saw a woman easily jogging in front of me. Had I not been under the shadow of the Grim Reaper, I would've begged her to share her secrets. How do you put one foot in front of the other that quickly? How are you alive? Why aren't you moaning? How is it humanly possible to run and not weep for death? By the time my phone buzzed for me to start walking again, I was staggering. I could hardly stand up. I was dry-heaving. The skies and trees were whirling.

Let me be clear: this was not a 3 mile run. This was day one of a running program for people who don't run. And I almost threw up on the side of the road.

I walked inside, ripped my shirt off (not like that, I was burning alive) and fell onto the couch. "THIS IS THE WORST DECISION I'VE EVER MADE" I wailed to James. I was about to sob and I didn't even know why. Everything hurt. It was the exact opposite of my refreshing walks. My spirit and muscles were broken.

A few hours later after a large mug of coffee, a nourishing breakfast, and a shower: "yeah, it sucked, but it wasn't that terrible."

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the exact reason people do things like go back to school, have more kids, and run.


  1. Lol! This is too funny!
    I've tried running again but it's super hard due too all of the repetition inflames my stupid bladder problem 😢
    You have got this girl!!

    1. I haven't done it since thanks to migraines, but hopefully later this week. The older I get, the more issues I get from running. Ok trying to push through but it might not be worth it 🙈

  2. I admire your desire to get back on the wagon! It took training for a marathon before I actually didn't hate running, but even saying it sounds extreme and ridiculous. It's the endorphins talking! Lol

  3. this is EXACTLY how i feel about running. only i've stopped even trying. because i know how it goes. and i hate the feeling of my running rage burning in my chest haha. YOU CAN DO THIS THOUGH.

    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone! I'm honestly not sure if it's worth it to keep trying, but I do it anyway. Something about the definition of insanity and doing the same thing over and over expecting different results? 😂

  4. UGH. I hate running. I want to trip children when I see them happily sprinting around the park because I'm jealous and I don't understand where my energy and leg muscles and stamina went... Seriously, though. Every once in a while I get this urge to strap on my tennis shoes, turn up a good playlist, and hit the pavement. Then I get about 30 steps into my run and I'm like, 'NO.' I slow to walk a hope that no neighbors saw that weak attempt that turned into a walk of shame around the block... UGH.

  5. I love running...but I also really hate it. I hate that I'm terrible at it, but I love it when I see improvements, even small ones. Even shaving thirty seconds off a mile time or being able to run 1/4 mile longer than I did a week ago motivates me. That, and cute running clothes and shoes. Seriously though, I'm impressed with your early morning workouts. I am NOT a morning workout person. Afternoons or bust. I'm also afraid to get back into jogging because pre-baby I was able to do sprints and run several miles at a time. But I also weighed 25 pounds less and was working out 4-5 days a week. I'm dying to go back to the gym but I'm also terrified of how awful of shape I'm going to be in.

  6. Good job jumping back into this! Ugh, running is so hard for me. I have my first ever 5k this Saturday and I've barely run in the past 2 1/2 weeks. And I spent the weekend at my parent's house, and we went to my younger brother's Cross Country team picnic, and I felt so insanely bad at running...like in the time it takes me to run a mile, my 15-year-old brother can run two miles. Pretty much every time I run, within the first couple hundred feet, my legs feel like they're going to fall off and I have no idea if I'll go any further. Really, running shouldn't be that hard in theory, but in reality, IT IS!

  7. if it is one degree over 40, I'm running in shorts and a tank top or else I'll die of heat stroke on the side of the road.

    And I cannot run distance on a treadmill. I just stare at those dots going around in a cirlce and focus on my lungs burning, where if I'm outside my mind will wander and I'll look at the cows in the fields the whole time.

    I'm pretty sure I've told you this before, but I didn't like running until I had done it every day for a year and a half. But, if you hate it and always hated it, maybe walking really is a better option for you. It's definitely been said that it's better for your body and you're still getting the cardiovascular work out. And if you enjoy it, you're far more likely to keep doing it. No shame is walking, girl. No shame. I registered for another half marathon next week and I'm only currently running 3 miles every other day. So. There is going to be a decent amount of walking happening in those 13 miles. haha

    ALSO, if you're feet and knees are hurting that means you need new shoes. Take care of those legs! :)

  8. I have zero athletic ability. I'm kind of okay at hitting softballs and I can dance, but that's it. Cardio? No way. I can swim, but ideally only in a pool where I can touch the bottom. When we went snorkeling in Thailand you can bet I was wearing a lifejacket the whole time. And obviously I don't run even the slightest bit. I know a good bit of runner stuff though, thanks to Angel. Like I know that I'm supposed to agree that an 8 minute mile is shameful and I'm supposed to agree that he probably needs more than one pair of $150 running shoes a year (i don't actually agree). Usually I just stick to my pilates videos at home and I like that but if I want to get outside, I go out walking on the same circle track that he runs on at night and high five him every time he passes me. It's fun. :P

  9. I just went through this EXACT thing! The last time I worked out was before being pregnant. All my dreams of having a healthy active pregnancy died when the morning sickness hit. I was like you before hand, I'd get in those grooves where I'd be at the gym after work every night (I was never able to make myself get up early to do it) and I had worked my way up to running 3 miles outside regularly. I just signed up for the beach body on demand thing and started the 21 day fix workouts 8 days ago. They're only 30 minutes long. 30 minutes and I like you thought I was GOING TO DIE. And let's not even talk about the level of soreness and agony of the following few days. I couldn't believe it! Never in my life had a workout been so hard and on top of that I had to modify almost everything lol but now that I've gotten through the first week I can appreciate how much stronger I feel already and I feel slimmer after one week of working out than the in the 6 months of just eating better. It's all worth it but oh so hard. We got this!

    1. You always understand! Good for you for working out and doing so well! It's amazing how much better your body feels when you start exercising.

    2. OMG, I was apparently signed into James' account. That was me :)

  10. That's how I feel about running. I rarely do it except for one weird summer before kids when I was into it. I don't know where that came from.


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