We are Teal and Beth and we have been friends since 2006, but it wasn’t until 2010 that we started to run together. It really was quit random how this all turned out and it kind of just goes to show you that you can find a running buddy anywhere and something that we totally advocate. Teal was in grad school one day and a girl in her class just said, "I want to run a half marathon." Teal immediately said, "well I will do that with you" and so it began. She asked Beth to join her because she knew Beth just liked to work out and didn’t want to really go at this alone. We ran our first half marathon in 2010 and when we finished we kind of felt like we could do more. We decided to make a goal in 2011 to run a race every month and document it leading up to the 2011 White Rock Marathon and thus we became Life is a Run. We ran the marathon and have kept running ever since. We have definitely had our ups and downs and sometimes even a love/hate relationship with running, but it has proven to be one of the best decisions we have made for ourselves. We use each other as motivation and work hard to keep up with our running as much as possible, even though it sometimes proves to be crazy difficult.
In 2014 both of us had our first baby, and we both ran during all 10 months of our pregnancy, finished a marathon, and a few half marathons during that time. Little did we know that the running while pregnant would actually be the easiest part of running with a baby. Once the babies were both here, our running took a hit and scheduling became a little harder than what we maybe had anticipated. We knew that our lives were going to change but we really didn’t get it until it hit us in the face! We always hear people say, “I don’t have enough time.” Or “you are going to keep running, good luck” as if it is not possible or we are crazy for trying. Neither of us ever anticipated not running when the babies got here, but there were some things to work on and figure out that we are definitely still working on and totally wish we had all the answers to make it all work.
We have had to make a stretch and some changes to fit in running and working out in our life. Getting back post pregnancy was not super easy, definitely not as easy as it sometimes looks. Even just starting to run for the first time can be rough, but we truly believe it is worth it. If you are thinking about running, have never run before, are trying to get back at it, or really just need some motivation and help, we have a few tips that have helped us over the years and even recently that we hope will help you too.
Tips and Making Time
1. Running Buddy: We clearly advocate for this. We both say on the regular that our running has stayed so consistent because we have each other. There are tons of running groups around and joining one of those can seem intimidating but once you are there they really are fun and have runners of all shapes, sizes, and speeds that are ready to run.
2. Something is Better than Nothing: Sometimes you have to be OK with the fact that you might only run a mile when really you wanted to run more. Or you might even have to be OK with the fact that you are starting out and you walked more than you ran. You are moving. Keep doing it and it gets easier. Coming back from giving birth really gave this an whole new meaning but the body is awesome and will eventually come through!
3. Plan and Set Goals: Sounds cliché but it works. Tell people your goals, write them down, blog or tweet about them, and follow up. We plan and set goals consistently, if not we wouldn’t have something to work for. We sign up for races when we don’t feel motivated, it gives us something to work towards. We set up crazy challenges like our one now to run 100 mile by Valentines. Whatever it is, set your goal, and go after it, even if it’s to walk a mile a day. Do it! Everything can be built upon!
4. Be OK with Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: We have always hated running in the dark, or in the rain, or in the cold. Now we have had to put our big girl panties on and get out there even in less than ideal conditions. Once you start everything seems to just feel much better. Getting out the door is sometimes the hardest part of all of it. If we made an excuse for every time the weather was not perfect we would never run. Its sucks sometimes but just do it! People in the north do it all the time right? We will keep telling ourselves that!
5. Be an Anytime Runner: This kind of goes with #4. We used to be the type that would say, "well, I only run in the morning because I am not tired, or I can’t run now because it’s too close to dinner, or too soon after dinner, or I need to shower so I am not going, or I am dirty so I am going to shower and not run." You get the idea, excuses, excuses, excuses. If you have the time, especially as a parent, just GO!
6. Don’t Feel Guilty: This might be the hardest, especially those with families. Time working out is time away from family. Yes, we get it, it sucks, it’s hard, it’s not fun to not be around those you love. But you are a better, healthier, happier person when you are fit and taking personal time for yourself. We believe that ultimately we will be better moms because we do take the time to run, to stay fit, and to feel good about what we are doing. In the end it will be one of the best things we have done for the babies even though sometimes it seems like the worst. Be the parent that can chase after your kids, be the one that can carry them around forever because you are strong, be the one that is not too tired to play outside! It’s all better, that 30, 45, 60, or whatever minutes are worth it!
7. Reward Yourself: Hello, we love running gear! We love running clothes! We love local businesses that do fun and unique things. This is how we found Compete Every Day! We also have an obsession with a certain yoga clothing store that shall not be named, but you get the point. Find something you love and reward yourself for being healthy. Its way better than food and lasts longer, and doesn't go straight to your thighs!
We would love to hear about how you handle life and running and working out! We love to hear ways that people stay active and healthy, and are always looking to make life easier. You can follow us at www.lifeisarun.com.