I started my real running journey around my 32nd b-day, everything before that was short lived, to the point where I could consider the sporadic and inconsistent times I laced up my shoes, those of a runner. My initial objective was simply to lose excess weight that I wasn’t able to lose from my first pregnancy and to provide stress relief from caring for a very “colicky” little girl who had huge sleep issues. When I laced up my shoes for the first time post first pregnancy, I honestly did not think it would be something I would still be doing today. For prior to having my first child I was in the best shape of my life from being a part-time yoga teacher and a recreational cyclist and naturally thought my husband and I would be able to resume our cycling adventures soon after but someone had other plans for us which I will talk about in a bit.
So to help me lose the excess weight I signed up for a 5k running clinic at the Running Room and then proceeded with the 10k run clinic. I had to cut this clinic short for I was then pregnant with my second child and I started to have some pelvic dislocation issues at the 5-6 month mark, plus we were heading into the winter season anyways. During this time our first daughter, Reilly, was starting to show signs of developmental delays but because she was gaining weight steadily and always had a smile on her face for others, all the doctors dismissed my concerns as being an overprotective and/or overly concerned first time mom.
Our second daughter was born, March 10, 2007, and we named her London. By this time we definitely knew something was drastically wrong with Reilly and I initially suspected autism and then Rett Syndrome, something no parent wants for their child. Unfortunately it took another year and a half before a genetic test finally confirmed what we already knew, it just took quite a bit of time for the doctors to finally come on board. What we weren’t prepared for was the day to day stress that the syndrome was causing on our lives and I turned to running as my outlet. Thank goodness my husband was so supportive from day 1.
Within three weeks of having London, I was back running as a stress relief, with weight reduction being the number 2 goal. Over time I lost most of the weight, but I am still working on the final 10 pounds (7 years later), and completed a couple of the 10k clinics, half marathon clinics and several marathon clinics.
The last several years have been quite a journey for us due to the challenges that come with raising a severely handicapped child and also another little one under tow but we are doing extremely well given these demands. Our success is a result of a few different factors:
1) My husband supporting my running habit. In his words when I am happy he is happy.
2) My running friends who I have acquired along the way that have turned out to be an amazing source of strength, source, and encouragement through their own journey’s.
3) Supportive family who play an active role in allowing my husband and I to get away occasional for some R&R breaks
4) A few old friends and many new friends who have given me a new appreciation of what friendship really means