running days

I’m always glad to wake up in the morning and know that today is a running day. Days off are good for the body, I know, so I try to get in a couple of those every week too. But I really prefer the days that I run.

I run/walk two miles on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  Tuesday and Thursday I do elliptical and weights at the gym, with maybe half a mile of treadmill running thrown in there if my shins are feeling good.  Some weeks I also run on Friday if my shins feel good and I can find the time. That is quite a change from me a year ago– my husband teases me about being a different person now.  But I honestly look forward to exercise these days.

My first reason is pure vanity; I’ve lost 19 pounds and want to keep it off.   Also running days let me justify a snack at bedtime, knowing I earned those calories fair and square.  And there’s the sense of accomplishment– finishing a run knowing I’ve persevered and done something hard, even though there are usually moments during each run where I’m very tempted to quit and walk.

Seeing I’m getting stronger is really fun too.   I didn’t used to think I was physically very capable at all.  Now I can run faster and longer, and even in the weight room there’s progress.  My hubby stifled chuckles the other day when I told him I can bench press 48 pounds now  (which means, no, I still can’t do a push-up, not even one, not even girl-style).  But a few months ago I could barely bench 27 pounds.  So there ya go — progress.

My new-found love does take time, something I don’t want to deprive my family of.  I go to the rec center on days when my son has judo anyway, and usually I bring at least one other kid along for company.  My runs at home take less than half an hour.  Sometimes my husband or one of the kids comes along and keeps me company then too, though I am usually working too hard to chat much.

At this point I think the balance is good.  Getting outside to run unfailingly improves my mood, even on days when other bits of life are hard or discouraging.  And is it any wonder?  The pictures in this post show the view the other day on my favorite running path, a lovely cinder-covered ditch bank between farm fields just half a mile from my house.  Mountains, blue sky, fresh air, green fields, water– it can’t get much prettier than that.

PS- For those of you that I’ve bored senseless with all the running talk, never fear.  I’ve got a cookbook giveaway coming in the next day or two that should interest more people.  🙂



  1. Good for you! I finally started running and although it sometimes feels awful at the time, I don’t regret the time it takes. It makes me a better (and, slowly, smaller!) person. Some days it gets tricky to fit in, but I have finally decided to make exercise a priority. Whew! If only I had all those hours back I spent convincing myself I DIDN’T have the time…I would definitely be a size 4 now! 🙂

  2. Seriously?! All that flat ground and gorgeous scenery? Wow! What a dream!

  3. I never get sick of hearing your running stories! I think it is so wonderful that you have picked up such a healthy hobby (mentally and physically). You make me want to get up and go running. You have beautiful scenery which, I can only imagine, must constantly be inspiring. You are very blessed to have a great place to run!

  4. I cannot justify time or money for the gym right now with two littles under 4. But, I used to run in the mornings in college before my 8AM classes, and last year, I started doing the same thing at home–taking a jog through our neighborhood park (I run laps) in the mornings before my kids are up and my husband leaves for work. I LOVE it! There is nothing like running through the trees to watch the sun climb the horizon and hear the birds just starting to sing in the morning. It is my favorite time to pray.

    I run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and do crunches and push-ups (I have finally worked up to 9!) afterward while my muscles are warm. The feeling stronger and healthier and happier is such a blessing! Our bodies truly are temples, aren’t they?

    God bless you in your continued exercise efforts!

  5. good word, Bethany!

    Because of Mary, I have been training for my first 5K on June 4! I am in week 10 (week 11 starts on Monday) of a 12 week program. I also have 10 children ages 15 months to 22 years (5 boys and 5 girls) and think a 5K works PERFECTLY with our family and their needs and mine!

    The whole family is signed up for the June 4 run. Zac and Em are running the 10k, Paul, me, Sam, Malachi, Gabe, Hosanna (my running partner), Josiah and Tali are doing the 5K and Livia (2) and Aleiyah (15 months) will be jogging strollers.

    Later that day is Sam’s graduation open house!

  6. Mamaoftwins says:

    I love exercise too. Well, I should say I love to run. Never in a million years would I ever thought I would ever say that. Im training for a 1/2 marathon in Sept. at Disneyland. woot! Cant wait. Just ran my longest run yesterday. Did 7 miles. There’s a little walking in there too. We’re going a tough scary time right now. Need prayers. Feels like we’re in limbo. When I run Im usually praying asking God to guide me. Not only do I get that runners high but it also clears my head. Gods medicine for my soul. 🙂

  7. {PlainJane} says:

    On the subject of push-ups, I too had never been able to do push-ups to save my life, nor had I given it much thought or effort. Last year, after reading Proverbs 31:17, I was out of excuses. I found a program called the Hundred Push-up Challenge ( It is set up to go from minimum ability to 100 push-ups (in 25 push-up reps) in 6 weeks. It worked! By about 4 weeks into it, I was cranking out 30 push-ups (girl style) without dying! I didn’t finish the program at that time due to life getting in the way, but I’m back at it again now.

    Mary, I want you to know that YOU have inspired me to run. I have put my physical health on the back burner for so long until I read your “couch potato” post about 3 months ago. There you were and I was all out of excuses (again!). 🙂 Tomorrow I will run Week 2/Day 2 of Cto5K! Thanks for sharing your progress with us!