My friend Ian ran the Boston marathon and it was maybe the most inspiring thing I have witnessed in a very long time. Why? I had never heard him talk about running frequently or ever talk about any interest in distance running. So when a couple weeks before the marathon he updated his Facebook saying he was doing it, I had to watch. I kept his race page open on my computer the whole time and cheered him on on his Runtastic page. When he crossed the finish line I was so proud of him I nearly cried.

He had ran for five and a half hours!!!!

A couple days later he stopped by when he was in town and I grilled him on the race and how it went. It sounded like the neatest experience I had heard of in a long time.

It made me want to run again.

It has only been a week, but I will say it: I’m back. It’s been six months since giving birth to my son and I’m fairly sure it’s safe for me to get back to running. I had ran a few times at the gym in the winter but I usually felt pretty awful after so I stopped.

photo by Roman Boed

After my first run last week (which was more like a walk-run-walk) my body HURT but I was still able to get out for my next run. I felt so proud of myself for running in the rain and with a slightly sore body. It makes me feel so much more legit – like a “real” runner. I sure don’t look like a real runner, though. I’ve been wearing my maternity leggings which turn out to be AWESOME because when my shirt rides up it has to go pretty far before it shows any of my jiggling post-baby belly. Half the time I feel like a lost cow lurching down the sidewalk, wishing for my pre-baby body back. When I’m honest with myself I realize that body wasn’t any better at running so it won’t do me any good now.

But that first run didn’t murder me. Nor did the run where I increased my distance. We’re still talking about very SHORT distances, but it’s a huge improvement from when I hit the pavement the first time.

I think I’ve turned a corner where I realized I’m willing to commit to this. I had quit before because of foot pain (not wanting to injure myself and not being sure enough that I wanted to keep going), then winter, and then pregnancy. But now it’s spring, and I’m not pregnant anymore, and I’m pretty sure I want this.

I bought a legit baby jogger (for dirrrrrt cheap).

I got sized for shoes (that I’m still holding out on because they’re $150 and I’m not convinced they’ll change my life or help me avoid injury).

I’m obsessively reading about running online and listening to this podcast.

And I’m doing it. It feels good. Please cheer me on!

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  • Sven DIEBOLD

    I am cheering you up only if you do the classique verdunoise!

    good job!

  • emeline villedary

    So great to read this!! It’s hard to get the mojo back, specially after such a huge life change (CONGRATS!!)
    In my experience, doing a little bit everyday helps me stay focused (and not lose muscle memory!). It took me years to get over the fact that a “good” run didn’t need to be a certain time, pace, length, interval repetition… Just getting out there made it good. So now I do my little 7 minute workout in the morning and a short speed run in the afternoon and I feel so lucky to have found the right balance for me.
    Keep going and know when to be kind to yourself! 6 months is still relatively soon!

    • Jess Versteeg

      It’s hard to believe that 6 months is still soon! Thanks for the words of encouragement and experience. I think at this point I’m stoked every time I get out but we’ll see as things keep progressing if my typical high-standards-hard-on-myself thing creeps in!

  • Hannah

    that is awesome Jess! I can’t run now because I almost really injured myself last time but if I can run a 5K at my weight and my body shape, you can defs do this! Mostly I say it is mind over matter! Anyway, so excited for you, can’t wait to see your progress! Seriously you can do it!!! <3

    • Jess Versteeg

      Thanks Hannah!

  • Katy Parks

    Way to go Jess!

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