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How Has Running Changed Me? Let Me Count the Ways

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Talking about what running has done for us over the years on this week’s Tuesdays on the Run. How has it changed me? Oh… so many ways for the good. And one very surprising way for the – not so good? I can’t call it bad, exactly, because things could be much worse!


Cheering on Sarah on the marathon course! Her first marathon to run, my first to cheer. We’d both be back for more!


How Has Running Changed Me? Let Me Count the Ways

Sarah’s taking a break from TOTR this week for a very good reason: runDisney race registration season is in full effect which means the travel agent side of our lives is C-R-A-Z-Y. In a good way.

So I’m chiming in on this weeks topic- and I’ve got stuff to say about this whole running thing.

How has it changed me?

Oh lawdy… to sum it up I can pretty much say that most aspects of my current life situation have evolved from that decision to start running.

From the blog to the travel agent job, to the travels, to my friends… it all circles back to deciding to become a runner.


One of the early runDisney pics – two friends I was just getting to know who I count as two of my FAVORITES now!


The Shenanigans Runner History

Shocker (not really ha!): but I am not a natural-born runner. In fact, I hated it pretty much my entire life.

I was the kid trying to get out of running that stupid Presidential Physical Fitness mile.

I’d opt to walk with the kid who was sick or hurt that day- every year- because I wasn’t about to run, yo!

Yet, I was always an athlete. In a sport that was pretty much all running all the time, too.



But I didn’t “count it” as running because it was a game, and the game was fun. Truth is, I was distracted by the sport and didn’t realize I was actually running for 90 minutes.

When we conditioned during the off-season and had to run a mile or (gasp) a 3-mile long loop… ugh.

I mean, just, ugh. I was a Galloway runner before I even knew what that meant because I was walking as much as I was running those loops!

And that was when I was young and in pretty good shape.

Fast forward to (not-so) young and in (not-so) good shape as an adult. My “four babies in six years” body was not a runners bod at all!

But as things have shaped throughout my life, in stepped the Internet.



Internet Friends Start Running

I think I’ve talked about my April 2005 BabyCenter birth board before.

They are my OG Internet friends and we still talk every single day.


My April 2005 baby in December 2005. Claire’s pregnancy not only brought my first daughter, but about 100 aunties who I love.


After we all had the April 2005 babies, a few of us followed up with some 2007 babies.

And then we followed those kids up with- whoa- we REALLY need to get out more for our health!

So we started a running thread. A workout accountability thread. And it worked!

We all started small, mostly slow, and wore cotton socks and shoes we bought on sale from Kohls. We were adorable.


Yup- all cotton and a Disk-Man. That totally skipped and was ridiculous. Livestrong 2007 I think.


All of a sudden I was making plans to meet for 5Ks with these ladies since a few of us ended up in Austin.

And then a 10K or two happened.

And then one of them mentioned a half marathon and I said, NAH GIRL… don’t be crazy! We don’t need that level of healthy exercise in our life!


Some of my BabyCenter running mamas! Everyone is still running, everyone still loves Disney. And each other.


But… Shenanigans, it’s at Disney World. It’s called the Princess Half Marathon. I dunno- could be kinda fun for all of us as a big one-time goal, right?


runDisney Changes Everything

And so obviously we did the thing. I mean, once Summer said, “… at Disney World,” I was all in.


And… it just kinda spiraled from there.


Is the Princess Half on your runDisney bucket list? Then stop by the 2016 race recap post and read all about the expo, race, costumes, tips, travel, and more. The 2017 race happens in February at Walt Disney World.


If you’ve noticed anything about me and this blog, you probably picked up that I kinda dig Disney and runDisney and have pretty much made it a central part of my life.

I started this blog to teach other people about runDisney.

I started my friendship with Sarah as a way to continue to get people to runDisney.

I joined her travel agency so I could sell trips to run Disney and recently branched out on my own with the No-Guilt Travel Agency. 


 in front of the castle at Disney World

all in a days work! #ItsWorkISwear


The One Thing Running Hasn’t Done For Me

I still don’t love running, but I do love the people, the community, the races, the experiences, the HELL YEAH I DID IT feeling when I look at the medals that were hard to earn.

Running has helped me mentally through a whole lot- that really is probably the biggest takeaway for me from running.

It resets me. It clears my mind. It centers me.


A runrise- run at sunrise- is always my favorite way to start the day. Always.


When I don’t run, I feel off- and everyone knows it.

But what running didn’t help me with?

Ugh- my weight. I actually gained weight as time and miles went on.

I wanted so badly to participate in the longer races- those half marathons (and marathon!) medals are GORGEOUS.


Ahem. Totally did it for the bling.

I accidentally sabotaged my body by doing so.

To accomplish the miles goals, I changed my running style to a slow but steady pace that kept me moving forward — which allowed me to complete races, but it didn’t do much to help my metabolism.

When I was training for races pretty much year-round with this style, I also stalled in any weight loss due to this steady-state. There was no real burn going on! No HIIT! No variance!

Oh, and the fact that after a 10-miler I could and would inhale anything I could find in my house didn’t help either!

So— yeah. There’s that. WhompWhomp.

Thanks, but no thanks, running! Ha!


So where am I know with running?

As always in a state of restart. At least that’s how it feels.

Eventually, I had another baby, plus I was diagnosed with thyroid issues, plus I am old AF now… I mean… it all adds up.

But I think all the other stuff literally outweighs the weight gain. It does for me, anyway.

Sunnyside to everything, amirite?

Now I run fewer miles- but with more intensity, even though I’m starting from scratch this summer. Plus there’s this cute new buddy who really loves and needs to get miles in every day.


dog walking on a leash


But with a sensible eating plan (ie stepping away from the Oreos and Pringles!) and some discipline, things seem to be falling into place here.

I’m getting there. I’ve got this.

I’m good with this.

Love to hear how running changed YOU! Link up with us and share your story.

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Holly Martin

Tuesday 4th of September 2018

Your running journey is truly impressive and inspiring. I'm a running coach now but in the initial phase even I struggled with my speed and endurance. But the main point here is not to give up by running "smarter" and eating well. Btw, I love dogs and your new buddy looks too cute :)

Kimberly Hatting

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Ummm, I also totally hated the Presidential Physical Fitness test. I could do the flexed arm hang, and the broad jump, and the sit-ups...but any of the running was so NOT my gig as a kid. The 1-miler was the worst, though...but now? I could run that 1-mile with both eyes closed, and probably much faster than way back in those childhood days ;-)


Tuesday 14th of August 2018

I love your enthusiams for running, even if you say that you still don't love the actual act of running all that much. That's impressive that you've been able to stick with it.