My Running Story

My running story starts a long time ago, long before I was running. Long before I was walking. Or weight training, or anything.  My story starts when I didn’t move at all.


No weight problem yet. Just proof that I was a 70s kid. Not sure I could pull off those pigtails now.

I grew up as a pretty classic 80’s kid: not moving much; eating a lot. I remember my Dad riding his bike a lot, but I didn’t go with him much. And I remember walking with my mom… to Baskin-Robbins. In my view we were an academic family, not an athletic one, and that role suited me just fine. My weight problem did not suit me just fine, but since I wasn’t athletic, what could I do about it? And so I struggled internally, but did nothing to solve the problem.

In 2001 my husband and I married, and I started to observe two things: that many people in our families were heavy, and that a lot of newlywed couples gained weight. I didn’t want that for us. I made some small but meaningful changes in the way I cooked for my husband and me, and we started hiking on the weekends (and working out during the week to train for our weekend adventures). The first year we were married, I lost 40 pounds and my husband lost 70. He still jokes that between us that first year, we lost the equivalent of a Backstreet Boy.


Me on my wedding day, shortly before I decided the weight madness had to end. My mom shown for scale (actually, she’s tiny by anyone’s standards).

 I actually completed a 5k the year after we got married, but…running was hard. I wanted to do it, but just didn’t see myself as ‘a runner.’ So I didn’t run anymore.

Fast forward a few years, to three weeks after the birth of our second daughter. I went to the gym and picked up Fitness or Shape magazine, and turned to a treadmill workout. I returned home and reported to my husband “There were parts that had me running. It was SO HARD!”

My husband may rue the day he said it, but he looked at me and uttered the words: “Running is hard.”

My eyes narrowed. My brow furrowed. And this was me:

challenge accepted

So I looked at the calendar, started training, and two months later, in January 2008, I finished my first present-day 5k. I wanted to run the whole thing, but I couldn’t. I trained intermittently after that, running another 5k that year, but didn’t really love it. I loved that I lost weight and felt good, but it was still hard. I ran just enough to be able to complete the 5k and then, the Peachtree Road Race in 2009.

Me after my first 5k. It took another 3.5 years for me to decide I was a runner.

Me after my 2008 5k. It took another 3.5 years for me to decide I was a runner.

Then, in late 2009, my friend Kristiana said “Hey, I think I’m going to run a half-marathon. Want to join me?” I gave her a definite “NO.” I had said many times that I felt no need to EVER run for more than 35 minutes at a time. But she was determined to do it, and I am her friend, so I reluctantly signed up for the 2010 Country Music ½ Marathon. I had no training plan, no real running shoes, no Garmin. And I had a lot of fear. But that was all about to change.

Portrait of A Girl in Love: Immediately after my first 1/2 marathon

Portrait of A Girl in Love: Immediately after my first 1/2 marathon

It was around the time that I started doing upwards of eight miles that my LOVE for running developed. Once I started setting aside major chunks of time to complete my long runs, and didn’t feel pressure to be back at home/running errands/socializing, I could settle in to the activity and just enjoy it. I also felt so accomplished when I was done. I shed 32 pounds off my 5’6” frame, which certainly didn’t hurt my feelings any. And oh, let us not forget the endorphins. THE ENDORPHINS. I was slow, and I was (am) untalented, but I fell hard for running.

It's a long-term relationship. After my 2nd Marathon, February 2013.

It’s a long-term relationship. After my 2nd Marathon, February 2013.

Now, after two marathons, seven half-marathons, two Ragnar relays, running has my heart now more than ever. It changed my life, as it has changed so many others. I know the feelings of challenge, and accomplishment, and hard work. I know defeat, and I know perseverance. I know how a run can make you feel more alive than you’ve ever felt before, and how it can make you feel like you might just need to lay down on the ground and die. I love it, all, and I hope I can help you love it, too.


9 thoughts on “My Running Story”

  1. I love this. That’s all.

  2. I came across your blog and love it! I just had my second daughter 3 months ago and I, too, have scoliosis. I signed up for my first half marathon and have been running. I really struggle with breathing (I have a s shaped curve with the top curve being on my lung). Did you struggle with this and if so, did it get better for you?

    • Hi, Hannah! Thankfully, I’ve not had any internal issues. I’m not really sure what to tell you–I tend to struggle more with random injuries, and just have to be patient with hope that everything will get stronger. I have accepted that for all the work I do, I will only be as fast as *I* can be within these limitations, and I have to be okay with that. I certainly do hope that it gets better for you! Let me know.

  3. I recently found out I had scoliosis after all these years. I ran my first two 5k’s before my “diagnosis” and realized I had a problem after my ribs became dislocated. You are an inspiration! I have wanted to get back to running. I have never been “good” at it but I want to push through it and challenge myself to do a marathon. I have an s curve and my lower spine is twisted. It makes for some interesting runs. I love reading your blog because I know there is hope for us “twisted runners”.

  4. Love this story! And so happy I found your blog today. 🙂

  5. Hi Lindsay! My name is Cory. I am a wife and a mommy of four sweet kiddos. I started running about a month and a half ago and love it however, I just found out that the severe pain I was experiencing in my back when I ran is Scoliosis. Have you ever had back pain when you run and if so what do you do about it? I have a chiropractor and I’m working with and hoping that it helps so I can run again. Thank you so much!

  6. Vielka Allen said:

    I had subscribed to your blog a while back and got very excited to read your latest post. I just recently got diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis and have felt very discouraged at the overwhelmingly anti running speeches I have been getting. See, I’m an overweight, slow runner that can’t seem to convey that I have loved being a runner for the past 20 years EVEN THOUGH I DON’T LOOK LIKE ONE! It’s not an “everyone is doing it fad”, It’s real for me. Your most recent post, for me, solidifies that drive and push. Yes I need to lose weight and have already started to do so, but I will keep pushing into my running, with God’s Grace and much prayer. Thank you!!!!

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