It was a Wednesday night. My toddler needed to be put to bed and the puppy just pooped on the kitchen floor.
But I only knew this because the babysitter kept calling me about it and totally interrupting my 7-mile run on the gym treadmill. This was six years ago and I was determined to run an amazing first marathon.
By amazing, I mean legendary. People would write stories about it and they would go viral on social media: Out-of-shape Mom Gets in Shape and Runs Fastest First Marathon in History for Former Out-of-Shape Moms!
Or something like that. Those headlines are always super long.
I would be fit. I would be fast. (And fabulous.) And no little thing like being a mom or wife was going to get in my way.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t considered broken bones.
Technically, it wasn’t broken very much; just a little fracture in my shin. Not enough for a boot, but it hurt. Yeah, it hurt my ego pretty bad. No marathon. No viral Facebook posts. No running for three months.
That last part was a tough because I was obsessed with running, but as I always like to say (but never heed): Things happen for a reason.
Here’s why it happened to me:
1. The obsession needed to stop. Not being able to run let me see how running so much was affecting my family. All my free time had been spent running or reading about running or writing about running or talking about running.
2. I was trying to lose weight and it wasn’t happening with running anymore. It was time to explore some other types of exercise and take a look at nutrition.
3. I needed to learn that I could run less and still train for a marathon.
In 2011, I set my 26.2-mile goal again, but this time I went about the training differently. What was the minimum amount I could run and still cross the finish line? That’s when I found out about Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run approach.
For 20 weeks, I ran only three times a week: two 30-minute runs during the work week and a long run on the weekend. The long runs were broken up with walk intervals every five minutes.
Three times a week, I did strength training. I’m a little embarrassed to say what that was, though. Okay, fine, it was a Jillian Michaels DVD. But whatever, it worked. I strengthened other parts of my body and helped take the stress off of my lower legs. I also lost weight.
This method worked for me and I had that amazing first marathon I was after, only I didn’t care what anyone else thought anymore. It only mattered to me. Yeah, it wasn’t fast, but I was a fit and fabulous unfractured marathoner.
Since then, I have tried running more than three times a week, and it never goes well: foot problems, shin problems, ankle problems, illness, fatigue.
Now I’ve let go of the idea of running more and I run less.
Instead, I walk more and I lift weights often. I don’t get hurt and it makes me a stronger runner.
I just finished a half marathon with no training plan and only running once per week!
Now, there’s a headline for a viral Facebook post.
Kerrie Turcic is a runner from Maple Valley, Wash. Kerrie is currently a copywriter by day, and also a