The six miles I ran yesterday morning were horrible for a number of reasons.

1. Not only is it hot as CR*P in Northern Virginia but the humidity is ridiculous. I was sweating out of every pore on my body. I was so soaked I felt like I had jumped in the pool.

2. Baby C is cutting his 2nd tooth, he is in a BAD mood. We ran 3 miles out before I turned around, at which point he decided he had, had enough of the run. HE cried and cried as I tried to feed him little puffs while still running as fast as I could to get back to the car.

3. My body does not perform in the heat. I felt slow, tired, and overweight[the thighs rub even more when I’m hot and swollen]. My splits were fine, yet each mile felt horrible.

So yes I said it… run was terrible, but at the same time IT WASN’T. It was a run. For anyone sidelined with an injury, you know all too well that you would rather have a horrible run than no run at all. So despite my complaining, I am grateful and thankful that I was able to run and that I had the courage and strength to push through 6 miles[literally].

What I learned on my run is that just when you have given up, there are people who will lift you up.

To the random man on a bike that said You Go Momma – followed by run faster mommy[in a child’s voice] – you were a little creepy but made me smile nonetheless.

To the 2 older couples walking together for their exercise. Your kind words about how inspirational I was, were beyond sweet. I found it inspiring that at your age you were moving fast together on a trail at 8 something in the morning. Most folks your age are complaining about what their body will not do anymore rather than taking charge and telling their body who is running the show. Thank you for helping me get through mile 3. Seeing the 4 of you again at mile 4 definitely helped boost me.

To the *serious* cyclist who flew past me from behind but managed to say AWESOME as he passed. Thank you. I REALLY REALLY needed it today.

To the old man who said excuse me ma’amcan I just tell you that it’s people like you who keep old guys like me going. I’m not sure if you meant that the sight of my sweaty body in a sports bra and shorts keeps you going or if you meant me pushing my two sons in the sweltering heat? Either way you made me smile in a weird sort of way…..thank you for taking notice of how hard I was working.

To the older couple I met in Starbucks after my run, you broke my heart when you said your son grew up and moved to France and one day mine might do the same. You mended my heart just a smidge when you said I was in awesome shape for having 3 kids, despite the fact that I was still dripping sweat and probably smelled.

What if we always lifted up other runners and walkers. What if instead of judging that girl up ahead of us or the runner that we push to pass, we lifted them up?

What if we always told people they were impressive when we silently thought it? What would happen if every time you saw someone who looked like they were struggling through a run – you told them that they looked awesome and to keep it up? Would your words help that person DREAM BIG?

What If-

I certainly know that I am not the only parent of 3 little kids who MAKES the time to run. I know that there are plenty of other men and women out there who do it while pushing 2 kids. I know I am not a super hero and I do not think that what I do on a daily basis is really that inspiring. I do however appreciate the kind words of people I know and do not know that occasionally make me feel like an inspiring superhero mom.

A TERRIBLE run that I chose to turn into a POSITIVE run……because after all ANY run is a good run.

After our run I took the boys to a lake to look at the ducks. I know I am biased but these two little guys melt my heart and make my day – every day.

Lake Thoreau


Baby Colton


He wanted a picture of his MAD face


  1. I'm jealous that you had all of those people pumping you up on your run this morning! It definitely was hot and the air quality was terrible. Way to get out there anyway!

  2. Allison says:

    Hey, your terrible run is better (faster) than one of my good ones! Tee hee. :)

    Way to hang in the heat! Great job.

  3. Gracie (Complicated Day) says:

    I always try to say something to overweight runners and walkers who are clearly struggling. It's so inspiring to see people overcome worries about appearances and embarrassment and get out there and exercise. I'll say, "Looking good!" or "Great pace!" etc – or at least wave. We have such an obesity problem here in the South, it cheers my heart to see people overcoming the major challenges they face to improve their health.

  4. S Elliewood says:

    A great post!! I grew up and moved away to Europe and I've never been closer to my parents if that makes you feel better. I love when exercisers encourage one another!

  5. I agree about the HEAT, it is awful here in KY also! Your boys are adorable! Wish more people was as nice as the ones you encountered:)

  6. JessicaFG says:

    Such a GREAT post. Thanks for lifting us all up with your wise words!

  7. SupermomE12 says:

    I think so much of what is "terrible" or "wonderful" is in our own heads and attitudes. Great post! :)

    ANd if it makes you feel any better about your heat… as I type this, the rain outside has changed over to SNOW. AGAIN.

  8. YES!!! My post last week on NRD was this exact concept – sometimes we just have to be glad that we are out there running, they can't all be great.

    Ugh I don't know how you guys do it in that heat and humidity!! GAH.

  9. Great post!! I have a very hard time in humid weather!!

  10. Great post! It is true it is so amazing to be encouraged and to encourage others!

  11. The Hungry Mom says:

    this post made me laugh – love the part about the old guy. i always try and say something to any runner passing! most especially when we are out "in the elements." we are all out there together! great run on an incredibly hot day. way to go mama

  12. Anna Crouch says:

    I SO agree! I work at my local gym and yesterday I saw a fairly large older woman busting her butt on one of the treadmills! She had been doing a steep incline and weights interval workout for over an hour…She was working out for so long that after awhile the treadmill ran out of time and shut off on her! About 50 minutes in to her workout I walked up to her and said "Holy moly girl! You've got some endurance!" She kind of laughed and said "Ya, it's tough." As she was panting. I replied "Seriously…nice work! Many people MY AGE can't even do what you're doing! I think it's awesome." She seemed very appreciative that I noticed her hard work. It definitely pays off to give someone a boost of confidence. Who knows…maybe she was about to give up right then, but my comments gave her the little extra umph she needed to complete her workout!

    I totally agree with you. We need to express the encouragement and compliments to people that we think in our heads!

  13. Samantha @ Mama Notes says:

    love love love this post :)

  14. Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog says:

    I am so inspired by you having three kids and getting out and running. I have two and am thinking of number three, but I am really worried about how it may cut into my running time, as well as how expensive they are. My boy better not move to France :(

  15. I try to say "keep it up" or "nice work" to people when I pass them, whether it be in a race or just training. I do this because I like it in return. :)

  16. This is a great post! It's so true too. With the right frame of mind, any run can be a good run. And yes–it's about MAKING THE TIME to run, because otherwise we don't have the time. You are an inspiration :)

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Very inspiring. I see runners out all the time, but I never think to say anything to them other than smile, but now I am inspired to tell them that they look strong. :-) Nice job on toughing it out in the heat.

  18. Rick Amernick says:

    We all have days like that; you will bounce back. I always encourage runners when I'm out there; and hope to get the same in return. Hopefully we will have less humid days in the near future!

  19. This post brought tears!!! I got sidetracked a few years ago by training and racing and constant competition–always assessing other runners in comparison, looking for my rivals….injuries forced me to rest my body and also allowed me to reset my soul?now my runs are all about joy and peace and clarity–no iPod or watch, just me and a smile–that’s the only rule: always smiling!! I look around me instead of looking at my pace, and I try to make eye contact with each person I pass…now my runs are about connection–with myself, with nature, with random people–and it’s the best!!

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