Alert: This post might get long;) I have a lot to share about running, but I will just share the basics of my running past.

Where to begin with running. I ran for 9 years straight.  For the last 5 of those years I would run all year round and only take 3 weeks off a year.  I would run 6 days a week. It was like my job and I loved it. I ran competitively in college and had great success.  I realized that to be a good runner you had to put in the time and the miles.  That is why I ran when it was super hot, freezing cold, raining, snowing, wind that would knock me off my feet, but I kept running because I knew that it would make me better.  I always thought why be ordinary if I had a chance to be extraordinary. Some of my best memories came from running in college, the people I met, and the experiences I was able to have because of running.

After high school, I went to The University of Minnesota to run.  When I went on a  college visit to the U of M I loved the coach and loved the girls, I was sold.  I also wanted to be apart of a Big Ten team.  I loved running at the U of M and was able to run at a couple Big Ten conference meets.  My team even won a couple big Ten Titles.  It was AMAZING.  I also was able to run with some of the best girls in the country.  The girls were amazing on the track and off of the track.  Some of them still run competitively today.  Even though I loved running at the U of M, this country bumpkin didn’t really enjoy living in the big city.  I am not a city girl. No matter how hard I tried or how much success I had with running, or how great my teammates were I still wasn’t happy.

Big ten Champions

So I looked into some smaller colleges that still had really good running programs and discovered that the University of Oshkosh had one of the best division three running programs in the country.  My boyfriend at the time, Travis, (now my husband), also went to Oshkosh.  He played baseball there.  So after two wonderful years at Minnesota I packed my bags and transferred to Oshkosh.

The campus was way smaller, there were more trees, the town was smaller, and I just felt more at home.  I met the coach and girls and they were wonderful as well.  I was very lucky to have been coached by two of the best coaches in the country who have won numerous awards for their coaching abilities.  I continued to run three more years at Oshkosh.  My last race of the season I had stress fracture, but choose to run and train through due to the fact it was my last collegiate race.  After I crossed the finished line I wasn’t  able to cool down for the chance that my trainers thought I could really injure myself.

ayla run 2

best coaches

ayla r

Once I was healed up I had no urge to train.  I think my body and mind needed a break.  While running I always had to take really good care of myself. I have exercise induced asthma, acid reflux, and had to get my gull bladder removed.  If I didn’t take good care of myself I would feel it on every run.  So it was nice to just be normal and do what I wanted. If felt nice to be able to pick and choose the days when I wanted to go running, and not have to go when it was freezing, raining, or snowing.

Time went on and I got a job teaching and tried to run here and there.  I missed running with teammates and had little motivation to run.  I then got married, had a baby, and told myself, once Kenna gets this old I will start running again, or maybe this old, and months kept passing by and I never ran.  Then I got pregnant again and found myself in a similar spot. I told myself once Emmy got 4 months old I would start running, then I changed it to 5 months, and then here we are I am going to actually start running again. AFTER an almost 4 year break, I am putting back on my running shoes.

Three weeks ago I started running. I started running 2 miles a day and ran four days that week. Well the next week I switched it to 3 miles a run and only ended up running 3 days.  The following week I had already felt defeated and quit putting in the effort and ran only 1 day.  Many of you are like Ayla, why do you care if you run? If it is hard just stop.  The thing is running makes me feel great.

When I was in college, I never drank caffeine, I never felt depressed, I never had any type of anxiety, and I think a lot of that is because I ran everyday.  Running releases endorphins  which make you feel good. Running also gives you energy. It helps your body run more efficiently so you are just overall more healthy. I miss feeling that way and I miss running. I miss competing.  I am by no means going to go crazy and start running like I used to, but I hope to start running and get to the point where I will feel good enough to race again.  So you get to follow me on my journey back to running.

This week- Monday I ran 4 miles and it felt like I ran 8.  Holy smokes this mama is out of shape.

Tuesday- I ran 2 miles with the girls in the double stroller. Emmy literally cried the whole time and finally fell asleep when we were just getting back to our mailbox.

ayla run3

I will keep you updated on my next run!  What is one of your favorite races?


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