4 Reasons I Am Running A[nother] Half-Marathon

I ran a half marathon in June of 2016 in Yellowstone with my sister-in-law and husband. It was one of the WORST experiences of my life.

I didn’t realize the entire thing was a trail run and I did not train on a dirt trail once during my training. I fell twice during the event and I got a horrible stomach ache at mile 10 from all the “goo” I had been eating.

So, why am I doing another half marathon you ask?? Here are 4 reasons behind my motivation:

1- Training for a half marathon will help tame my depression and anxiety.

“There is now evidence to support the antidepressant effects of exercise… as an adjunctive treatment for postpartum depression” (Source: this article).

Adjunctive means that it is an additional treatment that helps to increase performance when combined with other treatments. For myself, this means that along with my medication, therapy, and support group attendance, exercise helps to increase the efficiency of these other things I am currently participating in.

When you exercise, it releases endorphins. Endorphins are your “feel good” hormones. When you have more of these hormones in your body, you feel a sense of hope.

Having hope when you suffer from anxiety and depression is HUGE. Feeling hopeless is one of the major symptoms of PPD/PPA. Because of this, you lack the motivation to do anything and don’t feel good about yourself.

Isn’t it great that exercise can actually help to bring that hope back? If you only have one reason to exercise, let it be that one.

2- Training for a half marathon will give me consistency.

More important than exercise itself, is exercising consistently. In this article on Postpartum Progress, it states:

“I could exercise without needing it to be formal or structured. I didn’t need two hours on gym equipment with a personal trainer. I could exercise without finding a babysitter and driving to a gym. I only needed one thing: a consistent exercise schedule.”

By having a training schedule for the AF half marathon, it will help me maintain the consistency of working out.

Just remember, you don’t have to exercise hard and for long amounts of time every day. I love the article I previously mentioned because she talks about how she would walk every day for 60 minutes. Even this level of exercise will have antidepressant affects. The key is that she did it consistently.

Let’s be honest, starting to work out again after baby is hard. Make a schedule for yourself so it won’t be quite as difficult. Even if it is just to walk every day, a schedule will help you stick with exercising.

3- Training for a half marathon will give me control and a sense of accomplishment.

In the beginning, on thing that was really hard for me with PPD/PPA was that I felt like my life was spinning out of control and I couldn’t do anything about it. This would leave me in a daze. I also didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment because I didn’t have grades I was receiving or I wasn’t getting a lot of things done every day. When you have a baby, you have to learn to adjust what you see as accomplishment.

By training for a half marathon, it gives me something I can control. I can control my physical fitness and the goal that I set and meet for myself.

By training for a half marathon, it gives me something I can gain accomplishment from. It will be something I can do for me. It will give me a reason to love myself again, which is also something I have struggled with due to PPD/PPA.

4- Training for a half marathon will give me a second chance.

Let’s be honest, I need a do-over from my last experience running a half-marathon.

I want to do this and be able to say it was a better experience. I also feel like I am in better shape now and feel more like “me” again. I think this feeling has come from taking time to fix the root of the cause, PPD/PPA, and not just ignore it anymore. I have so much more energy now and I know it’s because I have hope again.

Find something you love to do that can help you be consistently active, you don’t necessarily need to run a half marathon.

But, if you do want to run a half marathon, I have a great training schedule I would be happy to share. Drop a comment or send me an email and I will get it to you.

Much love, Kaitlyn


31 Comments

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    January 30, 2017

    I’m not a runner, so the training and perseverance is so inspiring to me!

    Reply
  • MyYellowApron

    February 1, 2017

    I would love to run as well.., but my knee is not supporting me well. Running is addictive, I must say.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      I totally get that. My knees have started to give me some grief so I am a little worried about the same thing.

      Reply
  • Author Brandi Kennedy

    February 1, 2017

    I think it’s great that you’re trying again – and I also think that you might find yourself enjoying it a lot more this time because you’ve learned from the last time. You’ll know now to research the marathon and try to find out where it is, so that you can train on similar terrain. You’ll know what it takes to train and be ready. And because you’ll be ready this time, you can be free to like it more.

    HOPEfully.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      That is what I am hoping for too, Brandi. I am actually planning to do my long runs on the same road as the half marathon so that will be good. I am excited to try again but I also find myself thinking, am I crazy for doing this again?!!!

      Reply
  • KCH

    February 1, 2017

    I never knew that running was a good release for healing anxiety. Thanks for sharing this secret! Good luck to you on the marathon!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      I think really any type of exercise is! Even just walking. Thank you for the well wishes KCH!

      Reply
  • Krysten

    February 1, 2017

    I just started trying to run again since having my little one because of my depression and anxiety. I want to have something that is consistent for me, something that I can do. Maybe I should try to train for a half, so that I can have a training pattern!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      That is a great idea! You could even start with a 5K if you feel like the half is too much to commit to. If you live in Utah, the AF half marathon also has a 5K you could do? Starting to run after your baby is really hard so good for you. Until I started cross training, I could never seem to get enough lung capacity to run effectively. You got this mama!!!

      Reply
  • kiyshia

    February 2, 2017

    wow, well done you for making this decision. I think it will great and you have thoroughly thought of the positives you will gain from training for the half marathon. It also looks like you’re gearing yourself mentally too, which is a massive benefit! wishing you all the luck…cheering you on from over here!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      Thank you so much Kiyshia! I know it will be hard, but I recognize that the mental benefits are so much more important to me than the physical benefits. It is so important that we all find something that helps us to stay “sane”!

      Reply
  • perroneregmailcom

    February 2, 2017

    I love this “Find something you love to do that can help you be consistently active, you don’t necessarily need to run a half marathon.” I too suffer fro PPD/PPA and have had anxiety all my life, for me it is knitting, DIY projects and crafting… This statement reminded me of the importance of consistancy, I tend to start and not finish, I need to make my one thing a part of my daily routine. Thank You!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      You are so welcome, and I am sorry that you suffer with those things. They are no joke! I am so glad you have found an outlet that works for you. Way to recognize the importance of implementing that outlet!

      Reply
  • dearlydainty

    February 2, 2017

    Wow! I probably won’t be able to discipline myself that well to do train! But it seems like you have all the right reasons to do so! You can do it ! xoxo

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      Thank you so much for the encouragement!! I have been sick the last couple of weeks to that has made it really hard. I am just glad I am starting to train now so I still have time.

      Reply
  • 2momsandababyblog

    February 2, 2017

    Those are all great reasons! I have ran in 3 and oddly enough I loved them all. I am way too out of shape to do that now but I plan to get back in it soon!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      You can do it!!!! That is great that you have done 3 of them; I admire you. Maybe you can just start with a 5K to get back into it!

      Reply
  • deesignplay

    February 2, 2017

    I totally agree with all of this. I trained for a half and got injured a month before the day, but I still enjoyed the journey of getting stronger – physically and mentally

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      Oh I am sorry you didn’t get to run it! I am worried a little about my knees because they are already giving me grief. We will see how it goes! I wish you all the best.

      Reply
  • Erin

    February 2, 2017

    I had no idea that exercise helped with depression and anxiety, but it makes total sense when you consider the fact that you release endorphins! I totally need to start working out again myself!

    I wish you the very best, Kaitlyn!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 2, 2017

      Thank you so much, Erin! It really does lift my mood so much when I workout; I am grateful for that. I hope that you can find a routine to get into again.

      Reply
  • Elizabeth O.

    February 2, 2017

    I think it’s amazing and admirable that you’re going to run another half marathon after such a bad experience. I’m sure you’re going to have a better one this time around. These are all great reasons to continue.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 3, 2017

      I think so too! If I have better reasons, I think that instantly makes it a better chance for success/likability. Are you a runner?

      Reply
  • Fatima Torres at MTME

    February 3, 2017

    These are all valid reasons. Good luck on your run, and have fun while you train.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 6, 2017

      Thank you so much for the wish of “fun”. As you are aware, I am sure, running is not very fun. I ask myself every single time why I am doing it.

      Reply
  • Stacey

    February 4, 2017

    All your readons are great. I especially love giving yourself a do over. I’ve run 3 myself and no matter what you should be proud of yourself.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 6, 2017

      Way to go Stacey! That is such an accomplishment. Are you planning to run anymore?!

      Reply
  • fromthefamilywithlove

    February 4, 2017

    Wow! Good for you. I am not a runner, never have been. But I’ve seen the hard work and dedication it takes so good job!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 6, 2017

      Thank you so much!!! I haven’t run much in the last couple of weeks due to sickness so I am hoping this week will be much better. Just find something you enjoy and stick with it!

      Reply
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