How I Accidentally Became A Runner!

How I Accidentally Became A Runner!

My running journey probably sounds all too familiar to some of you reading this. I decided to “get in shape” after the birth of my first child. I had gained a whopping 65 pounds which was most likely a result of the entire boxes of Eggo waffles I would eat as a snack- yes I said entire boxes! I was 22 years old when I had her, so getting my post baby body in shape was not difficult at all. I watched what I ate, drank more water and less soda, and in no time I was back in my skinny jeans as if nothing had happened at all.

Fast forward to years later when I had my son and my former and faster paced metabolism decided to slow down. I suddenly realized that it would not be as easy to get rid of that extra weight I had put on as it was the first time.

So I decided to start walk/running. I use the term walk/running because that is how I started- I would walk most of the time while pushing my son’s stroller and every now and then I would break out into a very slow paced jog.

I did this method for a while until the chaos of my life ensured and my running journey came to a halt. Fast forward to the infamous Covid lockdown of 2020 and I went from flourishing in a life of chaos and constant overstimulation between my job and my children, to being exiled in the four walls of my home with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I had to do something before I went totally crazy. I had already been a member of a gym but with it being closed due to Covid, I decided that it was time to start my walk/running journey again but this time I wanted to really run!

I quickly learned that it would be a much more difficult journey than I had anticipated but it would be one that would absolutely change my life. 

I knew that I wanted to run for distance mainly to see how far I would be able to push myself when it came to miles and specific goals that I wanted to reach (such as running a 5k race). I started off very slowly and decided to use the Run Walk Run Method which is a popular method that distance runners use. This method allows you to use a formula to find your “baseline” or your running pace per mile, then you are able to gradually increase your distance using intervals of walking and running based on your specific pace. It also prevents you from gassing out early on and not being able to run longer distances. This method allowed me to get a feel for running as well as learning a few important things from realizing I absolutely needed better shoes to support my very flat feet, or that a runner’s belt would become my best friend, and that my body was capable of so much more than I thought it was.

That is the thing about running- it is way more mental than it is physical.

Just when I would start to think that my legs could not possibly go any further as they felt like lead, I would start telling myself things like “I can do this!” or “I had two babies – this is nothing!” and before I knew it, I had reached another mile. My running became a daily habit that I started to eagerly look forward to as I slowly reached new mileage goals with every run.

I still remember the day I ran my first 5k race (a little over 3 miles without stopping). My husband and kids came to support me and wait for me at the finish line. I was so nervous and I remember thinking that I would be really embarrassed when I had to call my husband to come and pick me up because I would not make it past the first mile! I will never forget the feeling of turning the corner and seeing that finish line along with my kids jumping up and down cheering “Go Mom!” The feeling that I got along with the endorphin rush as I ran through that finish line convinced me that this was without a doubt something that I wanted to continue doing.

my first 5k

Fast forward to a few years later and I think I can actually consider myself a runner- words that I never thought I would use to describe myself since it totally happened by accident! Since then, I have run a dozen or more 5k races, along with running my first ever 10 mile race this past year in the freezing cold weather! My latest goal that I am working towards is a half marathon. One of my favorite things to do now is to lace up my running shoes, throw in my air pods, and push myself to go just one more mile. Running has become my therapy and it is something that I look forward to. Nothing beats looking down at my watch at the end of a run and seeing how far I ran- it is truly an indescribable feeling.

Running has changed my life. I know that may sound silly to hear- but I without a doubt would not be the person that I am today had I not started running.

It changed not only my physical health, but my mental health and I am truly a better wife, mom, and all around better person every single time I go for a run! I have been able to push myself beyond any physical limits I ever thought I was capable of, as well as realizing that you do not have to be in tip top shape to go the distance. I have such a sense of pride in all of the things that I have accomplished throughout my running journey. 

I recently started documenting my running journey on my TikTok, and since then I have had quite a few people reach out to me and ask how do I do it/what do I use/ etc. Let me just say this – by no means do you need anything fancy to start running. All you really need is yourself! Throw on some tennis shoes, make sure you hydrate, and just go for it! Over the years I have learned what works for me such as getting fitted for specific running shoes due to shin splints caused by my lack of arch support, or using a running belt to hold my phone, airpods, energy gels, etc. but by no means do you need any of these things.

All you need is a little motivation and two legs to get going! Happy Running! 🙂

Lacie Soileau
Lacie Soileau is a Louisiana Native originally from Ville Platte. She went to UL Lafayette and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. She then went on to earn her Teaching Certification at Louisiana College in Pineville as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching. She also recently completed her Educational Leadership Certification. She has been in education for ten years and is currently a Third Grade Teacher at Milton Elementary School. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 12 years and together they have 2 children – Rylie who is 10 going on 16 and Nathan who is 6 and is our little energizer bunny!. Lacie loves to read, write, shop and exercise! One of her favorite things about living in Lafayette is all of the delicious food! Her favorite things are coffee, any type of spicy food, and spending time with her husband and kids!


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