Becoming a Running Mom

Running & Motherhood

Mother's Day with Luke

Looking at that picture of me smiling with my sweet baby boy, you'd think all this was a breeze!
And here's the truth: Luke is one easy baby. He sleeps well, eats well (on formula--more on that below), he's often happy, not often fussy, he's sociable with people, easy to take places, and I can't imagine my life without him.

On December 9th, 2017, at 00:00 (aka 12:00 AM), my life changed forever. I should say our lives because obviously the same is true for my hubby, but he prefers to be left out of most social media, so I'm focusing on me for that reason. I thought about writing a detailed post explaining what happened during my labor and delivery. I decided against it, but will probably write the story in a journal in order to help me get over it. And I do mean that. It's been over five months, and I really haven't gotten over everything that went down on December 8th. It's possible that I have some measure of PTSD from it. That must be true for a lot of moms, right? Any labor, whether it goes according to plan or not, is traumatic. And please take my statement not as me trying to make a self-diagnosis, but simply as my way of expressing how I feel now.

Because things didn't go according to plan. 

I will share the highlights: Water Broke 2 AM. Arrived at birthing center 7 AM. Progressed to 9.5 cm dilation 11:30 AM. Active pushing begins around 12 PM. Transfer to hospital at 7 PM. Epidural administered around 9 PM. Rest until 11 PM. C-Section completed at 0000 (as in one minute after 11:59 PM, making Luke's birthday the 9th rather than the 8th).

Difficulties: BACK LABOR. BABY NEVER DESCENDING INTO BIRTH CANAL. ACTIVE PUSHING FOR 7 HOURS. Seems I needed to put all that in caps. And I was tempted to repeat BACK LABOR 10 times.

Godsends: Hubby, Mom, Larisa (sister), Alyssa (cousin). I could write an entire post just about each one of them and how they got me through it.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter that I didn't get what I wanted, which was a water birth free of any medical assistance. Because THANK GOD FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. Without it, the baby and I might not have made it.

And it's really hard to type that sentence but the reality of advances in medicine is the difference between life and death.

 And God gave me a beautiful little life.
Luke Frederick Burton

At Luke's first Christmas, he was two weeks old. I will mention that my plan to breastfeed also did not work out. After a month, I had to stop and we made the decision to switch to formula. This has been a blessing in many ways, and although I would've preferred to keep breastfeeding, I was reminded by so many people that there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula-feeding. No one tried to shame me or make me feel guilty about the decision.

Bring Your Baby to Work

Sunny Runner Baby!
Hand-me down onesie from Cody & Janna Angell

The blessings of bringing my baby to work are many! As many readers know, I'm the blogger at St. Pete Running Company. Owners Cody and Janna Angell have so graciously allowed me to come into work with Luke once a week so that I can work on the blog, website, Meetup, etc.

It's been such a joy to be able to go into the store with Luke. He has become a favorite greeter for the customers. He's often smiling and excited to see people as they come in. For me, I love being able to get out of the house while having him with me. Not to mention I get paid to write! Yes, writing is a greater passion for me than running, if you can believe it.

Running (but mostly Walking) Mom

I started jogging when Luke was about three months old. Until then I walked, pushing him in the stroller, almost every day. There was some mention somewhere about concerns with babies and jogging strollers, so when I talked to the pediatrician, he assured me that it was fine so long as Luke was in his car seat facing backward, just like he would be in the car. The BOB (a hand-me-down from my sister) is such a great jogging stroller and I'm really blessed to have one.

I started very slowly. Like I would jog for one block, and then walk the rest of my route which is typically 2 to 4 miles. I would repeat the jogging distance a few times before increasing it. I kept my jogging pace between 11 and 12 minutes per mile. The build-up to a full mile jogging took about a month.

I've jogged a mile!
And I have proof thanks to my Garmin 645 Music

Coming off a C-section was not the only reason that I decided to build up miles very slowly. It's been quite a while since I last posted, but my previous posts were all about the injuries that I'd been dealing with before I got pregnant. I would like to prevent those injuries from returning.

During pregnancy, I walked rather than ran. At my 6-week post-partum check-up, I found out I have a condition called diastasis recti. In brief, my abdominal muscles are separated and feel like mush. It happens to quite a few women after pregnancy. Now that I'm jogging again, I'm trying to be careful about pushing it too hard too soon while those muscles are in the process of healing. That does require exercises from me, too. Thanks to Youtube, I found specific exercises that are beneficial (some things like sit ups and planks are actually harmful if you have the condition).

I've built up to 1.5 miles jogging. There's a 5K route that my hubby and I do quite a bit, and what I'll do is jog 1.5 miles, we'll walk about 1/2 a mile, and then I'll jog the last mile home.

And I'm not in a hurry to push much beyond that.

I have missed going to St. Pete Running Company Group Runs on Monday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM, but unfortunately Luke's bedtime is 7:30 PM and we start the process around 7 PM. Thankfully, we have made it to one of the Saturday morning events: a Coffee Run. We'll hopefully be able to make more of those as well.


  1. Jog 2 consecutive miles by the end of May
  2. Jog 3 consecutive miles by the end of June

What About You?

Are you a Running/Walking Mom? What goals are you setting for yourself? How do you plan to reach them?

Thanks for checking in on what's been going on with me!


  1. Bria, you are such a beautiful and inspirational woman! My goal, as I cannot afford a race as of now, is to complete 350 miles between the gym and run group-when I am able, by July 31. As of today I am at 65 miles and I'm hoping to go to the gym with my friend this evening to complete another 5 miles. Yesterday I broke my record at the gym; 6 miles in 42 min. on the elliptical. My hope is that this will build my strength and endurance to run a complete 5k (without walking) by St. Pete Run Fest.

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. What awesome goals! Thanks for sharing. You're well on your way to your 350 miles. Great job on your personal record at the gym. I hope to do one of the races at St. Pete Run Fest as well. I'm debating between the 5K and the 10K. I don't think I'll be ready for a Half Marathon at that point, but possibly the 10K.


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