my morning walks

Screen Shot 2017-01-10 at 1.43.31 PM i have become a grandma.  ok, not literally, but you’ll see what i mean, and i’m sure you’ll agree with me…

i go on a walk by myself every morning, listen to the news, and drink my coffee.  just like my parents, who go on a walk together nearly every single morning (its quite adorable).  am i forcing myself to get old?!


{adorable leggings from gray monroe}

here’s the deal: i have been neglecting myself for a long time, in terms of exercise.  years back, i kind of got into running, and even ran a half marathon.  then proceeded to (basically) never run again.  i had a goal, met it, then realized i really never enjoyed running.  you know that high that runners talk about?  i’ve felt it exactly two times.  i would try running again off and on throughout the years, but never stuck with it because i disliked it so much.  but for me, it is the most logical form of exercise – i can do it from my house, i don’t need any special equipment, and its essentially free.  my other road block to exercise has been childcare, but now that my kids are a little older (13, 11, and 9), i can leave them for shorter periods of time to get out for some exercise.

but walking works for me. i’ve stuck to a consistent exercise routine for over 6 months now.  my biggest challenge was changing my sleeping habits.  to be consistent, i really didn’t want to leave my kids alone every day midday, so i get up before them, and try to be back before they are up.  now if you have babies, this may not be possible, but eventually your time will come.  i really never thought it would, but look!  here it is!  my time has come!  so i try to go to bed each night by 10, which is a huge change from the days when i ran my shop, and i’d stay up way past midnight most nights.  i get up around 5:45, start the coffee, do my devotional (new morning mercies by paul david tripp), get dressed and am out the door close to 6.


the details:

when i go: early morning, 6ish.  i have recently lengthened my walks, so i try to get out of the house by 6 so i can be back before the kids get up.  thankfully, my kids are rarely up before 7 these days.  i walk at least 6 days a week. sometimes i go later if i’m able – i hate walking in the dark!

what i wear:  weather depending.  on colder days, sweats, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt and sometimes a jacket.  an earwarmer/headband or a beanie with a ponytail hole.  gloves.

what i bring: headlamp (in the winter), coffee, phone, earbuds

what i listen to: the world & everything in it (podcast), happy hour with jamie ivey (podcast), reclaiming conversation (book – long but so good)

apps i use: weather (to check the temp before i get dressed), podcasts, strava (to track my time and distance)

why i do it: mental health, time alone, exercise, the sunrises

to elaborate a bit more on “why i do it”, a big part of it really is for my mental health.  i really like time alone.  really.  i don’t like it all day long, because i get lonely (which seems quite contradictory), but i need a good dose of time to myself each day.  time for me to just be quiet, or zone out, or pray, and not answer any questions – its huge.  occasionally, i’ll chat on the phone with my BFF while i walk if we won’t get a chance to see each other that week.  if i’m dedicating so much time each day to this time alone, i may as well stack and make it exercise, too.  i can easily just walk for an hour, but i decided to start pushing myself more and really make it count as exercise, too.  using strava really helps me to monitor that because i can see what my pace is and if i need to move along a little faster.  but really, one of the biggest reasons i walk early every morning is for the sunrises.  i am a firm believer that God reveals himself in nature and his glory is undeniable when you see the sunrise.  each day it is so different and filled with colors streaking across the sky or moody with layers of greys.  either way, if you don’t catch it at the right time, you miss it.  and without fail, i wish i wasn’t alone because that glory is something that we all naturally want to share with each other.  i almost always audibly gasp and make myself laugh at what a dork i am.


i did a little research to support my love for walking vs. running.  basically, running is better (darnit) and produces benefits faster, but in the long run (no pun intended) can be harder on your body.  for walking to be a legitimate form of exercise, you really should go for an hour at a 13 minute mile pace.  my pace tends to be more in the 14 minute per mile range, but i am working to speed up a bit.  here’s a great article to give time/speed/calorie burn breakdowns that i found really helpful.  and here’s another interesting article.


here’s some of my favorite gear i use: leggings (with hip pockets), warm gloves, long sleeve top, sweatshirt, beanienike flex experience run 4

so what about you, do you exercise?  what do you like to do?  i have visions of going to yoga or a barre class with my girl friends, but i think we’d be too loud and goofy and get kicked out…


  1. 1

    You make me happy because I feel like I’ve found another human kind of like me! I walk and run a couple of times a week, alone, with my husband running at his own pace on the same trail. So I get to have company to get out the door but I also get the peaceful quietness of running the trial alone. I am slllooowwwww. But I’m working on it!

  2. 2

    You go G-MA! (grand, great, glorious, generous – you choose the word!) I love the walking – and this year I added just a tad bit using this app (free, Sworkit). Can choose one of four categories yoga, stretching, cardio and strength and time from 5-60 min. Well worth it!!!

  3. 3

    Im a walker too, but the Penna winters are too cold, reading your post made me realize I miss it. I usually walk for 45 mins listening to a book on audio and I do enjoy the time alone and the second wind of energy. Kudos to you for your commitment!

  4. 4

    I am a YaYa (super young g-ma of soon to be 10) and I love my morning quiet time; devotion, prayer and coffee. I also try to walk and do yoga every day. Taking time for yourself gets easier and easier as your children get older (I had 4 6 years and under). But Do grab every moment you can!

  5. 5

    My sister bought my husband and me Fitbits in September. She lives in Wisconsin and we in Arizona. Now we walk everyday. I use to do 10,000 steps every day but lately have been averaging 15,000 and a little over 6 miles. We walk in the desert so it is very uneven terrain and rocky. We take two walks a day. One in the am and another right before dinner. I Thought it would help me to lose weight but nothing seems to help. Even eating salads for a month I lost only a pound. Maybe it’s my age. I’m 71 but don’t look it.

  6. 6

    Perfect timing I just received an email that I have unused Audible credits and picked up the book you are listening to. I cant walk in the mornings (I wake up at 4 to get to work in time) but I was walking at work on my breaks a couple months ago. I felt great and recharged when I returned to the office. During that time I was also listening to a great book (The Lifegiving Home) which was my motivation to leave the office for that time. I am excited to start this book and get back into my daily walk.

  7. 7

    I crave first-thing-in-the-morning ME time as well and have an almost exact schedule as yours: to be by 10:00, up at 5:45 (I vary on this, sometimes I’m up a little earlier, if I have to be at work earlier) and then get my exercise in first thing in the morning. I do a mixture of whatever my body craves that day (I like to walk, run, cycle, etc. and any other types of workouts I do from home DVDs because I’m just not an exercise class kind of girl (too shy and no friends close by willing to join me)). My favorite part of my walks/runs/biking is listening to podcasts. It’s total me time and it always sets my day off right.

  8. 8

    What a great habit to have. I love going for long walks around my neighborhood but my kids are young and my husband’s schedule is all over the place to doing it regularly can be tough. But hopefully as the kids get older I can schedule it in because time alone is essential for my mental health too. And it can be hard to come by!

  9. 9
    Claudia says:

    Great post! I’m just catching up here.
    I walk daily with a large and bouncy lab. Before I know it, 45-60″ and several miles have passed!
    It’s so beneficial for both of us! We are both happy for the fresh air! Burns off some steam too for the big guy! Should note I live in MN, but the temps and weather don’t stop us. I dress accordingly, monitor wind chill and off we go! In addition, I’ve just marked one year of yoga! And I was a reluctant yogi, convinced it was not for me! So glad I was wrong! I’m now dedicated to 3-4 classes per week. It’s been life changing. Can’t imagine life without it! Immeasurable benefits! I encourage everyone to try! Start where you are, no hang ups. Just begin!

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