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Running Tips

Running and Mothering – Navigating Them Both One Step at a Time

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I was training for my first half-marathon when I became pregnant with my oldest son. I imagined myself eight months in the future, belly protruding, but still in amazing shape. “How does she do it?” everyone would mutter as I jogged blissfully down the street.  I’d smile to myself because everything would be so under control and, after all, how hard could it really be?

Three weeks later, a mile from the end of my first 10-miler, I was doubled over a gutter emptying the contents of my stomach and realizing for the first of many times that maybe this motherhood thing was going to impact my plans more than I thought.

Now, as the mom of two sons I can say for sure that motherhood affects everything in wonderful and unexpected ways. Here’s how I’ve navigated the changes so far:

The first year:

After having my son, regaining my fitness was high on my list of personal goals, so I signed up for a half marathon. Because morning sickness made it impossible for me to run the first half I’d signed up for, it was that much sweeter when I ran/walked across the finish line.

Toddlerhood:

Those really young years are a magical time, but having my life revolve around nap schedules left me missing time with adults. I fit in some extra socializing in the early mornings at the high school track with a group of runner moms.

Big Kids:

This is when I got friendly with the treadmill. My kids grew more comfortable with gym childcare by this time so you better believe I took advantage of that break every day. They got to play with some new toys and I got time to decompress and re-energize.

Preteen:

We’re finally now at the age where my kids want to run with me, but for them, running is all out, all the time! My oldest recently discovered that he’s very close to beating me in short races, so I do a lot of sprinting. Since a lot of my evenings are spent at their sports practices, I use the time to hit the track for speed work.

Teenagers:

Hopefully some of you moms out there can speak to this in the comments since I’m not there yet. My sister’s teenager just started jogging with her and I know she enjoys having time set aside to talk to him without distractions. I’m hoping I’ll get to do that, too.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. How has motherhood affected your running? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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About Catherine
I'm a running, banjo picking, motorcycle riding mom of two boys. I love running for all the reasons: getting out with friends, getting out alone, cruising and relaxing, testing my limits. Most of all, having fun!
2 Comments
  • Taylor

    I had great expectations for my running as well when I became pregnant. I was going to be that awesome pregnant person running on my due date and returning to the long distance soon after. I was able to run a half at 24 weeks pregnant (I didn’t have a rough pregnancy) and all the way to my due date I continued. This gave me great hope to hit the road soon after delivery.

    But……3 days after delivery, my son began seizing from a brain bleed and 1 day after that I was diagnosed with May Thurners Syndrome with a massive DVT from my left abdomen to my ankle. PICU for him and surgery for me resulted in both of us surviving something we shouldn’t have. Eternally thankful yet my leg is not what it was, it requires significant compression and my Iliac vein is still collapsed. My dreams were shattered and I thought I may never run again. 2.5 years later, yes 2.5 YEARS I was finally able to run a marathon again, very slowly but did it and am continuing.

    Needless to say, how has motherhood affected my running….my expectations were shattered, yet I now see running in an entirely different and awesome way, I AM THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE AND TO HAVE TWO LEGS TO RUN! I may be slow, it may be tough, my leg may be numb most of the time, but I can run, and I have a perfectly healthy 3 year old boy that loves the BOB stroller as well as running by my side. Motherhood is a miracle that I am able to live out with my child and running was something that I thought was gone, but I am blessed to be able to do it and share the joy with my son!

  • kacibacher

    Motherhood has made me faster. People often ask me how I run so fast(fast is relative, I’m not that fast). First of all, it is a process. You have to put in the time. Secondly, half of the time when I lace up with the intention of going out for a nice slow steady run to clear my head, listen to music and enjoy my surroundings….something interrupts that plan. Trying to check some last minute emails, taking the forgotten lunch box to school or throwing a “quick” load of laundry in suddenly turns that run into “I only have 30 minutes now… So make the most of it” kind of run. Pick up the pace, intervals, hills repeats…. Whatever I have to do to get the same benefit out of a 30 minute run as I would have a slow and steady hour so I can get home and get on to the next motherly adventure… And if I’m lucky, hopefully showered!