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.
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.
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.
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.
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!