Monday, May 2, 2016

Training Week 17: Motherhood Has Changed My Running

First off, I want to wish a Happy (early) Mother's Day to all of you moms, moms-to-be, and everyone who has a mom! That pretty much covers everyone, right? :)

Let me bring you back my first race EVER.

It was a 5k and I took off running at who knows what pace (I didn't even know). As I ran passed a couple of women, one yelled to my 22-year-old self, "You won't be running like that after you have kids!"

Motherhood often gets a bad rap, as in the little story I shared above. In my very limited experience as a mother, I will say that it is challenging and often exhausting but the joy my husband and I have in raising these precious little ones exceeds it all. Times a million.

Joining in for the "Mother & Son" dance at this weekend's wedding

Motherhood has taught me to think about myself less, to push myself more, and the capacity to love these little ones so much has completely amazed me. Becoming a mom has made me better empathize with all my mom and dad went through in raising my brothers and me, too. Sorry, mom and dad!

Contrary to that woman's opinion in my first race, I do not believe motherhood makes you a slower runner. In fact, I think it can make you faster!

Here are a few ways that motherhood has changed the way I run, and for the better:

7 Ways Motherhood Has Changed My Running


1. My personality has chilled out.


While I really appreciate structure and a predicable schedule, becoming a parent has greatly improved my "go-with-the-flow" skills. Our family does have a daily routine, which is beneficial for the kids and us parents, but it's not super rigid. The kids are teaching me to enjoy the blessings in the present moment and to be more flexible with our day and my goals. Life is too short to stress over every detail!

2. Long runs are like a mini-vacation.


Finding a few peaceful moments even in the restroom is a rarity so being able to sneak away for a run is really something special. Running 20 miles does sound daunting but when I think of it as a little "break" from my mommy duties I appreciate it more!

3. Recovery and/or tapering is a hoot.


If I do 5 minutes of stretching after a run AND sneak in a shower, it's a good day! Fitting in foam rolling and legit stretching is difficult some days but I know it will get better when our kids get older. Keeping the two of them out of trouble (and off each other) feels like a marathon in itself some days!

4. Motivation to be an early bird.


Waking up earlier to run alone is the much easier alternative compared to pushing the stroller or trying to sneak a run in on the treadmill. Nap time is sometimes unpredictable (especially with my youngest) and pushing a stroller for speed intervals totally stinks! It's much easier to kick my tail out of bed an hour earlier in the morning. I never regret an early morning run!

5. Labor increases mental toughness.


When the going gets tough during a long run or race, I can reassure myself that "well, at least this isn't as bad as labor!" I think this works both ways because the mental toughness and endurance developed through marathon training helps immensely in the labor and delivery process, too!

6. Pre-race jitters are lessened.


Between pumping a bottle for the baby, packing up the diaper bag, getting the kids dressed and eating breakfast, I have less time to think about being nervous now. I still get some pre-race jitters but the kids do a great job of distracting me with mommy duties. And seeing them again at the end of the race is extra motivation to run faster :)

7. Race goals are more open-minded.


Though I am training with a 3:20-3:30 marathon finish time in mind, my true "goal" is to be grateful and flexible with whatever happens on race day. Maybe tapering was less than restful or the kids were up a lot the night before the race or someone is sick or baby is teething. Many variables come into the picture so keeping an open mind for race day is very helpful.

All I can do is run my hardest on race day and be content with the "best" that my body gives me. If I take racing so seriously that it's not fun any more, it's time to stop running races. Missing a goal time stinks but that's the way it goes sometimes. In the end, being able to run and race is a GIFT in itself. May God be glorified with my best efforts!

Motherhood is joyful chaos. I thank God for my family, this calling on my life and for my own mom and all she does!

Happy early Mother's Day to you!

Our best attempt at a family of photo these days :)

.....

Fargo Marathon Training Week 17:


Monday, April 25

Easy-Effort: 7 mi 01:03 08:56 pace.

Rain, rain, rain this morning!

Tuesday, April 26

 Speed Intervals: (Treadmill) 5.52 mi, 00:42 @ 07:36 pace.

 Intervals followed by 2:00 easy jog:
 3k @ 7:22
 2k @ 7:01
 1k @ 6:46
 .5 mile @ 6:32

Wednesday, April 27

Strength Training: Hip raises, leg raises, bridges. Plank variations for 6:00 total, broken up into 1:00 and 1:30 minute intervals.

Thursday, April 28

Tempo Run: 6.29 mi, 00:47 @ 07:30 pace.

I rarely wake up at 4:30 to run... but planting has begun. 6 miles before 6 am! WU, 3 miles @ 7:13, .5 mile jog, 2 miles @ 7:15, CD


Friday, April 29

"Easy Effort" with double stroller: 6.03 mi, 00:56 @ 09:19 pace.

Having some allergy troubles or a sinus cold. Not sure which one. Running helps to clear the congestion though!

Saturday, April 30

Long Run: 20.27 mi, 02:47 @ 08:14 pace.

Last 20-miler for Fargo. The run went well though I was tempted to skip it due to the whole feeling sick thing. Thankfully I made it, though! This was a "warm-up" for all of the wedding dancing to follow that evening! I was thankful to sneak in a short nap with the kids that afternoon before the wedding.


Sunday, May 1

Off.

Total Mileage: 45.11

How has your current life season changed your running?


Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

14 comments:

  1. OH Amy, I loved this post!! Motherhood has changed my running for sure but probably for the better!!
    My goal is to be faster than I was in college by the time I'm 40. It's totally possible!!!
    Great job training btw! Keep it up super mamma, you rock!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Melissa, and I love your goal of being even faster at 40!!! It IS possible!

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  2. Awww, I love this! My sons are 28 and 26 so I can't relate to much of this anymore, but I do remember those days! To that lady who said, "You won't be running like that after you have kids!", I say, "You don't know what you're talking about." I got much faster after I had kids because every run had to have a purpose and my training became much more meaningful. Keep up the great work, Amy! BTW, your little ones are adorable!

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    1. Oh thank you, Deb :) I appreciate your encouragement because you have here/done this season already! I can't even imagine the future when my boys will be 28 and 26... bittersweet. I'm sure the years fly WAY too fast!

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  3. Sometimes I do feel like the most self absorbed person ever, since I don't have kids. Although I do have furkids, and a huband, and yes, I do put them first -- not the same, of course, I can leave Lola at home for at least a couple of hours while I'm out doing errand or running.

    You mamas are definitely strong! Great post.

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    1. I don't think you are the most self-absorbed person one bit, Judy! The words that you share on your blog are an encouragement to me, that's for sure.

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  4. What a great post! I totally think motherhood changes running. It becomes more about running for sanity than for fitness. But thankfully, I get both out of it!

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    1. YES! I hear you on the sanity part. Being a mom has made me appreciate the quiet time of running more :)

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  5. How dare that woman say something like that! What ignorance. My kids are grown (almost) so I'm in a different season. But I agree about the mini vacation. In fact, I told my husband in the car after my Saturday half -- for 2 hours I completely forgot about my stressful job or anything else and it was bliss. You are doing a fantastic job as a Mama and as a talented runner. Carry on! Thanks for linking with us Amy!

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    1. Isn't it amazing how a good run can feel like a "getaway"?! Thank you so much for your encouragement, Holly!

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  6. Ah that woman actually said that to you? Wow! I can relate to the long runs are like mini vaca's #truth!
    I didn't run before kids, wishing I had but just wasn't in the cards then. I am so grateful I found it now and even this late in the game I can still improve and learn. Great post Amy!

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    1. Yes, Tricia! It's NEVER too late to discover the love for running. My hope is that running will be a lifelong love for me!

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  7. So true! Great post! I definitely used running as my "me" time, especially when the kiddos were babies. However now that 6 year old is starting to enjoy running, it is also a fun thing to do together.

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    1. Sharon, I love your pictures of your kids running! It's inspiring to me to see that, yes, parents do survive the baby years and someday, just maybe, my kids and I can run together. We'll see :)

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