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 :)|
7 Ways #Motherhood Has Changed My Running! https://t.co/iHQM65ebhE #weeklywrap #marathontraining #motherrunner #mothersday2016— Amy (@creativeaim87) May 2, 2016
Fargo Marathon Training Week 17:
Monday, April 25Easy-Effort: 7 mi 01:03 08:56 pace.
Rain, rain, rain this morning!
Tuesday, April 26Speed 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 27Strength Training: Hip raises, leg raises, bridges. Plank variations for 6:00 total, broken up into 1:00 and 1:30 minute intervals.
Thursday, April 28Tempo 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 30Long 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 1Off.
Total Mileage: 45.11
How has your current life season changed your running?
Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.