Three years ago I gave birth to my third child and found myself as a stay at home mom for the first time. I knew that I wanted to start running as soon as possible to help lose the baby weight but I also wanted to achieve something. I wanted to feel successful in something other than mothering. Let’s face it, I wasn’t feeling successful at mothering every day either.
So, I started by using the Couch to 5K program, which helps you train slowly for a 5K by combining walking and jogging. From there I moved on to Couch to 10K and was able to run 6 to 7 miles. This led me to believe that maybe I could run a half marathon. With the help of a program designed by famous runner Hal Higdon that I found online, I achieved that also. Then, with the encouragement of my extremely supportive friend Kim, I began training for a full marathon.
Let me preface by saying, I am NOT an athlete. I do NOT run fast. I am NOT in amazing shape. But, I was a mother with jogging stroller and a dream. So, with the help of LOTS of yogurt melts, I began training for a full marathon while pushing a jogging stroller accompanied by a sometimes cranky but always energetic two year old. In December 2014, I achieved my dream and ran 26.2 miles!
I am by no means in any sort of position to give advice about how to be an amazing runner, but I do think running can be a GREAT thing for a mother’s psyche!
Yep. Sometimes you just want to escape the madness that is your life. Kids screaming, dishwasher running, five loads of laundry waiting for you, etc. Running allows you to literally just leave all of that behind. You can listen to your favorite music on your headphones and escape your reality for 30 to 40 minutes each day. Plus, exercise is one activity that husbands normally encourage. So, run out the door and leave him in charge. Running gives you FREEDOM even if it is short lived!
New Clothes and Shoes
When I first began running, my husband suggested that I invest in good running clothes and shoes. I objected to this because I wanted to save my money for what I considered stylish clothes. Let’s hope he is reading this because I don’t say this often. HE WAS RIGHT. Getting the proper clothing was crucial in being successful at running, plus workout clothes can be a lot of fun to shop for! Next, investing in great running shoes is vital! Your local running center can properly fit your feet and put you in the correct shoe. I wear Hoka One One.
I just went on and on about the joys of cute workout clothes and great running shoes but running is a free sport. You don’t need a fancy gym to begin running. You just need to go outside and get started. It doesn’t cost a thing to spend 30 minutes a day running outside. I can’t guarantee you won’t want to spend all your money on races once you get started though.
I need the shirt that says, “I run so I can eat.” I enjoy my food so running helps me maintain a decent fitness level while also being able to enjoy the foods I love. Without running, I am unsure of what sort of shape I would be in, but I am guessing it would not be good. Running allows you to push your body and discover what you are capable of after giving birth.
Feeling a Sense of Accomplishment
Once I started running, I began to feel proud of myself. The first race I signed up for was stressful because I was doing it alone and wasn’t very fast. Yet, I had a huge sense of accomplishment just for completing my first 5K. My husband and kids were proud of me and cheered me on. I feel like their cheerleader so often in life that it was great to see the roles reversed.