Mommy in Training


 

The most difficult thing about distance running while being the mom of an infant is leaving the house alone for a long enough time to complete long runs. For shorter runs baby D can come along in the jogging stroller– if he is in the mood for it– but taking two to three hours to run alone, plus the time it takes to shower after finishing, is hard to do. I am lucky in that my husband is very supportive and always tries to make sure I have enough time to train, and there are two sets of grandparents always eager to spend time with baby D. So the time for training is there… I just have to feel comfortable taking it. I still plan to run the marathon in October, but right now my workouts consist of short runs and bike rides. Of course one cannot expect to complete a marathon without having built up sufficiently long runs, so here is the real challenge: do the weekly long run, no matter what. I didn’t expect getting out the door to be more challenging than the actual workouts, but perhaps overcoming this mental hurdle– and gaining more effective time management skills– will be the greater benefit of marathon training. I expected physical challenges and growth. The mental side is a bonus. To say “I have no time for training” would be the same as saying “Training is not a priority”. It is a priority, and I want to be an example of good use of the body and the mind for baby D as he grows. I will complete the long runs, I will complete the marathon, and above all I will be the best mom I can be.

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Mommy Madness


It will be five weeks tomorrow that our beautiful son has been out of the womb. He amazes us every second– every little thing he does, every sound he makes, seems miraculous. Very little is going according to plan– there are posts coming covering nursing, cloth diapering, elimination communication, and sleep. I have been working piece by piece on a post about his birth, which is also forthcoming. As it is baby D and I are still figuring each other out. My time has two categories: baby D and training. I have become even more serious about the upcoming marathon, and I have added cycling to my athletic obsession. I cheated a little (don’t tell the midwife), and started exercising seriously three weeks post partum. There have been no problems. It feels so good to run again! I am slower than before, but I don’t care. With the help of my dedicated husband I have been running or going to the gym every day. A baby plus a training program really does take cooperation from both parents. At first I felt totally guilty leaving baby D for any amount of time, no matter how brief. I felt like a neglectful mother when I realized I had been concentrating on the workout and had not thought of him for a couple of minutes. Now I don’t feel as guilty– he is my motivation to work harder to get back to him sooner.

Right now cycling is taking up much of my other-than-baby thoughts. I was able to get a very basic, entry-level road bike. Score! I thought there was no way I could afford a road bike. I bought it as-is from a department store. It is being tuned up at the local bike shop now. My thoughts are already turning to century rides… Ok, how about just building base miles first. I do plan on upgrading most of the components over time– so much fun!

It is interesting– now that I have had a baby, I have become more serious about becoming an athlete. I am morphing from a recreational runner who aspired to complete a marathon to a woman on a mission to reach my physical limits. Did the experience of childbirth bring this on? Do I want to prove that the body can improve and reach new heights after having a baby? Have I gone a bit mad? I’m not sure yet.

 

Yay! A Marathon Partner!


My husband just decided to train for an October marathon with me. Yay! I enjoy long solitary runs, but having him train also will definitely provide motivation– and bring out my competitive side. No, I’m not competitive… not in the least…

Anyway, I am so happy that we are doing this together. The first challenge will be waiting until I am completely healed from birth to resume running. I know I have the tendency to push things a little. I’m not stubborn, either…

There is one more person we are going to invite to sign up with us, but she doesn’t know it yet. She likes to run, but she may be a little busy with a wedding approaching. If you read this, Auntie K, we want YOU to go the distance! If it’s not for you, we understand. But wouldn’t it feel good to cross the finish line ahead of a certain someone? ūüôā

Wanted: Marathon Moms


With elite runners like Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher¬†competing in and even winning¬†marathons soon after having babies, perhaps there is hope for us mere mortals who just want to finish the distance. My baby will be born in May, and I am going to begin as soon as medically responsible to train for a marathon in October. I got out my old copy of Hal Higdon’s much-loved book Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide¬†and began looking over the training plans, speculating as to when I could begin training and how many weeks I would have between then and race day. It feels good to be at the point where it is reasonable to make plans for after the baby is born!

For those of you who have participated in a marathon after giving birth, and for those of you who want to give¬†it a go, please stop by and add your experiences, advice, and struggles. If you have a different distance in mind, or a different athletic goal, please feel free to chime in. I’m just walking these days, but will chronicle my training experiences once I can run again. To be a Marathon Mom is achievable– many others have proved it, Paula and Kara most famously. Here’s to challenges, to testing the limits of what the human body can do. Let’s encourage and support each other to reach the goal! Shoes? Check. Jogging stroller? Check. Determination? Check. Nothing fancy needed.