Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Being A Mom Affected My Running

I've been a runner for 2/3 of my life now. But only 6 years of that has been running as a mom.  It was amazing to me how many things being a mom changed for just my running alone.

Sometimes being a mom (or becoming a mom in this case) causes some restrictions in running. The first big change was with my first pregnancy, my doctor advised me not to run (he was an older doctor and it was my first pregnancy. He was being really cautious.  Running has been proven ok, and even good for pregnant women, but you should always ask and listen to your doctor!) So I didn't run. I did the bike and elliptical and a lot of walking and some weight training but I didn't run for a good 7 months during that pregnancy.  So coming back to running after I had J took a really long time.

Learning to start again/run with a stroller is one way that being a mom affects your running. Once I was okayed to run again, it took another 10 months or so to feel like I wanted to run.  I knew I was going to be out of shape and I knew that I would probably get impatient with myself.  I had a jogging stroller but I didn't use it for jogging until J was 8 months old! And it changed my pace. Not only was I out of shape, but I could barely make it a mile pushing the stroller.

I took this picture right after that first stroller run.  I've hardly ever run with a stroller since, even though I still have a really nice running stroller....maybe I should pull that out again and give it a try? 

Being a mom affected the time of day that I could run at. Before I was a mom, I ran basically anytime I wanted or had free time.  Most of the time that would end up in the middle of the day or first thing in the morning. The day I became a mom that all changed.  When I did start to run, it was usually in the evenings once my dinner had settled and someone else was around to take the kids. Suddenly I was no longer a day time or morning runner. I didn't have the energy to run in the mornings after waking up several times with kids at night, and the middle of the day was impossible unless I wanted to pull that stroller back out and try to talk myself out of being frustrated about a slower or harder run because of it.

When my kids got a little older, running was affected by giving me built in running buddies. For now, when they run with me, it's just for my warm up. But I'm always super proud of them for running and improving.  It's even kind of fun to run with the kids.

Being a mom affected the whole reason that I run in the first place.  Sure there are still some of the same reasons: It helps clear my mind, It helps me stay in shape, but add on several other reasons like it's some of the only ME time I get, it helps me be a happy mom, and it helps me sleep better at night.

Being a mom affected the way I run.   I don't just go out and run wherever like I used to. I only get so much time to run a day so I plan my runs to make sure I'm making the most of them.  For now, I stick to the 5k (hopefully I'll be making it to 10k's soon) because it's what I have time to train for. There's no way, at this point in my life, that I could train for a marathon. Being a mom keeps this part a little interesting though because it means that as my kids grow and my family changes, so does my running. And that means I need to be flexible and patient and be ok with some changes.

I have more of a drive and more stamina, during my run, since having kids.  I used to look for runs that would allow a few stops (stop lights...that's a tiny bit embarrassing to admit) now I don't think about that at all. I feel like I can set my mind to a distance and I can almost always hit that distance. My mind loses most of its own games and I'm able to over power the feeling of wanting to quit early. This works both ways though...Running also makes my mothering stamina stronger.  :)

There are so many little ways that my running is affected by being a mom, but being a mom doesn't make it so that I CAN'T run. In most ways, being a mom has affected my running for good!

What are some things that have changed your running over the years? 

1 comment:

  1. I have to run so early every day now to fit it all in! Good job getting back to it!