Monday, May 5, 2014
Being a mom and a runner
This week, we asked elite runner and Team HMF member Katie Edwards of Glastonbury to share a little more on the balance of being a runner and a mom.
GUEST POST: Katie Edwards
Becoming a mom (times three) is one of the greatest blessings in my life. Another great blessing that has found its way into my life is running. You would think finding a way to make the two coexist shouldn’t be that hard, but sometimes it can be for a working mom, or even for a non-working mom.
Running is a gift. It’s a gift that I did not always love, but the longer I let it settle in to my life, the more it became a part of me and allowed me to get to know me. It took me a few years to realize this.
Having 3 children in as many years gave me a run for my money and running has given me a breath of fresh air that I desperately needed. I ran my first race ever, the ING Hartford Marathon, in 2008, after baby #2. That race taught me that I never wanted to run again. But one thing led to another, and I found myself running the Hartford Marathon for a second time in 2011. In that time span, I had my third baby. I was hooked on running. I ran that race 20 minutes faster than in 2008. I had been bit by the running bug. I wondered how much faster I could get. So, I kept setting goals.
Fast forward two and a half years later and I have taken another 32 minutes off my marathon and running is still a huge part of my life. Running is here to stay and it’s important for me to make it a priority in my day. Moms are really good at feeling guilty about things. I am guilty of the “mom guilt”, which would dictate that I am a terrible mom if I dare spend any time or energy on anything other than my children and their activities.
In reality, I am a terrible mom if I DON’T spend time on things that keep me happy.
In reality, three children and a job take up a lot of time and energy.
In reality, it is 100% possible to keep the kids happy, well rounded and taken care of without sacrificing or feeling guilty about taking time for the one big thing that makes ME a better me.
Running helps me keep it all together. Running helps me keep that well-oiled machine of family life remain “well oiled”. For that reason, I make running a priority, but not THE priority. I get up, run and am home before the kids are rising...because I can. Not because I have to. Well, somedays, I have to. But, I do it because it’s something I love. It’s not a sacrifice if you love it.
I know that balance is very important. Body, mind and spirit. “Feed” those things, keep them in check and life will balance. Running feeds those things so that I can help “feed” that balance into my family. I set running goals to get me out that door because it is not always easy. I plan to meet up with a friend to run in the early morning, that gets me out the door. Running helped me learn that I am far stronger than I think I am, physically, emotionally, mentally. We are all stronger than we think we are.
If being a running mom means running the Boston Marathon, driving home that night and then getting up at 5:30 am the next morning with my 4 year old, than I will gladly embrace the challenge, and be stronger for it. Mothers are a special group of people with so much to offer one another. Give yourself the gift of running. Get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, run. Get to know who YOU are. You may really like who you discover. Allow it to permeate your life and see how it positively affects those around you.
Set goals. Start small and see where they take you.
Keep up with Katie on Twitter @msfitrunner or her blog, www.msfitrunner.com