This is a picture of me in 2012, finishing my first half-marathon. I had started running regularly the previous year and completed a couple of 10Ks before attempting this race. When I first started running I absolutely hated it, but couldn’t deny how great I felt afterward. Suddenly, it seemed, I was hooked! I mean that in kind of a weird way–like, I get antsy and itchy feeling if I don’t run at least three days a week.
For me, the trick to running is to carve that time out of the day and to do it without my kids. I know there are plenty of people out there who run with their children, or run alongside them while they ride bikes or scooters or something. I’ve tried that. My kids are cut from an all-or-nothing cloth, which means if I’m not giving them my undivided attention when we’re out together, all hell breaks loose. Plus, when I go for a run I like to keep going and develop my pace without stopping to look at pine cones and dog poop along the way.
Running has become a cathartic activity for me, whether I’m going three miles or thirteen. And even though I’m not willing to share that particular time with my children, it does make me a kinder, more patient mother when I return. Those miles help me to pound out frustrations, think through problems, or simply meditate. Yes, you can meditate while running! The solitude lets me turn inward without interruption, while also improving my health (see, aren’t mothers always multitasking?).
I just finished my third half-marathon last weekend and have signed up for two more. It really is addictive! Sometimes I run with friends who are also mothers and we talk about our children, husbands, and life. It gives us a chance to log in some slow, easy miles together while we catch up on each other’s lives–more multitasking! When I get home I feel recharged, and my kids enjoy seeing what kind of goodies I’ve brought back from the races. We won’t get awarded any medals for being moms, and that’s okay, but it is a lot of fun to show our kids that moms can win medals.