With Mother's Day approaching this weekend, I've been thinking a lot about my fitness goals and how much they have changed over the past 2 ½ years. My reasons for staying healthy and my personal definition of fitness are a lot different than they used to be. I was a hard-core runner who felt like it was a waste of time to run any less than 6 miles during a workout. That's no longer the case, which honestly, has been hard for me to accept sometimes. But when I think about what I've gotten in return, it's a trade-off I'm lucky to have made.
I remember the days when I'd be up at 4:30 a.m., off to the gym for a workout or out the door for a run. I was running around 40 miles a week (which is still not that much for some), and wasn't happy if I didn't have at least one long run of around 10 miles somewhere during the week. That was during the "off-season" in between training for a half or full marathon. When I was training, runs would be longer and the time commitment was much more extensive. I was very focused during my training, following the plans to a "t" and fitting the rest of my life into my running- instead of the other way around. Looking back, I wouldn't change any of those things. Discovering my passion for running gave me the self-confidence and motivation to achieve goals I never thought were possible.
Then about 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to start a family. I was worried about how this new person was going to change my life. For so long, my primary focus had been on myself- I went where I wanted to go and did what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. I knew some of that was going to change, but I don't think anyone can prepare you for how your life is turned upside down when you have children. One thing I struggled with was establishing a new "normal". I couldn't just head out the door for a run whenever I wanted. My runs were now scheduled around naps and feedings and when I had someone to watch my daughter. In the beginning, that was tough for me. But as time went on, running took on a new purpose in my life. It no longer mattered how fast or how far I was going. Running was my quiet time to help clear my head and de-stress.
I ran another marathon 10 months after my daughter was born, and ran one of my best half-marathons last weekend, 5 months after my son was born. My body does not look like it used to. I don't always feel as strong when I run, often because I have to get up 2 or 3 times during the night before a long run to feed my son or comfort my daughter because she had a bad dream. But those 2 little people are now my inspiration for running. I want them to have a mom who's strong and confident, and can still run a marathon while balancing work, family and everything else. Thinking about them is what pushes me up the hills when I'm tired and helps me sprint to the finish line.
Happy Mother's Day!
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