Some part of me has always believed blogs to be inherently narcissistic. In this age of internet sharing (over-sharing) and social media madness, anyone can spew their thoughts across the web. I did join Facebook during my college days when it was spreading like wild fire, but I have never subscribed to Twitter and I can’t tell you what exactly Pinterest is. Twitter mystifies me. Anyone can write a blog but does anyone really care? To this I must answer, Yes. Some of the most amazing writing in which my eyes have ever been blessed to come across has been from blogs. Mainly that of Kelly Hampton at http://www.kellehampton.com/ and Melina at http://www.thewildercoast.com/. These two women, whom I do not personally know, have inspired me time and time again. I pour over their blogs, seeking out their optimism, adventure-loving spirit, hoping I can absorb just a bit of it to get me through a long afternoon. And lately, I have been motivated to no end by Dorothy at http://www.mile-posts.com/. She is a major reason I took the plunge and purchased a triple stroller. She runs with three (and fast!) and has made me realize I can do the same.
And so this is how I see this blog – as a possible outlet for new mothers, running mamas who need a little inspiration, a reminder that there are others out there doing it and they can, too. In no way do I see myself as a role-model or some supermom (which I don’t believe exists, by the way) standing on her soapbox preaching that “You can do it! You don’t need sleep, quit making excuses, life is hard but you have to run through it!” That is not my intention. I am no expert. I am not crazy fast, I have only done 1 race since college (though I hope to do more, soon). I don’t stand taller than anyone else, but if I can help to pick someone up, then awesome.
|Girls were at school so I got out for a “single” run with this happy dude today!|
|When Adara was about 4 months old, I first began running with her in our single jogging stroller. It was tough. Impossible, I thought. Crazy. No one actually runs with one of these, do they? I had faint memories of an assistant XC coach who used to push her stroller on summer runs with us, but she was also an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier and an elite runner. She was in a whole different league. But did normal moms really run with these? And what about on hills?|
We live in a very hilly neighborhood. I’m talking 10-15% grade to get up to Mulholland. From there the hills persist, mostly rolling, but definitely a hilly route in anyone’s book. And so I quickly gave up on running with Adara from our house. Instead, I would pack her in the car (and she absolutely hated the car, screamed bloody murder every second of every drive for an entire year), drive 45 minutes to Santa Monica just to run along the beach boardwalk or other nearby flat streets. I would usually only run for 20 minutes. She screamed the entire time. I ended nearly every run in tears. This is miserable, I thought. Running was supposed to relieve my stress, but now it was merely causing greater frustrations. Then I’d schlep her back into the carseat of horror, drive another 45 minutes home with a miserable baby and try to forget what had just occurred.
During my long, early days with Adara I would pour over the internet searching for some relief. Searching for an answer to running with a baby. The results were bleak. I found nothing consoling. And so, I basically gave up. I resorted to the fact that I would have to run late at night after my husband arrived home from his 12 hr work day. I heard of some moms running in the early morning before their babies woke, but Adara wasn’t sleeping through the night, could wake at any given moment and I had to be there with my full, heavy breasts ready to feed her on demand. (I’m in the same situation again now with Isaac). Life was not very fun and running wasn’t either.
Four years later, I now run with a triple jogging stroller, pushing over 120 lbs uphill just to get in a run with my kids. It’s hard, it will always be hard, but I have come a long way. I want you to know that you can, too. You will not run as fast or as smoothly as you do alone, but I’d argue that it’s even better. You will become a stronger runner and mother. I absolutely love running with a baby (or three!) in tow. One, you don’t have to carry your own water or food – throw it in the stroller! You never feel lonely or bored. The girls love to sing songs, count to 100, cheer me on. They all beg to come along for the ride, even on days when Alan is home and I don’t have to take all of them. You’re teaching them invaluable life lessons along the way. You are the model for who your child will become. If you want them to live a healthy, active life then show them how you do it. Make it simple, squeeze it in when you can. I NEVER put running before my responsibilities as a mother. Being a mother is my primary job – making sure they’re fed, happy, rested. Running gets squeezed in. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m nearly always dressed in running clothes. Trust me, it’s not because I love the comfort of them or want to show off “Look at me, I’m a runner!” Rather, it’s out of convenience. I never know when I’m going to get time for a run and so I have to be prepared and ready to (literally) run out the door when the timing is good. I love to get my running in first thing in the morning, but if Isaac sleeps in and I’m too engorged or the girls aren’t interested, we have to save it for later. As a running mama, you definitely can’t be picky.
“If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic.” – Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues