I’ve been trying to think back recently and take a look at my running story. I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t into running in highschool. In fact I was mediocre at best when I actually participated in sports. I remember being the only girl on the little league baseball team and I was a pitcher. And man, did I have an arm. My dad used to play catch with me and loved the sound of that “pop” in his glove and the tingling in his hand after I threw it. That was short lived however. I played softball in high school but was far from good, in fact I got splinters in my butt I rode the bench so much. I tried basketball, sucked at that too, although I did have a fairly decent free throw (if I do say so myself). But I never did cross country or track. In fact I don’t even remember if my school had a team! I’ve participated in a lot of fitness activities but as a jack of all trades and a master of none.
When I went to college I think I told you that I started running because of a guy. Uggh, can’t believe I even admitted that, but it’s true and it’s really where my running journey started I think. I dabbled for many years…a 5K here, a 10K there, but nothing serious. I don’t even remember training. I ran my first half marathon in 2008, about 3 months before I found out I was pregnant with Mini #1. It was Rock N Roll Phoenix. A good friend and I flew out and did our very first half marathon together, although we didn’t run it together. I remember seeing the split for the half and full marathon and thinking “I feel great, I could do a marathon someday!” I crossed the finish line that day in tears. I never in a million years thought that I could accomplish something like that.
The thing I liked about running at the time is that it was a solo sport. Despite running in a crowd of 10,000, I felt like I wasn’t being compared to anyone else, unlike being on a team. If you sat on the bench, it was inevitable, your self-confidence kind of plummets, especially as a kid. I found something that I could do that made me feel good about myself. I completed my second half marathon 2 months after that, one month before I got pregnant with Mini #1. I then took a 4 1/2 year hiatus to have kids. I ran here and there but pretty much did no exercise for that time which I can’t even believe now that I look back on it.
To be honest I feel like my TRUE running journey didn’t start until I moved to the DC area. Looking back at that time I feel like I was struggling with a touch of post-partum depression (we moved when Mini #2 was 5 months old) and I was pretty miserable. I was essentially a single mom (husband was flying and out of town all of the time), dealing with a move and not knowing anyone, then dealing with the transition of having two kids, and I hated my body. I still had post partum weight to get rid of too which was huge. I needed to do something, to change something. I NEEDED something that was for ME. Something that would help me gain a little self-worth and self-esteem. As a nurse and a mom I tend give and give to others and tend to forget about myself. And that’s when I started my local chapter of MRTT. I’ve talked about how MRTT was truly life altering for me. If it wasn’t for Moms Run This Town I have no idea where I would be. I know that I probably wouldn’t be running like I am and I know for sure I wouldn’t have this blog. It is within that group that I learned who the #REALCHAMPIONS are.
Since starting my MRTT chapter I have run a ton of races not to mention thousands of training miles.
I have completed:
- 6 x 5K’s
- 3 x 5 Miler’s
- 4 x 10K’s
- 1 x 20K
- 6 x 10 Milers
- 6 x 13.1’s
- 3 x 26.2’s
I have hit my goals in some and not in others. I’ve had many ups and downs and injuries, but have overcome them all. I train my heart out. I rest when I’m supposed to. I have more determination and perseverance than I ever thought possible. It’s hard to be a mother runner. There are so many things to juggle as it is, let alone adding a marathon training cycle in there which is extremely demanding, not only physically but mentally as well.
I do know one thing however…..my running journey is far from over.
I have one thing lingering over my head….I want to run Boston. I want to qualify. I want to go back home, run that race and kill it. Too high of an excpectation? Maybe…probably….. but I am determined. I’m excited that I go into a new age group in a year and a half which will definitely be helpful. Still finding it hard to believe that I will be in the Masters category? Ummm, hello, how did THAT happen? I’m still 25 at heart….well, maybe not 25 (I was partying and living it up then)….more like 30? It will take a LOT of hard work and determination and probably a lot of tears. But I know that I can accomplish it with the most important #REALCHAMPIONS in my life.
They are what drive me to cross that finish line, to persevere when I hit “the wall” or just want to give up.
My husband and kids are the real #REALCHAMPIONS in my life.
I am forgetting one person though, and I’m cringing as I type this because I feel like if I say it I will sound overconfident, cocky and high on myself and that’s not who I am.
I AM A #REALCHAMPION.
I need to credit Suz on this one. I will toot my own horn for the first time, EVER…..and this is very hard for me, I very rarely take credit for anything I do (in fact I usually downplay it). When my husband thanks me for working so hard I say “Don’t thank me, YOU work much harder than me.” “Oh, I don’t work, I only play nurse one day a week.” It’s time for me to take credit where credit is due.
It’s time that I admit that I bust my tail with the kids, keeping the house together, working part time, supporting my husband, blogging and marathon running. So many times I’ve wanted to quit and give up because it was just too hard to balance it all. I am NOT Supermom by ANY stretch of the imagination, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to try to be her.
My family has supported me and cheered me on. My husband probably groans every time I tell him another weekend is taken up with a race. But he smiles anyway and is happy to let me do my thing. My heart wants to burst when my kids want to go for a run or when they ask me how many miles I ran today.
I want to show THEM how to be a #realchampion and teach them that it’s not just about winning and losing. I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve been asked by Mini #1 “Why do you run if you won’t win?” That’s a hard concept to explain to a 3 & 6 year old. They aren’t at the age yet where they understand.
Mini #1 has a 5K for school coming up. He asked a fellow classmates mom if they would be running the race. When she asked how long of a race it was he replied “It’s ONLY a 5K, come on you can do it.” When she told me this I was embarrassed, I don’t want him making anyone feel bad of course, but proud at the same time. Running brings discipline and structure to our chaotic family life (for me at least) but I also hope that it will instill values in my boys that they will carry with them into their adult lives.
Because when it comes down to it, my ONE goal in life is to make these two….#REALCHAMPIONS.
Who is YOUR #REALCHAMPION ? @championUSA @suzy399 #allgainnopain #fitfluential #motherrunner Click To Tweet
Who knows where my running journey will take me, but I’m excited to find out. I plan to be running for a LONG time!
*This post is sponsored by Champion.*
What does a #REALCHAMPION look like to you?
Who is the #REALCHAMPION in your life?