Well, I guess I will start from the beginning...
Growing up I played multiple sports & most of the time running was a punishment so, therefore, it was not something I ever really looked forward to doing... at all. It wasn't until college that I really learned to embrace running. I didn't go overboard in the beginning by any means. I would run 3-4 miles at a time, max. It wasn't until after having our first son, Jace, that I really jumped in with both feet to the running world.
During both of my pregnancies I stayed very active & ran almost throughout the whole 9 months. I have to say though, working out for the first few times post baby was the hardest thing I have ever had to do . I couldn't sit on the toilet for weeks! Seriously, high fives for all you momma's out there that get out there & work out after having a baby! Its not easy but let me tell you something… its so worth it! Way to go!! (insert those high fives here)
After finishing my first 5k post baby I realized that there isn't anything much better than seeing your babies at the finish line. I believe it represents more than just a good run but being a leader. You might not be a mom yet & that's ok. You are inspiring friends, family, co-workers, etc. & maybe someday your babies. For all you momma's out there you might be able to relate to me. It allows me to show my kids work ethic, endurance, passion, mental toughness, sacrifices, healthy & active lifestyle, self discipline., etc. I know that every time I lace up my shoes to go for a run that little eyes will be watching me. My son, Jace, who is 3 yrs old now loves to tell people when they ask us what we do that we "run" in our family. Although, most people mean occupation with that question it makes for a good laugh & secretly makes this momma proud!
My first full marathon was a complete disaster… or so I thought. I got the first stage of hypothermia at mile 20 & was pulled off the race due to my conditions. It was humiliating to say the least. What I found though was that it didn't make me the failure I felt I had become. It was an opportunity to show my son & others that just because you get knocked down doesn't mean you can't get back up. You aren't a failure when you are knocked down but when you quit. I wasn't quitting. On October 13th, 2013 I will be running a full marathon again & will be crossing the finish line. I so badly wanted to throw in my "mommy running towel" after my first experience with a full marathon but chose not to give up. Wherever you are in life right now remember that just because you have a set back doesn't make you a failure. If you ate that piece of cake or missed your run or whatever it might be do better tomorrow. Make a small shift & get focused again! You can do it!
"You aren't big steps from anything, only small shifts from everything." -Keith Kochner
Not only do I run to influence my kids & others but I run for myself. I have learned to embrace the long runs & allow this time of running to be "me time". Most days I don't even get to go to the bathroom alone so going for a run is a treat. Can I get an amen mom's? Sometimes I run with music & other times I let it be quiet. When I get my run in for the day I feel as if I am better for it. Lately I have enjoyed running my long runs on the weekends with friends. It's been a great way to pass time & have someone push you to finish what you set out to get done that day! Or just to make sure you wake up & get there! :)
Running is something that I don't ever want to take lightly. I love the diversity of a race & the simple miles around my neighborhood. I love the adrenaline of running with people cheering you on for 26.2 miles & the stillness of the mornings when no one else is awake yet. It doesn't matter how far or how slow you go, you still lapped someone today who didn't get out & do it! I hope that this post inspires you to get going, keep going, or be confident in where you are going! If you are a mom my prayer is that you are inspired to influence your kids in a positive way with your actions & not just words. It doesn't have to be running but remember that you are their biggest influence & their little eyes are watching you!
"Tough runs don't last. Tough mothers do!" -Unknown
Thank you Megan for allowing me to share! I am blessed to call you my sister-in-law!
Sarah (aka: another knocked up runner)
P.S. I WOULD LOVE TO SHARE YOUR STORY TOO. IF YOU ARE A RUNNER, KNOCKED^UP OR NOT AND HAVE SOME ENCOURAGING WORDS TO SHARE EMAIL ME @ MEG.ARMSTRONG@LIVE.COM,