Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Health, Sanity and Solitude: Why Moms Run

By Heather C.

Photo via Skinnyandfabulous.com
Are you a runner? Have you ever thought about running? I’m finding a big trend amongst my friends these days that includes moms that run. Never having been a runner myself, I was intrigued by the successes my mom friends were having and decided to tackle the pastime myself. Now I find myself completely in love with it. If I can get involved in running, pretty much anyone can.

I know why I run and I know how it makes me feel but can people relate to that? I decided to conduct some interviews to see what other moms thought. I talked to four moms with different backgrounds. I’ll give you a brief intro to each of them as well.

Me: Why do you run?

Ceri H: [I run] as part of a healthy lifestyle. Weight loss was an awesome bonus but I also love that it helps me treat my anxiety and depression without drugs.



Ceri H. is a military wife and mom of a 2-year-old daughter. She is 4 ½ months pregnant. She has been running since July of 2011 but took a break during the early parts of her pregnancy due to morning sickness and exhaustion. She is back to running several days a week now.

Kristen K: I need some regular physical exercise to stay sane after having two babies. I need a good excuse to get away from my two babies! I really want to set a good example for my kids around physical activity and wellness.

Kristen K. is a new mom of twin boys, ages 3 months old. She is married and works from home. She is new to running this time around. She’s tried it in the past but never had success because the right motivation wasn’t there. She also happens to be my long-distance running partner.

Me: What is the best part of running?

Amy F: The best part for me is clearing my mind. I barely get a break during the day, so running is my “alone” time with my thoughts.

Amy F. is a married mom of two girls, ages 3 and 1. She is a stay-at-home mom and hopes to soon start going back to school. She just started running this year in January after her dad had a heart attack in his 40’s.

Christine S: Crossing the finish line of races is a feeling I will never forget and doesn’t ever get old!!

Christine S. is a married mom of two boys, ages 4 and 2. She is an early education teacher and is trying to meet her goal of running at least one race every month (5k’s, 10k’s, ½ marathons and a full marathon late this fall). She started running in June of 2011 and runs to support the American Cancer Society in honor of her Grandma who passed away in January 2011.

What is the worst part of running?

Kristen K: So far there’s no "worst" thing because today (March 20, 2012) was my first workout, though I suspect tomorrow the worst thing will be how my muscles feel. It was amazing to get away and get outside and just be in myself and focus on pushing myself physically and mentally in a way that’s all about me.

Ceri H: Chafing!

Christine S: Trying to balance the time spent running with family time. It’s hard to work full-time, be a mom, and a runner.

Me: How did you get started?

Amy F: I wanted to try something new. I’ve never run before in my life. I tried the Couch to 5k program but it was entirely too slow for me. I just started creating my own little goals to go further and faster every time I ran.

Ceri H: I started with Couch to 5k. I stayed on Week 1 for almost a month getting the kinks out between bad shoes and needing a knee brace. It wasn’t easy to get started, but now I love it and can’t imagine not running.

*Note, all of the interviewees, including myself, used the Couch to 5k program initially.

I was really interested to find some very common factors surrounding the answers my friends gave. We all run with both physical and mental health as our biggest motivation. Many of us have been inspired by making a difference in our generation, whether it is to raise money for charitable organizations or simply to change courses in a family that’s made unhealthy choices in the past.
Whatever the reason, running is very powerful tool for moms; And like Nike says, “Just Do It!”

1 comment:

  1. YES! I have done a few NPR bits(mchron.net "Running Music" and "Tantrum" (as in Running is my Tantrum) about my mama running thoughts. What a great interview article. Thansk for reminding me it is warm enough and light enough to get my butt out on the street. THE BEST tool ever FYI is nike+ to track your progress and set goals. That and becoming a mama totally changed my running.

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